Chapter 148 – Trash and an Angel
The exclusive observer, a small guy named Helgin, hired by the Thieves’ Guild, was not willing to talk about the “hiding of goods under the guise of a raid” or “large-scale fraud scheme” by the biggest merchants in the town of Sarz. He stubbornly kept his mouth shut and only talked about the troublesome part that “that has nothing to do with the main story,” that is, that Myrril and I had destroyed the bandit gang.
He told the guild of thieves, the guards, and probably the lords as well.
“So, Ivan-san. Does that make him any less guilty?”
“No, not at all. What makes you think he’ll get off lightly?”
“I was in a country where there was a system like that. If you cooperated with the authorities, your crime would be lightened.”
“Amnesty, huh? But he is not cooperating with us.”
You’ve got to be kidding me. He didn’t make a plea bargain or anything; he just leaked the information because he was being harassed.
“He wounded an adventurer and a guard during the time he was taken into custody. He will not escape the maximum punishment. There’s no way he’ll get his sentence reduced now that we know that Takifu and the others are the ‘demon god’s messengers.'”
“…Demon god’s messenger, huh? That’s new to me.”
“Is that right?”
“Not far off the mark.”
“It’s too far! I haven’t struck anything, and I haven’t touched a damn thing! I’m just a failed merchant!”
“Well, let’s just leave it at that, shall we?”
“Hahaha… I’m counting on you, Takifu.”
I’m not kidding. I managed to keep it out of my face, but it’s not good.
Demon god, isn’t that what we were talking about when we went to help the adventurer guard at the hideout? The bandit’s exclusive observer seems to be closer to us than I thought.
He’s got eyes on our guns. He knows my teleport tactics. He’s no good to us if we let him live.
“What’s going to happen to him?”
“I don’t know. It depends on what the lord decides. I heard that the thieves’ guild protested that the guards were illegally abducting and imprisoning their own employees. Naturally, we turned them down.”
Looking at the pained faces of Ivan-san and Sembeck-san, I guess it’s only a matter of time. I don’t know if they’ll extract the information before handing him over or if they’ll execute him.
The guards, who looked like they had a lot to say or ask me, let me and Myrril go.
We were not released without charge, but simply because they were busy and the risk of hostility was not worth it without a good reason to detain us.
And, of course…
“There are two people.”
We’re under surveillance.
The fact that the merchants are so corrupt that they hang out with the idiots in the thieves’ guild is a good thing for us.
“Half of them may have had it coming to them, though.”
“Yes. I know that, Myrril-san. So please don’t try to read my mind.”
I greeted the landlady and returned to my room. I told her that I was just asked to talk and that everything was fine, and she was happy to hear that. She is a good person. She is a good cook, and I am glad I chose this inn.
What should I do? I saw Myrril off to take a bath and called my “other partner” after a long time.
Huh? He’s not here again.
I tilt my head to the side to see something unfamiliar on the counter.
It appears to be an infant in a newborn basket. The cute little girl, who is babbling aaaaahhhhs, looks at me curiously. I called out, “Hi,” and waved to her, and she cackled, expressing her joy with her whole body.
What’s this? She’s so cute. I don’t know if she can already see or if she is just reacting to light and sound, but the way she smiles with her glossy skin and shiny eyes is a real angel.
Once again, I wasn’t aware of it, but I guess time hasn’t stopped with Simon. I mean, he was on the phone with his wife before.
This is dangerous; there are people like Simon, so I guess it’s not safe, and she shouldn’t be left alone.
…I was about to go when Simon came in, shaking a baby bottle with both hands like a shaker.
“Hey, thank you for waiting, my angel~… uwaahh!”
“Hey, where did you get this angel from?”
“I didn’t kidnap her; she’s my daughter, of course! She’s my angel, my angel, you see, she’s got eyes just like mine!”
No, she was too innocent and pretty to bear any resemblance to Simon.
“At any rate, I see now that your wife is a beauty.”
I don’t know if Simon got tired of the condescending mode or if his mind has caught up with his environment and he is now able to show his true colors, but he has come full circle, and his demeanor is much more relaxed.
And he is gaining weight again. I am happy to see him happy. He also started to grow a weird mustache. It doesn’t look good on him. And he wears a vest and bow tie…
“What’s with that outfit? Are you trying to look like the model of a potato chip in a tube?”
“Of course not! I dress neatly to be a trustworthy businessman. Look, aren’t I a reliable guy?”
“Well… then, let’s see. How about putting on a walking stick and a silk hat?”
“I see. Would that look good on me?”
“Yeah, just like the monopoly mascot.”
“As I said, that’s not what I’m going for!”
Angel-chan seemed to be dissatisfied with the stupid comic performance while she was hungry and had to be left without milk.
“Oh, I’m sorry, my angel. Here’s your milk…”
“Well then, Mr. Pringles. I wanted to ask if I could get this one. I’ll come back again and check it out, and if you can get it, please keep it for me.”
“Oh, yeah. Sorry, Brother.”
I put the note down on the counter, closed the market, and made a little plan for the future.
I have an idea. It’s a future that has nothing to do with obnoxious idiot merchants and bandits.
Chapter 149 – Dwarf of Sarz
The following day, this time we went downstairs at breakfast time to have breakfast properly.
The morning menu consisted of bread, soup, eggs, grilled meat, and fish. One small bowl (I don’t know what they call it here) and herb tea.
It seems that the menu is basically the same every morning, with only a few changes in the ingredients. The food is as delicious as ever.
I feel the simple nourishment sinking into my body. It’s not often that I have a meal that makes me feel that way.
“Fumu, the landlady’s cooking is delicious, after all.”
“Thank you very much. Eat a lot and grow up, okay?”
Landlady-san, Myrril is 17 years old already, so I think she’s going to be this size all the time.
By the way, last night’s dinner was, roughly speaking, “salted fried chicken with chili sauce,” which was spicy and extremely tasty.
The vegetables were basically root vegetables since it was winter, but they were colorfully arranged in the hot bean paste, and the exquisite way the vegetables were cooked with a crispy texture showed the skill of the landlady. Instead of bread, barley rice cooked in glass soup was served, and it too was a light-flavored pilaf with a penetrating taste. Combined with a side dish of chicken chili, it was a delicious and satisfying dinner.
The soup was a small dumpling that was somewhere between gyoza and wonton, and the way it was served made me want to ask if the landlady was actually Japanese.
She was born and raised in the Republic and has only left the town of Sarz a handful of times, so she might be a reincarnator. Hmm.
“What’s the matter, Takifu? You look like you’re thinking of something stupid.”
“Just ignore it. I’m just surprised at how good the food is at this Wolf’s Tail Pavilion.”
“Fumu. So my nose was right.”
Indeed. When I pinched her cute little nose, which was humming and whistling, she let out an unhappy voice.
“What are you doing?”
“I’ve always been helped by your sense of smell. I’m sure it always has been and always will be.”
“Mufufu, leave it to me. You can count on me to sniff out the good and the bad.”
After dinner, we headed to a jewelry store in the town of Sarz. It was at the commercial district, which was located on the west side of the city, and according to the adventurer’s guild, it was the “high-class side,” but that conflict was of little concern to us at the moment.
That being said, our “Wolf’s Tail Pavilion” is also on the west side of the city.
“What do you need from a jewelry store?”
“One of the merchants I know has just had a baby, and I need to buy a gift for him. Oh yes, Myrril, why don’t you take a look at the jewelry? I’ll buy whatever you like.”
“…U-umu. If it is a gift from Yoshua, of course, I will be very happy. Although dwarves don’t wear much jewelry.”
That is new to me.
It is true that I have never seen dwarves wearing jewelry, but I thought it was just because the sample was all men and old men. Are the women like that too?
“Is it against some kind of dwarvish religious beliefs?”
“No, because wearing metal objects near a furnace can cause burns. Gold and silver have a low melting point, so if you are not careful, they will melt.”
Hmm. It was a completely practical problem. I think this kind of dwarf-like realism is one of the charms of Myrril.
“Hey, what’s the matter, Mir? Your face is really red.”
“Oh, no, it’s because you say such embarrassing things to my face with a straight face!”
Oh, my. Did I say it out loud? Even if I don’t say it out loud, it is transmitted, and even if I don’t mean to say it out loud, I do say it out loud.
“It’s like a “heart-to-heart” communication.”
“That’s not what the word means!”
After a while, we were in front of a jewelry store.
There are two jewelry stores in the town of Sarz, and this is the one recommended by the landlady.
The store is a simple, white-colored store, and the interior is also white and plain. The cleanliness and fastidiousness are also evident in the layout, and it could be said that the shop has been stripped down to the bare minimum of uselessness and decoration.
In a sense, one wonders how this would look in a jewelry store, which is the ultimate in waste and ornamentation.
I like this kind of store, but I have a familiarity with this feeling.
“…Is the owner of this place a dwarf?”
“I can’t help but think so. By the looks of it, he’s good, but he’s definitely a bigot.”
“I can hear you.”
From the back of the store came an old man with gray hair, a gray beard, and a white top and bottom, looking like Kernel-san without a smile.
He looked like a dwarf. A craftsman’s image was as if he had been carved out of steel with a theme of dignity and honesty. He had no decorations and no wastefulness in his attitude and personality. He is a somewhat troublesome-looking old man, but he has a very attractive appearance.
“Is it an ornament to put on that Jou-chan?”
“No, I don’t need it.”
“I have already received it. A treasure I would stake my life for without hesitation!”
Um… that’s the one that spits out lead bullets, isn’t it? It may be a treasure for you, but it’s not very pretty at all, is it?
The old dwarf’s face was pouting, and his mouth was twisted in amusement.
“I don’t care about your love affair. But you are indeed a dwarf woman. You have found a good man.”
It is embarrassing for me to see you smiling with such a big smile on your face. Never mind. Let’s get on with it and tell him what we want.
“I want a spoon made of pure silver.”
“That kind of thing is cheap, but what do you use it for? If it’s for poisoning, a magic tool would be more efficient and reliable.”
“No. In my country, we give a silver spoon to newborns. There is a saying ‘born with a silver spoon,’ which means ‘born with a gift.'”
“Hmm, that’s interesting. A silver spoon, huh?”
“It’s like the dwarven saying, ‘born with a golden lever.'”
“Something like that. Well, I’ve never heard of any dwarf giving away a golden or silver lever.”
It’s like a crowbar. For better or worse, visually, it’s not very dreamy.
“I can make a spoon in half an hour, but do you have any requests?”
“I want it in a shape that is easy for infants to use when they are able to eat by themselves… and I want the handle to be a small circle. And since it’s a girl, maybe a little decoration.”
I should have at least asked for the name, but it’s too late now.
“I see. What is your budget?”
“I don’t know the value of money in this country, but there is no upper limit.”
“Two gold coins. I’ll make the best one I can with them.”
The payment was in silver. I put the full amount up front.
“Are you sure you don’t want a cut?”
“A Dwarf in his line of work wouldn’t cut corners. I trust you.”
I told him I would pick it up on my way home and left the store.
As we walked out of the shop, being seen off by the smiling, waving Old Kernel (I don’t know his name), Myrril-san tilted her head.
“I think I’ve seen that dwarf somewhere before?”
“Like a former resident of Casemaian?”
“If that is the case, it was more than twenty-five years ago. It would be impossible for me to have seen him.”
That’s true, too. But if so, was it in the Kingdom? The store was clean, but it seemed to have a long history. The old wood looked calm, and the weathered tint of the sign did not look like something that could have been created yesterday or today.
Well, that’s okay. If he makes good products, he is a good craftsman, no matter what his background is.
“What are you going to do after this…?”
The “Nojaloli-san” relaxed his shoulders a little there and put her hand on her left pocket with a natural movement. She casually opened the front of her jacket to make sure it would slip out smoothly.
While I kept the bulky UZI in storage, the holstered M1911 awaits its turn in her winter coat.
I put my hand on Myrril’s shoulder and calmed her with a smile.
“It’s alright. They’re not the enemy. At least, not yet.”
“I know that. With my brain, at least.”
I don’t know, but I’m sure we’re being watched, just like yesterday. If there is no malicious intent, I’m going to leave it as it is. Even so, Myrril must be uncomfortable because she has five senses that are several times more acute than mine.
“When push comes to shove, we will cut everything off and run away. We’ll kill anyone who gets in our way. Our place to return to is Casemaian. That will never change. But until we make our final decision, we will make a distinction between friend and foe.”
With a wry smile, Myrril looked at me.
“…Hmm. So we’re going to meet the man, then?”
“Yes. In the meantime, we’ll go to the adventurer’s guild. Let’s hear how the incident ended and find out what happened to Calmon, the guard who survived. We need to return the reward he deserves.”