Vermillion - Chapter 18.2

Published at 15th of December 2017 12:29:37 AM
Chapter 18.2
[PART 2]

There was a saying, ‘A good workman does not blame his tools’—but, at least an archer could choose his arrows .

You can get used to your bow’s unique pull strength and imperfections however you couldn’t say the same for arrows . What you wanted was an arrow that would fly exactly as you pictured it, whether that was flying straight or curving with the wind .

The one in his hand was perfect in that regard . There weren’t any shortcomings in the materials used nor the manufacturing technique .

“I’m pleased that you like it . Kei-san . You are a bow specialist, no?”

“Haha, so you could tell . ”

Since they were in town, Kei only wore light equipment, however he still had a longsword at his hip along with Dragonstinger in its cloth case . He carried his bow around even though he didn’t need to . The fact that he did made it seem important to him . At a glance, it was easy to tell he was an archer .

“I only thought so because of your bow . When you grabbed that arrow first, you confirmed it . Anyone interested in my main business always checks that one first . ”

Out of the arrows on display Kei chose the most practical one . Of course, the other arrows were of high quality as well, but they didn’t match his preference . He was concerned that the more ornamental ones’ usability would suffer due to their surface . Naturally, an archer would be drawn to the one Kei held .

“It is misleading, but I suppose that most archers buy this kind?”

“That’s correct . Neighboring huntsmen, acquaintance mercenaries… A hunter from Tahfu, too, bought ten-odd of them previously . ”

“Tahfu… Was it Mandel?”

“You know him? Yes, it was Mandel . ”

“I see, so even Mandel…” Kei mumbled in admiration . His impression of Montand rose even higher .

Montand remained silent as he watched Kei inspect the arrow .

To be honest, Kei had gotten caught up in Montand’s pace, but he didn’t think it was bad .

“By the way… How much are they?” Kei smiled slightly as he asked .

“A set of ten costs sixty copper coins,” said Montand, returning the smile .

Each one cost six coppers . A high market price would be two coppers, at a low it would be five small coppers[2] . Compared to that, these were very overpriced . Of course, this level of quality was rare . Taking this into consideration, the price was reasonable .

“Although, if you buy a set of thirty then it also comes with a leather quiver . Kei-san, you ride horses, right?”


“Yeah . I’m specialize in equestrian archery . ”

“Is that so? That’s perfect then,” he said as he took a large quiver from a nearby closet . “Here we are . This can fit forty of my normal sized arrows in it . If needed, it can also be fastened to a saddle . A friend of mine came up with the design and I can guarantee its sturdiness . ”

“I see, I see . ”

Kei took the quiver to look it over . The seams looked well made . Like Montand said, it seemed sturdy . He thought about asking the leatherworker who made this to handle Mikazuki’s hide .
“—Alright, I’ll take it . Thirty arrows, please . ”
“Right away, thank you very much,” he bowed, a little surprised at Kei’s steadfastness .
“By the way, could you introduce me to the person who made this?”

“Yes, he’s an acquaintance of mine… Do you have a request for him?”
“Yeah, I have my horse’s hide . I wanted a skilled leatherworker since it’s something I’m attached to . ”
“Of course . If that’s the case, there won’t be any problems . I’ll introduce you later . ”

“Thanks . ”

Since the deal was made, Montand started off toward the back room to retrieve the arrows, but Kei called out to him .

“Sorry . One more thing, I have a question . ”

“What would that be?”

“Earlier, you said, ‘normal sized arrows,’ does that mean you have longer and slightly larger ones?”

“Longer arrows, is it?”

“Yeah . I’d like you to take a look at this . ”

Kei took Dragon Stinger out from the cloth case with its bowstring detached . Without the bowstring it bent itself backwards in the shape of the letter ‘C’, so it was a little more compact . However, Montand knit his brow after Kei stretched the bowstring back on and he saw the whole picture .

“It’s a large bow, isn’t it…? I suppose the arrows aren’t long enough?”

As expected of a craftsman, he realized what Kei was trying to say from just a glance .

“It’s not exactly that the arrows aren’t long enough . This bowstring is pretty powerful, so using it normally with normal arrows isn’t a problem . But, for argument’s sake, if I wanted to use its full potential—“

“—You would need to pull the string back more,” Montand finished Kei’s line, nodding .

“May I feel the bow?”

“Sure . ”

The moment that Kei handed Dragon Stinger to him, Montand’s hand shot up and he let out a surprised, “Woah . ” Just like with Mandel the lightness caught him off guard .

“This is a very light bow, isn’t it… Rather, what the hell is this resistance?!” Montand’s amazement was clear in his expression when he tried to pull back the bowstring .

“I told you, it’s a strong bow . ”

Montand ignored Kei’s smug face and tried his best to pull the bow back, groaning with effort, “Guh, hng, hng…”

Kei watched contently for a little, but Montand was unexpectedly determined and didn’t look like he was stopping soon . Kei became worried and decided to stop him, “You should stop before you hurt yourself…especially since you’re barehanded . You might hurt your fingers . ”

“Damn… What a bow!” Frustratedly, he said, “Oww…” as he shook his right hand . In the end, he was only able to pull it back to his elbow . ”I must say, this is an amazing bow . For my work, I know how to use bows to an extent… However, this is the first time I’ve dealt with such a bow . I’m sorry if this is rude, but Kei-san, do you use this in actual combat?” he asked, looking a little doubtful .

Kei smiled boldly and suddenly drew Dragon Stinger back to his ear .

“W-wow, that easily…!” His eyes widened .

Kei became even more smug after Montand’s refreshing surprised reaction .
“Oh my… Well, now I understand the situation! I have a few different larger arrows, please wait just a moment . ”

Montand didn’t wait for Kei to answer as he whisked off toward the back room, looking a little excited . They could hear him rummaging through shelves and drawers, and after a short time, he came out with a large bundle of arrows and a sparkling expression .
“I’m sorry for the wait! The truth is I’m researching various new types of arrows . I brought some of the prototypes too . ”

“Oh, isn’t that something?”

“Firstly, here is a larger arrow . I originally made it for a longbow, but it might be good for yours . ”

Kei took the arrow from him . It had blue dyed feathers and was moderately longer than what he had been using . He nocked the arrow to test it and was able to draw the bow back to his ear . The strain on his arms made his body creak . Holding it ready was difficult even for Kei, he wouldn’t have much time to aim . But, in exchange it seemed like it would have incredible power .

“This one is good too . Although if I were to be picky, I would prefer a narrower arrowhead . For me, the piercing strength is more important than the impact force . ”
“A narrower one… Perhaps, something like this?”

“Ah, yeah, the arrowhead on that one looks good . ”

“Great, I have more . If time isn’t a problem, I could change it out for you?”

“Perfect, then please do… By the way, how much is the exchange fee?”

“It’s on the house . ” Montand bowed courteously .

They looked at each other and smiled . Both of them were in high spirits .

“Alright, I’ll buy these ones too . How many do you have?”

“Including that one, there are twelve . ”

“Sold . I’ll take them all . ”
“Thank you very much . ”

“So… Do you have others? I can’t imagine this is all you’ve got . ”

“Of course not . Please, take a look at this one . ”

Montand handed Kei an arrow that had red feathers and was not quite as long as the previous one . The focus of this one was its thickness . This arrow’s diameter was larger than a normal one . The arrowhead was cone shaped and had many holes in it, reminding Kei of a needle .

“This… Is it hollow on the inside?”

“Yes . This one is meant for big game . The holes in the arrowhead are connected through the shaft to the holes in the back . ”

“I see… Even left in the target it’ll make it bleed!”

“Precisely . I suppose it goes without saying . However, since it’s hollow its weight is comparatively low . The wind can push it around easier and with a normal bow it lacks power… But, if it’s that bow then maybe…”

“Interesting . How many of these do you have?”

“Three, since it’s only a prototype . ”

“Sold . I’ll take all three . ”
“Thank you very much . Now then, please look at this…”

Kei went along with Montand’s flow energetically saying, ‘Sold!’ or ‘Cool!’ as he took out arrow after arrow . The two of them got more and more into it, heating up the prototype sale .

“Sorry, this is another bad habit of his…” Kiska put her hand on her cheek and sighed, having finished reading the letter long ago .

“A-ah…” Aileen smiled stiffly and vaguely nodded next to her .

The first long arrow and the hemorrhage arrow were one thing, but the prototypes after that only seemed like a waste of money . For example, the arrow he was showing now played a melody of whistles as it flew, but it clearly had no practical use .

He really shouldn’t be wasting so much money… Aileen wanted to warn him, thinking ahead, but the silver he would use to pay came from him fighting bandits . It wasn’t her place to tell him how to use the money .  Actually, he rarely ever buys things on impulse…

Kei was hardly ever this into buying anything .

Maybe the stress is getting to him…? Aileen couldn’t say anything to him now .

“Mama-, I’m hungry,” a child’s voice came from behind Aileen .

A ten year old, cute little girl came out from the door behind Aileen .
“Oh, Lily . You’re home already?”

“Yep! I got out earlier than usual today,” Lily happily nodded to Kiska .

“Uhh… . ?” Aileen bent her head to the side slightly .

“Ah . This is my daughter, Lily . Go on, say hello to the customer,” she urged Lily on .

“Nice to meet you, my name is Lily . I’m ten years old,” she said as if it were rehearsed, and quickly bowed .

Aileen, who loved kids, smiled at her cute bow . She crouched down to Lily’s level and gently said, “Hello . I’m Aileen, it’s nice to meet you, too . ”

Lily smiled bashfully .
“And now I’d like to show you this arrow!”

“What is this!? It looks like a complex mechanism…”
“Fufufu, I have confidence in this one . It’s meant to suppress many people with just one arrow!”

“What!? How in the world does it—“

Paying no heed to the others, Kei and Montand got quite lively .

“Once he gets like that, there’s no stopping him… Lily, how about a snack? If you’d like, Aileen, would you join me for tea in the back?”

“Sure, I’d be happy to…” Aileen gave a strained smile and nodded .

—In the end, the excitement of those two carried on until the sun set and it became dark out .