It's the second day of the opening sale.
It looks like the visitors that came on the shop's opening day spread the word even more, as we had a fair number of customers this morning.
However, the social cla.s.s of the visitors seemed to lean towards one side.
To be more specific, while they weren't the kind of wealthy merchants that might be richer than a poor n.o.ble, there were still many people with fairly high positions in the Royal Capital there, such as aristocratic military officers and city officials.
Although there were n.o.bles who visited the shop and brought several servants with them, there were also those that ordered servants, such as their butlers and maids, to purchase goods while observing the store.
Although the proportion of these types was roughly fifty-fifty, I'm personally more grateful for the former than I am the latter.
When the latter comes by to run their master's errand, they frequently purchase goods for their own use as well. The servants have a very high salary for a commoner, and there's a number of items they're able to choose from and buy themselves.
However, in the former's case, the attendants become baggage carriers as the n.o.bles whimsically buy a large quant.i.ty of various items. Either that, or the items being bought are too expensive for the money to be given to a commoner. Of course I'm happy when situations like this occur.
Contrary to my expectations before the store opened, I'm quite pleased that the expensive products are selling better than I expected.
By the way, I think that the Tomboy Princess and the First Queen are the cause of this increase in business.
Either that, or it may have been because of the information that the First Queen's attendants brought back with them. I can't deny the possibility that they spread it through an information network, which would probably be a network of the 【Five Great G.o.ds Religion】's hidden believers.
When I observed our customers, not all of the n.o.bles and their servants were members, but I was able to identify quite a few people wearing accessories with carved patterns indicating that they're one of the 【Five Great G.o.ds Religion】's believers.
In addition, I've recently gotten used to receiving customers, so I think it's safe to say that I can notice the way they gaze in my direction without saying anything.
Well, having said that, since it's highly likely that I won't have a lack of customers for the foreseeable future, the weight on my shoulders has decreased a bit.
Although the store just opened, I wouldn't be able to laugh if we had no business at all.
However, while this may be true, I'm still not relieved.
I'm a.s.suming that most of our customers came out of curiosity the first time, which is useless if they stop coming. On top of that, I don't think they'll come back if we don't continue to improve the products and services that other stores don't have on a regular basis.
Also, because communication technology is still underdeveloped in this world, word of mouth is very important when it comes to advertising.
Since it's very difficult to recover once you get a bad image, I need to make an effort to create a good first impression.
For that reason, I received our customers with the most basic of things; a smile.
However, there was one problem with that.
Even though the rest of my group's members are fine with it, my smile appears to have had quite an impact on the customers that came by for the first time yesterday, to such an extent that they lost all strength in their hips. Of course, this excludes the people that have already gotten to know me, like the Tomboy Princess, our glorious first customer.
According to the people in question, they seemed to instinctively think that they were about to get eaten.
Since I was just being myself, their reactions hurt my feelings a little.
My personal feelings aside, this is a matter I should reflect on.
I went to Kanami-chan beforehand to get advice on how to uphold a good appearance, but because she was the only person who had become fully accustomed to being around me, there was a blind spot.
That's why I made use of my contemplation of this matter and tried various things to improve it.
The solution I found was to use my negative status ability, 【Weak Intimidation】, when I go to take care of customers.
The effect of 【Weak Intimidation】 is that it makes me weak to intimidation attacks I receive from an enemy. In other words, it's easier to scare me.
The ability is useless at a glance, but when I invoke it, it has a side effect that weakens the intimidating aura that I unconsciously release around me.
Immediately after noticing this, I tested the ability and examined the area. The fear the customers had because of my unconscious intimidation was alleviated, and the likelihood of customers becoming frightened was greatly decreased.
In my case, 【Weak Intimidation】 has become an effective skill when dealing with customers.
Honestly, I don't know where else it would really be usable.
With this, their anxiety disappeared for the time being, and we continued working.
An old butler came by to run an errand for a n.o.ble, and I attracted his interest by selling quality goods beyond what he requested for less than he antic.i.p.ated.
The many detailed demands that he made aside, when it came to paying, the fourth son of a n.o.ble said, 『I’ll pay you back when I get promoted ＝ I want this on credit』, so I took him to the back office and taught him the rules of society.
Because they were dressed up in pretty clothes and accessories, we used skillful words to entice the party of one n.o.ble’s daughter into noticing the clothes that Kanami-chan and the others had designed and put out for sale.
As I had already antic.i.p.ated, it didn't take long for a fair number of troublesome customers to come by, but we were able to smoothly deal with them for the most part.
However, there was still one particularly troublesome person.
The one who required the most attention today was a n.o.ble with a gentle smile, a well-trained body and a splendid, well-maintained handlebar mustache as his characteristics.
He holds the considerably high t.i.tle of Marquis, and is one of the few influential people that was on the Tomboy Princess's side and didn't support the 【n.o.bles Faction】 during the recent coup d'état.
At the moment, the amount of influence that he carries has increased because of his achievements, and it’s certain that he’ll become an important person for the Tomboy Princess in the future.
I met the Marquis several times when I was working on her requests; I'll simply refer to him as Marquis Kaiser from now on since his real name is too long. He brought three young attendants with him, as well.
As for his attendants, they consisted of two 【Knights】 and one 【Secretary】.
Although the three of them were still in their early twenties, since the Marquis raised and trained them from childhood, their levels were high for their age.
Equipped with iron armor and a longsword, the two young knights were silently waiting behind him with an intense expression on their faces. Both of them had a good build and their muscular bodies appeared to be well-trained.
Their fighting prowess is probably only slightly lower than that of the Rusty Iron Knight.
For private soldiers, they’re quite excellent.
In front of the two knights was the secretary, who was standing diagonally behind Marquis Kaiser with a sharp glint in her eyes and a hard to please look on her face. She carries the atmosphere of a woman who does her job well, but is hard to approach.
Although she skillfully hid it, the slight movements of her body felt out of place, so I’m guessing that she probably has various dark devices hidden in her clothes.
She’d probably lose if she fought the two young men behind her head on, but she might be able to beat them if she used back-alley tactics.
Although I don't have any concrete evidence of this, it's what my intuition is telling me.
Either way, Marquis Kaiser’s guards are tough. It would be more difficult than usual to successfully a.s.sa.s.sinate him.
Marquis Kaiser, along with the excellent servants that he brought with him, asked about the origins of the high cla.s.s items that were on display on the wall. These items were a portion of the magic items that I had collected from the late Minister. After that, he proceeded to look at the clothes the Leprechauns had made one by one.
I'm grateful that he’s generously buying everything he's pleased with, without looking at the cost. As a result, the luggage that the knights have to carry home has continued to increase as time pa.s.ses.
Before long, it had acc.u.mulated to such an extent that they couldn't see in front of themselves, but they continued to carry the luggage despite the fact that it continued to acc.u.mulate. Speaking of how much he was buying, one can imagine that even the arms of the two strong knights had started to tremble slightly, due to the weight increasing in proportion to the amount being bought.
It can be said that Marquis Kaiser is a good, lavish customer.
However, the secretary that was behind him was sighing heavily, but I intentionally pretended that I didn't notice it.
Since she's the one entrusted with her master's wallet, I'm sure that her worries will never end.
By the way, the number of items he bought became too much, so I arranged for them to be transported to Marquis Kaiser’s residence.
As a kind of service for his bulk purchase, I decided to do this for free.
Seeing as I caused some grief before, the two knights’ mood improved since they didn’t have to carry the large amount of baggage anymore. As for the secretary, she breathed a sigh of relief as she thought about the expenses they saved because I had waived the delivery fees.
At any rate, Marquis Kaiser is very good at talking.
It might be impolite of me to say this, but contrary to his appearance, he possesses a wealth of knowledge. While he mixed bits and pieces of his vast knowledge into our conversation so it was easy to understand, we drew the interest of others.
Our interactions weren't like those of a salesperson and a customer, but more like normal friends socializing, which was a lot more interesting.
Still, I can't be careless around Marquis Kaiser, since his mind is br.i.m.m.i.n.g with thoughts that he wants to win us over to his side.
He was completely devoid of an atmosphere of disdain because we had eliminated the Strong Grandson and his allies. The fact is that he's doing everything he can to win us over for the sake of the Tomboy Princess, or rather, the Kingdom. Some might call it fighting spirit, or maybe even zeal, but dealing with him directly wears me out.
However, it’s not like I said that I dislike it. He's rather likeable, so he's not someone I can resent.
It’s just that he's troublesome because he's difficult to handle.
Whenever I was about to say something untactful, there'd sometimes be a snake-like glint in his eyes.
To make sure that our deal isn't broken, I must think carefully before I speak.
Nevertheless, since he was trained to keep the society of n.o.bles in check, Marquis Kaiser was superior in verbal warfare. As expected of someone who smoothly avoided the dangers of the recent coup d'etat and survived.
Unfortunately, my experience was different.
Still, although I was mentally worn out by the end of it, I managed to pull through somehow. I guess it’s inevitable that I was relieved when we finished.
After that, I served a small number of other customers before ending the day.
From today, I once again understood that serving customers doesn't suit my personality, after all.
This back and forth is fine when a contract is being signed, but in this case, it causes too much mental fatigue. Rather, perhaps I should say that repeatedly being exposed to their excessively enthusiastic gazes makes my shoulders stiff, after all.
Although it'd still be fine if it was a temporary thing, but it’s extremely unlikely that I’ll grow accustomed to it if it continues to occur.
Since I have other work that I have to take care of, I decided that I would entrust this job to those who are good at it starting tomorrow.
One by one, I should a.s.sign management to each area.
It’s the third day of the shop's opening sale.
I didn't work in the shop today, but instead focused my energy on the mansion's first floor renovations.
Since the foreman and the other craftsmen worked yesterday, I had some of our group members work with them as well doing odd jobs. It looks like things went better than I expected.
While it’ll still take some time to complete the renovations, it appears that they'll be finished earlier than expected.
By the way, I appointed Female Samurai as the shop's manager and entrusted it to her.
Since she has the Humans (male and female) that possess the 【Merchant】 and 【Peddler】 jobs with her, as well as quickwitted Elves (male) that possess the good looks typically a.s.sociated with their species that the Humans brought with them as their a.s.sistants, I think she'll be able to handle it.
The goods that we sold yesterday were restocked overnight, and we still have quite an abundance of them in stock as well.
There shouldn't be any particular problems.
Now that I think about it, it looks like business is doing better than yesterday. As I was working on the renovations, I thought I heard a voice calling for help for some reason.
However, I simply hardened my heart and remained silent.
Today was different from yesterday, as many 【Alchemists】 came to buy raw materials, and wealthy merchants came to check out the situation. A pretty large amount of goods was being exchanged at a time.
In this world, you essentially try to beat the prices of other shops, so we set the prices for our shop's goods a little low when compared to their quality, and they're even cheaper because it's a sale.
I wanted to keep the shop’s prices fixed, but since there are many cases of people negotiating the prices in this world, I decided to tolerate doing so to some extent.
Therefore, since merchants were using their words to lower the prices, even Female Samurai appeared to be having a hard time. The tenacity of veteran merchants is quite amazing, isn’t it?
In addition, the group members that possessed merchant system jobs had some ups and downs as well since, to be honest, there was a difference in their levels as a merchant. They were at an overall disadvantage and continued to lose ground the entire time.
It was constant haggling, and the battle of words unfolded on countless occasions.
However, they also gained experience every time this happened. I used my clones to keep watch over Female Samurai and the others.
Having said that, even if they're overwhelmed by the other party, most of the products being sold here are items we obtained in the previous war that we haven't made use of yet. There are also raw materials gathered in the Great Forest being sold as well. For that reason, there’s no problem since we'll make a fair bit of profit just by selling them, even if the price is haggled down some from its cost that's already significantly lower than usual. With this being the situation, that was the conclusion that I came to.
As for Female Samurai and the other members, it seems they gained great experience from today's events.
However, contrary to my expectations, although they had lowered the prices, they weren't reduced below the expected values.
With this kind of effort, I think their work deserves some sort of reward.
In the evening, while I was thinking about such things, Female Samurai and the others closed the shop.
It looks like much of their fatigue is more mental than it is physical.
After the girls and boys of Solitude finished their training, I left the task of cleaning the store and restocking the merchandise to them. Then, I used the specially made aroma oil that Doriane-san gave me to do a practice run of giving oil ma.s.sages on the shop group that had persevered in their work.
After the first floor renovations are completed, I plan to open a ma.s.sage shop for n.o.bles and wealthy merchants. To prevent any problems once it opens, I should finish training the talented members of our group that look like they'll be good at it while we still have time.
Of course, I also intend to use this as a reward for those working in the shop.
I’ll be responsible for Female Samurai, the person that made the biggest contribution today. As for the others, it's up to them to choose their respective partner.
For some reason, Kanami-chan and Redhead didn't plan to get a ma.s.sage in the ma.s.sage shop. Instead, they began practicing with Auro and Argento as their partners, on both sides of me.
Since there are no laws in this world that say that someone needs a national license to be a ma.s.seuse, it's so easy that we just have to teach them the basic hand techniques and other points of note.
While suitable time and experience are necessary for someone to obtain skilled hands, I felt like they might be able to obtain some sort of 【Job】 like 【Ma.s.seuse】 or 【Ma.s.sage Specialist】 if they continued practicing.
I asked Redhead about them, but it doesn't look like she's heard of any 【Jobs】 like these. However, it's possible that they exist and people simply don't know about them.
...Yeah, I've decided to think that it's a good find if that happens.
There were a lot of beds lined up in one of the mansion's rooms, and when we tried it out as we practiced for approximately one hour, the fatigue of the shop members was significantly reduced by the combined effects of Doriane-san's special aroma oil and the ma.s.sage itself.
Since the room's temperature was being kept at a moderate level with a magic item, most of those receiving a ma.s.sage had fallen asleep halfway through it.
When I asked the members that were still awake, it looks like the ma.s.sages were fairly effective even though they were given by beginners. With more training, they should become useful in the future.
As we disbanded for the day, I told those I'm training to practice on their own when they have time.
It's been snowing since morning.
Although it was snowing yesterday as well, it’s heavier today. Nearly eighty centimeters of snow has already fallen as of this morning, and it's likely that it's going to continue to acc.u.mulate.
Since we have a magic item installed on the shop's door that uses a Wind and Fire Spirit Stone to periodically clear the snow from the area around the entrance, we'll have no problems opening the shop. However, it’s unlikely that we'll get many important customers.
Unless they have important business to take care of, most people will just stay in their homes today. Since they need to clear the snow off their roofs, and most of the roads are buried in snow, the situation can't be helped.
As for the Foreman and the other craftsmen, I wanted them to take the day off because of the heavy snow, so I contacted them via the ear cuffs that I gave them before.
Having done that, I decided to keep the number of sales clerks to a minimum today, and had all the members that don't have work to do gather in one place.
After all, it’s the perfect day to train them without reservation for the first time in a while. Also, the snow is just the right thing for this.
This training is so that they can move around perfectly in various environments, such as sprawling plains, meadows that are overgrown with gra.s.s, deserts with burning sandstorms, and humid wetlands, among other areas. For that reason, these natural conditions are perfect for us to train in.
With my abilities, I could emulate the environments to some extent, but I can't do it to this scale with my present self.
My abilities simply aren’t enough. I don’t have anything from the temperature reduction system yet, which includes freezing abilities.
I may be able to do it with magic, but honestly, even if it's possible, I don't want to do so since there'd be too much waste.
Anyway, after we finished our stretching in the mansion, we adjusted our equipment and left for the training grounds.
All of the members put on a heavy outfit designed to keep out the cold, as well as a thick overcoat that's highly water repellant, which was made from my thread and raw monster materials so that their body temperature won't drop because of the cold wind and snow. They're also wearing leather armor under their overcoats, a backpack on their backs containing weights, and they had their favorite weapons hanging on their waist or shoulders.
With this, the circ.u.mstances for our basic march were completed.
Of course, the training grounds were dyed white by the snow that's fallen, which is why we prepared ourselves in this way.
When marching in these conditions, it's typical for those marching to advance while using magic items and tamed pets to clear the snow.
However, when that’s not enough, they'll use manpower to dig and push their way through it. I did think about whether we should do this method first, though.
That said, I’m still uncertain about the stamina of many of the members of ≪Solitude≫, so I decided to pa.s.s on that thought this time.
The snow levels had increased too much, so I carefully used 【Pyrokinesis】 to melt the snow in the training grounds. Melting the snow in a wide area caused the level of cold water to rise too much, so I also used 【Hydro Hand】 to remove the water.
As a result, the ground absorbed a lot of water and became muddy, but I left that alone. While I might be able to more or less remove this water, I think the burden caused by the muddy ground is perfect.
Even if I had removed said water, the snow would eventually pile up again. Since this snow would melt when people step on it, the area would still end up in a similar state, so there was no point in me doing so.
After fixing the place up, I took lead of the members that had a.s.sembled in rows and columns.
Since we were still warming up, I had them continue to run for approximately thirty minutes, with the minimum objective of keeping their formation intact.
At first, their lungs were numbed every time they breathed in the cold air as they ran. However, the exercise was generating internal heat for them.
Although they were cold at first, it wasn't a problem because of the heat of the steam rising from their bodies as they ran.
Even though they weren't running very fast, the young members of ≪Solitude≫ were out of breath. However, they were still able to stick it out and continue running until the end somehow.
Having said that, it seems that this exercise was still fairly harsh for the young group to do. There were some members who vomited or simply fell down as soon as they finished running.
However, because they desperately ran to the end, this is acceptable for the time being.
As one would expect, their group showed no signs of moving, so I had them rest for a moment. As for the remaining members that still had energy to spare, I first had them form parties of two, and then had them start the actual combat training that was already the standard in Parabellum.
Of course, since they're training with real weapons, the chance of someone being injured is high. Actually, I’m almost 100% certain that there will be injuries.
Although their thick armor will protect them if they're grazed by the tip of a sword, the attack's impact will still affect their body.
If they're hit, it'll break their bones every time, and in the worst case they may be left near death. Thankfully, this has yet to lead to situations where limbs were lost, but there have been several instances of injuries that came close.
That said, since Seiji-kun and I healed them each time this happened, not one of them has had to deal with the after-effects of receiving a fatal injury.
I understand that it's a very dangerous training method to use, but I'm certain that real combat is the best way to quickly increase their overall abilities.
Actually, the members’ tolerance for pain has improved since we started using this training method. As a result, their combat abilities have risen drastically, and their skill level when it comes to close combat is high.
Each member gets a growth modifying effect because of me, but as I thought, much of their growth is due to this type of training.
I don't intend for it to start happening, but even if someone dies from this training in the future, I probably won't stop using this method.
Anyway, this continued for a while, and then the members of ≪Solitude≫ recovered and started training at the same time for a few more hours.
Without eating lunch, they carefully moved their bodies at various speeds. Through this, we were able to get an idea of how their bodies react in cold climates.
After that, I tried some training by fighting on my own against all of the members present, which numbered at least one hundred.
I gave them a handicap by only using my bare hands and restricting my ability usage.
It started with me being surrounded by everyone, with Kanami-chan leading them.
As they came to attack me, their eyes appeared to say that they wanted to clear away their everyday grudges. It was quite impressive.
Well, as a result, we finished around an hour later and there was a mountain of bodies in the training grounds.
Other than me, only Kanami-chan was left standing. The rest of the members were lying on the ground, including Redhead, Auro, and Argento.
As for the degree of the injuries that they suffered, even the great fighters were heavily wounded.
Well, the members of ≪Solitude≫ are still young and inexperienced, so I easily blew them away with the wind pressure caused by my fists. As a result, they only suffered light injuries like scratches and bruises.
Before they could receive anymore attacks, they had become unable to stand.
As for one of the members that confronted me who was proud of their high fighting strength, one of their arms was broken sloppily. Their body was dripping blood due to the countless large and small lacerations that they suffered, and they were in quite a miserable state.
However, even though they took a certain number of attacks, they weren't defeated instantly. Instead, they were able to endure them.
Thinking about it now, maybe I went too far.
Well, since they would be dead if this was real combat, going this far should be fine.
Anyway, since I got to vent some of my acc.u.mulated stress, I was satisfied.
The members have improved more than I expected, and I had more injuries on my limbs than before as a result.
While some of these injuries reached the bone, even without using my abilities, they could already only be seen as thin red lines due to my body's high capacity for regeneration.
Though I can't say that the satisfaction is at a record high, I'm sure that it's very high.
Man, today was a good day.
Since I was in a good mood, I gave everyone a Life Potion that had my blood mixed in in order to cure their wounds. I then used Wyvern meat and other high-quality meats to make a late-night meal.
The Wyvern thigh meat steak is really yummy!
The thinly sliced marbled meat of the Jandal Cow is really yummy!
The roasted Benjal Bird is really yummy!
They were all delicious, but this is probably because all the creatures have a high price. However, the Wyvern meat was the best of them all.
The juices of the meat that bursts out on your tongue, as well as the melting texture when I put the meat in my mouth, they're irresistible.
Just a little, because I desire other dragon meat that isn't from a Jadar Wyvern, I want to go hunting for some if the opportunity presents itself.
Rather, maybe I should challenge the Age of the G.o.ds Dungeon on my own...
When I get some free time, I intend to do so.
It was snowing again today. Truthfully, it snowed much less than yesterday. There were also strong winds blowing, which led to banging sounds on the windows. Trees were bending in the wind, scattering the acc.u.mulated snow on them.
Such a storm mercilessly took away the remnants of heat from the body of anyone who dared to go outside. The chances of getting frostbite were increased significantly compared to yesterday. In my current state, I wouldn’t be hurt, but I wanted to lock myself in the warmth of my house. A warm fireplace is the best. I like to sit and bask in the dancing flames in the hearth.
Although in the hot springs, it was warm and it felt better, once you are within it’s warm grasp, you need an incredible amount of willpower to get out. A natural hot spring of the heavens. Once there, the body leaves from the comfort of the soul.
Ahh… I already want to go back to the base and have a good breakfast surrounded by children and Kanami-chan, I thought about it. But then, I had a sudden idea. What if, you make something like a taxi, which will work without rest and bring citizens of the city to their destination? If we were to do this, it would earn us a good amount of money.
One of my trump cards are the wagon 【Skeleton Centipede】 made of bone, designed from 【Lesser Summoning: Undead】 and with 【Skeleton Combination】 【Undead Chimera】. Comparing it with a simple horse, it is unmatched in speed, comfort and it did not need rest. Thus, I wish to easily create a whole bunch of them and the cost of production will not hinder us. It would complete almost all transportation dreams.
Among the shortcomings, under the sunlight they can easily turn into smoke. But, this disadvantage can be overcome by covering it with my clones, and by means of a metal frame. In fact, the Tomboy Princess has asked me to lend them a couple, but I refused, because I wanted to benefit as much as possible to maintain the secret method of their creation.
Now I have made something for few, or more, precisely the vehicle for 4 people in the likeness of a taxi. The operation of the vehicle would be much cheaper than conventional carts, and I planned to also make the fares lower. Because of the low cost, and how it drives nice and fast, it will certainly attract customers.
This will be a stimulus for increasing the economic activities, which in the cold season is usually “Frozen”. And if it does stimulate activity, then there is a great chance that we will have an increased amount of customers. If this transport works in everyday life, the income from it will be a good increase for us.
It is not clear whether everything will go as planned, but from an economic point of view, the idea does not look bad. Fortunately, even if it fails, we will not lose anything.
n.o.body knows what to say about it in the matter of laws of the Sternbild Kingdom. If there were bans on that matter, we would be found guilty before even knowing it. Due to the high possibility of this, you need to dig into a lot of these laws. On this subject, I decided to contact Tomboy Princess. It has been decided and will do.
Thus, finished with breakfast, I went to the Royal Palace for a meeting with Tomboy Princess, to tell her about my new idea. Of course, I could take a walk from the mansion to the Royal Palace and turn into snow demon, but I decided to first, start ma.s.s production of a smaller version of the wagon of the 【Skeleton Centipede】.
I have all the materials in the Item Box, and because of preparation did not take a lot of time, not even an hour has pa.s.sed before I had finished creating it.
The new creation is called 【Skeleton Spider】. In contrast to the long bones of the body of the 【Skeleton Centipede】 capable of carrying a lot of cargo and pa.s.sengers, it is designed to carry a small number of pa.s.sengers. It has a small body and had a lower capacity, but the four s.p.a.ces within it, gives all the comfort to stay inside even if there were four pa.s.sengers (excluding the driver), and the roof could carry a surprising amount of things.
Even though it is significantly inferior to the parameters of the hundreds of bones, 【Skeleton Spider】 had all the necessary skills. The problem was in appearance. Imitating fas.h.i.+on, I made it look like a four-wheeled box, and this time, in front of the driver’s seat, which was located ahead, I had enchanted my abilities to make a plow-like appendage to clear the snow. This made it so that it looked nothing like the 【Skeleton Spider】 that was initially created. The bones were encased in a corrosion-resistant metal, after that, it no longer looked like a strangely shaped steel trailer.
There was a high probability that the pa.s.sengers will be interested in how the vehicle works, but I have prepared an excuse that it is made up of several magical items.
While they may not dismantle it, I think that deception will still take place. The interior was decorated with a dense fabric of my webs, as well as various trees growing in the great forest. Using absorbing vibration and shock, the tree species processed by the 【Body Fluid Control】 are added on top of the dense layer of my web. Another layer of wood is then deposited in the interior.
Thus, the inside was very warm and comfortable, and was not able to feel even the smallest shaking due to motion. Certainly not matching the wagon 【Skeleton Centipede】, the 【Skeleton Spider】 still offers good comfort while riding. Thus the bone spider was completed.
With the final prototype, I got to the royal castle located in the Amber Palace gates. Fortunately, I made an appointment in advance, so I was easily let inside. Sipping expensive tea while waiting, Tomboy Princess and Boy Knight finally came.
As usual, she looked cheerful when exchanging the usual greetings. The interior of the palace after the coup, was restored in a hurry, but some things still has traces of the coup and other things still needed time to remove.
After finis.h.i.+ng a non-binding contract, we went to the purpose of the visit, the 【Skeleton Spider】. The response was just spot on from the Tomboy Princess.
The Royal Capital was still the center of the Sternbild Kingdom, and because the area is normally densely occupied, traveling along it was quite problematic. To deal with it, they now allowed street carts, but their number was surprisingly small.
Although it was affected by many interests, horse carts were filled with various difficulties, but as a result of what happened recently in the coup, there still hadn't been much to establish routes or proper paths for them. Combined with the fact it is currently snowing outside constantly, most carts were just sitting idle.
Now it was time to go on stage with the 【Skeleton Spider】. Their ability was not only to move on the streets littered with drifts of snow, but also move with ease even in the icy cold snow storm, and was most importantly, very cheap. It could be amazing for the citizens of the capital.
The final decision was to leave all the troublesome paperwork to the Princess all the while the Sternbild Kingdom would not receive a direct profit for this business venture. This was for the sake of increasing the economical activities of their citizens, and as a near direct result, their tax base.
Like I said, let’s live together for common prosperity. Although her answer sounded really like “she will decide when she wants to,” the issue has almost been solved, and she said it’s because she wanted a ride. Looking at her, full of energy, typical for her age, a soft smile appeared on my face. Taking the 【Skeleton Spider】 for a roll herself, she really liked it.
"...Well, if this wagon... the...【Skeleton Centipede】was it? If you're sure if it will work and you can ma.s.s produce it, I'm curious as to how its made and how it works.” she thus asked indirectly.
Well, that was to be expected. I gave her my general description that I had come up with beforehand and we left it at that. I noticed a slight hint of disbelief from her though. Honestly, she's a bit to sharp for her own good sometimes.
After that we decided how many should be prepared, which route they will move up to where, and other minor details. I wanted to continue to maintain a good relations.h.i.+p with the Tomboy Princess.
At the end of the affairs, I went back into the house and immediately started the ma.s.s production of【Skeleton Spiders】. Having finished the design, the manufacturing process has been to some extent, adjusted. The frame and the interior was entrusted to my comrades, thus reducing the manufacturing time.
There wasn't much going on today, its still snowing though. The Royal Capital has been dyed in a white layer of fluff as the streets are congested with both snow and the various people working hard to clear the snow outside.
Meanwhile, a single Skeleton Spider is running through the Royal Capital. I'm putting up poster advertis.e.m.e.nt for the store as I test the Spider's full speed while clearing the snow around the store. Riding through the streets, the snow that touches the snowplow that was installed in the front ends up instantly melting, changing to water and flowing down into the drainage system installed on the sides of the road. The water in such ma.s.s also helps remove snow not directly in the plow's path as the water is heated after it comes in contact with the plow and melts the snow further. The width of the ground gradually extends and a definite road was beginning to form amidst the snowfall.
Just as a Skeleton Centipede is highly noticeable, a Skeleton Spider also will tend to stick out quite a fair bit. The peculiar look caused it to stand out sure, but the main cause of its attention was the ability for this peculiar item to clear the snow. People gathered on the roads that were cleared and began mumbling things such as "What's going on?" and the sort.
While confirming that there was a small problem with how it operates, I rode the Spider with Auro and Argento. If I was asked why, it is simply because they didn't mind training, or working in the shop, they simply wanted to spend time testing the Spider with their father. There certainly does need to be a certain level of physical connection between parent and child.
The two relished running around the Royal Capital on the Skeleton Centipede. We changed because the Skeleton Centipede operates better and suited the purpose of relaxing more. It wasn't a bad day, though, the trial run was over by noon and I spent a good portion of the day on various things. I think I'll be able to manage the ma.s.s production target of the Skeleton Spiders somehow.
The opening flood from opening the store has pa.s.sed for the moment. Since it's the last day of the discount sale, I had decided to help with the store.
Though I did release 30 more Skeleton Spiders before I went over there. Our companions were kitted up in the appropriate Sternbild Kingdom attire for a driver and were set in the driver's seat moving along their predetermined routes.
They were to move along the main roads as well as relatively busy areas of commerce and trade. Dozens of Skeleton Spiders were roaming the streets as they cleared the snow. By doing so, more people were leaving their homes and, as such, increasing the number of citizens who saw the ads on the sides of the spiders.
Thus, while clearing the streets clogged in snow, we can successfully draw the attention of potential customers at a steady pace through the advertis.e.m.e.nt.
I've already seen to the payment to the Tomboy Princess to allow this advertis.e.m.e.nt. I'm looking forward to receiving requests from the various merchants that see the advertis.e.m.e.nt and are drawn to the shop as a result, so a minor expense is fine.
Well, even if I don't have any immediate expectations for profits, I do expect for this minor cost to pay itself off substantially in the future.
When we had finished clearing the streets of snow, the people began to once more fill the streets. Normally the Royal Capital would be slightly quiet due to the level of heavy snow fall, but as it was now, a good portion of the liveliness had returned as a result of the cleared streets. It's a good thing I suppose, but not the targeted result.
As a result of the advertis.e.m.e.nt, we did have many more customers. The main reason was mostly because of the sale's last day though.
Since the goods were only remaining this cheap for today, news had already spread throughout the Royal Capital Osvel, causing it to become somewhat famous over these last few days.
The roads being cleared and the advertis.e.m.e.nt only served to further increase the business revenue. The store was blooming with activity.
At any rate, there are quite a few more customers today. It's certainly a good thing, especially since we will not need to close now, this can lead to new profits in the future.
However, since it's quite busy today, it's not that easy to manage since we're still inexperienced with it. It probably would get easier over time, but for now it's a semi-major pain.
Doing a surprising amount of non-stop work until the evening caused most of our shoulders to go stiff with heavy levels of fatigue.
I would say that, rather than being tired, it was more stressful trying to service all of the customers today.
I want to use the hot springs...
Today the group is staying in the Royal Capital. Sadly, there's not much going on right now.
Even after the sale ended, there are still quite a few customers coming to the shop and the construction within the building is still ongoing.
The snow is still falling and the [Skeleton Spider] transportation has become a full-scale business.
That's the story for today because nothing's really going on.
I suppose I'll focus on what the other groups have been up to since there's nothing exciting going on. To be more precise, the main group that's at the base.
First, let's go over the Female Knight. She had offered her sword in loyalty to me, just as the other people who were caught in the Forest invasion a few months back, such as the Clergymen and the Red Fencer, both of which are guarding the base back in the Kuuderun Forest.
She had partic.i.p.ated during the recent battle in the coup by hiding her ident.i.ty behind a mask and managed to slay several dozen officers, greatly contributing to the course of the battle.
As such, she was sent back on a tourist route and able to visit various cities.
Along the way, there were quite a few requests for Parabellum, though I still don't know where our name was leaked in the Sternbild Kingdom, but it's to be expected that our renown would spread.
I only chose members that can accomplish the requests to accompany me to go and accept them.
Fortunately, the Female Knight was presumed dead during their previous war with the elves, so even though she's the daughter of a high n.o.ble family, she won't be recognized easily. That said, the chances someone might recognize her weren't zero, therefore, her group had to keep their sightseeing within normal bounds and had returned to the base rather quickly.
She's recently taken up going on strolls through the vast forest of ours, either going alone or with several of her subordinates, gathering up various materials on her way. The forest is vast and is gradually spreading with a constantly growing vitality like never before. This is causing even more Spirit Stones to show up that are of an even greater quality. The quality thus also produces even better materials and is probably linked to the expansion and improvements of the hot springs. To know where good materials are depends all on information gathering. While she and her subordinates are collecting materials, they also were making a map with the locations of various materials marked. For this, I'm grateful. Once I return home, I fully intend to give her a dress that's an [Ancient] cla.s.s artifact from the [Age of G.o.ds] dungeons. Hmm, as for the other members, I suppose liquor and sake should be acceptable.
A certain Kobold that had [Ranked-Up] from a Kobold Footman to a Kobold Samurai went into the [Derived Dungeon] in the Labyrinth City. He had gathered up people who failed to achieve suitable achievements during the war and led them in diligently raising their levels while gathering magical items. If they are able to gather a certain amount of equipment, I'll probably give him a Falaise Eagle as a familiar.
Though I don't expect much from them, the dungeon capture speed was fairly faster than I had a.s.sumed, probably because of the strong devotion and loyalty from the Kobold Samurai that had taken command. Unfortunately, during their dungeon conquest, a few of their party were killed, which immediately made it clear that the dungeon they took on was dangerous and that the dangers of the dungeon only increase as you progress. Such things do tend to happen no matter how much you prepare for it. As such, I offered a silent prayer for the pa.s.sed souls so that they may rest in peace. I don't hold the Kobold, Akita, responsible for the casualties. As for what happened, Akita had attempted to do just about as much as possible, but the abilities of those who were killed were simply insufficient for the difficulty of that dungeon. The fault is on those who attempted something they were not ready for.
The magical items were gathered smoothly for the most part. As such I have also begun the preparation for creating a branch designated for the operation within the Labyrinth City Purgatory. It will be convenient to open a branch within Purgatory since even though the official main office has been opened within the Royal Capital, a great deal of my business is with the Labyrinth City, so it's just as important from my point of view.
Anyway, after becoming a Kobold Samurai, Akita's intelligence is far higher than when he was a Kobold Footman. As long as his extreme loyalty doesn't cause him to become too reckless, he will end up becoming quite reliable.
There are many subordinates who end up working desperately to accomplish their mission if it's me giving the order. In that sense it saves me quite a bit of trouble in the end.
I wonder if I should reward Akita's efforts. There's the occasional sword that flows in from the east and they're fairly famous blades at that. I think one of those would serve as a good reward for Akita.
I wished Minokichi-kun and Oniwaka's group good luck as they continued their energetic genocide of monsters. This is because, rather than in a Purgatory dungeon, they are hunting monsters in a natural danger zone. Even though the probability of encountering monsters within dungeons is much higher, in nature there is a far larger variety of monsters. They simply cannot afford to be caught off guard during their escapades, because if they do, they'll face a significant counterattack as a result. The reason for this is because unlike the dungeons, the strength of monsters in nature is not uniform and can vary quite a bit.
The strongest monster within their danger zone is the [Wisdom Dragon] which is an unbelievable existence because of its humongous strength, and is even considered strong by the standards of mighty Giants. More often than not, monsters of such levels only exist in the depth of the countless unexplored mountain ranges, though there are still exceptions such as ones that live in areas like the waterfall near Mason Village.
I'd have to say that Minokichi-kun's group is lucky they haven't encountered one yet. They don't have enough time to delve into such depths though and are only capable of finding bosses on the levels of the Red Bear or Jade Eagle.
No, all boss cla.s.s monsters are formidable enemies, but since both of the examples I used, the Red Bear and the Jade Eagle, have [Divine Protection], it makes them even more frightening than the usual monster.
For Minokichi and Asue however, considering their monstrous strength and unnatural good luck, the threat level is considerably lower than the norm. Knowing that they will a.s.sist when necessary, I hope that Oniwaka will have grown twice as strong the next time I see him. There might even be the chance for him to [Rank-Up]. As such, I impatiently wait for them to bring back materials and the corpses they've gathered along the way.
Avenger is doing a variety of requests along with Rusty Iron Knight and Scarface. The requests mostly consist of eliminating thief and bandit camps, or subjugating dangerous monsters causing havoc for towns and villages who offer up the quests to remove them. I'm guessing that most of the missions are taken up by Avenger because of his ruined hometown. The appearance of Avenger taking up said tasks was akin to a violent rampage with bloodcurdling roars. Combine that with the fact he's wearing a demon mask to hide his ident.i.ty and it's enough to make people want to call him a demon. When they encounter him, the bandits, thieves, or whatever dangerous monsters it may have been, are all slain within the blink of an eye before they even have the chance to feel fear.
Without wasting time, using accurate information gathered by my clones, Avenger was able to understand the problems and immediately resolve them, thus earning the trust of his clients.
Even though currently they only get paid a few silver coins per request, in the future, they'll have gained much trust and reputation; so it's good for Avenger and the others to do their best even if it's only for chump change.
If I'm not mistaken, Avenger still hasn't met his companions, or rather, his [Sub-Cast] characters from his [Psalm] yet. As such, I pray that he will encounter the [Witch of Youkai Flames], the [Cavalry Defender], the [Usurper] and the [Holy Woman of Compa.s.sion]. Because I've already been informed that out of the four, both the [Witch of Youkai Flame] and [Holy Woman of Compa.s.sion] have already awakened their power, I thought it likely he'd encounter them if I sent him out on more requests.
Personally, I think it's alright since it's increasing Avenger's combat strength and overall profit for Parabellum; but Avenger's area of activity will probably need to expand to encounter his fated companions.
I feel rather good. Overall situation is generally favorable and the future of Parabellum looks bright - I think. Well, that's my feeling for the time being.
That night when I went to bed:
【World Psalms 【Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon】, 【Sub-cast】 character Seiji has ranked up.】
【Condition "1" 【Rank Up】 has been cleared, t.i.tle 【Merciful Father’s Light of Salvation】 has been awarded.】
【World Psalms 【Legend of the Black Eclipse Demon】, 【Sub-cast】 character Gurufu has ranked up.】
【Condition "1" 【Rank Up】 has been cleared, t.i.tle 【Rotting Guide of Severe Misfortune】 has been awarded.】
Hmm, I was just thinking that it was about time to contact her, but I decided that sleeping was more important. Something to look forward to tomorrow then.
As for Gurufu-chan, it's best to not joke about her [Rotting One].
Well, because of the announcement last night, I had 2 people to contact to confirm the results.
Obviously enough, the two people to contact were Seiji-kun and Gurufu-chan.
Seiji-kun had [Ranked-Up] from a Half-Saint Lord to a Saint Lord Variant. The reason behind the variation was due to him receiving the [Divine Protection of the DemiG.o.d of Love] and his physical appearance is a somewhat adult-like form now. His current appearance is akin to a rather unhappy, yet rather handsome young man.
Besides the specialties of his cla.s.s type, his own physical abilities are now higher than the average human, but it's still completely unreasonable to expect him to fight on even terms in physical combat.
It's highly likely that he would lose in terms with an average human that held a job such as [Job-Knight].
Because of his healing and defensive capabilities, combined with the fact his mana supply has grown remarkably, I fully intend to have him work even harder in the future.
Aside from that, he also gained a rather interesting ability which allows him to manifest weapons from his [Ogre Orbs].
He is fully able to manifest rustic silver weapons such as a silver mace, s.h.i.+eld, and a small amount of golden lining that seem to be decoration.
The s.h.i.+eld itself is roughly the size of a buckler with a reflective force field, which can expand according to Seiji-kun's intent.
He certainly didn't have such an ability before, and after some thorough investigations that I had requested, he seems to be able to expand the s.h.i.+eld to become as large as Minokichi-kun's Fortress s.h.i.+eld. It also appears that even if it gets that large, the weight remains almost the same. This will certainly allow Seiji-kun to not only protect himself, but also a large number of his fellow comrades.
As for his healing capabilities, they are far stronger than even his defensive capabilities, allowing him to greatly reduce the strain on his compatriots.
As for the mace's ability, I need to say that it's above just being interesting. His mace is a considerably heavy blunt-type weapon that's roughly ten kilos and is far stronger than usual maces. This is probably due to it being a weapon manifested from his [Ogre Orbs].
When it strikes an ally, the mace seems to regenerate the ally's vitality proportional to the amount of damage one would normally receive. He was hesitant at first, but with a bit of force I persuaded him to strike to show visible results.
Of course the mace will still deal damage to the usual enemies and monsters, but the idea of beating a wounded or incapacitated ally with a large mace to help them doesn't sit right with him, or me for that matter.
Even if the blow doesn't result in pain, the impact is still there.
I finally managed to convince him to smash the head of an ally who was covered in wounds, it also took the person in question being directly ordered by me to stand still. The result, his wounds all over his body were more or less healed. We determined that if the blow would be akin to a fatal strike, the ratio of healing would be far greater than normal.
Yeah... It still doesn't really look right.
As for Gurufu-chan, she [Ranked-Up] from a Ghoul into a Fimerotto Variant. Similar to before when she was a Ghoul species, she still looks pale with lifeless skin and black hair, and her black [Ogre Tattoos] haven't changed. But you can certainly say that her physical appearance and body structure have become more elegant. It is almost as if she has become a beautiful doll.
She has gained a living body armor that is akin to a clean white dress with high heel shoes. It really makes her look like the daughter from a high cla.s.s n.o.bleman's family and suits her quite well.
She would have no problems gaining access to a ball. If I were to think about it, this should make her quite popular.
In fact, she would certainly make it into the top 10 most beautiful woman in Parabellum if not for the rotting flesh and nature of her cla.s.s.
To mention, I have overheard gossip between other members that basically come out to be like:
"Gurufu-chan's misfortune by her abilities is nothing to laugh at...",
"She's beautiful when she's not active ... though when she's silent, those dark eyes ... rather unpleasant",
"I'm serious, the hobbies she has are lethal!",
Such were the nature of most member's opinions on Gurufu-chan.
They aren't just bothered by her mentality, but also the fact that her race has the ability to corrode just about everything she comes into contact with unconsciously. Organic or inorganic, it doesn't matter.
I'm torn between pulling some strings to influence [Rank-Ups] to gather people of a similar species for her to interact with, or to step back because it would be favoritism...
This is a problem.
As for the names of the 2, I don't see a need to change Seiji-kun's name for the time being, but for Gurufu-chan, what could I change it to.
No ... she isn't able to enter the hot springs easily since she ends up causing the water to rot. Furo means hot spring, so I think it'd be a bitter name since she is bothered that she can only rarely use the hot spring after extreme preparations are made.
Ugh ... I'm troubled, oh so troubled.
I really can't think of what her new name could be.
How about Irokusatta-chan which means various forms of rot ... or possibly Kusattairo-chan ... I suppose that one fits.
Though, why did I just name her the color of rotting flesh and then change it around to make it Irokusa-chan...
I can't help but sigh instinctively since, when I visit someone to pa.s.s on a new name, they always have an expression showing their wild delusions about their name. It can't help but cause me to feel miserable sometimes.
At any rate, I need to prepare their gifts for their [Rank-Up]. Since 2 more members of the 8 Demon Generals have been found, I should make their celebration even more luxurious.
Currently, only 7 of them are known:
Minokichi [Emperor of s.h.i.+mmering Axe]
Kanami [Empress of Ice Kingdom]
Asue [Underground Thunder Hammer]
Supesei [Calamity Star Priestess]
Burasato [Frightening Blade of Dried Rust]
Seiji [Merciful Father’s Light of Salvation]
Gurufu [Rotting Guide of Severe Misfortune]
The remaining one... I wonder who it will be.
So far, those cla.s.sified to be part of the 8 Demon Generals are only out of those from the same generation.
As for the last person, I can only think that it will be one of the people from my generation in the [Goblin Community].
I think that it would probably end up being Dodome-chan that has the highest chance of gaining the spot, otherwise it will be from the 5-Ogre squad.
It will probably be her since she is fairly strong, but it can also be the 5-Ogre squad since they can be treated as if they were just one individual. As it stands, the 5-Ogre squad gives off the feeling as if they were a single organism, so the chance they [Rank-Up] into something unique is possible.
Well, it's best to be patient and wait until it comes to light. Since the amount of experience they gain will demonstrate their capabilities and their level. I'll probably find out soon enough.
This will be good.
Today's Synthesis result:
【Wyvern Scale Formation】 + 【Solid Armored Dragon Scales】 + 【Sh.e.l.l of Hard Dense Chitin】 + 【Sharpened Shark Skin】 + 【Black Demon's Impervious Hardened Skin Armor】 = 【Black Demon King's Laminated Dragon Armor】
Today marks the first real holiday in quite a while.
Well, even if I say it's a holiday, the store is still open and everyone, including the Female Samurai, are still working. Though, because they work in s.h.i.+fts now, they are able to take breaks when necessary.
The same members have been pa.s.sed off the charge of managing the Skeleton Spiders. While they may not be getting a day off, they are also operating on s.h.i.+fts, so everyone is able to have some time off.
Each person is free to choose how to spend their time. Some decided to simply train themselves as per norm while others decided to leave the Royal Capital on the Skeleton Spiders to sight-see or visit attractions in the surrounding area. There are even some people who have picked up side jobs or studying various materials.
Since it's worth mentioning, I decided on going alone to the Labyrinth City Aquarium. The purpose was to of course challenge the [Age of G.o.ds] dungeon [Aquarium Forlia] once again.
Even though last time there wasn't enough time to fully explore and I had to stop at the very first floor, I had made up my mind to come back. Now I'm determined to head down to the deepest part of this dungeon even if it takes a few days to do so.
If necessary, I can always pa.s.s instructions to Kanami-chan through the ear cuffs. Even if something serious occurs and I'm deep within the dungeon, she'll be able to manage it, so there's nothing to worry about for the time being.
Additionally, since I had already pa.s.sed off most of the bothersome and innumerable quant.i.ty of work to my subordinates, there wasn't much work that was necessary for me to complete. None of which needed my immediate attention, and thus I have found myself here.
I made sure to only give the work to those who proved themselves to be rather reliable, so I can relax as I challenge an [Age of G.o.ds] cla.s.s dungeon alone. I also take pleasure in knowing that the construction system that I set up will see progress and proceed without delay regardless if I am there or not.
Challenging the dungeon alone is the only way I can hopefully rid myself of the utter dissatisfaction caused by being only able to consume a single person of [Hero] level during the coup.
I had even had the first-cla.s.s Water Hero meat sitting right in front of me after I had worked hard to beat him around to tenderize the meat, and I had to endure it since It was an order from the Tomboy Princess. That, and so that he could grow even stronger, but I certainly have no reason to hold back here.
After all preparations were complete, I delved straight into the [Aquarium Forlia] dungeon.
Just like the ones before it, the decorations in the long and wide pa.s.sageways make it seem as if it were the interior of a sacred temple. A sacred temple with the floor submerged in ankle-deep frigid water of course.
Overall, the place does give off a certain majestic atmosphere that makes it feel difficult to invade
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