10-42. Mithril Plate
Satou's here. Often times I can't get my hand on something no matter how hard I endeavor. I can't reach it even though I see other people getting it so easily. Is it precisely because of that frustrating feeling that it's shining when the effort bears fruit?
This is about rare drops in net games though.
Two weeks have elapsed since we got back from Boruenan forest, leveling up everyone and the labyrinth city project are going well.
"It's wider than I thought."
"Ah, it's because I got it from the lands that had been secured by purveyors."
Today I'm with Arisa inspecting the planned site where the private orphanage and the explorer training school will be build. It's about as big as an average primary school, quite big inside the city. Thanks to the Marchioness's middleman, I got them as goods, but I had to give her all kinds of accessories of the same value as the reward.
Since it was almost the time for the kingdom conference, I made some shiny gaudy accessories for the Marquis and his wife, but despite using normal precious metal and jewels, the accessories had became something that my Estimation (Market Price) skill couldn't judge. I can't help but feel that selling accessories to the nobles will be more profitable than secluding ourselves in the labyrinth. I told the Marchioness that I got them from some foreign merchants when I was visiting the trade city. I've put some some suitable name on the maker column. I honestly don't remember if it was Michaelangelo or Da Vinci.
"Next we just need a manager for the teachers huh."
"Right, I'd like a leader for the organization and an accountant, but they're hard to find."
Actually, I had interviewed Miteruna's family members, and some nobles whom the Marchioness introduced, but there weren't anyone well suited to become the leader or the accountant, although it would be different if I was hiring them as teachers. There were a lot of people who looked capable as a leader, but every one of them was either the type who despised orphans and commoners, or someone who only saw the orphanage and the school as a stepping stone to rise their position higher, so I didn't employ them.
That said, since it would embarrasses the ones who introduced them if I didn't employ anyone, I selected three reasonably less objectionable people, and dispatched them to the royal capital academy under the pretext of training. It looked like I was just getting rid of nuisances, but since I gave each
one of them 10 gold coins for two months stay and food expense, they didn't have any complaint.
"Looks like there are a lot of people who employ a slave to work as the accountant to prevent embezzlement you know?"
"It can't be helped, I'll look for one in the neighboring cities."
Since Tifaliza doesn't have Arithmetic skill, entrusting her to be an accountant is probably impossible. It seems Arisa and I have to split the work for a while.
The orphanage building is still under construction, but we have already started the admission. I had planned to start the admission after the building was completed, but since Pochi picked up some dying children in the back alley, I decided to start the management little by little.
Since there's no building, we had set up temporary tents on the place planned to become the athletic ground of the school, and added temporary sheets as beds by bundling hay bought from the farms. I don't know if Arisa's heartstring was touched by the hay beds, but she was frolic and slept together with the children on the straw beds on the first day. The next morning, she requested some strange dishes that were goat milk, and bread dipped in melted cheese. Since this is Arisa, she must be reproducing scenes from some anime or manga, no doubt about it.
I don't know where they come from but in just several days, more than 100 children have come to live in the orphanage. No one is complaining even though the meals are simple besides the ones in the first day. Mysteriously enough, there aren't any child who's being picky or leaves leftovers.
I was going to employ our maids as the regular staffs of the orphanage, but as expected, they wouldn't be enough with this many children.
By Ms. Miteruna's suggestion, I decided to employ the wives around the neighborhood as part-timers to make up for the shortage. They are women with ages ranging from 20 to 50 years old. I also have them participate in the food distribution for the poor.
Lulu investigated the reason why so many children had gathered here by using the employees' network. Since the information charge was only ant honey cookies, it was cheap. As expected of Lulu.
Now then, the reason is simple. They are children that have overflowed from other orphanages.
Originally, there were three privately and government managed orphanages in the labyrinth city. However, since this was a city with a lot of casualties, there were also a lot of orphans, so every orphanage was over capacity. The two government managed orphanages were still fine, but the privately managed one couldn't even give enough food, let alone beds.
Since the state was as such, my late-start orphanage was wholeheartedly approved. I feel that they've pushed problem children and ones who have bad physical growth on us, but it's not a problem. The mischievous kids were THUMP-ed by Arisa and Tama from the start, they're helping the adult managers now.
It seems that, up until now the overflowed children had been picked by criminal guilds of the slums, they were on the tragic course of being sold to the slave trader. And so, Kuro eliminates those kind of slum criminal guild with a villain group in the core. I left some relatively less objectionable people since other new villains from other cities would just come if I thoroughly rooted them.
As an extra, I've also finished some miscellaneous matters during this time.
I brought the lost thieves that I had left in the labyrinth prison to the authorities, and delivered the corpses of the explorers that had been turned into stones I had collected from the Cockatrice area to their bereaved families through the explorer guild.
I wasn't present since I didn't want to see the tragic scene, but the guildmaster thanked me. As for the rewards, after receiving them, I gave it to the church and another orphanage of the labyrinth city as Satou.
"Yes, I bought them since they were being sold in front of the west guild."
I read the newspaper extra from Ms. Miteruna whom I had asked to go to the west guild for some business. On the Pera paper written with ink is--
"Kuh, my floormaster's been huntedddddd"
--the news about the [Lion's Roar] party leads by a magic swordsman called crimson noble from before which has defeated the floormaster of the middle layer.
Arisa, I know you're vexed, but please stop grasping and shaking my shoulder.
"What's wrong nodesu?"
Pochi who was playing outside seemed to have heard Arisa's scream, she came back inside through the window. Let's not say boorish thing like this is the second floor. That's why, Tama, please stop coming back home from the ceiling. Lulu will get mad at you for getting the floor full of dust you know?
"U, the shortest record of getting Mithrillll"
Not only Arisa, even Mia and Liza look disappointed.
Do they really want the Mithril Plate that much?
"Of course we are. I mean, that's [A Promise] and all. I want to TUEEE~"
<TUEEE: 'Look at how strong I am!", or something along that line.>
"To leave the record of master's achievement, it is something to be proud of even as a slave."
Putting aside Arisa, I understand how Liza feels.
U~n, I don't want to stand out though. Well, I guess it's fine. Everyone has gotten strong anyway, they probably can deal with anyone who bares their fangs at them. Having the upper nobles of the royal capital as enemies will be troublesome, but I can just enlist the kingdom's top people's help with Nanashi. Un, looks like it's manageable somehow.
I might be too soft, but Mithril Plate holder isn't an existence as special as Saga Empire's hero or Nanashi.
"Then, let's aim for it."
"Eh? Is it alright?"
"Is it fine with you master?"
"Fighting a powerful enemy once will be a good experience too."
I nod to Arisa who has caught both my arms and looks at me from below.
Lured by Arisa who jumps up reaching the ceiling, Pochi and Tama also jump up together.
I guess they mean 'with a single blow' and 'stake it all'? Tama is fine, but in Pochi's case it'd become sink or swim match, is that alright?
<TLN: They're pronounced the same, but written differently.>
Pochi and Tama are too excited, they climb from both my sides, so I put them on my shoulders and support them with hands.
Now then, the problem is where the floor master is.
There wasn't any floormaster-like monster in the middle layer when I checked it three days ago. There might be some kind of procedure to make the floormaster appears.
First, I should ask someone in the knows.
"What's this, are you blinded by money and fame too?"
The one who replies at me asking for the condition to POP the floor master in disgust is the pyromaniac guildmaster.
"I have enough of both. My retainers want to fight against a powerful enemy."
"Geez, you guys are the seventh party you know."
I guess it's as expected of explorers.
The information I got from the guildmaster was not much.
You can make the floormaster appear by either waiting 10 years since it's last defeated, or summoning it by placing a magic core from a level 50 or higher monster on the altar and read aloud the [Summoning Passage].
"The upper layer one has been defeated by the [Witch of Heaven Ascension] Princess Ringrande 8 years ago. The next one will appear in two years. The magic core of level 50 or higher monster is something that's quite valuable itself. There's hardly anyone who will use it as a bait to have a fight with the [Floor Master] which you don't know whether you could win."
If lady Ringrande defeated the floormaster 8 years ago, that means she was only 14 years old back then, amazing. To accomplish such great deed without cheat. I thought that she was just a violent siscon woman, but let's revise the impression toward her.
I have around 20 magic cores of level 50 or higher monsters, so there's no problem even if I use one or two. I thought of having multiple battles with many, but it seems that you can't summon the floormaster again for one year once you summon it. I was thinking of using the defeated floormaster's magic core to summon another and fighting multiple of them, but looks like I was too naive.
It seems that a floormaster that isn't defeated will reign for one year and then go back by itself. During the floor master reign, monsters are strengthened and stimulated, which in turn increase explorers' mortality rate, so in case of failure, the holy knight of the royal capital will come to subjugate the floormaster.
"Not the labyrinth army, but the holy knights?"
"Yeah, the labyrinth army is a force that acts to purely prevent monsters overrun the surface. They can't be let to carelessly fight with the [Floor Master], exhausting them."
Is it alright to exhaust the holy knights?
"Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in our triumphal return today!"
A handsome man and seven high level explorers are standing triumphantly on the platform that's been prepared in front of the west guild. I ignored it since there wasn't anyone on the platform when I arrived at the guild, but it seems the core members of explorers who have defeated the floormaster are giving speech there.
"Now then, after the minstrels tell the story about our gallant figures in the fight, it's the long-awaited time to show the spoils that have victoriously gained from the [Floor Master]."
The labyrinth city people who have gathered in the plaza and been treated to free food and drink by the explorers in the leading role cheers in delight.
The handsome man took out a sword.
"This is the flame sword, the [Fang of Flame Snake]."
When the handsome man fills it with magic power, flame appears on the red blade, people raise frenzied cheers that are mixed with angry words. That looks like it'll give you burn if you use it long. I guess you can use it together with fireproof gloves.
In addition, they show various magic items they've acquired like a halberd that can emit fire. When a platinum tiara with egg-sized ruby was displayed, high-pitched shrieks came from the women in nobility seats, and angry voice reverberated from the bearded old man merchants when they showed Orihalcon ore and Damascus Iron ingot. I would have cheered together with them if it was half a month ago.
However, that's not it.
The item that has pulled my soul is not that.
There isn't anyone besides me who pay any attention to that item. No, only Arisa turned her face toward me and grinned at that moment.
That item's name is [Gift Orb].
There are three Gift Orbs.
First, Gift Orb [Light Magic].
Starting from the nobles, a lot of people raised their voices of envy.
Another is, Gift Orb [Posion Resistance].
It's enough to make some upper nobles to stand up from their nobility seats.
As for the last one, most people look puzzled.
『1. Really? Nothing to do with me
2. Give it to me, please!
>3. Kill and plunder』
Arisa shows some strange branching choices on her palm, made with light magic.
Well, I won't kill, but I'll use all of my available money, connections and skills to get it.
That is, Gift Orb [Chant].
It's a wonderful artifact that will present me the skill I desire most.