The Village Chief Conference
“Still though, Cid… -sama?”
“You can call me by name, Kehma-dono.”
“Alright, I’ll call you Cid-dono, then. Cid-dono, you don’t seem to have a Pavueran accent? It surprised me a bit.”
“Mm, umu. I’m careful to not use the local accent. I had to avoid using it when I went to the Imperial Capital’s academy.”
Cid folded his arms as he answered a question that had been on my mind.
So that’s how it was? Kind of like going to Tokyo and having your regional dialect exposed and feeling embarrassed, huh. I think it sounds kind of nice though.
“So why’d you make Draco? And with this timing.”
“Because of profits. Although it won’t be as lucrative as Golen with its dungeon, it was my father’s idea.”
Looks like Draco becoming a thing was due to Pavuera’s lord himself.
A road with guaranteed merchant traffic on their side of the tunnel would definitely be an attractive prospect.
If I were a merchant or something looking to profit, I’d definitely have placed a village here too. But I’m a Dungeon Master and my only goal is to sleep, so doing that just sounds annoying. Honestly I just hope Cid, who was sort of forced into creating Draco and becoming the Village Chief, has everything work out for him.
“As for the timing, we’d been preparing it ever since the tunnel appeared. We simply decided to do everything a little ahead of schedule due to your Dragon suppression, Kehma-dono.”
“That so? Well, there’s no reason the Tsuia side’s the only side that can make a profit.”
Still though, since I was getting DP from the people here in Draco as well, I’m pretty sure I’ll be coming out way ahead. Uwahahaha and all that.
Incidentally, it seems that Draco’s name did indeed come from the Red Dragon living in Tsuia Mountain… as for Redra being an existence close to being a guardian deity for this region, well, that’s news to me.
“There’s something I’d like to ask you, though. Why are your attendants wearing masks and maid outfits?”
“The maid outfits are our inn’s uniforms. As for the masks… well, there are some Pavueran people they don’t want to meet.”
I didn’t really have a reason to hide the reason, so I decided to answer him. I mean, if I kept it a secret, he may have started scrutinizing them.
“Hmm… could you show me their faces?”
“Not No. 1, but I guess it’s fine for No. 2 since you know who she is? Kuro, take off the mask.”
Meat removed the mask. But that was all. I didn’t say to do anything.
Her characteristic black hair, black ears, black tail, and dark brown skin stayed the same. Even her expression was—was… well, no different from when the mask was on, I guess?
But the moment Cid saw Meat, his eyes went wide. Was he surprised by something?
“… Even seeing your face, Kuroinu-dono, all I can see is a woman.”
That’s because she is, is what I started to say, but I kind of just remembered that Meat is supposed to be playing the role of Maidence’s fiancé. Given his statement [All I can see is a woman], I figure that Tsuia’s Lord, Yudence-sama, told Cid that [Meat Kuroinu is a man].
Therefore, I had to choose my words carefully.
“Maids are maids.”
“Maids are maids…?”
Man, maybe I could just say the whole sex thing honestly? There are magic drugs for that, anyway. I could just buy one for appearances. They’re sold in that town on the way to the imperial capital, Corky.
… But a woman having the name [Meat] just leads to a ton of annoying stuff, so maybe I’ll just not bother? Still though, let’s stick with the frame of mind that it’s fine even if he finds out.
“… I mean, there’s no need to care about someone’s sex, right? There’s a magic drug for that.”
“A magic drug, huh? I see, that’s true…”
Meat, who was still being stared at by Cid, inclined her head to the side.
“… Is there something on my face?”
“Huh? O-Oh, no, you don’t! … Just… your skin is so beautiful.”
“Of course. I take care of it in our hot spring.”
“Hot spring, huh? Sounds nice, I want to give it a try. I’d love to build a public bath if we had a hot spring here in Draco, too.”
Speaking of which, there was a public bath in Pavuera too, huh. I remember Ichika telling me about it ages ago. Pavuera has a bathing culture that doesn’t just rely on [Cleanup].
So that means it wouldn’t be off for some of them to come to visit an inn just for its hot spring… yeah. They’d definitely feel chilly if they had to walk back through a tunnel after taking a bath.
Sounds like doing that would be troublesome, it might even cause some trouble. I guess having a bath house on top of a hot spring really would be desirable for Draco.
Oh, now that’s an idea.
“How about I lend you a magic tool I got from the dungeon that can make a hot spring?”
“What…!? Something like that exists?”
Hook, line, and sinker.
Looking back toward me, Cid’s face was entirely serious.
“No, I mean… what sort of thing is it? Is it something that finds a hot spring? Or is it a magic tool that creates hot water?”
“It’s the type that creates hot water. However, there’s a lot of weirdly varied restrictions to it, so I can’t be sure it’ll work here without trying it. We have a natural hot spring, so I haven’t had to use it.”
By the way, the magic tool I was planning to loan him was a customized [Riverhead] placed inside a stone pillar. Although it was expensive at 2,000 DP, Draco was at the level that its income could cover that much in a day.
The thing itself that I’d stuck inside it like a trap would only work if it was installed within our dungeon’s floors, so it would have to be installed within this Draco ‘floor’. However, it would be better for me to hide what I was doing by saying it required a special ceremony or something. I could even make keeping the conditions a secret a part of the loan’s conditions.
And this would be a [Loan]. That part is important.
By taking in the rental fee, I’d be able to replace the lost income from people going through the tunnel!
Moreover, since we would be the ones to own it, if there were ever an issue between our two villages, I could always threaten them about taking it back. Kukukuku, I doubt they’ll ever kick up a fuss like that. I can sleep safe and sound!
“… Frightening. So the hero of the Dragon suppression is also a skilled negotiator?”
“I’m not that good at fighting, you know.”
Cid smiled wryly. He probably figured out my [Weakness] right away.
It was the same with Maidence. Man, aristocrats’ children are geniuses.
Also, if in the tiny chance he refuses to give it back, I can just use the dungeon to make it [Fail] and stop the water from coming out. We’ll be the only ones who know the ceremony to repair it. It’s perfect.
“How much do you want for it?”
“That’ll depend. Still though, I don’t know fair prices for magic tool rentals. That being the case, I would like to leave those negotiations up to Dyne, the merchant that manages my village’s finances. You can pay through him, too.”
Pass all the work onto Dyne!
Being able to pass everything onto dependable people is the best thing ever. Dyne’ll even be able to make commission off of it, so it’s not like he’s going to complain. I will spare no expense in making myself live in comfort!
“He’s also a friendly guy. I hope we can all get along, Cid-dono.”
“… I will absolutely have you loan it to us. Under a fair price, of course.”
The smile Cid had felt like it held some complicated emotions.