6-5. Clean-up and Rumor
Satou's here. The only contact I've had with refugees was with the news or fund-raising commercials, but in this world, I unexpectedly come across ones in close proximity.
It was already late in the noon when we arrived on the street of Nouki town. The disposal of the thieves took more time than I had thought.
This town is the second biggest town within earl Kuhanou's territory, it's situated in a typical fashion of a trading town. Nevertheless, the population is not more than 20000. The land size is also only about a fourth of Seryuu city. 30% of the population are slaves, but most are general or lower slaves, while criminal slaves are quite few.
The thieves--they were confirmed as thieves with the usual Yamato stone--were sold to slave traders that the gatekeeper had called. The men were worth 2 silver coins a person. The ones with bow or weapon skills and higher-leveled were were even more expensive, but the women were cheaper. A middle-aged woman was worth for only 1 silver coin.
As a reward for suppressing the thieves, I was given 10 copper coins per head. Was the price right?
The total amount to 48 silver coins and 140 copper coins. With these much, a lot of bounty hunters would have come instead of me.
The taxes for entering the city are, 1 big copper coin for a commoner, 2 copper coins for a slave, and the wagon cost 2 big copper coins, I let it be taken from the reward.
I chat with the gatekeeper while he's looking for a small bag for containing the 5 silver and 10 copper coins change. He's wearing a shirt dyed blue, I wonder if it's the gatekeeper color here.
"You've really saved us. Nowadays, a lot of refugees coming from other territories are becoming thieves."
"Was there a disaster somewhere?"
Speaking of refugees, it mean that there's probably a war or disaster.
According to him, seems that there are a lot of refugees who run away from the next earldom to become either serfs in rural farm village or slaves in general slaves in the city of this Kuhanou earldom.
People who don't want to become slaves hide in the mountain and live by hunting animals. Seems that they also work in the field, but, as winter comes, a lot increasingly become thieves.
I almost feel sorry to the thieves, but they have [Murder] in their Reward and Punishment, so sympathy is probably unnecessary.
>Title [Bounty Hunter] Acquired.
Now then, we were able to finish our errands on the entrance, but since I wanted to buy various things on shortage, I decided to stay for a night.
The inside of the town is similar with Seryuu city but there aren't a lot of two-story buildings, yet low-rises are many.
The town feel a bit listless unrelated with the population density.
Confirming from the gatekeeper, this town also has strong prejudice against demi-humans, but they're allowed to stay in the inn if one pay extra and they can buy things normally on the shops if they're paying good. Unfortunately, since they're not allowed to get inside where the riches and nobles lives, we are warned not to get close.
After entrusting the wagon in the inn, we're going to buy equipments for all members. In a place not far from the inn, weapons and armors are lined up on display.
First, let's buy armor for five people in the armor shop. They're for me, Nana and the three beastkin girls. Since a whole body armor looks to require too much time to wear, I buy iron helmets without face protector, breastplates with belt fixture, light greaves of the same type, and gauntlets that protect only the back of hand.
The remaining three says that they don't need armor so they don't buy ones, in exchange, I buy some extra shields. Bucklers and Round Shield made from metal, three pieces each.
The armor shop old-man tried to touch Nana's butt when he was measuring her for the armor, but my impregnable guard didn't let him to. I didn't think that crisis perception would be helpful for this. It goes without saying that I used it as the final ammunition for bargaining.
The total price were 30 gold coins, but I negotiate until it was slightly cheaper than the market price, and finally got it down to 14 gold coins.
Next in the weapon shop, I bought bows and arrows for Mia. Since there were only 3 short bows that Mia was able to pull, it didn't take long. I was able to negotiate it down to 1 gold coins with 30 arrows added.
Afterwards, we decided to divide into three groups and move separately after putting the luggage in the inn.
The beastkin girls, Arisa and Lulu are entrusted to buy ingredients, daily necessities and cookwares.
I give them 20 silver coins for the shopping list, and 1 big copper coin each for their allowance. The reason for that much silver coins is because I ask them to buy a lot of groceries.
Like the gatekeeper earlier said, the situation is a bit rough with all the refugees, so I'm buying enough for anticipating the worst situation for self-sustaining if we can't get into the town or village. We have a lot of meat, but we don't have enough vegetables, cereals, salt and seasoning.
Pochi and Tama reply back with, "Meat~", when I give them their allowances. Even though they eat so much meat every day, they still want to eat more huh, that's amazing even for favorite food.
"Maybe you get tired from the crowds, do you want to rest at the inn?"
"Nana, I'm sorry, but could stay with her?"
"Yes, master. I will stay beside mother."
Since Mia is tired with the crowd, she's going to rest at the inn. I feel sorry if I leave her alone, so I suggest Nana to be with her, but maybe she doesn't want to be alone with someone with her face, she refuses with, "Don't need."
Even though Nana herself has become emotionally attached to her, this is sad.
The meaning of calling Mia mother for Nana, seems because Mia is the blood provider. Although it seems that homonculus is different with clone, I wonder if she's still her genetic mother?
Since Mia looks like she really dislike the calling, I have Nana compromise to call her, "Mia", not, "Mother".
"Nana, let's go together. Mia, what do you want as souvenirs?"
"I want a lute."
"I understand, I'll buy it if someone is selling them."
"I've left money and fruits on the table, so eat something if you're hungry okay."
I've put 1 big copper coin and several fruits on the table.
First, we're going to magic tools shop.
This shop isn't just a magic books and magic tools shop, but also an alchemy shop and a bookstore. The shopkeeper is wearing a hood and a thin veil that hide her face, save for her eyes, so I can't see it well. Since the AR indicates that she's 16 years old, she's probably the daughter of the real shopkeeper.
When we go inside the shop, I see the girl is wearing glasses with green lenses, so I ask Nana to wait outside. The explanation from the AR is confusing like always, but since it looks like an inferior version of Yamato stone, I can't risk Nana's race from getting known.
"Hello, I'd like to buy reagents for potion, do you have any in stock?"
"I could sell you three packages. 1 silver coin each. We're a bit short in magic cores, so I won't give you discount. If you don't want to, you can stop."
Oh, it's an old woman's voice. Is she using some sort of weird voice-changing magic tools?
I'm given a small paper, like some sort of prescription from doctors, when I receive the packages. I think her profit is a bit too high, but since the price is in line with the market price according to estimation skill, it's not like she's overcharging.
By the way, the potion reagent is powder that glitter when it's used. It has other various uses too, it's an indispensable material for training.
Come to think of it, monsters in this territory were awfully scarce.
I don't feel like buying with these prices indeed. Since I have books with the instruction, should I just make one myself? Let's just buy the needed materials.
"Then, do you have stabilizers?"
"Yes, if it's stabilizers, I have a lot. If you have magic cores, won't you share it?"
What an abrupt girl. Asking me to sell the magic cores.
Then I remember the main material for potion's reagent and stabilizer.
I take out a magic core from my pocket and estimate its market price on my palm. It's about three times pricier than in Seryuu city. Yet, it's still only 3 big copper coins. I put five on the table.
"You, stop putting magic cores inside your pocket even if you keep them together with stabilizer powder. What would you do if they absorb magic power when you use magic and explode?"
What the, they explode huh.
That reminds me, the ants legs were exploding as well.
I thank the girl for the advice and ask her the right method to keep them. It seems that you have to smear them in stabilizer and then cover them together in cloths.
The girl speaks ill of the magic cores, like, "They're small", or, "The color is light", but she still buy them for 4 big copper coins each. Since it's just right, I buy stabilizer worth of that price.
The girl comes back from the back with about 10 kilograms bag of stabilizer. That bag is somehow lightly floating while following beside the girl.
Ooh, that looks magic-like, or rather, like a magic trick.
"Is that magic?"
"This is self-propelling board <>. It's not really a rare magic, isn't it?"
Although she's saying that, I could see her looking slightly proud. If I recall right, that magic name does appear in the introductory magic book.
I confirm the stabilizer that she have brought. The AR says, [Stabilizer/Fine Powder of Ugi Leaves]. The market price is 5 gold coins. 1 gold coin is equal to 20 big copper coins, so they're too much for reimbursing the magic cores.
"They're fine powder of Ugi leaves, are they."
"That's right, you know well. These are rare around here, but just before, a merchant brought them in mass as a payment for medicines. Before they're spoiled."
"I think this quantity is too much for 20 big copper coins though?"
"You, you know value of things huh."
"And I don't think I need that much though?"
"Please don't say that, I'll trade it for half the market price, so won't you take it?"
"Are you looking for gold coins?"
I could buy it, but do I need this much?
"No no, I need magic cores rather than gold, won't you share a bit more?"
Well, they're ingredients for making potion reagent so she probably guess that I still have more, but what does she want to use it for?
"You know that there will be a fighting tournament in the Ougock Dukedom next month, right? The participating knights are buying large amounts of potion from the alchemists. So they can't make potion for the sick people."
I see, there's such tournament huh. I don't know if this girl would use it the way she's saying, but it's evident that she's desperate. I have a lot anyway, so it's fine to give 10 more, I guess.
"I would like these and another 10 magic cores of the same level."
"I'm not sure if I have that many, but I'll thoroughly check my stock."
"Please do so, you can bring these stabilizer ahead."
I bring the stabilizer to the wagon and put it away in the storage, then I'm choosing magic cores. Since it'd look suspicious if they're all exactly the same, I mix the 10 magic cores suitably. I blend 1 high level one among them. It's a core that worths 3 silver coins.
I believe this is from a bone golem. I can know the price with estimation skill, but I want to find out the reaction of a professional when they see one.
"How about these?"
"You're fast, the qualities are the same like before, are they. Huh? This one is the only awfully nice core."
It's the strongish core I've blended
"Is it to your liking?"
"Yes, I'm saved. I could make stronger medicine with this."
I see, according to this reaction, I could take out magic cores from monsters with level up to 20 without problem.
It's not written in up to intermediate book, but it seems that depending on magic cores level used, the resulting reagent rank would be different.
"As a gratitude, you can take one from among these."
While saying so, the girl searches the shelves with rustling sounds and bring out three scrolls.
AR indication says, [Scroll, Magic Art:Shield], [Scroll, Magic Art:Sonar], [Scroll, Magic Art:Short Stun]. Each is priced at 5-6 silver coins.
How do I say this, the shop will go bankrupt if this girl keep working here.
Every one of them seems to be an elementary magic art scroll. Shield is the most difficult among these.
"I'm sorry, even though you're especially offering this for me, I already have beginner level magic books..."
"You, do you not know how scrolls are used? These are disposable magic tools. Put magic power into it while uttering the command word to use it, it's convenient when you're attacked by monsters."
Hoo? That's great.
"That means, you can use them even without magic art skills?"
"You can use them. You'll use 20-30% more magic power, but there is no weird repercussion like if a person without skill chants the magic."
I see, that's convenient.
But, they looks easy to abuse-- I guess that's why, it was limited in Seryuu city.
That's right, are there scrolls for life magic?
"Do you have scrolls for life magic?"
"None, if you have money to buy such things, isn't it cheaper to just hire charm users?"
Unfortunately, there's none. It seems since the production cost for making the scroll is no different to other magic, there's no one who make them.
But, Nana can use those magics besides short stun. By the way, in addition with the two, Nana can also use, [Magic Arrow], [Body Reinforcement (Light Boost)], and [Signal].
"If possible, could you let me have the three of them? Of course, I will pay the other two with cash."
"I'm sorry, but if I sell more than one, the officials would get noisy."
I decide to buy [Shield] scroll after being at loss for a while.
Let's try to use it when we get out of the town.