One of the followers that has made a contract with Misumi Makoto, Shiki.
Within the three followers of Makoto, he is a pretty eccentric one.
And his days are pretty hectic too.
“It is morning already huh…” (Shiki)
Seeing the line of sunshine coming in from a part of the room, he stops his hand and mutters this.
Shiki’s room is at the first floor of Makoto’s house.
Its size is around sixty tatami mats.
It is properly arranged, but the amount of books and documents are many, and there are a variety of shelves and cases, making the room not feel as if it were that big.
It has basically turned into a research room, so the amount of people coming and going from there are more than that of Tomoe and Mio.
“It didn’t advance as much as planned. To think I still can’t grasp my own strength yet. No good.” (Shiki)
A slight wrinkle was made in between his eyebrows.
In the paper that he was holding, there’s a paper that has clearly written details of his own abilities.
It is a power that awakened in Shiki when he made a pact with Makoto.
“The first to fourth are strengthening of the basic abilities; the fifth is healing and regeneration; the sixth is close combat battle prowess solely for swords; the seventh is an absorption technique on the level of ritual magic; the eight is a three step sealing spell; the ninth one gives me the ability to employ my shadow; and…” (Shiki)
Confirming his own descriptions, Shiki moved his eyes to what was next, and then, fell silent.
The 13th steps are just as the name states, thirteen different abilities.
At the very least, that’s how Shiki himself has interpreted it.
The pulse of Makoto’s rings that were taken into Shiki’s body at the time of the pact was something that he felt later, and after he investigated it, the 13th steps were born.
Currently, Shiki can only use five of them freely. Only until the fifth step.
The other powers are simply cases when he managed to activate them, and in terms of the whole picture of the 13th steps, it is practically unclear.
That’s why Shiki makes it a daily activity to research his abilities, and the missions from Makoto and his duties in Asora, he does his best in completing them in the intervals of his work at the Kuzunoha Company.
Since making a pact with Makoto, he hasn’t taken a proper sleep aside from naps.
“It is great that my body doesn’t need much sleep. The moment I gained a flesh body, I thought I would need to fight with my need to sleep, but it looks like it can handle unreasonableness like when I was a lich. I can somehow activate the tenth step, but with a condition. The eleventh’s effect would weaken in activation. And I can’t even grasp the identity of the twelfth step. The thirteenth one requires way too much magic power in activation, so I simply can’t even touch it.” (Shiki)
Shiki makes a bitter smile.
Compared to the growth and power of Tomoe and Mio, the power of Shiki is pretty generic and also a complicated one.
He was saved by the thirteen rings in the time of the pact, and just from seeing that one point, Shiki could feel how much of a small existence he is compared to those two.
But, putting aside the scale, having a pact with an undead can be categorized as a pretty rare case in history.
In the first place, undead are existences that abhor the living, and even Shiki, who was a lich that didn’t turn into one because of a grudge, had at some point in time hatred for the living corroding his heart.
His blind devotion for research which was the reason for him to turn into a lich was also a heavy factor as to why he would hate a ruling pact with someone.
Even if he exploited the fact that he had a body and mind that didn’t need sleep, it is plenty rare a case for a mere undead as Shiki to be turning into an existence that can ‘fight’ against the Tomoe who was a Superior Dragon, and the Black Spider that was classified as a calamity in the world.
Leaving aside whether this is good or bad, being involved deeply with Misumi Makoto will always lead to one’s common sense changing.
The place that Shiki is aiming for seriously by grasping his current strength, his past self would have snorted at it and considered it as being delusional.
“Now then, let’s wrap up the work.” (Shiki)
Shiki cracks his neck and loosens his body with a few stretches.
He takes a number of files from the orderly desk and left the room.
He enters a building located in the residence with unhesitant steps, checks the growth of the plants, and listens to the reports of the subordinates using thought transmission regarding the new plants and animals that were found in their explorations.
While at it, he gives them the instructions of the day and cuts off the thought transmission.
“Good morning, Shiki-sama.”
“Good morning.” (Shiki)
Next, he would show up at the room where the leaders of the Highland Orc and Winged-kin teams are while they are already doing their jobs.
Shiki exchanges a greeting with them.
“…Fumu. Looks like there’s no problems in particular. We need competent personnel that can collate the knowledge of Waka-sama and the situation of Asora though… The land group can manage with Sari, and in terms of the sea group, we could find a Neptune that has good memory. Do you guys have anything you want to tell the sea people?” (Shiki)
Quickly reading the documents packed at the desk and grasping the current situation.
It was truly skilfull and fast.
“None from me. It is progressing smoothly.” (Orc)
Brief words from the Highland Orc.
She is a friend of Ema that was soon assigned to Shiki when he joined the ranks of Makoto’s followers.
There was already familiarity in how they both work.
“No need to contact the sea people from my side either. Just that, there’s a problem with the job we are currently progressing in.” (Winged-kin)
The report of the Winged-kin woman had the word ‘problem’ in it.
“Let’s hear it.” (Shiki)
“Regarding the composition of a medical team by your orders, Shiki-sama, we Winged-kin in general are weak in the arts of healing, and the present state is that many still haven’t been able to reach the minimum requirements that Shiki-sama established.” (Winged-kin)
“Adding to that, we are thinking of instructing the ones who are good at healing. And so—” (Winged-kin)
“Understood. I will ready some people by tonight or tomorrow morning. But even if I say healer, there’s several types of mages. Make sure to have them show their skills properly in both smarts and actual practice. Since you guys are fighting not in land but in the sky, there will be the need for your own race to provide a certain degree of support as well. It is a task for the Winged-kin. Make sure to take your time to properly handle it.” (Shiki)
“Thank you very much.” (Winged-kin)
“Anything else?” (Shiki)
“Then, I will counting on you. The reports will be as always, at morning and night, excluding the cases of emergencies. Ah, also, there’s no mistake that these are the documents that must be given to Tomoe-dono and Mio-dono, right?” (Shiki)
Receiving a bow from his subordinates, Shiki carries even more documents around his armpit, and takes a seat at his own desk.
His pen was moving swiftly on the completely blank papers.
The first one is a document that has a number of articles with added explanations from himself; this one is a report to show to his master Makoto.
Compiling all the mountain-like amount of reports from the documents and the thought transmissions from his subordinates, he arranges all the information in pages of A4 size.
Regular magic doesn’t work on those documents.
The documents that were piled up to the point that they were close to the size of a person and the oral reports from tens of people; there’s no way it would be possible to compile those in a small number of pages.
The things he has to report after dealing with them himself, the things that can be dealt with without the need of reporting to Makoto, and the things that don’t need to be reported.
After excluding those, he chooses and writes down the reports that must be told to Makoto.
What his master is interested in and what he isn’t; Shiki knew this plenty well.
“…Today it ended up being more than normal. I don’t want to trouble Waka-sama with too much, but…I can’t reduce it anymore than this, so it can’t be helped. Looks like it is already time for breakfast.” (Shiki)
He leaves a number of documents he had brought from his room, and instead, grabbed the reports meant for Makoto and the documents for Tomoe and Mio, and then, left the room where his subordinates are.
In terms of time, it was around 30 minutes.
“Shiki-sama is as busy as always.” (Orc)
“He is the kind of person that hates having time where he has nothing to do after all. At any rate, what an incredible amount of paper there is everyday. If we had those computers that appear in Waka-sama’s memories, this room would always be clean though.” (Winged-kin)
The Winged-kin touched the topic of computers.
At times, Shiki would mumble about this, but for the office workers, the computers looked like the dream device.
“Fufufu, Shiki-sama says that pretty often too. But creating it would take a lot of time and effort, so it might pile up other work, making it hard to do at the present state.” (Orc)
“Is that maybe the application of Golems?” (Winged-kin)
“I don’t know at all. But the shape does indeed remind me of the things the dwarfs make.” (Orc)
“Even before Gods came to Asora, this place was already plenty awesome though. We might be getting a bit too greedy here.” (Winged-kin)
Within the documents that they have already checked, the two stand at a section where the things that are planned to be disposed of are.
The Orc girl makes a short spell’s aria, and the mountain of paper that was in front of her had disappeared in an instant.
In its place, there was a sparkling sphere the size of a bead left.
“If we return them to a core like this, we can use it again, so it doesn’t end up being a waste. It is also strong. Paper is truly amazing.” (Orc)
“In the homeland of Waka-sama, something like this was normal, or so I heard.” (Winged-kin)
“Even if you were to buy several hundreds of these, it apparently only amounted to the price of a simple meal.” (Orc)
It is possible to reprint paper by using a simple spell, moreover, it can be returned to white paper for reuse.
Even in Makoto’s Japan, there was no such bizarre way of using paper.
The two were misunderstanding Makoto’s homeland really naturally as they continue handling the mountain of work they have.
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After Shiki finished his breakfast with Makoto and the others, he moved to the Kuzunoha Company that is in Tsige and Rotsgard via Asora, and heard out the reports regarding the state of the company.
Both stores are able to make preparations to begin regular work and open the store, so there’s no need for Makoto and Shiki to be there for those. Shiki mostly shows up at the stores at the times slightly after they have already opened.
These kind of regulations were handled by Tomoe and Shiki since the early stages of the Kuzunoha Company, so by now, the employees have already gotten used to it.
“No problems with the inventory, no big requests either… If the requests for equipment are on this degree, the level of the adventurers hasn’t changed much. Next is regarding the reservations huh. There’s not only orders from frequent patrons, but also a lot from normal customers. Even though we are only accepting a few of them as special exceptions…” (Shiki)
At the second floor of the Kuzunoha store at Rotsgard which serves as the base, Shiki was reading both the daily reports and the general overview of the current state as he groans.
Usually at this time, Makoto is mostly hearing out the reports of Tomoe and Mio, and checking out Asora and Kaleneon.
First he would summarize the situation of the store, give orders, and sort out what should be told to Makoto. For that reason, Shiki moves ahead of Makoto.
Right now he is worrying about the demands of the customers regarding the reservations and orders.
There’s quite a lot of popularity with the goods that the Kuzunoha Company sells.
Since they have quite a variety of goods, it was a situation where there were a lot of people that wanted to reserve them in advance to order them at a time when they can get a set amount of them.
What Shiki meant by ‘special exceptions’ were people that are related to the Rembrandt Company, customers that personally negotiated a price with Makoto, and a number of them were cases where Makoto himself gave an ok to.
In the first place, in the cases when it relates to byproducts of Asora, they are simply restricting the amount of the supply, so if they wanted to, they can increase the quantity as much as they want.
In the case of specialties from other lands, they have the convenient transportation method of teleportation, so their ability to cope with demand is pretty high.
It is a problem that can be solved with a single decision of Makoto.
(Leaving aside the cases that Waka-sama has accepted, in the present state, if we were to accept the reservations and orders, it would make our sales stand out. Even so, it is obvious that there would be complains if we were to accept those orders without changing the aggregate amount of the inventory. Seeing the current state of everyone, increasing the work a bit won’t pose much problem, but…) (Shiki)
It was a complicated problem.
If they were to simply increase the amount sold, increase the performance, and increase the shares, it wouldn’t pose much problem to the Kuzunoha Company.
But Makoto has the scary ideal of not stirring any winds in the Merchant Guild, and at the same time, answer the customers that come to the store as much as possible.
Makoto has somewhat begun to accept reality to a certain extent, but in terms of the fundamental truths of merchanting, his attitude is still naive.
“Shiki-sama, is it okay?”
After a knock in the door sounded, a voice speaks out to Shiki.
It was the Forest Oni employee, Akua.
“Excuse my intrusion. Regarding the meeting with the Merchant Guild in the afternoon, we received contact that it has been changed to the night. They said that if we are going to be absent, to please notify them before noon.” (Akua)
“Meeting huh. It is the one that Waka-sama was scheduled to participate in, right?” (Shiki)
Change in the time of the meeting.
If it were a while ago, the answer would have certainly been ‘be absent’.
But the situation has changed a bit now.
After the incident of the Variants rampaging in Rotsgard, Makoto began to move more actively as the representative of the company.
“If it is at night, it would come with dinner huh. Moreover, I can’t go…” (Shiki)
“How about telling them we will be absent from it?” (Akua)
“Waka-sama will say he is going. It is a meeting with the guild, so Zara will most likely be going as well. Rembrandt and him are acquainted, so maybe because of that, I think that Waka-sama is showing him consideration.” (Shiki)
“But Mio-sama has most likely already decided on the dinner, and most of all—” (Akua)
“I know. It can’t be helped. No other choice but to do this. If Waka-sama decides to participate, we will have Mio-dono accompany him.” (Shiki)
“Waka-sama and Mio-sama?” (Akua)
Akua repeats as if it were unexpected.
Because that’s a pairing that normally doesn’t happen when there’s business related to the Kuzunoha Company.
“That’s right. But, just in case, please go as well, Akua.” (Shiki)
“What’s with the ‘puh’? I will promptly ask Waka-sama about the meeting.” (Shiki)
“Wait, Shiki-sama?!” (Akua)
“Please don’t begin speaking in thought transmission as if nothing, Shiki-sama!” (Akua)
“Akua, it looks like Waka-sama will be participating.” (Shiki)
“If you can’t attend no matter what, I will have to ask Eris of it. Is that okay with you?” (Shiki)
“You ask me if that’s okay, but what do you mean by that?” (Akua)
“Are you okay with Waka-sama, Mio-dono, and Eris going to the meeting of the Merchant Guild?” (Shiki)
“…I am not okay with it.” (Akua)
“Zara will be there, and if you just say that we will be participating in the meeting with women company, I don’t think anything big will happen. I am counting on you.” (Shiki)
“Sorry for the trouble.” (Shiki)
“I will be taking my leave.” (Akua)
Akua left the room with her back slightly bend and her head hung down.
Seeing her off with only his eyes, Shiki soon resumed his work, and silently handled with ease the work related to the company.
(Hm, this should be enough. What’s left is to wait for night to come and confirm how it went. Now then, today there were around five places I had to show up at huh. It is great that they were all matters that didn’t need Waka-sama to be present. I will request someone to handle the matter of the letters, and so…after returning to Asora, it would be afternoon by the time I go to where the Eldwas and the Arkes are. It would be best to check on Amelia’s state while it is still bright outside huh.) (Shiki)
Holding a number of letters in hand, he goes down to the first floor, and gave it to the closest employee he found.
The last thing he did was to do a round in the store, greeting the customers, and then, he left the store.
◇◇ ◆◆ ◇◇ ◆◆ ◇◇ ◆◆ ◇◇ ◆◆
“Shiki, that girl you left in Komoe’s care. If I remember correctly, a student of Waka-ja ga.” (Tomoe)
“You must be talking about Amelia.” (Shiki)
“Right, that one-ja. Do you think she can turn into someone useful?” (Tomoe)
“…Can’t tell yet. She is still at the stage where she is refining her own potential after all.” (Shiki)
“Isn’t that something that you are teaching her in the Academy’s classes?” (Tomoe)
“The person herself said she wanted to work at the Kuzunoha Company. Right now that’s too difficult for her, so I am checking her potential once again.” (Shiki)
“Even though you don’t demand that much of the other students?” (Tomoe)
“The Rembrandt sisters are in the side of our connections; Jin has a different quality to begin with. Even if it is only basic training, we can’t look at them in the same standards.” (Shiki)
Shiki and Tomoe were conversing as they had their meal.
Asora’s dining room.
In this night where Makoto and Mio have gone to Rotsgard, Tomoe and Shiki were having their dinner at a bar that’s close to the arena of Asora.
The surroundings were filled with hustle and bustle, and the Orcs gathered there were enjoying the food and drinks.
“Is that all there is to it? Komoe said that you were seeing how she was doing everyday and were paying her quite a lot of attention though?” (Tomoe)
“…She is a student of Waka-sama after all. I simply want to do as much as possible to help out in what she wants to do.” (Shiki)
“Well you see, I myself snuck a peek on how she was doing, and she was pretty desperate. Shiki, it looks like she is quite in love with you-ja no.” (Tomoe)
“Even Waka-sama noticed, you know? Is it something to be surprised about?” (Tomoe)
“It might be because she reminds me of a nostalgic past of mine. Won’t deny that there’s various factors affecting my decision.” (Shiki)
“How laudable-ja na. I do have a slight dislike for honorary students, but that girl, she kinda reminds me of Lime. Don’t hate that type of people.” (Tomoe)
“Thank you very much.” (Shiki)
“…Of course, that’s on the assumption that she can become someone useful-ja ga na.” (Tomoe)
“I will show you that I can train her to a level that suits your taste. When that time comes, I would like to place her under the care of Lime, is that okay?” (Shiki)
“I don’t mind. If they are of use, no matter how many there are, it wouldn’t be a bother. I see. If we are to use her in the same way as Lime, she would need a decent amount of fighting prowess. And the chances she will have of seeing you and Waka would increase huh.” (Tomoe)
“It might seem like a slightly sly move though.” (Shiki)
“That’s just like you. But…” (Tomoe)
“If you are planning on having that girl give up being a hyuman like in Lime’s case, make sure to get Waka’s permission first. At the time with Lime, Waka got incredibly angry after all. Don’t wanna experience that ever again-ja. Don’t wanna see it either.” (Tomoe)
Tomoe ended by warning Shiki.
Words that were given out so that Shiki doesn’t repeat the same error.
Being seen through the last method he hadn’t revealed, Shiki swallowed his words, and nodded with a meek expression.
“You are going to be researching and training from now on, right? It will be difficult, but do your best. I will be taking my leave first.” (Tomoe)
“Ah, yes. Thanks for the consideration. Have a good night.” (Shiki)
“Idiot. Waka will be calling me later anyways. No way I can sleep. I will be taking a break, a break.” (Tomoe)
“Thanks for the hard work.” (Shiki)
Shiki sees off his senpai that’s waving her hand as she leaves.
“Now then, it will soon be the time for Ema’s report. Looks like I will be able to begin my research in the same time as always.” (Shiki)
He glances at the residents that were making a ruckus while drinking, and while thinking about the plans of later, he left the store.
“It is already morning huh.” (Shiki)
His sleepless days continued.
Luckily, he was a hyuman in the past that was bound by the need of sleep and was the type that regretted the time lost when sleeping.
For Shiki, being fine not sleeping was a plus.
It was the complete opposite of Tomoe and Mio.
Because those girls enjoy the comfiness of sleeping.
“Good grief. No matter how much time there is, it just isn’t enough.” (Shiki)
And in reality, there’s no fatigue in the expression of Shiki.
You could even say there’s actually glee in his eyes.
Shiki was enjoying a plenty lot the busy everyday life.