Chapter 33 Strongest Sage, Finishing without Destroying the Schoolyard
"So um, how much for this frightening bow....?"
Alma asked me while looking like she didn't want to hear it.
"Hmm... The material cost me around 100 ermi, and the processing took around 20 seconds, since I made it myself, the labor cost is zero so.... 100 ermi. I've also made some arrows with it, you can have it for free since I made them from leftovers."
By the way, Ermi is the currency of this country.
One ermi equals one copper coin, 100 ermi equal one silver coin, 1000 ermi equal one gold coin.
"So cheap!? No way, that can't be the right price no matter how you look at it...."
"100 ermi is unbelievable. With that kind of performance, it's hard to even put a price on the bow after all...."
"Then, 300 ermi."
I added the processing fee. 10 ermi for 1 second, meaning the hourly wage is 36000 ermi.
According to the merchant who accompanied me to the royal capital, an average family usually spends around 2000 ermi a month, so I'm already way overcharging her here.
Getting enough wage to live for one and half year in just an hour. And for a family even.
"It hardly changed!"
However, Alma still thinks it's too cheap.
Ah. I forgot the time needed to gather the material. Adding that, then....
I added 10 minutes.
It's a complete rip-off. I'm sure even Alma would think so, I'll let her haggle it...
"Like I said, that's too cheap!"
Umm. Alma might be using the market price in the royal capital as her standard.
It's certainly cheap if you go there.
I mean, don't you think there's something strange with how the buyer side is raising the price like this.
"I can't raise it any further. I think you'll see for yourself that this price is fair in half a year time."
After all this, I had the option to raise the price in accordance to the market price here sure, but then that means I was overcharging this bow once Ruli learned how to do augment magic well.
I'd like to avoid such a cause of conflict.
....Well, mass producing this bow and then spreading them in the market might be fun on its own though.
"Like I said, no matter how you...."
"Then, I'll have you borrow that bow instead. And I'd like to ask for your cooperation in creating new swords for me. But first we should continue the practice in order to pass the test and get the permission to enter the dungeon. Also, Ruli, you still owe me one for your sword right?"
"Yes I do.... Oh, helping Mathi-kun with the sword making doesn't mean that I've returned the favor okay?"
"I mean, Mathi-kun, you're going to teach me your techniques in the process right!? That means my debt to you increases instead!"
"That's true, I'll also be getting stronger from Mathi's teaching and entering the dungeon.... I'm unilaterally profiting here! I've got to pay the bow after all!"
"....Is that so. By the way, we'll make several swords as soon as we get the materials and continue until you can make my ideal sword, which means it'll take quite a long time.... Yet, are you still sure about this?"
Looks like they're being quite stubborn about this.
I was going to let this pay their debt, but it increased instead.
Well it's not like it'll trouble anyone, guess this is fine.
By the way, the content of the dungeon test was posted in the classroom this morning.
The test is the same as the enrollment exam and can be taken anytime after school.
Furthermore, in case you pass the test you'll be exempted of either swordsmanship or magic lessons depending on the test you picked.
The reason for that is because this test is more difficult than the exam to be second graders.
"Umm, we're going to take the test today right? Are we going to be alright?"
"Yeah. If we can finish this test, we can use the time we get from not attending chant magic lesson for practicing real magic. We should do it as soon as possible. After all, chant magic is completely useless for augment magic."
I promptly replied Ruli's question.
"Got it! Let's go take it now!"
It seems Ruli got motivated when she heard about augment magic, she rushed to the faculty office.
Alma looked like she wanted to practice with her new bow a bit more, but maybe she didn't want to get left behind as she also followed after Ruli.
"We'd like to take the dungeon test."
"You really came Mathias-kun. You're later than expected."
A teacher came to us when I said that in the faculty room.
"You're the fifth group who's taken this test so far. Apparently, everyone practiced chantless magic in their free time after the chantless magic class. By the way, all four groups passed."
"....Um, I'm sorry."
Even if chant magic is useless, I still feel bad for the teachers in charge of teaching it.
"No no. Instead, we're glad about it. To tell you the truth, us teachers have come to feel that teaching chant magic is nonsensical, we're discussing among ourselves how we could begin to introduce chantless magic in the curriculum faster. ...Though well it's difficult to do without any achievement, so we intend to immediately add the lessons right after the interpersonal match."
Ooh. Apparently, the thing the principal said in the entrance ceremony about prioritizing ability is true.
Looks like I can expect chantless magic to get spread faster than planned.
We reached the testing ground (that is, the schoolyard) while we were talking about that.
"Now then. The test is the same as the entrance exams. But the standards will be higher, mind you. Who wants to go first?"
"Then, I'll do it."
I raised my hand first at the teacher who had finished setting up the targets on the schoolyard and establishing the shooting place.
Things should be easier for the two if they see an example beforehand.
The distance is 40 meter, a bit farther than the entrance exam. Quite hard
for the Fourth Crest, though well I'll manage somehow. While reserving enough mana to fix the schoolyard afterward in case they disqualify me for breaking it, I construct a magic that could blow away the whole mithril alloy--
"Stop, stop! You pass! Mathias-kun you pass either the magic or the sword tests okay!"
The teacher stopped me when I was going to construct the magic. Wonder if he thought that I was going to destroy the schoolyard again.
Well, I unquestionably would if it continued.
Let's consider this a good thing considering it ended without me wasting my mana.
Now there's no need for me to attend that chant magic classes. Since I'm also exempted of theoretical lectures, I only need to attend the swordsmanship class.
To be honest, I'm interested to learn just how far this world has changed so I'd like to see a bit of the theoretical lectures.... But I shouldn't force it. I'd learn about it sooner or later anyway, I'm sure I'd see for myself just what happened to the world by getting stronger. Yup.
By the way, I asked Ruli why magic became this bad, but she answered that it had always been like this. It appears that the decline of magic started far in the past.
Putting that aside, I feel this test is too hard on the Fourth Crest.
"I think this test still has room for improvement. Fourth Crest is a crest specialized in close-quarter combat, it's still quite useful even if its magic cannot reach those targets. Though unlike other Crests, it's hard to handle unless you're proficient in swordsmanship...."
"Actually, the staff is currently discussing about that matter. Looking at all the lessons so far, we couldn't find anything wrong with the characteristics of the crests that you Mathias-kun told us, however.... Radically changing evaluation of the Crests aren't something that can be done overnight. We'd have to wait for the result of the lessons from here on."
Well, I guess they'd be confused if they were suddenly told that the characteristics of crests they had believed up until now were wrong.
I think this academy is quite flexible already just for the fact that they're reviewing it.
There's no need to hurry, I was able to pass after all.
"As for the matter of a special test for the Disqualified Crest.... Apparently, the top brass, even higher than the academy's top, are strongly against it."
I didn't really feel discrimination against Disqualified Crest when I came to this school.... Yet it's still problematic huh.
There's even that criteria where you get -200 point toward becoming the next family head just by bearing the crest.
If that's real, revising this would mean allowing a disqualified crest to become a noble.
"Now then. Let's continue with the test. Who's next?"
"Let me do it!"
Ruli raised her hand.
She broke the targets one by one using chantless magic.
All the targets are destroyed by the fifth shot.
"You pass without a doubt. The next one is Alma then."
"I'm afraid I can't catch up to Ruli and Mathias after watching them, but.... Ei."
Alma attacked the targets while saying that. She needed two shots to break each target, but her magic's power and accuracy was relatively stable, she managed to break all the targets no problem.
"Your magic is quite strong Alma, the other two are just unusual. The entire last year students would have to repeat the grade if this were considered a failure.... You pass!"
Looks like we all passed.
Well there was no need to worry about this in the first place.
The most worrisome part was the schoolyard's durability.
"With this you are allowed to go into the dungeon, however for the first few times..... You three have to be accompanied by a teacher until they deemed you fine to go without one. When are you planning to go?"
"Could we go today?"
"Will we be alright going so suddenly?"
"It should be fine. Judging from the mana reaction, there's no monster worth mentioning within the visible range. The problem is the accompanying teacher...."
"Of course, I have no problem going with you now. I don't think you three would hit a roadblock either. I wouldn't have given you the permission if I didn't think so. Follow me."
Looks like the teacher can go too.
He's guiding us to the dungeon immediately.
After passing a metal gate, we arrived at the mouth of a cave.
"Now then. We'll be entering the dungeon from here on. Even if there's no strong monster in the upper layer, unlike at school, your safety isn't guaranteed here, you might even lose your life in some cases. In fact, 80% of the casualty in this school are due to this dungeon. You have to make sure to always be careful. And return to ground as soon as you think it's gotten dangerous."
After replying teacher, we took our first step into the dungeon.