CHAPTER 41: PUB, THE CONTINENT, AND RISPELGIA
「And just considering how young you are, it must’ve been pretty tough.」
「I could only run away back then.
Still, it actually hasn’t been that tough lately, you know」
「Well you are already D-rank at your age, huh.
You really have great promise there little lady.」
With Ciel becoming 12 years old, we headed north for the time being.
Though, we’re only following the plans we made back at Sannois right now.
After leaving Sannois, our goal for now is to see the ocean.
This world, or rather this continent, has four major powers and two autonomous regions.
One of these is “Estoque”, the country we’re currently at.
Also called the Eastern Kingdom, it’s located east of the continent.
Next is ”Ausente”.
While it’s a large nation touted as the Western Kingdom, since a group of small nations exist far west of it, it’s slightly on the center of the continent as a whole.
The third is ”Suryuk”.
It’s positioned at the south of the continent as the Southern Kingdom, but as a portion of it turned into the fourth major country, the “Empire”, it’s currently in a state of war.
As for the autonomous regions, one of them, surrounded by these major powers, is the “Independent District”.
This is where the guild and church headquarters are located and is commonly referred to as either the Central or the Headquarters.
Its land area is small and most of the inhabitants are related to either the guild or the church.
It seems like the guild here refers to the Hunter, Merchant, and Sorcery Guild as a whole.
And lastly, the other is the dwarven territory north of Ausente.
Just as it implies, it’s the territory of a race different from humans.
Speaking of dwarves, my image of them are of short people that excel at smithing, but I can’t be sure that it would be the same in this world too.
There seems to be an elven nation among the small nations in the west but there’s barely any details about it from the information I can gather.
In addition, located south of Estoque and east of the Empire is a vast forest and an enormous mountain valley but since the monsters there get stronger the deeper it goes, these are considered to be monster haunts.
To see the ocean, we would need to choose between crossing the mountain far north of Sannois, entering the Empire by heading south, or plunging straight into a monster haunt, but since it has the shortest route, we’ve decided on heading to the north.
After all, the empire would be dangerous with the war going on and to begin with, we can’t cross the national borders anyway.
As for the monster haunt near the South Great Forest, while we might be able to pile up some achievements while seeing the ocean, the monsters there are a bit too strong.
I heard that although the shallow parts only have about E to D-class monsters, there are monsters reaching S-class deep inside.
Besides, it seems like the mountain in the north also has a lot of monsters, so it shouldn’t be bad for making more achievements as well.
This part is completely from second-hand knowledge though, so I can’t actually say for sure.
Anyway, we’re currently on our way to the north.
We might have reached the place by now if we just went straight towards the northern mountain but since our main objective is reaching B-rank, we headed north while passing by towns and villages and completing all the available C-rank subjugation requests there.
Also, since people generally pick on us when we enter the guilds, even just quickly dealing with that eats up a considerable amount of time.
And so, right at this moment, I’m gathering information at the pub in the town just before the royal capital.
For a short while after leaving Sannois, we didn’t do any information collecting at the pubs, but then Ciel correctly suspected that I was itching to do so and appointed it as one of my roles.
At the pub, I would only say that I ran away from a certain town after experiencing abuse from my parents and became a hunter at Sannois but upon hearing that, everybody would assume that I’m just D-rank.
The reason is simple, while one only needs to be at least D-rank to travel between towns, the people can’t imagine us being a C-rank hunter or above.
Ciel’s body has further grown since she was ten and, in my opinion, she appears roughly appropriate for her age now.
Still, I guess from the eyes of other people, she might seem small for a 12-year-old.
As for her chest, it’s neither good nor bad.
Well then, I’ll have this old mister sitting next to me provide some information now.
「Speaking of ranks, if I become C-rank, can’t I make connections with great nobles」
「It’ll still be tough with just the rank but true, you might be able to do it someday little lady.」
「There are bad nobles too, right Where would be a safe place to go」
「In the meantime, I’d say going to the capital would be safe for sure, but I’d suggest the great Duke Rispelgia’s duchy.」
Well, I did expect to get a hit sometime soon, but to think that it would be in this timing.
Also, because of that oh so great duke, I feel sick when paying respects to nobility.
「You see, when talking about great Duke Rispelgia, he’s known for being someone who thinks about his people the most.
Lots of nobles out there can be cheapskates when paying hunters, but as for the duke, there’s talk that he dishes out lavish rewards at his place.
Awfully understanding of how important hunters are.
On the other hand, this means that a ton of hunters go there too, though.
If you don’t rise among the competition, you probably wouldn’t catch his eye.」
With the alcohol he’s drinking getting to him, the old man started to laugh out loud.
I have no idea what was so funny about that, but this still is very important information.
If I end the conversation here, there’s a chance, maybe just a sliver of a chance, that our relation to the Rispelgia household would be exposed, so I continued asking questions.
「After leaving this town, I’m thinking of going to the royal capital next.
Is there anything I should be careful about」
「Let me see.
Being D-rank at that age, you probably have a Greater Job or something, right」
「I won’t say what it is, but yes.」
「The guild master over there absolutely loathes Job discrimination, you see.
Better make sure to watch what you say.」
While both the Dance Princess and Song Princess definitely rank higher than Greater Jobs, these are the ones being discriminated against, so it shouldn’t be that much of an issue for us.
At worst, there might be a need to reveal our Job, but since we’re probably the target of protection, it should be safe I guess.
「I’ll be careful.」
「Yeah, be sure to do that.
Got to listen to your elders, you know」
Since Ciel’s a girl, he didn’t do the back smacking thing, but it absolutely feels like he’ll do it any moment now and it’s a bit scary.
Just when I thought this would be the end of it, another voice appeared from behind.
「Speaking of the capital, it’s practically tradition to get pocketed at least once.」
「Now that you mention it, that’s true.
Calling it that is a bit exaggerated, but it won’t hurt to watch out for it.
There’s just that many people, you see.
You’ll probably be fine since you’re a hunter, but watch out for the slums, okay」
「So there really are places like those when there’s a lot of people.」
「There’s just nothing we can do about it.」
「Still, they say that there aren’t any poor people in the Rispelgia duchy.」
「That’s our Rispelgia, the best~!」
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Ignoring the two that began laughing for whatever reason, I exited the pub.
While I thought that it might have been a bit rude, it didn’t seem like my voice could reach them anymore, so there shouldn’t be any issues.
We went back to the inn for the day and decided to pass by the guild tomorrow morning before we depart.
After staying over a number of inns, the greatness of the quality of our stay back at the town of Sannois really comes to mind.
We might just be bad at finding inns, but first of all, we don’t have a bathroom.
That’s why we do the washing with sorcery.
Also, the bed is hard.
Since it’s still better than the stone ground, it’s still comfortable in Ciel’s eyes.
「So Rispelgia is a good noble, right」
『It’s just that he has that side as well.
No matter how good his governance is, that doesn’t invalidate what he did to you.』
As long as he only leaves us be now, that would be great.」
Ciel muttered so, not sounding very interested about it.
While I can’t be sure how she really feels deep inside, at present, it doesn’t seem like Ciel wants to do something about the Rispelgia household.
Personally, I’d love for it to crumble.
Still, I’m aware that it’s impossible, so I’m prioritizing our escape right now.
Currently, it would be best if Rispelgia doesn’t find us.
The fact that we can’t leave if we don’t reach B-rank, yet we can’t stand out as well is… rather complicated.
「Come to think of it, what does being pocketed mean」
『To simply put it, it would be when your purse or other things are stolen as you walk.』
「Is it really safe to do something that bold」
『It’s done well enough that people don’t notice when they’ve been stolen from, you see.』
「So doing that is possible then.」
『You can’t do that okay』
There’s no reason to do so.」
Since the topic seemed to have caught her interest more than Duke Rispelgia did, I warned her in advance but that ended up making Ciel puff her cheeks in a sulky pout.
While I know that this doesn’t particularly mean Ciel is seriously upset, it’s still a bit troubling.
Even I’ve gotten unreasonably upset when I’m told to do my homework as I was already planning to do it after all.
Ciel’s reaction was just natural.
Anyhow, since this is my fault, I decided to sing one tune to better her mood.
Ciel listened to me sing even as she was sulking and as I finished the tune, she’s still huffed as ever.
If I only had a body, I would’ve loved to poke her puffed up cheeks.
「Ain’s so unfair.」
「Ain sings when I get angry after all.
Now I can’t be angry anymore.」
『Then you’re not angry anymore』
「I’m still angry.
Ain’s so unfair after all.」
Though Ciel’s lines started looping, the last part sounded somewhat monotone.
Well, that’s just how it is.
As I said『That would be troubling.』with a wry smile, Ciel responded「Then I’ll forgive you.」and burst into laughter.
And just as she did, I ended up laughing as well.
The next morning, Ciel left for the guild.
Since we’re leaving town, we plan on accepting escort requests if there are any available while we’re at it.
For hunters, the time spent travelling is equivalent to the time not working.
Due to that, hunters would usually take escort requests when travelling from a town.
Before arriving here, we’ve escorted several merchants as well, but since there were also many times when it didn’t suit our convenience, it practically depends on luck.
Rather than waiting for an escort request, our priority is staying on schedule.
「Cielmer-san, you’ll be leaving today right」
「Unfortunately, all the escort requests bound for the royal capital are all booked.」
「In that case, it can’t be helped.」
「So then, will you be delaying your-……」
Seeing Ciel enter the guild, the receptionist lady spoke to her.
While it’s nice that she told us that the request we want isn’t available, unfortunately for her, even if she wanted us to stay, we’re not stopping.
Since this sort of exchange isn’t particularly unusual, Ciel exited the building seemingly already used to it.
Though about Ciel’s way of speaking, she started speaking like those aloof quiet characters before I noticed it.
Well, it’s my fault for blurting out『If you have a hard time speaking, then how about trying to keep your words to the minimum』some time before.
If this causes a problem then I just need to cover for her.
At worst, we also have the option of running away with the barrier on full blast.
In any case, we walk on with the royal capital in our sights.
Hiya~! A new week, a new chapter, and a new volume~! And with that, new exposition as well~!
This chapter, we have a general exposition about the world, or rather, the continent.
And the R-man.
It’s just a small thing, but I love how the Western Kingdom isn’t actually the one most west, lol.
Also, the common fantasy elements, dwarves and elves, finally appeared! Well, just in text.
More information, or rather proper information, about the Headquarters/Central is here too.
While it may or may not be literally at the center of the continent, it seems to be quite “central”, or maybe “neutral” on it’s standing from how it seems.
Like, Church all the Guilds Must be really safe from interkingdom politics.
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Speaking of politics, Respelgia has really good PR it seems.
Literally a guy of the masses from what we have here.
You can really picture Ain’s blood seething in just those short sentences though.
On the other hand, Ciel seems to be more interested in the pick-pocketing, lol.
They’re just so precious.
Pouty Ciel, troubled older sister Ain, Grr-I’m-not-angry-but-I-am Ciel, Sing-to-calm-little-sister Ain.
More AinCiel Please.
Still, as usual, Ain is really airheaded, lol.
Another verbal slip, really Ain Not that it’s that bad, her words are out of care but this is going to be another “massaging them could make them grow” thing in the future, lol.
But damn, Ciel’s absolutely blunt, which is natural considering that Ain is above all but “No.
Bye.” love it.
Ciel really has Ain’s no nonsense approach too just a bit more blunter.