Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
The outside was humid.
The wind touching the skin, of course, was a hot one, so I couldn’t help but frown.
I put the great shield on my back, but with the insufferable humidity, I’m immediately tempted to take it off.
The job that I’m doing daily lately, street patrolling.
Even on the days when the militia doesn’t call on me, I still check the surroundings.
That’s because there is no end to small quarrels.
To alleviate the discontent of the citizens I can’t help but walk around, listening to their complaints.
「Ah, Rude-san, hello!」
「Rude-san, patrolling again?」
「……Yes. What about you? Going to the labyrinth?」
「Well, yeah. We gotta earn while there is still demand on fieldzauruses.」
For now, they are a source of a pretty okay income for C rank adventurers.
After all, they don’t appear anywhere near the settlements surrounding the place.
We have to make sure that those adventurers won’t run away.
And also, that new adventurers join them.
For that, we are building a new inn. Considering the size of the town, it might be difficult to finish it in the near future, but we are working on it.
In case we won’t have enough people to make it function as an inn, we can even lend it as an apartment complex.
I’m only praying that the number of adventurers coming here will increase.
With the new building under construction, there is also work on a bigger outer wall, to accommodate the growth of the town.
……Slowly, the town is changing.
While slightly sad about it, happiness is bigger after all.
「THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!」
「HA?! DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM?!」
The adventurers fighting among themselves.
Breathing a sigh, I immediately headed there.
Their expressions turn awkward after noticing me.
Shisanti-san said that my name carries some weight in this town, and it does seem to be the case these days.
Asking the two about the situation, I sigh.
「Having rice or bread with breakfast, does it really matter……」
「……So-sorry. I got a bit excited……」
It’s nothing but this sort of stuff lately.
It’s nice that no kids were around. Though it’s a dumb argument, but seeing two grown-up people shouting at each other can still be quite scary.
And in order to prevent that, I can’t slack on patrolling.
Let’s head to the next place.
Thinking so, I turned around and saw a familiar old lady nearby.
Gardening seems to be a hobby of hers as she often shares vegetables with us.
She smiled, having a hand on her crooked back.
「Is something wrong?」
「Can you come to my house? There is something I’d like to say concerning the town……」
The voice didn’t sound like her usual self.
There was something in her expression, saying that this is important.
……It might be something difficult to talk about at such a place.
I hope it’s nothing serious.
Looking relieved by my answer, the old woman smiled.
I head to her house.
Entering the old woman’s house, signs of heated discussion entered my ears.
Walking further into the interior I see elderly people sitting there.
Nothing but familiar faces.
Sitting the farthest from me was Old Man Buckle, the previous sub leader of the militia. Folding his arms he looked at me with a frown.
And he was not alone in that.
Many others had a similar stern expression.
Though they appear pretty kind usually.
Sharing vegetables, picked on their fields, checking on Manicia when I’m not around.
Since I knew how they usually act, the current situation was pretty puzzling to me.
Making the most relaxed expression I could manage, I tilt my head.
「Is there some kind of a problem?」
「Rude. There is something we’d like to ask of you.」
Old Man Buckle’s intimidating tone felt overbearing.
Perhaps because now he is working in the field daily, but he appears to still be in good shape.
「I won’t be beating around the bush. We are against the development of this town. We want to live quietly, as we did before.」
It was so unexpected that I couldn’t help but open my eyes wide in amazement.
Looking over everyone, I see that though their heads are hanging down, they still nod in agreement.
……I already discussed this once with the townsfolk.
At the time, everyone was in support of the town’s development.
「Sorry, Rude. But with so many problems happening daily……」
「We just want to have a quiet life.」
Of course, I knew that it’s not like there is absolutely no opposition.
But I thought that the townsfolk would surely understand.
With more people coming into the town, life will become easier, richer.
If we get more traffic from merchants, the town will be able to get many things that it couldn’t until now.
Old Man Buckle nodded and as if to summarize everyone’s opinions said.
「That’s how it is. We want to live in peace.」
「Aren’t you the same? You came to this town concerned about Manicia, right?」
Some commented, getting on board with what Old Man Buckle said.
They are certainly correct.
And I also like how peaceful the town was before. But without any change, the town will just keep getting more deserted.
I already saw such places,which are abandoned by humans, turned into habitats for monsters.
「Just listen to us. Nothing good will come from the development of the town. The crime will rise. Until now, we could leave our houses unlocked, and nothing would happen, but now it won’t do. There is also no guarantee that something won’t happen to Manicia when you are not around.」
There was something in Old Man Buckle’s words that I had to agree with.
But I also wanted to refute him.
I couldn’t just openly say that he is wrong, but even so, we had a few plans to improve the situation.
「Soon, knights will be stationed here. Eventually, the church will be completed as well. ……We are also going to search for a clan, capable of organizing the adventurers.」
「……But even so, the problems will still occur, no?」
「Clan, you mean… That, right? A gathering of adventurers? ……Won’t that bring more problems?」
……Well, that is true, in a way.
As long as people are living, there is no way to completely get rid of the problems.
But even soーー
「Rude, you should think it over. If you tell Feel, she will surely understand.」
Old Man Buckle said in a very kind tone.
I’m much obliged to the people gathered here…… So I can’t reply to them in strong terms.
I don’t want to confront them.
「Is there anyone else in opposition?」
Perhaps it was hard for them to say it until now.
I thought that everything was going smoothly.
But, perhaps…… I just failed to notice.
「……I got it. I will give it thought.」
After a bow, I leave the house.
The wind, that by now smelled of summer, felt very cold.
I kept going around, patrolling, but I just couldn’t get my mind into it.
As soon as I hear the arguing of adventurers, I can’t help but get annoyed.
Today is no good.
Perhaps I should return home for now, and get some of Manicia’s healing smile.
「Hey, Rude, what’s with the long face? 」
On the way home, Granny Gigi called out to me.
She was watering a flower bed in front of her apothecary.
I wonder, when did I get here?
Damn, I can’t see a thing around me.
Looking at me, Granny Gigi smiled.
「You must be tired from working every day, right? Come inside for a bit.」
「No, it’s not that. It’s fine.」
「Just do it! I couldn’t even get a word with you lately, with how busy you are. Now, go in, go in!」
Granny Gigi came up to me and pushed me into the back.
……If she is going to be so pushy about this, it’s incredibly hard to refuse.
Making a small nod, I step into her house,
After passing through the shop, I sit in a chair.
「Here, herb tea to remove fatigue. It’s still hot, so be careful.」
I take a sip of the offered tea.
I immediately felt like a load fell off my shoulders.
Granny Gigi’s herbal tea is as tasty as always.
「It’s delicious, thank you very much.」
「I see. So, what’s wrong?」
Granny Gigi looked me in the face.
……I wonder if it was so obvious from my expression.
I’m hesitant whatever or not I should tell her.
Somehow, the idea of telling Granny Gigi sounded unbecoming of a man.
Even so, thinking by myself…… I honestly have no idea what I should do.
「There is a thing troubling me. It’s about the development of the town. I thought that there is a lot to it…… Both good and bad.」
「Did something happen?」
「Well…… Kind of.」
Granny Gigi gave me a sharp look, as if saying 「keep talking」, so reluctantly I told her.
Granny Gigi breathed a sigh, and then leaned back on the chair.
「I see. Good grief, that Buckle… I’ll give them a piece of my mind.」
Granny Gigi rolled up her sleeves angrily.
「……Granny Gigi, you aren’t opposed to the development?」
When asked so, Granny Gigi’s eyes went round, as if she didn’t expect such a question, then, she laughed.
「Of course not. Well, it’s hard to say who is right here. But, even so, it’s not up to us to decide.」
「……Are you saying that it’s up to us?」
「Yup, up to you. It’s something that young people, who will live much longer than us, have to decide. We are here for the time when you, young folk, screw up. So when you make a big mistake, we can comfort you, saying that next time, it surely will go better. Though we can’t actually do anything.」
Granny Gigi said jokingly and then showed a gentle smile.
「I’m happy to see you, Rude, doing what you like. After all, I’ve known you two for quite a long time. You might not like it, but I consider you both as something like my grandchildren.」
「……It’s not like I don’t like it. I’m glad to hear this. Manicia would be surely glad to hear this as well.」
Granny Gigi gave me a warm smile.
「I think what important is what you want to do.」
What I want……?
Thinking back on it, I was deeply entangled with the town before I noticed it.
In a way, I was just going with the flow and was pulled into this.
So I didn’t have any hard determination concerning this.
「I…… I also want to take into account everyone’s feelings. Even so…… I don’t want to see this town disappear. I like this town. ……I want to keep living here.」
「I see. But, you have to understand that there are times when you can’t keep being nice to everyone. As a person leading others, there are times when you just have to do what has to be done. Rude, do you want to protect this town…… or do you want to protect everyone’s opinions? I will support you no matter what you pick.」
Raising my head, I look directly into Granny Gigi’s eyes.
「I will protect the town.」
「I see. Got it. Then, let’s tell it to them right away.」
「…Granny Gigi, thank you for the advice.」
「Don’t mind it. You are trying to shoulder everything yourself way too much. If you are fine with me, I’ll always listen.」
She scratched her cheek, looking pretty content.
……She is always looking out for us.
How exactly did those old morons think they’d stop the development of the town? Ask rude to move the labyrinth away? Stupid.