Chapter 214

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Traveling Together
The next day, we went with Rudolph-san to replenish the equipment.
First, we bought general medicine, smoke bombs and flares at a pharmacy.
Rather, I had no idea smoke bombs and flares were sold at the pharmacy! Of course, stores that sell tools for adventurers apparently sell them too, but pharmacy has more varieties, it seems. I am seriously glad Rudolph-san went with us!
After that, I ordered a treasure chest-like toy box at a carpenter’s and bought small blankets in a bedding store. I also bought blankets that were similar to bathrobes. They were wearable blankets. I thought it would come in handy, so I bought three.
Lastly, Rudolph-san brought us to a weapon’s shop to get the knives. It was the shop that was repairing his weapons.

“Old man, we are intruding~”
“Oh, is it you, Rudolph? You came at the right time!”
“W, what is it? What’s wrong, Old man?”

The moment we entered the workshop, a man that was sitting behind the counter stood up as he hit the counter.

“I am lacking materials! Let’s go to the mines! Right away!”

It appears that he wanted to visit the mines to restock on materials, so he was thinking of hiring guards, and then, Rudolph-san appeared just at the right time.

“Old man, look here~… my weapon is with you for repairs.”
“Since it’s you, you will be fine with a substitute.”
“Well, I won’t say it won’t be fine, but…”

Are there perhaps no monsters in the mines that would make Rudolph-san take it seriously?

“Which tunnel?”
“A-2 should be good.”
“N~ right~… Old man, is it fine for these guys to tag along?”
“Eh?”

Suddenly facing us, he let out a weird noise.

“These guys, you mean these kids?”
“I guarantee that they won’t be a hindrance.”
“Hooh~ They have enough skill for your warranty, huh. But, they can’t prove their skill without proof, I might reject?”

What is this… the discussion is advancing on its own. At this rate, we will be going to the mines as we are?

“Takumi, what rank are the pipsqueaks?”
“… They are D-rank.”
“You heard that. How about it, Old man?”
“You have said enough, Rudolph. I have no problems with it.”

Rudolph-san’s discussion with the blacksmith’s Old man continued to advance.

“Takumi, did you know that these mines are under Feudal Lord’s management and that you needed an application to enter and mine?”
“No, I wasn’t aware.”
“You could cave-in if you dug mindlessly, after all.”
“Ah, I see.”

Certainly, I can see that now that he mentioned it.
That said, it seems to take a lot of effort to dig in mines, so I feel that you can’t simply do it if it’s not your main job… but, there seem to be people managing it.

“I will tell you just in case, but you are free to collect materials around the mountain as you please if you aren’t planning on entering the mines.”
“I am glad to hear that.”

I definitely planned to collect materials on the mountain after entering the town, so I thought it might become a problem.

“And so, here’s the real issue at hand. The mountain has several tunnels that are numbered.”
“Yes, I heard you talking about A-2 a little while ago.”
“Yeah, what is important is that very ‘A’. Tunnels with the best materials are marked with A, then it’s B as the quality goes down, and lastly C.”
“I see~”
“Anyone can enter C as long as they apply for it. B has some conditions but they are not that severe. If you are not a problem child and you don’t lack fighting capability, you will get permission. But, A tunnels are restricted to those who have a permit that can be granted by a few authorized people in the town.”
“And that person has a permit then?”
“Yeah, that’s correct.”

I see, it seems that you normally don’t have the opportunity to enter A tunnels. Is this why Rudolph-san is trying to make us tag along?
I feel that we would be able to enter if I asked Tristan-sama or Matthias-san for permission, but…
I won’t tell Rudolph-san that no matter what. Besides, I can’t rely on the two just because of something like this~
Ah, I have to send them letters that we have safely arrived in Kelm! Would addressing them to the Ruven family and Castle be good? Anyhow, I can’t forget about this!

“I understand from the flow of the conversation that companions of the one in possessions of the permit can enter too, but isn’t there like a limit of people that you can take or other conditions?”
“There is, but it won’t be a problem for you guys.”

He has confirmed the ranks of the children earlier… is that it? So it means there is a minimum combat ability to enter. Therefore——

“So there are monsters in the tunnels then?”
“There are no big shots, but there are small fries here and there. This Old man over here can take care of them himself, but his priority is mining, after all.”
“Ah, I see. When it comes to mining, you need to be facing the walls with tools in hands. The time to react will be delayed no matter what, so an escort is necessary.”
“That’s the case.”

I understand why guards are needed when mining. I can also see the merit of going to the A tunnels. However——

“Is there an advantage for the Old man to bring us, strangers, with him?”
“Don’t worry about that! I can tell that Rudolph is fond of you guys!”

The old man laughed “Gahahaha”.

“I’m sure you don’t know about this too, but there’s a decent fee for entering the mines. It depends on the number of people. But, on the other hand, you can take as much as you can carry from the mines.”
“So that means you don’t have to pay anything to the fief from the stuff you mined?”
“Indeed. There are many ways you can mislead others with the amount of stuff you mined. That’s why they collect entrance fees instead.”

Certainly, there’s Infinite Storage and magic bags, so it would be difficult to ascertain the amount you mined precisely.

“And so, here’s the main problem. I’m not going to pay you any escort fees. You must pay the entrance fees yourself if you want to enter. Basically, I can leave the guard role to Rudolph, so you guys can pick and mine in the meanwhile. You will surely be able to get enough to pay back for the entrance fees, but it’s up to you whether you make a profit. Also, if you find something I need, sell it to me. That is my only condition and advantage in taking you with me! You will get things for cheaper from me than buying them in another store that way! How about it?”

Old man’s proposal was very easy for me to accept.

“”Will do collecting!””

The children were already fully motivated.

“Please let us accompany you by all means.”
“Alright, it’s decided then. I’m Morgan. As you can see, I am the shopkeeper of this smithery.”
“I am Takumi, an adventurer. These children are Allen and Elena. We just arrived to this town, so we are newbies around here. Please treat us kindly.”
“”Treat us kindly.””
“Ou! Then, let us go right away!”

The Old man—— Morgan-san, was a man of action as he was ready to leave immediately after things were decided.

“Ah, Morgan-san, I would like to buy knives before we leave. Also, a hammer that I could use for mining?”
“Ah, that reminds me you came here for a purpose! There are knives on the shelf over there. We can settle the accounts later! I don’t sell hammers, so I will lend you one of mine this time.”
“Sorry about that. Thank you.”
“Now, now, Rudolph, don’t be so absentminded, we are leaving!”

… Morgan-san was really eager to go to the mines as he urged us out of the store.

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