“I’ll be going then, Procell-sama, Kuina-anesama.”
“Yeah, do your best!”
One of the two Mythological Foxes, in human form, bid farewell and went outside of the city. Accompanying her as her guard was a Mithril Golem who possessed the strength comparable to a B rank monster.
Kuina waved her hand and sent her off. Her destination was a certain highway outside of Avalon which was the route often taken by many adventurers in the early morning, the present time. Our plan was a straightforward but reliable approach at getting their attention. Just the large signboard carried by the beautiful fox-girl was sure to stand out.
The message written in the signboard read that bread, dried meat, and water were for sale here and for 40% cheaper than the price offered in the city of Eclaba. Taking the opportunity, it was also written there that our inn only offered the service for an overnight stay without any meals and was therefore dirt cheap.
The adventurers that were on their way to the dungeon probably already had enough provisions on them but upon seeing our prices, some might think about getting even more provisions while some to replenish their stocks on their way back.
Also, upon chancing on our city on their way home, they might consider staying the night at the inn and should they find the experience to be pleasant, we might be able to make them to consider another visit on their next expedition to the dungeon.
My plan was to slowly but steadily accumulate regular visitors.
Kuina had an unusual uneasy look on her face.
“I’m worried about the Mythological Fox. She went outside even though she’s weak.”
“She might be weak compared to a Celestial Fox like Kuina but she’s actually pretty strong, you know?”
A Mythological Fox was a B rank monster. It was a powerful monster with a mastery over fire.
And when it came to B rank monsters, even first-rate adventurers were no match in single combat.
Between that, her raised level and the Elder Dwarf-made knife she kept while wearing the lovely uniform, the chances of encountering an adventurer that could defeat her was next to nothing.
“Uuhh, even so, I’m still worried.”
“She has the Mithril Golem with her so there’s no need to worry. Besides, we have our jobs to do.”
I said so as I tapped her head.
By the way, the Mithril Golem wasn’t sent out there just to be a guard but also as another way to attract the humans in. A gigantic Golem was after all more conspicuous than a beautiful girl.
If the Mythological Fox— or if by some chance the Mithril Golem—was asked, they were instructed to explain to the adventurers that the city selling the products was founded by the descendants of great sages and powerful dwarves. In other words, a glorification of our story.
Well then, I’m looking forward to how many will come.
At about the 30-minute mark after the Mythological Fox went outside, a party of four adventurers arrived.
They were a well-balanced party composed of a male warrior clad in light armor, a giant of a man with truly impressive facial hair, a short but agile female thief, and a female magic user.
However, each one of them looked worn-out. The two vanguard looked especially worse: their swords were broken and their armors were full of holes. They also hobbled which certainly meant that they were still injured.
It was weird for visitors at this time of day but they were probably returning home instead of going into the dungeon. Amongst adventurers, there were some who pass the night inside the dungeon. Since the dungeon was a dangerous place crawling with monsters, spending the night there while taking turns to stand guard at night would not do any help at alleviating one’s fatigue. However, such practices became necessary in order to do a prolonged hunting session.
By their appearance, I thought they probably ran into some kind of trouble and was then forced to stay the night in the dungeon.
The warrior-looking young man who seemed to be their leader rushed into the store.
“Food, water, and a place to rest ourselves, please.”
Exchanging the tired look on his face for a ghastly one, he drew the attention of the Mythological Fox in the store. Any ordinary man would be surprised at the beautiful teenage girl tending to the store but the young warrior’s circumstances didn’t allow him to care for such things. Luckily, the fox-girl was trained to be an expert clerk.
“Since you’ve ordered for some food, might I interest you in this fruit called an apple? It’s sweet and juicy. It will not go bad even after two months. It will relieve your fatigue and bring back your strength. We also sell some hard-baked bread and some dried meat, if those are more to your liking.”
A completely by-the-book response.
She only did what she was taught to do but for a man in a desperate situation, her response would of course sound indifferent.
“Anything’s fine so hurry it up.”
“Then would you like one of each? If you order it as a set, it will only cost you a silver coin.”
“Yes, yes, yes, four sets, hurry up!”
“Understood. Additionally, how about an alcohol made of apple? It’s the Avalon special for souvenirs. It’s a really sweet and good quality alcohol, a great gift to a female companion.”
The warrior-looking man popped a vein. I slightly felt sorry for him. She shouldn’t go that far with her textbook responses.
“Stop it! Are you making fun of me?! Quickly get me the food and water!!”
“Certainly. That will be four silver coins, please.”
When the Mythological fox said such, the man took out a pouch from his chest and threw the coins onto the counter.
“I received four coins exactly. There is a roofed dining area in the back of the store so please make use of it if it is to your liking.”
When the fox-girl skillfully handed over the items as a set, the man took it as though he snatched it from her.
When the adventurers were gone, so did the business smile from the fox-girl’s face.
“HAaa. I was soo nervous. Procell-sama, Kuina-anesama, how did I do? Did I pull it off?”
The Mythological Fox hesitantly asked. Actually, this was the way she truly was.
And to her, Kuina gave a thumb’s up.
“It was perfect. Keep it up!”
Oh well, I thought, I’ll just consider this one as a rare unlucky event. Besides, she didn’t mess up on her responses.
“I’m soo glad.”
I guessed it was alright until she got used to it.
Considering she properly sold the items and that it was her first customer, she did great.
Setting that aside, I decided to do a little follow-up and headed towards the dining area where the adventurers were.
~From the adventurers’ point of view~
“Geez, what was with that clerk? Just how long was she going to ask questions!”
The male warrior voiced his irritation along with his sigh.
Along with the food they bought, they came to the back of the store. Just as the clerk said, there were tables and chairs available there. What’s more, they looked comfortable.
“Calm down, Solt. We should consider ourselves lucky just to be able to get some food. It’s extremely cheap too and yet it looks to be made of fine ingredients, doesn’t it? Like this bread, no second-rate wheat could smell this good.”
The big man that had impressive facial hair said so and smiled.
Upon that sight, the young warrior regained a bit of his composure.
In any case, it was the time to eat their food.
Their exploration this time ended in a massive failure. There was the fact that they got careless at exploring the familiar dungeon but it was primarily because a ridiculously strong monster appeared in the first few floors. They ran for their lives but in so doing, they were forced to leave behind the knapsack filled with their food and treasures.
They always carried a tiny amount of provisions on their persons but that too was used up. With their bodies too worn-out to hunt, they thought they had no other choice but to beg for help from any passing adventurer.
“I’m sorry, everyone. If only I had enough magic power…”
Said the female magic user in an apologetic tone.
She was a practitioner of a very valuable magic: healing magic. However, at this moment, her magic power had run out and thus, she was unable to use magic.
The male warrior and the big man with impressive facial hair desperately pretended to be fine but in addition to the bruises all over, they suffered from sprains and broken bones in various places of their bodies.
“Don’t be, Mira. If it weren’t for you, I would have died already. I’m only alive because you healed that big gaping hole I had. If only I wasn’t injured that badly, you might still have some magic power…”
The male warrior recalled the battle that happened the other day. The monster that suddenly appeared was nightmarishly strong. He had no doubts it was a B rank monster. It was actually a wonder they were still alive.
After their necessary escape, they decided to hide themselves, to heal themselves through whatever means, and to then somehow get out of the dungeon.
“Rather, I should be the one to be sorry. I’m the only one with good health and yet I wasn’t able to do anything.”
The female thief looked downhearted as she casted her head down.
“What are you talking about? It was because you took guard duty that we were able to sleep at night. Also, if it weren’t for you, we all would have been killed by traps long ago.”
“Hmm, you are still young but your capabilities as a scout are excellent.”
They were certain on what they said. A thief was able to perceive the presence of traps and enemies, unlock chests and the like. They were useful on many aspects and were indispensable to a party.
The girl then spoke with a voice overcome with emotions.
“Anyway, let’s eat!”
And so, they began to eat. First, they drank the water. The male warrior drank it and was surprised. It entered his body smoothly and spread. What a taste, he thought.
As parched as he currently was, it would certainly taste good but this water went beyond that. It tasted good in the true sense of the word. He was in disbelief. Moreover, he was being reinvigorated by it.
He next ate the red fruit which the clerk called an apple.
It had a nice texture to it in his mouth. As he chew, the bittersweet juices that came from the fruit spread all over his mouth. It was so delicious, he thought he’d cry. The moment he gulped it down, he knew his entire body, down to his cells, felt ecstatic.
What is this, he wondered, is this the fruit of the heavens?
His body relaxed and his aches faded away. The fatigue that weighed on his body like heavy lead also vanished.
By the time he noticed it, the fruit he held was already gone.
It was strange. He considered himself to be a glutton but this one fruit pleasantly drove away his hunger. He next ate the bread. It looked like any other bread but it was unbelievably good. He tasted the sweetness of the wheat it was made from. He himself grew up in a household of farmers but never has he tasted a bread this delicious. The quality of the ingredients, most especially the wheat, was very exquisite.
Anticipating the same kind of experience, he tried the dried meat but to his disappointment, it was utterly ordinary. The male warrior then turned to check the state his companions were in. After they drank the water and ate the fruit and bread, everyone was in some kind of stupor.
After the last lingering effects of the stupor had faded, the male warrior spoke.
“Hey, everyone, wasn’t that red fruit unbelievably delicious?”
“Yeah, it was the best. I still couldn’t believe something like this existed in this world. The water and bread too were superb. This city is great. We gotta tell the others.”
“I know, right? Like, I was so tired but now it’s all gone. And I know shouldn’t feel so happy right now, considering our circumstances, but I am!”
“It’s exactly like the taste of something blessed by the land. It got rid of my tiredness and at this rate, it looks like my magic power will soon recover.”
Each of them were shocked by the great taste of their meal, especially by the apple. It was not only delicious but it had also provided them with obviously good effects.
“Hey, how about if we return to Eclaba, withdraw some money from the bank, then stay at our usual inn until our injuries are healed? And, right after that, go to the dungeon again?”
“Sounds good. Considering our injuries and Mira’s spent magic power, that might just be our only choice.”
This four-man party was a top-class party. With their forces combined, they could hunt even C rank monsters down. The feat alone earned them money, plenty enough to have some savings. With such savings, even if they suffer serious setbacks like this time, it was possible to recover. But doing so was not cheap, not at all.
“How about a change of plans? I think we should stay at this city for a while. If we eat those red fruits daily, our injuries and magic power should recover. And we can challenge the dungeon sooner. If I remember correctly, the sign the girl held said this city had an inn and it costs dirt cheap to stay too.”
“But then, how about our broken equipment? We have to get the blacksmith we frequent fix them. One way or the other, we have to return to Eclaba. Besides, I’m not confident the inn in this town is a proper one.”
The warrior was confused. He couldn’t deny any of what the big man said but the price of the inn in this city was so much cheaper than the one in Eclaba. So too were the food and drinks in this city.
Their wound and magic power recovery time was also bound to be shorter here. And if so, that would mean that their dungeon exploration downtime was also going to be shorter.
No matter how much savings they had, they wanted to avoid spending it as much as possible.
Any which way he thought about it, staying at this city was for the better.
He knew these and yet returning to Eclaba…
At that moment, a lone fine looking young man came. He aged somewhere between 15 and 19 years old.
He was wearing finely made black clothes. The young man was supposed to be smiling but for an instant, the warrior felt so much dread, it made his spine tingle. His long years of experience as an adventurer had honed his senses and he felt nothing but the aura of a true man of battles from this young man.
“I thank you for taking the time to visit our city this fine day. It might be impolite of me but I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation.”
“And you are?”
“I am the leader of this city as well as the father of all the demihumans that reside here. I am called the great sage Procell. This city that has welcomed you, dear adventurers, besides having an inn, also has a blacksmith that has prepared an arrangement of high quality items. Certainly, you’ll allow me to guide you there?”
He said so and the elegantly bowed.
It was nothing short of a blessing. It was good news to the adventurers to learn that the city also had a blacksmith.
They didn’t expect much from this city’s blacksmith but they thought the said blacksmith would at least have enough skill to be able to do simple repairs.
The warrior turned to check on his companions’ responses…
“Then, please lead the way.”
The adventurer Mira is also referred to as Rem but I think that’s a typo. I peeked at the next chapter and as far as I see it, she’s called Mira.