Chapter 154 -- A Much Put-upon Deputy Guild Master
After breakfast Dora-chan announced he wanted to eat pudding. "Yeah, yesterday's wobbly stuff. I want to eat it again." Dora-chan really liked pudding, it seemed.
"Sui also wants to eat cake-" Sui-chan added, pyonging around hopefully. They both liked sweet things. Well, it would be easy enough for me to indulge them but they'd just want more and more unless I laid down some rules. Eating too many sweets would be bad for their health, after all.
"Hmm, I will do it this time, but sweet things like pudding and cake are two per day, no more." I glanced around at Fer who was pretending not to listen but the drool around his jaws showed he was paying close attention. "This will apply to all three of you guys, Fer, Dora-chan and Sui-chan, OK?"
"Eh, just two-? Gimme a little more will ya?" Dora-chan pushed.
"Only two-?" Sui-chan asked plaintively. Both Dora-chan and Sui seem a little dissatisfied with the limit I was setting but I had to harden my heart.
"Two pieces a day is fine but no more." I insisted.
"All right, two pieces are fine." Dora-chan said after a second or two, giving in at least for the time being. I suspected this would be a battle I'd have fight again in the future but for the moment the victory was mine.
"Sui is good with two-" Sui-chan agreed, following Dora-chan's lead.
"I want to eat a wobbly thing right away." Dora-chan insisted.
"What does Sui want-?" Sui-chan paused, obviously thinking seriously about this important question. "Hmmm, Sui will have one as well, a cake but something different from yesterday's cake-".
"Give me that white one with the red fruits on top again." Fer added quickly, all pretence of disinterest gone in an instant. So all of them wanted a sweet after breakfast? That was fine, now that I had set the rules. I bought a custard pudding and strawberry shortcake at the Net Super's Sanke tenant shop and then after thinking a bit I got Sui-chan a a strawberry mousse cake.
"Here they are." I said after dishing them out.
"Ooooh, the wobbly stuff again, great!" Dora-chan's muzzle was caked with his long-awaited pudding as he messily gobbled it up.
"Umu." Fer ate his shortcake in a single bite, not bothering to savour its taste.
"Wow, this is something I've never eaten before. Oh, this is sweet and sour and delicious-!" The strawberry mousse cake seemed to be to Sui-chan's taste too.
Well, now that had everyone finished eating their after-breakfast dessert, how about we go to the Adventurers Guild?
* * * * *
When we arrived at the Adventurers Guild the staff hurried off to fetch Elland-san who arrived promptly to greet us before he led us up to his private Guild Master's office.
"So, can we buy your dungeon drop products now?" he asked, getting right down to business.
"Yes. But I should warn you there is a lot more than I thought..." I said.
"Oh really? First, tell me what sort of things you have to sell and I'll be able to determine what the Guild will be willing to buy from you." Elland-san had said earlier that the Guild wanted to buy all the skins that made up most of the drops we had collected but thinking about it the high-value drops like gems and magic items would be less likely to sell, at least straight away. I fumbled for the list I had made the day before and finally found it before reading it out aloud.
"Weeeell, let's see, there's Venom Tarantula poison sac x 3, Orc meat x 56, Orc testicle x 31, Orc skin x 125, Lizardman skin x 63, Ogre skin x 102, Ogre magic stone (small) × 21, Troll skin × 113 pieces ... ... (... omitted) ... ... and finally a magic detoxification necklace × 1"
I didn't include the ring of magic recovery in the list because I was already wearing it and not planning to sell it. There was also the little matter of the cursed sword Caladbolg. I wanted to think about that a bit more and maybe discuss it with Elland-san after the other drops had been dealt with. It was the sort of show-stopper that would derail our negotiations for selling the simpler items first. Even so, after I had finished reading out the very long list of drop items I had for sale Elland-san's mouth was hanging open. The combination of Elvish good looks and stunned expression on his face almost made me laugh out loud but I schooled myself.
After a few seconds he shook himself a little and his confident Guild Master face re-appeared. "Well, that's a tremendous amount, isn't it..." he muttered, deep in thought. Well, thinking back on what happened in the dungeon my three contracted monsters are strong and they gleefully slaughtered every monster they encountered so it's not surprising there were a lot of drops.
"I was in a party that cleared the first 29 levels of Doran's dungeon and we collected a considerable number of drops and magic items but, well..." Elland-san spread his hands. "What we brought back doesn't begin to approach your achievements, Mukouda-san."
"No no," I said, "Fer, Dora-chan and Sui did all the hard work. I just worked at collecting all the drops from the monsters they defeated." Okay, I fought a bit, well a little bit but it was all up to them, really.
"The majestic figure of Dora-chan..." That regrettably familiar expression came across Elland-san's face. "I truly wanted to see him fight monsters in the dungeon. Alas, I was prevented from following you by the Guild's Deputy Master..." Tut tut, Elland-san. You would just have been in the way if you had followed us, never mind the extra work you would have imposed on Doran's Deputy Guild Master.
"Oh, that aside," Elland-san shook himself, returning to the business at hand. "About the purchases, I'm sorry but we can't buy everything, I hope you understand." Well the amount of items we were offering for sale was rather excessive, that was true. "But skin drops from the dungeon are always in high demand and we can buy most if not all of them. The Orc skins and Lizardman skins for sure and I would like to buy all of the Ogre skins too. I also want the Troll skins but... hmmm, I think I'll have to consult with the Deputy Guild Master to see if we can purchase them too." Ellan-san's face fell again. "The Deputy Guild Master was rather angry about me spending so much of the Guild's funds earlier."
Oh, was he really angry with you, Elland-san? Okay, I had received the money in question but it seemed it was because of Ellan-san's own desires in regard to the Earth Dragon's disassembly rather than a hard-headed business transaction.
"That's not a problem." I reassured the dismayed Guild Master. "Ah, I should add that we'll be keeping any of the meat that was on the list for our own consumption so you should disregard it for purchase, please." I had a sudden thought. "Ah, and another thing."
I pulled the small and middle-sized magic bags out of my Item Box.
"Hey, Fer." I held out the bags for him to examine. "Can your Appraisal skill tell if time passes inside these bags?" I had been wondering if time stopped inside these bags like it did in my Item Box. That time freeze feature was useful for all sorts of things like keeping cooked food hot and fresh but sometimes I wanted things to happen normally. Marinating ingredients like kaarage or other pickled foods, they took time to make properly, letting the meat steep in broth and sauce for hours. I could hurry things up by poking the meat with a fork before massaging it in sauce in a plastic bag but it was easier and better to make it and leave it to soak overnight, on the desk in my room at an inn when I slept for example.
I was hoping that if I made, say, pickled meat in miso and put it in the bag for storage then when I took it out later it would be the same as having it sit in a pot overnight. I could then transfer it to my Item Box, ready to use for cooking when I needed it even if I was travelling with Fer and company. Would Fer be able to judge that effect with his superior Appraisal skill?
"Well, let's see." Fer studied the bags for a moment. "Hummmm, it looks like time passes as usual for anything in these bags here from what I can tell."
So for both bags time passed inside them as usual? I'd keep the middle-sized magic bag and offer the smaller one for sale then. As I put them away in my Item Box once again I noticed Elland-san was staring wide-eyed at Fer.
"What's wrong Elland-san?" I asked.
"Ah- Ah you see... that Fenrir, c- can it really use the Appraisal skill?" he stuttered.
Oh, so that was it. The Appraisal skill was a rare gift, usually only available to Heroes summoned from the other world like in the stories. I had got it myself by accident, sort of. Fer, on the other hand was no Hero (hah!) and hadn't been summoned like me.
"Ah, remember Fer's sort of a legendary monster." I explained.
"Sort of?" Fer grumbled telepathically. "What do you mean by 'sort of'?"
Would a true legendary monster agree to a life-long submission contract to someone like me just because he's a glutton? I thought very privately to myself.
"Oh, yes, that's true." Elland-san said finally. "A legendary monster like a Fenrir doesn't appear often so finding out he has the Appraisal skill was just a bit of a surprise to me, that's all."
Yeah, I had just about forgotten myself just how unusual my companions were, a Fenrir, a Pixie Dragon and a special Slime. To others they were powerful and dangerous monsters, to me they were bottomless appetites demanding to be fed immense quantities of delicious food three times a day (and snacks too now, I remembered). I pressed on with the business at hand though.
"In that case can you remove the middle-sized magic bag from the list of items for sale?" I asked.
Elland-san nodded. "The meat and the middle-sized magic bag. Are you sure you want to sell everything other than those items?"
"Yes, that's correct." I agreed. Now the purchases were out of the way it might now be time to discuss 'that'.