Editors: Templar, Jack Vanatis,
Author’s notes: And there is more CotE coming.
Updates in header of chapter 5.
Chapter 6 – Profit
Once the guard captain leaves, Regal studiously begins to clean up. The smaller items are easy to tidy, but consume a lot of time, while the large furniture forces him to use his entire body weight to just upright them. If he was a few levels higher and put some points into his strength, this task would be much easier.
In his mind, Regal is going through various methods to earn money. Most of them are not possible for someone who hasn’t graduated school or won’t make a profit so he immediately disregards those. Without being allowed to work, his most viable option is to sell goods.
If his father’s books were still here, they would be worth at least several silver pieces each. After going through the list of things he could possibly sell, he decides to sell his ‘Ice Bullets’. They are low grade bullets that aren’t worth much, but it is still possible to sell them.
Regal equips his revolver and uses all his mana to create .38 ‘Ice Bullets’. Rather than loading them into his weapon, he stores the ‘Ice Bullets’ in one of the two empty bullet cases. Despite being made of ice, the bullets will not melt over time and can be stored indefinitely.
Without using any mana recovery items, Regal’s mana recovers a single point every two minutes, allowing him to create one ice bullet every ten minutes; six every hour; and excluding the time when he is asleep, a little over ninety a day. This is enough for one and a half bullet cases.
His production of ‘Ice Bullets’ at school the next day is slightly slower as students are not permitted to use any skills inside the classroom without the teacher’s permission. He can only use the alchemy outside school hours and during the lunch break.
None of the students consider him stockpiling the alchemical bullets to be strange. In their eyes, he is just practicing his alchemy. Veronica takes an interest in him practicing alchemy and boldly says to Regal, “Little brother, come over to my house tonight. We can practice alchemy together in the backyard.”
“I’m sorry, Veronica. I have other things I need to do tonight so I can’t come.”
“I’ve told you before, call me Big sis’.”
“Yes, big sis’.”
“Great! So you are coming over then?”
“I’m still not coming.”
“Then how can we practice together?”
“Can’t you two practice now?” Astore joins the conversation but is quickly shut down by Veronica.
“There isn’t enough time!”
Unwilling to give up trying to help, Astore comes up with a different idea.
“Why don’t you two meet up at the training hall later?”
“Yes, big sis, I can meet you later at the training hall to practice if you like?”
“Fine, we will do that. As soon as you are finished with your business, come to the training hall. I will be waiting.”
“I will go as soon as my business is done.”
The four Soulless chat about various topics throughout lunch, especially those related to comprehending their Divine Arts. Each of the students has a different method of relating to their Divine Arts. Regal, the last to form comprehension into his Divine Art, likens it to a small spark within his mind, but has yet to understand how to expand it.
The other three try helping him understand how to expand it, but their explanations feel illogical to him and could potentially stunt his future growth. Astore’s understanding is like a small flame that grows in intensity in correlation to his comprehension. Kilde’s is like a pool of water, slowly getting bigger. Veronica describes hers as a flower bud, blossoming one petal at a time.
Afternoon classes pass quickly and the bell signifying the end of school rings. Everyone seems to follow their usual routine and no one notices when Veronica bids farewell to her parents and walks off in a direction different than to her home or the Training Hall.
She is currently following Regal while making sure she remains out of sight if he happens to look behind him. Veronica didn’t change her mind from when she said she would wait for him at the Training Hall, this has secretly been her plan all along. If Regal happens to not go to where they are supposed to meet, she will forcibly drag him there.
Regal has a full case and a half of ‘Ice Bullets’, which he stores in his inventory and enters Market Street. The store he looks for is a relatively popular ammunition store called Hundred Rose Bullets. It is a two story store that has shelves and crates on both floors filled with various types of bullets in different sizes and with different effects.
There are exploding bullets, hollow point bullets, armour piercing bullets, various elemental bullets, and countless more that most people don’t even know the name or effect of.
The store owner is an enormous man at eight feet tall and with veins bulging out of every muscle on his body. He wears a worn grey vest, long sleeved shirt and loose brown pants that help to pacify the intimidation of the scowl he was born with.
He isn’t actually an Immortalis, but a half giant from one of the wasteland’s outer communities. His race is similar to the Soulless in that they were artificially created by the world, but different because they do not have souls residing within Mind Bubbles.
There is no discrimination towards peaceful half giants. Being a different race to the Immortalis, they don’t look down on them like their own Soulless, but see them as a slightly less intelligent race when compared to themselves.
The enormous store owner looks down at Regal, trying to smile in front of the child but ending up giving a menacing smirk and speaking with a heavy accent. “Good af’ernoon, child. How can I be o’ help?”
“I would like to sell these .38 calibre ‘Ice Bullets’.” Regal briskly takes the full case of bullets and also the half full one out of his inventory, presenting them on the store counter.
The half giant dexterously inspects the ice bullets, looking between the child in front of him and the ice bullets. After some consideration, he hand the bullets back to Regal.
“Sorry ‘id. I can’t buy ‘hese, ‘he quality is too poor. I only accep’ ‘hose with a min damage of se’en or more. Increase yer skill and in’elligence and ‘hen bring me some.”
Regal doesn’t respond to him, quickly leaving the shop to look for a different ammunition shop. It isn’t that there is a qualitative difference in the production of his ‘Ice Bullets’, but his skill is only at the second level. For low tier alchemical bullets like ‘Ice Bullets’, Hundred Rose Bullets will only purchase them if they met a certain standard.
A skill at level 50 will have a fifty percent increase to all Divine Arts of that skill, one percent for every level. A standard ‘Ice Bullet’ does 4 to 6 additional ice damage, while one created at level 50 will do 6 to 9 additional ice damage. Increasing the intelligence stat will also add a bonus to alchemy, further enhancing damage. Even if the damage is low, it is still considered a superior bullet.
As Regal is exploring Market Street for another store selling a lot of ammunition, he doesn’t notice the shadow of Veronica getting closer behind him. Regal eventually finds another store that sells a large stock of ammunition.
This store is called Atelier Gun & Bullet. It specializes in custom guns and different types of ammunition. It is only single story and has a much more limited range of bullets compared to Hundred Rose Bullets, but it has its own appeal. A single wall is dedicated to customized weapons with large price tags attached.
All of the weapons have various modifications, including extended scopes, adjusted rifling with the barrel, silencers, more comfortable handle grips, and even some different rifle pieces that appear to have been designed for visual appeal more than practicality. Each has engravings on them, such as the creators autograph, a single sentence motto, vivid artworks, or even alchemy symbols.
One particular weapon, a large rifle with a strange alchemy symbol engraved on it, catches Regal’s attention. It is about three feet long with a short magnification scope on top of it.
“Ohh, you are looking at the Silverstein Westing Special; A heavy rifle with an extended barrel. It also has a minor lightning alchemy formulae engraved to give the bullets extra speed and penetration. Do you want it?”
A cute girl with wavy brown hair tied up in a ponytail and multiple ear piercings on each ears speaks from behind Regal, startling him. She is the same age and height as Regal, and wears the uniform of a school unfamiliar to him.
“No, store owner. I was just having a look. What do you mean by alchemy formulae engraving?”
“Haha, I am the owner’s daughter. You can just call me Aqua. Don’t you know about alchemy engraving?”
“Thank you Aqua, I will remember your name and no, I haven’t heard of this engraving. What is it?”
“Some skills have a Divine Art that allows you to engrave various alchemy formulae from that skill on to weapons or armor. They each have their own properties that affect the gun so there are an endless amount of them. This engraving is of the Divine Art, ‘Lightning Step’.”
“I have never heard anything about this before.”
“So, if you didn’t come here to buy this weapon, what are you here for today?”
“I would like to sell these bullets.”
Regal once again takes the case and a half of ice bullets out of his inventory and presents them to the girl, who studies them closely and looks a little disappointed.
“Please, I really need to sell these bullets,” Regal says while politely bowing to Aqua.
Aqua is lost in thought with a complicated look on her face, but eventually stills her face and answers Regal, “Very well, we will buy them. But you have to know, it is only this time that we will. My father may be especially unhappy about this, so don’t expect to be able to sell more.”
Regal feels incredibly relieved inside and involuntarily lets out a charming smile, causing Aqua to turn her face away while blushing slightly.
“These aren’t worth much; I can at the most pay you five bronze coins for a full case of bullets with the case included.”
Regal’s mind starts calculating the figures of the profit. A single bullet case costs two bronze coins, slightly less if they are purchased in bulk. This profit is incredibly small and barely enough to live on, but it is possible.
“That is fine. Thank you so much for purchasing these bullets.”
They complete the transaction before Regal turns around and runs out of the store, calling out to Aqua as he leaves, “I will see you tomorrow!”
“Hey! I said don’t expect to- tch, he’s gone!” Aqua pouts as she realizes the boy, who she doesn’t even know the name of, has escaped.
“You should have turned him down in the first place, I have little desire for those scraps of bullets,” the voice of Aqua’s father, a rogue-like man with the same color hair as Aqua, enters the room from outside the rear door.
“I know, father! But, I-”
“You reap what you sow, Aqua. I will take no part in this. You will have to deal with it, whatever your choices.”
Aqua continues to pout, ignoring her father as she grumpily sits behind the counter at the rear of the shop. Using a combat knife, she carves a small picture of the boy’s face into the wooden counter to ensure she will remember it.
Mixed amongst the crowd of Market Street, Regal quickly navigates through the throng of people with Veronica following behind him like a shadow. He finds a general store and purchases a bulk quantity of twenty bullet cases suited for .38 bullets for thirty bronze coins. His current remaining funds are 1 silver 75 bronze.
Regal has completely forgotten about meeting Veronica at the Training Hall in his determination to make money. Rather than heading to where he was supposed to be, he leaves Market Street and briskly walks towards his home.
Seeing him not heading to the Training Hall, Veronica increases her speed to a run. She is incredibly unhappy, even slightly angry, that he isn’t going to the Training Hall after he said he would. Had she gone straight there after school, she would have ended up waiting for him all night.
As Regal is walking home, his arm is grabbed, preventing him from continuing on his way. He turns his head around to see the unhappy Veronica glaring at him. He instantly realizes he was supposed to meet her at the Training Hall, but before he can apologize, she turns and proceeds to pull him down the street with her.