Earth with Dungeon: Saving the World with an Economic Boom - Chapter 30.1
Chapter 30.1. Pre-Market Preparations
As the clear blue sky stretched out, signaling the approaching end of the rainy season, Sakimori squinted in the sunlight and observed the scene below.
The window glass was either cracked or nonexistent, and the dilapidated building was so dirty and lacking in transparency that it seemed like a ruin. Inside, dust had accumulated, black stains remained, and chairs and business desks were scattered haphazardly, reminiscent of a chaotic past. Some houses had burned down in past fires, leaving only charred and partially broken pillars, while others, even if still standing, it’s lacked entrance doors. Weeds overgrew the floor, making it hard to distinguish between the floor and the ground.
Convenience stores and other stores are empty, with only stainless steel shelves stacked on each other.
Occasionally, rats would appear, scurrying around, and insects in the grass. In the shadows, the glowing eyes of demons can be seen. No one would believe that this is the Tokyo of old when they see this scene. Few people remained who remembered what it looked like before the appearance of the dungeons.
Standing on the rooftop of the abandoned building, Sakimori smiled and descended with a casual air. The reason he had been on the rooftop was, of course, because he was a hardened old man. A hardened old man standing on the rooftop, looking at the collapsed cityscape—it was a classic hardboiled image.
“Well, it would be nice if things could change even a little.”
They were about to construct a market. It would surely become something interesting.
[Don’t worry, it’s something you thought of, Sakimori-san.]
“Unfounded trust is not reliable, you know.”
[I believe you will show us the basis for that trust.]
“The order is backward, Shizuku-san.”
Floating gently and smiling mischievously, Shizuku exchanged banter while descending from the rooftop. Unlike the desolate ruins visible from outside, a different scene awaited them.
Energetic people were busy working. They had gathered in the ruins of the former train station building.
“Do we need to take these shelves?”
“Are these banners good enough?”
“Do we arrange the products? Or leave them as they are?”
People cleaned the dirty walls of the stores, swept away the dust inside with brooms, and diligently wiped with rags. They carried the fallen shelves outside. Everyone worked with smiles, driven by the goal of creating a market.
Amidst the arrival of early summer, they sweated from the heat, happy and joyful.
“Ooki, please take care of these shelves.”
“Can you move this desk too?”
“Clear away the abandoned car.”
“I’m not Ooki, and I can’t move the car myself!”
There is a certain large man who was being bossed around by everyone. But there was no need to worry. I knew that Shingen had assigned him a tough task as punishment for the Stampede incident. He’s been given quite challenging work, but surprisingly, he has the stamina for it. I wonder what skills he possesses.
I felt somewhat delighted to see the liveliness in this abandoned city. By chance, we found a core store inside this shop, so we decided to make it the starting point for the market. It’s located conveniently between the Shingen Community and my building, so we are hastily constructing it as our base.
“Hey, Sakimori. The market is progressing smoothly.”
“If it’s an indoor market, we’ll be fine even if it rains. It’s great to see the progress.”
Today Shingen, wearing a construction supervisor’s helmet, raised his hand to greet me. I returned the greeting and felt pleased with the smooth construction.
Originally, it was a huge train station building. Abandoned rusty tracks where trains no longer arrive, and the multi-layered giant station building, with barricades as a reminder of past chaos.
Until recently, it was an extremely dangerous place with vicious monsters lurking in many hiding spots and deep corridors.
Currently, armed subordinates and shadow tigers are patrolling the area, rooting them out and sweeping them away, trying to ensure their safety. The station building is a large site, just right for a market.
“Now, are the goods ready?”
As I walked, observing the cleaned shops, still in my usual black attire.
“Good morning, President-san.”
“Today, we have suimono soup.”
People around me greeted me as I casually waved my hand while walking. When I arrived at the area designated as a warehouse, there were stacked cardboard boxes, and people were checking their contents.
They were thin vegetables: withered Chinese cabbage and cabbage, carrots that could be mistaken for burdock, and daikon radishes. I hope they remove the mysterious smoked meat from the lineup.
There was a considerable amount of food for an abandoned town. Standing beside them, wagging her tail, was Nekomusume.
“Oh, you came, Sakimori-nya! Did you see my skills? I bought so many groceries-nya!”
Flaunting her cat ears and waving her hands, Karin said proudly, and I just shrugged my shoulders in response. I had asked Karin to do that, converting all the potatoes into groceries.
“That’s quite a lot. How did you collect so many? Were they the ones that were supposed to get sent to the outer town?”
It was a significant quantity for 240,000 yen. There were almost twice as many cardboard boxes stacked as I had expected. They were all filled with vegetables and salt, I assume.
The quality is poor. In the past, they’d have been considered trash, but now precious goods.
“This one should be thrown vegetables-nya. It’s not a problem to be a little flexible-nyanko.”
“Your choice of words is delicate. Weren’t they originally meant to be sent to the outer town’s bosses?”
There are powerful factions in the outer town. They used to be violent groups with the prefix “ya,” but simple violent groups quickly emerged like mushrooms after rain and replaced them, becoming new factions.
They gather followers like in the Warring States period and establish territories.
They control some of the items flowing out of the inner town. If they don’t get the provisions they were supposed to receive, they will surely react unfavorably.
“There’s a tremendous amount of stuff flowing to the abandoned town, and the planned quantities are all messed up-nya. But I don’t think you should worry too much about it-nyayo.”
I chuckle at the catgirl who says it so simply with her hands folded behind her head.
“I hope that’s the case. It would be troublesome if the market gets disrupted.”
While Karin speaks with ease, I wonder. Those who control the territory of the outer town closest to us might see it as a blow to their reputation or an intrusion on their turf and could cause trouble.
“If it’s just a bunch of punks, we can show them how things work in the abandoned town, but there’s no point in dwelling on it. We can think about it later, right?”
Shingen also speaks casually, peering into the cardboard boxes. Is he of the same opinion as Karin?
“…Yeah, you’re right. Let’s teach them the way of the abandoned town is different from the outer town.”
It shouldn’t be a big deal for those in the outer town, so it should be fine. Am I overthinking it? However, it’s dangerous to be too confident that the abandoned town and the outer town share the same battleground.
“Alright, let’s open the market. Spread the word.”
“Nyahaha. I’m looking forward to it-nya.”
The people working around us are also watching us, so I shrug my shoulders and look around. It’s the first market in the abandoned district. I hope people will gather. Maybe I should increase the number of surveillance black cats, as a precaution. It’s always good to have extra insurance.
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