Atelier Tanaka Chapter 8
I opened my eyes the next day with a bit of a headache, but it couldn’t compare to the sense of satisfaction I felt at waking up in my very own house.
Nothing could have made me happier.
I went over the previous day in my head. My memory was a little fuzzy, but I remembered all the important points.
(Got money, check. Bought a house, check. Defeated the evil noble harassing a town girl, check. Came home and defeated the evil spirit, check. Ahh, I feel like a Dragon Quest hero who just defeated the Demon Lord! I’m the hero of my own house.)
There was just one thing that I was unsatisfied about.
(I wanted to keep some points in reserve! What am I going to do with level 5 purification magic? Do I need to go fight some more monsters, now? I’d rather not. At least it’ll be easy to deal with that ghost if it comes back. I did need something to fight it, and I didn’t choose how many points to use. It’s possible that I really did need level 5 magic for that ghost, and I didn’t have time to check, but still, I should be more careful in the future.)
Warm sunlight shined through the window on me. The sun was gently welcoming me to a new day.
I rolled up in the sheets and did my best impression of an earthworm.
A few hours later, I woke up again.
(I think I’ll get lunch. I don’t know what exactly what time it is, but it’s probably around lunchtime.)
I decided to get lunch at Sophia-chan’s place. At night it was a tavern, but during the day it was a restaurant.
(I wouldn’t mind coming here every day. Ah, if I could do it with Sophia-chan once, I could die happy.)
I sat down, and the same unwanted middle-aged guy that I’d talked to the night before came over.
“Excuse me, I’ll have a daily special.”
“No, um, that’s…”
His face was grim and pale.
“What’s the problem?”
“I’m sorry, but today…”
(What the hell?)
“Um, I, excuse me…”
Sophia-chan finally came over and spoke to me.
“Um, I, what might it be?”
Not being used to talking to pretty girls, I couldn’t help talking like that.
“I’m sorry, I’m really sorry.”
“Eh? Um, why are you apologizing?”
“I’m sorry, but, please, could you not come here any more?”
She looked like she was about to cry.
“No, um, what?”
“We’re just a small restaurant, and, and, if a noble-sama notices us, they can destroy it easily, so, I’m really, so s-sorry, but, so, don’t come here, please.”
She bowed to me, with her hands together in front of her, and her ponytail fell over her shoulder.
(Oh. Apparently nobles are a bigger deal here than I realized.)
“I, I understand…”
(Apparently I messed up in my hurry to intervene yesterday. Would it have been better to pretend I didn’t see anything?)
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”
She kept bowing to me without looking at my face.
“No, I’m, uh, sorry about the trouble.”
(I just found it, and now I can’t go to my favorite restaurant anymore.)
“I’ll be going, then.”
I got up and headed towards the exit. This sad series of events had about cancelled out the positive energy from sleeping in my own house.
Not having anything important to do that day, I decided to take it easy at home. I got some take-out at a busy outdoor food stand, and brought it home. It was some kind of breast meat roasted on skewers, and was quite tasty.
I lied down and rolled around in my bed for a while, thinking about various things.
I got up early the next day.
(This isn’t good. I’ll go bad if I just stay home all day.)
I decided to do some proper, respectable things that day, although I hadn’t actually decided on anything specific to do.
Not having anything better to do, I did housework for a while. It was about mid-morning when I finished that.
I’d slept a lot the day before, so I still had plenty of energy.
Feeling satisfied at maintaining my own personal home, I heard someone knocking at the door.
“Kon kon kon kon.”
“Excuse me! Hello!”
There was a familiar-sounding girl’s voice calling for me. A small spark of hope flared inside of me.
I hurried down the stairs to the entrance, which had also been a storefront.
“Yes, who is it?”
As I’d hoped, it was my idol, the sexy Sophia-chan.
(How did she know I live here? Did she ask that real estate agent?)
“Ah, oh, thank goodness…”
When she saw my face, she looked relieved.
(Why is she here? I have so many questions…)
“Um, would you like to come in?”
“No, um, please come with me!”
She led me towards the restaurant where she worked. It was approaching noon, but I didn’t see any customers inside.
“Ho, you came.”
It was the magic noble from the night before last. From that, I mostly understood the situation.
(She sold me out.)
I looked at her, and she looked away. I looked at the manager, and he looked away.
“Did you need me for something?”
“Yes, I need to talk to you for a bit.”
“…talk, you say.”
“There’s a carriage over there. Get in.”
Looking at Sophia, she seemed to be pleading for me to do what he said.
(Are the nobles here like yakuza in Kabuki-chou? Maybe this asshole was better off dead.)
“Then let’s go.”
On the way, there wasn’t a single word of conversation.
The carriage took us to a mansion.
(It’s too big. My house would look small as an attachment to that thing. Is this guy a high-level noble?)
There was a gate by the road, with a wide path beyond it. The carriage went through the gate and along the path, then stopped, and we exited into a courtyard.
“Why are you bringing me here?”
“Your magic is impressive. Especially your healing magic. Here, you’re going to show it to me again.”
(And what do I get out of this?)
“Hey, come here!”
He called over a nearby maid. A young girl, maybe 16 years old, hurried over, with a “patapatapata” as she ran. She was still holding some laundry.
“Yes, you called?”
He pointed between him and me, and she obediently stood there.
He swung his arm, and both of her legs were cleanly cut off.
Her body fell onto the ground face up, while the sheets she was holding blossomed like a flower as they fell.
She started violently screaming as she fell to the ground. Meanwhile, he grabbed her feet, and threw her cut-off legs. They flew through the air, then exploded just before they hit the ground.
“Now, heal her.”
He didn’t look concerned at all.
She was bleeding violently from where her legs were cut, and would obviously die soon. I started healing her.
I didn’t want to see a cute girl die in front of me.
A magic formation appeared under her, and her wounds started healing. Her legs started regrowing, first bone, then muscle, then skin. Several seconds later, she was completely healed.
“As I thought, it’s excellent magic.”
“No, hey, isn’t that cruel?”
“Can you bring out that magic formation again?”
“Eh? I suppose…”
He raised his arm again and looked at me.
“No, that’s not necessary.”
“Oh? That’s fine then.”
He looked incredibly indifferent.
“In that case, you may leave now.”
The maid ran off, screaming.
“If you’ll accompany me a bit longer, I will forgive your insult the other day.”
(What’s going on?! Why does he want to see my magic?)
I felt bad for the maid, and my opinion of the noble couldn’t be much lower, but I decided to show him my magic if he wanted to see it.
(This guy is insane, but if I can settle this thing by spending an hour or two with him…? Well, I didn’t have any plans today.)
Over and over, I created the magic circle in the courtyard.
From what he said while I was doing that, I learned that he was apparently one of the leading magicians and magic researchers in the country, and his father was a wealthy earl.
(Why was he getting drunk in a tavern like that the other day? He came there alone again today, too. He must just have a bohemian sort of personality.)
“Yes, excellent. I’ll be recording this magic formation.”
“I don’t really mind…”
(He’s so arrogant! And I get the impression that it’s only because of my magical ability that he even treats me as a human being. He seems to think of non-magician commoners like Sophia-chan and that maid as livestock.)
He spent a while drawing the magic formation on a piece of paper. Once he finished, he nodded and looked satisfied.
“…can I go, now?”
“Stay for a meal. I should provide at least that much hospitality for a guest.”
“Oh, and come again in one month.”
“One month should be enough for me to study this magic formation. ”
“Um, no. Why would I…”
“…then, 50 gold for one day of cooperation, how about that?”
“Eh? You’re paying me?”
“Is that not enough for you?”
“No, that’s fine…”
“Then it’s decided. I’ll provide a carriage, so come without fail. Understand?”
(That’s a lot of money! Are all the nobles here like this?!)
He spent hours boastfully lecturing me about magic theory. My view of him shifted about halfway from “total monster” to “magic otaku that doesn’t care about anything else” but I still spent the meal ready to use healing magic on myself if I felt weird. Looking around, the estate was more spartan than I expected.
(Apparently he likes magic better than 3-course meals and expensive art.)
When I finally left the mansion, the sun was setting, and by the time I arrived home it was already night.
(I knew something might happen if people noticed my healing magic, but I didn’t expect this.)
I went to sleep, mentally exhausted.
The next day, as I was cleaning the first floor, I noticed a book.
(This is…a manual for alchemy?)
I started reading through it. It was written in a simple enough way that I was able to understand most of it.
“I see, I see.”
Instead of cleaning, I ended up sitting in a chair at the counter and enthusiastically reading.
On the last page, there was something interesting.
The elixir of youth.
Supposedly, drinking it would make a person 10 to 20 years younger.
However, the bottom of the page, where the recipe would be, was torn off.
I decided to try being an alchemist.
I started thinking about what I’d do if I could be young again.
I decided to try to make this elixir of youth.
I had the equipment. I had an atelier. I just had to get started.