With some intermittent breaks along the way we managed to reach Erin city in the Choline Kingdom by the end of the morning. While I ran I had eaten preserved foods to keep up my energy. We had kneaded lard and sugar together to create a high calorie cookie that I could eat on the go.
I had utilized recovery magic to fool my muscles into ignoring their fatigue and recover their injuries. However, I needed a lot of calories to replace the energy that was exhausted by doing so. Otherwise I would end up lying on the floor exhausted.
Erin was a city that gathered goods from all corners of the land.
It had low tariffs, an easy to access location, and a climate that was mild enough for most races to survive there.
「That’s quite an amazing lineup of carriages.」
Lucy said with a voice full of wonder as I carried her in my arms. Erin was surrounded by a 10 meter tall wall to repel enemies. There was one large gate for each cardinal direction that provided access to the city. At each of the gates there were nearly 50 carriages lined up trying to enter.
「They’re collecting taxes and fees. When you enter a large city like this they need to check your cargo and collect the appropriate taxes. That kind of check takes time.」
「When you go in you have to pay money?」
「That’s the easiest method. It also makes it easier to keep dangerous materials from being brought in, low quality goods from being sold, and makes it cheaper to buy things that were made in the city itself. This is all from the taxes.」
No matter where or when, this kind of practice was universal.
「Do we have to line up here too? ….just waiting here will take us the entire two days.」
Kuu said with an unhappy look as I carried her on my back.
Even I would hate that.
「It’s alright, if we aren’t carrying goods then we don’t have to undergo the customs check. If we have a pass then we can enter easily. Look I have one here.」
I pointed to a line next to the carriages that was full of people with wooden passes. They showed these passes at the gate and were allowed entrance. I took one of these passes out from my jacket pocket.
「You even had one of those Cyril?」
「Well I did go out shopping here with Father and the rest in the past. It’s just that the expiration date has already passed so we need to pay the renewal fee. It needs to be renewed once every two years.」
If I remembered correctly it would cost around 5 gold. It was fairly expensive, but our budget for this trip was around 300 gold so there was no issue.
「That’s amazing. They collect money for luggage…they collect money for people…even if they don’t do anything they’ll just keep collecting money?」
「Indeed. However, for a large town like this it costs a lot of money to keep the administration running. Furthermore keeping everything running is a very difficult task so don’t be too jealous.」
In the past I had been a Lord that ruled over a territory of over a million people. The stress got to me and I ended up bald, sleepless, and anorexic all at once.
At the time I had thought of myself as a superman who could do anything by myself. No…honestly I just didn’t have the courage to rely on others. Because of that I took on too much work and it piled up until I crashed. The territory and I ended up crumbling. It was a bitter memory.
「So it’s like that…」
「Yes it is. Now let’s hurry and go inside.」
I said and softly let Lucy and Kuu down.
With them and the gold hanging on my body I had been carrying close to 100kg. All at once I felt as if I had become light as a feather.
I received the bag filled with gold from Lucy and started walking forward.
「Ah that’s right. Before we go in I need to go over some things. The major point is that the city is a dangerous place. Be aware.」
「I know that Cyril.」
They both responded energetically.
「Never walk around alone. Once we enter town and the two of you separate from me you must act together at all times. Never leave each other’s side. Furthermore never go to any deserted places in the city. Always stay in locations with a good number of people.」
「That’s fine…but why?」
「This city sells all manner of goods and products…people are also included in that. If it’s for labor then a strapping young lad is preferable for the slavers…but if they are searching for a love slave then they will choose young beautiful girls.」
Lucy and Kuu were extraordinarily beautiful young women. Furthermore Lucy is a virgin as well.
「Those who can sing and dance as well as those who can read and write will fetch a far higher price. In the first place Elves and Fire Foxes fetch an especially high price just by virtue of our race.」
Both Elves and Fire Foxes would age very slowly after they hit a certain age. Our life spans weren’t particularly long, but we maintained our beautiful young appearances for most of our lives, so sex slaves of our races were highly sought after.
Furthermore, even the children born from those women would be of the same race and would be worth a lot of money. Even if you got tired of them you could kill them and steal the magic crystals from their hearts so their value was very high. Because of these matters both Elves and Fire Foxes were unable to trust any large settlements and had moved away to create their own villages.
「That’s why if you let down your guard you could be attacked from behind, collared with the anti-magic collar, kidnapped, and sold off. You need to be very careful.」
I tried to convey the deadly seriousness of my words through my voice. Lucy and Kuu froze a bit.
「Here, we can hide your ears with these.」
I placed some earmuffs on Lucy and a hat on Kuu to hide their distinctive features. Kuu’s tail was hidden underneath the skirt she was wearing.
And so we entered the town. One pass allowed 5 people to enter so we were able to finish things by paying a renewal fee of 6 gold.
It appeared that the fees had increased over the years.