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Examining the skill
Once I had returned home, I wet a ragged cloth with some water I had drawn from the well to wipe myself down. Tomorrow, I will be going to where Roxy lives. Would I be a little more presentable and cleaner like this? I lit up the candle and looked into the broken mirror. As if that would have changed anything. Wearing clothes that had been mended and patched up all over, it was fruitless to worry about appearances now.
Giving up, I laid down on the straw bed. I looked up at the leaky ceiling stained from the rain, thinking back on the events that had happened today. During the day, I had been assaulted by Rafal and his siblings, however, by defeating thieves late at night with Roxy, I may end up working for the Heart Family. This alone sounded like a fairytale story.
Suddenly, I remembered the robotic voice that appeared after I killed the bandit. I definitely heard it mention that a status had been updated. Skills called Appraisal and Mind-reading… and what were the others? I could not remember. Even so, Appraisal was an unusual skill that allowed the user to look up information on things that existed in this world. In having this skill, my life would probably be changed for the better.
I casually tried to think of <Appraisal>. And then,
・Fate Graphite Lv1
Skills: Gluttony, Appraisal, Mind-reading, Concealment, One-handed Sword Technique
My status and skills appeared in my mind.
“Eeeh! What is this?!”
Calm down, me.
Firstly, status. Mine should be a clean and neat column of 1’s for all the attributes. Yet, they all became three digits. With these, I would be able to fight the lowest grade demons.
Next, skills. I should only possess Gluttony. However, now it had increased into multiple skills, with Appraisal, Mind-reading, Concealment, and One-handed Sword Technique. Unbelievable…
At least, seeing this status and those skills, I proved that I truly did have Appraisal. Wait a minute, I could quit being a gatekeeper and become an appraiser if I had this skill. Appraising was not a career that anyone could easily obtain, so the pay was decent. Geez, what exactly is going on?
Calm down, me.
I decided to examine the other skills by using Appraisal.
Mind-reading: Reading the mind of the target you touched.
Concealment: Conceal your possessed skills from appraisals.
One-handed Sword Technique: Increasing the attack power of the one-handed sword. Arts <Sharp Edge> can be used.
I was already aware of my Mind-reading skill. When Roxy held my hand, I heard her inner voice since this skill had been activated.
After thinking over things, I reached a conclusion. Or more precisely, the robotic voice gave me the answer when I killed the bandit. The answer of what happens when the Gluttony skill was activated.
The cause of this phenomenon was the Gluttony skill that I had always considered to be useless. With the Appraisal skill, I investigated the Gluttony skill afresh.
Gluttony: Be hungry
Yeah, I understand now. Back then in my home village, this was what the visiting appraiser saw. In other words, this skill had hidden powers that could not be seen in appraisals. Namely, it hid the ability to eat the soul of the defeated opponents and steal their status and skills. As a secondary effect, it filled and expanded the empty stomach.
This was a skill that strengthened the more it was used. Nevertheless, I could not simply become a murderer. Then, what should I do? It was simple. There were many demons residing outside of Seyfert Capital. I would kill them and take their power. And then someday, I would be stronger than even the Holy Knights. When that time came, I could seek revenge on Rafal and the Breric Family.
As this thought, my spirits rose and I felt like going to hunt monsters immediately. However, it was dangerous to hunt in the dark so it was better to hunt in the morning after a good sleep. I actually had a gatekeeping shift in the morning as Rafal’s substitute, but now I could ignore them. I no longer had to obey their orders given that Roxy was my new employer. Since my interview with her father was at noon tomorrow, it should be fine if I returned to the capital before then.
Well then, good night! Closing my eyes, my consciousness faded away in a blink of an eye.
I awoke to the sound of birdsong and turning to the broken mirror, I neatened my messy hair, brushed my teeth with twigs from a tree, and tidied my outfit.
Afterwards, I took out a small leather bag from a crack in the wall. This was all the wealth I had managed to save over the past five years; two silver coins. One silver coin was worth a hundred copper coins. By the way, a hundred silver coins could be exchanged for a gold coin, something that I had never possessed.
Even though I only had two silver coins and a variety of other laughable objects, I had sweated blood and tears to save this up. This money was originally an emergency escape fund for the time when I would be killed by Rafal.
Now, that worry no longer existed, so this could be used to buy equipment for fighting monsters.
Time to go. I grabbed the two silver coins and dashed out of my run down house.
The Seyfert Capital was divided into four districts. With the castle placed at the center, the areas lay to the east, west, north, and south.
Holy Knight District (East): This was the area of the upper class in the country, where the Holy Knights lived.
Residential District (West): Commoners like me lived here.
Commercial District (South): Shops operated here, with stores like armories, general merchandise, restaurants, and many others.
Military District (North): The training grounds for the Holy Knights, and the place where special armor was developed.
From such a division, it was obvious how much preferential treatment was given to the Holy Knights.
The district that I was headed towards was the most lively place in the whole kingdom, the commercial area. Passing through the crowds of people in the Residential District, I entered the commercial zone where red brick buildings bordered the road.
Now, to the back alleys. Here, street vendors packed their stalls tightly along the pathway, their vigorous voices calling out to passerbys.
Even in the Commercial District, places like this were uncommon. The reason as to why I came here was that my war fund was a mere two silver coins. With this, I could only afford an old, battered weapon. Besides, there was no way I could even enter a luxury weapon store with my current appearance. Hence, I came to the flea market where worthless things were on sale.
As I looked for a second hand weapon, a friendly middle-aged man called out. He had a warm, amicable smile.
“Dear customer, are you perhaps looking for a weapon?”
“You seem to know.”
“I’ve been running this business for many years. I saw you come from far away looking only at weapons without even a glance at other things.”
He was a sharp man. Was he a merchant? I was a little surprised by his welcoming attitude.
“How about it? Would you like to take a look?”
On display was an arrangement of weapons, the best that I had seen so far. Perhaps there would be a suitable weapon. I nodded silently in response.
“Then, what’s your budget?”
After hearing how much I had on hand, his attitude changed completely. His expression was no longer kind. Instead, his eyes were patronizing, just like Rafal’s.
“Tsk, so you’re poor. What a waste of being nice. Look, the only weapons you can buy with two silver coins are those trashy ones in the corner there. They’ll probably suit you well.”
Of course, I would not be able to buy a decent weapon with such little money. Even if I were to become angry here, the other stalls would just look at me in the same way. Besides, there were still plenty of choices despite being trashy.
With the <Appraisal> skill, I looked at each of the weapons. It seemed that in any case, most of them had just about reached their endurance limit and would break after a few uses. And then, as I picked up an old, black sword, a voice sounded in my head.
(Buy me. I will never let you lose.) (TLN: The sword refers to himself as “ore-sama” aka “my esteemed self” which has an arrogant connotation that was lost in translation)
What I heard through the <Mind-reading> skill was a quiet male voice.