In the western border region of Haru Empire, there existed a large forest area that stretched from the foot of the rugged mountain ranges.
Numerous towns and cities were established there by reclaiming the forests, with forestry and agriculture as the inhabitants’ main occupations.
And the pillar of the western region was Hinoki city, a large city that was also known as the western metropolis.
To obtain luxuries goods in the western region, one had either to make a request to a merchant or pay a visit to Hinoki.
This winter, after the bandit incidents that centered at Hazama town finally subsided, Tanaka visited Hinoki in search of new power .
「I heard that mushrooms are their specialty, but there don’t seems to be anyone here who looks like a plumber with moustache.」
Tanaka swept his gaze around the bustling downtown area in cautions for the presence of any suspicious earthen pipes. Tanaka was very cautious over something that didn’t really matter at all. The same as always.
At any rate, he decided to first head to the guild of this city. The reason he had visited this town was to look for a magic tool shop. However, he couldn’t stand the idea of getting himself referred to some sort of a rip-off store as the result of asking people around about it. Thus, he concluded that the safest bet was to ask the guild to introduce him to a good one. It was a decent decision considering that it came from Tanaka.
Such a Tanaka headed to the guild, while looking here and there around the town and showing off how much of a country bumpkin he was.
When he arrived at the guild of this city, as expected it was larger than the one in Hazama and there were also several receptionists with numerous people lining up in front of their counters.
Tanaka decided to line up on the shortest line, and before long it was finally the turn of the person before him. Tanaka had no intention of eavesdropping, but he involuntarily overheard the conversation they had.
「Can’t you do something about it…?」
「Even if you say that… if you could specify the location where we would be able to find one, we might be able to obtain it for you, but as the location is unclear….」
They appeared to be discussing the possibility of putting up a request. The man, who seemed to be the client, persisted for a while longer, but eventually slumped his shoulders and took his leave.
「Did some sort of trouble happen?」
「He was looking for a large magic crystal.」
Tanaka couldn’t help but ask back, sensing the sound of the matter that stirred up his chuunibyou soul.
「Magic crystals are items that are commonly utilized in magic tools. They’re said to be more effective than utilizing magical energy in the air. However, once the magical energy inside the crystals runs out, the magic tool would stop working, so their use is very limited.」
「Oh, so there’s such a thing, huh.」
「As the name implies, magic crystals are crystallization of magic, but it isn’t like there are mines that produce them, so they aren’t something you could find simply because you wish to. Even if you did find one, it would most likely be very small.」
「Doesn’t that mean it’s practically impossible to obtain a large magic crystal then?」
「Yes, that’s right. He’s been putting up purchase requests for a while now, but none has appeared to offer him one. Perhaps he’s finally run out of patience as of today, as he decided to come and try putting up a search request instead, but it’s a request that’s nigh impossible to complete, so…」
Tanaka was kind of intrigued by magic crystals, but as he wasn’t particularly in need of one as of right now, he decided to stop inquiring about it.
After that, he was kind of interested in checking out the requests that were put up on this city, but when he was shown the request list, he found none which particularly piqued his interest.
In the end, he decided to leave the guild after only asking for information regarding the magic tool shop.
He soon arrived at the magic tool shop he was looking for and directly intruded in. He was hoping to find something that could stir his chuunibyou soul, but unfortunately most of the items there were daily life magic tools he’d gotten used to seeing at Hazama town.
While he was casually looking around the shop, he almost bumped into another person.
「Oops, that was close… hmm? Magic crystal man.」
「Magic crystal man?」
「Ah, well… I happened to be behind you in the guild earlier…. 」
「Oh, so you overheard me, huh. But still, magic crystal man, huh, hahaha.」
The man seemed to be a little older than Tanaka. The skinny, scholarly-looking man let out a powerless laugh.
「I’m sorry, I involuntarily called you as such.」
Tanaka apologized earnestly, feeling some affinity with the man.
「Hahaha, don’t worry, I don’t particularly mind. Are you doing work in the guild?」
「Yes, I’m an E rank. By the way, I’m not very good at looking for magic crystals.」
Tanaka unintentionally got carried away and made a sniding appeal about himself with a crisp look on his face.
「That hits where it hurts, hahaha.」
The man looked somewhat like a frail person who would die if he gave him any more push, so Tanaka decided to restrain himself. It was quite a feat for Tanaka to even stop and consider prudency. That implied just how much of a lack of vigor this man in front of Tanaka was showing right now.
「Are you perhaps looking for magic crystals for your magic tools?」
「Yeah, I am. I thought there was no harm in trying to ask, but as expected it was still no good.」
The man replied feebly, staring at the magic tools in the store.
「What are you coming here for?」
「I’m here to buy magic books. Currently, I can only use tenth-order magic, so….」
Moreover, he had a load of trouble with his magic control, but Tanaka decided to keep that matter to himself.
「Ah, you aren’t from this city, huh. The only way for people living in the western region to obtain magic books of the ninth-order or higher is to come to this city, after all.」
「Yes, that’s why I thought about buying all the higher order magic books I could find.」
Suddenly, a really attractive proposal was offered to Tanaka.
「I see, actually, I can give you mine, if you’d like to. It’s no longer of any use to me, after all. There are only at most sixth-order magic books around here, but mine is up to fifth-order. I may not look like it, but I did once study in the imperial capital, after all. Of course, if you don’t mind it being worn-out.」
「By all means, please let me call you Sensei.」
Tanaka swiftly bowed himself to the man. He was a man who had the tendency to have a swift change of attitude ever since he was still in his former world.
「Hahaha, what an interesting person you are. My name is Omoi. Nice to meet you.」
「You’re called Omoi (heavy) even though you’re so skinny?」
「Hahaha, I get that a lot.」
Tanaka leaked out his thoughts without thinking, so he decided to introduce himself as well, as if to gloss it over.
「My name is Tanaka. It’s the popular name of Tanaka.」
「It’s indeed the most common name in the Empire.」
While having such an idle chat, the two left the magic tool shop and headed to Omoi’s house.
From their chat, Tanaka discovered that Omoi was a specialist in agriculture.
As they continued on, they eventually began to discuss agriculture and magic crystals.
「About the incident of the disappearance of magical energy in the last summer, you see, it isn’t over yet. The magical energy in the air did have restored to how it used to be, and the magic tools can be used again, yes, but the magical energy contained in the ground has hardly returned as of yet.」
「In the ground? But does it even matter if there’s no magical energy in the ground?」