Damien and Old Letarta
Preparing to depart for the Guild request tomorrow, I listened in on the meeting of Damien and old Letarta, who had dropped by the manor.
I thought it best they get acquainted, but I felt this was a failure. And not in a bad sense.
At the table of the parlor, Damien unraveled the blueprints, and heatedly declared to Letarta.
“As I thought… we need some individuality with these. At this rate, Lyle is going to be stuck with nothing but large racks, so I think this is an important issue. So I want to give some individual differences in each one’s organic body parts.”
As he said that with a serious expression, old man Letarta sighed. And just as I thought of scolding the pervert…
“That one goes without saying. If they all have the same face, it’ll get boring. But the organic parts, was it? That one’s out of my jurisdiction. I’ll make the skeletons however you order, but… will they be covered with organic body all over that?”
(T-that went without saying!?)
“It’s impossible. I can’t help but require some metal parts exposed. Those ancients sure are great. Their automatons completely resemble humans, after all. Well, can’t we make it so their limbs are exchangeable?”
When Damien reluctantly compromised on that, Letarta nodded.
“There’s no helping it. If I get too particular on it, it’ll never be finished in my lifespan. In that case, up to here is…”
As Letarta drew a line across the blueprint, Shannon looked on with interest. While her eyes usually couldn’t see, her taking interest in a sight made me curious, so I tried asking.
“What’s so interesting?”
“Right. It’s interesting because I can see the lines on the prints the maid prepared. I can even see the letters and numbers. The places that have been written over and amended are visible as well, so it’s already nothing but a mess, though.”
Hearing that, I looked at the diagram. On top of the line Letarta drew, Damien crossed another line.
“Can you see what he just added? The line he drew?”
She gave an immediate response, and it seems the Seventh thought of something.
『Hmm. This may just be… Lyle, was Shannon able to write letters and numbers? No, could she understand them?』
He asked me whether Shannon was able to read or write, so I tapped the Jewel with my fingertip. I showed my denial, so the Seventh spoke quite disappointed.
But it didn’t sound like he had given up.
『Then it’ll take some time, but I guess there’s no helping it. We’ll have to put some time into teaching her.』
(Teach the blind girl how to read?)
I was curious as to what the Seventh was thinking, but seeing the two heating up before me, I became a little anxious.
“So that’ll be like that, and in that case, to make a trial product… the first unit will take two to three months.”
Damien nodded satisfactorily at Letarta’s estimate.
“Looks about right. The price would be… around five thousand in gold? It’s a little over budget, but so be it. After that, we’ll need a series of experiments before we can make the next one.”
Hearing their talk.
“Eh, wait a minute… that’s more than two thousand gold coins over your initial estimate, isn’t it?”
I said that to the two, a cold sweat breaking out on my back. But they were both all smiles.
“Because we don’t yet have an environment where we can get all the factors together. I’ll assist however I can. But it’ll cost you. Even after the preparations to mass produce are in order, it’ll generally take around a thousand per model.”
“What I gave you before was an absolute minimum. If we don’t do this much, we’ll never be able to exceed your expectations. So go do your best collecting up funds again. Meanwhile, I and this craftsmen shall be climbing to greater heights than ever before! Now then, next is about the appearance, but…”
“Since we’re at it, how about being a bit more adventurous? An armored beauty isn’t a bad sight, but I’d like a little more playfulness to it.”
“Playfulness… right! That’s vital!”
Watching them fire up even more, I wiped my sweat, as I worried whether our funds would be enough.
(It’s no good. At this rate, we’re certainly going bankrupt. I can earn an extent with normal requests, but that’s just trickling water on burning coals.)
The guild had recognized me to an extent as an adventurer, and requests of higher difficulty were circulating around to me. At the same time, the rewards were growing higher, but even that wasn’t sufficient money.
“C-could the two be a little more prudent…”
There, Damien turned to me.
“I am. I’ll just thrown this out there, but if I was up to it, the first unit could cost ten thousand gold, you know. Ah, but… since we’re doing it anyways, would that be better? The prototype has got to be the the dream of all men.”
Old man Letarta shook his head.
“I’ll like the mass produced ones all the same. So what are you going to do about this problem, bro? I won’t say putting in money will guarantee a perfect product, but there’s nothing lost in investing it in.”
I was about to choose the cheaper option, but the Fourth unexpectedly chimed in with a serious voice.
『… Lyle, spend ten thousand here. And have these two write up a contract. The rights to all technology and skills gained here belong to Lyle. You’ll be able to fish Damien along with the next batch of financial aid. For the old man, tell him you’ll get the finest environment together.』
When I thought he was being lenient with money, Milleia-san’s voice came from the Jewel.
『Oh my, grandfather. Did you think of another money-making scheme? You haven’t changed, I see.』
On her delighted voice, the Fourth.
『No shit! Even if there may be a personality problem, the two you have in this room are the best mind and skill you’ll ever find! If you keep them unrestrained, that’s what you can expect to get out of it! … And even if you fail, it wasn’t even your money to start with. We never planned for it, so wasting a bit shouldn’t hurt too much.』
(It isn’t just a bit!)
It was Vera’s money. So I wanted to value it as much as possible. But it seems the ancestors were agreeing with the Fourth’s opinion.
The Third didn’t sound interested.
『If it’s moneymaking, that’s the Fourth’s job. All his.』
The Fifth uninterested as well.
The Seventh alone seemed to see through what the Fourth was thinking.
『Monopolization on the craft… no, you’re preparing them to sell. So you want to do what we couldn’t do in Arumsaas here? I see. Come to think of it, ten thousand gold isn’t something strange. There are plenty of rich folk in Beim.』
I covered my face with my left hand, and spoke to the two of them.
“I’ll take the ten thousand gold course. However, all the techniques gained this time around will go to me. I’ll pay a considerable recompense for them, though.”
There, Damien raised both his hands in joy.
“As expected of Lyle! You really do get it!”
Old man Letarta looked happy as well.
“It’s nice how you’re not concerned about the money. Looks like I can have fun for once in a long time!”
Seeing them rejoice, I dropped my shoulders, and Shannon called out to me.
“Looks like you have it rough too.”
Seeing her touch a hand to her mouth, and laugh at me, I smiled as well.
“From today forth, you’re taking reading and writing lessons.”
And said that.
“Why!? Don’t you feel ashamed, taking it out on a little girl!?”
I left the golem matter to Damien and Letarta, I went down to the information dealer Rauno-san before departing.
As always, I took Miranda along, and as always, we paid the reward to Rauno-san’s assistant, Innis the gnome.
In his workroom/bedroom, I accepted a report.
Miranda looked through it.
“You’ve looked into quite a wide range there. You sure you haven’t left anything unchecked?”
Rauno-san waved his left hand with a sleepy look on his face.
“No way in hell. I asked a colleague, and we dug in together. Because business is booming on our side. It’s important to send some jobs around so they don’t get jealous. Human relations are always a pain, aren’t they?”
There, Miranda narrowed her eyes, and smiled.
“If it wasn’t for the reason of wanting an easy life, I’d agree with you. Well, as long as the information is accurate, then all’s well.”
As I read through the papers, my eyes stopped on one of them.
It was of how the expanded Lorphys Kingdom was having problems with its neighboring countries. Galleria and Rusworth were still at each other’s throats.
And having newly gained a border with them, it seems Lorphys had yet to figure out how much a distance it should keep with the two of them.
“Send an envoy, and they’ll be sent back? No trade either?”
As I was reading through, Rauno-san nodded and explained.
“They’ve always had that sort of relationship with Beim. Don’t get involved with us, if you do, we’ll crush you. A similar threat has come from both parties, it seems. Those maidens of war sure do love their war.”
On the report was written, that this time both sides had suffered heavy damages. But I got the feeling they were too calm for having one of their neighbors wiped off the map.
(I did consider the possibility of them attacking.)
If they did, the plan was to aid one side in crushing the other, and forming a three-country alliance.
(… Perhaps something is going on.)
With that on my mind, I turned to the next document. It was about Bahnseim. All pieces of info were terrible.
“So Bahnseim’s as bad as ever. No, it’s gradually become worse.”
When I said that, it seems Miranda was interested.
“… Even when Bahnseim’s so chaotic, I don’t see much movement here in Beim.”
Rauno-san gave a grin.
“Well we only think of other countries as business partners over here. More than that, an increase in war means it’s time for the mercenaries to make their bread. And those at the top are only thinking of how to make money, I’m sure.”
It was a country with a civil war waging. I doubt they were doing much to collect magic stones there.
In that case, Bahnseim would have to buy stones from the surrounding nations. But those nations wouldn’t know when to bite into the current Bahnseim, so they wouldn’t trade so easily. In that case, the only place where they could buy them would have to be Beim.
From the Jewel, the Third gave an uninterested murmur.
『Is this that ‘fire on the opposite shore’ thing? More so, they’re thinking of how to use that fire to earn money. From what I see in the info, there are quite a few untrustworthy places, but I guess it can’t be helped.』
(TL: Fire on the opposite shore, it’s in flames, but it’s not your problem.)
Mainly related to Celes.
Meeting her, and being charmed, they had presented everything they had. Besides that, the severety of the slaughter and plunder in the territories that had been attacked.
Even when that information was coming in, it looked like Beim was taking it quite care-free.
“Rauno-san, the information about Celes has reached Beim, right?”
“Yes, it’s reached, but it’s up to the individual to trust it or not. In truth, all war’s a terrible thing. When it sounds so unbelievable, most would believe the report’s wrong. And rumors are things that make it all sound big. Maybe that’s how they think of it. No, how they want to. While I’m at it, Beim has avoided invasions from other countries a number of times. It brags about its ability to do so. There’s a groundwork to make everyone believe they’ll come out fine.”
Even without war, the Guild would surely do whatever it could to gather adventurers. The merchants would make their business partners suffer, and the mercenaries would find work.
Beim really was a troublesome place.
Miranda crossed her legs, as she turned to another report.
“Hey, this country between Beim and Bahnseim… you wrote its movements were strange, but what do you mean by that?”
When her expression turned serious, Rauno-san sounded a little annoyed.
“… A profitable village came out. If that’s all it was, then no one would care, but it seems they’re gathering considerable amounts of magic stones and materials. The village itself’s begun to incline that way. Because Bahnseim’s in turmoil from the internal strife. They’ve raised the amount they’ll pay for magic stones… I thought it suspicious. It could be the case they’re hiding a Labyrinth over there.”
He added on an, ‘but I’m just fantasizing on my own over here,’ in jest, and showed a smile at the end, but it looks like he really did find it fishy.
(Other countries can’t interfere there.)
“Can you leak this information?”
“There’s no proof. But from my side, I have sent a message to Beim’s VIPs. It was indirectly, but the information has gotten through. But with these sorts of things…”
He looked up at the ceiling.
“… By the time you notice it, it’s usually already too late.”
… When Lyle had left the information agency, Rauno called Innis in.
And he had her read all the info he had gathered.
“How is it, Innis?”
With her small build, as she sat on the sofa, it looked as if a child was reading papers too difficult to comprehend.
It was quite a cute figure. Her body began letting off a faint light.
Even with the windows closed, the dark room was dimly illuminated. And in the room, Rauno waited for Innis’ answer.
The woman called Innis was a Skillholder. What’s more, it was a peculiar Skill. It didn’t have a second or third stage; it was complete the moment it manifested.
That Skill’s name was 【Information】.
It examined all know information on hand, and used it to make an accurate prediction of the future. It was a Skill quite like Clara’s highest stage, and one of the reasons Rauno had managed to survive as an information dealer all this time.
“… Perhaps they think they’re hiding it well, but the probability they are hiding a Labyrinth is exceedingly high. A portion of the materials flowing out are from a monster never before seen in that area. Perhaps they thought it would be fine because a similar type was around. And there is a possibility the feudal lord has already made amends with them.”
Hearing that, Rauno confirmed with her.
“Now then, the situation of the surrounding countries, and of Beim… what will happen, Innis? Will the Labyrinth run out of control?”
On his question, Innis…
“It will go out of control soon with a high probability. An adventurer dispatch will not make it in time. In that case, a large army of monsters will flow into Beim as well.”
“Can it be prevented? How much damage will come to Beim?”
“… The outbreak itself will only have casualties numbering in the few thousands. But the problem is what comes next.”
“And what comes next?”
“The probability of surrounding countries collapsing is high. And after that, the probability of Bahnseim gaining control of them is high. Beim will surely be dragged in.”
“… So Bahnseim is going to become our next-door neighbor. How troublesome.”
Rauno whispered that.
(Now then, how is my client going to move?)
“Innis, how is Lyle’s party going to move?”
There, Innis was troubled. She was able to forecast most events with her Skill, but when it came to things pertaining to Lyle, she was off most of the time.
She had tried making predictions based on personality, relations and ability a number of times, but all of them had missed the mark.
“… Uncertain. Insufficient information. Lyle-san’s actions always exceed my anticipations.”
Rauno-san gave a bitter smile.
“Again? Good grief, now this is a client you can’t get tired of.”
Third Generation Head (゜∀゜ヘ): “Innis-chan! Does she properly know of the information that is mr. lyle? That’s the important point! Otherwise, you’d never be able to predict him lol.”
Lyle (#゜Д゜): “… No, this is definitely you guys’ fault! Because you have me do all those things!”
???? |∀・): “But you don’t hate it when they do that, right? You really aren’t honest, man.”