Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
A Craftsman’s Troubles
When the agreed date arrived, Hikaru visited Leniwood’s shop. Dodorono was there as well.
「Hello.」Hikaru greeted.「So, it’s been ten days… Looks like it wasn’t easy.」
Leniwood and Dodorono had bags under their eyes.
「You can say that again! All the hardship and pain… But I think I did a pretty good job!」
「Can I see the sheath then?」
A jet-black sheath sat at the counter, its surface glossy, though not made of leather. Is it ore or metal? Or maybe…
「Wood?」Hikaru said as he took it.
It was awfully light, yet it also felt like it stuck to his palm.
「Bingo! It’s made out of extremely rare wood called Sacred Tree of Everlasting Darkness. It has a special property that conceals anything. High Elves living deep in the forests ship the material in limited amounts.」
A tree with Stealth properties, huh? Hikaru thought. He wanted to test it, so he asked Leniwood and Dodorono to close their eyes. He then took out the wakizashi from the Dimension Dragon Box.
「W-Wow… Still as impressive as always.」
Leniwood took a long, hard look at the wakizashi’s blade. He could sense some indescribable aura coming from the weapon. Hikaru tucked the wakizashi away into the sheath.
「Oh, this sure is something.」
You had to look closely to see the deep-purple mark that appeared on the sheath’s surface. It looked more like a drawing of a drakon.
「Wow. The guy who sold me the Sacred Tree of Everlasting Darkness said it not only conceals the presence of something, but it has some other unique effect as well.」
「You mean you didn’t draw this yourself?」
「Of course, not. To be honest, I had a lot of trouble working with the material. It was difficult just getting the shape right.」
In that case, maybe the mana inside the wakizashi—Drake’s mana—or perhaps his life force was causing the mark to appear.
「Anyway, the sheath works perfectly. Thank you.」
「Oh, stop it! I’m the one who’s terribly grateful for allowing me to take this job.」
If the wakizashi was kept inside the Dimension Dragon Box, Hikaru wouldn’t be able to use it right away when he needed it. Hikaru was glad he could now carry the weapon around.
「How much do I need to pay? The material must’ve cost a lot.」
「Damn right. I paid 200,000 gilans for it.」
「All right. Plus labor, I guess that’s 300,000.」
「Nah, 200 is fine.」
「What? No way. I have to pay for the labor.」
Leniwood’s face turned serious and spoke.
「Let me tell you something. To be honest, this civil war left me depressed. I know a blacksmith should accept the fact that the weapons he created would be used to kill people. But somewhere I believed that my weapons would be used by adventurers to kill monsters instead.」
It was an unavoidable reality that craftsmen faced.
「This has been a great opportunity. I needed to overcome my problems on my own, no matter how hard it was. That’s when you arrived with that wakizashi.」Leniwood said, pointing at Hikaru and his weapon.「An extremely difficult job with unlimited budget, yet you trusted me with it. It was my first time receiving such a request. There’s not a lot of adventurers who sincerely trust Elven blacksmiths. As I was absorbed in the task, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I still have a long way to go. Why is a newbie like me worrying about weapons and murder?」
「Smithing is an art that supports life. I can make tools that help people in their everyday lives and weapons to defend themselves. I’ll just worry about things later, once I’ve become famous that people have to wait in a long line that goes five times around the whole town.」
「You don’t have any clients right now, though.」
「Cram it, Dodorono!」
The dwarf shrugged and flashed a grin.
「So, anyway. Thanks for this job. I gave it everything I got. If you want to pay for labor, then let me work on something else for you some other time.」
Hikaru had more than enough money to pay for the labor. But this is what Leniwood wanted.
「All right, then. I’ll only pay 200,000. I’d also like to make a reservation for my next job order.」
「You got it! Just leave it to me!」
Hikaru handed the money and shook hands with Leniwood. Despite his lanky build, the elf had a tight grip. Hikaru knew he could count on the guy. Leniwood had burn marks all over his arms. The hands of a craftsman, Hikaru thought. He also fixed Hikaru’s Dagger of Strength for free.
「All right. It’s my turn next.」Dodorono said. He’d been waiting for this moment. Garment wrapped in clothes sat on the counter.
「Huh? You also ordered for clothes, Hikaru-sama?」Paula asked.
「Yup. Come here.」Hikaru replied with a smile.
「Ah, I knew it was for this girl!」Dodorono said as he studied Paula. There was nothing obscene in the way he looked at her. He purely wanted to check if the clothes he made suited Paula.
「Can we see it?」
「Why, of course.」
Dodorono unwrapped it, revealing a gray garment of solid quality.
「A robe for Healers. I chose the color gray to evoke the image of someone from the Church or hospitals. It gives people a sense of security when they look at it. They say if you can weave this cloth, you’ll never have to worry about money for the rest of your life. I asked for the best from this place I frequent. Dirt doesn’t stick to it that easily, and you can wash it whole. Magic gems have been weaved into it as well that makes the robe cool during summer and warm during winter. And the piece de resistance is this silver thread rubbed with the scales of an Elder Moth. You can see it here and there. It quickens mana regeneration. The thread alone cost 400,000 gilans.」
「Four hundred?!」Paula was dumbfounded.
「What about this button?」Hikaru said.
「I’m glad you asked. It’s black right now, but it gradually turns white when the robe is worn. Excess mana can be stored in it. If it’s pure white, that means it’s full. If you grasp it tight, you can absorb mana from it.」
「That sounds amazing…」
Hikaru had never heard about the technology before.
「Actually, a woman named Katy gave it to me.」
「While I was going around, visiting the Alchemists Guild and different shops looking for ideas for the robe, I ran into her. She said you knew each other. I asked for her help and she agreed.」
Fate sure works in mysterious ways.
「That reminds me. She said she’s going back home soon.」Dodorono said.
「We’ll go see her later and thank her as well.」Hikaru said.
「Okay, that’s all from me. Do you have any questions, young lady?」
Paula just stared blankly, unable to comprehend what was going on. Hikaru took the robe and handed it to her.
「This is a gift for you.」
「You make us feel safe whenever something happens. Also, you’re keeping your promise with me. So thank you.」
「H-Hikaru-sama…」Tears began to stream down her face.
「I-I was always worried that I was only a burden to you and Lavia-san.」
「You’re not a burden at all. I feel safe with you around too. I grew up isolated, so I don’t know how to make friends.」Lavia said, rubbing Paula’s back.「If you don’t mind, would you be my first friend?」
「If it’s okay with you, then of course!」
Lavia took out a handkerchief and wiped Paula’s face. Her hands were full holding the robe.
「Let’s drop the formalities and just call each other by our names.」
「O-Okay, then. I’ll call you Lavia-chan. I always wanted a friend I can call chan!」
Lavia chuckled.「Sounds good to me. I hoped for this to happen sooner, but I uhh… I’m sorry.」
「It’s okay. I know it’s hard to trust people right away.」
「I’m really sorry.」
「Please don’t apologize, Lavia-chan. You had to protect someone important to you, right?」
Hikaru knew she was talking about him.
「I hope we can get along.」
The girls joined hands and smiled.
「Ah, I have to apologize about something.」Hikaru said.「I know I said it was a gift, but the money used was actually the reward from Kelbeck from when you healed him.」
「It’s not my money, so it’s okay. Wait, does this mean this robe costs a million gilans?!」
Paula’s jaw dropped. Hikaru turned his attention to Dodorono.
「Is one million enough?」he asked.
「Oh, please.」Leniwood cut in.「The materials alone probably cost a little over a million, right?」
「Y-You idiot! Why can’t you keep your mouth shut?! I-It’s all right, Hikaru. I just wanted to do my best to repay you for the trust you gave me.」
「I can’t have that. Please give me the right price.」
Dodorono reluctantly agreed to round up the labor for a total of 1.1 million gilans.
「By they way, Hikaru.」the dwarf said.
「There’s something I want to say to you.」
「What is it?」
Dodorono took a deep breath.
「P-Paula, was it?! Why is her hair like that?!」
「You’d shine more if you do your hair properly! This girl is a gem waiting to be polished!」
「I thought so too.」Lavia agreed.
Paula’s hairstyle was simple. She had forelocks that covered her eyes and the rest just flowed straight down.
「Yeah. I thought Hikaru liked your innocent look, so I never really mentioned it.」
「That’s not it at all.」Hikaru commented.
「So anyway! I want to make this girl shine!」
「All right. Let’s go to my store!」
Before Paula could say anything, Dodorono started dragging her.
「Ah, there he goes. Such a hasty bastard. He’s got skills, though.」
They frequently hurled insults at each other, but Leniwood acknowledged Dodorono’s skills.