-We Met at a Street Stall-
“Ho, Asagi. Do you need new weapons again?”
Chief Aragira was wiping his sweat with a towel as he came out from the back. He was as imposing as ever.
“Yes. I want new ones.”
“Damn it, you’ve only just bought some the other day!”
“But the thing is…I kind of ruined them.”
I went a little too hard out there in the woods. I had started sneaking up behind goblins I found, and stabbed them from the back…before I knew it there were chips and cracks in the blade. Had I fought a moment longer last night, things could have turned real sour.
“And I was just elevated to a ‘Crystal’ today, so I wanted a nice weapon to commemorate it.”
“What? ‘Crystal’? You’ve only just become an adventurer!”
“My level kind of just hit 20 after I killed some goblins. And the guild worker told me that I’ll be ‘Rank E from today.’”
“Ahh…well, don’t push yourself too hard, alright…?”
He seemed more exasperated than impressed. That’s odd…this seemed like a good time to congratulate me a little.
“So you want something to commemorate, eh…very well! I shall craft you a weapon!”
Yes! Chief’s weapons had an incredible reputation, and I had been hoping for this. While the price would be higher, so would the quality and sharpness, so I didn’t mind. I was starting to feel that my old weapons were not adequate anymore.
“Even so, you’re still a baby bird of an E Ranker. I can’t give you anything too special. You understand?”
“Yes, of course.”
He wasn’t being malicious by that. The thing was, even if I mowed down enemies with the finest blades, I would not receive experience from it. The enemies’ weakness, the parts that wouldn’t chip your sword when you cut it, such as the parts between bones, that was all information and experience that didn’t appear in your status. You would never learn what parts should be cut if you can ignore all that and cut through shells and bones from the start. That’s what Chief was getting at.
“And so I’ll give you sword stronger than iron. Learn more. Experience. If you can bring it back before it breaks, I’ll sharpen it for you.”
“Thank you, Chief.”
He folded his arms and looked away.
With a warm feeling in my heart, I accepted the reservation card for weapon crafting from Chief. It would take 6 days for it to be finished. He allowed me to borrow some of his apprentice’s weapons for free until then.
Of course, I took the best ones.
I put the borrowed swords in my sheaths and left the smithy. Weary of my surroundings, I tried to look normal as I walked through the town. The sun had already set, and the sky was changing into a star-filled night. There were street stalls on the main road whose smells were stimulating my stomach and inviting me. I should eat outside once in a while…
I wandered around a little, looking for something to eat for dinner when my shoulder bumped into a passerby. Embarrassingly, the smells had dulled my awareness a little.
“I’m terribly sorry.”
I turned to the other person and bowed my head. When I looked up, I saw a person who was taller than me and wearing a mask over their face. The pattern on the mask…what is it? Eyes?
“I’m sorry as well. I wasn’t watching where I was going.”
“Oh…um, can you see with that on?”
I couldn’t help but ask. I don’t know, it was just very interesting.
“Yes, it’s enchanted. But the food over there looked so good…”
It was the same stall that I had been eyeing. Both of us looked over at the stall where a dish consisting of fried noodles was being made. Then the mask-wearing stranger’s belly grumbled. It was quite audible.
It was followed by fake coughing which did little to disguise it… It was kind of cute.