Chapter 50 – Fundraising
I played Go with Aka until quite late. And when I went to bed, before I knew it, it was morning in an instant.
However, the sleep was insufficient.
As expected, a lot happened yesterday.
The battle with Rebal. The falling out with father and the Empire.
And, meeting Mr. Aka.
“Earth… like I said, from here go straight and you’ll come across the river. And if you follow the river straight down towards the mountains, you’ll reach the town.”
Unlike me, Aka looked extremely drowsy.
Perhaps it’s the first time he’s played so late at night.
The sleepy ogre was funny, and I laughed.
However, while rubbing his drowsy eyes, he seemed somewhat lonely….
“Earth… are you ready ta go?”
Well, I’m going.
I don’t have a specific objective, nor do I have a clear destination in mind yet.
However, for the time being, I wanted to leave the ‘Imperial Territory’.
Although, right on the heels of yesterday, I’m bound to be chased by extra baggage.
“Hey, Mr. Aka. Is there anything you want from town?”
“I can buy you something before I leave. Mr. Aka really took care of me.”
I can’t be so carefree forever. I’m so greatly indebted to Mr. Aka it was disappointing that I couldn’t do much to thank him.
And, seems it’s difficult for Mr. Aka to go to a human town, so I asked if there was something he wanted there.
Then, Mr. Aka…… why are your eyes moist?
“Earth, yer a really nice guy, and I’m so glad we met.”
For the first time in my life, I saw ‘tears in the eyes of a real demon’.
“It’s no big deal. Anything is fine. Books, furniture, anything.”
I’ll buy you anything. When I said that, Aka was a little worried….
“Hmm… cake, I wanna eat that.”
Mr. Aka, who does not know how to joke, only tells the truth.
So this isn’t a gag.
“The cake that humans make, I want a taste of it. If I can make it, people may be interested in it. So, try eating it first.”
You can laugh and cry a little, but don’t show it to your face.
Well, Mr. Aka is really pure.
“Wow. Well, I’ll go to the town, I’ll make a lot of preparations for a trip, so I’ll buy a cake and stop here again.”
Nodding to my words, Mr. Aka made a peace sign.
No, you like that already?
Seems it’s just a sign between us, but it’s fine I guess.
I smiled and returned the peace sign to Aka.
And I forgot something important.
I didn’t have a penny in the first place.
“Hunter Registration? Young but an Academy Graduated Warrior?”
“Oh, no… I didn’t graduate yet…. I dropped out.”
“If you haven’t graduated yet, you’ll be registered as freelancer. If that’s all right, give me your identification.”
Then, when I reached the town, I went to a guild that was also a hangout for hunters as well as a bar and the likes. I was penniless but as a hunter I could earn money quickly.
If you go to a guild that can be called the Employment Security Office in any big town, you’ll have a means to make money.
But I realized that having not graduated from the Academy yet, I wouldn’t be a regular hunter with national support as an Imperial Warrior, so I could only be the sort of freelance hunter under day to day employment who is entirely self-managed and nothing else.
Still, I thought it would be fine, but I found out that becoming a freelance hunter also required identification, so I was at a loss.
“Ah, well, can’t we work something out? I don’t care if I wash the dishes or anything else, and if I could introduce something without registering….”
“That’s no good. The guild only introduces work to registered hunters, both state warriors and freelance people.”
“Yes, so show me your ID.”
I ran away from home, and I don’t have that now.
Even if I did, that information would reach the Imperial City when I was registered.
All the same, if someone gets access to ‘Earth Lagann’s’ registration, my whereabouts would be found out.
I mean, if I don’t want that, then I can’t even be a hunter.
“Well, without requests… not going through the guild, find someone in need, and apply directly…… “
“Better drop that.”
At the guild reception, someone was calling out from behind me.
Looking back, there was a man in his twenties with long black hair tied to the back of his head.
It was not only one person standing.
“That’s right. Don’t do illegal stuff behind the scenes because you’re hard up for money.”
“Shady dealings are no good.”
“Some of them have anti-state employers. You should avoid black market business.”
It was about ten men, and the atmosphere around them was a little different from a usual person’s.
“Well, if you’re not going to register, why don’t you move along? We came to find a job.”
Certainly the grumbling and fuss being raised behind me made the situation awkward, so I quickly backed down.
“We’re a Freelance hunter team. I’m Fuma, the leader. I’d like to see a list of quests being introduced now.”
In the end, the guild receptionist’s attention also moved from me to the mister who came from behind.
I thought that it might not be good even if I persisted, so I decided to give up and leave.
「It’s risky…. earning money by getting rid of monsters and villains. It feels just like an adventure, but I can’t even do that.」
『When setting out on a journey, to not even be able to become hunter, a staple of fundraising… that was unexpected.』
「My Identification… sorry.」
『Tis troubling. At this rate…… will you even be able to procure books?』
After turning away from the guild, I walked down the town’s main street while hanging my head.
This is the town at the foot of the mountain, Honeyborough.
Surrounded by abundant nature, it is like a stopover between the other side of the mountain and the Imperial capital.
As a result, cultures and people from other countries are intermingled, and although not as huge as the Imperial City, they are full of vigor and prosperity.
Apparently, they don’t seem to know of me yet.
And, as Mr. Aka said, they are having a little event all over the town at the moment.
“Yes, that’s the game. In the 136th hand, victory goes to Insei by forfeit!”
Hundreds of people gathered and many desks and chairs were lined up in a square located in the center of the town.
There, many children faced each other with serious expressions. They are facing each other in multiple showdowns of Go, the game Aka and I played last night.
『Hmm. Hey, child… this is….』
「Oh, Mr. Aka told us. It’s a Go tournament.」
The flag stood in the plaza, and on it was written, ‘15th Sister City Exchange Children’s Go Tournament’.
There were a lot of children younger than me, who still didn’t seem to be ten years old, but everyone looked serious. And around them, their parents were watching over them with a very excited air.
『Hmm…. It was not so before the war, but here Go is thriving.』
「Eh? Ah, this is a transit point between the Imperial City and other lands, and people from other countries are also coming in. Races and cultures might be different, but I think we got along well through Go, a board game common to humanity.」
「And I’ve heard that this town is a sister city of ‘Ounomichi City’ in the ‘Kingdom of Japone’, the country where Go originated, or so I’ve heard.」
『Oh… I see… you are familiar with that.』
「Well, it’s also a part of the history test… when I was a kid, I met some people from that country who came to a party in the Imperial City.」
Even so, I’m not that interested in Go itself.
I’ve never got into it with Sadiz when we played, so I don’t take it so seriously, and I’m not a strong player.
Well, Mr. Aka was too weak, so I managed it yesterday….
「Tre’ainar. Do you know Go, too?」
『By heart, Go is popular even amongst demons.』
「Oh, is that so?」
『Of course. To begin with, Go is a game with a history of more than 1,000 years. It used to be called ‘The Demon King Game’.』
「No way… I mean, if the Demon King plays it, anything will be the Demon King Game.」
『…… No, well… perhaps, but….』
I can’t believe Tre’ainar can play Go. By his speech, might be formidable.
Well, that’s not the point right now.
It’s money, money.
If it stays like this, I can’t afford to go on my trip, let alone a cake.
I don’t want to disappoint Aka, who is looking forward to it, so how to make some money….
『By the way, child. Are you well versed with the Kingdom of Japone?』
「Eh, all of a sudden… Well, like I said, it was in the history test, so to a certain extent.」
『Then, are you familiar with the ‘Warriors’ of the Kingdom of Japone?』
When I was thinking about money, Tre’ainar suddenly asked me.
Warriors from the Kingdom of Japone? I’m not sure of the intent of the question, but if you ask me if I know…
「Sure, they’re swordsmen called ‘Samurai’, aren’t they? If the ‘Imperial Knight’ belonged the Empire, the other side would be the ‘Kingdom Samurai’, I know that much.」
『Hmm… then, do you know anything else?』
「Eh……? Like the equivalent of the Empire’s hunters…. and mages, right?」
『Um. Anything else?』
What? Other than that? Is there anything else?
“Ah, that’s 20 straight wins!”
“That girl, she’s amazing!”
At that time, a loud voice was heard a little away from the plaza.
When I looked back, dozens of men gathered and were surrounding something.
And when I looked into it, I saw a girl sitting across the wall. A man by her side.
And, the desk and the game board were in front of the girl.
“Now, is there any other challenger? If you can defeat Shinobu Stoke, a 15-year-old from Japone, you’ll win a prize! Now, are there any more challengers?”
The old man who was by the girl’s side was shouting so loudly.
And the girl in question.
Straight long black hair.
She has a fairly well-formed face, but is as expressionless as a doll.
She seems to be the same age as me, fifteen years old, but dressed in a very unusual outfit.
She wears a black-clad, light-skinned outfit, her left leg exposed with a cut-off skirt, and socks that extend above her knees. It seems to put emphasis on easy ‘movement’.
Even the skin, it’s white! not a healthy shade, she’s as white as snow.
Her chest is pretty big, too. At the same age as me? Well, is the princess a little bigger?
…… or rather, the cut skirt! Down there, I think it’ll be exposed if you’re careless.
“Hey, Kouga. That’s enough.”
At that moment, though her face remained expressionless, the woman, with an air of contemplation, called away the older man.
” I’ve grasped the level of Go in the empire. We’ve killed time and earned money, but the pathos won’t surge.”
“Rather, I, you know, have big breasts, right? Maybe because my outfits are getting more provocative but I can’t stand feeling nauseous and tired from their nasty gaze. Now, let’s join Onii-san. I wish my brother would find a quest that would shine away his boring days.”
It’s as if they are looking down on the flocks of men, or the empire.
Well, her boobs are not particularly up there…. when next to a huge pair, like the princess’s…. not to mention if you compare it to Sadiz…
Still, it’s certainly a little irritating.
However, no one among those gathered took up the gentleman’s challenge, seems that woman is very strong.
『Huh… perhaps you should go for the prize…』
The eye of the Great Demon King by my side glowed suspiciously.
[S1]The word used here, 闇営業, has multiple iterations. Wasn’t sure which to use, so I used them all…
[S2]The Japone seems to be a stand in for Japanese. So I decided to keep the titles and honorifics whenever they talk. Let me know if it’s bothersome.