Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Harbor Town Plymouth」Part 1
I spent last night sleeping in my narrow cabin while wearing my armor and only woke up the next morning when a fur ball began to restlessly move about on my face.
The rocking of the ship must have moved Ponta up to my face from the spot on my chest where she’d been sleeping.
While still half asleep I picked Ponta up by the scruff of her neck to stop her from licking me.
Though it was a rather abrupt awakening, I sat up and took a look around as I started to stretch out my stiff limbs.
“Did something wake you up, Ponta?”
Ponta climbed up my shoulder when I called out to her.
The light that leaked in from the round ship window dimly illuminated the small cabin.
There wasn’t anyone’s shadow inside this cabin but mine and Ponta’s…… not that there was much room left in the cabin after my armored-self settled inside the room.
After corrected the position of my helmet, I lowered my head as I walked through the cabin door.
Since the ship was occasionally racked by large waves, I used a line of wall handles to make my way above deck. The sails were fluttering and dawn was just beginning to brighten the sky.
When I shifted my eyes to the sea just right of the ship I saw a still black landmass off in the distance.
It was still too dark to make out anything from here, but the landmass rose up into a steep cliff without any safe place for a ship to dock.
“Oh, have we reached the Southern Continent already……”
As I gazed upon the darkened landmass, one of the People of the Plains and Mountains heard my comment and called out to me in a light tone.
“Rather strange to wear armor up on deck. So, is this your first visit to the Fabuna’ha Kingdom?”
The man was from the same tribe as Chiome and after yawning and resting his elbow on the ship’s railing he looked up at me.
I nodded at his question and looked down at the man before answering.
“I’m a little interested in the country built by the People of the Plains and Mountains…… In fact, the purpose of this trip is to research tomatoes and other spices.”
When I said that the cat-eared man looked up at me in confusion.
“The People…… of the Plains and Mountains? You mean the Fabuna’ha Kingdom found by the beastmen?”
It was my turn to give him a confused look.
“…? Isn’t that a derogatory term to call your people, or is it different on the Southern Continent?”
From what Chiome told me, the term “beastmen” was an insult that humans gave to people with animal ears and tails, so they referred to themselves as the ” the People of the Plains and Mountains”.
When I explained it to the cat-eared man’s face lit up as if something crossed his mind.
“Oh, I guess that’s what my people call themselves in the north. Long ago, Fabuna’ha’s first king united the separate tribes into a single community of beastmen and built the country from there.”
The was a hint of pride in the man’s voice as he explained his feeling behind the name.
If that were case…… it meant that common sense of this continent was different from its Northern counterpart.
“There aren’t a lot humans can do on the Southern Continent.”
“Oh, I see. Are there no humans on the Southern Continent at all?”
The man had a slightly wryly smile on his face as he answered my question.
“There’s a human settlement across the two major plains west of Fabuna’ha. Since they’re close enough to launch an attack a defensive line was set up along Fabuna’ha’s boarder .……”
There wasn’t much hostility on the man’s face as he talked about humans.
In fact, the way he spoke of them made me thinks there might be individual differences in opinions about humans.
When I questioned him a bit more about them, he chuckled and shook his head.
“The humans built a wall around their lands and don’t venture out of them much. Besides, there’s no way that Fabuna’ha’s beastmen soldiers would fall behind human soldiers!”
Contrary to the situation on the Northern Continent, the beastmen seem to be the conquerors of the Southern Continent.
It might have been best for the people of the hidden villages to relocate to the Southern Continent, but it wasn’t my place to determine their actions.
Also, the objective of Chiome’s “Blade Heart Clan” was to free their enslaved people from humans and simply relocating the villagers here would only be a half-measure.
Centuries of animosity can’t be settled overnight.
For now, Chiome would have to look at the country her people built and tell those of her village what she saw.
Chiome suddenly called out to me just as that thought crossed my mind.
“Arc-dono. You’re already here? Actually, there’s something I wanted to discuss with you……”
When I looked back, I saw Chiome modesty looking up at me, dressed in her usual black attire. Her face was as emotionless as always, but the tail attached to her lower back was restlessly moving about.
“Oh, good morning Chiome-dono. What do you want from me?”
The man I’d been talking to parted ways with us as Chiome came closer.
When I asked what business she had with me, Chiome nodded to make up her mind before looking up at me again.
“The portion of dried kraken Arc-done received, could I purchase some of it off from you?”
“Kyun? Kyun, Kyun!”
I looked down at Chiome when she spoke her unexpected request.
When I looked into her earnest blue eyes her cheeks became a slight shade of vermillion and her mouth twitched a bit, a rare expression suitable for a girl of her age.
Before I could agree to Chiome’s request Ponta slid down from my head and looked up at me while protesting.
Their behavior reminded me of what had happened when the dried kraken had been cooked up for dinner.
I offered some to Ariane but she feverishly shook her head no and stepped back.
Chiome and Ponta, on the other hand, immediately began to devour the cooked kraken with great relish.
I also enjoyed the cooked kraken but I couldn’t help wanting some sake and soy sauce to go along with it.
But the two of them (?) seemed to have fallen in love with the taste of kraken.
“Money isn’t necessary, though you seem to really enjoy it Chiome-dono.”
When I said that Chiome broke eye-contact and scratched her cheek.
“Y-Yes. It is not often that I get to eat such delicious food…… Because I think my older brother would enjoy it, I wanted to bring some back as a souvenir.”
“Oh, you have an older brother Chiome-dono?”
I was taken back by her comment because Chiome hadn’t spoken about her family before.
However, she shook the head as she answered.
“No, even though I call him brother, he is a senior member of the six great ninjas. He bears the name Sasuke.”
Her eyebrows lowered and she looked off in the distance after she spoke.
It was a familiar name.
I remember it being brought up in the conversation Chiome and Hanzo the 22nd when I first visited the hidden village.
If I was remembering it correctly, Chiome had been asking about Sasuke’s whereabouts.
Since that conversation wasn’t something I should have heard, I thought about it for a bit before giving her an ambiguous response.
“I see, large quantiles had been dried so there should be enough for you to take home.”
Ariane didn’t have any interest in the food and there was only so much of it that I could use.
The leftovers were still half-dried and fried kraken seemed rather tempting as long as I cut it into thin pieces.
It actually might be fun to sneakily give Ariane some, just to see what would happen. As that mischievous thought crossed my mind, a half-asleep Ariane made her way on deck with her hair still disheveled from sleep.
The lack of other women onboard and her voluptuous figure meant that the sailors’ eyes immediately honed in on Ariane, just like when we boarded the ship.
I didn’t know if she was aware of the stares, but the way she moved her body after a night spent in a narrow cabin only strengthened her already alluring feminine charms.
“Good morning Ariane-dono.”
“Good morning Arc. Why are the beds in the cabin so hard…… because if that my body is sore all over.”
Ariane rubbed her back and sighed after making that comment.
Just as I was about to say something to her, a sudden rustling on deck gathered everyone’s attention.
When I focused my attention, I noticed the morning sun shining upon a town just off the starboard bow.
“We’ve arrived in Plymouth.”
I heard someone’s voice as I took in the sight of the huge coastal city.
It was larger than any human city I’d seen. Despite the fact that we were on a hundred-meter long ship, but it felt minuscule compared to the city.
I’d thought that the elven city Landria we sailed from was well developed, but Polymath outclassed it.
There weren’t any high-rise tree-apartments like in eleven cities, but the architecture was similar to the buildings found in Rhoden Kingdom’s capital, only spread out over a hilly landscape.
Chiome was openly expressing her surprise beside me.
“I’ve heard the stories but, this city is huge. It’s like a human city sprung up from the countryside.”
Ariane made a statement I had no choice but to agree.
“Judging from its size, it might house a hundred thousand people……”
As the Liebbelta approached Plymouth’s port, we began to pass by other ships just heading out.
The crews we passed had a lot of of beastmen crewmembers moving cargo around their ships.
When the Liebbelta pulled into one of the city’s piers, the sturdy beastmen around us began work mooring the ship in place.
Once that was done, the unloading of the cargo began. After saying goodbye to the captain and collecting our baggage we crossed the wooden bridge and stepped onto the pier.
Beastmen guards wielding spears and dressed in light armor waited on the pier and all of the crewmen not taking part in the unloading had to have their baggage checked by them.
When Ariane pulled out a letter she received from Landria’s elder, the guards only looked it over before allowing us to enter Plymouth without issue.
Plymouth must’ve been the most energetic city I’ve ever visited.
While the majority of the people walking around were beastmen, a decent number of dark elf sailors were mixed in with them.
The outskirts of the port gave way to an open market, with various street vendors displaying their wares to the crowds of people trying to buy them.
While it seemed like we walked into the middle of a festival, someone suited in full body armor walking the marketplace was bound to draw attention.
“This is amazing…… We might lose sight of each other if we look away for a moment.”
Ariane spoke what crossed her mind behind me as the crowd of people parted ways for me as are little group advanced forward.
Though it had been my first voyage, I had no trouble with large crowds.
I was actually quite relaxed in urban settings, and after such a long absence of experiencing it, I was feeling a bit nostalgic being here.
Well, there was nothing I could do about it.
Instead, I focused on the various spices and other miscellaneous food that lined some of the stalls we passed.
Ponta’s tail restlessly wagged about as her eyes danced across all the food on display.
As my eyes continued to wander, I suddenly stopped at a certain stall because an ongoing argument caught my ear.
“What!? Why’s the price so much higher than usual!?”
The yelling customer was a wolf-eared man who was arguing with a bear-eared male stand owner about the price of certain spices.
“Isn’t it inevitable? The western tiger-tribe members have started to disappear. These are the last of my red nails you know?”
The bear-eared man stand owner looked down on the customer as if he were a nuisance and pressed him to buy or leave.
The wolf-eared man took his money and left the stall in a bit of a fit, being unwilling to pay such a high price for the spice.
As I watched the exchange play out, my feet unconsciously moved towards the street stall.
“Hey, Arc!? Are there some tomatoes over there?”
Ariane brought up the item that had brought us to the Southern Continent and made me act in a similar fashion the other day when she called out to me.
However, I was too busy moving towards the street stall to answer her.
My eyes were immediately drawn to the red nail item he was holding.
It was shaped like a claw and had the size of an index finger. Its flesh was a bright red color and a bit wrinkled.
This item…… was something I was familiar with.
“Shopkeeper, are these spicy?”
I picked up one of the red nails and asked the stall owner about its characteristics for confirmation.
The bear-eared man seems a little confused by the man in full-body armor’s sudden question, but he was quick to realize what I was asking.
“A-Ah. Despite their appearance, those are often referred to as the “devil nails” due to their spiciness.”
I was convinced of the nature of what I was holding by that answer.
……these devil nails were red chili peppers.