38. Cursed Necklace
A strong grudge against another can create works of magic.
The curse was a difficult one for amateur’s to notice. Furthermore, resolving it required a professional such as a saint or a curse remover.
“It’s cursed? Haha, young lady, you sure have a sense of humor.”
But the shopkeeper didn’t take my words for it.
“I’ve been a jewelry store owner for a long time, and I’ve encountered many cursed jewels. If it truly were cursed, of course I’d be able to tell.”
“Then, can’t you tell that this necklace is cursed?”
“What did you say?”
The shopkeeper’s eyes widened. However, it didn’t seem that he was convinced, yet.
But there was someone who believed me—needless to say, Nigel.
He turned his keen eyes onto the necklace.
“For this necklace to be cursed… it sure doesn’t seem to be the case.”
“Nigel, you shouldn’t casually touch it. The curse could just as well spread to you.”
“That’s right, excuse me.”
I stopped his hand which was reaching for the necklace.
“It’s no wonder you didn’t notice it. It’s a strong curse… and also cleverly disguised. It’s almost impossible for a normal person, or even a professional, to identify it.”
But my eyes could clearly pick up the terrifying aura leaking from the necklace.
I had seen it somewhere… where was that…
“This incident is similar to Ralph’s curse from that time. Why would such a strong curse be applied to this…”
Nigel’s words reminded me.
That was right—Ralph-chan’s incident. The aura was very similar.
“Your Highness, is what the young lady was saying true?”
Did the shopkeeper finally noticed the tense atmosphere? He asked in dismay.
“Indeed. She’s a good healer—I’m sure she can see the curse.”
Not only was I a healer, I was also some kind of curse remover, now…
However, it could be said that saint was a being who could wield those two abilities.
“N, no way… for me to buy a cursed necklace…” The shopkeeper became stunned.
“Don’t worry, if it’s such a curse, I can remove it immediately.”
I told the shopkeeper in a reassuring tone and put my hand on the necklace.
Un… it was an aura which made felt sick just by looking at it—I wanted to quickly get rid of it.
But that aura, I had certainly seen it before.
It was a different aura from Ralph-chan’s curse, but I was familiar with it…
After finishing my task, I turned to Nigel and the shopkeeper.
“You’re done already!?”
“Yes, the curse has been completely lifted. It’s just a normal necklace, now. I’m sure it’ll be a fine piece of jewelry on its own.”
“No, now that this has happened, I refuse to sell it anymore. It’s creepy, and I don’t want to cause any harm to my customers.”
Well, that would certainly be the safest choice.
It was an expensive purchase for the shopkeeper, but I was sure that store would quickly be able to recover the loss.
However, that didn’t mean the case was settled…
“That dubious merchant… we need to do some investigating.”
Nigel was contemplating while staring at the necklace.
“Shopkeeper, what can you tell me about this suspicious merchant?”
“Not much, actually…”
The shopkeeper started talking.
It seemed that the merchant had been visiting Lynchgiham for about half a year.
At first, he was too suspicious, no one dared to deal with him.
However, all the items brought by the merchant were first-class items, and the prices were also reasonable—thus, people started trading with him.
“Who is trading with him?”
“The weapon shop, armor shop, general store… it seems that the adventurer’s guild also traded with him. The merchant brings good quality monster meat, after all.”
Nigel leaned forward.
“Yes, it’s normal for the guild to buy monster meat, right? After all, that’s what they use to reward the members…”
What the shopkeeper had said was a fact.
But between Nigel and I, it was a reveal.
“Maybe, the monster meat I gave to Ralph was cursed?”
“Yes, it’s possible.”
The monster meat purchased by the guild would have been distributed to another shop, from which the royal castle would make a purchase—
—then, Ralph-chan ended up consuming it. That was a possible outcome.
“The situation may be direr than I expected. Thank you, Shopkeeper, I may come for more information on a later date.”
“If it’s only to this extent, it’s nothing—b, by the way…”
“What is it?”
The shopkeeper continued, “It’s purely an assumption, but I don’t think that person is actually a merchant.”
“What do you mean?”
“Maybe it’s an adventurer pretending to be a merchant to do business with us. Those muscles, they don’t belong to a merchant, and the way he does his business is amateurish. Well, there aren’t many such merchants, but it’s not uncommon, so take this with a grain of salt…”
“I understand. Thank you, I will properly look into it.”
A fake merchant…
Well, things were getting more and more complicated.
But now, even though there were still a few loose ends, I felt that we had enough evidence.
All I had to do was to find that single thread connecting them all—I could feel it.
“Eliane, forgive me for allowing such a thing to happen during our date… Let’s cool our minds and continue shopping.”
“I don’t mind.”
Although I was in thinking mode, the word ‘date’ which came out of Nigel’s mouth immediately brought me back to reality.
***T/N: Basically, Eliane is about to blow her cover again–y’know, the usual.
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