Chapter 27: The Carpenter and The Architect

The father and son pair, Gordon and Johann, drafted up the renovation within a quarter of an hour.

The house section, after cleaning work, will have the wall and floor stones lightly shaved and polished free of its scratches and dents. Since materials are a precious commodity in the Labyrinth City area, it seems that boarding and tiling up the floor, and wallpapering were limited to noble residences.

It was common to sell or leave behind large furniture when people move houses—the furniture left behind in this house were all old things, strange to even hire transportation for them, but it appears the duo was willing to repair the wooden furniture that didn’t rot for them. Same with furniture they didn’t have—they will make them together with things of low ornamental value like shelves and tables, as well as repair the loose hinges of built-in shelves and furniture with bad door fixtures.

The oversized living room on the ground floor had been two rooms once, so she was told that the wall must have been taken down to form the guest room of the restaurant. Apparently, it would be more manageable to build the wall in its former position. The furniture in the living room would be for the eyes of the customers, so she was advised to purchase things that look good.

Apparently, second-hand furniture would be in good supply around two months after the labyrinth expedition. Yagu caravans will transport the materials obtained from the expedition, take a two-month round trip and then return with manufactured goods from the Royal Capital. She was told that since they will be transporting expensive furniture parts and carpets that aren’t made in Labyrinth City, the old items put up on sale from noble residences that had brought up such goods will be on the market.

The former kitchen that was steeped in a greasy odour, after cleaning work done by a skill holder, will have its stones polished and the wallpaper changed. Several cracked roof tiles will be replaced.

As all this didn’t use up a lot of materials, she was quoted one gold coin and seven large silvers.

The problem was the shop section; most of it had to be rebuilt, costing five gold coins.  This quote even worked in the timber roof from the previous makeshift tarp one. The walls will be the same as before—the outer wall will be carried over, not redone.

With the height of the outer wall, building the inner wall anew will only give them the view of the wall from the window. It would only increase the building expense on top of the narrow shop space—apparently, that was the impression of the attached space in Labyrinth City.

It’s a little under seven gold coins altogether, but where do we cut down, she was asked. The sum was over double the value of the residence section, which was three gold. Probably because it was a huge sum, Johann explained it all to her thoroughly, even going as far as to give her a breakdown. She got a good impression of him, as he didn’t twist her arm into it.

Mariela mentioned that she was concerned about the lighting in the shop section. It was fine for the shelf behind the counter where the medicine will be placed to be in the shade, but with the surrounding outer wall, it would end up being a shop with not even a single window. It would feel stifling with the dimness.

 “It’ll be fine if we obtain glass panes,” Johann said.

“Are you going to carry it in from outside Labyrinth City? We can’t,” Gordon said.

 (I can make glass panes though.)

“What kind of shop can you make if we have glass panes then?”

For future references, Mariela asked.

“If we have plenty of glass, we can mount it across half the ceiling. Of course, it needs strength to hold it up, so we’ll cut out square lattice frames, and lay out the square shaped glass obliquely across like so.”

“Master Architect’s idea is lacking. If it were me, I would connect triangles and make a curve.”

“Oh what, Dad… That’s beautiful!”

She nonchalantly listened to the two who got excited over the idea of a glass ceiling, where they discussed how long the length should be, how thick, and how many sheets of glass panes they should get.

“With regards to the shop section, can you do it in two to three days? I would like to get the quote for the draft of the house section first, please. How many days will it take?” Mariela asked.

During that time, she shall prepare the glass. She had to think of a reason that sounded realistic. Since she had the room at Yagu’s Drawbridge held down for five days with tonight included, she wanted to ask how many days were left until she could move in.

“If we get five days for the house section, we can make it with plenty of time to spare. The main issue will have to be the consultation, I guess—can we use the guys in the slums for the cleaning work? We’ll pay them the same wages as what we give those who are skilled. Of course, we’ll have this finished properly with our skilled worker supervising them. It’ll take a little more time, but can we give those guys the job?” Gordon asked.

The slums were in the section of buildings that had probably been patched together from partially destroyed structures of Endalgia by the southwest gate of Labyrinth City that faced the Evil Forest. When she arrived at Labyrinth City, Lynx had told her that this area has bad public order.

 “People who cannot continue being adventurers from injuries or illnesses gather in the slums. There are also a lot of diligent people. Can you allow that?” Johann explained to them.

“What is the possibility, of robbers coming in, in the future?” Sieg, who had left it to Mariela until now, joined in with the discussion.

 “We will pick the people we bring here. We’ll be hiring them by the day, but they will sign a magic contract, stating that acquired information will not be used for personal gains.”

It seems Sieg was cautious about the employed slums residents taking advantage of the job to inspect the house and then coming in on another day to steal.

(I didn’t think of that possibility… at any rate, they wanted to go as far as to employ them with a magic contract.)

“They’re not bad people. Can you give them a chance?” Gordon said as he held onto his left wrist. There was a large scar on his left hand.

“Mr Gordon, your left hand.” 

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“It was from a long time ago, the time when I was an adventurer, you see. I couldn’t continue as an adventurer, but I was able to come around as a carpenter.”

Gordon answered Mariela’s question.  He must have been given a chance. That’s why he was trying to pay back the favour, she thought.

“I understand. I’ll leave it to you,” she said.

Sieg looked like he wanted to say something. Even Mariela herself thought that she might have been rash. But, somehow, she thought that it was something she should do. She recalled that there were people had shared their meals with Mariela whose stomach grumbled as she sold potions in the plaza of Defence City two centuries ago.

(Isn’t it good if I can return that lunch, I wonder.)

Mariela vaguely thought in such a way.

She paid one gold coin as a deposit. The work will begin tomorrow with the signing of the contract, so she was told that they wanted her to come here in the morning. It seemed that it was okay to pass the duplicate key after the contract.

She was invited by Mr Gordon go pick timber together, but she turned him down saying that she will leave it to him. She had no idea about the pros and cons of timber, and she couldn’t imagine how it would turn out in the end.

“A cosy feeling”—with such a requirement, Gordon and Johann, the father and son pair, nodded.

There was still half an hour until sunset. The department head of the herb division of the Merchant’s Guild, Elmera, had said that the Adventurer’s Guild’s shop sells medicine. Let’s go do some market research.

They went out the opposite direction to when they went to the wholesale market and headed for the Adventurer’s Guild that was near the northeast entrance of the Labyrinth. To make glass, she needed to make several preparations. Let’s go buy more stuff while she was at it.

Just the name Adventurer’s Guild was somehow a little intimidating. She felt that a scary uncle would be there to threaten her with a “This ain’t a place for children to come in” as soon as she walked in.

She timidly entered. The lobby was larger than the Merchant’s Guild, with a number of reception counters. Large signboards hang down here and there, the designs gentle with illustrations alongside it, saying [←Material Sales Area] [↑Commissions desk] [Notice board→] [Shop→], and so on.

Perhaps they weren’t back from the labyrinth yet, there were hardly any figures around that resembled adventurers. They were chattering while sitting on seats that had been put close together or looking at the notice board. None were looking towards Mariela and Sieg.

That moment, as she was relieved that no one had come up to her, a middle-aged man who seemed like an adventurer approached.

“What’s up, Lass, if you have a commission, it’s this-a-way!” His white teeth flashed with his smile. His head also shone.

(That’s true—we look like we’re here for a commission–.)

They might appear to be newcomer adventurers, how shameless. No matter how she saw it, she’s a customer. “I’m here to look at the shop,” she answered, and he pointed, “If it’s that, it’s over there!” He seemed to be a mere meddling old man. She thanked him and headed for the shop.

In the shop, there were weapons and armour for beginners, ropes, lanterns, portable food and so on. There was also three shelves worth of medicine on display–on the top, there were large categories with accompanying illustrations above as well. [Salves], [Styptics], [Oral Medicine, Others]. In truth, the categorisation was rough.

Only allowed on

When she wondered if there were several kinds just for salves too, it turns out that the manufacturers were different. The compositions and stuff weren’t noted down, but could the effect and ingredients be different depending on the manufacturer? Apparently, the ointments and styptic were mostly salves, which were sold in ointment tins.

Oral medicines mentioned antidotes, restoratives, antipyretics, and antidiarrheals. They even had things that seemed to be general household medicines. There were few liquid potion-like medicines; they seem to be mostly pills. She checked the kinds of medicine they had and the price range.

“What are you looking for?”

A shop assistant called out to her. It was a beautiful gentle-looking older sister. The receptionist she had glanced at also seemed to be the same type; there were a lot of pretty people. As there are a lot of vigorous men among adventurers, did they gather attractive women to make an easy exchange? When she looked properly, there were grim staff members standing on alert while keeping a fixed distance. If there was trouble, they would probably push themselves in.

“What’s the most effective salve?” Mariela asked.

“Our most popular product is around here.”

An expensive looking package was recommended to her, a costly thing among salves. It wasn’t that she didn’t feel that they were selling with the image of ‘Pricey and expensive-looking’. The price was fifty coppers. With the prices in Defence City two centuries ago, ten low-grade potions worth. Since it was a salve, if you apply it lightly, you can smear it on around the surface area of ten palms, so it might be an appropriate pricing.

She bought one and they left the shop.

When they passed the notice board, Sieg stared at a notice.

[Practical Skills Course Information]

Apparently, there were lessons that are divided into different courses; listed were a course about monsters and pickings while exploring the shallow levels of the labyrinth, a course that trains in all sorts of weapons, a beginner level magic course, and a course of common skills for explorers. Apparently, all of them have an Adventurer’s Guild appointed instructor giving one-on-one practical lessons.

All courses were priced at one large silver and will take a span of five consecutive days, where the coaching will take half a day. Seeing how it’s a one on one lesson with a pro, wouldn’t this be considered cheap?

“Can I, take this up, with the large silver, I received, from Mariela?”

Apparently, Sieg wanted to learn the sword.

“I can, only, use bow. I can’t, now.”

Sieg couldn’t see through his busted right eye. The current Mariela couldn’t fix it.

He probably couldn’t gauge distance with the alignment out of whack due to his non-working eye.

That’s why she had no reason to stop Sieg’s desire to learn a new style of battle.

Mariela followed Sieg who went to the reception desk to apply. Even if he had the required things, Sieg might not be able to use tact and initiate a discussion. She wanted to ask together with him.

When she was going to say that he wanted to take the practical course at the reception desk,

“Ohhh, a participant for the practical course, huh! I’m the instructor Baldur!”

His shiny head was blinding, reflecting the setting sun. The man called Bald, no, Baldur was the middle-aged man who had directed them to the shop just now. His name was easy to remember.

(T/N: I changed his name. It was Haagei ハーゲイ in the raws, a reference to his baldness. Hage ハゲ is bald in Japanese. It didn’t work as a joke in English so I chose the next best thing. Baldur is the German spelling of the name, so it’s not too out of place. I hope you guys are okay with this, otherwise, I’ll change it back to Haagei and leave a TL note instead. Let me know in the comments below)

Rather than a meddler, he seemed to be a member of staff of the Adventurer’s Guild. When she asked when he could take the course,

“Unfortunately, applications are full up until the start of the expedition. We have space four days after! We’ll prepare the specialised weapon, so come with clothes that are easy to move in!” he said with a flash of white teeth.

“The ones going on the expedition is the labyrinth punitive force, right?” she asked.

Why are the adventurers taking a practical skill course before the expedition?

“That’s the best time to make a profit! There are many who want to train since they’ll be descending deeper than usual, you see!” he answered.

The goal of the labyrinth punitive force is the deepest level of the labyrinth. To attack back, the monsters of the deepest levels would increase while monster swarms in the shallow levels decrease accordingly. Since the danger of group aggro decreases, it is said that adventurers can descend to a deeper level than usual. Even adventurers of production classes with no fighting strength would be hired to enter the labyrinth and harvest resources.

When too many people are gathered in a single place, monsters that are stronger than usual would surge forth in rare occasions, so the Adventurer’s Guild would dispatch high ranked adventurers to take those down.

There will also be many chances to see high ranked adventurers participate, so newcomers and low ranked adventurers even look forward to that.

During the expedition, the entire Labyrinth City would be basked in a liveliness akin to a festival.

“In the morning four days later, the labyrinth punitive force will be parading through the northeast main street as they head into the labyrinth, so you can come to take the training course after seeing that!” Baldur informed them with a grin.

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