Chapter 3 – Underground Guild ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ (Part 1)
It looked like an uncouth weapon’s store.
Inside the store were only wooden materials seemed to just be nailed together, there was no equipment with grandeur ornaments. They were like chunks of steel that were carelessly aligned.
And the one who was keeping the company of Junpei, was alsoーーan uncouth storekeeper.
White hair, white beard, and a face with unmoving expressions.
Is he a blacksmith himself, the muscles in his arms were robust for his appearance in age.
「And then……your budget is?」
The storekeeper said to Junpei bluntly.
「About 7 silver coins, I guess?」
To the immediate declaration of the answer of the storekeeper, even Junpei was taken aback.
The storekeeper flings his hands as if to chase him away troublesomely.
「My shop doesn’t have swords or spears that are sold at that price. We handle equipments that adventurers would leave their life into. To place shoddy goods in my store……my pride won’t forgive it!」
「No……the thing I’m searching for are throwing knivesーー」
Without waiting for Junpei’s words to finish, the storekeeper shouted at him with veins bulging from his temples.
「You window shopper, I’m telling you to shut up and go home you damn it!!」
Being showered by angry shouts, Junpei shrugged his shoulders.
「……well, whatever. I got it. I’ll go home just like you said so……but, before that, can I ask you the way?」
While gesturing with his chin, the storekeeper answered with an angry expression.
「……the jewelry shop is really on this street right?」
The storekeeper tilted his head dubiously.
「Ahh, the pawnshop Mirine Merchant Company is immediately to the left after you leave here……it’s just, that place only deal with rich people?」
「Thanks. See you later then」
After saying just that, Junpei left the store while waving his hand backwards, and walked to the left.
「He was saying that……the thing he was searching for was a knife huh……?」
Inside the store that Junpei left. The storekeeper let out a sigh while looking around his store.
「Recently, I seem to gotten stubborn, and stopped listening to what people say……if it’s 7 silver coins for a knife……it’s not like I don’t have some. I thought that it was an order for a sword or a spear, but he might have only wanted a knife to protect himself……I might have done something wrong」
After the storeowner had said that to himself, he took out an ashtray.
He then lit his pipe, and deliciously took a deep breath.
ーーI really can’t help, treating dull young men with strong attitude……specially those who seem like they don’t have any future.
He knew what his bad habits were, and the storeowner thought that he was not like this back then.
He had met many kinds of people, continuing his weapon store business for a long time.
However, the customers who had become a regular one, they would die one next to the other because of war, or maybe failing a subjugation request from the guild.
At least, as a blacksmith……as a veteran, he knew the weight of the lives of people better.
That is why, when he sees young people who would recklessly risk their lives while relying on shoddy equipments, he gained the personality of being unable to leave them alone without saying anything.
At the same time, he stopped handling equipments that are inferior. And when he noticed it, this store became a little bit more expensive in this area, the customers stopped coming, and the business also started to go worse.
In short, the customers were taken by the stores that handle inferior goods.
While looking at the smoke that was rising to the ceiling, the clumsy store owner said to himself.
「It might be already the right time to stop……. well, anyways, this has even become only as a past time right now……. I won’t be troubled to find something to eat with my savings up until now……」
He was imagining the lifestyle that he would have after retiring absentmindedly, but at that time, Junpei who left the store returned once again.
*KaranKaran*, at the same time that the bell of the store rang, the storekeeper called out to Junpei.
「Ohh, sorry earlier, not talking to you properly. It was a knifeーーwas it? If it’s for 7 silver coins, I can sell you the cheapest one for your self-protection if you wantーー」
Is he hearing the storekeeper’s words or not, Junpei casually walked towards the counter, and left the small cloth bag that seems to have a lot of weight in front of the storeowner.
「I changed to money the assets that I currently have. My budget is 50 gold coins (appx. $250,000). I knew that this was a high-grade store……but I didn’t have cash earlier, so sorry about that. Tell me if it isn’t enough」
The storeowner widened his eyes.
And, after thinking of something for a while, he opened his mouth with a voice that couldn’t hide his surprise.
「……the most expensive knife, is only 1 gold coin though?」
The storeowner opened the shelf below, and searched.
And after that, he reached out the knife over the counter.
Receiving that, Junpei whistled.
「Johnny the Macker……a model from 20 years ago huh. It’s not something that is classified as a rare item, but has the highest evaluation for versatile knives……and most of all, even within the same models of Johnny the Macker, this year’s model has astounding quality……Ossan, this is a good weapon store huh? Un, just looking at the efficiency, it can be treated as a Rare Rank E」
He widened his eyes more than before, and the storeowner answered with a slightly cheerful voice.
「……you’re very knowledgeable huh? Also……you seem like you have good eyes」
“Yeah”, he nodded, and Junpei said.
「If the quality’s this good, I don’t have any complaints, give me about fifty of them」
「F-F-Fifty you say?!」
“n?”, Junpei placed a hand on his chin, and let out a sigh like, “I’m troubled……”.
「I told you that my budget is 50 gold coins right? You can’t prepare it?」
Receiving Junpei’s sight, the storeowner thought for a while, and then nodded.
「I’ll tell you honestly. There are only 10 in this store. The remaining 40……I can prepare them within 2 weeks」
Junpei nodded meaning to agree.
「I also want to ask another thing……」
「The use for the knife, it’s going to be as a poisoned throwing knife. I’m thinking of using it without regards as if it’s an expendable thing」
The storeowner who heard that made a surprised smile.
「Johnny the Macker as expendable goods huh……who are you, an S-Rank adventurer or something? Well, you’re probably some rich kid from somewhere……」
And then, Junpei removed his tattered cloak there.
The thing that appeared under the cloak, was the Sword Saint’s Light Armor.
“Oi……”, the colors on the storeowner’s eyes immediately changed.
「You……that light armor……isn’t that a Rare S-Ranked……where did you get……」
Shaking his head, Junpei shrugged his shoulders.
「You’re also a pro right? Then, don’t inquire something you don’t need to. And so, the thing I want to ask is very simple」
「While its blades soaked in poison, I want to carry the knives in a bundle as if to coil around this light armor」
Gulping, the storeowner, stared straight towards Junpei seriously.
「Can you remove the light armor」
Following the storeowner’s words, Junpei removed the metal fittings of the armor, and placed each one of the parts on top of the counter.
He looked at the light armor which was aligned as if to judge their values from top to bottom, and even he took them with his arms as if to check the how the specific parts felt.
「What a fascinating made magic equipment. Even for S-Rank adventurers, it would be difficult for them to find something of this quality. In fact, even I, being able to acquire a masterpiece like this……I never have, not even once」
「And then, how is it?」
「……I can do it by joining the sheaths of the knives on a leather belt. And then, the work itself can be finished within a day, but……it would be a little troublesome, to find materials that could fit equipment this amazing. Can you give me time?」
「For how long?」
After thinking for a moment, the storeowner answered.
「It’s probably for 2 weeks……probably」
「Then, there’s no problem」
「However……the price for the materials would be expensive? How’s 2 gold coins?」
Junpei who had a serious face, said surprised.
「Hey, I’m going to buy 50 knives, can’t you do that for free」
The storeowner made a wry smile, and raised both of his hands as if to surrender.
And then, the two, they exchanged handshakes while wearing an innocent smile.
「Well then, the payment would be 50 gold coins in advance. It would be troublesome if you’d already ran away after I gathered the materials」
「I don’t mind. After two weeks at the same time, I’ll come here again」
After saying that, Junpei quickly equipped the light armor.
And then, he took the tattered cloak that was left on the top of the table, and once again, started to walk towards the door in the entrance while waving his hand backwards.
Suddenly, in the storeowner’s sight, he saw something around Junpei’s waist who was about to wear the tattered cloak.
The storeowner exceeds being surprised, and became petrified.
He heavily rubbed his eyes, and once again, as if he had seen something unbelievable, he looked at Junpei’s back.
ーーthat shield……is it Aegis Shield? Its rarity……exceeds S……a legendary class……you say? That should be an item……that only exists……fairy tales……
To the too much of an impact, the storeowner had completely stopped in his place.
In the end, for ten seconds until Junpei have left the street and his appearance couldn’t be seen anymore, the storeowner even forgot how to breathe, and was completely petrified.
And when he was able to move again, he collapsed backwards, falling down from his seat.
「Hehe……! It looks like my hips are dislocated……hehe!……fufu!……fufufufufufu!」
As if it was really very funny, while laying on his back, the storeowner laughed while his hands are on his stomach.
「That’s good, no this is great……this is why the business of selling is so interesting…… as long as that guy is coming as a customer……there is no way that I can retire……!」
Inside a room of a clean inn. A room filled with the warm smell of wood and the fragrance of sunlight that seeped to the beddings, fresh air that cannot be compared to the inside of the labyrinth.
The windows have been fully opened, and Junpei was sitting on the window side.
While looking at the splendid moon in the sky, he started to drink red wine with cheese as a snack on the side.
And there, *KonKon*, a knocking sound.
When Junpei gave permission to enter the room, the waiter entered with a black bread and a simple soup on a tray.
「It is already very late……so please forgive only being able to prepare this」
「The dinner here, it’s in the dining room on the first floor when the sun has set……was it? Leave it on the table. I’ll be careful to not be too late from now on……the tip is in there so you can take it if you want」
After hearing those words, the waiter bowed, then left the room after receiving the tip.
This inn that the gate guard has told him, was not so bad.
It has a bath, and Junpei has just come out from it.
Commonly, for adventurers who are living in an inn, the bath indicates a public bath.
Having a bath at their facility, inevitably, the inn’s rank would go up. In fact, the rank of this inn is in the lower grade of the high grades, so it could be said that it is a place where B-Rank adventurers would stay on.
It is something that is very important for Junpei who had grown up in Japan, and as long as he had the money, he wanted to prioritize the cleanliness of the facility.
When he was still doing farm work in a village, using the very small amount of money that he had, he had went to the town’s public bath once.
However, the water looked dirty in its colors, and it was something that is only a little better compared to taking a bath on a river.
And inside the labyrinth, there was no way that he could soak his body and have a relaxing bath, and he had not thought of it even once.
As if to wash off the dirt that he had up until now, Junpei stayed on the inn’s bath for more than an hour, and has just washed off the dirt that accumulated in his body.
He has also removed the oil and dandruff that was causing the itchiness in his head.
The cold night air, a body that is warmed, it reallyーーjust, feels good.
「However……I was scammed……that jewelry store……」
While feeling the night air, Junpei whispered to himself.
The exchange rate of the jewels that should be 100 gold coins, was counted down to 60. Because they were of special circumstances, they were only bought with 60% of the market price.
Well, that is why……he does not have any worries for something that there would be a thievery commotion or things like that.
He made a helpless expression, unable to do anything about it.
In the first place, he can change his appearance using【Mimicry】, and when time comes that he was chased by the guards, he had the confidence to run away, but……there is nothing better about avoiding troubles.
And there, he shook his head.
There was nothing that he could gain thinking or be complaining about things that have already ended.
Junpei did not have the time to do wasteful things.
「Well then. Before it gets cold……I should eat it」
He went towards the table from the window side.
The tray on top of the tableーーhe took that, having dried meat and potato soup and black bread on a plate on top of it, and sat down after returning to the side of the window once again, to look outside.
He scooped the spoon into the wooden bowl, brought it to his mouth, then had eyes widened in surprise.
That taste, it was on different dimensions compared to the food he made for himself inside the labyrinth.
Although, since he’s comparing it to the emergency food that he made just to get rid of hunger, it is a very natural thing.
When he compared it to the instant food in Japan composedly, the thing that Junpei is eating right now was a very awful thing. However, even that soup, for Junpei who now had an ultimate poor tongue, he felt that it was far more delicious than the high-class French cuisine around Ginza, that costs tens of dollars for each dish.
And after that, he put butter on the black bread, then took a small piece into his mouth. And he immediately followed with the next piece.
Because he had swallowed it with almost not biting it, it got stuck in his throat, so he drank the red wine in its decanter.
*GehoGeho*, he coughed while hitting his chest, and after a breath, he opened his mouth as if to feel what he had said.
「Delicious……. It is really, so………………………………delicious」
While being moved to the deliciousness of the food, Junpei looked up to the moon.
In the sky, there was a river of stars. Stars that if you reach out your hands, you might reach them.
Just expected of an inn on top of a hill, the view is very splendid, and the air is also fresh.
When he looked down, the light of the people’s lifestyleーーtheir lives are burning.
Bright starry sky, and the light of the people’s lifestyle.
While looking at them alternately, Junpei let out a very deep sigh with deep feelings.
「I really came back, huh……. it might be something temporary, but……I……」
When he noticed it, tears have started to fall from his eyes.
Or maybe, in the modern era, something like successfully escaping as a death row inmate, breathing fresh air might feel like this.
As if to clench and feel his temporary freedom, Junpei once again carried a spoonful of the soup into his mouth.
After saying just that, his thoughts changed to the plans from now on.
ーーthe objective that I came outside, is tripling the status. Meaning, to rank up to an advanced job.
For that, he needs to escape from his jobless state, and have an advanced job.
In other words, to rise up to an A-Rank adventurer……
「Tomorrow……I should go to the guild and register as an adventurer……I guess」
“And then……”, Junpei gripped his fist.
ーーafter that……it’s my revenge for them……
According to the God, there would be a change within Junpei if he finishes his revenge. However, that does not matter.
ーーKido’s face appeared in his mind.
ーーNoriko’s face appeared in his mind.
ーーAnd, their lackeys’ faces appeared in his mind.
All of their faces were filled with ill intents, looking down on him, or have pity on him, without exception.
Those guysーーeven when they had pushed Junpei down into that labyrinthーーwithout any sense of guilt, they were only, making smiles filled with evil intents.
And while he remembered that, from the bottom of his stomach, Junpei felt something hot come out.
He drank the remaining wine at once.
He then glared at the night sky, and whispered as if to spit out.
「That’s right. Everything’s……starting now」
*Thank you, Haddow Declan Barnes-sama, Johan Solis Molina-sama, Rafael Soria-sama, Julio Cubilas-sama, Gian Carlo Zaragoza-sama Javier Ledezma-sama, Richard Wong-sama, Kevin Carp-sama for Sponsoring!