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Having entered the room of the inn, I started calculating how much money I had made. Setting the cloth bag on the desk that was inside the room, I took out all the money that was inside of it. Every single silver coin was the same, with a self-important looking portrait of a king on it. Taking my time to tediously count every single coin, I arrived at a total of 99 coins. Since I paid 1 coin to rent this room for the night, that makes one mountain bull worth precisely 100 silver coins.
“That’s good to know, sure, but just how valuable is one of these coins individually?”
Picking up one of the coins to inspect it, I separated my gaze and looked around the room. It was your usual one-night stay room, with nothing worthy of note. If this was modern Japan, 1 night would cost you around 5,000 to 10,000 yen, I guess. Doing the math, that’s roughly equal to 1 silver coin, and 1 mountain bull was worth 500,000, even up to 1,000,000 yen, quite the high price.
“If that calculation is on point…then that’d be pretty favorable. No, even if it’s not entirely correct, I could still rest here for around 100 nights by hunting a single mountain bull, so there’s nothing for me to complain about.”
I thought back to when I hunted that mountain bull. If I can earn this much from one single beast, I should aim a bit higher to make this whole process a bit faster. Yeah, let’s try hunting two of those mountain bulls tomorrow. Deciding on that, I quickly went to bed.
The following day, I stepped out of the town just like the day before, and arrived at the grasslands where the mountain bulls were supposed to appear. The first one I spotted was already being hunted. A group of what seemed to be mercenaries, all equipped with the same armor and weapons, were surrounding the mountain bull.
I decided to watch them for a bit, just in case they wouldn’t be able to handle it like the group yesterday. But that’s not what happened. After about an hour, two of them had to sit out since they were lightly wounded, but the rest of the group succeeded in hunting the mountain bull. Finally, I watched them carry off the mountain bull, walking back to the town.
With one mountain bull being equal to roughly 1 million, every one of them would get 100,000. That was pretty profitable in itself, but thinking about the dangers (seeing that even those with light injuries were better off taking a week break from hunting)—
“Normally you’d probably try to earn money another way, huh?”
Anyway, I started to stroll through the grasslands again, hoping that I’d meet a mountain bull as quickly as possible. Finally, after around thirty minutes, I ran into one. Spotting me, the mountain bull glared at me with bloodshot eyes, letting out a prideful snort. And then, it dashed towards me.
Without trying to evade, I just stood facing the approaching mountain bull, ramming my fist into it. With the punch connecting perfectly on the area between its eyebrows, it was blown back to where it came from. Roughly landing on the ground, it twitched once, twice, then eventually stopped moving.
“That’s one down, I guess.”
Shouldering the mountain bull, I went back to the town and exchanged the corpse for money. Then, back to the grasslands, strolling around. Encountering one mountain bull, defeating it, taking it back, trading it for money. Back to the grasslands, strolling, searching for a mountain bull. Defeat one, get the money, defeat another one, get the money. It might sound rather repetitive, but in the end I only hunted five beasts. Honestly, rather than fighting and defeating one, it took much more time to search for them and carry them back to the city. And, when I brought back the final one, the employee that handed me my money told me this.
“A normal guy can barely bring back one of those a day, so this might be the first time I’ve had to complain like this,” they said, sounding half amazed, half exasperated.
Weirdly enough, I had to agree with him. On top of being in grave danger throughout the fight, they would eventually have to bring that beast back to the city, which might even prove impossible if the injuries they’d received were too great. Well, not like that has anything to do with me, honestly.
Finishing off all the converting, my earnings for the day were 550 silver coins. SInce the guy from the store gave me that ten percent bonus as promised, I got quite a bit more. Adding in yesterday’s earnings, I currently had 649 coins in my possession. Not bad for two days, I was satisfied.
In the evening, I had a paper memo in hand and came to a certain establishment. During my last mountain bull delivery, when I told the employee I wanted to buy a house, he recommended this place to me. Opening the door, I stepped inside, taking a look around. The interior of the place was surprisingly clean and proper, with a middle-aged man waiting inside. Said man spotted me and put on a fake customer service smile.
“Welcome to Salamas Real Estate. How can I help you today?”
“I wanna buy a house.” I got straight to the point.
“Leave it to me. Are you buying a property to live in? Or will it be used for retail purposes?”
“To live in”—
For a second, the standard image of a modern Japanese home floated in my mind. And that’s exactly the demand I made.
“A large house with a garden attached.”
“Understood. What will be the budget?”
I set the bag on the desk, with all my silver coins inside.
“650 silver coins.”
Though one’s actually missing.
“Let me see…” The man’s expression became clouded.
I guess it’s not enough, huh? Well, I should have figured. I thought it might be hitting close to 6.5 million yen going by my calculations last night, but it might only be half of that for all I knew. Then I’d have only about three million yen. Yeah, there’s no way I could buy a spacious house with a garden. I can already picture the man from the store saying “What is this guy thinking?” as he looks down on me. That being said, his expression was still clouded, but nothing more than that. I guess that’s a necessary skill in order to be a salesman like this.
“I guess it’s not enough?”
“It depends on the size of it, but normally the kind of house you might be looking for is worth around 2,000 silver coins.”
“2,000 coins…so around 20 million… Well, I should have figured.”
“On top of that, with the size and added garden you were requesting, it might even be twice that price in this town.”
That’s around forty mountain bulls, huh…? Means I’d have to hunt around five mountain bulls a day, and it would still take a week. Well, looking at the rate that I’ve been encountering them in the grasslands, it might even take a month.
That’s such a pain in the ass, and irritating more than anything. But since I can’t help it at the moment, I might have to lower my standards for now—or so I thought.
“Excuse me, dear customer, are you confident in your muscles?”
“Muscles? You mean strength? Well… I guess? What about it?”
“This bag, if you’d excuse me.”
The man turned around the bag of silver coins that I put on the table. There, I spotted a familiar looking mark.
“This is the crest of the Andrew Company, who specializes in hunting mountain bulls. Since you used this, I conjectured that you were earning this money while hunting said mountain bulls.”
I once again looked at the mark. That establishment—the so-called Andrew Company or whatever—had the same mark on their door plate.
“If that is the case… Well, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it, but I happen to know of something.”
“And what is that?”
“There is a mansion in the south-east of this town…I believe that most residents of this town would immediately know what I am speaking of, but…it’s an empty mansion with no inhabitants. Some refer to it as the Haunted Mansion.”
The man spoke with a bitter expression.
“A haunted mansion?”
“Indeed. Before, a wealthy merchant had used it as his mansion, but because of this rumor, nobody dares to live there. A few customers ignored that and moved in, but…”
“I got it.”
“The mansion itself is of very high quality, and it doesn’t lack in size. If there was no problem like this…it would very well cost more than 5,000 silver coins.”
“But nobody dares to live there.”
“Rather, they can’t. That might be a more appropriate way of phrasing it.”
“A haunted mansion, huh…?” I started thinking.
Talking about ghosts and whatever, I pretty much didn’t bother. I was never the easily-scared type to begin with, not even with horror movies. I wouldn’t even care if some sort of accident or murder had happened there before, which would make other people uncomfortable. However, in this case, I had to consider the chance that something might actually jump at me. This isn’t modern Japan. And, judging from the man’s way of speaking and intimidation, something might actually be there. Would I be able to defeat that ghost? As I was still pondering, I decided to ask.
“What about the price?”
“SInce I really can’t be stingy about this, I’d have to make some sort of profit and give it away for 100 silver coins.”
“Deal!” I gave an immediate answer.
From 5,000 coins to 100—that’s like 98% less than the original price! How could I not jump on that?!
“Is that really fine with you?”
“Of course. If that ghost really appears, I’ll just blow it away.”
Getting excited, I wanted to sound a bit cool.
The man hesitated for a bit, but eventually returned to his salesman attitude. And like this, I received my house—rather, my mansion—along with the determination to kick out this unwanted guest of a ghost, if such a thing even existed.