We proceeded into Brumund’s Royal Capital .
The city appears old but sturdy .
The pedestrians appeared bright and cheerful with no gloominess in sight .
Probably due to the fact that there is no visible damage from powerful monsters or other threats .
And as you’d expect from such a remote country, there were many people geared up .
Based on my appraisal ability, most armors and weapons used are of inferior quality . Similarly, they also seemed rather weak .
However, smelling the air of a downtown area after so long was pretty exciting .
Buying some roasted meat on a stick, we continued onward .
I have no idea what meat this is, but it’s strangely delicious .
Actually, I can analyze the meat to find out where it came from, but I won’t do that . I have something else that needs to be analyzed .
The sauce . This sauce could come in handy for research . Though it is unfair to the chef, eating something lets me learn its recipe .
So I made a mental note of the required ingredients for this meal .
I am advancing further in, guided by the trio, with a specific store in mind .
Magic Tool Store .
Normal tool stores and magic tool stores are very different than what people from my world would imagine .
When adventurers, for example, refer to “tool stores” they typically mean magic ones .
And it is one of these magic tool stores – I’ll simply call it tool store from now on – that was our destination .
To learn current market prices .
I am planning to sell medium grade medicine today . However, even if I want to sell it at 15 silvers a piece, I need to first know the price of low grade medicine .
I also want to know if there is any product made from Illusion Flowers, or something related to them .
If we turn them in to the guild, we can make ten silvers per bouquet .
Though you’d think you could make a lot of money this way, but going into the forest to search for this elusive flower often proves pointless, so most people abstain .
So if you’re planning on becoming a permanent harvesting adventurer, you shouldn’t expect to become rich quick .
Thus, usually people find them while adventuring somewhere and come to sell them; the buyer then collects them and turns them over to whoever requests .
Which would mean that harvesting requests tend to stick around for years . It’s a lengthy process .
And since I have lots of such medical plants and flowers, I’d want to know their current prices .
So, we entered the store .
A peculiar smell filled the room and the store itself gave off a queer aura .
A store you’d expect to be run by some elderly witch .
Actually, the owner looks just like that .
I looked around, quickly evaluating the goods . Sadly, I didn’t see any rare items .
Low grade potions are in stock, and at a higher price .
Why? Simple: the neighboring Farmas Kingdom has stopped allowing goods to come from the Dwarf Kingdom .
Though I guess I over exaggerated; they are merely preventing any goods that could be used by the military to reach here .
And since high quality potions no longer arrive from the Dwarf Kingdom, they have no choice but to sell the inferior stuff made by the local pharmacists .
Besides, since they are making things by boiling medical herbs found in forests and caves, the medicine they produce is naturally inferior .
Hmm? Do I smell an opportunity…?
At the moment, low grade potion [Quality: Normal, Effect: 20%] is sold for 2 silver coin .
In comparison, abysmal potion [Quality: Low, Effect 15%] is sold for 1 silver coin .
So even a small change in effect can lead to such a drastic change in price . I guess considering that it could save your life, people are rarely stingy with medicine .
And with such shortage of material, adventurers who come across medical herbs will quickly find a buyer even if their guild doesn’t accept it .
It’s always in demand, it seems .
Next, Illusion Flowers .
From this flower you can make Hallucinogens and Bewitching Perfume .
The effects of these items are,
Hallucinogens: Used to amplify〈Hypnotism-type Magic〉 . Taking it normally will induce hallucinations . Leads to addiction .
Bewitching Perfume: Amplifies the effects of〈Hypnotism-type Magic〉by up to 30% . Increases resistance to〈Hypnotism-type Magic〉by up to 30% .
That would be for quality item, of course; normal one would increase the effects by only 20% .
What is amplified? The success rate of the skill, the extent of control, and the duration . It is an item coveted by most practitioners of this type of magic .
However, addiction is bad . It’s probably similar to our world’s hallucinogens . Though I doubt they sell it to just anybody .
By the way, while I was analyzing the poison, I happened to have acquired some resistance to it . At this rate, I might get a new skill soon .
If I harvest and analyze some more poisonous plants, of course . Eating the plant would be a bad idea, but I wouldn’t get poisoned if I absorbed it into my stomach .
So, I can’t die from poison . And since I wouldn’t get food poisoning either, I taste tested most dishes during the trip .
But I digress .
The effects of these items is easy to dispel, but surely they cost a lot?
「Haah? Hallucinogens and Bewitching Perfume? You can’t get such amazing items here .
Rather than in a small country like ours, you should be looking elsewhere!」
The store’s granny told me .
Did she think that I was ridiculing her?
Chances are the fact that she has even heard of such medicines is impressive .
In fact, the medicine sold here is made by her . She’s pretty learned, it seems .
「Ah, my bad . The thing is, I happen to have gotten my hands on some of those, but aren’t sure if it’s actually the real deal .
I even borrowed a gold coin to buy it, so I’m curious!」
I said, trying to deceive her .
「What did you say? Show me . I’ll check if for you .
I won’t charge you, so rest easy!」
The granny replied .
Since she asked, I had no choice but to take out a small bag with a hallucinogen I made prior .
I have quite a few more bags like this . The hallucinogen is fine like sugar, but red in color .
The granny took it from my hands and used〈Identification Magic〉on it .
「Oh my! It’s real! Aren’t you lucky .
With this much, you can easily make 2 golds coins .
But production and sales of this item is forbidden to amateurs .
It can only be sold by magicians with a special license, so beware!
If you want to pawn it, however, I’d be happy to buy it from you for two gold coins!」
She said, surprised .
Turning a bouquet in to the guild would earn you 10 silvers . Whereas processing it would yield you 2 gold coins . That’s 20 times higher .
Moreover, you can also make some Bewitching Perfume from it . All you need is to dilute the extract with water .
So this is another product that will sell well; I’m glad we picked it .
I mean, I knew magic items were expensive, but for them to be so expensive! Well, it’s my profit, so I don’t complain .
But now that she had evaluated it for me, I can’t just leave without buying anything .
Doesn’t she have any good items…?
Seeing a complete lack of rare items, I started searching for anything I might need .
And then I found it, 『Dummy’s Guide! Easy to understand 〈Elemental Magic〉theories!』– a magic book titled thus .
Seems like its a part of a popular publication, but to think that it is even sold out here?
Well, I can read some, and even simply reading letters is practice . So let’s buy the book .
「Aha . So, little girl, you’re aspiring to be a magician?
That’s a beginner’s book .
Kids who want to enroll in an academy study from this book .
But you know, you can’t become a magician just from reading this book, are you sure you want to buy it?」
A magic academy! How wonderful . I want to go check it out someday .
Someday, I’ll use『Great Sage』to get all the magic in the world…
「Yeah, no problem . How much is it?」
「Child, your face is pretty but you’ve got the tongue of a middle-aged man…
Ah, well . Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap . Magic is a rich-man’s hobby .
The masses, without connections or something, can never learn magic .
Just this book costs a single gold coin; too much, right?」
I wonder… since I’m wearing the mask, is the granny guessing by my voice?
I don’t really care, either way . Maybe I should change my voice to seem older…?
Well, it’s too late now . And since it’s a pain, I’ll leave it as is for now .
Since I’m around 150 cm tall right now, should I claim to be a young boy?
It’s been a year since I was born, but my soul is at least 38 years old; in other words, it’s hard to figure out my age . In any case, I’m a child at heart .
So if I look young, that isn’t a problem .
An enigmatic boy wearing a mask . Don’t fret, there’s plenty of delusional idiots calling themselves heroes and demon lords, so I’d fit right in .
So let’s introduce myself thus from now on .
Magic is for the rich, huh . There’s probably plenty among them that are incapable of learning magic, too .
A single gold coin is about a hundred thousand yen .
Though they do seem to have a printing press, I wonder why there’s so few printed books?
「No problem . I’ll buy the book for 1 gold . However, I wonder why it’s so expensive?」
「Ah, that’s simple . Magic books, you see, can only be written down by hand .
Though the Ghost Researchers have the copying machine, it rejects magic manuscripts .
So, any magic book on the market has been written by hand .
By the way, this book I wrote myself when I was younger, so please take care of it!」
「I see . I didn’t know, so thank you . I’ll treat it with care . 」
I said, handing over a single gold coin . Transaction complete .
「Doesn’t look it, but she’s rich, huh… but still a child, right?
What are parents doing handing their kids this much money…」
She grumbled to herself, while handing over the book .
Magic books are handwritten, so I should expect them to be expensive .
From now on, whether I stop by the magic academy or another royal capital, I will buy every magic book in sight! So I decided .
The trio have also purchased whatever they came for . Well, so I say, but they only came to restock on potions and other herbs, so they’ve been waiting for me .
After thanking the owner, I left the store . It was a time well spent .
After leaving the store, I stop the trio .
「You guys… you understand, right?」
「「「……… . 」」」
The trio each handed me 10 Illusion Flower bouquets .
And to each I handed a gold coin . Thus I have 16 gold coins left; so lots more to spend .
I’d much rather process the Illusion Flowers myself . It would be wasteful to hand them over to the guild .
During my conversation with the trio, they looked as if they wanted to ask something .
「Wait a minute! Rimuru-san, when had you processed the Illusion Flowers?
Actually, it’s considered really difficult to do!
There have been people who died from the poisonous gasses that the plants let out!」
I see . So it really was such a dangerous plant . I guess the price is fitting .
「Fufufu . Processing such a weed is simple for someone like I!」
「No fair! I can’t even do it…」
「As expected of danna . I wouldn’t be surprised at anything now . 」
「Me too . Danna is someone who can do anything . 」
Three jealous idiots .
But other then Ellen, the other two have already accepted the facts .
And, considering that we have researched the cost as desired, we headed for the Freedom Association .
We reached Brumund’s Freedom Association Branch .
The guild was at the end of road leading out of the commercial district where the magic store was .
It’s a stately building made of stone .
The Dwarf Kingdom often dug down into the stone, so most buildings were at most 3 floors tall .
The Lizardmen would make use of windows designated with magic to light their houses, but this is different . It depends on natural light .
So I was under the impression that people didn’t build high-rise houses in this world . Well, whether you can consider 5 stories “high-rise” is a different story .
When we entered, I noticed that they are somehow regulating the temperature; it was pleasant inside .
While I actually can’t feel the change in temperature due to my resistances, I could tell the difference using heat detection ability .
I guess they are keeping the temperature constant with magic . Surprisingly advanced, I must say .
I had thought that the world travelers kept the world relatively primitive, but I guess they’ve been trying to develop it in a direction different than ours .
Maybe if there were no monsters or demon lords, this world would be a true magic society .
However, it can also be said that all the current knowledge has been researched to counter monsters .
Since the demon lords exercised restraint, the humans bought them off by handing over fertile land; so when power shifts in favor of humans, an invasion into their realms is a legitimate possibility .
That thought has been preached by the Western Saints Church, I heard .
True, monsters are stronger right now; but no one knows what the future will hold . I guess I need to implement some real foreign policy to protect the rights of my city .
I’m glad I came here .
By seeing a human city, by learning something about humans, I can better prepare against possible future threats .
Thus, I decided to see more and more things .
Now then, I shouldn’t stand in the doorway .
I was guided further in by the trio . The inside reminded me of a municipal building’s reception room .
There’s a desk like one you’d see at an airport–where you surrender your baggage, with a plate that reads: Sales Counter .
All in all, there are three counters separated from each other .
The Sales Counter I just mentioned .
Counter for visitors and other general users .
Counter specific for adventurers .
The room is separated into these three sectors .
The sales counter is exactly what it sounds like; items that you found or went to obtain on request are brought over here .
The general counter is used by beginners and Freedom Association members who live in the city . That’s where you go to register or retire from the guild .
The adventurer’s counter can only be used by authorized adventurers .
An adventurer is a Freedom Association member who either goes foraging, subjugating, or hunting on request . Some take on different types of tasks, but most people still refer to them by the generic term–adventurer .
Furthermore, an adventurer is someone who has to have some basic combat ability .
For example, there’s a specialized division called the Magicians Guild . To be affiliated with them, you need to be able to use some kind of magic; however, affiliation with them does not guarantee usefulness to the Freedom Association .
It’s no good if all you can do is use some magic . Only after you have lived by foraging, subjugating, or hunting are you recognized as an adventurer .
So, what are the merits to becoming an adventurer?
While every Freedom Association Branch is affiliated with a specific country, its members are able to change countries easily .
Leaving the city or even crossing the border is far easier for an adventurer . Of course, this may not apply during wartime, but this allows for greater mobility .
In other words, compared to people with clear allegiances, Guild Members are able to freely select a country where they want to live . Well, not like there’s a big difference other than the tax you’d have to pay .
The origin of the name “Freedom Association” comes from adventurers who wanted to be able to freely move between countries .
Well, even so, there’s not that many people who constantly switch countries .
This was explained to me by the three idiots on our way to the counters .
After receiving this explanation, we proceeded to the back .
「Hey, we’re leading our guest to the backrooms, so let us pass . 」
「Ah, Cabal-san . You have returned . Who might this be?」
「Yeah, Guild Master’s guest . Treat him with respect, please . 」
After that exchange, we were let through .
And in the background,
「Cabal-san is so cool~!」
「Ellen-san is so gorgeous… Always so beautiful!」
「Fools! To not understand Gido-san’s greatness…」
「「「But, who is that kid? Why treat her with respect?」」」
I heard the people in the background say this, but couldn’t really understand them .
Why are the three idiots idolized here? Even in the first village we stopped by they were famous .
We stopped in front of a room in the back . The room was guarded by two soldiers, who opened the door on Cabal’s signal .
In the middle of the room is a magic circle .
Similar to the one that Bester drew . One that allows travel both ways .
I was guided to the magic circle, and used it to teleport .
It can be used to travel up to the fourth floor; the fifth floor is accessible via a different circle .
To prevent infiltration from spies and such . How prudent .
Now that I think about it, there are no windows passed the fourth floor . Probably to prevent break-in .
The magic circle to the fifth floor lies directly beyond the guild master’s room .
We entered the room .
「Welcome, “One who commands monsters”!
I am this Branch’s Guild Master Fuze . 」
A short man with a vigilant face extended his greetings .
I see, he definitely fits the description of a Guild Master .
He’s plenty strong and seems rather capable . But if anything, it’s the aura about him .
He seems to be a rather gutsy individual .
「I am Rimuru Tempest . Ruler of the new Monster Country “Tempest” of the Jura Forest . Pleased to make your acquaintance . 」
After finishing our introductions, we started our questioning .
Since our meeting lasted long into the night, I decided to stay in one of the Freedom Association’s rooms .
P . S . Sadly, although I had plenty of money left and finally arrived at a human city, I couldn’t venture into a new “frontier” for now .