“U-um, can you let me go now?”
I arrived at the edge of the town with my new ‘master’ held over my shoulder like a sack of potatoes. It seems safe enough to drop her here. “Yup.”
“W-why did you claim me as your master?” the girl asked, biting her lower lip.
Why was someone so weak-hearted staying in the middle of the southern pass? “I needed a scapegoat. Anyways, you’re going to help me now. I have three goals: sell stuff, visit a magic tool shop, buy an interspacial ring.” Obviously I need to sell stuff to make money to buy stuff from a magic tool shop which I can then store into an interspacial ring.
She’s really obedient too. Why? Was she trying to screw me over like Snow? “And I need you to tell me about this town while we go accomplish my goals, starting now. Lead the way!” I’m a very busy person. Busy, busy, busy. I still have over seven hundred hours of focus bones’ effects leftover to spend. All those little bones that I couldn’t carry on my body were converted into focus. I think I solved the weakness of all squirrelkin.
“Y-yes! This town is Wilderness Town.” The girl walked through the alleyways, heading towards a loud source of noise. “It was founded by the Ravenwood Empire, and its design is similar to the capital as well. Its original purpose was to train the army while harvesting materials from the ferocious beasts nearby, but too many army members died during the training exercises. The empire abandoned the town, and it was slowly taken over by merchants, mercenaries, and, most importantly, promising sect members who’re seeking ways to train themselves. Like me.”
“Sect members? Like those people who constantly go around preaching in the streets of the capital?” I’ve seen a lot of them. But they always ignored me. Beastkin aren’t allowed to join sects, at least, not in the human capital. I’ve heard rumors about them, but the army always talked shit about sect members. Apparently, they aren’t very good people. Neither are magic clansmen.
“…You could call it preaching, yes.” The girl sighed. “Sects need money to run. All members pay monthly fees, and all kinds of training techniques are available. But the sects are hemorrhaging members which is why there’s such a huge abundance of ferocious beasts around. Everyone wants to learn magic instead.”
“You don’t want to learn magic?” Follow the crowd! If people are bailing from sects, why are you staying?
“I took an aptitude test.” The girl bit her lower lip. We were getting closer to the source of the noise. “I’ll never exceed the second circle if I become a mage. But if I work hard enough in the sect, I might become a high-ranked warrior. There’s a better future for me here even if martial techniques are declining. If only the Godking were still around…”
“Why don’t magic clansmen have a presence here?”
“…They have their own town. There’s a rivalry between the two factions even though the Godking practically created both of them. Silly, isn’t it? He united the three races and blended magic with martial techniques, yet 80 years after his death, there’s extreme civil unrest between the three races, and magic and martial techniques have gone their own paths.”
“A little.” Is that all a legend can do? If I become a legend, will all my work be unraveled in 80 years after my death? Well, that doesn’t matter to me because I’ll be dead, but still. It’s sad to think about. I guess that’s what legacies are for, huh?
“We’re here.” The girl stopped in front of the alley’s exit. A sprawling field of black tents and stalls lay before us. “You can sell stuff, and lots of magic tools are sold here as well. There isn’t really a standard magic tool shop because Wilderness Town is a bit of a lawless place. There’s no one to complain to if your items are stolen. Only really powerful or confident people are willing to open a permanent shop here.”
The innkeeper was powerful? I should pay more attention to his face next time. “When you say lawless place, I can also steal stuff from people, right?”
“…Are you that strong? Most people here are mid-ranked warriors.”
I have no idea what rank I am. “Compare them to ferocious beasts, please.”
“A group of ten mid-ranked warriors can kill a fat bear with a few injuries but no deaths.”
No way. The name of the bears I was hunting was actually fat bear? Who’s the lazy person who named them!? “What about a high-ranked warrior? Can they kill a fat bear in a single hit?”
“Maybe at the peak of high-ranked. No one here is capable of doing that.”
…I think I figured out why bear penises sell for so much. It’s amazing how they’re just lying around town and totally not in my bag, right? What a coincidence. “Really? No one? Why’s everyone so weak?”
“That’s simple. This town is where the failures gather. And there’s no mages.” The girl looked at my bag. “So what are you selling? Do you need help with pricing too? You look like you have the face of someone who’s easily tricked.”
…She just called me stupid, didn’t she? She’s lucky she’s right. I have no idea how to price these beast cores and bones. If I took my anger out on her now, then I wouldn’t have anyone left to help me. “How much do beast cores sell for?”
“What kind? Low-ranked ferocious beasts like scavenger crows have cores that sell for ten gold. Mid-ranked ferocious beasts like moonlight wolves sell for 50 gold. A high-ranked beast core like a fat bear will easily sell for 200 gold.”
Holy shit, I’m rich. “How much is an interspacial ring?”
“Market price is 10,000 gold, but you probably won’t find anyone selling one here. What failure would spend 10,000 gold on a ring they couldn’t defend?” The girl coughed. “Though, promising young masters often come through here for about a week and flaunt their wealth to buy everything.” Her voice lowered. “You could buy a ring if they have a spare, or … you can steal it.”
…Well, I’m already a murderer. It can’t hurt to be a thief as well, yeah? I just have to find a promising young piñata, err, young master.