The next morning, Lakshman, Ondine, Tetra and Emilia went out. They were wearing casual clothes compared to what they usually wore. While going out, they still had their weapons at the ready.
“So where should we go first?” Ondine asked curiously.
“How about we go to the clothes shop first,” Lakshman said.
“Eh?” the girls exclaimed with surprised expressions on their faces.
“I think Ondine and Emilia could do with more clothes. After all, all you have is armour and stuff!” Lakshman said and he looked at them sternly.
“Y-Yes, but clothes… I don’t think we need any right now…” Ondine said and she turned to see Emilia nodding at her.
“No! The two of you need clothes and that’s that! Got it?” Lakshman said firmly and he looked seriously at them.
“Y-Yes…” Ondine and Emilia quickly said with a nod of their heads.
The two of them did not like the idea of spending money unnecessarily. On the other hand, they knew they did not have that many clothes since both were slaves. Emilia had even less clothes than Ondine, but she did not complain feeling it will upset them.
Lakshman, however, knew about all of this. Without them knowing, he had secretly gone through their belongings to check that morning. He was shocked to find only a few pairs of clothes that the girls could wear. That was when he realised the girls had been wearing the same clothes over and over after washing.
So he decided the first thing they will do was to go buy new clothes. He disliked how the girls kept to themselves and never told him about it. From here on, he decided to make sure to keep track of things.
Tetra tugged on his right sleave and asked “Can I also get clothes, master?”
He looked down at her sternly and firmly said “No!”
“Ah?! Why not?!”
“You’re a Sacred Spirit and can easily make your own clothes! So I don’t want to waste money when you already have the ability to do it on your own!”
“Master’s right! So just deal with it, Tetra!” Ondine told her while smiling in satisfaction.
Behind her, Emilia was nodding her head in agreement. Feeling annoying, Tetra shouted “I hate you, master!”
She immediately transformed into her sword form. Sighing in resignation, Lakshman sheathed her in his right side. As a policy, he now carried two swords ever since he mastered duel wielding.
“You’re a lot more proficient using the North Sword Style, master!” Ondine told them cheerfully.
“Yes. It feels a bit complicated, but I’ve grasped the way of using it!” Lakshman said and he nodded at her.
“I want to learn it as well…” Emilia said in a low voice.
“Yes! We’ll all train together!” Lakshman said and they all smiled.
“I won’t!” Tetra told angrily him in his mind.
Hearing her words, he smiled and chuckled.
So they walked over to one of the tall buildings. Upon entered, they were surprised to see a lot of people crowded inside. It made them wonder how the building sustained so many inside. Then they reasoned that is was possibly their imagination due to how the building looked from the outside.
After walking around, they found a set of stairs. They climbed it and reached the next level. Here there were shops seeling various different accessories. Then they climbed another flight of steps and arrived at a floor selling clothes.
“Go ahead and select whatever you like,” Lakshman told the girls.
“Yes, but I think we need to what we buy. We don’t want to overspend the gold!” Ondine said.
“That’s right! We just earned all that and we could use it for something more useful!” Emilia said.
Lakshman sighed and walked away to sit on a bench.
The fact was that they only had fifteen-hundred gold in hand. It was stashed away in the Item Box which Lakshman had in his pocket. After the shopping was over, he knew they have to work harder to earn the five-thousand again.
“Oh well… It’s better than feeling bored,” Lakshman muttered as he watched the girls happily chatting while comparing dresses they picked.
The owner of the clothes store came over and showed them a few. Ondine and Emilia seemed to like it, but the price put them off. So he directed them to the simple and cheap clothes section of the shop.
After choosing one each, they walked into the changing rooms. Lakshman watched them go in and then closed his eyes. He began to feel the flow of energy surrounding him. He was doing this to make sure there was nothing like sneak photos taken of the girls.
While the girls were getting ready, Darian had said “Remember, Lakshman! Some shops use a secretly placed Magic Lens to take photos of people changing. You won’t know until they start bribing you. They usually threaten to expose them to public if you don’t listen to them.”
Lakshman was disgusted to hear such a method, but it made him become aware of the possibility. So he used his improved sensing ability to feel the flow of energy. It helped him get a contrast view of the surroundings and ensure nothing was happening.
A minute later, the girls reappeared from the changing rooms. Sensing this, Lakshman immediately opened his eyes and looked in their direction.
“How I look, master?” Ondine and Emilia asked him as they walked over to him.
Lakshman was amazed at seeing them. The dress they wore was simple, but it somehow made the girls look really beautiful. It made them so attractive that he wondered if they really were Ondine and Emilia.
“T-They look good!” Lakshman told them brightly.
While smiling happily, they went back to select a few more to try. Then they changed and came back. Each time they did, Lakshman was lost for words. Whichever they tried, they simply looked beautiful.
“How the heck did I miss them being so beautiful?” Lakshman had thought as the girls choose which ones to buy.
He heard Tetra sigh in his mind and say “It took a change of clothes to make you aware of their beauty, master?”
“W-Well… You know I never really take notice of those kinds of things up until now…”
Hearing that, Lakshman chuckled with a smile on his face.
With their selection completed, Lakshman rose to his feet and walked over to them. The girls had chosen four pairs clothes that fit them nicely. The totalled the sum of the clothes cost which was three-hundred gold.
Lakshman opened the Item Box and said “Three-hundred gold.”
In an instant, gold coins began flowing out. They flew through the air and neatly stacked on the counter.
The store owner nodded in satisfaction and said “Thank you for your purchase! I hope you have a good day and I wish to see you again!”
Lakshman placed the clothes into the box after the purchase was done. He then got it to transform back to being small before pocketing it. Then they left the building feeling very cheerful.
“Where to now?” Lakshman asked curiously.
Ondine and Emilia looked at each other for a moment. Then they nodded as if they came to a wordless decision.
“We would like to buy new equipment!” Ondine and Emilia told him at the same time.
“E-Eh?” New equipment? Do you mean the stuff like armour and such?” Lakshman asked them in a surprised voice. When they nodded, he asked “Why?”
“Well… The fact is, our current equipment needs improving. We’ve gotten strong and that’s why…” Ondine said and she sounded a little weak.
“Oh…” Lakshman said when he suddenly realised what she meant.
They have been fighting for so long that he did not realise. Their equipment are rusting and are damaged. Even their swords needs repairs or replacements.
Lakshman nodded in understanding. So far, he only had been thinking the girls were doing great, but he realised. It seemed that their equipment were not in full shape to handle the kind of battles they want to do.
Thinking of how silly he was to not realise such an obvious thing, he began to think.
“The girls will get new armour and swords, but would that be enough to help them? Wouldn’t stuff like accessories that enhances their skills or strength or whatever else be useful?”
At that moment, Tetra asked him in his mind “Accessories like that will be sold at high price. Why not enhance their training by making them train like you, master?”
“Maybe, but I don’t think they can handle that kind of training. It was already difficult enough for me, but for them it will be too much! That kind of pressure is something that only a few can handle!”
“Are you underestimating them, master?”
“No! I’m thinking realistically here! I don’t want to make them go through that kind of pressure when I can clearly see that they would not survive it! Besides, Emilia is still an Advanced ranked warrior. I’ll need to start pushing her to reach the higher ranks soon!”
“Right now you sound like a teacher…” Tetra said with a small chuckle.
“Really? Maybe I should become a teacher in the future. I could help a lot of people by passing on my knowledge and all!”
“Keep dreaming, master.”
At her words, Lakshman burst out laughing. It surprised Ondine and Emilia. For a moment, they thought that he found their request to be a joke.
“W-What’s the matter, master?” Emilia asked nervously.
“Oh? Nothing!” Lakshman said as he straightened up. Then he looked at them with a grin on his face and said “Okay! Let’s go and buy your new equipment!”
“Really?! Thank you very much, master!” the two of them said happily.
The next instance, they came closer to him and kissed him on the cheeks which surprised him. He heard Tetra make an angry noise in his mind and realised he will be in trouble later on.
Afterwards, they walked over to the building where they were seeling battle equipment. Inside it, they found rows and rows of different kinds of armours at different prices. Stacked on shelves were accessories with magic properties. Additionally, there were swords stacked nearly against walls.
“Um…” the two girls said uncertainly when they looked around.
Seeing their hesitation, Lakshman gave them a slight push from behind and said “Go and select the ones you want to purchase.”
“You sure? They all seem pricy,” Ondine asked and Lakshman nodded.
“Anything for my comrades!” Lakshman said and the girls smiled brightly.
As they went off, Lakshman heard Tetra speak to him severely.
“Master… Are you, by any chance, trying to make a good impression on them?”
Lakshman became surprised and thought “Huh? What’s that supposed to mean?”
“Well… It’s just that you’ve been acting a lot more friendly and closely to us. So I was wondered whether you’re becoming a man or not…”
“Really, Tetra? What did you think I was up until now?”
“Um… A dense idiot…”
He almost stumbled from the shock of hearing those words. At the same time, he knew that was the truth. For all this time, he had ignored how beautiful the girls looked up until now. He wondered whether his feelings and emotions were whacked out or something.
Lakshman suddenly made a sound of alarm and he looked around. There were only people browsing the shelves of accessories. For some reason, he felt a dangerous aura flitting around. He continued to look, but he could not see anyone suspicious.
Feeling a little bit on high alert, he moved over to stand with Ondine and Emilia. They did not mind as they browsed through the swords. Ondine was explaining a few things on how the quality, the feel and the performance of the sword affects a battle.
At that moment, he heard Tetra say “Master… This feeling…”
“I know, but where… It’s like surrounding us in all directions…!” Lakshman thought as he threw covert glances.
Lakshman was certain about the feeling. He had sensed this power before, at the time a few weeks ago when people were being hunted. It was the time that he first appeared as the Sacred Armoured Phoenix Titan.
Just then, he felt a dangerous glare aimed in his direction. He turned his head and looked. There, standing with a menacing grin on his face, was a man. He had spiky black hair and a wildness in his eyes. That man was also the one that Lakshman fought back then.