Chapter 24:

Chapter 20 – Not Everything That Glitters Is a Mana Crystal

Transmigration to the Otherworldly Heavens

Something glinted in the grass surrounding the cave entrance. We went closer and green crystalline inclusions in the steaming rock we have just broken apart. Was it a magical gem? A mana crystal?

- How pretty! Is it a mana crystal?

- No. Unfortunately those are only plain old emeralds according to Identify. Useless.

- Lynx, they are still worth a lot. And they truly are pretty!

- Meh. I wanna mana crystals!

- Hihihi – she broke into uncontrolled giggles.

While her attack was going on I pondered over the problem.

- How are we going to get them out? We did not bring any tools other than spade. Wait, could I..?

The answer was, yes, I could. I bit my tongue. It would be a nice mental exercise for my Elfin to figure out on her own.

- Master Lynx?

- We are going to get them out of bedrock today. Tell me how we are going to do just that?

- With a spade?

- Nope.

- Magic spell?

- Warmer.

- Is master having a fever?

She looked worried.

- Not at all. Do you not know hot-cold game?

Few explanations later..

- Then we teleport the rock to the tool shop?

- Hot.

- I do not know. Is it related to teleporting?

- Scolding hot! We are not playing 20 questions, though. Never mind that I do not want to explain it right now.

- We will teleport miner here or rock to the miner.

- Silly ideas. Come on, it is really simple.

After a minute of silence and plethora of expressions going through her face she finally got the right idea.

- We will teleport emeralds out of the rock?

- Bingo, bullseye, sun-hot plasma!

Having that said, I teleported some emeralds to my hand. All in all today’s haul was not that bad for a first day of being an adventurer.

There was one big ass gem among the loot. A little bigger than a plum.

- To commemorate our first adventure let’s make it into a brooch.

- Yay!

The sun was setting and our bellies were empty. It looks like we did not eat anything since breakfast. Elfin’s stomach in particular rumbled with the power of a whole battery of cannons. I quickly gathered everything including the last crushed plant. I gazed longingly at the cave entrance. We will be back!

- Let’s go eat something delicious.

Back at the inn we washed our hands with expensive soap and went down to the restaurant at the bottom floor.

- Order something for yourself. I am not that hungry myself, apparently.

The complimentary breads were enough to sate me.

- I am sorry for skipping on your meal, dear. If you are ever hungry remind me of that. These days I do not eat much nor often. In fact I think it would be a good idea to stack snacks in the storage. Food items will not spoil in the storage anyway.

Elfin was still growing. It was more about growing all around then up. I mean she was 30 and a total MILF[1], but she was far too skinny for it to be healthy. Elf or not. I saw elves with thicker builds walking randomly on the streets.

- Hello, young master.

- Hi.

Elfin remained silent, not returning the greeting. Probably trying to stick to social norms.

- How did your day go?

This time before I could respond Elfin interjected.

- It was amazing! We went on a quest, practiced magicks and master slayed two huge bears! With his magic, the..

She stopped awkwardly in the middle. Thank me, she almost blurted one of my “secrets”. I do not think that the innkeeper taking our order was amused she was responded to by a slave. Silence ensued.

- My slave will order food for herself. Please advise her on the meals light on the stomach. I will take a glass of sweet wine. And thanks for asking It was an intensive day.

She ended up ordering some light boiled meat and potatoes. I raised my eyebrow and asked with it raised:

- No veggies, young lady?

Technically she was older than me, but still picky with food.

- They are expensive during and just after preharvest, master Lynx.

- So what? Buy them anyway. Healthy body is the tool of trade of every adventurer. You would also be even prettier with a little more flesh, do you not think so?

- As master wishes.

I sipped the wine and fell deep into thought. I would like to upgrade our accommodations. The bed was hard and the room cold. I also wanted to have a safe haven for myself and Elfin, protected from thieves and armed assault. I could not exactly sleep in Heaven every night, especially with a half-demon beside me. Thrope was a dangerous world. Every event that occurred in the last few days further ensured me in that. Today stroll into that random meadow proved it yet again. I needed to set up a safe room to teleport into with my slave if there was anything we could not handle.

I also had to return the locket and reward miss priestess appropriately. Lot of research to do tonight. Maybe Archie would be able to advise me about an appropriate gift? Selling stuff at the guild as well as taking those basic classes would take us tomorrow’s morning probably.

Do you ever feel like the things you need to do are ever so increasing and never decreasing? I surely do.

- We should ask the innkeeper if she has any takeout snacks to eat in the field.

- Are two meals a day not enough? Most slaves only get one.

- Most slaves are not mine. Most slaves do not have to watch my back and fight monsters. Do not be a scrooge. Especially since the money is not yours, but mine.

Her meal finally arrived. It was not that appetizing, but watching her eat like a small, but ferocious animal was truly captivating.

When she put down her wooden utensils miss innkeeper appeared like a ghost. Despite that there were quite a few other waitresses, for some reason miss innkeeper kept serving us. Why would she do that personally?

I paid her for the meal.

- Young master, you have made another mistake this morning. When will you learn, if ever, not to give out those ancient coins?

I laughed and sipped wine.

- The only mistake here belongs to the person that accepted our tip without looking. After all it was intentionally done that time.

I covered my wide smile with the cup.

- I am a firm believer that every good deed will be punished. Consider getting duped by two clueless patrons your punishment.

There was a silence for a while at our table.

- Would you like to extend your stay in the inn?

- Frankly, I was thinking of buying a small house.

- Good luck with that. You will not find anything appropriate till the Her Majesty Queen’s Court leaves the city.

- Why is that?

- Every noble and merchant seem to follow the court like a pack of ravenous goblins. Every good mansion and house have either been bought or rented. It happens every time Royalty visits.

- Damn, that queen, again.

- Do not blaspheme against royalty. You will find Velians to love their Queen quite devotedly.

She looked more taken aback than angry. Maybe even worried?

- Oh, sure! Sorry. I was simply taken aback by this sudden problem.

- Apologies accepted. In half a year the Court will move on.

- That is quite the long time.

At this point I could not hold back my curiosity.

- What is with that wandering court? Why would they change their royal palace so often?

- You could not make it more obvious that you are a foreigner.

- Master, I know!

Till this moment Elfin was only listening attentively to everything. Looks like she no longer wanted to be excluded from our conversation.

- Please say it, then.

- Court wanders the Velia Kingdom stopping in a single place about half a year before moving to the next duchy. Ythall is visited once every two years, though. It is some kind of tradition for Ythall to be often chosen as the destination, I think.

- Thank you, dear. That is certainly one weird way of running a kingdom.

- That is the gist of it. In fact you are quite lucky to even get one of the last rooms in this very inn of mine.

I sighed.

- Can we pay in the morning then? I will try searching for accommodation this evening.

- Sure, sweeties.

I had one more thing to ask. SNACKS!!!

- Does the kitchen sell any snacks to be eaten on the go?

- I do not provide such things, unless you mean snacks for the beer or spirits. If you are looking for travelling supplies I recommend to go to a shop dealing with the particular food product like hardtack. I can prepare some basics like hard cheese, bread etc., but I am going to charge much more for that than those vendors.

- I understand. Thanks for the advice, we will get those from vendors. As for beer snacks, maybe some other day.

Elfin hugged me and looked me in the eyes. Was there going to be a confession? Did the love meter fill up?

- Are we going to retire to our room? I have strength to train some more, master!

Mayday, mayday. We have wounded! A man was shot down!

- Let’s just go take a bath then. Goodnight, miss Audrey.

She never gave us her name. I wonder if she would notice me using it, heh.

- Do you need hot water in your room? It will take a while.

- No need, We have found a good bathing spot in town.

- Bye, miss Audrey – said my half-elf in a quiet tone.

Elfin waved at the innkeeper. There was astonishment mixed with something I vaguely identified as disdain written all over her face. I really could not understand what she thought of slaves and Elfin in particular. Alas she was just another stranger in this strange isekai world.

One deserted alley x masks x teleport combo later we found ourselves in the familiar Royal Baths.

To my surprise miss maid was already here. To my greater surprise she was completely naked this time. I got a good look before she covered herself.

She was a total beauty.

She could not compare to the hidden grace of my half-elven companion, but in terms of the right amount and placement of body fat, she was in the lead.

- Oh, how I wish I had my phone with me to capture this moment.

The words slipped my lips subconsciously. It was in Earthly language so no one understood probably.

- Beautiful - said Elfin.

The atmosphere of admiration for those divine proportions must have spread to my subordinate.

- Why the hell are you here again?

- To bathe, to cleanse our impure bodies. Though on the contrary, milady maid had just made them more dirty with that attire.

- Preposterous! How did you get past the guards? The patrols were doubled since yesterday.. oh, not that. How did you teleport here? There are barriers set!

It seems I have forgotten to check on such things. I vaguely recall something about teleportation barriers being said, but I must have disregarded that at the time.

- Barriers? I am really sorry I did not notice. Please forgive us this faux pas.

I turned to Elfin.

- Note down, next visit disable the barriers first.

- Master demon, what are those barriers? How do we disable them?

- How would I know? Probably something stopping a teleportation from going through?

I faked ignorance. No, I was truly ignorant, but faked why the barrier did not work. Maybe if I learned real spatial magic and tried to cast teleportation in such a way without any divinity..

- But we teleported here.

- Yeah, I know. The barrier must be faulty or something.

I shrugged. The maid was fuming so much I could swear steam was coming off of her. Hot water is the best.

- Why are you trying to kill us with your gaze? It is not like you have an evil eye of slaughtering strangers in baths.

- You two curs saw me naked.

- So what? You have seen us naked yesterday. You were also quite overdressed for a bath.

- This sight should only be seen by my husband!

I started losing clothes. There was no reason to listen on to her rambling. I too felt embarrassed, but she already did see everything there was to see yesterday. Same with my half-elf.

- You husband? – asked Elfin who was similarly trying to undress right now.

- That would be.. wait do you even have a husband?

- No! I will not be able to marry now!

She screamed like a hungry monster.

- Good god me! No screaming please. Quiet baths are best baths.

Sometimes events happen with the worst timing. Such was a case today.

- Master, earlier today, you said I could choose a reward. Can master teleport her away?

[1] Mature lady I’d Love to be-Friend