Brought to you by The Patrons
Finally, a new chapter~
Mirp is also on high spirit after taking short vacation.
Expect more new chapter(s) in the future~
Episode 33 ~Meeting the Beastkin~
[Well then, I’m goingー]
[Oh, take care.]
Marl waved at me from inside the carriage. She’s wearing her dress armor, with twin mithril short swords hanging around her waist to match her title as the Gale Sword Princess.
I, in my casual clothes, waved back as I sent her off. She’s heading to the Royal Palace. I believed no one in Karendil Kingdom would dare to hurt her unless they wished to incur my wrath. Rather, I believe they’d offer her and Miscronia Kingdom a lot of benefits. That’s why I could send her off alone with confidence.
In the first place, Marl was currently strong enough to defeat a lesser trained Royal Guard, so I didn’t see how anyone in Karendil could hurt her.
I returned to the living room, and sipped on the tea that Maybell brewed.
Today, Marl visited the royal palace to gather intel and negotiate on our future treatment.
The info she’s trying to gather is mainly regarding the Miscronia Kingdom.
There were magical devices that allowed people to communicate long distances, but there were not many of them. Karendil Kingdom happened to have one that could contact Miscronia Kingdom. One could contact the Miscronia Kingdom, or rather the Miscronia royal family, by using this line.
Even if they ended up not giving us permission to use the device, a simple exchange of information, like Miscronia Kingdom’s current situation, should still be possible.
Regarding our future treatment, it’s mostly about the reward for my successes during the great flood.
Actually, the reward may not be handed over right away.
My fame was already spread as wide as it could be. Financially, I could just craft some swords or spears and sell them off.
Now that I had fame and finances secured, what was left were women. I already had Marl, and Flam was a Marl-approved concubine, so I don’t really need more actually. Princess Calinella was a bit too pushy for me.
Of course, as a man, I also want to try the feeling of being embraced by various kinds of women, but if I want to do that, I could just find a high class brothel house and order whatever kind of woman I wanted to sleep with. I had a feeling Marl wouldn’t mind as long as I’m being frank to her about it. Well, she’ll definitely be mad at me. But honestly, I’d still give it a try. Un.
My train of thought had deviated.
For now, I had no particular demand for the reward or treatment, so it’s more of a negotiation for Marl to find out 『how much』Karendil Kingdom was willing to fork out.
Why didn’t I tag along? Because I can already see how I’ll just end up as a figurehead on this kind of matter. Besides, Marl was better equipped to deal with this kind of thing. So I decided to leave this to her.
The marriage between me and Marl once we went to Miscronia should be smoother depending on our 『performance』here, just to make everything solid.
At the moment, our fame should be more than enough, but if Marl’s 『performance』brought benefits to the Miscronia Kingdom, her standing within the Royal family would receive more acknowledgement.
That said, I really had no idea how that actually works.
Mining rights and territory ceding came to mind as a possible reward. But gaining territory doesn’t really interest me at the moment.
Getting title and territory would only make things complicated. As doing so means that I’ve become a noble of Karendil Kingdom.
In the end, Karendil Kingdom was like a company, with the king as the president director, and territory was like a company department. Giving title and territory is like headhunting for a director or section manager, who will then be assigned to a certain department.
I’m going to join Karendil Ltd. (No, probably more of a corporation), but only if they want me to become a boss instead of a subordinate. I want to have an excuse to retain my freedom.
I guess my current position was like a temporary worker.
The company wants me because I was a hyper competent worker. But my relationship with the daughter of their business partner’s boss kinda gave them a snag, especially since using the president’s daughter as a honey trap didn’t work.
If they chose to go the hard forceful way, they risk burning their own company to cinders. Meanwhile, I only want to be paid already. In the end, it’s still their loss.
If they choose to get rid of the business partner’s boss’ daughter, not only they’ll burn their own company down, they’ll also fall into war with the said business partner. Now that I think about it, they really have no way out, do they?
Erm? Marl and I being a pain in the ass, you say? Now that you mention it, there was also Sondark whose position was a middleman between us and the company.
If they dare to treat us sloppily and keep saying unreasonable things, I could just stab Sondark or something.
[I’m going out for a bit.]
For some reason I sensed a hot gaze directed at me from Maybell as I got up from the sofa in the living room. What is it, Maybell? What’s with that blatantly disappointed face? Do you want to step on me that much? I do want to be stepped on by you.
[Un, would you please after the bath tonight?]
What a happy face she had there. Maybell’s beaming smile made me feel warm. But the fact that she’s smiling that way because she gets to step on me kinda made me speechless at the same time.
[…completely awakened to a new fetish?]
Waiting outside the living room was Jack-san, who looked at me with an unusual gaze.
Going through the third wall, I turned my steps to the newly developed city.
Right now I’m dressed in a mithril chain and troll hide armor to make myself look like a common adventurer.
A mithril sword I crafted for gifts hung on my waist. In terms of design, at glance it looks like something you could buy from a streetside shop on Crossroad. It’s to add more detail into my cover.
As a result, I could stroll around the new city without anyone recognizing as the one hero who had become a hot topic recently.
Some passersby did turn around to take a glance at me, but didn’t pay me further attention. Probably thinking that it’s impossible for the famous hero to be strolling around while dressed in plain leather armor like this.
Observing the new city as I went, I noticed that there were many people who evacuated from nearby villages.
The grim air had diminished a lot since Karendil Kingdom officially announced that the great flood had finally ended, and the reconstruction phase finally began.
According to the conversation I heard from the people talking near the street side stall, most of the evacuees were still staying in the capital city Alfen.
There’s still the risk of getting attacked by the surviving monsters, so unless they already got the grasp on the situation of their village, they’d rather choose not to go home.
Now many of them are working as labor workers to accumulate enough money to sustain their living.
Apparently Karendil Kingdom ensured that the evacuees would not be separated from others coming from the same village. And once the reconstruction of the capital was over, they would then move to help reconstruct the villages.
At that point, it’s said that the villagers wouldn’t return to their village on their own, but escorted by soldiers that will also help out with the reconstruction.
In this Great Flood, a particular hero managed to cut the flood short, so it won’t take long before the villagers could return home safely.
During the previous Flood, the reconstruction was delayed due to the great amount of casualties, which in turn forced the evacuees to stay at the capital for a much longer period.
While I listened to such a story, I recalled a certain oldman. I wonder what he’s doing now. Hopefully still smiling while hefting his crossbow to his shoulder.
He said that he’d die defending his village. But I hope that he survived and is among the evacuees now.
Reminded of him, I started to worry. The village name was Vyette, wasn’t it? Alright then.
Judging from the story I heard earlier, if he evacuated, he should be somewhere in this city at the moment.
But this royal capital is large, there is no way to find a single person among the many evacuees from various areas. Since the kingdom was responsible for sorting them out, I might find a clue if I ask Sondark, but it would be awkward to bother him for something like this.
[Welcome to our―― eeeeh!?]
[Oh, I’d like to make a small request.]
I ended up going to Alfen adventurers guild, and registered a request to the receptionist lady, who was shivering in tears for some reason, to find out about the situation in Vyette village.
The reward would be 5 silver coins. The village was close enough to travel on foot, but the journey back and forth would still take a few days, so I put a little extra reward there. The deadline is one week.
Since it’s basically a risk free fetch quest, I believe only newbie adventurers would be willing to take the request.
[About this, isn’t it the village where you came from?]
[Ah, I don’t understand what you’re talking about. It’s not like I have any particular relationship with that village. I’m just curious.]
The receptionist lady nodded in half convinced manner, and issued the request form. Once the administration work is completed, the request will be posted in the hall.
I thanked the receptionist lady and left the adventurers guild.
Now that I think about it again, I could just go there directly. Un, let’s do that.
I went to a less populated alley, and activated the long-range transfer once I made sure that there was no one else around.
It’s really handy to be able to move instantly to any place that I’ve visited before. Saves a lot of trouble I’ve to put up with if I travel normally.
Vyette Village was mostly destroyed.
It might’ve been attacked by way too many monsters. The farmlands were trampled down, and the houses were partially destroyed.
However, there was no sign of battle as far as I could see. Neither corpses of humans nor monsters were around. No, the corpses might’ve been eaten by the monsters.
I took out a mace I forged from Godsilver Metal from my inventory, and walked around the desolate village.
No trace of combat had been found so far, the crops were still thriving on the surviving farmland. Some vegetables, like tomatoes, ended up getting too ripe.
I turned to the wide space where I ate the big hornet alongside the other villagers.
The well in the center of the village square was half buried in debris and dirt. Most of the houses around were also partially destroyed.
As I kept strolling around, I noticed something on the ground.
I recognized it immediately, a broken crossbow.
There was a dark spot on the tiller and broken stock. The bowstring was severed, but the prod was intact.
Had Bison-san met his end here? But there was no trace of battle. But any trace probably went after being trampled repeatedly, and the corpse could be eaten by monsters already.
For now, let’s stash the broken crossbow on my inventory.
I took a look into the partially destroyed houses, but there was nothing worth noting. The lack of money and food in store can be attributed to the evacuation.
Even so, the household goods in this village weren’t all that expensive. It didn’t take a genius to know why the content of the chest was still intact.
The thieves aren’t likely to raid the village while monsters still wander around, and I couldn’t imagine any monster that would actually steal these stuff.
After that, I looked at the farmland, and noticed that there was a trace of it being harvested recently. I wonder what this means.
Was it Karendil soldiers or adventurers who came here to check the situation? But the foot prints said otherwise.
These footprints were made by someone barefooted. There is no way that Karendil soldiers or adventurers would go to this place while barefooted.
Furthermore, the footprint didn’t seem to belong to a human. Somehow, it’s closer to that of paws. But that still doesn’t tell me anything.
[I just don’t get it…]
For now let’s just postpone the decision of whether Bison-san has already died or not.
It’s almost lunchtime, so I settled on one of the still intact houses that faces the village square and looked into my inventory.
[What will I have this timeー]
There were monster parts that can be used as replacement for meats, dried food, and preserved fruits I purchased at the market. In addition to that, I also stored some meat skewers and freshly baked bread just in case I needed something to eat right away.
Other than that were some leftover food. Mainly soup and pot-au-feu stew.
For the time being, I chose to have leftover soup and the grilled lizard meat skewers. After also taking out some water and the freshly baked bread, I started to eat with gusto.
There was no sign of monsters nor other humans. The lunch went on silently and uneventfully.
After detection went to level 5, I could sense living beings from all around me.
I haven’t really tested it to the limit, but right now I could sense any presence as far as 3 km away from me.
The reason why I never tried to test its limit before, was because when I tried using it in the capital, I sensed too many presences that it made me dizzy. Apparently my brain couldn’t handle that amount of information surging all at once.
But I do know that I can narrow down the target, so let’s practice a bit here.
It’s like my senses couldn’t keep up with the rapid rise of the skill level. This is probably the drawback of increasing the skill level too fast with the skill point. I’m not used to the performance.
With that in mind, I practiced to expand the range and to narrow down the target. Within the 3 km range, I actually sensed a human-like presence.
And it’s not only one or two, but eight.
However the direction was a bit strange. It’s coming from the opposite direction from where I and Marl defeated the giant hornet, deeper inside the forest.
I don’t think there is another village in that direction.
These people consisted of a strange combination. They certainly felt human, with subtle differences. And some of them seem to be children.
Although existing, beastkin were rarely seen around Alfen and Crossroad. But eight of them are approaching Vyette right now.
I wasn’t really interested before because at first I thought the beastkin of this world isn’t the kind of mostly human but with cute beast ears look. And Beastkin were rarely seen inside the town anyway.
Now I’ve seen a lot of dwarves, and a fair share of elves. From what I know, most of the beastkin tend to be slaves. The few exceptions would be the catkin who owned the equipment shop on Crossroad.
And I knew now that there are various kinds of beastkins. Some are bipedal animals like the equipment shop owner catkin, while others look like a human with animal ears.
Other than the owner cat, I think I’ve seen a werewolf-like guy inside the city. When I visited the Alfen slave market, I saw many other bipedal cats, and small kobold-like bipedal dogs. There were also bipedal rabbits and minotaur-like bipedal bulls. I’ve also seen cat-eared and rabbit-eared humanoids there. I suppose I’ve seen plenty enough.
The cat-ears and rabbit-ears piqued my interest, but I chose to refrain from buying them because I feel that I’ve to take responsibility for them once I buy them. I have to feed and take care of them properly. Not to mention that I already have Marl and Flam.
At least I think so. Surprisingly, my mind is probably still unconsciously dislike human trafficking business like slavery.
And yet, I’ve done various things now, even killing people.
Ah, I somehow got depressed over a random thought that crossed my mind. Let’s focus on this incoming beastkin.
For the time being, maybe I should prepare some more seats?
After about twenty minutes, the group of beastkins finally arrived near the Vyette Village. Considering that normal human walking speed is about 5km/h, these beastkins are quite fit.
They stopped a few minutes away from the village, and several of them, most likely the adults, preemptively entered the village to look around. They probably smelled me here due to the wind.
I kept sitting on the wooden box I had prepared earlier, and waved my hand at the beastkin who happened to pass by the village square.
The beastkin, this one looks like a werewolf, looked back at me in fear and immediately made a retreat.
Detection allowed me to sense what the beastkins are doing in real time. It seemed that they’re discussing something.
Probably came to a decision, the five adults came to the square. The other two beastkin children seemed to be waiting somewhere that is not visible directly from the square.
They wore rather crude leather armor that protected only the key body parts. They also carried weapons such as swords and spears.
One of them hadn’t drawn his sword yet, probably the only one I could probably talk with.
[Yo, hello there. Please have a seat.]
The representative, the wolf beastkin of the group, looked at me awkwardly for a moment before responding back to my greeting. Umu, guess communicating is an A-okay.
[My name is Taichi, Taichi Mitsuba. An adventurer from the royal capital Alfen. And you are?]
The wolf beastkin looked away to see the other members of his group, shrugged his shoulder, and took a seat on one of the makeshift seats I prepared, followed by the others.
Still, they’re careful not to release their grasp on their weapons.
[My name is Torn, I can’t say where I live. There are others like me living the village.]
The wolfkin Torn seemed to be the leader of the group.
Other than him were the large cowkin Markus, the small rabbitkin Pamela, the slender leopardkin Relix, and another wolfkin named Break.
All of them were the bipedal animal kind of beastkin. Although biped, their body resembled animals more than humans. And I believe they’re still capable of running on all four like regular animals.
[Do you find us unusual?]
The small female rabbitkin spoke up. The girl, no, she’s a woman judging from her husky adult woman voice. That was one hell of a gap.
[Yeah, I used to live in a secluded mountain for a very long time. Sorry if I offend you.]
When I lowered my head as I said that, I sensed that the beastkins found my action to be strange.
[You actually bowed to a beastkin, what an eccentric man.]
[? What do you mean? Isn’t it normal to apologize when you do something wrong?]
The beastkins turned to each other after hearing my response. Maybe there is a huge gap between their common sense and mine.
[Human are like monsters to us, they only see us as slaves.]
[Ee, that sounds scary.]
As it turns out, the beastkin was seemingly a discriminated race according to general common sense.
This belief was enforced especially in Karendil and Geppel. Mount Bass, where the Dwarven Kingdom resided, was less discriminating to the beastkin. For the time being, Miscronia is the only place where the beastkin’s rights are acknowledged.
Karendil Kingdom mostly doesn’t treat them as citizens, so they ended up living in villages in rural areas. Like the village that Torn mentioned earlier.
Torn and co. didn’t really know all the details though. Neither did I.
However, the fact that they’re treated as such really don’t sit well with me. Now that I think about it, wasn’t there a slave hunt request as well posted on the adventurers guild? Yes, there was.
Was that why I rarely saw beastkin in the capital, and even when I did, they were mostly slaves?
Hmmhmm, maybe I should ask Marl, Flam, or Jack-san in order to learn the details next time. While Torn’s story about the discrimination is believable, the accuracy is still questionable.
[I didn’t know any of that. Indeed, I saw very few beastkin back in the capital, and most of them were slaves. I met a catkin who is a weapon shop owner at Crossroad, so I thought there was no such thing as discrimination.]
[Was that catkin, about this tall?]
Torn asked while hovering his hand in the air around the height of the owner catkin. He grinned when I nodded. At least I thought he’s grinning.
Well, his expression was too hard to describe.
[He’s a bit different than us beastkin. He’s what people call Catsy. They’re a kind of fairy who lives in the great forest northwest of the continent and the desert continent across the sea. They’re more like elves and dwarves.]
A genuine catkin seemed to have a closer appearance to Relix here. This is confusing.
[I see. I’ve learned a lot today. Thank you for telling me.]
[Sure. Then, what are you doing here?]
[I had a small connection to this village. So I came to take a look to see how it fares after the Great Flood. How about you?]
[Don’t you already know?]
[I guess so? I can’t really blame you for that. In any case, the villagers aren’t going to return anytime soon, so you should loot as many as you can before rains spoil all of it.]
Torn looked relieved after hearing me. I didn’t want to stop them to begin with. Since no one is using the stuff, why not give it to someone who needs it?
The items left in here were things that the villagers of Vyette village deemed unnecessary for them in the first place.
While it’s not ethical, these beastkin had to live too. As far as I can tell, they are unable to hold any decent business with other races, so they had to make do with whatever they could.
Anyone could see why they’re forced to go that far.
[The Great Flood of Karendil Kingdom is almost over, was the damage to your village really severe?]
[Yeah… half of our adults died in battle. Other than that, a lot were gravely injured.]
[Your village was attacked by the horde? It’s already surprising that you weren’t wiped out.]
[It’s because we are physically stronger and faster than humans. We’re also very familiar with the forest we live in. We also let the women and children hide in a secret cavern to survive.]
[So you need food and medical supplies?]
Torn nodded at my question.
Since there are still some crops left in Vyette, they should be able to procure some food.
However, this place is lacking in terms of medical supplies. They’re probably only looking for clean cloth to be used as bandages.
[I can solve that problem if you’re willing to guide me to your village.]
[…..what did you say?]
[I’m actually a mage despite looking like this. I can cast healing magic, and I have piles of food stored in my treasure box. I also have healing potions, although they taste gross.]
That said, I took out the preserved food, fruits, and Marl’s healing potion from my inventory.
Torn and co. were wide eyed from seeing this, but apparently this made me even more suspicious in their eyes.
[This would really help, but we have nothing to pay you back. What do you actually want? Taking some of us to sell as slaves?]
Un, I would think the same if I were in their shoes.
But Torn’s story gave me an idea. I actually have many issues to resolve and investigate, but since I’m currently in my TUEEEEEEE state, I just want to do various things.
[No, that’s not what I want. I’m thinking of something bigger than that.]
[…..what do you even mean?]
Torn bared his fangs and growled. That expression, I could understand.
But what I would say next will certainly make you go [Ha?].
[You guys, do you want to be the first citizens of my country?]
[The hero has saved the life of many soldiers and people by cutting the great flood shorter than it normally was. Karendil Kingdom better reward him well for that.]
[Bu, but, Princess Mariel, we must also rebuild the villages in the rural areas in the future.]
[I believe you made a lot of money from the weapons that Taichi-san provided. The nation treasury should be full with mountains of money by now that those old fatties must be laughing greedily.]
[Gu, gununu… we’ll consider it.]
[Yes, I know that you’re trying to delay it longer, right? 3 days top. Ah, Taichi-san told me to give you that long, go ahead.]