Here’s another chapter.
Nothing much to say this time.
Enjoy the read.
Evening. We receive message from Luke a day after placing order for monster cards.
When we arrive at home, we find a note at the entrance.
“There seemed to be a successful bid of 4,400 Nar for Caterpillar Monster Card.”
Roxanne reads the note.
Even though I asked him specifically for Kobold and Goat Monster Cards.
“Last time, it was 4,300 Nar. He’s probably observing our reaction to an increase in price of 100 Nar.”
“Hmm… to go that far.”
Sherry has a really low opinion of brokers.
If he doesn’t bring it down, however, I’ll not buy it.
“Brokers use underhanded methods as much as possible.”
“You may be right.”
“It’s true. It’s only rational to think so.”
“Now that you say it, I think so too.”
If rational Sherry says that it’s rational, it has to be rational.
Next morning. We visit the merchant guild.
Luke appears with two monster cards.
“This one is Caterpillar Monster Card and this one is Goat Monster Card which I won in the auction just yesterday.”
Luke places two monster cards separately on the table.
It’s unnecessary, however, for I can use Appraisal.
As per Appraisal, both the cards are genuine.
“Goat Monster Card huh?”
“Successful bid was 5,400 Nar.”
Was it really 5,400 Nar or did he move it up to 5,400 Nar himself?
What Sherry said earlier seems to be right.
It doesn’t look like brokers work in the best interests of their clients.
“That was quick.”
“There was some competition but I managed to win it.”
There’s no guarantee that the person he competed with wasn’t his partner.
“We don’t have immediate need for more Goat Monster Cards. Don’t buy any further unless the price drops to 5,200 Nar.”
This time, I make my discontent known.
Luke will surely figure out that I’m angry.
Even if he doesn’t, I have no problem with it as long as the price will be low hereafter.
One Goat Monster Card will suffice for now.
“How much for these two cards?”
“Ah, yes. Let’s see… including advance payment of commission for next card, 10,500 Nar.”
Out of 10,500 Nar, 5,400 Nar and 4,400 Nar pertain to cards. So, the commission is 700 Nar? Commission for two cards should be 1,000 Nar. 30% discount huh?
Because the prices vary much, he seems to have used Calc.
Like I thought, 30% discount doesn’t work on auction bid.
I make the payment with a gold coin and silver coins.
When we return home, I give Caterpillar Monster Card to Sherry for fusion.
Because Sacrificial Misanga is a useful accessory, I have her make it immediately.
“I’m still nervous in fusing monster card.”
“It’s alright. I’m responsible if it fails. Don’t worry.”
I have already told Sherry that I can identify if a monster card can be fused with an equipment.
In other words, I’m at fault if it fails.
That said, I can’t think of a reason for it to fail.
“So, which skill does Goat Monster Card give?”
“If fused with a weapon or an accessory, it gives Increase in Intelligence skill. If fused simultaneously with Kobold Monster Card, it gives 2x Intelligence skill.”
After successfully fusing the monster card as a matter of course, Sherry explains.
Because Kobold Monster Card upgrades skills of other cards, if fused simultaneously, it most probably doubles the effect of Increase in Intelligence skill, not the intelligence itself.
So, an increase of 30% will become over 50%?
“Can it be attached to an accessory?”
“Yes, it can be.”
“So, is it better to attach it to an accessory than attaching it to a weapon? That way, it’ll be there even if I upgrade weapon, right? Also, if I attach 2x Increase in Intelligence skill to both weapon and accessory, can’t the increase in intelligence be 4x?”
“It’s not possible.”
I was told earlier that effects from offensive skills can’t be stacked.
My dream remains a dream.
“How about attaching same skill to same equipment more than once?”
“I haven’t heard anything in that regard.”
If attaching second skill results in failure, first skill disappears as well.
Therefore, attaching multiple skills is not common.
Considering the risk, no one would try to attach same skill twice.
As far as I’m concerned, I’m not afraid of attaching multiple skills.
Should I give it a try?
If the equipment breaks, however, I’ll become a laughing stock.
Let’s get back to topic. Should I fuse Goat Monster Card with the rod?
For accessory, I have Sacrificial Misanga.
I have already told Luke to get it at lower price next time. We can buy more cards later without any problem.
Shouldn’t I wait for Kobold Monster Card before having it fused with the rod?
“In any case, Kobold Monster Card will be available soon. Roxanne, put this Sacrificial Misanga on.”
“Umm… Can’t you sell it?”
Roxanne hesitates in receiving the Sacrificial Misanga.
“If it’s in excess of our requirement, I’ll sell it. But we must keep one in spare. And rather than keeping the spare one in the closet, it’s better for Roxanne to have it.”
Is Sacrificial Misanga not an equipment that anyone can put on.
Is this why she’s reluctant?
“But I may receive an attack and break it.”
I thought it would be a simple matter but she’s making it difficult.
It’s not working.
“Sherry, Sacrificial Misanga doesn’t cost hundreds of thousands, right?”
“Yes, its price ranges between 30,000 and 40,000 Nar.”
“Right, it’s not as valuable as Roxanne. What will I do if something were to happen to Roxanne?”
Roxanne is the one who’s exposed to enemy attacks the most. Sacrificial Misanga is a must have item for her.
If Roxanne were to become unable to fight, our entire party would get wiped out.
Caterpillar Monster Card costs only a little over 4,000 Nar.
Because fusion succeeds once in, let’s say, ten attempts, the price of Sacrificial Misanga is in tens of thousands.
It may be more expensive than all of her equipment combined but not more valuable than Roxanne herself.
“O-Okay. Thank you.”
I have finally convinced her to put on the Sacrificial Misanga.
I approach Roxanne who has sit down.
“I’ll tie it for you. So, where do you want it? Ankle or wrist?”
“A-Ankle. It’ll attract less attention that way.”
If it’s on wrist, it’ll be visible to onlookers.
It’s not like they can tell if it’s a misanga or Sacrificial Misanga.
The duke and Cassia both wear Sacrificial Misanga on their wrist.
I tie it around her ankle.
If you wear it on your ankle and put trousers on, it won’t be visible.
It’ll invite carelessness from those who may attack you sneakily.
But there’s a merit in wearing it on your wrist as well. You’ll immediately know if it breaks.
Because everyone knows that influential figures such as the duke and the duchess will be wearing Sacrificial Misanga, there’s no use in hiding it.
On the other hand, if Roxanne wears it on her wrist, people may think that she’s rich which will solicit even more attacks.
“Well then, can you please roll it up?”
Roxanne takes her shoes off and rolls her trousers up.
Her white, delicate shin is naked right in front of my eyes.
So smooth. So slick.
I so want to rub my cheeks on it.
It’s bathed in the light coming in through window.
Peeking through her clothes under light has its own charm.
I subconsciously extend my hand out to stroke it. I try to look at her face for her expression.
N-No, it’ll be fine.
I’m not doing anything wrong.
She’s not stopping me which means it’s not wrong.
Now that I know it’s not wrong, I can go all the way.
I’m wracking my brain thinking of how to turn ‘tying the misanga’ into ‘going all the way.’
There’s no helping it.
I suppress my urge to stroke it, rub my cheeks on it and kiss it, and tie the misanga on her ankle.
I’ll do it later tonight.
I’ll wait patiently.
I’ll not allow prey to get away just like that.
Roxanne expresses her gratitude after I tie the misanga.
Let’s see if you’ll say the same thing later tonight.
I decide to pay a visit to the amber merchant in the afternoon.
Procurement of ten mirrors for Gozer will be over in next trip.
I have to buy a necklace for the workshop owner’s wife before the trip.
I go to Bode via Haruba’s labyrinth.
“There’s one raw amber gemstone available. Price is same as last time, 800 Nar that is. What do you say?”
“I want to buy a necklace. Can I buy the gemstone with it?”
There seems to be just one raw amber gemstone.
Like I thought, it’s difficult to earn big in this trade.
Even if amber was mined, the amber merchant would not receive all of it.
For now, even one will suffice.
30% discount will be effective anyway.
I let Roxanne and Sherry choose the necklace.
The more the opinions, the better.
“Well then, here are the wooden cases from Talem.”
The catman merchant brings cases along with necklaces.
I asked him for cases earlier.
It’s a beautiful, white case.
Subtle brown, circular patterns complete the look.
“It really looks good.”
“It’s only a prototype. Because you were the one who came up with this idea, I would like you to receive it as gift.”
“Ah, you didn’t have to. Thank you very much.”
I receive two cases.
It’s quite heavy.
It doesn’t look like it but it’s heavy.
It doesn’t seem to have been painted. Is it the wood that’s white?
It’s even better than what it seemed at first.
Its weight adds to its luxurious feel, so it’s welcomed.
“Which one looks better? This one or this one?”
“Both look pretty.”
“If you had to pick one, which one would you pick?”
“This one, I think.”
These two seem to have decided on the necklace.
Sherry finally picks one of the two.
This is probably the same necklace which he showed me on my first visit to the store.
It was priced at 55,000 Nar if I remember correctly.
Because it was showed to me on my first visit, it’s probably this store’s most prized necklace.
Well, I don’t know much about jewellery, so I’m not sure.
Sherry, however, shares same opinion as the store.
Then I’ll go with this one.
Sherry may have a keen eye, for she bought a book in her grandfather’s days.
Even if she doesn’t have a keen eye, she has established good relationship with the owner’s wife.
It’s best if Sherry picks it.
“Well then, I would like to buy this necklace and the raw amber gemstone.”
“Thank you. Because you received letter of recommendation personally from the duke, I’ll give you special price of 39,060 Nar.”
Influence of the duke’s letter of recommendation is incredible. I feel embarrassed.
30% discount is effective as well.
I pay the amount.
Beside gold coins, ninety silver coins and sixty copper coins.
“The case has been included as well. Although it costs about 200 Nar, it’ll not be charged, for you were the one who gave us this idea in the first place.”
The amber merchant removes the necklace from the cloth bag, puts it in the case and passes it to me.
Had the case been charged from me, it would have been discounted by 30% anyway.
But it’s free, so it’s even better.
After returning home, I hand the two their necklaces and take them to Palmasque.
I put the necklaces on them in Zabir’s labyrinth and hand them one silver coin.
“You’re not coming with us again?”
Sherry asks nervously.
She looks uneasy.
If she sells the necklace to the owner’s wife for twenty five gold coins, it’ll be same as Sherry’s price.
Actually, it’ll be more than Sherry’s price because Sherry was bought at 30% discount.
She would, of course, be nervous in carrying an item which is more expensive than herself.
Not just that, she’s wearing a necklace herself.
If she runs away with it, she won’t have to be worried for the rest of her life.
“It’s alright. Master trusts us.”
Roxanne knows it well.
Rather, she has unnecessarily high opinion of me.
After Sherry regains courage, I take them to Palmasque’s adventurer guild.
I see the two off.
When they come back with two more mirrors, procurement of ten mirrors will be over.
I won’t ever have to go back home from Palmasque directly. For foreseeable future at least.
There’s an unspeakably pleasant feeling when I think about it.
This feeling just won’t go away.
Meanwhile, a commotion was taking place in the adventurer guild.