Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Something to Aim For」
Two days later we returned from the construction site to the hill that overlooked Lanbaltic.
However, this time we didn’t enter the city, we were waiting outside the southern gate instead.
On the nearby road that led out of Lanbaltic, we calmly watched people pass by as we waited for a particular person to arrive.
When I saw the person in question lead a four-wagon-chain out of the gate I immediately waved him over.
Sitting in the coachman’s seat was Raki from the other day.
A medium-sized woman with chestnut colored hair sat beside him. The leather breastplate and shin guards she wore hinted at her being an adventurer.
Walking alongside the wagons was a short-haired, blonde man constantly surveying the area while keeping a tight grip on his sword.
Perhaps he was trying to watch over the wares, but since we weren’t that far from the city it seemed unnecessary, though there was a sense of sincerity coming off of him.
“Sorry to keep you waiting, Arc-sama.”
When Raki saw me, he pulled the carts over to the side and climbed off before giving me a bow that seemed rehearsed for a valued customer.
“As you requested, after selling the Ground Dragon materials the money was used to fill these wagons with preservable food. You’re welcome to verify it yourself.”
At his prompting, I climbed up the coachman’s seat and took a peek inside.
In case a heavy rainstorm came down, the inventory was covered with a waterproof tarp.
Lifting up the tarp, I found sacks of wheat and dried beans, along with a mountain of smoked meat. Ponta started to wag her tail when she caught a whiff of the appetizing food.
Ariane and Chiome confirmed the contents of the other wagons.
“Hmm, everything seems to be in order. Now, about your compensation……”
Raki began vigorously shaking his head back and forth when I brought up the matter of his payment.
“No, no, your deposit was more than enough! The materials I was allowed to keep for myself will definitely sell for a large amount. That alone is more than enough of a reward. Thank you very much.”
Raki had a full smile as he lowered his head to me again.
“Hmm, it would be beneficial to us if you could act as our mediator in the future, Raki-dono. So consider this an advance payment for future transactions.”
I took out a rolled-up parchment wrapped in a beautiful ribbon from my holding pouch and held it out in front of Raki.
Raki rushed to take it and constantly looked between me and the parchment until I urged him to open it.
When Raki untied the ribbon and looked at the contents of the parchments, he let out a wild cry that surprised the two adventurers behind him.
“Ehhhhhh!? Isn’t this a Lanbaltic business permit!? How did you get this!? There haven’t been any listings in the market yet!?”
Raki’s eyes blew wide open and he couldn’t control his trembling as he looked up at me.
“Since we’re going to be conducting business with you in the future, wouldn’t it be more convenient if you had a shop we could visit? However, you’re going to have to cover the construction on your own. The lord was already pushing it when he wrote up that permit.”
Raki’s eyes bulged, even more, when he heard my answer.
“The feudal lord!? You’re on speaking terms with Marquis Lanbaltic!?”
I shared a look with Ariane, who had been failing to hide her laughter at Raki’s overreactions, as she struggled to get herself under control.
Ariane proceeded to remove her hood, revealing her lilac skin and snow white hair that was vastly differed from human features.
“Raki-dono, the current feudal lord’s wife is an elf and that gives us a bit of influence over him through that connection. I hope we can continue to have dealings in the future.”
I took Ponta off my head and removed my helmet as I spoke.
Raki was left speechless at the sight of the dark elf and the strange dark-skinned, red-eyed elf in front of him.
The two adventures were also in a state of utter shock.
“……Elves, the two of them were elves……?”
When he regained his ability to speak I put my helmet back on and answered him.
“Well… We’re hesitant to publicly reveal ourselves in human cities. We’d be grateful if you could keep our identities a secret. It’ll help our dealings carry on smoothly in the future.”
Raki readily nodded at my words, promising not to tell anyone what he had seen and got the other two to agree as well.
Based on the conversation, the two adventures had some sort of history with Raki. They must be more reliable than other adventures.
Even if our identities as elves were revealed, we could handle three people without any problems.
After Raki bade us farewell, Chiome took the reins after sitting down on the coachman’s seat.
When we were far enough away from the city, we drove the chain of wagons off the highway and out of sight.
Even if you called it a large wagon, the coachman’s seat wasn’t that wide, and it was rather crowded with all of us sitting on it.
“Hmm, never imagined that I would visit a feudal lord to obtain a business permit.”
Ariane sighed after she muttered that and turned her half-closed eyes towards me.
As she had said, Ariane had been the one to visit the feudal lord’s castle and asked his elven wife for the permit.
Since I only acted as her bodyguard during our initial meeting with the couple, having Ariane make the request just made things easier.
She was reluctant at first because she felt like she would be indebted to a human.
Though I believe that there’s nothing to worry about since Petros felt that he hadn’t given us a substantial enough reward for his previous request. I could see him being excited about the permit request.
“Sorry, Ariane-dono. But now that we’ve introduced Chiome-dono to Raki-dono, she can trade in this city without worry, right?”
Ariane gave me a reluctant nodded when I said so.
“Hey, Arc, why do you keep messing around with your helmet?”
“Huh? Oh, ever since I took off my helmet, I’ve had a bit of trouble settling my ears correctly. I’m trying to find the right position……”
Ariane had an amazed expression on her face for some reason when she heard my answer before she turned away from me and placed a hand on her chin.
My skull fit inside the helmet just fine, but when I drank the spring water to restore my elven form it became a rather tight fit. Quite a serious problem.
“How about this place?”
While I was thinking it over, Chiome looked away from driving the wagon and offered a suggestion.
I stopped fiddling with my helmet and took a look around.
I didn’t see anyone else on the highway now.
“If it’s here then there shouldn’t be any problems. After we deliver the food I just have to give my report to Lord Hanzo and the village chief. Then you can take Ariane back to Raratoia and report the various event to Glenys-dono.”
While she was laying out a schedule, I invoked 【Transfer Gate】. I put a bit more power behind it so that the entire chain of wagons would be brought along and the next moment we were at the lakeside construction site.
When the workers noticed that we were there, they stopped what they had been doing and gathered around us in celebration.
It wasn’t long before Pitta came up and shooed everyone away.
We left Chiome back at the hidden village so that she could make her report to the clan head and village chief. As such, only Ariane, Ponta and I returned to Raratoia to explain everything that had happened since we left.
Glenys was now sitting on the opposite side of the dining room table as she patiently listened to our story.
“…… We found the spring Dylan-dono had spoken about, but for some reason I can only maintain my body for a limited amount of time. Also, there seems to be a problem with my memory since I believed myself to be human, but I’m actually an elf of some kind.”
I paused for a bit and emphasize my dark brown skin and long ears to Glenys, but her only reaction was to smile at me.
“Arc, that’s perfectly fine, but since you are an elf would you be interested in taking on the village surname? How about it?”
The seemingly twenty-year-old mother of Ariane simply asked me that question.
While I struggled to grasp the meaning behind her words Ariane immediately reacted.
“Are you trying to make Arc a member of this village!?”
So that’s what Glenys meant when she brought up taking on the village surname.
The surnames of Elves matched the names of their village. By receiving the surname it would officially mark me as a part of this village.
“Oh? Are you opposed to Arc joining the village?”
Ariane choked on her words at the question, then she turned to me.
“I have no problem with him taking the surname since he’s an elf, what I have a problem with is letting a walking disaster into this village. Wouldn’t it be safer to make him a warrior of Maple!?”
I felt she was being rather cruel with her depiction of me, but considering the recent events I was unable to object.
I had to bury my face in Ponta’s fur to heal my wounded heart.
Ponta stopped leisurely laughing the way she had been and began to roll around on the table, crying “Kyun ☆ Kyun ☆” as if she was being tickled.
If I thought about, the body I gained wasn’t inferior to an elf’s and Ariane had proven that I could see spirits, so joining an elven village won’t be out of place.
It wasn’t like I could continue as a wandering skeleton forever and they were offering stable room and board.
“Oh? So Ariane-chan would like to take him home to Maple with her?”
“T-That’s not what I meant!! Aren’t you only acting leader in father’s absence, mother? Isn’t it out of bounds to accept a new member into the village without informing father first?”
Ariane quickly voiced her object to Glenys’ comment.
“Hmm, I never thought two beautiful women would fight over me……”
The two of them had completely taken over the conversation, so I tried to re-enter it with a light joke but Ariane just pushed my face back into Ponta’s fur when I did that.
What was that for?
“I see your point. But until your father returns I retain the right to temporarily allow others the join the village. Plus, wouldn’t it be unwise to have him stay in the capital if he keeps shifting between his skeletal and elven form?”
Arc Raratoia (temporary), that didn’t sound so bad.
Maple was the capital of Great Canada Forest and it didn’t seem like a welcoming place for outsiders, considering the way it was being talked about.
And with my body being how it is, I couldn’t be separated from the hot spring for too long.
Even taking transfer magic into consideration, I imagine that there would limitations to using it in the capital, while I can use it to my heart’s content here.
Sorta like the feeling someone from Kanagawa, Saitama or Chiba would get if they moved to Tokyo, they might be able to adjust to life there but things wouldn’t be the same.¹
In other words, rather than trying to live in Osaka city, it would be better to settle down in a place like Sakai, Moriguchi or Suita.²
…… No, Raratoia village was close to human countries and I didn’t know how far away Maple was from here, so the difference could be like that of Nose town and Misaki town.³
Somehow, the conversation had neared its end while I had been thinking things over.
“You would still need to have your grandfather sign off on it, and Arc-kun would need a place to stay until then. Either way, it’s up to Arc-kun to decide.”
I felt the pressure from Ariane’s hand lighten at Glenys’ last comment.
I was finally able to lift my head and look at the two of them again.
“You don’t have to decide right away. Take your time to think it over as you stay here. Just tell us when you make your decision.”
Indeed, this wasn’t a decision I could make carelessly.
When I nodded at her words, Ariane sat down again with a magnificent sigh.
“Let’s stop here. Since it’s already this late, how about having some dinner? Since we received a good shipment of tomatoes from Landria, I’ve made your favorite soup.”
I unconsciously stood up when I heard Glenys say that. Ariane and Ponta seemed surprised as my sudden action while Glenys became wide-eyed.
“Glenys-dono you are talking about red tomatoes, aren’t you!?”
Bewilderment was in her eyes as she nodded at my high-spirited question.
Glenys retrieved a pot of red soup from the kitchen and offered me a spoon full of it, convincing me of its authentic taste.
“Even though you can’t remember anything about yourself, you remember tomatoes. They shouldn’t have reached human cities yet, and there has been no mention of brown-skinned elves in the forest. Just where do you come from?”
I didn’t recall seeing them in any human cities.
However, most of the food I’d seen in this world was of the western variety, so I didn’t expect to find things like seaweed or bonito. Tomatoes were on that list as well.
Tomatoes must be a universal food.
If these were available, then my meal variety would expand greatly.
“Glenys-dono, you said that a shipment of these came in from Landria, would I be able to purchase some if I went there?”
“Huh? The tomatoes? Umm, tomatoes originate from the Fabuna’ha kingdom on the Southern Continent, with whom we conduct trade with. A few villages cultivate them in the south, but they mainly deal in sun-dried tomatoes.”
It had been mentioned that Chiome’s people had built a large country on the Southern Continent. Maybe the Tomatoes were imported from there.
While I didn’t know 【Transfer Gate】’s maximum range, if I could reach the Southern Continent after a trip to the hot springs, I could buy ingredients at any time.
I had asked for the carpenters from the hidden village to repair the residence I had recently acquired, but until the new lakeside village was completed, it was hard to say when they could get to it.
So it was going to be a while until the residence is restored.
In the meantime, it wouldn’t be bad if I prepared myself for when I could settle down.
“Glenys-dono, I’d like to travel to the Southern Continent, is there a way I could board a ship sailing from Landria?”
Including food, I also needed other clothes apart from the 『Holy Armor of Belenus』. My housing had already been secured and I could take care of my body with the hot spring.
Now, I needed to diversify my food options.
Glenys turned away from me and groaned at my question.
“Hm~m, because the trade ship belongs to traders, I can’t let someone who doesn’t belong to the village……”
I immediately stood up and declared my intentions at her provoking statement.
“For as long as it’s allowed, my name shall be Arc Raratoia!”
Ariane was astonished by this while Glenys continued to look away and smile.
“Then it’s decided. As the acting leader, I welcome another brethren into our village.”
There was no hesitation!
Next stop, the land of Tomatoes.
¹You should already know about Tokyo but Kanagawa, Saitama or Chiba are more prefectures in Japan.
² Sakai, Moriguchi and Suita are small towns around Osaka.
³They’re towns separated by a large stretch of land.
An observation from Namorax:
Volume 1: Rescues Kidnapped Elves
Volume 2: Saves life of princess, Kills monsters, frees slaves and topples corrupt Lord
Volume 3: Helps various Lords, Summons giant Demon who judges Sinners to kill giant Hydra, interferes with Imperial conspiracy
Volume 4: Delves into caverns, fights undead monstrosities, battles against a Dragon King, manages to break (temporarily) the curse upon him.
Volume 5: Buys Tomatoes…