Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 35: A Weird Quest Came In
Author’s note: This chapter will also include a few descriptions of a caterpillar fungus. If you are not good with this, please be careful and skim over that part.
When I reached the gate, Vidello-san was standing there, wearing his tight-fitting armor and helmet.
When Vidello-san noticed me, he raised his hand a little and I could see his eyes squint through the gap in his helmet.
“Mac. What’s wrong? Why’re you making such a weird face?”
Although there were passers-by, I was so incredibly drawn to Vidello-san’s voice and figure that I couldn’t help but embrace him through his armor. Solid. Vidello-san didn’t pull me off, but just patted me on the back. It felt nice.
“I was shown some awful stuff at Kyle’s place. The moment I saw you, I felt safe and had the urge to latch onto you. Sorry to do it in the middle of work.”
“It’s fine! Do it more!”
As soon as I made my excuses, the gatekeeper next to us scoffed at me. I really liked this town and its playful vibes. Vidello-san grinned at the neighboring gatekeeper and declared, “Of course, I’ll do more once I get him in my room.”
“By the way, Kyle must’ve shown you some terrifying things, huh?”
“Yeah. I can’t say much here, but it was awful… It was really big, a little bit squishy, and it was just standing there with this boing to it, and he was forcing me to hold it. It was the most disgusting thing I’d ever seen. Ah, I’m getting goosebumps just remembering it.”
The moment I explained it to him, Vidello-san gripped the sword at his waist.
“…Alright, let’s go arrest Kyle.”
“Why would you do that?!”
As I was desperately trying to hold back Vidello-san’s arm, his armor clanking, the gatekeeper next to us also took out something like a whistle that was attached to his waist, saying, “Wait, Vidello, I’m summoning the guards now.”
“Why would you do that? Kyle-san didn’t do anything wrong!”
“Didn’t?! Then, it was consensual?! He forced you to hold it, didn’t he? That!”
At my words, Vidello-san’s face grew fierce. What’s the understanding? That… That? Uh, what did I say I’d held? What did I explain? I thought back on my words and my blood ran cold.
“It’s a misunderstanding!! Don’t call the guards!!”
I had frantically accused Kyle-san falsely of child sexual abuse. Vidello-san thought Kyle-san had forced me to hold his penis. That wasn’t what happened though, not in the slightest.
After the misunderstanding was cleared up, Vidello-san breathed out a sigh of relief, “I thought Mac had a change of heart.” I felt bad for saying it in a misleading way, but it seemed like a bad idea to mention the caterpillar fungus by name, so I had to explain it by appearance.
“I’m curious, is it something that would be a bad idea to show me on the job?” Vidello-san asked, his mouth close to my ear. I whispered back in a similarly low voice that if he had to report anything suspicious to his superiors, it was a total no-no, Vidello-san asked me to show it to him on his next day off.
“It’s not only about me, it’s also about what would happen to Kyle-san.”
“So if Kyle says it’s okay to look, you’ll show it to me next time?”
“That’s fine by me.”
Thus I returned to my workshop in the city, having made a promise to see him on my next day off.
But still, I had something horrible on my hands. I tried lining them up on the table, one of each type. They were horrible to look at. I hadn’t known what the insects looked like, since up until now Kyle had dealt with the insects that had eaten the grass so fast I hadn’t had a chance to see them properly.
NOTE: caterpillar description starts here
The carcass of the dead caterpillar, or rather a beetle larva-like insect, had a crack going down its back and grass growing out of it. Something resembling mycelium lined the inside of the crack, making it particularly awful to look at. The insect’s viscera, which peeked through here and there and seemed extraordinarily fleshy, was even worse.
NOTE: caterpillar description ends here
I didn’t know how to deal with this.
With a sigh, I put all three caterpillar fungi away in the storeroom. Then I looked at the recipes to see if there was anything about them. But there was no corresponding recipe at all. So it couldn’t be something farm-related, then.
I groaned and suddenly remembered the existence of that alchemy book. I opened it with the hope that one of the pages somewhere might contain a mention of caterpillar fungus.
“Ah, there it is.”
Quite a ways through the book, there was a single listing: Caterpillar Fungus: Delirium. Delirium, perhaps, referred to the fungus being used as a psychoactive stimulant. In the storeroom, I could stack up to 99 caterpillar fungi in one square, but there were 34 with mushroom-like growths, 18 with leaves, and 4 with spiral-like growths. I didn’t know which one was the delirium-inducing one, but maybe it was the one that looked like a fern. The book said it was a rare item.
I groaned and closed the book. From what I gathered from the text, it seemed like a recipe that would require a lot more ingredients. But I could only read the part that said Caterpillar Fungus: Delirium, so it was probably something I couldn’t make yet. I’ll give up for now. When I could do it, I’d gather the ingredients and give it a try. Or rather, I wanted to collect various materials to fill in the recipe.
I decided to leave the caterpillar fungus for now.
I took out the ingredients for the potions. Next, I laid out the grinding tools, filtering instruments, and something like an alcohol lamp on the table. Apothecary work was just like doing science experiments; I loved it. I adjusted the heat, boiled it down, crushed the herbs, mixed them together, and made a lot of potions. Alrighty, almost all the materials I got were turned into high potions and magic high potions. I couldn’t make too many stamina potions, though, since I was a bit short on demon meat. I stuffed the mountain of potions I made into bottles I bought from Crash and threw them into my inventory. It was already dark outside, but I headed for Crash’s store, hoping it would still be open.
Sure enough, Crash’s shop was still open. The moment I opened the door and entered, I passed someone. His face was hidden, but his map marker showed he was an NPC.
“Welcome, Mac. We’ve just had a customer leave.”
“Heya, sorry for coming by so late.”
I greeted him lightly and Crash extended his hand over the counter, saying, “It’s fine, it’s fine.”
“You made me some medicine, didn’tcha? They’re in short supply right now, so I’ll buy ‘em for 20% more! You can buy a ton of undies with this!”
“No, I already bought my underwear! I don’t need them anymore, so can you just forget about it?!”
Crash laughed at my flustered face. I couldn’t help reacting. I knew I was going to be ridiculed for reacting like this. With a pitiful look on my face, I started to put the medicine I brought on the counter.
“Woah, wai- I told you not to pile it up in a mountain…!”
I couldn’t see Crash’s face through the pile of bottles, but my hands didn’t stop. I still had more!
“It’s my revenge.”
“Don’t get revenge on something like this. I’m sorry for making fun of you! If they fall, they’re gonna break! What a waste!”
Crash hurriedly put the bottles away one after the other in the storage box. I could see them lined up in a row, so I was sure those weren’t the magic bag-type of inventory we had. Once I finished arranging the 99 pieces, I stopped. It was a lot of work to line them up, indeed. Crash, too, put away the medicine one after the other with a hand movement that would make you think he’d specced into speed, and then he slumped down with relief on the empty counter.
“The last job of the day is Mac’s meanness… It’s not my lucky day.”
The sluggish Crash looked really tired. Was he alright? I put a stamina potion in front of him, and Crash took it, saying, “Thanks.” He chugged it down and put the bottle away at his feet. When he said, “I’ll give it back to you after I clean it,” I got the feeling that he was going to have me make a lot of medicine again.
“That’s right, Mac. Can I order some more potions from you? Are you busy?”
“Sure, I’m not busy. It’s just that I’ve run out of the herbs I bought from Kyle’s today, so I’ll have to go back and buy some more.”
Crash nodded and took some dried herbs from the back shelf.
“I’ll give you these, so I need you to rush this as fast as you can. Please. Of course, I’d appreciate it if you could use the herbs you get from Kyle’s place, but as soon as possible, please give me 99 high potions, the highest rank you can make them, and 99 magic potions, same conditions.”
With a ping, the quest column started to glow. In fact, I already had what Crash just mentioned. I’d made a lot of them just now.
“I can get them to you right now. A-Rank items. As you’d expect, I don’t have that many S-rank ones.”
When I said that, Crash looked a little surprised, then a little troubled.
“Thanks, but when I said that, I meant that I wanted ‘B-Rank’ stuff.”
Crash said this with a straight face.