Chapter 46 – The Dragon Staff, Ouroboros
We headed towards the treasure room within the King’s Tower, guided by the Imperial Knights and the Treasury’s stewards. As expected of the treasure room in the King’s Castle, it was considerably large. The items inside were also arranged in an orderly fashion, along with an inventory of every item inside the room.
(TN: author keeps switching between King’s Tower and King’s Castle)
“The shelves with Magic Staves are over here.”
We followed the stewards to a corner of the room which had Magic Staves laying around, lined up on the shelves in rows.
Speaking of these rare Magic Staves… Unless they were in the King’s treasury, they could probably only be found in a Player’s Item Box in BFO. The current scene was quite the masterpiece.
Although there were a large number of Staves, it would be difficult to find a suitable one based on my requirements, because the number of choices would instantly shrink.
First of all, it had to be a Long Staff, or else parts of its patterns would be very difficult to hold. Well, that much wouldn’t be a problem because even if one was designed with small patterns, it probably wouldn’t break with just a Mana-infused strike. If that did happen…then it wouldn’t be able to endure Mana Circulation and fall apart.
I briefly went around and looked at the Staves, but only four met the requirements.
The first one was a wooden Staff, carved in the image of a Goddess. It was light, so handling it shouldn’t be difficult.
The next Staff was designed in the image of a skull. It also seemed easy to handle but the design was too eye-catching.
The third Staff was silver and embedded with ashen gems at the tip. A dragon was coiled around the staff, with ashen gems protruding from the dragon’s head and acting as its horns.
The last Staff was a golden staff…designed with patterns that resembled flower buds at its tip.
As expected of the King’s treasury, all of them were Staves that I had never seen before in BFO.
Although these four were the only candidates left, they were selected based on my prerequisites. I still had to get a feel for them by actually infusing Mana into the Staves, so I couldn’t decide anything yet.
“May I try infusing Mana into these?”
Since I had obtained permission, I tried to infuse Mana into the Goddess Staff…and spirits started to manifest and dance around me. This Staff forced low-grade spirits to submit to you, huh? Rather than calling it acceptable…Well, it wasn’t bad. I decided to look at all four, since I went through the trouble of finding them. After injecting a small amount of Mana into the Skull Staff…the sound of clattering teeth resounded. Hmm…it was useless. Although the others might have some sort of gimmick, I felt that carrying this Staff would be a bit too much.
Then what about the Dragon Staff? When it was placed in my hand, the first thing I felt was its weight. It was heavier than the others.
The Staff reacted unusually when I injected some Mana into it. Even though I just fed it some ordinary Mana, it gave off the feeling of Mana Circulation…This one, without a doubt, was a Staff designed for Mana Circulation…right?
I cut off my Mana and then infused it with Mana via Circulation.
As soon as I did that, I realized that it amplified my Mana while giving off a low hum. The brilliance of the gems at the tip grew as the Staff accumulated Mana. If I were to use this Staff, it might be able to last.
“May I hear the history of this Staff?”
“Apparently, its name is Dragon Staff Ouroboros. A long time ago, it was brought back from the Labyrinth by an Adventurer and presented to the Palace. ”
I see. I confirmed that the coiling dragon held its tail in the tip of its mouth. Ouroboros could be identified by looking for snakes and dragons who held their tail like this..It was a rather interesting item.
My heart was already set on this one, but I decided to at least check the last Staff.
The flower buds bloomed after I gave it some Mana. This much was fine, but what came after was not. The sphere located in the center opened up and revealed a glaring eye.
…A Magic Eye Staff, huh? Whether or not this gimmick divided power, there appeared to only be one Mana amplifier…
“I’ll stop here…and take this.”
“Understood. I will go report this to His Majesty. Please acknowledge that matters pertaining to the item that was granted to you might get spread around the Royal Family.”
The Royal Family clearly showed their generosity by rewarding me with this item. If they made it clear that they intended to reward those who did good work and punish those who were bad, it would raise the motivation of the people who worked under them, and would also maintain their standards.
“Have you decided?”
“Yeah, I’ve decided on this Staff.”
Outside the treasury, Grace and Ashley, who had been waiting for me, saw Ouroboros.
Well, this Dragon Staff was the best suited for me. Its utility, weight, and length were excellent.
In terms of abilities, the runner-up would have been the Goddess Staff, but when I held it, I was a bit unsatisfied with its design and weight. Bones and flowers were designs that were similar to cursing someone, so I passed on those as well.
“Well then, I will accompany you to the carriage.”
We climbed onto the carriage, escorted by the smiling Imperial Knight, and left the Palace.
“Welcome home. I’m glad you returned safely.”
I met Sheila after returning to our house. It seemed like she had been waiting for our return.
“Have you been waiting here the whole time?”
“One of the Knights could have come here while you were gone, so I’ve been on alert until you could tell me about what happened.”
“Well…come inside and drink some tea with us.”
After we brought Sheila into the house, she asked about today’s events while we drank tea. Ashley had been a bit nervous at the Palace, but after drinking some tea and letting out a sigh, she looked relieved.
“And with that, if Greg’s faction tries to hang around here once more, shall we meet again?”
Caduceus continued to guard us during the night. In some cases, if Sheila saw the features of people caught in our network and investigated, we could potentially identify them.
“Understood. Is it fine to continue helping out, Theodore?”
“I don’t mind it.”
Having Sheila by my side would be reassuring. So long as Irmhild’s position was still undecided, it would be difficult for Sheila, a member of the Thieves Guild, to protect Irmhild, due to those who were currently in power.
“Nonetheless, this is for my friend’s sake. She is rather eager, you know.”
After she was asked by Grace, Sheila smiled lightly.
“We always, always helped each other out while we grew up, just like sisters. Since that child decided to become an Adventurer in order to live her own life, I placed myself under the Thieves Guild.”
“…That again, why is that?”
“If I have information, it will help me quickly sense danger, and I could help her run away and hide her. I have also obtained skills I can live on, killing two birds with one stone.”
Was it because Irmhild was a Lamia? Well, it was perfectly understandable to have reasons for people you thought of. I also had thoughts about Grace, so I nodded lightly.
Irmhild still didn’t have the capability of going into the Labyrinth, and it appeared that she had recently been working as an Adventurer, doing hunts and such outside of the city. Even if she had the confidence, she had ended up getting tangled up with Snakebite right after entering the Labyrinth.
If Irmhild still couldn’t head into the Labyrinth, Sheila would be relieved. Perhaps a part of that relief could encourage her to acquire skills.
In exchange for teaching skills to its members, the Thieves Guild had a system where they would collect a part of the profits, in the form of money, earned by using those skills, whether it was stealing or pickpocketing someone. Maybe it was similar to an Adventurer actively utilizing skills to unlock things.
“By the way, what can Irmhild do?”
“She is skillful in handling the bow and arrow. It doesn’t mean that her nose and ears are good like mine, but she can clearly tell the positions of animals within bushes. Although Lamias are skillful in other areas, I’ve never really seen them, since she normally takes the appearance of a human.”
She hunted relying on her vision, not her hearing or smell, did she?
Did she perhaps use thermal perception instead of using infrared vision to see through things, like snakes would?
(ED: Snakes also use thermal perception instead of infrared vision.)
“If Irmhild is free sometime, can’t she come into the Labyrinth with us?”
“Sheila-san wants to search for her hometown, right?”
Sheila closed her eyes after she was asked that.
“I acknowledge that her ability won’t be enough to descend into the lower levels, but I don’t think it will be unreasonable for her to go with you. However, I do not intend to rely on such a thing.”
If she increased her strength with this, then someday, she might have a chance, huh?
“This will show Irmhild’s true strength, right? I can’t promise you anything right now.”
“Hmm, it will be enough for you to just consider this for now. What are your plans for tomorrow?”
“As usual, I plan to go into the Labyrinth.”
I had to do a test run for Ouroboros, so for now, tomorrow’s goal would be the small shrine on the 20th floor, a junction that let one pass into the Twilight Forest.
The 20th floor had a small shrine that diverged into various areas. Even if the Labyrinth’s structure changed, the paths that connected to those places from the small shrine were fixed.
“Well, putting that aside, once Irmhild-san is released, how about we go play together at the ocean to celebrate?”
“We can fish and hunt for things during a low tide. Grilled shellfish is delicious, you know?”
What about…taking a dip in the ocean?
Grace grew up inside the country, not next to the ocean, and Ashley probably didn’t know how to swim. Although she listened to me about going to the sea and playing there, Sheila didn’t understand too much of it initially.
Well, it wasn’t like getting used to water wouldn’t be important when we did Labyrinth searches. There was also training that we would do, like using Magic to breath underwater and walk on water. It would be play under the pretext of training, though.