10-43. Mithril Plate (2)
Satou's here. Any organization has things like unspoken agreement or custom. After a long time, there are some cases where the particular about how it came to be is forgotten, but in most case, it never disappear.
"Then, you won't hand it over no matter what?"
"Sorry. I won't comply to your demand even if you're an upper-ranking noble or the king himself. It's impossible even if you want to exchange it with the [Lost Gjallarhorn], or the world tree's branch, or an orihalcon armor."
Geryl the crimson noble told me so while looking apologetic. He probably mentioned items that are absolutely not possible to be prepared, but I would have given them except the Gjallarhorn. Even Gjallarhorn, right now I can likely make an exact copy of it.
"Give it up, this is the absolute everlasting custom that the Ancient King Yamato has established."
The guildmaster who was keeping silent during my conversation with the handsome man-shi intruded with a know-it-all look. He came out again huh, the ancient king.
"I guess it's about 600 years ago. During the time Yamato-sama alive, there was a big enough uproar among the kingdom's retainers it could have divided the kingdom due to the legendary artifact that had been dropped by the floormaster."
I see, defeating floormaster probably happens quite rare.
"Yamato-sama who couldn't stand it any longer made one rule--"
Summarizing what the guildmaster's said; first the people who defeat the floormaster have to present all the items they've acquired to the king. And then, except for one item which their representative selects, all the items are exhibited in the auction sponsored by the king to be bid equally.
Any citizen of the kingdom can participate in this auction as long as they pay the registration fee. However, since the registration fee is one gold coin per person, most people besides the wealthy and nobles don't participate. 90% of the money collected in the auction will be granted as the reward to the explorers together with the item they've picked in the beginning. The remaining 10% is collected as tax, but most of it seem to be used as the expense of the guards for the auction.
"Originally, I would have to turn you down before we have this talk and that's the end of story, but you're a promising explorer after all. I have especially asked Geryl boy to have a talk with you."
"Guildmaster, please stop calling me Geryl boy."
The guildmaster said to the harassed handsome man that he had his diaper fall even now, but I took no notice of it. Fumu, financial power means everything huh...
Oops, I have to confirm something before that. It'd be troubling if he chooses the Gift Orb as the reward after all.
"And so Geryl, what do you want as the reward?"
"The Gift Orb of course."
Geh!? Take the other two please?
"T, that is which orbs."
"The poison resistance orb."
That's true huh. People don't normally want Chant Orb huh.
"I see, so you're aiming for the light magic orb aren't you."
"The competition for light magic is expensive. It came out 200 years ago, and it seemed to be bid at an extraordinary price of 3000 gold coins."
While being amazed, I check the number of Shiga kingdom gold coins in my storage. I can buy 1 or 2 of it with just the gold coins I have in hand. I can probably get it by just bidding honestly, but there's no meaning if there are participants who use backhanded tricks.
I'll go visit some authorized and influential people around to check whether there's a trick to it or not.
I thanked the handsome man for agreeing to meet me, and presented a liquor called [Wicked Firewater] to the guildmaster who had arranged this meeting. This is a liquor I've acquired from Ga Hou the orc, it's strong enough to make an ordinary person who drinks it to collapse with foams on their mouth. It can even make me drunk for 10 minutes. No one saw the figure of the guildmaster for three days after that. Later on, I was looked at with begrudging eyes, but she didn't complain since it did taste terribly good.
Next I head to the viceroy mansion.
"Umu, unfortunately, even as nobles, no, precisely because we're nobles that you cannot violate that unwritten rule. If a noble violates it, his political opponent will certainly use it against him to make him lose his position."
Marquis Ashinen whom I'm consulting to warned me seriously. His tone is serious, but his expression is slovenly loose. His lust is not directed toward me, but the statue of a handsome young man which I've brought.
This was something I had bought in the duchy capital just when I was looking for buckwheat flour during our stay in the elf hometown. I couldn't judge this kind of things besides for their market price, so I bought it after consulting to the giant mama-san from the okama bar I had visited together with Toruma back then. His judgment was reliable since the marquis looks delighted. I cut off the figure of the marquis creeping his fingers on the young man statue from my mind.
When I was buying the statue with Mama-san, I saw the children and Sera who looked happy. I couldn't call out to her since I was in disguise, but she was probably training hard since her level had risen by one. Sera is a good writer, she's been sending letters frequently. She has already sent three letters even though it's only been less than a month since we've arrived in the labyrinth city.
She's greatly different than the poor correspondent Lady Karina who still hasn't responded back even now. According to a letter from Muno Barondom, it seems that Lady Karina wants to train in the labyrinth city too. Consul Nina seems to remonstrate her sometimes, but it seems she's being ignored.
There are a lot of monsters that can break through Raka's defense in the labyrinth city, so please don't come here if possible. Even though she's annoying, I don't really want to see her beauty damaged. Please be satisfied with exterminating thieves in your territory.
Now then, my thought has been completely derailed since I really didn't want to see Marquis Ashinen and his young man statue.
Since I've heard the things I want to hear from the Marquis, I'll go consult with other people.
"This is quite rare for you to visit my home."
Baronet Dyukeli who has his stern face become even more severe encourages me to sit on the sofa.
I have only come here once after the matter with saving her daughter from the lost thieves. At that time, I was invited to a banquet as thanks, and drank together with the shopkeepers of the magic tool shops and medicine shops in the labyrinth city who were under his control.
I've come to consult him since he might know some unclean ways.
"A matter that's not like you. It'll be hard even if you have a connection with the king."
"I have been made aware that it is impossible using that method, but since I am desperate to know if there's a good way to obtain my goal, I will be borrowing everyone's wisdom."
I could probably directly negotiate with the king as Nanashi, but that's also not good huh.
Fumu, maybe I don't have to worry about underhanded tricks since they don't seem to exist.
"It is not that there is no way."
"What kind of method is it?"
"Of course, it's not a direct one."
I wait for Baronet Dyukeli who's putting an overemphasis to continue his words.
"It's the same as war. Know your opponents. Ask the well-connected Viscount Shimen for anyone who wants the item that you wish. And then by negotiations, you turn those people to become in a state where they cannot bid."
I see, information war huh. I'm glad that it's not 'actually there's a trick.'
Turning them into a state where they can't bid sounds like a crime, but even without abducting them, maybe I can turn them into a state where they're not financially strong enough to bid the item.
Since the Marchioness has invited me to an afternoon tea party, I should ask her to collect information with Baronet Dyukeli's idea in mind.
After enjoying the tea and cakes and some long gossips, the talk became about the spoils from the floormaster.
"My, so even Satou-dono has something he wants."
"Yes, it is the Gift Orb. Does Retel-sama has anything you've set your eyes on?"
By the way, Retel is the Marchioness's name. After coming here so many times, I've acquired the permission to call the Marchioness's name.
"Yes, did you see that wonderful tiara? If I were to wear that to the salon during the Kingdom conference, wouldn't I become the center of attention?"
"Yes, it does really suit the Marchioness."
"How about using that egg-like big emerald in a necklace?"
The noisy wives on the surrounding flatter after the Marchioness's remark.
Baronet Dyukeli's wife stated "Panacea" in a low voice with her fleeting existence, but it doesn't seem to reach anyone's ear. I probably wouldn't have heard it if I didn't have the Straining Ear skill.
"Does the medical diet not going well?"
Since the fact that her son is sick is a secret, I obfuscate the subject.
"Yes, he doesn't like vegetables, so he didn't eat much."
"Was the recipes I gave before no good?"
"He ate the dish that Chevalier-sama's cook had made while saying that it was delicious, but he didn't eat the one made by our cooks, and said that it was bitter, or smelled of earth."
Fumu, the difference in (cooking) skill huh?
However, among the recipes that I gave there were a lot of dishes that only needed finely chopped, strained, or souped vegetables, so it shouldn't need that good of a skill...
Maybe I should make and sell vitamin supplement and vegetable juice, since there are considerable number of nobles who suffer from lack of vitamin in the labyrinth city. Let's present the trial product to Baronet Dyukeli as a thank for the talk a while ago.
The tea party became lively when the talk was about the floormaster spoils, and the Marchioness would gather information about which person want which items in the auction before I even asked her.
Although it seems that I have to bid for the tiara too now, it's fine if I think of it as the information fee. At worst, if it became too expensive, I could just make a gorgeous imitation, and she should be consent with it.
Arisa and the others besides me are mastering their new equipments in the upper and middle layer's hunting grounds.
I've culled enemies with instant death attacks and armor-penetrating ones, so they shouldn't be in danger so often. Arisa's new equipment has an automatic deployment system for defense magic, so they should be able to run with teleport magic if they encounter an unexpected situation.
It's already evening, and I've already told Ms. Miteruna that I don't need dinner, so maybe I should go to the labyrinth and eat dinner with the girls.
Everyone seems to be fighting a chimera of scorpion and spider.
"Pochi, stop its leg!"
"Aye! Split bodies attack nanodesu!"
Pochi makes full use of Flickering Movement to attack, and destroys four legs on one side of the eight-legged chimera. Just like Pochi's said, her afterimages look like split bodies.
Tama who have climbed the stalled chimera's back crushes its compound eyes with her short sword. The chimera wags its head to throw Tama off, but she turns the other short sword into a whip sword, and endure the shaking by wrapping the sword on the chimera's feeler.
Looks like Tama is able to properly use the whip sword shaped magic blade and the drill magic blade of her short swords. Since Tama was the only one skillful enough to use two kinds of function, Pochi and Nana needed to change it by voice.
Lulu fires her new smoothbore gun's bullet to the chimera's mouth that has been wrenched open by Mia's magic.
The gun that Lulu is using is a riffle with two meter and a half long barrel, and it uses magic as the explosive instead of explosive powder, shooting substance bullets. During the shooting, the repulsive force occurs on the whole gun, and bullet doesn't touch the inside of the gun barrel. I had a very hard time making this circuit mold, so I instructed her not to use the gun as a club.
The bullet only travels at about half of the speed of sound, but since it's a big 20 millimeters caliber bullet, its destructive power is extraordinary.
In fact, Arisa who was going to give the finishing strike has no turn to come out, she stamps her feet to the ground.
The sharp-sighted Mia who has quickly found me embraces me accompanied with a 'Pofun' sound.
Everyone gathers after noticing that voice.
After waiting for Liza who had crushed the chimera's legs on the opposite side of Pochi's to finish collecting the magic core, I go back to the villa, taking everyone along.
"What do you think about the new equipments?"
"The performance is magnificent"
"The strongest of the strongest nanodesu! It truly feels like bossss nanodesu!"
It's quite favorable on the vanguard side. I don't know Pochi's reference, so I'll ask about it from Arisa later. I feel like it's from some anime or game, but I can't remember it.
"I'm sorry master. I still cannot skilfully use the acceleration to hit well."
"Ah, with that gun, the trajectory will change even if you shake for an instant. Do your best to master it."
"Yes, I'll do my best!"
I pat the head of Lulu who grasps both her hands tightly to motivate herself, encouraging her.
After all, it's a hard to use gun even for me who have Shooting and Sniping skills at MAX. It's quite powerful if she can handle it well, so I hope she can master it.
"Overkill. The power is much higher than before, it might be better to use the old wand for support."
As for the rear guard, most agree that the power is too high, or so they said such luxurious problem to me.
"Like with Mia, she miscalculated the Balloon's expansion range and power, it made Pochi flew to the ceiling twice."
While looking warmly at Mia who's lightly beating Arisa, I listen to the shield-user, Nana.
"I inform that it's safely safe. The consumption of magic power has increased, and the ability to continue fighting tends to fall. I request the supply of magic power after a long time of absent."
While there is a scene where Lulu tried with all her might to stop Nana who had began to strip her armor, I gave Nana the magic power supplement as she had wished during bathing. I feel that I can just use Magic Power Transfer, but this way seems to feel better. It's like the difference between calorie bars and proper meals huh.
After getting refreshed from the bath, I consult to Arisa about the schedule until the time we acquire Mitrhil Plate.
The X day is 10 days later.