The morning sunlight streaks through the curtains like a forest roof. The sky will be clear today, I think, as I get up and wash my face before getting changed. We would go to the shoe and armor stores that we had found yesterday. I would have to make sure that anything I buy fits in with my current equipment. And so I put on everything except for the light armor, poncho and waist mantle as I head for the diner. I was wearing my old leather shoes.
“Ah, good morning, Asagi.”
Usually, Daniela would still be in a drowsy state, but the food here had taken a hold of her it seemed, and she was wholly alert. However, she had some unfortunate amount of bed hair, a glaring denial of her perfection.
“Daniela, your hair in the back.”
“…Hm? Ah, it has always been this way.”
Lies. Don’t tell lies.
□ □ □ □
We had a spectacular morning meal and went back to our rooms. There I put on my armor. All of it. No weapons though. I didn’t want to draw any attention by showing the ancient elven sword. I had heard that such artifacts were popular among nobles, and I did not want anyone to try and steal it… I decide to take the iron sword with me, as it was better than nothing. This one had sentimental value to me, and I didn’t really want to take it out. It was already in a bad state, and I would hate for it to get worse.
I’m careful to not hit the door or walls with the sheath as I leave the room. The hollow bag was on my back, and I had everything I needed. And so I locked the door and handed the key back to Dorothea at the counter.
“Are you going out on a quest then?”
“Nah. My sword and shoes were a little cursed, so I’m getting new ones.”
“Wha-, oh, uh, should I be worried…?”
“The curse seems to be an Asagi exclusive, so I wouldn’t worry.”
“What did you do…?”
Miss Dorothea gave me a suspicious look. What did I do, indeed…
I looked in the direction that the voice came from, and there was Daniela in full battle armor. It was like she was off to go hunt a wyvern. She was even wearing her mask.
“You two look like you are about to suppress a stampede.”
“With this old iron sword?”
Dorothea laughed heartily, which I returned as we left the inn. We were headed to the shoe store. They say that fashion starts with shoes. I pull out the sheet of paper where I had marked the location, in order to check the route. Turn east at the big fountain on the main road and make a left turn after the third block. Continue from there to a dark area with a tight row of buildings that formed a small shopping district. The shoe store was supposed to be located in this district. It seemed very hidden away when I was copying it off the map at the information center, and now that we were here, I found that it really was hard to find. This area seemed like it was purposely hidden. The word ‘slums’ entered my brain, but the people who walked here were the same Adventurers and tourists that could be seen on the main street. This town was pretty safe after all.
The buildings here were also made of wood. Though there were no sprinkler-like mechanisms installed in the area, except the one near the entrance. There was likely another by the exit. The shoe store was near the exit.
Shoes lined the front of the store, which had a shoe-shaped sign in front of it.
“Hanfell’s Shoe Store,’ huh.”
“These are good shoes. What about this?”
Daniela picked up a shoe and showed it to me. But it didn’t really look like it was for Adventurers? And was that a bright red ribbon on it?
“Those shoes raise the force of your magic spells. But you look like a fighter, so it should be of no use to you.”
A voice suddenly rang. But I couldn’t see anyone. I immediately thought of ghosts, but why would anyone haunt a shoe store? I was sure that someone must be near us, and so I kept looking around me.
I heard the voice and felt something punch my thigh. It was a strangely effective throw, and I nearly teared up when I looked down to see a child wielding a wooden hammer. This little shit. He hit me with a hammer!?
“Get out of here if you are not buying! You are hurting my business!”
“Oh, I’ve got business here alright. I’m here to buy shoes. Get out of my way kid, so I can go inside.”
I was not very amused after being assaulted with a hammer. It may have been wooden, but that shit hurt.
“Kid!? A kid you say!? Bastard. As if I would sell my shoes to the likes of you! Get out!”
I looked down at the fuming hammer boy.
“Indeed! All of these shoes were made by me! Hanfell, the shoemaker!”
Is that right? The hammer boy’s name was Hanfell. And now he said he wouldn’t be selling me any of his shoes. That wouldn’t do. I would have to fight monsters in plain leather shoes.
“Uh, sorry. Hanfell. Please allow me to buy your shoes.”
“That’s Mister Hanfell. You sandal wearing bastard.”
Grrr! This kid was infuriating!!