Translator: Ranzan Editor: JackOFallTrades
「Master Grond, the business negotiations are here. Here is the report on them.」
「I see, let me see them.」
The light penetrating the room had become red.
It was a normal, cleaned-up office, and I looked over the business report my employee had brought me.
After looking over some of the specifics, I placed the report on my desk.
「I see, heh heh, so that girl finally lost her sword.」
I relaxed my weight into the chair with a creak, as it made a light sound.
The chair, which was recently reupholstered with the finest leather supported my frame well.
「Yes. Her husband also died recently, and she sold it to pay off the debt for her orphanage all at once. Here is the object in question.」
Clong, what was laid upon the desh was a deep green shimmering sword decorated in ochre complete with a scabbard.
The sword was about two feet long, and the handle had a wooden feeling as if a tree branch had been incorporated in the sword as a design.
「Wow, this came from an A-ranked dungeon 『Dragon-Fang Forest』and is a rank four magic sword, the 『Stone-Leaf Blade』.」
Standing and pulling the sword from the scabbard revealed a steel-colored blade.
From all the weapons found in the dungeon, there are many that have their own magical force.
Those magical weapons aren’t rare, and you can change materials and so on with a blacksmith’s skill; in a somewhat large town, it’s not hard to find one to buy.
Weapons and armor that have been affected by constant magic continually have the effect of the magical power given.
However, for equipment that has magic from the dungeons, there is the usual magical effect in addition to a very strong special effect that can be used depending on the user.
It can call forth huge dragon fire, it can give you unimaginable strength, you can float in the air for a period, and there are other thousands of uses that are not just for use in battle, but these effects can not be reproduced by human hands.
That’s why these special effects and their strength and uniqueness exceed the rank of seven in appraisal.
A rank four magical sword would at least be equipped by the best adventurers, at a level that most decent-level royal families couldn’t afford.
Seeing it, it made me gasp a bit.
「Well, this took a bit of work in getting. I’ll able to clear out some of the dead stock, but still I took quite a hit getting this.」
「This is what I mean, dead stock.」
I stabbed out the sword and pierced the belly of the employee that treated me so rudely.
His eyes were wide in disbelief, and then looking down at the sword gone through him, looked back at me.
「W, wh, wh, why…」
「You mocked me – did you think you could get away with a fake sword like this? This is different than a magic sword created in the dungeon.」
It’s true that the sword was quite a piece. However, the magic imbued into a sword created in the dungeon is quite different than the magic effects created by blacksmiths.
「It might be that if I were given this fake by a royal family that I did business with, so if I were to do so I would lose my place as a president seeing as I WAS THINKING THIS IS THE REAL THING, YOU INSECT!」
I pulled out the sword and came around the desk to stomp this employee.
「An asshat like you can’t go against me! Trash! Because of you! All my other negotiations! Are going to be late! RIGHT!? Is your time as valuable as mine?! Now give me some compensation for all this!」
I kept kicking the guy over and over to intimidate him.
「This was! Supposed to be for the Prince of Garland! To show him how much I valued his business, YOU BUG! YOU! AND THAT BITCH AT THE ORPHANAGE! ARE CAUSING ME A BIG LOSS OF MONEY!」
I had received an order for this thing one month ago from that family.
The prince wanted the strongest sword for his empire’s military festival, so I was told that whatever I could find as fast as I could find it would be rewarded well.
I had normal things in stock as well, but it took time to find something that qualified for that extra money.
Then an orphanage opened at the edge of town that caught my eye.
It was opened by a previously competent fighter that had retired due to his wounds, had gone far into the red over the years, and the adventurer himself had died a few weeks ago due to an unfortunate accident after he was driven off a cliff.
That’s why when we went to buy the sword that the husband left behind in exchange for saving her business, she said 『it’s a keepsake from my husband』and so on and was very loathe to sell the sword at any value.
「Pant, pant, ugh…」
I kept kicking that piece of trash who was now looking around with vacant eyes, but eventually I ran out of breath until my blood cooled off.
Now that my head had cooled, I began to think.
Perhaps the orphanage had given away the real sword. Even if it was a fake sword, I had heard about it even before negotiations with the empire for it.
And this bug wasn’t so stupid that he wouldn’t know it was fake if it wasn’t made so well. If he didn’t use his head in this purchase, I would have cut it off.
If that’s so, the real 『Stone-Leaf Blade』must be stored away somewhere else.
To some degree it could have been bought by a 『robber baron』that’s the head of another major store. Of course, since I was the original 『robber baron』, I could kill someone like that without any problems.
No, even if there was a problem, it could be solved by a little money.
But the problem was after that.
「Damn, I messed up.」
Since the money I used to get something was taken from me, I had killed the guy in front of me without thinking. But, since no one knows about what happened, there’s no way for them to hide the real sword in a place everyone knows about now.
I should have asked where they were hiding it before I killed him. He must have known something about it, then finding the damn thing would just be a matter of time.
…I guess, the amount that I lost in this exchange far outweighs the amount of money I’d thought I’d get in return .
「Dammit! Money-stealing bug! Thief! Trash-puppet!」
Even more now that I realized I had lost a great sum of money, my anger made me begin kicking the dead body of the guy around the room.
「You stole! My money! Go to hell! Bug!」
Scrambling for money, taking the money you scrambled for to spend it wildly, and then seeing all the extravagance in the world is my thing.
Money changes everything.
Food, houses, clothes, position, weapons, names, power, fate…and even countries.
In this world, you can’t be happy without money. In order to be satisfied by anything, you need money.
Everything has a price in this world, decided by money. Money decides everything.
For me, money is like a god, money guarantees everything for me.
Grabbing money, money, money, in order to make me the richest in the world.
…yes, me more than anyone.
「Heh, well, we can’t just leave you here like this.」
For the final brandishing of the blade, I stabbed it in the dead employee’s back and rang the magic bell on top of my desk with a clanga-clang.
The magic bell then rang in the female attendant’s room, and a maid came into my room.
「Mr. Grond, you called? Eek!」
The maid was one I hadn’t seen before. It might have been one of the replacement maids for the ones I raped and tossed away.
「Clean the room up and, of course, clean this sword too. Call the crematorium to deal with the body, they’ll take care of everything for you. I’ll be back in a little bit, so be sure to clean the room to its original state.」
「Oh, um, kay…Uh, sir.」
I left the pale-faced maid in the room and took a walk around my beloved mansion.
I had several documents that I still had to deal with, but I had no intention in working in that room any longer, I just can’t work in rooms that smell of blood.
The halls were filled with expensive pictures and works of art, and the carpet was made by the same place that made the emperor’s…extravagant. At least one could say that this mansion was far more expensive than most royal families’.
The goal I was walking towards was my bedroom, filled with exquisite works from top to bottom.
A canopied bed with a wash pitcher beside and a table, bookshelves filled with books, carpets, curtains, decorated pictures, vases decorated with flowers, all order-made material, a room that said that money can buy anything.
The mountain of gold that I built and the bedroom that represented it was the place that I felt the most at home.
「Hmph, I’ve gotten bored by this picture. Time to look for a new one soon.」
I came here to refresh myself and get a little afternoon nap.
Taking this much time is also because the office room has to be aired out in order to get rid of the smell of blood. The crematorium is especially good at taking care of problems like that.
I didn’t really have any feelings of guilt about killing that employee, as it will all be taken care of anyway.
I changed out of my clothes that still had the employee’s blood on them, and rang the bell that was located above my bed.
After a few moments, a knock at my door echoed.
「You called me, sir?」
A slightly low and gruff voice answered, as a thin and slightly aged man entered in a tailcoat.
His face was chiseled in wrinkles, and his well-kept white har showed his age, but his blue-green eyes had a silence and strength that knew no age.
He was the old butler at Goal Dot, and the director of Goal Dot itself.
He quickly took care of any matter, was used in public as well as private matters.
「Fegner, put Nonorik on an errand. He’s working so tell him to come to my office after dinner. From there, tell him to change out the pictures in my room to his own discretion.」
「It will be done. I’ll tell him after.」
「I’m taking a bit of a rest. Please wake me up a half hour before dinner.」
「It will be done. Please have a good rest.」
Fegner than took a bow and left.
I drank one glass from the wash pitcher, and settled into sleep in my custom-made bed.
「Damn, prices keep going up.」
I knew the reason why.
Lately, the rumor that the 『Magic monsters are attacking』was being spread.
Those magic monsters, though they weren’t recognized by the leaders of counties were definitely from the 『Magic Country』.
This was because it wasn’t good to recognize the place as an actual country in the first place.
The skirmishes with that magic country had never ended and were occurring here and there.
50 years ago, the magic monsters had a small country and from gathering info here and there, the history remained that they had impoverished the country.
What is really being talked about now, is that the lord of all the magic monsters, the true magic lord has now appeared…or at least that’s what the rumors say.
He’s not just the leader of these magic beasts, but can destroy the whole world, and is really the king of the monsters.
Since that lord has come, there is the rumor that the monsters themselves have become prepared for an all-out battle.
Because of that, the prices for everything have been going up.
Even so, there are some still lagging behind, but they aren’t super low prices either. As long as people are calm, they’ll be okay.
What’s important is to know the timing of how the prices change suddenly.
If you only notice that, you have an opportunity to shake up the market.
「Mister Grond, I’ve come as you asked?」
The fellow that came in without knocking was an androgynous, high pitched youth that looked somewhat like a girl.
He wore a beret over his long blond hair, and some black military garb over a white t-shirt.
You could also see his pale white legs under his high-hemmed short pants that didn’t seem like something a man would wear.
「Nonorik, I told you to knock when you enter.」
「Not a big deal right? I’m a kid so forgive me. Don’t call me Nonorik but Nono, okay?」
「What do you mean, kid? You’ve been growing out that hair for the last five years. It’s just that no one really knows how old you are.」
「Hmn…I don’t know either. But Nono’s heart is still that of an innocent child! It’s not strange when both your insides and outsides look like a child!」
After making an exaggerated show, his hair covered his shoulders, and he walked up to the desk and, plop, sat his butt down on the side of the desk.
Strangely, the desk didn’t shake one bit.
「So, what’s the story this time? You going to make me do something? Nono’s pretty good at torture, even killing. But this time I can play around with the target, right?」
Nonorik stretched out his body in the same way a kid reaches out to beg a parent. His golden limpid irises shimmered with no real sign of malice.
「Too bad, no torture or murder this time, just need you to search for something. We need it fast, so if you have to kill, go ahead, and you can have fun, but each day you spend your reward gets smaller.」
「Whaaa? Don’t do that, pops!」
The way he showed his displeasure by pursing his lips and stick out his body almost seemed like a girl’s.
「You said you’d give me all the fun torture tools I need, that’s why you hired me in the first place, right? 」
It seemed that what was inside of him wasn’t innocence or purity at all, but that cruelty was his real nature.
「I need intelligence, that’s why I chose you. I had two conditions for you, right? First was that you had to get the reward to get all those nasty toys that you want so badly. When you did in that adventurer from the orphanage, I gave you one, right?」
「Uh…yeah, I guess you did.」
As a young girl shows her own selfishness, Nonorik put his finger to his soft lips and looked up at me.
「I’ll give some sexual favors for them tonight, just let me have more fun with my work.」
「Sorry, but I don’t have any interest in men.」
He slung his shoulder towards me much like a lady of the night would after being denied once, and spoke in that bell-like, alluring voice once again.
「Unless you try it, your world will never change, right? I can give you, all, the, things, you, want!」
「I told you I’m not interested in that. It’s not fun unless I can do what I want with a woman without paying money.」
「Hmph, You pervert! What kind of niche perversion…」
「I don’t need to be told that by a guy who dresses like a girl to lure men.」
He looked like a gem, but there was no way I was going to be lured by him.
There was no way I was interested.
「You can just do the job with the tools you were given.」
「Wha? No way! It’s no fun messing with just a slave. I need to bully and torment someone in order to feel good with the partner I’m with.」
Nonorik drew back as if he was sniffing in an erotic smell of torture.
「If you complete this goal I’ll give you whatever you want. If you can do it in two days, I’ll give you two slaves, so just get going.」
After hearing that said, Nonorik looked like it was money in the bank, and smiled brightly all over.
「What? Really? Yes! You really are generous! To be honest, the slave you got me when I killed the last time got played with so hard I broke him.」
「Sigh…slaves aren’t cheap you know.」
Just with his ability, he was a precious asset.
His intuition was sharp, his ability to kill, high. He got turned on easily, but his head worked unbelievably fast and he could collect information very quickly. It would have been better had this pleasure-seeking assassin not have such strange tastes, but he was good at what he did.
「You’re looking for the 『Stone-Leaf Blade』. It was probably taken from the orphanage recently, and hidden somewhere unknown.」
「Ah, that was the sword for that man I killed. He should have brought the thing with him to the forest.」
「One of my employees tried to obtain it. Well, that piece of trash has already been dealt with by me though.」
「Hmp, okay. Well, then, time to go search…!!」
「? What? What happened?」
Nonorik’s keen sense turned his eyes to the window.
However, the only thing outside was the moon and the town draped in shadows.
「…well, maybe my nerves? I had a feeling something was there though.」
Hm…Nonorik said with a tilted head and a finger on his lower lip.
Then, the sense got lighter and Nonorik responded with shrugged shoulders.
「Go ahead Nonorik. I’ll get your reward, your toys ready for you, okay?」
He waved goodbye without even turning around and Nonorik left the room.
「Whoa, that was dangerous. I thought he’d see me at that distance.」
I was on a orchard tree having a little distance from Grond Trading Company and the town.
I felt a sudden chill that he would notice my presence from my own soul’s intuition.
I didn’t want my presence to be found out yet.
「Sorry about the suddenness.」
I had pulled both Minnalis and Shuria into the leaves behind me suddenly when I sensed them, bad because of that the two were now wrapped up in my arms.
「I’m fine. But it’s just as you said, it was best to be cautious about the situation.」
「Yeah, it was insurance against us being found out, but I never thought that guy was connected to Grond.」
I frowned lightly at the unexpected nature of it.
I used a telescope to see what was going on, but I was very surprised to see Nonorik show up in his room.
I, of course, wasn’t able to hear their conversation, but just seeing them there like that meant they were closely related.
「Do you know that girl?」
「Yeah, a little. I see, you’ve got no memory of him as someone to avenge so you didn’t know.」
The first time I saw Nonorik, it was a quick meeting while going on a journey to get rid of the magic lord so I knew little about him other than his face.
Even so, his special way of fighting made a deep, memorable impression on me.
I thought he was a girl so his way of dealing out pain surprised me, so at the end of the tied fight I didn’t forget that I had asked myself 『He’s a boy, right?』.
「Well, let’s put him aside for later. We shouldn’t talk about it here. Let’s go back to the boarding house.」
「As you wish.」
We jumped from the tree, and mixed in with the village people in the town.
「From tomorrow, we’ll get more info. We need to know how he and Nonorik are related.」
「Looks like we’ll be busy, master.」
「It sounds like fun!」
Just like as if an expensive plate of food was put before us, their eyes sparkled and they smiled, and imagined what would happen from now.