The next morning we arrived at the Adventurers Guild. As soon as we appeared at the receptionist's window the staff hurried off to fetch Elland-san. We were here to discuss the purchase of the item drops from the dungeon. I hoped the Guild Master had done his job properly after Ugor-san's upbraiding in the warehouse the previous day and it would all be sorted by now but, well, Elland-san... I sighed, if it wasn't possible to finish up today then I could come back tomorrow.
By the way, this morning I tried cooking the meat I had marinated overnight in the magic bag for breakfast. The Bloody Horn Bull's miso-yaki rice bowl was a great success and tasted wonderful.
I looked around the Adventurers Guild building as I waited. It was getting to be rather familiar territory but, well, we had conquered Doran's dungeon and I felt it was time to move on to the next city in our itinerary. All we had keeping us here now was the sale of the items we had collected in the dungeon and hopefully that would be completed today. I would cook a lot of food for the trip and then we would leave.
"Mukouda-san, welcome." Elland-san appeared, gesturing to the stair up to his office. "So, so, this way please."
Just then Ugor-san also appeared from behind Elland-san. "Ah, Mukouda-sama." he said. "I'll be assisting Elland-san today with the purchasing of your items." Elland-san shot him a look but said nothing more. So Ugor-san and Elland-san would be working together? Or was it that Ugor-san wanted to keep tabs on his unruly superior? Well, the Guild Master did have a track record of impetuousness... We followed Elland-san and Ugor-san up to the now-familiar Guild Master's room on the second floor.
* * * * *
"We will buy all the Orc skins, Lizardman skins, Ogre skins, Troll skins and Minotaur skins you have. We'll also buy all the Ogre small magic stones, Troll small magic stones, Minotaur small magic stones and Giant Killer Mantis small magic stones." the Deputy Guild Master Ugor-san said, reading from a piece of paper. "We also want to buy fifteen vials of the Paralyse Butterfly paralysis powder and twenty Wild Ape furs, and since you're offering a small magic bag for sale we'd like to buy that too."
It seemed like the leather skins used to make basic and intermediate Adventurer armour were always in great demand and short supply. I had been told that dungeon-drop skins were preferred for making armour as they were stronger than skins obtained from monster subjugations so the Guild wanted as many of the skins I had collected as they could afford.
As for the magic stones, Ugor-san explained that the smaller ones were easier to sell. The larger magic stones were individually much more valuable but there were fewer buyers for them in part due to their high price. That's why he was buying all of the small magic stones I had. I could see his reasoning, intending to turn a quick profit in the simplest manner rather than spend time and effort finding buyers for the larger stones after having to pay me significant amounts of money up front for them.
However, Ugor-san's practical intentions were not left unchallenged by...
"N-, no, Ugor-kun, the common items you listed earlier are fine of course, but, I think, shouldn't we buy some of the rarer items too?" Elland-san blurted out.
Ugor-san glared at him. “Guild Master," he said, controlling the obvious anger in his voice, "we discussed this matter THOROUGHLY yesterday and I've just given Mukouda-sama the list of purchases we agreed to. I don't think there is anything else, is there?"
Elland-san didn't waver though, despite Ugor-san's clear warning. "No, no, what we agreed about the skins and the magic stones, they'll make a big profit for the Guild, I understand that, but... joining the Guild is something someone only does if they have a dream, a desire to be an Adventurer." He gestured to the paper Ugor-san held, the list of items they wished to buy from me.
"Those drop items, they're not a dream. Mukouda-san's list had things on it an aspiring Adventurer would covet, like the Vasuki's fangs and skin, the Manticore's skin and its Poison Stinger and don't forget the Gustave's drops, all of them." The handsome Elf's face took on that look I had come to dread, that obsession he had with Dragons transferred to the items we had collected from Doran's dungeon. "My recommendation is that we purchase the Vasuki's fangs, the Manticore's Poison Stinger and the Gustave's fangs and spine." He smiled, the sort of smile that would make a woman's heart quiver. "And then after those there's Behemoth's skin to consider..."
Sadly for Elland-san that day his opponent was not a soft-hearted woman but a flint-hearted Deputy Guild Master who quickly reined him back before he could go further.
"Forget it." Ugor-san said bluntly. "Your fantastical plans to buy in those items would beggar the Guild, and all for a dream?" Ugor-san looked thoughtful for a moment. "Guild Master, tell me. It's just a coincidence, is it that the Vasuki's fangs and the Gustave's spine are both items used to make magical swords, correct? Someone more cynical than me might say that your intention to impoverish the Guild is just so you can indulge yourself."
Really? Is that what he's after? More magical swords?
“No, no, no, no, no, that's not true." Elland-san stuttered, waving his hands in denial. No, Elland-san, that's too much, it's just like saying "Yes, that's right, I admit it."
Ugor-san leaned forward, pushing home his assault on his superior. “The materials from Mukouda-sama's Earth Dragon you purchased, the sword you want to make from them, well, I agreed with those purchases because I know you, Guild Master. But no more, understand? One magical sword, your precious Dragon Sword is enough."
Elland-san stiffened and muttered something under his breath. No, Elland-san, don't push it any further, I begged him silently.
"Well, the person you are..." Ugor-san sat back again, eyeing the tense figure beside him. "Look, how much do you think it would cost to buy just one of the rare items you listed? It would come to half of the total purchase price of all the items we agreed to buy from Mukouda-sama, and there's a good demand for all of those items. And Behemoth's skin?" Ugor-san struck the table repeatedly. "We. Don't. Have. That. Much. Money." he said, "even if we spent all our purchasing budget for a year and more!"
"U- Ugor-kun, Uh... please don't get angry at me. I was just making a little suggestion..." Elland-san's face was red as he tried to deflect his subordinate's fury.
"No, it wasn't a 'little' suggestion, was it?" Ugor-san replied, "you really thought you could get away with it, didn't you?" Elland-san looked down and said nothing more.
“That's better, Guild Master." Ugor-san said after a few moments of silence. He turned to me and bowed his head. "Mukouda-sama, I'm sorry you had to witness that. Now, the items I mentioned earlier, we'd like to buy them from you, and nothing else." His eyes flickered sideways to Elland-san as he continued to address me. "Is that fine with you?"
“Yes, of course." I agreed hurriedly, trying to move things forward. "What should I do with those items? Do you want me to bring them out here?" The office was large but there were a lot of skins, hundreds of them and...
"No, we'll take the items from you in the warehouse because there are so many of them, and we'll want to check their quality and count them too, of course. That means we can't make payment until tomorrow, after that's all done." That seemed a sensible thing to do, after all they had a business to run. The argument between Elland-san and Ugor-san about the rare items they weren't buying from me had brought something else to mind though.
“Oh, before we go to the warehouse there's something I wanted to get your advice on, Ugor-san..." I told him I was aware that normally Adventurers were obliged to sell items and monsters exclusively to the Guild. However I had many more items from the dungeon to sell than the Guild could afford to buy from me, and in such cases I understood the Merchants Guild might be permitted to buy excess items from me directly.
“That's correct," Ugor-san said, "Adventurers are normally only allowed to sell materials and items to the Adventurers Guild but that's to protect the Adventurers in most cases. Adventurers are skilled with weapons and magic but they're no match for a seasoned Merchant when it comes to selling their goods, sadly. It's far too easy for those sly old foxes to trick and brow-beat our Guild members into receiving a much lower price than they should for what they're selling." He shrugged. "We don't care that much about small transactions, a monster skin or a magic stone here or there, that sort of thing we can usually overlook." I remembered Lambert-san's desire for a Black Serpent skin and his successful efforts to get me to supply him with one through the back door and looked away guiltily, but Ugor-san didn't seem to notice. "When the Adventurers Guild just can't afford to buy in such items, that's a much rarer situation where we don't enforce the rule, for obvious reasons." Ugor-san finished.
I see. Lambert-san had said the same sort of thing to me back in Carerina, about small transactions involving one or two minor items being overlooked. It seemed the two Guilds had an understanding on this.
"The Guild Master here was in a party that once nearly conquered the dungeon here in Doran before you arrived." Ugor-san went on. I had heard that before, of course. "They collected a lot of jewellery which the Guild didn't want to purchase and so the Merchants Guild were invited to make offers on the items."
Is that so? We had amassed a lot of jewellery in our dungeon exploration too and frankly I wasn't interested in keeping any of it. If I could find someone to buy it that would be great.
"In fact," Ugor-san said, looking at another pile of papers on the desk, "if you have the time we'd like you to go to the Merchants Guild soon, tomorrow maybe or even earlier? I'm sorry to push you but we've received a lot of requests from them to meet with you, to discuss purchasing items you brought back from the dungeon."
That sounded fine to me, the sooner I sold off those sorts of things the better. "Yes, I'll be happy to go there. In fact I can go later today, after we've been to the warehouse?"
"Really? Excellent, thank you for this. I'll take you over to the Merchants Guild after we've visited the warehouse." Ugor-san said with some satisfaction.
Elland-san broke his cowed silence. "W- wait a minute." he said. "I'll guide you over to the Merchants Guild, Mukouda-san. I really should go with him, Deputy Guild Master since I'm the Guild Master after all-"
Ugor-san interrupted. "What are you talking about? You have a lot of work to get through today to process the items Mukouda-sam is delivering to us. And how are your preparations to travel to the Royal capital tomorrow proceeding?" he asked acidly. Elland-san looked away guiltily. Ah, so he hasn't made any preparations at all. Ugor-san sighed. "I did tell you to start getting ready, but... Anyway, I'll take Mukouda-sama over to the Merchants Guild myself since you're going to be too busy here. Right?"
"No, no ... I didn't really want to go all that way in the first place and..." Elland-san muttered. "It's a pain..." but Ugor-san ignored his superior's whining. Mention of Elland-san's forthcoming trip to the capital reminded me of something I had decided.
"Elland-san, when you go to the capital, you will meet with the King, right?"
“Yes, I will. He wants a direct report on the dungeon's conquest." Elland-san confirmed.
"In that case..." I took something I had collected from a dungeon treasure chest out of my Item Box and passed it to him.
"Please give this to the King for me." As he studied it I went on to explain. "The King made it very clear to the nobles and others that me and my contracted monsters were to be left alone and not bothered or interfered with. That proclamation has made our time here in this country a lot more pleasant than we had expected and this is a gift to show that we appreciate his efforts on our behalf."
I wanted our freedom to travel around without being hassled to continue and I reckoned this would be an investment, cheap enough.
"Yes, I can give this to the King for you but... what is it?" Elland-san lacked the Appraisal skill so he couldn't figure out what it was at a glance.
"Ah, that's a 'detoxification necklace' I found in a treasure chest in the dungeon. It nullifies all poisons." I explained. Both Elland-san and Ugor-san looked shocked.
"That's a magic item, surely?" Ugor-san said, staring at the necklace in Elland-san's hands. "Are you really just going to give it away?"
"I think it's better for the King to have this." I said. After all kings faced the constant threat of assassination and poison was one of the favourite methods used if the stories I had read were accurate.
“True, it's the sort of thing a Royal family would really like to own but..." Ugor-san went on. "You could sell it easily, I think, such an item is eagerly sought after. You could name your own price."
"No, please give it to the king on my behalf." Thanks to Fer and the others, I wasn't at all troubled for money and maintaining a thoughtful and considerate King on his throne was worth a lot more to me personally. If he got poisoned who would replace him? As for using the necklace myself, my contracted monsters and me all had blessings of the Deplorable-samas that prevented poisons from having any effect on us so we didn't actually need it. "You can deliver it personally, Guild Master, when you go to report to the King about the dungeon's conquest."
"Work hard and get ready for your journey, Guild Master." Ugor-san said. "And don't lose that necklace, please." Ugor-san looked at me and smiled. "The Adventurers Guild will benefit from being associated with your gift too, of course and for that I thank you Mukouda-sama. Now let's go down to the warehouse and get today's purchases dealt with."
I woke up Fer and Dora-chan who were sleeping behind my chair and we all went down to the warehouse with Ugor-san, leaving Elland-san sitting at his desk and staring at the piles of paper on it. Sui was in her leather bag as usual.
"What do you want me to get out first?" I asked once we were in the warehouse. There were so many items to deal with I really needed to produce things in the order Ugor-san preferred. Piling it all up in a heap would be counter-productive and messy.
"Right." Ugor-san said, consulting his list again. "First of all, can we get the Orc skins? Then the Lizardman skins, the Ogre skins, Troll skins and ... (omitted) ... and fifteen vials of Paralyse Butterfly paralysis powder." Ugor-san stopped for a moment, scratching his bald head as I got the vials out of my Item Box and put them on a workbench nearby. "There's something else, something else..." he flipped the paper over. "Oh, here they are. Twenty Wild Ape furs and a small magic bag."
Right, right. I pulled the final items he requested from my Item Box and put them down on the bench too.
"I think that's all." I said, ransacking my memory, but it sounded about right. "Please confirm that you've received these items." Marcel-san and his co-workers were standing around, staring open-mouthed at the immense piles of skins laying on the warehouse floor. They would be the ones to check the quality and number of the items the Guild was buying and it looked like they had a lot of work ahead of them. Ganbatte, Marcel-san.
“I think that's all too." Ugor-san agreed, giving his list one final check before he nodded. "Mukouda-san, we have received the items as agreed. We will assess them immediately," he nodded to Marcel-san who waved his subordinates towards the piles of skins and other items, "and we will make the payment for all of them to you tomorrow."
I sighed quietly, glad to see a large number of the dungeon item drops sold and no longer cluttering up my Item Box. There were still a lot left, of course. However...
"Now I'll escort you to the Merchants Guild." Ugor-san said, gesturing towards the warehouse door. We followed Ugor-san and left the Adventurers Guild, heading for the Merchants Guild where, I hoped, I'd be able to sell off a lot more of the drops we had collected.