Chapter 85: Goodbyes are only the Beginning of the Next Adventure
“Jun. I know nothing about smithing, other world or no, but I am more than well aware that you are ABNORMAL.”
How mean, and after I agreed to let you watch me forge, Seimei-san.
It’s been a full two days after the incident.
Seimei-san was kept busy, either in his house, Sir Knight Captain’s house, or the Guild so there wasn’t much for Ragnall and me to do.
At least at the Guild I could talk to other Adventurers and get advice on travelling to Ploids, but unfortunately we were mostly at Sir Knight Captain’s house.
Anyway, finally freed from bureaucratic stuff, Seimei-san plunged headlong into his ‘dream’.
With me as a guide, Seimei-san toured the city once more, this time keeping an eye out for properties he could buy to arrange for a laboratory.
Lor has been meticulously poring through the alchemy books he owned, drawing up charts and arranging for tools to be made.
He is surprisingly more enthusiastic than I thought he would be, to work under a Noble-sama.
Maa, he’s already suspected that Seimei-san is tied closely to me through our hometowns, and it seems like Lor’s interested in Seimei-san’s ideas as well.
It’s not like Dobin-san or the others let it out that Seimei-san and I knew each other from before, but, you know…
… We otherworlders aren’t doing the best job we can to hide it…
Anyway, after lunch and chatting with the Obaa-sans at the food stall area, we were now at the Guild’s forge.
I’ve long since stopped using Helward’s forges, since I keep such odd, and late, times, and by now I’ve become acquainted with most of the regulars at the Guild’s forges. Maa, I still stop in to see Helward and Ossan every once in a while, but mostly it’s just to get some particulars about sword accessories or just talk about what I’ve been working on.
After showing Seimei-san through the facilities the Guild offered, now he wanted to see my forging methods.
It’s a good chance to finish up some of the other things I wanted to do for the gamers, so I’m okay with that.
But for him to be calling me abnormal with that kind of face… hmph. You’re abnormal too, Seimei-san.
What are the rest of the gamers doing right now?
They’re borrowing Kristaf, the scout-like guy from the Valor of Arms Brigade to help navigate through the Labyrinth. Their aim is the 7th floor, so it is going to take a few days…
Niera is over at The Queen Mary’s, training the onee-sans more harshly, while the rest of the Valor of Arms Brigade went to do monster subjugations outside of the city.
Seems like the Valor of Arms Brigade are going on another escort quest in the direction of Tren Labyrinth, to the south, and they’re splitting up to make some extra cash before they leave, for ‘just-in-case’ travel expenses.
Ragnall and I aren’t the only ones looking to travel soon, it seems.
But that’s daily life for a city with a lot of Adventurers.
“A set of 10 shuriken, a tanto, 1 large kunai and 2 normal-sized kunai for the ninja-type Assassin Hide, a greatsword similar to Masaki’s saber made from the Ice Drake fin for the High Knight Karin, and a mithril and galvorn staff for the Storm Mage Emi. You’ll be sending them directly, I assume?”
And by that, I mean through “Friend Chat”.
“Yes~. Goodness, these… these are expensive items. Ah, speaking of sending them, were you able to connect to Hibicchi’s Friend Chat?”
I frown a little at Seimei-san’s question.
“To some degree. We can chat, but sending items, videophone, and speakerphone are all impossible. It seems like in her game, the Friend Chat was exclusively chat-based, so that might be why. Or anyway, it’s the most likely reason.”
“I see… before you leave, remember to register the others’ Friend Chats.”
“Hai, hai… here. I’ll take back that letter opener and give you this one instead.”
“Letter ope – ah, the dagger – wha-!”
I swing my fist at Seimei-san, and the dagger I just handed him vibrated once as if it was shuddering, then emitted a flash of light from the hilt.
Fumu, good, good.
I manage to strike past Seimei-san at the last minute.
“…Jun-kun. SURELY there was a better way to show me how this works.”
Seimei-san’s cold sweat trickled down the side of his face.
“Sorry, sorry. Maa, it works well, but the flash is only light, like a distraction. You can turn off the light by twisting this ring at the base. The crystal in the pommel is pre-loaded to cast Barrier by sending MP up to it, but even then, it’s weak at best, so it can only be used as a deflection… Haa… an auto-shield function feels so far away…”
“Nonono, ain’t this already amazing?! Jeez, Jun-kun, you’re ridiculous.”
“I am not satisfied with this degree, but it’s much more usable than the glowing blade. The blade is … well, it’s a good alloy that I slaved for an entire night over, so it’s a good blade for battle, skinning … whatever use you’ll need it for.”
“Because they’re masterworked blades, huh?”
“Yeah… anyway, here’s one for Emi-san and Midori-chan. It’s something that seems useful for rearguards, right? Ah, Midori-chan’s is the one with the longer blade and the green sheath. Emi-san’s is the blue.”
“And I’m the black one… I wonder how Jun-kun sees me~…”
Hm. It seems Seimei-san is relaxing a lot more and letting his foolish side through. I wonder if the situation from before wasn’t putting even more stress on him than I thought…
“I have a few more things to make, but this should be most of the things I made for you guys. It… would make me feel a lot better if you guys all took some magic training from Lor, too… and don’t work him too hard, please, Seimei-san.”
“Fufufu, I don’t think I’ll need to. Ambitious fellows like that won’t stop working if you give them funding and free reign in their research~.”
“… Then please make sure he doesn’t overwork himself…”
“Heeeh… you wouldn’t be interested in making me a sword…?”
Ragnall spoke up from a little bit away.
He had been idly chatting with some of the other Adventurers in the forge, but now he looked over here.
“I can’t do the impossible, Ragnall.”
It’s easy enough to make swords with all sorts of effects in a magic world, but making one that can stand up to Ragnall’s abuse?
Even the fantasy-like metals I’m capable of forging with wouldn’t do.
Even though they have a high resistance to fracture, I have no doubt that one hit from Ragnall, with all his strength, would fold a blade over like it was putty.
I’ll say it again.
Impossible (for now).
“And I don’t want to make you any daggers, since you treat them like they’re disposable.”
I chuckle a bit, since Ragnall can’t even begin to defend himself.
“Well, and I don’t think I can afford experimenting around for your sword.”
Other than gems and ore, I’ve been able to use materials from monsters that I’ve hunted, and the rental fee for the Guilds’ forges is minimal. (I say rental fee, but really, for me, it’s more like a safety deposit.)
And… well, I’ll admit I’ve sunk quite a lot of money into ores.
Mithril and galvorn especially.
Haaah… if it was going to be Ragnall’s sword, it probably wouldn’t work with anything less than orichalcum or adamantium…
…Yeah, I could probably afford enough for one or two swords, but enough for experimental alloys?
Those metals are definitely “too expensive to be messing around with”.
If I only knew more about them… Well, Helward told me that the dwarves would be my best bet for those.
Anyway, I’m not going to worry about it too much, since Ragnall already commissioned Helward for a spare sword.
It won’t do to steal away the business of my teacher.
“Do you have much more you were going to do? If you need us to pay you for it…”
Seimei-san dropped his silly tone to ask anxiously.
“No, it’s okay. The stuff I made for you guys is all from things I already had.”
Like ice drake.
“And besides, there’s only a few more things … ah.”
I fall silent.
“What is it?”
“No, well, I wanted to make a nice, big mirror for that wall right when you walk into The Queen Mary’s, but I’m having a hard time getting the silver to stick to the glass. I kind of don’t want to leave until I figure that out.”
Certainly, I could use khrystel instead, but the high price aside, with khrystel as highly valued as it is, there’s no way thieves wouldn’t be attracted to something of the scale I’m imagining.
“Heh… I think people use aluminum for that nowadays…”
Seimei-san said thoughtfully.
“Aluminum either doesn’t exist, or they don’t know how to extract it.”
I asked about it, and aluminum is unknown.
“Ah, that might be. Aluminum was once extremely expensive, since the energy to leech it out of the ore was … a … lot…?”
Un. It’s okay, Seimei-san. I don’t know the process either, since aluminum is not a metal that most blades are made out of.
“Well, I read somewhere that some chemical change was used for silvering … like … uh… What was it…”
“Uh… Well, I’m getting that it’s not a silver alloy, huh? If it’s something like synthesizing chemicals, it’s beyond me.”
Honestly, if silvering glass is going to be so difficult, maybe it would be easier to figure out how to produce aluminum.
Either way, it’s beyond me.
“Well, if it’s chemistry, that might be more for Lor and I to figure out~.”
Seimei-san said it so cheerfully, like it was a given that Lor would be helping.
Lor, my condolences.
The day we left Nyl City, we left bright and early.
Ragnall, Hibiki-chan, and I were walking quietly through the city, before the sun had completely melted away the morning mist.
“We’re meeting up with the other party at the gates?”
“Yeah. There’s a carriage with 2 traders. We’ll be renting a small dogcart with a horse. Since neither of you can ride a horse, right?”
Ragnall relayed the information to me.
He had been in charge of the arrangements of traveling from Nyl to Ploids.
Which meant, of course, that he took up a job in order to maximize the profits from the journey.
“Yeah, neither of us can ride.”
Hibiki-chan nodded energetically to back me up.
“I hear Hibiki is a pro when it comes to sneak attacks.”
Ragnall looked over at her as we came to the gates.
It was still earlier than usual, so the city gates were closed.
“Ah, un. It was something I did often, before…”
Hibiki-chan said that vaguely.
Maa, it was a VRMMO, so she did technically do Assassin type things before.
Or like, she looks like such a quiet girl, and then she chooses something like an Assassin.
“Well, it’s good, you ranked up from F to D already. Here in Nyls, the ranks don’t matter so much, but in Ploids, well… some people like to throw their rank around. As if it means anything.”
Ragnall snorted a bit.
Un. He seems a tiny bit bitter. Since Ragnall should probably technically be an S rank, but without strong magical abilities he got dropped to A rank.
“I’m going to go up and look out at the stables.”
With that exchange, Ragnall shot up the stairs to the top of the gates, keeping an eye out for the traders who we were escorting.
Down below, Hibiki-chan and I waited in silence for a little bit, before I finally said,
“…I feel like I haven’t seen Hibiki-chan in a week.”
Hibiki-chan had moved into a small inn with the money she earned from hunting, and almost everyday she was with Niera, Jericho, and Miina, hunting outside the city.
It’s not like she moved because she didn’t want to stay at The Queen Mary’s.
Hibiki-chan moved because we didn’t want those suspicious guys to realize who she was, and so Seimei-san suggested she move separately from me.
“Un. We were on a night raid to hunt mountain orcs.”
I’d heard that she had turned so pale she almost fainted the first night they hunted, but now, seeing how less jittery and nervous she is, it seems she found some confidence.
Ah, the other gamers have come down to say their goodbyes.
“Your going away already … Jeez, Hibiki, be careful!”
Midori-chan hugs Hibiki-chan. They seem to have gotten pretty close over the past few days.
“Let me know if there are any hot elf girls!”
Tatsu-san, you’ll earn yourself a kick from Midori if you keep that up.
“Well, it seems you’re the first to go out into the world to explore, ne?”
Seimei-san said with a grin.
“You forget that I’ve never been to Carnus before. Well, I’m the first (that we know of) to go do the traveling Adventurer thing, I guess.”
“That’s true… well. You need to be careful – but I won’t bore you by acting like a mother cat, so just, good luck.”
“You too, Seimei-san. With your medical facility.”
“Haha, who knows how that will go… anyway, after some time, the others might follow your lead and go out adventuring on their own too, but for now, it’s just going to be you and Hibicchi.”
“It will be fine, stop worrying.”
I smile a little.
Although he’s been less uptight lately, Seimei-san is still prone to worrying.
“Haaa… so you’re going to leave already…”
Masaki, the last one waiting to say goodbye, stared out a little glumly at me.
“Nn. Are you jealous, or are you going to miss me?”
“You… of course I’m going to miss you-!”
His honesty is a little embarrassing.
“Tsk. If you ask me, I think you and the others are in a more troublesome place. If you’re worried about me, you should take the time to really be careful.”
“I get it. I know. We’re actually going to be discussing Seimei-san’s position in Carnus with the king. I don’t know what will come from it, but really, the only thing that’s keeping us in one spot is our own fears about going out into the an unknown world.”
“Yeah, there’s no google maps or anything here.”
Masaki jabs me in the side with his elbow.
The sun has risen a bit higher, and it’s beginning to melt the mist away.
“Ah, I think the carriages are coming now.”
Ragnall calls down.
Un. I can see the horses being brought over from the stables outside of the city gates.
“Well then –“
I make to go, but Masaki grabs my sleeve.
“Hey …Jun. What’s with all those swords?”
“Heeeh… what are you talking about?”
I looked in the opposite direction and Masaki stared directly in my face.
“There’s no use trying to hide it. You left a mountain of random swords at Sei-chan’s house. What’s with those?”
I was cleaning out my inventory – somehow, I don’t think they’ll be happy to hear that.
“Un. The Knight Captain was talking about it, right? That you guys could get soldiers from Carnus who would be Seimei-san’s personal soldiers, tied to his house. Don’t worry, they’re just ordinary steel swords.”
Although they can still be considered masterworked.
M-maa, they were all my attempts at forging regular swords, so don’t mind it.
“And you can always sell them if you need money. Since they’re normal swords.”
I emphasize it again.
They’re normal swords.
I also snuck some daggers and knives into The Queen Mary’s and left them on the little table in my room for the same reason. Sell them, use them, whichever the case, I hope the girls find them before too long.
By the way, the reason the girls from The Queen Mary’s aren’t here to say their goodbyes is because they threw a party all night for me.
It was unnecessary…
Solyana kind of drank herself silly.
It was a bit strange, but Erina-sama only laughed and said
“Well, she’ll miss you.”
Masaki sighed a little, then put a hand heavily on my shoulder.
“Be careful out there, Jun.”
“You worry too much, Masaki.”
“So it seems like those on the surface have empowered one of their own as an avatar.”
“To what end?”
“That remains to be seen, your Excellency.”
“Hmph. Fools. If it is war that they are looking for, then it is war we shall give them.”
“I beg your pardon, but it doesn’t seem like their movements are promoting a war.”
“Then what? … They can’t be thinking about fulfilling the Olde Rites.”
“I couldn’t say, your Excellency.”
“… Enough. If there is only cobwebs and moonshine to back up these rumors, it’s pointless to bother me with them.”
“Understood. If you’ll excuse me.”
“… Hmph. If it’s the Olde Rites, what fools they would be to bring it about.”
Left alone, hidden in the shadows of the dark hall, a man stood pensively, staring into the distance, before shaking himself with a start and murmuring,
“Six by six for a false god. Seven by seven for a sanctuary.”
<A/n: asdfgh I can’t BREATHE. All those times I said I thought I was getting a cold … and now it hits.
Well, whatever. Finally, next chapter is the start of the new arc.>