"Get lost kid. I'm busy and you're a waste of time."
"Oh… sorry." Shirou said uncomfortably as he was turned away by yet another individual who he had kindly asked for information. This particular man made the twelfth time this had happened. "This is a lot harder than I thought it would be."
As it turned out, Shirou was terribly at talking to people. He didn't understand why, but half the people he approached seemed to hate him on sight and if they didn't hate him on sight, they quickly got annoyed or creeped out once he started to talk to them. It seemed that for all his skills with a sword managed to gain the attention of the group, he couldn't do the same thing with words. He had absolutely no charisma at all when dealing with normal people.
"What are we going to do now?" Megumin asked him quietly. She was doing better than before, but still wasn't up to talking to random strangers in the street. Especially after seeing how unfriendly they were towards Shirou.
"I suppose we will just have to go back to headquarters and hope that the others had better luck than we have." Shirou said, feeling defeated. It would be embarrassing to face Rin having gained no information at all save for what he had seen in people's weapons. To admit to her that he had absolutely no skill with words when she could so easily capture everyone's attention with hers. Shirou was half convinced that there was some kind of magic in her voice that made people turn their heads when she was speaking.
They were about to go back down the street when someone in street shouted at them. "Oy, rookie! You with the red hair and the midget!"
"M…midget?" Megumin squeaked, realizing that the person was talking to Shirou before even Shirou did. Shirou himself had to think for a second before remembering that his hair was indeed red. He hadn't considered his own appearance as one of the things to try to remember after he woke up.
He turned to see who was shouting at them and immediately saw a taller man who appeared to be in his late twenties with a scruffy goatee, a knitted cap, and a thick fur lined coat that made him stick out like a sore thumb in the more normal crowd. A huge grin was spread across his face as he walked up towards them, though his eyes seemed to be looking at something much lower than Shirou's face. He had spotted the sword at Shirou's hip.
Likewise, Shirou had spotted the weapons that this man had been carrying, a bow with full quiver and a pair of curved short swords.
Megumin moved behind Shirou as the man came closer and Shirou put his hand on the sword's hilt. The draw would be awkward with the reverse grip, but he wouldn't have time to properly draw the sword if the man went for the shorter blades at his side.
"I thought I recognized that sword. It's one of the ones that belonged to the commanders before Bri-chan… or was it the commander before that one? I forget." The man said sounding positively ecstatic. "So why is it that a boy like you's got it? Something telling me you didn't steal it. You wouldn't be so stupid as to walk around with it in plain sight if you had. So that means that the old faggot have gone and given it to you. Now why would he do that?"
"I suppose I must have impressed him." Shirou said cautiously. He also wanted to criticize the man for using such cruise language in front of Megumin but felt like he shouldn't do anything that might drive the man away. This was after all the furthest Shirou had ever gotten in a conversation with someone in known memory… as absolutely pathetic as that was.
The man burst out laughing. "Impressed him. Come on give me more than that, I'm dying here from curiosity." He said before opening on hand and slapping his fist on top if it in the general manner of someone who had just realized something. "Oh, I know, you two are fresh from the tower, right? That would mean that you are looking for someone to be telling you how crap works around these parts. How about I buy you and the little girly some drinks and you tell me how comes Bri-chan took such a fancy towards you. After that, I'll tell you everything you need to know about getting started in this profession."
"Really?" Shirou said, surprised by the blatant offer to give him exactly what he wanted at the moment.
"Sure! After all, I've been in this business for over ten years. It's only natural that I be looking out for my juniors." The man said, puffing out his chest with pride. "So, what's your names be?"
"I'm Shirou, and this is Megumin." Shirou said, introducing himself and Megumin, since the girl was unlikely to do it herself.
"Really!? That's a damn fine coincidence! I'm Kuro! You know what they say about opposites attracting and all!" He said, thrusting out his hand to shake Shirou's. "Boy, something tells me we are going be the best of friends."
Why was it that Shirou could only attract the weird ones?
Currency in Grimgal
100 copper = 1 silver, 100 silver = 1 gold
I'm going to insert this here so that people have a perspective about just how much money they get and how much things cost. A meal in our world would be around 8 dollar, which translates into 4 coppers in their world. So 10 silver is around 2,000 dollars. A gold piece would be worth 20,000 dollars. This also fits with housing prices since a good room would cost 50 copper per night and a good hotel room in a big city would be around 100 dollars a night.
The cost of training and receiving the second hand equipment from the guild is 8 silver or 1,600 dollars. So while some of you might say that the training they get is cheap compared to the actual value, it really isn't. You could buy almost all of the equipment they are given (save for the warrior class) for less than 200 dollars if it is all second hand, which means that they are paying around 200 dollars a day for training. It is expensive.
More experienced volunteer soldiers just make a lot of money and have a lot of expenses. Making 8 silver not seem like much.
This also allows you to know just how badly scammed Haruhiro was when he was made to pay 25 coppers or 50 dollars for a second hand pair of underwear. =O There was a damn good reason why it seemed too expensive, that was because it was. They just knew that he only had his one pair and would be willing to pay whatever they asked him for it.
"Thank you for your help. I'll be sure to come back sometime, once I manage to get settled in." Rin promised, giving the vender a kind smile. It earned her some free food to go with the information she had just managed to milk out of him. She walked back to Sara, the blond girl with the thick glasses, who she had ended up pairing up with during the search for information.
The girl was rather timid, more often that not seeming to be on the verge of biting her nails, but that didn't really matter at the moment. Even if she was too unsure of herself to talk to people, Rin was more than capable of getting others to talk to her.
Rin split the kebab she had been given with the girl before starting to walk towards the next destination, Yorozu's Bank. It seemed that most exchanges, either in currency or selling random items, were done through them, and Rin wanted to sell the daggers as soon as possible, since carrying them around was awkward. While she walked, she considered their situation, trying to make sure she was looking at the wider picture rather than just focusing on the moment by moment like she had been before.
Rin had not originally suggested that they all remain in the same group for the time being out of the kindness of her heart or the concern for others. She had done it because she had recognized the same thing that everyone else had, that being in a party with Shirou would make their lives a lot easier. Though she would argue that she had realized it long before they had. From the moment they had first introduced themselves to each other, she could tell he was the kind of person who was reliable, she just hadn't been aware of just how reliable he really was until he pulled out a sword and took down what was probably one of the best fighters in the city. The problem was, as much as she hated to admit it, she couldn't have been sure that he would have partied with her if they had decided on a group then and there.
While Rin had no doubts that she had talents that far exceeded the rest of the people in the group… she actually had no idea what those talents might be. After all, she had no memories. She seemed to be good at talking and pretty smart, but Shirou might just find that annoying for all she knew. It wasn't like she knew him well, they had just met. If he was looking for people who were strong to be in his group, then the boys were bigger than she was, and some of the girls were as well. If he would pick a girl based on sex appeal… well, Rin wasn't about to make assumptions about her own attractiveness, but she didn't want to gamble on Shirou's tastes in women. Some of those girls had pretty large breasts and she was…
There was more to being attractive than just BREAST SIZE!
…Where did that come from?
Anyways, she had wanted to stop Shirou from choosing who was to be in his party long enough for her to prove that she was the best for the job. Whatever that job may be.
It wasn't until Megumin started to cry that Rin began to register a few things. Such as that what Bri had been setting up with his talk about parties was a survival of the fittest scenario. One where the weak die so that the remaining individuals would be better off. And in such a scenario, sweet little Megumin would almost certainly die. She was clearly too young for anyone to have any use for her. She would have been left behind as all of the parties that were made couldn't afford to have her dragging them down.
Rin had been shocked that she had overlooked something that was so obvious. Then that shock turned to suspicion. Had she overlooked it, or had she been made to overlook it?
It was already clear to everyone that something was suppressing their memories. Was it too much of a stretch to think that it was suppressing their thoughts and morality as well? While it was true that most of the group had been in a sort of panic, they were still more than capable of deciding then and there to join the army and risk their lives fighting monsters. It wasn't exactly something the average person should have been able to come to terms with so quickly. Perhaps more naturally pragmatic and calmer people like herself and Shirou were even more susceptible to such things, as they were always prepared to move and make decisions.
It would explain why she had been tunnel visioning towards joining Shirou's party to the point of ignoring morality, and why Shirou could decide to use lethal force against anyone who seems like a threat at the drop of a hat.
As she thought about it, she realized she didn't really care that she was now stuck in another world with no way to go home.
That was kind of a big thing to just stop caring about.
There was something seriously wrong with them. Wrong with this world. She didn't know if it was something in the air, that bloody moon, or that damned tower that brought them there, but something was messing with their minds.
She had decided that this would be her goal, figuring out what the hell was going on and trying to find a way back to where they had come from. Unfortunately, she would still need money if she wanted to live long enough and have the resources required to figure it out, which meant she would still be joining the volunteer soldiers.
She would start by joining the Mage's Guild. The basic training that they gave to new members would hopefully give her some knowledge about how magic functioned which would help out in the long run. After she built up her basic knowledge and guaranteed their livelihood, she would start to focus her research around the tower and anything that seemed to serve the same purpose.
This would be her reason for living. Every breath didn't matter save for that it allowed her to take one step closer to achieving it. She would edge it onto her soul so that whatever it was that was messing around with her head wouldn't manage to take it away from her.
And if all else failed, and it looked like she would never figure it out, or that her memories and resolve would fade away forever, she would find a way to destroy that tower, so that there could never be another Megumin. This she swore on her family crest.
Rin stopped in her step as something she had just thought was whipped away from her, leaving behind a prolonged feeling of emptiness. What had she just thought? She was swearing to one day destroy the tower if she couldn't find a way to get them home. She remembered that… so what was it that she had just forgotten.
Most people probably would have felt despair at how powerless they were against this force that so effortlessly controlled them, but Rin, she only felt pissed and more determined then ever. Fuck this world. It wouldn't beat her.
"Rin, are you alright? Is something the matter?" Sara asked her, looking down at Rin, since she was around seven or eight inches taller than her. Five foot three was pretty average height for a girl, or so Rin felt, but Sara was just so much taller it made the rest of the girls look short by comparison. Even among the boy's only Shirou and Riku were taller, and only by a little bit.
"Not at all, I was just thinking that we should probably keep one of the knives encase someone decides to join the Thief's Guild. It's probably of a pretty high quality. What do you think?" Rin said with a smile that seemed completely natural. It seemed like she was good at that. Saying whatever she needed to in order to put people at ease, or get a strong reaction out of them, depending on her objective.
"Oh. I don't know. A good weapon might be nice, but do you think we will need something of high quality if we are just fighting the beginner level enemies. It might just be a waste if the monsters don't have much armor or thick skin." Sara reasoned, pressing her fingers together as she mumbled her words.
"Hm, good point. The money probably would be more handy right now than a weapon that will probably give way to wear and tear before it is truly useful. Especially when we will need to purchase skills that will require time to master." Rin agreed. Sara was decently smart, though she lacked confidence in herself. After they had managed to gather information about the seven different guilds, while Rin had declared she would become a Mage, Sara had made noises about maybe going for Paladin. She figured that since she was taller than the other girls, she should probably take one of the more physical roles and leave the mage and priest classes for the other girls.
They had already been warned that the Mage's Guild's skills in particular were absolutely useless unless you sank a little more money into it, with the first spell that they are all taught being hardly more effective than a strong punch. It was only after you choose your school of elemental magic that you actually learned anything that was helpful on the battlefield, but after that it became one of the most important roles for both a strong initial strike against an unsuspecting group of enemies, as well as crowd control and finishers once the fighting really started, depending on their school of magic.
A mage could learn an elementary level spell for the price, ranging from around sixty copper coins to a single silver coin or two, intermediate level spells' costs range from two to ten silver coins, and a single advanced level spell could cost anywhere from fifteen silver up to a whole twenty gold coins.
This was Rin's ultimate hope for money she would make selling the knives, purchasing at least two additional spell for any of their mages so they could actually participate in a fight, one offensive and one support. Though it was unlikely that she would be able to make enough. From what she could see in the streets, used daggers were only worth around fifteen copper pieces per knife. Though since Bri's were of a high quality, she was hoping to get at least a silver for the three of them.
The only question was, how many of the others in their group would fight her over it? It might simply be better not to tell any of them how much the daggers sold for or lie if they asked. That might make things complicated if they did happen to find out. Avoiding resentment in these kinds of groups is important. While convincing them to work together had been simple enough, convincing them of the best allocation of the groups extra money would be much more difficult when that was in such short supply and the thing most on everyone's mind.
Yorozu's Bank was a large was a large stone building with no real windows or decorations outside save for a sign bearing the banks name in golden letters. It was a strange building in that it was both grand and rather lowkey at the same time.
Sara decided to stay outside and play with a cute little animal that was lazing about the entrance. Rin didn't know the name of the animal, which meant it probably hadn't existed in her previous world, but it made purring and meowing sounds like a cat and was fairly cute.
Sara hadn't wanted to go into Yorozu anyways. Based on people's description, the current Yorozu, which was apparently a title given to the bank's owner, was an extremely judgmental child of age ten with an over inflated ego and who constantly went on about her perfect memory. And since her memory was so perfect, if you made a bad first impression it would stick with you forever. Sara didn't want to have to deal with that kind of stress at the moment. She was stressed enough as it was.
Rin was in luck, in that it was still very early in the day and most people wouldn't be visiting the bank until later, so it took almost no time at all for her to be called forward for her turn to see a representative. Though as he luck would have it, she found herself face to face with the egocentric child herself.
Rin had to stop herself from laughing when she saw the girl in her enormous leather arm chair, dressed in extremely flashy red and gold clothes and wearing a golden monocle. She just looked absolutely ridiculous, and the long ornate tobacco pipe didn't help. It was like a little kid playing pretend at being an adult.
But Rin schooled her expression and proceeded in a professional manner, determined to make a good first impression and hopefully avoid problems with the brat in the future.
Yorozu looked at Rin and took a puff on the pipe before speaking. "I've never seen you before. First time?"
"That's correct. I'm one of the new Crimson Moon Trainees." Rin said in her relaxed manner.
"Figured as much. The day of your arrival matches up, and your clothes aren't from around here. Not much else you could be." The girl than stood up on her chair and puffed out her tiny little chest. "I am Yorozu, fourth generation. I flawlessly memorize the first names, last names, facial appearances, deposits and balances, and all other transactions of all clients. Though I also keep paper records for the sack of those who lack my perfect memory."
'Don't laugh… don't laugh…' Rin kept reminding herself as the girl didn't her self-aggrandizing little speech. She wondered if the girl had memorized that too. She probably had. 'Don't laugh!'
"It is a pleasure to meet you. I'm afraid that I don't recall any last name, so I hope Rin will do. If not, I'm sure I could make one up if necessary." Rin said, keeping her cool.
"No, that is fine. We are more than used to dealing with people from the forbidden tower. Your lack of a family name will not cause any problems." Yorozu said as she brought out a notebook and started to scribble down information for making Rin's account records. "Done. Now you may begin your business with the Yorozu bank."
"Excellent. I would like to have some items appraised and exchanged." Rin said, bringing forward the knives. "I have already been told about your fees, so don't worry. I accept the price of doing business."
"Well, that saves me the trouble of having to repeat them." Yorozu said as she glanced down at the knives. "Aren't those Commander Brittany's knives? Why do you have them?"
"There was a bit of a fight between him and one of my party and he lost. I believe that makes these ours. You don't have to worry. He is fully aware that I took them." Rin said with a sly smile.
Yorozu quirked an eyebrow of her own. "Let me guess, someone called out Commander Faggot for being a pervert and he took offense. Happens every month. Though I never thought I'd hear that someone had finally beat his ass for a change." Yorozu said. Rin was glad for the excuse to laugh, though she kept it as in control as she could. "Well, if the bastard wants them back I suppose he will just have to buy them back from Yorozu's later. They are worth fifteen silver a piece, so after paying our one percent fee, your total is forty-four silver and fifty-five copper pieces."
Rin twitched slightly at the casual declaration of the amount. It was far more than she had dared to hope. "Is something the matter?" Yorozu asked, seeing the reaction.
"Nothing at all. I'm just a bit surprised at how quickly you managed to appraise their value. I would have thought it would have required a closer look." Rin said, coming up with an excuse.
"These items were appraised years ago and their value hasn't changed since. The type of metal used in them is rare to say the least as it can only be harvested from a particular type of monster in the far north. The value would be higher if they weren't mixed with iron, but at the time of creation, Brittany hadn't been practicing magic yet, so he wouldn't have given up the structural strength of the metal alloy in order to allow for mages to wield it." Yorozu said, showing that she really had memorized everything there was to know about the knives in question.
"Wow, I'm impressed." Rin said truthfully. Then she thought of something. "I assume you have been inside of the Red Moon Headquarters at least once, correct? Do you happen to know the one hand sword that was on display near the west side window nearer to the staircase?"
"Yes, I know the sword you are talking about. It is a piece from a previous commander twenty-two years, three months and twelve days back." Yorozu said with a nodded, taking another puff on her pipe.
"Out of curiosity, do you know how much that was worth?" Rin asked.
Yorozu scratched her chin as she thought about it. "So long as it is in the same condition it was in before. Then it would be worth…"
Rin jaw dropped open when she heard the amount.
125 gold coins!
Apparently, the commander had REALLY taken a liking to Shirou.
Before anyone asks, no one is trying to rob Shirou. Kuro is actually a genuinely good guy in the canon, who just happens to be in a party that all look like thugs and have serious personality quirks. He always looks out for his juniors and isn't any kind of pedo or anything... he just wants to kidnap Yume and make her his teams pet/mascot. Is that so wrong?
It's not like Renji didn't do the same thing when he decided to take Chibi onto his team. Either that or he was a genuinely good person who realized that Chibi might die if left alone... Unless Renji is a pedophile... No, that can't be right, he only has as for Bri-chan.