The following day, I awoke rather late in the morning. After all, I hadn’t managed to get any sleep on the day before last, when we fought with Rodney. And yesterday, while having dinner with Grace…there had been several occasions where I had started nodding off――
Still a little drowsy, I made my way into the inn’s common room, which doubled as a cafe, and noticed Grace was already there.
“――Good morning, Kei.” She showed me a gentle smile. Grace was still dressing like a man, but she had let down her long dark hair; for a moment I didn’t recognize her. The morning sun streamed in, illuminating her from behind.
Damn, she looks divine this morning――
Looking around the cafe, I realized there was no one else besides us.
“Good morning. ――There’s nobody else here…?”
“It’s a little late to still be calling it ‘morning’… Please, take a seat. I’ll pour you some tea.” Standing up, Grace moved to make me a hot cup of tea. English tea, to be precise. Tea in the morning…just like some aristocrat…This was quite different from how I viewed adventurers.
――Still, I accepted the tea without complaining.
It was delicious.
“Today we’ll be going to a shop affiliated with the Magician’s Guild, but before that let’s organize the equipment we have.”
“You mean weapons and armor?”
“Yeah. Neither of us has made preparations to enter any of the dungeons, so I think it would be best if we head to the shops after we’ve taken an inventory. It would be ridiculous to fight with an ornamental sword.”
“Alright. ――There’s just one problem. I haven’t got any money…” In response, Grace only laughed.
“I kind of figured. Anyway, I’ve got the funds to cover equipment for two, so you don’t have to worry about it. ――I’ll just have you pay me back when you’re better off.”
I had just about pulled myself out of being taken care of at the church, only to windup a freeloader――
After we finished sharing a leisurely breakfast, we headed out. Grace once again tied up her hair. She had a dignified look with her hair up, but I will say she looks great with it down, too. It would be even better if she would just wear something a little more feminine, but I wasn’t going to hold my breath.
Oh yeah, there was one other important thing that happened in the cafe. That is, I learned how to use the daily-life magic, Inventory.
“It’s easy.” Following her lead, I gave it a shot but I was like a fish out of water. It turns out I had real difficulty in reconciling how an object that was physically too large to fit into such a small pouch would ever fit. In the end, by completely clearing my mind and forcing myself to accept “that’s just how it is”, I managed to succeed at using Inventory.
After my first success, I understood that “it’ll fit in the pouch”; and I didn’t fail again. According to Grace, the amount of space available for storing items was directly proportional to the amount of magic power one had; and I could apparently store quite a large number of items.
The equipment shop Grace and I arrived at was situated around back of the adventurer’s guild. We had asked at the inn about equipment shops in Ashvale, and they told us there were three, with this shop having the best selection available. Upon entering the shop, a man in his late 30’s with short cropped hair and a fierce countenance came out to greet us. After a simple exchange, we moved right into looking through the items for sale.
As far as weapons were concerned, there was a vast selection of knives, shortswords, longswords, two-handed swords, short spears, long spears, one-handed axes, two-handed axes, bows, knuckles, blunt weapons and staves.
As for armor, apart from shields and gauntlets, there were three main types categorized as robes, light armor or heavy armor. The expensive armor covered both the upper and lower body, with the lower end stuff made to cover just one place, like the breast area.
Also, even among the same type of equipment, there were pieces colored green, black or red; there was a wide variety of colors to choose from as well. It was just right to tickle an adventurer’s fancy, and even just looking was fun.
After having taken a preliminary look through what was available, Grace asked,
“Is there anything you like?”
“Yeah, well, with this much stuff I’m having trouble choosing.” At hearing my words Grace gave a wide smile.
“Kei, first you need to select a weapon. Are there any weapons you’ve used before?” The only weapons I had used before consisted of a wooden cudgel I’d crafted myself, and an iron mace from the church.
――Actually, looking back…that’s really kind of embarrassing.
“I guess I could make do with a blunt weapon or a short spear. ――Is a stave considered a blunt weapon?” I picked up something that looked similar to a stave. I had a feeling Grace could tell I wouldn’t be very good at physical combat.
“――How about this one?” Grace showed me a short sword she had picked out. It was a definitely a short sword, but the blade seemed to have a shade of yellow running through its length.
“What is it?”
“It’s called the Sword of Sands, a short sword, but one that can use earth-attribute magic. You could use it like a regular sword, but it has an enchantment to strengthen one’s magic spells.”
“Niiice. ――geh, it’s so expensive!” Looking at the price tag, I saw it was priced at 30k Seljue. A year of helping out at the church.
“Still, it’s the cheapest of the magic swords.”
“Magic swords are crazy expensive…”
“Equipment imbued with magic is markedly superior, so they’re all rather pricey. If you could use enchantment magic though, I guess you might be able to achieve a similar effect.”
I see. It seems that enchantment-style magic was actually quite useful. If I remember right, when we were fighting Rodney my success with enchanting had turned out to be a game changer.
In the end, I spoiled myself on Grace’s goodwill, and had her buy me the Sword of Sands. Grace herself had chosen a long sword, and a knife. While she was buying the items, I took the chance to inspect the sword.
……I really shouldn’t be comparing them. I mean, these stats are normal, right? It was obvious this would never be able to compare with the Ice Emperor’s Sword, Viola.
Originally I had thought light armor would be better, as it wouldn’t impede my movements so much, but after trying on some heavy armor I was shocked at how much lighter it felt than I had imagined. ――Grace told me later that that particular suit of armor had been enchanted with a weight-lightening effect. No wonder it was so light…Enchanting is crazy.
For the time being, I contented myself with a set consisting of a whitish robe, and a breastplate. Trying them out, I couldn’t help but feel I resembled a real sorcerer.
“They really suit you.”
It was mortifying how Grace’s words made me feel so cheerful.
“Hey Grace, you think I could pick out a pair of gauntlets as well?” I asked solicitously, lost in my own musings.
“I don’t mind…but they’ll be a little heavy. Will you be alright?”
“Yeah, I’ll be fine. I don’t need both hands anyway, just the left will do.” With that, I picked out a sturdy-looking metallic gauntlet. Trying it on, I realized it was much heftier than I’d thought, but I’m sure I could still manage to run around with it on.
If I wasn’t fighting, I could just keep it in my pouch, so I didn’t have to worry about it becoming a burden.
“Kei, you might actually be able to handle heavy armor…” Grace said, laughing a little as she looked me over.
By the way, Grace didn’t buy any defensive equipment for herself. I asked her why, but she only responded with a simple “I have some already.” I had a moment where I imagined Grace stalking through the dungeon in her black outfit, but it seemed she had some other kind of equipment as well.
Grace and I both went into separate fitting rooms, and changed into the items we’d just bought. Grace’s armor was a light setup which consisted of a breastplate and spaulders, worn over a simple tunic. Around her waist she wore some pieces of metal for added protection, but her feet and legs were only guarded by some boots and high socks.
The tunic looked a lot like a skirt, and the way it displayed her thighs was so enticing I was having trouble deciding where to look.
But, it turns out I had been ogling for longer than was appropriate. Just as I felt I might be able to see some parameters appear over her legs, she thumped me on the head.
After thanking the shop’s owner, who was now in really high spirits, we headed for the magician’s guild. Compared with the adventurer’s guild, the magician’s guild was situated on a side street. We continued walking while asking passersby for directions; but we still ended up almost getting ourselves lost.
Finally arriving at our destination, I saw that the sign out front was painted with the symbol of a book. Moving to enter, I was stopped by an outstretched hand.
“The magician’s guild only grants entrance to members, or someone applying for membership.”
“Really? Then how do we buy anything?”
“The shop should be around back, and we’re allowed to go in there.”
So, we circled around to the back. Sure enough, there was the shop entrance. Though, compared with the shop affiliated with the adventurer’s guild, this one was much smaller.
As soon as Grace and I entered, I realized just how small it was. There was only room in the shop for maybe another two or three people.
There were many books on display, and a bunch of bottles containing some strange things――
“Those are reagents used for spellcasting.” Grace said, noticing where I was looking. ――I wonder where the shop staff was? There’s nobody here…?
Without another option, Grace and I decided to go ahead and start perusing the various magical texts. Looking at the ordering for the shelves, which were crammed together to fit in the small space, I saw that many of the books had some really dodgy titles.
A Beginner’s Guide for Becoming Beautiful in an Instant
Enjoying a Sex Change
How to Discover if Your Husband is Cheating
100% Success – Cast a Powerful Spell on Your Beloved
――What’s with all this?
“You know…this is really different from how I imagined grimoires would be…” I said, speaking softly to Grace. Grace herself wore a slightly troubled expression, though after a moment, she nodded.
Just then, I noticed a book titled An Introduction to Learning Each of the Magical Affinities shelved face-down on one of the shelves behind Grace. Stepping in close, I reached up; straining as I extended my hand towards the book. It just so happened that by doing this, I ended up pinning Grace in between my body and the bookshelf.
After obtaining the book I had been after, I began flipping through the pages. ――There was no mistaking it. This was a genuine grimoire.
“Grace, how about this one?” I asked, flashing Grace a quick smile. As I did however, Grace dropped her gaze, stiffening. “——Is something wrong?”
Her face was bright red. The restroom, maybe?
Refocusing on the task at hand, Grace and I set about continuing our search for the right grimoire. About thirty minutes later, Grace and I had managed to find three specific texts, entitled: An Introduction to Learning Each of the Magical Affinities, Enchanting – General Theory, and Spells and Techniques Useful for Adventuring.
But, there was still no sign of anybody running the shop——
“So, this is normal I take it?”
“No…this goes far beyond carelessness. Sometimes a shop that’s set up in a forest village might not have a dedicated staff…but for a bustling, major city like Ashvelle, I’ve never heard of a place that doesn’t have someone watching over things.”
Unable to think of another option, I called out “Excu~se me!”
——Shit, this situation was reminding me of some things from my home world.
It took three tries, but finally a small door located in the back of the shop opened, and a woman dressed in a long, dark robe emerged. She was wearing a hood, but it couldn’t hide the long red hair that was spilling out.
Catching a glimpse of the face under the hood, and subtracting the fact that her expression seemed annoyed at having been disturbed, I saw she was quite a looker. The woman who I assumed was part of the shop staff, spoke to me in reply.
“You came here looking to buy a book?” Her reply sounded incredulous. ——It seemed she wasn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill employee. “Adventurers?”
“Hmmm, I see——”
The hooded woman cocked her head, and began looking me up and down.
“A white robe…I take it you’re a healer then, yes?” She asked. I hadn’t really chosen the white color because of some random RPG I knew, but still——
“I’m not a healer per-say, but I can use Heal.”
“Well well. Now that’s a little unexpected. Honestly, you don’t really look much like a healer though——” With that, she gave a soft chuckle. It created a kind of bewitching atmosphere, and I felt my heart thump loudly.
“——Kei, the books.” In a soft tone, Grace prodded me back to reality. The hooded woman shifted her gaze to Grace, and after a moment she moved her eyes away without uttering a word.
“I’d like to purchase these three books——” After a quick glance at the books I held out to her, the hooded woman seemed to lose all interest.
“What’s this? They’re all for beginners? ——Let’s see…I guess all together they’ll be somewhere around 1,000 Seljue?” I was starting to get a bad feeling. I don’t think there could have been a more half-assed way to go about naming a price.
But, I barely had a moment to let that thought cross my mind before Grace took out the thousand Seljue from her pouch, and put them on the counter. Maybe I just imagined it, but it kind of looked like Grace had been about to slap them hard onto the counter, but had held back at the last second…
“Yep, that’s a thousand alright.” Grinning happily, the hooded woman began to collect the coins. ——Hang on a sec, did she seriously just slip them into her pocket just now?
“Let’s go.” As soon as we had the books, Grace grabbed my hand and began pulling me towards the shop’s exit. A little at a loss, I nevertheless turned to follow. But as I did, the hooded woman said,
“Once you’ve graduated from the beginner’s texts, drop by sometime. I’ll help you get a party together. Oh, I’m Silvia by the way.”
As she spoke her name, I couldn’t help but feel I had heard it somewhere before——though it took me some time before I recalled exactly when that was.
Ladies and Gentleman, BSDS Chapter 11! Wow, what a wait.
I hope you took the time between releases to catch up on other reading?
Anyway, things have started to settle down in RL, and until they pick up again I have some time to work on translations.
I have been working on making the site more accessible, and improving the reading experience (I like full pages for reading, with good fonts), and bettering the mobile experience.
How did you like the Sword of Sands stats page? I’ve gone back and edited from Chapters 1-4, so the stats all look like this.
If you enjoyed this chapter and want to see more…Likes and Comments!!!
Also, you could consider supporting me on Patreon! You can specify an amount ($1+) you want to donate each chapter, and set a max cap in case I somehow manage to translate over 10 chapters in a month…This way, you won’t be paying anything if I don’t put out content, and it gives me a powerful incentive.