Arafoo Kenja No Isekai Seikatsu Nikki / Arafoo Kenja no Isekai Seikatsu Nikki Chapter 7
Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Ossan, Goes To Town」
It’s been two weeks since he began his life in this other world.
As he became accustomed to his new environment, Zeros noticed a particular problem.
He had yet to explore the town that was his new home, and he still had to acquire any of this world’s currency.
Up till now, he’d spent his days working as Selestina’s tutor, tending to the on-site garden, reading books in the library to amass knowledge, and occasionally cross blades with the knights.
How could he live in this world without knowing how its people lived?
As if he’d obtained some form of enlightenment, Zeros’ decided to visit the town immediately.
He strapped his twin swords to his waist and put on his gray robe.
While the hood easily hid his unkempt hair, it only emphasized his unshaven stubble.
Honestly, he appeared to be a suspicious person, and it would do him a lot of good to clean up… but decades as a bachelor had left him indifferent to his appearance.
As a matter of fact, a part of him liked his shady atmosphere, so he didn’t bother with trivial things such as dressing up?
Something like that was received for special occasions, right?
Such thoughts occupied his mind as he opened the mansion’s door and left.
“Well then, let’s go.”
By the way, Creston was currently visiting the feudal lord’s mansion, and Selestina had gone off on her own after their lesson.
After exchanging a few niceties with the servants, Zeros left through the main gate.
It took him half an hour to reach the city from the archduke’s mansion.
In addition to the city wall, the steep cliff face behind the city and the dense forest surrounding it had turned the city into an impenetrable fortress.
The area closest to the forest led into the market district, from there you could go to the heart of the residential area and business district where the ordinary people converged.
Since the city was built at the base of a mountain, it used the cliff face as a natural defensive wall, while the man-made canal ensured the town prospered as a trading hub.
The masses of people coming and going allowed the mercenary guilds stationed in the city to thrive and there was no shortage of escort contracts.
After all, the journey outside the city could be dangerous with highwaymen and bandits frequenting the roads and pirates infesting the river.
Beyond the limits of the knight order’s manpower, there was a system in place for issuing bounties so that mercenaries could hunt down criminals, but, as in every world, the criminal element persisted.
While public order was maintained in the cities, you were on your own once you set foot in a danger zone.
That’s why peace felt like a fragile illusion.
“First is the magic item shop. Selling a few magic stones get me some money.”
Although he had a map, it was a rough one, and the store’s location wasn’t listed.
Fortunately, efficiency was at the forefront of urban development since the city’s founding, so its streets were well maintained and easy to navigate.
The problem was that there were no clear paths in-between the buildings and criminals used that fact to drag citizens and merchants into dark alleyways.
“There are thugs everywjhere…”
The mansion’s servants had told him about the places to avoid to beforehand so Zeros followed their advice.
He wanted to avoid troublesome people in general.
With light steps, he finally approached the magic item shop.
Zeros was filled with a childlike sense of excitement.
“Is……this the place? This is… unexpected・・・・・・”
The shop was located at the edge of the market district and just outside of the industrial district.
It wasn’t hard to pick out the shop against it’s less conspicuous neighbors.
“Well, it certainly stands out…”
The shop’s murky black color was in stark contrast with the rest of the neighborhood.
It wouldn’t be out of place for a witch to open the dubious shop’s door.
Indeed, being left speechless was the appropriate outcome.
“The shop owner… do they intend to attract customers with those dolls?”
The windows were filled with crucified, female dolls and various skulls.
The eyeless goat head nailed to the shop’s door was excessive and creepy.
It didn’t seem like a shop that saw a lot of business.
The doorbell screamed as he walked through the door and entered the shop.
This was a mistake.
A bespectacled young woman in stereotypical witch clothing offered a clumsy salesman’s welcome.
The inside of the shop was unexpectedly mundane, with magic items arranged in average display cases.
What was the meaning of the store’s exterior?
“Can I sell magic stones here?”
“Magic stones? How many do you have to sell?”
“200 goblins, 50 hobgoblins, 15 goblin mages and 1 goblin king.”
“………Are you sane?! What’s with those numbers?!”
“Am I sane? I think so.”
The witch clerk began appraising the magic stones the moment I took them out of their leather sack.
Since they examined each stone individually, Zeros passed some time by browsing the shop’s wares, but nothing seemed to be of high quality.
To be honest, making them himself would’ve been better than buying them.
Although he was considered one of the strongest annihilators in the game, he initially spent his time crafting new magic items.
He also used his appraisal skill on the shop’s items, but they didn’t do much beyond restoring health or housing small enchantments.
They were commonplace consumables and creating them wouldn’t immediately drain the magic stones of their power.
Although the enchantments weren’t everlasting, the semi-permanent magic formations carved into the items were a good substitute, and they slowed natural mana depletion.
Zeros was confident he could make items better than anything the store had to offer.
“……Dea customer. Where did you steal these magic stones from?”
“It’s rather rude to accuse someone of theft!! I obtained those stones myself!”
False accusations were terrible things.
Although unintentional, Zeros became emotional in the face of the woman’s accusation.
Even his tone was different from usual.
“You’re lying!! There’s no way a grey-robed magician such as yourself could make it out of Fafuran alive. Now, out with it!! Where did you steal them from?”
“Treating me like a thief… I heard this was a decent shop, but this place is nothing but a swindler’s den. This was a legitimate offer. I refuse to do business with this place from now on.”
“Huh? Are you a magician from another country?”
“I’ve been an honored guest at the lord’s villa for a week. Perhaps I should leave a report about the unreasonable treatment I’ve received.”
The female clerk’s face paled in the blink of an eye.
“Eh…? Are you employed by Creston-sama?”
“Yes, we met by chance while traveling, and I’m now relying on his kindness, what of it?”
“You can check it out for yourself… How will you take responsibility for your actions once you learn the truth?”
“T-That a lie! There’s no way he would offer his patronage to such a shady magician like you…”
Her stubbornness in harassing me was admirable.
However, that didn’t mean her actions would bear fruit.
“Why don’t you see for yourself? Whatever you do once you learn the truth of this folly is irrelevant to me. I’ve already associated this shop with an unpleasant experience. You treated someone at thief based on appearances alone, so you have no one but yourself to blame for the fate that befalls you. It’s not my problem.”
The clerk began to tremble in response to Zeros’ indifferent threats.
While Zeros’ suspicious appearance was evident, she had no way of directly verifying a connection between him and the former archduke.
However, if there was any truth to his word, it meant that she had just insulted one of the archduke’s guest.
If this was handled poorly, she could look forward to life imprisonment or execution.
She’d been cornered.
“Shut up… Stop making such a racket while people are working!”
“Kuutie, you… are you treating customers like criminals? Stop mixing up your adventure novels with reality.”
A prosti-, no the female manager came out the back of the shop.
The woman wearing a vermilion, cleavage-exposing dress didn’t look much like a magician
She was rather voluptuous, and Zeros unintentionally looked away.
“But, he’s a gray robe? How could someone like him venture into Fafuran and return with so many magic stones?”
“Huh? ……Kuutie, that story… is probably true.”
“Although it is a little bit dirty, that robe is an outrageous item. It’s not made from ordinary monster hide…”
“It’s better not to ask about the materials. Your common sense might not hold.”
“I see. Perhaps… this is the first time I’ve seen an item crafted from a legendary behemoth.”
There was a noticeable pause.
“What wrong with it? It’s just a dirty robe.”
“Yes, a course it is. I don’t want to die just yet…”
“A wise decision. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than prying eyes.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
Kuutie was still confused by all of this.
Those who wielded equipment made from behemoths were all heroes whose stories were told in legends.
If the manager’s intuition was correct, then the mage in front of her was wearing such an item.
“I’ll purchase these magic stones and even include a bonus for my assistant’s rudeness. So, do we have a deal?”
“Shouldn’t the assistant’s rudeness be dealt with first? Having such a rude worker can’t be doing the shop’s reputation any good.”
“I’ll admit she’s a constant source of headaches. I can’t fix things no matter what I do…”
“Why aren’t you firing her?”
“How many people do you think would work in a store like this? Even she is a valuable resource.”
“So you’re aware of it…”
The store’s exterior seemed to be the result of the manager’s hobby, and Zeros was somewhat pleased that his impression of it had been accurate.
The clerk, Kuutie muttered things like『This kind of… this kind of…』under her breath.
They were a strange pair manager and assistant.
“I suppose it fine. Since Creston-san introduced me to this stop, there’s no reason to boycott it because of a misunderstanding.”
“We’re truly sorry for her impoliteness. Please wait here while we prepare your money…… Kuutie, how long are you gonna stand there? Hurry up!!”
Shortly after Kuutie disappeared more into the depths of the building, the sound of someone counting could be heard in the shop.
She must’ve been putting the payment together.
Still, some of his worries about the shop’s credibility lingered.
“These are high-quality stones. Seeing them has sparked my creativity,”
“That’s for the best. Although coincidental, that’s a good outcome.”
“You’re a magician aren’t you? Why don’t you have your guild make your items?”
“I can make them myself, but I’m currently freeloading at the moment. If I get a house with a nice yard, I might just devote the rest of my life to creative activities. I want to explore a range of hobbies.”
“In that case, it seems like I’ve been spared a formidable business rival.”
The manager seemed genuinely relieved, and even her sigh oozed sex appeal.
She seemed to have a more sensual type of magic than other magicians.
“I have the final sum. Here is the payment for your magic stones.”
“What did it come out to?”
“Oh…… 28.7 million gol.”
Somehow, he just became incredibly rich.
“That’s a bit excessive…”
“Didn’t I tell you? There’s a bonus for my clerk’s rudeness… Most of the reward comes from the goblin king’s stone. I never thought I’d come across such a large magic stone.♡”
The manager’s cheeks turned crimson as she seemed mesmerized by the stone.
Zeros felt that he was witnessing something dangerous.
“Well, in that case I’ll excuse myself. If I acquire another stone of similar quality, do you want me to come by again?”
“I begging you. My name is Belladonna, the owner of this establishment. How shall I address a magician such as yourself?”
“You can call me Zeros. I’ll come by if I feel like it.”
“Thank you very much……”
After Zeros had left the shop, Belladonna heaved a sigh of relief and then glared daggers at Kuutie.
“Kuutiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieee!!! What were you thinking, picking a fight with that monster!!”
“My spine froze over when I laid eyes on him! That’s the kind of person you should never make an enemy out of. Such overwhelming talent…”
“But, he’s only wearing a grey robe. Isn’t that the lowest class of magician?”
“That’s only true for this country! As for the rest of the world… I thought it was impossible to dye behemoth leather gray. Moreover, he purposely devalued it with dirt to make his deception more believable.”
While Belladonna didn’t grasp the full extent of Zeros power, the difference in strength was evident in their enhancement abilities.
Mages didn’t necessarily have to be sensitive to magic, but those who were received favorable treatment.
Perhaps it was the 【Magic Perception】skill at work. It took everything she had to keep a straight face after seeing the enormous amount of mana placed into Zeros’ enchantments.
She had the impression she could never win against him.
“W-Was it that terrible?”
“He could’ve killed you with a wave of his hand… I don’t want to meet him again if possible……”
“It’s too late to get scared now. If this were a battlefield, you’d be a corpse by now.”
Belladonna could practically taste the fear coming off of Kuutie.
“Still… where did that old bastard of a duke come across such a monster? ……My life has been shortened.”
A curse was hurled at her old acquaintance Creston.
After exploring the marketplace for a bit, Zeros came to the conclusion that prices in this world were low.
You could live off a hundred gold pieces for a month.
The price of food in this world was equivalent to what it was in pre-world war 2 Japan.
Instead, the cost of metal was high, with only iron seeming to be sold at a reasonable price.
Locations with large deposits of rare metal ore tended to be inhabited by monsters, and most people didn’t consider it worth the risk to mine those areas.
In order to even break ground at those sites, you needed to hire mercenaries to slay the monsters and serve as constant escorts.
Because of the initial investment and labor costs, metal usually sat on the high end of the price index. In addition to the limited number of mines and their inflated costs, transport prices seemed to be on the rise.
Of course, clay is still needed to make pottery and, while they weren’t metallic, the cost of tableware was also going up. Thus, wooden tableware was common among regular citizens.
Every country struggled with acquiring raw materials, and the merchant guild seemed to dictate the prices across the board.
While there were countries who possessed their own mines, they complied with the merchant’s guild pricing because they lacked other resources like food or seasonings.
The merchant’s guild was so crucial to the distribution of goods that efforts were taken to ensure that war and theft didn’t affect its business.
War was a lucrative venture, but only for a few. Most nobles and merchants were thoroughly opposed to the damage a war caused to cities and trade routes.
Even so, it took time to plan a war, gather the necessary food and weaponry, and reinforce the essential infrastructure.
Of course, since it wasn’t possible to win every battle, neighboring nations were locked in a cycle of short wars and periods of fragile peace.
While there weren’t any signs of a war flaring up, internal disturbances rocked the continent, and several skirmishes had broken out in multiple nations.
“It’s quite the recession, isn’t it? Is this country safe?”
“Weellll? There’s trouble with the royal family’s succession……”
“What about the schism between the knights and magicians? I heard the relationship between their higher-ups is terrible.”
“So it seems. What’s to stop a military coup d’état?”
“Exactly. I just wanna live peacefully.”
Zeros listened in on the conversations around him as he conversed with a stall merchant.
One needed information to decide their own fate, a lack of knowledge led to life and death endeavors.
Being careless got you involved in outrageous situations.
“So are you gonna buy a skewer or not?”
“What type of meat is it? It smells incredible, but…”
“Wild Holstein☆ I splurged a little the other day hunting it down.”
“Oh… I heard it produced high-quality milk, but how’s the meat?”
“If you can eat murder buffalo, you should have no problem with Holstein,”
Zero’s bought a skewer and popped a piece in his mouth.
The second he bit down, the savory juices, a perfect blend of seasonings, and tender meat overwhelmed his senses.
“Th-This…… is the perfect harmony of flavooorrr!!”
He unintentionally praised the delicious meal like he was an entertainer.
“Are you alright? Mister…”
“No, this is simply delicious…… I’ll take fifty of them.”
“That’s too much!!!”
One person buying fifty was a bit much.
After that Zeros took a stroll through the city, buying ingredients and spices along the way.
Before he realized it, Zeros had gotten himself lost.
Old housed lined the streets, thugs lingered in every shadow, and people looked up at him with dark expressions.
“A slum? No, I guess you’d call it the old town.”
Even though it was a part of the city, public order in the slums wasn’t all that good.
A worrying stench lingered on the people who went past Zeros to speak with people sitting on the ground before those people vanished around a street corner.
While he had a hunch about what was going on, Zeros wasn’t in a position to intervene without causing a commotion.
Besides, his map only covered a third of the city, and he had next to no idea where he currently was.
“Why don’t I look into the situation?”
Eventually, he came across an open square with a water fountain at its center.
The water had long since stopped flowing, and only shadows filled the once pristine fountain.
This place as a dark reflection of the rest of the city with dilapidated buildings in every direction.
(Eh〜? Two? No, three people?)
His high perception skill suddenly picked up a few people who were following him.
The tail was rather amateurish, but not outright terrible.
If the tails were adults, I probably would’ve picked up on them before now.
(But still…… children?)
Given the part of the city he was in, the children were obviously vagrants, but he was at a loss on how to deal with them.
Zeros reached into his sack and casually brought it to his mouth.
“Geezer… at least call me uncle…”
“Same difference, geezer.”
“Well, yeah…… but I don’t agree with that…… So, what do you want?”
“Give us the meat!”
The brash redhead made that demand without a hint of shame.
While the child could’ve been a girl, the layer of dirt and lack of visible indicators meant it being a boy wasn’t out of the question.
The visible skin had a healthy tan to it, and it was easy to see that the child was underweight.
“This meat? Why?”
“Etch, stingy bastard!”
“No, I don’t mind giving it to a strange child, but I can’t help feel sorry for your parents when they learn about you and your friends are extorting people.”
“I don’t have any parents. I’m Atai the orphan!”
“An orphan? There’s an orphanage in this place?”
“There is. The lord funds it with his money.”
So Creston had a hand in managing the orphanage.
In any case, this wasn’t the best environment to raise a child in.
As this area continued to deteriorate, it would bring forth the worst kind of criminals.
“Uh…… How many children are there?”
“Including Atai, there are four of us too old to be taken, and the rest are small kids.”
“Aren’t you small too…”
“I’m thirteen years old! I’m already an adult.”
They were young by every standard.
Perhaps their insufficient nutrition had stunted their growth.
Zeros was almost brought to tears when he pictured the lives they must’ve lived here.
“Nonetheless, won’t they be angry if you eat here? Aren’t there any adults at your orphanage?”
I didn’t mind helping, but that wouldn’t solve the main problem.
“Do I have to take you to the sister?”
“…… Even I can get angry. Hm…… can you lead me to the orphanage?”
The thirteen-year-old seemed dissatisfied with the request.
However, Zeros had his reasons.
Assuming he gave the skewer to the children it was doubtful that the sister would merely say “Alright.” and accept their story.
Falsely being branded as thieves would leave a scar on the children’s hearts.
Sleeping with that on his mind would be hard.
“……I can explain things properly if you take me there. Besides, won’t the skewers become useless if you drop the bag?”
“Fallen food is still good after three seconds!”
“That’s right! You worry too much, geezer.”
“Do you think our stomachs are that soft?”
“The three-second rule?! It exists in this world?!”
The children remained steadfast.
Zeros was beginning to worry about their regular eating habits.
“It’s possible that you could get into a fight before you can eat, it’s better than I come along with you. This part of town seems dangerous.”
“Guys, isn’t everyone a good person?”
“Yeah, they’re just a little cold to outsiders.”
“They sometimes share vegetables.”
“Are you misanthropic, Geezer?”
The children were too energetic.
Perhaps these slums were overflowing with humanity.
The strange looks and glares directed at Zeros were the result of him being an outsider.
“Please lead me to the orphanage. I have to explain that I’m willingly providing your meal, right?”
“Where did you learn…… to speak like that…”
Children remembered strange words with realizing it.
Zeros started to become worried about having to choose his words carefully when he got married and had his own child.
Well, it wouldn’t stop them from picking up strange things…
In any case, the children began guiding Zeros to the orphanage.
He was unaware of the long relationship he’d come to form with these children……
It turned out that the Solisthea estate was in the same direction as the orphanage.
The castle-like villa and the near-royal status of the manor’s occupants had quite the psychological impact, especially to those lost souls who realized the ease of finding their way out of the old town.
The orphanage itself was located on the edge of the old and new part of town, a slightly inconvenient place to raise children.
To reach the orphanage we had to take a detour through around both areas and pass by a truly dangerous neighborhood.
Slave merchants caught his eyes as he was exploring the city earlier, so it wouldn’t be surprising if kidnappers helped proliferate the current system.
It was possible that some people might try selling off orphans who didn’t know what was happening.
A prerequisite for falling into slavery was that you where an adult criminal or someone incapable of fitting into the social structure. However, there were exceptions for prostitution and those with specific sexual preferences.
For those exceptions , prices were determined by age and gender, with those trades happening behind closed doors.
After all, orphans were regarded as being useless and were likely to become criminals without proper education.
Educating orphans was a costly venture when you could sell them off as slaves and make an easy profit.
“It’s a tough world…”
Zeros let out a sign in response to those dark thoughts.
He wasn’t all that enthusiastic about the slave trade.
On the contrary, he was firmly against it as a matter of principal.
“Geezer, over there!”
The redhead child pointed to a rundown church.
In front of the church was a group of young men and knights.
“Those guys… they came again……”
The child’s face reflected evident discomfort.
“Who are they? They seem to be nobility……”
“He’s the lord’s son, a very unpleasant fellow…”
(Serious? Is this another trope? Or did this goddess pull some strings in the background??)
This entire affair reeked of trouble.
Zeros wanted to avoid this situation if possible, but he didn’t want to leave the kids alone with these people.
(I just want to live quietly……)
He sighed once more and prepared to give up on his peaceful life.
It seemed that Zeros was destined to run into trouble on this day.