“It doesn’t seem as if it’s just because he’s a local.” [Ryouma]
“He must be a good person. One look and you can tell that people trust him.” [Fei]
It’s noisy, but after walking through the corner of the peaceful street, an inn with a giant stable came to view… To be honest, it felt more like a stable with an inn because the inn was actually smaller than the stable.
“This is the ‘I Love Horses’ inn. The owner is probably not around at this time, but… Maybe the landlady is around.”
We entered the inn casually.
As soon as we enter, a voice called out to us.
“Welcome. Oh, if it isn’t Hyuzu-san. What’s the matter?” [Landlady]
“I brought you some customers.” [Hyuzu]
“Good evening. I am Ryouma Takebayashi from Bamboo Forest. I have a reservation through a person from the Morgan Company.” [Ryouma]
“I’m Fei, his guard.” [Fei]
“Ahh, I heard from Boss Serge about you. We have two private rooms prepared for you, but fill out this form first. Also, what will you be doing about supper? If you’re going to be eating, you can eat now. Boss Serge is also there. And then about tomorrow’s—” [Landlady]
The landlady seems to be an impatient person, as she kept throwing one question after another at me as I filled out the form.
I’ll go have supper as soon as I fill out this form since I have to greet Serge-san too.
“Ryouma, I’m going back to the residence.” [Hyuzu]
“Ah, already?” [Ryouma]
“Yeah. I’d love to eat and drink with you, so we can chat, but I have some work left.” [Hyuzu]
“I see… That’s unfortunate, but I guess it can’t be helped. Thank you for coming out to help me despite your busy schedule.” [Ryouma]
“Well, I’m sure you’ll drop by the residence soon. We can talk then. I have a lot I want to talk to you about. See ya!” [Hyuzu]
“Yes. Take care! …He left.” [Ryouma]
Hyuzu-san left like the wind… I wonder what he wanted to talk about?
“The same as ever, that one.” [Landlady]
“Ha ha ha… Ah, I’m done filling out your form.” [Ryouma]
“Me too.” [Fei]
“Thanks. Here are your keys. Your rooms are upstairs at the end of the right corner. You can have your meal at the restaurant in front of the inn.” [Landlady]
The landlady showed us the stairs and the path to the restaurant.
But I couldn’t help but notice the eccentric horseshoes and stuffed horse heads decorating the place.
“They’re strange, aren’t they?” [Landlady]
“I think they look great.” [Ryouma]
“There’s no need for flattery! They’re there because my husband keeps buying them! There are even ornaments and paintings in the second floor! Seriously, what’s so good about these things!?” [Landlady]
Looks like the owner really has it bad for horses.
“Boss, if you’re going to be greeting your friend, then it might be a good idea to fix your clothes first.” [Fei]
“That’s right. Landlady, I’ll go change at my room first. I’ll have supper afterwards.” [Ryouma]
“Alright. I’ll go prepare your room now.” [Landlady]
After changing clothes, I went to the restaurant.
“It’s full.” [Ryouma]
“From their getup, they all seem to be merchants.” [Fei]
“I wonder if it’s because the stable is making a killing… Oh, found him.” [Ryouma]
The restaurant was crowded with merchants from various regions. Serge-san was seated next to the walls.
He was eating with someone. Probably, a man.
The man had black hair. I feel as if I’ve seen him from somewhere before… Huh? Is that Pioro-san?
“Serge-san, Pioro-san.” [Ryouma]
“If it isn’t Ryouma! Long time no see!” [Pioro]
So it really was Pioro-san.
“It’s been a while. We’ve been exchanging letters a little, but it’s already been half a year since we last met.” [Ryouma]
“We just kept passing each other for some reason. …By the way, thank you for referring the Vyezen Village to us. Thanks to you, we were able to get a new product and a new source of barley.” [Pioro]
“That’s only possible thanks to the cooperation between the villagers and the Saionji Company.” [Ryouma]
As we gradually began speaking in hushed voices, the conversation started to resemble a conversation between evil governors. …But that can’t be helped. After all, the top head of two different companies were talking to a child with unknown origins. Moreover, said child was able to talk with them on intimate terms. When the other customers noticed that, the atmosphere changed.
“Who is that child?” [Customer 1]
“No idea. Maybe a noble from somewhere?” [Customer 2]
“There’s no way a noble child would come here.” [Customer 1]
“Then maybe the heir to a large store?” [Customer 2]
As we idly chatted among ourselves, I started hearing those kind of voices.
People were starting to look at me too.
It feels just like when I went to the adventurers guild for the firs time.
The only difference is that these people aren’t adventurers and this isn’t a guild.
“Come now, you two. Please take a seat.” [Serge]
I took a seat just as Serge-san said.
I ordered supper and introduced Fei-san to the two since this was their first time meeting. We only talked about things that wouldn’t cause an issue if other people were to overhear us.
Eventually, the conversation turned to our trip here…
“You were stopped at the gates? What a disaster.” [Serge]
“Well, they were just doing their job. It can’t really be helped. The security at the gate here was a lot stricter compared to other towns. As expected, the town where the duke lives is different.” [Ryouma]
“There are nobles here too other than the Jamil family. That’s why the security here is a lot stricter compared to other towns. They used the crystal at the gate, right?” [Serge]
“That’s right. If it were any other town, just the guild card would be enough, but here…” [Ryouma]
Apparently, the crystal check is mandatory here when going in and out of town. If they find out that you subjugated some bandits, they’ll move you to another room.
“That crystal is a precious magic tool, so in other towns, they only use it when you don’t have any identification or to confirm a bandit subjugation report. It’s a tool, so naturally it will break if you keep using it. Those things aren’t easy to replace.” [Serge]
Are they expensive? There should be a lot of them, though, considering so many towns use them.
“The price is up there, but it takes a lot of effort to get permission from the church to get one. Those magic tools were originally created by craftsmen after receiving a divine revelation from the gods. So while it’s possible to produce them, they’re not something that can be made and sold without permission.” [Serge]
A legitimate reason such as the security of a town. The permission of the nobles. Apparently, it’s not just the fee for the magic tools. Donations toward the church and other things are also needed to get those crystals.
“If not for that, I would love to get one myself.” [Serge]
Serge-san looks really sad about that. Well, he is a magic tool otaku.
Although, to be honest, if it were possible, I would love to get one myself.
“By the way, Ryouma. You said you defeated a bunch of bandits? You sure did well defeating so many with just the two of you. There were a lot of them, right?” [Pioro]
“It’s all thanks to Fei-san. He defeated eight just by himself.” [Ryouma]
The customers listening nearby suddenly went quiet.
“The boss took out 7 himself, actually. The only reason I was able to take out one bandit more was because I attacked first.” [Fei]
Voices could be heard murmuring from behind me.
Did Pioro-san change the conversation to warn the other customers?
…It’s fun talking, but it’s unfortunate that we can’t enjoy the food as much because of the atmosphere.