Chapter 37: The Journey and The Workshop
「Nice to meet you. I’m Gartia, a D-rank adventurer, and I’ll be the one in charge of this escort. I’m good at finding enemies, but my battle capabilities are pretty weak even at rank D. So, Kaede-kun, if we encounter some monsters, I will count on you.」
「It’s Kaede, and leave it to me. I can also search for possible monsters almost perfectly within a radius of about 20m. I also have an item box. And, this is Catherine, a slave…She is a future magic tool artisan, but don’t think of herself as one of us since she doesn’t have any battle skills. She will accompany us both on this escort journey. That’s all. By the way, before I forget, I can also do reconnaissance from the sky.」
Incidentally, Catherine had already completed one barrier magic tool to date. She may already be a magic tool artisan herself.
「I am Catherine. It’s a pleasure to make your acquaintance. 」
「Oh, it sounds encouraging knowing that you can fly in the sky. There aren’t many dangerous places along the way, so I don’t think it will be necessary. But I’ll ask if anything happens.」
「My name is Wonpe and I am the person who entrusted you this escort job. I heard that your item box is big. If you can use it to store as much luggage as you can, we will free some space, and as a result, we can shorten the journey considerably. Will you accept it?」
「Yes, my item box is big enough to carry your luggage. 」
Where did he hear it?
Wonpe-san brought a wagon with three horses and a heavy carriage with a luggage behind it. I saw weapons packed in both the loading platform and the wagon. I wondered why they needed so much weapons. The city where we were going was a fortress city after all.
「Okay, bring as much as you can. 」
Since I accepted that, I quickly put the swords and spears in the item box from the loading platform.
I noticed when I defeated the spider the other day, but when I imagined that items were stored continuously while moving my hand, I could continuously throw the things I touched into the item box at once.
This action made it possible to store a full of cargo of weapons in about 10 seconds. It could be faster if I did it seriously. But I was a bit scared since I didn’t want to cut my hands with those sharp blades. Even though I healed fast, it still hurt.
The level went up to 26 in the last slaughter, but I didn’t feel like trying to see if the piercing blades hurt me or not.
「Well, I’ve heard that your item box is big, but I haven’t heard that it’s so bottomless. 」
「Maybe I could put the whole carriage, since I have a huge Giant Spider Crabs inside it. 」
「Oh, yeah. Okay, let’s try it. 」
I tried to put it inside. And it went really inside the item box.
「It went inside. 」
So I decided to escort the carriage in the end.
Since there were only three horses and three people other than myself, I had to fly in the sky and follow them as they rode on the horses.
「Is it okay to keep flying at such a high place? It will be a problem if you can’t do the escort job if you exhaust your magical power, no? 」
「It’s okay, there’s no problem. 」
Through such exchanges, the party of three horseback riding people who did not carry any luggage and one flying man, which was not like the usual merchant’s escort, went smoothly without encountering any enemies. Rather, the journey was twice as fast. A day went by quickly.
By the way, we decided on a night camp type. Gartia-san and I took turns watching. Anyway, I would crush the enemy straightaway no matter if it were day or night.
Rice was the food we ate by kneading flour with hot water. And also dried meat. We ate such meal by boiling water and by using a pot. We lit a fire by using a small magic stone to burn the tree that had fallen close to our stop. We brought the water from the closest river. What else could we have eaten in the grasslands?
The food tasted like something I ate somewhere else before, but I felt that something was missing. I wondered what it was.
Well, I ate it anyway. It felt like preserved food. Perhaps, similar to Sobagaki*.
On the second day, a similar peaceful sight of three horses running and a man flying in the sky continued, but a problem arose before the preparation of dinner on the third day.
I was tired of it, the Sobagaki. At least give me soy sauce. It would be nice if there were something else, but how about eating something that wasn’t very good but new?
Therefore, I decided to make a small suggestion.
「Excuse me. I have a Giant Spider Crab, why don’t we eat it? 」
「Of course. Every time I escort someone, I think the dried meat is ok. To be honest, I get tired of it quite often. And it’s an expensive option for a long journey too. 」
Apparently, this was always the case for escorts. Of course, one would get bored.
By the way, dried meat was not made with abundant spices like in Japan, but was mainly seasoned with salt for preservation.
Salt was not a luxury item, but it was not very cheap.
There was sea, but the technology to make salt from it may be underdeveloped in this world. I didn’t know if it would be profitable to make sun-dried salt on a large scale.
To do that, I first needed to secure land by the sea, which was impossible. Yeah, impossible.
「Well. I don’t know how to cook. Does anyone know? 」
「It is delicious by just cutting the legs and boil them properly. Simple is the best. 」
「Shall we do that then? 」
I threw a part of the leg of a crab (this was not a spider, it was a crab, because I could eat it) cut into small pieces with the help of the magic sword into a pot. When boiled, the color turned red. After all, it was a crab!
The problem was the taste. I felt a little nervous and gave the crab’s pieces to everyone.
Delicious! This became my favorite crabmeat!
I had obtained a large amount of high-class foods that I could not eat on Earth. How great. Of course, it was very popular with people from this world.
Well, like this, the peaceful escort completed in just 7 days while eating the meat that was in the other parts of the crab.
It was a heartfelt (actually “hurtful”) and peaceful itinerary for us, since the monsters, whom we proceeded while annihilating, were small fish monsters less than D-rank.
By the way, I tried eating the Red Wolf but it tasted bad.
As a front-line city, I heard many horrifying rumors about Decibator along the way. I felt like a small child who heard frightening bed stories about terrifying places.
Due to its nature, monsters were always wandering around the city, and it seemed that monsters did even enter the city almost on a daily basis.
In fact, the risk was extremely high. It seemed there used to be a city called Broken in front of Decibator, but it fell about 50 years ago.
However, the monsters did not destroy it by a single attack, but the people of that city chose strategic withdrawal to suppress the damage due to the gradually increasing pressure of the monsters.
After that, Decibator, who used to play a role like the current Photoren, constantly abandoned the outer wall due to the increasing number of monster attacks, and used the inner wall and barrier to make it a front base. The original role was taken over by Photoren.
Because of this specific environment, almost all inhabitants, including the people from inns and shops, had the ability of C-rank or higher. Among them, B-rank was the most common sense of ranking when residing in Decibator. This was the story.
Therefore, about 50 years after it became a front-line urbanization, various anecdotes remained, and the people I was travelling with told me about them along the way.
『When an old friend was invited to a house built by an adventurer who was injured in Decibator, and decided to live in a safe city, there were no stairs despite being a 2-story house (according to the person, if there is no stairs, you should jump). 』『Adventurers who came back from Decibator were wary of the surroundings while sleeping at home. 』『With the decline of the year, the bandits who attacked an old man on his way back home, an old man that lived an exhausted life in Decibator, destroyed the bandits by himself. 』 It seemed most people treated the Decibator people as if they were human beings from another planet.
Of course, not all the people were heroes. Many couldn’t keep up and withdrew. And there were many dead too.
I couldn’t help but wonder if the inhabitants were really humans. How could they live under those harsh conditions? Their lives were in danger every single day.
Well, if it was just a simple physical ability, I may not be so different from a B-rank adventurer.
If the environment allowed people who ran around at speeds exceeding 40 km / h and people who jumped 10 m in a vertical jump, would strong people become a common sense?
On the first day of our arrival in Photoren, I decided to take care of Catherine for the time being.
Her tools could not sell or they could sell, but even if they didn’t, it was a good idea to purchase a workshop for her.
I would be the owner and Catherine would be the manager of the workshop, in charge of purchasing, sales and other duties.
One could say that Catherine’s magic tool manufacturing technology had already reached a level where it could be a business. I really wanted to give it a go.
Fortunately, Photoren, which was a major consumer of magic tools and a major producer of magic stones, seemed to be the best location for a magic tool workshop. Therefore, I decided to buy a place quickly. I went to meet a real estate agent in the local Guild.
I obtained money by selling the Metal Lizard Metal. It reached about 280 million Tael.
「But is it really okay? There’s a high chance of a deficit, you know? 」
「It’s okay, I have some back up money. Even if this causes a deficit at first, if you improve your skill in making magic tools, it will increase my fortune in the end. And even if it gets a deficit in the long run, I will not tell you to pay it. You should try it. 」
「Is that the case? Rich people really think differently. 」
「Maybe, I guess. 」
I’ve only recently become rich, and it was more of a Japanese way of thinking.
No, if it were a stereotypical Japanese thinking, I would not invest, but turn it into savings.
While talking about it, I arrived at the place where I could find a real estate agent. I heard it as a place for real estate agents, but it was actually a Commerce Guild.
「Excuse me. I’d like to run a magic tool workshop. Do you have a recommended area? If possible, it would be nice to have a place where we can live. 」
「If you’re looking for an area to run a magic tool workshop, then I recommend this place. 」
That said, he showed us a small store divided into two rooms.
It seemed that one was for residential use and the other was for the store. The selling price was 7 million Tael. I didn’t think it was expensive to have 2 rooms in a store.
「It seems fine. Okay, I’ll take it. 」
I took out 70 large gold coins and put them on the table. I received all the money in big gold coins. It would be a problem if I were given a platinum coin that one couldn’t normally use.
「A…A prompt decision!? 」
「Ehh, is it not possible to buy it straightaway? 」
「No, it is possible. It actually saves time and effort. But we usually do monthly payments. 」
I decided to open the workshop immediately. The real estate agent looked a bit surprised.
There was no need to wait since Catherine was also studying accounting, so the store was almost entirely up to her. But rules were rules, and I had to abide them.
「The payment is 30,000 Tael a month, and if the monthly profit after deducting taxes exceeds 300,000 Tael, I will say 10% of that, is that okay? 」
「Is it okay to be that much!? 」
「However, if you decide that your business performance is so bad that you can’t expect improvement, we will take appropriate measures. So please leave the remaining amount in the Commerce Guild. 」
「Then the store name is going to be Kaederine Magic Tool Store. 」
I just thought about that name.
「Why? It’s a wonderful name, is it not? 」
Was there a problem?
「Honestly, I don’t think so. 」
My perfect naming sense was denied…
…Later, after many twists and turns, the name of the magic tool workshop came to be “Magic Tool Store Maple Catherine”**. It hasn’t changed much.
I deposited 300,000 Tael as initial funding and the agent told us to contact them through the Commerce Guild if anything happened.
I put the Wisp Core in the item box because it was no longer needed.
*Sobagaki (そばがき) means buckwheat mash (buckwheat flour in hot water served with shoyu).
**The protagonist’s name is Kaede, which can be used for boys or girls, and means “maple tree”. Kaede is unusual in Japan although it has been gaining more popularity after it has been used for several anime and manga characters.
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