Synopsis: A fast-paced story about a youngster who loses everything and everyone he holds dear. Through the only family that still remains with him, his uncle, he gets to choose to dedicate his focus and attention to blacksmithing rather than to fall into depression and street life...
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Mariela woke up to the sound of a closing door.
In the direction of the noise, an unfamiliar man was half-naked while holding a jug.
Because Sieg was half-naked and wearing only a waist cloth, almost all of his body was visible.
(Is this one of those suspicious people you hear about in stories?)
No, it’s Sieg, Siegmund
“Good morning, Mariela-sama”
Mariela was surprised to hear him actually greet her. He didn’t say much yesterday. She wondered if he had calmed down after crying yesterday.’
“Good morning Sieg. Just Mariela is fine.”
That’s not going to happen, he said while he poured water from the jug into a cup.
”I drew the water from the well. Do you want some?”
As he talked, he timidly held out the cup.
That must’ve been a lot of work. Mariela noted that there were very few drops of life mixed in the water.
“Well water? Can’t you use life-magic?”
“I can use a little life-magic, but I heard that well water is better for the body.”
Groundwater mixes with the drops of life in the veins underground. Only a minute amount makes it into the water, and it’s not enough to notice any effects, but this fact is known to most people. This is where the well-known saying, “Drinking well water will make you grow into a strong adult,” comes from. Mariela wondered if this was why he had expressly got the well water. And in such little clothing.
“Thank you.” Mariela felt touched.
Mariela drank the water after saying “thank you.” Sieg stood near the door, watching politely but Mariela couldn’t ignore his lack of clothing… She told Sieg to leave the room and change into the tunic and trousers that Mariela bought for him yesterday. They were comfortable while being yet simple and easy to move in.
Sieg reentered the bedroom and Mariela guided him to the bed. His fever was almost completely gone, and his right hand seemed to be moving properly. However, he still only had half of his right hand’s grip-strength. There is a feeling that the arm is also drawn due to illness, but it’s close to being completely healed. He said his arm worked decently. Now, he could even write with it.
The scar that was branded on his chest and the mark had healed to the extent that they were only faintly visible but had still not disappeared entirely.
The severe swelling on his leg had also subsided. The discolouration of the wound had been replaced with a fresh new pink skin that was pulled through across his calf. The chunk of flesh ripped away from his calf by the miasma wolf had yet to return, but the pain should’ve subsided even if he still can’t walk normally.
“Your leg should soon be healed enough for you to walk.”
Sieg had changed since yesterday and was now full of enthusiasm
(Sieg finally passed through his delirious state? Well, the injuries on his hands and feet can be cured through an advanced potion.)
While carrying her bag, Sieg followed Mariela into the field behind the inn. It was comfortable, almost picturesque.
She borrowed a stool from the beast’s shack, and after Sieg sat down, she declared, “I’m going to cut your hair now…. Please keep your eyes closed to prevent your hair from getting into your eyes.”
Yesterday, just bringing her hand near his face had frightened Sieg, so she was worried that he’d be scared of the scissors too, but he scrunched his eyes and stayed quite docile.
She quietly patted Sieg’s hair.
(What is this……)
His hair had solidified. Perhaps due to dirt or dust, it was dense, and the brush couldn’t even comb through it. His hair was like a wild Yagu’s fur, a lump of tangled locks. With no other choice, she cut off the lumps.
She cut off a few small chunks of clumped together hair, hoping to get it to the point that it could be brushed.
(Oops, I cut a bit too much…)
There were only 3 centimeters of hair left.
Mariela had heard of potions that caused hair growth, although she wasn’t capable of making it currently.
It appeared to be traded behind closed doors among the nobility with thin hair as a specialized potion….
(Well, it’ll grow back soon, right?)
She decided to leave the bangs a little longer and cut everything else short..
Long bangs actually look good on Sieg. Her mistake led to a surprisingly good-looking hairstyle.
(I don’t know how to shave his beard! I don’t have a razor or knife. )
He could probably manage on his own with a pair of scissors.
“What’s going on out here? Are you cutting his hair? Oh, that looks good. Cut mine too. “
Lynx arrived with impeccable timing
“Okay-. Before that, what should I do about Sieg’s beard?”
“Ah? He can shave himself. I’ve got a knife here that he can use.”
As expected of Lynx. He’s sensible.
“Sieg, I’m finished. Lynx will lend you his knife so you can shave your beard. Once you’re finished with that, take this soap, toothbrush, towel, and a change of clothes and go take a bath.”
Lynx laughed at Mariela while she handed the items to Sieg.
“Dear customer, what kind of hairstyle would you like?” Mariela asked Lynx.
“Something cool,” was his hesitant reply.
“Eh? Isn’t that impossible?” Mariela questioned.
“That’s too mean.”
After asking him, Mariela cut Lynx’s hair. Lynx wanted a side partition with short bangs and ended trimming only three centimeters.
“okay~~ one handsome man ready to go~~”
Lynx blew off the hair clippings with wind magic. It was supposed to be an attack magic, but after adjusting the power, only the hair that clung to his clothes was removed without damaging anything else. He was quite clever.
“Lynx, I didn’t know you could use wind magic.”
“Oh, all the Black Iron Transport Corps can use magic proficiently. I didn’t use it yesterday because I didn’t have much mana left.”
Mariela heard that it is difficult to weaken attack magic to the level of life magic. For even a youngling like Lynx to master the technique, the Black Iron Transportation Corps must be a group of excellent warriors. Nevertheless, the Demon’s Forest must be extremely dangerous for Lynx to have nearly run out of mana.
While they waited and talked, Sieg returned.
Lynx waved, “Eh…Sieg?”
After shaving his beard and cleaning his whole body, Sieg, who had changed into a new shirt and trousers, appeared to be in his late twenties. The hair that had once looked gray now was a dashing silver, his face adorned with deep-blue eyes. His handsome, skinny facial features, as well as his nose and lips, lent him a considerably beautiful visage. The scar on his right eye strangely complemented the beauty of his left.
The long bangs that hung over his face gave him an exotic yet sexy appearance.
(I thought he was a middle-aged man.)
Sieg politely thanked Mariela and returned Lynx’s knife. For some reason, Lynx scowled.
(Sieg evolved from a half-naked old man into a handsome barefoot man.）
It didn’t really matter to Mariela how attractive he was.
“Time to eat breakfast.”
The three of them headed for the morning meal.
A girl who was about ten-years-old was working in the dining room. This was the first time Mariela had seen her.
“Emily, could you bring breakfast please?”
“Ah, Lynx. thank you for stopping by.”
Her name seems to be Emily-chan. She’s the only daughter of the innkeeper and is in charge of serving breakfast. Emily right… Ah, the Daughter of the owner, and it seems like breakfast seems to be her charge.
“You just have to heat up the dishes that Master cooked beforehand.”
“That’s rude, Lynx. It’s hard to warm it without burning it! Yes, please wait a moment!”
Emily wheeled out a cart with their breakfast on it. Breakfast was a large baguette and soup for two, scrambled eggs, a big sausage, and a salad.
It was a voluminous meal for the morning.
“Oh, that looks yummy!”
Receiving his serving, Lynx gobbled up his breakfast.
Sieg sat next to Mariela. She handed him another plate (I’m assuming of food) and said, “Here you go” The food wasn’t as good as yesterday.
Mariela divided the bread between Lynx and Sieg’s dishes, one piece at a time.
“Thank you very much. Fuuu~”
“You can thank me once you’ve swallowed your food.”
The sausage was also divided into thirds After eating the last of their meal, their late breakfast was over.
“Mariela, are you going out to buy medicinal herbs?”
The rest of the Black Iron Transport Team was still sleeping, so they decided to go shopping first. They decided to buy Sieg’s shoes first.
“Hmmm, shoes… Where would be a good place to buy them?”
“I bought these at Elba’s shoe store before this!”
After recommending Elba’s shoe store, Emily spun around with the shoes that she had recently bought. Both she and her shoes looked cute, convincing the group.
They decided to head to Elba’s shoe store.
Elba’s shoe store sold affordable ready-made footwear targeted at intermediate adventurers. Various shoes crammed the narrow aisles of the shop.
“Welcome. What type of shoes were you looking for?”
“He needs a pair. I’d like to see a pair of orc-leather boots if you have them.”
Orcs were commonly hunted for their meat, but this also led to there being a large amount of orc leather in circulation. Because it was soft and easy to process, apprenticeship craftsmen often practiced using them. The huge supply created many bargains. However, this leather would not survive any real battle and the term ‘orc’ also became associated with lower quality goods worn by commoners.
Although leather shoes made by craftsman were of higher quality since each one was handmade and not cheap, orc-leather shoes were frequently used for children whose feet grow quickly, and adults with extra money to spare would choose a higher quality leather.
A clerk, perhaps he was Elba – glanced at the Sieg’s bare feet and Mariela’s tattered shoes. Saying nothing, he brought some boots from the back of the store.
“If you’re looking for orc leather, would something like this work?”
“What’s the material of the shoe’s sole?”
“These two are orc leather; these are made from wood; those three are creeper hide. It’s taken from child-creeper stock just before they finish growing. ”
Creepers, a wild demon plant, lived in wetland areas, paralyzing their prey with toxins produced in their thorns, then entangling them and sucking their prey’s blood. Several meters in length and as thick as an adult’s arm, their vines could quickly capture their prey. When cutting the vines with a sharp knife, a highly viscous overflow from the inside. High-grade Creeper rubber could be created from this and was widely used in luxury tires, armor linings, shoe soles, and so on.
Normally, people used young Creeper plants as a cheaper alternative. Growing in sunny patches of the forest, the child stock had a weak poison produced in their stems as protection against predators. However, they had yet to grow poisonous spikes to allow them to attack prey. In addition, their vines were very slow; instead, they obtained most of their food from photosynthesis or from the odd, small animal that carelessly became numbed by eating the plant, allowing the young Creeper to harvest a small amount of blood.
The young vines had the thickness of a thumb but were soft and pale; they are fragile enough that even rabbits and other small prey can chew through them. Since even children could collect them if given gloves,, the rubber of young Creepers was inexpensive and flooded the market. However, the performance was much worse than the adult-type vines, so the young Creeper hide was usually used for disposable items.
“Is this pure creeper rubber, or is there something mixed?”
“This is my prototype. I’ve added slime. This is my attempt at making a more durable rubber from the child creeper’s hide. It’s very slip-resistant, it may not look nice, but it’s durable. If you are outside of the city, you can use a repair potion to easily repair it, but even if you plan on never leaving the labyrinth city, it will last far longer than orc leather.”
After Elba sold the rubber bottom shoes to Mariela for a reasonable price of one large silver coin, she asked him to choose something that would match Sieg’s pants.
“Mariela, here’s some wax as part of our gratuitous service. If you care for these shoes properly, they can last for 4 to 5 years,” the clerk said.
Elba gave Mariela wax so she could maintain the shoes.
(This is a friendly shoe store. I would like to come back and look around later.)
When Mariela finished paying and left, Sieg carefully hugged his shoes.
“Sieg? Are you not going to wear them?“ (Tler note: This is cute)
“I want to wait until I can walk properly because the shoes will be damaged if I drag my feet while wearing them due to my current injuries.”
Mariela thought his feet must hurt walking around with no shoes.
“Well, I can understand that feeling.”
Lynx agreed with Sieg, and they decided to go straight to the herbal shop.