“Regardless of who we partner with in the end, I don’t really plan on asking for a huge cut. If the person we’re working with is a magic tools craftsman, then I’m sure he will have some things that I will be needing as an adventurer; hence as compensation, it would be enough if I could consult with him and get some preferential treatment.
I have no intentions of making things difficult over trivial matters, but if say… said partner is somewhat lacking in manners, then… I still have an idea up my sleeves.” [Ryouma]
“…I take it this is not just a music box with a different melody?” [Serge]
“Of course not. And I haven’t made a prototype yet either, but if it works, then it will eclipse the music box. So much so that the music box’s value plummet.” [Ryouma]
Serge-san placed his chin over his hand and became thoughtful.
The gramophone and recorder that I thought of back at the store are both things that were developed after the music box. It is also said that they replaced the music box afterwards. If I could make them in this world, then…
“…So what you’re saying is that even if the rights to the music box is taken, you have a plan to crush them.” [Serge]
“It’s just a possibility.” [Ryouma]
The gramophone had a build kit for children included with a magazine in my previous life and I do know how it works to some extent. It shouldn’t be an issue making it with magic. The problem is the recorder. I’m not really sure how far I can go with that one. It’s a bit vague, so I can’t guarantee I can make something that will become popular in society.
“And in the case that my new product can’t compete with the music box, we’ll just have to owe it to my lack of foresight, knowledge, and ability. But that’s a story for then.” [Ryouma]
In other words, there’s no telling what will happen unless we get to it.
When Serge-san heard that, he sighed.
“I understand. We’ll go in that direction then.” [Serge]
“Are you sure?” [Ryouma]
“Yes. I’m a bit surprised, though.” [Serge]
Serge-san laughed when he saw me confused.
“Although I’m surprised to hear that you have an idea for a product that’s better than the music box, I was even more surprised to hear you suggest to use that to steal someone’s customers. I thought for sure you would choose a more pacifistic route and try to talk things through.” [Serge]
“I do prefer that, in fact, but there are times when you need to do things the hard way. Like when attacked, for example. Although, I do admit that I’m usually the easygoing sort.” [Ryouma]
“Although this would mean I’m yet inexperienced myself, this also means that I’ve misread you, Ryouma-sama. What an interesting turn of events.” [Serge]
“What are you talking about?” [Ryouma]
“Fu fu fu… My expectations for you have just gotten even higher.” [Serge]
Was there a factor like that? Or is he just drunk?
Since we were already done talking and I was starting to worry for Serge-san, I decided to end the day.
I saw Serge-san to his room, then after confirming our promise tomorrow, went back to my own.
The next day.
After leisurely eating breakfast, Serge-san and I went to town. The main street was even livelier today than it was yesterday. Crowds of people would pass to and fro the already narrow street, and it was not until after much effort that the stagecoach was able to reach the central plaza.
“So this is the fair. Fuu…” [Ryouma]
Many tents were lined up in the plaza and carriages were forbidden inside. Luggages had to be brought from the carriages via wagons, and the pedestrians were free to walk around.
“The master over there! How about giving our store goods a look!” [Clerk 1]
“Young master, we have some interesting toys here!” [Clerk 2]
“New magic tool designs from the capital here! Our products are cutting edge!” [Clerk 3]
“…There’s so many people calling out, I don’t know where to go. So, what’s the plan?” [Ryouma]
“Actually, I also just drop by any store I find interesting. Ryouma-sama, don’t you have something you’re looking for?” [Serge]
“Hmm… Well, I was thinking of building a kitchen in my house, so something that would be useful for that would be nice. Also, something useful for the maintenance of the mines or something that would prove useful in my travels.” [Ryouma]
“Then let’s go around and look for those.” [Serge]
And so, we roamed around the tents.
“This one is all farming tools.” [Ryouma]
“Yes. Most of them are farming tools enchanted with physical strengthening magic. These tools can make one’s life much easier at the cost of mana. There’s a high demand for these.” [Serge]
“Oh? …I think I can use these in the maintenance of the mines.” [Ryouma]
“Welcome. What would you like to purchase?” [Clerk]
“Do you have a lumbering axe and a sickle for mowing?” [Ryouma]
“We have several axes here, but for the sickle, we only have this one.” [Clerk]
“That’s a scythe.” [Ryouma]
“The small ones are easy enough to use without enchantment, so we’ve already sold out our stock.” [Clerk]
…Well, it’s not that bad. I mean with a bigger sickle, I can cut more at a time. I just have to get used to it.
“Fine. I’ll take that scythe along with that axe, and then that… Pitch fork.” [Ryouma]
“Would you prefer the tools that consume magic stones or the ones that consume one’s own mana?” [Clerk]
“The latter, please.” [Ryouma]
“That’ll be 29,000 suits all in all.” [Clerk]
“Do you have change?” [Ryouma]
“Of course. Please come again.” [Clerk]
I paid three small gold coins and got back a medium silver coin.
I stored my purchased items into my Item Box and proceeded to the next store.
“What are these?” [Ryouma]
Before me were some mysterious products lined up.
“Hmm… This seems to be a store aimed at traders. This magic tool, for example, is meant to be used for things related to construction.” [Serge]
A metal rod with seven round bumps equally spaced. How do you use this?
“These round bumps have been imbued with varying strengths of the earth magic, ‘Break Rock’. If you use this rod on a stone wall or anything made out of stone, you will be able to measure how resistant the wall or object is toward earth magic. This is useful even if the target has been painted with earth-magic-resistant paint, as the effect of such paint declines over time.” [Serge]
“Huh. So, tools like this are a thing too.” [Ryouma]
“Incidentally, the building stones you sold me were rated quite favorably by this tool.” [Serge]
“Somehow, it feels like that was ages ago.” [Ryouma]
“It hasn’t even been a year, though— MU?” [Serge]
“What happened?” [Ryouma]
“A store caught my eye.” [Serge]
I followed after, and Serge-san stooped over a corner of the plaza, where several products were laid over a carpet.
“Mind if I take a look?” [Serge]
“P-Please go ahead!” [Clerk]
The young man looked really nervous, but Serge-san just seriously examined the products.
“This millstone… Has this been enchanted with Spin?” [Serge]
“Yes! In fact, all of the products here have!” [Clerk]
“If you don’t mind me asking, what workshop are you affiliated with.” [Sereg]
“I’m… not presently…” [Clerk]
Serge-san smiled when he heard that, and after purchasing the small millstone, handed the man a letter. When the man saw that, he bowed his head deeply and saw us off as we left his store.
“Serge-san, isn’t that heavy? I can store it in my Item Box for you.” [Ryouma]
“Thank you.” [Serge]
“No problem. By the way, what was that just now?” [Ryouma]
“That man didn’t have a tent, right? Well, those tents are actually loaned by the steering committee to stores and workshops that have applied for a position. So if someone is without a tent, that means they’re here alone. This is usually taken to mean that they are currently looking for an employer or somewhere to hone their skills.
In his case, he was probably chased out of his workshop. His skills are still somewhat lacking, but the rotation of this millstone is something. He seems like a serious kid, so I though if he had a place to hone his skills, he might be able to develop himself further.” [Serge]
So, he saw a promising individual? In that case, that paper must be a letter of introduction.
“Exactly. It’s addressed to Dinome Workshop.” [Serge]
“…You hope to use him to speed up your magic car?” [Ryouma]
“Hopefully, in the future, he’ll be able to do just that.” [Serge]
It’ll be some time before his investment bears fruit, but Serge-san sure doesn’t let an opportunity pass.
We chatted while continuing to walk around the fair.