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Chapter 128: Precious items can be more of a curse than a blessing at times

When I had filled the dagger to a degree that would have killed many a normal mage, it gave a little shudder in my hand, like it wanted to break free.

I loosened my grip a little, expecting … well, I’m not really sure what I was expecting.

The dagger seemed to hover for a second, as if trying to float, but then it fell towards the ground.

“Uoops. Almost dropped it.”

I grumble a little as I caught the dagger before it fell to the ground.

“Did it fail?”

Ragnall asked, but if you’re going to ask me if it failed, normally we’d have an idea of what it’s supposed to do.

Pouring Light Magic into the dagger haphazardly doesn’t really lend itself to helping me figure out the function of the dagger, after all, but since I’m walking while I’m investigating it, it can’t be helped.

It’s like finding a weird electric device and plugging it in and hoping that it’s not broken so something will happen.

Later on, I’ll actually take a look… but, well, if it ‘failed’ or not…

“I don’t think it ‘failed,’ technically. If anything, I think it’s just going to take some time for it to activate.”

Honestly, if I compare it to normal magic swords, it’s less like a magic tool where the magic input is equal to the magic output (and most magic swords are magic tools), but more like a magic machine that processes the magic input in order to produce an output that may be drastically different from the amount and quality of the input that was used.

… In otherwords, this dagger is probably not like most magic swords.

It’s magic is much more complicated than ‘use Keen Edge’ or ‘Cast a Fireball,’ and so … it can’t be helped that I can’t figure it out at a glance.

Although I want to investigate it thoroughly, I resist.

I mean, Ploids is a really crowded city, and we’re walking along the street.

It’s just not convenient to pull out my tools right now.

Well, the only thing I really discovered was that the alloy of this dagger is really strange, and I feel like, given how much training I had in magic alloys back in Nyls, then it’s probably because the metal this blade is made of is very unusual, even for this world.

Although it looked like a bronze dagger at first glance, once I had filled it with a lot of Light Magic, the blade glowed softly and became a somewhat translucent gold – no, a shade between copper and gold.

If I had to say, it looks a little like colored glass from Japan, but its basic characteristics are undoubtedly metallic.

I think.

I’m a little reluctant to use my various analysis skills when this dagger’s so full of Light Magic, so I’ll just have to do with judging by eye for now.

It would really suck if I accidentally interfered with whatever the Light Magic is doing, forcing it to start the process all over again.

I mean, this is something that deep elves haven’t been able to figure out over … a long, long, time even by elf standards, so I kind of feel like it will take a while to power up.

… That said, there aren’t many people in this world who could single-handedly power the thing, so thinking about it logically, it’s not that easy to determine whether it’s the dagger’s long power up time or the magic load required that kept people from investigating this dagger before.

By the way, because there isn’t a need for a spell or anything like that, it’s also possible to leave the dagger in a place that is overflowing in Light Magic.

Unlike the other elemental magics, Light Magic is something that exists naturally in this world, after all.

Or rather, it’s impossible for most people to emit and control Light Magic without converting it into a spell, so that would normally be the only option.

Just… that would take WAY too long, so it can’t be helped that I want to speed the process along, right?

…Actually, I’m now kind of suspicious of whether the Diplomat just forgot about the dagger.

Leaving it in storage all this while… it wouldn’t be surprising if this thing just never saw the light of day again, let alone get a chance to activate.

While my mind was full of matters about the dagger, Desmond and Ragnall seem to have already discussed various future plans.

Sorry, but this dagger is a lot more interesting than whatever troublesome things will happen in the future regarding the Demon Lord and the deep elves.

Sure, many people might say my priorities are messed up, but it’s not like the Demon Lord is taking over or whatever, right?

At least, he seems more or less friendly from when I ran into him previously.

And even if he’s not actually ‘friendly,’ he doesn’t seem interested in taking over Orelia, considering he already has his hands full handling his own rebellious subjects.

As we near the Eagle’s Talon, the inn we’re staying at in Ploids, the crowds are getting thicker and thicker… what’s going on, geez.

I mean, the streets are crowded in general, but this is starting to get claustrophia-inducing… ugh.

Luckily, my claustrophobia is more dependent on the actual environment instead of proximity to others, but I don’t think anyone can feel happy about the sudden congestion of traffic that requires you to elbow your way through.

Even Ragnall’s presence that normally gets many stares and some slight avoidances, doesn’t seem to do a damn thing.

In fact, with this many people shoving up against each otehr, he’s just getting lost in the crowd.

When I look a little closer, trying to see what the holdup is all about, there seems to be an altercation going on… hm?

Isn’t that the armor shop we, and by that I mean the girls and I, went to earlier?

In front of the shop, Andira is standing belligerently, a hammer and long spear-like tool in her hands.

… She kind of looks like she’s prepared to defend the shop to the death, but what just happened?

“Ah… Hang on, Ragnall. One of my acquaintances looks like she’s in trouble.”

“Huh? Acquaintance? Who…”

I can hear Ragnall saying something as I force my way through the crowd, but it’s a damn busy street, so I couldn’t catch everything he said.

Also, the people opposite Andira are really squabbling at her.

Just what’s going on?

For now, I just call out a little.

“Hey, you guys are totally blocking the street -”

“You sisters are getting too arrogant! Do you really think you can get away with making an enemy of all of the armorers in the city?”

“What are you being stubborn for?!”

… My greeting was completely ignored.

Well, that’s to be expected.

The only person who recognizes me here is Andira, after all, so the attempt to break into their conversation wasn’t really stacked in my favor to begin with.

With this crowd being so steamed up, it would only work if I was someone both sides were acquainted with.

Oh well.

I elbow my way through the crowd from the side, where there were less people, and the ossans standing there arguing with Andira didn’t even bat an eye even if I pushed them aside.

It looks like they’re REALLY dead set on whatever they’re attempting, considering they’re not paying attention to a single thing going on except for their argument with Andira.

Even after getting right into the thick of the argument, I’m still clueless about what’s going on, but …

“Fucking sell us those damn materials!”

One extremely loud guy yelled angrily as he lost his temper and advanced on Andira.

She gripped her hammer, as if ready to repel him, but …

…. …. Aah.

I’d be a complete idiot if I didn’t understand what was going on now.

My main question is how this group of ossans found out about the materials we left at the Kartinez sister’s shop, but I should probably deal with this situation first before thinking about it.

Fzzzzt!

“Gya-!”

The aggressive guy recoiled.

Don’t worry, I went easy on him.

It’s just a simple Barrier infused with some light electricity~… although his moustache is a little singed, there shouldn’t be too much actual damage.

However, the sudden appearance of an electric barrier successfully caused everyone to stop what they’re doing

I took advantage of the silence and start attempt #2.

“Andira, I came to ask about my armor, but is this a bad time?”

I ignore the onlookers’ looks of, ‘Are you serious?’ as I approached Andira with my hand raised.

“… Miss Jun. It’s fine, come in.”

Andira seems to have a look of relief on her face, and she attempts to excuse herself from the crowd under the appearance of having business, but were those ossans going to let her go so easily?

Nah.

“Don’t leave, Kartinez! Are you going to sell or not?!”

Andira heaved a sigh.

“I told you, I can’t sell those. This woman is the one who actually owns those materials, I don’t have a say in it at all!”

… Thanks for shoving the problem to me, but she’s technically not wrong.

We haven’t paid for our armor yet, and they haven’t paid for the excess materials yet.

After all, we only just began our transaction just a few hours or so ago.

I doubt that Andira and Lizette have gotten through appraising the entire mound of stuff I’d left with them.

They were both completely engrossed in the armor designs when we left earlier, after all.

Before I could say anything, whether to Andira or the mob of … who I assume are all armorsmiths, the guy who got shocked by my barrier immediately turned to me.

“Then, this Miss, sell us those materials. You understand, right? Those types of materials are more suited for the armor of other people who would get better use out of it, got it?”

… I mean, I have a ton of materials that I could sell, but for some reason, I’m really not feeling like it.

He might have been trying to be tactful, but I can clearly understand his underlying meaning of, ‘You don’t deserve armor made with those materials,’ but I’m kind of curious as to how he was able to think of that.

I was the one who brought those materials, right?

So logically speaking, I either have the ability or the wealth to acquire them, so I really wonder how he believes that a) I’m not someone who would ‘get good use’ out of armor made of those materials or b) he’s actually going to be okay with insulting someone like me.

I mean, yeah, I probably WON’T bother trying to get revenge or whatever, but HE doesn’t know that.

Interestingly enough, when this one impulsive armor craftsman spoke up, I saw a clear distinction between the members of the angry armorsmith mob.

There was one group that seemed to agree with the speaker, intent on pressuring me to sell to them, but there was another group that seemed rather unsure of things.

They were looking at me, and then at the electric barrier with some concern.

By the way, there was a third group that, at my appearance and Andira’s admittance that I was the actual owner of the materials, had given up immediately and begun to retreat through the crowd.

Honestly, those who left right away are probably the armorsmiths that are actually worth anything.

Simply because they were the ones who could recognize the strength of their opponent.

Don’t say anything about my appearance being misleading.

If you can’t recognize and be intimidated that my barrier isn’t a barrier made of electricity but actually electric magic being superimposed onto a neutral Barrier despite not dissolving the neutral magic, what are you worth as a magic armor craftsman?

And if you’re not a magic armor craftsman, then why the hell do you want the materials I left with the Kartinez sisters?

Sure, those types of materials will make impressive armor even without enchantments, but … hm.

I can’t think of anything stronger than saying, ‘that’s a complete waste.’

Anyway, I don’t really feel like bothering with someone who’s so clearly a smallfry, so I just glance at him once before turning back towards Andira.

“Can I see what you have so far?”

“…Um, yes! This way…”

“Hey, listen to me-!”

The belligerent ossan tries to grab my arm, but before I smacked him across the road, Ragnall finally managed to scramble through the crowd, with a lot more difficulty than I had.

“Jun, what are you doing? … Hm? I guess it’s time you get new armor made, but how did you attract a crowd like this?”

Oi, this ain’t my fault… … kind of. Technically.

Ragnalls appearance shocked the remaining armorsmiths, and pretty soon whispers of, “The White Demon?” “Then, is that the White Demon’s woman?” “Crap, we can’t deal with that,” and the like were being spread among the people, and the aggressive ossan turns pale white before backing away quickly, suddenly taking a watch-and-see stance instead of his super pushy manner from earlier.

… … Somehow, I feel really annoyed and punch Ragnall in the side.

“Ow!… What’s that for?”

Shuttup.


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30 comments

  1. Nice Chapter. It’s amusing how Jun seems more reluctant about the materials because it’d be a waste to have them used by subpar crafters than the indirect insult they gave her with their comments.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. If this were a Xianxia story, at this point Jun should have blackened her face (at least 2 or 3 times), coughed up a mouthful of old blood, and then released an aura of killing intent that would/should cover the entire town of Ploids. While I can do without the other stuff, I’m inclined to think the aura of killing intent would be useful (especially in scenes like this one).

    Are you sure your back pain isn’t related to your auto mishap? I REALLY hope it isnt, but your health isn’t an area to take chances with. “If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.” – Count Rugen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. it’s 100% shoveling the snow… our driveway’s pretty big. Takes me an hour to do, and there just wasn’t enough for the snowblower, so had to do it all the hard way.

      Like

      1. Depending on the type of driveway, a shovel scoop would be more efficient in terms of time and takes less of a toll on the body.

        Like

      2. Sorry to hear that. I moved away from snow prone areas back in ’01. Now I live within eyesight of a mountain that gets snow every winter, but I barely actually experience less than 1 inch of snow every year. I love living south of I-10!

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  3. Happy to see a new chapter, but damn it’s coming out so slow! Every time you pay something new, I have to reread the previous chapter.

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  4. I know this is part of a running joke in a lot of Japanese and Chinese stories, but how are they alive? How would someone who activly antagonizes people survive in a world where might makes right? More so if they can’t spot someone who is obviously more talented/powerful/richer then them?

    Survival of the fittest and all that.

    Nice chapter btw, thank you for making these.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thing is, main character style traveling is probably not the most statistically common sort of traveler at that power level. If your society doesn’t have a lot of movement, and your typical powerful sorts don’t travel without an entourage that doesn’t travel faster than hearsay, and most solitary transients are weak people with no connections, someone who knows the local power structures well can safely judge sucking up and s$%^^ing down.

      Part of it may simply be that US society is weird, and we take it for granted. There are a couple reasons to think that the US might be weird in a relevant way. One, at least in recent history. Americans apparently had a higher than usual rate of mobility for reasons like career. Two, we had to develop certain cultural adaptions in simply order to avoid killing each other. a) lotta places in the US have a certain assumption that strangers will come to town, learn to behave according to the local culture, and become ‘one of us’ b) I’ve come to suspect that we might be unusual in how we process threat displays, and do balance of allies and neutrals calculations. Yeah, you can find exceptions. Some groups are pretty insular, and some groups have a fairly persistent dislike of each other.

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    2. Ooh. Really fun thought.

      Americans have been producing culturally distinct fiction for a time, and there is a history of foreign commentary on that. D.H Lawrence did a book on American literature that I’ve been meaning to read, along with the referenced works. It is the one where he is supposed to have said something like ‘the essential American soul is hard, stoic, isolate, and a killer’. I’ve tried to read it, and I recall some bullshit where he claimed that the Puritans didn’t have a reason to flee the Church of England. (The Puritan colonists of New England were super fanatics. Regular folks were an annoyance because they were not trying hard enough. With Lawrence’s background, it is reasonable that he would form such an opinion.)

      As storytellers, we are influenced by our experiences and the media and other stories we consume.

      Hollywood has been a very big influence around the world, in part because it was first. For many years Hollywood stories were based in American culture.

      Imagine being a foreign storyteller. A chunk of your influence is from Hollywood, and your own culture is partly westernized, but it is very far from losing its own nature. Your collection of stock characters include Hollywood archetypes, who make sense in American culture. But when you make up a world, you cannot base it entirely on American culture, because ignorant, so you at least partly base it on your own, where people behave differently. What does an American stock character do in your world?

      I can’t help but wonder if some of the tropes we see are an artifact of this, at least originally.

      Exactly like how Americans at times look at modern Chinese, Korean, or Japanese fiction and go ‘WTF’.

      Like

  5. so now, 3/4th of the armorer think Jun is Ragnal’s woman… and 2/3 will think that Ragnal is the one that provided the material and not Jun themselves.

    thanks as always !

    cheers !

    Like

  6. Thanks for another chapter~

    The fact that they couldn’t realize just how freaking crazy what Jun just did is…they’re gonna be in for a world of hurt, lol.

    I have a question btw: I don’t see Bamboo Sage on the schedule right…is it one of those ones you’re only gonna release when you do a full arc of or something? It snagged my attention pretty well, heh…so I’m looking forward to more of that as well. XD

    Like

    1. If it isn’t on the schedule, it’ll probably turn up as bonus chapters when Klin feels like it.

      Yeah, I like Bamboo a lot myself. That, electricity, generals, and cursed are boni that I’d really enjoy seeing a lot of chapters just show up.

      Like

    2. that’s a randomly updated story, which will probably be put on hold for a few more weeks as I try to wrangle my schedule under control … and deal with the holidays.
      I usually take an artist’s sabbath at the beginning of each year, so expect a chapter or two of some of the random-update stories mid-to-late January.

      Like

  7. Well looking forward to an explanation on how half of the city knows about those materials. I feel side stories coming on with this mishap. Depending on the leak, I’m wondering if those girls made any armor lol.
    Was also expecting Karin, or the others to show up and cause a ruckus.

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  8. Thanks for the updates.

    So among the craftsmen, we have the ones that are too dumb to live, and the ones that are at least relatively cautious. Where are the smart people who can tell who not to mess with? 😛

    Possible typo?
    “In fact, with this many people shoving up against each otehr, he’s just getting lost in the crowd.”

    each other?

    Like

  9. If Jun was more of a hot blooded MC s/he might have said “Bring those worthy people so i can shove your head up his a**”

    Like

  10. Feels like somehow Jun is actively being pushed onto Ragnall…Although it might (will) be I retesting to see, it could very well take a thousand chapters to actually progress at the rate they’re going. Unless something life changing happened…on a side note where does the Kartinez sisters get their money from to buy all the materials from Jun?

    Like

  11. This is one of my favorite novels online, probably in the 3rd slot.
    Thanks for the read, it’s a good way to pass the time and forget how sick I am. xD

    Like

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