Following my little chat to Yuuki, we returned to Cindy and onee-sama. They didn’t question what I went to do, so that’s something that I truly am thankful for. However, now they are planning for the battle that’s approaching.
“It’s bad… Zynthia seems to think that there were over 40 enraged bandits. If we were a larger group of around ten powerful fighters, it would probably be easy, however… None of the merchants are able to fight, nor is Fei. That leaves myself, the slave and you who are capable of fighting.”
“Three against forty isn’t that hard.”
It seems like Cindy is confident in these odds. I guess given her skill set as well as her job; it makes sense that she wouldn’t be concerned about such things, even if I did lie to her. Well, not like she can do much about the fact I lied to her, being the prince and all.
“That would be the case, if not that every one of these bandits is enraged. Remember, in their enraged state; they don’t care about their own lives.”
Hearing onee-sama say such a thing out loud, a sombre atmosphere arose. It makes sense. When a person does not care for their own lives… they are able to damage their enemies much more than those who do. It’s not like zombies, where they are usually slow walking. It’s tough, capable people who if they get a hit in; they can probably kill you.
“Are you certain none of the merchants can fight? If even one of them can, perhaps we can manage.”
Onee-sama continued with her planning by suggesting to Cindy as such. Four against forty and you think you could ‘manage’!? Onee-sama, that’s only one extra person…
“I am confident that not one of the merchants can fight. However, Rilz may be of some use.”
Following onee-sama’s inquisitive look, Cindy explained.
“Rilz often has prepared emergency tools in order to strengthen fighters in major emergencies. However, the price he charges in that emergency… is a hundred times more expensive than the actual price of the tool.”
WHAT?! A hundred times, in an emergency? That’s ridiculous… or not. He definitely lives up to the name of being a merchant, huh? If it were an average person, wouldn’t they give it away or reduce the price in order to save their own hide? Increasing it, while betting your life, that sounds like a merchant committed to his job.
“I will go and request his aid, then.”
Although onee-sama was going to go, I’ve decided to stop her.
“No, I will go.”
“Why should you?”
“I think I have something that may be of interest to him.”
At my answer, onee-sama shrugs and seems to have decided to trust me on this matter. Well, I wonder if my plan will actually work. I look towards the ring on my finger. Yeah, the spatial ring where the matchlock is ‘in storage’.
I kept it with me just in case, though I treated it like I don’t have it. What did that old man – Yes, I know that he said he was Ares, but I can’t help but think of him as an old man – say again… It was existent in this world; however, it wasn’t around this region. I’m hoping that I can use it to barter with Rilz.
Well, if he is from the region where the guns were invented, maybe it won’t be a problem. Maybe it’s a prototype kinda thing. Then I’d be fine, right? I would still be able to barter fairly well.
It might seem like a silly thing to do – trading this weapon for other tools, but I remember what the old man said. The weapon was finicky and hard to use. As I am with my sickness and all, I would rather not take that risk. It would be smarter to see if I can barter with it.
Oh? It seems while I was thinking my thoughts, I bumped into the person I was just thinking of.
“You’re that prince, right? The one they say that’s…”
“Sickly? It’s fine to say it. I’m used to it.”
“What’s going on? That fairy is your doing, right? What do you need from me?”
He’s quick and straight to the point. I assume he has omitted the part about payment right now, however as soon as I make my request he’ll state his price. It’s a smart tactic, huh? By avoiding saying that there’s a price required, he can find out what the other party wants. Once he has that information, he can adjust his price accordingly. How sneaky.
“… You’re not planning on giving your aid for free, are you?”
Hearing me call him out, Rilz mouth seemed to open a bit, before closing. It seems he was surprised for a second, then realised I’d probably gotten the information from someone else. Therefore, Cindy. I wonder what their relationship is?
“Haha, you must understand, right? I am, primarily, a merchant at heart. I can gamble with my life like this, as I have the tools to circumvent a problem. In fact, I can circumvent even your problem for a period of time.”
Hearing him say that caused me to open my eyes wide.
“You have a way to circumvent my issue!?”
“Of course. I ensure that I have products which will suit all my employer’s needs. That includes those who I have planned employment with.”
Planned employment? Was he intending on working with the palace for some time or something? If that’s the case, then it makes sense that he’d have an item for my use.
“However, this item is dangerous. As it uses your ‘future’ in order to alter your ‘present’, I am unable to tell you the results of its use.”
Of course, everything has a catch. However, at the moment… wait. Surely he might have other items that we can use, correct?
“You might be thinking that I have other items for use. You would be correct! For Cindy, I have the Angelic Amplifier, which amplifies all angelic powers by 50%. For your sister, I assume? I have a ‘Sword of Ruling’. As for your other companions, while I don’t have anything specific for them… Fairy’s are a magical race, so this ‘Magician’s Cloak’ should do. The other one… Hmmm… Sorry, I can’t seem to work out her identity.”
Well, Yuuki was bought just before we went to the academy. It’s no wonder that this guy can’t work out her identity. Nor has she revealed anything past some of her fighting skill, which is kind of… odd, I guess? Surely he should have an item based on her fighting ability… Unless he knows there is more to Yuuki then what she has revealed. Actually, that does seem like an accurate assumption. This guy really is skilled.
“… These items for onee-sama, the fairy and Cindy, how much are you valuing them at?”
At my request, it appeared that Rilz was calculating the funds required for the items he has prepared. After a few minutes had passed,
“It seems that the items requested would amount to 1050 Gold coins. If you were to add in an extra item, it would vary depending on the request made.”
Even I can tell that the price is exorbitant, as the funds that I have on me right now only amount to around 120 gold coins. However, if I were to divide his price…
Ten times the usual worth, huh? That seems… Hang on, let me work it out again.
A silver coin is worth 500 bronze coins… A gold coin is worth 100 Silver coins… Comparing that to the produce we bought from that old man… (Now that I think about it, I think the fresh produce was actually cheap) It’s severely expensive!!!
That old man only charged around a silver gold coin or five hundred bronze coins… His goods were of godly quality (obviously, given his identity), which means the price we got them at was a bargain.
The price which Rilz is charging – it’s so much more than the price that old man charged for his fresh produce, it’s absurd! Hmm, before I decide to try and trade the gun for these items, perhaps I can bluff him out? I almost managed to do so with Cindy, however, the circumstances which have arisen destroyed that act. However, that does not mean I cannot try again. It is only through practice can one learn, isn’t it? Or is it failure… Either way, let’s try…
“You said you were happy to gamble your life this way as you had the tools to prevent the problem. However, there is a catch, isn’t there? You yourself, don’t have any items you can use. Otherwise, you wouldn’t need guards.”
That’s right. There is something odd about this guy. Surely; if he has access to so many tools, he would have something for his own use. However, ‘he doesn’t have any combat prowess’ was the knowledge I learned from Cindy. So, perhaps, it is not that he doesn’t have the tool – but he is unable to use it.
“So what? Either way, you still need my items in order to pass through this dilemma.”
“Not if we turn tail and run. We could just leave you merchants here.”
“And have a bad reputation for betraying clients? I don’t think you’re that arrogant.”
Ah, that is true. If we left the merchants here to die (even if we claimed it was impossible to save them), it would probably get out that we are not to be employed. As I think I want to keep this identity for future opportunities, I don’t wish for that to happen. If we were to fail our first mission, I’m not sure we’d ever repair that damage.
Well, this is still foresight. Who knows what the results of that would be? Maybe it’d be interesting to find out… or not. Maybe I should come at this from a different angle:
Perhaps blackmailing him isn’t the best idea?
“You’re right; it was a joke. My bad.”
“However, I am not one to be tricked into paying higher prices than necessary.”
“Then we are at an impasse, as these are my rates.”
I could just try and steal the tools, however, I think that would go terribly. Fine then.
“Then, do you know of the tool called a ‘Matchlock’ ?”
“I’ve heard of it… what’s that got to do with our discussion?”
“I’d like to hire your company to study one.”
“!? You wouldn’t even need to hire us; I’d do that one free of charge!”
No, he wouldn’t. I don’t think. He’s just saying that to try and trick me into giving one up, huh?
“However, I think I know of others who would love this opportunity… so tell me why I should give it to you?”
His facial expression seemed to change immediately after I implied I wouldn’t offer him the opportunity if he didn’t succumb to my terms. Perhaps, this guy has more to him than just being an outstanding merchant?
“I submit! I’ll give you the tools for your sister and Cindy for the 105 Gold price… I’ll even throw in the tool designed for you!”
Oh? It seems like it worked? Though, it’d be nice to reduce the price further… Then again, he did throw in the tool designed for me. I’m not sure of the price of that one, though. Hmmm… I guess I’m happy with this deal. I wonder if he’ll want the matchlock now, or he’ll write up a contract.
“Very well. I think that’s an acceptable arrangement.”
Following this, we exchanged the tools and gold. I have 15 Gold pieces left… Well, I still have 2 Platinum pieces with me, so I don’t think there will be an issue.
“Following this battle, my company will contact you about the contract regarding the study of a matchlock. Don’t think you can cheat me; or else, I will ruin all relationships you have with other merchants.”
The fact that this guy can threaten royalty so nonchalantly even in this situation impresses me. It doesn’t matter though. I got what I came for.
“Very well. It will all be worked out at a later date.”
Now that this matter has been completed, I can return to onee-sama with the tools… I will be concealing the item designed for me, though.