Chapter 49: ‘Date’ with Lili. Weapon and Clothes Shopping

For the next few days, Vahn continued helping Lili with her training. Though she had made noticeable progress, she was still having difficulties increasing her parameters to the point she could fight without assistance. She lacked the stamina for drawn-out fights, and her stats didn’t give her much of an edge against monsters within the dungeon.

Even though she was still gaining exilia from fighting, there wasn’t a large increase in her parameters since she lacked a skill that modified her growth. Vahn wanted to try and help her awaken her true potential, so he had used the Valis he had been saving to take Lili shopping on their next day off. He thought that introducing weighted clothing or armor would help improve her base parameters and increase the efficacy of her training.

Upon hearing that she would be able to go on a ‘date’ with Vahn, Lili seemed to double her efforts in training. She continued putting in these efforts until the day had finally arrived. When Vahn stepped out of his room early, she was already waiting for him in the hallway in her ‘battle attire’.

Vahn was surprised to see Lili waiting outside his door, and even more so after seeing how she was dressed. She had done up her hair slightly and it had a healthy sheen. Around her neck, she wore the small bronze necklace which stood out against the pure white frock that Vahn had never seen before. It still had a bit of a childish quality which brought out the liveliness in Lili’s appearance.

Seeing his dazed observation of her attire, Lili gave a victorious smile before hurrying him out of the Inn. She wanted to get a head start on the date so they would have more time together after shopping.

As Vahn trailed behind her, his eyes were drawn to the tail that was poking out of a ribbon in the frock. Since it was the same chestnut brown as Lili’s hair it stood out against the plain white dress. Till now he had yet to see exactly how the tail was connected to the body so he was still rather curious. Of course, he knew better than to ask and there would always be opportunities in the future. He even considering trying to grow a tail of his own later.

The two continued until they came upon the stall Vahn had frequented often in the last few days. After purchasing some crepes, the owner gave them a pleasant smile as he wished them well on their ‘date’. Vahn had become a ‘usual’ customer at the stall, and the owner, a rather plump middle-aged dwarf named Ivaan had developed a friendly relationship with him. Vahn gave an awkward smile while Lili blushed with a pleased expression on her face after hearing the mans words.

They continued slowly making their way towards Babel where, after entering, Lili began dragging him around to various shops she was familiar with. Vahn was surprised with the familiarity she showed with the shops and became very interested after hearing her explain the function of a variety of useful items. After stopping at several stores and resupplying items for use in the dungeon, they finally made their way towards their original destination.

Entering the 8th Floor of Babel, the pair came across the shops owned and operated by the Hephaestus Familia. There was a plethora of weapons and armor on display as they made their way deeper into the interior of the floor.

Their goal was to purchase both armor and a new weapon for Lili to facilitate her continued growth. Though she had improved her accuracy and combat with the crossbow, she wasn’t able to easily deal with monsters using a dagger. Since she was relatively small herself and the reach of the dagger was limited, it made it very dangerous to fight in such close proximity of monsters.

Since Vahn wasn’t too familia with the function of armor, he decided to help Lili find a weapon first. Lili still had inhibitions about wearing restrictive equipment, so she was more than happy to put it off until later. Eventually, they found their way into one of the mid-tier quality stores which could be denoted by the “grade” posted on the outside of the store. This store, called ‘Blacksteel Works’ openly displayed the Hephaestus Familia emblem with a ‘B’ in large font beneath it.

After entering they browsed a bit before meeting with the owner of the establishment. He was a relatively young man between 17-20 years of age with blonde hair and an honest face. Seeing the two peculiarly dressed people approach, he greeted them in a loud tone. “Greet’ns! What can I do ye for strangers? Not seen ye around this store before. Lookin’ fer anythin’ specific?” (A/N: I feel like writing accents is outside my comfort zone~)

Vahn had a good impression of the man due to his honest expression and stable yellow aura. From his experience, such people were easy to deal with and good-natured. He gave the man, who had at this point identified himself as Arin, a list of all the items he was looking for.

“If possible we’d prefer to look at weapons that meet the requirements before armor. For now, we don’t need anything made-to-order, but if the functionality is good we would likely be interested in the future.” Lili had decided to explain matters since Vahn seemed more focused on making small talk. She didn’t really want to spend too much time in the store since it would interfere with the time spent elsewhere.

Arin looked at the disgruntled Lili before giving Vahn a sideways grin, “Yer girls a feisty one ain’t she?” Vahn gave a helpless smile at the remark and asked if they would be able to see the weapons. From the side, Lili was smiling and behaving more docilely.

Only allowed on

After a few minutes, Arin had lined up a variety of weapons. There were shortswords, rapiers, longswords, spears, and even an oversized katana which caught Vahn’s interest. He often imagined wielding one for himself in his previous life so it tickled his inner desires a bit. When he changed weapons in the future, Vahn decided it would be a katana unless there were better options.

Lili tried out the weapons by lifting and feeling their weight. Since she had never used anything other than a dagger and crossbow everything was awkward for her. She kept picking up and seeing if any of them ‘felt’ right, but was unable to make a decision due to her lack of interest and experience.

Seeing her hesitation, Arin started detailing the usefulness of the various weapons. He discussed how some were good for fighting groups, while others were more suitable to individuals. He even went into details about their composition, durability, and the practicality of their range and maintenance requirements.

Vahn and Lili listened to the very informative information. Though she wasn’t as interested as Vahn, Lili still made it a habit to remember anything that could be useful for the future. One of the skills she had relied on the survive so long was her ability to gather knowledge and information.

After listening to the explanation, Vahn was considering purchasing all the weapons just to try them out. Even if he didn’t end up using them, it would be good to have a variety of weapons obtained outside the system shop for future use. While he was making up his mind, Lili began asking about weapons that were heavy and could be used for the purpose of increasing strength.

“Heavy weapons that can increase strength ye say? Hmmm, I think I may have what yer lookin’ for if its just fer trainin’ purposes.” Arin went into the back room and came out carrying two items. One was a large poleaxe that was more than 160cm long and weighed nearly 30kg. It was made of ‘blacksteel’ like the shops’ namesake. The other item was an almost comically oversized hammer. It was 125cm long with the head of the hammer being 70cms. It weighed a monstrous 90kg.

Out of curiosity, Vahn tried lifting the two weapons and found that, though they were lighter than he expected, they were very awkward to use. Lili also gave it a try and struggled quite a bit, but due to her [Artel*Assist] skill, she managed to carry both items, albeit with a strenuous amount difficulty.

After holding the two items, Lili decided she would take them both since they met the requirements of activating [Artel*Assist]. She agreed with Vahn that it would be important to develop the skill if she wanted to get stronger in the future. There was also the truth that it was easier to discard than armor so she could easily swap weapons depending on the situation.

Vahn ended up purchasing all the weapon and handed over 92,000V in payment. It was a large portion of his earning for the week, but once he started advancing further into the dungeon he would easily recoup the loss. After accepting the money, Arin ended up returning 12,000V with the reason being it was a discount for their first purchase and the fact they bought several items at once. He also mentioned he had been trying to get rid of the hammer for a while, so he was happy Vahn took it off his hands.

Since it would be awkward explaining storage magic, Vahn had to give Arin the address of the inn and was informed they would be delivered before the end of the day. After that, they made their way towards a different shop that specialized in armor.

Lili seemed very averse to purchasing “heavy” equipment since it didn’t suit her small frame. In fact, other than some made-to-order stuff, there was nearly no armor that actually fit her so they had to give up after purchasing a small breastplate along with a pair of arm and leg guards. They were convenient as they could be worn easily over her usual clothing.

Vahn, remembering the clothes Lili often wore was tattered and aged, decided to purchase her some newer clothing. After his experience with changing his own image, he thought it would be good for her to do something similar. After hearing they would next be shopping for clothes, Lilii’s eyes began to glow in anticipation.

They entered a store that specialized in producing and tailoring adventurer’s wear. There were several mannequins decked out in a variety of different outfits that fit the stereotypes of different styles of adventurers.

Lili spent more than three hours trying on various different outfits while Vahn sat numbingly having to give his opinion on each of them. She eventually settled on a pair of tan shorts with a black sleeveless shirt that displayed her navel. To accompany the outfit she also picked out a pair of dark stockings with tan leather boots that reached halfway up her calves. Lastly, she chose a stylish red vest to complete the outfit.

Vahn thought the outfit suited her, but was curious why she would pick clothing that showed her stomach. After asking, she gave him a bashful look before moving away to hand the items over to the seamstress for modification. After she returned she asked a question of her own with a blush on her face, “Vahn, do you like when a girl shows her midriff or do you prefer if they stay fully clothed?”

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Vahn contemplated the question and realized he didn’t have a preference. He enjoyed that everyone wore a variety of different outfits and didn’t consider if he had a preference for any specific type of clothing. After thinking for a while, he decided on his answer. “I think people should wear whatever they want as long as it’s comfortable. Though, if I had to say, when cute girls show more skin it makes me feel a bit dazed at times.”

Though she was dissatisfied with the first part of his answer, as it was kind of roundabout, Lili began to beam after hearing the second part. Even though she often wore a cloak and hood over her clothing, she didn’t like wearing restrictive clothes all that much. That was the main reason she didn’t want to wear heavy armor if it could be avoided.

The two continued to walk around until the evening came. Vahn told Lili after they had lunch that he had business with the Hephaestus Familia, so after he walked her back to the inn he made his way towards Hephaestus’s workshop. Lili stayed behind to receive the shipment of items, but she didn’t let Vahn leave without promising to take her out to dinner as compensation in the future.

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