My【Repair】Skill Became an Almighty Cheat Skill, So I Thought I’d Open Up a Weapon Shop
Ever since I hired the two adventurers Melissa and Nagi, White Wolf managed to overcome the following days until the next day off.
As usual, there was a turbulent atmosphere surrounding Sakura and Nagi, but both had adopted a businesslike attitude with each other, so nothing got in the way of work.
In fact, I was more nervous about Melissa, who had been growing more wary after each day.
Then, a week had passed and the shop was closed for the day.
「Even though the shop is closed, we still have to work. It’s pretty difficult.」
「If you’re going to keep complaining how busy it is, then go and hire some new guys already. If you hire another three or four people, you’ll get more time to rest.」
「I said this before, but if I could do that, I would’ve done so already.」
As Garnet and I were conversing, we headed towards the open dungeon 『Sundial Forest』.
Today’s plan was to head to 『Hade’s Millenium Corridor』through the hidden stairs on the fifth floor of the dungeon, and collect mithril.
Travis had asked me for a request; to give his gauntlets a mithril coating. I also wanted to increase our current stock of them.
It was an amount that I could carry back myself, but there was a restriction on how much I was allowed to mine at a time, so Garnet was here both as a bodyguard and as the messenger. With her present, there was a lot less I had to worry about.
「…Huh? Hey, White Wolf, was the path to the dungeon always this well-kept?」
「It was fixed up when we were building the fort. It would’ve been difficult to carry materials down to the lowest level if it stayed the way it was before.」
The shortest path, a natural animal trail from the entrance of 『Sundial Forest』 to the fifth floor, had completely changed.
The dirt was more compact, and all the weeds and plants that were growing on it had been removed, turning the path into a clean, easy-to-walk road.
The crooked uneven spots had been rounded out into a smooth slope, allowing the carts carrying the materials to travel along the path easily.
「This will ruin the dungeon. It’s so easy you can even have a picnic in here.」
「Open-space E-rank dungeons are like that. If you ignore the monsters, the animals and plants here make this place one big lushly green basin.」
That was why regular people and E-ranked adventurers came and went freely until we discovered the cave leading to the 『Territory of the Demon King』, where Demon King Gandalf lived.
Things were turbulent for a while after we discovered the cave, but the completion of Hollowbottom Fort swept away those fears.
『Sundial Forest』 was now safer and more peaceful than before.
While I glanced at the beginner adventurers who were working hard at gathering herbs, we reached Hollowbottom Fort that was on the fifth floor.
「Knights, soldiers, and adventurers… There’s always so many people here every time I come.」
「Ehh. So this is normally how busy it gets. It’s super crowded here unlike the town.」
Garnet looked around the fort with great interest.
I didn’t know until Garnet told me herself that it was the first time she came to Hollowbottom Fort.
When we were building the fort, Garnet had some work to do with the knights, so she left Greenhollow. Once we finished, Garnet was immediately assigned to be my bodyguard, so she didn’t get any opportunity to head down to the fifth floor herself.
「The hidden staircase you’re going to is somewhere else, right?」
「Yeah, it’s a little further in.」
The hidden staircase was inside the root of a large tree further inside the dungeon.
Going down those stairs brings you to 『Hade’s Millenium Corridor』, and using 【Disassemble】on the labyrinth walls allows you to mine the mithril… Which was my aim today.
Right as we were about to head over to the tree with the staircase, we saw a group of knights about to enter the fort, and we stopped.
The knights who were wearing a cloak that represented the Golden Fang Knights were bringing along a woman with long, black hair.
The knights surrounded the woman completely. Nobody outside of their group would be able to tell whether they were trying to protect the woman or making sure she wasn’t trying to escape.
「Isn’t she… Don’t tell me that’s Noire?」
There was no way I could stay calm.
The woman that the knights escorted here was, without a doubt, the Black Magician, Noire.
She was part of the hero’s party that left me behind in the labyrinth.
She was also the only one who managed to escape from the demon king’s castle, and the only one who made it back to the surface alive.
「Hey Garnet, I thought the Silver Wing Knights took Noire home.」
「That should’ve been the case. We had to investigate and guarantee her safety too… Hey! You guys! Hold up!」
Garnet yelled, and ran up to the knights.
The knights openly showed how wary they were of her, and stood in the way.
「What do you want, kid?! Stop right there!」
An obvious reaction. Garnet was not wearing her knight armor, and because she usually had a helmet on to cover her face, the knights did not recognize her as one of their own.
Garnet seemed to understand that point, and turned around attempting to send the knight’s attention to me.
「Oh, Luke-dono, you’re here. Do you need anything?」
「…That woman there is Noire, a member of Hero Falcon’s party, right? I’d heard that the Silver Wing Knights should be caring for her. What is she doing here?」
I went straight to the point and asked exactly what I was wondering.
In situations like this, it was a waste of time to try and get the information in a roundabout way.
Luckily, I received direct orders from His Majesty to help with the construction of the fort, so the Golden Fang Knights were comfortable with me.
If I had preferential treatment, I might as well use it in a time like this.
「She is part of our plans for raiding the demon king’s castle. She will be our main guide for the 『Territory of the Demon King』. We have the consent of Captain Carmine from the Silver Wing Knights.」
Garnet frowned in disagreement when she heard that.
Captain Carmine was Garnet’s superior as well as her blood-related older brother
She must’ve felt unsatisfied that she wasn’t told anything about what they were doing with Noire.
「Well then, we’re in a hurry, so we will take our leave.」
The knights turned around and went towards the fort again, but for some reason, Noire resisted and came up to Garnet and I.
「…Luke… Can I ask you, something…? Where do you live, and what are you doing now…?」
Beneath her black bangs which stretched down to her eyes, she looked restless and anxious.
It was as if she was afraid to hear my answer, but still had to ask.
「Well, since stuff like that happened, I’m taking a break from adventuring. Right now I’m running a weapon shop at the town on the surface.」
「…I, see. Because of us, you ended up quitting as an adventurer… Um… I know you won’t forgive me even if I apologized… but…」
「I have no intention of forgiving you.」
Noire’s shoulders trembled. She wasn’t shaking because she was startled, but likely because she was afraid.
「However, I have no intention of holding a grudge over you. My work at the weapon shop is quite fulfilling. I’m so busy my eyes feel like they’re spinning. I don’t have the time nor energy to take out my pent-up resentment on you.」
Those were my true feelings.
It’d be different if it had been the hero who made a comeback, but it was a waste of energy to pay attention to it.
The me now had gained many things that were more important than those feelings.
Noire was at a loss for words and hung her head down even as the Golden Fang Knights took her away.
Once they disappeared into the fort, Garnet went Hmph.
「That chick must’ve been blaming herself for what they did to you. If she had received some sort of punishment, her feelings of guilt would lessen and make herself feel better. You responded to that pretty well.」
「That wasn’t really my intention, though…」
Either way, I already heard everything I wanted to hear from her.
Based on the outcome of my conversation with the knights, I had absolutely no need or right to interject.
We finished our side quest. Let’s hurry and finish what we originally came here for, I thought.
Right as we were about to walk away, a man wearing what seemed to be engineer clothing came up to us from the fort side in a big hurry.
「Luke-san! Good thing you’re here! Please help us!」
「…Can it wait until I finish my errand?」
「If you can do it quickly, then feel free to! You see, we might’ve figured out the secrets of the ruins where you and the hero fought in!」