Volume 8 Chapter 2 Part 2

As always, the Whole Fish tatsuta-age is amazing, and everyone loves its taste, but…

「It’s boring to eat the same thing every time we celebrate breaking through a floor, don’t you think?」

「X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X?」

When Roxanne translates my casual remark, Miria looked at me with eyes filled with sorrow. Is… is she going to cry because of what I said just now? Because that wasn’t my intention in the slightest! I just wanted to start this topic to get them to tell me if there was enough Whole Fish Tatsuta-age in the dish or if I should’ve added some more of it!

「I-I didn’t mean it like that. It is certainly delicious but it won’t remain delicious if we eat it all the time, so I wanted to ask for any ideas you might have for improving it!」

「…Bread crumbs, desu.」

After pondering over the matter for a while, Miria speaks to me again. So she wants me to make fish fry again? Is that it? If I remember correctly, I made it back when Miria joined us. It was the very first fish-based dish that she ate with us, so maybe it has some special meaning for her?

「That, huh? Well certainly, that can be arranged. Then how about Whole Fish fish fry for the next celebration?」

「It will be good, I think.」

「Yes, I look forward to it as well.」

I obtain Roxanne’s and Sherry’s approval for making Whole Fish fish fry.

「Eat, desu!」

Miria’s eyes immediately brighten up. Now that she regained her usual liveliness, she bites into the tatsuta-age with renewed enthusiasm. She looks really happy, but even though we have agreed upon what to make for our next celebration of breaking through another floor, Miria still droops her shoulders after eating last piece of the Tatsuta-age. That amount is not enough to make up for the feeling of loss on her part, I guess.

On the next morning, after having breakfast, I headed to the Merchants Guild by myself while asking Roxanne to do the laundry and cleaning in the meantime.

I don’t want to go to Luke now, but unfortunately I have to. Then again… can’t I just say that I’m far away and can’t come back on time? No, this excuse is definitely not going to be valid for this world. That’s because Adventurers can always use 「Field Walker」to go wherever they need to in the blink of an eye.

It’s arguable whether it’s a convenient ability or not, but if I chose to go with that pathetic excuse of mine, then I would definitely get questioned about where is this place that I currently am.

Arriving at my destination by warping right to the Merchant Guild’s waiting room, I called for Luke right away while hoping deep down in my heart for him to suddenly fall ill and thus unable to come, but he appeared right away, almost as if he read my thoughts and wanted to mock me for it.

Damn, why do my jinxes never work?!

「Here is the Butterfly Skill Crystal.」

I was led to the meeting room and shown the Skill Crystal in question.

「Indeed. I want to fuse it simultaneously with Kobold Skill Crystal in order to increase its effectiveness. To that end, is Kobold Skill Crystal still not available?」

「There is, but not at the price of four thousand Nars. If you want to buy it right now, the price can go as high as five thousand Nars.」

「Okay, let’s move the limit for the Kobold Skill Crystal to 5,000 Nars then. I’m not in that big of a hurry, so I can wait for a while longer.」

So people are still hunting for the Kobold Skill Crystal, huh? Previously, the price for it was five thousand two hundred Nars, so it seems to have actually gone down since last time. However, because there’s no immediate need for me to obtain the strengthened version of the 「Wind Resistance」Skill from the strengthened Butterfly Skill Crystal, I think that five thousand Nars is still a little bit too much.

「Understood. Lately, there are many people looking for Kobold Skill Crystals. Do you know why? Because of the「MP Absorption」 Skill. We have received many orders for Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystals as well. As a result, the price of Kobold Skill Crystals will most likely go up again, so obtaining it might get a little bit difficult.」

Now that he has reminded me of it, I remember that Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystal was quite expensive when I came here for the first time and placed the order for Skill Crystals. Apparently there has been no news about it ever since. 「MP Absorption」Skill is acquired by simultaneously fusing Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystal and Kobold Skill Crystal. Did that person who placed the order for a Kobold Skill Crystal intends to attach 「MP Absorption」Skill to their weapon? That seems like the only logical explanation here.

「Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystal, huh?」

「It was exhibited the other day and sold for quite a high price.」

「But the price of Kobold Skill Crystal fell. Is Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystal a wasted investment then?」

「In the auction, many Kobold Skill Crystals are exhibited but their use is restricted. Other Skill Crystals can be used readily, so Master Smiths buy them immediately because they present a much higher value to them.」

I see. So that’s how it is.

Many Kobold Skill Crystals appear but not all of them are bought due to their relatively limited usage in comparison to the other Skill Crystals. Nevertheless, I think they should at least exhibit the same number of Kobold Skill Crystals as Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystals. Whether Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystals are worth more or less, people will try to get their hands on them. Therefore, if you exhibit limited Skill Crystals, it will stimulate demand.

「I get it. It’s not wise to go for Scissoresque Carnivorous Plant Skill Crystal at the moment. For now. I’ll just wait and see how the situation develops.」

I have yet to find a Damascus Steel Sword with Empty Skill Slots in it. I’ll have to test the effect with a Steel Sword first, it seems.

「Very well. Also, before I forget, there was a message for you. I believe it is a summons from the Knight Order of Hartz Duchy.」

…… Fuck. There’s a summon after all. I was hoping that we’ll be able to conclude our business here for now, but no, he just had to go and say the thing that I didn’t want to hear the most. Okay Michio, just calm down and act natural, and hopefully things are going to work themselves out before you’ll know it.

「… Now that you mention it, have you heard any rumors about a certain family?」

I nod slightly at Luke and try to change the topic f discussion as discreetly as possible. The most important thing here is for me to not have an unpleasant expression that would reveal my true emotions on my face. I had made up my mind beforehand, so now the only thing that I can do is to stick with it all the way until the end and hope that everything’s going to be alright.

「A certain family?」

It has yet to be confirmed that the family that went bankrupt was actually the Baradam family, so I don’t think that I need to mention their name, or at least not yet.

「They seem to be in financial crisis, so a lot of equipment with Skills have been sold onto the market recently.」

「Ahh yes, that. Why do you ask about that? Is there any particular piece of equipment that you’re looking for?」

「Not really, I was just trying to informing you about it to see if you knew anything more about it or not.  Besides, I have already purchased some of their equipment.」

「I see. Thank you for your concern, and be careful when making such purchases, since you may never know what you’re ultimately going to get.」

After Luke sees me off, I leave the Merchants Guild.

And on the next morning, when we returned from the Labyrinth after the morning bit of exploration, it was already time.

I always visit the Harz Duchy at this hour, so there’s no choice for me but to go.

「I’ll head to the Bode castle now. I ask of you three to prepare breakfast.」

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