201 Where To Go
"So yeah. You're gonna keep your word right?"
I pressed Maden to keep his verbal promise.
"Ah, that applies to you too animal trainer guy. Ah, also, the assassins you sent didn't deliver my message, so I'll say it here. You know about Damo of Commercial City I take it?"
Maden replied powerlessly seemingly thinking it was a random question.
"...What about it?"
"Ah, guess the news haven't reached these parts huh? I've crushed his syndicate and remade it anew."
I only did the crushing. The remaking is Eltros's job, but I left that part here for insurance.
Maden muttered while looking dubiously at me.
"...Could it be? But there's no way..."
I left the bewildered Maiden with parting words, 'Go check it out yourself.'
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The town is bustling with morning life.
Excess energy from having a huge amount of magic beast materials circulating in the market.
"So the plan's to go the kingdom. But the issue now is how do I get there."
I had no choice but to leg it when I left my village. It was supposed to just be light jog and yet it ended with me encountering Aryl getting attacked.
Then, from the commercial city to the empire, I had elves as traveling companions so it was another on foot trip.
We came across so many flags along the way, far and away from 'Ordinary'.
"My goal is 'Ordinary'. Finally feel like I've got the guidebook open."
I've reached this conclusion to aim for 'ordinary'.
Up until this point, everything was just too much. For now let's ignore the question of what even is 'ordinary'. It won't go anywhere. So from there.
"People who travel around are mostly those without strength baring exceptions. That's common. Therefore, I should follow their lead too. Now then."
Merchants would hire mercenaries to keep them safe. Naturally that takes money. A lot of money.
But what about people who can't afford that? Weak organisms have a way to increase their survival rate when they take a journey.
Yep, they gather together in a group and pool up money to hire mercenaries. Stagecoaches.
You can ensure your safety without having to pay much, and since there will be other weak people in the group, your chance of finding yourself in danger or perhaps even fleeing increases.
I just need to get in that group. Foolishly legging it out to the Kingdom alone is gonna get me in another mess for sure considering the patterns thus far.
"Alright. That must be the gate in the Kingdom's direction."
I walked there while asking people along the way where the wagon gate is. If you don't know something, you should ask people who do know.
There's nothing to be ashamed about. I am a country bumpkin after all. I unleashed the full power of my 'I'm a bumpkin' aura as I asked people for directions.
Would be lying if I said I wasn't worried, but in the end, nothing happened. A cause for celebration. Nobody pressed on my black hair and black eyes either. Only an endless repeats of 'That's unusual' and that's it.
(Was sure I'd set up flags somewhere, but thankfully they were all kind people. It's healing my mind that's been getting twisted from all the recent events...)
I believe the effect of looking for ordinary is already showing here. Why couldn't it be like this since the beginning. No point in mulling over that though, let's just look forward for the future.
As I arrived at the gate, I joined a group of people heading for the Kingdom.
"Err, lemme see. Departing the Empire, headed for the Kingdom, three silver coins. Ask the gatekeeper for detail."
That's the gist of what's written on a notice board. I went to look for the gatekeeper after reading that.
I don't know anything about this world. That amount of money might be appropriate. Thus I should avoid being confrontational about it.
I'd naturally get to know about this world better if I'm looking to be ordinary here after all.
"Excuse me. Can you tell me more about taking a stagecoach?"
"Hm? Ya by yourself lad? Sure don't got much on you eh? Didja run away from home?"
"No I didn't. I'm just planning to move out to the Kingdom."
"Then ya can pay this fella here. Ya got time till departure. Still got stuff to do, see."
A refined looking elderly man is standing next to the gatekeeper. He's well tanned under his hood.
"Our hired mercenaries have not come yet. Please wait a moment until their arrival."
After paying the elderly man, I asked the gatekeeper where the toilet is and went to do my business.
The reason the bulletin board tells people to ask the gatekeepers is because they're in charge of monitoring wagons leaving the empire. I showed him the card Eltros gave me which prompted him to keep looking back and forth between the card and my face with a look of surprise.
"Wonder if this is like a long distance bus service? Ah wait, I never rode on one either."
As I never went on a business trip in my past life, I never rode on Shinkansen or a long distance bus. I sure lived in a small world back then too.
Our mercenaries arrived as I was lost in thought.
Some of them were familiar faces.
(...This looks like a set up for another flag... And just when I thought things were going well, ugh...)
Dark cloud suddenly hangs over this wagon journey I was looking forward to.