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After a while, Sunny and Effie returned to his home — just in time to receive the delivery of the refrigerator. Two tall and broad-shouldered store workers unloaded it from the cargo hold of their delivery vehicle and placed the big box down with a bit of strain. After that, one of them smiled and asked:

"Good day. Where should we put it?"

Sunny waved a hand.

"Ah, no need. I'll do it myself."

The loaders looked at him doubtfully, then simply shrugged and left after getting his signature.

After the vehicle drove off, Sunny looked around, then easily lifted the heavy box and carried it inside the house without any effort whatsoever.

Soon, the refrigerator was standing in the place where his old one used to be, the synthwood panels covering its doors blending in with the minimalist design of the kitchen. Effie and Sunny stared at it for a while, satisfied. Then, he said:

"I like it… a lot. "

Effie smiled.

"Yeah. Really ties the whole room together… doesn't it? Well, in any case, I hope you won't break it again."

After that, she yawned and said in a tired voice:

"Ugh… I'm beat. Time to retire to the Dream Realm. What about you?"

Sunny thought for a few moments. Suddenly, a wide smile appeared on his face.

"I have an errand to run, but after that, I am going in, too. Oh… wait. Where are going to sleep?"

Effie shrugged.

"Your guest room, where else?

He blinked.

"Don't you need a sleeping pod?"

The former huntress giggled.

"I have one. In your guest room. What? Why are you staring at me like that? Was I supposed to shuffle between the Academy and your comatose body every day?"

Sunny lingered for a bit, then sighed.

"Make sense. I guess I should have put one there, to begin with. What are the chances of me having mundane humans as guests?"

Then, he waved Effie goodbye and headed for the door as she turned her wheelchair around and rolled toward the guest bedroom.

He was very excited about what he was going to do.

***

Some time later, Sunny was in a beautifully lit store, pushing a shopping cart forward and slowly filling it to the brim with all kinds of food, as well as some other things. He was quietly whistling a cheerful tune, imagining all this stuff going into his new fridge.

The contents of the cart would have cost more than he could ever dream to make, back when he had been living in the outskirts. But now, he could not only afford it, but even do so without having to count his money or feel apprehensive about the cost. He could just… buy as much he wanted, of any quality that he wanted, and bring it back home... his own home.

Life had changed so much.

After a while, he felt as though he got enough. Now that he had the Covetous Coffer, he could not only bring soul shards out of the Dream Realm… but also bring stuff from the real world to the Chained Isles! That meant so much… an unlimited amount of spices, all kinds of snacks to make the long days of exploring less dreadful, various little things to make himself more comfortable.

Hell, if he wanted to, he could even bring a tent and sleep in it like a king!

'Incredible… oh, this is simply incredible!'

Of course, not all of these things could be bought in a general store. But he could visit other places or simply order stuff on the network.

As he was heading for the registers, a familiar voice suddenly pulled him out of his thoughts.

"...Mom! Can we get ice cream?"

Sunny froze for a moment, then slowly turned his head and looked to his left, down a long aisle he was passing.

There, a pale girl of around fourteen years was standing near a tall, graceful woman in her forties. An eight-year-old boy with blonde hair and a bright smile was pushing a tub of ice cream into her hands.

Sunny watched Rain and her family for a few moments, then turned away and continued on his way, leaving them behind. A quiet sigh escaped from his lips.

'At least she's doing fine. Well, of course she is. I've only been gone for a month. Why would anything happen simply because I wasn't here?'

He reached the register, then hesitated for a bit, and turned back.

…When he returned, there were several tubs of delicious ice cream added to his cart.

***

As the light of dawn shined on the Chained Isles, Sunny appeared on the Altar Island of the Sanctuary of Noctis. He stared at the sky, grimaced at the absence of the moon, and headed toward his room.

Some time later, though, he emerged from there with a peculiar wooden box following him with the help of eight small iron legs. With the Covetous Coffer in tow, Sunny walked into the garden, found a familiar rock, lifted the toothy box, and carefully placed it near himself.

Then, he took out a single soul shard and put it where everyone could see.

Soon, one of the Awakened noticed him and approached.

"Ah, Sunny! You're back? Looking to sell some shards again?"

Sunny smiled.

"Oh… yes, sure. But hey! That's not all. Brilliant Emporium has some new merchandise!"

The Awakened looked at him with doubt, then asked:

"Really? Like what?"

Sunny's grin grew wider.

"How lucky that you happened to ask! Let's see…"

He put his hand inside the coffer, which then somehow disappeared into the comparatively small box up to the shoulder. Then, Sunny began taking out various items, speaking as he did so:

"What do I have in store? Take a look for yourself… toothpaste! Soft, clean underwear! Salt, pepper, and all kinds of spices! Personal hygiene products! Are you a woman? No? Have a female friend, then? What, really? Well, with the stuff I have here, that can be fixed. Oh, what is this? Would you look at that…"

As more and more people gathered and stared at the absolutely mundane, but precious items that almost none of them had access to in the Dream Realm with something resembling lust in their eyes, Sunny's own gleamed with greed.

"By the way, Brilliant Emporium is also proud to announce the opening of a conveyance service… want our dedicated staff to bring something specific from the real world? No problem! Want to send something to the real world instead? That's not a problem, either. For just a small commission…"

'I am going to get rich. So, so rich!'

Yes, soul shards were a rare commodity in the real world.

But a good pair of underpants in the Dream Realm was, perhaps, even more valuable…