“It’s weird that Blacksmith is the only occupation to be treated like this…” Klua-san was nodding thoughtfully. “You’re right. You said you went to the labyrinth earlier, right?”
“Yeah, I went to the E-rank labyrinth. How far would you expect me to get?”
“Hmm… were you alone?”
“What’s your adventurer rank?”
“It’s F. However, I entered it once before with a D-rank adventurer, and we beat the boss on the 10th floor.”
“I see… hmm, I’d guess you could go somewhere in the range of the 3rd to 5th floor. Is that right?”
So that’s the commonly expected level of an F-rank adventurer, huh? I shook my head. “I beat the 10th floor boss, the Poison Snake.”
“What!? By yourself?”
“By myself. I… can make good enough weapons to fight alone. So it’s even weirder that Blacksmiths are said to be useless, isn’t it?”
Klua-san put her hand on her chin, surprise still evident on her face. “Yeah, it’s just as you’ve said. Normally, it’s… impossible for an F-rank to clear a labyrinth alone.”
There are plenty of occupations of questionable value, yet for some reason, only Blacksmithing has been called out to such an extent that its status as the “worst” is common knowledge. This is obviously strange.
Klua-san shook her head in disbelief. “Why in the world is this idea so prevalent?”
“I don’t know… that’s why I want to find out.”
“You want to find out?”
“Yeah… But I have no idea where to start looking. So I hoped you could tell me something.”
This is common knowledge that’s deeply rooted in this world, so this isn’t something I’ll be able to find through normal means. Klua-san is much more knowledgeable than me, so she might be able to make some good suggestions.
She put her hand on her chin again and answered carefully. “Since this is a matter specifically related to Blacksmiths, it seems most likely that a Blacksmith in the distant past did something. You should start by finding out what that was.”
“…Is there a way to find information from that far back?”
Klua-san let out a short exclamation, as if she’d remembered something. “Actually… if you can decipher old documents excavated from ruins and labyrinths, you might find something about Blacksmiths.”
“You mean those ancient manuscripts, right?”
Klua-san nodded. “Right.”
I’ve also heard of those ancient manuscripts, but even when researchers who are several times smarter than me examine them, they have yet to be deciphered. For that reason, ancient manuscripts that were reasonably valuable when they were first being discovered are now worth about as much as any old scraps of paper.
“In that case, I might be able to help you in this search; should I start collecting them, too?
“Would you please?”
“Leave it to me.”
Honestly, a merchant like Klua-san should be able to find them much faster than me.
“That said, there’s no point unless we can actually read the ancient manuscripts…”
“…Erm, you’re right about that. However, you can see the ability of a thing if you look at it, right? Maybe you can use that to learn something new about the ancient manuscripts?”
She wasn’t wrong. “You have a point. In that case, please let me know if you find anything.”
Klua-san looked rather pleased for some reason.
“You seem happy all of a sudden.”
“O-oh, do I?”
She got shy when I pointed it out. I tilted my head in doubt, until she started to explain. “Well, you know… somehow I thought it would be fun to find out something no one else knows… I’m… sorry if I’ve offended you.”
“No, not at all. I also thought it sounded like fun.”
Klua-san smiled and nibbled at her food.
“But your doubt is also reasonable, isn’t it, Relius-san? From what I’ve seen, Blacksmithing is just too convenient. I mean, your abilities alone are enough to support an entire city.”
That might indeed be possible for me, but it sounds like an awful lot of work.
“Even though it’s such an excellent occupation, why does everyone nowadays think it’s a lost and useless one? There must be some reason people don’t know the truth.”
“You may be right… It may actually be too convenient, so some people may hold a grudge against it.”
“There could be a lot of people who consider it to have too much power… I’m a little worried, too.”
“Yeah… Relius-san, you’ve used your abilities a little carelessly, so I’m worried.”
Klua-san looked aside as she muttered that. She was right, of course; there was one place where I had used my abilities without any concern. There were times that I didn’t think much about the possible danger.
“To be honest… Relius-san’s abilities are much more convenient than I could have imagined. That’s why I’ve been doing things like delivering products a little bit more carefully these days. In fact, lately I’ve been wondering if it might have been better not to ask you to be my craftsman…”
I shook my head at hearing that. Was she thinking about me that much? I was only thinking about how to please customers with the products I could deliver. Moreover, I’ve been using it with all my strength, to make them trust our product more.
…Well, I’ll say anything out of self-indulgence, but from Klua-san’s point of view, this might have looked like a risky situation. I was grateful that she had been thinking about me that much, but using my powers freely was also the reason I was able to get to know her at all. I was grateful for that.
“I enjoy working with Klua-san like this, so it wasn’t a mistake.”
“Really now? Still, it’s dangerous if we keep acting carelessly, you know?”
“You may be right. I’ll have to be more careful in the future.”
I should only tell people about my ability after I’ve gotten a good idea of their character. Until then, it’s best to only use the basic power of my Divine Treasure, and use the rest of my abilities only to the extent that they can be covered up.
“Yes… please be careful, you hear me? If something happened to you… I… I’d hate it.”
Klua-san smiled as she said that. She suddenly looked much more attractive than I thought possible. I inadvertently looked away and replied, “Thank you very much for today, and for your advice.”
“No problem, I was able to hear something interesting, too.”
There are still a lot of unknowns. I’ll have to look into this further.