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

Four days after making the arrangements, Mars and I rode in Abukuma-san’s light car to Kawasaki. We had already finished purchasing electric tools and equipment, and now we were on our way to a super-sized members-only supermarket.
“But it feels weird when procurement agents aren’t in yellow.”
“How many times have you said that today? We don’t wear that stuff outside of dungeons.”
Abukuma-san repeatedly commented while looking at me, who was wearing a fast fashion brand blouson bought specifically for today, rather than the usual yellow barrier cloth. She, on the other hand, was dressed in a sophisticated outfit that seemed expensive, and she had done makeup that likely cost a lot. Adventurers do seem to make good money.
“And you know, Costco’s huge brownies are delicious.”
“I’ll leave all sweets to Abukuma-san… Just put whatever you want in the basket…”
“Oh, really? Buying food from Costco without worrying about finishing it or expiration dates is the best.”
While Abukuma-san and I were talking, Mars was curled up and sleeping in the back seat. He had been into gourmet dramas lately and had probably been watching them until morning today.
“By the way, Kawashima-kun, are you from Chiba?”
“Yes, I came here for university.”
“Lucky you. I’m from the boonies. If I were born in Chiba, my life would have been completely different.”
“Chiba is also rural.”
“Not at all. Chiba have direct-run stores of famous brands, and you can easily get to Tokyo.”
While waiting at a red light, Abukuma-san sighed.
“Living in the countryside means having nothing—no money, nothing interesting. I worked locally after high school, but in the end, I quit and came here.”
“But you’ve become successful as an adventurer.”
“Successful, huh? Does it look that way?”
When I answered, Abukuma-san looked ahead for a while, pondering. Once the car started moving again, she began speaking.
“True, if the me from high school saw my current self, she might think I’m successful. But being an adventurer is like… anyone can do it as long as they’re willing to risk their life, and luck is on their side. It’s like doing deliveries on a broken bike without brakes.”

scene transition

“Is that so?”
“That’s how it is. If I knew there was only this yakuza-like job that I can only do, I might have stayed in my hometown…”
Abukuma-san said this while operating the turn signal and continued, turning the steering wheel.
“Even so, I might have still come out even if I knew. I didn’t want to stay in the countryside.”
“Was there something in your hometown?”
“Well, various things.”
She said that with a grin.
“How about you, Kawashima-kun? How’s university? Will you graduate properly?”
“Well, for now…”
“Make sure to graduate. You don’t want to become an adventurer, right?”
“Well, I already have become one…”
A somewhat difficult-to-react-to joke.
Inside, adventurers were generally reliable people, or rather, those who weren’t usually died or retired due to injuries. I had learned that the job had the potential for dreams—earning a yearly income of 30 million yen in their twenties by hunting big monsters and partnering with companies. However, especially in Tokyo, the societal perception was strong, and adventurers were often viewed as armed criminals in waiting.
“You’re not really putting your heart into it, are you? Besides, if you keep saying that, your parents will cry, you know? It’s not too late to become an adventurer even after striking out in society.”
I could only respond to Abukuma-san’s words, which lacked any hint of a smile, with vague words like “Huh” or “Well.” She probably had various experiences before becoming an adventurer…
“Well, when you handle it, you seem to do it properly, so there’s probably no need to worry too much. If you have an item box, there seem to be plenty of ways to earn.”
” ………… “
“… Well, if you can’t think of anything, there’s no point in saying it…” Silence filled the car for a while, interrupted only when we stopped at the nth red light, and then Abukuma-san spoke up.
“…Someday, Kawashima-kun, when you rise in the world and become the president, you should take care of me too… like, that kind of thing…”
“Sure, no problem.”
“I mean, I don’t know when it will happen, but if there’s something that would make me the president…”
“No, no, I was just joking! It’s not good, Kawashima-kun, to say that to everyone, or else you’ll end up having even your butt hairs plucked.”
Abukuma-san said with a laugh, then muttered almost inaudibly, “But, thank you,” before driving the car onto the road when the light turned green.
In the end, whether those words were a joke or serious, she didn’t continue that conversation for the rest of the day. We packed up the disgustingly large amount of snacks we bought at Costco into the trunk and headed home.
Mars, who had slept on the way there, had his fill of the famous hot dogs at the store and slept all the way home too.





In the bitterly cold mid-February, with the business of being a procurement agent and the rental service for tools bought at the home center that Abukuma-san took me to, along with the two university tests a year as a student, and the part-time job at the pizza place, my life was too busy to play games.
However, the situation at the bottom of the area where the business was located… was much more difficult than my personal situation.
“I need to use the bathroom.”
The five portable toilets had people constantly coming in and out, and the fee collection box placed next to the entrance had to be enlarged compared to last month. Not only the toilets, but also the cardboard rest areas were in a state of competition for space, with tired adventurers packed in like sardines, sleeping as if dead.
Last month, there had been plenty of space in the plaza, but now it was crowded with countless people checking their equipment, dismembering and draining blood from their prey, chatting and exchanging information. Of course, our shop was booming in such a situation.
“Twelve onigiri and four bottles of oolong tea.”
“That’ll be 3,200 yen.”
“Oh, and do you have any rope?”
“We have paracord.”
“Do you sell it by the meter?”
“Then, ten meters of that…”
“Okay, that’ll be 4,200 yen.”
“Oh, wait a minute…”
As I, the first person to sell something here, said that, Yoshida-san, wearing a plate carrier and glasses, took out his wallet… and next to him, a woman holding a thousand yen bill reached out with her hand and said, “I’ll take the charge and a Micro B cable, please,” so I handed her a charging cable instead of money.
“Here’s the money.”
“Thank you. How about the bounty heads? Are you close to finding them?”
“No, it’s tough. It’s said that they’ve escaped pretty far back. The expedition teams are doing their best, but it seems they’re not being found.”
“Please do your best.”
“We’ll do our best.”
“Well, we’re not actively targeting them in the first place. We’d be playing with fire.”
With that, Yoshida-san took the onigiri and tea in both hands and disappeared into the hustle and bustle.
While it could be said that our shop attracted the bustling activity in this Dungeon, in reality, we had nothing to do with it at all. In fact, in the latter half of January, a nearly carbonized corpse was found about five kilometers deep in this plaza. Since monsters capable of wielding such powerful flames were limited, the management association assumed it was a dragon species and put a bounty on them.
The crowded Tokyo Third Dungeon was filled with bounty hunters from all over Tokyo, all seeking the prize money. Alongside those who came for the bounty, there were regulars like Yoshida-san who had been here before.
“Five bento, three meat, and two sushi bento. And cigarettes.”
The nonchalant regular from Kemu-san held up a peace sign as he placed his order.
“That’ll be six thousand one hundred yen.”
“Sure thing.”
The Kemu-san regular’s party consisted of five middle-aged men. Former plumbers, they had become adventurers, armed with water pipes and metal bats, after their company went bankrupt. Despite their humble beginnings, none of them had died so far, indicating their considerable talent.
“Hey, supplier, you always provide warm stuff, but can you also handle ice?”
“Yes, we can.”
“Alright, next time I deliver cowfish liver, could you prepare around ten kilograms?”
“Understood, I’ll procure it for you. Also, do you need tuna belly?”
“You’re on the ball. Dependable, huh?”
The rough-handed Kemu-san regular left some money on the counter, tucked the cigarettes into his breast pocket, and took the bento before leaving. “Dependable,” huh? I had been hearing that a lot for the past two months, but it didn’t feel bad. Although I had been told the same thing at my part-time job, there was something different about hearing it from the people down here, as if it carried a different kind of appreciation.
To have actions I thought about and took directly benefit others and make them rely on me felt oddly fulfilling.
I glanced at my hands on the desk. Compared to others’, they were still pale, thin, and unreliable. But I hoped that they were even slightly connected to those big, impressive hands I saw in my dream. I squeezed them tightly, and it felt like I could hear a voice from beyond my clenched fist.
“Ah, Ano… food? Bread? Rice? Is there any?”
At first, I couldn’t tell where the voice was coming from. It sounded like it came from beyond the desk, but there was no one there. I only saw ears twitching on the desk.
When I stood up from my chair, a bipedal Sabatora cat stood in the shadow of the desk. It was about my navel height, a cat with a pickaxe strapped to its back. Unlike Mars, who claimed to be a Cat Sith but was actually an alien, this one was a genuine Cat Sith.
“Here… food? Frogs, kiita.”
“Ah, okay, you want food?”
“O… okay?”
“Tonbo, he won’t understand even if you speak English. Besides, it’s wrong English,”
Mars said, and the Cat Sith’s eyes sparkled as it raised both hands. He? It talked to Mars in Nyagonyago (cat language), and Mars responded in the same language. It was impressive how the technology could handle Cat Sith language too.
“This little guy wants some food.”
“That’s impressive. Anything he can’t eat?”
“I’ll ask if there are any taboos.”
As Mars spoke Nyagonyago, the Cat Sith responded with Unyaunya. Honestly, I felt like recording this and sending it back home; it was adorable.
“There aren’t any things he can’t eat, but he’s not fond of spicy food. He wants three servings.”
“Then, fried rice?”
As Mars conveyed something, the Cat Sith took out five thousand yen from a bag hanging around its neck and offered it with fingers shaped like a mix between human and cat. I took the five thousand yen, returned fourteen hundred yen in change, and handed over three portions of fried rice with a spoon.
“Here’s your fried rice.”
The Cat Sith was surprised by the warm fried rice but lowered its head in a nod towards me. Then, it lowered its gaze and spoke to Mars, who responded in Nyagonyago.
“What’s up? Is this Mars’s family?”
“No, they’re customers.”
A lady with dark circles under her eyes, carrying a lime green crossbow on her back, approached the group of cats. Abukuma-san seemed intrigued as she listened to the cats’ conversation.
“I’ve seen various people coming to Tonbo-kun recently, but Mars-kun is the first non-human I’ve seen.”
“Oh, I saw a tiger person the other day.”
“How rare! That’s cool!”
Abukuma-san laughed, showing her teeth, and clasped her open fingers in front of her chest. She seemed to be a big fan of cats, as she had mentioned before.
“Oh, Tonbo-kun, you won’t be coming on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays for a while, right?”
“No, I think I’ll be coming almost every day from now on.”
Since the end-of-term exams were over, it was time for spring break. Last year, I spent about a month and a half breaking through a pile of piled-up games, but this year, I’ll probably spend my days earning money in the dungeon like this.
“Oh? Oh, do universities have spring breaks?”
“Universities have really long breaks.”
“Is that so? Then, I’d like to ask you to help me move my luggage next week.”
“Move luggage?”
I often asked someone to procure something for me, but it was the first time I was directly asked to transport goods. Well, leaving luggage with someone else in a dungeon where only necessary items are taken is like entrusting one’s life to someone.
“Our leader really wants to hunt down a bounty.”
“Huh!? Really?”
Abukuma-san’s team is a group of four women who mainly engage in long-range battles and solid hunting, but they were supposed to be treated as mid-level adventurers in eastern regions of Japan. Can they really chase after dragon species…?
“Seriously, Tokyo people wants to solve Tokyo’s problems.”
“But it’s a dragon species, right?”
“Technically, we’ve hunted a three-meter-class fire-breathing lizard before.”
The fire-breathing lizard is not really a dragon without wings… it’s more like a giant salamander that breathes fire. Sometimes, it becomes a leading candidate for the culprit because of its habit of burning its prey to a cinder to regulate its stomach.
“We’re going to set up a camp further ahead and go deeper, so I want you to carry our supplies up to this square.”
“Well, if it’s just that…”
As I was about to express my consent to Abukuma-san, my knee was lightly tapped.
“It’s 10,000 yen per kilogram.”
“Huh? Mars, what about the Cat Sith person from earlier?”
“They left a while ago.”
Abukuma-san pouted at Mars’s words and scratched her chestnut-colored head.
“On the flip side, how much luggage can I ask for if I pay 10,000 yen per kilogram?”
“Sis, you’re our customer. so it’s a good deal. I won’t do the same thing for everyone.”
“Then the negotiation is settled. Can I hand over the luggage on the first Wednesday morning of February?”
“Oh, you can DM me on SNS for details.”
“Roger that.”
Abukuma-san turned her back, tilted her head slightly, then turned back towards us.
“Oh, I forgot, could you get me some donuts?”
“Oh, sure…”
She received several chocolate-covered donuts we had bought from Costco, then finally left. But dragon hunting… I hope it ends without any injuries.
“…Oh, by the way, Mars. What were you talking about with that Cat Sith person earlier?”
“Oh, he asked where I’m from.”
“Oh, just small talk?”
“And also, if I have a girlfriend.”
Was that person female!? Also, Mars, is he unexpectedly popular among cats? Well, can’t say I’m jealous, he’s a cat.
“So, what did you answer?”
“It’s a secret.”
After saying this coolly, Mars continued.
“I don’t really like tall fellow, you know.”
That’s what’s bothering you! While I thought so, I couldn’t quite understand the cat’s sense… And I couldn’t probe further.

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

  1. Thanks for the chapters.

    A minor typo’s spotted
    > “That’s how it is. If I knew there was only this yakuza-like job that I can /onluy/ do, I might have stayed in my hometown…”

    Ah, that reminded me that the translation for the latest chapter of geek mercenary seems to be a little rougher than usual. Might check it back later.

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