Hikaru and Lavia arrived in Forestzard, Forestia’s capital, yesterday. Hikaru went out today to take care of the job Gafrasti had requested of him, which meant they’ve finished what they came here for.
Hikaru had some questions regarding the queen and the cabinet minister. Why were they alone in that room? Surely that would be dangerous. At first he thought they were short on staff, but there were plenty of workers in the building. So they couldn’t trust even their retainers?
There was that guy in the ceiling as well. Sneaking into such a place isn’t easy. That’s proof that there’s a traitor in the central government.
The faces of the citizens were bright. It felt like the capital, a city with different races, was doing extremely well. But on the other hand, one could say they were too used to peace. It seemed the people were not concerned at all even though the neighboring kingdom, Ponsonia, was at war with Quinbland.
Whatever. It’s none of my business.
Hikaru pushed the thoughts to a corner of his mind.
「…Is it really okay?」Lavia suddenly asked.
「That we’re indulging ourselves…」
Words one wouldn’t expect from a former daughter of a Count. But still understandable. They were staying in a suite room in one of the best hotels in Forestzard, after all. All their food was brought into the room.
「Yeah, it’s fine. Might as well while we still have the money.」
Hikaru became quite rich in the blink of an eye. Once Gafrasti confirmed that the scroll he delivered was genuine, the historian deposited 11 million gilans into his guild account. The one million was for the message he was supposed to deliver to Zofira, but the old man paid it in advance as well. It felt just a bit weird being trusted.
Combining with the silver coins he received back at the dungeon entrance, Hikaru, in a way, became “rich”.
Money left: 919,010 gilans (+11,200,000 gilans)
「All right. Now that things have settled down, it’s time we think over a few things.」Hikaru said as he took a sip of his coffee.
Coffee in this area was quite strong. It was either black with no milk or sugar, or mixed with liquor. Lavia couldn’t take it and had herbal tea instead.
Wanting to be out of the kingdom as fast as possible, they moved in a hurry. The roads were jammed, with merchants who were against the war leaving as well. With many people around, they opted to check their dungeon loots at a later time. Fortunately, they could relax now that they were in Forestia.
As for Hikaru’s package, he paid the Root Hubbard guild to forward it to Forestzard’s Adventurers Guild instead. They’d be staying in the capital for about ten days and decided to live extravagantly in the meantime.
「Okay, let’s check what we got.」
Hikaru placed the revolver on the table that was clearly too big for just the two of them. There was only one bullet left, most likely charged with evil type magic.
「This is the only thing I took.」Hikaru said.
「Is that a wand that shoots magic?」
「A wand? Ah, I guess that’s what it looks like for you.」
For him, it was clearly a gun, but Lavia didn’t know about them.
「How does it work?」
「You use bullets with magic stuffed in it beforehand. They’re for single-use only, though.」
Hikaru removed the magazine and took out all six bullets. With his Mana Detection, he knew there wasn’t any magic left in five of them.
No mana left. Though unlike ordinary bullets, these ones look the same before and after firing the shot. I wonder if they can be recycled.
Hikaru handed one empty shell to Lavia.
「Can you load this with magic?」
He didn’t know.
「Try chanting… I guess?」
「That’s dangerous. If I did that and I couldn’t load it into the bullet, I can’t really cancel the spell.」
「Hmm, yes. We’ll just test it out somewhere else, then. Or we can ask someone to look into it – someone who’s an expert in magic items.」
The boss of Pond’s Thieves Guild came to mind, but he did not intend to go back to Ponsonia.
「Have someone look into it? You mean hand that wand over? Please tell me you’re not doing that.」
「They can’t examine it if I don’t give it to them. Also, it’s a revolver, not a wand.」
「You’re giving away something as precious this?! I’ve never seen a magic item as powerful as that!」
「Is that so… I suppose you’re right. Can’t really hand over something valuable.」
「You don’t believe me? I really think it’s valuable.」
「I do believe you. Actually, I don’t care if the person we ask to study it steals the thing. Your spells are much more powerful. It won’t matter much.」
「You’re trying to dodge by complimenting me. That’s not fair.」Lavia said, puffing out her cheeks.
Hikaru was grinning, thinking how cute she was when angry. Seeing his reaction, she got even more mad.
「Lavia. I’m thinking of going to the academy city of Scholarzard once we receive my package. What do you think? We can probably get the revolver examined there.」
「Scholarzard… Isn’t that where the educational institution that this country’s Prime Minister has been reforming in recent years located?」
「Educational? Not a research institution?」
「It’s both, apparently. They look for new talents and develop cutting-edge technology. Adventurers are accepted as well. I just heard that from somewhere, though.」
「An educational institution for adventurers… It might be worth checking out.」
Hikaru planned to develop his Stealth. If he could find an expert in Stealth, he’d ask to be trained to further polish his skills. Right now, he relied only on his Soul Board and job class. Still, those were more than enough.
It would be even better if they could teach me how to unlock things.
It was one of Hikaru’s weaknesses. He could sneak into places with his Stealth, but he couldn’t enter a locked room. His only choice would be to destroy the lock.
「Oh, Hikaru. You’re asking me, but you’re raring to go.」
「Ah, my bad. What you said really piqued my interest. That’s all. You don’t want to go?」
「You don’t have to mind me.」
「That won’t do. You’re out of Ponsonia. You’re free now.」
「I go wherever you go. I’ll follow you forever.」
「Foreeeeeeeeeeever. Forever and ever and ever.」
「Glad to hear that.」he said with a wry laughter.
「I told you before. I’m a very heavy burden.」
「I remember.」he nodded.「You’re actually quite light. Whatever you say, right now we’re rich.」
「Yes… It’s unfortunate what happened to the treasure room, though. You would’ve made a fortune if you got it all.」Lavia said, propping her cheeks with her hands and sighed.
「Whoa there, Miss Lavia. You’re saying it was unfortunate, but I recall seeing you carry tons of stuff from there in that short amount of time.」
「Didn’t you say it felt wrong because we were basically robbing the place?」
「Did I say that?」
Lavia’s bag was on the table. When Hikaru went to take the revolver, Lavia was busy scouring the place for items.
Inside her bag was another bag made of leather, full of jewels. There was so many, in fact, that it would’ve been impossible to carry in both hands. Diamond, ruby, emerald, chrysoberyl, garnet, rose quartz, etc. They were big as well.
The gems themselves might even have the same value as the money Hikaru had right now. Although they would have to carefully consider who to sell it to.
The pièce de résistance, however, was a massive book, about six centimeters thick, the size of a B4 paper. Carefully bound with leather, the gems embedded on it glittered brightly. It was locked, so they hadn’t opened it yet. Tearing up the leather would make it possible to browse the contents, but that would be a waste.
「This is actually what I really wanted.」Lavia said.
「You say that, but you took a lot of jewels. Now you’re rich as well.」
「Huh? These are all yours.」
「Wait, wait… What?」
「But please let me read the book at least! Okay?!」
「…Sure, but the jewels and book are yours, Lavia. I told you. We’re now out of Ponsonia, so we’re equals—」
「No, we’re not.」
Leaning forward, Lavia place her hands on top of Hikaru.
「I don’t mind if we’re not equals. I wish to remain that way. If possible, I want to be under your wing forever.」
She was firm about her decision. Hikaru heaved a sigh.
「All right. But you’ll have your own money you can use freely. Okay?」
「That’s fine by me. I’ll allow it.」
「And one more thing.」
Hikaru raised his index finger, and pointed it at Lavia.
「We’re buying clothes tomorrow. You don’t have to wear outfits made for boys anymore」
Her days of disguising as a boy would soon be over. Hikaru planned to get her a guild card as well. Unlike the guild card, the soul card from temples didn’t have a money deposit feature.
「Is that an order?」
「Uh, it’s not. I’m sorry, I don’t really know how to put it into words…」
Hikaru blushed a bit as he scratched his cheek.
「…I’m asking you out on a date.」
Lavia stared at him. She got off her chair and walked briskly towards Hikaru, clinging to his arms.
「Wh-What is it?」
「Do you want to go or not?」
She didn’t let go of his arm for a while.
Lavia was sleeping, a happy expression on her face. Hikaru sat down on a chair in their hotel room.
「Now, then… Gotta think over a few things.」he said as he summoned his Soul Board.