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On the way back from the forest. Ain, who was taking a carriage through the castle town, laughed inwardly at the atmosphere inside the carriage.
(It’s totally an air conditioner, isn’t it?)
On the ceiling of the carriage, there was a thin, square magical device attached. There was a pleasant breeze coming down from there. Thanks to this, they were able to travel comfortably.
Even in the most trivial of places, Ain could feel a big difference from Heim.
(But then again, there are all kinds of people here…)
Beastmen, winged humans, and a wide variety of other races walk through the town. Not only magic tools but also the sight of so many different people can be said to be unique to Ishtalika.
Then, Ain turned his attention to a certain building. Perhaps that store is… he thought and was strongly intrigued by it.
“Chris-san! That store is…!”
The store’s large windows were decorated with several large magic stones. The shop’s door was magnificent, and the word “luxury store” was fitting perfectly to describe it.
“U-um… Yeah, that’s a store that sells high-quality magic stones.”
“It’s a well-known store that also distributes magic stones to the castle… Fumu, this is just right. If you’d like, Ain-sama, you can take a look.”
“L-Lloyd-san… is it okay?”
“Of course. But I can’t go with you because of my concerns.”
Lloyd talked apologetically. His concern relates to Ain’s status.
“I’m wearing my own armor today so that I can accompany you.”
Chris answered Ain with a smile, and she gave Lloyd a look and put on the helmet she had brought with her. In this way, she hid her golden thread-like hair and her beautiful figure.
“Excuse me, could you please stop the carriage in that alley?”
Lloyd instructed the coachman. Not long after, the carriage pulled into a narrow alleyway and stopped.
“I’ll wait here, and you can go with Chris.”
Chris stood up and left the carriage first, urging Ain to follow her and lending him a hand.
“I’m off, Lloyd-san!”
Ain smiled at Lloyd with a masculine smile and walked off with Chris.
“Actually, I got some money from my grandfather the other day, so it was just perfect.”
“From His Majesty? If that’s the case, you can buy any magic stones you like.”
How much pocket money did Sylvird give him? Chris wondered.
“By the way, the name of the store is Majolica Magic Stone Shop. There are a lot of magic stones there.”
They walked for a few dozen seconds and arrived in front of the store. Chris explained it to Ain, and with the same motion, placed her hand on the door of the store.
When Chris opened the door, the shopkeeper’s voice came from inside. But.
…The door was immediately closed again.
“A-Ain-sama? Why did you close the door…?”
Without saying a word, Ain closed the door. It was because the shopkeeper’s appearance was too shocking.
“I wanted to come to a magic stone store, not a store for special sexual habits.”
“No, no, no…! This is a real high-class store for magic stones!”
Chris denied it with great vigor, but it was understandable that Ain thought so. The shopkeeper’s blond hair was greased, and he was wearing suspenders and a bare top. His nipples were covered with magic stones.
It was rather difficult for him to believe that this was a magic stone store.
“The owner of this place is a… unique person, but he is also a competent person, you know?”
Chris said with a troubled look on her face, but she wondered if she could really use the word unique. Ain let out a deep sigh, opened the door with his own hands, and faced the shopkeeper again.
“I thought this was some kind of prank. Welcome, little customer.”
“Y-yes… I’m sorry to bother you.”
“It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Majolica-san.”
Chris checked that no one was in the store and took off her helmet. Then the shopkeeper, who was called Majolica, smiled.
“Ara, isn’t it Chris? Are you escorting the little boy here?”
He asked implicitly about Ain’s background.
“That’s right. Let’s just say that I am.”
But Chris didn’t answer clearly. Because although Ain was recognized as the crown prince, he hadn’t been introduced to the public yet. Since only his name was made public, Chris couldn’t just call him Ain here.
This is what Lloyd was referring to when he mentioned his concern. As a result, Lloyd, who was not wearing his plain clothes armor, could not accompany Ain.
“Hmm… yeah. Well, a customer is still a customer, isn’t it?”
Majolica gave up obediently as if sensing the situation.
“So, do you need a magic stone?”
“Yes. I came here to see the magic stone.”
Majolica asked Chris, but it was Ain who answered.
“Oh, you did?”
He looked at Ain as if he was assessing him, but suddenly, Majolica’s expression relaxed.
“Don’t touch the magic stone on the sea crystal pedestal. It will hurt your body, so please be careful.”
“I understand. I’ll be careful.”
Ain wondered what it was… Then he explored the 20-tatami mat size of the store.
Then he was relieved to find that the scent of the magic stone was not too strong. He used to feel a thick smell from the Ripple Modoki magic stone, and he feared that if it was a magic stone store, his nose might be bent.
However, due to the fact that he had trained himself to control the absorption of the scent, he could only smell it faintly.
(But then again, there are magic stones everywhere.)
A gold-colored magic stone that looks like pure gold and one that has lightning-like things raging inside.
There was even a reddish-black magic stone in a glass case with some kind of carved gold decoration. And then.
“Huh…? A steak?”
He could smell the rich aroma of meat coming from the gray 40cm magic stone.
“Ara, you are sharp. That’s a White Bison magic stone. It’s a high-grade meat monster.”
I want to try it. It made Ain think that.
“Well… since you’re with Chris, I’ll sell it to you for 30,000G.”
Ain took out the gold coins from his leather pouch, appreciating the extra money.
“Yes, sold. Can you wrap it up so that I can take it when I leave?”
Majolica took the magic stone that Ain had purchased and gone behind the counter. When he was out of sight, Chris called out to Ain.
“Ain-sama. Please don’t let anyone know that you smell the magic stone, okay?”
“Oh… I’m sorry. I was careless.”
It’s natural that she nailed him so that Ain’s information would not leak out, even if just a little.
──Since then, Ain has been enjoying Majolica’s store for about an hour.
Next to the White Bison magic stone, he bought a magic stone of a monster called Green Wyvern. The price was 52,000G, which was somewhat more expensive than the White Bison.
“Chris-san. It’s about time──.”
When he had enjoyed it enough, Ain opened his mouth, saying, “I don’t want to make Lloyd-san wait any longer.”
“Yes, you’re right. So let’s pick up the goods and go home.”
“Yes. Wait here for a moment.”
Majolica replied and went to get the magic stone for Ain to take home. Then, a strange sound reached Ain’s ears.
He looked in that direction, and there it was, the red and black magic stone he had found when he entered the store. He felt as if he could hear a voice coming from inside the carved glass case.
“Here you go… Oh, hey, boy. Are you interested in that?”
“…Yes. I thought it was a beautiful piece of engraving, so I took a look at it.”
He can’t be foolish enough to say that he heard voices, so Ain deflected his answer by praising the engraving.
“It’s a special seal. This is a special seal that I put on the stone to seal it.”
“It’s said to have a curse. It is said that it appears in the owner’s dreams and repeated appeals to them, saying, It’s not you, it’s not you…”
It seems to have been brought to Majolica’s store about five years ago. This is the reason for the seal. Ain was convinced when he listened attentively.
“It’s really strange, isn’t it? It’s a strange thing to hear voices coming from a magic stone.”
That said, since the seal is in place, it’s likely to be monitored.
He still felt something from the magic stone, but it didn’t seem to be evil.
“Majolica-san. How much is this magic stone… including the case?”
“Um, I’m sorry. I didn’t hear you… what did you say?”
He probably pretended he didn’t hear it, but Ain didn’t back down.
“──P-please stop! It’s not too late before something happens to you!”
“Majolica-san. How much is that magic stone?”
Even so, Ain continued. He did not respond to Chris’s interruption.
(I don’t feel weird about it, and I think it’s possible to have Katima-san investigate it.)
“…You don’t seem like you’re being charmed by it.”
His eyes glinted tightly, and he looked at Ain and assured him so. The store was filled with a momentary chill atmosphere. Majolica must have done something.
“It’s all right. It’s all my decision.”
“…If there’s any trouble, you can bring it here, Chris, is that okay?”
“To be honest, I don’t want to agree to it. But I know that he is stubborn… Besides, if it’s Majolica-san’s seal, I’m sure His Majesty will trust it.”
Chris reluctantly broke down. If there is any effect, it will only be the voice of the example.
“I’ll only charge you 300,000G for the case, okay?”
“Yes. I will pay.”
Ain paid the money without any hesitation. Chris wanted to ask him how much money Sylvird had given him.
“It was just right because the money I brought with me is now completely spent.”
But she was relieved to hear these words. It was a lot of money to give to a child, but it made sense when she thought of Ain as the crown prince.
“Thank you for your purchase. I’ll wrap this up as well then.”
“Yes, I’ll watch the other magic stones until you finish wrapping it.”
Ain said and left the side of the two.
“Geez… what a wonderful one. That His Highness the crown prince.”
“──W-what are you talking about?”
Chris was flustered. Majolica wanted to say that she should have tried a little harder if she was going to act.
“You dug your own grave, you know? What were you said, “His Majesty will trust you,” I think?”
“Ah… ahaha… W-well, Majolica-san? Please keep this matter to yourself…”
“I’m not going to tell anyone… Good grief.”
In the first place, the vice-chief of the knights of the Kingsguard escorts a mere nobleman. That’s already a strange thing to do. He was suspicious from the beginning, but the self-destruction of a moment ago made it clear.
“Don’t you show that your clumsiness again in front of His Highness, okay?”
“W-what did you say? I’m not… clumsy!”
“Who dug the grave anyway?”
Chris froze at Majolica’s harsh reply while wrapping the magic stone.
Chris’s face turned red, and his eyes were wet.
Majolica laughed while saying:
“Look, look, His Highness is going to see you, you know. Now that I have finished wrapping it, you can take it.”
With a push, Chris went to Ain’s side.
“Huh? Chris-san, your eyes are red…”
“…My eyes are just a little itchy, you see.”
Chris put on her helmet and hid her expression. Ain wondered what was wrong with her, but she left Majolica’s store as if nothing had happened.