“So this is how it is inside your house.” [Student 1]
“The ceiling is full of slimes, but because of that they can get the insects.” [Student 2]
“This here is the toilet of the shed.” [Ryouma]
“Seriously? You even installed something like that that?” [Student 3]
“What’s this pipe?” [Student 4]
“That’s a water filter. It filters water to clean it…” [Ryouma]
Presently, I’ve opened my base to the students.
As soon as my duty on the second day started, a boy asked me to show my base, so I gave him permission, but when the other students got word of it, a ended up gathering. Actually, there’s just six of them, but the rooms themselves aren’t that big, so it feels really crowded.
“Ryouma, are you there?” [Gazel]
“Hmm? I’m here.” [Ryouma]
I heard Gazel’s voice from outside.
I wonder what’s the matter.
“Look! Look!” [Gazel]
When I showed my face by the entrance, he raised up a quarry with both hands. I had the higher ground, so it looked like he was pushing his quarry into me from below. I brought my face near it.
“So you got some birds today too, huh. Some pretty big ones to boot.” [Ryouma]
“Yeah! We set the trap yesterday.” [Gazel]
“I see. So that’s why you were late coming back.” [Ryouma]
“Well, yeah. Anyway, we managed to trap it well, so we’ll give the blood to you. The blood is nutritious for your slimes, right?” [Gazel]
Still, these children sure are good at hunting.
“This is all we’ve caught for now, though, so you’ll have to give us back the meat afterwards. We’d love to be more generous, but…” [Gazel]
“It’s fine. I’ll get ready to remove its blood. As thanks, why don’t you come in and drink some tea while waiting? I’ll pour you some herb tea made with river water and some herbs.” [Ryouma]
“I’ll have some if you’re offering it. But can I take a look around too?” [Gazel]
He really is an honest child. Another way of putting it is that he’s easy to understand.
“Of course. Ah, everyone else can drink too. The tea is made from the ingredients gathered from these parts.” [Ryouma]
“I’m fine.” [Student 1]
“Me too. We have to prepare for tonight.” [Student 2]
“Yeah. We should be going soon.” [Student 3]
“Thank you for showing us around.” [Student 4]
“I learned a lot.” [Student 5]
“Thank you very much!” [Student 6]
I saw the six students that entered my room off and prepared some tea.
“Brush off the insects on you first before you enter.” [Ryouma]
Gazel-kun obediently followed my orders, but as soon as he entered, he found himself staring at the wall.
“Something catch your attention?” [Ryouma]
“I was just thinking that you had good walls here. Our house’s walls are old, so the wind can get in. Compared to that, this here is a much better place.” [Gazel]
“So, that’s what.” [Ryouma]
“If only I could use Earth Magic too…” [Gazel]
Are you bad with Earth Magic?
“Not just earth magic in particular, but all magic. But looking at this, I figured if I could use magic, then I should be able to do something about the walls at my place.” [Gazel]
“Is it that old?” [Ryouma]
I asked him that while pouring him tea, and he nodded with a smile.
Our house is still better off, though. The adults take care of us, they listen to us when we have something to consult them about, and as long as we mend the walls a little, we can get by just fine. The house might appear dirty, but it’s livable. What’s really bad is the house of the grandma next to ours, right?” [Gazel]
“Right? Even if you tell me that, I don’t really know…” [Ryouma]
Is she living in one of those places I heard about a few days ago? Those abandoned buildings?
“But it’s only a matter of time now.” [Gazel]
“Matter of time?” [Ryouma]
“Yeah! I’m an adventurer now. Although I’m still a low ranker, I’m going to get stronger from here on and make more and more money. Soon I won’t just be mending our house but completely rebuilding it. I’ll make it so big that everyone can live together.” [Gazel]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
So, he’s the ambitious type.
“But exactly how long do you think you’ll take?” [Ryouma]
“How long… I haven’t thought about that.” [Gazel]
Somehow, it feels like he’s down all of the sudden.
“Well, you can just take your time thinking about it.” [Ryouma]
“I’ve decided!” [Gazel]
“That’s fast!?” [Ryouma]
Huh? What? He just decided it like that after thinking about it just now? Isn’t he deciding too quickly?
For the meantime, I tried asking him about it…
How big of a house is he thinking about anyway?
“How big is your store?” [Gazel]
Why is he thinking about my store all of the sudden?
“I just remembered. That store of yours is 2-stories tall, right? That’s why.” [Gazel]
“That’s what you’re concerned about!?” [Ryouma]
“I mean if it has two floors, it must be pretty big, right?” [Gazel]
“It’s true that there’s plenty of living space, but…” [Ryouma]
“Right? Besides, structures with two floors are rare, so it stands out.” [Gazel]
But asking a carpenter to build one will take time and money, so you can’t just rebuild a house that easily. I feel like he should think about things a lot more carefully, but I’m sure saving is a bigger priority for him right now. Even if it’s just a rough image, having a goal is a good thing.
As such, I avoided saying anything unnecessary and just honestly encouraged him.
“Oh, right. Awhile ago, you said ‘our house’, right? Do only children live there?” [Ryouma]
Are the adults taking care of them? I’m a bit concerned, as it sounds like there’s no adult with them.
“That’s right. It’s different from the church and the orphanage, but it’s a place for kids like us with no parents to gather. We spend the night there, and go out to work in the morning.” [Gazel]
“What about the rules when living together?” [Ryouma]
“The older ones look after the younger ones. The neighboring adults help us out too and teach us various stuff. We ourselves learned how to hunt from an old man, who was a former adventurer… Ah, it’s almost that time of the year where we gather firewood from outside of town. During this time, the guys with nothing to do go out to gather some twigs. I guess you can call this a rule too?
Anyway, that’s how we live. We might not have any money, but everyone’s able to get by. That’s why everyone is like a sibling to each other. The three guys in the party with me all live in the same house with me.” [Gazel]
So the parentless children are supporting themselves while getting some aid from others. So that’s why they have such a strong sense of brotherhood and why they get along with people on their level so well…
Thanks to this opportunity, I was able to find out more about the life inside the slums that I didn’t know about. Before I knew it, he’d emptied his cup.
“Thanks for the tea. It was delicious.” [Gazel]
“I’m glad you enjoyed it.” [Ryouma]
“I’ll be going then. I have to find that beast for the job, after all.” [Gazel]
“Ah… Right.” [Ryouma]
“? I see. So, the instructors aren’t allowed to talk about the jobs. In that case, this topic is probably no good, huh.” [Gazel]
“Yeah. Something like that.” [Ryouma]
“In that case, I guess I have no choice but to look for it with my own strength. See ya!” [Gazel]
Like that Gazel-kun left in high spirits.
But what he doesn’t know is that the beast he’s looking for doesn’t live around here…
…I should go back to my post.