Torin, the major country that’s located at the northernmost side of this continent.
But contrary to Japan, it is not like the temperature goes down even if it is north. It instead has warm atmospheric temperature flowing in often which makes it hot.
It is also one of the major countries facing the sea, so you could say the fishing being prosperous is a defining trait of theirs.
But the most defining feature is that the ratio of demi-humans is higher which is a big difference compared to the countries until now.
The appearance of the ones called demi-humans were divided in many manners on human territory, but if we are to divide them in broader terms, it would be 2. It would be the non-animal category and animal category.
The non-animal ones would be the classics in fantasy like elves and dwarves. They are almost all concentrated in Serende.
The animal ones are the ones who have some part of their bodies with animal features -mainly their ears or eyes. They made tribes in the past by race, so they were described as the multi-species race, but mating with different races happened as time went on.
Due to this, it is hard to tell from outward appearance now, so the demi-humans stopped calling themselves by their specific race. Well, there’s apparently still people like nobles who treasure blood though.
Now then, there’s a reason why I have summarized the information of Torin I have. It is in order to block the escape route of Raheight’s group.
We are going to be conquering the Torin side that’s not the main hideout, but the majority of the population in Torin is demi-humans.
There’s normal humans, but they are mostly merchants or adventurers that have come to make a profit.
What I am trying to say here is…would it be easier to understand if I were to describe it as the reaction people from the countryside of Japan would have when seeing a foreigner?
You stand out just from the fact that you are a human.
“And so, we have disguised ourselves as demi-humans by using the spell Nora created to grow animal ears and a tail, but…”
The people of an isekai already give off that feeling of cosplay, so I can’t help but feel like there’s an added layer to it when including the animal ears and tails.
The number one reason is because I have been brought to such establishments before, but I don’t want to explain it to these guys.
The one that I can tell the race in one go is Mix with her leopard ears and tail; the ones of Rakura look like a persian cat’s; Ekdoik’s are from a labrador; Haakudoku’s are from a pomeranian; Kayle’s are from a chihuahua.
According to Nora, they mirror the personality of the person, but isn’t the dog rate high?
Blue is originally a demi-human, so she is almost the same. By almost, I mean that her horn stands out, so she has erased it with magic like the times when she is walking in Taizu.
She basically only has the horse ears and tail showing.
“They look good on you-desu zo, Mister Friend.” (Mix)
“Thanks. But I feel like it stands out.”
And for some reason, I have the same ears and tail like the race of Wolfe, the Black Wolfkin. The fur color of my ears and tail are the same as my hair color, so the black color is still making me stand out.
I asked Nora whether she could improve the spell so that it can be used along with the hair color changing spell, but this spell is apparently an incredibly delicate and complicated one.
It is actually an incredible spell that would require detection magic on the level of Haakudoku to be able to tell that this is a transformation through magic.
You also don’t get discovered by your smell on top of that.
“Well, it would be better for Mister Friend to refrain from going outdoors often or wear something on top of your head.” (Mix)
“What about my tail?”
I can move my tail freely to a certain degree, but the length of this black tail is quite the thing.
Clothes that cover all of it would stand out a lot, and most of all, it is hot.
It doesn’t seem like Mix minds it much, but Rakura is a lot more languid than usual on top of the sofa.
“Fumu… Should we slice it off?” (Mix)
“I don’t want to slice off a part that has nerves connected to it. I will try to act mainly at night.”
By the way, I am maintaining this spell with the help of Kutou, so it will be undone if I let go of Kutou.
But in order to activate it again, I would need Nora who remained in Taizu, so I can’t let go of him at any time.
I have made it so that Kutou would wrap itself around a part of my body with a tendril when going to bed or the bathroom.
I wanted to bring Nora with us, but Purple said she needed her, so it can’t be helped.
I was touching my own tail as I thought this, and Ekdoik and Blue, who were investigating the house to check if there’s any issues, showed up.
“We have finished investigating the house, Comrade. It is nice and all that we have arrived at Torin, but what are we going to do now?” (Ekdoik)
“I will consult with the person that provided us this house, Odyus, about our future plans.”
We need to coordinate with the locals in order to act in Torin.
And so, I contact General Odyus who is comparatively trustworthy.
I have already told him the circumstances, so Odyus provided this vacant house with no gripes.
It seems like he also doesn’t find it agreeable that dangerous people like Raheight are staying in his nation, so he is being extremely cooperative.
“Ekdoik-niisan, can you lower the temperature with magic?” (Rakura)
“Do it yourself, Rakura…” (Blue)
“It is so hot, it is a pain…” (Rakura)
It is your fault for wearing your usual cleric clothes despite being in such a hot region. Moreover, it is even more stuffy here with the addition of tails.
I would say Ekdoik, who has chains wrapped around his body, not feeling hot is abnormal.
Ekdoik lowered the temperature of the room with magic, and the expression of Rakura became more healthy. She is still all languid though.
“Fuuh, thanks.” (Rakura)
“The temperature of Mejis is low most likely because the encroachment of the Nether is deep after all. The heat of Torin must be pretty rough on the people of Mejis.” (Ekdoik)
“You are also from Mejis though, moreover, blood-related to that woman lazing about.”
“I have lowered the temperature of the chains and have them wrapped around my whole body, so there’s no issues.” (Ekdoik)
“So that’s why I thought it felt cold when close to Ekdoik, huh…” (Blue)
I see, so he made countermeasures for it. Clever.
I would like to tell Rakura to learn from him, but she is not good at using several spells at the same time. She most likely wouldn’t be able to manage other things if she were to maintain the temperature to a comfortable degree.
“What about you, Comrade? Are you okay?” (Ekdoik)
“I have often experienced this degree of heat in my homeland. That said, it is not like I have the leeway to do manual labor outside or something like that.”
It is just that it is better than the heat of midsummer.
Running around in this heat would be asking too much.
But Ekdoik has been awfully active since arriving at Torin. How to say it…his consideration towards others stands out.
The reason is most likely because of ‘her’.
“Brother, I came back from the groceries!”
“Hey, Haakudoku, don’t just stop at the entrance.”
“Oh, we have returned.”
The groceries team has returned. Haakudoku, Kayle, and the new members of Mejis: Masetta-san and Melia.
Masetta-san is a priestess just like Rakura, and has a decent amount of notoriety as a Morgana adventurer.
She has enough fame as a Yugura Church cleric too, so she has been assigned here as someone who got the achievement of cornering Seraes together with Haakudoku.
Melia is a rookie Holy Knight. Her standing is similar to Kayle, but she doesn’t have prejudices towards us being allies with Demon Lords, so the Holy Knight Captain Yox assigned her with us.
But having an acquaintance of Ekdoik being chosen is…how to say it…it makes me feel like the world is small.
It is easier for me to maneuver like this, so I am thankful though.
By the way, Masetta-san is a maine coon cat, and Melia is a chow chow dog.
There really are a lot of dogs.
They are all wearing the casual clothes of this country, and there’s a lot less fabric compared to other countries.
Well, it is still in a healthy line, so it shouldn’t be embarrassing.
“Ekdoik-san, please confirm the things we have bought.” (Melia)
“Alright. Was the outside hot?” (Ekdoik)
“It is okay. I am normally wearing armor, so there’s not much of a difference. Ah, have some water too, Comrade-san.” (Melia)
I feel like Melia has grown pretty attached to Ekdoik. Ekdoik also feels pretty gentle when interacting with Melia.
Her way of calling me is similar to that of Ekdoik.
It seems like a lot happened while a certain someone was absent, but it is great that they have formed a good relationship with each other.
Well, Haakudoku is hiding and observing me so he doesn’t faint.
I am a bit worried about the eyes Blue directs at those two, but let’s do something about that with time.
“E-Excuse me, Sensei, this is what you asked me for…” (Kayle)
“Thanks, Kayle. Please leave it somewhere there.”
Kayle calls me sensei.
I can’t tell him my name, so I was wondering how he would call me, but it ended up like this after Lord Leano told him ‘learn a lot from him’.
He is a pretty diligent guy, so I have to be careful so that he doesn’t absorb my bad parts.
By the way, the way Masetta calls me is…
“R-Representative-san, I have made a rough list of the stores in Kuama just as you asked me. H-Here.” (Masetta)
That’s how it is.
There’s no doubt I am the representative of the 3rd Faction, but the current face is Gestaf.
But I am at fault in the first place for not telling her my name, so let’s not worry about those details.
But it seems like Masetta-san can’t hide her nervousness towards me.
Rather than scared, it is more like she is overwhelmed by me.
I want to tell her to interact with me casually, but she sees me as being on an equal relationship with Pope Euparo, so it is probably a hard request for Masetta-san who is a normal person.
“Fumu… Torin has a lot of stores of the same branches. I guess their competition for individuality is strong compared to Taizu.”
“There’s a lot of medium-sized settlements in Torin compared to Taizu after all. There’s a lot of merchants from other lands showing up-desu zo.” (Mix)
“It is the same as Kuama in that sense. Or more like, Taizu and Gahne are the outliers, huh.”
Taizu has lords that manage the area, and the nobles concentrate on the capital of Taizu to earn their livelihood. That’s why it is hard for medium-sized settlements to be created. They are basically concentrating their growth in the capital.
That’s even more pronounced in Gahne. They are basically gathering all settlements together.
“It would be easy to just say there’s a lot of people with ambitions and it is prone to prosper, but that in turn also increases the crime rates.” (Mix)
“It is normally around this much though. A country can’t flourish otherwise. Taizu and Gahne not declining despite that is greatly in part because of the skill of their kings.”
The more competition there is, the more power the stores put in their originality to survive.
The competition of lowering prices would be won by the big chains, so they would put importance on points like quality, scarcity, and service.
“With these many stores, I doubt we will stand out even if we were to do our thing.”
“Right. Ah, it seems like there’s someone at the door.” (Haaku)
Haakudoku left the room and returned soon after. Odyus was standing by his side in casual clothes.
“Hey there, welcome to Torin.” (Odyus)
“General Odyus, thanks for your cooperation on this occasion.”
“Don’t worry about it. Also, I am currently off-duty. You can just call me Odyus. And so, I would like to get into the main topic.” (Odyus)
Letters and communication crystals can be intercepted, so we simply contacted Torin with the simple explanation of: ‘We have obtained new information about their hideout. I would like you to assist us for the sake of our investigation’.
I gave a rough explanation of what has happened until now and explained the gist of our capture of the hideout of Raheight’s group.
“Fumu… So the hideout is in the firm of the Holstear Company.” (Odyus)
“I understand your desire to raid them at once, but please endure. The difficulty in the capture of the hideout in Serende will increase if they were to get away. We should first get a grasp of the people there and investigate their Illegitimate.”
The Holstear Company is the company led by the best merchant of Torin, Landos Holstear.
The advisors of the adventurer guilds in Kuama, and the top company here; they have really spread their roots wide.
“Umu, I fully understand this. His Majesty has entrusted me with the investigation. I don’t mind you deciding the details on what we will be doing.” (Odyus)
“The Torin King is pretty forbearing.”
“Not really. But you are the hero that defeated the Scarlet Demon Lord. The Torin King evaluates that highly.” (Odyus)
“Being called a hero makes me itchy.”
“Don’t be modest. Also, it is thanks to you that we aren’t seen with judgmental eyes even when we didn’t assist in the war. That’s most likely the bigger reason.” (Odyus)
The countries that refuse cooperation would normally suffer the appropriate response, but the army of Torin that has a lot of demi-humans must have been affected pretty badly by the Strife of the Scarlet Demon Lord.
Thanks to Marito, Pope Euparo, and King Zenotta understanding this correctly, I managed to make it so that their attitude towards Torin and Serende didn’t change.
“It is in part because the representatives of the nations were understanding though.”
“It doesn’t change the fact that you were the trigger as the one who spoke with them. I want to express my gratitude as well for you believing our story which had little credibility.” (Odyus)
“I see. I will accept that gratitude of yours obediently then.”
Odyus was standing at that place as a representative of Torin.
He took the role of refusing cooperation in a scenario where the nations were joining hands. He most likely thought it would be unavoidable for diplomatic relations to worsen.
“And so, what do you plan on doing in specific?” (Odyus)
“We will begin a small-scale business first. After that, we will try being taken in by the Holstear Company and begin our information gathering from there.”
“T-That’s quite the roundabout method… I thought for sure you would use anbus or something to investigate them…” (Odyus)
“There’s the fear that it has already been discovered that we have obtained information. Their alert must be high right now, so I would like to avoid unnecessary contact until we have investigated what kind of Illegitimate they have.”
The Illegitimate who understand their own talent will be employing that talent to their fullest.
They would be on the same level as the legendary hero when it comes to that talent.
I would like to avoid standing on their stage of preference.
“But it would take a long time then… In the first place, it will be hard to be taken in by the Holstear Company if your business doesn’t go well. How many people in your group have experience running a business?” (Odyus)
“I do in a way. Is there anyone else?”
It is a wonderful lineup of adventurers, clerics, and knights.
“A-Are you going to be fine…?” (Odyus)
“We will manage somehow. I would like you to gather information of the surroundings to a degree that’s not suspicious. I plan on keeping the work I give you to things that you would do as a general.”
“I don’t mind that, but…” (Odyus)
I will have Odyus investigate the maps of this country and the industrial level of the respective territories. They are all things on a level where even outsiders would be able to investigate about if they take a decent amount of time, but a general of Torin should be able to gather that information comparatively faster.
Information is a weapon in commerce -this doesn’t change no matter the place.
I observed the lists that Masetta-san gathered after Odyus left, and thought about what business I will be doing.
“How about an eatery that utilizes salt skillfully like in Taizu?” (Ekdoik)
“We don’t have enough people that can cook. Also, that’s a bit questionable to be taken in by a company. It would be better for it to be a retailer that utilizes new and rare merchandise.”
Manufactured goods using salt is not a bad idea, but Torin is adjacent to the sea.
Salted pastries would simply bring attention to it and there would be people imitating us pretty quickly.
We need something that can create talk if we want to join the Holstear Company.
“How about handling the specialty products of Taizu and Gahne? They would want to secure merchants with their own trade route.” (Mix)
“We would be able to obtain goods at a relatively low price if I were to ask Marito and the others. But if such a line-up were to enter the ears of Ritial, there’s the fear of being associated.”
“So we can’t simply think in the perspective of a business…” (Mix)
A company would at least investigate the trade routes. It would be better to avoid unnatural routes.
In that case…around there would be the most appropriate.
“It seems like you have thought of something.” (Mix)
“Yeah, we fortunately have the people for it. Let’s make good use of them.”
I explained the plan I thought of and made a plan of action.
They all seem to agree to it, so they must think there’s a chance with this too.
“I am impressed you can think of all this stuff one after the other, Counselor-sama.” (Rakura)
“I was thinking of doing something about my financial affairs, so I have been thinking about this every day. Money was important in my world too, so I am used to beginning a business to a certain degree. Especially at times when I need clean money.”
“Just hearing the word ‘clean money’ gives a peek into an ominous daily life. I am curious about what kind of person you were in the past, Counselor-sama.” (Rakura)
“It is not that different from what it is now. Aah, but I did have a rough period of time.”
“Period…of time…?” (Rakura)
“Stop the face as if saying ‘isn’t your life rough even now?’. Everyone has a rough time in their life at least once.”
Ekdoik and Haakudoku nodded.
No, my life wasn’t as horrible as yours, you know?
By the way, even if I say rough, I don’t mean something like being a delinquent. I was betrayed a lot, so there was a time when I took the stance of enjoying such things rather than being worn down by them.
“There are times that you wouldn’t want to talk too much about with others after all. By the way, Mister Friend, how long ago was that time?” (Mix)
“What you said before is not matching what you are saying now… Well, it was around 5 years before I came to this world. You could say it was something like the mistakes of youth.”
“Mistakes of youth, you say… How old are you, Representative?” (Masetta)
The people who didn’t know my real age opened their mouths wide when I told them.
Blue, you are ancient though.
“Wait, stop that face as if saying I am far older than you and ancient! I was still in my teens at the time when I became a Demon Lord, you know?!” (Blue)
“Are you trying to say some nonsense like your heart is still that of a teenager?”
“T-That’s right! My twenties at most!” (Blue)
“It is true that you didn’t lead a proper life after becoming a Demon Lord. In that sense, you could say I also don’t match my age either…” (Ekdoik)
“So you two are fit for each other in a sense.”
“Right. We are both inexperienced, so I would like us both to support each other.” (Ekdoik)
“Why is it that you can say such things with a straight face…?” (Blue)
This time it was Melia who was making an unamused face.
I feel like there’s going to be a storm over here in its own way, but I pray the waves don’t reach my way.
For now, let’s bring Masetta-san, who has frozen from learning about my real age, back to her senses.
Author: The oldest one in the group -excluding Blue- would be: the protagonist, then Ekdoik.
For the youngest ones, it would be Kayle and Melia at the same age.
Ekdoik is 28 and Rakura is 25.