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E Chapter 98: Maze City

 

[N POV]

 

Later years of K421, Maze City of Rapan

“How much is this?” Claude asked the stall owner using the Fighting God language.

The stall owner answered, showing 2 on his hand, “20, no discount.”

“Make it cheaper, and I’d buy 10.”

“Deal, 300 shinsa for 10”

Receiving the food on a bag, Claude gave the money to the stall owner. This continent used Shinsa as their form of currency in the biggest city on the continent. In the Maze City of Rapan, Claude was doing simple market research while searching for any information he needed.

After some sightseeing, he met with Isolte again and found his master having fun flying around Isolte.

While seeing the flying object might be weird on Earth, it is filled with magic. The flying object is just a normal sight, and the passerby thinks that it’s a form of street show like ventriloquism.

But seeing a dual is a rare thing no matter where you are. So, Isolte was surrounded by people trying to hire her for their party.

Of course, the rude remark from the needle stopped them from approaching. They didn’t know that the needle was a living entity, so they thought that Isolte was sending them away with ventriloquism. They were charmed by the shy girl and started to woo her.

Seeing that Isolte was flirted with by an unknown person, Claude shoots a skewer towards them and scares them away.

“Men, wherever you are, They will flock to the shy girl… be careful of them, Isolte,” Fred said, while hovering around her as he saw the scampering adventurers running after sensing Claude’s bloodlust and aura filled skewers around them.

“I will, Master Fred.”

Seeing the scampering adventurers, Claude can only sigh.

“Does the area filled with weaklings? Don’t they say Begaritt is the place filled with experienced adventurers? ”

As Claude was questioning the cowards, he gave the other skewers to Isolte and received her thanks. Currently, they are in the maze-like city of Rapan.

The city that’s created from the carcass of a behemoth, an enormous monster that lived on the Begaritt continent. In the legend, the one that defeated the Behemoth was the predecessor of Kalman III. It is Kalman II.

While the person is still alive, his whereabouts are currently unknown.

“This monster is enormous…” Isolte is amazed by the skeleton surrounding the city as if it were a wall.

“It’s crazy indeed. The bones of the Behemoth were used as a monster repellant, enabling humans to have a safe fort on the continent where monsters roamed about. This is actually amazing. They don’t use any barrier or anything else but the fear of the Behemoth,” Claude explained.

“The order of the monsters was strict on this continent, different from the other intelligent races. Monsters tend to be protective of their territory, and having the strongest monsters defeated in their own territory brings fear towards the other monsters.” Fred he adds while staying still on Isolte’s shoulder.

“So, because they acknowledge the human that defeated the Behemoth, it was still there.” They don’t dare to step on the place, right? ”

“That is correct, strictly speaking. The monsters and animals share the same worldview, and they lack the group cohesion necessary to combat one another.”

Isolte nodded, trying to comprehend the conversation Claude and Fred had on the matter of Maze City.

“But, the ribcage of a Behemoth, huh…”

As if knowing what Claude meant by that mutter, Fred’s ember was flickering in happiness.

While walking around the city, Claude heads towards an alley. There, they were surrounded by people in black.

Feeling threatened, Isolte grabs her sword.

However, Claude suddenly said, “Has the preparation been done?”

There are nine men in black in the surrounding area. They are puzzled about what they are talking about, and draw their weapons.

“What kind of bullshit are you talking about? Now, give me everything you have now, or die!” said the leader, pointing his blade at the couple.

The other eight people in his immediate vicinity did the same, staring menacingly.

Thud

Thud

Thud

But, suddenly, they fall.

Hearing the sound, the leader panicked and looked at his back.

There, he found that his friends were defeated and tied neatly by a group of adventurers. Looking at their faces, the leader’s teeth are clattering.

“W… Why’d the number one raid team be here? ”

The leader of the second group couldn’t care less about him and showed his disinterest with his gaze. A chop to the back of his neck, and the leader of the men in black is wasted.

Then, the leader of the Adventurer team knelt before Claude.

“We’ve been waiting for you to come, Master Claude.

***

[Mike POV]

 

“Has the situation gone better?”

Currently, I’m in my territory. Organizing the files of my territories’ budget, as expected. We’ve succeeded in restoring our finances.

“We’ve dealt with the clamor, my lord,” he said while showing me the report. The leader of Division I, which dealt with intelligence,

“So, I1, what do you think about the information that we leaked? Did the fish get the bait?”

“Yes, this plan is a success.” We even baited the flying king. It’s only a matter of time before they make contact with us. ”

“As expected from Claude’s teacher, a simple merchant’s sending a bankrupt notice is enough to fool everyone in the world. They’d never expect that the storage machine we sold would have an expiration date, huh…”

“Even so, I believe the 3 Kingdom alliance should be happy enough to receive the machine that we ‘found’ in the dungeon.”

“hahaha, what ancient machine, what historical discovery? I did my best to hold back my laughter when I heard them blabbering about the invention Claude made. I believe even if we told them that our leader is the founder of the machine, they wouldn’t believe it”

It’s already been 3 months since we sent a notice of our bankruptcy, and to salvage the situation, we decided to tell the world that the storage enchantment on our magic tool was created from a machine we found in a dungeon.

Thanks to that, the continually falling finances get a lift from the auction of the magic tool.

Claude has already told us the tool would break, creating 120 magic circles, and when the time comes, we’d blame that ‘ancient’ title of the magic tool as the reason it’s breaking.

It would have helped their research a lot before it broke, so it’s not a bad deal for them.

“Anyway, what’s about Somar? Has he done with the deal with the dwarves? ”

“There’s no report about this matter yet, sir.”

“I see.”

Even if we stopped our surface transactions, we’re still doing underground transactions under the radar of the countries.

“You’ve completed planting the spies?”

After this incident, we realized that we were doing a poor job of keeping the enemies at bay.

To completely keep the enemies under tab, Arbalest Division A and B were divided. On the surface, they stopped working for us and needed to be fired to ‘fix our finances’. The truth is, they changed their division.

From the start, everyone in the first generation of the Arbalest family was trained to deal with any situation. Since Claude was their savior and master, you can already imagine what kind of grueling training they spent under his thumb.

Despite his diverse situational adaptability, Claude is frequently undone by his other personality. It impeded his ability to regulate his abilities.

Based on what Fred and Alex said, there are over 300 personalities playing tug of war inside his head. And it’s only after the Metastasis that they stop quarrelling with each other and go to sleep.

Although Alex and Fred could help him, they were overwhelmed by the amount of Kuro inside the soul space. So, this ‘death’ Claude pass is actually a lucky one on its own.

“Well, without Underworld King Furk in Millis, It shouldn’t be hard for Somar to take control there…” I said, while tapping the desk.

“You can leave, I1”

“Understood, sir.”

After I1 leaves the room, I stopped doing my work. And rotate the chair to see the windows; the sun has already begun to set, huh?

“Well, I wonder what you are doing in Begaritt now, Claude.”

 

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Mushoku Tensei FF Chapter 98: Maze City

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