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Chapter 11 – Welcome to Elnato ②

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Author: Akashari Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mui English Source: Re:Library

“…It’s quite bustling, isn’t it?”
“It’s like a festival!”

The streets of Elnato were, in a word, bustling with activity. Brick houses lined both sides of the spacious thoroughfare, and everyone passing by, whether on foot or in carriages, seemed to be in a hurry.

“Oh, look, there are stalls, Master!”
“We’ll check them out later. First, we need to go to the guild we were referred to.”
“Wow, they even sell cotton candy! Do you know about it? It’s sweet and fluffy, really delicious!”

I’m slightly curious, just a bit, but there are more important things to do now. I’ll just remember where the stalls are. If Momo really wants to try it, we can stop by later.

“Well, too bad. I’ll carry you then, Master!”
“Can you really do that in such a crowded place? We’ll walk.”
“But are you sure? It’s quite a distance…”

What’s she talking about? If what the guard said is true, our destination should be right there if we walk straight down this main street. She’s underestimating me just because I have a child body. Sure, I stumbled and wasted energy in the snow, but this distance is nothing…


“Pant… pant…”
“See, I told you!”

So far. It was a visible distance, but the destination was endlessly far. My steps were small. It took me two steps to cover the same distance as Momo. But more than that, I just lacked the stamina.

What’s with this body? Even a baby would be better…

“Master, should I carry you after all?”
“N-No need… a man… doesn’t… need to be told… twice…”
“But you’re a girl now.”
“You said something you shouldn’t…!!”

Who on earth was the owner of this body? What kind of life did they live to end up with such poor stamina? If I’m inheriting this body from that guard, she must not have been a decent person…

“Master, please stop pushing yourself before you collapse. Want some water?”
“It’s fine…”

Supported by Momo, who walked next to me with ease, we arrived at the guild we were heading for 20 minutes later.

Beyond the open door, there was a scene that resembled a tavern, with round tables and chairs where people enjoyed drinks and snacks. In the back, there was a counter that seemed to serve as a reception.

“By the way, Master, we heard it’s a guild, but what exactly does it do?”
“I’m not sure, but it doesn’t seem to be just a restaurant…”
“Hey, you two blocking the entrance! If you have business, come over here!!”
“Oops, sorry!”

We were scolded by a voice from the reception, and Momo hurriedly moved us away while carrying me.

It seemed there were three rows at the reception, and the one who called us was a plump woman on the far left.

“What’s up with you guys? You look like refugees. Where did you come from?”
“The pink one here is an Outlander. We heard from a guard named Hagal that we wouldn’t be treated poorly if we came here.”
“That boy, huh! And Outlander… brought me someone troubletime too!”
“S-Sorry about that…”
“No need to apologize! You must have been freezing on your way here. Come warm up! I’m Stella. Have you heard the guild’s explanation?”

Both of us shook our heads. We were just here because of the referral. But this woman, her energy is overwhelming. If you let your guard down, her words alone leave you no room to interject.

“I see. That brat needs to be disciplined next time! This is the Adventurer’s Guild, where people with various circumstances come to earn money.”
“The Adventurer’s Guild… never heard of it.”
“I’ve seen it in games!”

At least, there shouldn’t have been such an association 1000 years ago. In that case, it must have been established after I was imprisoned. Indeed, there seem to be various changes proportional to time.

“With a name like that, does it involve exploring and developing untapped territories?”
“The name ‘adventurer’ has become somewhat of a formality. Essentially, it’s a gathering of jobless people. They earn their daily wages by gathering herbs, retrieving runaway pets or livestock, exterminating pests, and then spend their earnings on drinking here.”
“Hey, granny Stella, we’re just paying back the earnings, so show some gratitude!”
“You can say that after you pay the bills! Don’t become like those guys.”

Several men and women at the table laughed and waved their empty mugs at us. They seem to be quite drunk already. Perhaps they’ve had lucrative jobs from this guild.

“By the way, the guild card serves as an ID. Outlanders usually aim for that. You have wood plates, right?”
“Oh, yes, the one we got at the gate. Here it is!”
“Wait, does it cost money to register or issue that card?”
“It does, but consider it on credit. You’ll get some change back once you complete one or two quests.”

So, it’s cheaper than the toll tax, which is good to know. It’s quite a profitable deal for someone without any support. Moreover, it’s a debt given by the issuer of the ID, so even though it’s a small amount, there’s no way to escape it.

“In that case, I’ll hold onto your wood plates for now. While I do that, why don’t you two read through these documents and sign at the bottom?”

As Stella collected our plates, she retreated into the room behind the door, presumably for the issuance process. In her place, a document detailing the terms of the contract with the guild was placed on the table. I couldn’t see it due to my height, but it seemed like it was there.

“Momo, could you get the documents? And that pen over there.”
“Sure thing… Huh, come to think of it, is this…”
“What’s wrong? Is there something concerning?”

I skimmed through the document handed to me by Momo, but I didn’t find anything unusual. It simply stated not to cause trouble, to act responsibly, and outlined penalties for any egregious actions. There were no suspicious terms or hidden clauses upon a quick read-through, so there didn’t seem to be any reason to hesitate in signing it.

“What the, are you still not done?”
“Whoa! Uh, sorry, Ms. Stella, you’re fast!”
“It’s you two who are slow! Was there something you didn’t understand?”
“No, it’s just… I was wondering why I can read the text in this world.”
“Oh? Now that you mention it…”

We had no luxury to ponder it, but indeed, she was a being from another world. Naturally, the language would be different. Yet here we were, conversing, writing, and reading text. There’s no way it could be a mere coincidence that we were using the same language.

“Well, that’s thanks to Babel. You can see the tower outside the window, right?”
“Ah, the big tower over there?”

Outside the window, Stella pointed to the faint shadow of a massive tower in the distance. Babel, the mysterious tower whose name I’ve heard even from the saint. After parting ways with them, I could always see it from the same distance, the same size.

“We don’t know who built it, or where it is exactly. But it’s a tower that can be seen from anywhere in the world.”
“Don’t you know where it is? Hasn’t anyone tried to reach the tower?”
“Even if you try to approach, mysteriously, you’ll find yourself passing by it. No one knows anything about that tower. But thanks to it, we can communicate like this.”
“…Are you saying it’s emitting a spell that unifies languages?”
“Exactly, it’s like a divine miracle. We don’t know if it’s true, but the fact that we can communicate like this is something, isn’t it?”

…Come to think of it, it’s not just Momo; I, too, landed in an unfamiliar land a thousand years in the future. Yet, I didn’t realize it because of how effortlessly we could converse. The unsettling ease of understanding each other without any inconvenience.

“Hey, hurry up and finish writing! We’ll run out of daylight!”
“Ah, right! Let’s hurry, Master!”

Urged on by the two, I quickly jotted down my name on the document after double-checking its contents.

But my mind was consumed by thoughts of the tower visible outside the window, the more I learned about it, the deeper the mystery became. When was that tower built, and for what purpose did someone undertake the unification of languages? No matter how much I pondered, the answers eluded me.


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