I 【 Teleport 】 to a spot beside the city wall. It’s important to check first if nothing would block me during【 Teleport 】. The destination shouldn’t be above water or somewhere else that’s equally dangerous ー what a disaster if I happened to 【 Teleport 】 in a wall, right. Of course, nobody should see me doing this, so it became my habit to move to the vicinity of my designated place after making sure that it met all these conditions.
I came here today to shop for linen, and touring the royal capital also seemed like a great idea. A bookshop would be nice, but still, I would keep【Appraisal】open and scan everything just in case I spot something useful.
The royal capital was located on the gentle sloping feet of the rocky mountains, which became its scenic backdrop. An aristocrat’s mansion, or maybe it’s part of a citadel, looked like it’s clinging to the mountain side. A royal castle was built high above it.
The roofs of the townhouses were tinged with orange, and the walls had the same hue as the rocky mountains. Houses carved on the mountain side rarely had roofs overhead, and the walls rose up high, probably because the top plate also served as corridors.
I’m not really confident about what’s considered ‘common sense’ here, so if I mess up big time, I can just run to the capital of the neighboring kingdom.
They asked me for my Commerce Guild Coin before requesting me to pay the toll fee at the main gate of the royal capital. They only had to check the registration number of the coin since my identification papers were already verified earlier when I got it at the guild.
The Adventurer’s Guild’s tag, on the other hand, was checked based on the ranking. People ranked Silver and above didn’t have any problems. Iron’s part of those being inspected, but only Coppers were required to have guarantors, or else it’d be difficult to enter. Adventurers who already had achievements under their belt would confidently enter even without an ID, assured with the fact that they’d be able to wing it based on what they accomplished. Noobs couldn’t afford to do that, though.
A guy that seemed nice at first glance caught my eye while lining up. He was brought all alone inside the tower ー maybe he got into some kind of problem.
My turn came while I was preoccupied with staring.
「It’s my first time inside the royal capital. Do you have any guide maps, or perhaps know someone who could tour me around? 」
I tried asking while filling the forms in.
「 Here’s a simple guide map. If you come here to shop, you can go directly to the Commerce Guild and somebody would guide you, but you might be forced to buy some stuff for, or from them. If you go straight ahead to the plaza, you’ll find some kiddos loitering around. You can just pay them to guide you ー it’s a hit or miss, though. 」
Tipping with the change for the guide map got me additional info. They told me to look for a guy with bluish gray hair. Name’s Leon and he’s beside the plaza well, according to them.
The city wasn’t vast after passing the gates, contrary to my expectations. Stores with arched entrances lined up beside the streets, which were narrower than the alleys of Azirh.
Quite dark, too ー probably ‘cause they’re shadowed by the connected houses.
It was autumn right now, but the sun was still scorching hot as it beat down on me while I was standing in line earlier, so maybe this darkness was a good thing. As Japanese say, sunny’s better, but it’s comfortable being in the shade.
The hill road was a gentle slope. I tried to be discreet while peering inside the stores to see what kind of goodies they had inside. The narrow alleyways seemed to continue on and on, but they told me to go straight ahead so did just that and voilà, the view suddenly opened up into a vast, bright place.
A church-like building stood right at the forefront, its belfry glittering white as it basked in the rays of the sun. A water fountain ー er, water well stood at the center of the plaza.
The ashen blue color immediately caught my eye, but for some reason, people seemed to avoid that place. I expected a child based on our convo, but a youth was there instead. Was I mistaken with the bluish-gray hue?
「 Excuse me, are you Leon-san? 」
「 Ahh, yeah. 」
The youth raised his face to nod ー Oy, what’s up with that Asura face he’s making. Look at that magnificent furrow between his brows and that half-lidded glare.
Now I understood why the vicinity of the well was totally deserted even though there was quite the crowd in the plaza. This guy’s face was too terrifying.
「 The sentinel told me that you could guide me around the city…」
Maybe there’s a slip-up? See, he’s overflowing with ‘don’t talk to me’ vibes.
Did that sentinel trick me big time into being sold as a slave…nah, I guess it’s more like ‘what a poor judge of character, sending me right to a cutthroat’, huh.
「 The sentinel? 」
He looked blankly at me.
「 Er, it must be a mistaken identity. 」
「 Nah, it must be some kind of fate. Good timing, I’m free. I’ll guide you. 」
Oh, unexpectedly the gentleman, contrary to that look.
「 Ahm, I have to go to the clothes shop, bedding shop, tableware, and a restaurant in this city ー do you have any recommendations for these? 」
I bet the capital had better quality when it comes to cloth and meals, but is it really?
Leon stood up from the well after listening to my approximate plans.
His aura was intimidating so I anticipated him to be a huge guy ー it wasn’t even close. So-so, just around my height, I think? Hey, listen, I’ll grow taller, did you hear that? If I said I’d grow taller then I WILL, mark my words.
Maybe the reality of living alone made me relax, so some cm’s had been added to my height within a short time, though a little taller would’ve been better. My height was average back in Japan, and it’s also the same here. Ah, maybe it’s the average of Van, Ludere and Ish, huh.
「 If there’s a place you must definitely see, then it would be the scenery at the top of the castle. Ah, but a commoner can’t enter there. 」
…………….. So, you’ve seen it, huh, must be nice not being a commoner or Don’t go around recommending restricted places ー I was itching to retort, dunno which one to say, though.
「It is still early for a meal. I know a fairly popular clothing store here in the Royal Capital. 」
Hey, weren’t you recommending that castle rooftop? Ugh, whatever. That guy’s already walking up the hill road, so I better run after him. He’s not bad for a guide though, stopping every now and then and explaining stuff whenever I pointed out something interesting.
「 By the way, what was that huge building at the plaza? 」
「 Ah, if you say huge then it must be the 『 Fae’s Bough 』 . It was said that the spirits loved that place, so lush vegetation grew in that quadrangle, and clear waters endlessly flowed. It’s a very beautiful place. 」
Ahh, right, people believed in spirits over here. Anyway ー
「 Mm, sorry. I should have toured you to that place. 」
「 I’ll try to go over there on the way back. Oh, that reminds me, why are the houses here built so close together? They’re only separated by a wall.」
Leon seemed a bit dejected, so he must’ve noticed my thoughts. Change topic, then. I don’t have a problem with people who don’t talk that much; besides, he’s probably just not suited to be a tourist guide.
「Well, land’s limited within the castle walls, and the houses facing the road are taxed based on their width, so it’s normal to share a wall and split the tax. 」
I was curious about what taxes they had, so he explained a bit more ー municipal tax, toll tax, market tax, heck, even glass windows were taxed ー maybe it’s treated as a luxury thing here. So that’s why the houses of the simpler folks only had a few glass windows.
「 Merely living yet already burdened with taxes, it seems. 」
「 Not really, the residents of the royal capital rarely go out. It’s a bit different for a fortress city that’s near the frontlines. 」
Ahh, so they get most of it from the outsiders, huh. And just as expected, forced labor was rampant in the rural areas. I got to know now that the feudal lord owned the watermills, the bread oven, and the winepress, so they had to pay a fee for using those, on top of their payment for agricultural crops, to boot. In worse places, they also confiscate stone mortars, and people had to pay a penalty, too. Hey, anything that touches the ground belonged to the fief lord ー even carriages that had broken down or was overturned. That’s so scary.
We finally reached the clothing shop after talking about a lot of things.
It was a bit different from the one in my guide map, but let’s just put up with it.
By the way, this clothing shop didn’t carry any clothes.
「 Adelheid-sama. 」
A guy with a good physique flusteredly came out.
「 Thame, it’s been a while. Please attend to this person for today…」
「 Adelheid-sama, please do come in first. 」
He willy-nilly forced us inside a private room, then promptly served us tea. The seats and furnishings made me wonder whether I should be sitting here with my current getup.
「 I am Thame Carr, the shopkeeper, at your service. Please pardon me for my rudeness earlier. 」
「 I’m Jean. 」
He seemed to have calmed down, enough to greet me politely, too.
「 Adelheid-sama, we were worried about you. 」
「Mm, sorry. But before going through that, please attend to our guest’s clothing, first. 」
The conversation was heading towards something that had nothing to do with me again, but Leon cut it off.
The shopkeeper hung his head down in shame, but he bounced back again and called for someone to ask me what I wanted.
….Hey, what, wait-up, isn’t this a custom tailor shop, the one where you choose everything, including the cloth!!!?
It’d be in bad taste if I refuse now, so I had no choice but to stay put obediently and have my measurements taken, all while stating my preferences. I was curious about Leon and the shopkeeper’s convo, but not now ー it was my first time doing this, after all.
Never imagined I’d be so concerned about the type of a button ー a BUTTON, for goodness sake!