The Declaration of War from the Apothecary Guild
“I know I’ve talked about opening up a pharmacy some day… But why today?”
From an apprentice apothecary to the official Royal Court Apothecary, Falma de Médicis (10 Years Old), who had been appointed by an imperial sanction by the Empress directly, was dumbfounded in the mansion of his family.
A throng of craftsmen had intruded within the de Médicis family estate. Yesterday, an envoy had came to relay the Empress’ intention. The Empire would shoulder the cost of establishing the pharmacy.
Then today, it had come to this.
(Her Majesty was too impatient.)
Those were Falma’s inner thoughts.
For Falma, who was given an Imperial Charter for the pharmacy, was now given the responsibility of building a pharmacy from the empire. The Empress’ command was a big deal. From the workshops that had Her Majesty’s Royal Warrant of Appointment, competent stonemasons, quarrymen, blacksmiths, lumber merchants, glass blowers, roofers, and virtually all craftsmen who were experts in their profession had journeyed and gathered with their apprentices. They told Falma they were first-class craftsmen who had participated in the building of the palace.
“Since I’m not mentally prepared, nor have the first drafts been made, would you leave for now?”
Falma, for once, tried to turn away the master craftsman who had their foot at the door of the mansion. Both of them were pulling and pushing at the door,
“As I have told you Young Master, an imperial order had been issued, really.”
They won’t return as is, the planned construction site had also been decided, the craftsmen would be fired if they didn’t start working today; Is what he was told.
(Heads will roll certainly.)
That was the line of thought of the muscle-brained Empress.
“Come on now~ The job will be quick.”
Ellen arrived at the place that was in disorder. She was summoned by the carrier pigeon that was sent by Bruno. She was ordered to help the establishment of Falma’s pharmacy. The empress strictly ordered Bruno to have Falma operate the pharmacy as soon as possible, so Bruno requested Ellen for help as Falma’s support. On that subject, Bruno went to visit another noble today.
“Wait a minute-”
“I’m happy for your big promotion Master Falma, but what on earth did you do to get Her Majesty to do this, because that one is hasty. Like one time…… I-, I got caught insulting the monarch.”
Falma wanted to inquire more regarding that episode, since it seemed to be interesting, but he let it go.
“There’s a deep reasoning behind it, and it’s a long story.”
Regarding the establishment of the pharmacy, he retold the story about the chat with Noah, that was disclosed to the Empress. How Noah was quietly running errands to earn points from Her Majesty.
“That was quite a long story. So, what kind of pharmacy would it be? Do you have some rough image of what it would look like?”
Ellen leaned towards him as she asked.
“Do I have to decide right now? I’m not yet mentally prepared for that. I would like to look around at the other pharmacies first.”
It was because that space would be his workplace, he was carefully deliberating on his decision for the design. Falma thought it was not something to be decided by urging him to do it quickly.
“Stop it. The craftsmen’s heads will roll if you don’t do it now, socially that is.”
“Seems like Her Majesty is really that scary. It’s a matter of customer convenience, I want to consider this carefully…”
“You should just rebuild it if you don’t like it, as Her Majesty had said.”
“Her Majesty is overusing her sovereign authority too much.”
Falma was handed over to a craftsman, while groaning as he saw only a sketch of the construction site on a blank blueprint, as Lotte emerged with a tea and cake for Ellen and Falma.
“But, I was surprised. This is a big promotion Master Falma! And with that, the craftsmen are here right now, your pharmacy will really be built!”
Lotte was pleased with the success of Falma.
“Young Master, haven’t you decided yet on a draft plan? I humbly beg of you.”
The craftsmen from the guild who were waiting are getting restless. Falma had no other choice but to move his hand.
“Enough already, I’m just going to wing it.”
He was desperate already.
Since his father and Her Majesty said that he could design the pharmacy however he pleased him, Falma had prepared for the worst, and started to draw a plan. As long as there was an outline, the construction work would proceed smoothly and the foreman’s skill would let him see the confidence in their work
As for the location of the pharmacy, it would be built on the prime corner lot in The Imperial Capital’s main avenue that the Empress had gained control of. The location was selected away from the shopping district of the Apothecary Guild. It was probably the forethought of the Empress, so in order for the business rival not be in close quarters.
“I got it! Fine details will be placed later on because the building will still be under construction.”
“Wow, what does it look like… Eh!? Whaー”
At most, the craftsmen from the guild had been expecting him to draw at the level of a child, but once afternoon came, and Falma gave them the blueprints. They were left dumbfounded, because the drawing had many precise dimensions written on it.
“With this much detail, the job will be easy to do.”
After Falma and Ellen heard the opinions of the master craftsmen, they filled the blueprints using the interior design of the other pharmacies as reference.
That very same day when the blueprint was completed, the construction was pushed forward with amazing performance and speed. Construction budget influenced the construction time. As The Empire was the one ordering the work done, gold wasn’t an issue, and a large number of people were able to build it using the highest grade of materials.
A few days had passed since the start of the construction, the frame of the new shop had emerged from a plot of land in The Imperial Capital.
“Young Master. What do you want for the name of the store?”
A stonemason asked Falma for the name of the pharmacy. As he was looking around the neighboring shops, the name of the store was engraved largely on the wall.
“Will Imperial Pharmacy do?”
“Isn’t it kind of pretentious?”
The gold emblem of an Imperial Charter was already hoisted up on the wall. There are several shops in the Imperial Capital that had Royal Warrant of Appointment, but an Imperial Chartered shop (Compagnie à Charte) was on another level and are rarely issued.
If the pharmacy gained an approval from the empire even before it was established, it would have even more prestige and social standing.
“Please decide immediately or else the construction time will fall behind.”
“You mean now?”
“Now. Immediately. As soon as possible.”
The craftsman was short tempered. If Falma wanted to name it without pizzazz, it would be de Médicis Pharmacy, but because it was a challenging job, it would be unwise to publicly use his family name, so he was troubled.
“How about if I call it Different World Pharmacy.”
After thinking a lot and being indecisive, Falma finally got a good idea and he murmured that line. After several hours later of concentrating on the splendid ornament, the gold plated signboard engraving was completed.
The name of the shop would probably read [Diversis Mundi Pharmacy] when converted to the roman alphabet from his previous life.
Literally translated to [Different World Pharmacy]. Falma viewed it in amazement as he wondered what to do about it,
“Sacred Pharmacy? Is that really its name? Isn’t that a little exaggerated?”
When Ellen arrived at the site, she was surprised on the words on the signboard which was just completed. Falma was surprised by that.
“Sacred? How did it became like that!?”
Falma blinked his eyes in surprised. It was because the term “Different World” was not a common word in this world, it seemed it was paraphrased as “Sacred”
“Because this was an Imperial Charter by Her Majesty, you will be fully protected as that was the command, it will be a sanctuary from the people on the same business, heck, it may be a sanctuary already when the Medicine God is here.”
(Damn, I dun goofed!)
With that kind of name attached to it, it will certainly attract a bad crowd!
And so, Falma regretted his blunder, the stonemason and the engraver had already finished their work so he went to eat lunch, and went back home.
“I don’t want to find myself in discord with those on the same business as me. They might not let me borrow some medicinal herbs if I run out.”
He was troubled with someone harassing his business or damage caused by rumors. Besides, he couldn’t help but feel that the naming of the store, which was practically shoving it in people’s faces by this world’s standards, was like trying to pick a fight at the front of some “Temple”, because it was called [Sacred] anyway.
“It doesn’t matter now.”
Ellen was looking indifferently.
“You know it’s impossible to change the name. I think this would be an all out confrontation with the Apothecary Guild because it is a shop operated by a noble.”
It was because the types of medicine being handled are different, it was highly unlikely there would be compromise. That was Ellen’s analysis.
“Even though you have Her Majesty’s protection, you will still have strong opposition.”
That was because there are ways to interfere directly or indirectly.
Ellen’s remark was like a prediction.
The first Imperial Chartered pharmacy and the youngest Royal Court Apothecary of the empire.
The citizens and representatives of each commerce guild had come to check it out, incessantly throughout the day. Also, because there were expensive things that could be stolen on the construction site, Falma had hired some knights as night guards.
Before long, the leaders from the apothecary guild from the empire went and began to openly scout in front of the shop. When Falma was present at the location, the apothecaries would suddenly approach baring with hostility.
“Well, well, where is the store owner?”
The middle aged man that had a good physique, was believed to be a guild leader, he took off his hat and greeted Falma while examining the store. He was doing it in a polite but also rude manner.
“I am the store owner.”
Falma responded while not being particularly offended, because he was only seen as a child, there was no reason to be offended.
“This is rude! You’re too young. I am Veron, a leader of the Imperial Apothecary Guild.”
“Nice to meet you Mr. Veron. I’m Falma de Médicis, Royal Court Apothecary, I operate this shop, thank you very much for coming.”
“I heard that you established a pharmacy so I came along, and it even has the Imperial Charter seal. I see, Her Majesty did something whimsical, no, that’s rude.”
Veron was full of disdain as he only saw Falma as a child.
Since Veron thought that because Falma was only child, he wouldn’ t be able to take notice or understand sarcasm.
However, Falma didn’t feel offended at all.
“Still, the name of this pharmacy is very much elegant, what kind of medicines do you sell? Are you selling something for someone as old as you, like candies (Bonbon)?”
They weren’t aware of Falma’s reputation within the Royal Court. The guild leader Veron was teasing him by pretending to lick a candy with his tongue, and his posse of apothecaries went along with him and chuckled.
However, Falma had high resistance to useless instigation.
During Falma’s previous life, every time he developed a new medicine, it was not only favorable reaction that he got, he also received objection and skepticism from researchers all over the world, there were terrible remarks in their sarcasm. There was even a fight regarding patents with a rival laboratory. He felt that he needs to deal each one of them, but it wasn’t smart if he instigated them.
“I do intend to sell candies.”
Falma promptly nod as he announced with a smile.
“It’s one form of a medical dosage though.”
He intends to sell lozenges. Salts for the sweating artisans, perhaps it was good to sell salty candy for mineral supplementation.
Falma replied briskly and cordially in a child-like manner.
Veron wanted to criticize Falma one more time as Falma doesn’t seem to mind his words, but he can’t just blatantly slander a Royal Court Apothecary that had an imperial charter. A commoner who was being disrespectful towards a noble will be punished. Although sarcasm was permitted.
“Well, that is some splendid dedication.”
Veron claps his hands exaggeratedly.
“By they way, now that you have established your business, shouldn’t you register as a member of the Apothecary Guild?”
Certainly, if you operate a business you must register with a guild. Falma decided to listen about it just in case. He wanted to proceed with several formalities smoothly.
“It’s unfortunate but, the Apothecary Guild is for the commoner apothecaries only.”
Only when a commoner apothecary had served at the bottom of the pile for a long time, would the Apothecary Guild recognize them and finally let them become independent. It was said they need to serve at least 10 years from starting their practice.
“You can join us if you really want, I’ll accept you. It’s going to be a tough for a long time trying to operate independently, you know?”
Veron was provoking him with a serious face.
“No, that’s too much trouble. I’ve already mastered the minimum skills as an apothecary. I will be selling new medicines that I’ve personally developed, so it’s totally different from the shops under the Apothecary Guild.”
Since Falma was a noble, it was expected that he wouldn’t be joining a guild for the commoners.
“By the way, as for your Royal Court Apothecary made medicine, isn’t it expensive? To the commoners, they simply cannot get their hands on it.”
Medicines made by a Royal Court Apothecary used high quality raw materials. Top brass of the guild knew the market value of these medicines, so they know they shouldn’t let the business run slow, but having it expressed in this kind frank way of sarcastically pitying someone was just disdainful. So, Falma replied apathetically.
“I believe I can offer medicine, cheaply.”
“Cheap? Oh my, nobles indeed don’t take into consideration the commoner’s pocket! For you it’s cheap, but how much is it, really?”
“What the heck are you saying? You aren’t going to say you’re going to crush this pharmacy right?”
Ellen appeared in the shop while crossing her arms, she scowled at them without flinching as a way to backup Falma. Ellen’s name as the best student of Bruno was known in The Imperial Capital. All of them acknowledged her superiority.
“No, not at all, we are just fellow businessmen in the same field, let’s work together. Well then, I will leave for now.”
Leaving with words for appearances only, Vernon took his staff and left while sneering. It was just like a declaration of war from the Apothecary Guild.
Falma drifted his line sight up into the sky with a serious face. Ellen was worried about Falma, whether he was able to endure those cruel remarks or not.
“Don’t mind them, Master Falma.”
Then Ellen followed up what she said,
“Short of just selling candies, what do you think about selling wafers with iron content? After that, nutritional supplements too.”
“Really… I think I should do just that, then.”
With the words “candy” from the provocation of Veron, he seemed to have an idea for his new products.
Ellen greatly admired Falma’s resilient mentality and being optimistic while remaining calm.