It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (55/90), enjoy~
Chapter 6 – A Lively Blacksmith And His Apprentice
It was past noon, about three days after their departure, when the former Demon Lord’s territory investigation team returned to town.
After returning to the inn and exchanging a few words with Krone, Ain bathed in hot water, and after leaving the bathroom, he met her, who was waiting for him on the sofa.
On the table in front of the sofa, there is a cold drink for Ain and a wooden box.
Ain sat down facing Krone.
“I heard it was an amazing souvenir.”
“Yeah, I didn’t know what it was either, but I was surprised when Lloyd-san told me about it in the former Demon Lord’s territory.”
Then Ain put his hand on the lid of the wooden box. When he took off the lid, he found that it contained a helmet.
“The living armor molts only once in its life. The armor will disappear, but the helmet will remain and become material. It seems that it is considered a national treasure, something that is not found in Ishtalika today.”
“…You were more welcomed than I imagined.”
“I think the reason for this is because of the Dullahan and Elder Lich that resides inside me.”
Krone observed the helmet quietly.
It was sturdy and large in appearance, and like Marco’s, it was an odd-looking helmet with striations. It was so light that it could be lifted with Krone’s strength. Lloyd said that it was much harder than the scales of the Upashikamui.
“Marco told me that I could use this to make a sword.”
“But I’m a little worried.”
“I guess so. There’s something about having too much power.”
“No, it’s not that. What I was thinking was that it would be hard to find a craftsman who could process it. Fortunately, Baltic is also a sacred place for blacksmiths, so there may be someone who can process it…”
“Should we ask Count Baltic?”
“Yes, I think that would be a good idea.”
When the conversation was decided, Ain took a breath.
Thinking about it, the Upashikamui showed up even before going to the former Demon Lord’s territory, and for the first time in a long time, the atmosphere of finally being able to relax loosened his strength.
“Can I take a nap for a while?”
“No problem, I’ll wake you up after a while.”
“Thanks. Okay, just for a little while.”
Walking barefoot on the comfortable carpet, Ain stepped into the bedroom.
◇ ◇ ◇
At noon of the next day, Count Baltic came to the inn.
“Please take this letter of introduction with you. I assure you that you will not be treated lightly.”
When he heard that Ain was looking for a blacksmith, he came already prepared with a letter of introduction. He greeted Ain at the entrance of the inn and handed him the letter of introduction that he had just signed.
“Thank you for your help.”
“That’s very kind of you. However… The craftsman mentioned in the letter of introduction is very skilled, but I can’t guarantee his language skills. I hope you can tolerate him.”
“I don’t mind; I’m the one asking, after all.”
Well, it’s typical, isn’t it?
When it comes to a skilled and rugged blacksmith, it can be quite exciting.
“Your Highness, will you be leaving now?”
Krone, who was standing next to him, asked.
It was told in advance that Ain had a whole day free in his schedule today. It’s because he had just returned from the former Demon Lord’s territory.
Ain glanced at the view from the window. The weather in Baltic was bad today. In other words, it was snowing so hard that it was a pain to walk around.
But his time here was limited, and he didn’t feel like making it a day of rest. In addition, compared to the way to the former Demon Lord’s territory… He was able to compromise.
“Let’s do that.”
“Be careful; it’s rough out there. Well, I’ll take my leave now.”
Count Baltic bowed neatly and left the inn.
“The blacksmith he introduced you to is said to be the best blacksmith in Baltic.”
“Hee… That’s great.”
“But he’s a bit eccentric and selective in his work. I hope he’ll accept Ain’s request.”
Although Ain was a little nervous, he had no choice but to make the blacksmith like him.
They quickly returned to the room and began to prepare for their departure.
With Lloyd and Dill as their escorts, they set out for the snowy town of Baltic.
Fortunately, the snow had slowed down a bit.
Ain is now in an area where many buildings are lined up in a row. The buildings are made of heavy stone, and he is impressed by the craftsmanship everywhere he looks.
If the weather was nice, he could enjoy the scenery as a tourist attraction.
This place was called Craftsman Street, and despite the snowstorm, it was crowded with blacksmiths and adventurers.
“Speaking of which, how did it go with you, Krone?”
“What do you mean?”
“I was just wondering if you had any information about Viscount Sage and monsterization.”
“…I’m sorry, there was some information, but it was too complicated for me. When we return to the royal capital, I will ask Katima-sama to scrutinize it.”
“The investigation of the former Demon Lord’s territory was similar, so don’t worry about it.”
“But Ain brought information, didn’t he?”
“Yes, yes, I was kidnapped, though.”
They looked at each other and laughed, and Krone was grateful for Ain’s concern.
“What was the blacksmith’s name again?”
“Mouton, that’s his name.”
The blacksmith’s name was Mouton, and Ain thought it sounded warm.
“Mmm, Krone-dono. Isn’t that the store?”
“Um… it looks like it. The sign says Mouton Shop.”
“Well, the store looks rather indescribable, isn’t it?”
The building itself was small and rundown compared to the famous stores that lined the street.
For some reason, there was dried meat hanging at the entrance, the sign was slanted, and there was no sense of motivation in the store.
“I’ll go in first. And you, Dill, you will stand guard in front of the store.”
“No, I’m the one who came to ask for help, so I’ll go first.”
“I can handle it. So, I’ll go ── Excuse me.”
When he opened the door, the scent of charcoal and iron was followed by a loud conversation.
“You idiot! I told you to use your arms and swing! I’m going to grill you, you stupid idiot!”
“M-master? It’s Master who told me that using my legs would give me more power!”
Stunned, Ain’s attention was caught by a pair of lively people.
The man who was shouting was about the same size as Katima but with strong arms and a hairy chest. His beard was clean-shaven, and his face was as masculine and attractive as his body.
The next woman’s voice was that of a different species.
Supple muscles covered her feathered legs. Sharp claws sprouted from the tips of her feet, and when looking at her upper body, she had a single large wing on each of her arms.
“That woman is of the Harpy race…”
“She’s holding a mallet with her foot; what’s that?”
“I think it’s because her feet give her more power.”
However, holding a mallet with a sharp claw is very uncomfortable.
“Aah! There is no way I am saying that! Just try to lift it with your feathers!”
“I’ll do it! See! What do you think?”
Ain and the others were watching the exchange between the two without their knowledge.
The harpy girl managed to lift the mallet with her wings and swing it down to the anvil. Her desperation was evident, but it was still not as powerful as before.
“You…don’t underestimate blacksmithing! What’s with that gutless swinging? You’ve got great legs, so grab and swing with them, you bastard!”
“Master! I’m getting confused now!”
It seems that the master is quite unreasonable, but he must be the blacksmith called Mouton.
It was funny to watch the exchange, but he couldn’t stay like this forever.
“Um… Excuse me?”
“Ah? Who the hell are you, and where did you come from?”
“There’s no other door but… I mean, we’ve not even entered yet.”
Krone interrupted them spontaneously and poked Ain in the stomach.
“From the door? Well, I guess you are right…”
“I’ve got a letter of introduction from Count Baltic. May I come in?”
“Yes, come in, come in. I’ll be serving you grilled chicken in a little while.”
“Hey… Master? Is that me?”
“Oh, Ememe! Go make some tea! It’s been a long time since I’ve had a customer!”
“I don’t know what’s going on, but it’s okay!”
The harpy, who was called Ememe, left her seat with a whoosh.
Ain heard that he was a skilled blacksmith, but what did he mean when he said he hadn’t had a customer in a long time?
“Your face looks like you have some complaints. …I choose my customers, or rather the materials. That’s why it’s so difficult for customers to come to me. Don’t worry; it’s not that my skills are bad. And as you know, my name is Mouton. I’m just a blacksmith who’s too good for the job. Gahahahahah!”
Then Mouton stopped Ain from telling his name with his hand.
“You’re the crown prince, right? The one beside you is from the Glacier family. I’m sure that that armor is used by the head of that family.”
After blinking a few times, Lloyd smiled and spoke to Mouton.
“Do you know it, Mouton-dono?”
“Of course I know. That armor, after all, is actually my…”
That’s a very romantic thing to say.
“My second cousin made the armor!”
Romance is a fine line that could not exist in this case. If it had been his own brother, it would have been fine, but it would have been difficult to react if it had been his second cousin.
As proof of this, behind Lloyd, both Ain and Krone were equally unable to keep their mouths closed.
“I’m sorry to keep you waiting, customers! Huh? What is this atmosphere?”
Even though the apprentice who had been subjected to unreasonable eyes came back, the atmosphere remained the same.
“Anyway, just show me the material. With what do you want me to make a sword? I don’t want to disrespect the boy’s introduction, but I want to see the material before I decide if I’m going to take the job.”
When it came to the subject of work, Mouton’s gaze sharpened as if he was inspecting the product.
“The material is in here. Please check.”
Lloyd handed Mouton a wooden box he had carried with him.
“Your Highness, you don’t mind if I open it, do you?”
“You’re very confident. As expected of the crown prince, eh? I hear the material you bring in is quite good.”
” ..I just got it by chance. I was just lucky.”
It’s not just a matter of luck, but it’s a coincidence.
If he had not used the illusory hand, he would not have met the knight named Marco.
“I see. Then I will open it without holding back.”
Mouton reached into the box and put his hand on the lid of the wooden box.
For some reason, Ememe, who was floating in the rear, was more nervous than Mouton himself, which was interesting.
As everyone watches, the contents of the box are finally revealed.
“Oh… hey, hey, hey, no way, this is…”
He must have realized what it was right away. He called himself a skilled blacksmith, so it’s not surprising that he knew something about this material.
“Ememe, did you notice it too…?”
His disciple, Ememe, was quite competent.
“…Then, Master. What’s this?”
It’s a good punch line; he has to say.
“You know, I’ve been wondering for a while if you really are just a bird?”
“E-excuse me! No matter how you look at me, I’m a harpy!”
“Geez! The only thing impressive about you is your wings!”
“Awawawa… Master? Even if you’re suddenly courting me, there are some things that need to be prepared.”
(I see. So, for the harpy, complimenting the wings is an act of courtship.)
He felt like he would never have the chance to use this knowledge again in the future.
“Stop wiggling, you idiot! Geez, I’m sorry, Your Highness.”
“Ah, yes. I don’t mind, so don’t worry about it.”
It was rather interesting in its own way, and Ain didn’t feel bad about it.
It’s rude to talk about it, of course, so he kept it to himself.
“Let’s put this idiot aside and get back to the topic. If I’m right, this material is… from the living armor, right?”
“You guessed it.”
“I see… It’s a material that seems to have a lot of circumstances, but it’s also very mannered. I’m not going to ask you where you got this.”
“…I’d appreciate it if you did.”
“This is the kind of thing that should not be put out in the open. A stupid rich man spends on stupid things. A foolish man who is blinded by greed will do something equally foolish. This is the kind of thing that could create such a fate.”
Get rich quick. Pride. It is the nature of adventurers and the rich to have many desires mixed up.
This town is known for the many adventurers who gather here to become rich, and there must have been a number of such fools.
“I’m willing to take the job. But, you know, to process this, I need to move the magic stone furnace. Therefore, it will cost you a ridiculous amount of money to process it; if that’s okay with you, I’ll take it.”
“What’s a magic stone furnace?”
“Not many places have them, but it’s the one over there.”
There was a black, rugged furnace at the direction of which Mouton pointed his thick fingers.
“The principle is simple. Use the magic stone as raw material to create a ridiculously hot fire. Without it, it would be impossible to process material like this.”
It was a simple principle, but at the same time, he understood that it would require a lot of money. There was no telling how much money would be needed or if it could be authorized here.
Krone walked up next to Ain, who was lost in thought.
“Mouto-dono. Excuse me, but how much money will be needed?”
“Hmm? Ah… well, at least five.”
Ain thanked Krone for asking on his behalf. Five million might be manageable. Ain found hope in that.
However, the story was not that simple.
“I understand, 50 million G, correct?”
“You know exactly what I’m talking about, girl! Another 20 million G will be charged for the technical fee!”
This is not good. Ain surrendered, but Krone continued.
“Ara, the technical fee is an add-on, isn’t it?”
“The material is the material. If I could be of service, I would not feel bad. This guy needs some blood service.”
“All right, then. Then the total amount will be 70 million Gs.”
“Hey, wait a minute, Krone! That’s a lot of money!”
“I know. What’s wrong with that?”
“What’s wrong with that, you say… I mean, if we decide to do this without permission, we’ll be in trouble.”
What on earth is this guy talking about? Krone’s expression is probably saying that right now.
“I’m aware of the budget that Ain can spend. So it’s not a problem.”
“Wait, I didn’t know that. I didn’t hear that I had a budget like that!”
“I mean, how can the crown prince not have a budget?”
“I know what you’re saying, but…”
“In addition, you defeated a sea dragon in the past. Almost a whole dragon was given to Ain. That’s why Ain has more money to spend than he thinks. Do you understand?”
This was something he had never heard of before. If his assistant, Krone, knows about it, that’s fine, but if he doesn’t, that’s also frustrating.
“Then, what about the material for the hilt?”
“Lloyd here has an idea about that. For the hilt and other parts, it would be best to use the material of the sea dragon. Otherwise, it will not match the material of the living armor.”
“Oh, I think that’s a good idea!”
“Krone, aren’t you jumping to conclusions?”
Krone then put her face to Ain’s ear and whispered.
“It’s a good opportunity. It’s never a good thing when the crown prince doesn’t even have his own sword until now.”
“Did someone say that to you, by any chance?”
“Yes, Warren-sama said you could make one whenever the opportunity arises.”
It means that the only person who didn’t know was him.
If this is the case, he would like to look forward to the completion of the sword.
He’s so excited that he’ll probably have a great sword.
“So, where is the material for the sea dragon?”
“Actually, it’s in the royal capital.”
Lloyd’s reply was met with some hesitation by Mouton.
“Hmm… I wonder what to do about that. I’m not saying that I don’t trust the people in the royal capital, but I want to believe what I see with my own eyes. That’s why I like to select the materials myself…”
It’s an admirable craftsmanship, but the distance from Baltic to the capital is far. It’s not an easy distance to travel back and forth, but how can it be done?
“Master! I’ve got a better idea!”
“What the heck did you come up with that bird head of yours?”
“Did you just say “bird” again? Good grief! It really is a good idea! Now, a question for you, Master! How many customers have you had in the last two years?”
“Nahahahahah! That’s easy, you idiot!”
Although Ain doesn’t understand what’s so funny, Mouton bursts into laughter and pats Ememe on the head. Ememe seems to be enjoying it.
Boom, the sound effect of a firework going off seems to suit him well.
For some reason, he put his hands on his hips and proudly said that he had zero customers, which was refreshing.
Ain had no choice but to be curious as to how he lived his life.
“So, let’s open a store in the royal capital for a while!”
“You got a good head for a bird, huh? This town is cold all year round, after all! Is that right?”
“That’s right, Master! It’s so cold in Baltic; I don’t even recognize it!”
“Right! Now that I think about it, the guests from two years ago were just taking shelter from the rain! So, Glacier, when you’re ready, we’ll head to the royal capital, and I’ll make the selection, okay?”
“…Ah, yeah. Of course, I don’t mind.”
In a word, it is momentum.
Even Lloyd was pressured and could only give a vague answer.
“Um… Mouton-san? Does that mean you can make me a sword in the royal capital?”
“Yes. It’s cold here, and it’s easier on the body if it’s warm and comfortable.”
“But, Mouton-san, what are you going to do with the magic stone furnace?”
“Just disassemble it and reassemble it all over again!”
“U-umu. All right.”
“If I wanted to, I’d get an advanced magic stone circulator, but I’m not going to push it. You need to go to Ist for that…”
Ain didn’t know the technical details, but it seems that if you go to Ist, they have a furnace that can do that.
Suddenly, Krone put her hand to her lips.
She seemed to be thinking about something, and when she looked up, she gave Ain a look. Knowing it was best to leave it to her, Ain immediately nodded back.
“Mouton-sama, do you know anything about the August Trading Company?”
“Oh? Of course, I know. It’s a big company that takes care of even the craftsmen in this town nowadays.”
“…Actually, I’m the granddaughter of the chairman of that company.”
Mouton’s eyebrows lifted when he heard the words.
“I don’t like to talk about things in a complicated way. So I’ll make it clear. If you need anything, my family’s trading company can provide you with everything you need.”
The confident expression on Krone’s face was full of persuasion.
“Everything, huh… I’m sorry, little girl, but what do you mean by everything?”
“Literally everything. Arranging for housing, purchasing land, preparing the necessary equipment. As well as transporting all the necessary supplies for the move.”
“Oh. Will you arrange for the money?”
“Yes, I promise.”
Mouton stood up hurriedly.
Ain wondered what he was going to do, but Mouton began to rummage through the nearby shelves.
“Where was it?”
He seemed to be looking for something, and Ememe immediately went over and helped him.
It took a few minutes of lively searching to find what they were looking for. Mouton found what he was looking for and came over to Krone with soot on his cheeks.
“This is it! I’ll leave the rest to you then!”
He handed her a piece of paper and a strangely well-made seal.
“Y-you mean you’ll leave it to me…?”
“You can go to the guild and get the money it says there. I’ll give you the stamp, and you can get me a brand new house and everything, including the money for the furnace!”
As expected, Krone was confused and looked at Ain.
It was probably more expensive than she thought. She seemed to be wondering how she should tell Mouton about it without embarrassing him.
But nothing came to mind when dealing with this Mouton, and she looked at the paper she received.
“Oh, what? Was it not enough?”
It was only natural that there was a shortage if there had been no customers for three years. But that’s not what surprised Krone.
“Even with a house in a prestigious location and a newly renovated furnace, there’s still plenty of change…”
“Well, then, please, I’ll just use it up! Hahahaha!”
“I’ll have someone from the Trading Company come by shortly to give you the details.”
“Yeah! I’ll be waiting!”
Mouton finished with, “I’m going to give you the best sword!” his
The three of them left the store, and Mouton, who he had heard was eccentric, was a very pleasant man.
The three of them left the store and met up with Dill. As they walked out, Krone came up next to Ain and whispered in his ear.
“Hey, how much do you think the latest furnace costs?”
“I have no idea, but I’m guessing 10 million G’s.”
Krone shook her head.
“It costs several tens of times that. Buying a house in a prime location in the royal capital would cost twice that amount… The budget he showed me earlier had room for even more than that.”
How much money did he make, Ain wondered, his mouth hanging open?
But Mouton is said to be the best blacksmith in Baltic.
It’s no wonder he’s making so much money; he’s managed to stay in business for three years with no customers.
“He must be a great guy…”
As Ain looked up at the sky, the snow had stopped.
He had thought about it a few times, but he really hadn’t had any free time since he came to Baltic. Ain looked forward to the day when his sword would be ready and walked down the road to the inn.