Taming a Munchkin - Chapter 23

“Oh my…”
The woman raised a hand to cover her mouth before the gates of Hyeminwon, stricken with surprise .
“Welcome . May I know what brings you here, Dear Guest?”
A clerk greeted her with a bright smile .
“I’ve been getting headaches lately…”
“Ah, is that so? Then please come over here . ”
The clerk moved to the left wall and lifted one of the many potion bottles sitting on display . Each bottle was as long as a finger .
“For headaches, I’d like to recommend this Gaworin . ”
“Gaworin?”
“This is the best remedy for headaches, toothaches, and menstrual pains . ”
She accepted the bottle on the alchemist’s recommendation .
Gaworin . What a rather peculiar sort of name .
After paying for her purchase, she stepped out of the shop and mused to herself, her head aslant .  ‘Would something like this really prove effective?’
But her worries were unfounded because as soon as she consumed the medicine, her headache instantly vanished as though it had never existed in the first place!
‘Impossible…’
She reentered the shop . It was no time for hesitation . Having confirmed the effects firsthand, she needed to buy several more of these potions .
* * *
[ Hyeminwon ]
Kynemeia looked up at the signboard inscribed in cursive script .
‘People are coming here in droves . ’
Talk of an alchemists’ workshop had spread like wildfire, and even people from nearby fiefs were descending on the site .
“I told you, I’m one of the villagers here!”
“Ey, don’t lie! I told you to show your proof of identification if you really belong to this village!”
“Argh, I told you I’ll bring it next time!”
It seemed that some customers, wanting to benefit from the local villagers-only discount, were growing violent, claiming to be a local .
“The racket at the shop is getting out of hand . ”
At Eian’s bleak observation, Kynemeia firmly shook her head .
“Don’t you do anything . Just stay still . ”
“I only said that because I thought Mia might find it too noisy . ”
He shot her a bright smile .
‘Everything will be fine as long as you stay still . ’ She silently held in her tears . ‘Dangerous guy…’
Still and all, if the Hyeminwon was going to be this packed more often than not, they would have their work cut out to operate it .
“Shall I assign some soldiers?”
At her question, Xuan Tian exhaled a puff of tobacco smoke .
“No, that won’t be necessary . ”
He nodded knowingly as if to tell her ‘Just you watch’ .
“You little—!”
At that moment, the clerk who was arguing with the man leapt out from behind the counter . Seeing that the man was bent on being pigheaded, the clerk shoved his hand into his breast pocket .
“W-What?”
“What else! It’s a needle to catch bugs!”
With the long needles secured between his fingers, the clerk swung his hand . The needles pierced through the air and stabbed the hooligan in the neck and nose .
“…?!”
“Most alchemists practise acupuncture . ”
‘Woaahhh! It’s like a martial arts movie…!’ 
Kynemeia’s hands rose to cover her slack-jawed mouth, and her eyes sparkled . The needle-wielding clerk then hauled the hooligan off the premises . Meanwhile, another clerk took out the man’s proof of identification and jotted down his name and description in a black notebook . Thuggish customers would be put on a blacklist, apparently .
“Hey there—”
“Welcome, Sir Xuan Tian . ”
An alchemist came out to greet him with a bow when he strolled into the shop .
“Oh, why, if it isn’t the Little Angel! How have you been, Miss Little Angel?”
‘Little Angel?! Me?!’
“Okay, let’s leave the greetings for later . First, lead us to the workroom . ”
Xuan Tian directed with a nod, his hands folded at his back, while Kynemeia was still recovering from her surprise of hearing this new nickname for the first time .
“Y-Yes . ”
The alchemist moved briskly to lead the party inside . Kynemeia brought up the rear, her heart beating a staccato rhythm .
‘The alchemists’ workroom!’
The novel had not given an account of the alchemists being on the job, so she was hazy about the details . Perhaps their workspace gave off a similar atmosphere as science laboratories…
‘But why does it reek of oriental medicine?’
Trailing after them, she caught a whiff of the air as she looked around the interior . The room was redolent with the smell of oriental medicine .
“This is the workroom . ”
“…?”
Earthenware decoction pots were lined up in a row, and alchemists watched over several of them as the potions bubbled and boiled with a fan in hand .
‘That’s how they make them?!’
This rather familiar scene was reminiscent of Sageuk… With glazed eyes, she watched the alchemists fan themselves . Xuan Tian explained that when decocting a potion, the mana would be carried over by the wind from the fan in dribs and drabs .
“You can just pour it in, right? Why do you need to go through the trouble of fanning it like that?”
He answered Eian’s curiosity in an austere voice,
“Potions made without sincerity are half-baked . ”
“Ah, Sir Xuan Tian!”
Recognizing Xuan Tian’s presence, the alchemists gathered at his side .
“How’s the progress coming along—well, I hope?”
“Of course! Ohh, Miss Little Angel is also here . ”
‘Little Angel again?!’
Kynemeia’s pupils trembled on hearing the nickname .  ‘Why did I become a Little Angel?’
Disregarding whether she found the sobriquet strange or not, the alchemists who had spotted the Little Angel soon surrounded the party .
“Oh my, so Miss Little Angel came for a visit . ”
“Miss Little Angel, you look lovely today as well . ”
“Heavens above, it’s really Miss Little Angel!”
“Your face is full of good fortune . ”
‘Why’s that?!’ As the alchemists started patting her head, remarking on how adorable she was, Xuan Tian advised them,
“It’d be in your best interests to leave the Little Angel alone . There’s a guy crazier than Xing Kakahn by her side . ”
“Crazier than Xing Kakahn?”
Her ears pricked up at the name . ‘Xing Kakahn? Isn’t Xing Kakahn the emperor of Yu Ga? The one said to be a tyrant . ’
“Yeah . So instead of petting the Little Angel, just present her an offering . ”
“Y-Yes, Sir Xuan Tian . ”
‘Present an offering?!’
“Please have these . They’re sweets that can make your bones stronger, Miss Little Angel . ”
“P-Please try this as well . ”
“Try mine too . This is good for fatigue recovery and improving skin elasticity . ”
They started giving out jellies as big as a fingernail from their sleeves one by one . And so her palms were soon heaped with candies and jellies, all of which were promised to be beneficial for growth, fatigue, and beauty .
‘I don’t know why I’m called Little Angel, but—’
At any rate, receiving presents like this wasn’t so bad . She smiled bashfully .
“Thank you . I’ll eat them well . ”
Right after she said that, the alchemists started to put their hands together and bowed as if they were in front of the statue of Buddha .
‘Why?!’
* * *
“Eian, come and follow me there . ”
“Why? Did you find something?”
“Apparently they’re specialized in external injuries treatment over there . ”
“…Is that so?”
External injuries treatment… Eian trailed after her leisurely . He did have a guess as to why she brought him all the way to Hyeminwon . It must’ve been because of his side injuries .
Tch .  He clicked his tongue soundlessly and narrowed his eyes . He had no plans on returning to the wearying Magic Tower anytime soon because his feelings of glee when witnessing the mages’ faces crumple with agony had already withered .
Moreover, there was only so much he knew about Kynemeia . He knew about how she had no mana, and how she was a pretty deft hand with swords . How feeble she was in the mornings; how she liked washing up; and how she collected scented oils . How she liked squishy and soft dolls and animals; how she hated bugs and darkness; and how bad she was at eating or drinking anything hot .
And how friendly and kind she was to anyone… but him…
‘…?’
He knitted his brows . Not to mention, how she smiled freely at anyone… but him…
‘…?’
‘Why am I an exception?’ Eian cocked his head .