The Village Bully and The First Friend (Part 1)

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Author: Sasaki Ichiro Original Source: Syosetu
Translator: Mab English Source: Re:Library
Editor(s): Silva

At the front gate made of logs, Andy and Chad, members of the pioneer village’s watchmen and already familiar faces to me, were standing and chatting in their spare time as usual.

I was told that watchmen took turns acting as gatekeepers, but for some reason, I was most likely to see this duo whenever I visited. Two young, able-bodied men, dilly-dallying in the middle of the day, right in the farming season… Well, perhaps I’d take it too far if I put it as such, but seeing the fact that they were just standing around and chatting away at the gate oh so leisurely, maybe they weren’t being counted as a working hand to begin with…? Such mischievous thoughts passed through my mind.

“Heya, Jill! It’s been two weeks. What, you’ve grown taller again?”
“The Witch’s black cat is with you, eh? Must’ve been hard traveling such a long way every time.”

The two noticed us, stopped their banter, and spoke to us in a friendly manner.

With my hood still on, I bowed and returned their greetings. “Good day to you, Mister Andy, Mister Chad. Thank you for your continued service.”

Andy was the lanky, tall, pastoral, rustic type, while Chad, on the other hand, was the stocky, stout, and outspoken type. In fact, their personalities were reflected in their appearances. They were both single, the third and fourth sons of farmers respectively, and considering there was barely any bachelorette in the village, they often said that their only pastime was going to a bar or a general store in a nearby town and having a drink while wooing the hostesses.

…Well, I didn’t really care what they complained about, but because they kept on telling me personal information that I didn’t ask for (and had no interest in) every time I visited the village, either because they had nothing else to do or simply were too talkative, I somehow had become much more in touch with their situation than I was with Regina’s. Her personal life and past were still largely a mystery to me.

Following tradition, I was once again forced to listen to all sorts of ramblings halfway through the day—stumped at what to do inwardly—before at last one of them closed it with their usual lamentation of, “Man, I wanna get married!“

Just when I was relieved and dropped my guard, thinking I was finally free,

“…Well, you’ll reach that age in a couple of years, Jill, so you better be careful choosing a partner. Especially since you’ll be in a world of trouble when that time comes.” Chad spoke to me keenly sympathetic, and I just happened to feel his gaze fall on my still flabby chest area when he did. I was so dismayed I reflexively stiffened, clutching my chest under my robe.

“Hey!” Andy uncharacteristically chastised him with a strong tone.

“—Ack. I didn’t mean to say that to scare you. My bad!”

Seeing Chad bowing his head a bit panicky, “No, I don’t mind… Mentor will be furious if I’m late, so I should hurry.” I answered quickly and left the place as if to escape.

“—By the Lord, know some sense.”
“But hey… Aren’t you curious? She’s already like that at that age, you know?”
“That doesn’t justify it, man…”

Hearing them squabbling behind me, I pulled my hood further and closed the front of my robe tighter so that as little of my face and body would be exposed as possible.

“…My face shouldn’t be visible, but I guess I still stand out either way.” It seemed I had grown defenseless around them after talking to them a number of times.

Even if I lost a little weight, ragweed such as I couldn’t possibly bloom into a cattleya much like my mother was. I must always watch over my standing and be on alert… Thus, with a renewed will, I first proceeded into the village to purchase the sundries and groceries as Regina specified.

As though concerned about me, Maya lightly rubbed her neck around my waist.

“It’s okay, Maya. I’m not so weak as to be hurt by what others say to me now.”

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I knew I was only putting a brave front, but I put my best smile and patted Maya’s neck. She responded with a single “Nyaa” as if to cheer me up.

♢♦♢♦♢

“Let’s see… Whetstone and a bag of chickpeas—I think that’s all I need, right?” After visiting familiar homes and stores and purchasing every last item on my list, I checked with Maya, who was carrying my bag lightly with her tentacles.

As if to say “That’s right,” Maya nodded with a meek face.

“—I see. My errands are done surprisingly quickly, that’s good.”

The sun was still just a little off its zenith. We were told to be back by evening, but we would still have a lot of light left even if we go back home now.

“…that said, I don’t know where to go to play, I don’t even have pocket money.” Not to mention, I already had my lunch; the biscuit I brought with me.

By the way, the currency in this world was all coins, basically copper coins, half-silver coins, silver coins, half-gold coins, and gold coins (well, those coins have a lot mixed in them). The prices here were different from those on Earth, so it was difficult to say what the conversion rate was, but one time I did hear that it took 3 to 5 silver coins to stay overnight at an inn in a town, so one silver coin was about 1,000 yen, I’d guess?

15 copper coins = 1 half-silver coin. 2 half-silver coins = 1 silver coin. 15 silver coins = 1 half-gold coin. 2 half gold coins = 1 gold coin.

Also, since the currency standard was as such, the general public mainly conducted business transactions in copper and silver coins, while gold coins would be something they don’t see in their whole lives…especially in the countryside, or so I heard. Well, to be honest, I had never seen a real gold coin either, both in my previous and current life, considering that Syltianna never did any shopping on her own.

I shrugged, beckoning Maya to go back to the forest, but for some reason she stood as if rooted to the ground, staring at a point. At the end of her gaze was the village chief’s house, the largest building in the village—which was no wonder since it also served as the village meeting place.

“Ah. You’re right, we need to greet the chief too, don’t we? I’m sorry Maya, you need to trouble me again.”

Maya wagged her tail as if to say “don’t mind it” before she began to lead me to the big building.

♢♦♢♦♢

“So, 30 of the demon beast warding barriers—The large ones are for the fields, right? And then 10 warding bells for personal use. Also, medicine for food poisoning?”
“Indeed. The number of the sick always increases during summer somehow,” the good-natured chief sighed, a melancholy look on his face.

“Foodstuffs tend to spoil easily in summer, so you should be very careful. Don’t eat leftovers if you can, always sterilize cooking utensils with boiling water, and don’t forget to wash your hands, especially if you’re the cook. It should improve your situation a lot.”

I couldn’t help but impart my advice.

“Hoh. Is that the wisdom of the Sage of the Forest too?” The village chief opened his eyes wide and looked me squarely, even past the hood. By the way, the Sage of the Forest is the title this village gave to Regina (although she’s better known by the title the Witch of the Forest).

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“…Well, you can say that, yes.” I lied. Please, don’t let Regina know of this, ever!

“I see. That is good advice. I will tell everyone in the village as soon as possible and make it known.” When the village chief nodded vigorously, I scrunch my face under the privacy of my hood. No, I said nothing wrong. Yup, nothing wrong… but still! What kind of hell awaits me if it ever reaches Regina’s ears?!

“Come to think of it, would you happen to have other plans for the rest of the day, Miss Jill?”
“No, I have my business attended for the day.”
“Hoh. If so, why don’t you take a look around the village for a bit? Not that there is anything worth noting, however.”

Now he mentioned, I had never walked around the village except for shopping.

“Fortunately, Eren, my daughter, is around your age. I will have her guide you around.”

Taking my thoughtful silence as an okay, the chief quickly proceeded. Not long after I waited, a petite girl with chestnut-colored hair cut just below her chin arrived at the door. The village chief said she was the same age as me, but she looked a bit younger.

“Eren, this is Miss Jill, the disciple of the Sage of the Forest. She is eleven years old like you, so I think you will be good friends. I would like you to take Miss Jill with you and show her around the village.”

Eren’s face lit up, followed by a bashful smile.

“Nice to meet you, Lady Jill. My name is Eren.”
“Nice to meet you too, I’m Jill. —Aah, you don’t need to add any honorifics. I’d appreciate it if you could talk to me normally.”
“R-, right… Yeah! You’re right, we’re friends after all!”

Oh? Did I just make a new friend already?



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