Chapter 2 – Yellow Ocher Temple




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Imperial Calendar – Year 430, Middle of July.


“Thank you for always helping me out.”

“No, I am merely abiding by the teachings of the Divine Mother who rules over Yellow Ocher Harvest.”

Shion passed a bowl of veggie soup and hard bread to a man with a sweet smile. The man wore filthy rags, his nails had darkened, and his body released a sour odor.

It’s inevitable. This person is living as a beggar on the streets without relying on anyone.

With the change of the lord, living had apparently become a bit easier in Harshel. But, people who had once fallen to the bottom of society didn’t have it easy to claw their way back up.

While feeling angry over that face, Shion simultaneously felt miserable from her own powerlessness.

All I can do is hand out food like this.

Shion came to her senses upon the tolling of a bell. A man in filthy rags stood in front of her. A different one from the one before.

“Here you go.”

“Tsk, again soup with vegetable scraps? I wanna eat meat every once in a while.”

The man accepted the soup and bread, immediately leaving thereafter.

It’s a common occurrence, she persuaded herself to stifle the negative emotions welling up inside her. In reality, it happened often when she was handing out food. Rather, it was rare for people to thank her.

Shion looked at her own hands and sighed. Since ancient times, the Divine Mother who rules over Yellow Ocher Harvest has been worshiped as goddess of farming. Priests saw it as their duty to share the blessings of the land as well as passing on the techniques and knowledge of farming.

But, Shion had started to doubt that way of doing. And each time she saw her hands which had become coarse and chipped from all her field work, she thought that she might die without being missed by anyone like her father.

Because I’m tormented by such thoughts―― Shion sighed gloomily.



The clanking of hammers filled the premises of the Marquis Erakis’s mansion as dwarves busily scurried around. It was a sight Chrono had grown accustomed to, but recently brawny, tough guys had joined their ranks.

“Hey! Hurry up and carry the lumber over!”

“Is it okay to put the bricks over here?”

“You idiot! Aren’t you just trying to skip some work!?”

“E-Excuse me!”

Some were carrying lumber, some were moving bricks, and some were scolded for slacking off. What the men were building was a workshop for producing Japanese paper ― a paper mill.

Chrono watched the work’s progress together with Goldi.

“At this rate, it looks like it’ll be finished in about two months, I suppose.”

“The workshop itself, yes. Until then we have to gather people, who will work there, give them training, and also stock up on materials…” Chrono counted down what they had to do, “Goldi, make sure to not die from overwork, okay?”

“Hahaha, just as I told you before, no one will die from overwork,” Goldi laughed brightly. His face was beaming with pride and delight. “But, I have to admit, you come up with interesting things, Lord Chrono.”

“Interesting things? Ah, you mean the assembly line work?” Chrono tilted his head in confusion, but immediately realized what Goldi was talking about.

“I never thought of splitting up the work processes.”

“I simply thought this method would lessen the time and effort needed to learn the work steps…”

Assembly line working was a method used during times of manufacturing goods at a factory. Since a worker only had to remember the work step they were in charge of, they wouldn’t need to train craftsmen from scratch.

Chrono had suggested it as he considered it an efficient work method, but now that the project had started to move ahead, he was hit by worries whether another, more efficient method was available.

“No, the concept of an assembly line is superb. It’s a new, uncharted venture, but I believe we will be able to iron out all problematic issues once we test them out on a mock-assembly-line.”

“Hearing you say that gives me a peace of mind.”

If all went down according to plan, he’d be able to recover the invested money in a year and half, but thinking about the times when things went awry gave him cramps.

“That’s why I’ve been telling you to hand over the paper, didn’t I!?”

Once Chrono turned around towards the hysterical voice behind him, he saw Elena pressuring a dwarf who worked at the workshop.

“You’re really useless!” Elena spat out and turned in their direction next. “Hey, you dwarf over there, give me paper!”

“It’s inside the workshop, you know?”

“I wouldn’t say a word if there was any in there!!” Elena yelled in irritation.


“What!?” Elena answered peevishly when Chrono called her name.

“Try to be a bit more polite.”

“Haaaah!?” Elena lifted an eyebrow.


“W-Wait a moment!”

As soon as Chrono extended a hand, Elena drew back, her face looking as if she was scared. No, it’d be more precise to say that she tried to draw back. In reality, she was rooted to the spot as he had touched her collar.


“No, please, I’ll be a good girl, so don’t hit me.” Elena pleaded with a coquettish yet frightened tone.

“Not once have I hit you.” Chrono sighed.

It looks like her resistance towards violence has fallen drastically as result of the slave trader breaking her mind. I don’t like using threats as a method, but since she won’t stop unless I do, I have no other choice.

“Please, I’m begging you. Don’t hit me.”

Once he pulled the collar upwards, Elena ended up standing on her toes. If she felt like resisting, she could, and yet she allowed it to be done to her just like that.

“Goldi, look for some paper.”

“Okay, on it.”

Goldi ran off towards the workshop.

“Since I don’t want to do things like this, strive to be polite to the people here, okay?”

Probably out of rage, Elena sent a gleaming glare my way, but――

“F-Forgive me! Sorry for saying something cheeky! I will never be so conceited again! So, don’t hit me. Please don’t beat me up! Hey, say something! You are scaring me!” Elena frantically entreated as Chrono pulled her up by the collar.

It looked like her spirit had recovered only for an instant.

“Elena, what’s your job?”

“Accounting, office work…and also reception for the business permits for slave trade and brothels.”

Elena looked up to Chrono as if trying to flirt.

The part about the business permit was a new task for her. So far there had been no law restricting the sale of slaves and prostitution in the Erakis March. But, starting next month, neither of both will be possible without Chrono’s permission. Prostitution would be basically forbidden, the only exception being brothels that met the conditions. Only slave traders with an official permit to deal with slaves would be legal, and it’d become necessary to apply in advance for holding a slave market.

“Is it also your job to prepare paper?”

“Y-Yes, it’s just as you say.”

For some reason Elena was staring at Chrono with teary eyes while miserably rubbing her thighs together.

“You understood that you’re to treat everyone politely from now on?”

“I-I did.”

Once Chrono let go of her collar, Elena immediately sank down to the ground. Maybe because she was sitting on cold stone, her body was repeatedly shivering as she pinned down her skirt.

“I found it.”


Elena received the paper from Goldi and stood up with trembling legs, just to head back to the mansion with a shaky gait.

“Lord Chrono, what are you going to do from now on?”

“I’ll go out to inspect the city.”

“Okay, I understand.”



Chrono walked through the streets while letting his eyes wander all over. Probably because a license system was about to be put in place for prostitution, the number of women looking like prostitutes had visibly decreased, but the number of vagrants remained as high as ever.

“…I must reopen the almshouse as quickly as possible.”

Having said that, there was a reason why he couldn’t reopen it so easily. The almshouses of this world weren’t places where the poor were provided all their necessities of life until they’d be able to stand on their own feet again. According to Layla, almshouses sounded more like concentration camps where the poor were abused by the director and staff, were forced to work for free, had to sleep on the floor in narrow spaces, were fed once a day, and had the small bit of money they possessed ripped off them ― in short, an extremely harsh place.

In all honesty, the poor managing to get back up on their feet under such circumstances is a dream within a dream. I want to beat up myself for naively thinking that things would be resolved as long as I called back the director and staff.

“It’d be best to hire a new director, I guess.”

The one suddenly crossing his mind was Shion, the priestess of the Divine Mother who rules over Yellow Ocher Harvest.

“If she’s handing out food to the needy, she should be trusted by those people to a certain extent. And there’s also the matter with the beet. If she can read and write, I’d like her to teach my subordinates how to study, I’d also like to have her teach us the farming methods used in this area, and…oops, if I make her work so much, she might collapse from overwork.”

And even before that, that’s not the job of an almshouse, is it? He shook his head. If you argued that I’m simply using the right person for the right job, it’d be possible to wrap this up without any feelings of guilt, but in reality it’ll only lead to a bad distribution of workload. As lord and commander, it’s my duty to come up with methods on how to assign work effectively.

“Now then, where can I find Ms. Shion?” Chrono entered the plaza and surveyed the area.

Fortunately, he found Shion right away. She was sitting on a wood box in the same place as last week.

“Yo, Ms. Shion.”

“L-Lord Chrono.” Shion jumped up in surprise.

“Feel free to remain seated.”

“A-Alright, I understand.”

Shion sat back down on her box and cast her eyes down in shame. Every once in a while, she stole a glance at Chrono’s face.

“U-Umm, what kind of business might Your Lordship have with me today? B-Beet…no, please forget I said anything.”

“Actually about that――”

“Nooooooo waaaaayyy!”


Shrill screaming interrupted Chrono’s words. Receiving an impact, he fell on his backside. He had been thrust away by Arided and Deneb ― the owners of the voices.

“I’d like you to kinda sell the beets to us!”

“Kinda stuff all that you have in this bag!”

“…Both of you, please calm down.”

As Arided and Deneb clamored, Layla chided them with a sigh after arriving a short while after them.

“Umm, t-the beets are, u-umm….I had to pawn them off as cattle fodder last week.”

“I have no memory of that! We’ll buy the beets!”

“It’s a-okay to buy them up, including the fields! I’d like you to quickly decide whether you’re going to sell them or not!!”

“Eeek!” Shion yelped as Arided and Deneb pressed on her with bloodcurdling looks.

“If they cannot get you to sell them, they will not be able to come buying them until their next day off,” added Layla apologetically.

“…Are you girls robbers or something?”

“””Lord Chrono!”””

Once Chrono stood up while wiping off the dirt stuck to his hands, Layla, Arided, and Deneb widened their eyes.

“W-Who has done something like this to you!?”

“It’s unforgivable, absolutely!”

“I was pushed away by you girls.” Chrono grimaced as he stared at his palms.

Small cuts and scratches were visible. Arided and Deneb immediately turned pale. Apparently they knew what it meant to injure a noble.



“Come here, she’ll kinda patch your hands up with her divine art right away!”

“I’ll splurge on the alms, so kinda please!”

“U-Umm, I-I…”

Overwhelmed by Arided and Deneb’s pushy attitudes, Shion looked like she’d start crying any moment.

“You two, there’s no way I’d let her use her divine arts for wounds of such a level, is there?”

Divine arts were convenient, but they carried the risk of crippling their caster. As might be expected, Chrono couldn’t afford to allow them to use it for such small injuries.

“Forgive us, Lord Chrono.”

Layla took Chrono’s hand, brought it close to her mouth, and started to lick his injured palm.

“Umm, Ms. Layla? Does elven saliva have a healing effect?”

“I do not know.”

Layla continued to lick the injuries for a while.

“I think it will be alright with this.”


Chrono’s cheeks burned bright red out of excessive embarrassment, but the same applied to Layla, who hung her head.

“”Even though the air around you two seems so steamy hot, we can only feel a frosty spell of coldness, kinda!!””

Arided and Deneb separated from Shion.

“Err, what should I do?”

“”We don’t mind you going back home as long as you sell us the beets.””

Chrono sighed as he gazed at the two who appeared to not be interested in anything but sugar.

“Since I’ve got something I’d like to discuss with Ms. Shion, it’d put me in a bind if you send her home just like that on your own accord.”

“”You heard him.””

“By the way, I’ll buy up the beets.”

“W-What!? On what kind of authority!?”

“You tyrann!”

“Given that Lord Chrono is the lord and commander, he holds all the authority in this city.”

“”Uughh!”” The twins groaned after getting scolded by Layla.

“T-Thank you very much! I will pray for the Divine Mother to give you her blessing, Lord Chrono.”

“Ms. Shion, I’d like to talk with you, but can you spare a moment?”

“Y-Yes, of course.”

Shion quickly glanced at her stall, apparently thinking that she still needed to tidy up.

“S-Say, Lord Chrono, we’d kinda like you to share the beets with us as well, you see?”

“I-If you like, we’ll give you a little service in exchange.”

Arided and Deneb entwined their arms around Chrono’s. Moreover, they pushed their chests against his arms.

They’re soft, but smaller than Layla’s.

“…You girls.”

“No, listen, it’s not like we’re seriously seducing Lord Chrono, okay!?”

“Y-Yeah, in the end we’re only interested in the beets!”

The two separated from Chrono in panic after hearing Layla’s freezing, low and stifled murmur.

“Only interested in the beets, eh?”

“Argh, it’s kinda one thing after the other!”

“B-But, we kinda want to eat ice cream again!”

The two said, even more panicked due to Chrono’s bickering.

At that point, Chrono recalled Shion looking at her stall.

“If you help Ms. Shion with her stall, I won’t mind sharing some with you.”


“Beets! Beets! We’ll be able to get mountains of beets! Lalala!”

I haven’t said anything about mountains, but since it’d be unwise to pour cold water on their motivation here, I’ll keep silent for now.

“Ms. Shion, your instructions, please!”


“Instructions! I request instructions!”

“Each second counts!”

“I-I understand!”

Shion stepped out of her stall and started to instruct the two. Her directions weren’t fast by any means, but the two quickly disassembled the stall and put all the stuff together in one place.


“Beets! Please give us beets, kinda!”

“U-Umm, if possible, I would be delighted if you could load the things on the cart…” Shion pointed at a cart that had been parked in a corner of the plaza while looking apologetic.

“L-Leave it to us!”

“I-It’s all a matter of spirit!”

The two carried the disassembled stall and luggage over to the cart, and stuffed everything on top. Goldi had mentioned that elves were weak when it came to physical strength, but there seemed to be individual differences.

“Please pull the cart to the marquis mansion.”

“T-They endlessly keep adding demands!”

“But, if we give up here, we won’t be able to get our hands on any beets!”

The two raised their voices into what sounded like screams upon Chrono’s request, but they began to obediently pull the cart.

“Okay, let’s go.”

“Yes, Lord Chrono.”


Once Chrono started to walk off, Layla and Shion followed with a slight delay.

“…Lord Chrono.”

“What’s up?”

“E-Excuse me.”

As he stopped upon Layla calling his name, she entwined her arm around his. Apparently she wanted to link arms.

“Okay, let’s go then.”


Chrono resumed walking, now with his and Layla’s arms linked. Because he walked while constantly checking whether everything was proper around them, a distance opened up between them and the cart, but they quickly caught up because Arided and Deneb had stopped in front of a message board to look at it.

“Is something wrong?”

“It seems to be a new message board, but I don’t know what’s written on it.”

“I wonder whether there’s any meaning in a message board that can’t be read or something like that.”

It looked like Arided and Deneb couldn’t read.

“Umm, this is――”

“This is the announcement about the license system for prostitution and slave trade that is going to start next month,” explained Layla by interrupting Shion. “Was that correct?”

“Yes.” Chrono gently caressed Layla’s ear after she asked him while looking insecure.

Layla’s body repeatedly trembled, her face making it obvious that it felt very pleasing, but then she shook her head lightly, coming back to her senses.

“”What does that mean?””

“Starting with next month, those who don’t have Lord Chrono’s permission, will not be able to work as prostitutes or slave traders.”

Layla repeatedly cast fleeting glances at Chrono, seemingly lacking some confidence in what she was saying.


“It is written here that it is a measure against venereal diseases spreading in case of prostitution and a prevention of troubles after sales in regards to slave trading.”

“So far something like this hasn’t been in place, so I don’t get the reason at all.”

“What benefit lies in doing something like this?”

Arided and Deneb tilted their heads, obviously unable to comprehend the aim behind changing the current system. As it appeared to be the same for Layla as well, she looked at Chrono as if asking for help with her eyes.

“Lord Chrono, why is the current system going to be changed?”


“If you like, I can explain it to them.”

Something soft was pressed against his free arm while the fragrance of perfume tickled his nose. Once Chrono looked to his side while being startled, he found Elaine clinging to his arm. To his regret, she was wearing plain clothes this time.

“Who might that person be?”

“My name is Elaine Sinner. I’m what you could call an acquaintance of Lord Chrono,” Elaine responded with a gentle smile despite the thorns in Layla’s voice. “By only permitting brothels, which perform regular medical check-ups of their prostitutes, to run their business, Lord Chrono is going to make sure that everyone can use brothels without any worry. The same principle applies to the slave trade. The slaves sold in this city are only girls, but it does happen that they die after being sold because of the violence they experienced at the slave trader’s place.”

“Does that mean it’s for the sake of protecting the interests of those who bought slaves?”

“Oh my, you’re a smart one. But, that’s not all,” Elaine giggled.

It was a laugh indirectly carrying the message, “How cute.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“It’d be best to ask him personally,” answered Elaine and directed a meaningful gaze at Chrono.

It looks like she’s realized the true meaning behind the new license system.

“You’re not going to say anything about it?”

“Thank you for your help back then.”

“Don’t mind it. Thanks to that, we were given the honor of receiving the very first permit. But, next time inform me a bit earlier, will you? It was quite difficult to get everything ready in time.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

Chrono honestly bowed his head. He got her to lay the groundwork with those in the same trade in preparation to switch to the license system. The price for her help was the very first permit.

“Well, that’s all I wanted to say. I’ll be on my way then.”

“Good bye.”

“I’ll wait for you at my store,” Elaine giggled and separated from Chrono, just to wander off.

“We should go as well.”

“Okay, Lord Chrono.”

Chrono started to walk with Layla again, but then noticed that Shion wasn’t following. Looking back over his shoulder, he spotted Shion looking in the direction where Elaine had left.

“Is something the matter?”

“N-No, it is nothing,” Shion shook her head, looking somewhat flustered.

Chrono somehow felt something bothering him about it, but he ignored it and continued to walk.



“”Ice cream!””

As soon as they reached the marquis’s mansion, Arided and Deneb took as many beets as they could carry, and dashed away. Their destination wasn’t outside the mansion’s compound, but the entrance way. It seemed pretty clear that they had no intention to buy the other ingredients by themselves.

“It’ll be fine as long as they don’t get chewed out by the landlady, but Layla, are you going to the kitchen, too?”

“No, please allow me to stay by your side, Lord Chrono.”

“Okay, then let us go to the parlor.”

Layla reluctantly separated from Chrono, probably thinking that it’d be difficult to climb the stairs while linking arms since they had to go to the third floor.

Chrono led the two to the parlor and sat down on a sofa. Thereupon, Layla reservedly sat down next to him. As for Shion, she stood stock still, not sure what she should do here.

“Ms. Shion, please sit down.”

“Ah, okay.”

Shion shallowly sat down on the sofa which Chrono had indicated with his palm.

“U-Umm, what…what kind of business might you have with me today?”

“There are various things I’d like to consult you about, but first and foremost, I’d like you to tell me about the farming carried out in the Erakis March.”

“O-Okay, as you wish.” Shion corrected her seating posture, “The three-field-system is the common farming method in the march.”

“The three-field-system?” Chrono repeated her words in a murmur, causing Shion’s body to freeze with a start.

“The three-field-system has you split the farmland into three parts. Spring crops for the first year, winter crops for the second year, and you let it lie fallow during the third year to allow the field to recover its fertility and moisture while letting cattle graze on it. Umm, fertility refers to the power allowing crops to grow, yes.”

“You don’t sprinkle fertilizer or draw water with irrigation channels?”


“Yes. Wouldn’t the need to let the fields rest vanish if you scatter the feces of people and animals, food scraps, and ash on fields?”

The dung of cattle should be scattered on fields while the farmers would cover their kitchen garden with food scraps. Chrono felt like a manga had mentioned something about the soil improving if you scattered ash on it.

“U-Umm, where would we be able to acquire such a huge amount of feces?”

“You can’t gather them in towns or villages?”

“The transport would be difficult, and no village possesses so much cattle that they would be able to fully cover all fallow land.”

“So we must start from increasing the number of cattle, huh?” Chrono sighed lightly.

Apart from having no choice as things didn’t work here like in modern Japan, it was bitter that he’d need to begin from increasing the number of cattle.

“A-As for the irrigation channels, there are no large water sources around this area, so…”

“True, I haven’t seen any rivers or lakes in this region.”

The people here use underground water or rain as a water source. In other words, it’d cost huge amounts of money to create reservoirs and wells for farming. That doesn’t mean it’d be impossible, but it’ll probably be difficult to maintain them with our budget.

“U-Umm!” Shion spoke up, apparently having resolved herself, “A-According to my late father, you can hasten the fertility recovery while keeping the moisture if you plant clover. He could not persuade everyone else from the idea, but since he actually proved it by cultivating his fields with them and letting the cattle graze there…”

Shion’s voice became quieter and weaker towards the end, just to become extremely thin at the end.

“Then let us cultivate clover on fallow fields.”


Probably because of the instantaneous decision, Shion’s eyes flew wide open.

“Ah, don’t misunderstand. It’ll be hard to enforce it on full-scale all of a sudden. For starters, I’ll have ten percent of the fallow land cultivated with clover. If it produces results, we will slowly expand the scope. Doing it like that will also make it easier for the farmers to come to terms with it, I believe.”

Chrono thought that it wasn’t a bad idea, but in reality it’d require some coordination. It’d be still fine if it only didn’t produce any result, but if it proved to be harmful, things would escalate in the worst-possible way. Chrono suspected that he’d be forced to exempt the affected farmers from the taxes if this should happen.

“Can I count on your knowledge and guidance when we’re going to plant the clover?”

“I-If you are okay with someone like me.”

“Also, you are handing out food, aren’t you Ms. Shion?”

“Y-Yes.” Shion huddled her shoulders as if feeling sorry.

“As a matter of fact, I was planning to reopen the almshouse again. Of course I won’t make people work for free and seize people’s belongings like it has been done in the almshouse so far. We’ll offer everything the poor need for living until they can become independent again, and the almshouse will serve as an intermediary for work. And I wanted to ask you to take over the post of director for that almshouse.”


Shion’s shoulders trembled with her face cast down.

“Moreover, I learned that it’s possible to extract sugar from the beet that your father improved through selective breeding. In the future I’d like sugar to beco――”

Suddenly Shion stood up, causing Chrono to stop talking. Only now he regretted that he might have spoken too much from his side all at once.

“…S-Something like this…” Shion squeezed out the words while weeping with big tears trickling down her cheeks, “S-Something like this is just too much!”

“E-Err, Ms. Shion?”

“Even though Dad and I worked for our dear life! You can do so easily what we could not!!” Shion screamed, apparently unable to hold back any longer.

But, Chrono couldn’t do much more than being confused. Once he looked around himself, seeking help, his eyes met with Layla’s.

“I do not think you need to mind her, Lord Chrono.”

“No, but…”

“Lord Chrono, you are a very kind man, but there are times when that kindness turns into poison for those who have not been blessed with it.”

“You might be right,” Chrono accepted Layla’s words.

Chrono didn’t know how hard Layla’s past had been and how much despair she suffered. He didn’t know anything about Shion’s hardships, nor how much she worried or suffered either.

“I-I! I-I am terribly sorry for having been so r-rude!” Shion suddenly came to her senses and started to run.

Her destination was a window ― making her aim pretty clear. She was trying to jump out of the window.

“Layla, stop her!”


Layla went around to appear in front of Shion, and punched her. Her fist sunk into Shion’s solar plexus, causing Shion to collapse on the spot while coughing violently with tears and drool staining her face.

Chrono shuddered due to her hollow coughing, a sound he couldn’t get used to.

“Ms. Layla! S-She hasn’t fainted!”

“I only hit her solar plexus after all.”

Layla moved behind Shion, and strangled her neck ― very likely pressing against the carotid artery. Immediately following, Shion stopped moving.




Just as Chrono entered the dining hall, Arided and Deneb were in the middle of happily eating ice cream. With a sidelong glance at those two, he sat down on a free chair and sighed very deeply. While he had borrowed Layla’s strength to carry Shion to a guest room, these two had been enjoying sweets. He could only sigh at that.

“Good gracious, just how gluttonous are you girls―― Oh my, Lord Chrono?” The landlady widened her eyes slightly when she exited the corridor connecting the dining hall with the kitchen.

She was holding a silver tray loaded with plates containing ice cream.

“Yo, landlady,” Chrono greeted with a sigh.

“Your happiness escapes with each sigh,” the landlady commented while coming over to him. “Come on, eat th――”

“That ice cream is ours!”

“It’s kinda our legitimate reward!”

Arided and Deneb interrupted the landlady’s words.

“This ice cream is something I tried to make for Lord Chrono in addition to feeding you two with it. If you got any complaints, fork over the money for the ingredients.”

“W-We kinda have no complaints.”

“That’s why we’d like you to kinda desist from deducting it from our salary.”

Arided and Deneb licked their spoons with their faces cast down upon the landlady’s retort.

“Come on, eat this and shape up, will you?”


Chrono accepted the ice cream and brought a spoonful to his mouth. A rich flavor spread in his mouth and his tongue got numbed by the clean sweetness.

“It’s great,” muttered Chrono unconsciously.

“Right, right,” the landlady answered joyfully and sat down opposite of him. “I added ash to the beet broth, causing the impurities to sink to the bottom.”

“So that’s why there’s no other flavor mixed into this. But, that alone wouldn’t be enough for it to achieve this taste, would it?”

“I used fresh cream instead of milk. It took a bit of time and effort, but you could call it the key for its deliciousness.”

“Hee~,” grunted Chrono in admiration.

“So, did something happen?”


“You came here for consultation, didn’t you? Try me.” The landlady placed her voluptuous chest on the table, smiling impishly.

“Actually…I made Ms. Shion cry.”

“”What did you kinda do!?!”” Arided and Deneb bent themselves forward.

“…You girls…”

The landlady massaged her temple as if suppressing a headache while casting a sidelong glance at the twins.

“What is the reason for her crying?”

“Once I told her that I’d reform the farming and reopen the almshouse, she broke out in tears, complaining that I was doing what they couldn’t achieve.”

“What, so it’s not even your fault, is it Lord Chrono?” The landlady commented with an expression as if a load was off her mind.

“No, well, the cause lies with me, so…”

“You might have been the trigger, but that’s just what you’d call unjustified resentment. In the first place, what’s so wrong about a lord considering his people?”

“Well, but…”

Upon being assured by the landlady, Chrono started to feel that it wasn’t his fault.

“…Layla said that my kindness is poison.”

“Certainly, you have some parts that kinda wake expectations as you’re occasionally too kind.”

“It feels kinda like being oppressive as one feels forced to return it in some way.”

Arided and Deneb folded their arms and were repeatedly nodding. Considering they felt like being suffocated by his kindness, Chrono thought they sure were unabashed to have him treat them without any reservations whatsoever, but he sensed that it’d be a bad idea to retort at that part.

“Lord Chrono, your kindness probably stems from your good upbringing. For people, who have suffered for a long time, it’s inevitable that it feels like sarcasm and that they ask themselves why you didn’t come to save them much earlier,” muttered the landlady seriously. “Well, I do like your kindness, however.”


When the landlady said so while looking embarrassed, it eased his anxiety quite a bit. Suddenly their eyes met――

“S-Somehow, the atmosphere kinda changed.”

“Hindrances? Are we kinda in the way here?”

Chrono felt like his and the landlady’s affections were communicated through their eyes, but that mood was blown away by Arided and Deneb.

“W-Well, you see, if you make someone cry again or things go badly for you, I’ll give you my advice, so do what you think is right, Lord Chrono.”

“Got it. I’ll try to talk to Ms. Shion once more.”

Chrono rose half to his feet, but then stopped.

“Hmm? Is there anything else?”

“I just thought I should get everything ready to restart the almshouse, regardless of whether Ms. Shion accepts my offer or not.”

“I’m not quite sure what you mean,” said the landlady while quizzically furrowing her eyebrows.

“I’d like to clean the almshouse.”

“I’m a cook. Isn’t that something you’d have the maids do?”

“I think that’d make sense, but I’d like to propagate our reopening of the almshouse, you see?”

“Aahh, now I get it. In short, you want to hire outsiders in order to spread rumors, right?”

“That’s how it is.”

“I’m no employment agency though,” the landlady scratched her head while sighing in exasperation. “Well, it’s not like I don’t have an idea how to handle it. So, how much are you going to pay per person?”

“How about one silver per day?”

“One silver? Gosh, you’re a cheapskate,” the landlady grimaced.

I think it’s a proper salary, but if she calls me stingy, I guess I have no choice but to compromise a bit.

“I’m willing to go up to two silver per day.”

“That’s okay.”

“Great to hear,” Chrono answered and stood up.



When he entered the guest room, Chrono breathed out in relief. Shion was lying on the bed just like she had when he left the room, and Layla was sitting on a chair next to her.

“How’s Ms. Shion doing?”

“She has been sleeping like a log. It looks like she was quite exhausted.”

“…I see.”

Layla silently stood up, and Chrono sat down on the chair.

“I’m sure things must have been hard on her,” muttered Chrono while staring at Shion’s sleeping face.

Suddenly he recalled how Shion had looked in Elaine’s direction after she had left. Back then, Elaine wore clean, albeit plain, clothes.

Maybe she thought that she’d like to try living normally as well.

“Ngh,” Shion groaned with her eyelashes trembling faintly.

“Did you wake up?”

“――ng!” Shion jumped out once Chrono called out to her as gently as possible. “L-Lord Chrono, I am terribly sorry!”

“No, I didn’t mind it.”

It was a lie, but Shion breathed out, feeling relieved.

“Is there anything you want to tell me? I’ll listen properly, even if it’s something troublesome or simple complaining, okay?”

“…” Shion remained silent, glancing at Chrono. “…Is it really alright for me to tell you all I want to say?”

“Of course, please go ahead.”

Once Chrono confirmed, Shion cast her face down and squeezed out her next words, “…My father was a lower priest of the Yellow Ocher Temple. Lord Chrono, do you know the location of the temple?”

“Forgive me, but…”

He knew that no such temple existed in Harshel, but nothing else.

“The temple is around half a day away from Harshel. It’s such a ruin that even bandits don’t take a look at it. It’s the temple my father had been finally entrusted with after a long time,” Shion bit her lip as if to endure the pain, and then rattled on, “Father…he kept tackling…the selective breeding of beets…all the time. He regularly said that everyone would be able to live affluently if the breeding went well, but…after investing year after year into it, and finally succeeding, people only kept asking him whether the beets are actually edible and kept telling him that beets are cattle fodder. Isn’t that way too terrible!? Even the thing with the clover was something father had researched for a long time!”

The emotion oozing out of her words was anger.

“Even I…even I did my utmost! I did my best for everyone while distributing food, and yet…and yet…”

Shion touched Chrono’s hand ― the one he scratched when he fell on his backside after being pushed aside by Arided and Deneb.

“Oh Divine Mother who rules over Yellow Ocher Harvest, please grant me a miracle of healing,” Shion offered a prayer, but nothing happened.

“So that’s how it is, huh?”

Chrono finally understood the reason why Shion didn’t use her divine arts even after being urged to do so by Arided and Deneb.

“Indeed. I have become unable to use divine arts.”

Shion smiled with a face that looked like she’d start crying any moment.

As I thought, it’s not that she wasn’t able to use divine arts, but rather she became unable to use them.

“Although I worked for dear life, I even lost my divine powers! Still, I continued to hand out food to everyone! And yet it didn’t help in any way! We were unable to do anything, but you…you! Just because you’re the lord…it’s like you’re ridiculing us!”

“Lord Chrono is no such man!”

“It’s okay, Layla,” Chrono leaned himself forward and held back Layla with a hand.

“I-Isn’t it fine for her to beat me!? I-If I’m shown pity in such a way…I will feel all the more miserable!”

Shion covered her face with both hands and started to cry loudly and sorrowfully.

I don’t understand her feelings. She might have been able to feel pride in her way of life if she had obtained some kind of results, no, evaluation for her work. But, that didn’t come to pass. Without anyone appreciating her work and with no hope for her work to be ever evaluated, it must have been excruciatingly painful to continue the same way of life as always.

This was the limit of what Chrono could imagine. He didn’t know whether he was correct about it. But he knew that it’d be nothing short of arrogance to say that he knew how she felt despite that.

“I’ll take care of everything from now on.”

“――gh!” Shion gasped and glared at Chrono with the expression of a devil.

“Since I’ll have people sow clover on the fallow land and propagate the cultivation of beets in your stead, I’d like you to work as director at the almshouse.”

“But, then, if I let you do something like that…”

Seemingly believing that it’d negate everything she and her father had done, tears started to overflow from Shion’s eyes.



That night――Layla sat up when Chrono sighed while looking up to the ceiling. Since they just had one round of sex, she was still in her birthday suit. Chrono found her moderate breasts to be very lovely.

“Is something the matter, Lord Chrono?”

“I just thought that I might be a really nasty guy.”

“…I see,” Layla said after leaving a short space.

Her voice contained something akin to relief.

Well, I guess anyone would get worried if their partner were to sigh after having had sex.

Even Chrono didn’t have any confidence that he’d be able to remain calm if Layla listlessly sighed after sleeping with him.

“Are you talking about Lady Shion?”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“I do not think you need to fret so much if it is about Lady Shion. I am, umm, an idiot, but I do know that you are thinking about your people, Lord Chrono.”

“Hearing you say that takes a load off my heart, really,” Chrono smiled bitterly.

It had been the same back then with the landlady, but he felt glad about the existence of people around him who were able to understand him.

Suddenly Layla fell silent while repeatedly casting fleeting glances his way.

“What’s wrong?”

“I remembered Lady Elaine’s words. Lord Chrono, why did you adopt a license system for prostitution and slave trade? No,” Layla shook her head lightly, “what is your true intention behind doing so?”

“Ah, that, huh? At first I considered banning both completely, you see?”

Layla tilted her head in confusion.

“I didn’t want to allow prostitution, nor for girls, who went through the same horror as Elena, to appear, but since I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it, if it was continued in hiding, I switched to a license system as alternative plan. Publicly it’s being announced as prevention of venereal diseases and slave buyer protection, though.”

Going even further, a license system is going to encourage snitching, Chrono believed.

He kissed Layla who was blinking her eyes at him in bafflement.

“…It would be wonderful if all nobles were like you, Lord Chrono.”

“Wouldn’t things become hard on the people around them in such a case?”

If I didn’t get motivated by the landlady today, I might not have been able to think of facing Shion. If the leaders were all people like me, many things simply wouldn’t get done.



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Translation Notes:


  1. Pingback: Records of Chrono’s Wars – Volume 2 – Chapter 2: Yellow Ocher Temple – Part 1 »

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