Chapter 6 Royal Capital and Exam and Tavern Girl
Daphnes Kingdom located on the southeast of Alexshield Continent has many rich plains, the agriculture is prosperous. The parts that face the sea also do fishery.
At the center of a plain, the Royal Capital is situated at a junction between a large river flowing from the north to the south and a trade route connecting the east and the west.
It's a big city surrounded by a tall wall. A gorgeous castle that looks like a palace can be seen in the center of the city.
Several riverboats are moored at the inland port, unloading a lot of luggage.
People and carriages are coming and going on the stone paved road. Carrying plentiful grain, fresh vegetables, products from sea and mountains, it's very lively.
Celica and I go with the flow of people, walking on the stone paved main street.
Celica's blue eyes are looking around dazzlingly.
"It's a really big city.... so wonderful."
"Is this your first time here?"
"No...I've been here once when I was a child...but I was on a carriage."
She looks down with a sorrowful face.
She's probably remembering the time when she was blessed as a princess.
I keep walking without saying anything.
Then, I smelled something nice.
Looking around, there's a square facing the main street with a fountain and food stalls. Many trees are growing in the square, it looks like a park. There's a toilet-like two-story building in the back.
"What's that smell?"
"Err... I think it's probably Fido Grill."
"The savory aroma is similar to sweet soy sauce.... Reminds me of shrine festivals."
"Y-yes.... Would you like me to go buy them?"
"Right, please do."
"I understand. I shall go buy them."
Celica heads to a food stall while looking a bit anxious.
I followed after her.
Celica talked to an old man shopkeeper and gave him money.
The old man quickly grilled some and handed them over.
"Here ya go! I gave ya some discount cos yer' a beauty, young lady."
"Thank you very much."
Celica bows, shaking her blond hair.
And then she ran up to me. With one on each hand.
I took it and looked at it carefully.
Powder made from mashed grain is mixed with water to create the dough, and then it's stretched and roasted.
And then salty-sweet grilled fish and leafy vegetables are put on top of it.
It looks like tacos visually.
Invited by the aroma, I tried to take a bite.
The crispy texture feels nice. The salty-sweet fish is elastic like octopus and squid.
The savoriness spread every time I chew. The sauce and the savoriness fills my mouth happily.
It tastes like okonomiyaki and grilled squid.
Yet the fresh vegetable' aroma and softness negate the thick feeling.
I gulped once.
"This is... really tasty."
"Yes, this is my first time eating one too, it's very delicious."
"So it was your first time--chomp"
"Yes, I wanted to eat them but my mother said that it was vulgar so--chomp"
"Aren't you glad--chomp"
"It's all thanks to Keika-sama--chomp"
Celica opens her small red lips and bites. Her mouth is chewing cutely.
We're having some trivial conversations while walking on the main street.
After a bit, I finished mine first.
Celica's mouth is small, she's still eating hers.
The pedestrian traffic decreased once we reached the edge of the main street.
An old building made of stone stands before us. The atmosphere feels like the Parthenon temple.
"This is the place to register for the hero examination?"
"Om nom.... Yes, that's right."
"Then let's get inside."
"Nom.... Please wait a minute, I'll finish this immediately."
"If it's hard for you, should I help?"
"Eh.... Ah yes."
For some reason, Celica's cheeks slightly redden, and then she presents the remaining half of the Fido Grill.
I grasp her small hand and take a big bite.
"Yum, it's good no matter how many times I eat this."
Celica takes another big bite at the place I ate. Her face reddens to her ears.
I thought she didn't need to eat that desperately, then I took another bite.
After we'd finished eating, we entered the building.
There was nothing special about the registration procedure so I omitted it.
The registration fee was just a bit expensive. It became Celica's burden.
We finished the prodcedure while asking the staff members various things.
A staff member tells us as we're about to leave.
"Well then, the written exam will be tomorrow."
"Eh! Isn't it too early compared to last year?"
"This has been decided by the church this year. Well, someone who will become a hero should be able to do it anytime."
Celica looked at me anxiously with downcast eyebrows.
Looks like she wants to say that there's no time to study.
I returned a smile while showing my teeth.
"Don't worry. It's as he said. If you're a hero there's no problem if it's today or tomorrow."
"A-as expected, Keika-sama."
Celica sighed while holding her big breasts.
Frankly speaking, I can cheat all I want with <<Senrigan>>.
And then we're going back to the entrance.
I noticed a big bronze statue in the first floor's lobby.
A bronze statue of a gallant man holding a sword. However, he was more than two meter tall.
"This statue sure is big."
"No, I think it's of the real size. It seems to be made accurately by modeling it after the real one."
I ask in surprise.
"A human this big?"
"Yes, Wind Hero Rakeus was rumored to inherit the blood of giants."
"He must be quite strong."
"He has left many legends. It was said he continued to win all kinds of battles. He only lost once."
"But he couldn't win against the demon king."
"....That's right. That one time was against the demon king."
"It must have been a hard fight for the demon king."
Then Celica shook her head. Her blond hair feebly shook.
"It seems it wasn't even a match."
"That can't be.... Ok, this was modeled after the real one right."
I squint my eyes at the bronze statue--<<Truth Sight>>.
It's possible to read the real status of a portrait or a sculpture made after the actual person.
The data was going to be of the bronze statue as an item for an instant, but I flicked that.
Next, Rakeus's status was shown.
Race: Half Giant Tribe
Class Master Swordsman Lv 74
Magic Attack: 0250
Magic Defense: 0530
....This guy's strong.
Far stronger than common men.
And as expected, his element is not light.
I wondered while looking at the statue.
"What's the matter? Keika-sama."
Losing in thought, I didn't answer Celica's question.
The offensive and defensive power of monsters in this world are in four digits.
That means, even if the demon king is the strongest, his status should be at 9999.
On the other hand, Rakeus's offensive power is 2400. A difference of approximately four times.
A difference only this much can be easily overcame with a surprise attack, or by finding a good opportunity.
Thus, it's strange that the demon king could win without a hard fight.
For it to not even be a match, it's impossible unless the difference is of orders of magnitude like me.
--There must be something with the demon king. Something that makes him unbeatable with normal means.
When I was lost in thought, Celica anxiously picked the sleeves of my Wafuku with her slender fingers.
"Um, what seems to be the matter....? Are you not feeling well?"
"It's nothing. I just had something in mind. That aside, let's find an inn."
"Understood, Keika-sama. Allow me to guide you."
Celica took my hand and then walked with a smile on her face.
Her supple hand pulls me.
We got out of the main street as I kept being guided.
We arrived at an inn in an alley at the end of the city. An old three-story building.
The first floor seems to be used as tavern and diner, rough looking men are drinking during the day.
I speak to an old man behind the counter at the back of the diner. He has a grizzled short hair with straight posture.
"You staying? It's two big silver coin a night for two people."
Seems to be 2000 yen.
"Could we stay for one month from today onward?"
"Yea, of course you can. That's one big gold coin."
Seems to be 100,000 yen.
Why is it more expensive. It should have been 60,000 yen.
No wait, one month is not 30 days is it?
Celica begs while looking sad.
"I'm sorry, we don't have enough..... Could you please lower it a bit more?"
"A business is all about getting your earning. Go elsewhere if you don't want to."
A remark that completely takes advantage of us.
Celica is looking down while frustratingly biting her red lips.
I couldn't help her since I was penniless of course.
I have to quickly become the hero and earn money.
Instead, I butt into the conversation.
"Old man. Since we're paying in advance for a long stay, can we get some discount here?"
"I already said. We're a business here."
"Fumu. Then how about we prepare our own meals?"
"Only at night?"
"Of course, morning too."
"So you say. Your strange clothes aren't only for show it seems."
He shrewdly changed the topic.
I was going to ask for discount for the unprovided meals if he agreed to it.
As expected of a businessman. I can't get him to promise it.
We're going nowhere like this.
I have no choice but to put out my trump card.
"What if I tell you that you can utilize me when I've become the hero?"
The old man's eyes sharpen.
"Hoo. I did think you were no ordinary person, so you're here to take the hero exam huh."
"That's right. And I will become one. I can prove it to you as long as it doesn't break the law."
"Hoho, that's some bold thing.... You have some good countenance."
The old man looks at me with appraising eyes while brushing his stubble on his square chin.
Then a voice comes from behind us, at the corner of the tavern.
"Forget about it. Cause I'm going to be the hero. --Right, guys?"
"Damn rite', aniki!"
"Der's no way that limpy man can become a hero."
Gyahahahaha, the three men laugh loudly. From their hair to their clothes, they look like barbarians.
The other guests are eating and drinking quietly while being careful not to meet their eyes.
I was irritated for an instant, but I quickly took a deep breath and calmed down.
However, Celica took a step forward with a crease on her forehead.
I grasped her arm and stopped her.
Celica glared as if asking, why did you stop me.
Her earnest blue eyes are beautiful.
I silently wave my head to restrain her.
The men still continue talking.
"But that woman's nice. Her breasts especially's huuge!"
"Hey, you blond girl, come here and drink with us."
"Cause Gaf-aniki's going to become the next hero for sure!"
The men toasted with their glasses.
There's a very well built man among them. The man called Gaf-aniki by the other men.
He has unkempt hair and unshaved face. He looks like a bandit from somewhere. His clothing are tattered, as if he never took a bath.
However, only his sword and armor look like very refined goods.
One of the men shouts out loud.
"Oy, where's the drink! Aniki's glass is empty already!"
"Minya-chaan, come bring us~ I'll teach you how to grow adult's breasts."
The men laugh, gyahahahaha, again.
And then a girl shows up while opening the curtain on the entrance of the passage that connects to the kitchen behind the counter.
A delicate body of an early teen with swelling breasts. Her face looks well-mannered for one that young, her glossy black hair and big eyes are impressive.
She's wearing plain clothes and skirt and holding a tray with meals in her hands.
However, she was not a human.
Surprisingly, she had cat-like ears and tail.
Her triangle ears are flopped down.
"D-dad, I don't wanna go.... I don't want them to touch my body again...."
She said in a frightened voice.
The old man crumples his forehead wrinkle and mutters.
"Even if you say that...."
The men become even noisier.
I put my hand on the counter and speak.
"Old man, do you still call yourself a father then?"
"What if I say, I can grant your wish?"
"Can you do it? Those guys have the strength to back at least. They've been eating and drinking for free for 10 months already."
"I can. If you wish for it."
The old man looks at me silently.
I look back at him in silent.
"....Alright. Please do something about those guys."
"A, got it. --In my name, I grant thee thy wish."
As I leave the counter, Celica catches my Wafuku's sleeve in panic.
"Ke-Keika-sama.... If you hurt someone you won't be able to partake in the hero exam--"
"Don't worry. I won't fight."
I pat her blond her hair to relieve her.
And then I squint my eyes at the men.
The men's status appeared in front of me.