As promised, here’s chapter 73.
Nothing else to say.
Enjoy the read.
I pay 77,700 Nar and leave the store.
It was a special service due to the duke’s personal recommendation.
It wasn’t just 30% discount.
Oh well, it can’t be helped.
Although I don’t know what can’t be helped, it can’t be helped.
From Bode’s Adventurer Guild, I go to Zabir’s labyrinth via Vale’s.
In a small room in the labyrinth, I put the necklace around Roxanne’s neck.
I’m getting excited from the top view of her chest.
The amber makes the view more captivating.
I was right to buy it.
“Thank you, master. But is it alright?”
“It’s alright. Actually, you two will be selling amber in Palmasque, so it’s mandatory that you have it on yourself. It’s business expense.”
Although I had no such intention, it’s true now that I think about it.
It’s a sort of exhibition.
A saleswoman who sells amber wears amber.
“Okay, then I’ll borrow it from you.”
Says Sherry while I was putting the necklace around her neck, so I ask.
“Everything that an owner buys for slaves is the owner’s property. Well, aside from consumables, undergarments and other items of daily use.”
Is it really so?
Even if I buy equipment for these two, it’ll belong to me?
I put the necklace around Sherry’s neck.
“The cost will be recovered anyway if you two sell raw amber. Even if you fail, I’ll recover the cost somehow.”
I have already sold three mirrors to the duke.
Isn’t it possible to sell some amber as well?
Because amber is easier to carry than mirror, it shouldn’t be as expensive as mirror.
Mirror and amber can’t be kept in Item Box, for they’re not items dropped by monsters, nor they’re used as materials in making equipment.
Amber, however, is just a small stone.
You can easily carry some in your rucksack.
Sherry is carrying sixty silver coins, which includes advance payment of one mirror, and some raw amber gemstones.
“Umm… are you not going with us again?”
“Yes, I’ll have you two go by yourselves.”
“But we have necklaces this time.”
These two combined have more than 100,000 Nar on them.
Amber can be sold for high in Palmasque.
So, there’s a risk of misappropriation.
However, they won’t be able to do it when they’re in custody of such expensive accessory as necklace.
“It’s alright. I trust you two.”
After handing one silver coin each to the two in respect of entry toll, I Warp us to Palmasque.
Paying toll every time is so wasteful.
Next time, should I Warp to some other building?
Or will it be a bad idea?
After seeing them off, I go to the labyrinth and then come back to pick them up.
The two were already back with mirrors.
We return home and then go to the labyrinth to recover MP.
I have to do it three more times.
“We have sold all amber gemstones at forty silver coins apiece.”
It’s five times the cost.
It’s more than I expected.
It’s more than the total amount I paid to the amber merchant.
So, the cost of the necklaces has already been recovered.
I could make more profit with my 30% bonus.
No, I don’t have to be so greedy.
And there’s no guarantee that 30% bonus would work there.
“However, the owner said it was only this once due to Roxanne-san’s necklace. I’m afraid the price won’t be this high next time.”
“Is that so?”
Did she deal directly with the owner?
Because I told them to go to the workshop to buy plain mirror, they went to the owner of the workshop, it seems.
My 30% bonus wouldn’t have worked on him.
But what was that about Roxanne’s necklace?
“…He should just cease to exist.”
I-I think I get it.
Was the owner a man?
He was definitely ogling Roxanne’s ‘necklace.’
He dares lay his eyes on my Roxanne?
“He must perish.”
“I should just sell a necklace to his wife for twenty five gold coins. That will be his punishment.”
The owner has wife?
Yet he directed his filthy gaze to my Roxanne?
There will be punishment indeed.
Oh well, his wife would figure it out anyway when she notices that he bought amber from Roxanne at such a high price.
“Sherry, you did well.”
“Thank you. Also, we bought mirrors at discounted price of twenty silver coins. Therefore, we have already paid for two mirrors in advance.”
Earlier, I gave her sixty silver coins — thirty for one mirror and thirty deposit.
But this time they were charged only twenty silver coins.
Although they paid all sixty silver coins, they have paid deposit for two mirrors.
“The price dropped too much.”
“It’s better if the workshop of such an owner doesn’t make profit. His wife doesn’t know much about sales, so she couldn’t lower it anymore. This was the lowest price we could get.”
It’s already two-third.
“He wasn’t lowering the price, of course, so we talked to his wife. We have extinguished the evil.”
So, the owner first incurred loss when he bought amber and was then exposed to his wife as well.
Even if they hadn’t exposed him, his wife would have found out that he bought amber from Roxanne at such a high price.
Sherry is so ruthless.
“The world is a beautiful place, evil can’t be allowed to flourish here.”
“Yes. Oh, we received eight gold coins in total. Here, umm…”
Sherry can calculate if she tries to but she doesn’t have confidence. Twenty amber gemstones at forty silver coins apiece will be eight gold coins.
She nods reassuredly, opens her Item Box and takes the coins out.
I open my Item Box as well, receive the coins and put them in.
As for gold coins, we have a total of twenty one now.
And we can also sell a necklace to that owner’s wife.
When I’m done selling mirrors to Gozer, I’ll have enough money to go to the Imperial capital and visit the slave merchant.
We make earnings mainly out of labyrinth.
But to make earnings out of labyrinth is really as profitable?
Shouldn’t I just switch to trading?
It’s thanks to leveling up in labyrinth, however, that I can go to Palmasque in the first place.
I wouldn’t have been able to Warp to as far as Palmasque, had I not started at Vale’s labyrinth back then.
And I need money for mirrors and amber.
I won’t be able to buy, if I don’t earn some money from labyrinth first.
Also, the amber merchant isn’t doing that great either. I find that out when I visit the store two days later.
“Because you didn’t give us any estimate last time, I wasn’t able to prepare it beforehand.”
The catman merchant apologizes.
Large quantity of amber is seemingly not easy to arrange.
It’s not? Really?
If he allows someone to sell large quantity of amber, won’t he allow a competitor to enter the market?
The amber merchant can employ an adventurer to sell in distant areas.
Why he’s not doing so is probably because there isn’t much supply.
By the same token, the price will shoot up in distant areas if there isn’t much supply.
“Amber is washed ashore after storm. It may be available if there’s a storm soon.”
I want to sell a necklace to the workshop owner’s wife but it doesn’t seem to be available.
If I buy more than one, 30% discount will be effective as well.
“If you say so. By the way, is it available in Talem or Tamel or whatever the name is?”
“It’s Talem. It’s famous for woodworks. Because it’s used in decoration, it can be found there. Actually, we don’t cater that area for this reason.”
It’s the same place where the duke is getting the mirrors decorated.
So, it’s renowned for woodworks?
If it’s renowned, there must be Japanese cypress, teak or mahogany trees in that area.
“Could you please have wooden cases for necklaces prepared from Talem for me?
The necklaces I bought from here earlier were in cloth bag.
In Japan, they come in cases.
Apparently, there’s no such practice in this world.
“An amber necklace is a high-class item. A case made in Talem will only add to its class.”
“I see. You’re certainly correct. But why are you asking us?”
The amber merchant becomes restless.
After all, I’ll become reputed if I’m the only one selling necklaces in cases.
“Well, if I’m the only one who sells necklaces in cases, I’ll gain reputation and it’ll be only a matter of time before others copy me. Besides, I’m from a faraway place. I’d rather have a local resident deal with matters in Talem.”
“You’ll sell necklaces in cases?”
“I’m selling it to someone far off, not here, so be at ease.”
Nearby area is his target market.
“Do you mind if we sell in cases too?”
“I don’t mind.”
“Very well. I’ll have you take a look as soon as it arrives. Do tell us what you think then.”
Raw amber gemstones were not available, so I place the order for cases and leave.
An expensive necklace in a cheap cloth bag is indeed a sad sight to see.
It’s better for it to be in a case.
Those two have put on the necklaces only twice so far.
It’s not something they can put on in labyrinth.
First, when they went to Palmasque.
Second, on the same night.
Pink and white camisoles looked so alluring together with the necklaces.
The big amber of Roxanne’s necklace jutting out of her chest.
The crimson amber of Sherry’s necklace shining gorgeously on her modest chest.
It was the best delicacy till date, I must say.
“The owner’s wife said she’s looking for a good necklace.”
I went back home, gave them the necklaces for a third time and took the two to Palmasque.
They bought two more mirrors. Two more mirrors to sell to the duke.
Two more round trips left.
That night, we reached the boss room on 10th floor of Vale’s labyrinth.
Exploration of labyrinths is progressing smoothly.
“Should we hunt monsters on 11th floor or call it a day?”
Because it’s about time to end exploration for the day, we’ll have not much time for 11th floor.
The boss ant of 10th floor was strong but it wasn’t a match for Roxanne.
“The monster native to 11th floor of Vale’s labyrinth is Spi Spider. We have already faced Spi Spiders in Quratar’s labyrinth but not in Vale’s yet.”
Sherry shares the information.
Monsters that appear from 1st floor to 11th are same for any labyrinth.
Unlike in Quratar’s labyrinth, we haven’t faced Spi Spiders in Vale’s labyrinth because it appears on 11th floor.
“It uses poison.”
“Yes, but the chance of getting poisoned is lower compared to NT Ant. We have already fought against them in Quratar’s labyrinth, so there shouldn’t be any problem.”
“So, the chance doesn’t increase with level?”
“I haven’t heard about it increasing with level. Even if it does, it must be negligible.”
We have already fought against them in Quratar’s labyrinth.
The advantage of exploring more than one labyrinths is great indeed.
We proceed to 11th floor.
Spi Spider Lv11 collapsed in seven magic attacks.
The number of attacks required has increased by one.
With Durandal, however, it takes two swings or one Rush attack.
Same as 10th floor.
NT Ant Lv11 took four water type magic attacks.
Having faced so many NT Ants, I’ve reached the point where I can take them out without getting poisoned.
There’s little time left.
Should we stop or keep hunting on 11th floor?
Next morning, we cleared 10th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth as well.
We had already beaten Pan twice in Vale’s labyrinth.
That experience didn’t go to waste.
“11th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth is considered quite difficult.”
Sherry shares the information about 11th floor.
“The monster native to 11th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth is Green Caterpillar. It’s considered the most difficult of the monsters that appear on first eleven floors. Not only that, NT Ants from 9th floor also appear on 11th floor.”
Is Green Caterpillar really that strong?
But it doesn’t use poison.
Green Caterpillar shoots thread.
The higher the floor, the more the monsters use skills.
It’ll be difficult indeed.
If I get stuck in its thread, my movement will be greatly slowed down, increasing my chances of getting poisoned.
It’s a deadly combination.
“Such a thing.”
“It’s possible to dodge the thread.”
Yes, it’s possible but only for a certain someone of wolfkin tribe.
As expected, it wasn’t easy when we started fighting.
But there’s no other choice.
Thus, we proceed with the exploration.
Although I have come across quite a few Green Caterpillars Lv11, thread hasn’t been shot yet.
Escape Goat Lv11 runs away after getting hit with four magic attacks, so I finish it off after three magic attacks.
Is 11th floor really difficult?
Green Caterpillar shoots thread for the first time on 11th floor. Furthermore, it’s a group of four.
“Here it comes.”
Roxanne hops after saying that.
Thread lays scattered there where Roxanne was supposed to be standing.
What the white thread hit was but empty space.
Unsurprisingly, she dodged it.
Because I was at a distance from vanguard, it didn’t hit me.
I learned to keep the safe distance from fighting against Needle Woods.
However, if I stay too far, there’s an increasing risk of getting attacked from behind by another monster.
Second thread is shot which Roxanne dodges splendidly.
Third attempt was interrupted with the help of Durandal.
Fourth thread catches Sherry.
Sherry is covered in sticky white.
Tens of- no, hundreds of small white threads.
Having slowed Sherry’s movement down with the thread, the Green Caterpillar rams into her.
Because I had already shot sixth magic attack, I shoot seventh right after the sixth cools down.
Since the Green Caterpillar can’t move, having attacked Sherry, the magic attack hits it.
Two Green Caterpillars and the Escape Goat, which was in the process of running away, were all engulfed in flames.
They collapse, turn into smoke and dissipate.
“Are you alright?”
I ask Sherry while casting Heal.
“Yes. I’m sorry, I couldn’t dodge it.”
“Don’t blame yourself. I can’t dodge it either.”
“Thank you. I’m fine now.”
Sherry stops me when I try to cast Heal on her for sixth time.
Five times is enough?
Is she fully healed now?
I can’t cast Plating at the moment.
To take out NT Ants and Escape Goats in one strike of Durandal, Rush skill of Warrior job is necessary.
To select Warrior, I have to remove Alchemist job.
Without Alchemist, I can’t cast Plating.
“In worst case scenario, there may be four threads. Can you endure it?”
Sherry nods in confirmation.
Let’s say it takes three magic attacks for me to come into contact with it and it shoots thread before I connect finishing strike. She’ll have to endure that.
I can also remove Warrior and select Alchemist for Plating but that will only prolong the time to take monsters out.
“I think I can endure it.”
If you say so.
Sherry is rational. If she can’t, she will clearly say she can’t.
But what if it’s a close call?
What if the attack is more severe than expected and she can only barely make it out?
Should I tell her to not be reserved with me?
I should not take what Sherry said at its face value.
‘I’ll try my best’ is more appropriate answer than ‘I can.’
Safety should be top priority.
As it stands, the difficulty level of 11th floor of Quratar’s labyrinth exceeds the normal limit.