Several days later.
“Ooh, Gozoh! Thanks for calling me. Is Roppu doing well?”
“Kantra! You’ve come! Aye, full of energy as usual.”
Ruiniting with my friend again after such a long time, I hugged him.
Oops, almost forgot. I need to be introducing him to Kehma, who I captured on his way out of the dungeon a bit ago.
Kehmma took up residence next to this dungeon, [Cave of Desires], someone who’d absolutely never leave.
At any rate, he’s the secretary of [Dancing Doll’s Pavilion]’s owner, as well as the unmatched top capturer of [Cave of Desires].
There are two parties that have gone to the fourth floor, but one of those is this Kehma.
Everyone in his party are slaves. Well, that’s often the case, but Kehma’s party’s two slaves are cheerful and lively, so I’d be a bit careless to call it something usual.
It isn’t that usual at all.
Well, he does have the slaves work at the inn, but it’s easy to understand they’re well off there as well.
“With that, Kehma. This is Kantra. Take care of him.”
Like that, the meeting between Kehma and Kantra finished.
Or rather, he was a mage huh? I thought he was a swordsman judging by that magic sword at his waist.
Heh. After this is the reunion-required bout of drinks, but Kehma headed back without hanging out with us. What a cold guy. The only thing he left was that eggsh.e.l.l he gave to Kantra. It seems like it’ll become material for the furnace.
“So it’s a fire attributed eggsh.e.l.l, what kind of egg is it?”
“Ah, I was so excited I forgot to ask… Even taking a good look I don’t know.”
“Hmmm, but just one of them eh…”
“Oi oi. Monster eggs are wonderfully rare materials. Kehma-dono must have gone to great lengths to acquire this!”
With so many monsters around here, I don’t think it’d be that weird to just casually pick up a fire attributed monster’s eggsh.e.l.ls though…
“Then why haven’t I seen any eggsh.e.l.l collection commissions?”
“Now that’s because it’s such a rare material that it’s out of the question for B-Ranks to get a hold of on ordinary commissions. Gozoh, you’re C-Rank aye?”
Why’s it so hard? Even though it’s just an eggsh.e.l.l.
“Gozoh. Have you seen any monster children in a dungeon?”
“Eh? What are you… oh, I haven’t. Right.”
Thinking about it, I’ve only ever seen adult monsters in dungeons.
As for monster children… I’ve seen them, but only outside of dungeons.
“It’s not known why, but monster children are rare. Although worm-types and a few others are exceptions, it’s true that you won’t see childish bodies that have no fighting strength in a dungeon at all. Well, there’s no use questioning that the parents would have superior materials, but… their eggs are the exception. Furthermore, monsters birthed by eggs eat their eggsh.e.l.ls shortly after birth.”
“Eeh, woah. So that was it? I didn’t know.”
“Parents fill the eggsh.e.l.ls with power for the sake of their children. In other words, it could be called crystallized power. It’s said that monsters can obtain their first divine protection by ingesting this… well, that’s how it is.”
“So there was something like that… hmm?”
Huh? Then how did he get the eggsh.e.l.l?
If they gobble it down as soon as they’re born, there shouldn’t be anything left over.
“In other words, it’s necessary to find a monster’s egg somewhere. Then you have to somehow deal with the monster’s parents. The parents would struggle to the death to defend their children.”
“Indeed, that’d be hard.”
Honestly, it’s not unthinkable that parents would show strength to defend their children. Both people and monsters. They’d probably raise one or two ranks doing it.
“Moreover, isn’t Kehma-dono still at a low rank? It depends on the opposing monster, but even getting lucky this quite a rare material. To hand it over so willingly, I can give him a magic sword when I can make one. That guy’s important. Kukku.”
Then, the next day.
“Holy shit. Kehma-dono… holy shit. He’s beyond important.”
“Wh-what is it!? Oi, Kantra!”
When I woke up, Kantra’s face was pale and he was trembling.
After the drinking bout yesterday while we gazed at the stars, we made plans to construct the smithy today and I fell asleep right there. Ah, I brought along several [Potato Aburaage] I ordered from Kehma. It’s crunchy texture feels great and its saltiness would definitely work great with sake. A delicious dish.
But why would Kantra wake up like that so afraid of Kehma…? Ah—!
“Was something wrong with the aburaage!?”
“Why’re you talking about that!? Well, it was delicious though!”
Mu, so that wasn’t it? I do think it makes for a great snack even without having sake though.
“So then what’s the matter?”
“… Remember the eggsh.e.l.l?”
“Huh? What about it?”
“That eggsh.e.l.l, it’s from a phoenix…”
A phoenix… I’ve heard those being subjugation targets for B-Rank commissions. Oi, this is serious.
“… That’s… in other words, that, right? A ridiculously rare material? Am I right?”
“Yeah, there’s no doubting it since it was examined using magic tools that can find out a material’s name. Honestly, this sh.e.l.l is on a legend-grade rare item… Kehma-dono, where in the world did you…”
Legend-class, that’s incredible… It looks like it could turn into the highest class of furnace if it’s mixed into bricks. As a material that any blacksmith would water at the mouth over, even one hundred gold coins would be a foolish offer. Seriously, oi. Wouldn’t that be enough to drink as much sake as you wanted till your death?
“So, what’ll you do? That sh.e.l.l. Give it back?”
“… I’ll use it. I already promised to accept it. I just don’t understand why Kehma-dono would give me something like this for a magic sword. Or rather, to build a furnace with such a rare material… I truly never even dreamed of it… this is a first.”
To make a magic sword, that concept is often treated as something impossible. Currently, from what I hear even the top researchers in the imperial capital are just barely at the point where they’d say: “It’s somehow a magic sword… I think?” … For a blacksmith like Kantra to make it by himself? That’d surely be something impossible. Originally.
“… Sounds like drunken talk doesn’t it? For a mere blacksmith, making a magic sword…”
“Yeah… Alright then, well, there’s nothing to it but to give it a go. Perhaps, with this sh.e.l.l, I might be able to make a magic sword.”
Did he calm down from speaking with me? Kantra was already looking like a full-fledged blacksmith.
“Looking at it another way, this is a good chance to realize my dreams. Aren’t there magic swords in this dungeon? They’d be good examples to work off of. Gozoh, for collecting the materials, could I get your help?”
“Aye, for the time being I can capture iron golems here.”
Looking at Kantra’s straightforward eyes, I decided to give him my support.
… How should I put it, I really can’t read that Kehma… There’s no way he’s just some ordinary guy…