10: First Time Shopping

Part 1: Vagabond Arc "Ash-crowned Princess of Slaughter" Chapter 1: The Heroine Went Against Fate

14 minutes
2623 words

I tried going to the shop that traded even with street urchins.

Combining the money the old hag was hiding and the money that woman held, I had fifteen silver coins and eight small silver coins. With the exception of the copper coins I used as weight for the weapon, I left almost half of the money with my other luggage at the campsite, so I only had seven silver coins and eight small silver coins on hand.

That shop was located in between the slums and the low-income area. I shouldn't be in much danger around these parts, but I would at times feel unpleasant gazes so I still kept my guard up.

Entering the shop I saw a meagre amount of foodstuff on the right side, some general goods on the left side and in the back an old man with a unpleasant look in his eyes glaring at me as I approached him.


"Look at what we have here, an eerie brat with an unpleasant look in his eyes."

"..."


I could say the same to you about the unpleasant eyes.

At any rate, maybe because I was erasing my presence, or else because he could smell the "scent of blood" on me, I at least wasn't chased out for being an urchin, be he seemed to be on guard against me.

"I want small blades that can be used for throwing."

"I only have the ones lined up there, if you want something else, go ask a blacksmith."

The shelf, indicated with his chin, had kitchen knives and iron blades used for dismantling lined up on it. There were smaller ones too, but they were still too heavy for me at the moment.

"Do you have Appraisal Crystals?"


My main objective for coming to this town was to procure Appraisal Crystals.

I would have to use Appraisal dozens of times to be able to learn it, but more importantly, I decided it was necessary to spend a little silver in order to understand and verify my current strength.


"Four silver coins for one."

"...That's higher than the market price."

I heard from Feld that the market price was three silver coins.

"This is that kind of shop. If you don't like it you can go buy from a decent one."

I see. So it's that kind of shop, huh.

"In that case, do you have discarded crystals?"

After I inquired about that, the shopkeeper frowned.


So you have them as expected. Apparently brand-new Appraisal Crystals were transparent and became duller and duller with each use.

Most crystals could be used for around 10 times, so what happened to the half-used Appraisal Crystals that were left behind by fallen adventurers?

Putting aside decently skilled adventurers, the adventurers who had no choice but to work all day to earn their keep would rather sell the half-used Appraisal Crystals that they occasionally picked up.

This wasn't something I thought up myself, but was instead a memory of that woman picking up crystals and selling them that came to mind when I first learned about Appraisal Crystals.

I called them discarded because you couldn't understand whether they were still usable or not without actually using them. Decent shops would not be selling these kinds of goods. So I figured that people who wanted to learn Appraisal would go to this kind of shop to buy them in bulk, and it seemed I was right.


"It's that box laying over there. The whole thing is eight silver coins, or one small silver coin apiece."

"Can I choose?"

"Do you have the money?"

"I do."

I took out a silver coin to show the shopkeeper. It didn't really make him trust me, but he told me "Suit yourself" and let me pick from the discarded crystals.

The thing with discarded appraisal crystals was that, while there were "misses" mixed in that had a little magic power remaining but were completely useless, there should also be "jackpots" that could be used more than three times.

The box contained around one-hundred discarded crystals. If I bought them all for eight silver coins and got fifty uses out of them it would be a jackpot, but since there was a possibility that every single one would be a miss if I was unlucky, there was no way I was going to take that gamble.

"..."

As expected, because there were magic particles in the air, it was impossible to feel the difference with just the faint magic power remaining in the crystals. For this reason it was considered a gamble, but I chose twenty discarded crystals from among them and lined them up on the shopkeeper's counter.

"I also wanted a sturdy shoulder bag, do you have one? To put these in."

"Don't come complaining to me if there are misses. All these crystals will be two silver coins. As for a shoulder bag, if it's that leather one it'll be eight small silver coins."

"I won't complain. Goods and prices are also fine. I'll also take a small copper canteen, this preserved food and salt, then a whetstone...and this."

"Iron skewers, huh..."


There were also three slightly thick iron skewers being sold, so I bought them.

Was this sold by a dismissed chef that stole them from his workplace? They were pitch black from all the soot clinging to them, but could it be they were made of steel?

Certainly, you had to be a chef or someone who camps out almost every day to have a use for these, but why sell them if you were going to be surprised when they were sold?

The food I bought comprised one small bag of salt, one lump of dried deer meat and one bag of dried vegetables, costing me four small silver coins.

The small copper canteen was a little expensive at seven small silver coins.

And lastly the skewers and whetstone cost two small silver coins.


"That'll be forty-one small silver coins."

"Here, four silver coins and one small silver coin."

"So you can count even though you're just a brat, huh."

Ever since I acquired money, I have been using the "knowledge" to practice calculating. I still couldn't do anything other than addition and subtraction, and I couldn't do harder calculations without writing on the ground, but I calculated the total in my head and gave it to the shopkeeper, who then muttered that under his breath while confirming the weight of the silver coins on a scale.

"What can you buy from me?"

"I'll buy anything, but don't be bringing me medicinal herbs that grow anywhere like the brats around here. Just go outside and hunt rabbits or something. If it's processed properly I'll buy it for one small silver coin."

"Understood."

Having packed my purchases into the large shoulder bag I moved to leave the shop, when suddenly the shopkeeper's voice called to my back.

"Oi, 'ash smeared'. If you want decent weapons, go to the dwarf blacksmith at the end of this street. He's an eccentric old geezer, but if you tell him that the old man from the general shop sent you, he'll make you weapons as long as you can pay."

"...Mhm."

Ash smeared...is that supposed to be me? Besides, how much of an eccentric was the dwarf to be called an eccentric by this grandpa?

And so, I walked out of the shop.


"...What?"

When I was out, I found those siblings waiting for me.

Do you still have some business with me? When I stared at them, the brother made a slightly frightened face.

"Th-that, I've thrown it away properly!"

"Mhm."

So it's about that.

"A-also...we won't tell anyone."

"Mhm."

"A-also!"

Is there something else? The boy was looking around restlessly, so the younger sister tugged on the sleeve of such older brother.

"M-my name is Gil! Remember that!"

"Mhm?"

"I'm Shuri!" Said the sister from behind her brother's back since he wouldn't continue the conversation.


What's with the sudden introductions? Do they want to know my name?

I didn't know why these siblings were approaching someone who not only threatened them, but also almost killed them, but if they didn't have any intention to do something strange, I thought it would be fine to at least tell them my name.


"I'm A..."

No, I probably shouldn't keep using my real name.

Perhaps there was someone from that orphanage who remembered my name, and it would be troublesome to become involved with the self-proclaimed relative nobles like in that so-called "otome game".

"I'm...Aria."

It's awfully sloppy, but it's better not to change it too much from my real name. When I introduced myself like that, the older brother, Gil, let out a small murmur "That's a girly name..." to which his sister, Shuri, who was still hiding behind his back, was nodding repeatedly with a flushed face.

"...?"

Why did she become red? For some reason Shuri's pupils sparkled as she gazed at me, which made me feel strangely uncomfortable.

Well, it doesn't matter. It's not like we'll know each other for long.


Afterwards, after confirming what kind of shops were in the area, I bought a smallish lump of rye bread from a stall selling bread. It was small yet heavy, so I thought it would last me for a while.

Perhaps due to being close to the slums, I felt gazes clinging to me when it became clear that I was a child that had money.

Unlike the time with that drunkard, I still wasn't ready to fight an adult that was aiming to attack me from the start. If you had money, the town seemed to be more dangerous than inside the forest.

There were a lot of necessities here, but perhaps it was a better idea to keep staying in the forest, training until I became strong enough.

"..."

Even while I was doing all that, those siblings still kept following me from a little ways behind me.

Did they want another street urchin comrade? I may have considered it if I could trust them and they could fight, but at the moment taking care of myself was the best I could do, so they had no choice but to give up.

I deliberately erased their presence, shook them off, went straight out of the town through the hidden hole and was finally able to take a breather.

Feeling more at peace in the forest than in a town made for the sake of living safely with other people...I shouldn't be at my deathbed yet, right?

Perhaps it would be fine to make a temporary base in this area, but north of here was the monster forest so there was a possibility of monsters appearing, so I thought it would be better to return to the campsite along the road, since there were fewer dangerous creatures and it also had a water source.

But I wanted to do something first before going back. I put down my shoulder bag for the time being, and took one of the discarded Appraisal Crystals from it.


I could barely feel any magic power from the half-used crystal. But my eyes were able to see the colour of the magic power leaking out from it.

I thought that these twenty Appraisal Crystals that were oozing out multiple colours strongly could surely be used three or four times each to cast Appraisal. I felt bad for the shopkeeper, but there were no idiots who would intentionally buy "misses" when they could actually tell which one were the good ones, so I asked him to let me choose.

I would have to use Appraisal dozens of times until it turned into a skill. Reading the element of this colour, I was thinking that if possible I wanted to learn Appraisal with only the crystals I had.

And so, I wished for "appraisal" while looking through the crystal once again and my status was displayed.


♢ Aria (Alicia)   Race: Human ♀

⦗Magic Power: 37/45⦘ 32Up⦗Stamina: 24/32⦘ 6Up

❮Strength: 3❯❮Endurance: 4❯❮Agility: 5❯❮Dexterity: 5❯

◄Stealth Level 1► New◄Night Vision Level 1► New

◄Magic Power Control Level 1► New◄Detection Level 1► New

◄Daily Life Magic ×6► New

◼Comprehensive Combat Strength: 23 2Up


...That's surprising. As expected, there wasn't a single combat type skill, but it wasn't like my skills didn't increase.

Most likely, by becoming able to see the element of magic particles as "colour", the magic power type skills like Stealth, Night Vision and Detection were liberated in me.

With this, if I learned the Dagger Arts skill I would look like a thief or an apprentice assassin...

The fact that my stamina value has remained low for so long was probably not due to any damage I received, but the fatigue of my current lifestyle.

I wonder if my stamina value would increase a little if I learned a close-quarters combat type skill?

My magic power value increased a lot, probably thanks to Daily Life magic and magic power type skills. Most likely, by having skills burned into your soul, the "foundation" for storing magic power increased by as much. At least this was my guess.


But it was exactly the right time for my magic power value to rise. With this I became able to increase the amount of magic power type skills I could train.

My magic power was 45. With this value I would recover four units of magic power per hour.

It was still early noon, but I ate some dried meat and a few bites of rye bread I had cut with my knife, then I put all my luggage on my back and started my move while diligently practising Body Strengthening.

My luggage was heavy as expected, but I somehow managed to get back to the campsite in approximately the same amount of time it took me to arrive to the town before.

I...am growing little by little.

Author's Note

The name that the protagonist will normally use from now on has become "Aria".


The old man is not a virtuous person, but he is not an evil person either.

But he has not just unpleasant eyes, but an unpleasant mouth too. (LOL)


The value of the coins is calculated approximately in this way.

Large gold coin: 1,000,000 yen.

Gold coin: 100,000 yen.

Silver coin: 10,000 yen.

Small silver coin: 1000 yen.

Copper coin: 100 yen.


One loaf of rye bread: 1 copper coin.

A meal from a stall: 3-5 copper coins.

A meal from an inn: from 4 copper coins to 1 small silver coin.

Staying one night at an inn: 2-5 small silver coins (3 on average).


Next time: Starting to train sorcery back in the forest.

Differences when compared to the light novel

Legend:

  • [+] Something that was added in the light novel.
  • [–] Something that didn't make it into the light novel.
  • [≠] Some difference in details.
Show differences
  • [–] The shopkeeper saying the final price. In the web novel Alicia just confirms the price while in the light novel she's the first one to bring it up.
  • [+] Specifying that "I wouldn’t be able to recognize myself" if her name was too different.
  • [–] Her thought about feeling more at peace in the forest.