Chapter 9 – Silhouette

Eventually, they settled on Mariela receiving 60% of the total sales.

The ten percent loss came from the promise that the Black Iron Transportation Corps would help keep her secret and, in the event that she was revealed, they’d protect her.

Mariela was more than satisfied to be receiving 60% of the profits.
Her first order needed to be completed within three days. The order called for ten advanced grade anti-poisons and five intermediate grade anti-poisons, five intermediate grade demon repellants, and an additional twenty low grade anti-poisons.
Their contract would be prepared tomorrow, and Vice-Captain Marlowe seemed pleased with their new partnership.

(I feel like we don’t mesh together well…but it should be fine.)
Mariela felt that that may have been the first time Vice-Captain Marlowe had shown a smile that didn’t have a hidden meaning.
Mariela was tired after hours spent traversing the Demon Forest, so she was hoping to have a chance to sleep in before he had the contract ready.
Mariela had noted the prices of potions when they were in the city earlier.

Low grade potions and demon repellents sold for around one large silver coin. When Mariela asked Captain Dick why he only paid her forty-five large silver coins in total for nine potions, he shamelessly said, “Any more potions we buy from you, we’ll buy at market price.”
Mariela had thought this before when he was speaking with the slave merchant Raymond, but Captain Dick was a terrible negotiator.
He also told her, “Everything in life is an experience. As the captain, I should be in charge of any major negotiations.”
Mariela thought that he wasn’t really fit to be captain.
Even though things had turned out well so far, Mariela still wished to head out into the city to buy clothing and any daily necessities before the sun sets.
A member of the Black Iron Transportation Corps was eating and drinking at the bar downstairs. Even though the sun was at its zenith, he was already drinking.
Captain Dick seemed to be having a good time with two large-chested woman on either side of him. Actually, all of the members of the company had buxom women beside them.
All of the older women were wearing alluring dresses that exposed a lot of skin. Mariela was unsure of where to look without feeling embarrassed.

“Mariela, you’re late. They’ve all started eating already.” Amber said. The red dress she wore suited her auburn hair well.
Her breasts looked like they could spill out at any moment.
(That shoulder strap is being pushed to its limit. You can do it, shoulder strap!)

“Oh, Amber, come here quickly!” Captain’s drunken voice slurred.

To Mariela, Captain Dick was the epitome of a hopeless adult.

It seems that he uses this inn to satisfy all three of the major needs of any human.
What are the three major needs?
Food, sleep, and, of course, bathing in the sea!
(This guy was down here living the good life while Vice-Captain Marlowe was upstairs negotiating….)

Looking at Captain Dick being waited on by Amber, Mariela felt some sympathy for Vice-Captain Marlowe.

Mariela said she wished to go shopping and attempted to leave the inn.
“Let me show you around!”
Lynx chased after her. He had changed clothes and was now wearing a much lighter outfit than before.

After Mariela told him she wanted a change of clothes for herself and Sieg, Lynx took her through a few back streets before they reached a large road in the northwest part of the city.
“The shops on the main street in this part of town are primarily for adventurers that earn a living by going into the labyrinth, so they can be a bit expensive. These shops here offer everyday items and some good quality clothing at reasonable prices.”

“Yagu’s Bridge” is also an inn with reasonable prices. The cost of renting a room and the meals that come with it are relatively low due to the financial support they receive from the government. However, the cost of any food or drink bought at the bar was considerably higher. There was also the cost of having the women there serve you and there existed an option to pay them extra to provide you with another form of “service.”
The Labyrinth city had a low population and even fewer adventurers. In an attempt to increase the city’s population, items necessary for everyday life are kept at a low price and other policies were taken to increase the number of adventurers as well. This also led to the citizens having full purses and gave them the ability to buy more luxury items. The stores also stocked various options so that happy customers could spend as much money as possible.

Captain Dick seems to enjoy Amber’s company. Mariela thought to herself.
Mariela was unsure whether Amber felt the same, or if she was just doing it for the money. Captain Dick seemed to treat her well, but both were possible.
The clothes on display at these shops were all simple designs and offered little variety.
There probably wasn’t enough talented tailors left to make anything higher quality. Each person Mariela passed on the street seemed to be wearing the same style of clothing. Nevertheless, there were more unique outfits when she searched deeper into some stores. There were also needles, scissors, thread for embroidering, and cloth for sale as well. There wasn’t much time left before the sun would go down, so Mariela looked past these and focused on finding some clothing.
For today, Mariela needed to find clothing to change into. She settled on three sets of underwear and undershirts. She also chose a tunic and pants.
Because she didn’t know what size Sieg is, she asked Lynx, and he picked out three pairs of underwear and a large tunic and trousers. She also bought scissors to cut his hair.
The price of 12 silver coins was considerably high considering the simple designs.
Next, they travelled to a general store.
From this store, she spent two silver coins on a bundle of towels, two toothbrushes, two bars of soap, two brushes, and a shoulder bag to carry everything.
These were simple items needed for everyday life.Although this city was isolated, the prices were similar to what they would’ve been in the outer defensive city, pleasing her.
Mariela had enough money to cover these costs, but there were still several things she would need to buy.
She still needed to buy medicinal herbs to make the potions needed for the order. The prices of everyday items hadn’t changed, but what about the prices of medicinal herbs?

(I’m gonna do my best to earn money. I’d like to earn enough so that Sieg can eat until his stomach is full.)

He may have been a slave that she just happened to end up with, but it Mariela had started to care for him. She wanted him to eat to his heart’s content and sleep all day until he felt better. Raymond said that Sieg had injured his former master’s son when he was only a debt slave. This is what led to him becoming a criminal slave. Even though this was what Raymond said, based on Sieg’s behaviour, he was clearly beaten every day. When Mariela placed her hand near his face, he recoiled away, expecting her to hit him. She may not know him well, but she knew he wasn’t a bad man.

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(Even though he only had one eye, it was such a beautiful blue.)
They exited the general store just as the sun was beginning to set.
(The city is almost unrecognizable, but the mountain range dyed in the crimson light of the setting sun is exactly the same as it was 200 years ago.)
She believed that if she was able to survive the Stampede, then she surely would be able to exist in this new world.

“I’m hungry~”
The delicious smell wafting through the air caused Lynx’s stomach to grumble.

“You were just eating not too long ago.”

“Those were just snacks. I have a second stomach just for snacks. Besides, I’m still growing.”

“Seriously? Ahaha~”

Their shadows grew longer as the sun fell further in the sky.

“Haha, my legs are getting longer. I’m Captain Dick.”

Lynx’s shadow spread out further as he took large, exaggerated steps.
“I wonder if my shadow will grow too.”

“Mariela, are you worried about your chest size?”

“What? That’s terrible. I just need to ask Amber for her secret later.”

The two shadows spread out across the road together as they made their way back to the inn.

They returned to “Yagu’s Bridge” and found Captain Dick passed out at one of the tables.
He was hugging a cushion while murmuring, “Amber~” in his sleep. Each time he said Amber, his hands would grasp around in a manner that irritated Mariela.

(After all, he really is a useless adult.)

It seemed that the members of the Black Iron Transportation Company were used to this. They were all still talking and eating with the older women as Captain Dick cradled his cushion.
There were a few adventurers and knights that didn’t belong to the company that were eating their meals at the bar. Amber was busy rushing from table to table, entertaining the guests. She seemed to be quite popular.

When Mariela and Lynx sat at the bar, a man with the body that resembled a seasoned adventurer asked for their oder. Today’s special wass an orc meat cutlet and yagu milk stew.

“I’ll take both. What about you, Mariela?”
(Does he have some type of magic applied to his stomach that allows him to eat more? It must be nice not having to choose though.)

Mariela ordered the yagu milk stew and something else that was tasty for Sieg.
Lynx introduced Mariela to several members of the Black Iron Transportation Corps and told her about the corps history as they waited for their food.

The Black Iron Transportation Corps was a transport company started by Captain Dick and Vice-Captain Marlowe, with Lynx as a scout, Ulrike as a trainer, a man named Donnino that did maintenance on their armoured carriages, Franz who was capable of using recovery magic, a guard capable of using dual swords named Edgar, and the man named Grandle that drove the carriage. In addition to these eight men, they also had eight raptors.
Donnino, Franz, Edgar, and Grandle each introduced themselves to Mariela. All four were distinctive-looking men in their thirties.
They all behaved in a similar manner to Captain Dick: enjoying their meals, their drink, and, of course, their women. But none of them took it to the extremes of that useless man.
Where did the majestic figure that Mariela first met go? Vice-Captain Marlowe, who Mariela was hoping to rely on, was nowhere to be seen. She also didn’t see Ulrike anywhere in the inn.

“Ulrike prefers camping out in the Demon Forest. The Vice-Captain has already returned home.”
The Vice-Captain Marlowe had a wife and child in the labyrinth city.
As Lynx was explaining this, their food was brought out.
 The yagu’s milk stew contained plenty of chicken and vegetables. The chicken and vegetables were cooked perfectly and melted in Mariela’s mouth as she greedily ate the stew. The yagu’s milk was a little gamey but was blended well with herbs to reduce this taste. The ingredients all mixed together perfectly to create a rich flavour.
The buns that came with the meal were soft and fluffy. The salad was crisp with a thick dressing over top and a side of fried potatoes coated in a savoury oil went perfectly with the stew.
Since waking up, Mariela had been constantly on the move and didn’t have much time to worry about herself. She only noticed how hungry she was when the meal was placed before her. In the blink of an eye, her plate was cleared.

“Hey, what are you going to do tomorrow?”

Mariela was stuffed after eating her such a large meal, yet Lynx had eaten twice the amount of food and had still finished before her.
When she told him she planned to go out and buy medicinal herbs, Lynx said he’d be her guide once again.
After travelling through the Demon Forest for three days, Mariela expected Lynx to be exhausted. This would be the first opportunity in 200 years that Mariela would have to sleep in a proper bed. She wanted to take full opportunity of this and sleep in. However, she promised Lynx that she’d meet up with him before noon.
The store owner brought out another tray. He set a plate of food with what appeared to be yagu milk risotto on it in front of Lynx. There was thick melty cheese throughout the risotto. The stew was so good, so Mariela could imagine how delicious the risotto must be.

“Uwaa, this looks delicious….”
“Lynx, if you keep this up, there won’t be anything left for the others…..”

The shopkeeper seemed amazed.
The women at the bar all laughed at the astonished face he was making. Mariela also joined them. Thanks to Lynx, she laughed a lot today. She was sure tomorrow would be just as fun.

“Well then, see you tomorrow!”
Feeling overwhelmed, Lynx left the bar and joined the rest of the Black Iron Transportation Corps at their table.
After saying goodnight to everyone, they all replied with a goodnight of their own.
A warm feeling spread throughout Mariela’s chest after hearing this.
She went upstairs carrying a tray of steaming food.

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