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“So, what is [Armament Enhancement]?” (Rook)
“Huh? Well from top to bottom… [Armament Enhancement] is armament enhancement.” (Brydon)
I asked Mr. Brydon, who was in the inn’s dining room at night, what I was worried about.
“No, I don’t mean that, but I wanted to know what exactly happens to your armor when you enhance it.” (Rook)
“Huh… well, it’s strengthened, enhanced.” (Brydon)
Hmmm… I’m not sure I’m getting the point across.
Once again, let me organize my thoughts and explain from the beginning.
“Actually, I enhanced my staff once, but I couldn’t figure out what changed…” (Rook)
“You only enhanced it once?” (Brydon)
“That’s right.” (Rook)
“Then it wouldn’t be surprising if it didn’t change. Because in most cases, one or two times of [Armament Enhancement] don’t make much difference.” (Brydon)
Is there no change after one or two times? Is there a system in which [Armament Enhancement] must be done over and over again?
“Does that mean that if I strengthen my armor more than once, it will change?” (Rook)
“Ah, it may have been enhanced even once, but it’s not a difference that an ordinary person can distinguish. And—” (Brydon)
“The more times you strengthen it over and over again, the more it will change. That’s exactly what it does.” (Brydon)
“Change? What does that mean?” (Rook)
“It’s the same thing. It changes into something else. The power of the new armaments is incomparable to the original one. …Once you’ve experienced it, you can’t stop enhancing your armaments…” (Brydon)
Mr. Brydon looks far away while polishing the plates.
Why does it sound scary?
…Isn’t this sounding kind of like gambling?
“Does it change the way it looks or something? Or is the performance going to go up a notch or something?” (Rook)
“It’s a bit of both. From the looks of it, it’s like this… how can describe it? Sometimes it’s a ‘growly’ thing, and sometimes it’s a sharpness that goes up all at once.” (Brydon)
What’s that scary description?
What does growly mean… A dinosaur?
“How often does that happen, exactly?” (Rook)
“How would I know? If I knew that, people wouldn’t have any trouble.” (Brydon)
“No, that’s right, but isn’t there a general rule of thumb, or something like, ‘that’s generally how often it happens’?” (Rook)
“Sometimes it happens in the first try, and sometimes it happens on the seventh or eighth time. In the first place, you won’t know exactly how much your weapon has been enhanced.” (Brydon)
“Isn’t the number of times you’ve enhanced it the number of times it’s been enhanced?” (Rook)
“The previous owner may have enhanced it, right? The better the armament is, the more it will pass through the hands of others.” (Brydon)
As long as the appearance of a weapon does not change depending on the number of enhancements, it is impossible to know exactly how much the weapon has been enhanced in the past.
If it’s a game or something, it’s easy to understand because the exact information of the item is displayed, but since there’s no such thing, it’s difficult to get accurate data…
“However, from my experience, good weapons easily succeed… I think. I don’t have any proof.” (Brydon)
“I see.” (Rook)
Hmmm… I think that even without accurate data, things like general trends can be seen and passed on over the years, but the fact that there aren’t many of them means that there is a strong random element. Are there a lot of uncertainties?
…No, there was one thing that was firmly transmitted.
For example… It is too strange that the only thing that has been well communicated is the muscle poses should be done in front of the church. Anyway, I guess I still need to gather more information.
The next day. I wake up to the sound of a wooden window rattling.
I get out of bed and open the window to find a cold wind rushing in with the snow.
“It’s falling heavily.” (Rook)
The roof of the building next door has turned a light shade of white.
It’s going to be a bit cold today.
“Shion, shall we go?” (Rook)
There was a thin layer of snow on the ground as we stepped out of the inn.
I headed for the Adventurers’ Guild, stepping on the snow as I went.
Even when it snows, I go to work every day. I’m sure it will be even more difficult in the middle of winter, right? If that happened. I might as well stay at the inn instead of working.
I arrived at the Adventurers’ Guild while I was thinking about it.
As usual, I checked the bulletin board and went to the reception desk.
“Ah, Mr. Rook.” (Receptionist)
“Good morning. Do you have any healing requests?” (Rook)
“ There are no recovery requests today either. But there is a nominated request.” (Receptionist)
“A nominated request?” (Rook)
“Yes. There is a request from the guild to investigate an abandoned mine.” (Receptionist)
“A request to investigate an abandoned mine…” (Rook)
Investigation? What do I have to do to investigate? Why would the guild send me such a request in the first place?
“Please go to the designated abandoned mine and investigate to see if there are any abnormalities inside. If you see any monsters, there will be an additional reward for killing them.” (Receptionist)
“…how do I prove if there was a monster inside?” (Rook)
“We will ask you to bring back the part that proves that the monster was killed, but basically, we will be fine with your report, Mr. Rook.” (Receptionist)
“Isn’t it possible to make a false report?” (Rook)
“Yes, that’s right. So, this is only requested by adventurers who are recognized as trustworthy beyond a certain level.” (Receptionist)
Trustworthy adventurers? Am I seen as one?
No, I am happy to be trusted, but I don’t understand why I, who have only been in this town for a short time, was trusted that much.
As I was thinking about that, the receptionist continued her words as if she guessed my thoughts.
“I see you have some doubts. I don’t have all the information myself, but it seems that the higher-ups think highly of the fact that Mr. Rook is accomplishing your healing requests without any problems. And I can tell from the way you interact with us guild staff that your personality is fine.” (Receptionist)
“Is personality part of the evaluation criteria?” (Rook)
“Of course. As you become higher in rank, you will have more opportunities to come into contact with people of higher status, so the impression we get from those we come into direct contact with is also important.” (Receptionist)
I see. …No, it’s not surprising when you put it that way. The Adventurers’ Guild is like a temporary employment agency, and they can’t afford to give important jobs to people who don’t make a good impression on.
So perhaps being an adventurer is not a free job where you are judged completely on your ability. As one moves up the ladder, one is expected to have a certain amount of skill and personality.
I’m starting to feel a bit like an office worker…
“Also, regarding this request, the adventurer who usually accepts this request happened to be out of town on another assignment—It may or may not have been part of the judgment…” (Receptionist)
The receptionist continued in a low voice.
“I see…” (Rook)
In that case, I don’t think I should turn down this request.
I guess there is a part of it that is practically related to my evaluation in ranking up.
“Okay. I’ll do it.” (Rook)
“Thank you.” (Receptionist)
I then confirmed the detailed information and left the guild.
I left the town and headed west, walking through the falling snow.
“So~ I am heading to Tunnel No. 4.” (Rook)
I checked the map I had borrowed from the guild’s reception desk.
The map shows that the mine is relatively close to the town and is not very deep, and there is even a map of the inside. It was a very thorough request.
The reward this time was two gold coins. I’m not sure if this is expensive or inexpensive, but it seems high enough for a simple check job, or inexpensive compared to the rewards that C-rank adventurers receive in dungeons such as the one in Aluppo. But I also feel that it is wrong to compare it to the rewards in dungeons.
As I walked along, I soon arrived at our destination, Tunnel No. 4.
There is a hole in a small hill that rises slightly from the ground, and at the entrance is what remains of what looks like a wooden door, but it has already rotted away and is no longer of any use.
I step into the abandoned mine, aware of the surroundings using [Magi Location].
The main purpose of this request is to check if there are any dangerous creatures inside.
Monsters may live and breed in the cave, and in the winter, monsters that would not live in a cave in the summer may take refuge in the cave to escape the cold.
So, why don’t they just repair the entrance door to prevent monsters from entering the cave? I thought so, but it seems that some monsters can easily destroy the door, so it is not cost-effective.
Then, why don’t we just bury the abandoned mines? I thought so, but it seems there are circumstances that make that impossible—
A voice came from the depths of the abandoned mine, and even Magi Location could make out the shape of a human being.
I approached cautiously, but without muffling the sound of my footsteps.
“Oh!! I wondered who it was, but it’s Bro!” (John)
Hearing his voice, I was relieved inside.
There they were, John and the other members of his party.
“Since you are here, does that mean that your Bro is also here for the dizzy mushroom? (John)
“No, I’m not.” (Rook)
“They’re delicious!” (John)
“You’re the only one who likes to eat those!” (John’s Party)
John’s words were immediately refuted by the other three.
“Really? It makes me a little dizzy when I eat it, but once I got used to it, I was addicted—” (John)
“Wait, those are poisonous mushrooms, aren’t they?” (Rook)
I involuntarily threw a tsukkomi.
That’s right. Mushrooms grow in the abandoned mines around here, and they are a valuable source of food for the slum dwellers. It is impossible to close the abandoned mines, which is the main reason why they don’t bury them.
However, these mushrooms taste bad and are poisonous, if not deadly. Even slum dwellers do not eat them because they are poisonous, though they are not deadly, but because they are considered the last lifeline, and it seems that it has become even more difficult to block the abandoned mine.
“So, you’re on an investigation request into the abandoned mine and you’re not looking for dizzy mushrooms?” (John)
“Well, that’s right.” (Rook)
“As expected of Bro! To be able to accept a survey request at your age, the guild placed a lot of trust in you!” (John)
I think about it as I watch the four of them fussing around.
The reason why they are coming to pick dizzy mushrooms at this time of the year when it is still early winter. I couldn’t think of a better situation to think about it.
“By the way, what about the mining job? Isn’t it still time to do it?” (Rook)
If they have mining jobs, at the very least, they should be able to eat. There’s no need for them to come here.
“I was turned away because they said they weren’t going to dig today. That got us in trouble…” (John)
“You’ve never done anything like this before, have you?” (Rook)
“What’s going on?” (Rook)
According to the four of them, they went to the mine as usual, but all the workers were turned away at the gate.
“Does that mean that such a thing didn’t happen even before?” (Rook)
“The old man in the neighborhood said he had never seen such a sunny day when they didn’t dig.” (John)
“I see…” (Rook)
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