Chapter 200 First Settlement
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
A horse-drawn carriage was running along a narrow, winding mountain road that led to a clearing. It was a firm horse-drawn carriage named “Giant’s Leather Shoes,” which transported people and supplies, hurried along this road. The carriage was taking people and goods to the settlement. The driver skillfully guided the horse through the narrow path, and the carriage safely reached the settlement without any problems.
”We’re here, everyone!”
”Finally! It took so long.”
”It still takes time even from Denar, huh?”
”The road is bumpy, it hurt my back a few times.”
”Things would be easier if the road was better.”
In response to the driver’s call, five people got off the carriage. Among the four who complained, the man at the back quietly observed the settlement.
”So, this is the settlement…”
The man’s name was Kilk, an ordinary person who had heard rumors about the settlement and had come looking for work.
Kilk is looking for a cheap place to stay tonight. He finds a room and then hears from the innkeeper about a place where he might find a job. That place is the branch of Spear of Shouhyou, where most of the work in the settlement is handled. Kilk has experience with this in another city, so he goes straight to the reception and talks to the receptionist.
”Excuse me, do you have any jobs for one person? Preferably something like subjugation or collection.”
”You’re alone? I haven’t seen you around here before. Do you know how dangerous it is outside the settlement?”
”I’ve heard there are many monsters, but I’m not worried because I have the skills.”
When Kilk replied, the receptionist hesitated because it was dangerous for one person.
”Oh, you’re not worried, huh? How brave.”
Kilk turns around and sees five men looking at him.
The person who spoke to Kilk was one of them. He held a round iron plate and looked at Kilk closely.
”You seem like you’re used to fighting, but it’s not fair to compare this place to a forest where random monsters appear. Have you ever hunted here before? I’m not saying anything bad, I’m just looking for companions.”
Kilk sighed quietly at the man’s words. This kind of job always attracted hot-blooded people who would pick fights for no reason. Kilk had been caught up in similar situations before.
To be honest, he didn’t like it. But causing trouble here would only lead to more problems, and Kilk didn’t want to waste his energy on something that wouldn’t benefit him.
”Thank you for your advice. But I’m the kind of person who needs to see things for myself to be convinced.”
Saying that, Kilk turned back to the receptionist and asked a question.
”Do you also buy items here?”
”Yes, I can do that. Actually, the Spear of Shouhyou have a monopoly on purchasing in the settlement, so you can’t buy it anywhere else.”
”Okay, got it. Thank you.”
With that answer, Kilk left the Spear of Shouhyou branch. Although it would be more efficient to collect materials for sale while accepting requests to make a profit, Kilk decided to enter the forest without taking on any requests. Kilk, who had left the settlement through the south gate, continued south through the forest and heard the sound of rustling bushes ahead. Kilk instinctively hid behind a tree to observe the situation. Three creatures that looked like monkeys appeared from the bushes, looking around nervously.
(I never expected to encounter one so close to the settlement. Three male Gnons, enough to be prey…)
While observing the creatures, Kilk calculated in his head.
(Even if I surprise one of them, two would still be there. If I want to be safe, I should fight one-on-one when they notice me. But can I handle two surprises? No, it would be bad if the surprise attack fails and it becomes three against one. It’s safer to wait.)
With this idea, Kilk waited quietly for the monsters to leave without noticing him.
(Gnon’s testicles could sell for a good price, and I would have hunted them if I wasn’t alone… No, let’s not think about that.)
It’s like I’m agreeing with the man who confronted me, Kilk thought, pushing those thoughts aside.
(I’ve come this far on my own. I don’t need to rely on others now.)
Feeling confident in his solitude, Kilk held onto his sword’s handle and continued searching for prey.
It had been about an hour since Kilk had left the Spear of Shouhyou branch. Inside the branch, a man who had called out to Kilk was talking to his friends while playing with a piece of metal.
”Hmm, it’s pretty difficult to catch anything.”
”Most people here already have ”Inter-types’.’ Only the new people in the settlement don’t.”
”Speaking of new people, what do you think of the guy from earlier?”
”He had old equipment and his skills didn’t seem bad, but the problem is when he’ll come back. Well, based on my guess, it won’t be until evening—”
Just then, the door of the Spear of Shouhyou branch opened, and the men looked towards it. Kilk, who had left just an hour ago, stood there with a serious expression.
”Hey, welcome back. You’re back early.”
The man with the piece of metal was the first to talk to Kilk, and Kilk responded with a wrinkled forehead.
”…As you said, it seems I didn’t realize how much I had to carry.”
”On which try did you realize that?”
The man asked Kilk how many times he had encountered monsters. Kilk quickly understood the question, even though it was a bit unclear.
”…It was the third time.”
The man commented,
”That’s quite early. Considering the circumstances, it’s expected. You’re being cautious.”
”I’m sorry for being timid. I have been doing this alone for a long time, without any backup. So naturally, I become cautious.”
”There’s no need to be subservient. If someone gets upset by my words, becomes stubborn, and lacks the ability to handle crises while hunting alone, they’re not suitable for this job anyway. We don’t want to get involved with people like that.”
Kilk, who had expected to be mocked for being a coward, was surprised by the man’s words. He understood the true meaning behind them and looked at the man with a sharp gaze.
”Are you testing me?”
The man laughed and apologized, saying,
”Haha, sorry about that. Actually, I’m looking for someone to join me as a companion, but it’s been difficult to find someone who meets the requirements. Well, forgive me.”
As the man continued talking with a friendly smile, the iron plate shook slightly.
”So, we’re looking for friends. Have you realized that you can’t do it alone? How about joining us as a team—”
”I say no.”
”What? Why!? You understand that you can’t do it alone, right?”
”I understand that I can’t do it alone. But just because of that, there’s no reason for me to go hunting with you guys. I’ll earn enough for a place to stay and transportation by doing some temporary jobs in the settlement, and then I’ll leave the settlement.”
”Hey, really? You came all the way to this far place, and you’re not even interested in trying it at least once?”
The man sighed heavily as Kilk firmly refused. Kilk noticed his disappointment and decided to ask a question.
”Why are you so eager to find friends? Based on what I’ve seen in terms of the types and numbers of monsters living in the forest, I don’t think we would have much trouble with at least three to five people.”
”Oh, when it comes to hunting, your point is valid. We’re not really struggling with that. What we’re struggling with is something else.”
”Just so you know, listening to the story doesn’t mean I agree to join.”
”Do you get anything out of it?”
”…It depends on what it’s about.”
Happy with Kilk’s answer, the man nods as if he’s been holding the iron plate for a long time.
”We’re having trouble because of this guy.”
”What’s with that iron plate?”
”It’s called the ‘Interdimensional Magic-Adopted Item Box’ or ‘Interdimensional Type Item Box.’ Sometimes, it’s simply referred to as the ‘New Type Item Box.’ It’s a bit lengthy, so we usually just call it ‘Inter-type’ or ‘New-type.’”
The iron plate that the man had was actually a new item box. It was made using Neil’s special magic that can create things from different dimensions. At first, the box looked like a regular container. But Neil realized that it didn’t have to be shaped like a box if it was only meant to be used as a door to enter the other dimension. Also, if they made it small and portable, it would still be big and inconvenient. So, Neil tried different designs and finally settled on the current shape, which is an iron plate.
”The name of this thing is not decided yet, but it’s famous…”
”That’s okay. Nobody knows the official name anyway. And since it’s uncertain if something like this really exists, people just call it whatever they want to avoid confusion with other item boxes.”
”It just looks like a slightly thicker iron plate…”
”You’ll understand when you open it. Look.”
The man said this and gave the iron plate to Kilk, who took it carefully.
When Kilk checked if there was a part that could open, he saw a thick iron plate with two iron plates covered by a lid. He used his nail to separate the iron plates into two pieces easily. Inside, there was a dark space with cold air.
”It’s a special freezer. It’s so cold inside that anything you put in there freezes. Because of that, you can bring back meat and keep it fresh.”
Many people make a living by hunting monsters and selling their materials, but most of them never bring back meat to sell. The main reason is the distance between the city and the hunting grounds. In many cases, the places where monsters appear are far from populated areas. So, to bring raw meat back to the city without it spoiling, some kind of preservation method, like freezing it with ice magic, needs to be prepared.
This is still good, but the selling price of meat, which can only be eaten compared to the claws, skin, and internal organs that become materials for various things, is low even if you bring back the meat with difficulty from a distant hunting ground. It is much more profitable to bring back the same amount of a different material.
Hunting for meat as the main purpose is only for firms that can prepare storage and transportation methods, and most individuals leave the remaining corpses as they are after stripping only the noticeable materials from the monsters. However, the introduction of the item box using dimensional magic brings about a change.
The new item box prepared by Neil comes in three types: room temperature, refrigerated, and frozen. By using the frozen item box, it is possible to store bulky meat in a different dimension, and there is no need to hurry back due to concerns about the freshness of the meat. Now, almost everyone working in the settlement owns this new item box.
”Because of that, our job got easier, but there are problems too. We can only have one of these.”
”Are we not allowed to have more than one?”
”No, it’s not like that. The rule of having only one is not a law thing, it’s a physical thing. I don’t really get the details, but it’s about how different dimensions can’t be in the same place. When they get close, they push each other away to avoid mixing. It’s like this.”
He said that and took out the same thing from his chest as the one he gave to Kilk. When he brought it close to the new thing box that Kilk had, the two boxes pushed each other away. If they tried to bring them closer forcefully, they would be pushed with a strength based on their power.
”Well, that’s how it is. Sometimes it pushes strongly, and in some cases, it can even make you lose balance. If this happened during a fight, it could create a big weakness, so that’s why we’re limited to one each.”
”Will the same thing happen if two people with this get close?”
”Don’t worry, the creator thought about that. Just press it against your stomach, and it aligns perfectly with your torso. Just avoid hugging or carrying each other to prevent interference.”
”I get it, only one person can have it. So, the issue is having two of these single-item new boxes?”
”Yes, exactly! Try hunting while holding it. It might interfere with ‘Inter-types’ others are holding, and it could be dangerous during a hunt. But leaving it in the inn room is too careless given its price.”
Inn rooms lock from inside and can’t be locked from outside. So, when they left the room, they didn’t close the door, and they made sure to take all their important things with them, not leaving anything behind.
”How much is this?”
”Three gold coins.”
”Three gold coins!?”
Kilk was surprised by the price and almost dropped what he was holding.
”Why did you buy two of those? You didn’t realize you could only carry one after buying, did you?”
”Oh, there’s a sad story behind that—”
”Don’t start with a silly excuse! It makes me look really foolish!”
”But it’s true, isn’t it?”
”Damn it! Hey, you there, aren’t you jumping to conclusions too quickly? Well, there was this guy who bought a different type in front of me, and he turned out to be a really annoying idiot. He hastily bought the different type using all the money he had, and as a result, he couldn’t even afford food and a place to stay for that day. Unlike his foolish move, I saved money calmly…”
”But because I was too calm, I didn’t realize that I had saved enough money for two new item boxes. So, you’re asking how much I can buy with this money?”
”Well… in simple terms, that’s the gist of it!”
With a smile on his face, the man tries to deceive Kilk’s brief summary, but another man who was listening to the conversation speaks up from behind.
”You’re really foolish.”
”Shut up! Don’t talk, you borrowed money from someone when you were broke!”
”That’s what I’m saying! Instead of being stubborn and buying it right away, you should have mentioned it right there and returned one item. It’s pointless to return it now, what are you going to do, you fool!”
In front of Kilk, who looked confused as the two men started arguing, another man came up to Kilk and started talking.
”Our goal is simple. There are five of us, but there are six ‘Inter-types’ that no one can possess. He paid the money, and we haven’t been affected in any way… but it would be frustrating if we left it at the inn and someone stole it. He is our friend, and we earned the money together. So, we were looking for someone who would buy it or someone who doesn’t have an ‘Inter-type’ and would hunt with us. What do you think? Before leaving the town, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to try hunting here at least once.”
Kilk thought about the man’s suggestion for a moment. He had been mostly alone until now, and he didn’t plan on teaming up with anyone at this point. However, he didn’t mind being alone and had temporarily worked with someone before.
Since Kilk wants to earn money here, maybe he can try exploring a different place using this new item box. Kilk decides to give it a shot.
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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