Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Hoban Visit」Part 2
Ariane and I are currently following the boy through back alleys
We seemed to be heading in the direction of the southern gate, close to where we had transferred into Hoban.
As we leave the immaculate downtown area that surrounded the feudal lord’s castle, the number of beautiful houses and people gradually reduced, giving way to an area with a deserted atmosphere.
The boy stopped once we reached the slums that lined the southern wall of the city.
The peculiar smell of decay and animals covered the land, a rather unsanitary smell, and Ariane had to grimace even in the depths of her cloak.
However, seemingly accustomed to the smell, the boy just walked down the complex network of narrow alleyways before he entered one of the shacks
The roof was rather low so I had to bend down while entering, and the drafty shack was rather crowded with four people inside.
There was a single girl sleeping under a blanket of old rags inside the shack, and the boy quietly approached the girl before gently shaking her awake.
There didn’t seem to be more than a year’s difference between the boy and the girl that called out to him.
She had black hair like the boy, but hers was rather long and unkempt.
“How’d you get those injuries? Did the guards do this to you?”
When the girl was fully awake, she slowly sat up and looked worriedly at her brother while tears started to gather in her eyes.
“This much is nothing. I brought a person that can heal your legs with me.”
The boy wiped some blood from the corner of his mouth as he answered before turning his eyes in my direction as if prompting an introduction.
The girl followed the boys line of sight and finally noticed our presence. When she saw me, she became scared and hid in the boy’s shadow
“No need to fear, I’m not one of the feudal lord’s soldiers or knights. I’m Arc, just a simple traveler. The person behind me is my companion. Forgive our intrusion.”
The girl silently opened her mouth as the cloaked Ariane offered a small nod with her eyes still covered, and Ponta began to briskly wag her tail while she was still held close to Ariane’s chest.
The girl’s expression slightly relaxed when she looked at Ponta.
“Mister Arc, please heal the legs of my sister Shea. I beg you.”
The boy had an earnest expression as he lowered his head to the floor.
While giving a generous nod, I pulled back the blanket of rags from the girl called Shea to look at her legs.
The girl’s thin legs were both set by pieces of boards tied together with strings.
“I asked an old man in the neighborhood to examine her legs, but he said that they couldn’t be healed……”
The boy explained the origin of the boards while looking at his sister’s legs.
The boards were acting as supports for her legs since both them had badly fractured bones. I don’t know if she would be paralyzed or not even if she did heal on her own. The intermediate level recovery magic of the bishop class would be required.
When I gently moved her legs, Shea got teary-eyed and grimaced in pain.
The bones don’t seem to have set yet.
“It’s been nearly a month, but they show no signs of healing……”
I looked at the boy to see that he was making fists and was on the verge of tears.
It necessary to have proper nourishment in order for bone fractures to heal, and considering the state of this place it’s unlikely that she’s been receiving proper meals.
“You can trust me. 【Major Heal】.”
I place my right hand over Shea’s legs and cast the bishop class spell. The area overflows with an ambient light.
The brother merely watched the fantastic scenery in utter amazement
While Ariane only sighed and shrugged her shoulders as she watched from behind.
When I moved my hands, Shea looked down at her legs and touched them out of sheer amazement.
“Onii-chan, my legs don’t hurt anymore……”
While the boy let out a surprised cry, Shea joyfully removed the splints from her legs and trying to stand; however, she had no strength in her legs and immediately fall on her behind.
“The bones were just reconnected. Don’t overdo it.”
Since she hadn’t moved them for nearly a month, she has lost a considerable amount of leg strength.
She wasn’t getting enough nourishment either, her whole body was as thin as deadwood. In this situation, even if the fracture is healed, the bone could break again at any moment.
“Kid, take this and buy your sister something nutritious to eat.”
I said that as I pulled out five gold coins from the leather pouch tied around my waist and held them out to the boy.
Although the boy was surprised for a moment, he refocused his thoughts and quickly looked away from the coins.
“I am Sil, not a beggar! Didn’t I say before that I’m not looking for any handouts?!”
“No Sil, you’re not a beggar. I do not dislike that pride of yours. However, you need to think about what’s most important to you before you answer. Instead of seeing this as a handout, accept this now and return the favor with interest. This is for your younger sister.”
I used that glib to justify our meddling, and overall it sounded very persuasive to me.
Sil thought about it for a moment before he spoke out in embarrassment.
“……Alright. However, please make it copper coins instead of gold ones! Because of my looks, I can’t go shopping with gold coins.”
Sil was certainly making a reasonable argument.
A kid with gold coins would be an easy mark in the slums, and I suspect that the stores would overcharge him as well.
No, the aggressive guards are likely to take them too.
“Oh, that’s right. Sil, you are rather reliable……”
A little ashamed of my thoughtlessness, I offered Sil some praise.
“……Isn’t this mister just too careless?”
Ignoring Ariane’s stifled laughter behind me, I took a leather pouch out of my luggage bag and handed it to Sil.
During the free time I had when I stayed in an inn, I sorted the gold, silver, and copper coins into their own separate pouches.
The pouches were packed to the brim with coins, and a 「Jingle Jingle」could be heard as the pouch falls into Sil’s small hands. He was obviously shocked at the weight.
“How many coins…… are in this……”
“It should be about 300 coins. I can add some silver ones if you like?”
When I offered to give him more, Sil looked at the pouch in his hands before he shook his head like a broken toy.
“Th-This is more than enough! Please wait here for a little while.”
Standing up as he said so, he lifted a floorboard in the corner and brushed away same dust, revealing a wooden box that had been buried in the ground.
Sil removed the cover to reveal ten copper coins, and he protectively placed the leather pouch inside the box before covering it back up.
Seems like he usually hides money and valuables in there.
When Sil was finished he bashfully lowered his eyes and smiled while giving me a small “Thank you, mister.”
No matter what world you’re in, seeing a child smile always left you with a good feeling.
“Shea, your brother is a good kid.”
While I chuckled and patted her brother’s head, Shea nodded with a full-faced grin as he was being praised.
Sil, the person in question. raised a protest as he tried to fix his disheveled hair.
“Arc you really are a kind person aren’t you……”
Looking back, I saw Ariane letting out a surprised statement as she tried not to laugh at the exchange that just took place.
“I suppose it’s time we received our promised reward.”
When I said so, I noticed that Sil’s face had become rather glum as he brooded over something.
I thought that the secret path that he spoke of was non-existent, but as I was about to suggest that, Sil stood up and went to the shack’s entrance.
“……I’ll lead you to the secret entrance. Come on……”
By the time we left the shack the sun was beginning to set.
Under these circumstances, Sil lead us through the back alleys of the slums till we came upon a stone bridge that stood over a shallow creek.
The width of the bridge couldn’t hold more than two carriages at a time and it would be rather difficult to cross since the moss covering it gave it an aged feeling.
However, the place that Sil pointed to wasn’t across the bridge, but one of the bridge’s support pillars that were right beneath it.
Directly beneath the section of the bridge that connected to the road, the muddy water began to flow into a tunnel. There was an iron fence in front of the tunnel, almost as if it were a large sewer.
Sil skillfully slipped through the iron bars and somehow moved the fence aside so that a normal sized adult could enter the tunnel.
This fence had probably been placed there in order prevent anyone from coming and going as they pleased.
However, even though two normal people could pass through the gate, the passage was too narrow for me and my armor because I got stuck and could not advance after the first step.
“Mister Arc, what are you going to do about that bulky armor?”
Sil twisted his head while asking his question in a surprised tone
Trying to accomplish something without transfer magic, I grabbed one of the bars and gave it a strong pull.
I felt no resistance in particular as I put some power into my arms and ripped away a section of three bars.
Sil stood there, unable to believe what was happening right in front of him.
The two of us focused on Ariane as she moved inside the tunnel and proceeded to pick up a lamp that was placed along the wall.
Sil held it up carefully as if it would serve some type of purpose.
“Wait a second while I light it.”
When Sil took out a flint to light the lamp, Ariane held out her finger above the lamp and chanted a brief spell.
A small flame started to raise from her finger like a lighter, and she used it to light the oil in the lamp dish.
“Wow, so Onee-san is a magician too.”
Sil spoke in a slightly awed voice, as if he seemed amazed at the prospect.
Ariane waved it away as if it wasn’t anything special before asking Sil about the sewer while she looked around.
“How far away is the feudal lord’s castle from here?”
“Umm〜, we’ll have to walk for a bit. The smell in the depths is rather bad so you should prepare yourselves for it.”
Sil offered a warning as he took the lamp and ventured deeper into the tunnel. Honestly, I had the feeling that we exploring an underground labyrinth.
So that you didn’t have to walk through the raw sewage, a walkway had been created on both sides of the sewer which was large enough for one person to walk on at a time.
The walls of the sewer were lined with brick grooves and support beams that were installed at regular intervals; resulting in the tunnel having an atmosphere reminiscent of a coalmine.
As Sil guided us through the many twist and turns of the tunnel, the terrible smell kept assaulting my nose, even when Sil finally stopped.
There was not much difference between this place and the drainage ditch we walked through a while ago, except for a lack of roads. Sil slowly knocked on the brick wall until he heard something out of place and then proceeded to push that brick into the wall.
All of a sudden, a weird sound was heard and a section of the wall slide to the side, revealing another dark room.
Thanks to Sil’s lamp, I could see a long descending stairway that led into a damp passageway.
The passage the stairway led to was only wide enough for one person to pass at a time and the other end was connected to yet another stairway.
No one said a word while we descended the stairs of the hidden passage. The only sound in this wet passage was that of our constant footsteps; making the atmosphere all the more glum.
Before long, we reached the opposite stairs that led into a small room that had a few chairs and a table inside it.
Under the lamp’s light, I could tell that this was some kind of secret bunker.
“The stairs in the back are connected to the feudal lord’s castle……”
Sil awkwardly explained the stairs in the back before looking down.
Feeling a little doubt in Sil I climbed the back stairs to take a look at the panel.
There was a closed rectangular panel at the top of the stairs that probably acted as the entrance to the castle.
This was probably the hidden getaway passage for the lord to use in case of emergency.
As I inspected the panel, Sil came up to me and offered a deep bow.
“I’m sorry mister Arc! I didn’t mean to deceive you, I was desperate to heal Shea’s injuries! I did lead you to the lord’s castle! In fact, I have an idea for how you can──”
“Oh! Apparently there’s a storeroom on the other side of the panel.”
While Sil kept talking about something or other, I lifted the ceiling panel and unintentionally shouted when I surveyed the surroundings.
The room I was peeking into seemed to be inside the castle walls. I could see the crimson glow of the setting sun leaking inside the room and there was a layer of dust covering everything.
“We should be able to enter the castle from here.”
Looking back as I said that, I saw that Sil was opening his mouth like a goldfish and staring at me as if he couldn’t believe something.
“Something wrong Sil?”
“Huh? Mister Arc!? That panel couldn’t even be lifted by two brawny men! How?
Sil looked like a pigeon in front of a bird feeder, as his head looked from the panel to me and back.
“This much really isn’t a problem for me.”
“Wai-Wait a minute! Are you planning to enter the castle right now?”
Seems Sil finally managed to reboot his brain as he tried to confirm our actions.
When I heard his question I turned around and saw Ariane sitting in one of the small chairs inside the room. With a small nod, she stood up and signaled her consent.
“In order to find what we’re looking for, it’s necessary that we infiltrate the castle immediately.”
While holding Ponta to her chest in a resolute manner she stepped in front of the stairs leading to the storeroom.
“Wait wait! If you and mister Arc enter the castle now, it’ll cause an uproar!”
Sil throws his small body in front of Ariane to prevent her from invading the castle.