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 Probing

Several days passed.

I was watching for that message bird coming back to the sisters, but it looks like the letter arrived through the guild instead.

And the letter was this:

[Please show this letter to the Village Chief.]

... They don't intend to hide it?

Well, because of that, Nayuta was bringing the letter to me. Keeping Meat at my side, I met with her in the parlor with a table between us. Setsuna wasn't here since she was working.

"Village Chief-san, a letter arrived from my client for you."

"Nn? Nayuta's client...? Who? It's not Rokuko I take it?"

"Yeah, it's a long term commission. Wakoku's daimyo... Ah, a daimyo is like an empire's emperor."

Wakoku. So it's showing up now...

"You two came from Wakuko?"

"Me? No, my name's definitely in Wakoku's style, but I'm from somewhere else. They're just employing me."

"Hoh... so, what does Wakoku's daimyo want with me?"

"Maybe to scout you? I reported that you were strong after all."

Ah, she didn't hide that either. Isn't she actually pretty open about all this? She might even tell me a few things if I asked her directly.

"... Oh, right right. Before that, could you check this out for a moment? I picked it up in the dungeon, but I don't know what it is."

Nayuta suddenly pointed a gun at me. It's a revolver-type pistol.

She said she didn't know what it was, but she's pointing the muzzle at me with her finger on the trigger. My body jumped from the surprise.

... Meat responded to my subtle reaction, standing in front of me as though to block the way. Man this girl's so awesome...

"Oh, you reacted? As I thought, you-"

"That'll happen if you suddenly send so much bloodthirst my way. And don't you actually know the way to use that thing? It feels like you're accustomed to it."

"Mu, now that you mention it..."

Nayuta took her finger off of the trigger and pointed the gun down.

... By the way, I don't recall putting something like that into the dungeon. It's not even in the DP catalog in the first place, so Nayuta definitely brought it along herself.

Now that I'm taking a closer look at the gun, isn't it odd? It's a revolver, but there's no hammer. Moreover, the revolver's cylinder is copper... huh? There aren't any holes that should be there to load bullets into? Capped?

I'm not a gun maniac so I've never seen a real gun in person, so I wouldn't be able tell if it's real or not if someone told me there was a gun like that.

"So, would you explain to me what caused you to send so much bloodthirst to your employer?"

"... You'll go bald if you fuss on the details-sorry Kuroinu-senpai please stop it with the knife on my neck sorry Village Chief-san sorry for what I said sorry!"

Yep, Meat closed the distance in an instant and held the knife up against her throat. As for her standing on the table to do it... well, let's go with it being fine for this. Nayuta's holding up her arms like she's in a holdup. She even dropped her gun to the floor.

"Ah, yep. I'm not going bald, I'm still young. Well, it's all good... Kuro, let her go. How about I read the letter from that daimyo person now?"

I opened the letter.

... A part of it is weird in that I can read it normally, but hey, isn't it written in Japanese? Sure, Japanese characters flash in my head as I read this world's writing, but I can only see this as Japanese. Honestly though, if I had to say, the handwriting looks great.

Are they trying to see my reaction, or is there another reason? ... I don't know.

By the way, this is what the letter says:

Dear Golen Village's Village Chief-sama,

How is this vividly green season treating you? If you don't mind, would you pay a visit to Wakoku? I'm certain that Nayuta must have done something rude, but as it was due to my instruction, she had no choice. If you are Japanese, I would absolutely love to speak with you. If the time comes that you would pay a visit, we would shoulder all of the traveling expenses for you to do so. We have sashimi, soy sauce, and miso soup. [1]

... A Japanese person? Really. Really now.

This is a seriously troublesome person. Super troublesome.

Alright, I decided. I saw nothing!

For the time being, I can't read it.

After turning the letter upside down, narrowing my eyes, flipping it over and scowling at it, I held it out to pass to Meat.

"Hmph, Kuro. Can you read it?"

"Oh? Village Chief-san, you can't read the characters?"

"... I'm not too good at reading and writing. So, how about it, Kuro? Can you?"

"Umm, Goshujin-sama. This letter appears to be written in unreadable characters."

As a result of her education, Meat's able to read the letters commonly used in this world. In other worlds, this is probably written in Japanese after all. Wakoku has a lot of mysteries to it.

Come to think of it, didn't Wataru end up heading over to Wakoku? Let's ask him about it next time he's here.

"That so? Well, if those characters aren't from around it, it's natural I couldn't read it either then."

I tried to appeal that my inability to read it wasn't because I was stupid... was I a bit too forceful about it there?

"So, what's it say? You can read it, right Nayuta?"

"Yeah... Hmm, it's about scouting you out after all. It's talking about the conditions for being employed, it even looks like the annual salary's a thousand gold! That's as much as an A-Rank adventurer."

I doesn't say anything about a thousand gold income anywhere though? Guess they worked that out beforehand.

Oh right. I saw nothing. I read nothing.

"Unfortunately, I'm this village's Village Chief, so I have responsibilities. I'll have to refuse... I'm not troubled by money either though, and most of all it stinks of something shady."

"That's too bad, I thought it'd be fun if you were a coworker. Ah, Kuro-senpai got an invitation too?"

"If Goshujin-sama refuses, so do I."

"Yeah, I get it. Well, I'll write back saying you refused then."

Her hand waving, Nayuta responded as though it were trivial.

Looks like decided that I saw nothing was the right answer. Booyah.

"Incidentally, could you give me a closer look at that item? You said you got it from the dungeon, but this is the first time I've seen it. I'd like to check it out as the Village Chief, even buy it if I could."

I touched on the subject of that gun.

When I said 'buy it', Nayuta's tail sprung up.

"Ah~, sorry. To be honest, this is something I made myself. Me getting it from the dungeon was a lie."

"Heeh, handmade? It looks like a weapon, is it a magic tool?"

"... As you guessed, it's a magic tool weapon. It's something I tried reproducing from the world of the Heroes. Its strength, currently... well, it's basically a kid's plaything."

Saying that, she shot the gun towards the wall. With a sound that felt lacking, something lightly struck the wall with a sound that sounded much like as if a small pebble hit it.

... When I looked at it, the conical bullet looked like a dart. Bullets weren't this shape right? They should be more aerodynamic. Moreover, judging by the feeling of this, it's iron, not lead. Heeeh.

"The real thing seems to be something that fires bullets through an explosion though. It didn't shoot like I'd planned when I tried making it as a magic tool, so it's not even strong enough to stick to wood doors. It'd be bad if it got you in the eye though... Honestly, it'd be stronger to just throw the bullet. Haah... I wonder if I should come at it from some other way?"

It's apparently something that came about through Nayuta's own trial and error.

Looks like she wasn't told much about guns and gunpowder. The looks of it surprised me though.

"... You're reproducing magic tools from the heroes' world? Well, if it's something that originally has enough power to be a weapon, I'm sure their world has developed their understanding of magic considerably."

"Huh? It's the opposite. Their world doesn't have magic at all."

"Really now? Then how are you having it explode?"

"The materials don't exist. It's just reproducing the looks... uumu, I've been wanting to talk to a Hero about it, Village Chief-san, do you know a Hero?"

"Ah, yeah. I do."

When I said that, Nayuta shot forward, leaning over the table.

"... Um, could you introduce me? I'll pay for the referral fee!"

"I'll introduce you to him the next time he's here."

It's about time Hero Wataru will be heading over to make a payment on his debt.

Apparently, Haku-san forced him to take an absurd job that lasted the entire duration of the Dungeon Battle. Incidentally, I had him pay the payment he'd miss by not being able to come here in advance.

She'd meet him at reception or while waiting on tables either way, so it's not like I'll be asking her for a referral fee though.

Footnotes:

Note that Wakoku is written in kanji in the letter. The daimyo also refers to themselves as [Watashi (feminine/polite 'I')].

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