9 I“m Here at the Marketplace in Another World!
I followed the directions given by the map, taking a few turns on the streets for a couple of minutes, the peaceful ambient slowly replaced by noise from disordered talking of many people and shouting time to time as I drew closer.
Being aware of the fact that better clothing in this world was expensive and luxurious, I could distinguish the differences between commoners and high-class individuals on the crowd with a glimpse. These clothes seemed similar to 1700s clothing of the earth and I had no idea what they were really called.
A hint of saltiness from the air seeped into my nose as I breathe. No wonder, the sea was just nearby.
The sense of wonder somewhat invigorated me. "At last, now I'm here at Irylia's marketplace."
Stores stood along the side of a single street that stretched indefinitely with palm trees of the same kind planted on a straight line.
On the other side, there were innumerable stalls made of cloth supported by wooden poles raised on a wide, long, open, level area; which was paved just like the plaza from the central district.
Before went there, I rambled on the sidewalk, however, my stomach reacted to the appetizing scent from the thin smoke and growled.
To find where the smoke came from, I followed the scent and searched, subsequently, I found out that it came from a small house with an awning on the open-wide storefront.
A hairless human-like cat with a red long sleeve shirt grilling several skewered meat on a grill placed above a rectangular brazier filled with scorching charcoal.
On top of the table beside him, I saw a lump of pork meat drenched in a large wooden bowl filled with oil and a blend of different spices.
I approached the store and directly asked the cat. "How much for each one of these?" My finger pointed at the grill.
The cat raised his head and looked to me while fanning the charcoal inside the brazier with a small plank of wood. "My Pinchitos? Three skewers are only one Rifty. Try it once and you'll not regret it afterward!"
Ooh? I'll taste it then, I'm hungry anyway.
I took the cloth pouch from my pocket and got a small green gemstone. "I'll buy three please." I gave it to him.
The cat gave a skewer with grilled meat. "Here, it's already cooked, eat that one for now while waiting. The others were still raw but they're soon to cook."
"Thank you." I took the stick from him and looked at it in a moment.
The meat was lean, sliced into cubes, it had a greasy yellow-brown surface but slightly charred and tiny bits of spices were visible.
I sunk my teeth, pulled the skewer sidewards and chewed it slowly to savor the taste.
Hmm... Wow! This tender and juicy meat had strong, pleasant, and somewhat spicy flavor from different spices was put all together in harmony! I've never tasted anything like this before!
The cat was glad about my reaction. "I have a secret sauce here, you can dip it. It's better to eat my Pinchitos with this." He carefully placed a small clay jar on the table beside him and fanned the charcoal again.
I was curious so I opened the lid of the jar and then put the Pinchitos to a watery red sauce, there were seeds from the chili and tiny pieces of spring onions. I pulled it out quickly and took a bite once more.
Huff... Very nice! The spiciness of this one was entirely in another level. Hmm... I want more.
The cat heartily gave two newly cooked pork skewers to me. "Have another, these are now good to eat."
I received them with both of my hands. "Thanks!" Dipped them into the sauce another time.
A few moments later...
I gave a thumbs up to the cat. "That was good! I'll frequent at this place from now on." With a smile on my face.
The cat chuckled. "Nyaha! Alright, I'm expecting to see you again."
"Yeah. Well, I take my leave, bye!" I waved to the cat and went on to a walk.
"Farewell young fellow!" He waved back with his hairless hand.
I continued and walking along the street while dropping by the stores, however, I stopped when I see a hanging signboard close by. 'Vino de Perro' was written in style with the characters joined together.
Oh, duck! Is that Arric's liquor store?! Ugh... I promised to come back tomorrow but I don't want to show myself earlier since I have nothing to pay my debt for now. This is bad. This is bad.
I decided to take a detour so I crossed the street and found my way to a lively and crowded marketplace, walking at a leisurely pace while looking around.
The marketplace stretched along the coastline of Irylia from wall to wall, situated in the middle of a tree-lined street and the vertical seawall which made out of yellowish white stone blocks with piles of sloping rough rocks underneath.
The ebb from the sea swashes along with the cool and revitalizing gentle breeze. Seabirds flapping their wings and flew freely high up in the air.
A dozen large ships with tall masts and wide sails moored to the ligneous docks that extended over the bay, there were also small fishing boats with oars floating nearby.
Crates were stacked, sacks and barrels placed on the docks. Not a single crane found on the port, only large and strong human-like dogs manually carry the goods one by one to unload them from the ships.
Some well-armed infantry in black coat patrolling all over the marketplace to maintain peace and order, each of them had flintlock pistol on the holster and rapier sheathed in a scabbard attached to a belt that tied around their waist.
Each stall throughout the marketplace only sold one of a kind and distinct goods, such as fruit stalls, meat stalls, fish stalls, and so on.
Lush, crisp, and fresh vegetables; ripe fruits with vibrant colors; a copious amount of grains and legumes inside the sacks; tubers recently harvested from the ground; wide selection of fishes and shellfish that were just caught from the sea; newly laid eggs and fresh milk. These were found everywhere along the esplanade and prices were affordable, it was possible to barter goods rather than directly paying with Rifties.
On the marketplace, there were special stalls separated to the rest.
Living livestock was tied up and waiting to be slaughtered by human-like wolves that had brown fur with black markings and white stripes on their snout on the spot — they were actually butchers with chopping knives.
The stall had different cuts of pork meat hanging on the beam. Blood was dripping to the ground. Innards were immersed inside a boiling pot above a brazier.
'Buweeeeeee! Bweeeee! Weeeeeeeeeeeee!!!'
I stood dumb while watching those squealing black pigs being butchered, it was the first time I witnessed this gory process of butchering.
They stunned the black pigs by hitting directly on their heads using thick blunt edge of the chopping knife, it was so forceful that cracking sound could be heard.
The butcher lacerated a part of the neck, blood suddenly gushed out from the slit.
The butchers covered it with their bare hands and quickly hanged the pig upside down on a hook of a sturdy post to flush the blood into a pot. The sweet rusty-like stench of the blood was unbearable and sickening.
Another butcher poured boiling hot water onto the carcass carefully and scraped off the black hair with his knife while it was hanged.
When that wolf stuck the sharp edge to the pig's belly, I gave up and hastily left because didn't want to see what would happen next.
Turning my back away from the butcher stall, the sharp cries from the pigs resonated on my ears. I covered my nose with my handkerchief. "Ugh... I don't want to eat pork anymore. I'm really sorry, looks like will not eat Pinchintos next time." I went back to the bustling marketplace.
It was late in the afternoon, the blue sky above the port had yellow-orange puffy clouds reflecting the light from the sun that slowly hid behind the mountains.
It was 4:37 PM show on the of my clock, but I went on to the remaining stalls that hadn't yet visited which displayed an assortment of accessories and simple garments put up on sale as well as textiles out of leather, wool, and linen, but there was no silk and cotton.
"I wonder did Ramiro get those fabrics, it seems came from another place." I scratched my chin with my left pinky finger. "Oh! That's what I really need!" Variety of bags placed above the tables of a stall, I excitedly went closer.
An adult female had light-brown hair and dog ears wearing modest brown dress looked directly at my eyes while sitting down on a stool, she casually spoke up. "You'll buy? You can see and choose everything around here."
Among the bags of the stall, I picked up a plain suede pouch with a couple of thin strings to fasten the flap that overlapped the opening, it was attached to studded and durable leather belt with a bronze buckle. "How much for this one?"
"It's only 20 Rifties." She looked indifferent and gave a tepid response.
Seriously, 20 Rifties? You're talking like it's cheap, huh. Looks like this is the perfect time to utilize my experience as one of the richest merchants from many online virtual reality games and try to haggle.
"I'll buy it for 16 Rifties."
She replied immediately. "No."
Her expression was stern. "20 Rifties. Take it or leave it. If you don't pay, then go away."
Tsk! If this bag wasn't my type, I didn't even come here and talk to you!
I picked up my purse from my pocket and untied it to spilled out the Rifties on my right hand.
"Hmm... One red and ten green Rifties..." I mumbled to myself. "So its 15 Rifties, oh duck it's not enough. What I will do?" I thought about in a while, but after that, an idea flashed inside my mind and groped the pocket of my jacket.
Oh! Why not I'll barter my chocolate bar so I can buy this bag!