“Earl Baumeister, I hear the 『Hair God』 has come to your territory.”
“Eh? Kamikami, you say?”
“Yes, Hair God.” 1
Since today I’ve got no work at the prep school, I’ve been reading the reports I received from Roderich in my mansion. It’s impossible for me to oversee all of the governmental affairs of the huge Baumeister Earldom, but as its lord, I must gradually grasp the whole. Given that Elise and my other wives are on maternity leave, it’s just the perfect time to get accustomed to this job.
It looks like my experience from my time as salaryman wasn’t all pointless either. As I read the documents, I can understand the rough outline.
The development in my territory has been proceeding at a higher pace than scheduled. Just as I’m reviewing the progress, an unexpected visitor shows up in front of me. That visitor introduces himself as Earl Ehrenfried, clad in an attire and behaving himself in a way suitable to his rank. I think he’s approximately forty years old. He seems to be a high-ranking appointed noble, belonging to the circle of nobles affiliated with agricultural affairs.
As usual, I can’t remember the names of nobles, but Elise and Roderich cover that part for me.
Just when I’m wondering what kind of business he might have with me ─ though it’s gotta be related to agriculture, seeing his affiliation ─ he suddenly confronts me with a word I’ve never heard before.
“Sorry, I’m still not quite up to par since I’m a greenhorn, but what’s this 『Hair God』?”
“It’s being referred to as a legendary life-form. I guess it’s only understandable for you to not know of it…”
According to Earl Ehrenfried, the Hair God is a creature where it isn’t even clear whether it counts as a monster or animal.
“You don’t know?”
“I hear its movements are very quick. It got a speed the eyes can’t keep up with, or something like that…”
No one knows how it looks like since it’s too fast for the human eye, and its usual habitat is unknown as well since it’s been sighted in monster domains as well as regular forests and plains.
“I’ve got a question then. How do you know that it’s the Hair God despite not knowing its true appearance? Couldn’t it be some other quick creature?”
He explains that the Hair God has a very specific trait. It looks like it scatters some weird liquid when running away from people trying to catch it.
“Liquid? Does your body melt when showered by it or something?”
“No. If you’re hit by that liquid, your hair will grow out.”
Come to think of it, Earl Ehrenfried is bald. His eyes clearly tell me that it’s inevitable for him to be interested in a liquid that regrows hair.
“In short, it scatters a liquid when escaping, and your hair grows back when hit by that liquid, correct?”
“Yes, I hear an adventurer with thin hair got accidentally showered by it, resulting in his hair remaining bushy all the way until his death.”
“It sounds like it’s very effective…”
I know many people worried about their thin hair in my previous life. I’d also noticed that one of my superiors wore a wig. It was really hard for my eyes to not be drawn to his hairline when I was talking to him. There also existed many people buying expensive hair growth agents as soon as they heard that they were effective against thin hair. Even on Earth with its almighty science, a perfectly working hair restorer didn’t exist.
At least until I was transferred to this world, that is.
This world has its own shady hair restorers as well. It’s questionable whether those things have any effect…
Many among the nobles and merchants buy somewhat fishy magic potions for hefty sums of money. They get cheated, get involved with fishy potions again, and get cheated again. There’s quite a few such people. No matter how often they get tricked, they don’t give up hope that they’ll find an effective medicine one day.
Even if the world is a different one, hair remains an eternal topic for men.
“Fortunately, the sighting hasn’t been in the Demon Forest. Accordingly, I have some requests for you, Sir Baumeister.” Earl Ehrenfried presents me with a bundle of documents.
All the documents are filled with requests addressed towards me.
“You’re certainly not going to turn them down, are you?”
What blunt pressure. The requests ask me to somehow catch the Hair God using my magic, or to secure the liquid secreted at the time of its escape. All of the letters insist on preferentially selling the liquid to them. It’s a foregone conclusion that all the requesters are people with thin hair.
Moreover, if I turn down their requests, they intend to have me branded as intolerant by all people lacking hair. That attitude of fussing over hair is intolerant as well…but I guess I’m not in a position to make such a statement as I don’t understand the feelings of people with no hair.
What’s far more frightening is the tenacious attachment towards hair.
“I’m not sure whether I will be successful…”
“We know that. But, even if it’s just clinging to a faint possibility, we want to get our hair back!”
Overwhelmed by Earl Ehrenfried’s intense appeal, I lose the chance to turn him down.
“Hair God, huh? It’s a legendary creature as far as I know. Because of its effectiveness, many influential people desire its body fluids, I hear.”
Since I had no choice but to accept the requests, I tried asking Elise about the Hair God in an attempt to gather some information. In response, she gives me a full rundown. Nothing less of Elise-sensei.
“It’s an unwritten law that information about the Hair God mustn’t be passed down to the commoners…”
Apparently it’s a measure to avoid an increase of people trying to get their lost hair back after letting the commoners know.
Their lost hair will return back to its former state; if they knew that such a dream-like effect really existed, the competition to obtain that fluid would very likely become fierce. It’s a safe bet that wealthy merchants would pay any amount of money for it.
“There are no records of the Hair God having been caught in the past. Only the people, who obtained its body fluids after being showered by it, were able to recover their lost hair.”
In other words, it’d turn into an extreme competition in order to obtain the rare fluid secreted during its escape.
“Because it’s moving so fast that you can’t follow it with your eyes, no one has been able to confirm what it looks like as of yet. It looks like some people were able to obtain the liquid by chance, but only very small amounts of it. In addition, being able to obtain it once in ten sightings is already a great achievement…”
Given its rare acquisition rate and the small amount, I suppose there’s very few people who have been able to enjoy its blessing.
“Simply put, I should give it a try since I’ve got nothing to lose anyway?”
“Yes. Of course magicians in ancient times have also challenged a capture of the Hair God, but not one of them has succeeded. The liquid being acquired by normal people appears to be the common case…”
In short, doesn’t that mean that I won’t draw any hate towards me even if I fail?
The high-ranking nobles are kicking up a fuss that it might be possible for them to get their hair back, but the probability of actually being able to obtain the liquid is low. I guess they still came to rely on me, who has a faintly higher chance for success, while clinging to that exceedingly low possibility.
“I’ll do my best. But, I can’t guarantee the result…”
“That makes sense. Still, I think it’ll be fine if you do just that.” Since Elise-sensei is the one saying so, it must be true.
“So, where has that Hair God or whatever been sighted in the Baumeister Earldom?”
“Well, you see…” When I hear about the location from Ina, it’s a truly unexpected place.
“Such a creature might be in our territory?”
“It’s too fast, making a clear location of its whereabouts difficult, it seems, but…”
The Hair God has been seen in a forest adjoining to Paul’s territory. A small stream is flowing through the middle of the forest, and this creek serves as the border between Paul’s and my territories.
The sighting took place on the Earldom’s side of the forest, but it might also have moved on to Paul’s side. Accordingly I’m now visiting Paul to get permission to search the forest.
Considering my relationship with Paul, it wouldn’t be a particular problem for me to search without asking for permission first, but you should still keep good manners, even between family.
“What to say…it really sounds like trying to catch clouds…”
“If I hadn’t accepted the request, even if I did so just because I’ve got nothing to lose anyway, the pressure would have become too intense…”
This country is ruled by a king, royalty, and nobles. A lot of those in power are elderly men, and many of those suffer from hair loss. That’s why I must devote all my power into searching for the Hair God. After all, it might have developed into a hindrance of my territory’s growth if I had refused to help.
Given that Roderich has seen me off with a smile, I think I’m not all that wrong about this assumption either. The truly terrifying part is the tenacity towards hair.
“It’s just a question I’ve come up with on the spot, but how is it possible that a creature, which is so fast that you can’t follow its movement with your eyes, has been reported to have been spotted?”
“It looks like it runs away while scattering a liquid, if it senses danger.”
“But, the Hair God is abnormally fast, right? Wouldn’t it be rare for its fluid to scatter when it runs away?”
“Now that you mention it…maybe it’s the wind pressure or something?”
I don’t understand the details about this part either. If it moves quickly, it might create an intense whirlwind or something, like a kamaitachi.
“Brother, is the usual share necessary?”
“I’ll think about it if it’s caught in my territory.”
Even if we might share a patron/vassal relationship, we must be clear about these kinds of things. But, I think Paul estimates the probability of obtaining the Hair God’s fluid as fairly low. He puts off a talk about the details for the time afterwards.
“Milord, I’d like to participate in the search as well, if possible.” Ottmar-san, a former guard colleague of Paul and his current Junior Commander, expresses his wish to join the search.
“Ottmar, you’ve got a day off today, so I don’t really mind, but…”
“Thank you very much! Yahooooo! I’ll go at it with full power!!” Ottmar-san heads towards the forest in high spirits.
“That guy has recently been worrying about his declining hair…”
No matter the era or world, worrying about hair loss remains the same everywhere.
“Anyway, does such a creature really exist in the first place?” Erw brings up a doubt as I, the members I rounded up, and several men under Ottmar-san begin to look for Hair God.
“It doesn’t matter either way. We have to establish the fact that we searched for it.”
“In other words, an alibi?”
“Something like that, I suppose.”
It’d cause various problems if I piss off the other nobles without searching. That’s why I need to do my best, even if we don’t find it in the end.
“That’s going to be expensive…?”
“Not as much as you think.”
Since we’re looking for a being that might exist or not, I’ve hired students from the prep school for a part-time job. I have them split up the forest and watch their respective sections by paying them an allowance.
“Just call them necessary expenses.”
“Though, what wonders me is the question why Arterio-san is with us.”
The chief purveyor of the Baumeister house, Arterio-san, is participating in the search as well. Erw is baffled that such a big shot would show up here.
“It’s a measure for the unlikely event of us obtaining the liquid. Erwin, a bloody dispute is going to start, if royalty and nobility try to appropriate the liquid for themselves. I have investigated various things as well, and found records of bloodshed in the past.”
“Erwin, that’s something you can say because of your rich hair. In the eyes of people with little to no hair, they’ll consider the liquid as something they want to get their hands on, even if they have to get rid of contenders.”
Learning of such circumstances, I feel like I accepted an outrageous request. Given that it’s requests from people who can apply pressure on us, it wasn’t really refusable though…
“Erwin, can you still say the same even after seeing that?”
“All of you! Raise your spirits and search as if your life depends on it!”
Arterio-san jerks in the direction where Ottmar-san and his men are about to search for Hair God with bloodshot eyes. Somehow, the people participating under him seem to lack hair…
They probably put a maximum priority on recovering their own hair as long as they can get some of the liquid. But certainly, compared to before, I feel like Ottmar-san’s hair has thinned out quite a bit. That makes him probably all the more frantic.
“Just looking at them is already scary…”
“Well, there are various magic potions related to men’s hair and women’s beauty care…that’s why I’m here as well. After all, a merchant might be necessary, seeing how it’s something difficult to put a price on.”
Given that it’ll doubtlessly cost quite a lot of money, Arterio-san is with us in preparation for that.
“Arterio-san, do you want the Hair God’s liquid, too?”
“No, I don’t have thin hair. Though, Burkhart-san, who wants to look good for his newborn daughter, might need it.”
Now that he mentions it, Arterio-san sure has full hair. There’s some white hair because of his age, but that’s solvable with hair dye.
“I don’t have any problems with my hair either.”
Actually, Burkhart-san is participating in the search together with Arterio-san. The reason being…
“Does Margrave Breithilde need it?”
“That’s not it, Earl-sama. The Margrave Breithilde House’s family members mostly don’t suffer from hair loss. I’ve been sent here since it looks like trouble might brew if you obtain the Hair God’s liquid by chance.”
“Just because of that?”
It’s also possible that there’d be various maneuvering going on within the Margrave Breithilde House to obtain the liquid, so Margrave Breithilde himself doesn’t seem to be all that eager to obtain it.
—————— End of Part 1 ——————
“Ultimately it’s just a precautionary measure. Hair God sightings are reported several dozen times per year, but the liquid is obtained roughly once out of ten times. It’s the very definition of an illusionary fluid. On one occasion I also joined the search for it, I recall. Back then I was still a newbie magician. Though I didn’t even get to see its shadow.”
“I hear there were many cases in the past where people couldn’t find it even after mobilizing many magicians. To be blunt, it depends on luck anyway…so go at it without straining yourself.”
Burkhart-san has obviously no motivation. Instead, he might be more eager to get back home.
“Well, maybe Doushi needs it as well…”
Actually Doushi is also participating in our search today.
“Burkhart-dono, I’m shaving my head every day. The Armstrong family has only few members with thin hair.”
“Yeah, I know, I’m aware of that. You were requested to help by nobles related to you, weren’t you?”
“It would be a lie if I denied that, but since no surefire method to obtain the liquid exists, I can’t promise much either.”
He was probably asked to do this by people with thin hair among the nobles of the military faction or something like that…but then again, since Doushi isn’t exactly a member of their faction, I don’t think that he has an obligation to accept their plea.
“I’m here because some people will more likely accept the outcome if they see that even my participation didn’t change anything.”
“Sorry for going out of your way for us.”
“I don’t mind. Even though a man’s charm isn’t just defined by his hair, so many adult men are kicking up a fuss over it. What truly shameful conduct!”
It’s not that I don’t feel the same, but Doushi sure is amazing for being able to state this without batting an eyelid. Since it’d be pointless to keep talking about this any longer, we also joined up with the Hair God search party.
“Sensei, I’m bored.”
“I hear you, but make sure to not move from your designated position. You won’t become a decent adventurer, if you don’t do your job properly when getting paid for it.”
Anyway, there’s the question of how we should go about looking for the Hair God. It’s not like some ingenious method with a good prospect to find it has been established.
I deployed the hired students at the various spots in the forest where the Hair God had been spotted. It was a simple measure to make sure that we’d be able to quickly react wherever it might show up. But, after several hours of waiting, the students started to get tired of it since nothing was going on. After all, even I’d get bored to death if I were to be forbidden to hunt or gather materials because of the need to keep watching a certain location.
“Erw, do we have any likely responses?”
“No, it’s not that I know what kind of response to await from the Hair God or whatever, but there’s no response or presence indicating something remotely close to it.”
Since the sun set a few hours later, we put a stop to today’s search. The search this time around will last three days to cater to the wishes of the high-ranking nobles who are closely observing the whole endeavor.
Today all of us are going to stay in brother’s territory without returning to Baulburg.
“Wend, thanks for the business.”
Several dozen people are going to lodge, eat and drink. That’s an income which helps the Baumeister Associate Barony as it’s still in the middle of its development.
Come to think of it, the ones earning the most in the past during the gold rush on Earth were the people doing business with the diggers, or so I heard. Still, necessary expenses have to be paid either way.
“Your place for lodging and dining has been prepared as well.”
Erw, Burkhart-san, Doushi and I will stay over at my brother’s mansion. Arterio-san apparently judged it unlikely for us to find the liquid, and thus returned to Baulburg, leaving one of his subordinates behind. Since he’s swamped with work, he probably can’t waste three days in a place like this.
My brother’s mansion was built only recently, and is largely different from the previous mansion of my parents. It’s not as big as my mansion, but since its comparison target would be that old shack from the past, it must feel terribly luxurious to my brother and his family.
“Brother, is such an extravagant mansion okay?”
“Well…don’t compare it to our previous home, okay…? We get visitors from outside, and it’s supposed to last for a good while. Had we built it too small or skimped on the money, it’d just cost more later on because of all the reconstructions.”
As we are guided into the mansion, I see several young women in maid clothes briskly doing various chores.
“Brother! You’ve got maids!”
For him to even have maids…I can’t hide my surprise.
“I’ve just hired several women as commuting maids from within the territory. The maid clothes are loaned to them for their work here.”
“Even so, it’s still amazing!”
“Well, I know what you mean, but still…”
At our parents’ home, the one closest to what you could call a maid was 『Meyd-san』 2 , and she worked while wearing her normal clothes. Since my parents didn’t have any servants that could be described as housekeepers, you can call the current situation a big level-up.
“Let’s have dinner.”
Even the dinner consisted of a fairly luxurious menu. Brother had the maids serve a full course, and a delicious cake rounded up the whole as a dessert.
Once again I become worried.
“Brother, is all of this really okay?”
“Wend, you’re my patron, so I have to entertain you properly, and since we’re also receiving payment for the dining and lodging from the other visitors, it’s no problem. Besides, it’d be better for you to not worry so much. Else dad will sink beneath the table.”
Once I look in the direction of my father, he’s sitting at the edge of the table with his head hanging and his shoulders slumping.
“I guess it’s only natural for Wend to be worried…we didn’t provide any decent meals during your childhood…if not for the food brought in by Wend, it’d have been hard for us to even provide anything besides bread and soup… Don’t mind me. I know that I was a failure as lord…”
“Father, I’m sorry!”
After this I had to spend quite a bit of time on consoling my father.
“A secret medicine to recover lost hair, eh…? I suppose high-ranking nobles have it hard as well.”
Since father has finally cheered up again, we resume our dinner as I explain the details of my current job. As for the disclosure of the information, father and brother are no problem since they’re nobility. Having said that, it’s already turned into large-scale search with people having been hired, so I won’t be able to avoid the adventurers learning of it, no matter what I do.
I have no idea for how long the Hair God remains at the same spot, but the number of adventurers booking an inn in brother’s territory might increase for a while. Well, if it comes to a hair restorer that always works, high-ranking nobles and wealthy merchants will pay the asking price. It’s very likely that people hoping for something like a gold rush will gather here, seeing as they might obtain a sum of money that would allow them to live the rest of their lives off the hog.
“I’ll take it as a great chance for us to earn some money.”
However, the probability for the searching adventurers to find the target is going to be extremely low. Nevertheless, it might develop into a plain gold rush for my brother and his fief’s residents when they do business with the adventurers.
“If it comes to high-ranking nobles, they probably have many occasions where they need to appear in public. It might be better for their appearance to have hair on their head.” Father says, but I actually wonder, what would the surroundings think if a noble suddenly grows hair on his bald head?
In my previous life they’d be suspected of hair transplantation or a wig. But, since the increase of hair through the Hair God affects your own, natural hair, it’s maybe not necessary to worry about such things?
While thinking about all this, my eyes suddenly end up clinging to my father’s head. Then again, it’s not like my father has any issues with hair loss. The white hair has increased in number again, but if he were to worry about that, he’d just need to dye them.
Even if the hair has become completely white, there’s still a big difference between having and not having hair.
“Wendelin, you don’t really need to give me that medicine…” Father says as if to alleviate my worries after having noticed my look. “There’s few people who are troubled with hair loss in our Baumeister family. Although we’re a family that has no redeeming traits, only that part is something we can be proud of.”
Come to think of it, Erich has rich hair as well. But having such a family trait might be actually great.
Just because they’ve lost their hair, it’s not like the nobles in this world can use a shaved head as some kind of deception. It’s because nobles who shave their head will stick out like sore thumbs, or rather, it won’t suit them, on top of being considered to have a lack of common sense.
Some among them use wigs, but with the crafting technologies of this world it’s plain obvious that those are wigs. There’s probably only a few nobles who would openly talk about it, but it looks like it is occasionally used as material to make fun of the wig-wearers behind their backs. I hear that it led to duels in the past after the nobles in question heard of those malicious rumors by coincidence.
The bitterness over hair is really frightening.
For that reason, wealthy nobles put in various efforts in their quest for hair recovery. Though some among them fall for scams involving weird medicines.
『It’d be best to be suspicious of anything involving medicines supposedly letting you grow taller, allowing you to become slim, boosting your sexual vitality, or letting breasts grow』 Elise taught me.
She said there’s many people who pay big amounts of money once they’re told about dream-like effects, even if the idea itself is clearly fishy.
“Before that, are you really going to find that Hair God?”
“Umm…who knows?” I end up lost for a reply to my father’s question.
Given that mother joined us afterwards to talk about the recent situation with Elise and my other wives, we completely stopped talking about the Hair God. It allowed me to fully understand that people won’t trust anything they haven’t actually seen with their own eyes.
“Sensei, we haven’t found it.”
“I suppose even Cindy’s good luck is of no help here…”
The search on the second day is already on its way, but there’s still not a single trace of that Hair God. Even after using Cindy’s girl power, also known as good luck, we haven’t managed to grasp a single clue about its whereabouts.
“Earl-sama, it’s nigh impossible to find it, isn’t it?”
Burkhart-san is also in low spirits. Given that the chances to find it after its sighting are rather low, he probably feels like going back to his daughter as soon as possible.
“We have to look for it for at least three days, otherwise it won’t work as an alibi.”
“Pointless expenses…or I guess not…considering it’s noble society…”
Because I’m a high-ranking noble myself as well, I’ve got to take other nobles into consideration to some extent. Even if I don’t manage to find it, I must show my sincerity by investing some time and effort into the search.
Of course some nobles will likely blame me for being worthless, either way.
“Wend, the students are clearly losing interest.” Erw informs me as the one leading the prep school students I called over for a part-time job.
Since they’re prohibited to hunt or gather, and are stuck watching their designated location all the time, their concentration on the job has been waning, I’m sure.
“Please have them somehow endure until tomorrow.”
“You’re quite the slave-driver. I hope this will end soon…”
The instant Erw files such a complaint, the wind is suddenly whirled up, and I feel as if something has slipped past my cheek at a very high speed.
“Burkhart-san, did you feel it as well?”
Right now we’re in a place with no wind blowing. And yet we sensed a local breeze and the presence of something. In other words…
“The Hair God, huh?”
Ultimately it’s no more than an assumption, though. Moreover, currently I can’t sense that Hair God-like presence anywhere anymore. It has apparently slipped past Burkhart-san and me at a tremendously high speed.
“Earl-sama, my 『Detect』 doesn’t show any response either.”
I finally comprehend why magicians don’t readily succeed at the capture of the Hair God. Since it’s way too fast, it moves out of the range of 『Detect』 before the skill triggers.
“How are we going to capture something like that?”
“Predict a place it’ll pass, and plant a trap there?”
“Even though we don’t know where it’s right now?” Burkhart-san shoots down the plan to catch it with a trap.
He’s right. We won’t know for sure whether it’ll pass the trap’s location, and if we plant a magic trap, it’ll cost mana to keep it up. Even the idea of planting traps in many places is physically impossible because the area is too big. Support the tl team by reading this on infinite novel translation’s blog!
“In the first place, we don’t know its current location, do we?”
As I judge Erw’s input to be very reasonable, I hear the voices of students from within the forest. It looks like the Hair God has moved towards them.
“Earl-sama, won’t it be too late even if we go now?”
After Burkhart-san points this out, I realize as well. Even if we head over to the place of the students that caused a ruckus just now, we won’t make it in time.
“Honesty, just how are we supposed to catch it?”
As I’m starting to believe that it might be impossible, Doushi shows up.
“Earl Baumeister, it’s just by coincidence, but I’ve felt a Hair God-like presence.”
“You too, huh? We have also sensed its presence…eh!?”
The instant we see Doushi, all of us become speechless due to his extremely weird appearance.
“I tried to punch it by intuition, but I didn’t hit it. But, it looks like I angered the Hair God! The outcome is just as you can see for yourself!”
The Hair God has apparently used its rumored fluid attack against Doushi. Hair is smoothly extending from his head, which is usually shaved, all the way down to his waist. At the same time it has apparently affected his beard as well. Now he’s got a rich beard, making him completely look like a mountain hermit.
“Doushi, that’s really eerie…”
“Damn, if this has caused hair to grow in places where it usually doesn’t, it will become a major pain!”
After being showered by the Hair God’s fluid, Doushi’s beard and head hair has become fairly abundant, but as result of that, the precious fluid has been totally wasted.
—————— End of Part 2 ——————
“It was truly terrible!”
When Burkhart-san, Erw, and I return to the inn after finishing the search on the second day, we fully grasp the effectiveness of the Hair God’s fluid as we examine Doushi who has become a long-bearded mountain hermit. Well, the irrefutable proof is in front of our noses after all.
“The hair is definitely nice…”
Everyone agrees with Erw’s opinion, but Doushi growing out beautiful blond hair like a woman can’t be called anything but eerie. And as if to prove that, children cried in fear, adults ran home, and some elderly even fainted when they saw Doushi on our way back to my brother’s mansion.
Usually I’ve regarded Doushi’s hair style as rather strikingly eccentric, but now I get the feeling that it’s actually been gentle in comparison. A blond long-haired Doushi is slightly scary, to be honest here. The unbalanced mountain hermit beard makes it even more frightening.
“Doushi, you’re not going to cut your hair?”
“I’m going to wait until the search is over. After all, it’s possible that I’ll be showered with the fluid again!”
Such miraculous probability…seems possible if we’re talking about Doushi, so we abstain from forcing him to cut his hair.
“You should at least trim them a bit, you know?”
Seemingly unable to let it pass despite Doushi’s objection, my brother’s wife arranges Doushi’s hair with a scissor. Thanks to her, I think it might have become a bit less scary.
When she saw Doushi first, she was obviously startled.
But yep, she might be familiar with giving haircuts. Still, my nephews immediately start crying as soon as they see Doushi. I can only hope that it won’t turn into a trauma for them.
“You cursed Hair God! Damn you for making innocent children cry!” Doushi is burning with hostility towards the Hair God all by himself, but I wonder…I don’t think he’s wrong, but isn’t that a false accusation, somehow?
“Still, I managed to collect a tiny amount of the fluid!”
Although it’s just a tiny amount, Doushi scooped up some of the fluid that fell on his body. As most of it went into growing his hair and beard, it’s not much, but it’s still unbelievably valuable.
Given that it’s an amount that’d allow for the hair of one person to grow back, I’m sure a huge bidding war will start after this search is over.
“Something with an instantaneous effect, huh…? You’ll be swarmed with potential buyers, definitely.”
Even Erw has no choice but to admit that nobles and wealthy merchants are going to fight over this if it has that much of an effect. He’s astonished while looking at Doushi.
“That means, if Doushi is going to play an active role tomorrow and beyond, we’ll be able to obtain more of the Hair God’s fluid.”
“No, it’s been truly coincidental that I managed to get my hands on it.”
Doushi clearly signals to Erw that he’d be troubled if Erw expected him to pull off tomorrow the same as today.
“I didn’t even have the time to consider catching it with magic.”
Yep, no matter how much you prepare your spells, the Hair God has the nasty trait to run away outside any spell’s range before you can even chant it. Tomorrow will also finish with being an alibi by performing a search.
“Earl Baumeister, it’s a great help that His Majesty doesn’t desire this medicine.”
On that day we went to sleep early in preparation for tomorrow, but seeing Doushi in his long-haired, long-bearded version early in the morning was really bad for my heart. I had simply forgotten about his new appearance over night.
My nephews start crying once again as soon as they see Doushi in the morning.
“Still, it’s grown quite a bit overnight…”
His hair and beard should have gained more than 10 cm.
“It’s terribly effective…”
“Since I didn’t have any issues with my hair to begin with, it’s just irritating!”
After breakfast, Doushi has my brother’s wife trim his hair once more. But, is Doushi going to be alright at this rate?
I’ve heard that hair and beard hair contain proteins. In other words, won’t Doushi’s prided muscles decrease in proportion to the marvelously quick growth of his hair, resulting in him eventually becoming all skin and bones? The growth of Doushi’s hair is so abnormal that I’ve begun to harbor such concerns.
Honestly speaking, I think it’d be good if I don’t get showered by the Hair God’s fluid.
“(But, it doesn’t really look like Doushi’s muscles are declining, does it…?)”
I’ve thought that the hair must come from somewhere, but maybe it ignores physical laws because it’s a kind of magic potion? Though, Doushi is eating lots of meat, so the necessary proteins might come from there.
“I had planned to call it quits after today, but…”
It was a coincidence, but it’s bad that Doushi ended up obtaining the fluid. The number of adventurers asking to stay at inns in my brother’s territory is steadily growing…
『Milord, I think it might be better to prolong the search for a few more days at this point…』
I’ve received a call through the MHCD from Roderich. It looks like the high-ranking nobles have been applying pressure, asking us to extend the search. Still, for the Earl Baumeister Household to receive an unprecedented level of pressure over something like this…
Hair is truly terrifying.
“I wonder, should I shave my head if my hair starts to thin?”
“That’s no good, is it? Considering your position as Earl Baumeister-sama.”
Putting it like that, he’s certainly right. At such times commoners have it much easier. But, I wonder what to think of always carrying a hat or using an obvious wig…
The pressure on me might be intense because the other nobles think the same, though…
“So, what are we going to do?”
“Keep our eyes open with perseverance!”
“No helping it, I suppose…”
In these last two days, Ottmar-san has mobilized all the fief residents with hair issues and planted a huge amount of nets and traps in the forest on brother’s side of the territory. But then again, it’s exactly because the Hair God doesn’t fall for those traps that it’s so difficult to catch in the first place…
“Increase the number of traps and nets! Tighten the watch, and don’t miss even the faintest change!”
Ottmar-san is frantically trying to catch the Hair God, capitalizing on his experience and position as brother’s Junior Commander.
“Umm…brother?” I call out to my brother who’s sighing as he’s watching Ottmar-san.
“That guy is truly desperate. He’s instigating my residents with the prospect of striking it rich if they manage to obtain the Hair God’s fluid. He’s also told me that it’ll help with the funds for the development…”
On the surface, those are logical reasons, but everyone knows that he’s actually doing it for the sake of recovering his own hair. I think they don’t point it out directly to him, although they’re aware of it, because they sympathize with his situation.
“Only in regards to this case, I can’t tell Ottmar anything. Somehow he’s quite scary…” My brother looks like he’s given up, accepting that he’s got no choice but to wait for this Hair God Festival to come to an end.
“Though, all we’re talking about here is just a hair restorer…” Erw comments, but his argumentation stems from us having no troubles with our hair. For those affected by hair loss it’s a pressing problem. Also, I think it’d be better for Erw to watch what he says.
“Erwin! It’s not just a hair restorer! It’s a magic medicine that will absolutely restore one’s hair! If we can obtain this, it’ll lead to a great development for the Associate Baumeister Barony! After all, we’ll be able to sell it for a hefty sum of money. Well…I plan to use a tiny bit to make sure of its effect, though…it’s not good to sell it without making sure of its efficiency… Anyway, such a way of thinking is wrong for you, who might become a chief retainer of the Earl Baumeister House in the future!”
Erw gets detained by Ottmar-san, receiving a long-winded remonstration.
＊ ＊ ＊
“So, it’s already been a full week…”
“Kinda feels long…and then again short…”
It looks like Doushi has truly been blessed by Lady Luck. Ever since the second day, there haven’t been eyewitness reports, resulting in everyone losing motivation.
Well, it makes sense. Everyone is just watching at the lookout positions assigned to them. Even among the adventurers a fairly big number has given up by now, and the number of those participating in the Hair God search is continuing to dwindle by the day.
“Sensei, we can’t quite find it, huh?”
“It’s a pain since we can’t do anything but stand watch.”
Agnes, Betty, Cindy, and the other part-time working students are bored. You could say that they’ve done well to hold out so long despite their youthfulness, but I think they’ve now reached their limit.
“There are no new sighting reports either. Let’s wrap it up here for today.”
“I’m all for it!”
Once I announce the end of today’s search, Burkhart-san is the very first to agree with it.
“Hasn’t Margrave Breithilde said anything?”
“There’s no way he could. Even if it’s sighted, the fluid is obtained only once in ten sightings. My conservative master doesn’t indulge in dreams. My dispatch is just an alibi anyway. Damn it, the folks at the capital should simply face reality.”
It’s a fairly cruel way of speaking, but our side is also wasting a lot of money on this. There’s no way we can continue doing this endlessly. There’s the pay for the students’ part-time jobbing, lodging expenses, etc.
My brother has reduced the lodging prices a bit for us, but if I add up the expenses so far, it’s already at an amount of money that’d cause a smaller noble to cry tears of blood. Then again, it only means that high-ranking nobles spend a lot of money on entertainment like this.
“I mean, even I don’t have time to waste.”
A magician at Burkhart-san’s level has been assigned to only watch a creature where it’s unclear whether it’ll be possible to catch it. Although it’s a necessary care of noble relationships, it means that Margrave Breithilde is also burdened quite a bit by his consideration towards the hairless nobles of the capital. I’m pretty sure, both actually want to get back to their usual jobs.
“I had expected that this might happen, so I tried to make something like this, just in case.” I show a magic net with a very fine meshing to Burkhart-san.
“It’s a fairly elaborate creation, but there’s no magician who wouldn’t think of such a method.”
Catching the Hair God with a magic net…you could call this a fairly cliched method.
“It will be long gone before you can even cast that net.”
“In that case, I guess there’s no other option but to set up the net in advance…having said that, the probability for the Hair God to go close to the net is low, isn’t it?”
And even before that, if I were to cast magic nets all over the place, I would never have enough mana to maintain all of them. The advantage of a magic net lies in its fine meshing when compared to a regular net. In my case, you can also add the point of it being almost invisible thanks to its transparency.
“I will make the meshing even finer.”
“If it’s this fine, even the Hair God won’t be able to get out of it, I guess?”
“Eh? Why phrase it as a question?”
“No one has ever seen the true appearance of the Hair God. According to rumors, it can take on any shape, and also slip through nets, or something like that? Ultimately it’s just rumors, the folklore-type at that.”
It’s capable of an ever-changing appearance, allowing it to slip through nets? If that’s really true, I think that even magic won’t be of much use here.
“Is this net no good as well? We’re going to set it up overhead like this, and wait beneath with jars at hand in preparation for the Hair God to excrete its fluid after getting caught in the net.” I show a large jar I’m holding in both hands after taking it out of my magic bag to Burkhart-san.
“That’s quite the big jar you got there. Up until now, you’d call a share of fluid for ten people during one sighting a fairly decent result.”
The amount Doushi was luckily able to collect is in the range of 20 ml – in other words, roughly the share of one person. The jar in my hands is one of those I’ve used for salt storage in the past. If it’s completely filled, it can hold around 20 liters.
“You’re way too greedy, Earl-sama.”
“I just thought it’d be easier to collect the fluid when using a jar around this big…”
“The Hair God appeared!”
As we’re having such a conversation, a report that the Hair God has appeared comes in from a slightly distant place. As I try to deal with it in a hurry, I feel how a gust of wind passes above my head.
“Again too late, huh!?”
Once I look up with that thought, a huge amount of fluid is raining down from above for some reason.
Even as I try to deal with it in panic, the fluid ends up completely falling into the jar in my hands. All of a sudden it feels quite heavy, but I prevent it from falling to the ground by strengthening my body with magic in a hurry.
“A sudden rainfall?”
“No, that’s probably the Hair God’s fluid. Today there’s been no rain around this area.”
I’ve ended up with a huge amount of Hair God fluid through an unexpected streak of luck.
“But, why this much?”
“I can only describe it as pure coincidence.”
Since we’ve obtained a big amount of the fluid, the search has come to an end. We return to my brother’s mansion for the moment, and check the amount of fluid in the jar.
“The instant it entered the jar, I thought I might drop it since it became so heavy.”
“The jar is almost completely full.”
It probably should be close to 20 liters of Hair God fluid. Since 20 liter equals 20,000 ml, and if we assume 20 ml are needed per person, this amount will cover 1,000 people.
“What a crazy amount!”
Doushi is also dumbfounded by the amount of fluid that fills the jar to the brim.
“However, how could you obtain this much of it?”
“It’s just coincidence, no doubt about that.”
Going by Burkhart-san’s conjecture, the Hair God has accidentally passed through the area where I had deployed the magic net. The Hair God can freely change its shape, but as the meshing of my prototype net was too fine, it couldn’t pass through it without discharging its body’s moisture…in short, the fluid. Thus you might say that I have squeezed out a lot from it.
“I see. So, is this the real deal?”
Next to us, Ottmar-san rejoices grandly without minding our stares. When we tried to apply the fluid on Ottmar-san’s head as an experiment…err, test, his hair became very lush, and the areas with thin hair disappeared completely. Since hair is even grown at the areas where the hair roots have died away, the effect of the Hair God’s fluid is tremendous.
Because we couldn’t confirm anything but a growth boost of the beard and head hair in Doushi’s case, that part was still unclear.
“That means we weren’t lucky.”
The place where I obtained the fluid wasn’t on my brother’s side of the forest. Since he’d have a right to claim a share of 30% otherwise, it might really be unlucky for him.
“Oh well, whatever. We made some money as well.”
Although it’s not been a gold rush, but a Hair God rush, brother has also earned a good amount of money through the lodging and dining of the adventurers who have gathered here.
“Besides, holding onto something like this would just be a hassle for a petty noble like me.”
—————— End of Part 3 ——————
This ended the one week of search, and we safely returned to Baulburg.
“Welcome back, dear.”
Being greeted by Elise gives me the actual feeling of having come home. When I head over to the living room and look at everyone’s faces, they seem to be in the middle of discussing something.
“Ina, did something happen?”
“It’s nothing that important, but we’ve been talking about whether we should cut our hair.”
“You don’t know? When you’re pregnant, the nutrients go to the baby in your belly, spoiling your hair in return. The topic now is whether to let the hair grow out again after the babies are born.”
“You don’t say.”
Honestly, I hear about this for the first time. I suppose becoming a mother is quite difficult. But, I kinda feel like it’d be a waste for them to cut their hair after it’s grown so beautifully long…
“I won’t trim it since it’s short to begin with, but the others have no choice.”
It looks like everyone except for Luise, who has short hair anyway, is about to cut their hair.
“These days my hair has lost its vigor, and since the color and luster has dulled as well, it’s inevitable to cut it.” Even Katharina, who always fusses about her hair as a noble, sounds troubled about her hair which has been gradually deteriorating. She’s reached the conclusion that her only choice is to cut it.
She’s right though. I feel like her hair’s complexion has become slightly bad…her coiling ringlets lack their usual springiness, too.
I guess women encounter various problems during their pregnancy. Troubles I don’t understand as I’ve never given birth to a child.
“Wendelin, I just have to grow my hair out after the delivery, so don’t worry about it.”
“Thou are right, I suppose…” Therese seems to have made up her mind to cut her hair as well.
I like short and long hair as long as it suits the girl, but I’d feel sad if everyone ends up with short hair.
“It’s a hair style I’ve been using for a long time now, but it’s going to be for a good cause.” In the eyes of Lisa, who’s going to become a mother at long last, it’s not a situation where caring about hair styles plays a role.
“But you see…”
I really like their hair styles as they’re now. But, damaged hair needs hair care. Maintaining their hair with just a slightly nice shampoo and hair care will be difficult, huh…? No, wait. Don’t I have the perfect item for this?
“Tada───ah! The result of our search this time, enter the fluid of the Hair Go───od!!”
I scoop up a small amount of the fluid out of the jar with my hand, and thinly apply it on Elise’s hair. As soon as I do, the hair’s quality visibly improves on the spot, restoring it to the beautiful, glossy blond hair from before the pregnancy.
“Ooohh!! This is going to work, isn’t it!? Then, the next one is…”
Just as I’m about to apply the liquid on Ina’s hair next, Erw and Burkhart-san stop me.
“Hmm? Is something wrong?”
“Well, listen, Earl-sama, wasting it like that is wrong, don’t you think?”
“It’s not. Hasn’t Elise’s hair become really pretty thanks to this?”
As their husband, I think it’s better for my wives to be beautiful. Besides, the Hair God’s liquid is my loot. It’s my own decision how I’m going to use it.
“Won’t the hair of Elise-jou-chan and the others recover after their delivery? That magic potion is the last hope of everyone, whose hair won’t ever return again, within the Kingdom, so I’m telling you it’d be better to stop squandering it.”
“It’s no squandering. It’ll prettify my wives’ hair.”
It appears Burkhart-san’s and my opinions don’t mesh at all.
“I mean, it’s something I obtained, albeit by coincidence. Isn’t it fine for me to use a bit of it for my own purposes?”
“It’d become a huge scandal if people learned about you using it for something like this.”
“It’s alright. We just don’t need to tell anyone.”
The fact that I obtained the Hair God liquid had been leaked to the outside, but it’s not like they know how much of it I actually got.
“In the first place, it gives me a lot more joy to prettify my wives than fixing the thin hair of some random dude I don’t even know.”
“Wend, you sure don’t hold back on saying terrible things…” Erw is shocked for some reason.
But, it’s a fact that it’s much better for my mental state for my wives, whom I see every day, to look great than making some old dudes happy by allowing them to have thick hair growth.
“I’m with you on that, but you’re going to turn all the high-classed lords and ladies with thin hair into your enemies by acting like this!”
What if the fact that I used some of the Hair God liquid for Elise and the other was found out? Burkhart-san explains to us that we’d be hated by the nobles who got the short end of the stick because of that.
“Please keep it a secret.”
“Damn it, now I’m stuck holding onto some pointless, silly secret.”
I resume my work of applying the liquid. Once I smear it into Ina’s hair, the crimson, fiery gleam returns to it. Then I restore the beautiful hair of Luise, Wilma, Katharina, Therese, Katia, and Lisa in turns.
As might be expected of a legendary magic potion. Or rather, if I took this back to Earth, I’m pretty sure the rich people would pay me any amount of money for it.
“Amalie-san, want me to apply it on you as well?”
“I’m not pregnant, so it’s okay.”
“Please tell me if you should ever need it.”
“I’m happy about your consideration, but Burkhart-san’s face has become ghastly pale at this point.”
“Although it’s totally okay for me to use at least a bit of it…”
Having restored the health of my wives’ hair, I carefully put the jar with the liquid back into my magic bag.
“Hubby, the area over at the front gate is so dazzlingly bright.”
“Katia, you really got a nasty tongue, don’t you?”
“All female adventurers are like that. Back then Big Sis was also awesome at trash talking others.”
“I can’t deny that…but Katia, you’ve got to slowly fix your sharp tongue, too.”
“Big Sis, I think that might be an impossible undertaking.”
A few days later, many dazzling ladies and sirs gathered in front of my mansion. Their radiance definitely blinds one’s eyes…is nothing Katia or I should say, I guess.
Given that Lisa speaks quite politely as long as she doesn’t wear her makeup and goth outfit, she admonishes Katia to fix her usual way of speaking. As Katia herself seems to be strangely hung up on speaking like that, she gently refuses Lisa’s advice.
“Quite a number has gathered over the last few days…”
“The Hair God liquid isn’t cheap. Only those with substantial riches can actually afford it. Naturally that limits it to high-ranking nobles and wealthy merchants, but you mustn’t look down on their ability to gather information.”
“So they’ve assembled to not miss a chance in obtaining a magic potion that definitely works, eh?”
It’s the body fluid of the Hair God, so it’s not precisely a magic potion, but since its effect is tremendous, it’s treated as one.
Real magic potions are concocted by alchemists. It’s possible to concoct potions even without being a magician, as long as you’ve got the necessary knowledge, but because some potions also require you to add mana at the end, magicians have it definitely easier.
Given that a set number of magicians works on magic tools and magic potions, it only increases the shortage of magicians on the whole. But then again, the number of people privately working as alchemists remains low, with the majority being covered by alchemist workshops, which hire alchemists who have the necessary knowledge but are no magicians.
Of course, an alchemist guild exists as well. However, because some magic potions are kept completely confidential, going as far as even forbidding taking the recipe out of the workshop, they don’t don’t stand out as much as magic tool workshops do.
While we’re on the topic, quite a few hair restorers are up for sale on the markets since they’re lucrative as merchandise. They’re fairly expensive because they’re magic potions, but whether they really work remains unclear. Because there exists effective medicine as long as the hair roots haven’t died, not all of them are fakes, but I hear people worrying about their hair repeatedly experiencing how those medicines don’t do as they hoped for when they bought them.
“I checked the documents afterwards, but it’s been 324 years since a share for 24 people of the Hair God fluid was obtained.”
Lisa is really good at deciphering ancient texts. In the past they used the same language as nowadays, but if it comes to very old books and documents, us normal people can’t read the characters as they’re too scrawly or runny.
I’m thankful to Lisa, because she used the time of her pregnancy, which doesn’t allow for her to move around much, to decode and translate the book left behind by Master for me, which I’ve been postponing to do myself because I was busy with other stuff.
“Isn’t that more than a hundred years before the ceasefire agreement!?”
Well, it only makes sense for all those people to become desperate and gather in front of my mansion. Their heads are sparkling as they reflect the sunlight.
“That’s why I told you to not use such a precious medicine on your wives!”
“Please cope with at least that much of my selfishness. Or wait, is Margrave Breithilde possibly also worried about his hair in secret…?”
“Nope. If people were to hear of your wasteful use of the medicine, my master would get blamed as well, that’s why.”
“Wasteful use…just to be clear, this is something I obtained…”
Besides, it allowed me to alleviate everyone’s grief over their hair by giving them the chance to keep their hair pretty even during their pregnancies. I’m certain that this is something wonderful.
“No doubt, Earl-sama, you hold the rights over the Hair God’s liquid, but look at the bloodshot eyes of the folks standing outside. If things go badly, we could have a riot on our hands.”
I guess they won’t hesitate to kick down their rivals to recover their long-lost, dear hair. I wish they shared a thick friendship like everyone in the Shonen Jump manga I read in the past.
“I feel like it’d be terrible if they heard of this…”
“Since ancient times, people have continued shedding blood over money, power, women, and hair!”
“Doushi, isn’t the last item on your list somewhat weird? Also, you haven’t fixed your hair style…?”
Today Doushi is visiting, but he’s kept his long hair and beard. Since it’s not his usual pineapple hair cut and handlebar mustache, even Elise was lost for words at first. Or rather, Burkhart-san and I still aren’t used to it.
When he suddenly greeted me like that in the morning, I was totally startled.
“I will keep it like that since it’s a pain to keep trimming it until the effect of the liquid fades in a day or two. Even though it might not look like it, I have actually cut down quite a bit of hair today morning.”
If people with no hair problems are showered by the Hair God’s liquid, their hair keeps growing excessively for seven to ten days. Because the growth settles down afterwards, Doushi says that he’ll abstain from his usual haircut for that period. Given that he’d need to shave his head every day, he’s probably considering it a hassle right now.
“I’ve got a question!”
“Yes, Erw-kun, please go ahead.”
“How much would you get for selling the Hair God’s liquid on the market?”
Everyone sinks into silence upon Erw’s justified question. It’s because a price estimation is kinda difficult for a fail-safe hair restorer.
“Umm…it’s not noted down in the old documents, Lisa?”
“It’s written that the share of one person cost around 10 million cents.”
Your hair will definitely recover if you apply it. I think it’s an amazing medicine, but in the end it’s just a hair restorer. Besides, that’s around one billion Yen, so I can only describe it as a crazy price.
The ones who bought it must have been high-ranking nobles. No doubt. That money could be used to boost the industry of a territory…but on the other hand, the lord is the public face of the territory. They probably think it’s better to have bushy hair, if possible?
“I wonder whether I’d pay such a big amount of money for myself…?”
Well, that’s something I won’t know until my own hair thins out, I guess…
My current sentiments of 『We’re just talking about hair here…』 might be regarded as the arrogance of a person still having hair.
“Wend, what are we going to do about the dazzling people outside?”
Because even fairly high-ranking nobles have gathered without making a prior appointment, the main street in front of my mansion has become congested… They’re going to become a nuisance for the construction work, aren’t they…?
“Since I managed to get a full jar this time, I think it’s no problem to sell the liquid for one million cents per portion.”
Even then, it’s still a hundred million Yen. That’s no amount of money payable by any ordinary person.
“There might be some who will give up and go back home.”
Because I’d never have enough time to listen to the appeals of each and every single person out there, we begin to sell the Hair God liquid after refilling it into one-person-portions. I give priority to the nobles who sent in a written request, but none of the requests mentioned a price.
Oh well, I’d say it’ll be okay to charge the same from everyone. Somehow, even just the idea of bartering over the price sounds like a major pain in the ass. Also, they’re dazzling.
“Earl Baumeister, what a wonderful achievement!”
“One million cents, you say? Cheap! Isn’t that super cheap!?”
“Please sell it to me by all means!”
“I’ll be able to get my hair back!”
It’s frightening that not a single one of the people gathered in front of my mansion has said that it’s too expensive. Everyone pays in cash, and applies the liquid on their head right away. As soon as they do, the hair is immediately restored, no matter how bald they’ve been before. Even after seeing it happening many times, I still must say, it’s frighteningly effective.
“Wonderful! It’s a real blessing that I could get my hair back before my death!”
There’s even an old man, who looks like he’s more than eighty years old, in the crowd, but he seems to think that it’s better to have hair, even if he were to die tomorrow. Unbecoming of his advanced age, he rejoices loudly as soon as his hair grows back, albeit being white.
“Wend-sama, the dazzling is gone.”
“Okay, sshhh───, it is.”
Once I’ve sold the liquid to all the people in front of my mansion, all of my stock of it is gone. It was something I obtained by coincidence, but my wives’ hair has become pretty, and I saved quite a few of the people worried over their hair, so all’s fine in the end. It kinda feels like I’ve stocked up on good deeds here, and I also made a killing with the sales.
“By the way, what are you going to do about your Hair God liquid, Doushi?”
“Considering my family’s tradition, I’ll be troubled if I become unable to keep up my usual hair style! Therefore, I’m going to set it aside for the unlikely time when I might need it!”
Doushi is keeping a pineapple hair cut in accordance with the Armstrong House’s tradition, so it looks like he wants to reserve a portion for himself if he should ever need to recover his hair.
“Earl Baumeister, you haven’t set aside at least a bit for yourself?”
“If my hair should ever thin out, I’ll think about it then and there.”
That’s what I told Doushi, but me actually having put aside some is a secret.
Even so, this was a case that made me believe, “It might just be hair, but hair still is hair.”
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