Accepting the ride on one of the merchant group’ carriages, I endure the pain of my bottom for 2 hours. Then the town became visible.
Cheerful voices from groups all over the place can be heard.
I want to wipe my body quickly. I want to eat decent food. I want to drink sake. Such are the conversations.
On the other hand, I have become ghastly pale.
The town is surrounded by wooden fencing. Light-poles, asphalt, the things I got used to as parts of civilization, none of them existed here.
Things like houses are made out of clay and wood.
Nothing but straw-thatched roofs …… no, only one house in the distance has some roof that seems to have roof tiles.
Although I had such anticipation, the shock will be different if you see it with your eyes after all.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
The great people from the olden days are indeed remarkable…
I feel nauseous.
At least the temperature is refreshing.
Nevertheless, I’m sweating from head to toe.
Greasy sweat from the shock, how pathetic ……
I take a deep breath at least.
It’s a really bad time to be shaken.
I have lived for 30 years. I know that I will make mistakes, if I loose my calm.
There won’t be any troubles, if I can keep my tranquility by just thinking things over.
If one can regain their calm with that, that person will surpass the mentality of an Olympic athlete.
And I ain’t an Olympic athlete.
“You, are you alright?”
Ah, elf-san, huh?
“That is, it seems my physical condition is slightly bad. Sorry for making you worry.”
“What are you apologizing for? Tell me if your physical condition is bad. Although it might somehow become an embarrassing situation, be relieved. I lead a deeply honorable life. I won’t abandon you this quickly.”
However, there’s no other person I can rely on but her.
This merchant group has overall a nice atmosphere.
I want to enter this group somehow, but it won’t do if I don’t accept the efforts of this person for that sake.
Moreover, it’s for free.
What bullshit, I want her treat me to a meal, but I was reluctant since that’s only for people with a far higher annual income.
Ah, it’s not a situation where I can consider such a policy to be a laughable matter.
“Hmm …… Hey, come here for a bit.”
“Yes? Say, eh?”
Elf-san hugged me closely.
Since she already removed her armour, her large breast, which isn’t very elf-like, hits my face.
…… Umm, it was initiated by the other party, right?
I’m not in the wrong.
Being tightly embraced by a beauty, that’s a situation, which should cause anxiety, but I currently have no other person to rely on.
Just like that I end up having put arms around my back and being hugged closely.
Ah, but I did calm down listening to her heartbeat.
What a nice situation I’m in.
“Uh huh. Your complexion got slightly better. Right after entering the town, let’s go to a restaurant and have you eat a porridge. I have travelled to various places. I might know your home-town.”
It’s very unlikely for a person, except god, to know my home-town, but once I listen to the voice, filled with this person’s confidence, I feel my heart settling down.
Even now I’m not completely trusting them, but this merchant group is pleasant and they don’t give off a feeling of having tricked me into accompanying them.
Although I’m aware that it would be better to suspect whether it isn’t a badger game, judging by only her, it’s not.
…… If she is a truly kind person, I will have obtained a tremendous fortune.
Should I pray to god for it to be true?
“Somehow I calmed down. For giving me a hug …… sorry.”
“What, I’m a fine woman, right? It’s a charm expressly bestowed by heaven. I have to make use of it.”
She has a splendidly nice smile.
If I was ten years younger, I would likely consider whether to have her go out with me somehow.
She is a beauty. She is a nice person. Can you even call that a joke?
That’s something important.
“Certainly. It’s the first time that I have met a woman as nice as you.”
First thing after entering the town is unloading the cargo.
Given that I might receive an employment after this, I earnestly help out.
The surroundings were worried about my physical condition, but, putting my spirit aside, my body’s condition is extremely good.
Or rather, I think that my physical ability has clearly gone up.
It’s not a significant difference, however, apart from my legs and loins, trained because of soccer, I should be bad at carrying heavy things, but ……
Is it the influence of having helped out to my utmost effort? Leader-san gave me money made out of copper.
It cannot possibly be compared to a 10 yen coin. The money has an incredibly crude appearance.
“If you look at money frequently”, elf-san began to talk,
“You, you worked properly although your physical condition is bad. You have my admiration, but aren’t you forcing yourself? I planned to listen to your story in a restaurant afterwards, however if it’s better to do that tomorrow, would tomorrow be acceptable for you?”
Tomorrow, no way!
If I don’t procure at least a bit information, I won’t bear the uneasiness.
“Thanks for your concern, but it’s alright. Is it possible to go to the restaurant and give me some advice?”
“I see, this way then.”
I, who followed her to the restaurant, received a shock when I saw the menu.
It’s not in Japanese.
Still …… I can read it.
How does that work?
Even if I ponder about it, it’s not like I will understand it, though ……
Anyway, there were many vegetables and I ordered something that looked like it would fill my belly.
“Although overdue, let’s introduce ourselves. I’m Rastil (T/N: >> Rasutiru <<). I’m a practitioner of martial arts in search of a lord, worth to serve, and a powerful person for the sake of raising my military arts.” (Rastil)
“I’m called Lyle (T/N: >> Rairu <<). Umm, I’m a lost person. I don’t know where my home is.” (Lyle)
This name is one that often appeared in the conversations between everyone of the merchant group.
Since I believed it to be a common name, I picked it.
I left my original name behind.
To put it bluntly, it can’t accompany me in a different world ……
“However, you are an elf. Elves are only born in this Empire Kei to begin with. Don’t you at least know the name of the feudal lord, who controlled your village?” (Rastil)
I don’t recall having heard about a nation such as Empire Kei.
Or rather, if it’s the country, where elves are born ……
It looked like everyone from the merchant group was normal humans, with the exception that generally the hair colour was an astonishing pink, but they didn’t give me a special treatment.
My ears are in fact pointed. I have no doubt that I became an elf or such.
In other words, I’m assuming that elves and such aren’t that unusual.
No matter how I think about it, this ain’t Earth either ……
“I’m sorry. I don’t know …… Or perhaps I should say, I didn’t remember the name Empire Kei either.” (Lyle)
“What did you say? Really, from just what kind of rural area did you come from? By no means! Don’t tell me you don’t know the founder, Arc-sama (T/N: >> Aku <<)?” (Rastil)
It’s not Ryuu Hou, right?
“I-I’m sorry. It’s a name I don’t remember. What did that gentleman do?” (Lyle)
As she listened to me, Rastil-san ended up expressing a profusely serious face.
Honestly, I’m scared.
Somehow it looks like I made a mistake.
“Lyle, I promise I will teach you. Don’t ever mention something like not knowing the founder in public. Also, after I taught you, let’s forget that you didn’t know. Okay?” (Rastil)
I was told with a seriousness similar to the time I said that I don’t know the name of the general secretary of the country in the north.
No, I don’t have any experience in going to the country in the north though.
Was it such an odd question …… ?
“Yes. Understood. I won’t ever talk about it. Thank you for your advice.” (Lyle)
“Uh huh. It’s nice to be obedient. Let me teach you. The founder, Arc Kei-sama, is called the strongest military man in history and he wins his fights with power. He is the person, who laid the foundation of this Empire Kei for 400 years. There is also a great man called First Emperor Len-sama, who unified the counting system of weight, length and money as well as temporarily concluded the warring states period before him in the world, but unlike the First Emperor, whose line perished mostly within one generation, Arc-sama created a country continuing for 400 years. There’s no doubt that he is a great man because he is one of the best in whatever he does.” (Rastil)
Laid the foundation for 400 years?
Or rather, settling the warring states in front of him, currency, length, weight …… in other words, it’s weights and measures, no?
And the First Emperor’s line perished in one generation?
“That First Emperor was probably an elf?” (Lyle)
“Lyle …… that’s only natural. Would you manage a country in war? It’s only natural that humans can fight, but it’s tough to exceed the rank of an ordinary soldier, if you aren’t an elf. Generally it’s the elves who accomplish great feats. Well, there are also stories about humans founding nations.” (Rastil)
Therefore the First Emperor is an elf.
And, fighting with the human being called the strongest at that time and winning, he is the founder, who built the nation keeping at it for 400 years.
…… Continuing for 400 years? In short, 400 years have now passed since it has been established.
“Rastil-san has travelled around this nation, right? What’s the overall state of affairs in this country?” (Lyle)
“To put it in a single word, awful. I think that, if the bureaucracy supporting the emperor is inferior, the public order in the provinces will fall into chaos. Although the starvation of people won’t happen, as long as the feudal lord is dependable, the disturbed public order causes many people to hunger, leading them to not create produce either. In addition, there are also feudal lords who increase the taxes because of bribes ……” (Rastil)
…… The nation is in the midst of collapse, isn’t it?
And I have a hunch that I know this flow of history very well.
To say it concretely, the current state of this nation is approximately the one of China from 1800 years ago.
It’s the era of the Later Han Dynasty and from here out it will become an era of splitting into the three countries, Kingdom of Wei, Wu and Shu.
The current situation is just like that interval.
Eh? …… Really?
No, no, no, as expected, it’s too rushed …… if I don’t try to make sure with the knowledge I possess.
…… I have to take care to not anger Rastil-san with my barrage of questions.