When I was preparing to go to the Guild the next morning, the mail function of TSS went back to giving me an ERROR again. I was a little sad that my only link to my world was broken completely, but I had already decided to live here in this other world – no, this world.
I closed the TSS screen, exited the inn and headed to the General Guild’s annex. The first step in the plan was to get the reward for mapping the Emerald Demon Labyrinth.
It felt like it had been a long time since I was last at the Barga Branch. Due to requests related to the harvest festival, the place was flooded with adventurers since the early hours. These requests were not only about collecting air mana stones. There were a lot of traders and workers travelling between Miral, Barga, and the Royal Capital. They carried many goods as well as money and mana stones, so it was necessary for them to have guards during the trips. Bandits that targeted said merchants were increasing as well.
I glanced at the crowd of adventurers coming and going at the main building and I went into the annex. Compared to the main building, the annex was having a normal early morning with not too many coming to settle requests.
“Welcome, I’m Appraiser Rezmond. Oh, it’s Schwarz-sama. Welcome back!”
“Yes, I’m back, Rezmond-san.”
“Did you come to pick up what Remi-sama left for you?”
“Yes, if you please?”
“Of course. Please wait a bit.”
Rezmond-san disappeared into the back of the reception counter then immediately reappeared, carrying a large bag. Since I hadn’t received the mission via the Guild, I didn’t need to show my card. Instead, I was required to sign a receipt. With this, I now had plenty of funds.
I thanked Rezmond-san and left the annex. On the way back, I searched for Ashley-san in the main building, but I didn’t see her. Whether she was in the office or out for work, I didn’t know.
The pleasure quarter, as well as the shops on the south side of Barga were bustling with people thanks to the festival. To the average citizen, the death of a labyrinth was simply a happy event. In broad daylight, the bars in the quarter were full of people nursing drinks, not only adventurers but also men who could find some spare time from work. Cheers over the labyrinth conquest could be heard here and there.
To this country, or rather this world, were labyrinths such an anathema? I glanced at the hustle and bustle and stepped into Marida Company.
“Welcome, Schwarz-san. Has your job completed?”
“Yes, without any troubles. Is Malta-san in?”
“Yes, I’ll call him over right now. Please come inside.”
The store was tended by the usual clerk. I was guided to the parlor and offered the delicious tea I hadn’t had the chance to drink in a while. During the Labyrinth Conquest, Lali… Barga Lord’s Daughter, Lapitillica-sama had also brewed some tea, but the tea here was exceptional.
“This light color and aroma… Is it coarse tea? Sweet but not sharp… No, not coarse tea, but fermented tea.”
“Just as expected of Schwarz-san. You know of the difference?”
Malta-san had entered the parlor. I was so absorbed in the tea that I hadn’t noticed…
“The tea today was made from first-grade summer leaves, ground and thoroughly fermented for one month. The sharpness has faded, leaving the sweetness to come out – that is its trait.”
“It is very delicious. It’s been some time, Malta-san.”
“Yes, I’ve been waiting for you. To come back at this time means you participated in the labyrinth conquest, didn’t you?”
“Yes. I wasn’t able to witness the final victory, but I was able to put my humble abilities to use.”
“You’ve worked hard.”
“Thank you. Today I’ve come to sell the mana stones collected during the conquest. And the camping equipment I asked for last time, were you able to prepare them?”
“I was, of course. I would also gladly accept the stones.”
Among the stones I had collected, I kept the non-attributed stones and the few water-attributed ones, then sold the rest. The water stones would be used as materials for the water flasks. I used part of the money from selling the stones to pay for the camping equipments and more non-attribute stones.
The ammo charge of P90 and Scar-H that I often used were balance thanks to these mana stones. The costs would increase once I went solo and I might even take a loss, but if I didn’t splurge using rocket launchers and laser guns like water, I’d probably be able to maintain a balance. That being said, I would also be able to collect more arms and magical materials in the lower levels of the Wolf Fang Labrinth.
“By the way, does Marida Company deal in groceries and cooking utensils?”
“Groceries and cooking utensils? Unfortunately, we don’t handle them here at Barga branch, but we do at our headquarters in the Royal Capital.”
“I see. Could you please refer me to some stores in Barga that do?”
“Yes… I can introduce to you some places, but the timing is a little bad.”
“Is that so?”
“Yes. Due to the harvest festival, a lot of food is being transferred to Miral. It depends on how much food you need, but you might be turned down if the quantity is too much. For us traders, the harvest festival is a chance to showcase our business’s capability. If our businesses meet a shortage during the festival, they’d be considered lacking in capability and our credibility would fall sharply after the festival.”
“I see. How many days… 2 to 3 weeks, 3 meals per day, so about 63 servings.”
“You will need to pre-order for such an amount…”
I was wondering if Malta-san would show his thinking face this time when something like an illusion happened right in front of my eyes: Malta-san’s mild face became trader-like sharp, and his eyes shone brightly.
“Schwarz-san, I have a proposal.”
“W-What is it?”
“Three days from now, I’ll return to our headquarters in the Royal Capital and bring back a large number of goods to sell during the festival. What do you think about being the guard for the merchant party, as well as helping us with the transportation of goods? Aside from the usual rewards for guards and transportation, I’ll send a horse to the Royal Capital beforehand to ask for 100 portions of food to be prepared. Of course, I’ll also offer you a discount for the charge.”
Hmm, what should I do? There wasn’t a better chance to obtain food cheaply, and I also wanted to see the Royal Capital. Not just for the scenery, but also to find out more about the General Guild. This was also a good chance to see another big city aside from Fort Barga.
“Could you confirm these things, please? The size of the party, whether there will be other guards besides me, and the details of the trip. Also, about the goods transportation, do you mean to use my toolbox?”
“Yes, I would like to use Schwarz-san’s toolbox. The party will travel with 3 wagons. The first team carrying goods from the capital is expected to arrive in Barga tomorrow. We have our own guards, but they’ll be watching the warehouse here so we plan to hire some adventurers.”
I see… I confirmed the details of the trip with Malta-san. As for the goods, there was a limit to what he could tell me, but I was able to verify some details about those I would carry. It would take us 3 days to reach the Capital. We’d stay there for 2 days before heading back to Barga in 3 days. I would have time to tour the Royal Capital.
“Understood. I accept your proposal.”
“Oh, thank you.”
“However, please understand I will use a disguise. I don’t want information about my combat skills or toolbox to spread. It’s more convenient, and it’d also be troublesome if invitations from the clans came.”
“Certainly! I will keep that in mind.”
If I was to live on in this world, VMB’s powers would become widely known in the near future. But if people thought that the person who had it was someone other than Schwarz, then I could conquer labyrinths in peace. First I needed to hide my face, and if I used the voice change function in voice chat… It was time to use that mask!