1. The Different Patterns of the Three

The morning after I decided to hire Erica of the Walnut street, I was about to open the store with the help of Garnet. At that time, Noire arrived to work in good mood.

Moreover, unusually, Sakura was with her.

I was surprised to see the two of them together. Then, I recalled that I had spotted them at the Spring Leaf Pavilion last night.

“Luke… actually, I tried my hand at making this… It’s a prototype… However…”

With that said, Noire showed me a stack of thin, rectangular, pieces of paper. They were trimmed to match the size of her palm.

On the piece of paper, a magical pattern was drawn.

It was akin to a miniature version of a magic scroll.

“No way, can you cast a spell with this?” (Luke)

“Indeed… Yesterday, I heard from Sakura about the far east shamans… Thus, with that as a reference, I made these…” (Noire)

“In my hometown, instead of scrolls, we use this sheet of paper. By sticking them to the wall, the effect will last for a long time. It’s actually quite similar to an amulet or a talisman.”

I see. Is that what Sakura and Noire were discussing at the Spring Leaf Pavillion?

Skills were bestowed by beings called gods. As a matter of course, each respective land would worship different god. As a result, there were differences in the skills given.

If such was the case, then spells, along other skills—such as [Create Magic Tool]—should be no exception.

In other regions, there was no concept of magic scroll. As such, many alternatives existed in regard of carrying a spell.

“It’s a first for me to witness it… How does it work?”

I proceeded to pick up a sheet and observed it carefully, asking for a more detailed explanation.

I saw tremendous potential in it.

Not only would it sell well as a product, but my intuition as an adventurer strongly felt that ‘This will be of great use.’

“…Reduction of similarity… Compressed… Scale corresponding to size…”

“It’s more than enough. Basically, if you need more firepower, all you have to do is bundle it up.”

“The downside is that it’s a bit more time-consuming to make than a magic scroll… Therefore, it’ll be slightly more expensive… The price, you have to raise it…”

“It can’t be helped. Besides, the range of effect seems to be wider than usual.”

Looking at the new magic item, I couldn’t help but smile.

Why can’t such a tool be made until now?

—Then again, it’s useless to fret about that.

No one has come up with such an idea until now—it’s as simple as that.

As everyone knew, all the tools in the world were first made by someone. However, not all of them were created through technological innovation.

Even if all the techniques, tools, and materials to create it had been available for a long time, the tools wouldn’t be invented until someone who came up with the idea appeared.

Moreover, in the West, magic items—such as magic scrolls—were made by wizards through the use of their sub-skills as a method to earn money.

Most people probably deemed the improvement and miniaturization of magic tools were useless. After all, the old-fashioned magic tools, made in a traditional way, worked just fine.

The wizard deemed the downscaling of magic scrolls as unnecessary. The buyers didn’t think of the possibility of miniaturization. As a result, no one came up with the ‘Palm-sized, Small, Scroll.’

“I, don’t think of myself as particularly useful, in battle… As such… I wish I could contribute in this way…”

“I’m not an expert in the general art of magic, but I’d be honored if I could be of help with my level of knowledge.”

—Thus, an unusual magic item, called ‘Charm’, was born in the Westland.

It was a result of a chance encounter between a black wizard with a somewhat complicated circumstances, and a foreigner from the East, who’d rarely visit, at a place called the White Wolf Store.

“Aren’t the two of you amazing? This will definitely be in demand. In fact, if I had been on active duty, I would’ve relied on it.”

R-really…!?”

Noire had a smile plastered all over her face, while Sakura was laughing boisterously.

At that time, there was a sound of the door opening. From the other side of the door, Erica of the Walnut Street hesitantly walked inside.

“Uhm, p, pardon the intrusion…”

“Oh? Luke, is that the new employee I’ve been hearing of?”

“That’s correct. She’s Erica of the Walnut Town. Sylvia recommended her to me. By the way, she’s also a [pharmacist] who’s capable of mixing potions.”

“N, nice to meet you…”

I introduced the nervous Erica to the other three.

I introduced Garnet as a regular male employee. Her true gender, along with her knighthood, would be kept secret.

As for Noire’s background, I could always explain it in the future. As of the present, I’d just introduce Noire as the sole returnee of the hero party that used to cause a stir in Green Hollow.

Of course, I also told her about our relationship, along with how she got to work at the White Wolf Store. It was in accordance to Noire’s will.

Finally, albeit not being a regular employee, I didn’t forget to introduce Sakura.

A samurai who came to train as a warrior. She was an active adventurer, and would help with the store in her spare time.

This should be enough to explain Sakura.

“Ah—! I’ve heard a lot about Sakura from Sylvia—!”

“There’s nothing to be afraid of. You can behave the same around me as when you’re with Sylvia. In the first place, I’m an outsider. Since you’re acquainted with my friend, I also consider you a friend.”

“…Well, if you say so. Uhm, nice to meet you, Sakura.”

“The same goes for you. I hope that we’ll continue to work together.”

Sakura said the same thing as I did yesterday. But unlike yesterday, Erica obediently accepted the proposal.

Well, it was only understandable, considering that I was an employer of the opposite sex. Not to mention, I was almost twice her age. On the other hand, to Erica, Sakura was a friend of a friend, who was also similar in age. As such, it was probably easier for Erica to converse with her.

It couldn’t be helped.

To me, it’d be best to have Erica behave in a way that was the most comfortable.

“Then, let’s have Noire and Sakura teach Erica about the basics. I’ll teach you about some other things later.”

“U, understood…”

“Roger that.”

For the time being, I gave the three such instructions. When I looked back, about to move on to opening the store, I saw Garnet.

While tugging at her golden hair, Garnet was restlessly fidgeting from side to side. Then, she went straight to the point.

“About the White Wolf Store… I have a little bit of a request…”

“A request? What happened, suddenly?”

“…Can you please provide me with a good weapon and armor? By any chance—no, I want the ones with the best possible performance.”

When I heard the request, I felt relieved.

Garnet, who didn’t fail to notice my relief, suspiciously peered into my face.

“What’s with that reaction? Is me wanting a new equipment that surprising? You haven’t forgotten my real job, have you?”

“No way! I’m relieved that you didn’t forget.”

Due to the proximity, we had almost bumped. Thus, I gently pushed Garnet’s shoulders to regain the appropriate distance.

“Had you decided to go home and resume your training, or to return to your mission, I wouldn’t know what to do.”

Wha—!? Who would do such things—!? As if I’d walk off with my tail between legs like that—! I’m no loser—!”

“But you look so depressed the other day.”

Guh…! T, that’s a, yes, it was but a momentary distraction—!”

Since it was a sore subject for her, Garnet faltered. But she quickly regained her composure and poked at my chest.

Anyway—! There won’t be a repeat to that shameful sight. To blame the equipment for my defeat—I won’t say any of such lame excuses. Nevertheless, I’m sure you’re aware of how important the performance is.”

“Of course. I’ll prepare the best equipment I can make right now. It’s a special product, only for you, and without any cost.”

“Eh? Uh, I don’t remember saying anything to that extent—”

Her expression, which transformed from seriousness to bafflement, was simply too funny. I couldn’t help but laugh.

With a complicated expression on her face, as if she was sulking, Garnet lightly kicked my leg.

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