In Warren, the preparations for the harvest festival had begun in full swing.
The agenda for today’s Warren Council meeting was about confirming the harvest festival’s schedule and dividing the duties between the guilds.
Of course, even though it’s a ‘harvest festival,’ it’s not like this is an event to celebrate Warren’s harvest.
Since Warren is an autonomous trade city, it does not produce any crops of its own. As a matter of fact, the production of crops is prohibited by Warren in the first place.
This is because if Warren permitted the production of agricultural crops, the base price of living would change, throwing off the market price guidelines that all stores have to follow when starting up a store.¹
With that being the case, the main purpose of the harvest festival is meant to be to provide a place where the various neighboring cities and villages can compete with the quality and quantity of their own harvests. A large amount of food gets traded and sold this time of year at a higher price than what they would usually get.
Therefore the stage for this event became Warren’s harvest festival. As a trade city that didn’t produce its own food, it provided the perfect neutral location.
During the festival, various stands would be lined up throughout the city displaying their crops.
The buyers and sellers of these crops naturally gather here, but the event also brings in a large number of tourists and people who are interested in Warren’s goods and services.
Warren street vendors aim for these tourists, and they always try to bring out their most expensive and impressive goods during this period.
The length of the festival is seven days.
During this period, in addition to the already existing accommodation facilities in Warren, temporary camp housing is set up in residential areas, simple tents stretch out in the suburbs, temporary hostels are built in the plaza, etc. etc.
The biggest event of the harvest festival is the auction which is held on the last day.
The inventory for all the items put on sale are advertised the day before the festival begins meaning there is an eight day gap between when people see the items, and when they are sold.
For all the participating cities in Warren’s harvest festival, the furthest one away takes eight days to reach by carriage.
In other words, there is just enough time for any spoiled princes or rich nobles who found some stupid, fancy commodity to send someone back with a fast horse and grab some extra money.
In the auction, only cash and guild exchange notes from the Merchant Guild and Adventurer Guild can be used.
Payment with jewelry or bartering is impossible. Obviously credit is also out of the question.
For the Warren merchant guild, 10 percent of the winning bid is given as income, so they decided to extend length of the festival in order to maximize the profits and take as much money from those rich guests as possible.
The requirement of ‘cash only’ settlements and immediate purchase is to prevent the winning bidder from reneging from their purchase.
All purchases are non-returnable.
During the harvest festival, the Adventurer Guild and Workshop Guild are basically closed. The Adventurer Guild exchange is temporarily adjoined to the merchant’s guild to still allow people to withdraw their money.
Public security of the city during the harvest festival is done through vigilantism from adventurers while the Thieve’s Guild watches things from the shadows.
However, they are only here to crack down on violence.
It is the city’s stance that loose pockets are beneficial during the harvest festival.
In such a point, the harvest festival is also known as the ‘Harvest Festival of Cat Burglars and Pickpockets.’
The Thieve’s Guild’s main objective is to catch the rats who scurry around without greeting them first.
The security work is more of a side job, and the members of the Thieve’s Guild acted more as messengers while the more overreaching security work is handled by the regular Warren residents.
During the festival period, stalls will be gathered in the central square to provide food.
Since an application must be made to the Merchant Guild at least 30 days in advance, the merchants from every city visit Warren beforehand and receive a list of the food served in Warren.
After examining the applications, the Merchant Guild decides where to place each store, and they post everyone’s positions and their scheduled sales items at the city square 10 days before.
Another one of Warren’s residents’ enjoyments is to pull up a schedule for eating tours during the festival.
During the council meeting this time, the following items were newly decided.
The men’s bathhouse Master’s Hideaway and the women’s private bath Lily Garden along with their incidental facilities would be suspended during the day. Instead, they would allow business from sunset to the morning.
The daytime business will be built and handled by the owners of the two bathhouses Warren’s Jewelry Box and the Merchant Guild. It will be a small, open-air shop.
It is a lovely street venue that is perfect for squeezing out money from gullible tourists during the day and at night.
The ‘business guarantee’ is quite the nominal thing.
As Warren’s Jewelry Box had to run a shop anyway, the Merchant Guild’s offer was good, and they were more than happy to use them.
In addition, this time the Workshop Guild has doubled as a high-class toilet and shower trade fair. It also set up chargeable toilet and shower facilities at each of the open-air bathhouses.
Although it annoyed Ellis that she would be cut off from her private nightly baths, it couldn’t be helped since she had no voting rights with the council. Since the guild masters were going to be handling all the extra work and she was sure that she would be having more than enough fun with everything else though, she decided it was fine.
After the meeting ended.
Baltis and Theseus stopped Ellis before she could return to the mansion.
“Well, I have evaluated the Resistance plate armor at around 300 million ril. I decided to put it up for auction at the Thieve’s Guild.”
The plate armor will be put on display as an item from the Thieve’s Guild, and its source will be kept secret.
“The Thieve’s Guild will take 50 percent of the winning bid, and we will put out an exemption for Katie’s membership fee.”
The would come out to at least 150 million ril which is a 30 million ril split per person.
Its a good idea to not be too greedy.
Ellis gave the two a smile and nodded in satisfaction.
“It will be the highlight of this year’s auction, that’s for sure.”
Then Flint called out.
The Workshop Guild had already set up a special stage in the city square for any special events that might be held during the festival.
“Are you girls planning something again?”
“Will you be paying us?”
“Your payment will be the money the audience throws at you.”
“You’re sure money will come flying?”
“Bet my life on it.”
The two began to make plans while smiling as if they were friends who had known each other for a century.
When she returned to the mansion, Ellis immediately relayed the plans for the festival to the other four.
“Although setting up the shops will be nice, it will be difficult to run everything with just five people.”
Frau naturally voiced Ellis’s worries.
“Since I already arranged for a couple people to handle things, we only have to take care of the preparations and the opening.”
“Who did you ask?”
Ellis answered Reeve’s question.²
“That’s nice.” Claire seemed convinced.
“I’ll ask Helen and Karen too nya.”
Katie decided to rope in the replacement Adventurer’s and Thieve’s Guilds receptionists as well.
“By the way, what kind of items are usually exhibited for the auction?”
Frau answered Ellis’s question.
It seems that the auction mainly consists of antiques.
weapons and armor can be sold, but in those cases the starting price is 10 percent more than what a store would be selling it for.
For example, if you were to take the Flying Swallow long sword, the basic selling price is 10 million ril, so its starting price at the auction would be 11 million ril.
Since the store would buy it from the adventurer for 4 to 5 million ril, the seller makes a profit if bidding is made, but it doesn’t make sense from the buyer’s point of view to get it at a price higher than what the store would be selling it.
As a result, only weapons with rare colors, special features, or those with extreme performance will be sent up.
“What about a great sword?”
An ordinary great sword without any magical abilities was picked up when everyone had explored Wight labyrinth the other day, but because the usability was bad for them, it was stowed away in Ellis’s shoulder bag.
“I don’t think the store has anything that big, so if you copy Flying Swallow or Purification onto it, it might sell really well.”
“Then let’s try it with Flying Swallow and see how it goes.”
By the way, all the metal eater Pi-tan had done since he had been brought home from the labyrinth the other day was basically sleep.
Even now, it was sleeping wrapped up in a towel inside a bed brought out by Frau.
“Because Pi-tan is also a demonic beast, perhaps meals aren’t actually necessary.”
This was Frau’s analysis.
Perhaps the reason why he eats metal is not because he is actually hungry but as a monster’s instinct instead.
When Ellis struck Pi-tan’s armor with a light hit, the monster awoke and stretched out its limbs.
When Pi-tan’s eyes had fully opened, Ellis took out a dagger, and he stared at it curiously.
But he just looked at it, and he did not instantly stretch out his tongue like when he first met Ellis.
However, when Ellis pointed to the dagger and said, “Go!”, Pi-tan instantly stretched out its long tongue and touched the dagger, causing it to instantly degrade.
With the next command, “Yosh!”, Pi-tan rewound its tongue, bringing along the dagger, and started eating the dagger while holding it to its chest with its tiny paws.
The hardness of the metal when it is first deteriorated by Pi-tan’s tongue is about the same as a ceramic bowl.
Although it is still uncertain how quickly and deeply the deterioration effect will affect an opponents armor, if it is applied to an enemy’s weapon, then it will certainly crumble if blows were to be exchanged.
Ellis is teaching Pi-tan techniques to have him quickly stretch his tongue out for the purpose of deterioration only.
After he was done eating, Ellis embraced Pi-tan and gave him the same instructions to a dagger that Reeve was holding.
As Pi-tan stretched out his tongue quickly as he was instructed, he instantly withdrew his tongue after he degraded the dagger.
All five girls embraced him and trained him this way.
That way Pi-tan will obey the instructions of all five of them.
The thought process of Pi-tan on the other hand is quite simple.
Being embraced by the girls is the best.
Each of the five girls hold onto me, and each one feels a little different.
The sound of a gentle heartbeat can sometimes be heard close by, and sometimes I am wrapped up in something plump and fluffy.
It is hard to say which one is better.
In the evening I get a warm, hot bath.
I can sleep as much as I want in soft linens all day long.
The girls gently pet me when I wake up, and when I am called over.
They also praise me when I stretch out my tongue and touch stuff.
The metal eater has fully integrated himself in being Pi-tan from now on.
He no longer has to curl himself up in a cold, dark labyrinth.
People no longer look at him with eyes of aversion, if they don’t ignore him completely.
This is heaven.
Pi-tan decided to obey all of their orders faithfully so as to not let this fortune go.
1. Just in case anyone forgot, the Merchant Guild sets a minimum and maximum price for all goods to prevent price gouging among other things.
2. Full honesty, I was confused when translating this paragraph. I’m pretty sure they are holding back names to be mysterious, but since Japanese likes to drop the subject in sentences anyway, it can be a little confusing when they decide to play the pronoun game.