Never Die Extra - Chapter 23
Chapter 23 – Evan D. Sherden, Growing Up (2)
Unlike in the past, Evan decided to get artifacts not only for himself but also for Shine and Belois.
“Do you mean… You’ll be getting us weapons too?”
“Thank you very much, Master!”
“I was thinking of getting artifacts a little further along our training when the time was ripe. But Shine and Belois are growing faster than I had ever imagined, so it won’t be so bad to adapt ourselves to artifacts at this point,” Evan wondered. “But why the hell are these guys like this!? How are they evolving so fast? If anyone was to identify them, they wouldn’t even come close to thinking of them as Rookies.”
In fact, the butler was so impressed by Shine’s rapid growth that he had started teaching him special abilities. Evan, after witnessing all this, Belois growth was genuinely horrifying.
Evan was assured of Belois magical genius, but he was also aware that there was a limit to the efficiency of the magic she could cast using the lamp. Even considering all of that, the swift speed at which Belois’ mana and magical powers were growing, was mind-blowing. It was almost unreal.
“What is it, Young Master?”
“No, its nothing. I was just thinking that Belois had been working very hard all this time.”
“Thank you, Master,” Belois politely bowed at Evan praising her. Her elegance was overwhelming.
If the clothes she wore weren’t that of a maid’s, it would have looked like she was the daughter of the Marquis himself. Her magical powers were only second to Mr. Lee. He was a mystery in himself.
“Shine, do you know anything about Mr. Lee?”
“Sorry Master I do not. I thought you knew him.”
“How could I have known him?” Both of them tilted their heads, wondering and watching the overflowing aura of dignity from Belois. Evan looked at Maybell and started walking. Noticing Evan’s gaze fall on her, Maybell laughed silly and ran towards him. Well, after all, Evan still wasn’t sure of the maid’s educational achievements.
“Alright, Maybell. I’m going to the market.”
“If that’s the case, then you should know that there is a place which specializes in artifacts brought from the dungeon and their qualities are analyzed before being sold…” As Maybell took on duties related to Brotherhood Pharmacy, she started to gain knowledge about many other businesses in the dungeon city. She still didn’t know all of their workings and secrets, though.
“The only thing they gather in that store is trash. Do you think that the dungeon explorers are fools who would go to that shop to sell their precious artifacts?” Evan spoke.
“What do they do with their artifacts then, Master?”
“Either they use it or put it on a large auction. They are sometimes robbed by their own colleagues who see them acquire those artifacts in the dungeon.” Evan further explained.
“Ah! Do things like that even happen?” Maybell asked, surprised.
“When it comes to these people, anything goes. No matter how much I hate it.”
This was the system that existed in the game. In fact, if valuable artifacts appeared when the friendliness level was not properly raised, there were cases where a battle between the protagonist and his companions would erupt. There were surprise attacks, and death also followed due to a lack of support in important battles.
“…That’s despicable,” Shine said, bitterly.
“That’s the reality, Shine. One good artifact can decide its bearer’s destiny. And usually, humans are weak to temptation.” Evan replied.
“Aren’t you disgusted, Master?”
Evan laughed resentfully at this. “It is only because of the environment I was raised in. We are extremely rich due to which I never learned to envy what others have. If it hadn’t been like that, I most likely would have been like all these other explorers.”
“You would never have been like them, Master! I’m sure of that!”
“Shine is right… You’re not like that, Master. You are the way you are not just because of the surroundings in which you have lived all your life.” Shine and Belois were unwilling to stain Evan’s perfect image in their minds. This was proof that they were still young.
Of course, Evan also had the appearance of a young child…. He had 29 years of memories from his previous life, but he couldn’t shout, “I’m not like those people!” At least in his last life, he had a realistic personality. “Thank you for thinking so highly of me…” Evan said.
However, it felt great when the two of them spoke about him like that, seriously appraising him. He got embarrassed, cleared his mind, and turned his gaze away. Maybell intervened at that exact moment.
“So then’ where do you want to go, Master?”
“About that, there are a few places I have already chosen. Seeing as we all are present here together, let’s go to the butcher first.”
“…The butcher? But why are you going to the butcher Master?”
The butcher’s was a very infamous place in the back alleys of the city. Several groups in the black market operated from there by receiving deliveries. It was a very chaotic place, so one had to be careful.
“I was able to use this butcher in the game. If one goes too often there, he gets a bad reputation. But it was the best place to make money easily at the beginning of the game.” Evan thought.
Now he addressed Shine,” If the corpses of the monsters killed in the dungeons are left there, they turn into mana over time and start getting absorbed by the dungeon. After this process is completed, rare gemstones are created, which are the main source of explorers entering the dungeon. However, some people tried eating the monster’s body. In general, monsters are poisonous, so eating them is strictly forbidden. Nevertheless, if you want to eat them, you can’t do it inside the dungeon.”
Evan continued, ”Bringing them out… now the problem lay in there. Their bodies become extremely poisonous over time and are difficult to deal with as they also have mana. For these reasons, they are supposed to be handled by specialists only. Some explorers sneak out some corpses anyway.”
“It’s a bit strange, but there is a superstition that eating monster meat while it contains mana makes the eater stronger. That is why it is sold quite expensively.”
Gamers who didn’t care about their reputations often used butchers. They gave up their magic stones and sold monster meat to earn money, and at the same time, they would buy processed monster meat at a low price to fill their bellies. This was one of the advantages you could utilize from the butcher.
Shine, who heard the complete explanation, was staring at Evan. Evan knowing what he was going to say, added with an odd smile.
“Maybe it’s not a superstition after all… And I really want to get stronger too.”
“But if it really makes you stronger, then there is no way Master would eat it without giving it to us too,” Shine said.
“Huh, I’m still in the process of poison tolerance training. So if I start eating monster meat, it will help me get stronger…” Evan said jokingly.
“Master, no! Never!” Maybell screamed.
“Okay, calm down, Maybell. I’m not going to eat it.” Evan replied, annoyed with Maybell. He could barely stop her from sticking to him. Now he looked at Dain, who was guarding them from behind.
Dain nodded reliably to signal everything was fine. Evan also nodded in return and knocked on the door of a building, which looked quite ordinary. Soon, the door creaked open, and a man with a harsh impression on his face appeared.
“….Who are you?” he grunted.
“Don’t you know who Master Evan is? Everyone knows who he is. So let’s get down to business without any haggling.”
“…Oh, sorry, I thought you were just a random passerby. Please come in first.” The butcher swung the door wide open to let them inside. “If the Marquis has really decided to close my business, then no matter how much backing I have, there is no way a butcher can withstand the Marquis’ wrath,” the butcher thought, worriedly.
Moreover, since the Brotherhood Pharmacy’s opening, Evan and his brother Eric’s reputation had spread like a wildflower. When the butcher confirmed their identities, he brought them inside without any reluctance.
“No noble would have come here for meat,” the butcher addressed Evan.
“I’m not even here to sell anything,” Evan replied.
“….Then did you really come here to catch me?” The butcher glanced at Dain’s weight and asked in a tense tone. Evan shook his head. He replied, ”Right now, you are in possession of a fairly valuable item that you do not know the true value of. Where is it?”
“I can’t even guess… I mean, there are a lot of things that I deal with,” said the butcher.
Then the butcher’s eyes flashed as he realized something. Evan noticed this and nodded. He had expected it.
“Yes, I know you already have it. If you give it to me, I will reward you well.”
“Eh, you really want it? I’ve been living with dirt on my reputation for a long time, why should I have an upright deal with you? It’s not like my name will be cleared off or something…” the butcher argued. “Also, for your information, I’m not the actual owner. No matter who comes here for business, the owner won’t reveal itself. But whatever happens here is reported directly to him… So he will also be informed of your visit and intentions.”
“….Haha, that’s fine by me,” Evan replied coolly. The butcher must have had other reasons for rejecting the proposal of infamous Evan. However, Evan spoke about the real offer he had come here with because he had contemplated it. “Do you know what a ‘master chef’ is?” he asked.
“…No, what is that?” the butcher asked in a gruff voice.
The butcher was just pretending to not know, but Evan was sure he already had some ideas. He carried on,”It is a certification given only to those who have passed strict tests, laid down by the noble family. This gives them the right to not only slaughter monsters, but also cook and sell them. Of course, it’s not that simple. Apart from the difficulty of the test itself, in order to take it in the first place, you need to get a recommendation from someone with a certain status or higher. The number of candidates which qualify for this year is also limited.”
“Yes, that’s’ right.”
“I’ll recommend you.”
Hearing this, the butcher fell silent. His expression remained tense as before, but Evan was convinced that he was going through a conflict in his mind. Why was he so sure? This is because, in Yo-Ma Great War 3, you have a request related to the butcher’s Master.
He is in charge of a butcher who slaughters and sells monsters in the back alleys of the dungeon city, but he was originally a pure young man who dreamed of becoming a chef. However, his bleak fate did not leave him that way, so it was regret, which he always carried with him in his heart.
“Give me what I want, and I will give you a second chance at a life you always desired. You can start a business that never loses money,” Evan concluded.
After some hesitation, the butcher asked him, “Why are you giving me this opportunity? You’re the Marquis’ son. If there was anything you wanted, you wouldn’t have come to me by yourself. Instead, you would have given an order to your servants to come by on your behalf.”
“Well…” Evan, who wanted to answer,”Is there any reason for the gamer to proceed with the quest?” quickly shut his mouth. He came to this conclusion simply because he had the memory of being a gamer in his previous life. He was definitely a player, but at the same time, he was Evan, living in this world which had become his reality. Nevertheless, he had to please the butcher to achieve this agenda of his.
“There is a rumor that you are good at slaughtering. Even the fact that you are considered the best in dungeon city where talented people gather from all over the world is quite amazing.”
“You’re so excellent in this field that even though it is not my area of expertise, but I’m still curious about how delicious the food would be that you’ve always wanted to cook.”
“Every gamer wondered about it,” Evan laughed as he thought of the other gamers who were also curious about what the butcher’s food would taste like after he became ‘master chef’. Ironically, of all the people who thought about this, Evan was the only person to be able to taste it. How wasn’t it funny?
“So it would be nice if you cooked for me once before getting the certificate. How about it, butcher?”
“Okay.” He wasn’t only a gamer or the Marquis’ son, but he was both of them, and that was the only reason that he had actually achieved the butcher’s affirmation.
Evan organized his thoughts. With a sad expression, the butcher nodded his head dumbly.
“It’s a promise, so you have to keep it.”
“Sure. Now, what was that thing that you wanted from me?”
On that day, the “Tsang Sword Butcher” who was in charge of slaughtering monsters in the back alleys of the dungeon city lost his symbol twin sword to Evan Sherden.
“Red Iron Plate” was lost in the same way.
And “Oak Pub” also lost their store symbol, but what was truly strange was the fact that everyone was silent as to why these things had disappeared.