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119 Part 2
“Now wait just a minute!!”
Akane slammed her hand against the counter, making a loud noise.
That noise pulled Haruki right back into this world.
“If you put this on, more people are going to think you’re a monster!”
“That’s right, Karaboshi. People already think you’re some kind of monster, so I don’t think you should be wearing a tag either!”
— What on earth do you girls take me for?
Haruki could feel a headache rising after hearing their cruel words.
“I’m just an adventurer like any other.”
The entire prefab went quiet at once.
Not only Akane and Karen, but Rhea, Esta, and even the tiny bird have gone entirely silent.
One second. Two seconds. That awkward silence still remained.
Akane suddenly broke the ice with a tone of voice that was sure to bring everything back to normal.
— What on earth was that all about?
Akane took two tags and thrusted them at a confused Haruki.
“Anyway, Air. Please purchase a tag each for Rhea and Esta!”
“50,000 yen a piece!”
“Ah, so that’s what it was…”
That was why Akane seemed to have been in such a good mood ever since he got into the prefab.
She must have been trying to make a fortune by selling these tags to Haruki.
He could, of course, not buy the tags.
However, if he didn’t, once these tags became well-known amongst adventurers, his companions would be seen as wild monsters for not having tags on them, which could end up with them getting attacked.
For this reason, simply not buying the tags wasn’t an option for Haruki.
50,000 yen a piece was quite expensive. However, the logos of each company were labeled on the tags.
In other words, that meant that Ichibishi, Kawamae, and Banma have all guaranteed the reliability and quality of these tags. 50,000 yen was probably a good price for that kind of guarantee.
And a life could not be bought back with money.
If Rhea or Esta ended up dying because he was stingy about 50,000 yens, he would never be able to forgive himself.
Haruki took his card out and held it at the register.
Then, Akane stared fixedly at the top of Haruki’s head.
“So… three tags add up to 150,000 yen.”
“Wait, one for Rhea and one for Esta should be 100,000 yen, right?”
“Yeah, yeah, but that little guy on top of your head makes it three.”
Both Haruki and Akane tilted their heads to the side at the same time.
Then, a nervous “Pii!?” was heard from the top of Haruki’s head, probably because she had lost her balance.
The “little guy” Akane was referring to was the tiny bird.
“But this is an animal, right?”
“Isn’t it a monster? It really doesn’t suit you, though, and I thought that it was some kind of new piece of equipment, but it turns out it’s a living thing!”
“It doesn’t suit me…? Well, it certainly must not look very good for a grown man to have a small bird resting on the top of his head, right?
“Ah, that’s not what I meant…”
Akane shook her hand like a fan, laughing.
— What’s with that reaction!?
Haruki’s eyes were opened wide in surprise.
“Aaaanyway. That little guy over there isn’t an animal. It’s a monster.”
If Akane was so certain of it, then she was probably right.
Haruki forcibly convinced himself of that.
“Do you know what kind of monster she is?”
“Umm… No, I don’t. Maybe she’s a rare kind of Piyoko? Where did you find her?”
“I got an egg-shaped stone on the dungeon yesterday–”
Haruki then explained how he obtained the egg-shaped stone and how the little bird could have been born out of it.
“Do you have any shards from that stone?”
“Ah, yeah. Here…”
Haruki handed the shards to Akane.
She glared at the shards while remaining completely silent.
“Hmm… I don’t know about this at all. It’s the first time I see something like this.”
“If not even you know what these are, then…”
“Look here, I might be the perfect clerk, and angel and a beautiful woman, but I’m not omnipotent, you know?”
It was pointless to say anything against that.
With a blank stare, Haruki passed through Akane’s nonsense.
He simply proceeded to equip each of his tamed monsters with the tags he purchased.
Rhea’s tag was wrapped around her head (flower) so that it wouldn’t get in the way even if she moved.
Esta’s tag was attached to his neck because it felt comfortable to him there.
The one for the tiny bird was wrapped around her neck as well.
But it seemed to be a little too long.
“Ah, wait a second. I’ll adjust it for you.”
Then, Akane took out a pair of nippers and nimbly shortened the chain of the tiny bird’s tag.
“Those nippers sure are handy.”
“If you think these are just some regular nippers, you’re terribly mistaken!”
Akane repeatedly raised the nippers in front of Haruki and clicked them while snorting “Ohoho!”
“These are part of Ichibishi’s ‘Ichi’ Series. High Wolf Nippers!”
“Ooh. You even had such a thing at the ready?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Some adventurers that come into the shop wear armor that doesn’t fit properly. For those people, I’m always prepared with the right tools to be able to do some adjustments right here on the spot.”
“Ah, I see.”
Offering adjustments at the same store where you purchase something is an important service, just like hemming up jeans.
If “the quality of the armor is so high that it cannot be adjusted at the storefront”, the adventurer will most likely go to a store where it can be adjusted.
Haruki deeply understood the meaning of Akane’s words.
“Ohoho, so what do you think? Aren’t both Ichibishi and myself amazing!?”
Akane puffed up her chest and raised her chin, but her hands still moved with amazing precision.
She was uselessly skillful at adjusting tags while boasting.
“And that should do it.”
“Thanks. And I’ll have one more tag for–”
“That’ll be 150,000 yen!”
“But I want one more–”
“I’ll be taking your card now if you please!”
— But I wanted to get one for myself to see if it would make me more noticeable…
Haruki reluctantly handed his card to Akane, who had an intimidating smile on her face.