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Chapter 63 – Innocent Soul.
[My name is Jade Stratos. Errm…an independent equipment craftsman. Well actually it’s only been three months.]
I see. I think I kinda get what Jade wanted to say..
[In other words, you want me to wear your equipment that you haven’t sold yet to advertise it.]
[Yeah, I bet it’ll be very convincing. You’re a very strong warrior, judging from the wear and tear on your clothes. How about it? In exchange for for the discount, I only want you to attach this to the equipment.]
Jade took out an emblem with “Stratos Equipment Store” on it from the back drawer. If he sewed that on my clothes, of course people would be able to tell from where I had bought the said clothes.
[But, is it okay if it’s me? What if I’m not the kind of warrior you expect me to be? If I do something terrible in the future, won’t that also affect the reputation of your store?]
For example, caught in conflict with the holy knights, being involved in the fight between the kingdom army and the Tenryu (TL Note: Heavenly Dragon), and more bad things started to pop out in my mind.
Jade simply showed an amused look and said.
[Hahaha, why are you anxious about that? Warriors are just that kind of fellow. Those kinds of things are fine. Life for the moment, think about the repercussion later. Arrogant and rough. That’s how the warriors are. It’s somewhat similar to having business with someone who’s about to die]
To that, he said while scratching the bridge of his nose,
[Ee, I just want to be famous. First in Babylon. Then, the whole kingdom. That’s impossible to achieve by merely crafting the best equipment. I need a warrior who is also aiming for the same height to don them in battle….that’s what I want.]
[……I understand. There is really no reason for me to refuse after all. From now on, let’s work together.]
[Yeah, likewise. Please drop the formality, We’re partners now.]
[Right. In that case, I’ll do just that.]
Jade shook my hand. With that, the exclusive contract was established.
So from now on, I’ll be wearing armor crafted by Jade. I couldn’t use any other weapon but Greed. So it’s only armor.
First of all, we’ll be adjusting the displayed black shirt according to my size. After a while, Jade reappeared from the back room with the clothes in hand.
[I’ve decided to do a little extra work on it. What do you think?]
Linings of red fabric had been sewn over the black shirt.
[You can only see the red linings when the shirt is folded. It’s the hidden accent. Please try wearing it immediately.]
Amazing….he’s already familiar with my body size in such a short time. It fits comfortably. Very easy to move while wearing it. This person….he’s the real deal. Even if he didn’t meet me now, he’d surely be able to become a famous artisan in the future.
While I was quite overwhelmed by the difference in quality to what I could buy on the kingdom,
[How does it feel?]
[Exceeds my expectations. It’s as if my strength increased just from wearing it.]
[I’ll feel troubled if you praise me too much. How about changing the boots too?]
In addition to the boots, he also sold me a belt and thimble, which totaled up to 80 gold, same as the original price of the black shirt.
I finished changing and checked my appearance on the body-tall mirror the shop had set up.
Looks good, if I have to say so myself. Although it’s pure black at first glance, the red linings can be seen on occasion, giving it a good accent.
There will be no problem if I meet Roxy next time. While thinking that, Greed came to complain through 《Mind Reading》.
『The tailor truly makes the man』
[You…I dare you say that again!]
He said the same thing when I bought a new clothes back at the kingdom…..can you praise me even a little?
Jade seemed curious upon seeing such an interaction. Out of habit, I got into a conversation with Greed. To another’s eyes, it looks like a weird guy who talks to his black sword one-sidedly.
That was a blunder on my part for doing that right after striking a great contract. While my forehead was sweating bullets,
[Fate really cares for his weapon, don’t you? I also talk to the weapons and armor I craft. Well, it’s something like what you did. People treat me like a weirdo because of that.]
That’s somewhat even stranger than me. Somehow, I’ve been included under the same category.
About having the conversation with Greed, I’d have to disclose my skills in order to explain it, so I guess I better stop doing it out in the open.
Jade, who considered me a kindred soul, started to talk about various kind of weapons. He then looked at Greed.
[Even so, the sheath looks quite worn out. How about I make you a better one?]
Now what should I do? If I don’t prioritize Greed’s demand, later on he’ll surely annoy me to no end.
When I asked secretly, he said that it would be good to give it a try. It seemed that even Greed admitted to Jade’s ability to some extent.
[Then I’ll be troubling you]
[Really!? Then, can you let me see the black sword?]
I drew out Greed from his sheath and showed him to Jade. In response, Jade’s face stiffened up, his mouth agape.
[Oi, are you okay?]
I shook his body until Jade returned to his senses. He gave Greed another look as if he wanted to devour it, then calmed down.
[What a….what an exquisite weapon that is. I’ve never seen a one-handed sword like that before….amazing.]
Greed was ecstatic upon hearing that. The fellow who regularly brags about himself, now brags even more, and it only served to annoy me.
『You hear that, Fate! Even that fellow understand it. My godly aura will still overflow even if you try to hide it well! Hahaha, praise me more』
Yosh, to make me feel better, I’ll decide the sheath color. I don’t want it to be glittery gold, so it will be black to match the rest of my equipment.
However, if I do choose black, I can already see the future where Greed keeps nagging me about it. Even now Greed doesn’t really like his old sheath.
I guess it’s better to give in a little to his desire right now.
[The sheath should be mainly black, but I wonder if you could decorate it?]
[Black it is. What kind of decoration do you want?]
[Gold decoration. Just a little.]
[I see.. Got it. I’ll make a shiny new sheath for the black sword. However, it’s still a business. It will cost quite a lot to make a sheath that can match the sword. You okay with that?]
When I bought my equipment, Jade didn’t even consider the expense much. But he actually said so about the crafting of the sheath. Swallowing hard, I asked, anxiously,
[How much…will it cost?]
[Even if I estimated on the low side, it would be no less than 500 gold.]
I coughed on the spot. What the……. Why did Greed’s sheath actually cost 6 times than that of my own equipment! I don’t get it.
Greed said to the reluctant me.
『Buy it. It will be a well spent 500 gold. Jade seems to understand this me to some extent, he’ll craft a good one. Considering the amount, it’s an acceptable price.』
Already, Greed tried to goad me into buy it. It’ll troublesome to refuse him now.
I only had 23 gold left. Given the cost for lodging, I’ll have to save 3 gold.
Haa……., I let out a long sigh,
[Do you accept installments? I only have 20 gold at the moment…]
[Of course. I’ll take care of the remaining 480 gold temporarily. I wonder if you could pay me back in a week’s time?]
After the negotiation concluded, Jade began to measure Greed’s dimensions down to every corner. He worked along while continuously leaking admiring sighs.
[Done, I have the necessary information now. Please come back in a week! You can expect the best I’ve ever crafted up until now.]
[Yeah, I’ll be looking forward to it. In the meantime, I’ll diligently make money.]
When I got out of Jade’s shop, I looked up to the sky while correcting my skull mask. It was already nighttime. Time flew by without me noticing.
Now, what should I do? My wallet’s contents had gone down the drain. I wonder if it’s okay for me to return to the inn right now.
There should be no problem since the cost for staying is 50 silver for one night. I can afford to not eat anything that costs me extra, like dinner, for instance. The lady proprietress is really good at recommending things, so I have to extra careful. There was already that accident with drinking alcohol yesterday.
Well, I can also do some night hunting for all I care. I used to hunt at night during my time at the kingdom anyways. With 《Night Vision》 skill, I can hunt normally even if it’s a moonless night after all.
But anyways, let’s return to the inn. I crossed the main street from the commercial district to the residential district. Occasionally, I came across some drunken warriors walking shoulder to shoulder cheerily. They had a nice harvest apparently.
I hoped that I’d also do well with my new equipment tomorrow.
I arrived at the old brick inn I stayed in, and entered.
[Welcome back! Well, well. Would you look at that.]
The lady proprietress greeted me with cheerful voice. She gave me a good look from top to bottom while laughing like a man.
Then, she patted my shoulder.
[These are quite good pieces of equipment. Didn’t they cost a lot?]
[Like you said. I was quite taken aback by the pricing in Babylon.]
[But you bought them all at once. You’re a real warrior, aren’t cha?]
[I still have a long way to go, please don’t pressure me too much.]
The lady proprietress laughed upon hearing that.
[You are hungry, right? Come, let’s have dinner. My daughter is also looking forward to have dinner with you.]
[Today, I won’t drink like yesterday.]
[Of course, you don’t have to say that out loud.]
I was drawn to the dining room. The two daughters were already sitting there, as if waiting for my arrival.
There is a lot of sake on the table…..no sign of the expensive liquor I had drunk yesterday though.
All 3 gold of my remaining wealth gone in the wind just like that.
[Now, down to business.]
[Please be gentle with me]
In conclusion……my gold coins disappeared. Fine! Tomorrow I’ll hunt monsters vigorously.
I returned to my room and laid down on the bed, closing my eyes. I drank too much…the ceiling felt like it was spinning until my consciousness finally faded into peaceful sleep.
I’m standing alone in an unfamiliar world. When I looked up, it’s white. Even the ground is also white.
The same scenery continued no matter how long I walked. The more ridiculous thing was I couldn’t see the horizon here.
There was nothing but white in this world. My body didn’t even cast a shadow.
What….is this place!? Why am I stuck in here!?
When I looked around the area, suddenly…A pure white girl appeared in front of me.
The girl stared at me with her red eyes, laughing in a smile.
『We’re finally connected……』
I recognized her.
Yes.. that’s right. She was the girl that acted as the core of the machine angel Haniel I had fought alongside Myne.
[You’re from that time]
She’s trying to tell me something, but I couldn’t hear her due to the increasingly loud noise.
Still, it felt like it was something important.
I desperately tried to listen. But by doing so, the world around me turned dark.
I tried to get close to her――.
But before that, the world lost its light and I also lost my footing, falling into the abyss.
She could only look at me with a sad face.
As I kept falling and falling into the dark abyss――
What I saw next was the world where human and monsters were piled on top of each other, struggling, suffering, burning in red. There was only one word to represent this view, Hell.
[Huff huff huff huff………..]
I woke up sweating heavily all over my body. It was not a good feeling.
What was that? It’s……it’s just a dream, as strange as it was realistic, but it was still clearly etched in my memory.
The content was too much that I couldn’t make up the whole picture, and the feeling when I was falling to that abyss was too gloomy.
Perhaps, it’s because I defeated that machine angel Haniel. The dream appeared out of my guilt over killing the little girl.
Now that I think about it, she was….what on Earth did she try to tell me? When I remembered her sad face, I became curious.
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