Chapter 132: Acquaintances
I don a cloak and begin to walk around the town.
As expected, the damages are quite severe. The effects of the Spirit turtle are still clearly visible.
There is also clear signs of damage caused by the onslaught of familiars.
As I’m walking, I arrive at a familiar store.
Good, this building is still standing.
There aren’t really any visible damages. The building seems to be conducting business as usual.
I walk into the store… The Old Man’s store.
“Welcome.” (Old Man)
“I’m happy you’re safe.” (Naofumi)
“That voice… boy, is that you?”
I take off the hood of the cloak and greet the old man.
Luckily, he doesn’t have any visible injuries.
“Why are you wearing such a suspicious cloak?” (Old Man)
“I don’t want to stand out.” (Naofumi)
“Well, you have become quite famous, lad.” (Old Man)
Yep, that’s my main problem right now.
I’m not like Itsuki. When people call out my name in praise, it sends shivers down my spine.
I don’t think popularity is bad in general, but having the people of this country praise me doesn’t make me feel good at all.
And right now, I have too many things that I have to do. I can’t waste my time dealing with these people.
“Well I guess having people flock around you would get annoying after a while.” (Old Man)
“By the look of it, this store hasn’t really been effected.” (Naofumi)
“Pretty much. I was able to drive off all the monsters that came this way.” (Old Man)
“Good job on that.”
“I saw it. You stood on that monsters neck and suddenly started bleeding, but then a large thing came out of the ground and killed it.” (Old Man)
“You saw that?” (Naofumi)
I guess it is quite a feat to be able to focus on that while being swarmed by monsters.
I wonder just how strong the Old Man is.
I don’t really feel like finding out either.
“I was on the battlefield, so I was able to witness it: your power.” (Old Man)
“I see. Old Man, What level are you?” (Naofumi)
“I have long since given up on becoming an adventurer. Please don’t pry any further.” (Old Man)
My question was denied. Really, what level is he?
He’s at least done Class Up once, and he is on a level where he can fight on par with the Spirit Turtle’s Familiars.
… at least 70, probably.
“You’ve been through a lot since you first came here. When I first saw you, I couldn’t believe you would be able to change the world.” (Old Man)
“I was of the same opinion.” (Naofumi)
I casually converse with this Old Man. He really has done a lot for me.
The Old Man looks around me intently.
“Is it just you, today?” (Old Man)
“What happened?” (Old Man)
“Rafatalia is currently working on a different job, and Rishia has gone hunting with Firo.” (Naofumi)
“What about you, boy?” (Old Man)
“The city is quite damaged, so the castle has put all of its manpower into helping rebuild. Because of that, royal weapon production has been ordered to cease.” (Naofumi)
“I guess they’ve got no choice…” (Old Man)
I can’t ask him to make me anything right now. For now, I guess I should get his advice.
I’ll probably need something later. I’ll have to think about it.
“How’s the store going?” (Naofumi)
“A calamity of this scale just happened. Everyone is rushing out to buy weapons.” (Old Man)
“So Business is booming.” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, I’ve sold so much that my store room is almost completely empty.” (Old Man)
“Isn’t that just peachy.” (Naofumi)
“Yeah but… for people without any passion for weapons to just go out and buy them in a panic… It feels a little sad.” (Old Man)
There’s no helping it. The town was almost destroyed. It’s not surprising that people with no skill are rushing to obtain armaments.
It’s probably like that. In preparation for the apocalypse, people are frantically looking for weapons and armor to increase their chances of survival.
From what I’ve seen, there’s been no looting yet. They seem to be heading in a positive direction.
“Is that all you needed today?” (Old Man)
“Oh, about that…” (Naofumi)
I’m debating whether or not to ask him about arming the new slaves.
The Queen has already approved my proposal, so I can probably get some second-hand equipment from the army, but getting any more than that will be logistically difficult in this time of crisis.
These items are quite important. I don’t want to risk it on second-hand goods.
There’s also a problem of upgrades and maintenance. Well, first I should tell the Old Man the Situation.
“I received some land from the Queen, I’m planning to start a business there.” (Naofumi)
The Old Man will be really helpful in procuring equipment, and various other tasks. I’ll try recruiting him.
“So what relation does that have to me?” (Old Man)
“I’ve come to scout you.” (Naofumi)
When starting up a new town, iron goods are essential
Plus, I’m already certain of his skill. I can place my hopes on his equipment.
“I had kind of figured it out. But I have this store.” (Old Man)
“I know. I won’t force you or anything. Perhaps… I may send someone to you to ask to be your disciple.” (Naofumi)
“Ah, so it’s like that… I got it, boy… Though my skills aren’t that great, I’ll try to train anyone you send me.” (Old Man)
Okay, I’ve got some approval.
If there’s a skilled slave, maybe I can send him to learn under the Old Man.
After that, I just have to buy the equipment. I don’t plan to make the Old Man teach for free, either.
“Don’t be so modest. I’m confident in your skill.” (Naofumi)
“Ha, I’m working my hardest to meet your expectations.” (Old Man)
“Next is… Oh right, do you have any information about the other vendors?” (Naofumi)
“Ah, right. The Magic shop collapsed, didn’t it?” (Old Man)
So that big magic shop collapsed… It was on the Castle Town’s main street. It was also on the side of town the Turtle attacked from.
“Were the employees Okay?” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, the owner escaped without a scratch. The problem is that the Store is now gone. She’s currently taking refuge in Ryut Village.” (Old Man)
“I see…” (Naofumi)
“The Medicine Shop has gotten quite busy.” (Old Man)
“There were quite a few injured in the disaster, so that business is thriving as well.” (Naofumi)
“Something like that. But the clothing stores seem to be losing business.” (Old Man)
Fumu… So no one I knew dies.
I don’t have to go around the whole town to investigate.
“Well, I’m starting a business, so please give my regards to the other vendors. The place is…” (Naofumi)
I tell the Old Man about my land. I also talk about the village that it will be centered around.
Right now, The Hero of the Shield is popular. There may be some people willing to jump on the bandwagon.
It would be best if I could have some people that I trust among them.
The village isn’t exceptionally far from the Castle Town anyways.
“Got it, Got it. Everyone was worried about you anyways, my boy. Some people may be willing to go with you.” (Old Man)
“I have a debt to those people, so I’ll give them some preferential treatment. Old Man, if you ever feel like moving, you can come any time.” (Naofumi)
“Got it, Got it.” (Old Man)
And with that, the Old Man casually avoided the topic. However his gaze seems to be serious.
“You have something else to ask, don’t you?” (Old Man)
“You can tell?” (Naofumi)
“Boy, every time you come here, you come with a mountain of requests.” (Old Man)
“I see…” (Naofumi)
I don’t really want to show it. I take off the cloak and show him my armor.
The Old Man gives a look of understanding.
“It was an intense battle. It held up well.” (Naofumi)
The Barbarian armor is in a terrible shape. Its defense has also dropped considerably.
It’s autonomous repair function did not activate at all. I wondered if it was beyond repair, so I took it to the Old Man.
“The Core Piece is not very damaged, but… everything else is gone case.” (Old Man)
“Can you fix it?” (Naofumi)
“Hmm… It’s not like it can’t be repaired but… that depends on the materials. It will also cost a bit.” (Old Man)
“Is that so?” (Naofumi)
“Will you put in a request? I got some rare materials from that Monster for cheap.” (Old Man)
They have more of those parts than they can handle.
It seems that a large quantity of materials were set aside for me, but still the turtle has way too many materials for the town to get rid of all of them.
“I am overstocked on those materials. If you pay a little money, I can make a lot of stuff for you.” (Old Man)
“Is that alright with you?” (Naofumi)
“Don’t worry, if it’s a request from you, I’ll definitely carry it out. I also want to experiment with unknown materials.” (Old Man)
This man’s generosity towards me… it seems to be endless.
His skill level is also on a level I can respect. To be honest, I really want him to come work in my village.
Right now I am just starting out. Once I’ve finished setting up the village, I’ll invite him again.
“Well, in a matter of priorities, I guess the armor comes first… After that comes making a shield. You won’t necessarily lose any money on that one.” (Old Man)
“Yeah, worse comes to worst, I can just copy it, and re-sell the original.” (Naofumi)
“So you do get it. Well, please leave your armor here.” (Old Man)
I take off my wreck-of-an-armor and hand it over to the Old Man.
“As for the core piece, I think you should hold onto it.” (Old Man)
“Is that alright?” (Naofumi)
“I’ll embed the core in later. You can pay for it at that point in time.” (Old Man)
“Boy, what do you plan to do while waiting for your armor?” (Old Man)
“I think I’ll borrow a second-hand one from the castle. Or maybe I’ll wear the Costume.” (Naofumi)
That costume does have some useful features attached. If only the appearance could be changed…
Rishia seems to be forming a strange affinity for it, but… that’s not my problem.
“Anyways, I’ll leave it to you.” (Naofumi)
“Got it!” (Old Man)
My negotiations with the Old Man are complete. I put the cloak back on and leave the store.