Chapter 44 – We’d like you to make…
At the library, I returned one of the books I had read, then borrowed a new one. I did want to read more books, but I figured this trip to the library should have given enough time to the guild to let them contact the person that made the request, so I decided to spend no time reading and to start moving.
Coming to think of it, this is the first quest I ever took for the guild… But well, it’s basically a training quest, so it’s not that different from the tutorials… I’ll do my best!
It didn’t take too long to walk from the library to the Kederick store… It was a big place. About as big as the empty store that I stared at back when I was searching for a location to rent.
And the inside was… Quite beautiful to look at. There were lots of shelves that could display many pieces of equipment. I’m envious of how much space they have… Though at the same time, I’m only a single person, so it’s not like I can make enough products to fill this many shelves.
Also, almost all gear available for sale was of Bronze or Copper tier, and they were all 3* only. Some of them were beginner recipes while others were more complicated, but still… All 3* Bronze and Copper gear.
The one exception was a Heavy Steel Plate that was displayed in a glass case. The price was about 10x what you’d expect from a Heavy Iron Plate… It made me remember that Armilate asked me to contact her once I could make steel gear, though she wanted a somewhat lighter armor, one that gave less protection in exchange for better mobility.
But to think there was no iron gear for sale, and only one steel piece available… The nerf put on NPC crafters was harder than I thought. On the beta it only took a few days to get strong equipment on the shelves of the NPC stores, but even after a month of in-game time, they’re still quite limited.
Well, part of it is probably because the player pioneers are now able to afford iron, so the NPC stores must have run out of stock… Which led to them requesting me to craft some stuff for them, I guess?
I suppose I should check the details of the request already, so let’s ask a clerk about it, “Excuse me, but I received a request from the guild that was related to this store.”
“Oh, Ms. Bucket, right? The guild told us about you, so please wait just a moment. I’ll call the manager.” As the clerk said that, he quickly left, and soon returned together with a middle-aged man that guided me to a private reception room.
The room looked pretty well-decorated. Not overly fancy, but still filled with high-quality furnishings that made a pretty harmonious space.
The manager that guided me here wasn’t the one that was going to explain the request though. Instead, he just gave me some tea and told me to wait for the owner of the store to come.
Luckily enough, the wait time was short, for I didn’t even have enough time to finish one teacup before Mr. Kederick arrived. He was an elderly man that was wearing fancy clothes.
After I got up from the sofa and greeted him, he said, “Thanks for accepting our request. It’s a pity that you don’t want an exclusivity contract, but it is also the will of the goddess that we help train promising people, so that will not be an issue.
“We cannot give you this aid for free though, so we’d like you to provide us with the following iron equipment.” He then gave me a sheet of paper with a list of items they wanted, “We’ll provide all materials and you’ll be aided by our best blacksmiths and have access to the best tools that you can use.
“If those terms are satisfactory for you, please head to the smithy.”
“I accept, thank you.” As soon as I said that, he gave me a small bow and left… He must be quite busy, being the owner of a store as big as this one.
Though coming to think of it, he didn’t even have to be the one to explain the terms of the request to me. The manager that guided me here could have easily done it… It was probably a gesture of good will on his end to explain everything to me directly, to show that they were serious about this.
Well, no point in wondering about that. I asked the middle-aged manager to take me to the smithy, and he quickly guided me to it.
“Merget, this is Bucket, the person that we made a request for.” As we arrived at the smithy, the manager said this.
“Got it, leave her to me!” A bulky old man exclaimed, “Miss, I’m Merget, the one in charge of this workshop. While you’re here, you’ll refer to me as master!”
“Yes, master!” I replied.
“Good! I heard good things about you from Mr. Kederick, so I’ll work you to the bone! Don’t disappoint me!” He exclaimed this next.
“Yes, master!” I replied in the same way as before.
He seemed to be content with that, so he guided me around the smithy after this short conversation. It was somewhat hot, and the noises of people hitting metal was kinda bothersome… Though well, the system was probably minimizing this to some extent. I bet it would be a lot worse in an actual smithy… not like I’ve ever been in one though.
It’s also nice that the heat and the sounds from this place don’t really leak out because the system naturally makes all crafting locations soundproof and the like… Long live the system!
As we walked around and the master showed me the equipment available though, I could notice that there was something strange about the other blacksmiths… They were too slow.
Granted, some of them were using low-quality tools, so they were probably trainees that didn’t have enough Blacksmithing level to use the better tools, but… Even the ones that were using the better equipment, and therefore were the better smiths available, still seemed to take about twice as long as I do for making pretty much anything.
“Seems like you noticed it!” The master exclaimed, “You pioneers have an incredibly strong blessing from the goddess, so you can work much faster than most!
“While we are still blessed to some extent, we simply progress slower, take longer, and make lower quality gear than you’d make with the same skill levels as us!
“And now with so many monsters and demon trees causing trouble, we need your help more than ever!”
“Understood, master!” I replied.
So the NPC crafter nerf was done in a way that reduced the effectiveness of the ‘goddess blessing’ on them? I wonder if people like the master blacksmith ended up receiving a better than the average NPC ‘blessing’ then? So as to still let him be able to make stuff like Steel Gear?
Well, this ‘blessing’ would probably still be weaker than the one that player pioneers got.
It’s a bit sad to see that they need to put a lot more work than me to get worse results, but at the same time, this is important for the game’s balance, in order to let the players compete with the NPCs that work full-time on their crafts, so this can’t be helped.
For now, let’s just appreciate the fact I am in a smithy with access to high-level tools that I can use!