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Chapter 13

There was a rumbling of unsatisfied voices when Tibult stood up.

“He’s some lord from the city.”

“We already have a hero.”

“Look, he even uses animalkin slaves. Must be a lord from the Capital.” A group of animalkin girls seemed especially appalled.

Such words spread throughout the room, but the guy held up his nose and ignored them all.

“Are you a capable dungeon diver?” The guild master asked.

Tibult snorted. “My slaves will be able to conquer this dungeon with ease, I assure you. I’ve spent top coin for them.”

This created even more unsatisfied mumbling. Tibult picked up on the discontent in the room and glared down the people there. Even though the room was filled with tough and scary looking adventurers, most of them wouldn’t meet his eyes for long. It spoke volumes to the power nobles had in this city.

“I’m sorry, my lord,” Even the mayor had to bow to this man. “But we recently appointed a hero for the city.”

“What is that? I specifically came out to this village because I was told you were without a hero. No, this won’t do at all. Bring this man out at once!”

Enough people had glanced at me that Tibult picked up on it. “This fat, strangely-dressed child? I knew these country towns were full of yokels, but I never would have thought you’d make someone like this your hero. How laughable! Sir… I challenge you to a duel. You, against my slave.”

One of the slaves stepped forward, flexing his muscles slightly. My lips twitched a bit. What the hell was this? He wasn’t even going to fight me himself, but use a slave to fight me? Wait, forget that, I didn’t even fight in the first place. Although the angry mutters all around me seemed to be on my side, I didn’t want to get into any further trouble.

“I don’t wish to duel. As long as you complete your own promise to rid the town of the dungeon, you can have the hero position…”

Although the one gold a month would have been lovely, as well as the discounts, I was already on the fence about it. I didn’t think the hero job would disappear after acquiring it, and I also didn’t want to become enemies with a powerful lord from the city.

The man’s face seemed to grow even more furious. “You think I can’t? Hmph! I will defeat this dungeon, and then you will hand me that hero title on your hands and knees! Come, Lydia… bring my things.”

He flourished his cloak as he walked out. The person who he has spoken to was the catgirl who I now realized was carrying the majority of the packs on her small body. The two males with the muscles appeared to be the bodyguards, while she was a packrat. She looked scrawny, dirty, and poorly taken care of. Her eyes held almost no life in them, not meeting anyone in the room, even other catkins.

When they left, the room exploded in an uproar. The guild leader stomped his foot, to once again bring silence to the room. The mayor ended up looking at me as he spoke out loud.

“I’m sorry, young lad. I have heard that young lords will often come to country towns to claim a hero’s title. Our new dungeon must have attracted him. I heard defeating a dungeon earns a lot of bragging rights in the Capital. This guy is a glory seeker.” The mayor sighed. “He likely had watched the whole battle and planned to ride in and save the day at just the right time unless he saw things as hopeless, and then he would have let the city burn and maybe helped the survivors escape. When things didn’t go south for us, this must have been his backup plan.”

“That may be so, but I don’t wish to get entangled with some noble. It would give me much trouble.”

The mayor grimaced and nodded. “I understand. I still feel if it comes between you and this man, a healer such as yourself would be more beneficial than a haughty noble. If it came to who I wanted as our benefactor, I would still pick you.”

“You’re speaking as if the hero title has already been lost.” The guild leader spoke up and patted the mayor’s shoulder. “I do not believe this dungeon is so easy. Two animalkin toughs are not sufficient to clear it. I believe we should send a team behind him. With luck, his attempt will buy us some time to survey the dungeon properly.”

The mayor nodded thoughtfully. “That sounds like a good idea. Whether he fails or succeeds, someone will need to play cleanup. I want an expedition planned to set out tomorrow morning. Secure the entrance, clear out the first few floors, and buy us time to get some legitimate dungeon divers.”

“I do have one request for this mission.” The guild leader sighed. “We will move slow and methodically. I don’t want to risk any lives. With that respect, there is one person here who can exponentially increase the odds of that.”

Both pairs of eyes fell on me.


It looked like I was being conscripted.

Chapter 14

“Ah, you’re the new hero!” The shopkeeper exclaimed. “I’m so glad to meet you.”

“Ah, this… maybe not for long, but since I’m going to the dungeon tomorrow, I figured I needed to be prepared.”

Naturally, I had agreed to their conditions. At the moment, Chalm was all I had. It was only appropriate that I used my abilities to help Chalm if I could. It was a little scary, but I’d be protected by a bunch of strong men, and I was a bit curious to see this dungeon that people were talking about. 

“Oh, don’t say that… I heard about that noble. Arrogant people like him never get their way.”

“Perhaps… either way, can you recommend me some supplies?”

“Ah, yes, the guild leader already sent me a message. Since he is forcing you on this trip, he said he’d pay for your supplies. I’ve already put together a pack full of all the required stuff.”

The girl pointed to a giant backpack full of supplies. It contained food and water for a few days, a bedroll, grooming supplies, a small tent, and various odds and ends like lighting and ropes. The backpack was of the size I was. Just picking it up caused my knees to groan. I suddenly found myself envying the noble and his packrat slave. I could really use someone to carry supplies for me.

“You may want to check the seamstress next store. Although enchanted clothing is less safe than armor, given your… type… it’s probably best if you used robes.” The shopkeeper gave me a thumbs-up as she watched me struggle to lift the backpack.

“My type?”

“A mage!” She responded.

“I see…” I stumbled out of her store with the backpack weighing me down and worked my way over to the store with a needle and thread on the sign that should be the seamstress.

I couldn’t read, but this wasn’t that uncommon in this world, so no one found it odd. Since it wasn’t unusual, it also meant most stores had a sign that universally represented them. Blacksmiths had an anvil and a hammer, General stores had a barrel, and the enchanter was a book.

Stumbling in, I dropped the backpack at the entrance. The shop was small and tidy. Glancing around, I could tell there was very little for sale. This looked like a shop that typically made things on demand. The woman behind the counter was middle-aged, short, busty, with a pair of specs. When she looked up from her book at me, she nodded.

“Oh, yes, you’re the one I’ve wanted to see.”


“I noticed your clothes when you came into town. I’ve never seen a cut like them. That stitch is so perfect I can barely believe it.”

It was just a t-shirt and some jeans, nothing to get too excited about.

“Haha… well, I’m glad you like them.”

“Can I buy them?”


“Your clothing! I want to buy it! I’d like to examine this cloth and see where it comes from. It looks quite wealthy.”

Now that I recalled, the noble had been angry at me, but he hadn’t looked down on me like the others. Perhaps it was because of these clothes that he mistook me for someone else rich.

“I don’t have anything else to wear,” I explained. “In fact, I came here, hoping to buy more clothing for my journey to the dungeon.”

“That’s right… I seem to recall something like that.” The girl tapped her glasses. “That’s right! You’re the new hero, yes?”

“Ah… that’s right.”

The girl nodded, “Then I’ll tell you what. I will give you three full sets of clothing. I’ll include a set with armor enchantments and even a robe with some mana increasing properties. I hear you’re some sort of mage, so for you, that would be the best.”

“Very well… but can I have them done before tomorrow morning?”

“That’s true… so little time, but I’ll definitely do it. Now give me those clothes!”

I ended up walking out of the shop, feeling like I was mugged. I was wearing a large tunic and pants of the very plain variety. She assured me the stuff she’ll make will be of much higher quality, but I could keep this set on the house. Well, at least they were fresh clothing.

Shortly after making the sale, text appeared in my vision.

{You have sold something! You have unlocked the job: Merchant.}

Chapter 15

I decided to equip Merchant to see what skill that got me.

{You have unlocked the Merchant skill: Haggle.}

“Haggle, huh?”

I found the names of the skills being unlocked to be rather uninformative. Haggle could mean a lot of things. I wouldn’t know what until I tried it out. Heading into the next store, it was the enchantment shop. It looked a lot like a jewelry store back home.

“Hello!” The shopkeeper was actually a man this time. “The hero, right? Please, pick out an accessory. 10% off, just for you.”

I already knew I got 10% off because I was the hero, but he tried to make it sound like he personally was giving me 10% off. I could only smile wryly as I looked at the objects. I didn’t have any special vision that allowed me to see their status. Instead, there was a little card next to each item that explained what it did. Sadly, I couldn’t read them, so I asked. As to whether the shopkeep was honest, that was another question. Either way, the descriptions he offered were a bit vague and he didn’t go into any more detail. 

Slightly Improves speed.

How much is ‘slightly’? I realized that the reason the owner was vague was that he didn’t really know. I wasn’t even sure if this world had identifiable numbers when associated with status. Is there HP or anything like that? I didn’t want to depend on HP to live. In fact, it’d be nice if I was never hit at all. Remembering those injured men the other day, HP didn’t seem to account for much.

“Do you have something like a storage ring to carry stuff?”

That was my immediate concern. How else was I going to carry the bag of stuff? It was way too heavy for me.

“Storage rings?” The guy whistled through his teeth. “You might find them in the Capital, but they’re way too pricey to be found out here in the countryside. Even if I had one, I wouldn’t sell it.”


“About fifty gold coins for the smallest.”

My eyes widened, and I immediately tossed away any thoughts of owning a storage ring. “Is there anything else I could use?”

I pointed back at my pack I had set at the door. The man glanced over at it and scratched his chin.

“Well, I can do an enchantment directly on the backpack to reduce weight. Would you like that?”

I gave a tight smile. “I guess that would work.”

The man nodded. “In that case, I would have it done by the end of the day. Enchantments aren’t cheap though. You’re looking at one gold coin, ten silver, for this enchantment.”

Compared to the 50 gold coins for a storage ring, it really did seem small. However, the supplies the bag was carrying only cost around 5 silvers… so I was spending more money to carry the stuff than the stuff itself cost. I could always just take things out of the bag.

Then again, these were the supplies that the guild leader and store clerk thought were necessary for me to survive. That meant that they had a fair amount of value. My life was infinitely more valuable than the gold coin. I hadn’t had to pay for the supplies or my clothing, so I should consider this a blessing.

I sighed and nodded. “Very well. Please lighten my backpack.”

“Since you get 10% off I’ll give you the enchantment for 9 silver, kay?”

I nodded and then spoke the word while hiding it in a fake cough. “Haggle!”

The guy stared at me, not reacting at all to my cough. I let out a wry smile. I guess that was to be expected. I fished out a gold coin and handed it to him. A moment later, he fished in his bag and dropped three silver coins in my hand.

“There you go.” He smiled.

“Eh? How much did you say the enchantment is?” I asked.

“7 coins.” He blinked. “Is there a problem?”

“Ah… no, not at all.”

I signed a paper with words I couldn’t read and then left the store quickly without another word. Before I cast Haggle, it was 9, then after, it was 7. It appeared like Haggle took 20% off the original cost of any item, with my hero status taking another 10%. Could it be cast multiple times? Was there a chance of failure? What would happen if they failed? All of these questions ran through my head. More experiments were in order. However, I was hungry, so I returned to the inn. The meal today was a beef stew. It was very fulfilling and much better than the ramen I used to eat. This wasn’t so bad a life after all.

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