Chapter 62 – The place is a bit messy, but welcome!
After eating dinner and doing a few other things, I logged in.
The first thing I saw, was that I had received a message. It was past 8pm in real life by now, so the working adults should already be available in-game.
And as expected, the messages came from Lolita, Mukaida and Lulu. Let’s reply to them.
“Are you well, Bucket?” Mukaida asked me.
“Yes, I’m okay. Good evening.” I replied.
“Oh, good evening.” He said.
Mukaida replied to my message really quickly. It took him less than a minute to reply even.
“As I told you in the previous message, I’ll guide you directly to the NPCs in question.” Mukaida told me.
“No problem! Please do!” I replied.
“Understood. That said, I need to talk to them a bit first, so please wait for the time being.” Mukaida said.
“Okay! Please go ahead.” I told him.
In exchange for getting the library information, Mukaida will introduce me to some NPCs that can give me a quest. It seems like Mukaida received a lot of quests from NPCs, just like how I receive quests from the Kederick store.
However, Mukaida wasn’t nominated to those quests like I was by Mr. Kederick. He visited them many times and talked to them many times, until he earned enough trust to start receiving quests.
Those quests can only be taken after getting enough trust, so they naturally give some pretty good rewards… In particular, they seem to have recipes for Intermediate Tools, like what I was going to ask Mr. Kederick about.
And well, it just so happened that Mukaida was a bit unlucky and received multiple requests from the NPCs at the same time. It was a bit too overwhelming and he’d be unable to deliver everything to them by the deadline they requested, so he was considering declining some of the quests.
However, before he could decline it, he heard about the library from Lolita and was wondering what he could give me in return for this information… And then he remembered that I wanted recipes for Intermediate Tools, so this just fit perfectly.
After all, with his introduction, I’d be able to bypass the requirement of visiting the NPCs many times and earning their trust, so this was more than enough for a reward.
Moreover, he is not just introducing me to one NPC that is giving a quest, but to multiple.
And well, Mukaida is a working adult, so he can’t spend that much time crafting… But me? I have plenty of time. It should be fine for me to take all those requests that felt overwhelming for Mukaida.
But well, while I wait until Mukaida talks to them, let’s go deliver the gear that the Kederick store requested of me.
I hope Mukaida can introduce me to them soon.
Shortly after I finished delivering the gear that the Kederick store requested, Mukaida sent me a message, “Then, let’s meet up in front of the Guild.”
“Got it.” I replied.
He also told me that he’ll introduce me to all five NPCs that will give me the quests at once. This was better than expected.
It seems like those NPCs all have connections with one another, so they decided to just handle this all together… Probably to save my time, as I won’t need to go through five different meetings like this.
Just in case though, I asked Mr. Kederick if it was fine for me to take other requests even though I was regularly receiving requests from him, but he said that he has no issues with that for as long as I keep delivering things within schedule.
I also asked him about the recipe for Paper, but as the Kederick store deals primarily with heavy equipment, Paper is not something they actively care much about. For them, the basic Paper at stores is more than enough, so they don’t have much information on how to make it any better.
Because of this, I got no progress on my quest for a Paper recipe…
In any case, Mukaida was already waiting in front of the Guild when I arrived there, “Sorry to keep you waiting.” I told him.
“Ah… Well, let’s just go.” Mukaida replied.
He was a bit blunt, but I don’t think he meant to be rude or anything. He is just not a very talkative person.
We’ve known each other for a while now, but we hardly talk about anything other than crafting… Well, that, and the NPC quests now.
He also seems like a fairly caring person, I mean… He is a lot taller than me, so I’d definitely be left behind if he walked at his normal pace, but he instead adjusted to my pace and walked through the main street while staying at its center side, so that I wouldn’t have to worry about a carriage passing too close to me.
Isn’t he quite the gentleman? Not to mention being tall and muscular… Mukaida must be quite popular!
“We’re here.” Mukaida told me.
“It’s about the same size as my workshop.” I commented.
“Well, it’s not a big store.” Mukaida replied, then opened the shop’s door and went inside it. I quickly followed.
Once inside the store, the first thing I saw were several fidgety big men.
“They’re here!” One of them exclaimed.
“Mukaida! Th-that person is!?” Another exclaimed.
“O-over here!” One of them gestured towards a chair.
“This place is a bit messy, but welcome!” Another man said.
“It’s not messy!” The last one of them exclaimed.
Considering that Mukaida was only able to get a quest from them after earning their trust, I thought that even with an introduction I’d still need to go through an interview of sorts to get their quest, but…
“You seem bewildered.” Mukaida commented, as if reading my mind.
“Ah… Eh… Yes.” I somehow replied.
“You should be aware that you’re a fairly famous player, Bucket.” Mukaida told me.
“Ah…” I muttered.
“Well, it’s all good now. Did you enjoy the welcome?” Mukaida asked me.
“Oh, I did.” I replied.
So that’s what this was… This explains the surprisingly excited welcome.
I did get renowned enough to the point that even the Kederick store started requesting my help, so I suppose other crafting NPCs might have also heard of me.
Being known is important in business, I guess.
Though well, I’ll still refuse the request if it’s a one-sided exploitation… But as I’m being introduced by Mukaida, this is unlikely to happen.
In that case, I probably don’t need to be wary. Let’s just relax and accept this warm welcome.
“Then, I’ll come back to deliver these once I finish making them.” I told the shop owners.
“Oh, thank you!” They replied.
After that nice reception, the business talks started, but everything went smoothly from beginning until the end.
Mukaida had already negotiated the details of the request in advance with them, so my talk with them lasted less than ten minutes total.
Most of it was spent with them explaining their current situation to me. They’re all blacksmiths that own not only a mid-sized store each, but they also each own a workshop.
However, they unfortunately had many of their disciples suddenly stop working in recent times.
This, paired together with the drastic increase in player Pioneers, ended up making it impossible for them to keep up with the demands of the market, which is why they needed Mukaida to make items for them.
… Could the disciples quitting the job be part of the balance patch of the game? The one that the development team did to make it easier for player Pioneers to compete with NPCs on crafting?
Well, I didn’t ask the store owners in detail about this, so I have a hard time coming to any conclusion… Either way, most of the things they need are miscellaneous goods and tools.
They also want a bit of gear, but only of bronze and copper, while the miscellaneous products are things like cooking pots and frying pans.
And the tools are primarily farming tools… I guess this is probably due to the Mizuri Village that Hime recently unlocked? It must have increased the demand for this kind of item considerably.
Also, now that I think about it, stores focused on heavy equipment, such as the Kederick store, don’t seem to have any kind of farm tool on them… Could this be because of some internal agreement between them? It might be a way of letting the small stores survive without actively competing with the big ones.
In any case, the needed tools can be made with beginner recipes, so I should have no trouble making them… Aside from being careful to follow the necessary standards that is.
But well, the amount requested is reasonable even when taking the fact that I received five requests at once. The delivery date is also not too tight, so I should be able to get it done.
I want to do this.
“I don’t think it will be a problem for you, but please try delivering everything before the deadline.” Mukaida told me after we left the store.
“Of course. I’ll start making it as soon as I get back to my workshop.” I replied.
“And… Well, it’s a bit sad that the game’s balance patch ended up affecting the NPCs in such a way.” Mukaida commented.
“Yeah, they live in the world of Frontiers, so it’s a bit painful to see it.” I told him.
“The more I talk and get close to them, the less I think of them as game characters.” Mukaida said.
“I understand. They don’t feel like AIs at all.” I replied.
“Yeah…” He muttered.
I remembered all the talks with master Merget and the other disciples… They really don’t feel like AIs at all. They are all very emotional and lively.
I can understand it was necessary to nerf the capability of the NPC crafters in order to let the player crafters compete, but the impact of those changes seems to have been quite large and serious.
Well, it’s thanks to that that the NPC quests can come to player Pioneers like us, so I suppose it had the impact that the development team wanted.
Still, I don’t want to stand still and watch them suffer, because they really don’t feel like AIs.
… Though it’s not like there is much that I can do. At most I can complete the quests that I received.
… And enjoy those attractive rewards since I’m at it!
I parted ways with Mukaida after reaching the Guild, so I immediately went to my workshop.
What I can do now is to craft a lot, after all.
But well, I’d also be happy if I could become friends with those NPCs… Let’s do our best until today’s logout!