The Straw Millionaire, the Cat, and the Princess Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 1

Chapter 3: Interaction, Cats, and Goals

A month had passed since the beginning of the year. Classes at the university had resumed, and life was hectic with the juggling of academics, business, and part-time jobs. The underground was bustling with activity.
“I need to use the restroom.”
“Sure thing.”
The makeshift restroom saw a steady stream of people coming and going, with coins piling up in the fee collection box placed next to the entrance. To mitigate noise, a radio app was playing through speakers inside a locked equipment box containing tablets and speakers. Meanwhile, an air composition converter was working overtime inside, deodorizing the air.
Not only the makeshift restroom but also the cardboard rest area I had set up was seeing decent usage—enough that tired explorers from the morning were now napping in rows.
“I’ll have a liter of barley tea, two AA batteries, and a Margherita pizza.”
“Coming right up, sir!”
With a compound bow slung over his back, the bald-headed Oka-san pointed his index finger as he made his request. Despite always ordering a Margherita, he would complain if it was overcooked. Thus, the pizza was usually cooked normally.
“I can’t cook it here, you know. That will be two thousand yen.”
“Oh, and next time, I’ll be taking on a request from a corporation to collect the carapaces of large scarabs. Can you procure a grinder and replacement discs? If possible, make the grinder rechargeable for rental purposes to reduce the load…”
“No rentals. If there’s demand, we can discuss it.”
As Mars hesitated, Oka-san chuckled as if to say, “You don’t get it,” waving his left hand.
“They’re quite sought after, you know! Ask around.”
“Well, we can consider it, but please send your detailed requests via DM to Oka-san’s account on social media. Here are your items.”
Taking the money, I handed over the bottle, batteries, and a steaming Margherita pizza on a paper plate.
“Hehe, you saw my tweets, didn’t you?”
“You’re always at the horse races on weekends, aren’t you?”
“Oops, the internet is a scary place.”
Grinning mischievously, Oka-san said that and left, nibbling on the folded pizza.
“It was a good idea to announce the opening day on social media, just as Tonbo suggested. It increased our users.”
“Right? Convenience is key.”
Of course, although we started using social media, we didn’t make a big deal out of it. We quietly shared information with regulars, avoiding any unnecessary attention from online adventurers and tax authorities.
“What about tools then?”
“We don’t have tool rentals. It would be convenient, but managing rentals and upfront costs…”
“What’s this about tool rentals, Kawashima?”
Looking up at the voice, I saw Abukuma standing there, wearing yellow lace-up boots, a yellow mountain jacket, and a headset with quirky cat ears around her neck.
“Ah, isn’t this cool? It matches with Mars.”
Perhaps sensing my gaze, Abukuma pointed to her cat ear headphones, smiling with her tired eyes.
“I always think, Abukuma san must be a costume designer.”
“Well, you know. Working down here, there’s not much else to look forward to except food and clothing. Since I’m a sniper, I don’t need a lot of protection, so my clothing isn’t restricted.”
With that, she swayed the moss-green crossbow on her back. While many women in dungeons spend time and money on clothes, her ability to match her crossbow’s color with her outfit is impressive. I wonder how many she has at home…
“Anyway, tool rentals sound good. Let’s do it!”
“Yeah, but is there demand?”
“Absolutely. Tools are heavy, batteries die, blades and bits break—it’s tough.”
“For example, what kind of tools would be good if you could rent them?”
“Well, definitely a hammer drill, a reciprocating saw, and a grinder… Oh, and I absolutely need a floodlight too!”
“I see, you need various tools…”
As I made notes on my smartphone, a response came from beside me.
“Yeah, that’s right. Tools can be a real deadweight, so I’m struggling with it.”
While saying this, Kimu-san, wearing a balaclava, leaned over between me and Abukuma-san, scratching his neck and placing a 500 yen coin on the table.
“Black and two cigarettes, please. Also, besides tools, it might be nice to have something that can be used for water or electronic device charging.”
“I see…”
As Kimu handed over the items, he said with a cigarette in his mouth, “Actually, just having you sell these goods for us is already a big help. Well, just think about it,” before heading towards the ashtray.
“Indeed, it would be super convenient to have access to water. Oh, I know! Kawashima-kun, do you buy materials? Adventurers sometimes end up with too much loot to carry, you know?”
“Well, that’s a bit… I’m not very good at appraising…”
Although I had discussed buying monster materials with Mars before, we lacked the expertise to assess their quality and were wary of potential complications, so we decided against it.
“Hmm… Oh, wait a moment!”
Abukuma-san, who had been pondering with her hand on her chin, said that and then returned to her companions without buying anything.
“I wonder what’s up with her?”
“Maybe she forgot her wallet?”
As Mars and I discussed this, she returned carrying what seemed like a heavy garbage bag and handed it to me.
“Kawashima-kun, this is for you.”
“Huh? What’s this?”
“It’s meat from a moss lizard.”
Now that she mentioned it, the contents of the white garbage bag did indeed appear reddish-black. Moss lizards were large lizards about a meter and a half long that appeared in the area of the Kemu-san Dungeon called the A Base.
“But isn’t this something you could sell?”
“It’s not sellable, so I’m giving it to you. Moss lizard meat is delicious, but once it’s been dead for about six hours, even if it’s frozen, it becomes too smelly to eat.”
“I see…”
“But if you put it in your item box, you can stop the time, right? Try cooking it when you get home. I recommend making cutlets.”
“Oh, I see… Thank you.”
So even items that other merchants couldn’t touch might be manageable for me.
“If you could find buyers for those kinds of items, Kawashima-kun could make a profit, and so could we. It’s a win-win, isn’t it?”
“Indeed, it is. Thank you, sis. I’ll study a bit more with Tonbo.”
“Yeah, sure thing.”
Abukuma-san nodded satisfactorily and then turned on her heel.
“Oh, I forgot to buy something… I’ll take some Western sweets, please.”
And just like that, she quickly returned.


“What’s wrong?”
It happened after we returned home from the Kemu-san Dungeon and warmed up by the kotatsu we finally bought with the money we earned. I rubbed my cold feet together in the drafty kitchen and tilted my head. Today, I was sure I had received lizard meat in the dungeon, which I had put into the junkyard, but now it was nowhere to be found.
“Maybe I forgot to set the KEEP setting. The lizard meat is missing…”
“Huh!? What about dinner then?”
“Sorry, sorry. Would cup noodles be okay?”
“Fine, but… make mine the large seafood one, okay?”
Mars, sitting on the child-sized kotatsu chair and eating a mandarin orange, was pouting, but there was nothing to be done about what wasn’t there. I decided to blame it on a cooking mishap and heat up the cup noodles I bought from the junkyard before returning to the kotatsu.
“So, what was swapped out?”
“Just a moment…”
I took out the unfamiliar black object from the junkyard and placed it on the kotatsu table.
“What’s this? Is it a personal terminal?”
“No, this is…”
I picked it up and instinctively opened it vertically. Inside were two screens lined up, with a slide pad and control buttons beside them. As I suspected, it was a foldable gaming device. It resembled the one I used back home, a product of a Japanese manufacturer, but this seemed entirely different despite the visual similarities.
“It’s a gaming device.”
“With a controller, huh? You could play with Tonbo on this.”
I pressed the power button, which happened to be in the same spot as the one I always used, and the gaming device booted up with a cheerful startup sound.
“Huh? It’s in Japanese.”
“Oh, is it from Japan? We never had Japanese items swapped before, right?”
“Yeah, you’re right.”
The user interface resembled closely to the handheld gaming device I used. I opened the settings, wondering if there was information about the owner stored inside.
The settings screen displayed a deformed avatar moving around lively, and beside it, in the user name section, it read “[Kawashima Tonbo].”
As soon as I uttered those words, there was a “shoop” sound. I instinctively checked my phone, thinking it was a notification, but there was nothing displayed.
Another “shoop” sound came from the gaming device. The sound was coming from the device’s speaker. I touched the shaking envelope icon in the middle of the screen, and a messaging app-like interface popped up within the gaming device. A speech bubble appeared saying, “[Tonbo?]” followed by another bubble below it saying, “[You’re still alive?]”
“Huh? What…? Why is my name…?”
“Hey Tonbo, maybe this gaming device was originally yours?”
“No, that’s not possible… I don’t own something like this.”
Once again, the gaming device emitted a “shoop” sound. The shaking envelope icon appeared on the screen again, and then “shoop shoop” sounds continued, eventually blending into a continuous noise.
“Tonbo, let’s try opening other messages.”
Before I could respond, Mars pressed the screen with his paw.
“[Tonbo leader!? Where are you now?]”
Another message screen briefly appeared, but it was quickly overwritten by a flood of messages, making it impossible to read further.
“We won’t be able to do anything until this settles down.”
“I can’t calm down at all.”

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2 thoughts on “The Straw Millionaire, the Cat, and the Princess Volume 1 Chapter 3 part 1”

  1. Thanks, for the chapter.

    Um, bro Chapter 2 part 5 is inaccessible from Novel Update.
    When You click V1 Ch 2 Part 5, it brought you to Ch 1 Part 5 instead

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