Hisana led me to a corner of the main street that was crowded with players.
A number of stalls were spread out around the area, displaying countless weapons and armor.
However, what stood out the most was a huge tent set up in one corner of the street.
The open-air market that surrounds it has a better selection of goods than the others, and many players have gathered there.
In the middle of the crowd, Hisana and I were making our way, dodging people as we went.
“Is that where we’re going? It seems to be quite crowded.”
“Yes, that’s right. That’s the home of the Pre-Clan, which is in charge of the production workers.”
“What’s a Pre-clan?”
“A clan is like a team made up for players. But in order to create one, you have to reach the next city that hasn’t been opened up yet.”
“So that’s why it’s called Pre. But how can we get into such a big place?”
No matter how I look at it, it’s a popular restaurant, a situation that attracts too many people.
It’s not a situation where people will listen to me honestly.
In response to my question, Hisana raised her voice with an expression of pride on her face.
“I’m still a top player. Naturally, I’m on good terms with the people here.”
“I see. Building a line of network is a good thing. Well, I guess I should take advantage of you.”
“Yes, to the fullest. Come on, this way.”
Hisana, who was leading me forward, laughed unseen.
Normally, I am the one who teaches, so this kind of exchange is a bit refreshing.
Hisana also seems to be enjoying the position of teaching me.
Well, it’s good to have something like that once in a while.
“Hey, that’s …….”
“The Sword Princess ……”
“The guy next to her is from earlier……. “
But she seems to have attracted a lot of attention.
Hisana has a good appearance, and since her avatar conforms to reality, there is nothing unnatural about it.
And if she’s a top player, it’s no wonder she’s getting a lot of attention.
Well, I’m getting a lot of attention along with it.
“…… Isn’t there anyone who would like to challenge me?”
“Sensei, please don’t cause any more commotion. Come on, let’s get moving!”
“Yes, yes, I know.”
Even though Hisana overheard me muttering and warned me, we stepped into the large tent side by side.
There were several players busily moving around, carrying various goods.
Among the many players, there was probably only one person in charge – a woman with long blond hair who was standing at a large table near the center.
When Hisana approached her, she greeted her cheerfully.
“Oh, Hisana-san. You’re always the talk of the town, but today you’re even more so. Is he the one they’re talking about?”
“…… Nice to meet you, I’m Quon. My apprentice has been taking care of you.”
“No, thank you. It’s nice to meet you, Quon-san.”
The woman was a gentle, forest-dwelling elf.
However, deep within the woman’s voice, I can sense that she has a great deal of experience.
I’m not very good at business, but I can sense firsthand that she has the ability to bring this many people together.
“Sensei, don’t say anything weird, mou…… Eleanor, where is Fino?”
“Oh, she’s in the back. You want to order something from her?”
“No, it’s going to be pre-made for now. I just thought I’d introduce her to Sensei. Well, I’m sorry to bother you.”
“Thank you for your time. I’ll see you soon.”
“Yeah, see you.”
It would not be a bad idea to be friends with her.
I don’t know how Hisana came to know her, but it seems that she had managed to weave a good bond with her.
Glancing at her as she returned to her instructions, I followed Hisana to the back of the tent.
There, I saw countless armor that seemed to be in stock, and a girl arranging them.
She had dark skin, orange hair, a short stature, but a solid physique with a strong center of gravity – is she a dwarf?
Confirming the girl’s appearance, Hisana raised her voice in a cheerful tone.
“Oh? Hime-chan Ohisa”
“I told you not to call me that.”
Although her height is quite short due to the characteristics of her race, she and Hisana communicate as if they were the same age.
Maybe they know each other in real life. …… Well, I guess that’s where I should go into it.
After a brief exchange of greetings, the dwarf girl then turned her gaze towards me and asked Hisana a question.
“Is that the Sensei you were talking about?”
“Yes, that’s right. This person is–“
“Avatar’s name is Quon. My apprentice is under your care.”
“Yes yees, I’m Fino, a blacksmith. Nice to meet you.”
The tone was light, but the word “blacksmith” conveyed a sense of pride and self-assurance.
Apparently, she doesn’t intend to run a blacksmith shop just for fun.
It’s true that it’s a game, but if someone is so sincere about it, we might expect a lot from her.
Not knowing my inner thoughts, Fino looked up at me and smiled.
“If you’re Hime-chan’s teacher, then you must be really good.”
“Yeah, he even won a duel right at the start of the game.”
“There is a big discussion going on in the forums. He’s a top player, after all.”
“I hope they dont’t get involved with me”
“Well, that is that. You got a lot of money, didn’t you?”
Apparently, this woman had already figured out what we wanted.
I guess that’s how important information is in a production job.
If you know what you’re doing, then you can talk about it quickly.
“I’d like to buy some equipment from you on Hisana’s recommendation. I can give you about 400,000.”
“That is a big budget, but I don’t think your status will allow you to have that level of equipment yet.”
“…… Which reminds me, status determines whether you can equip it or not huh?”
It’s not as if I could start out with such strong equipment, no matter what.
If so, it would be better to ask her to find something suitable that can be equipped in its current state.
It’s not that I can’t fight with my current equipment, but if anything, my preference is not for a sword of this length.
“As for armor, well, let’s see. …… The body and waist are fine, but I’d like you to get me a helmet and gauntlet. For weapons, I need a sword and a small sword each. Find me something that I can equip now.”
“I’ve got a lot of Japanese style orders like that, so I’m sure I can find something for you.”
As soon as I told Fino that, she began to rummage through the countless pieces of equipment lined up in the back.
The first thing she took out were two swords.
“Yes, the limit of what you can have at the initial stage is black iron equipment.”
“Let’s have a look.”
I took the offered weapon and began to inspect it.
The sword is roughly 2,5 shaku long, a common size for a sword. [TL: Around 83.33 cm or 2,7339239 feet]
There is no distortion in the blade, and the rugged blackened blade is sharp enough to be used in actual combat.
It’s hard to believe that a girl like her could have created something like this, even if it was created by a game system.
The small sword was approximately 1,6 shaku, and like the sword, it was also made to withstand actual combat. [TL: 53.328cm or 1,7496063 foot]
■Weapon: Sword: Black Iron Sword
Attack power: 18
Added effects: None
■ Weapon: Sword: Small Black Iron Sword
Attack Power: 10
Added effects: None
The sword is held in a regular stance, followed by an upper stance, a hazy stance, and a side stance.
It feels a little heavier than the sword I’m used to, but it’s probably not a problem to use it.
At the very least, it’s not as heavy as my first sword, which was neither good nor bad.
” Splendid. I’d love to buy it.”
” N-nothing……The way you hold your sword is very impressive, or rather, it’s very oppressive. …… Your whole body is like a sword, sensei.”
“I was surprised aswell when I saw him for the first time.”
“I guess I’ll just have to take that as a compliment.”
When holding a sword, one is supposed to put in the sword Ki to slay the enemy, but I guess they sense the pressure of the sword.
The kid from earlier didn’t even seem to be able to feel it. …… Well, I guess there’s a difference in the degree of seriousness.
I sheathed the two swords and handed over the purchase price.
30,000 for the sword and 10,000 for the small sword, which is still a small amount considering the total amount I have.
I guess that’s the limit of what I can equip at the beginning.
I was tempted to look at a better sword, but it was no use having a weapon that didn’t fit my size.
“I mean, Sensei, can you even use two swords?”
“It is not that I can’t do it at all, but …… I can’t do the Niten Ichiryu dexterity, you know? The small sword is for defense. There are times when it’s easier to use a small, nimble sword when using streaming water.”
[TL: Niten Ichi-ryū, which can be loosely translated as “the school of the strategy of two heavens as one”, is a koryū, transmitting a style of classical Japanese swordsmanship conceived by the warrior Miyamoto Musashi.]
“You can use it in different ways. …… You are really versatile.”
Well, if we’re talking about the types of weapons I can use, I’m way outnumbered by the old man.
The old man is the very embodiment of all the martial arts.
It’s a shame, but as long as we don’t fight on my own ground, I don’t stand a chance.
I still have a lot of room for improvement ……, but without an opponent, the situation is untenable.
I want to fight a strong enemy as soon as possible. Perhaps it was because I had a new sword, but my body was inexplicably tingling.
As if she sensed my condition, Fino immediately took out the rest of my gear.
“Okay, here’s your armor.”
“I know what a helmet and gauntlets are, but …… a Kinagashi and Obi? Do they have any protection?”
“The thread is made of demon material, so it’s got some protection. It is light and sturdy. Well, it’s not resistant to blows.”
“Won’t it get tangled in my legs?”
“The skirt doesn’t restrict your movement for some reason. The equipment seems to move with the legs. Thanks to this, you can make equipment that emphasizes design.”
I honestly don’t care what it looks like. …… Well, as long as it doesn’t interfere with my movement, it’s fine.
What I received was an ultramarine Kinagashi (Kinda a kimono) and an scroll Obi.
This is something that even the old-fashioned Kuon family would not wear, but perhaps it suits my image.
■ Armor: Body: Forest Spider Thread Kinagashi (ultramarine )
Magic Defense: 3
Added effects: None
■ Armor: waist: forest spider silk belt (Scroll)
Magic Defense: 1
Added effect: None
■ Armor: Head: Black Iron Bowl
Magic Defense: 0
Added effect: None
■ Armor: Arms: Basket of Black Iron
Magic Defense: 0
Added effect: None
■ Armor: Feet: Black Iron shin guards
Magic Defense: 1
Added Effect: None
The name of the maker of the Kinagashi , Obi and headband is unknown to me, but it was probably someone who was in that group.
At any rate, it’s a much better piece of equipment than the one I’m wearing now.
It doesn’t seem to hinder movement, so there’s no harm in buying it.
“Umu, what’s the price?”
“How about 80,000 for the armor set?”
“All right. Thanks for the good deal, I appreciate it.”
“No, thank you. When the durability of the equipment decreases, please bring it back to me. I can fix it for you at the same discount as Hime-chan”
“…… I appreciate that, but is that okay?”
If she belonged to this pre-clan and was making equipment for Hisana, then she must be a high-ranking player.
Considering the players that had gathered at the front, she must be a force to be reckoned with.
It’s quite a benefit to be favored by her, but why did she make such a decision?
In response to my question, Fino raised her voice with a loose laugh.
“A sword is a difficult weapon to handle. The attack power is high, but the durability diminishes quickly. There are a lot of players who try to use them because they look cool, but many of them fail. But I think you’ll be able to handle it well, and it’ll have a good advertising effect.”
“I see. If you think this is a proposal that will benefit you as well, I will gladly accept it. If possible, I would like you to make a sword for me as well.”
“I’ll do that, of course. But for now, the current one is good enough for the front lines, so save your money for a while. Ah this is my flare.”
The moment Fino said that and operated the menu in her hand, a window appeared in front of me.
It said, “A friend request has been received from [Fino]. Do you want to accept it? Yes/No” is displayed on the screen.
Fumu, this is–
“Hisana, what’s a friend request?”
“Oh, crap, I want to be your first!”
“Oh, you’re new to MMOs aswell, sensei? …… A friend request is like exchanging addresses with a player you get along with. You can contact them whenever you want.”
“Hoo, I see, that’s how it works. I’ll accept it then.”
Hisana was making some kind of noise, but I didn’t care and pressed ‘Yes’ on the window.
As soon as the window disappears, a “New!” icon appears in the “Friends” section of the menu that opened by itself.
When I opened it, I saw that Fino’s name was indeed listed. Apparently, the registration was now complete.
“Thanks a lot. I’ll let you know if I need any help with equipment. You can call me if you need any help, too.”
“Aye, thank you very much.”
She’s a laid-back girl, but she’s got an interesting personality.
If something goes wrong, I can count on her.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
“Hisana, how do you activate the friend request function?”
“Haa, Sensei’s first friend request is still open! Yes, go to the Friend’s menu, press the Register button, and then press Search for players around you!”
“……Why are you so excited?”
Although I couldn’t help but notice that Hisana was in a strange mood, I did as I was told and operated the menu.
A list of players around me appears in the window, and I select Hisana’s name from the list.
At the same time, a pop-up window appeared, giving me the option of friend request or blacklisting.
I was a little concerned about the latter, but I sent a friend request to Hisana anyway.
Then a window appeared in front of Hisana, and without a moment’s hesitation, Hisana approved.
The “New!” icon appeared again in the friend section, and Hisana’s name was properly displayed.
“All right, you’ve done it right. It’s OK now!”
“O-oh, ……, well, I guess we’re done here for now.”
“Thank you for your continued patronage…Ah Sensei here’s something for you.
“Oh, what is it?”
What Fino held out to me was a very large ice axe.
This is not a climbing axe, but a mining axe.
“If you find any interesting ores, pick them up for me. If it’s good, I’ll make a sword out of it.”
“I see. Perfect, I’ll take this with me. …… Thanks for your help.”
“Fuu. …… Thanks, Fino. See you soon!”
“See you later!”
We waved loosely to Fino, and we left the tent.
As usual, there were a lot of eyes around us, but we didn’t care, we just avoided the crowds and went on our way.
“Now that I’ve got my gear, …… we’re ready for battle, right?”
“Yes, this time it will be fine. So, sensei, where do you want to go?”
“Where the enemy are the strongest.”
“…… You’ve been very consistent, Sensei. Well then, let’s head north.”
With a sigh, Hisana pointed to the end of the main street.
Beyond the huge outer wall that surrounded the city and the gates that rose from it – there was a plain with green grass growing thickly.