I made stew for dinner.
I couldn't find roux, so a stew without roux it is.
Melt some butter and stir-fry the ingredients.
For seasonings, salt and pepper.
Once it's heated properly, add wheat flour to bring out the thickness of the consomme soup.
Finally add milk and cook it well.
Ahh, just like with rinnals, their names might not be the same, but as long as the taste is the same, there's no problem.
No problem at all.
I basically make no mistakes when it comes to housework.
I don't think it's annoying, and if I do well, I can live every day in a nice atmosphere.
"So good! What is this? I've never seen anything like it, but it's great! Alice, you were good at cooking?"
"Well, I'm not bad."
Shion-san had high praise for me.
"Really, Alice-chan, you're so girlish."
"I-is that so? I think there are cooking men, too, though?"
There's one right in front of you, you know?
"You can become a bride any time!"
Aunty got that distant look in her eyes.
Nono, don't try to throw me out, okay?
Don't sell me!
"... a... wife?"
Ossan is trembling like a leaf, but let's ignore him.
I'm not the only one, you know?
"By the way, Onee-chan, there's something I wanted to ask you..."
"Hmm, what's up?"
She held her plate out to me for seconds, so I filled it up and gave it back to her.
I wonder if she can eat all that?
"Can I buy a slave?"
"Ahh, from noon, right? They did cause some rumors... you saw them, Alice?"
"I was on the main street just then."
And I can't think of it as someone else's business, either.
In the very beginning, if Uncle had hypothetically been a bad guy, wouldn't I have been sold as a slave or something?
I might have been put onto such a carriage, too, like cattle.
And what would be the fate of a slave like me?
That goes without saying.
"Hmm? Well, you can. Anyone can, if they have the money."
I got the change from my errands at noon as pocked money, but with that...
"Hmm... and about how much do they cost?"
"Well, that depends on the slave, but... let's see."
Shion gave me a dirty look and made a wicked face.
"For example, a girl like you... 50 gold coins. Around 500.000 Rook, I guess?
"...Your face is wicked, Onee-chan."
But wait a second.
How much money is that actually?
For today's dinner, I've used 20 Rook.
Ahh, if I think about it like that, I received a considerable amount of spending money. Thank you, Aunty.
So, lunch also costs around 20 Rook; breakfast... well, for simplicity's sake, let's also make it 20 Rook.
Together, that means it takes 60 Rook for a family of four to live one day.
Water is free from the well.
Magic crystals are used for light. They're consumable goods like light bulbs, but they shine by their own power so there's nothing like electric utility fees.
Fire comes from firewood, and fire crystals.
Fire crystals are like magic crystals, but they give off flames and are used in the kitchen.
For heating up the bath and the like, it's firewood.
Uncle chops it.
Seeing me in deep thought, Shion-san smiled gently.
That smile suits you, Onee-chan.
You don't buy consumable goods every day, so there aren't many daily expenses other than food, huh?
Of course, there's probably taxes or something, but let's ignore those for the moment.
So, if I calculate with a rough estimate of 80 Rook a day, I can include average expenses for consumables?
"How many days does a year have again?"
"365 of course."
"And the world is round?"
What the heck is this girl talking about? Is that what your eyes are saying? I see.
Please don't burn me at the stake.
80 Rook times 365 days means with 29.220 Rook we can live for a year.
Roughly 3 gold coins.
With 3 gold coins, a family of four can live for a year.
"How much... would I cost again?"
You look like you're enjoying yourself, Onee-chan.
"... around 17 years for a family of four?"
Eh, what's with that scary amount of money?
No no, this is only living expenses. Equipment for adventuring costs money, too, and there are other necessary expenses as well.
Humans need a certain amount of luxury, to reward themselves.
Not everybody's some enlightened Buddha after all...
"... you're not going to sell me, are you?"
"Hmm.... I wonder? If you're too stupid... I don't know...
Crap, Onee-chan's sadistic side has come forth.
I can't read her.
Is this the skill of adults?
Okay, as a last resort, Uncle!
Why did you twitch!?
Why are your eyes wet!?
Adults play dirty...
"Money is scary..."
I want to protect my innocent heart.
But I see, to buy that girl, I need around 500.000 Rook.
... she was super-pretty and all.
The next day, Shion-san and I went to the ruins.
Looks like Shion-san is going to put her own adventuring aside and accompany me until I clear these ruins.
"Alice, you might be stronger than I thought, you know? Still feeble."
"The last word was unnecessary."
We got in from the entrance, fought off several bears and did not turn towards the exit, but the central part of the ruins.
Thunder: 10s cast time, 10s cooldown (Proficiency 8)
Following behind Shion-san, I checked the magic I have.
It looks like at proficiency 8, there are no changes yet.
Even if the power has changed, since I only need one hit for a bear anyway I frankly have no idea.
"So, what's in these ruins?"
"The central room has the Wellspring of Blessings."
"Wellspring of Blessings?"
"Yeah, if a level 10 apprentice drinks from it and gains its blessing, he or she can class-up. The first step in becoming a true adventurer."
So this is where you class-up.
No, I've wondered myself how long it would take until I could get rid of the apprentice.
"Hee~. And there are springs like this all throughout the world?"
"Well, yeah. It would be a mess if you could only class-up here, right?"
Well, of course.
"Generally towns form near ruins like this. It's a good place for apprentices to train, too, and all."
Although I got into a life-and-death situation here.
"Only for the sake of adventurers?"
"Nah, that would be too much after all. Around ruins with Wellsprings of Blessings, there's a lot of underground water, you see. That makes it easy for people to live there."
I see, so that's why.
"But doesn't that mean the water from the well in the garden comes from the Wellspring of Blessings, too?"
Can't I just drink there?
"Haha, that's true. The central room of the ruins, it's really lit up by magic crystals. You have to drink the water there to get the blessing."
"So I can't cheat."
Level 11 Maneater
While we were chatting, we encountered a new enemy.
It has a dreadful name, but it's just a green blob.
Or rather, it's a slime.
I finally met a slime!
"Physical attacks don't work well against these, so Alice, if you please."
Shion drew her sword and went ahead to buy me time.
The slime attacked by whipping with tentacles formed from its own body.
So it doesn't simply tackle you?
As always, Shion-san dodged those with light movements.
What's with this sense of security.
However, isn't she done for once one attack hits?
She's fine for now.
But won't she encounter an enemy whose attacks she can't dodge one day?
What's Shion-san going to do with her Endurance 1, Protection 1 then?
(I'll defeat them before they can eat her!)
That's my resolve.
This is the first time I've encountered the slime, so I give it my full power, with the chant.
“Split the heavens and become a ray of light, to strike my enemies—— Thunder!”
The lightning directly hit the slime.
By the way, my attack magic doesn't affect party members, is what Shion-san taught me, so I don't have to particularly mind my allies' movements.
That makes things a lot easier.
The slime just popped from my one attack.
And splattered all over the place.
No drop item.
"Fuhh, so, the room with the ruins' guardian is right ahead. What's your level at the moment?"
Guardian? Does that clearly mean this place's boss fight is waiting?
Well, with Shion-san there, I'll be fine, probably.
"Ah? Level 9."
"Excellent. You'll probably level up to 10 from the guardian. Let's go, Alice."
"Onee-chan, you look like you're enjoying yourself..."
In the end, adventurers really do like adventure, don't they...
No no, me too, of course.
I hurried after Shion-san into the central room.