Village Chief looks intently at the Bandana and his brows frown as if he was trying to remember something with all his mental capability.
「I might be wrong… but I think that was indeed what the leader of the Bandits was wearing.」
「Oh, really now?」
The merchant’s face got distorted with surprise.
「X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X?」
「X X X X X, X X X X X X X X X X!」
Judging by his innocent reaction just now, it couldn’t have been the merchant. Either that, or he is a very good actor who has no trouble with masking his real emotions, which I highly doubt. Same goes for the village Chief. He wouldn’t have made that remark if he was the one who replaced the item.
「That’s impossible. Allow me to check right away!」
He shouts and then quickly leaves.
I wonder what will happen now? Can the (supposedly) stolen equipment really be found that easily? Also, Currently I am only a Lv2 Villager, so if at all possible, I would like to avoid being in the center of everyone’s attention as much as possible. If by any chance this develops into a more serious situation involving the entire village, it might be possible for them to find out that I have actually stolen the sandals I am wearing right now and automatically connect the Bandana Switching with me. If the whole village attacked me at once for that, there’s no way I’d be able to win against all of them.
Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it after all? Was I too hasty with that?
With that said, even if I did steal those sandals, the best course of action for now would be to keep quiet and see how the situation is going to develop.
At the very least, maybe I should have my Durandal ready?
As I stood there, contemplating what I should do now, a woman carrying three swords appeared. Could those belong to former adventurers?
「Want me to appraise those as well?」
I ask the merchant.
「If you would be so kind.」
「Okay, let’s see what we’re dealing with here.」
「X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X.」
「X X X X X.」
Urged by the merchants unintelligible words, the woman presented me with the swords. According to the Identify window, her name was Tirihi, 31 years old. Perhaps she was a widow after some Adventurer?
She was fairly well built and had long, braided blonde hair, typical for the women hailing from the countryside of eastern Europe. From the perspective of someone like me, a high schooler who didn’t even hit adulthood yet, she was old enough to be considered an auntie, in the positive meaning of the word. To be honest, the more I actually looked at her, the more certain parts of me became twitchy & itchy. Normally widows and married women are not in my strike zone, but I felt like I could make an exception just for her. After all, I am the hero who saved this village, so maybe with a little help from gentle persuasion she’d be willing to keep me company for tonight… yeah, right, as if that would happen.
Let’s behave ourselves for the time being and shake off any inappropriate thoughts. I hold the sword in my hands and look at it inquisitively. The weapon I am holding now is a one handed sword called Flame Rapier. From the looks and the description of its skill, it is a thrusting weapon which deals fire damage instead of regular physical damage.
「This is a pretty good sword.」
「X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X.」
「Mrs. Tirihi says she is grateful for your humble words, Michio-sama.」
Next I grasped the sword firmly with both my hands and swung it a few times while exclaiming:
Nothing happened, nothing changed. The Rapier’s blade wasn’t coated with fire or anything. It remained all the same no matter how many times I repeated my swinging motion. *Sigh* Am I actually insane? Cause I already know its not going to work and yet here I am, trying the same thing again. If that isn’t madness then I don’t know what is.
Tirihi-san and the merchant are looking at me with those suspicious eyes again.
There it is, another broken death flag!
But just as I was about to fall into depression, a mysterious spell formula appeared in my head. Should I recite it? Something was telling that doing so will actually activate the skill laying dormant within the weapon, so I think it is at least worth a try. Well, here goes.
「Answer the burning will of my heart and manifest thyself! Flame Sword!」
I shouted the spell and swung the Rapier from above my head. After a brief, 0.5 seconds delay a trail of fire followed the trajectory of the slash I have performed.
Oh wow. This. Is. Awesome!
Tirihi-san also looked quite surprised at that sudden spectacle. Uh, lady, why are you so surprised? This is your late husband’s sword, right? Have you never seen him doing something like that… no. If she knew the sword could do something like that, then she wouldn’t bother with bringing it to me to appraise it.
Then the Village Chief appeared at the edge of my field of vision, talking to the other villagers, who probably saw me using that skill just now, because they were pointing their fingers at me and talking rather excitedly, which sends my mind into an alarmed state, so I tried to observe them without making it too obvious that I’m staring at them. What if they found out about my crime of sandal theft?! What happens to a thief once he’s caught? Am I going to be made an example of and be flogged in front of the entire village? Or have my hand cut off?! Or perhaps they’ll throw me into a tar-filled kettle and feather me to simultaneously punish me and make me into a laughingstock? That would certainly be a good demonstration of what happens to those who dare to break the law, haha, hahahahahaha.
No Michio, you mustn’t think like that all the time! I know that my outcast mentality is probably at fault here, but can you really blame me for constantly doubting anyone and everyone around me? All my life I’ve been shown time and time again that others only want to hurt me, that’s why I began to distance myself from them in the first place. But this strange new world is not, at least in theory, like the modern day Japan I chose to leave behind. No one knows me here, so you shouldn’t assume that they’ll treat you like a dirtbag as well. It might be difficult… heck, it certainly will be difficult, but maybe I should try to have a little more faith in people. Besides, even if I did stole those Sandals from that barn, there’s no concrete evidence pointing to me being the culprit, and they certainly weren’t labeled with anybody’s name,so even if I have to show them to the entire village, I should still be in the clear.
「X X X X X X X X X X X! X X X, X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X!」
「X X X X. X X X, X X X X X X X X X.」
Next to me, Merchant and Tirihi-san also discussed something that I was still unable to understand. The only thing that I was absolutely sure of, was the fact that after using that skill my body suddenly became quite weary and heavy. Even so, the fatigue I felt right now was not a physical, but rather a mental one which made me feel extremely tired, losing the will to do anything that required any kind of effort on my part. As a result, the Rapier in my hands was getting heavier and heavier with each consecutive attempt at swinging it. Going by the standards of the classical RPG games, skills must have some kinda cost to using them, like MP or something along those lines and I probably expended too much of it. But I guess that was to be expected. After all, I currently have only Lv2 at the very basic of the basic of Jobs, so it would stand to reason that my ability to use skills and spells would be greatly hindered by having abysmally low stats. And while we are on the topic of stats, I used identify on myself to check my status and sure enough, right under the red HP bar and above the green Stamina bar was a blue bar labeled MP, which was depleted by approximately 75%. Ouch. As I thought. Until I gained some more levels, no skill spamming for me I guess.
「So, what would you like to do with that weapon, Michio-sama?」
「For what price would you like to sell it?」
The merchant asks. Oh, that’s right. Since I’m the one appraising it, I guess it falls to me to decide what to do with it?
To sell or not to sell, that is the question. What should I do? Decisions, decisions, decisions.