A middle-aged man was manning the shop counter.
“We want to purchase some armor, sir. Oh, and we were told to show you this as well.”
I handed over the introduction letter. The shop clerk gave it a quick scan.
“Well now, I guess I really have to give the best service to Master’s saviors. What kind of armor are you looking for, by the way?”
“Well, we haven’t really decided yet. But I’d like to get something that wouldn’t restrict my movements much, if possible. So armor made of metals won’t do, I guess.”
“Right, right. Metal armors are generally heavy and would limit your range of motion to certain extents. We’ll have to get you a set of leather armor then. We have some good quality ones right over there.”
We were guided to the leather armor section.
“There’s a lot of different kinds.”
The prices ranged from 3000 to 30,000 guineas and up.
The designs didn’t differ by much, but there was quite a difference in prices.
“What’s different between them?”
“It’s the materials they are made of. The cheap ones are made from orc hide. The more expensive ones are made out of wyvern hide.”
“So the more expensive ones are higher in quality?”
“Yes, that is the case. The properties of the materials used are quite different. The ones made out of orc hide are no different from your usual leather shaped into armor. But these ones made from wyvern hides serve as magic tools as well.”
Our gazes were led to a black-colored leather armor placed at the back of the store.
“A magic tool, huh?” Interesting.
“Yes. The common masses generally do not know this, but wyverns and dragons actually use magic in order to fly freely in the sky. I also do not know the exact details, but it’s a fact that wyverns are creatures that make use of magic to attain flight. It was also recently discovered that a wyvern’s hide would harden via magic whenever it receives a strong enough blow.”
“So they made use of that property to make this armor huh. This slot in the chest should be for equipping a magic stone, right? I guess the magic stone would supply the magic needed to harden the armor.”
“Yes. Do have a look. This part that covers the arm feels quite soft to the touch, right?”
I tried touching it, and it was indeed soft.
“But if you give it a blow like so…”
The shop clerk gave it a good whack using a wooden sword placed nearby. It did sound like the sword hit a hard surface.
Man, that was amazing! So the leather would automatically harden almost instantaneously huh! I tried touching it again, and it was back to being soft and pliable.
“How long does it take for the armor to harden?”
“It would generally take about one or two seconds.”
“That’s amazing. But how tough is it?”
“It can easily take blows from a wooden sword. It can also defend from arrows. It also offers a certain amount of protection from spear thrusts. Gray Hound bites would similarly pose no problems. In other words, any attacks ineffective against wyverns would be similarly ineffective against the armor as well.”
I haven’t seen a wyvern yet, but, judging from the description, it seems to be quite a high-level monster.
“It seems perfect so far.”
“Well, not exactly. It’s actually vulnerable to slashing attacks. It’s certainly tougher than most leather armors, but it falls short compared to metal ones. Aside from slashes, it also cannot defend from ballista shots. But that should be expected. In short, any attacks effective against wyverns are effective against it as well.”
“I see. Does it have any other drawbacks?”
“It uses magic so magic stones are a must. It doesn’t use up magic if it’s not hit with a sufficient amount of force, but once it does take an attack, it uses up quite a bit of magic. The amount of magic that gets used up depends on the strength of the impact. For example, what it’s equipped with right now is a magic stone taken from a Gray Hound. With this level of magic stone, it would run out of power after one hundred blows.”
“That’s quite the consumption rate.”
So the armor would turn ineffective once it takes one hundred blows from a wooden sword huh.
“Yes, that’s correct. But this would improve if you supply it with better quality magic stones.”
“Can we swap out magic stones immediately once they’re used up?”
“Yes, you definitely can. You just need to slide the magic stone like so and you can easily remove it. You can slide a new one in the same way. There would generally be no problems swapping them out in the middle of battle.”
“How can you tell if the magic has run out?”
“You can only check by looking at the color of the magic stone.”
“The magic stone would turn transparent once the magic energy stored inside it has run out.”
Cleria gave a timely follow-up.
“So, how much is it?”
According to the price tag, it’s 35,000 guineas.
“Un, I’ll give you a special twenty percent discount and sell it for 28,000 guineas then.”
“Great. I’ll buy it.”
We have a lot of money anyway. It would be best to buy some high-quality armor.
“I want to put it on right away though. Would that be fine?”
“Oi, oi. We still have to make some fine adjustments to armor of this level. It’ll take two days at most.”
“So it’s like that. That’s a bit of a problem though.”
I won’t be able to use it for the adventurer’s guild test, then.
“Is there something wrong?”
“I was hoping to use it when I register at the adventurer’s guild later.”
“You! You’re telling me you actually aren’t an adventurer yet!?”
“Yeah. But I’m quite confident in my skills, so you don’t have to worry about me.”
“Well, I guess. But that was still quite a surprise. I see. So you’ll need armor for the ranking test, huh?”
“Do you not know? It would not be appropriate for people with sufficient skills like you to be assigned a basic rank, so a test for determining the most proper starting rank according to your abilities is necessary. But, well, even if you get full marks, you’ll still need to start from C rank though.”
“I see. So that’s what the test is for.”
“I can lend you some second-hand leather armor if you want. I’ll lend it to you until we finish the adjustments to the armor you bought. But the quality’s not that good though.”
“That’s fine. How much is it?”
“It’s alright. I’ll lend it out for free. Consider it as extra service.”
“I see. Thanks a lot for doing this. Right then. Here’s the gold.”
I brought all the gold coins just in case. I took out two gold coins and eight large silvers from the bag and gave it to the shopkeep.
“Oh, you sure are one wealthy fellow. Thank you for your patronage. That reminds me, I haven’t introduced myself yet. The name’s Zaluke.”
“My name’s Alan. This lady here is Ria.”
“I’ve been curious since a while ago. Is it just me, or is the armor that lady is wearing really made of mythril?”
“Yes, this armor in fact is made of mythril.”
The shopkeep became flustered and went up to Cleria in order to check out her armor. Cleria was surprised by his sudden actions.
“Ah! I’m truly sorry. I have a nasty habit of forgetting myself whenever I see some excellent equipment y’see. It’s indeed made out of mythril. And from the looks of it, the forger is one heck of a master in the craft.”
“However… Could you come this way first, dear customer.”
The shopkeep grabbed my arm and dragged me to the side.
“Oi, is that lady a **?”
There’s that unknown word again. Well, I can already make a rough guess about what it means though.
“She might be. I’m not clear about her circumstances either though.”
“I see. So there seem to be some special circumstances. But walking around wearing that is kinda bad y’know. You can tell at first glance that her armor’s made of mythril. That wouldn’t be a problem if she were in the company of a large number of guards. But you’ll most likely be targeted if it were just you folks and her walking about.”
“Is it really that valuable?”
“It sure is! Let’s see. In this shop, selling it for 40,000 Guineas is still considered cheap.”
“It costs that much!?”
“Yeah. And that design is exquisite. It seems based on the armor ordinary knights and adventurers wear, but the design philosophy is completely different. The one that little lady is wearing is an armor fit for royal knights. In the eyes of others, it’s completely obvious that she’s a **.”
I checked out the metal armor sets being sold at the shop.
“It doesn’t look all that different to me though.”
“It’s completely different!”
“Ria, can you come over here for a sec?”
I moved my gaze back and forth between Cleria’s armor and the metal armor sets in the store, but I still couldn’t spot the difference.
“But they really look the same to me. Aren’t they?”
“They’re absolutely, positively different, I tell ya!”
Zaluke replied enthusiastically.
“Just look at this line here. This doesn’t appear in the other armor sets, correct? And take a gander at this section here. It’s of a completely different design. This section too. Ah, and this one as well…”
Well, now that I’ve taken a closer look, it does seem kinda different. Maybe. I think.
“Uh, hey, is it possible to modify this armor so it wouldn’t look like mythril?”
“Hm? Ah, well, if we darkened the color a bit, it should be able to fool the untrained eye.”
“Can you make it so the design would look like that of an ordinary adventurer’s armor?”
“I can do that. But it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call this armor a fine work of art. Are you sure you want to do something like that to it?”
“We don’t really mind. Right, Ria?”
“It’s fine with me.”
“Please modify it so people wouldn’t be able to recognize it as mythril. The design should look like what normal adventurers use. Please be sure to modify it thoroughly. How much would it cost and how long would it take to modify the armor?”
“Ah, that’s such a waste… Well, I’d need three days. It’ll cost you 5,000 guineas.”
It’s unexpectedly cheap. I took out another five large silvers from the bag and handed them over.
“Well then, we’ll leave Ria’s armor to you once we’re done with our business at the adventurer’s guild. I’ll pick up mine after three days as well.”
“Understood. I’ll need to take your measurements. Please come over here for a bit.”
The shopkeep proceeded with taking my measurements and adjusted the armor he’s going to lend me accordingly. It took about one hour.
“The adventurer’s guild is already open, right?”
“Yes, they’re usually already open by daybreak.”
I, Cleria and Willie finally headed towards the adventurer’s guild.