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By the end, she completely vanished, leaving only the white bridal dress behind.
“Phew… it’s been a while since I’d last tasted a soul.” (Shuuya)
I do wonder what that vanishing bug might have been, but luckily, at least it doesn’t look like it used paralyzing poison.
I devoured the soul without any unusual side-effects.
However, it came with a bad aftertaste.
Even though I tried to let her get away at start…
Her insane expression had led me to the conclusion that she’d been under the effects of some sort of spell or curse.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that it was I who killed her.
It seems it’ll turn into a problem for Sylvia’s marriage partner from here onwards.
Well, even if I were to regret it, it’s too late now.
… She’s already become my nourishment, after all.
Firstly, I inspect the magic dagger that had fallen onto the floor.
Its handle and sharp edge are ominously insectoid in shape.
I suppose it’s a cursed item after all?
『Your Excellency, I feel mana emanating from the dagger.』 (Helme)
Helme appears in my field of view and points at the dagger.
『That’s true. I can barely sense any mana from it, but it’s eerie nevertheless.』 (Shuuya)
『Yes. There’s no mistake that it’s related to something magical in nature.』 (Helme)
Considering the bad feeling it’s giving me, I refrain from touching it…
I’m guessing she had most likely gone mad from being in contact with that thing?
… I don’t know for sure, though.
I’ll just ignore it, since I can’t appraise items.
I suppose I’ll check what’s behind the door that Eribol’s daughter came from, since there might be some hint to be found there.
Entering the room, I notice it’s resemblance to that of a small collection room.
The walls are decorated with things such as elegant paintings that seem to have shady backstories, a huge, finely detailed ship model with a pitch black aura that’s filled with mana, and a blood-stained cloth that’s emitting mana.
Nothing but suspicious items…
Ah, there’s an old, obsidian podium in the shape of an insect.
At the top of the podium, there’s a hollow hole in the shape of a dagger.
Did Eribol’s daughter take the magic dagger that had been sheathed here?
Though, that’s only a guess.
It looks like there’s only dangerous items in here.
I ignore them and leave the room, touching nothing.
If I were to take anything with me, it’d have to be the treasures from before.
I reenter the room with Eribol’s corpse lying on the floor.
“… First off, I’m just gonna put this god-sceptre-key thing in my item box… now then, I guess it’s time to take the entirety of this gold coin mountain.” (Shuuya)
Rollo returns to her normal cat form, and after giving a short purr as a reply, begins licking the blood flowing out of Eribol’s corpse.
I wonder, is the blood of the sly old fox as tasty as that of a white pig? 1 I throw that thought away and proceed to check the cabinet containing the money.
Just how many gold coins have been stuffed into this abnormally deep cabinet?
I mean, only counting the platinum coins, they seem to easily exceed a hundred already…
Since it’d be a pain to count them all, I just toss them into the item box.
And, these large platinum coins… even only two is a lot. I mean, one coin is worth a hundred platinum coins.
These two included, I now have a total of fourteen large platinum coins inside my item box.
So I can live extravagantly from now on!?
I planned to buy a high-class slave at the end of the year when the underground auction came around, but…
Couldn’t I just buy one right away?
In that case, I suppose I’ll have to meet with Keragan Chianelas of 【Oath of the One Horn】, the management organization of the 【Large Company Dual Bell】, with whom I met the other day.
As for negotiating with Chianelas, I want the dark elf he brought along to our previous meeting place.
If I remember correctly, he mentioned that he plans to exhibit her at the underground auction.
I might be able to get that dark elf early if I discuss it with him.
If that merchant intends to sell her anyway, I think he wouldn’t mind if I were to buy her at a higher price than what he’d normally earn at the underground auction.
Can I buy her with the two large platinum coins I got from this venture?
It’s decided then, let’s find Chianelas’ mansion so we can begin our negotiation.
If I’m not entirely wrong, I believe he said that it’s located within the western noble district, as well as that it stands out due to a bronze unicorn statue in the garden.
I will be able to enter if I show the cloth badge he gave me, right?
I touch my bracelet and open the item box.
I pull out the unicorn cloth badge from it’s display within the item box menu.
As for leaving this place; I’ll just stand out if I do it the normal way.
The sky is off-limits, too. I might get attacked by the dragon riders residing in the neighboring plot.
That means, a gateway is the only option.
“Rollo, it’s time we head back. I’m using a gate.” (Shuuya)
Rollo hops onto my shoulder.
I take out the 24-faceted orb from my chest pocket, trace the symbol on one side with my thumb, and summon the gateway.
The inn’s room is reflected on the other side of the gate.
I make sure there’s no one present.
After using <Hide> to be safe, I go through the gate.
Slipping out of the mirror, I arrive at the foot of my room’s bed.
For a change, Rollo resisted the urge to jump onto the bed.
It looks like she’s accurately sensed that I’m using <Hide>.
I quietly move as I’m crouching. Going around the bed, I open the bay window.
Just in case anything happens, I’m gonna pretend to have entered from the rooftop.
Remains of the Moon is probably busy, so I guess I’m worrying too much?
While thinking so, I undo <Hide>.
Rollo leaps from my shoulder to the bed, as if to say This is what I’ve been waiting for.
Considering it’s nothing new, I just ignore it.
『Helme, clean away the stains.』 (Shuuya)
『Okay, please leave it to me.』 (Helme)
Helme appears from within my left eye.
In an instant, my whole body becomes cloaked in a thin water membrane, as if I was getting eaten alive by a water slime.
In the blink of an eye, both my overcoat and the entire set of the violet Ancient Dragon Baldok armor have become sparkly clean.
Being covered by a water membrane is quite a strange sensation.
Helme, who’d finished cleaning me up, separates from my body as if she were mirage and condenses into an orb of water in midair.
The spherical mass deflates like a popped soccer ball and, with a wobble, Helme transforms into her humanoid form with its bluish-black, leafy skin.
“— Finished. Since the blood was rather sticky, I decided I’d just dissolve and absorb it.” (Helme)
“Thank you. You can return into my eye now.” (Shuuya)
Helme reverts into her liquid state and goes back into my eye.
“Rollo, stop playing on the bed. We have to go out again.” (Shuuya)
I call Rollo, lean out of the bay window, and jump out of the room.
I run along the reddish-violet roof’s ridge.
Jumping down into the alley from the edge of the eaves, I begin heading towards the northern section of the city.
Rollo, who is running next to me, morphs into her Horse Lion form.
I nimbly jump onto the back of said horse lion and mount it.
I grab the tentacle reins, lean forward a bit, and hug her back so I could smell the fragrance of her charming black fur.
Rollodeen, apparently sensing my emotions, increases her speed.
She leaves the alley, jumps over several buildings, and begins running through the main street that had become tinged by the radiant moonlight of the silvery moon.
We have, once more, returned to the noble district.
Chianelas’ mansion is in the western area of the noble district.
Now that we’re here, I decide to dismount Rollodeen.
I suppose I should walk around and search. There are dragon knights around, so I won’t search from the sky this time around.
A few hours later— Rollo and I are continuing to search at a walking pace.
And then, right as the sun shows hints of arrival in the sky, we finally discover the grounds of our target.
On the other side of the leafy, checkered gate, I can see a huge unicorn statue towering over the surroundings.
Just as Chianelas had said, it’s so conspicuous that you can easily tell from a distance.
The leafy gate has, attached to it, a copper plate with a unicorn mark engraved into it, likely created by a craftsman.
Chianelas should be living in this estate’s mansion.
Though, it’s currently quite early in the morning.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he were still asleep. The gate is closed as well.
I guess I’ll have to wait a bit.
Since I want to negotiate the buying of a high-class slave, I don’t want to get him annoyed by barging in all of a sudden, especially so early in the morning.
I lean my back against the wall of another mansion, opposite of the Chianelas’s gate, and take a moment to rest.
Once I do, Rollo, who was on my shoulder, apparently got tired of simply waiting. I’m unsure why she has an interest in the tall leafy gate; she looks up at it, then jumps towards it.
Using her tentacles, she reaches the top of the leafy gate.
While releasing an incomprehensible throaty sound, she displays an elegant gait, walking on top of the narrow, metallic gate.
Rollo’s nose twitches as she sniffs the air, her eyes restlessly scanning left and right, as she surveys the surrounding scenery that includes me and the garden inside the grounds.
“It’s okay, Rollo. Go ahead, play around.” (Shuuya)
She releases a somewhat cheerful, high-pitched cry.
Rollo paces back and forth atop the leafy gate, and then jumps down onto the other side, trespassing into the garden.
I can’t see her anymore. I’m guessing she’s exploring the garden now, huh?
Rollo is gone as well, so I have some spare time alone.
What should I do until the gate opens…?
Next time, it might be a good idea to stroll around the market to search for items that seem to be good ways to pass time.
Ah, speaking of market, I still need to see if can find some wooden chopsticks.
Anyways… it sure is boring.
As the gate opens in the morning, I’d like the the negotiations to be finished by noon.
I have an appointment with Eva in the guild after all…
Well then, if it’s about killing some time, I guess I might as well train a bit.
Let’s not go with sage art.
I practised it during my free time in Hekatrail, but well, since it consumes quite a bit of mana every single time…
I know that the consumption will become less and less the more often I use it, but…
Naturally, I’d prefer not to have the taste of bile in my mouth as my stomach feels like it’s been twisted and flipped around.
Accordingly, I summon the Cursed Sword Beet into my left hand.
It’s time to practice my bastard sword techniques.
I tightly grasp the hilt of the cursed sword and enter a stance.
I stretch out my arm and release a powerful sword thrust. Then, with a strong pull, I tilt my body and unleash a cross slash.
This attack is executed by slashing diagonally while rotating your arm… or at least that what it seemed to be, going by the sword thrust Bill used.
I think it’s some sort of zigzaggy slash, but somehow, I can’t quite get it right.
Hmm~, I’m still lacking…
I can’t summon the Dark Hell Skeletal Knights of the Smoldering Order, who’d be the perfect sparring partners, right in the middle of a city.
And thus, I activate <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
I hold the Magic Halberd with my <Magic Hand guided by Thought>, and have it stab through the air with the spear part of the halberd above me.
It’s a normal thrust, but it’s sharp and deadly.
It’s definitely superior to my clumsy sword swings.
I use the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> to move the halberd so that it dances through the air as if to split the wind.
At the end, I release a <Thrust>. It possesses so much power that it seems to cause the air to twist around it, forming a winding spiral.
So this is what all my enemies have had to deal with, huh?
I think my Magic Halberd’s power is absolutely dreadful.
I don’t ever want to be on the receiving end of such vicious blows…
Next I’m going to try make it shoot <Darkness Drill>. It’s a spear technique so powerful that it can actually split the air apart.
The red, violet and black-colored afterimages display an undeniable might.
Compared to <Thrust>, its power output seems to be around 20 percent higher?
In addition, <Darkness Drill> has the darkness attribute.
There was a thin, black-colored film on the spear section, as well as on the top part of the red axe blade, located slightly lower on the shaft than the spear.
Going by appearance, it’s definitely an effective ability.
At that point, I unsummon the Cursed Sword Beet from my hands, replacing it with the Magic Halberd, dispelling my <Magic Hand guided by Thought>.
I hold the Magic Halberd close to my right side.
In an instant, I twist my waist with a step in and release a <Thrust>, forcefully pushing it out wavily, and unleash a shower of <Darkness Drills> .
A booming sound reverberates due to the wind rumbling from my rapid barrage.
— Alrighty. As expected, actually wielding it with my own hands feels much better, doesn’t it?
I then spin the Magic Halberd horizontally around my body, while keeping my back straight, just like an army soldier standing on attention. Pressing the metallic shaft of the halberd, that’s tightly grasped in my hand, against my outer thigh so as to have it rest against my shoulder, I hold it vertically, with the spear and red axe blade pointing downwards and the magic dragon gem at the other end pointing upwards.
I unsummon the Magic Halberd as I remain stiff in that militaristic straightforward stance.
Perhaps it would be a good idea to buy another spear so I could have the <Magic Hand guided by Thought> always holding onto it.
Dual Spear Style. Even a Triple Spear Style by way of the fake chain spear crosses my mind, but as even the road of the one spear style is a long one with no actual end for growth, it’s not good to accidentally veer off onto a wrong path.
Besides, I like the Magic Halberd, so I want to always have it at my disposal.
Let’s store away the Dual and Triple Spear Styles in my memory as one of the preparatory steps for further advancements in the distant future.
Now that I’m done, I’ll switch over to some magic experiments.
I silently cast the elementary water attribute spell, 《Ice Ball》.
Without me imagining anything, an ice ball was created.
I throw the round ice pebble at the wall, causing a round dent in it’s stone surface.
Next, I once again silently cast the same spell, this time imagining that the created ice pebble will be instead in the form of a bullet.
I fire the 《Ice Ball》.
The wall is pierced by the ice ball, leaving a deep hole in its wake.
The ice’s shape was that of a bullet, reminiscent of a teardrop.
It seems that, once I imagined the ice in the form of a rifle bullet, there was a huge gap in the power output.
I have to make a habit of constructing the pebble with the image of a bullet in mind, to the point where I do it unconsciously.
I continue this kind of training for several hours.
Suddenly, I hear the gate opening behind me.
I hurriedly stop my training.
By the way, the wall which I’d continued to hit with magic, had become worn-out and damaged.
Excuse me for that, Mr. Landlord. While apologizing like so, I turn around and begin heading towards the now opened gateway.
There’s a vast plot on the other side.
A wide stone path cuts through the spacious garden and lawn.
Elderly servants appear on the stone path and start sweeping.
Although they are sweeping, the gate has been opened after all. So I wonder, is it alright to enter now…?
Guess I’ll just go ahead then. I step onto the grounds and begin walking along the stone path.
“Please wait. What kind of business do you have with the mansion?”
I’m stopped by an elderly man who had been cleaning.
Will it be fine if I show him the cloth badge?
“Yeah. I was told by Chianelas-san that it will be alright as long as I show this badge.” (Shuuya)
I take out the badge from the pocket in my chest strap and show it to him.
“T-This is… excuse me, you were a customer? I will immediately inform my master. Please follow me as I will guide you to the waiting room.”
Once the servant-like man sees the cloth badge in my hand, he suddenly reacts in surprise.
After bowing his head very deeply, he leads me through the garden along the stone path.
The garden’s plot is wide. You might as well call it a babylon-esque garden, as it radiates a certain special elegance.
The promenade-like stone path that naturally crosses through the lawn forks off into various different places across the garden. White crosses, angel statues, white cotton roses, olive-like trees, plants that resemble pine trees, many works of art, as well as a lot of topiaries have been arranged along the stone path so as to greet the visitors.
The garden’s design is reminiscent of an open garden.
I advance along the stone path while indulging in the scenery, until I finally arrive in front of the mansion.
However, the mansion is unexpectedly small.
I thought that the mansion itself would also be quite big, seeing as the garden is so vast. That’s my normal expectation of these things, but that surprisingly wasn’t true in this case.
It’s greatly different when compared to the mansion that Eribol had lived in.
It has a simple design that makes use of marble and cypress as building materials.
With its industrialistic modernist style, the quality of the building materials brings an overflowing high-class impression.
This landlord likes simple yet pleasant houses. That’s one sentiment that I could certainly agree with.
Being told “This way, please enter inside” by the servant, I’m guided through the marbled entranceway and arrive at a room lined with sofas.
The exterior was simple, but the interior is luxurious and gorgeous.
I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how high-ranking nobles lived as well.
Even the hallway up until here, had a red carpet spread out.
It’s an extravagant room used exclusively by visitors.
“I shall prepare something to drink right away. Please wait for a short moment.”
“No, no, don’t bother yourself with me…” (Shuuya)
I said timidly, considering I had visited all of a sudden without an appointment.
“No, I will be scolded by master if I were to do so. Please allow me to prepare something for you.”
The servant lifts his head a bit and glances at me.
“Understood.” Shuuya sighs.
Once I weakly agree, the servant turns around quickly and leaves the room.
Shortly afterwards, servants come in while carrying dinnerware holding several different kinds of pastries and fruits, as well as a black tea set, on top of trays.
Large platters filled with such things are lined up on top of the long table in front of the sofas.
“Please enjoy without any reservations… Master will be with you soon.”
The servant politely bows his head and quietly exits the room.
Watching that splendid conduct that had no wasted movements, I end up becoming slightly tense.
The scent of black tea wafts over from the table.
It’s a nice aroma. Likewise, the teacup looks to be of a high grade as well.
Next to the tea set, there’s also a big bowl filled to the brim with fruits of all sorts.
Those look delicious as well. The biscuits in particular resemble pastries I had seen in my previous life.
So these are the kinds of baked goods circulating among the upper class of this world, huh?
Firstly, I’ll indulge myself with some black tea.
Next to the tea cup lies a small porcelain jar with an open lid, containing something similar to honey within.
Honey as a substitute for sugar, hm? I guess I’ll put a bit of it into my tea.
It seems that it’s scooped up with a small stick that had been provided alongside it.
The honey, which had gotten entwined around the stick, is beautiful with its syrupy texture and rich, golden color.
I put the the thickly flowing honey into the black tea and mix it in with the stick.
I bring the teacup to my mouth and take a sip of the black tea.
Delicious! The fragrance that fills my mouth comes with a distinctly peculiar atmosphere.
I think… it feels like a blend between darjeeling tea and some unknown tea leaf.
The temperature is just right, making it easy to drink, and the moderate sweetness of the honey is a wonderful addition as well.
It’s a black tea that probably has its own professional name.
When I shut my eyes, I begin to imagine an elegant noble lady calmly drinking the black tea.
I suppose I’ll taste the other dishes as well.
First off, I grab a biscuit from atop a plate and look at it.
Going by its appearance, it seems to have been shaped like a bird. I bring it to my mouth and nibble on it a little.
It’s dry and tough, like hardtack. Moreover, it’s not very sweet either.
Can you still call this good?
It looks like the the ones I made were much more delicious.
Well, I belong to the Cooking for Myself faction after all.
While drinking the tea, I finish the biscuit with a dubious expression.
Next, I check the bowl containing the various fruits within.
Since they’re all in a liquid, it seems more like a fruit punch.
A wooden spoon and a small knife have been placed on top of a leather cloth, made in the style of a handkerchief with a mark on it, but I end up just eating the fruits with my bare hands.
I start with a cherry-like fruit attached to a small twig.
I grab the twig and bring it to my mouth. Oh, this tastes exactly as I had imagined it would.
It’s sweet and delicious. The relatively little amount of juice is full of flavor.
I put the seed back onto the plate. I think I’ll try this next, this pear-like fruit.
Thrusting my hand into the bowl, I pick up the pear-like fruit.
Its surface seems to resemble that of a peach. It has a soft texture.
Its slithery shape makes it difficult to grab on to.
I’ll just stab it with the knife. Thinking that, I pull back my hand and lick the now-wet fingers.
It’s a mix of various fruity flavors.
Though, that doesn’t mean that it’s an especially sweet punch.
While wiping my hand with the prepared leather cloth, I pick up the small knife.
I stab the pear-peach with the knife and bring it to my mouth.
It has a crisp, sticky texture. It’s refreshing and tasty.
It gives the impression of a pear and a peach having been combined into an entirely brand new fruit.
Its strange exterior tastes like a pear, whereas the flesh tastes like that of a peach.
In-between those two, they fuse together perfectly to make an enjoyably distinct flavor.
Next I’ll have a slice of this flat, sliced-banana fruit.
I stab it with the knife, a swish noise resounding as the knife stabs through the fruit’s surface, and take note of the fruit’s soft texture. I bring it to my mouth and take a bite.
— Oh, all of it is soft?
Upon biting it, the fruit’s juice instantly begins spilling out.
Rather than a banana, it’s rather close to a mango?
The taste and texture is similar to both a banana and mango, creating an appetizing fusion of both flavors.
So this one was the big winner here? As it’s far too delicious, I’m unable to resist the urge, and stuff the rest into my mouth in one go.
Has Rollo finished playing yet?
Even though this bowl of many assorted fruits is so delicious…
Thinking that, I get carried away and end up eating all of the fruit.
Upon finishing all of the fruit, the door to at the left end of the room opens, revealing Keragan Chianelas, who enters with a smile spread across his face.
He steps forward, getting close to me.
He’s wearing a short-sleeved shirt that’s similar to a vividly blue-colored, extremely conspicuous shark skin.
His characteristic frizzly chest hair, as well the gold chained necklace that’s emitting mana hanging from his neck, are standing out.
Magic bracelets are coiled around his arms and he’s wearing luxurious rings on his fingers.
His legs are covered by black-lustred long pants made out of lamé leather, while on his feet he’s wearing high-class leather boots.
I’m guessing that that’s his casual clothing, but even still, it’s brimming with a feeling of high class.
Leaving that aside, the all-important dark elf isn’t present.
“Look, look, it’s Shuuya-san. Thank you for your patience.” (Keragan)
“Not at all.” (Shuuya)
“There’s still quite a bit of time left until the underground auction. As such, I can’t help but wonder, what might be the reason for your visit today?” (Keragan)
While saying so, Chianelas sits down on the sofa located opposite of me.
“Yes, as a matter of fact, I’m planning to buy a high-class combat slave.” (Shuuya)
Being seized by Chianelas’ blue eyes, I tell him my reason for having come here.
“I see. Are you going to go to my slave company?” (Keragan)
“Yes, I have interest in your company as well, but where’s that dark elf that you’d brought along with you the other day, Chianelas-san?” (Shuuya)
Once Chianelas understands that the dark elf is my aim, his cheeks relax.
“Hoo, her? If it’s that dark elf, she’s in the labyrinth to acquire actual combat experience. She should come back very soon, but do you perhaps desire that rare girl?” (Keragan)
A slave being able to dive into the labyrinth likely means that even slaves aren’t restricted from being adventurers, I’m guessing?
I nod my head honestly.
“… Yes.” (Shuuya)
“I see. You know that I planned to exhibit her in the underground auction though, right…? There’s a reason I call her rare as well as a precious dark elf that you don’t often see on the market. Furthermore… Oops, I can’t tell you anymore than this, okay? So, since you are asking for a high-class slave I had reserved for the underground auction, her price will require an appropriate amount of gold coins, but… is that fine with you?” (Keragan)
Chianelas places his hand on his chin and adopts a thinker pose.
I often saw this suggestive behaviour in my previous life. It reminds me of quiz show moderators.
I can sense a unique pressure from his dark blue eyes which give one an impression of the deep sea.
He stares at me with a sharp gaze and doesn’t say anything, probably in order to make a dramatic pause after having asked “What’s your final answer?”
I want to retort at that, but endure the urge to.
I can’t help wondering Just how much does she cost? Matching my line of sight with Chianelas’ blue eyes, I ask in a low voice,
“… Yes, how much?” (Shuuya)
“Three large platinum coins and fifty platinum coins. What if I said that?” (Keragan)
Ooh, what’s this! Don’t I have plenty of leeway here?
“Got it, I will buy her.” (Shuuya)
An immediate reply. However, me readily stating that I will pay a large amount of money causes Chianelas to become speechless, revealing an I can’t believe it! expression on his face.
“T-Thank you very much. Then, as soon as she returns, I’d like to immediately start the process of handing her over to you. Do you perhaps desire any slaves besides her?” (Keragan)
Chianelas returns to his business-like expression at once and rattles on at a fast pace as he tries to conclude the contract in a hurry.
“I don’t know. I have to actually see them.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. You are quite right there. As soon as we finish the contract, I shall guide you to my company.” (Keragan)
“Please take care of me when we get to that then.” (Shuuya)
“Yes. Then, I will begin the preparations to transfer her to you. Please wait a moment as I need to bring the contract and the necessary tools.” (Keragan)
Chianelas stands up swiftly, and quickly leaves the room with a happy expression.
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