「I would like to offer you my thanks in return for your assistance.」
Phillip stopped by not too long after we finished handing out curry bread and whatnot. It was a bit late, so Urushi had actually long passed out inside of Fran’s shadow. That said though, we decided to let the knight in anyways seeing as how he came out of his way to visit us and all that.
At first, I’d been a bit surprised to see that he was unguarded, but quickly rationalized it. Phillip was incredibly strong, so to him, guards were more of a luxury than necessity. It was only natural for him to come alone given how short the city currently was on manpower.
The first thing he did after arriving was hand Fran a box whose sides measured about thirty centimeters each. The wooden container was black, but not unnaturally so. It seemed to be made out of ebony.
「This is your reward. We would have hosted a grand ceremony in recognition of your efforts, but our current circumstances unfortunately do not allow for it.」
「Don’t mind. Don’t want to stand out anyways.」
「I am glad that is how you feel about the matter. The magistrate stated that he would like for us to minimize any and all publicity related to last night’s incident.」
A scandal involving a marquis was pretty much as big a thing as a scandal involving the entire nation served by said marquis, so chances were, the country wanted to make this whole fiasco seem as small scale as possible.
In fact, they were so keen on restricting knowledge on the event’s details that they weren’t even actually going to announce that the Krystens were actually responsible for the incident. Or rather, they couldn’t.
The lord’s household had heavily involved themselves in cleaning up after last night’s events. They had not only kept crime at a minimum in the disaster’s aftermath but also generously compensated Barbra’s people for their losses. Announcing that they were at fault for the incident would result in a loss of trust, and thereby cause the current state of affairs to degenerate into a downwards spiral. That, in the country’s eyes, was a scenario they wished to avoid at all cost. In other words, the country had decided not to punish the Krystens. Instead, it tasked them with restoring Barbra to its former glory.
「My father and I had planned to make our sins public knowledge, but we as nobles cannot go against the court’s wishes. It is unfortunate, but we cannot announce my brothers’ sins either.」
「To Bluke. What happened?」
「Neither Bluke nor Waint are human any longer. They have both lost the ability to reason, and thus, we’ve no choice but to put them to death. We have yet to determine the precise method of execution, but I have no doubt that they will soon pay for their sins. As we cannot inform the citizens of our wrongdoings, we will announce their official cause of death to be illness.」
Yeah, I figured something like that’d happen.
Phillip’s expression turned a bit sour as he discussed Waint and Bluke. He seemed troubled. My guess was that he still loved both his brothers despite their actions and current states.
「I apologize, but we cannot publicly credit you for Bluke’s arrest.」
「Don’t really mind.」
I mean, we got rewarded anyways, so who cares?
Phillip seemed really apologetic about the lack of credit we’d get throughout his visit, but we honestly would’ve rejected any ceremonies or parades or anything like that anyways. In fact, we very much preferred him doing things the way he did.
「Master. Will open now.」
『Go for it. I’m pretty curious about what they gave us.』
Fran opened her reward shortly after Phillip’s departure, only to find it full of valuables.
The first thing to catch my eye was a stack of gold coins that added up to a whole million Golde in total. The rest of the box was pretty much filled to the brim with jewelry. We’d gone into this whole thing thinking we’d be working for free, so we were pretty damn happy about getting rewarded, especially with so much cash.
『Coming to Barbra sure has made us a lot of bank.』
「Nn. Can buy lots.」
『Yeah. Were you thinking of buying anything in particular? Like food or something?』
「Want that too. But not what was in mind.」
Wait, Fran wants something other than food? That’s rare. Is she finally going to buy herself something all cute and girly-like? Or maybe some fancy clothing?
Okay, yeah no.
「Will buy magic stones.」
『Huh? Magic stones?』
「Nn. Will buy magic stones for Master to absorb. Aiming for rank up. Barbra should have lots.」
The thought of buying magic stones for the sake of absorption was something that weighed on my conscience. It just kinda felt like all the money we made belonged to Fran. The same went with potions, armour, materials, and all that stuff too. She’d take all that, while I’d take the magic stones. That was just how I had it sorted out in my head.
Though, I did understand that me getting stronger was equivalent to her getting stronger, so it wasn’t exactly like I was actually depriving her of funds for no benefit or anything like that.
Besides, I did figure that this would end up happening in due time anyways.
In fact, I’d always thought that we would probably end up having to become a rather aggressive buyer of magic stones. Each consecutive rank up required more magic stones than the last. Powering me up was ultimately going to end up getting a lot harder down the line.
「Will sell all unneeded items, buy needed items, then spend rest on magic stones.」
『I guess that works. We’d probably be able to get a pretty big variety if we asked both the Adventurer’s Guild and the Luciel Conglomerate.』
Ideally, I’d prefer if we could get our hands on magic stones from either higher ranked monsters or monsters whose magic stones we’d yet to obtain.
Welp, I guess it’s time to sell all the stuff we don’t need that’s piled up in storage.
「Thanks for waiting. Here’s what we owe you, we’ll be bringing the merchandise you requested out shortly.」
We dropped by the Luciel Conglomerate in order to get rid of all the junk we still had on hand. We sold off all our weaker equips, our spare magic items, and even all the random jewelry we happened to have on hand. We’d actually just finished doing something similar at the adventurer’s guild as well. There, we sold off all the random magic beast parts we weren’t planning on using. We actually had quite a bit piled up in storage, so yeah.
Of course, we had bought all the stuff we needed as well. Our inventory ended up looking like this:
Phantom Pyroxene (Magic Sword)
Deathgaze (Magic Sword)
Mysterious Item Bag
Highest Grade Life Potion x 3
High Grade Life Potion x 5
Panacea x 3
High Grade Mana Potion x 3
Mid Grade Mana Potion x 5
Highest Grade Alchemy Potion x 3
High Grade Potion of Repair x 1
Potion of Rising Skill x 1
Anti-Side Effect Potion x 3
Lots of Ingredients
At first, we weren’t actually all that sure whether or not we wanted to sell the Aidoneus’ Mantle or the Serpent King’s Short Sword. But after mulling over it a bit, we ultimately ended up deciding to get rid of them.
Whew, emptying out our inventory made me feel all refreshed.
The two equips we bought were the Bracelet of Herculean Strength and the Mage’s Necklace. The former increase the STR stat by twenty, and the latter provided a bit of a boost to magic. Fran’s current equips were:
Black Cat Set
Bracelet of Herculean Strength
Bracelet of Substitution
We ended up having about four and a half million Golde on hand even after buying two new equips.
That said though, my sense of value is getting really screwy. I actually ended up thinking that the bracelet we bought was rather cheap despite it costing a million and two hundred thousand.
『I guess we’ll be spending the rest on magic stones.』
「So about those magic stones you wanted…」
Hmm, Captain Rengil’s all hesitating and stuff. Looks like they probably won’t be willing to sell us any.
「Barbra’s currently experiencing a major shortage of magic stones.」
「The Alchemist’s Guild was buying them all up. We’ve very few D ranked stones, even.」
「Still have some?」
「A few, but they all belong to either Gullinburstis or Apis, and I recall you saying that you had no interest in either.」
So they basically only have stuff you can get locally?
「The supply shortage has caused the price to skyrocket too. They’re going for nearly twice as much as usual right now.」
God damn it Zerais! You son of a bitch! Fuck, you owe us way more than just one arm. Curse you, asshole!
『Uhhh, well, there isn’t really anything to do.』
The Adventurer’s Guild had a policy against selling magic stones to anything but other organisations. The only place in Barbra we could actually try was really just the Luciel Conglomerate. So uh, yeah. We were pretty much dead out of luck.
「The only other magic stones we happen to have in stock are scrap stones.」
「The term refers to magic stones that come from Goblins, Fanged Mice, and other magic beasts ranked at G or lower.」
「Have those in stock?」
「We do. The magic stone shortage has actually lasted for quite some time, so we bought them in order to experiment with them, but we couldn’t find any use for them, so they’ve more or less just been sitting there.」
『Sounds good to me.』
Goblins had all sorts of skills, so I didn’t see any harm in going through with the purchase.
We ended up buying a total of two hundred scrap stones, alongside fifteen slightly better stones that I hadn’t absorbed before. We had no idea what skills they contained, but honestly, it didn’t really matter. They were worth their weight in magic stone points anyways.
「You sure you want these? They’re scrap stones, you know?」
「Alright then. I’m honestly thankful you’re taking these off my hands, so I’ll throw in a bit of a bonus.」
We ended up a total of a hundred thousand Golde on magic stones. Apparently, their prices didn’t really start skyrocketing till they hit rank D. Magic stones of rank E or lower were typically used for everyday commodities and stuff, so they were still rather cheap. Even the most expensive magic stone, one that came from an Ice Rock Apis, only ended up costing us three thousand Golde.
I immediately started absorbing them after we got back to the inn.
『Oh hell yeah! Hnnnnnnnngggg!!』
I had Fran pour all the magic stones she got into an empty bathtub and dived straight in the moment it was ready.
So you might be wondering to yourself, what the hell is that damn sword doing?
Well you see, the answer is… taking a magic stone bath. You know how like, people that suddenly got super rich would start bathing in their cash? Yeah, this is that, but with magic stones instead of dollar bills.
Hot damn! I’m completely immersed in magic stones. This. Is. Bliss.
「Master, having fun?」
『Hell yeah I am! Yahooooo!!!』
Absorbing magic stones one at a time would’ve ended up being a huge pain in the ass, so I ended up coming up with this method for the sake of efficiency.
Fuck, this is amazing! I feel filthy fucking rich! This is what it’s like to be loaded! Shit, I’m feeling like some snobby ass douche right now, but who cares!!
Even the slightest bit of movement causes me to absorb the magic stones around me. I can feel their power flowing into me. Hnnnngg!
And so, ten minutes passed.
I realized only after the fact that I’d done something unbecoming. I was supposed to be Fran’s guardian, so acting like that wasn’t exactly the best idea. Man, Damn it, now their gazes have gone cold. They’re both looking at me like I’m some weirdo. Stop it Fran, Urushi! Your eyes burn!!
『Y-You guys want anything? Feel free not to hold back.』
「…All you can eat curry. 1 week.」
『S-Sure why not.』
Alright, I’m going to need to be a responsible adult. Time to get my dignity as a guardian back.
『I-I ended up getting about seven hundred magic stone points.』
My stats had changed as follows.
Magic Stone Points: 5169/6600
Spendable Points: 2
Detect Malice: Lv 1
Evil Sword Techniques: Lv 1
Illusion Magic: Lv 1
Thin Sword Techniques: Lv 1
Thin Sword Arts: Lv 1
Staff Techniques: Lv 1
Okay yup, it’s not working. Their gazes are still all chilly.
『S-So, how about paying the Prince and Princess a quick visit before we set off for Ulmutt?』
『Alright, let’s go!』
Whew, I think they’re both back to normal now.
The two turned around the moment the thought crossed my mind. Both Fran and Urushi tilted their heads and looked up at me, their actions in perfect sync. It almost looked like they’d planned it out ahead of time.
「No forgetting about all you can eat curry.」
I was actually planning to do this yesterday, but I played like 30 minutes of the Xenoblade game for the Switch, and was so disgusted by the localization that I couldn’t bring myself to read the English language for an entire day. Seeing English still makes me cringe right now, in fact…
On a side note, after this chapter, I’m going to start making master use stuff like “100k” for numbers. Iunno why I forgot until just now. Maybe I haven’t been playing enough (any) MMOs as of late. The reason I didn’t do it in this chapter is because I remembered after finishing and I’m too lazy to go back and change stuff.