「I don’t care that much, but outta curiosity, what’s the highest attribute as of now？」
「From what I head, the top one is 765, although I’m not sure as to what it corresponds to」
「……Is that right……」
Based on Hiroshi’s dubious expression, Haruna figured that he had 800 or some other staggering amount of attribute points. He did after all have tons of extra skills from crafting, so she wouldn’t be particularly surprised if his armor and constitution had gone beyond a thousand.
「Well anyhow, leaving aside all that」
「Whaddya think will be affected over here as a result of that？」
「Affected? Well, I have my own thoughts on that」
As Hiroshi resumed digging for ore, Haruna replied while wondering how she could continue the conversation.
「If memory serves, at the beginning of the game, players were dispatched to random locations and began their journey after the surrounding soldiers approached them and took them to the castle」
「I vaguely remember that, but if I recall, ya accepted various tutorial-like chores around the castle, and then when ya got money fer arrangements as a reward, the game started」
「And that’s where I’d like to start talking about」
「I know it’s a bit late for this, but I’d like to consult to you about whether we should follow along with the flow of events at the start of the game」
Hiroshi let out a wry smile at how late it was to bring this up. Haruna was the one who had suggested they avoid going to the castle because it was questionable in the first place. With that being said, Hiroshi would have probably brought it up even if Haruna had not.
「Seriously, this is super late」
「I know, I know. And it’s not like we even need arrangement money or any of that」
「I think fer now we should do as planned and start by procuring weapons」
「If you’re fine with that, then I have no objections, but I just feel a bit bad for relying on you and having you shoulder all of the risk……」
「Nothing to be done ‘bout that right now. Besides, if I were the average fighter character, I would’ve had to rely on you fer livin’ expenses and everything in general」
The day-to-day skills were rather looked down upon in the game, but in actuality, if you were blown into the game world, rather than being able to use powerful magic, being able to cook delicious meals would benefit you by far. Rather than having sword techniques that could fell a dragon in one hit, it was a given that it was better to be able to make swords that could kill a dragon and make much more for a living.
They just so happened to be two people who excelled at day-to-day skills, but if they were something like your typical serious fighter combination, they would have unmistakably found themselves in a dreadful situation. Take right now for instance: Haruna had put some light effort into making tasty bread and dried meat she had brought along with them for lunch. If she didn’t have such a skill, she wouldn’t even be able to do this.
「So we know the weapons we want, but what ‘bout armor？」
「What about it？」
「Toudou-san, I’m guessin’ that ya aren’t the type to wear metal armor？」
「Before we even discuss that, is it even possible to make metal armor with what you’ve dug so far today？」
「Probably not with one trip. We still hafta make my tools after all」
「I thought so」
Hearing Hiroshi’s answer, she briefly entered into thought.
「Well, if yer fine with metal armor, then ya don’t hafta hold back. It’s not like we have enough ingredients to make other things, so we’ll hafta come back to dig probably one or two more times」
「Yeah? Well, I certainly don’t need armor all over my body, but in the chest area sounds like it might be decent」
「Breastplate? I planned to do the same fer myself, so I’ll work somethin’ out fer us」
「I toldja. Said we’d hafta come back here a couple more times. But lemme just say that the materials around here for reinforcing the armor ain’t all that light. It’s gonna be pretty rattly when you walk around. You fine with that？」
「Not like we can help that. I’m grateful to you just for making it for me」
He answered, proceeding to continue on what appeared to be the last part of his excavation work. In the middle of all this, he had taught Haruna the gist of excavation so that she could also begin digging into the cliff, and she had eventually gotten a fair amount of ore piles at her feet. As she worked on this, Haruna became fed up with her hair and very begrudgingly tied it up, which was something new. It was quite different from her usual appearance, but the loser Hiroshi hardly paid it any attention, simply focusing on seeing what he could harvest, so it was practically meaningless to put her effort toward changing her hairstyle, as it would’ve been left unnoticed.
「So I’d like to use a smelting furnace and a smithy」
The next day. After finishing up the resident registration they had forgotten, they heard from Anne that yesterday’s suppression plan had gone well as she gave them the reward of 6,000 Chrones. Hiroshi immediately went to the crafting institution administrator, breaking it to him nice and clear.
The man was in his prime, so he never showed any sign of being taken aback. Incidentally, the selling price of the potions was 50 Chrones for one bottle, itemized as 10 Chrones as payment for ingredients as well as to the cooperative workers, and the remaining amount was to be split between Hiroshi’s group and the Association.
The other portion of the money from the 300 bottles was to be circulated amongst the cooperative workers. Being that the effects were instant, they were able to be sold for a higher price than regular antidotes, they were told.
「The furnace will be 20 Chrones with firewood included, and the smithy tools will be 10 Chrones with heat source included」
「……Well ain’t that a dandy price」
「It’s cause once you have the temperature high enough to refine the ore, you need a lot of firewood. Adding to that, you can’t raise the temperature that high in such a short amount of time, which is why we use a special material for processing the firewood. If you’ll be doing something about the heat source yourself, then it would be 8 Chrones along with the smithy」
He did the calculations in his head when the youthful personnel said that. Thinking to decrease the usage of this place as much as possible, he decided on the more difficult method.
「……Alright. Can ya buy the regular firewood here？」
「Oh? So that’s what you decided on. For regular firewood, hm…For the amount that you need, it would be 50 Tirols, I’d say」
「Then, I’ll also pay 1 Chrone as hush money to prevent anyone coming in, so I’ll get the firewood right now」
「Roger that. Once you’ve brought it over, I’ll come see you, so let me know when you’ve started using the smelting furnace」
Hiroshi began carving something into each log of prepared firewood. In the middle of his work on this large volume of goods, the cheap knife he had brought with him had broken. It wasn’t good enough quality for maintenance in the first place, so he had neglected it as it declined.
「Toudou-san, couldja gimme a knife?」
He continued his work upon receiving the knife from Haruna. Her knife’s blade also ended up faltering near the end, but it seemed that he had ended the necessary process. Even without a discount, it was after all an inferior good that could be bought for 50 Tirols, and after using it to fend off and disembowel Berserker Bears, harvesting various things, and scraping off this and that, it was an expected outcome.
Other than the firewood he had finished carving up, there was powder left at the smithy (probably a fire extinguisher), and he used it a bit in order to paint a magic circle on the ground, starting a confusing ritual. Right after it was complete, blue light gleamed within the firewood, then the emblem engraved in the surfaces disappeared. Confirming that, Hiroshi breathed a large
sigh. After about thirty minutes since the personnel had left, the preliminary arrangements mentioned by Hiroshi had finally ended.
「I’mma go call the man」
「Kay. I’ll clean while you do that」
Watching Hiroshi as he went out of the smithy, she gathered wood chips with a broom that were scattered about the floor. The magic circle had disappeared once the ritual had ended, so once she was done disposing of this trash then the erasure of evidence would be complete.
「……You seriously dealt with everything by yourself in this amount of time？」
「It really ain’t that impressive though」
「Well, I have heard from Anne and Myuzzel that you can use enchanting…」
「Exactamundo. Either way, I’d like to keep usin’ the smelting furnace and smithy tools from now on if that’s alright」
He said, handing ten Chrones over to the personnel. He nodded once at the money he had received, then Hiroshi tossed firewood into the smelting furnace and lit the fire. It was evidently a larger flame than what they were usually using, but as if expecting this, the personnel wasn’t partcularly surprised.
「Ya don’t seem perturbed」
「If we’re talking about a guest from the Unknown Continent, it’s to be expected that they’re a bit removed from the average skill level」
He made a wry smile at the man’s reaction, tossing in ore one after the other. Once he had finished throwing in what Haruna had carried over, he also tossed in the knife that had lost its edge along with the hatchet and pickaxe he had used today once he had removed the handles.
「……I get the knife, but was it seriously okay to throw in the relatively new hatchet and pickaxe?」
「Well, I was gonna make ‘em all today anyhoo. Oh, right right. The leftover files or chisels might not be in such good condition afterwards, so I’ll pay up later」
「Just what do you plan to do with them……」
Neglecting to answer the grumbling of the seasoned man, he drew a magic circle midair with his fingertips. Drawn by the light of magic, the design was sucked into the smelting furnace. Hiroshi then aimed the palm of his hand at the furnace, concentrating.
The man and Haruna gazed at this sight as thin cold sweat ran down them. Hiroshi continued the usual refinement procedure as he rushed magic into the furnace. After a decent amount of time had passed with him continuing the procedure with techniques the man was unfamiliar with, he pulled out melted metal from the furnace, putting portions of it into molds of varying sizes and hardening them, creating ingots. It was peculiar to see the usual loser aura he emitted actually vanished at times like these.
「Now then, what next?」
「I think it might be good to make tools first?」
「Darn skippy. Alright, we’ll start with a knife and hammer」
「Because ya can’t make the hammer handle unless ya make a knife first」
Right after he had finished saying that highly persuasive line, his movement flowed with technique that prevented anyone from opening their mouths in amazement, bringing forth two knives. More experienced people could tell at a glance what was happening. Each time he struck the materials, magic would pour into the blade. It would seem that enchantment was not only necessary for the refinement procedure, but for the forging procedure as well.
「This does it for the knife. Next is hammer?」
Finishing the quenching and tempering of the blade in the blink of an eye, he neatly arranged the shape of the blade with a whetstone. Normally you would make iron and steel metals and affix them to the forge to obtain more rigidity and elasticity, but this time around, he had already enchanted this and that, which was apparently a shortcut.
「Makin’ it the regular way ain’t gonna give us enough time, so I think I’ll appropriate from the hatchet for the handle……」
As he said that, he began procuring tool after tool after extending the time twice midway. The materials he was working with were hard, which just as he had said, contributed to two files and one chisel going dull, but he had already prepared a substitute with the lumber remnants, so it didn’t become anything serious. That being said, the man’s face was twitching from beginning to end.
「Now here’s the real kicker. How much length ya want?」
After he had finished making the hatchet and pickaxe, he began forging the remaining ingots while listening to Haruna’s requests. He began working on it more delicately than before, creating it with a prayer-like sincerity. The amount of magic that he put into it when striking it was also a step above the rest. As they were captivated by by his earnest expression and magnificent handiwork, the beautiful silhouette of the blade was complete. He then created a handle and sheath with the remaining ingredients in the blink of an eye, and there in front of them appeared a sharp, narrow sword with an appearance more magnificent than anything the Adventurers’s Association could supply.
「Mind swingin’ it around a bit？」
She timidly accepted the rapier, carefully unsheathing it from the sheath, and took enough distance before tracing the basic movements. After she had developed a wrinkle in her brow and glared at the blade……
「The centre of gravity seems a bit too strong? Also, it would be a bit more comfortable if you could maybe make the pinky area a little more narrow」
「Got it. Let me see it again」
Answering Haruna’s request, he made various minimal adjustments, and by the time that the lengthened time was reaching its end, he had managed to finish the revisions.
「How’s it feel now?」
「……Yeah, it’s perfect！」
She lightly waved the new blade around like a martial arts demonstration as she said that. Lastly, checking the circumstances of the light-type magic sword when activated, she furrowed her brow in a different manner than earlier.