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A note from naosu

Thanks for the support. 

Dreamweaver Chapter 175

 

 

 

 

We do our morning routine before leaving the inn.

It’s turned into morning training behind the inn. In addition to our private interactions this also means aerobic like exercise, knife throwing against targets behind the in like hay bales and such. Then there’s also jump rope exercise for all of us. The jump rope exercise was implemented to help us stay skinny and lean in place of jogging, and you can find any kind of homemade rope to use for a jump rope. Plus at the same time I get to see Sunghee’s boobs bounce all over the place even if they want to wear shirts, as the swelling balloon like shapes push against the cloth of the shirt.

“Can you spot me?” Sunghee asked. She’s trying to get me to get my hands all over her and I can see it in her eyes.

“But it’s just jump roping. It’s not that big of a deal. You don’t need to be spotted for that. It’s not that dangerous,” I said.

“Yes it is,” she smirked.

“I think its not dangerous,” I said carefully.

“I think I need a spotter,” she said winking at me. Yeah she wants me to watch her boobs shaking.

Actually that’s totally cool to watch. You never get tired of stuff like that, unless there’s something wrong with you.

But I should be asking what other exercises there are for mages besides just casting spells repeatedly. They must have a way to exercise their mana control and mana tank right? I have to think about how to get stronger more quickly after what happened with that lizardman shaman.

Then with discussion we decided we might be able to do something with the telekinesis spell with practice pushing and holding weight in the air. That’s an obvious mana exclusive exercise. And it’s good for resistance, technique, and well…pretty much most areas someone would train in.

I practiced it.

Right now I can hold up roughly about 90 lbs while executing one telekinesis spell. This is an amazing achievement so far. To get to that I had to really push myself for a long time with not getting anywhere; and then slowly inch by inch I did 60 lbs, and then 70.

But there’s the fact that I can also execute two telekinesis spells at once to hold myself up in the air similar to like hovering in the air! I hadn’t considered this aspect of it. If I just use two spells at once then it’s like how rocket engines work, and car engines too. So thinking about home and how engines can have 2, 4, or 6 cylinders made this idea possible. For now though, I don’t think its possible to have more than two telekinesis spells pushing off at once though.

It just costs me twice as much mana and then some to balance things and tie it together. Then I sort of use mana stitching to hold the two telekinesis spells together so that they are controlled in a system similar to symbiosis receiving my commands both at the same time to help avoid having them become disorganized and too spread apart. Of course if that were to happen I would fall and die since my total weight is over 90 lbs.

But I don’t have good control yet. Nor do I know how stable it is so I haven’t gotten very high off the ground. If I screwed up like this of course I could die or end up with broken bones or paralysis. So I’m still leery of using it this way.

It’s a good attempt at a flying remedy spell though; but only if I work out the bugs.

Until I can prove it, I can’t use it in battle yet.

The question is, how stable is the mana stitching holding both telekinesis spells together? I sort of coiled and twisted them together but, I will have to test that under stress. And of course there’s work needed in controlling it, while I burn mana a bit too quickly.

Sunghee claps while I return to the ground. Rina does running in circles chasing her tail instead, since she’s in cat form.

“So what’s our first item of business?” Sunghee asked me after we finished breakfast.

There’s still no sign of Gyle.

Where is he?

We waited for him an hour but he didn’t show up. And when we asked for him at his family shop they looked uncomfortable and said he was out. But their facial expressions imply something else is going on.

We had to hire a bunch of street rat kids to read our mail for us, in exchange for 10 copper and breakfast at the inn.

Some of the letters were bullshit.

One was a written letter from the dwarven military headquarters to stay on alert during the siege of the city. This seemed like a generic notice for an option for an adventurer draft notice that might come later.

Another was a notice that war conditions may trigger the city lord issuing a price freeze to prevent black markets taking advantage of a war right at the doors of the stronghold. Any price increase of more than 10% in a day will trigger the price freeze automatically.

So it’s a siege already? People don’t act like it’s a siege either because they don’t believe it yet, or because they are used to it, or they don’t know. What’s up with that anyway? The enemy hasn’t made a move yet? Or have they?

Another couple letters were offers of employment by different adventurer groups but because of translation errors we aren’t very clear on the identities of the other groups or their makeup. Its like when people forget to date and sign their letters because they are amateurs, or it’s the kids not knowing enough dwarven characters. We’ll probably have to find a better translator later than a bunch of kids with little education.

Then too, we probably don’t need to group with others right away anyway. But it’s interesting to see our demand go up. It’s also interesting to think of the negotiation aspect of this part of the game. It’s like we’re a power navigating a secret counsel in a way.

Then we turned in the ogre heads at the reception desk after rinsing and cleaning them and the bag of money that the ogres had. It was so filthy that we’d overlooked they had 5 gold 32 silver on them.

The bounty for ogre heads is still there and this got a lot of attention when we pulled these out. A few people even cheered for us, since they take it as a good omen with the enemy camped outside. Plus there’s the 10% increase still in place because of it being promoted for helping the war effort.

But I’ve saved up the ogre heads and now it’s time to turn them in after the mini dungeon Doppel-chan sent us on.

As I roll them onto the counter for bounty processing the dwarven receptionist guild girls have wide eyes. “What the hell?! So many…Um, which mercenary group are you with then? Which company?” they give us looks of fear like we’re the monsters now. And because Sunghee looks too beautiful to be an ogre killer that means I’m getting the looks more than anyone.

“We’re our own company actually,” Sunghee said while patting my shoulder.

The receptionist nods and gives us a look like we’re monsters. “I-I’ll be right back. With this much bounty gold changing hands I have to have a supervisor present. It’s the rule,” she said.

The transaction proceeds swiftly and without problems but with lots of attention.

Attention is bad though, with respect to having demon genes.

14 ogre heads at 1 gold each. Plus an additional 10% bonus.

14 gold plus 1 gold 40 silver = 15 gold 40 silver

There was also the cost of the inn plus meals, and some street food stand treats like barbequed corn and meat ribs that I got for Sunghee and Rina…yeah even though she’s a cat she won’t eat non-people food. Thus, we lost another 2 silver, though most of that was for inn costs.

We were surprised though that after receiving that gold a dwarven runner gave us a slip of paper with a message on it that we still can’t read. Then we had to pay someone that looked educated to read it to us for 40 copper, which was a ripoff. We had to give in because it seemed urgent however.

It read, “Nice job at the arena yesterday. We need two more victories this week before we’re willing to meet. –X”

Holy Shit!

Until know I wasn’t sure a demonologist was even more than a foggy dream. Now there’s real communication. It’s obviously from the demonologist.

I’m surprised about there being any contact actually. It’s interesting but so vague that I’m also worried. It’s too bad he didn’t see the ogre heads because that should have been an easy tally mark there too, but it’s not going to happen.

It’s got me curious. And the original runner is gone and nowhere to be found near here. Whoever sent this is really covering their tracks. Even with Sunghee’s alertness we lost them. And that means they’d figured out how to watch us back, which I don’t like.

Final count 15 gold 37 silver and some change. Since Gyle isn’t here screw him, he won’t get any plus this wasn’t something he’d participated in. I don’t think anything has happened to him. As I recall, he’d gotten all in a fit because I got all the women and he didn’t get any.

If we weren’t so scared that we’d piss our pants I might have been tempted to do another ogre dungeon through Doppel-chan. But then Doppel-chan last time did say something like, two ogre clans next time instead of one huh?

So I guess there’s no free lunch after all.

And it was too scary how fast they could run too.

“Boss or should I say lover; you look like you are thinking something kind of deep?” Sunghee said. She leans on her arm while staring at me with a pure look.

“I’m always thinking something. I just have a restless mind I guess,” I said to correct her.

“Why do you guys suddenly call me boss instead of like husband or master?” I wondered.

“Well you kind of are a super existence. You are still master too, but you are a super boss in a way. When I saw that many ogre heads roll onto the table when we turned in the bounties I realized you are kind of like way above us in a way,” Sunghee shrugged.

“At any rate I’m thinking how we could get some more money and funds for better equipment and stuff,” I said.

“We should probably do another job that will count for the military huh? The ogre heads will count for that too but just to get it out of the way you know,” Sunghee said.

“My worry if they count the ogre heads is if they expect me to only do ogres in the future. Those are trouble. I wouldn’t think our survival is secure if we just only do ogres. We probably didn’t even meet the toughest ogres,” I said.

That made her scared but it was true.

Sunghee had an idea though.

Technically we had a spell from meeting Lottie the first time and we still haven’t done anything with it. It was that black tar spell. It wasn’t really a top class spell but I wanted to see if we could do something with it.

But the reminder came from Sunghee who brought it up, I exclaimed in surprise. “Ahh that’s right we had something like that huh?”

“We can use it for something I’m sure,” I said.

“Eh? We can? But I thought that you couldn’t use that spell. You tried it several times,” Sunghee said skeptically.

“That’s true, even trying on several days I can’t replicate it, and I think that it’s because it’s a different element than I normally use,” I said.

“But you do have the spell sequence for it. That’s worth something,” Sunghee said.

“So what do you suggest?” I asked.

She suddenly smiled. “Well you can sell it. That’s my first idea but wouldn’t it be better if you copy the sequence and then trade it with other mages for other spell sequences?”

“We can do that? I’ve not traded with other mages. I thought I couldn’t do that,” I said.

“It’s true that it’s hard, but there’s a chance someone in the city could use it and give up something in return,” she said.

“That’s true,” I said.

“You have to consider magic is hard to work up on this world though. They will be ridiculously weak with it at the beginning, even if they are someone really compatible with it. But what works in your favor is that mages are obsessive about getting other magic skills,” Sunghee said.

She’s reminded us that this world makes you fight tooth and nail for every bit of growth with tons of adversity.

“I agree but how do we know which kind of people can use a spell like that? And what’s a fair trade for it?” I wondered scratching my head.

“That really depends on how much tar they can summon for it to be effective. If it’s really tar then it does have battle usage if it can be controlled enough to be in an area blocking two confronting teams by the caster who is in one team,” Sunghee said.

“So have you seen a spell like this before?” I asked.

“You are fortunate that I have heard of people using grease area effects and tar variants in place of it. The tar version is smelly and ruins clothes so people hate it. But it’s not as slippery as the grease version which fades away and erases completely when it expires. The tar version is keyed to fade away except in the clothes of people it gets stuck too. Thus it has a reputation for making people not want to confront those using it. That’s why it’s a good buy,” Sunghee said.

“Nice. Let’s do it,” I said.

“The problem is that mostly only earth mages or geomancers are going to be able to use it,” Sunghee said.

“I wonder if that’s so bad. This is a dwarf city after all,” I said.

The two of us discuss it, with cat version Rina also wagging her tail like a dog, even though she’s a cat.

It’s a possible valid way to get an increase in funds or battle prowess. So we want to try it. It depends on if this is considered exploiting or not.

We end up talking to the receptionist at the adventurer’s guild house in charge of the job board.

“Hi we’d like to put up a job,” I had Sunghee say. She’s being the pleasant friendly older sister type for the contact on this. She’s better at smoothening over and charming people too, so there’s a chance by having her name and face for this that it will boom the business interest more.

For some reason people do this and it works. If you had two identical stores next to each other in every aspect but had a boy as the clerk in one and a pretty girl as the clerk in the other, by all accounts people will go to the girl clerk more even if its girl buyers. It’s sexist and wrong and I’d noticed it in the real world trying to do part time jobs in the summer when I wasn’t hired over girl classmates who also had applied and gotten it.

That’s why I think it will work with dwarves too.

“What kind of job do you want to put up?” the receptionist puts on her charming smile again. She’s a human but still nice looking and dwarves are OK with that. Somehow she’s looking at me more than the others, but she’s not nearly anything as good looking as Sunghee is.

Even though I’m in charge, just standing next to Sunghee is a privilege because she’s so hot looking.

“Is there any rule against putting up a job ad for trading resources like ore, wood, iron, skills, or other things?” Sunghee asked.

She shook her head. “As long as you are willing to pay the fee for the ad we don’t mind. We do mind that you don’t falsify your ads or cheat people or disturb the peace though.”

“And it’s OK for trades too if its magic resources involved?” Sunghee asked.

“Is it harmful to others or toxic?” She asked. Shen asked a few questions about if it were dark elf contraband, or something related to demons, or dangerous, which we said no to.

“No.”

“Then it should probably be OK. I wouldn’t tell the magic school about it though. They may try to lean on you if it’s like trading something they have a business interest over but that’s not our stewardship to police,” the receptionist said. She makes some scratches and marks while writing notes on her papers for her staff to go over, and for her own reference.

“And how much is the ad going to cost?” Sunghee asked for me again. We had these types of questions worked out ahead of time so she knew what to do.

“2 silver if it’s up for today only. But we can give you a good deal if it’s also up for all week at a discount. The weekly price is only 5 silver,” she said.

“So do we want to do this tomorrow too or just today?” Sunghee asked me.

“I’m thinking just to experiment with only today,” I said.

“OK, what do we want the ad to say?” Sunghee asked.

“Um, we’ll be back in a minute. We will do this but we want to find tune the wording,” I said to the receptionist.

“See you soon,” she said. She placed the notes to the side, expecting us to come back soon.

I pulled out some change.

I suddenly on the spot decided to add some lures to this concept.

We talked to a dwarven food street vendor. It was the same guy that does the barbeque ribs, and barbequed corn. His name is Jarom and he does this because he can’t work in the mines anymore. For the cheap price of 5 silver we hire him to be our employee making and cooking the same items he is plus I’ll give him a bonus for each team that approaches us with a deal.

I want to do something about his medical condition that’s weakened him but at least he’s not coughing all over the food. He just can’t work in the mines anymore, which is rare for dwarves because they have a second liver that only filtrates their respiratory system for this kind of thing. Perhaps too much alcohol weakened that liver that does that for him I wonder….

He does after all have several kegs of ale on his booth. And he’s not selling the ale, though some people  have asked him. Yeah, it’s more proof that binge drinking is bad. He’s a poster ad for the beer version of emphysema. I doubt my heal skills would work on him too.

The deal is this; he’ll move his street vending cart over to the park and meet us. There we all hang out as the contact for a two for one deal of free lunch plus the summon tar spell for another spell in exchange from other adventuring groups. Naturally I want it to be a spell exchange for something I can use. But people covet magic enough that even if it’s not something I can use then I could probably exchange that for something else. And magic is hard enough to get that people don’t have something like this on their own already. People have to work hard to gain a magic skill or magic spell, so an opportunity to get one cheap sounds like a cool deal.

The food is just a lure but if it’s free for the whole team in the exchange it may help with luring people more quickly. It will also give us a chance to ask about amateur alchemists to experiment with, but that isn’t our primary goal.

I had Rina show him where to put the stand right away early on while Sunghee and I finalize the job ad with the receptionist girl. It’s also an infinite use chit, which means as many teams that are interested (that have a mage) can pick it up. Obviously if their party doesn’t have a mage they won’t pick it up.

Job ad came out like this;

 

Today only;

Trade a minor but useful spell at our food booth in the park near the duck pond, in exchange for free team lunch of barbecued ribs and corn and a summon tar spell. Must be a spell that has value, spells usable by a buffing job class preferred; offers for money in lieu of a spell exchange may also be considered.

 

So we ended up with our rented food booth and new dwarven employee out near the duck pond in the park. I was also surprised that one of the dwarven runner kids that we’d used the other day happens to be Joram’s son. But I wasn’t that impressed because he was one of the kids that snuck off halfway through the job. To be fair he did give me two hours of wandering I guess?

I hope his dad isn’t like this?

Jarom seems to be an OK guy.

People stop several times to buy his barbequed corn and meat. We use his son as a runner to go get more corn and meat because his little cart food stand has a wonderful aroma to it. He’s selling food like hot cakes with a lot more interest than he’d have by the inn for some reason.

An hour goes by.

Still no one interested in spell exchange.

Jarom makes a lot of money. His deal was he’d keep his money off the normal food deals. We’re a little disappointed but it’s only copper and I’m not really into copper. The lunch special he does costs people about 10 copper per person. It’s a pretty good deal if you are poor plus its healthy food mostly with some kind of rich barbeque flavor.

Two hours go by while I use Sunghee’s legs as a lap pillow on the grass while Jarom is clearly jealous of my female attention, relaxation and freedom while he’s on the job.

“What he’s being paid. Don’t feel sorry for him,” I said to Sunghee when she asked if it was fair.

“That’s true,” she admitted brightening up.

Later Sunghee helped out while I’m resting. It just so happens that because I am connected to Svinn the dwarves might be afraid to approach me so Jarom after identifying who I was doesn’t want me next to the cart, but that could just be to try to separate me from Sunghee, which won’t work.

Sunghee stands politely acting as our representative at the extra foldup table that Jarom had for us to use next to his little oven cart contraption.

Another hour goes by.

“I don’t get it. Why didn’t it work?” I voiced aloud.

“I don’t know Shun. This kind of thing maybe it’s a patience game,” Sunghee answered back while I’m resting with my head on her legs still.

Sunghee is very alert and careful acting as both a guard and a spokesperson for us. We’ve also brought lots of parchment and ink just in case. And to cover for us, with Joram and his son here if someone asks for the spell to be written in dwarven we can do so between juggling the coding somehow with Sunghee and him.

The coding doesn’t require someone to know much about magic by itself, but just activating the code does.

We spend a lot of time waiting and hoping people will come by.

Finally we have a taker, when we were just about to lose patience.  

A team of little rabbitkin people came over. They are interesting and their joints are slightly different from normal humans that gives them an almost but not quite there hop like walk. There are four of them with a mage in a wide brim witch hat in the back. Rabbitkin seem to like these kinds of hats resembling something from a final fantasy theme with slots for their ears.

They aren’t really as good looking as I thought they would be, though they aren’t terribly awful looking either.

“So can we still get in on the spell exchange deal?” the head rabbitkin guy said. Amazingly enough they are all shorties, just a little bit taller than dwarves and looking like kids.

“We can work with you. What do you have in exchange?”

“We have a rat summon spell,” they blushed.

Sunghee’s face fell. “Umm, got anything else?”

“But…” I started to say.

Sunghee leaned over into my face looking serious. “I hate rats and if you don’t want to sleep on the couch you will never ever summon rats. Got it?”

“Yes, ma’am,” I said almost saluting. I guess even with pheromones, people with severe fears or dislikes of certain things still won’t jump to be around those things. Sunghee hates vermin of all kinds, except bunnies.

“But rats are useful ya’. You can use them to like scout floors ya’. They can trip non-weight traps sometimes too ya’,” the head rabbitkin said.

They sure say ya a lot at the end of their sentences. It’s a rabbitkin theme and all of them do it but it’s not cute just stupid and makes them all look like strange people. Overall rabbitkin seem a bit nerdy and short, making them seem goofy especially when they are young.

The others agree with him, nodding their heads at the same time. They also have a gang mentality of psychologically siding with the earlier way to quickly to be healthy, which is part of their survival traits.

I’m so not into rats though actually. I had gotten caught up in the greed of wanting another skill and that blinded me. Rats are gross and carry diseases too. Also do the rats just stay in the place you summon them forever? I suppose if I wanted I could use the summon rats spell in Lottie’s house a couple thousand times if I ever got a chance but I might not live to tell about it.

“Um, got anything else?” I asked.

The rabbitkin scratched their ears while they discussed it in low voices after forming a huddle. They seem to also do this non-verbal communication even with twitching their noses and parts of their faces at each other. They look kind of funny actually. They have almost human like faces but this funny scared pack look while looking to each other for courage before doing anything.

Then finally the one in the mage hat whispered something to the leader. He stepped forward again.

“Well there is something useful we have but it’s really not a game changer?” he said. He almost seemed sorry to mention it.

“Temperature Assurance, a comfort support spell,” he said a modest bow.

“What’s it do?” Sunghee asked.

“Hmm?” I sort of am trying to be neutral, since I don’t know what that means yet.

“It’s not really very powerful. It’s more of a comfort adjuster for temperature and has limits. It has to be worked up like any spell and starts small but can be developed into something better,” he said looking bashful.

“How much better?” I wondered.

“Well…I don’t know,” one of them said.

“That’s why we thought you might like the summon rats spell more,” the mage in the back said. They look hopeful.

“But it is good for targeting garden plants at change of season to buy a few more days of produce growth too. It won’t let them survive long but two or three days can be more crop for plants that produce all season long,” one of them said.

They all look at that fellow funny, “What? I’m just saying…”

“I thought you’d gotten rid of that farm fetish,” one of his buddies whispered too loudly.

So if what they are saying is true this is a great spell for trying to help females get used to the idea of wearing as little as possible? Suddenly this spell has true greatness.

But what if I’m still doing it for the wrong reasons? I should rethink this.

Spell;

Temperature Assurance

Has no combat value. Helps feel more comfortable by up to 10 degrees hotter or cooler according to what the receiver feels is ideal. Effect is in real time on body, not on only the mind. Doesn’t actually change the temperature around you, but when cast on clothes or hat may help feel less severe in weather. With spell in use, 90 degree weather will feel like 80 degrees on the body but doesn’t shield oneself from burns or freezing unless the changed amount is beyond the limit needed to avoid burning or freezing or feeling temperature being uncomfortable. Thus, limited use suggests standing around in said 90 degree weather the spell wearer will feel 80 degree weather but still may be sunburned as if it were 80 degree weather and so on if standing all day in the weather without other protections.

Well to be truthful, the rat summon spell is better but no way am I going to risk sleeping on the couch over this, since Sunghee wouldn’t like rats and well if Rina in cat form starts trying to eat rats I’m in trouble in other ways.

But I freaking hate rats too is the problem.

Would you want to hold hands with your spouse or somebody after they were holding a bunch of rats, or after they just summoned several hundred of them? It’s also incompatible with the psychological effects of incubus promoting abilities and traits.

I was about to shoot it down when Sunghee whispered in my ear. “What if this can be leveled up later? What if you can strengthen it to get it into a point where it can be a full on cold or heat resistance in a really cold environment?”

Dang, she’s right probably. Yeah probably.... Then it could be used to get away from civilization if those areas are overcome by monsters. It’s a backup plan if we want to go to a wild wilderness avoided by all other folk.

And I can’t stand be cold or hot even more than rats, I also realized while Sunghee is nudging me from the side. This adds more potential to avoiding the concept of being hot or cold.

We take the deal. I even feel confident about it paying off long term.

We’re also fortunate that the rabbitkin adventure group can accept earth based spells. And for some reason rabbitkin think summon tar is the coolest thing ever. They are already getting some of it in their hair and fur, throwing it at each other, and making themselves look like fools. Its also clear that rabbitkin are a bit weak in the common sense department as a race.

When we saw them leaving making both of us smirk as we wave goodbyes. Within an hour we saw dwarven city guards yelling at them and giving them a fine for using the summon tar spell in the city park, which is something along the lines of a major pain in the ass where the guards don’t like it enough to invent charges to stick them with. It looks like they’ll be paying a hefty fine for vandalism, but that’s not our fault.

We made sure to be out of sight when that was going on.

We’re lucky those rabbitkin didn’t blame us too, as we see them getting fined across the park. But they only didn’t blame us because I think they were afraid of me, and at least one of them thought Sunghee was hot.

An hour later, another group comes forward. They also want to make the trade.

This was unexpected. I’d thought we’d be lucky to get one group, not two. But they were here to do extortion without paying. In other words, they thought we were weak little mages and came to rob us. But then one of them saw that our gear is all top quality and he was trying to warn their leader to back off but didn’t make it in time.

I hit the lead guy with a stun and Sunghee has her blade to his neck before the others can say anything.

Wow, her alertness skill is really up to snuff. She was so fast that even I was scared of her.

The city guard later came and took them away. We were lucky they believed us. It’s good we didn’t rob them either, because then they might have had ammunition to verbal contest against us with the guards even though robbing from a robber is justified normally. It’s also proof that chaos and randomness can mess you up at any time.

Twenty minutes later another group comes forward.

We traded the summon tar for a spell called ‘Cure Blindness’ with another group. I wonder if it’s worth anything. Cure Blindness at my current level only cures temporary spell casted blindness, but not disease blindness that’s been a long term condition on someone. It also doesn’t cure stuff like eye gouges, or summoned darkness or darkness clouds or fog. Nor does it cure night blindness by absence of light. So at the moment it’s hard to say if this is a good deal or not, but it’s better to cover every bit of ground for skills.

This turned out to be a steal because people thought cure blindness is worthless because they don’t think anyone can use it anymore, since normal healers are supposedly extinct.

Two other groups came forward.

We make trades while they have lunch on the grass while trying to stare at Sunghee.

They didn’t have a spell to trade but traded money instead for the same summon tar thing.

Who knew this spell could be so popular? I guess it’s the fascination with magic and trying to obtain treasures that fuels it.

This summon tar thing; it has limits in slowing down opponents and is really fucking  messy beyond anything you can comprehend except for if you physically wiped human produced fertilizer on someone. But Sunghee is sure that the tar is flammable, which is kind of scary really now that I think about it; part of me feels anxious about not being able to try that on a few goblins. Hell dwarves would turn that into a sport, even. Perhaps that’s why some of them want it and seem to think it’s better than the grease spell. If you can ignite the tar on someone after getting it all over them, hell that’d be a freaking mess.

I guess that’s OK. The first offer was 23 silver 57 copper and some pocket lint. Somehow that makes me worried because I guess it was everything that there was in that pocket.

Will they be OK without something to use for food and housing costs?

I wanted to feel sorry for them but Sunghee wants to accept it, when we whisper to each other in front of them. While Sunghee and I debated it briefly, she is standing so close to me that she’s also trying to get me to peek at her cleavage while almost in kissing position.

It’s obvious she wants to kiss and maybe escalate it but we’re doing business. We conclude whispering and she pats me on the back.

When Sunghee brought it up to the group wanting to trade it with me they just laughed it off and said they will sleep in an alley and that they do it all the time from the other bad luck they have. The guy in the back argued that they need this quite a lot and it will help their survivability.

I feel sorry for them. I would have let it slip but Sunghee helped me through that part.

“Will you really be able to learn this though?” I asked their mage.

He’s a human, not a dwarf or rabbitkin which can more easily learn earth stuff. So I don’t want to cheat them if he can’t learn it.

“I can do it! I will do it! It’s do it or bust! Besides that rabbitkin group we’re rivals with just got something like this and like hell we’ll let them beat us! We want to be able to throw tar back at those little fuckers next time they try to ‘egg’ us,” he swore in frustration.

Unexpectedly those stupid ass rabbitkins have made us some money.

Then he demanded I lower my pride and accept his offering.

“OK, that’s good enough. We just wanted to make sure you’d be OK with things,” I said.

The next deal we found a signal black robed mage with a hood. At first it was hard to hear her voice.

“So…umm….I mean…are you still…uh…doing that…you know… spell trade thing?” it’s a nervous girl, probably about fourteen or so. I can’t be entirely sure yet of her age. We can’t see her face at first but then she lowers her head.

“So you are interested in the summon tar spell?” Sunghee confirmed.

“Yeah, something like that,” she responded bowing again and again.

“Please treat me well…” she added again with her nervous laugh.

She’s trying to hard I think. Locks of raven block hair fall out of the hood and are already covering one side of her face. She also has a nice looking chin and the rest of her face too from what I can see. She’s a good looking girl. Her eyes are bright and intense. She seems ridiculously shy though, even more than tons of other girls I’ve already encountered.

She looks familiar? Do we know her? But I can’t place her. Who is she? I’m sure we know her from somewhere the longer I look at her.

“Wait you look familiar,” I said.

“Huh? Really?” she seems puzzled.

I can’t put my finger on it. I swear she looks like we should know her from somewhere but I can’t figure it out.

“Shun?” Sunghee calls out to me for confirmation again.

“Um, yes?” I asked.

“She wants to make a trade,” Sunghee said after chatting with her on small talk for a bit about stuff that doesn’t really matter, like weather and things that girls like.

“Sorry for the trouble. I really want to do my best though! Please make a trade with me!” the girl said anxiously. She seems really thin and raggedly too skinny despite her good looks. Where is her protection anyway? She has no guards? She does have two cats following her though.

Oh fudge buckets. I hate cats…she’s not …no she couldn’t be.

I almost froze in fear.

Is it Lottie? I didn’t mouth it but looked to Sunghee.

“Hmm, that’s not her,” Sunghee said to me.

After a minute we confirmed it. This isn’t Lottie, I’m sure of it finally.

“How come you are alone? You know it’s not safe to be out here alone for a kid. Walking around this city can be dangerous too you know,” I said.

“Ahh that’s probably true. Momma said something like that but then she wants me to be independent too. I guess it can’t be helped. It always works out anyway,” she shrugged.

“Well, see you later then, I guess it’s no good huh?” she turned to leave and starts to take a step.

Oh crap. I gave her the wrong idea by accident.

“Wait! What was your offer again?” I asked.

“Umm…will this work?” she asked.

She then unrolled a fancy scroll and spread it on the table. The thing looks very old, and extremely valuable. Ever see those cool awesome scrolls rolled up like they do on Chinese martial arts monk movies? Yeah this looks like that, even with elaborate wood carvings on the scrolls holding mechanism. The runes and symbols are exquisitely drawn as she shows us the finely made richly oiled paper. Beautiful calligraphy fills the entire scroll. Holy shit, is this a really good spell?

Both Sunghee and I nearly bump our heads together as we study it.

Is this unfair though? The spell scroll she had looked totally magnificent. And let’s face it, summon tar is mostly for gags and low powered.

“Eh? That’s not dwarven writing is it?” Sunghee noted.

“Ahh, you’re right it is,” I saw.

Shit, this could be a problem.

“I can’t read this. I can’t make it out,” Sunghee groaned. She’s also looking at it longingly, knowing this is something really nice.

It looks like almost like some kind of curvy elongated letters like you might see in a Lord of the Rings movie from our world but still different.

“This writing could be a problem,” Sunghee said confirming my worst fears.

“Eh? Is that so?” both me and the girl said.

Darn. I was hoping she or Sunghee could figure something out.

“We don’t know her language and we can’t write the scroll in this script,” Sunghee states.

“Don’t worry! I can work with whatever scroll you have even dwarven or changing it into dwarven…I mean,” the girl responded happily clapping her hands after stuttering out the last part nervously.

“No way!”

“What spell is that?” Sunghee is wondering.

“It’s called ESP resistance!” the girl said quickly.

“Holy crap! Are you serious?! You really want to trade this with us?!” Sunghee’s mouth is agape.

I scratched my head. I kind of had wishful thinking for something with offense.

“Ahh, is that a good spell?” she asked.

“Yeah it is,” I said finally getting past my doubt. Actually it’d be suicide to not have something like this going out with the demon box.

“Um Shun is this OK?” Sunghee asked me. Perhaps she’s wondering if this will get her in trouble from borrowing this from a family member.

“Duh! This is for anti espionage and for survival. We have to get this!” I said.

“It’s necessary for powerful mage opponents of any kind and for any real mage type. A mage is only as good as his secrets. If you have a rival that’s a mage this should be on the list of your first defenses,” the girl chuckled.

“This thing is really good to have Shun,” Sunghee warned me to not balk from this deal and I can see on her face that she wants this badly.

The selling girl who looks a bit young is also still nervous and hopping from one foot to the other while trying not to pace. “Yay! I’m so happy you’ll trade with me!” she said.

“Hmm how does it work?” I asked.

 

Spell;

ESP Resistance

Has no combat value. This is the basic lowest level version of this type of spell. Bestows 10% ESP defense in mental combat of buffed person against enemy opponent caster; note that this spell doesn’t guarantee blocking or defense but only grants an additional defense percentage to try to combat the enemy with. This also gives non-mages a chance to block enemy caster ESP intrusions where they might not have been able to block before because of no magic ability.

 

Wow. Doing a spell swap activity really was worth it.

That’s what we thought until the dwarven city guard came and fined us 50 silver for running a shop on government land without a permit. While we’re paying the fine I see that nervous looking black hood and robed girl again waving before she disappears with her two cats following her.

Tch! Cheapskates! How the freak were we supposed to know this area needed a permit. And that Joram guy snuck off somewhere awhile ago, since who knows when. He probably knew this would happen.

 

15 gold 40 silver – 53 silver = 14 gold 87 silver

Oh right, I almost forgot the change that one group had offered. I added that 23 silver 57 copper back into the inflow pile. We had more booth costs to factor in too but nothing serious. Because of that we lost another 3 silver but Joram is happy since he made a killing. We found him again later when he came back after sneaking off; he realized we hadn’t paid him yet. He also knows how to find us if another group comes to approach him with offers for us while we’re not with him.

There was some change he gave us that was refunded from our materials payments that his son did for the shop of 32 copper too. Then there were the street runner bribes again too, another 10 copper.

Even with the government fine it was worth it to pick up cheap spells for a lousy fine.

My gold bag = 196 gold 79 silver 07 copper + changes = 204 gold 89 silver 86 copper

Hmm I wonder, how many other spells I could trade? There’s got to be compatibility problems in a lot of mages. That will be a big obstacle. But theoretically I could just keep swapping whatever is compatible. And then maybe I could research ways of transferring “compatibility”, if that’s possible.

But sooner or later the position with 3 armies surrounding the town has to also culminate. And why haven’t they attacked yet?

Still no sign from the underground guy again. I keep hoping for an update.

Actually, lately I’ve wanted to get more intel on what’s going on. I can’t risk waiting for the situation to become unsalvageable before I know what’s going on. I should send a note to Cassius with a runner. Surely he or Svinn might know something.

I have a bad feeling about how the siege is going. Too many people don’t know what’s going on.

Why is it like that?

“Shun? You seem quiet,” Sunghee said.

Both Rina and Sunghee are giving me weird looks.

“Uh yeah. I’m worried about having enough gear. I think we better go get some more shields,” I said.

“Shields? I like that idea. Just having one isn’t good enough I think,” Sunghee said.

“They can get kind of heavy though huh?” the shopkeep assistant said.

We ended up getting some more gear using what the ogre bounties have provided.

1 more buckler (Rina), 1 gp

1 Body Shield (Asakura), 10 gp

2 backpacks (small, sturdy with hip belts), one for Rina, and one for Sunghee, 7 silver each

4 climbing ropes, 50 ft each, with mountain climbing equipment, 20 silver each

3 whetstones for sharpening weapons, 6 cp

2 flint and steel sets, 5 sp

Grappling hook, 8 sp

10 Throwing knives, 5 sp each, can never have enough of these

12 gp 62 sp, 18 cp

My gold bag (shrinking with my happiness) = 204 gold 89 silver 86 copper – 12 gp 62 sp 18cp = 192 gp 27 sp 68 cp

We did go to Gyle’s family’s shop for this stuff. It turns out their prices are right on.

“What are you guys preparing for war or something?” the family member at the desk asked.

“Pretty much,” I said without thinking.

Cat version Rina is chasing and running circles around me.

The dwarves with us paled.

“You said too much,” Gyle’s family member said.

“Yeah you might cause a panic shooting off your mouth,” Sunghee said.

 

We can use ESP resistance right away.

I confirmed the Cure Blindness is an intact spell chain but I need time to learn it still.

I hope we don’t get fined for those rabbitkin vandals throwing tar balls. I thought I saw the guards chasing them nearby again.

 

 

 

 

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A note from naosu

Oops minor editing change. 


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