Part 14: Chapter XII: The Efficient Side of the Job Taking
I've finally opened my shop!
Oh!! Really?? Congratulations!
Yeah, thanks to your help, I was able to open it on time. Thank you!
Excuse me, I'd like this and this and that... And one of those, too!
Oh, welcome! Um, this, and this, and that... Um...
Also, I'd like 3 of these and 5 of those...
Three of these and five of... Waaah!
...A-are you okay!?
Yeah, I'm fine. Thank y-...
Shallies... Could you help me with the shop for a little while...?
We'll help! Cheer up!
The customers won't attack you, please calm down!
Uh... Thank you both...
(I guess Escha panics like that too. I'm starting to feel like we've got something in common...)
Shallies, when we serve all the customers, feel free to come by my shop any time!
Wow, these recipes are really advanced...
Yes, I used many of these items when I was working as an alchemist. I don't do as much these days, so I hope you'll take me on a lot of expeditions so I can keep practicing...
Of course! You're always welcome whenever we go out of town.
Yes, I've learned a lot.
Oh, I remembered a tool passed down in our village, used to find lost items... Do you want to try making it?
Yes. If you use it, you might be able to find rare ingredients or relics.
A dowsing rod... Thanks Teo. I'll give it a try.
Oh! Finding lost items! Excuse me, I'll be right back!
Well... I was just wondering if we had any of dad's old digging equipment in the house. I thought I saw something that might be good yesterday, but...
Mining tools? ...Wait here a minute.
It belonged to your father... He mined all kinds of things.
Huh... That's pretty cool! Yah! Haiya! ...Like this?
Sniff... You remind me of your father.
I'm happy, but that also makes me kind of sad...
The container is getting pretty full... I do feel pretty accomplished. It's hard to gather this stuff, but after seeing this, I feel like working hard again. Oh I know! I might as well fill up the container completely while I'm at it. Then I'd be prepared for anything... And I'm sure I'd feel really great!
Hm, I wonder if Shallie is going to be back soon. Where did she go?
Here's your weapon, Shallie...
Thank you, Miruca. It looks very nice!
...I thought it would match you.
Hehe, that makes me happy.
But it's also powerful, since it's for combat. So that means it might be a little heavy...
It's heavy? I wonder if I can use it properly...
You'll be fine. Good luck! By the way, Shallie, how is Shal? I hope she isn't bothering you too much.
Oh no, not at all! She's very nice to be around. She's so energetic, and so friendly... Have you been friends with Shallie for a long time?
...Yes. I met her before I moved to Central for school. I'm surprised she remembered me after I came back, but...
Hello! You know how you were digging in artifacts at the Sand Dragon's nest? Well, now I can help you. My father had some digging tools in the house, and now I can help you!
Really? That's great... Thank you so much.
What is it?
I usually sell rare items, but their rarity comes from not being seen often or being unknown.
Sure, that sounds about right.
That's why they need an explanation. I had an idea for notes, to make things easier to understand at a glance.
Oh, that sounds like a good idea.
But I just have no idea how to write a good sales explanation. I'd think you two would know a lot about strange items from experience, as alchemists...
Not at all!
We make a lot of things, but they aren't really for selling...
Hmm, yeah, that's true. That's a problem...
Oh, I know! Jurie might be able to help... Her writing is pretty interesting.
Yes, we should ask her.
If you're writing a description for something, what things do you need to look out for?
You need to make it truthful, and easy to understand... That's all, really. Why?
It's this clock. Apparently it was found on a shipwreck in the Dusk Sea.
Oh, this. I didn't think I'd see it again. In that case... This should do the trick.
Wow, this is really easy to understand!
I just happened to be there when this clock was excavated. You could use that, if you like it.
Thank you very much! I'm sure I"ll be able to sell it in no time.
Oh, also, I know I didn't mention this sooner, but there're some other things I want written. Maybe 20... No, 30 things.
Jurie, you help with excavations in the Dusk Sea?
Sometimes. It's not often it's safe enough to excavate some of the ship ruins, especially since the Sand Dragon became active, but now, I could be called out any time.
Wow Jurie, you do so many tasks for the Union. I can only hunt monsters and do alchemy...
It's not that special. I'm one of the senior members of the Union, so it's only natural that I take on a lot of different jobs. It gets a little boring sometimes, but I don't mind it usually.
Do you have any jobs now?
Well, since I came back from the hunt with you two, I've had a few jobs. Not much out of the ordinary.
Uh, we should probably get back now...
I think it's a lot to ask for that much...
Why don't you use Jurie's example for your other products?
I don't know if I'm a good enough writer for that. I only can sell and gather items. Can either of you help me?
I don't know if we have time for that, but if you need help, you can always ask us if you need some help, okay?
...Seriously though, you're doing pretty well now.
Really? I thought I had become a little better, too.
...You're supposed to be a little humble about it! Well, I guess it IS something you'd say.
Hello Escha, Wilbell! What were you two talking about?
Well you see, back in Colseit, Escha...
Wah! Let's not talk about that, shall we??
So you were in the city where Escha's from?
Yeah, I was just surprised how helpless little Escha from back then turned into a fairly skilled alchemist.
Uu, she's still saying it... I worked really hard, you know.
Though I guess it's true if you compare her to other alchemists, she still has a long way to go.
Hey Master, why were you in Colseit? Is that where your family's from?
My family? No. I travel around the world searching for powerful magic and fighting powerful monsters to test my power. That's why I'm here in Stellard.
Wilbell, do you know other alchemists?
Yup, when you're as great as I am, you get to know lots of alchemists. You kinda start to lose count.
You say that, but you only know a few including me, right?
So what are the other alchemists like? I only really know about alchemy from my homeland...
Hm, I guess... They're all really similar. Including Escha.
What? Who are you saying is similar to me?
Partner... Wait, we aren't alike at all!
Oh? You're both really helpful, and you don't give up that easily. Don't you think that's similar enough?
You know more alchemists than Escha? I kind of want to meet them...
I don't really mind, but... He doesn't joke around much. I don't think you'd have much fun talking.
Huh? I just wanted to talk about alchemy...
Oh, I see. Of course... I wonder why I got so worked up...
Hey Master, who's your friend you were talking about?
Oh, her... Well, I met her before I met Escha and her partner. She helped me when I was just starting as a magician, but she left suddenly one day and I haven't seen her since. Knowing her, she's probably still traveling around with her Nio, her sister.
Nio...she left Colseit so suddenly before Logy went back to Central.
Yeah, I remember... I have no idea where she is now.
Wow, Master has so many great experiences.
Oh, don't worry. You're still young, I'm sure you'll have plenty of stories like mine.
Are you saying you're old?
Ahaha. Anyway, leaving the 'being similar' alone, wasn't your partner called back to Central?
Oh, yes. But he came back right away, and started developing a new airship with Awin!
Alchemists really do all kinds of things, don't they?
(It sounds really fun. There's so much I still don't know about alchemy.)
Today. Very bored.
Too peaceful. Boring. Good time. For new adventure.
You're always in so much danger, Homura.
Solle. Worry too much.
Just to make this clear, I don't want to attend your funerals anymore, on top of regular rituals!
I don't. Make blunders. That often.
Um... Funerals? Anymore?
Oh, never mind that.
Anyway. Solle. Not big deal. Today. Bored. I talk. About adventures.
I wonder what happened...
...There. Fought Breaker. Defeated. With sharp blow...
Okay! Then what?
...There. Found valuable. Power source. From past era...
Solle. Reward. Not enough...
Huh, so Solle's surprisingly tight with cash...
My funds were pretty low back then...
But it's fine as long as you're paid, right?
No. Unacceptable. Low payment! Pressed Solle. Gave more... Said. To buy weapon.
Whaat!? But Solle gave you that out of consideration...
Ahahahaha! Sounds just like you, Homhom!
Not. Laughing matter! No rest. Next adventure...
...Defeated. Giant wolf. There. Found valuable material...
Yes, that was very helpful. I paid you market price for that one.
But... Solle. Said buy armor...
That's very important for not getting hurt...
...Then ate. Much dessert.
...This is sounding more like Homhom's purchase record for sweets, isn't it?
Yeah... I thought so too...
How rude! Sweets. Greater than. Any treasure. Mother. Of all creation!!
And this is why I started paying Homura in both money and sweets.
Solle. Overprotective. Hunters strong.
But you've been able to purchase some proper equipment, and you're injured far less now because of it.
Well. That might. Be true.
I'm starting to get jealous! Oh, that looks really good! Hey, where did you get that?
This? I didn't get it anywhere, I made it myself.
You made that!? Awesome! I didn't know you could make something like this...
So stingy! I am pretty impressed, though, that stuff isn't easy to do.
You always seem so busy with work, I'm surprised you have time to do something like this...
Well, it's also a form of stress relief for me. Measuring the exact amount of ingredients, mixing them in order... Watching them slowly bake... That's when I'm most relaxed.
That sounds like a lot of work...
Well, everyone has their own tastes. I'm not trying to persuade you to cook or anything, don't worry.
It looks so perfect... You must've had a lot of pent up stress...
Work is always a battle against stress.
Hmm... I don't think I've ever felt stressed, honestly.
That's because you don't have much responsibility yet.
Well now THAT makes me stressed out...!
Then we have something in common, since I had planned on eating these sweets in peace.
Oh. Sorry for bothering you...!
(Or maybe Solle is just an exception.)
That's not an issue. Now then, shouldn't you two be getting back to work? I believe Raoul had some work for you.
Oh, hey. How's your work going? I'm counting on you guys to become top contributors.
Just leave it to us! We'll be up there in no time. Like, on the level of Jurie.
Jurie... She's such an adult, and so wonderful... I really do want to be like her.
A wonderful adult...? Well, you aren't wrong... But there're some surprisingly interesting things about her too.
I can't really tell you myself. If you're interested, you should ask her directly.
I wonder what it is... I'm curious.
Then let's go and ask her!
Shallies. When. Next adventure?
Hm, it has been a little while...
Yeah. We should probably do some investigations. Sorry Homhom, we have to talk to Jurie. We'll get ready for an adventure right after that, okay?
I wait. Now. Go.
Are you doing anything interesting, Jurie!?
...Why that little... I should shut him up...
Oh, right... The other day, he saw what I wrote in my notebook... That's probably what he was talking about...
It's work related. It's about where I go and what I do... But he was really interested for some reason.
I don't mind... But it really is just my boring work transcripts. I did include a few choice opinions too, though.
Hm, let's see...
I wonder what Jurie writes about...
See, it's nothing.
...I felt like I'd actually traveled to the places you did.
I usually get sleepy when I read, but I just couldn't stop... You have real writing talent, Jurie!
Thanks. I've never show this to anyone else before, but... If you really think so... Maybe I'll try writing something else... If you don't mind me asking, what did you like about the writing?
Hm... The writing was so real. The way you describe creatures, and the land itself is really memorable. Even the way you describe what creatures eat, and the kind of places they live really makes you feel like you're in that place when you read.
Yeah! And the way you talk about what someone who was there might be feeling is really amazing!
You two like it that much...? I'll keep that in mind.
Oh, we were planning on going on an adventure soon. Can you be ready soon?
Oh, sure. I'll just be waiting at the harbor. See you.
Hey Shallie, I have to go home to get some stuff. Can we meet up at the harbor?
Okay! See you soon.
What is it, mom? You seem really happy.
Ufufu... Tadah! Snacks for you.
I'm just happy that you're happy!
But seriously, where'd this all come from? There's so much...
You've been working really hard lately, so I used my savings to give you a big surprise...
There's no point holding onto all that money. You need to use it for things like this!
...Sure, but what happens if we run into hard times later on? And you're always going on about how we have no money!
We're fine! There won't be a problem if you keep up the work at this rate. Don't worry!
Did you need something, dear?
Oh, yeah, I need to pick up the digging tool dad left. Ah! Here we go. See ya later mom!
Take care. Be back for dinner!
We've gotten some reports of powerful slags in the ruins to the north. Might be worth it to take those out.
Alright, let's set a course.
Is that one of the powerful slags?
I believe so. It certainly looks different from the others.
Let's be careful, everyone!
Well, that certainly wasn't difficult as I thought it would be.
Wow, Mr. Solle, you were amazing!
I've been studying how to fight for a long time, but it is an interesting experience to actually do it.
(But you didn't do much fighting...)
I'm just glad I was able to help. I've faced some powerful slags before, but you can never be too careful.
Do you two know of the abandoned factory to the north?
Yeah, I've been there before. It has some nice industrial ingredients.
That's good. I've heard reports the next mysterious slag is up there. Let's get going.
Here, everyone! Let me show you what I can do!
That was...harder than I thought. But look!
Just a stone?
Jeez! It's way more valuable than a stone!
Let's focus, everyone. The slag is around here.
Here. It comes!
These slags aren't as strong as I thought they would be...
The slag population of this area has grown out of control recently, so coming here was a good idea. At least we can leave it to the regular hunting teams to take care of excessive slag populations.
Since our job here is done, why not head to the Eastern Sea of Smoke? We can start work on making a path to the ghost ship.
I see, so this is the kind of place a Sand Dragon lives in.
If we're lucky, we could find some dragon parts. Those kinds of materials are rare, so let's keep our eyes open.
Great battle. This.
Whew, that was exhausting!
These are...dragon scales?
Wow...these would make incredible ingredients!
Uh, hey guys, the Basket is getting a little heavy, and we need some supplies. Maybe we should go back to Stellard?
Oh, no... I'm just happy to help. But what were those used for? I could tell they held a lot of power...
Curious, are we? Very well, leave it to Wilbell to teach you. They're catalysts for drawing out power. You use stuff like that during synthesis too, right? Catalysts that contain a lot of natural power like those allow you to gain even greater power.
Just what I would expect from Master Wilbell!
This will be useful for synthesis, too!
Hey Shallie, I'm going to go back to my house. My mom has been buying a lot of stuff lately, and I just wanted to check on her, so...
Oh, of course! I'll probably go to Miruca's workshop.
Okay, see you later!
(I can hear something, but... What's this...?)
All you do is work, every day... You should do the things you to more...
There's not really anything I want to do...
I'll earn the money. You should do things you enjoy...
...I don't want your money. Sorry, but I can't concentrate... Do you mind leaving?
(...I should probably go, too...)
Jurie...! I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to listen in or anything...!
...Don't worry about it. Hmm, that must have seemed strange to you.
Um, I'm sorry if this is rude, but is there a problem between you and Miruca...?
There's no specific reason why... She's just been like this ever since she came back from Central... For some reason she's distancing herself... I don't think we could even have an argument in this headspace...
Has it always been like this?
Hm... Well, ever since she back from Central. Compared to Central, Stellard is a poor town. I think Miruca was looked down on in Central because of where she came from. It's also true Miruca has never been the most social girl, but it was nothing like this before her trip.
When you mentioned earning money, does that mean...
I want to let her go study in Central again... But she seems to think I'm just bothering her... ..Don't mention this to Miruca.
Okay... (But is this really okay...?)
Don't look so troubled by it, Shallistera. This is something me and her have to work together.
...Welcome home, Shallie.
What's wrong, mom? You seem kind of down...
I foudn something wonderful and bought it, but...
W-what did you buy this time...!?
(...Oh no, mom is definitely getting scammed by someone!)
I really wanted it... I'm sorry, Shallie...
You know we don't have much money, right?
But it was so wonderful...
Ugh, I guess I can't help it... This is the last time!
Thank you! I won't do it again... I'm sorry.
(Uu... I worked so hard to save that money... I guess I should just write it off as a mom tax or something...)
Thank you again Shallie... I'm so glad I have such a wonderful daughter... Shallie, can you go visit Miruca? It seems like it's been such a long time since you talked with her by yourself...
Oh, yeah... I should see her soon...
Whoa! You made it!
Were you doubting me?
No, I was just surprised seeing it in person... You really are amazing, Miruca.
Yes really. I'm sure your friends back in Central thought the same thing!
...There aren't very many people in the capital who give sincere compliments.
Huh? What does that mean?
Pretty much everyone over there was like that.
Oh... I'm sorry I mentioned it...
It's not your fault, you don't need to apologize.
Hey, Miruca! Could you teach me how to Imbue too?
Then we could create something awesome. Together!
...You won't complain half way into it?
No way! Let's work together!
I guess it's pretty good work for your first time, but...
*pant* *pant* *pant*
You don't really have the stamina for this... Is it really that exhausting to you, Shal?
I don't know how YOU do it, Miruca...! You don't like to be outside of town much, but you can do this work so easily.
I guess it's something you just learn. Anyway, I'm going to close the shop for today.
Oh! See you tomorrow then! (I should get back and check if mom has bought anything new... I hope not.)
...Did you buy something again?
Uu... You're pretty sharp!...
So what is it this time...
WHAAAAT!? What's with this price!? What on earth did you buy!?
Mom, why would you buy something like this!?
It just looked like something interesting, but... I guess it was too expensive... I just got carried away...
...Hey mom, who sold you this thing?
Um, it was a travelling merchant girl with a shop on the street...
(I knew it was her!) ...Did you buy everything up until now from her!?
Shallie, I'm so, so sorry!
...I'm going to go have a word with her!
Huh? W-what is it? Your beauty if wasted with such a scary look on your face.
Stop tricking my mom into buying your junk!
What? I don't have a single piece of "junk" here! Are you mistaking me for someone else?
This, and that, and that. Every single thing here isn't decent quality in the least!!
But my customers seem happy... That's because they decided they're worthwhile items.
You're the one who tricked them into believing that!
M-my shop is perfectly legitimiate!
Oh really? If you're so legitimate, then why don't you show some good faith?
Huh? Good faith... What do you mean...?
Wh-what are you doing...!?
Just helping myself to some of your money so I can trust you as an honest merchant!
P-please, give me a break! I'd go out of business!!
If you're a legitimate business, losing the trust of your customers is worse. Or are you saying I'm wrong?
Uu... I got it, I got it already! I don't want to accept this, but I'll make an exception just for you, Shallie!
(Oh brother... Well, at least Katla knows not to rip-off my mom anymore. Wait...where's Shallie?)
We've also received reports there're unusually large numbers of monsters here in the forests. We would be doing a favor to everyone in Stellard is we reduced their numbers a bit.
Is there any reason why the growth of monsters has been so large lately?
Nothing we can determine, but there're still a lot of investigations to cover in the Stellard area. There's no telling how many more things we have yet to discover.
I can't see any more monsters around here.
Indeed. It certainly seems we've solved the population crisis around here.
Woah! I never noticed there were fish here before. (Hm? Uhhhh...? Maybe I could catch some and make a bit of money...? Though I don't think I can just jump in the water...)
Hahahaaa... I kind of expected it...
As you should! Fish are valuable, and catching them is out of the question.
I thought so. I got it.
But, only in the water here.
...Huh? What do you mean?
Well, it wouldn't be a problem if you did it outside of town.
Why didn't you say that sooner?! Alright, thank you!
What would you even use fish for? Aside from eating, that is.
Alchemy, of course! Who knows what kind of valuable materials fish can have in their bellies? And maybe... I could use the fish, too!
(He was better off not asking...)
Oh, Shallie, are you looking for something?
Mom, do we have a fishing pole?
Oh, we do. Your father had one... Wait just a minute.
Here you go.
Hehe! Now you can fish without having to buy bait!
Oh, nice! You really get it, mom.
Oh, Shallie! We missed you.
Yeah, I needed to help my mom with some things. It's kinda embarrassing, but...
Oh, that's fine. What are you making?
Yay! Done with the bait. I hope it's good enough to catch something!