Chapter 117 Ihomonos Part One
Edited by: Kanaa-senpai
It was exactly one week since Niya-san and her friends arrived at the frontier.
There were some uncertainties, such as whether Niya-san and her friends would be able to get used to the new settlement, but the biggest concern was whether they would be able to get enough customers to satisfy their needs.
Although there was a contract that could pay them enough to live, they wouldn’t want to stay in a place where no one comes to do business, and that they might give up on us in a few days at worst.
However, our concerns were unfounded because there were some loyal customers among the sincere dwarf people, and as long as they kept coming, I didn’t have to worry about customer traffic.
I had thought that Dwarves are not so much s*xually active as they are drinking, but I guess a man is a man no matter what kind of race he is.
Let’s put that aside for now. As it had been a week since they arrived, I thought of visiting them to hear about their experience.
I had heard from Diana and other people around me how Niya-san and her friends were doing, but what I heard from them seemed to be only the usual things like they had no complaints or they were getting used to the new settlement, so I wanted to know more about them, and I decided to go and talk to them directly.
I thought someone must be around the carriage that was placed near the mansion. And I found Niya-san practicing her swordsmanship.
Niya-san sheathes her sword when she notices my presence and turns to me, interrupting her training.
”What can I do for you?”
”It’s been a week since you arrived at the settlement, so I thought we could talk.”
”Oh, I see.”
”How about it? I’d like to hear your honest opinion since it’s related to the future policy of the settlement.”
”I see. Well then.”
After a moment of thought, Niya-san opens her mouth.
”I think it’s a nice and quiet place, but it doesn’t change the fact that this place is near a labyrinth where monsters roam. Since we don’t know when a monster attack will occur, this tranquility will only make people relax and cause delays in preparing for emergencies.”
”Oh, I’m sorry, it’s just that it’s not what I had in mind.”
I was expecting to hear more about the inconvenience and comfort of living in the settlement, but when Niya-san answered with an unexpected answer, I made a puzzled face.
”Is this not going to be helpful for you?”
”Oh, no! That’s not the case at all! Thank you for your opinion, which is valid. May I ask you something, if that’s alright? In your previous world, were you a soldier or something of that sort, Niya-san?”
”Why do you say that?”
”I was just wondering, I don’t have any deep meaning, but it sounded like you were a soldier or a commander, or someone in that kind of position.”
”…Yes, I was a soldier in my former world.”
I knew it, I had a feeling that she was a soldier, and I only caught a glimpse of her training earlier, but she looked pretty good.
”What was your rank?”
”In our world there are no ranks, only those who can fight and those who can’t.”
”I see, that’s quite vague.”
”There were not enough humans around to require a system of ranks. Even someone like me, who had no special abilities, was pushed to become a soldier due to the lack of people.”
”Even if you have no special ability, Niya-san, you seem to have a quick mind, and I think you would be a good commander.”
”You must be joking, I’m just a little girl without much power. At least in my former world I couldn’t fight an army without relying on equipment.”
”But with proper equipment, you could fight against an entire army. That’s quite impressive.”
”It’s the power of the equipment that’s great, not my power.”
I wonder what kind of equipment was so impressive that it allowed humans to fight against an entire army.
However, we’re getting off-topic, so let’s get back on track.
”Well, getting back to the topic, without talking about the previous slip-up, how is the simple living environment?”
”Ah, sorry. You mean the living environment. Well, it’s not bad since the worry of being targeted by unsavory individuals has decreased considerably. It’s peaceful in that sense.”
Having said that, seeing that Niya-san is still keeping an eye on the carriages, I guess she is still on the lookout for them.
From Niya-san’s point of view, most of the people in the frontier area are strangers, so it’s no wonder that they have to stand guard over them.
If they lived in a proper house instead of a carriage, they could lock the door and there would be no need to keep a lookout.
”Then, is there anything you feel is lacking?”
”Yes, is there anything you think would be good if there were such a thing in the settlements?”
”Well, I have thought that if there were some kind of training ground, I could exercise my body without worrying about my surroundings.”
”Oh, a training ground…”
This is another unexpected answer.
I was expecting to get requests more closely related to daily life, but I wonder if it’s because of my bad questioning style that I get answers that are subtly different from what I intended.
Since there are still four people I have to ask around, I decide to stop asking Niya-san and ask her about the whereabouts of the other four people.
She tells me that Mio-san and Moona-san went to the Harvest Hoe for shopping, while she doesn’t know where Iko-san and Momoka-san are, so I head for the branch of the Harvest Hoe.
While looking around for the two whose whereabouts are unknown, someone speaks to me from behind.
”Looking for someone?”
I turned my head but did not see anyone, and while I was wondering why, I was called again.
”Master Neil, down down.”
I turned my head and lowered my eyes, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a woman with light purple hair.
”Is it Iko-san?”
”Yes, that’s right.”
Iko-san says in response to my question, and then she steps out from behind my back and turns around to face me.
She was a petite woman with light purple hair tied at both ends of her head and her head just touching my chest.
”Why were you hiding behind someone’s back?”
”It’s not like I was hiding on purpose. I’m just small, so when I get close to someone’s back, I can’t really see what’s in front of me.”
”If you know that, isn’t it the same as hiding?”
”Well, don’t worry about the details. You seemed to be looking for someone. Who are you looking for?”
”Well, I was looking for four other people besides Niya-san.”
”Hmm? Does that mean you were looking for me too? What do you want?”
I explain that it’s been a week since Niya-san and the others came to the settlement, that I’ve been asking them about their life in the settlement, and that I’ve already talked to Niya-san.
”I see, by the way, did you get a satisfactory answer from Niya?”
”Well, that’s, uh…”
”From the sound of it, she didn’t give me a satisfactory answer. Well, Niya is indifferent to such human needs, so I don’t think you’ll get the answer you were hoping for if you ask her if she has any dissatisfaction or lack of satisfaction in her life. Besides, we spent five years traveling around in a carriage, so she’s used to a lot of inconvenience and doesn’t really feel much inconvenience even now.”
I see… So she is complaining about her life in this place because her life was inconvenient before.
I thought for a moment that this was a good thing…but there was no reason for them to settle down in the settlement if their lives were not much different from their old ones, and it was absolutely necessary to improve their lives if I wanted to keep Niya-san and the others.
If they said they had no complaints, I would be at a loss as to how to improve their lives, so in this case, it was more convenient for them to complain.
”By the way, when Niya was asked if there was anything inconvenient, what did she say?”
”She said she wanted a place to train.”
”Uh… that’s very Niya-like… isn’t it a problem?”
”To be honest, yes.
”You know, Niya has always been uptight about training, and if she has the time she’ll keep insisting on it. You don’t have to take Niya’s words to heart and build a training ground, do you?”
”Hahaha, there are more important things to prioritize, so it’s okay. Oh, but there is a cleared area near the farmland where you can train without worrying about your surroundings. If you like, please let Niya-san know.”
”Now that you mention it, there is an open area towards the farmland, but is that area a planned construction site? It was a very unusual open space with one part sticking out.”
”That wasn’t an intentional clearing, but I once accidentally cut down some trees when I was experimenting with magic.”
The open space in the farmland is the place where I had inadvertently cut down the trees with wind magic during the test run of my beloved sword, which was revived by Wen’s power.
Now all the stumps have been removed and the land has been leveled so that it can be used at any time, but there is still plenty of land to be cultivated, so the place will remain as it is for a while.
”Wow, so you need such a powerful magic to test that. Is there any reason to believe that there might be something outside the developed land that necessitates such a strong magic?”
”No, it’s not that I’m preparing for a monster attack or anything like that, it’s just that I got a new magical catalyst and tried it out for a test run and that’s what happened.”
”Oh, I see.”
Iko-san looked at my answer as if to say, “That’s too much for a test run,” and I really agree with her.
But I can’t help it, I never dreamed that such a basic magic would have that much power.
”Hey Master Neil, is old man Gaadhir the only security guard at the settlement?”
”Well, yes, for now, only Gaadhir-san is here. Why do you ask all of a sudden?”
”Just curious, that’s all.”
When there’s only one guard on the frontier, it’s natural to be concerned.
”I think it would be safer for you and the others if there were more guards…”
”Hm? Oh yeah, I guess so.”
”Oh? You don’t seem to be as worried as you thought you would be?”
”Well, we’ve always protected ourselves so having more security personnel doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll feel more secure. In fact, if there are more people doing that job, there will be more potential threats to watch out for.”
Just as I was wary that hiring security guards to protect the settlements might cause the settlements to deteriorate, it’s hard to say that the power to protect the settlements won’t be directed elsewhere.
In the same way, I think that Iko-san and the others are wary of that power being directed toward them.
It is hard to imagine what kind of a settlement they would feel safe in and want to live in.
”Well, do you have anything you would like to see in a settlement?”
”Other than training grounds?”
”No, I’m just kidding, don’t look so serious.”
”…For a moment, I thought that you guys are all fighting race or something.”
”No, of course not. Well, since I came here I’ve only washed my body by wiping it with a wet cloth or bathing in the river, and it’s about time I started to miss a bath.”
”But that’s a bit too extravagant, you know that only aristocrats can take a bath here, right?”
”I think it’s more correct to say that they don’t go in there. At least, there are no public bathhouses in the empire, and it would cost a lot of money for construction if you wanted to have a private bathroom.”
But a bath, that’s quite possible.
I hear other countries have public baths. Maybe I should ask Diana for advice later.
”Thank you very much for your valuable opinion, Iko-san.”
”Yes, I still have to hear from the other three.”
”I see, Master Neil, see you later.”
With that, Iko-san went toward the carriage, and after I watched her back for a while, I also walked toward the Harvest Hoe branch where Mio-san and Moona-san were probably located.
* * *
”Hi, Niya, I’m back. I have something to tell you.”
”Yeah, what’s up?”
”Oh, did you see it? Anyway, let me get straight to the point. It seems old man Gaadhir is the only one guarding the settlement; and there are other people roaming around outside.”
”Is that so?”
”What should we do? Should Mio and I team up to take care of the problem?”
”Hold on. Acting without knowing who’s behind it could cause problems later. We need to carefully observe the situation for now.”
”Hmm, but if we leave it as is, Momoka might take matters into her own hands.”
”Well, nevermind that. By the way, he asked you too, didn’t he? Do you have any interesting information?”
”Interesting information? If that’s what you’re talking about, he has got some equipment.”
”Oh, that’s what he told you?”
”He didn’t give any specifics. Can you guess his response?”
”Well, he’s a nobleman. So he probably would’ve been interested in weapons and stuff, right?”
”But then he asked about the comfort of living in the settlements.”
”Apparently, he’s more interested in the comfort of the new land than in unknown forces.”
”That’s so weird. But interesting, I guess.”
”For now, we’ll just keep an eye on things, both inside and outside.”
”Okay, got it, ‘Captain (隊長)’!”
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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
Thanks for reading.