Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
Day 47: Nighttime, White Weirdo Inn
I was kicked out… Everyone gathered for a conference in the dining hall.
Apparently, some lord or a noble from somewhere was investigating me.
Well, at the moment there is no harm, but in this world, black hair and dark eyes are pretty conspicuous.
And I’m not the only one with black hair and dark eyes, so there is a danger of dragging my classmates into this. The risk of them being targeted for simply being my comrades is high.
There is no actual reason for me to stay in this country, and I can always go to a faraway place and live there without attracting attention, but that feels like running away, and somehow pisses me off. Like, seriously and grandly pisses me off.
If it was about me alone, I don’t need a country, I’d be perfectly fine with a cave alone, but for some reason, I seem to be forbidden from confining myself to the cave despite being a hikikomori? A lovely cave life with Armored Pres-san sounds nice as well, but I can’t help but think that it will ruin me as a human. I mean, there is a Jacuzzi there. Bubbles all over the body, it’s amazing, you know? For real!
But be it exp grind or equipment strengthening, diving into dungeons seems to be the most efficient approach. It’s better to collect items from dungeons.
For the time being, this town seems to be safe. Nobles or lords or whatever from other lands sound like a pain, and they might not be such nice eccentrics as Meri’s father.
This town is going to be the base of operations until there will be no more dungeons in the surroundings. It’s also the closest to my home. I’d like to have a Jacuzzi within a day’s travel distance.
「Even so, is it the neighboring town that is investigating me? They are far, but still neighbors. Or rather, there is only one neighboring domain? So that can’t be anyone else, no?」
The territory of this remote region is surrounded by a monster-infested forest and high mountains. To put it bluntly, a giant isolated area. The only way to the neighboring territory is a narrow path with cliffs on both sides. Beyond that lies the domain of the lord something-something and beyond that the royal capital. Aside from that, there is nothing but woods with monsters and rocky mountains here. That’s why the place was so poor and starved for goods.
In short, the neighboring domain is taxing the traffic, stealing profits. But there is no way to do business without passing through them. That’s why they are free to do as they please. That’s how they acted until now and this is how they must be planning to act from now on as well.
That’s why they are so interested in the affairs of this town, as soon as something happens they investigate it. After all, that’s the region that steals the money of the frontier for the sake of their own prosperity.
This development… Is there going to be trouble with the neighboring domain? Political friction? I like friction, but not of this kind. For the other kind, I’ll be right there the next moment! Where should I go?! The neighboring domain? No, the other kind of friction is awaiting there…
Well, the lords are probably doing something among themselves, and there is nothing I can do without information. I can respond if they try to take some kind of action affecting us, but I should make sure the girls don’t act solo.
Combat shouldn’t be a problem for the girls. The problem is underhanded methods, poison, mind control, manipulation, traps… Wait, isn’t that my field of expertise? Well, since it’s my field, I can come up with countermeasures. I’m good at underhanded methods and don’t mind getting my hands dirty. In more ways than one.
「Well, for starters, manufacturing, and trading. This will raise skills, bring money, and also serve as a countermeasure, what else can one ask for. Aah, another shift tonight, huh? Are there no days off for me? Even though I’m a NEET?」
The general store’s lady finally procured books of this world as I requested.
No novels among them.
Had a banned book though.
The book managed to survive precisely because this region is so remote. Forbidden writings, the name is「How To Magic Tools!」, who the hell gave such a name to a forbidden book?! No, obviously the author, but… What got it banned? Was『How』a problem? Or maybe 『To』?
But the contents were exceedingly normal, densely filled with information on magic tools, skill items, ways to create them, and materials required. Contents capable of saving poor towns and villages or a frontier lacking in proper equipment. In fact, many pages were dedicated to monster repellants and combat support effects. Also, many utility items, useful in daily life. It seems the author made sure not to list any harmful or abusable items. Isn’t it an essential book that should be a must-read in this dangerous world? Why would it be banned? It didn’t even have anything erotic? Why forbidden?
However, while people of this world know the alphabet, they are prone to illiteracy, while they can read, most people can only read numbers, simple words, or short phrases, so there is no demand for books it seems. On top of that,『How to Magic Tools!』is basically an alchemy book. But the alchemy of this world, or rather chemistry, is not only undeveloped, it even tends to be shunned. Sale prohibition aside, it probably simply couldn’t find a buyer.
With this, I can make new items, though only with minor effects for now. Or rather, all of the items that the girls bought at the general store already had some kind of effect attached. While I don’t think that they noticed, since it’s unlikely that they used appraisal while shopping for clothes, the items had defense buffs, evasion, and status effect resistance. I attached them to every item. Compared to items from dungeons they are pretty shabby, but it’s better than nothing at times when they aren’t wearing their equipment, and they also should have better effects than items of adventurers and guards of this town.
However, high levels of abnormal status effects resistance and trap detection are about to become more important than combat effects. Magic stone-encrusted rings should work for that. I have enough magic stones to even sell them, and high-grade magic stones also should give greater effects. I didn’t touch it until now since it’s difficult, time-consuming, and just a pain, but looks like it would be better to make them, just in case. Well, I thought about making accessories eventually, since it seems like a very lucrative idea. Materials are basically free, and they should sell for a hefty sum, so it should make me a rich man. Let’s give it a shot.
「Oooh, the color changed? This will sell! This will be a big hit! The problem is design. Having the stone limits the possibilities, and since it’s meant to be practical, it has to be simple, sturdy, and not get in the way?」
Just farming and selling magic stones will net me only the usual market price, but with this method I will be able to give it an added value, allowing me to decide the price. If the price of magic stones goes down I can just refrain from selling them, going for the manufacture route instead, thus avoiding having to sell them cheap. Aaah, that might be the reason why the book was banned and burned.
The main producing area for magic stones is the frontier. Every other region would prefer comfortably low prices.
In that case, having processing technology in the frontier would be a problem. Most likely, someone is monopolizing it, increasing their profits. That’s why the frontier was this poor. Despite magic stones being their main product, the prices were kept low, allowing for only meager profits. And even those profits were stolen by the neighboring domain as goods went through it.
And being too poor, they couldn’t afford proper equipment, hindering their ability to collect magic stones, leading to a further deficit.
As a result, the military strength also fell, making them unable to prevent the demon forest from growing, leading to attacks on the town and villages which had decreased population, making the region even poorer. If this is the result of the government policies then they are not only trash but also incredible fools. Even if they can profit from this now, the end result will be destruction. The monsters are free to multiply as they please.
「Maybe a simple jewel ring? Would look pretty gorgeous? But then the stones would be too big for everyday use… Aaah, might as well make stones into the ring shape? Like ancient jade rings? Since I can process them, why not? In that case, can an entire ring be made out of stone? And since the color can be changed they should sell well! Riches, I’m coming! HyAHAAH! Kind of?」
This smells like a big hit. Not only is it a monopoly but the items also have an added value. On top of that, the color and design can be changed, so having repeating customers is also possible, making for a long term business. This is a long rich man’s life without a doubt!
Mass production after mass production, mass manufacture of the same type can be all handled at once with Parallel Thinking, allowing for a one man magic-based mass production assembly line. With Parallel Thinking of「Apex Thinking」playing an active part, Alchemy, and magic combine into a solo controlled parallel assembly-line system.
I think it would be quite hard to find a home industry that was this industrialized. Magic stones, forming a line like on some kind of a conveyor belt, move one after another, floating around me in a spiral, and one by one, are processed, turning into rings. As I got used to the process the speed also grew, increasing the number of rings created. A one-man factory? It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say a one-man industrial area. But there is no one to give me a salary for this?
I work and work but my life has no signs of improving? I probably could easily get the title of high school champion of labor? And yet why do I remain penniless? Sort of?
Day 47 – Over.