I've known the dwarves for quite some time.
What was the first time?
Oh yeah, I had them help me build a magic steamship.
Since then, I've borrowed their skills every time I've needed to build something that requires a fine metal structure.
It seems that the dwarves are a sub-species that originally originated from the demon race and branched off from there.
However, their physical characteristics do not resemble those of the demon race; their skin is white, their height is short on average, and their bodies are generally thick.
They were stocky and plump.
It seems that all of this is due to the underground life that they have instituted, and the underground space is expanding as holes are dug in every direction for the purpose of mining ores in the Dwarven Empire that stretches underground.
It was me who was interrupting such an underground dwarven empire.
* * * *
'Welcome, welcome, Saint! You are welcome!
The one who welcomes me with open arms is Master Edward, who is apparently the representative of the dwarf tribe and the king of the Dwarf Underground Empire here.
In other words, the welcome from the chief himself makes me feel scared inside.
I'm sure you're not going to be able to get away with it.
''What do you mean? Now Saints are the best guests in our underground empire! I'll give you the best possible hospitality.
You're treating me like a VIP?
I don't know why, I don't remember placing a number of large orders like that.......?
'And you're a saint? What can I do for you now?
The king of the dwarves asks me with some kind of flirtatious look on his face.
No, Mr. Edward is in a position to call himself the king of the dwarves in his role, but he doesn't call him king, he lets him call him master.
I wonder if it's an artisanal obsession?
'....Yes, actually, I have something I'd like you to make for the dwarf.
Of course! Speaking of things to us dwarves, we make things! It's not like those elves are kneading the earth!
As usual, the rivalry with the elves is tremendous.
Is this due to tribal rivalry? Or is it a personal vendetta?
And what shall we make of it? I'm sure His Holiness is planning something on a much larger scale than we can ever imagine!
I want you to make me a ring.
When I told him what I wanted, Edward-san's tension visibly dropped........
'A ring, huh...'
Why do you look like you've been shrugged off?
A child when your birthday present was an encyclopedia?
'Oh, no, it's fine. Even if it's a ring. ...................but a ring? How ordinary for a saint...?
Hide your disappointment in front of your guests.
Apparently, Mr. Edward thought I was ordering the production of something outlandish and bizarre that he had never seen before.
That's what he expected (hoped?). The order for the ring was all too common, contrary to the
"...well, rings are the most common job that dwarves receive.
Is that so?
''The unit price is cheap because of the small size, and we get orders every day from the demon tribe. It's just the right job for me to have half a dozen people take the place.''
The feeling of disappointment that comes from receiving such a commonplace, mindless order from me is seemingly endless.
"No, no! Still, it's an order from a superior customer! No matter how crappy it is, I'll finish it with all my heart and soul!
'I'm not being sincere when I say 'crappy'.
'Shall I ask someone else for help?' I thought about it, but I used to just ask for advice.
I want to buy a ring for my wife. And I want to get her two rings as a set, along with something I'm going to wear myself.
'A gift for your wife? The ring?
What is it?
No, it's an unusual use for a piece of furniture.
Huh? How rare is this?
And in our universe?
Even if it doesn't have the look of a wedding ring, isn't it normal for a man to give a woman a gift?
And isn't a ring the most essential gift?
"Mostly for myself. Most of them are for me, and they require extreme tune-up to win the battle.
What does this world need from the ring?
The culture gap is becoming more and more apparent.
Oh, well, I brought my materials, so that'll do.
Edward-san stopped breathing for a moment as he saw the mana metal ingot on the desk.
''It's okay ... isn't it?''
Duh! I'm fine! This master of the Dwarf Underground Empire, Edward, you didn't stop your heart and lungs early and often!
Normally, if you stop your heart even once, you're out of luck.
But since we can't ask you to come to a dwarf country so far away this time, please try not to have a cardiopulmonary arrest!
''Well, a small amount of mana metal, just enough to make a ring, won't freak me out now. Don't lick the dwarf master!
It's crazy to die at the mere sight of a chunk of metal.
Does mana metal have a special effect on dwarves, just as silver bullets can kill a werewolf?
Well then, let's get right down to business, shall we? Before we start making rings, let's hear the details from our saint.
It's an interview to ask what kind of ring we want to make.
Based on the answers we receive, we try to create a product that satisfies the customer, which is the most natural process for a craftsman.
"We'll use manna metal as the material. We have to measure the finger size of the person who will wear it next...
Don't worry, that's already done.
I told him the size of Prathi's ring finger, which I had measured in advance.
And mine, too.
It's all right. Okay, now let's see if we can decide on a ring design.
Yes, that's what I've been waiting for!
I wonder how many hundreds of years the dwarves have studied the artistic designs that I can't handle myself, while taking over!
Please share that wisdom with me!
Let me show you how it's done.
Master Edward, ordered a young man who looked like a subordinate or apprentice to bring out some kind of thin, flat wooden box.
When I opened the lid, I found a lot of rings inside.
''What's this great!''
Each of the numerous rings had a thousand different and unique shapes.
I'm sure you'll find a lot of people who are interested. The ring sample box contains sample designs of masterpieces created by dwarven ringmakers. Customers who place an order can choose the design of their choice from these samples.
The rings in the box are just samples and the material is brass. I can't say they are expensive, but the designs are all first class without exception.
The fine carvings, and even the shape of the rings themselves are original....
I took a look at these countless sample rings.........
Isn't it too flashy?
Yes, I thought.
All of them are too elaborate in their design, or perhaps too big and cluttered for that.
It's a ring that looks like something some kind of queen or something would wear.
It seems to be decorated with a lot of queen empresses with names like Elisabeth, Ekaterina, Elitica and so on.
If you put this ring on your index finger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger, it might work as a mechanic's sack.
Wedding rings are for everyday use. It would be better to keep it simple so that it doesn't get in the way of your daily work...
"What are you going to do with a simple ring design?
I don't want to be told that kind of 'I never thought I'd be able to say that'.
You know, how are you supposed to go about your daily work with a ring that covers the first joint of your finger like this?
Once again, you're overconfident in your skills.
''What's that voice?!''
I turned around to see who was talking and saw a brown-eared, immensely beautiful woman standing at the entrance.
Its physical characteristics are definitely elves.
An Elvish Elf, isn't it?
What are you doing here? You were supposed to be here for the rest of the farm!
'I heard the saint was going to the dwarves and I knew this was going to happen. It was a no-brainer!
Edward-san is frightened by Elon's pointing at him.
Both of these guys are still like this.
'It was a saint who gave me the opportunity to pursue the beauty of nature in the first place! Did you think that he would be misled by the deliberate artifice and beauty of your dwarves!
"And that's why your saint gave us the ring...?
'The beauty that is stripped away all the waste and left in the end. That's the beauty of nature! Farthest from your style of adding a lot of stuff gobbledygook! You can't satisfy a saint with that stuff!
No, I like fancy stuff too, I do.
The conversation was about to get more and more complicated as the two men stepped together, trying to get them to fight the art debate at any opportunity.