Its the end of March and the town of Nepia is starting to feel lively.
Crocus’ and daffodils are blooming all over in peoples flowers beds creating a bright hue which was a pleasure for any passerby to see.
After a long while, I’m spending the day with Patty which coincidentally fell on a public holiday.
It’s hard for us as adventurers to meet up due to being away.
Patty is fascinated by Taa-kun who she’s seen for the first time.
“This is great. I want one for home.”
“It needs 50 MP a minute.”
Hearing that Patty’s eyes go round.
“Even Cecily could only move it for 1 hour!”
Taa-kun is not just a truck but also a golem that can determine the situation to some extent so the amount of magical power required will be different from magic cars.
“A golem like Taa-kun is impossible but I can probably make a magic cart for the labyrinth.”
I’m weak against the one I love.
“Really!? I’ll pay you properly of course.”
Patty is really happy and hugs me from the side.
Luckily, since its a day off she’s not wearing armour.
The warmth from Patty’s body is transmitted to my right side.
This is serious!
Not only my arm, even some of my body is buried!
What’s it buried in?
Pleasure of course!
“Hahahaa. Do you want to go and look for a cart to use as the base material?”
“Yes! Let’s go right now!”
Oops. I wanted to stay like this a bit longer but Patty wants to get moving right away.
Instead, I ask for a passionate kiss before we open the door.
By the way, Taa-kun is stored in the courtyard of the apartment complex I live in.
[Phoenix Company] borrowed it to store all our various kinds of luggage. There’s no caretaker but it safely locked.
Not that it matters really as only members of [Phoenix Company] can start Taa-kun up anyway.
Patty and I can’t hold hands and have to keep a modest distance from each other as we walk.
We passed clothes and accessory stores along the way but Patty didn’t look at all.
From my perspective, Patty’s everyday clothes are simple but fashionable.
It seems today’s cart shopping has a much higher priority for Patty than visiting boutiques.
It doesn’t matter to me either way…..No if I’m honest visiting the cart shop would be good for me as well.
If we go into boutiques I’ll be stuck in there hours.
We go back to the Shell Riaka company where I came last time to buy my cart.
Every member of [Maximum Soul] recommended it. It’s the premium place in Nepia.
While we are arguing over trivial things like the size of the cart or how it’s going to work in the labyrinth something unbelievable entered my vision.
It was a rubber wheel.
“No way. Is this rubber?”
A staff member came over to me while I was checking the wheels out.
“Are you interested in these rubber wheels dear customer?”
So it is rubber after all.
But the Bottles Kingdom is a country quite far to the north. I can’t imagine rubber tree’s growing anywhere this far north.
“Is this imported?”
The clerk smiles at me and denies my question with a laugh.
“Not at all. The rubber comes from the labyrinth.”
Aah, I see. I get it now.
I had heard that the 6th ward on the 4th floor was a dense tropical forest.
“Is it from the 6th ward on the 4th level by any chance?”
“Correct! Are you an adventurer dear customer?”
Patty who doesn’t know about the existence of rubber asks a question.
“Can the material covering the wheel be obtained from the 6th ward on the 4th floor?”
“Yeah. It’s the sap from a tree called a rubber tree.”
The rubber wheels sold here are completely different from the rubber tyre’s back on earth.
It’s a so-called solid tyre where the rubber is fitted to the outside of a wooden wheel.
It won’t go flat like a pneumatic tyre but if it goes too fast it will burn and emit smoke.
“This is a groundbreaking product. Its durability is inferior to a ground dragon but it’s hard to slip. There’s grooves in the material that grip the ground and produce excellent driving force. They are also being fitted on magic cars now but those wheels aren’t made from wood but iron.”
When I heard there were rubber bound iron wheels I bought 3 so I could test them.
Patty also bought a cart with rubber wheels too.
On the way back I bought 10 G-rank demon stones to make the drive mechanism and planned how to incorporate it.
I’m going to try and design it so the speed is suppressed but it has high horsepower.
[Angel Wing] is going into the labyrinth in 2 days time so I need to have it made by then.
“I’m Sorry Ippei. Even though its a holiday. But with this, we can bring a lot more supplies for the relay station.”
“Yeah. You know, the small rooms on the 5th floor?”
I have no idea what she’s on about.
After hearing about it in some detail it appears that any party that reaches the 5th floor is granted the right to claim a room by the guild.
It’s generally forbidden to occupy a room in the labyrinth for a long time, however, there are few adventurers that reach the 5th floor.
With this, those parties that are searching so deep in the labyrinth can make sure they are well supplied.
So others can recognise the occupancy of the rooms a plate with the parties name on is supplied by the guild. You are also given a special lock as well apparently.
That reminds me, Bonnie-san is a 6th ranked adventurer that’s reached the 5th floor as well.
Has she got her own room?
When I checked later I found out that the party she had belonged too had dissolved so the ownership of the room was lost.
It was a large party but half of it was wiped out by a surprise attack from the demons.
Bonnie-san had a sad look while telling me.
I bought the materials from the material shop and loaded them onto the cart.
Making use of various magics I attached a 2 wheeled cultivator to the cart and made a transportation machine. (1)
In Japan, it’s called a tiller amongst other things and is often used as transportation in rural areas.
By the road vehicles law it’s classed as a small special car and can be driven on public roads!
Since it’s used for agriculture its runnability isn’t too bad.
It’s got a seat but no roof or doors.
It might be compact but it can carry up to 550kg.
Its energy source isn’t MP but demon stones. A single I-rank demon stone will allow it to run for 25km. Though it isn’t fast I concentrated on fuel economy so it’s far superior to a magic car.
I’ve also given it 2 gears so it can reverse as well. Since turning in the labyrinth can be difficult being able to reverse is a must.
“Thank you Ippei. With this, I’m one step closer to my dream.”
We have a goal.
Patty wants to abandon being a noble and become a commoner with me but that would be bad for the Cherrycoke family.
It would be like a princess from a direct retainer family of the shogun during the edo period marrying a commoner.
To combat this we have to bring a great honour to the Cherrycoke family to balance the scandal out.
That honour would be reaching the lowest floor of the labyrinth.
The highest recorded level reached was the 8th floor 1st ward and that was over 100 years ago.
We reach the 8th floor for the 1st time in 100 years as the personal party of the Cherrycoke family and search the remaining wards on the 8th floor and bring the results home.
If we do this the Cherrycoke family will bolster its reputation and it should be able the weather the flight of one of its daughters.
Until that day happens we will have to endure a lot of things.
“Ippei…..I really want to stay…….”
Yes, I must endure.
“I know. Just a little bit more and I’ll catch up to Patty. I’ll catch up to you on the 5th floor really soon.”
“Then we’ll get to the 8th floor and show off.”
We exchanged a kiss and Patty left with her new trailer.
I head back on foot through the downtown area under the light of early evening.
It felt like Patty’s breath was still right there next to my lips.
My brain firmly remembers Patty’s smell.
Just a bit more.
I’ll get higher ranked demon stones, make some good equipment and reach the 8th floor someday!
Until then I’ll have to endure and endure a lot.
Onee-sans of the red light district send flirtatious glances my way but I will not lose.
An onee-san from a bar tempts me with clothes that are heavily opened at the chest area.
I won’t lose!
I have to endure!
I run as fast as I can through the red light district under the setting sun.