Rumours in the bar
Having changed myclothes and left the room, I told my fellow servants that I washeading out since I was feeling better. I also told them that Iwanted to take a breather in order to keep it a secret fromRoxy-sama. The servants of the Heart Family were all good people.
After this, I headedfrom the Holy Knights District to the Commercial District. As it wasstill early, I decided to kill some time instead of going directly tothe bar.
Even if I said this,I only had 1 silver coin and 20 copper coins. As it was not payday atthe Heart Family yet, I could not buy anything expensive.
Knowing that Ineeded to reserve some money to spend at the bar, I decided to go tothe flea market where I had bought Greed last time.
At thattime, my outfit had been rather tattered so the arrogant shopkeeperof the stall had not treated me decently as a customer.
However, now that Iwas a servant of the Heart Family, I was much better dressed. If Iwent to those kinds of stores, I would not be considered an idiotlike back then.
Walking through thestores, I looked around for the next bargain. In this case, theAppraisal skill was very useful. Even without knowledge of the item,I could see its value.
If I used this well,I could buy good products at a low price and resell them. Well,before I can do that ─ I had no customers, so it would not workright?
Putting this aside,there were many items here. I tried to do an <Appraisal> on alarge, beautiful plate.
"Oh, this isgreat. This broken plate has been restored perfectly. It's amazing,I couldn't tell at all. It seems like the other plates have beensimilarly repaired."
At this moment, theshopkeeper who had been negotiating with the customer next to meturned to glare sternly at me.
Also, the customerseemed to hear my voice and became angered. He pushed back the plateto the shopkeeper that he had originally intended to purchase. Anintense argument began to break out between them with the customerclaiming to be deceived while the shopkeeper denied it.
Somehow… theatmosphere was bad. I hurriedly left before I was caught up in it.
"Ah, that wasdangerous."
"Be careful fromnow on. Carrying the Appraisal skill, it is easy to become dislikedby businessmen."
Greed warned meabout my carelessness.
"It's not goodfor someone to lie when doing business though."
"Well, you cannotmake a living simply by telling the truth. Lies can be good things."
That was probably acommon course of action in the flea market where struggling merchantsgathered. I pulled myself together and resumed looking through thestores when I came across something interesting. Placed on a shelfnext to hats and headbands, it looked pretty scary, yet I wasintrigued. Picking it up, I did an <Appraisal> on it.
Inhibits recognitionof the wearer, allowing others to see a different person.
This could beuseful!
At this, Greed alsoexpressed agreement.
"You foundsomething good. This is an old-fashioned, magical object created fora masquerade ball. It is an antique, although it should still work ifyou put a bit of magic in it."
Priced rathercheaply at 40 copper coins, I decided to buy this skull mask. Ineeded this for my night hunting. If I was intending on going huntingalmost every day, my face would be soon be recognised and a rumourwould arise among the warriors. For those who wished to hide theiridentity and hunt, the recognition inhibition ability of this maskwas very useful.
I handed over 40copper coins to the old shopkeeper, then I wrapped it in a rag andplaced it in my breast pocket. I had bought something good. Giventhat this was the Royal Capital, rare items often passed through,even in places like the flea market.
From now on, itwould be a good idea to regularly keep an eye out for bargains. Nowthen, I should head to the bar. If I stayed here, I might come acrosssomething else and waste my money.
When I entered the bar,I found that it was crowded with unkempt men.
Oi oi, what wasgoing on for them to drink during the daytime? Usually, the bar wasfairly empty during this hour. There was something else that wasstrange. I went towards my reserved seat at the corner of thecounter.
Oh, for somereason, this was the only vacant seat. Also, there was a singleflower placed in a cup atop the counter. What was this? Wonderingabout it, I tried to sit down.
"Wait, you can'tsit there. That's the spot of a regular customer who died…"
As he spoke, theshopkeeper walked over to the counter seat and when he saw my face,he drew a sharp breath.
"You're alive?!I was sure that you had died."
Ah… As I thought,the shopkeeper seemed to think that I had been overworked till deathsince I had not shown up for a week. I see, so this flower was forme?
"As you can see,I'm still alive. Then, can I sit here?"
"Of course, go onand take a seat."
Moving the cup withthe flower to the side, I sat down.
"Master, good wineand delicious food please."
"Oi oi, what'sthis? I thought you were gone, yet you suddenly came back with a goodincome."
"I changed jobs. Icouldn't show up here since I had quite a lot to learn."
"Is that so,that's good then… Really."
Tearing up a just alittle, the shopkeeper disappeared into the kitchen to bring food.After a while, he brought back a glass of wine and a large dish offish meunière. (TL: Fish meunière is French dish where the the fishis coated in flour before cooking, and served with a sauce made ofbrown butter, chopped parsley, and lemon.)
"Here, tocelebrate your new job. I'll charge you at half the price today."
"It is. After all,I've known you for a long time.
I had not known thathe was thinking about me this much. It was good to have come here.
Starting to eat thefish, I asked about the sudden in prosperity of the bar.
"Anyway, what'sup with today?"
"Ah, they're allwarriors."
Huh, I guess todaywas a day off from hunting. A warrior's job differed to ordinarywork as it was dependent on monster activity. On a rainy day, thedemons remained in hiding so those were rest days, and they wereunpredictable during breeding seasons when they had to observe thesituation carefully. However, that did not seem to be the case thistime. The shopkeeper told me the reason.
"They said theywent goblin hunting early in the morning but found goblin corpsesscattered everywhere. What's more, the ears had all been left on. Iheard that they made a lot of money from that. There's somethingstrange about it."
The cause was me!! Ialmost spat out the wine I was drinking. Well, it was not like I didanything bad. At least this was what I thought, yet the shopkeeper'sexpression was grim.
"But you know…"
"What is it?"
"About that, thething that killed the goblins is problematic. It's possible thatit's a powerful rogue monster who had wandered over from anotherregion."
The shopkeeper saidthat he heard this from the noisy warriors over there. The things Ihad done were now a problem! I was the rogue monster!
"Ah, it happensabout once a decade. That's why the Holy Knights are apparently onthe move to solve this problem. Since they're doing that, I feelrelieved."
If a mysteriousmonster appeared near the Royal Capital, then the merchants willrefrain from coming here to do business since they did not want todie. As a result, commercial trade would be affected and it seemslike the economy could suffer.
All because of me…Yet, I could not stop this… Besides, the appearance of the HolyKnights?
"Who will be incharge of the Holy Knights?"
"Ah, apparentlyit's the second son of the Breric Family that you hate, Hado-sama.He has yet to gain any fighting experience in Gallia, so this will bean easy way for him to earn points."
Upon hearing thatname, I stabbed my fork into the centre of the fish. Unexpectedly,the Holy Knights of a great family would turn up to something likethis, so it was just like flying straight into flames.
I downed the glassof wine instantly to curb the rising emotions. Then, the shopkeeperstarted to tell a different story.
"Aside from this,there's a funny story."
"It's thatorphanage in the slum you lived in. There, the Sisters were prayingto God before dawn when a bloody bag was thrown in through a brokenwindow. It fell at the foot of one of the Sisters who fainted fromit. They thought it was a cruel prank and tried to chase after theculprit. In the end, whoever it was managed to escape."
The shopkeeperbellowed with laughter. That, could it be… The shopkeeper continuedwithout noticing my worry.
"There's stillmore to this. The angry Sisters wanted to throw it away when theynoticed that there was something written on the bag. It read"donation". So then, when they fearfully opened it, I heard thatthey found a pair of ears from a Goblin King. And then, the Sisterscried again, but this time from happiness. It seems like they'relooking hard for the person who donated it."
…This too, wasdefinitely my doing. I hoped that the orphan girl could eat a fullmeal. However, the Sisters were looking for me? Well, it should befine if I was not discovered. Besides, I have that skull mask now, soit should be alright.
"That was aninteresting story. Master, more wine please!"
"Roger! I'll letyou know if I have a good story again."
Pretending to becalm, I drank more wine and ate the fish. Sure enough, the food inthis shop was delicious!