I had one week to prepare myself before my audience with the king. During that time though, I pretty much had nothing to do.
I lived my life normally, being careful not to cause any further problems; that was all that I did.
Of course, things didn’t proceed as normal completely.
I had to remove all of the swords with mithril in them from the shop front, and one of three Silver Wing knights always stood guard, under the pretense of surveillance.
Well, they weren’t really inconveniencing the business, and aside from that nothing else had changed, so there were no major issues.
「Alright… I finished cleaning, so maybe I should make that thing for… Hm?」
Just as I finished cleaning up the shop after hours, I heard the sound of metal clashing intensely from the back.
I got curious, so I headed outside through the backdoor.
I understood where the sound came from immediately. Sakura and Garnet were crossing swords with each other behind my shop.
It was obvious that they weren’t battling seriously.
「Ah, Luke-san, good work today.」
Silvia, who was crouched down by the backdoor, looked up at me and smiled.
「What are those two doing?」
「Garnet-san muttered something about how he 『felt dull due to the boredom,』which Sakura overheard. So, Sakura said,『In that case, please help me with my training.』Which brings us here.」
I could imagine that. In fact, it felt like I could hear exactly how the conversation went.
Although they were properly training, the two of them also looked like they were having fun, so there wasn’t a reason to stop them.
At that rate though, their weapons were going to get damaged, but when that time comes, I can just【Repair】them.
「Anyways, I better do what I was planning.」
「What? Oh, you mean the request from the noble?」
「Yeah, I thought of a new production method during work today. I want to test it out before I forget.」
I decided to accept the request that Felix told me about, from the noble who likes peculiar things.
「If all I have to do is make it so that the sword can’t be removed from the pedestal, then I figured that the easiest way to do it is to attach the stone from the pedestal onto the iron from the sword. The only problem is whether that’ll work or not…」
I held a knife that I grabbed from the shop in one hand, and picked up a large stone with my other.
「I already confirmed that【Synthesize】works with the knife and stone. If I can just use that process to make them inseparable… 」
I pointed the tip of the knife onto the surface of the stone, and used【Synthesize】while activating【Repair】at the same time. Then, I pushed the blade down slowly.
The tip of the knife sunk into the stone like it was clay, and a good portion of it was swallowed into the stone.
「Ehh?! W-what, how does that work?」
「It’s a combination of【Repair】and【Synthesize】. The overlapping part of the knife and stone is the same condition as when I 【synthesize】them together normally. For the time being, I’ll call this process【Fusion】.」
I didn’t really understand the theory behind it that much either.
Although I could imagine the gist of it, I didn’t have the confidence to explain it to Silvia properly.
To put it simply, it was like stopping a【Repair】and【Synthesize】in the middle of the process, although I wondered if that was enough to explain the imagery I produced.
A portion of the knife and stone fused together; in other words, they’ve become one. Therefore, you shouldn’t be able to remove the knife from the stone now, I think…
「This is the first time I actually tried it, but it went unexpectedly well. I can’t imagine any other use for this other than for a magic trick.」
Right at that moment, Sakura and Garnet stopped sparring and were taking a small break.
「Garnet, come and try to pull out this knife for me.」
「Hm? Geh, what is this? It looks weird.」
「Yeah, yeah, I know. Can you try to pull it with as much strength as possible?」
As Garnet muttered under her breath about how she doesn’t get it, she grabbed onto the knife and stone and pulled with all her might.
「Nn, guh! This piece of…!」
「Nice, it’s working.」
「How about… This!!」
Garnet got a bit annoyed and put in more strength. In that instant, the knife snapped, making a high pitched noise.
「I got it…! …Not. I broke it.」
「I tried using using the principle of leverage to connect the two together. Well, the owner of the request only said to make it so that the『sword can’t be removed』, so it should be fine if you don’t consider breaking the blade as a method of removal.」
It was impossible to prevent every possible way of removing the sword.
Based on what Felix told me, the noble enjoyed seeing people’s creativity, so whether one broke the sword off or destroyed the pedestal, it should be fine.
In that case, well, it shouldn’t be a problem to receive payment for this set-up.
「Anyways, White Wolf, the audience is in three days. I’m amazed you took up such a stupid job. Aren’t you nervous?」
「Of course I am. Things like this distract me though.」
Usually, a king is considered to be a being whose greatness lies beyond the clouds, but for adventurers including myself, the king was merely an important figure who was also greater than a lord.
As to why that was…
「Luke-dono, Garnet-dono. What sort of person is the ruler of this country? I do not know much information about him.」
Sakura reminded me that she was from an eastern country, and to her, Westland was a foreign place with which she had little connection to.
It made sense that she didn’t know the details of the country’s conditions.
「From when King Alfred was enthroned until now, in twenty years he managed to unite the majority of Westland.」
Unusual for Garnet, she began answering Sakura’s question with a serious tone.
To put it in strict numbers, traditionally, the areas that are called Westland amount to roughly seventy-five percent; those places are said to be under the control of one king.
In fact, because more areas are progressively turning into Westland territory, nobody knows where the country will end up one day.
「What used to be called Westland was only a single region, but starting from several years ago, it became known as『the Westland Kingdom』. The time of rivalry between lords had pretty much ended, and most of the areas came to be ruled by one king.」
「I see… In other words, he is the supreme ruler of a belligerent country.」
Sakura nodded, looking satisfied.
I wasn’t well-versed in the state of affairs on the eastern side of the world, but maybe something similar happened over there too.
「My grandma told me about this. The one who circulated the gold and silver coins that everybody uses nowadays was the current king. Thanks to that, it became easier to do business. My grandma spoke well of him.」
Silvia added in some commentary from the business side of things.
Our currency had six types of coins: gold, silver, bronze, and large and small of each of those. Before this system was established, the lords from various territories would measure the weight of the currency they made as they saw fit, and would use them after researching the value of the precious metals.
Just like Silvia’s grandmother had said, thanks to the reliable currency system, things improved. It could even be said that it helped rapidly build the country’s economic strength.
I don’t know much about the economic effects myself, so these are based on the rumors that people have told me.
「Based on the way this conversation is going, I should probably add something in too.」
Garnet explained the military side, just like a knight would. Silvia told us about the economic side, as she is the daughter of an inn.
In that case, I should talk about the adventurer’s side.
「Actually, I’ve heard that King Alfred used to be an adventurer.」
「A long time ago, one of the influential leaders of the time said, whoever can bring me the artifact located deep within a certain dungeon will become my successor. The one who succeeded was the current king… That’s how the story goes.」
It sounds like an unbelievable story when you first hear about it, but it’s a true story confirmed by the palace.
There were many adventurers who gained a high standing in society, but I can definitely say that none of them could exceed what the king had gotten.
「Is that true, Garnet-dono?」
「Yeah. Apparently he was made fun of at the time for trying, but he managed to quell everything with his strength. Also, stop adding -dono to my name every time, it makes me feel weird. Can’t you talk normally?」
「Muh… I understand… No. I get it, Garnet. If that is what you wish for, then I shall treat you as a comrade. 」
「Good. I think that suits you better too.」
For some reason, the swordswoman and the knight were becoming friends without needing me in the scene.
That’s quite nice, but personally, I couldn’t ride along on their friendship building at the moment.
After talking about all these great things related to King Alfred, my nervousness came back at me.
「…Luke-san? Your complexion doesn’t look so good, is everything okay?」
「I know it’s a bit late to say this, but now that I remember just how great the person I am meeting with is… I hope I don’t pass out on the day of.」
Three days remained before the audience.
Rather than worrying about the judgment that will be made, I was more concerned about how I could overcome the audience safely.