Pi-tan is Pi-tan
The Jewelry Box carriage has now hit the halfway point between Wheat Grace and Warren.
Claire and Pi-tan are now occupying the residential space with the carpet inside the carriage. Claire is designing a Lorenburg tea retail shop that Reeve had requested at the living room table. Meanwhile Pi-tan was resting next to her inside a basket twice the size of his one at home. He is intently chewing on a snack dagger that Ellis had given him while rolling around in his oversized bed.
In the kitchen at the end of the carriage, Frau is preparing some ready-made meals and experimenting with some new spices to try and make the simple food tastier.
Katie was serving as the coachman for the carriage.
Ellis and Reeve were busy organizing information atop a narrow bed.
“Will Reeve take over the Lorenburg family then?”
“No, everything will be fine there. Hymel will be taking over.”
Hymel was the younger brother of Reeve who welcomed Ellis’s group when they first arrived at the Lorenburg mansion.
By the way, he was quite the 10-year-old shota.
Well, Ellis wasn’t interested in shotas though.
“Would it be better for you to register the store as a member of Warren’s Jewelry Box then instead of under the Lorenburg name?”
“It would bring in less trouble from the Kingdom. Thank you.”
On the Almerian continent, the king is the absolute law.
Especially for the nobility.
All nobles belong to the king whose power is monitored by the royal family.
So if Reeve were to directly open a shop in Warren under the Lorenburg name, there is a possibility that the royal family would interpret that as Wheat Grace making a move on Warren.
In the unlikely event the royal family were to seize the store, it is not possible to know what kind of relationship would be created between the royal family and the Lorenburg family when the Lorenburg’s had just gained control of Wheat Grace.
“Guilty of the crime of being suspicious.”
That is why the royal family acted so quickly after the report from Warren’s Adventurer’s Guild and quickly sent over some tax officials to the Durkfienance family.
“Well, Maria would give you permission no matter what.”
“Yes…I can feel the importance of human relations although it makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.”
Ellis inched closer to Reeve who was obediently expressing her gratitude.
Ellis had been played with all night the night before, so her frustration was quickly building up.
In this way, she found it difficult to hold herself back, and her hands started to wander.
“Keep it a secret from everyone.”
“Ah, Mistress……the sun’s still out……”
That’s why Ellis and Reeve have been together in the horse-drawn carriage until midday.
Well, the daytime battle was successfully finished.
And Ellis whispered once again in Reeve’s ear.
“Good right? This’ll be our secret.”
However, it is impossible to keep a secret within such a narrow carriage.
Frau’s cool voice rose from the kitchen.
“Katie, we’re having lunch soon.”
And Katie quickly replied back.
“I understand nya. I’ll park the carriage in an appropriate place nya.”
Claire also stood up from her spot in the living room.
“I’ve almost figured out the blueprints for the teahouse as well.”
For the sake of self-protection, the girls shut tight every window and door in the carriage.
Then three girls started to move.
The bedroom curtains were pulled open all at once by Frau.
In front of her, Ellis and Reeve were lying down pretending to sleep on top of one of a bed.
But the three girls would not be fooled by such an obvious lie.
“Well, what were the two of you doing when it’s still so bright out?”
Frau glared down at the both of them.
“The sun’s still shining, yet you two are playing around?”
Claire glared down at the both of them.
“Nymphs with too much energy nya.”
Katie glared down at the both of them.
Ellis slowly raised her head and tried to play dumb.
She knew it wouldn’t work, but after what had happened before, she wasn’t willing to just give up.
Reeve was much more mobile, jumping out of bed and slamming her forehead onto the carriage floor.
Reeve’s was an honest apology.
Then the facial expressions of the three changed at once.
“No, there’s an order here,” Frau smiled.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Claire also smiled.
“Shall we enjoy the rest of our day nya?” Katie smiled as well.
Today, the horse-drawn carriage was pulled over early today, and camp was made in the afternoon.
While the other three were enjoying Ellis, Reeve cleaned her armor and enjoyed the afternoon sun.
But her merry time was interrupted when Pi-tan started making a different cry from the usual.
“What’s wrong Pi-tan?”
Reeve worriedly rubbed Pi-tan’s back while he squirmed around in pain. Reeve was about to go get Claire, the person who spent the most time around Pi-tan, when the small Metal Eater suddenly spit something up.
At the same time, Pi-tan returned to his original calmed temperament, and he looked as surprised as Reeve was at what he had spit up–a small pearl loaded with magic power.
“Is it about time?”
After holding her ear to the sheet, Reeve confirmed that she could not hear any moaning from her friends, so she peeped inside the curtained off bedroom.
Frau, Claire, and Katie were all three glowing like divine angels spread out across the beds with Ellis in the middle.
“There’s something I wanted you to take a look at for a moment.”
Everyone put their clothes back on and met Reeve out in the carriage’s living room.
“Pi-tan spit this out.”
“Can I see?”
Ellis appreciated the small bead Reeve had been holding.
“Flying Swallow magic crystal? What’s that?”
Ellis was able to identify what the gem was called, but she had no idea what it meant. How does a bead inflict double damage? Slingshot ammo?
“Is that a magic crystal?”
It was Claire who responded first. According to her, magic crystals were meant to be the physical forms of the abilities embedded in magic tools.
When a magic crystal is brought into contact with a tool that can meld with it, the tool will suck in the crystal and gain that magical ability.
They are rarely found inside labyrinths, and depending on the ability embedded within, they can be traded in for a large amount of money. However, until now, although magic crystals would sometimes be discovered, nobody knew how they were created.
“Magic crystals are made by Metal Eaters.”
Frau held Pi-tan in her arms and watched him lazily nap looking impressed.
“By the way, why did Pi-tan suddenly spit out a Flying Swallow magic crystal anyway?”
Claire question made Ellis remember something from a few days ago.
“Now that I think about it, I accidentally gave Pi-tan a Flying Swallow dagger a few days ago to snack on. Could it be from that?”
Ellis nodded as Claire’s excitement rose. She took out a metal bat from her bag. The dagger Ellis had given Pi-tan before had Flying Swallow attached to it,
When Ellis held the bat in front of her, Pi-tan stretched out his tongue like usual to deteriorate the bat, and then started to munch on weapon while holding it close to his chest.
“And now we wait.”
The girls decided to watch over Pi-tan for awhile.
The party arrived at Warren two days later.
Frau and Katie immediately got to cleaning up the dust in the mansion that had accumulated since they’d been gone. Ellis went to the highway in order to confirm the progress of the cake shop’s construction accompanied by Reeve and Claire.
Hanna and Ken were already over there when they arrived.
“It looks like it’s going well.”
When Claire looked over the scene, all the workers from the Workshop Guild stopped and greeted her with a smile.
“Hello Claire. It looks like we will be finished ahead of schedule.”
Ellis, on the other hand, was busy confirming the situation with Hanna and Ken.
“How is your training going?”
The both of them smiled simultaneously and held their heads high.
“It’s going better than I thought.”
“Yes, everyone at the Hideaway is pleased.”
Hanna and Ken have been perfecting their trial-runs of the steamed cake and trying out some new products while borrowing part of the Merchant Guild’s facilities.
The test subjects have been workers at the Merchant’s Guild, Master’s Hideaway, and Lily Garden who have all given positive feedback. The trifles which were a by-product of the steamed cakes were also very well liked.
Ellis and Reeve then started to inspect the surrounding land.
“If it is on the side closer to Warren, then there should still be some room left.”
“Or maybe it would be better to build it on the other side of the road, facing the cake shop.”
“No, I think it’d be better if we put the next to each other.”
Ellis and Reeve bounced ideas back and forth about the tea shop until Claire caught up to the two of them.
“It would be fun if the number of stores in the area continued to increase.”
This casual comment from Claire got the gears turning in Ellis’s head.
“If you were to open a few stores around here, you can use it as a relay point between the city and Lily Garden.”
A bell rang in Ellis’s ears.
“What’s wrong, Ellis?”
Ellis’s sudden shout surprised Reeve and Claire, but Ellis’s feet were already marching towards the city.
“Nothing yet, but let’s go to the Merchant Guild and the Workshop Guild.”
They arrived at the Merchant Guild first.
“So the Lorenburg family was Reeve’s parents!”
The Merchant Guild master Maria was surprised to hear such important information about Reeve that she hadn’t already acquired elsewhere.
“Yes, so I’d like you to let us directly sell the tea in the suburbs.”
Reeve wrapped up the whole explanation to Maria. Naturally she told her all about the Durkfienance house and about Aiful and Credia as well.
“Sorry, direct sales aren’t allowed like that.”
“So it’s no good? Maria.”
Maria gave a gentle smile to Reeve’s discouraged appearance.
“If you want it to work, Aiful and Credia will first have to join the Merchant Guild, and you have to allow the Merchant Guild to buy Lorenburg tea. That way, the two of them will become fine Warren citizens.”
“Could you? Thank you so much.”
Reeve bowed her head deeply which made Maria squirm a bit in her chair.
“If so, then how about you stay over for a night tonight?”
“Thanks, but no. I don’t have that kind of hobby. But, let me thank you in some other way.”
Ellis decided to interject herself into the conversation there.
“How about Reeve spends the whole day with Ms. Maria while wearing ceremonial clothes?”
“Oh yes, let’s do that.”
And so a deal was smoothly struck that satisfied everyone besides the person in question.
Next was the Workshop Guild.
To start things off, Claire showed her initial blueprint to Flint.
“If it’s just a store/residence combo, we can get started on it right away. We already have material incoming for the cake shop, and because the waterway from Lily Garden is right there, the construction for a toilet and clean water will be easy. We have the manpower to get to work on it as well.”
“If so, could you get the completion of the cake shop to match up with it?”
“Yeah, leave it to me. We’ll slow down the cake shop and divert resources to the new tea house. Who owns it anyway?”
“P-please do take care of me.”
Reeve raised her hand sheepishly and began explaining about what had happened in Wheat Grace. Once her explanation was finished, Flint surprised everyone by immediately breaking out into laughter and started slapping his leg.
“Serves that bastard right!”
Flint was apparently still holding a grudge over the auction.
“I love drinking Lorenburg tea. We’ll put everything we got into this store for you.”
That evening, Pi-tan spit out another pearl.
When Ellis inspected it, it was an Inhalation magic crystal. Although, everyone was already expecting that result.
Claire was the most excited out of all of them.
“What happens if we let Pi-tan eat two different magic tools at the same time?”
Ellis began preparations as soon as Claire asked.
A Flying Swallow dagger with Inhalation.
And a Purification dagger with Stupor.
Licking up these two daggers together, Pi-tan degraded them both and turned it into a sandwich.
Once Pi-tan was finished eating, the five girls picked him up and walked over to the bathhouse after a long absence.
Reeve was singing an operetta while soaking in the hot water.
Frau was sitting in the half bath letting the steam work up a sweat for her.
Claire had fully immersed herself in the water allowing her black hair to spread across the surface like a spider’s web.
Katie was two seconds away from falling asleep with her upper half resting on the cold concrete as her legs danced in the water.
Pi-tan stretched out his limbs inside his personal tub.
It was the usual sight after a long time.
Today, while soaking in hot water up to her shoulders, Ellis dreamed about the night portion of her relaxation period.
Ah, this is happiness.
And then the next morning.
A letter arrived from Wheat Grace and was delivered to Ellis.
“Dear Reeve, the family will be visiting Sky Castle to formally receive our appointment from His Majesty. We will be bringing Aiful and Credia with us, and we will be stopping by Warren on the way. We can’t wait to see you. Say hello to the other members of Warren’s Jewelry Box for us as well.
The sender was Leopold Lorenburg, Frau’s father.