Addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
The card game that has the objective of teaching basic arithmetic.
Shiki and I have already played this before to playtest it and are used to calculations, so it was natural for there to be a gap in ability between us and the other two.
But the fearsome thing is that one of them is an astonishingly skilled merchant.
He understood the rules in an instant, and began to show his true ability as if he were a fish who had found water.
Muzo-san is frightening.
I think Lime was pretty fast in grasping the rules and getting used to the game too, but Muzo-san was already having a fight with Shiki on equal grounds.
I would at times get 2nd place, but I am mostly 3rd.
These are the type of people that I definitely wouldn’t want to play monopoly with, counting Rembrandt-san.
By the way, in terms of card games, the one I couldn’t match them at all no matter how much I tried was a board game that resembled sevens.
In that game, not only Rembrandt-san, I couldn’t match even Morris-san and Lisa-san.
Right, when it comes to things to do for amusement, Tsige is pretty weak in that front excluding gambling. It is only until recently that board games and card games were finally beginning to show up.
“Hahaha, I see. This is interesting. I like the point that it doesn’t rely too much on gambling, and you can play it purely for the fun of it.” (Muzo)
“I am sure there will be a whole lot more fun pastimes that will be born in this city. If you find anything new, please do tell us.” (Makoto)
“Yeah. This is 3 and there’s two 4… The required number is… No good, I am going over by 1.” (Lime)
“By the way, the…chawanmushi -was it?- that I was offered just before, it was a splendid dish. Mio-dono is a truly skilled chef. I am jealous.” (Muzo)
I understand the ‘skilled’ praise.
But I feel like it is a bit off to call her a chef…
A casual talk began on the side of the game.
Muzo-san has most likely placed the game at a side of his head and has begun to exchange information on the front of a casual talk.
“You could say ‘like brings forth the skill’. She is a pretty devoted one.” (Makoto)
“If my tongue serves me right, it is not only rare mushrooms, there’s also eggs and meat that are on a whole other level. Is this possibly the meat and eggs of a Black Venom Bullet?” (Muzo)
“Oh? Muzo-san, are you a gourmet? That’s exactly right.” (Makoto)
“To think that she would be able to prepare a dish with that ingredient in such a perfect manner… It makes me question whether it was okay for me to partake in it.” (Muzo)
“Don’t mind it. In the first place, as the representative of the Muzo Company that specializes in the materials of the wasteland, these are by no means all rare ingredients for you, right?” (Makoto)
The bird that Mio used this time around is classified as a demonic beast.
It is a bird whose body is all black and is deadly poisonous.
Depending on if you properly managed to take out the poison and prepare the meat, you can tell whether it is safe or not because the looks of it change, which is a trait of this ingredient.
In terms of the difficulty in preparation, it seems to be low within the special demonic beasts, but the capture difficulty is decently high, and it is not an ingredient that you would be able to eat normally.
“…I don’t see it being prepared as a dish often. No, even as a material, I see it rarely. Just recently we troubled a customer because our inventory had run out of amber inky cap mushrooms. It seems like the Kuzunoha Company has them in their dried state, but our procurement rate lately has not been keeping up with the demand lately.” (Muzo)
“Aah, that’s true. It does feel like the demand has increased. But it is not like we use that many in our place, so our place is not troubled with mushrooms if they are dried.” (Makoto)
I look at Lime who is the one that is knowledgeable about the movements of the inventory.
He was groaning at the cards in his hand, but he noticed my intent and nodded.
“I think one of the reasons why is because the amount of adventurers that are heading deeper than before into the wasteland and people from the outside aiming for the wasteland have increased. Having powerful potions in possession obviously increases the chances of success and the chances of returning alive, so… Ah! I shouldn’t have thrown away that card just now!” (Lime)
“…In other words, the adventurers that have now managed to obtain such potions have exploded. I did see that trend happening, but this is truly fast. The poison fire coral and the water bamboo are still being procured in a stable manner though.” (Muzo)
“It is a troubling matter. There’s no solution aside from taking in a lot of adventurers that are involved with demonic beasts and minerals.” (Makoto)
“About that part, we messed up a bit. We lost a number of adventurer parties that were Regular Patrons of the Mist Town just recently. It is truly headache inducing. Hm? I have finished up the cards in my hand now.” (Muzo)
“Good job. So the adventurers that the Muzo Company were supporting have been wiped out? That’s—” (Makoto)
“No, it is not that they were wiped out. We were gathering information as to how to become a Regular Patron of the Mist Town and the conditions to enter, but it seems like we heard too much from them…they couldn’t enter anymore. I didn’t think such a thing would happen, so I held my head in despair.” (Muzo)
“Aah, in other words, you soured their relationship with that place. It seems like many companies and adventurers are making big moves to ascertain the conditions, so waiting might be one move. Right, I have finished my hand here too.” (Shiki)
Muzo-san and Shiki had finished up while they were conversing.
Kuh, how do their heads work?
“Shiki-dono…the Kuzunoha Company has already secured their network, so the problem isn’t affecting you, but the other places including us are desperate here. Waiting when it comes to this matter would definitely be a bad move.” (Muzo)
“…I see. Well, it wouldn’t be good for the Muzo Company that uses the one line of relying solely on adventurers.” (Shiki)
Shiki threw slightly unnatural words at Muzo-san.
The current situation is that there’s no choice but to rely on adventurers when it comes to the materials of the wasteland though?
“I say that, but everyone in the material gathering industry is currently competing in the Regular Patron chase, so they all have bloodshot eyes trying to secure skilled adventurer parties. It is pretty hard to bring up the younglings that are below after all. Hau of the Miglio Company and Jio of the Forks Company have secured a number of material gathering parties that have their own personal routes.” (Muzo)
Muzo-san mentions a number of young companies that have momentum and sighs with a ‘good grief’.
But despite mentioning that Hau-san and Jio-san, his eyes were still burning strongly.
He is even making a face holding strong will as if he is having fun which is far from that of someone who is thinking about retirement. Hau-san and Jio-san must have it rough.
While Muzo-san was talking about this, I ended up in 3rd, and Lime ended in last place.
I stared at the newly dealt hand I had, and made a taken aback expression.
Could it be that I can finish with the first hand?
Muzo-san was staring at his hand, but he switched his gaze to Shiki.
“No matter how good of adventurers (numbers) come, you can’t win if the one in control isn’t good.” (Muzo)
“Yeah, that’s right. It is not bad to have a good hand of adventurers though.” (Shiki)
“…Those words of before…I see. That’s how it is, huh.” (Muzo)
They were exchanging glances as if they were villains confirming their wiles.
And then, Muzo-san suddenly looked at me.
“W-What’s the matter?” (Makoto)
“Now that I think about it, even though you had such a valued card like the Alpine, you haven’t formed an exclusive contract. They have for some reason not become Regular Patrons, but even with that, it was strange. Even so, that’s one way to form a good relationship. Adventurers are terribly involved with freedom after all.” (Muzo)
“In other words, that’s what the Kuzunoha Company has been doing. That’s what you wanted to tell me, right, Shiki-dono?” (Muzo)
“I wonder. I don’t remember giving you magic words to escape from your dilemma though.” (Shiki)
“There’s almost no other way aside from using adventurers when it comes to increasing our inventory for the demonic beasts and the minerals of the wasteland. But what about other things aside from that?” (Muzo)
So…mushrooms? Ah, plants, huh.
But just by being from the wasteland, it makes the requirements for cultivating them difficult, so in the end, it still comes back to relying on the adventurers…
“Gununu… What to do…? At this rate… No, if we exchange with him and him…” (Muzo)
“In that case, the adventurers will be different as well -no, it would be better to say that the variety will expand. Also…you would need scholars.” (Shiki)
“This is bad… If I don’t get a bit stronger, my position in the orphanage will be…” (Lime)
“I am sorry! I remembered an urgent matter! Raidou-dono, I will be excusing myself for today! Also, I will be keeping it a secret that it is possible to purchase a part of the things shown in the display until you have made it public, so don’t worry!” (Muzo)
Wait, I think I can win in one hand this time around though?!
This is my one chance to overturn all the losses until now!
In this timing that made me question if it is even fair to escape with his wins, Muzo-san stood up and pushed up his glasses, a glint shining from them. Then, he sprinted out at full speed without even giving the chance to stop him.
“Shiki, what was that?” (Makoto)
“It is true that a part of Tsige’s goods circulation had stagnated, so I threw in a bit of a lifeboat.” (Shiki)
“…The method that if it is plants, something can be done?” (Makoto)
Will they begin agriculture in the wasteland?
I honestly feel like cultivating it inside Tsige would be dangerous.
I can tell that it is related to plants, but I can’t see any further than that, which makes me a bit sad.
“Yes, as you have noticed, Waka-sama, it is possible to cultivate the plants. It is difficult to adjust the environment, but if we consider the current demand, I can understand that this is a seed of worry that must be prioritized. Looking at his state, I don’t think it will take him long before he makes a base in the wasteland for research that will go all the way to cultivation.” (Shiki)
It depends on what, but you could say it is better than hunting demonic beasts.
“The urgent subject is the mushrooms…” (Makoto)
“Yes, especially the ones in the category of inky caps that have a fast growth cycle and have a variety of uses; they have plenty merit in cultivating. Currently, in the cases when there’s the need for undried inky caps, the difficulty shoots up. I think it would help out in resolving problems like this too.” (Shiki)
I thought he would say it is hard to work with mushrooms, but he gave me a completely opposite response.
Mushrooms have very specialized methods of usage and it is hard to preserve aside from the ones that can be dried.
It is also the reason why people consider specialists in wasteland plant materials as gamblers.
That’s how much of a priceless treasure are specialized adventurer parties. That’s also one of the reasons why they are never troubled with money.
In the party of Toa, Hazal and Louisa would be the ones with knowledge about stuff like this.
They are strong because they have a wide range of knowledge that doesn’t have to rely on just one person and they can share that knowledge.
By the way, the fire poison coral and blazing poison corals that are poisonous to a dangerous extent even in Asora are like completely different things.
The latter one is like a blue enokitake, if the name is taken at face value, it would be an extravagant fire poison coral.
“I-I see.” (Makoto)
“In the display exhibition the other day, there was an introduction to mushroom cultivation from wood shavings, so I think he will be coming back in a few days to buy that.” (Shiki)
I remember the details from the words of Shiki.
It is true that there were a number of ‘free research you can do even at home’ series-like things in exhibition.
There certainly was a bottle of sawdust that had mushrooms growing from it.
The mushrooms used in the chawanmushi this time around were dried in order to bring out the flavor for the broth, but the 3 mushrooms are all types that can be cultivated in Asora.
If I remember correctly, the blazing poison coral and the inky cap mushrooms had a specially high harvest rate.
They would rot in a day if they were left be, but the inky caps that can be harvested every day and the blazing poison coral that can be harvested in large quantities in a cycle of once every week.
It is true that cultivating and raising things of the wasteland that would serve as materials in Tsige is something that I have not heard of.
This might actually bring quite the drastic changes if it takes form.
“Or so I say, but people are the kind that surprisingly don’t know the details of even the grass that grows close to them. Researching the materials of the wasteland to the point that they understand it and it is possible to cultivate… Thinking about the path they have to take until they succeed, they might be facing quite a good degree of hardships.” (Shiki)
Shiki-sensei’s face was saying ‘they should show that they can overcome that degree of difficulty at the very least!’.
Well, even if it does come to cultivating in a base, it is not a job that can be done by regular people.
It could become a second career for adventurers, and people who are struggling with their livelihood. It would become a plus for the city in that way.
“Right. A competition for the Regular Patrons, huh. The Mist Town has resonated in Tsige pretty well.” (Makoto)
“Yes, it is a good flow.” (Shiki)
Leaving aside the groaning Lime, the Kuzunoha Company is operating as usual.