|Author: Natsuni Kotatsu||Original Source: Syosetu||Japanese Characters: 2794 characters|
|Translator: Shurim||English Source: Re:Library||English Words: 1440 words|
“The pelts are worth 500 to 700, fangs from 500 to 600, the eyes were 300-500, tails were 500 to 700 and the claws about 100-200. As for the brains, they ranged from 30,000 to 40,000 and the hearts from 20,000 to 25,000.”
“So at least 111,400 and at most 147,500…”
Other than the brains and the hearts, a misappraisal of any of these parts would amount to about the price of a meal. This means they’re probably complaining about the appraisal of the brains or the hearts.
“Wait, something’s weird,” says Amabelle, a tinge of doubt in her voice1.
“I don’t remember appraising any Rondorat brains or hearts at all. What I do remember seeing was a couple of Laublumice.”
I look to Claude, and he begins sifting through the documents again. Then, he nods.
“I think you’re right. About two months ago, the price of Rondorats dropped, and then experienced a sudden increase. The prices haven’t dropped back down ever since then. That means that the supply hasn’t met the demand, and we haven’t seen anyone submit such parts to complete collection commissions, either.”
Speaking of two months ago, that’s around the time the Tyrant Spider appeared. The Rondorats driven out of the forest were hunted down one after another, and the sudden increase in supply caused a decrease in price for their hearts and brains. However, this sudden decrease in the Rondorat population also in turn reduced the frequency at which they came near human settlements, which decreased the supply of their monster parts.
If such in-demand materials were submitted for appraisal, the first thing to do would be to ask the guild members whether they want to use them to complete the collection commission. There isn’t a single person working in this guild who would accidentally sell them wholesale to one of the guild’s merchants.
“Dajeel, do you know who put out the commission?”
“Yes, the client is the owner of a coal mine in the suburbs of Waleville. Apparently, the monsters were hiding in the mines, and he put out a subjugation commission for them.”
If he owns a coal mine, then he probably belongs to the industrial guild. I guess if he didn’t have the chance to sell them, he also wouldn’t know the market price… If he did, he might have made it part of the commission reward.
Actually, it’s strange that Waleville’s guild office didn’t talk about that possibility when he was making the commission. Is work really that different over there?
Dajeel hands me the registration cards. These mysterious devices are capable of recording the number of target monsters that have been defeated, which means we can also find out where and what the card holders subjugated.
We’re looking for the record for the Laublumice subjugated. Lauloa Blue Mouse being their longer, unabbreviated name, these monsters are a size larger than other variants of the Lauloa mouse. The creatures mainly live in damp environments with little exposure to light. Their blue fur is a result of the water element that is abundantly present in their preferred environments.
In contrast, the Rondoville Rat, or the Rondorat for short, is slightly larger than the Lauloa mice. Despite its slightly larger size, it still leans on the smaller side compared to the endemic species of the area. Because most monsters that inhabit Rondoville are rather large, the Rondorat survives on an omnivorous diet and prefers to dwell in thick forests, where it is easier to run from predators. The creature builds its nests in the ground, and as a result has yellowish-brown fur that resembles the color of dirt.
Because of the similarity between their body structure, diets, and natural habitats, the organs of both monsters are incredibly difficult to differentiate, and can only be distinguished by their completely different colors of hair.
Even then, Amabelle, who not only has Appraisal but strengthens its effects with her Veteran Appraiser class, should have no problem telling the difference.
“…I found it. After they subjugated the Rondorats in Waleville, the party headed over to the forests at the foot of the Rondisna mountains and subjugated Laublumice shortly after.”
I guess they thought they could strike it rich by subjugating some Rondorats, but things didn’t go as smoothly as they hoped, so they attempted to deceive us with Laublumice parts instead. The reason why they came all the way to Luneville was probably to avoid suspicion from people who are familiar with their local species of monster. However, unlike putting out commissions, raw material appraisals are directly connected to the guild’s profits, and are done much more meticulously.
“That would match our records,” Amabelle said, a wave of anger welling up in her voice.
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Now that we have this information, we just need to leverage it to point out to our “customers” what they’ve been doing wrong. However, from our earlier encounter with those men, we might not even be able to have a proper talk. Figures that they have almost zero affinity for skills like Art of Conversation.
“I’ve heard everything.” the guildmaster said, surprising a number of us. I noticed him listening in, but he was rubbing his stomach the entire time, so I thought he might not be feeling well. But since he’s joining in without being asked, maybe not.
“Ah, I didn’t notice you were here, guildmaster.”
“Good morning, Frank.”
“Yeah, morning.” Frank nods, greeting Dajeel and Claude back.
“So, what’s the plan, Illya?” Claude says, without skipping a beat.
“Hey, don’t just ignore me. Remember me? The guildmaster?”
There is a fine line between being made fun of and a joke that can only be made between close friends. I’m sure what Frank is experiencing right now is the latter. Probably.
“Illya, please leave things here to me. Feel free to return to your room.”
“Wait, is that really okay?”
At Frank’s words, everyone else present looks even more surprised than I feel. Then, their expressions changed to ones of uncertainty.
Frank does leave a lot of work to his subordinates, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t do anything. It just turns out that a lot of what he does is just too behind the scenes for anyone to notice. I guess I should let him show off a little—he does have the Art of Conversation skill. Plus, a good organization needs a good leader. And a good leader needs dignity.
“Alright, then I’ll leave things here to you.”
“Yeah, hurry up and go take care of what you need to in your room,” Frank replies, cluing me into why he was rubbing his stomach. Then, he turned over to the reception desk.
“Please excuse the wait. Let me introduce myself. I’m the guildmaster here, Frank Deshan.”
“I, I see. Yeah, this is too important for just some receptionist to handle. Hurry up and redo the appraisals, yeah?”
“Understood. Then I would like to ask you a couple of questions before we continue. Did the…”
I listen into their conversation as I make my way up the stairs, and the muffled sound of whimpering grows louder as I get closer to my room. Thank god I cast physical protections on everything inside the guild office.
The moment I open the door, a small dragon flies at me at full force. Maybe because of its Rigid Body Skill, the dragon takes no damage when crashing into me. To think that Frank was fine after an attack like this… I guess he really does come out on top when it counts.
“Pi! Pi, pi!”
“It’s okay, it’s okay. Sorry for leaving you alone, alright?”
I rub the dragon child’s head as it snuggles up to me, trying to make up for its earlier loneliness.
On another note, I guess the translation skill doesn’t work on baby talk. I guess the skill needs words to translate, and can’t just pull people’s thoughts out of their heads. It’s the same thing as trying to translate a wailing adult.
From its now slack posture, it seems like the dragon child is done taking out its pent-up anger. I carry the child back to bed in my arms, and the dragon curls up quietly on top of the blankets. Its stamina seems to have dropped significantly, maybe because it was so busy rampaging around.
I pat its head, and the little creature closes its eyes in pleasure, slowly lowering its head onto the mattress. Something this cute eventually grows up to become a dragon capable of swallowing humans whole, you know? Cruel is the passage of time2.
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