Although our vacation would only start after our common classes on Thursday, Ellen and I went to the armory on Tuesday.
Temple had enough practical weapons in stock to equip all students who had combat majors in case of emergency. Actually, that rule only existed in theory, as they wouldn’t send Temple students into battle. However, after the Gate incident, all Temple students would be called to action.
So, the fully-stocked armory in Temple was kind of an additional setting to give enough justification for how all students of Temple managed to go to battle during that Gate situation.
In fact, I actually set up Temple’s armory when I wrote about the Gate incident. Before that, there never was any mention of something like an Armory, and I never even thought about Temple having something like that.
After all, I had set it up after the end of the school life part.
Why would a school need an armory with enough weapons in stock to arm all its students?
When I thought of myself back then, I sure was an absurd person.
Although the Armory was one of Temple’s main facilities, it was a place students didn’t usually have to go to, so when we stepped out of the tram it was the first time for both of us seeing the facility, even after we had spent a good amount of time in Temple.
“I thought it would be like a warehouse.”
Ellen seemed a little dazed.
Temple’s Armory looked more like a huge museum than a warehouse, though. Although it was pretty much deserted, we could still see quite a few guards guarding it, as it still held a great number of Temple’s weapons.
We showed our requisition documents to the manager at the guard post outside of the Armory.
After he looked at our documents, he exclaimed and then nodded slowly.
‘B-Class? What does that mean?’
Was there some kind of setting I wasn’t aware of again?
The manager started to provide answers to my mental questions.
“That means that you can even borrow B-Class equipment. Access to S and A-Class equipment is restricted, but you can borrow anything below Class B.”
It seemed that Temple organized its equipment by grades. Still, we were part of Royal Class, so even if we couldn’t access S-Class, we couldn’t even get A-Class equipment?
I thought that was a bit of a shame, but the manager just crossed his arms.
“Even just seeing B-Class equipment on the market is extremely rare. A-Class equipment is already treated as a county’s treasure. Not to mention S-Class equipment… These types of equipment can’t get transferred carelessly.”
I didn’t know anything about the rating system, but it seemed to be true that Temple’s Armory was full of weapons on the level of artifacts.
No matter if you’re a Royal Class student or not, they couldn’t give out that kind of equipment so easily. There wasn’t even any type of crisis at the moment.
S-Class equipment was probably items that were slightly inferior to Alsbringer, which was the hero Artorius’ weapon, or Ellen’s Lament.
I wasn’t sure if Alsbringer was kept in Temple at that point. It was probably kept in the Imperial Palace. History had changed a lot, so I didn’t know if Ludwig would be able to get it as he did in the original.
Ellen and I had a guide next to us.
“Is there anything you want specifically?”
“I think we would need some kind of weapon and armor,” I answered the guide’s question.
“Yes, understood. Then, I would ask you to come this way.”
The inside of the Armory was so incredibly vast that one would probably get lost without a guide. As we had B-Class requisition documents with us, the guide took us to a place where B-Class equipment was displayed.
Ellen stared blankly at the endless sea of weapons, armor, boots, and various other items in front of us.
The guide started explaining while we were walking.
“Most of the B-Class equipment found in Temple could be called antiques. They are expensive items, so you have to return them after use.”
Their quality was one matter, but that was just the intro. The word “antique” immediately made an item even more expensive.
In Al Ligar’s shopping district, there were only a few of those types of items, but they were lined up endlessly in the armory.
Even if one went to buy something like that in Al Ligar it would pose a troublesome challenge.
However, we could requisition them in Temple just because we were Royal Class students. There was no need to bargain at all.
That was the majesty of Temple.
“Let’s look at the weapons first, shall we?”
The guide stood in front of a display box filled with weapons.
My eyes were practically flashing.
The box was divided into sections for swords, spears, axes, bows, and blunt weapons.
However, the swords were also divided again: shortswords, longswords, bastard swords, two-handed swords, as well as that “Hellblade” thing.
There were a ton of different weapons on display.
I had a really hard time choosing.
There were so many that I had no idea what to pick.
“May I hold the swords?”
The guide opened the display box containing the swords.
It seemed like Ellen didn’t plan on using Lament.
Ellen tried to check the weight and balance of the swords as she held them.
“Oh, it seems that this sword has hardening magic on it. And if one activated it, one could temporarily use it as a blunt weapon…”
“Oh, this one’s good as well. It has fire magic enchantment on it, so it could be used in place of a torch. It’s useful in many ways, especially when one needs to make a bonfire, but the mana stone intake…”
“This would be a good choice, but do you have the strength to handle a two-hander…? Wow, you’re stronger than I thought, aren’t you?”
Ellen examined the dozens of swords while the guide informed Ellen about what kind of enchantments were placed on the weapons.
What the fuck, how did that guy memorize what enchantment all those swords had?
And why did it take her so long? I thought she would choose one after looking at a few.
Ellen, who was very serious about weapons, was completely engrossed in shopping around, while I was blown away by the guide explaining the swords’ details without getting tired.
After looking around for a long time, Ellen chose a simple-styled longsword with an automatic restoration function.
“There are many other weapons that look really good.”
“There are, but you should also use something like this.”
“Aren’t those with lightning enchantment or something better?”
She could choose any magic weapon there, so wasn’t one with only automatic restoration far too simple? As I looked around, I saw many with very strange features. Ellen shook her head at my words.
“It’s much more comfortable if the weapon can maintain itself.”
Comfortable… No, it was extremely convenient.
It probably was something she had heard her brother say.
If her brother recommended something like that, it felt like it would be a cheat key.
I couldn’t say anything against it!
It was later explained that swords would wear out rather quickly if one didn’t maintain them properly and oil them, different from swords in games, regardless of whether they were magic weapons or not. The burden on a sword would continue to pile up, so it seemed that the swords would lose their function quite quickly if a battle went on for a long time.
A weapon with automatic restoration would keep the sword in good condition on its own, so there was no need to maintain it after every battle.
In the end, Ellen had chosen a weapon best suited for actual battle.
She then contemplated whether she should take a bow with her or not, but she soon turned away. We were on our way to be adventurers, not fight in a war, so she decided not to take unnecessary equipment.
After that, Ellen and I chose some leather armor. There were chan mails and plate armor with lightweight enchantment as well, but they restricted one’s movement, so they were inconvenient.
The complete set of armor didn’t even cover the entire body. Ellen and I were only wearing something like a breastplate and something that looked like shin guard.
“Is that really enough?”
Our neck, arms, and thighs were completely exposed, so I didn’t get the sense that it would protect us well.
Right, she was more or less saying that if we wore more than that, it could be seen as asking for death. It was actually pretty frustrating, though. Of course, I couldn’t feel the weight of the armor at all because all parts were enchanted with lightweight magic.
The guide also added that the armor could sufficiently protect us because it was fire-resistant, acid-resistant, and had hardening magic enchanted on it in addition to the lightweight magic.
After choosing two backpacks with weight reduction magic cast on them and some boots suitable for long-distance travel, I felt ready to start our journey.
As we were picking our armor and weapons, I finally realized that I was walking into a very dangerous area with my own two feet, no matter how many safety measures I took.
After we chose our gear, Ellen and I packed all of it into our backpacks.
“Do you think we should take some horses with us?”
“…I don’t know how to ride a horse.”
I knew how because I had taken some horseback riding classes, even if I couldn’t say that I was that good at it yet. Ellen didn’t know how to do it at all. However, if she decided to learn it, she would do so really quickly.
“And we won’t be able to afford to take care of those horses.”
I couldn’t help but agree with Ellen’s words. It would be really hard and troublesome to take care of those horses in the place we planned on going to.
We would depart on Friday, right after the Thursday we had our last classes on.
After we chose our basic equipment, we were basically done there.
“Let’s pack everything up and leave.”
It was time to plan our schedule.
* * *
‘We are going to the Darklands.’
That statement was pretty vague. Put in different terms, it was the same as saying we would go to the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth. The Darklands referred to the eastern half of that huge continent.
We had to meticulously plan out which region of the Darklands we would travel to and which paths we would take when we were there.
Ellen planned on recklessly going to the Darklands after registering as an adventurer, wandering here and there. However, the story changed after I decided to join her.
As Charlotte said, it would be suicide to just wander around thoughtlessly without knowing what dangers hid inside the Darklands.
“There are a total of three major outposts built in the Darklands.”
Loyar spoke while examining a huge map unfolded before her.
Ellen and I had left Temple and gone to the newly created headquarters of the Rotary Gang.
Not too long prior to that, I had given some instructions to Loyar.
‘I’m going to the Darklands with Ellen.’
‘Get some information from the Thieves’ Guild… Some information on the Darklands that humans would have.’
‘And I bet you have some things memorized as well, right? Like places that we could safely go to.’
‘Why the questioning tone? If your boss tells you to do something, you have to do it, you know?’
If we had a map of the Darklands made by someone from the Demon Realm, we could avoid doing all the troublesome things, but getting something like that would usually be impossible. Instead, I ordered her to retrieve a map of the areas of the Darklands that had already been explored from the Thieves’ Guild.
“This area is where most adventurers are active—the Exian Outpost.”
That outpost was built by humans during the Demon World War.
The outpost was furnished with a super-large Warpgate. That was also the area from which the Allied Forces reached the Demon Realm during the Demon World War and the point from which they returned to the Empire.
Before that, bases and warp gates were shirked for supply issues and various other reasons, and because most humans had withdrawn, most of those bases got destroyed. It seemed to be pretty hard to install and maintain bases deep in the Darklands.
Therefore, except for the abandoned bases, the only outpost left on the front lines was the Exian Outpost.
Because the Demon World War had ended, the outpost had transformed into a base for adventurers who craved the treasures the Darklands held.
“Adventurers have secured safe zones around that area, and they are constantly expanding their bases. The eastern part, which the Allied Forces had gone through, has been developed quite a bit; however, very little has been covered in the northern and southern parts.”
The eastern parts, where the Allied Forces had advanced to, had been developed in a flash, so it was relatively safe and secure.
However, some danger might lurk to the south and north of the outpost.
“They’ve recently started to explore the northern part, but there have been some bad rumors making their rounds. There are some who made a fortune by going there; however, there are quite a few who never returned.”
There were many cases where groups of adventurers never returned from there. That probably meant that something was in that area.
“In the south, there’s a wide forest area. It isn’t a jungle or anything, and there don’t seem to be many dangerous things in there, but they lack the means to properly secure the area.”
Loyar continued to explain to that point, then alternated between looking at Ellen and me.
“The safest areas would be to the East of the Exian Outpost and the Maginot Line around St. Point. I think it would be best if you explored those areas. I heard that they pay you well enough just by filling out some unknown areas on the map.”
The Adventurers’ Guild paid out money just by providing them information on the Darklands’ topography. Even if one wasn’t all that eager on hunting monsters, there were many ways to get some money. It was a place where greedy people would either hit the jackpot or die trying.
Loyar seemed pretty much against Ellen and me going to the Darklands. Of course, she seemed quite relieved when she heard that Eleris would be joining us midway.
It had yet to be confirmed what lay in the north and south of the Exian outpost.
That was why Loyar told us that it would be best if we stayed in the safe eastern part.
Ellen thanked Loyar for her advice.
Of course, Ellen tended to provoke Loyar by saying things one shouldn’t, under no circumstances, say to her.
At Ellen calling her Aunty, I could see some veins bulging on Loyar’s forehead.
“Let me beat you up until you’re all nice and tender today.”
Of course, if she didn’t do that, Loyar wouldn’t fight her, so there was a reason for that, at least.