16-25. Garleon Union
Satou here. There's this famous phrase, 'troubles both at home and abroad'. Is it not unrelated to every country, even with differences in severity?
"Yes, it's just as you would expect from the so-called 『Jewel of the West』."
Mia and Princess Sistina who are accompanying me gave their praises as they gazed upon Garleok City scenery.
We have come to Garleok City where the Central Garleon Temple is located.
Right now, we're in a park that extends to the sea.
Lady Karina is also with us, but she's currently enraptured by the soy-sauce like smell drifting from the city.
Guess it's inevitable since she's a [Function over Form] type.
"It doesn't really smell like sea even though it's so close by."
"I'm sure it's because the other side is a river."
This Garleok City is enclosed by a river and sea on all sides.
There are waterways with gondolas inside the city, making it look similar to Venice somewhat.
There are also monster warding stone monuments engraved with Garleon holy symbol surrounding the city, and there's a lot of shellfish and fish farms in the area of ocean inside the monument encirclement.
Sea where no monster swimming around seems to be a paradise for fish and shellfish, their outlines reflected on my Radar are quite thick.
"Satou, I wonder, what are those?"
Lady Karina who's gazing at monuments on the sea side point at several bagworm-like objects hanging on them.
The figures swayed by the sea breeze are something.
According to the Map Info, those seems to be corpses of executed pirates.
There were scenes where executed pirates are hung on the rocky area of a cape in a pirate movie I watched back in the days.
It probably serves as a warning to pirates.
"Apparently those are executed pirates."
Lady Karina averted her glance when she heard my explanation.
It's a barbaric world where people make an amusement out of executions, but it appears that this girl doesn't take pleasure in that kind of stuff.
"Now that you mention it, it does feel cold."
The temperature itself is mild, but apparently the wind coming from the sea is a bit chilling for the lightly dressed Mia and Princess Sistina.
It seems to be nothing for Lady Karina who grew up in the poor Muno Castle though.
I lightly use [Air Conditioner] magic to slightly warm up the air.
"Let's take a walk at the next marketplace and get something warm to drink."
I said that to them and walked toward the port where the market was.
The huge Garleon Temple can be seen in the middle of the city far away.
Unlike the luxurious Heraruon Temple at Sania Kingdom, this one has this sturdy atmosphere to it.
"Is this you first time coming to Garleon Union, Satou?"
"Yes, I've passed by it in the sky many times before, but this is the first I visit the city."
I affirmed Princess Sistina's question.
If I'm not mistaken, the last time I came here was when the neighboring Holy State Parion waged a war with this country.
"There's no king in this country, isn't there? Then who is ruling it?"
"It's by representatives of each cities."
Garleon Union is an alliance of nine cities, and this Garleok City that we are at acts as the leader.
Three of the cities including Garleok are managed by a confederation of merchants, while the other six form a kingdom. Thus, saying that there's no king is not exactly right.
Every city is prospering through marine product trades, many of the people are wealthy.
"There's really a lot of extravagant houses around."
Perhaps it's because of the narrow land, lots of three-story housing complexes here, their verandas facing the main street are adorned with colorful beautiful flowers.
Walking around never gets tiring with the colorful houses here.
While we were gazing at the houses, Mia suddenly turned her head and strained her ears.
As I followed Mia who pulled my hand, I could hear a fun sounding tune ahead.
"It looks to be a roadside performance."
Rather than troubadours, they look more like music-loving locals who are having a performance with musical instruments.
After the cheerful tune was over, we gave an applause and left the place.
"This city is like a paradise isn't it."
Mia agreed to Princess Sistina.
It's exactly as she says. Houses decorated with flowers on the sides of the road, alleys filled with people who play music and enjoy themselves.
Slaves pulling a cart full of luggage are reflected in my field of view.
From the Map Info, this city has a lot of slaves compared to other countries.
Additionally, from what I can see with space magic [Distant View], residents living in the lawless area at the city outskirts made of connected rafts are living an extremely poor life.
"I can smell something good!"
Lady Karina turns around with a bright smile on her face.
The centrifugal force shook her breasts dynamically, scattering its fascinating charm around.
Mia raised her objection at my lewd glance in the face of [Poker Face]-skill sensei's guard.
She's quite an impregnable fortress even without Arisa around.
"Yo, young master of foreign country over there! How 'bout some famous Garleon's sea grapes?"
A high spirited man carrying green grapes in one hand called to me when we entered the marketplace.
The sea grape I know is a species of seaweed, but the ones the man is carrying looks like big common grapes, like muscats.
<TLN: sea grapes here refer to caulerpa lentillifera.>
"Go on and have a try."
I put one in my mouth as recommended.
It tastes like muscat just like its look.
The fruit is seedless, unusual in this parallel world, its fruit juice is rich on top of having thin skin, it seems to be a type that can be eaten whole with its skin like shine muscats. <TLN: vitis vinifera.>
It's slightly sour unlike the real shine muscats, but still less sour than other grapes, it's easy to eat.
"Give me ten bunches of it. How much?"
"Whoa there, you sure are manly leading those beauties with you. A bunch is one silver coin, but you can have ten for nine silver coins."
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
It's unusually expensive compared to other fruits sold in the market.
However, according to the Market skill, a bunch cost from two big copper coins to one silver coin, so it doesn't seem to be that much of a rip-off.
In the end, I haggled down the price a bit to seven silver coins and the four of us strolled the marketplace while snacking on it.
Apparently Mia takes a liking to this grape and I've been made to promise to buy a large amount of it on our way back.
Well, it's good enough that I want to let other girls taste it too so there's no problem there.
After more walking, we came to a fountain in the center of the marketplace.
The top of the fountain is decorated with a bronze statue of a good looking man wearing admiral-like outfit.
According to the plate at the bottom of the statue, he seems to be a hero from 800 years ago who drove away a pirate called [Skeleton King] who rampaged around the sea back then, he united poor countries that were fighting against each other and laid the foundation for the present day Garleon Union.
That Hero, Kite, led an invincible army that won against pirates and foreign invasions.
His Unique Skill must be a type that strengthens army.
There's a lot of stalls selling light meals and drinks around here.
"Fried boiled octopus on skewers look yummy too nanodesu."
When I look down to the source of the voices, there's Tama and Pochi who have joined with us before I knew it.
Judging from the time, it seems that they're on lunch break.
There should be quite a distance from here to Shiga Kingdom, but it looks like Tama's Shadow Ferry can travel to my shadow just fine.
Well, since she used up her mana, the area around here is probably her limit.
"There's Tama and Pochi here!"
"We were worried about Karina and came to see her nodesu."
Seeing the surprised Lady Karina, the two laughed like kids whose prank succeeded.
"Well then, why don't we have a light feast."
Together with the girls, I ate roasted squid and deep fried skewers.
When I bit on the roasted squid, slight fish-like flavor spread out.
They probably used salted fish sauce on it, it goes really well with squids. How do I say it, the taste makes you want to eat it with cold sake and shochu.
The oil on the fried skewers is a bit much, but the octopus seems to have been seasoned, it's really meaty and tasty. This one makes you want to eat with together with a cold beer.
"Nice feast you've got going there young masters. How bout some booze here? It's a new booze created in this city you see."
A cup is three copper coin, so I decide to have a try.
"Then, give me a cup as a test."
"Hehehe, that's what everyone says at first."
The man puts a cup and opens the faucet on the barrel.
"Hehehe, it might look similar, but it's a whole different stuff y'know?"
With the man's reply to Lady Karina's question and the faint barley scent drifting here, I'm wrapped with the feeling of expectation welling out from the depth of my heart.
The booze seems to have been cooled, water drops are latching on the copper cup.
I take the cup overflowing with white bubbles and gulp it down in one go.
--Flavor that permeates your body.
"Give me another."
I handed out the emptied cup to the man and asked for another cup.
"Hehehe, thanks for yer' business."
My heart is filled with elation to the point that I don't care with the man's triumphant look.
After several more cups, I came to my sense and asked the booze's name.
"We called it Jon's Booze, but its name is actually beer."
It really is beer.
I check the Map while asking for another cup.
John Smith-kun had really come to this country.
He's a Japanese boy summoned by Rumooku Kingdom, an owner of a lost skill that taught me the recipe for dried gourd.
He's also probably the one who taught the way to make this beer.
And then, I sensed glances and looked over there, Princess Sistina and Lady Karina had expressions like they found it slightly surprising.
Looks like they found my Beer Fever surprising.
When I teleported to Hayato's world back then, my mind was fully preoccupied with instant food and electrical appliances as souvenirs and forgot to buy alcohol.
Yet, indiscreetly going to another world just for the sake of booze, the cost is just too high, thus I've been patiently waiting for the opportunity.
But with this, I might not need to go to Japan for a while now.
"Sistina-sama, would you like to try a cup?"
"No, I'd like to refrain drinking in bright daytime."
The youth troupe and Lady Karina looked like they wanted to drink it, but things would get hectic if these girls whose resistance to alcohol is zero got drunk, so I didn't brought it up to them.
Since Arisa is probably going to want it, I'll go to the brewery and purchase several barrels later.
After that delightful event, we resumed the market stroll and continued to feast while walking on the street.
Tama and Mia reacted to a commotion ahead of us.
We followed on the voices and came to a part of the port connected to the marketplace.
People have gathered around a fishing boat anchored to one of the piers.
"I wonder if it's a monster?"
"It's flabby... Wonder if it's tasty?"
Apparently, a monster was caught in the net at the fishery.
With the Farsight skill, I saw that the caught monster was a Sea Orc.
Since it's a deep sea monster, it probably died due to the difference in water pressures when it got caught in the net.
Checking the Map, there was a herd of 100 orcs offshore.
Shallow waters and trenches are arranged like a stripped pattern in the sea around here, but even though there might be more of them lurking deeper, since their individual strength is lower than a demi goblin, they should pose no problem even if they come attacking in swarms.
"What, just a monster huh--"
"And here I was expecting that they subjugated a pirate or something."
"You betcha, there's a lot of pirates lately...."
From the direction of the Sea Orc's commotion, Men that seem to be fishermen are walking here while grumbling.
"So is it really cause of that 『Skeleton Archduke』 guy?"
"Yeah, rumors say he claims to be the 『Skeleton King』's successor."
Some men passed by while having a flag-festered conversation.
Summarizing their talk, the pirate called [Skeleton Archduke] claims to be the successor of the pirate [Skeleton King] whom the hero from 800 year ago drove away, they've brought together the other pirates in the area under their wings.
"『Skeleton Archduke』 huh.... You think the rumor about Gaboz Kingdom being behind them is true?"
"To take over this Garleok City and become the leader of Garleon Union?"
Several nearby merchants who overheard the fishermen had that talk.
"It's just a rumor right? Even that greedy king of Gaboz Kingdom can't possibly join hands with pirates."
"More importantly, that we can't expand the farm cause those fin guys are multiplying is really problematic."
"Yeah, those guys cut the net and all."
"Burglars raiding warehouses are a also problem y'know?"
"Those raftsmen huh...."
"Well, not all of raftsmen are burglars."
"I don't like it, but we can't exactly drive them away."
"Yeah, we can't hire cheap laborers and sailors if those guys aren't around."
Not unlike Sania Kingdom that was suffering from domestic and foreign problems, looks like this Garleon Union has many problems too.
"Oh no, oh no~?"
"Master, it's terrible nanodesu! She's dying nanodesu!"
Tama and Pochi who were looking at the surface of the sea from the wharf beckoned me in a panic.
A finfolk kin girl in critical condition has been washed ashore there.
※ Next update is planned for 12/10
If time allows, I might submit a short chapter on 12/7