14-Intermission 2: Immigrants of Governor Pendragon
◇Royal Capital - Downtown◇
"Good work today, how 'bout we get some drink after this?"
"Sorry, my family's waiting."
"Yer' an unsociable old man."
I waved my hand lightly to my co-worker who cursed me and left the place.
The pay from the construction site today is good, but I've to go to the middleman office first thing tomorrow.
This Royal Capital which we arrived at after fleeing from Lesseu Earldom for our life wasn't a paradise at all.
It's a life where I can't even drink a bottle of ale easily even if I work from morning till night.
"Boruto-san, it's been a while."
"Akindo-san! Long time no see!"
The one who appeared in front of me as I walked sluggishly was a male merchant who saved us when we were attacked by monsters in Lesseu Earldom.
"You're not with the dogkin and catkin children this time?"
"Yes, that is so."
This man is awfully humble even though he said he was a merchant exclusively contracted by a noble-sama.
He's speaking politely even with a mere village liker me.
"How is the life in Royal Capital?"
"Thanks to Akindo-san for getting a place for us to live, we're getting by alright although barely."
I'm really indebted to this person.
"Is that so--if it's hard for you, since Viscount Pendragon-sama is looking for immigrants, how about applying for one?"
"By immigrants, you mean for pioneer village?"
"Yes, that's right."
Looks like Akindo-san who's a merchant doesn't understand how difficult a pioneer village is.
Shaving off your hunger by eating weeds and tree skins, several people will die within three years.
And even when you can finally harvest some crops, the officials will take 'em all.
I don't mind if it's just me, but I don't want to let my child and wife to live such a life.
"I hope you can keep what I'm about to say a secret, about that pioneer land--"
"Is that true?"
"Yes, it is."
Unbelievably, on top of having fields where crops can be planted right away, it's fully equipped with houses complete with the minimum furnitures, what's more there's even water wells that the village can use.
It's too good to be true even if you take it with a grain of salt. You'd normally think it's a fraud.
However, I can't imagine Akindo-san, who lent me several gold coins with no pressure in payment when we just got to the Royal Capital, tricking me.
Rather, if he wanted to trick and turn me into a slave, he'd have asked for unreasonable interest from the first loan.
In fact, the tax collector and village elder who fled from Lesseu Earldom earlier were turned into slaves by that kind of trick.
"T-then I can ask it from you?"
"Echigoya Firm will be acting as the contact. I'm rarely in the Royal Capital after all."
Echigoya Firm huh.... If I'm not mistaken it's a firm managed by the servant of Hero Nanashi-sama.
My wife is also working as a contracted employee in Echigoya Firm's mill, she said that the pay was good even though the work was hard.
Think she was surprised that it was a firm that properly paid as much money as promised in the beginning.
"Thank you, Akindo-san. I'll talk about it with my wife."
"Yes, that's a good idea."
Akindo-san left after smiling.
"Eh~ Pioneer village~. I don't want to!"
"Dear, you forgot the story of our great grandfathers' pioneer village?"
I immediately talked about the pioneer village with my wife and daughter once I got back home, but they strongly rejected it as expected.
Our village only became easy to live in starting from 20 years ago, I and my wife lived our childhood in fear of starvation, so this reaction is normal.
I told the story I heard from Akindo-san in a hurry.
"You're being tricked dad."
"That's right dear. There's no way such thing like having ready fields and houses with furnitures can be true."
"No but, Akindo-san said--"
"That's cause Akindo-san is being deceived too isn't it?"
"That person is a softhearted person who was even worried about us after all."
I still want to plea back, but no way I can win against two women's mouths.
However, even if we cling on Royal Capital forever--.
"We'll hit the wall if we keep this up. We can live without starving cause the food price is stable, but the construction works from the monster disturbance from back then are going to disappear soon. Once the day laborer works decreased, I've to start to seek job in the crowded job market. If my wage decrease, we can't pay the rent here."
"But but, there's also wages from me helping in the bar, and mom's work in Echigoya's mill."
Looks like my daughter who hasn't become an adult doesn't know that being a waitress in a downtown bar is no different from being a cheap prostitute.
The crime number has decreased thanks to the scary guys from the downtown mutual aid society patrolling the area, but that doesn't mean there's no more prostitutes or perverted drunkards.
As a parent, I don't want to let an unmarried daughter to work there forever.
"Our live would become easier if I became a regular worker instead of contracted in Echigoya Firm...."
My wife put her hand on her cheek and sighed.
I've heard that the people employed in Echigoya Firm in the Royal Capital are well-paid enough to buy their own house, but only educated people and trained in skill can become one.
"That's the Echigoya y'know."
I didn't say it?
"The mediator for the pioneer thing is that Echigoya."
"I-is that true?"
I nodded to my wife who suddenly was in high spirits.
"Hey, dad. Where's the pioneer village at? Is it Lesseu Earldom?"
"No, seems to be a village under Viscount Pendragon-sama's administration in Muno Earldom."
"Pendragon! By Pendragon, it's that Pendragon right! 『Pendragon the Woundless』--A Mithril explorer and the one whose female lizardkin spearsman retainer defeated a Shiga Eight Sword!"
My daughter put her feet on the desk and thrust her fist toward the ceiling.
I also know what my daughter is talking about. My daughter heard it from some drunkards, I heard it from someone who liked rumors on the construction site. The story sounds faked, but apparently it's the truth.
"Dad! That story earlier might be true after all!"
According to my daughter, it seems the treasures Viscount Pendragon got from defeating the [Floor Master] were sold for more than 30.000 gold coins.
A merchant's maid who was in the bar seemed to have heard it it by accident in the auction venue.
"Guess it's okay if Echigoya Firm is the mediator. Cause Echigoya is strict with lies after all."
My wife murmured seriously.
Something probably happened at her workplace.
"Then, we're applying?"
The two nodded, and then I went to Echigoya's branch office in the downtown the next day.
It seems they only started the open recruitment in the noon today, the receptionist woman was surprised.
The recruitment was overflowed in a blink of an eyes it became a raffle but it seemed we were treated as referrals from Akindo-san, so we were accepted to be ones of the immigrants.
I haven't met him again after that time, I want to thank him properly at least once.
"Dad, we're really immigrating right?"
"We're not being led to become slaves are we?"
My wife and daughter pulled my sleeves from the sides.
I can't comprehend the situation before me.
I heard that Muno Earldom we were going to was on the opposite side of Fujisan mountains, so I thought that we would go around the mountains on foot for sure.
Who'd have thought we'll be moving with an airship....
"Dad, we're like nobles."
My daughter who acted daringly pulled my hand to the airship.
The ceiling is low. When I sit down on the floor with mat, my back touches the neighbor's already.
"This must be why there's a restriction to the luggage."
"Yes, that seems so."
I thought it was strange that there was a restriction from carrying household items even though we were immigrants, but I can understand why now.
I grasped my luggage and tally tightly and waited for the departure.
--Hm, looks like I fell asleep before I knew it.
"Everyone, thank you for waiting. We've arrived at Brighton City of Muno Earldom."
A girl wearing Echigoya uniform opened the door and went around to ask us get down from the ship.
Is Muno Earldom near enough from Royal Capital for the ship to arrive in a nap?
"Unbelievable.... It should have taken three to six months on the land route, two months on the sea route...."
A young man who said that he was a merchant's third son muttered alone.
My daughter is looking at the man creepily from behind my back.
"I heard that even regular air lane needs three days from the Royal Capital and the Duchy Capital, so how..."
"Oh my, you know well. It was a five day trip from the Royal Capital to here. Since we stuffed five time the normal capacity of people, it'd have been difficult in various ways if we flew normally so we put the people to sleep with magic."
The Echigoya female guide cheerfully explained the situation to the merchant's third son.
The reason why they didn't explain it beforehand was because the magic would not work effectively if we knew.
Getting locked in that jam packed place for five days would surely make me lose my mind for sure, so I'm not going to complain.
Come to think of it, I don't feel that hungry even though it's been five days.
You don't get hungry if you're made to sleep with magic huh, the magician employed by a wealthy merchant of the Royal Capital sure is amazing.
"It's a beautiful town."
"It really is, I sure want to stay at this place at least once."
"This area is probably for noble-sama mansions."
My wife and daughter are looking at the white mansions lined up in the townscape longingly.
I want to fulfill their wishes but we're just mere immigrants. No way that dream can come true even if the whole world got toppled.
"Everybody, your attention please!"
An Echigoya Firm's girl shouted out loud from a tall platform.
There are a young girl who looks like a noble and a white haired young man with a wound on his cheek standing behind her.
"Who's that princess?"
"Maybe she's the lord's wife?"
"No way, why would the wife greet mere immigrants herself?"
Rustles spreads amongst the immigrants.
"Quiet please! The acting lord will make a greeting."
"Nice to meet you everyone, I'm Lina Emlin the acting lord. I may trouble you due to my lack of experience, but please consult to the city hall freely if you're troubled with anything."
Looking at the teenage acting lord who was desperately spinning her words, I have mixed feeling of anxiety and wanting to support her.
"Thank you very much acting lord-sama. We have a lot of experienced public employees in the city hall so do consult to them."
Echigoya Firm girl added something, it seemed she sensed the immigrants' worries.
"The villages everyone is going to can already accept new people anytime, but since the day will end if we go now, we'll be going tomorrow."
Then we're going to sleep in this city today huh.
Since grass is growing on the open space for the airship, looks like we'll have some good place to sleep on.
"Please head to the lodging inn. Land lord-sama is paying the lodging charge, today's dinner and tomorrow's breakfast, so please use them freely. I'll be guiding you according to the tally's color. And also, we've taken your luggage to the inn."
....This too much good treatment made me feel anxious instead.
Isn't it too generous no matter how you look at it?
Letting us sleep in the open space and providing warm soup would have been enough to make us shout "Hurray for Lord-sama", yet they even provided lodging and meals....
What does the lord want from us?
"It was an amazing inn wasn't it dad."
"The food was delicious too~"
I'd be happier if I didn't know that the lodging cost one gold coin for each room and the meals cost three gold coins....
I accidentally heard that from the employees' conversations.
When I think about earning five gold coins, just how many years would that take.
We put our luggage in the cart in the lodging's courtyard.
Pulling the cart was an unfamiliar animal called yak. It was like a big goat with brown fur.
Looks like the shepherds who are guarded by envoys are traveling with us.
There are around 50 people going to the same village as us.
There's a lot of unmarried youngsters, and it seems there are some families who have girls as if matching them.
We parted way with the shepherds along the way, and arrived at an open place after climbing a mountain road. There are two wolf statues on both sides of the village's entrance. It's probably the village elder's hobby.
In front of the vast maintained farmland, there are lines of splendid houses that are as good as the village elder's mansion.
"Oy, this soil is great see."
"You're right, it's soft like the soil in a forest."
The men who couldn't wait anymore and jumped to the field and exchanged words.
Don't tell me, the settlement village we're going to live in is this splendid?
Such wishful thinking floated in my mind.
"Everyone, please gather here."
The guide girl called us, and then we gathered while leaving the carts.
Several people came from the village. Everyone is wearing fine clothes. They must be the tenants of the lord here.
"Good work. This is the settlement village everyone is going to live in."
I can't believe it, I look at the other people with asking glances.
I'm too surprised I can't speak.
"These people here are the workers who will help everyone getting used to the village. Please ask them about the village's facilities."
It's really unbelievable.
Field that's twice as big as the one in the Lesseu Earldom's village, and a big mansion that can hold 10 people complete with a barn. There's even a livestock hut even though there's nothing inside.
They say that in one month, land lord-sama will provide us with goats and orange chickens.
Right at that time, the northern part of the village became noisy.
"Oh no! Look at the sky!"
Geh, aren't those rhinoceros beetles.
Even though they look so weak, they're strong enemies, the knights in Lesseu Earldom couldn't win unless they fought in a group.
"Oh my, they're the leftovers from the hunt huh~"
The guide girl muttered carefreely while holding a short wand.
"There's no need to panic. Look--"
The girl points at winged statues knocking down the beetles to the ground.
And then, two wolves which ran from the village's entrance rushed to the beetles.
"Dad, aren't those the stone statues on the village's entrance?"
The one-sided battle ended quickly, and then the statues went back to their places while leaving the beetles' bodies behind.
"I was going to explain later, but there's no need to now. Those statues are state-of-the-art golems provided by Echigoya Firm by land lord-sama's request. They will defend against burglars and monsters, but they can't cope with harmful animals like wild boars and monkeys, so please keep that in mind okay."
I never hear any village protected by golems.
But, looks like they can defeat most monsters with their strength.
My eyes became hot as I remembered the time when we were prepared to die to repulse monsters while sacrificing several people in my village as we waited for the land lord to get off his heavy ass.
Our life has been made this much easier, I'll grow enough vegetables and wheats to pay the tax next year.
"Dad, this is amazing."
"Dear, we'll have to work hard."
"Yea, let's start the planting today!"
I stepped toward the field while holding a brand new hoe in my hand.
※ Akindo-san is one of Satou's disguises