It was now the second day in Marsfield.
Maria told the girls that she would be absent most of the day due to negotiations with Marsfield’s Merchant Guild. Since Nicole and the five muscle brothers would be joining her, this would be free time for Ellis’s group to spend together. Maria invited them to join her for dinner, so they just had to return to the inn before then.
As they had talked about before leaving Warren, the girls would travel around Marsfield shopping.
“Let’s enjoy breakfast in the city as a change of pace.”
Following Ellis’s proposal, the group left their inn in the early morning to enjoy the tastes that Marsfield had to offer.
Ellis ordered a cold drink called ‘starch ball milk.’¹
This is a dish that is fun to eat with its chilled bubble-like beads that can be chewed and release an explosion of flavor at different times.
I will order this and drink it immediately.
“Hah, it’s fun.”
At the moment when she carried up a transparent color bead on her spoon with her milk, Reeve looked greatly surprised.
“Is it something like that?”
Frau was seriously trying to guess the ingredients of the mixture.
“The milk is also really sweet and tasty.”
Claire liked the milk which melted lightly in the mouth.
Katie also seemed to be enjoying it, but she was content to not give out a detailed impression.²
Reeve ordered a salad consisting of cold, leafy vegetables and thinly sliced meat.
The vegetables were fresh and chilled to perfection while the meat was fragrant with a slightly pink center and added to the meal perfectly. The softness of the meat was probably the most surprising thing about the dish.
“Meat can be delicious even when it is cold.”
The four others nodded to Reeve’s words while finishing off the rest of the salad.
Frau was a little more adventurous and ordered a cold pasta with fish pickled in oil.
“Oh, it’s surprisingly refreshing and tasty.”
The body of the fish that was soaked in oil was not sticky, and while it tangled well with the pasta, it fell apart in your mouth.
“The oil itself tastes delicious.”
Katie was an especially big fan of the oil pickled fish.
Claire ordered an orthodox cream pancake.
However, surprisingly, it was not butter but actual frozen cream that was attached to the pancake. In other words, it was a combination of a warm pancake and cold ice cream. It was very popular not only with Claire but everyone else as well, and everyone ordered seconds.
Claire alone decided to try it with frozen jam instead of the ice cream. This was also very tasty as the frozen jam slowly thawed and soaked into the pancake as time passed.
Katie ordered a straight boiled chicken.
This was a dish that minced the chicken, mixed it with some vegetables, and had its own special sauce. The chicken itself was crisp, but the sweet and sour sauce poured over top added its own flavor and complimented the vegetables well.
By the way, this dish was also cold.
“They are all cold dishes.”
As usual, Frau provided the explanation for Ellis’s inquiry.
“There are many ice monsters in the dungeons around Marsfield, so this city gets plenty of Cooling stones from those slain monsters. Using them, the Marsfield Merchant Guild made ‘cold dishes’ the specialty of Marsfield.”
“I want Warren to have a specialty too.”
This was Claire’s impression.
Everyone at the table tried to remember something that could be counted as Warren’s specialty, but they could not come up with anything in particular.
“We must learn from Marsfield,” Ellis sighed. Everyone else agreed, but in reality Ellis and the others were completely oblivious to the real situation.
Already they themselves and their facility had become the specialty of Warren.
After filling their stomachs, the group went around to the armor and weapon stores around the city.
The first thing Reeve picked up was a slender saber that had a light blue sheath.
This was another one of the so-called rare color.
Reeve tried pulling the saber from its sheath to take a look at the blade. The handle was a calm gold color, and the blade had a slightly bluish tint inside the silver that shined dully.
“Yes, this is fine.”
While taking a few practice swings with her right hand, Reeve nodded after finding that the balance suited her.
“If you wave around such a beautiful sword, the members of your fan club will be pleased.”
Reeve felt a little embarrassed to Ellis’s light jab.
“I do not care about the fan club … … Miss, can I ask you to copy later?”
Ellis nodded with a bemused smile as Reeve asked her with pleading eyes.
The price of the saber was 2 million ril. A fair price for a sword that has no magic power in it.
Next is the armor store.
Frau has put on a half-plate armor for women that shines with a slight pale color, and she takes out her minotaur maul in worry that the two slightly different shades of red might clash.
The half-plate armor’s peach color is not painted; it is a rare color that was imparted to the metal during the molding. So when you adjust the angle of the armor or move around in it, a variety of textures and color could be seen. The color itself was slightly brighter than the maul, and if you were to wear the armor while raising the maul up, it would definitely shine.
“Hey Ellis, what do you think about this?”
In a way, it is a ceremonial question when going clothes, er, armor shopping.
No matter how much of a hikineet Eiji was in the past, Ellis had enough common sense to know that any negative words were absolutely no good.
“You should buy it. It suits you!”
Ellis gently pushed Frau’s back towards the store clerk.
The price was 3 million ril. Another fair price.
Because there was nothing that especially stood out for Ellis, Claire, or Katie, shopping at weapons/armor shops finished with this. Next were the stalls lining the city streets. Even at these stalls they may find some magic tools, although only a few.
This time Ellis picked out some old sandals and a small brooch. It was much cheaper than items at the shops at 2000 ril and 1500 ril each.
Earth sandals — Damage reduction 2. The opponent’s attack will not topple you over. Required MP: 0. Autonomous type.
Magic Guard brooch — Magical damage reduction 5. Required MP: 0. Autonomous type.
Claire was surprised by the effect of Magic Guard. That was because if you combined the effect of Magic Guard with Resistance, then 15 magic damage will be reduced. This would nullify most intermediate magic.
On the other hand Frau was impressed with the second ability of Earth.
“The fact that an opponent’s attack can’t knock us over will be really useful.”
Frau does a devastating amount of damage, but she is not as fast as Reeve or Katie, so she relies on delivering one, solid hit. With this ability, she can eliminate one of the things that could prevent her from performing that one hit and deal with more enemies.
On the other hand, for other members, the Earth ability isn’t really needed as taking an attack from an enemy is already a scary thing in and of itself. Nonetheless, because Earth can be copied to footwear, and there wasn’t any downside to having it, Ellis copied the ability to everyone’s footwear.
As for Magic Guard, it could only be copied to other jewelry, so Ellis took everyone straight to the luxury jewelry shop to have everyone pick out their own brooch. As a result, each got to buy a brooch with their favorite gem embedded in it.
Ellis picked out a golden tiger’s eye stone.
Reeve’s was a kyanite.
Frau chose a scarlet garnet.
Claire grabbed a dark obsidian.
Katie went straight for a white moonstone.
The total price was 2.5 million ril in all.
After picking out some jewelry, the girls got in the mood to go try out Marsfield’s dress shop. Apart from the evening dresses that everyone wore to the theater yesterday, everyone hoped to pick out a matching dress.
“This is nice.”
Frau was eyeing a luxury pret-a-porter long dress with a band shaped cloth wrapping around the upper body. It was a design that had two silk strips spread the pleats of the dress from the chest to the shoulder and then crossed on the back and connected to the waist. The skirt was a basic design that draped down to the feet.
“The brooch I purchased earlier would go so well with it.”
The brooch would definitely stand out in a good way if placed on the chest of the dress.
Then a woman who seemed to be the shopkeeper came over to give some advice.
“Since we have a variety of sizes and colors, would you like to pick out a dress with a specific color? For example, since you already have those lovely brooches, how about choosing a dress with a contemporary color to those jewels.”
Ellis decided to take the owner’s advice and each of them chose out a dress with a color opposite of their normal color.
Ellis’s tiger’s eye went along with a purple-blue dress.
Reeve’s kyanite was paired with a light-orange.
Frau’s garnet went well with an emerald green dress.
Claire’s obsidian meant she would wear an ivory white dress.
Katie’s moonstone was put with a darker grey dress.
Each girl tried on their dresses along with their brooches, and each one was surprised at just how well the shopkeeper’s advice went. Each brooch matched the color of their hair, and the combination of the brooch and hair made the dresses stand out all the more.
Even though all the dresses had the same design, the gold and black girls ended up looking adorable. The blue girl was challenging and chic while the red girl was elegant and looked like she had finesse, and the white girl looked fierce with a beastly charm.
Affected by their beauty, the shopkeeper pleaded with them to buy the dresses. “Customers, we will sell them cheap, so please buy them.”
Since the fixed price of 200 thousand ril was discounted down to 100 thousand ril, the total amount spent was 500 thousand ril.
While the other four were changing clothes in the fitting room, Ellis whispered into the shopkeeper’s ear.
“Did you learn their sizes when they changed into the dresses?”
The shopkeeper curiously nodded her head.
“Well then, please make an outfit with this design for each of us.”
The store owner took a look at a design that Ellis had sketched previously and smiled.
“Is this your hobby?”
“They’re stage clothes.”
And just like that, an extra 250 thousand ril was spent.
Since it would be fine to just have a late lunch at a stall, the girls next started touring the grocery stores with Frau. The first thing she ended up buying was a portion of starch balls that had been inside the drink that Ellis had ordered earlier. Claire was the next one to shout out.
“Hey! Ellis! This!”
When Ellis turned to what she was pointing at, she saw a sign that read, “Ice cream.” It was a tool that could make ice cream, and since it had a Cooling stone inside, it was a reasonable 800 thousand ril.
Claire looked at Ellis and the ice cream machine alternately. After a few more seconds, Ellis thought that holes would be bored into both of them.
Ellis could only sigh before Claire’s pleading eyes.
“Claire. Is there something you want to say to me?”
“Ellis. Let’s buy this.”
She really isn’t giving a second option.
“I think it’s necessary, so we should buy it.”
The second that Ellis had given her approval, Claire immediately ran to the store clerk.
In the end, the five ladies had spent a total of 10 million ril shopping that day.
“Miss, is your wallet okay?”
A trait cultivated from her time as a fallen aristocrat, Reeve looked worried about the excessive spending, but Katie waved off her worries.
“We can easily recover this by running ten laps through Wight Labyrinth.”
While everyone, including Reeve, laughed at Katie’s joke, they finally arrived at Claire’s requested destination, the large clock tower.
When you come near, you can see a large timepiece embedded into the top of a tower. Claire immediately ran up to it, and stared up at the timepiece from the base of the tower.
Apparently there seems to be a concept of time in this world. It was Ellis’s first time ever running into a timepiece since Eiji’s death. The length of an hour in this world is the same, but there are no smaller increments. At best there would be people who would say in half an hour as a guide. In other words, at best people would live their lives half an hour at a time.
The large clock only has one hand on its face. The hand will make one full revolution every day. When the sun is at its peak, the hand will point to heaven, and at midnight, it will point down to the earth.
Ellis-Eiji unexpectedly enjoyed this slow passage of time. She vowed to continue to enjoy it from now on.
“Let’s go home with that.”
While looking at the time listed on the clock, Ellis realized it was about time to meet with Maria.
“What about the beastkin district?”
“Sorry. We are out of time.”
“Nya … … … …”
Seeing Katie’s downtrodden expression, Ellis made another vow to visit the beastkin district with her sometime in the future.
After everyone returned to the inn: they all took a shower, put on the matching dresses they had just bought, and waited for Maria’s pickup. It was only after a short while that a knock sounded on their door the same as the night before.
“Is everyone ready ……..”
Nicole’s words got clogged in his mouth as he walked in the door and saw the beauty before him. It really is the same as the night before.
When Nicole led everyone into the lobby, this time it was Ellis’s turn to have her breath stolen from surprise.
The muscle brothers were there waiting for them, but instead of their usual loincloths, they were all dressed in jet-black tuxedos. Their appearance was a combination of elegance and a certain ruggedness that could only be pulled off from the bulging muscles filling out a full tux.
Ichiro took a step forward as the representative of the group, and he laughed bemusedly at the shocked and awed faces that everyone else was giving to the unusual sight before them.
“Of course even we have common sense of dress code.”
Goro also started to laugh graciously.
“We always emphasize functional beauty. Of course, there are always those shops that do not truly understand functional beauty, so it becomes impossible to enter with our usual attire. In such a situation, we will wear the appropriate clothing in order to eat.”
The loincloth is functional beauty. What dishonor is this?
As Ellis and the others talk amongst each other, Maria alternately compares the members of Warren’s Jewelry Box and the Muscle Brothers.
And she seemed to have come up with a sort of plan. She called over Ellis and Ichiro, and she whispered into both of their ears.
“How about 5 million ril per person?”
Since they were both living on a temporary income, the leader of the super gays and the leader of the super lesbians both nodded in a business-like manner.³
The party arrived at the same high-class restaurant that they had had dinner at the night before with Duke Marsfield.
When they entered, Nicole escorted Maria through door as a companion. It was a normal sight to see at a restaurant like this, but that was where the normalcy ended. All conversations occurring inside the restaurant became hushed as the next group entered.
Ichiro entered the dining hall shortly after Maria, lightly carrying Ellis in his arms.
Jiro stood side by side with Reeve, and they made a dashing duo.
Saburo continued the line while walking hand-in-hand with Claire.
Shiro was also holding Katie’s hand when they made their entrance.
Goro finished the line while walking arm-in-arm with Frau.
No one could look away from the beautiful sight of five burly and fearless men escorting in five beautiful maidens. While everyone admired their beautiful appearance, someone somewhere muttered,
“Warren’s Jewelry Box…..”
In this way, they quickly gained control of the restaurant. Naturally, none of the customers nor the clerks knew that this atmosphere was created despite every single one of the ten being gay.
Everyone’s attention was eventually drawn to Maria, who had led them in. Maria enjoyed the gazes for a moment before laughing to the group behind her.
“Ohohohohoho. Well everyone, let’s eat.”
Ten people answer in unison to Maria’s command. The other guests were stunned by such a sight, and throughout the night, everyone kept stealing glances toward Maria. Naturally, the question of, “who is that woman?” kept being raised in the surroundings.
“Warren’s Merchant Guild…..”
“She visited for some negotiations…….”
“Wasn’t she selling something called a toilet and shower for your house?”
While listening to the talk spread around her, Maria took a sip of her wine with a smile. She was grateful to Marsfield’s finest restaurant. Truly a gathering place for the wealthy and successful. With this, the objective of introducing the Claire-Flint brand to the rich in Marsfield had been completed perfectly.
Truly a merchant who understands how to use the resources you have on hand.
At the same time, an event was taking place in the alleys of the beastkin district.
“Even though it takes time to do such a thing, can’t we just take it with brute force?”
“I don’t want to draw any unneeded attention right now. It is better if we obtain it through the proper legal means.”
Now, the bad guys have started to make their move.
1. I had to look this up myself. starch balls are the pearls you get when you have bubble tea.
2. This is why we like Katie. She makes things easy.
3. God this sounds so weird in English. For the record, in Japanese it is gachihomo and gachilezu.