There were a variety of things in that Item Shop.
All kinds of healing items, debuff recovery items, adventuring tools like tents, and consumable items like darts that you can use to attack from afar.
Unfortunately, there were no Teleportations Stones which I was looking forward to, but I did find the super rare permanent stat boost item, Speed Seed, from the pick-up items, and there were a whole lot of enticing items lined up.
There’s also the Flower Fire (Rat Form) that’s an attack item that, when you use it, a rat shaped fire will assail allies, allies, and mostly allies.
There’s the handy adventurer bag, Cooler Box, which stops the deterioration of food items by freezing the time of items placed in it.
There was a recording setting in the VR machine menu when it was still a game, so there was no practical use for this item: Video Recording Device (In other words, magic version of a video camera).
(Pick-up items really are nice…) (Souma)
The many enticing trash items were charming me to no end.
This is why I can’t stop visiting the Item Shop.
(Also, it is nice that we got a stockpile of items.) (Souma)
One difference between when it was VR and now that it is not is that, when it was a VR game, the merchandise was lined up at the store front.
There’s of course exceptions, but most VR type games would run out of items in stock when the items placed visibly in there are gone, so in principle, you can’t do something like buying 99 potions.
For example; if there’s 20 potions at the store front, if you buy them all, you can’t buy anymore potions, so you need to wait until the next day for merchandise to restock.
Only selling what’s on exhibition even though they have more in store lacks realism in and of itself, but the reality in the game and the reality of the real world really is different.
This time around, we managed to buy the items that were in the warehouse too.
Around as much as 3 times that of what’s lined up at the storefront.
With this, I doubt we will be lacking in items for a while.
That’s why this time’s ‘buying out the whole store’ was a success!
While I was reminiscing about this time’s incident as if escaping from reality…
“Souma, I can’t carry this.” (Ringo)
Ringo spoke to me from the back.
I thought that maybe Ringo would be able to, but yeah, it was impossible even for her.
“…Got it. I will tidy it up now.” (Souma)
I give up and turn to my back.
What was there was the thing that was making me worry the most right now.
The mountain of skulls that are piling high up even now.
The store clerk of the Item Shop was dumbfounded at first, but the moment she found out that we really had the ability to pay for it all, she quickly went out and flipped the CLOSED sign, and after giving me a really nice smile, she brought out the things in the warehouse and sold them to me.
I asked her if it really was okay to sell even the things in the storage, but they can restock in less than a day, especially for the fast selling healing items.
They will be closing for today, but there’s apparently no issues with business from tomorrow on.
Looks like this is the result of emulating the game system, and I was curious about where they get that many items, but before I could ask that, she brought me to the storage without missing a beat.
And then, when I saw what was piled up in there, I was left speechless.
The store clerk girl looked at me with a smile and said happily:
“You really helped us out there. We were really troubled about not being able to sell a single one of these even though they were being stocked up more and more.”
I nodded internally and went ‘obviously’ after hearing what she said.
As if anyone would buy this tasteless item that has only bad effects because of the game system.
“[Fancy Skull]…” (Souma)
It is a quest item, and in system settings, it is an item that No NPC will pick up. An ornament of questionable taste.
It looks like a jet black human skull.
That’s the kind of unpopular item it is.
There was someone in the game of Nekomimi that bought all 25 lined up at the storefront 4 times, so there’s at least more than 100 in the storage despite it being a pick-up item.
But to think there were these many stored up.
Right before the subjugation contest, I did think about buying 25 of these for the quest, Guidepost for the Lost, but what are you telling me to do by showing me this storage packed to the brim with this?
Unknowing of my complaints, the clerk speaks to me with a merry voice.
“I am impressed you know the name. But this is being called Cursed Skulls by the customers. Forget buying, they don’t even get close to them. Because of that, the sales of the store have definitely decreased.”
“Then why are you lining them up at the storefront?” (Souma)
Is that also a constraint from the game system?
But I feel like there’s no need to line up something that stands off so much despite clearly causing negative effects.
When I asked this baffled, the expression of the clerk clouded.
“I did think about taking them off countless times. It is still fine when they are still packed up in a box, but once we exhibit them, I always end up creeped out and can’t pick them up.”
Saying this, she made a melancholic expression as if the atmosphere from before was a lie. It doesn’t look like she is joking at all here.
(Aah, I see!) (Souma)
The Fancy Skull is an item with the game effect: ‘If you place it on the ground, no one can pick it up’.
That’s probably activating even when they place it on the shelves.
Not only is it a product that customers can’t hold, it is a product that not even the clerk can move…
It truly is a Cursed Skull.
Of course, that ‘curse’ doesn’t affect me since I am a player.
If it is me, I can easily get rid of these Fancy Skulls.
No, but actually…
(I honestly don’t need that many…) (Souma)
Just as I said before, you need 25 to clear the Guidepost for the Lost.
I don’t mind buying 30 to have some in hand, but who knows how many dozens, no, how many hundreds of skulls here.
“Uhm, around how many—” (Souma)
The clerk answers instantly.
“Uhm, I am sorry, but this is…” (Souma)
I can’t buy this much.
When I was about to say I was going to cancel the purchase, the clerk laughed as if trying to stop it.
“Don’t tell me, customer-sama, you are not so stingy as to take back what you said yourself, right? …Isn’t that right, golden champion, Sagara-san?”
That smile made me choke on my words.
She knows my name.
Judging from her tone, she must have been watching the announcement for the subjugation contest.
In that case, she not only knows our names, but also that we have 80 million E.
“You don’t have to worry. Normally, 3,025 is 302,500E, but I will round it up to 300,000E for you!”
I had no words anymore towards the clerk with a big smile.
Speaking of which, I somewhat remember that the last time I was killed was because I was talking with this clerk.
What surfaced in my mind while I was speechless was…
(I was pushed defective products!!) (Souma)
Lesson: When splurging, properly check the products beforehand.
Now then, the talk was wrapped up albeit my grievances, but the problem here is not buying all the items in the store, but how to store them.
But the answer was within the items I bought today.
That’s right, the super convenient item that I was planning on gifting to Ringo, the Adventurer Bag.
In the game, you can only hold one adventurer bag, but it seems like this is regulated with the same mental restraint like with the rings.
But flipping that around, it means that it doesn’t affect me.
I lined up the colorful adventurer bags and put in the store products one after the other.
Attack items in the red adventurer bag, healing items in the blue adventurer bag; and just like that, I change the color depending on the type of item.
But with just this much, I would have to carry a whole ton of adventurer bags.
That’s why I pack them into my original adventurer bag horizontally.
The adventurer bags within the adventurer bags.
It works the same way as dividing computer folders.
With the item folder, there’s the attack item folder, weapon item folder, and so on. By dividing them like that, you can easily tell where is what.
But there’s a bit of a disadvantage in this.
Different from the time when I placed the item directly into the adventurer bag, now I have placed an adventurer bag in the adventurer bag, so I wouldn’t just have to take out the item I want from the adventurer bag, but bring out the adventurer bag that has that adventurer bag with the item and once again put that adventurer bag into that adventurer bag. Compared to before when it was direct, those extra steps make it a pain to the point that the sentence before was one step away from being a confusing mess.
Well, this is a problem that can be solved by placing the often used items in my poach and the outermost bag.
I will slowly think about the item sorting after we have settled on a base.
When I asked the clerk to place the items in the bags by item type, she was skillfully throwing the store products one after the other, so that should be okay.
She is a clerk despite all of that, so I doubt there’s any problem with the sorting there.
More importantly, the most immediate problem right now is the Fancy Skull.
I am the only one who can place these skulls, which were packed up tightly in the storage, inside the bags.
But think about it.
3,000 is a massive amount.
Even if I put 1 in every second, it would take around 50 minutes.
The man that continued putting in skulls for 50 minutes.
That’s enough to make people run away.
Actually, I am one of those people.
(I am rich now, and yet, why did it end up like this…?) (Souma)
Are you telling me that Nekomimi Neko doesn’t even allow an upstart-like enjoyment?
I ended up spitting out complaints internally, but I am the one who said I would be buying them, and if not only the clerk but even Ringo can’t pick them up, there’s no choice but for me to do something about it.
The apple that I bought for myself, I ended up giving it away to Ringo, and she waved her hand while eating it as if saying ‘do your best~’.
I looked at that bitterly as I continued packing up the skulls.
“Thank you very much~! Hope for your future patronage!”
I receive the voice of the item shop clerk that must be on cloud nine right now with my back.
(I am not going to come back here ever again, you idiot!) (Souma)
I spit that out immaturely in my mind.
Well, I bought that many items, so there really might not be any need to come back ever again.
That said, I feel like I might actually come take a peek every now and then for the pick-up items.
In the end, it took close to 1 hour for me to finish packing the skulls, and after we finished the purchase, we left the store.
The total price was: 980,000E.
I have long been numbed in the cash front, so I can’t tell if it is cheap or expensive.
“Then, let’s just round it up to 1,000,000E!”
The store clerk said this as if she were doing us a favor here, but it was clearly more expensive now.
I didn’t even retort to that and just stared at her intently, and she must have reflected on it.
“I-It was a joke, you know? You really did help me out here.”
She then said this while lowering her head 90°, so I did feel I did something good there for a little bit.
From the clerk’s perspective, I must have been the perfect sucker.
Anyways, believing that there shouldn’t be any dishonest billing because of the game system, I pay the 980,000E straight out.
No, I did something like buying the items in the storage which couldn’t be done in the game, and she did discount the skulls, so I don’t know how much to trust in that game system logic, but to tell the truth, I couldn’t even bother.
It was just shopping, and yet, I am wasted.
I feel like I bought some unnecessary things there, but in terms of money, it was only 300,000E.
I shouldn’t really worry about it.
The mental torture I received was even pricier than all of that.
“…Thanks…for the hard work.” (Ringo)
The kindness of Ringo diminished a bit of that pain.
(Oh, right…) (Souma)
While I was packing in the skulls, I had Ringo prepare a crystal for her exclusive use, and an adventurer bag for herself.
However, splitting the money in front of a stranger would be weird, so I still haven’t done it.
“Ringo, lend me your crystal.” (Souma)
I say this and receive the crystal from Ringo and pass her half of the prize: 21,350,000E.
With this, my crystal has around 20,400,000E, and Ringo has 21,350,000E in hers.
Is what I calculated, but…
“…Give it.” (Ringo)
Ringo immediately took my crystal away and returned the 21 million E.
Now there’s only 350,000E remaining in Ringo’s crystal.
Of course, that’s still a lot, but it doesn’t even compare to 20,000,000E.
I raised my voice in surprise, but Ringo answered unfazed with her usual unfocused eyes.
“…It is okay. You seem…to know more about that, Souma.” (Ringo)
“No, know more, you say. But you must have things you want to buy too. Like maybe your own weapon and armor…” (Souma)
But Ringo said without hesitation.
“I will have Souma…buy everything.” (Ringo)
She unreservedly declared that she will be sponging off me.
“In other words, you will be with me from now on too?” (Souma)
Ringo finally matched my gaze at my question.
“…Am I…a bother?” (Ringo)
Ringo looked like her usual expressionless self, but her eyes seemed to faintly shake there.
…I wonder about that.
I think about it.
I seriously think about what I have been averting my gaze from the whole time.
I am a loner at heart, but despite it being a short time, I managed to work well with Ringo because she normally doesn’t have any presence at all.
It is weird that she doesn’t have presence despite being such a peculiar character, but when there’s no business, and there’s nothing to do, Ringo really doesn’t do anything to an astounding extent.
She is watching all spaced out without focusing on anything.
That’s abnormal in the eyes of others and it might be scary depending on the person, but you could say she has a good affinity with me.
How to say it, I prefer being alone, but it is not much of a pain being with her.
This may be a terrible way of putting it, but you could say she is a convenient partner for me.
Also, her fighting ability is not lacking at all.
Her special ability, Lightning Strike, is powerful, and her base stats are high too.
That means she is strong, which is the most important part.
In Nekomimi Neko, the reason why I played solo was because of the trauma of having lost my companions.
But if it is a companion that’s stronger than me, I might be able to adventure together with her.
And most of all.
“…No, you are not a bother.” (Souma)
I ended up thinking that it would be lonely not having her by my side despite me being a loner, so this is already my loss.
“The two days I was with you were more fun than normal.” (Souma)
The moment I said that, for some reason, the face of Train-chan…Ina surfaced in my head.
I didn’t think Ina would be able to keep up with my adventures from here on, so I left her in Lamurick practically deceiving her.
It is not like I am mourning this.
Even when I think about it now, I would still arrive at the same conclusion, and even if it is selfish, I still believe it connects to her own happiness.
“…Okay. Thanks.” (Ringo)
However, I couldn’t help but overlap the shadow of Ina in her.
With that feeling still looming on me, I asked.
“But is that okay with you, Ringo? I will probably be dragging you to danger from here on. With 20,000,000E, you could live safely in the city…” (Souma)
But Ringo shook her head to the sides without hesitation.
And then, she said this.
“If I am not with you…I feel like you would die really quickly…” (Ringo)
Those words I didn’t even expect from Ringo finally made me laugh out loud.
(What. If you say that much, I’ve got no choice.) (Souma)
I resolved myself.
I called her name strongly and presented my right hand to her.
Ringo looked at me intently for a while as if trying to gauge my intent, but her eyes eventually showed understanding.
Could it be that she is nervous?
That Ringo showed the gesture of a scared uneasy child and stretched her hand out to me.
And then, I felt a faintly moist and soft sensation pushed onto my right hand.
At that moment, I couldn’t speak.
Ringo was looking at me and I looked at Ringo.
Our gazes intersect.
“Sorry, Ringo.” (Souma)
And then, I slowly, very very slowly, looked down at my right hand that Ringo was touching.
“…This is not what I meant.” (Souma)
In my right hand, there’s 2 beautifully eaten apples dutifully placed there.
…Ringo really is a confusing name. <TLN: Ringo means apple.>