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I ended up welcoming morning horribly with pain in my whole body.
The muscle pain in my whole body didn’t lessen but got worse instead.
Thinking about the possibility of this continuing for a few more days just depresses me.
I must act while being careful of straining my body for the time being.
At any rate, this is painful. Have I tasted as much muscle pain as this before? No, I haven’t.
Even so, I can’t just stay in bed the whole time. I must learn as much as possible about this world.
I turn in bed a few times and sluggishly get up.
I do some light stretches while enduring pain…and suspend it.
There were men clothes within the tools Ilias told me I could use freely, so I wear those.
They are not flashy and give out a modest atmosphere. I like it.
Right right, according to what they have said, black hair and black eyes, which is a common trait of Japanese people, is pretty rare here.
I doubt there’s contact lenses in this world, so let’s give up on that one. There’s a nice piece of cloth that would work just fine, so I wrap it around my head like a bandana.
With that, the chances of me standing out will decrease.
Now, let’s go explore this nation.
“Come, it is cheap, very cheap~! Vegetables just harvested this morning~!”
“How about some freshly grilled chicken?!”
“Check out my muscles!”
The market is overflowing with liveliness.
No, what was that last one?
I can tell it is a gleaming macho man with oil smeared all over his body doing a performance though.
He has a really good body, but that sight of oil first thing in the morning is giving me a heartburn.
I threw a copper coin in the basket a little in front of him and continued exploring.
I had a faint idea of this, but paper money doesn’t exist in this country.
There may be specific currencies issued depending on the country, but most countries trade in coin.
A rough estimate would be: a copper coin is 100 yen, silver is 1,000 yen, and gold coin is 10,000 yen.
There might be even higher than that, but I should confirm at a later time.
I have 1 gold, 10 silver, and 50 copper coins on hand, making the money I have in possession right now the equivalent of 25,000 yen.
The lowest price in the market is obviously 1 copper, but there’s things that are too pricey even at 100 yen.
It seems like it is common practice to sell those kinds of things in bulk for 1 copper.
It seems they have the concept of decimals. I see stuff like vegetables for 0.5 copper or 0.2 copper, so you are allowed to choose which and make a total of 1 copper.
Food itself is mostly cheap if you search for it.
I feel like I should be able to manage getting ingredients for around 1-5 copper.
I eat something that looks like grilled chicken for breakfast.
Salt is not used as always, but the spices and the oil were creating a good balance here instead.
The monetary value when converted to yen matched pretty decently, making it easy to understand which is a great help.
The next thing I should search for is an eatery, but no place is open so early in the morning.
The places for supper will open when it hits noon, but I feel like time will be eaten instead if I just search randomly.
Language study is waiting for me once my exploration is over.
Should I buy my food for the whole day from food carts? It is cheap, but I know way too little about the ingredients of this world, so I should do that some other time.
A weird cry rang at my back. When I looked back, a girl had fallen grandly.
The groceries she was carrying had scattered here and there.
The person herself had both hands up, holding what looked like eggs, and had fallen face first on the ground without mitigating any of the fall.
Fortunately, there weren’t that many spherical things, so they didn’t fall far. Let’s help her pick that up.
“Are you okay? I have picked them up.”
“Ouch ouch, eh, ah, thank you!”
She is around the same age as Ilias. A girl with wavy reddish brown hair that gives off a cute atmosphere.
The tip of her nose was red from her face hitting the ground, and it looks really painful, but it doesn’t seem like she is injured.
Even so, that’s quite the amount of groceries.
It seems like she had them in a basket knitted with tree bark, but it reached its lifespan and broke pitifully.
“It would be too much trouble carrying all of that, right? I will help out. How far should I carry it?”
“Eh, is that okay?! It would help me out a lot!”
Should I carry half of the groceries? But it would still be rough without a bag or something to carry it with.
I scanned the area a bit, seeing whether there’s any baskets being sold nearby, and…found it, found it.
“Wait for a bit.”
Saying this, I buy a largish and sturdy-looking basket.
It is the type you can carry on your back and it costs 1 silver.
“Put that in here.”
“You went out of your way to buy it?!”
“If we take our leisure time in the middle of the road, we will be obstructing the other pedestrians. Let’s go quickly.”
We stuff up the basket with ingredients noisily and carry it.
I had her continue carrying the fragile-looking ingredients like eggs.
It is unexpectedly heavy. Even though I had decided to not do manual labor…I would feel bad if I were to just put out money and end it there when I told her I would help her.
I endure the pain in my body and begin the transportation.
“You have really saved me there! Ah, I am Saira. And you?”
“I am a passing old man.”
“Pfft, old man, you say!” (Saira)
I tell her my age.
“No way!” (Saira)
“It is the truth. Leaving aside my face, I do have that presence, right?”
“No, not really…ah, it is nothing. Sorry!” (Saira)
Hehehe, well, it is true that I really wouldn’t have much of a presence compared to knights though!
Ilias has a lot more presence than me in that front. I should try asking her how to give off that aura of seniority.
“Uhm, you are not a face normally seen around here, Onii-san.” (Saira)
“I came here to Taizu a few days ago after all. I was wandering around the city today to memorize it.”
“I see. I am working as a waitress in the establishment over there. Please come visit, okay?!” (Saira)
“If the taste is good.”
“Hmm, then that won’t work.” (Saira)
“Is it not good?”
After being guided by Saira for a while, we arrived at a single establishment.
Judging from the atmosphere, is it a tavern?
“This is my place, Dog’s Bone!” (Saira)
“Couldn’t they have gone for a bit of a better name for this establishment?”
“Shut up, don’t complain about the stores of others.”
The one who cut into the conversation was a 2 meter man with a big scar on his face.
Where did this hoodlum come from?! If I hadn’t gotten used to it from the matter of the bandit subjugation, I would have gotten scared and cried!
“Saira, this isn’t your place. It is mine!”
“Eeh, but owner, I am working there, so isn’t it okay for it to be my place?” (Saira)
“It isn’t okay. Anyways, who is that guy?”
I tell him the circumstances. By the way, this big man’s name is apparently Gozu.
“I see, sorry for the trouble there, Nii-chan. I will pay you back for the basket.” (Gozu)
“No need. Give me something to eat instead.”
“I do bring out food at noon, but I am currently stocking up first. I won’t be able to bring it out at once.” (Gozu)
“It is okay. I did plan on adding that I wanted to be fed at noon.”
“I see. In that case, either wait until noon or come back again at that time.” (Gozu)
“Then, shall I help out inside? Saira, when you are finished with that, can you tell me about this city?”
This must be fate or something. Let’s hear information from Saira since there’s the opportunity.
Gozu is mainly in the kitchen doing the preparations for cooking and Saira was cleaning up the place.
There’s a faint scent of alcohol in the air.
“I do some light cleaning too at night once work is done though, but it still reeks of alcohol~.” (Saira)
“Better than having puke around. Let’s finish this up quickly.”
We help each other out and finish cleaning. Ventilate the store and enter chatting time.
What I asked Saira about was the variety of stores around the city, population, the division of work, etc.
There’s no supermarkets or convenience stores, but there’s clothing stores, shoe stores, hat stores, smithies, armory stores, medicinal stores, and many other stores.
There’s apparently a library that has magic books. I should try going there when I learn to read.
Anyone can use it, but there’s parts of the facility that can’t be used unless you are of a certain social standing.
Libraries, barracks, military stations; basically, facilities exclusive for the use of officers and knights of the country.
Letting civilians approach the prisons would obviously not be good after all.
There was a case where a civilian was put in a cell the other day and asked to be put back in there, but let’s forget about that.
“By the way, I was curious about this but, why did you begin working as a waitress here, Saira?”
“Hmm, I want to have a clothing store in the future, so I am saving money for that. But if I do this every day, I won’t have spare time for my objective, so I chose to have 3 free days a week, and work at noon and night.” (Saira)
“Is this place earning a lot?”
“In the afternoons, not at all. It is pretty lively at night with people coming here for drinks~.” (Saira)
Fumu, that means I can’t expect much from my supper, huh.
Well, I am fine with anything as long as it enters my stomach, and it would lessen the expense of the basket.
“Then, you study about clothes in your free days?”
“Yeah, I would go around checking a variety of stores, see their assortments, buy cloth, and try making them. But I am still far from the appropriate level.” (Saira)
“Aren’t you going to become the apprentice of a tailor?”
“I do want to, but the establishments with artisan nature don’t accept apprentices that easily~.” (Saira)
It seems like she asked a number of places and got rejected.
Makes sense. In most cases, when you are taking in a disciple, it is to have them succeed their business.
It would be like raising a stranger that can become your future rival.
There seems to be learning institutions of sorts, but they are places you can only go to when you have a certain degree of social status, and even if you get to go there, what you learn is high education and not specialized knowledge like the design of clothes.
To become a future tailor, you either inherit a place, or learn by yourself.
But the latter will most likely pose difficulties in the economic and technical front.
No, she is currently having trouble.
“That’s quite the treacherous path.”
“Yeah, but it is fun.” (Saira)
“Of course it should be. It would be unbearable otherwise.”
Uh, her smile is dazzling.
I have to do something about my freeloader lifestyle or I will die from a sense of inferiority!
“Speaking of which, you came here just recently, right, Onii-san? What are you doing for your lodging?” (Saira)
“Aah, a kind knight lent me a vacant room in their house.”
“Wah, you are acquainted with a knight-sama?! Are you actually a big shot, Onii-san?!” (Saira)
“No, I just coincidentally had a chance to help them out with their work. It came from that. I am currently just an unemployed guy.”
“I see. Hope you find a job soon~. By the way, which division is the knight-sama looking after you from?” (Saira)
“Ilias Ratzel of the Ragudo Division.”
Gozu, who had shown up right in time, harmonized cleanly with Saira.
I see. Looks like their work relationship is going well.
“B-By Ilias-sama, you mean that one?!” (Saira)
“I don’t know if there’s another one, but it is the gori—female knight that can slice down a forest with a single swing of her sword. Is she famous?”
“It goes beyond famous. The ones in this nation who don’t know about her are uninitiated!” (Saira)
What’s an uninitiated citizen? But well, being in the division with the most seniority, the Ragudo Division, she really must be famous. She has good looks too, but I feel like it is her outrageous strength that is what’s famous of her.
“Ilias-sama is an incredible person who has won the swordsmanship tournament held in Taizu, you know?!” (Saira)
“Yeah, the sight of her knocking down the knights confident of their skills with her bare fists without swinging her sword is legendary at this point.” (Gozu)
Compete with swordsmanship, oi. If I had been the referee, I would have disqualified her.
She really is a gorilla.
“I see. Cara-jiisan and the others were strong too, but Ilias was on another level after all.”
“Cara-jiisan? Wait, are you referring to Caragyugujesta Domitorkofucon-sama?!” (Saira)
Why do you remember his full name? I still can’t say his name even when looking at my memo.
“Yeah, an old man like that.”
“Caragyugujesta-sama is called the Spear God, and is a master of the spear that can enter the top 5 within the Taizu knights. Him throwing a helmet and bringing down a wyvern flying far high in the sky is still a heroic tale of his being told among adventurers.” (Gozu)
Throw a spear. At least use your weapon.
Call yourself Helmet God instead.
“Man, that person rarely comes out. You are lucky to be able to see him fight, Nii-chan! The knights in the Ragudo Division are all super 1st class knights and there’s also…” (Gozu)
I can’t tell them…the fact that I used the members of the Ragudo Division to help me do desk work or used one as a sniper for a sneak attack. This pair of fans would probably beat me up.
“Also, you saw how Ilias-sama fights, right?! Was it impressive?!” (Saira)
“Of course it was. When she grabbed a stone hammer bigger than herself with a hand and she crushed it in her grip, I had a hard time believing she is a human too.”
For now, I ended up telling them a summarized version of the first bandit lair raid.
The two knight fans were holding both hands with sweat in them as they listened to my story.
“Eh? Then, does that mean Onii-san helped out in the bandit subjugation this time around?” (Saira)
“Basically. It is not like I can fight, so I was more like a guide.”
“Ooh, is that so. But I would have wanted to see it too, the spectacle of Ilias-sama fighting!” (Saira)
“The battle was fine, but it was muddy in a lot of ways. She even got the commanding rights of the other knight divisions stolen from her.”
The two suddenly make gloomy faces.
“…I see. So things like that do happen, huh.”
“Her evaluation within the Ragudo Division was high, but her treatment within the other knight divisions was rock-bottom.”
“Yeah, Illias-sama is strong and amazing, but there’s no few who view her negatively.” (Saira)
“For the guys who think knights are the symbol of a man, the strength of Ilias-sama has become a target of disdain.” (Gozu)
“She is hated by men and feared by women. That’s pretty much the gist of it.”
“But but! It is not like it is everyone! There’s people who are supporting her!” (Saira)
“I can tell when seeing you two.”
So the discrimination of Ilias isn’t just within the knights but also the citizens, huh.
But there’s obviously people who admire her.
The battle of the other day flashed in my mind.
Of course that would be the case. There’s no way you wouldn’t admire that strength when shown to you.
“Well, don’t worry. The commanding rights of Ilias may have been stolen, but she managed to get the head of the man that led the bandits. She is without a doubt the one who put an end to this matter.”
“I see, I see!” (Saira)
“Hehe, that’s great to hear! It is about time for supper, I am heading off to make a good one!” (Gozu)
Saira and Gozu were rejoicing as if it were about themselves.
That’s great, Ilias. You are being evaluated properly.
There’s no person who has been valued by everyone.
Being evaluated highly in the true sense of the word is the highest of honors, even if it is by only a few people.
Right now her attention is directed at the fact that she is being criticized, but the day she will understand will definitely come.
Right, I should bring her here next time.
“Ah, does it taste bad as expected?” (Saira)
“The food we make here barely sells after all. I do have confidence in the alcohol though.” (Gozu)
I should bring her here when the quality of the food gets better.