13-24. Secret of the Red Rope
Satou's here. I can't follow forced events in RPG games where I seek freedom, though I'm fine if it's in novel games. When I've become the side that create them, I understand that making it like that is easier though.
After having a dinner together with everyone and Zena squad, I went to Echigoya Firm in Kuro form.
The dinner by the former royal chef was splendid.
The flavor itself didn't differ much from mine or Lulu's, but the steamed fish was decorated with pickled flower inviting small joy, and there were balanced sour and bitter small dishes in between the main dishes so that we wouldn't get tired with the taste, it was a refreshing meal.
These kind of little attentions to details and scheme might come from the chef's experience as a royal chef that surpass the limit of skill .
It was truly a good experience--.
"Kuro-sama, did anything good happen?"
The manager asked about my good mood.
Tifaliza who's turning the documents beside the manager is having an undisturbed composed face like usual.
"It's nothing much. Leaving that aside, give me the report for the second day of the auction."
The things exhibited in the second day of the auction were many kinds of magic medicines.
"The exhibited items this time were 64 bottles of hair growth formula, 288 bottles of vitality medicine, 24 bottles of mid-grade stamina medicine, 24 bottles of mid-grade magic power medicine, 144 bottles of nutrient, 20 bottles of lumbago medicine, 20 bottles of stiff shoulder medicine, 144 bottles of headache medicine, in total there were 952 articles."
The popular hair growth formula's share is one unit per month so there was only a few of them exhibited. The vitality medicine's share is in dozens unit so they're exhibited. <TLN: Not really sure what Satou is talking about here.>
"Did we exhibit lumbago and stiff shoulder medicines too?"
"Yes, we got quite good feedback when I tried giving four of them each to civil officials who were working under high pressure all years, so I had them exhibited."
I had made those medicines as a joke with no real use, so giving all of them to the civil officials is no problem.
All of the ingredient for the medicine can be gotten plentifully in the upper layer of the labyrinth and making them isn't a hard work anyway, maybe I should make them more if they have frequent customers.
I was troubled with stiff shoulders when I was in the former world, so I know their hardship after all.
"The total amount we got from the auction is 3592 gold coins."
Fuh~n, that's that huh.
Around 10% of magic swords--no wait.
It's no wonder when it's magic swords that can only be mass produced by me, but in case of magic medicines, anyone can make them as long as they have the ingredients and the recipes you see?
"That's higher than the anticipated. Did anything happen?"
"Yes, we had expected that there would be scramble for the hair growth formula and vitality medicines, however--"
If you had expected them, you could have just told me and I would have mass produced them all-night.
"During the opening, the proxies of Duke Bishtal and Marquis Llyoid were having a fierce bidding war for it, so the other people were lured and bid for it too. Moreover, both of them are popular item that need reservation more than one month in advance after all."
Still, even though neither Duke Bishtal nor Marquis Lloyd is bald, what are they going to use hair growth formula for?
Wonder if their relatives need it?
"The stamina medicines were won by my knight parent's house who are going to war, but the magic power medicines were won by the people of Shiga 33 Wands."
"--It appears that the market has evaluated that the medicine has the same recovery effect as the upper-grade magic power medicine."
Tifaliza supplemented the manager's report.
Upper grade magic medicines don't seem to be sold in general, so I understand how it had become a competition.
After all, no one will agree to make them even if you ask a famous alchemist, because gathering the ingredients for it is annoying.
Above all, in order to get [Blood Bead], you'll need to go into the [Labyrinth of Dead] the den of undead, and defeat some vampires.
Moreover, on top of vampires being tough enemies, the [Blood Bead] is a rare drop.
It's really hard to get them by just winning in a straight shogi match.
"The nutrients were selling as expected, there is nothing special to mention. The lumbago, stiff shoulders, and headaches medicines were all bought by the family of the prime minister."
"--A letter regarding that matter has arrived from Prime Minister-sama."
I confirm the letter that Tifalize gave me.
There's a sealing wax politely placed.
I break the seal with the paper knife the manager handed to me.
"What has the prime minister written?"
"It's a request from the prime minister to buy them regularly."
It doesn't seem that the prime minister is using them himself, I think they should just ask some magician to heal them if they need to use medicines regularly.
It seems my doubt was transmitted, Tifaliza's ice blue eyes jolt and then she adds.
"The effect of Kuro-sama-made stiff shoulders and headache medicines is immediate and long-lasting, it's better than low-grade magic potion. They might be inferior to mid-grade magic, but if someone were to employ a mid-magic-user magician for such a trivial thing, they will surely lose their job."
Perhaps, Tifaliza suffers from headaches too?
I should mass produce them since I have the diluted recipe anyway.
"Give a positive answer to the prime minister. I'll also give the recipes for the three of them later. Employ people that are skilled enough and check whether they can produce something equal."
If there are a lot of demand for it, then I can just increase the supply.
I want to welcome Echigoya Firm that can keep their balance in black with more commodity without me.
Items made in the downtown workshop were exhibited in the second auction hall but since they were sold at normal price, I ignored them.
It's fine as along as they're in the black unrelated to me.
After finishing the paperwork, I drink the tea made by the new slave maid to quench my thirst.
I put some Mont Blanc cake as the tea cake for the executives.
I got it from Lulu with some nice chestnuts.
"Kuro-sama, I am sorry for the impudent request beforehand, but do you know the current position of a person called Toril?"
The manager unusually asked that.
The name doesn't sound familiar.
I searched the territory that's under direct control of the king on the map, and found that there were one in the nearby village, one in a junction town, and one in the mountains of the royal capital's outskirt. It seems they're the only three with the name.
"It's not that I don't know, but what is it for?"
"Knowing the location of that person is a requirement to secure the cooperation of a potent collaborator."
--I see, he's the link needed to create a collaborator for Echigoya Firm.
There is no need to hesitate if the manager appraises them as a [Potent Collaborator].
"I don't mind, but how old is this Toril?"
"Yes, he's a 11 year old boy."
"That one is in the cave in the mountains north-northwest of the Royal Capital. Do you need a map?"
"Y-yes, if it's possible...."
I draw it on the paper that Tifaliza's handed.
Drawing the contour line would be better, but then it wouldn't be like a fantasy world's map, so I stopped myself.
I take another piece and draw the map for the inside of the cave.
"I don't know what you'll use it for, but there are lethal traps on this point, so tell it to the other party."
"Yes, I understand."
I obviously overdid it, but since I can erase Kuro's position anytime, there's no problem--.
If I get involved in something troublesome, I can make it so that Kuro dies in a fight with a demon lord.
Of course, I'll perform as the demon lord that defeats Kuro myself.
--I thought of some stupid thing, but the manager probably will manage how much information will be given to the other party.
She knows that I hate troublesome things, so I'm sure she will do it well.
When I was hesitating whether to ask for another refill, my ears heard an auditory hallucination.
"Kuro-sama, is that bird Kuro-sama's pet?"
The manager puts her hands on her cheeks and asks.
There's a jade colored bird resting on the overcoat rack before her field of vision.
"--Kuro-sama, please be careful."
"What's wrong? Tifaliza?"
"That bird invaded Kuro-sama's office which has the windows and the door shut."
The manager holds her breath after hearing Tifaliza.
In order to prevent espionage, I've put air ventilation magic tools in this room, the windows and the door are completely sealed.
Hisui turns toward me, chirps once again, and like before--
>Unit name [Hisui] wishes to join you. Do you approve? (YES/NO)
--A pop-up window appeared.
Of course I choose NO.
I hate forced events that are looped until you choose YES.
Rejected again by me, Hisui looks sorrowful with teary eyes, and then it flies outside the room like a pubertal girl that's been dumped.
At that time, I saw with my own eyes that it flew away without breaking the glass window.
In addition, confirming its detail on the map, I see that Hisui's status has changed greatly compared to before.
Level 10 is normal, but it's now classified as a Mythical Beast, and its race has changed to [God Bird].
It seems the race has special abilities of [Material Permeation], [Short Distance Teleport], and [Protective Coloration].
I feel that it'll be an excellent spy if I can tame it--wait it has no mean to communicate with me huh. I can't translate its pirupiru chirping after all.
Pursuing Hisui's marker, I understand that it's heading to the royal castle's villa.
It's probably returning to Princess Doris's place this time.
After a moment of relief, it seems I'm loved by troubles today.
When I teleported back to Pendragon Mansion nearby Echigoya Firm, an alarm came from the scarecrows deployed on the royal capital's outskirts.
-Ton, tsu, tsu. Ton, tsu. Ton, tsu, ton....
I open the map and search for the demon OR specific levels.
Found the mock body (avatar) of the green demon on the edge of the territory under direct control of the king. It's moving speed is fast, looks like it's riding a tamed wyvern.
I moved to a mountain range several kilometers away from the Royal Capital with Unit Arrangement.
Defeating it too fast might expose my searching ability after all.
Apparently, the green demon's mock body goes down to a place two mountains away from here, and intends to go to the Royal Capital by land.
It's easy to eliminate it here and now, but now that I have a chance, I'll let it roam free and capture the green demon's cooperators all at once.
I put markers on the mock body and the wyvern, and then I move to the rooftop of the Shin boy's orphanage.
Hikaru isn't here except for the time when I can't deploy urgently.
Right now she's delivering my handmade whale meat dishes for the Griffon and the Dragons.
I've given her a disposable long-distance communication device this time, so there's no problem. I'll come to her if there's a signal from her.
And then, the mock body who's finally invaded the Royal Capital late at night is caught on my view.
The mock body this time is a foreigner-looking person with dark brown skin.
"The slums huh...."
The mock body advances through the back alley of the slums while greeting some sleeping beggars along the way.
Just in case, I put markers on the men it had greeted.
After passing through the slums, the mock body jumps over a wall of a mansion in the wealthy area, invading it.
I activate Magic Essence Camouflage skill and tails the back of the mock body.
--This place is?
I noticed it when I saw another marker inside the mansion.
This is the family house of Souya boy who's called his highness.
....Don't tell me, he's the real [Highness]?
I'm baffled to link someone who's unexpectedly kind despite his arrogant attitude to an existence called demon lord.
I saw the mock body going through the back door, but then it went through a passage to a detached building of the mansion.
"--I brought a message from Mirage."
"Who the hell are you?"
A half-naked slender man that came out of the detached building scowls at the mock body suspiciously.
Confirming it on the map, it seems the slender man is a fallen noble.
Besides the fact that his father belongs to the carefree occult group [Wind of Liberty] in the Royal Capital, his connection with demons is unknown.
"Together with the Light of liberty"
"Seeking liberty, the Wings ride upon the Wind."
I heard some kind of password with Attentive Ears skill.
This is good. I'll have to tell this to the prime minister later and make use of it during the arrest.
"Looks like you're the real Hyakumen. As always, your disguise is amazing...."
--Hyakumen? Is it the nickname of the green demon that's like a Hyakumensou?
So the green demon has come in contact with this man many times before with its mock body.
"And, what's the message?"
"There is no change in the plan. As soon as you get the orb, tell them to act together with the snake charmers."
"Then should I continue giving food mixed with the pills from the weasels to the poor?"
"Of course. Mirage has not said to stop it."
And also, snake charmers huh.... There shouldn't be any in the Royal Capital when I searched them before though.
"I have told you what's needed."
"Yeah, certainly. Oh right, the fund is running low...."
"Hmph, that again. I don't mind if you use it for liquor or women, but don't neglect your work you hear me?"
"Of course. I don't want to be killed by Mirage."
A pouch thrown by the mock body falls before the slender man, gold coins are spilt from it.
Apparently, the slender man is cooperating with the demons for money.
After scornfully glancing once at the slender man who jumped at the gold coins, the mock body leaves the mansion behind.
Afterward, he went to the hideout's basement where Ropo was after going around three thief hideouts.
I see the mock body taking out some kind of magic tool from the bag it's carrying.
Looks like it's a barrier generator tool to help it hide itself.
After checking that the barrier has been deployed, the green demon plops down on the broken bed.
Do demons get tired too?
"Fuu, that deplorable white hair shouldn't be able to find me here zamasu."
"--Not really, no."
I decapitate the dark brown mock body who hurriedly got up the bed.
"I-impossible. Did you lurk here all this time zamasuka!"
Like I'd do that--.
I finely chop the green demon's mock body's head.
It seems the mock body's stamina has been exhausted, its crumbling remains become black mist and disperse.
I thought of interrogating the demon, but in order to pass the tomorrow's auction in peace, I prioritized eliminating it.
The mock body probably will come again after it's respawned, interrogating the people who got in contact with the green demon should do just fine.
I've completed the magic to track the green demon's main body anyway, so its fate should run out after I get the Chant Orb.
Good grief, a mid-boss should have just obediently wait for the hero in the demon lord's castle.
--There's no such thing as demon lord's castle though.
In addition, the barrier generator tool is made by human so I put it in the Storage.
I report the thieves and beggars that got in contact with the green demon to the authorities and leave the rest to them, and then as Kuro, I go toward the slender man who seems to know various things, I'll make him spit it all out.
For the sake of spending the third day of the auction tomorrow in peace, there will be no mercy!