Alternative name for this chapter: Exposition
Basic Knowledge of Appraisal
It sounded in the mansion immediately after dawn.
Three people who were peacefully asleep in other rooms jumped up as Claire’s declaration echoed through the house.
Ellis groggily looked up from where she slept and peered out the wooden window, but no matter how hard she looked, there was no indication that it had become daytime.
Wow. I didn’t know the sun could be this dim.
Then Ellis noticed where she was. Certainly last night she had fallen asleep while Reeve was giving her a lap pillow, so why was she sleeping in a bed?
“Good morning, Mistress.” When Ellis turned toward the voice, she found that Reeve was lying in bed next to her.
“Did you carry me to bed?” As Reeve nodded, Ellis began to become slightly more awake and aware of her surroundings.
Hm? Why is Reeve naked?
Huh? For some reason, my whole body feels cold.
Somehow I am also naked damn it.
“Mistress, your pajamas fell off.”
What a satisfying expression so early in the morning.
By the way, why are you also naked?
“Rather than them falling off, are you sure you did not take them off?”
“You shouldn’t mind the fine details like that, Mistress.”
…..I can’t accept this.
Ellis regretted her carelessness last night and decided to make the highest priority for tonight to be forcing Reeve to cry until morning.
Ellis threw on her pajamas and jumped out of Reeve’s room. Claire was waiting in the dining room with her drawing spread out on the table.
“Ellis, morning! I have finished the modified design for the bathhouse!”
Apparently Claire was okay with whatever room Ellis jumps out of.
“Okay Claire, so please calm down a bit…Let’s have some fruit and morning tea first.”
At Ellis’s recommendation, Frau jumped up and began preparing tea while instructing Claire to move her design from the dining room table to the one in the living room. This was a consideration as she did not want to defile Claire’s design with food.
Then Reeve finally came out of her room as well and entered the dining room as if nothing had happened.
“Good morning Claire, Ellis.”
Reeve looks weary this morning.
While sipping awakening herbal tea with four people, Ellis was seriously examining the design Claire had laid out. It was a perfectly balanced blueprint that incorporated all the ideas and suggestions they had talked about the previous night.
Regarding the waterway construction, design ideas had evolved from what Ellis had originally suggested. The branch point between the stream and the waterway had been designed to to take water from the center of the stream to avoid contamination as much as possible. She had also incorporated partitions to eliminate any foreign substances. The long drainage route to the wetlands had several deep holes added in to increase the purifying process, and there was now a main kettlehouse to help disguise the fuel source as firewood.
Two bathtubs are prepared. A large bathtub is prepared on the side of Ellis’ s mansion and an elongated bathtub is arranged on the other side. The elongated bathtub is meant to act as the kakeyu(かけ湯) and is where the customers would shampoo their hair etc. It is meant to be the “washroom” and is where they will douse themselves with hot water. Since the hot water here will contain perfume oil and dirt, it is sent directly to the drainage groove.
The other large bathtub is the tsukariyu(浸かり湯) where the customers will soak after cleaning themselves. The bathtub has a two step structure creating a shallow area and a deep area. This way people can enjoy a half bath or a full bath depending on their preferences. If you can make this, then the bathtub should be able to fit 20 people rather than just ten.
The warm water which is spilled out from the tsukariyu will flow into the waterway for the toilet. Furthermore, there is a thin waterway that branches from the heated portion of the main waterway thus allowing a sink to be made so people can wash their hands after using the toilet.
The toilets are arranged by family and bath. The toilets themselves are right next to each other, but the one for the customers is only accessible from the bathhouse while the one for family can only be accessed from the mansion. With this, both toilets were separated by a wall.
The reception counter was installed on the left side of the entrance, and it has space for small items to be put on display on the countertop and on inner shelves. Moreover, there is a door behind the counter that leads to an area between the bathhouse and mansion where inventory of items is possible. The changing rooms are to the right of the entrance, and it is made so that the receptionist behind the counter can overlook it for security reasons. The changing room has 30 lockers with simple wooden locks to keep one’s personal possessions secure. Between the changing room and the bathrooms, a resting place has been designated for people to calm their bodies after they are finished bathing.
The building itself will be made of stone and wood, and Claire’s design will make it possible to balance the looks of luxury along with humidity control.
Claire smiled shyly while scratching her head as Ellis praised her on everyone’s behalf.
“If it’s like this, we should be able to turn in the design for estimates as soon as today!”
Then Reeve asks a simple question.
“By the way, what are you going to use for light?”
It would be pitch dark in there.
If it is a bathhouse, there will be moisture and ordinary lamps cannot be used. If we use something like torches, the smoke will smear and ruin the precious scent.
Claire was quick to despair. “I had not thought about that!”
But Frau put her hand on Claire’s shoulder and calmed her down. “There is no problem as long as we prepare some Luminescent stones.” Frau turned to Ellis and winked. “Luminescent stones are magic tools that are similar to Fever stones. As long as we get one, it won’t be a problem after that.”
“Thank you, Frau.”
Ellis was once again impressed. To Reeve’s insight which noticed the problem of lighting to Frau’s calmness and knowledge which easily found a solution to the problem.
I also have to push Claire’s back here.
“Claire, do not worry about the problem of the lights. Let’s just ask the boss to make an estimate on this design first.”
The four people quickly finished the breakfast prepared by Frau, and they headed towards Claire’s workshop.
Ellis, however, received an unexpected response when they got there.
Firstly, spreading the design out, the master glanced at the drawing for a brief moment before turning on Claire with a furious momentum.
“Claire, you. What are you thinking!?”
The boss’s sudden reprimand caused Claire to shrink back, and her brain began to race as the boss continued to angrily rant at her.
Ellis and the others were puzzled in spite of being pushed back by the boss’s threatening demeanor.
After a moment the boss began to take several deep breaths to regain his calmness before once again turning to Ellis.
“Little Miss, do you have any idea how much this would cost?”
Claire’s master began talking as if Ellis was about to do something stupid.
“It is certainly important to dream, but taking actions that do not take reality into account are just idiotic and meaningless.”
Apparently the boss had already completed an estimate based on the assumption that they would be building a structure based on the first design he was shown. A bath space only big enough for Ellis and her family with a simple waterway.
So that’s it.
Ellis smiled and tried to act as innocent as possible to the boss who was trying to remain calm but whose face was still beet red.
“Is 50 million ril not enough, boss?”
This time the boss’s face became blank.
“Wait a moment, if it’s the first drawing, construction would cost 2 million ril at most!”
“But the budget is 50 million ril.”
The boss reexamined the drawing given to him by Claire once again and mentally calculates the approximate cost once again. However, basic doubts remained on his mind.
“Is it really possible for you to pay for this?”
The creditworthy Frau decided to take over the explanation for Ellis here.
“We will first issue the initial 25 million ril through the Adventurer guild exchange. Would you like us to pay the remaining 25 million ril after construction through the same exchange?
The adventurer guild exchange is a certificate issued by the guild that lists the amount of money an adventurer has deposited into the guild for safe keeping. Its creditworthiness is high. When issuing a credit exchange order, the guild will freeze the account making it impossible for even the adventurer themselves to withdraw money. On the other hand, the adventurer guild exchange has a validity period stated, and it will become invalid if it is not turned in with that period. A final confirmation is done with the signature of an adventurer guild employee and the amount of money agreed upon is transferred from the adventurer’s account to the account of the new principal. When someone says that they will pay with the exchange, it is already a safe transaction, but this time the customer is the daughter of the adventurer guild master himself. It can be said that there is no further guarantee.
“I understand. I’ll fully calculate the estimate, so can you come tomorrow, Frau? Claire, walk me through this design.”
Everyone besides Claire then left the workshop with a cold sweat traveling down their backs.
Ellis starts talking without thinking. “What shall we do today?”
“By the way, why are all the magic tools Mistress finds at stalls small items? Even for weapons and armor she only finds daggers and needles.”
Frau explained with a knowing face.
“It’s because appraisal is expensive.”
For any appraisal, the first step is to make a judgement about whether an item has an ability in the first place. This is done by sensing the item’s magical power. Any item that has magical power is some sort of magic tool. Then you discover the item’s ability with [Analysis].
[Analysis] is a type of enchantment magic that can be learned by magicians or even experienced merchants with a keen sense for items. However, spiritual concentration and a certain amount of time are necessary to be able to sense the magical power. Unlike Ellis’s [Sense Item], it takes training and intuition.
[Analysis] is a pure magic that cannot be learned. It is something that is acquired through experience and a little luck. It takes 5 MP to cast, and since an ordinary person has 10 MP on average, it is a spell that can only be cast once a day.
“To tell you the truth, I can also use analysis.” Frau says. When Ellis picked up the Ice ring, and when they found the Sleep ring in Aida’s labyrinth, she had actually cast [Analysis] to see what Ellis saw. “If I wasn’t able to cast [Analysis], I wouldn’t have been allowed to become a receptionist at the guild. But, I am only able to use the spell once a day, so I am no substitute for Ellis.”
As you can see, it takes a certain amount of time to detect magical power, and [Analysis] can’t be used that often. When an adventurer wants to confirm the state of an item, it costs 10 thousand ril to have the item checked for magic power, and it costs 50 thousand ril to have [Analysis] used on it which means confirming a magic tool’s state would cost 60 thousand rils. So in the case where an item would be sold for less than 60 thousand ril such as most rings and props, it would become a huge deficit even if the item is a magic tool, so unless an item is from a boss room or a superior dungeon, they’ll usually sell it as is.
Items the adventurer guild buys do get checked for magic power eventually, but it takes time. The adventurer guild also makes money by selling a lot of the excess equipment to street vendors, especially items that were found in low rank dungeons. This is one reason why big ticket items sometimes find their way into stalls.
Another reason why Ellis can discover such bargains is because of the clearance of inventory from fallen aristocrats. Here a lot of goods are thrown out together, and even items that were appraised before can end up mixed in. Unidentified items would certainly find their way in there as well.
Big items like weapons and accessories are sold at reasonable prices no matter what, and when adventurers buy them, they will most certainly ask for them to be appraised. If these weapons aren’t a magic tool, then it only cost a little extra money, but if it is one, then that’s their profit. Even if they weren’t appraised, they would still be sold off to the adventurer guild or weapon and armor shops rather than street stalls.
“Hmm. Then let’s check out a luxury weapons shop and a high-end armor shop.”
At Ellis’s recommendation, the three decided to spend their time window shopping.
First was the luxury weapons shop.
Ellis looked around and noticed that many of the items on the walls were glowing lightly. They took a look at a longsword hanging near the store’s entrance first.
Flying Swallow longsword: 10 million ril
Ellis rubbed both of her eyes and then counted the number of zeroes again.
Ten, Hundred, Thousand, Million……..
So many zeroes.
Inhalation short sword: 50 million ril
Ellis’s was happy to see that Reeve and Frau were also having trouble believing the prices attached to these weapons. As all three of them were caught in an endless loop of rubbing their eyes and recounting zeroes, the store clerk came over.
“Lady Frau, are you looking for something?”
Apparently the clerk knows Frau. As the daughter of the store’s largest supplier, it is probably only natural.
Ellis thought of it as a good opportunity, so she used her childish body to drop the clerk’s guard and have all her doubts erased.
“How much is a Flying swallow dagger?”
The clerk smiled and talked down to Ellis with a tone someone would reserve for speaking with children.
“Flying swallow’s ability allows a weapon to deal double damage, so the more damage a weapon can deal, the more expensive it would be. A dagger would be worth about a million ril. On the other hand, if it’s something like a Minotaur’s mace the price would go up to 20 million ril.”
“For Inhalation as well?”
“Any damage-dependent weapons tend to have that rule.”
“Are there weapons that aren’t damage-dependent types?”
The clerk was completely caught up in the little girl’s flow.
“There are critical type weapons and special attack types, both of which depend on the ability.”
Once they had left the store, Ellis began bouncing ideas off of Frau.
“If you pick up a mace from the Minotaur’s labyrinth and it has the Flying Swallow ability on it, is it a really rare thing?”
“Yes. Since their appearance has happened before, you could justify finding one, but it is a super rare thing to find, and the adventurer guild would take great interest in it.”
“What about Inhalation then?”
Here, Frau shook her head.
“Inhalation is difficult since there aren’t any labyrinths around here that drop items with that ability in the first place.”
It seems that that Inhalation short sword was purchased from some other city.
Next was the high-grade armor store.
There was nothing interesting here. Most of the abilities were damage reduction or special attack ineffective. Damage reduction is not very meaningful for Frau right now since she just heals any damage with one swing of her morning star, and Reeve doesn’t take any damage in the first place. With that, Ellis judged that it was not necessary at this time to raise the level of their armor.
As the three people left the armor store and decided to start making their way home, a horse passed them by.
What is that?
“Hey Frau, what was that monster that looked like a straw horse from earlier?”
“That was a Magical horse. It is a horse magic tool that runs on magic power instead of food.”
“Is it expensive?”
“It is 1 million ril? It is convenient to carry goods, but it uses up a lot of MP. It’s a tool that is sometimes dropped from a demon horse called a Sleipnir.”
I heard something good.
“That horse, it would be convenient if everyone had one.”
Frau and Reeve noticed Ellis’s point.
There is a girl in front of them who has infinite MP.
“If everyone has one, our range of actions will become wide.” Reeve smiles.
“I guess our work up to the completion of the bathhouse has been decided.” Frau also smiles.
So it has been decided to intensively hunt cattle and horses until the bath was completed.
And the next day.
Two people with very good skin condition and Ellis head back to the workshop to meet with Claire.
“We’re back.” Frau called out as they entered through the front door, and they were greeted by an exhausted Claire and boss. Looking under their hunched over bodies, it seems that they had carried on their calculations and plans throughout the night.
“Oh, I just finished accumulating.” The boss groggily responded to the three’s presence.
“I’m a professional, so I will not cheat on the construction contents or the expenses. If we do the usual construction according to the blueprint, it will cost 40 million ril, and it will take 45 days to finish building.”
Before Ellis could object, Claire moved forward and covered her mouth urging her to listen.
“We can prioritize our tiles for the waterways, and we can separately create the bathtub related facilities at the workshop. If we do that, we can shorten the construction time to 30 days, but it will end up costing 50 million ril.”
Ellis responded immediately. “We will pay the 50 million.”
Frau jumped in. “We will prepare the currency exchange from the adventurer guild and deliver it today.”
The boss nodded. “Claire, you will be the on-site manager and civil engineer starting tomorrow.”
Thus the contract was completed.
Construction begins tomorrow!