I pray that I’m wrong about the song…
“Peace is scary.” (Sabnak)
“Dear, what are you saying?” (Shibyura)
While placing black tea on Sabnak’s desk, Shibyura says in a fed up voice.
“How many days passed since Hifumi-san left the capital? Doesn’t it seem like he entered the wastelands, as far as I’ve heard? Though it’s great to not have to worry about troubles, if I think about that person not being in this country, I become uneasy wondering what he’s doing outside the country.” (Sabnak)
Sabnak has a distant look while tasting the black tea.
“Rather than such things, gather the documents. Please hurry up and check them. If you don’t finish before Vaiya-san returns from his honeymoon, won’t it result in a change of captain?” (Shibyura)
“… Why is Vaiya able to take a holiday before me, I wonder?” (Sabnak)
“It’s because you were too slow with your marriage proposal, dear.” (Shibyura)
Sabnak, who gave up to dismiss it resolutely, reluctantly cast his sight on the documents.
Him being able to win against Shibyura in an argument has never happened.
“Besides, get a grip and please have self-awareness as Royal Knight Commander. Please abstain from hitting the city’s bars after eating at the knight’s dining hall.” (Shibyura)
“P-Please wait! I have to stay in touch with my comrades and the mingling with the townspeople is an important duty…” (Sabnak)
“If you properly interact with the other nobles, I won’t have to talk about such things though. At least participate a tea party or banquet once every 5 days, please. If it goes on as it is now, it will become difficult for our children to enter the noble’s society.” (Shibyura)
“But, you know”, Sabnak faltered, but Shibyura glared at him sternly.
“Dear, you probably want to experience freedom similar to Earl Tohno, but if you want to do so, please show achievements and a level of ability, which can’t be called ambiguous by your surroundings.” (Shibyura)
Piling up the documents in front of him, Sabnak grumbled.
“Although you are behaving like you have spare-time and are nonchalantly drinking black tea, don’t you have to straighten up these documents throughout the morning since it is scheduled for you to act as Her Majesty’s, the Queen’s, attendant in the afternoon? Please get it done quickly without dreaming around because no one but you is able to put your signature on them.” (Shibyura)
“Haa… understood.” (Sabnak)
Sighing while running his pen across the documents in a fluent motion, Sabnak thoughts got lost in Hifumi’s situation once again.
(Be it the wastelands or even Swordland, that person likely won’t receive an injury. Even picking a fight with that person and losing one’s life due to that can be simply called reaping what you sow. That’s all there is to it.) (Sabnak)
Tossing a document into the “Processed” tray, he grabs the next document.
(The problem is the case, where people, who choose to “accompany” that person, appear. If their situation resembled Midas-san and me, they would have a hard time by getting dragged into things, even if they stayed at distance. If they chose something like fighting besides him, then…) (Sabnak)
Origa’s face surfaces within Sabnak’s mind.
It would be a disaster, if the number of such children increased, while shivering, he wrote down his signature on the document.
Hifumi, who got his hands on gold coins of Swordland, walked along the road while irresponsibly spending his money on sweets at the stalls lining up along the way.
Buying suitable foodstuff, they took fancy in, as gift for Reni and Helen, the three side-by-side aim towards the inn while eating pieces of fruits, bread and grilled fish and meat skewers.
“Say, humans like to tamper with various kinds of food, right?” (Helen)
While watching the steam rising from the meat stuck on the skewer, Helen spoke as if being astonished and interested.
“It’s amazing, right!? I wonder how they create such things. It’s delicious and fluffy!” (Reni)
Reni, who is eating steamed buns by carefully tearing it off bit by bit, seems to enjoy the sensation at the moment of ripping it off.
“Tasty food will cheer you up. Besides, humans are fickle. They aren’t able to stand eating the same thing all the time.” (Hifumi)
“Certainly, if there were such various, delicious things, I might get fed up with just the same fruit the whole time too.”
Chewing the meat on the skewer thoroughly, Helen’s face reflexively breaks into a broad smile due to the meat juices spreading and seeping in.
After Reni looked as if regretting the last bite of her steamed bun, she was able to toss it into her mouth with a “There you go!”
“It’s this place.” (Hifumi)
The building, they arrived at, is an imposing 4-storey building with a firm double door as entrance.
The white wall seems to have been washed clean. By its appearance it had a feel of cleanliness although its old age is visible.
Without any intention the beastgirls look up at the large building in blank amazement. Hifumi quickly opened the door and stepped inside.
A skinny man in white shirt and slacks bowed towards Hifumi.
It’s a 45° bow as if it had accurately been measured. Lifting his face, he shows a smile.
“Are you staying over?”
“Yes, there’s three of us. One single room and a double room.” (Hifumi)
“Certainly! The registry is this way…”
Seeing the two beastmen entering the inn a little after Hifumi, the man stopped his words and his smile froze.
“Say… the beastmen over there belong to…?”
“They get the double room. The single room is for me.” (Hifumi)
“T-That can’t be right, can it? I’ve never heard of beastmen staying at an inn before…”
“Humph”, Hifumi looked at the man disinterestedly.
“As there were fellows leading beastmen slaves around in the city as well, what do they do at the time of using an inn?” (Hifumi)
“Normally the slaves are told to get into the storage or stable in the back…”
Once Hifumi turned around Helen’s cheek was puffed up due to be told something like staying together with the horses and Reni didn’t seem to understand the meaning of storage.
The man, who took a breath out of relief due to Hifumi’s words, regained his smile and tried to hand a pen to Hifumi but before he could do that, Hifumi stacked up gold coins on the counter.
“Give those two the most expensive room of this inn. And the one next door to me.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi, who took the pen from the man, whose mouth twitched as if cramping while keeping up the smile, returned the pen after going as far even properly writing the title “Earl of Orsongrande” in the registry.
“What’s wrong? Hurry up and guide us to our rooms. It’s a high-class inn, right?” (Hifumi)
Opening his eyes widely only for an instant due to the word “Earl” written by Hifumi, the man dropped his shoulders as if he had given up and guided them to their rooms saying 「Please follow me this way」 with a feeble voice.
“As meal we will have the most expensive course in the dining room. Three shares, of course.” (Hifumi)
The man had an expression as if close to crying due to Hifumi adding one thing after the other. Hifumi laughed while smiling broadly.
Not approaching the main gate, Salgu went around in a circle and drew near to a spot of the wall.
“If I remember correctly, it should be around here…” (Salgu)
Once he checks the surroundings of the wall for a short while, he discovered a partly crumbled part. Salgu found that part previously by coincidence. It may be because it is difficult to spot as it is hidden by tall weeds. Although there’s a hole to the degree that Salgu can pass through it, the place has been neglected for quite some time.
After confirming that no one is visible in the vicinity for some time, Salgu goes through the narrow hole using his utmost effort for his large body.
Advancing through the interior of the thick wall, the place, he turned up, being smeared in soil and stones, was a section, obviously abandoned, with decaying houses lining up.
Escaping from the hole, he conceals himself in the shadow of a collapsed house while warily surveying his surroundings.
“What the hell is this place…?” (Salgu)
Of course Salgu, for whom it also was the first time to enter a human city only after he left the hole, isn’t familiar with the locality at all. Pricking up his ears quietly, he hears faint talking voices of people drifting his way.
Walking while making sure to not make any sounds as much as possible, he secretly peers out from his cover in order to see the voices’ owners.
There he saw a group circle of scattered races like sheep and dogs conversing.
“That is cruel…” (Salgu)
Among the beastmen continuing to hold pieces of silly conversations while facing each other gloomily, there wasn’t a single person having no injuries.
Those without a leg or arm, those with only one eye, those, whose spine ended up crooked and twisted, and similar are sitting in a circle with filthy clothes twined around their bodies.
Salgu, who confirmed that there wasn’t any human among them, resolved himself to appear in front of them.
“There’s a little something I want to talk about.” (Salgu)
“Yea? What is it? It’s a face I don’t know…”
“I came from the wastelands. The other side of the wall has a hole. I entered from there.” (Salgu)
Looking at the direction Salgu points at, the dog beastman, who answered him, laughs scornfully.
“Hah, you expressly entered through that broken place? You went through troubles.”
“Bear-niisan, what kind of business do you have in this garbage dump of a slum?”
The old sheep woman’s face contorts into a twisted smile.
“No… Why are all of you remaining here although there’s a hole from where you can leave over there? You should be able to go back to the wastelands.” (Salgu)
Upon Salgu’s question the beastmen of the slum exchanged glances and suddenly broke into laughter.
“If there only were optimistic guys like you here, the slums would likely be a little more peaceful as well.”
Due to Salgu moving his ears with a twitch upon the dog beastman’s statement, the dog beastman laughs and tells him “Don’t get angry”.
“Try looking at our appearances. If we left towards the wasteland in such state, we would only starve due to being unable to even hunt. On the contrary, it will result in us dying while being persecuted by other beastmen.”
“If we stay in the city, there will also be the leftovers of the humans. If it’s only about staying alive, this side is comfortable.”
The aged sheep beastwoman, who laughs with a giggle, showed her chipped teeth.
“What a…” (Salgu)
Salgu, who was here with the plan to rescue the beastmen, who have been caught, ended up lacking the words due to the not-foreseen reality, which was thrust at him all of a sudden.
“Did you possibly enter here planning something like saving the beastmen, who were caught by humans?”
“Why do you think so?” (Salgu)
“Occasionally there are those. Fellows, who dash ahead with such sense of justice.”
“That’s right, and they quickly pass away after a counter-attack by the humans. Since even the beastmen, who have something to do with it, are disposed of for being involved in it, it’s extremely annoying.”
“That’s how it is.”
While skilfully keeping balance with one arm, the dog beastman got up and stood in front of Salgu.
The difference in height, far from being one head, is more than 1 m, but the dog beastman’s eyes are easily capturing all of Salgu.
“It’s your own business if you want to struggle against human opponents, but please do it elsewhere. I will tell you clearly, people like you are the most annoying ones.”
Salgu wasn’t able to object.
“Why are we in a different room?”
“I can’t sleep if I’m not by myself. There’s no meaning in staying in the same room either, I think.” (Hifumi)
Once he said so, Hifumi threw the beastgirls into their room and quickly entered his own room next door. Closing the door, the sound of the lock could be heard as well.
“Come on, what’s with him?” (Helen)
“Helen, look, look!” (Reni)
As Helen, who is getting angry in a huff, took a sidelong glance, Reni was rolling around all over the soft bed.
“That feels great~. Humans are sleeping in such beds.” (Reni)
Reni is stuffing her face in the pillow with a limp expression.
Even Helen, seeing that, leaped onto the bed unable to endure.
“It’s really soft.” (Helen)
Before entering the room, Reni and Helen washed their bodies in a mildly hot bath and changed into the brand new one-pieces, which were prepared by the the inn’s employee and which is the same attire Hifumi is wearing as well.
For the first time they did such things like washing in a hot bath and neatly combing their hair. Helen, who crawled into the futon with a heated-up body, loosened her tension of being in a human city and began to doze off.
“Helen, it’s no good to go sleep. Soon it will be time to eat. Hifumi-san said so, didn’t he?” (Reni)
Although thinking I never expected that the time for Reni to caution me will come, she can’t resist the charm of the futon.
Abruptly tearing off the bed cover, Helen instinctively shrunk down into a ball holding her knees.
“Hey, let’s go to Hifumi-san’s room.” (Reni)
“I got it. Jeez, what’s with your unusual behaviour?” (Helen)
“I have become somewhat excited. I’m also looking forward to the humans’ food.” (Reni)
Watching Reni, who leaves the room ahead with a nimble stride, Helen shrugged her shoulders.
Although they are childhood friends, who were together from the time they were born, it’s the first time she sees her state being so delightful. She displayed different behaviours and expressions than in the period, they have passed being scared of sounds in the woods of the wastelands.
“Really now, although I’ve even told you that this is a human city…” (Helen)
Even while saying so, Helen was aware that she was enjoying the situation herself as well.
“Human cooking, eh? The stall’s ? meat was delicious. The fish was delicious as well.” (Helen)
Helen, whose faced turned bright red due to the sound coming from her stomach, chased after Reni.
At the time she entered the hallway, Hifumi had already entered it, too.
When the three showed up at the dining room together, an employee approached in a flustered state.
“Since it’s possible to carry the meal to your rooms, you will be able to slowly and comfortably…”
“No, I don’t want the smell of food to stick around in the room. Here’s fine. As I want to eat various things, serve us appropriately large portions of different kinds at your own discretion.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi slipped a gold coin into the employee’s hand while saying that it’s additional to the meal expenses.
The employee, being surprised by seeing a glittering coin within his hands, laughed foolishly and lead them to a table.
“It’s no particular problem for us to eat in the room though…” (Helen)
“I wonder what kind of food it will be? I’m looking forward to it, Helen.” (Reni)
Helen’s whispered opinion was drowned out by Reni’s voice.
“Well, whatever”, Helen gives up and decides to obediently wait for the meal.
Although the looks of the other customers, being at the dining room, gather on them, Helen and Reni, who were showered with gazes all over the town during the day, don’t particularly mind it either.
Hifumi has a character to not care about other people’s looks “if there’s no killing intent and hostility” emanating from them.
“The food from stalls is nice as well, but at such place they also pay attention to the appearance of colouring and arrangement of the things to eat.” (Hifumi)
“Why? Isn’t it fine, if it’s tasty?”
“Humans also enjoy such “pointless things.””
“Is that so…?”
Helen is repeatedly puzzled and Reni feels admiration.
Then the waiter came carrying the first dish.
Steam is rising from the served dish. It was steamed chicken meat.
Once Hifumi briefly explains the way to use fork and knife, the two, feeling irritated, break the meat into small pieces with their hands and stuff it into their mouths.
“There’s is such tender meat as well.”
“It’s the cooking which makes it tender. There’s no way it will become like this, even if you roast it as it is.” (Hifumi)
While Hifumi also fills his mouth with one piece of meat after the other, he gives a proper explanation.
Due to the appearance of a human and beastmen peacefully eating their meal, the surrounding customers also gradually lost interest.
There was even a customer, who wanted to complain about manner and smell at the time when they came entering in the beginning, but seeing the two, who have a neat appearance having taken a bath, eating the food with delight, it apparently became difficult for them to raise their voice.
There are even some among the female customers, who feel that it is a pleasant scene. They are watching the smiling faces of the beastgirls, who are able to eat the dishes, which are brought one after the other, with sparkling eyes.
Once Reni, who noticed the state of such surrounding, showed a bewildered look, Hifumi stopped his hands.
“Did you realize?” (Hifumi)
“Ah, yes.” (Reni)
“This is the sole pleasant aspect of humans. Their treatment will change with the circumstances, even if the target is the same.” (Hifumi)
Hifumi stabbed the meat with his fork.
“Even killing targets and targets of admiration are the same. I, myself, don’t believe it to be strange at all. It’s a simplicity that appears to be complicated.” (Hifumi)
“That’s somehow incomprehensible. What do you want to say?” (Helen)
Helen pouts and shakes her ears.
“If you consider it fun to watch such “humans”, I wonder whether you want to do interesting stuff together with me from now on.” (Hifumi)
“Interesting stuff?” (Reni)
While biting in a crisp, long and narrow vegetable, similar to cucumber, which was put into the salad, Reni showed great curiosity.
“Yea, it will be interesting. In the country, I come from, it’s a very popular game.” (Hifumi)
Hearing of a game, Helen apparently got curious as well.
“The game is?” (Helen)
“Ah, it’s an enjoyable game. It’s name is Take the nation.” (Hifumi) (T/N: There is actually really a game called like that 国盗り … Kuni tori. Feel free to google it)