Well, I finished chapter 4 today :D, I was a bit under halfway through yesterday when I posted the other 3 chapters, I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoy translating it.
Next chapter is still twice as long as chapter 2, but I hope I can finish it soon. Your comments are appreciated, they are what keep me motivated after all.
Chapter 4: Urd, a village in distress.
There was no attack from any wary villager, and I was allowed to get in safely.
“I give you my thanks for saving my granddaughter, Traveler.”
I met with the village chief of Urd.
It appears that Leesha, who I helped in the forest, was the granddaughter of the village chief.
“Don’t worry about it. I was just passing by.”
“Hohohoho, you don’t have to humble yourself Yamato-sama.”
The elder village chief politely expresses his appreciation. He looked like a polite person, the clothes he wore were colorful costumes similar to those I’ve seen from people living in the mountains.
“I believe Liscia already told you about it, but I’d appreciate if you could provide me with a place to spend the night without having to worry about the rain. It doesn’t matter if it’s a horse shed.”
I asked to confirm about the sleeping place deal I had with Liscia beforehand.
And handed over the half of the hunted Big Rabbits. For now, it would be good if I could spend the night here safely.
(Let’s leave this village as soon as I gather some information…)
I really had no plans to stay around anymore than necessary.
I’ll use staying the night in the village to find out more about this world. Among the things I’d like to know is the way to the nearest town, the class system and the economics of this world.
I learned by talking to Liscia and the village chief, that this was a world where one could communicate with Japanese language. Then, the first thing to do would be to travel to a big city in order to get a decent job. Money can be earned by doing a variety of things, from different physical labor jobs to tending to a shop as a clerk.
(This village is too isolated. If possible, I’d like to go to a more homogeneous city, I’d feel safer that way.)
I’m a stranger to the ways of this world. Also, my black eyes and hair is too conspicuous, bearing the distinct facial features of an oriental person.
I’m not familiar with the economic ideology of the cities of this world either, but in order to survive while procuring food, clothing and shelter, there is a need to obtain local currency, even if I have to hide my social status.
“There is a vacant house at the outskirts of the village. Although is a bit of a run-down house, you can use it freely to stay the night. Hey, Liscia. Please show Yamato-sama the way.”
With the meeting between me and the village chief over, he asked Liscia to lead me to the house.
She had already changed from her hunter outfit she wore when I first met her in the forest. And was wearing colorful clothes similar to those the village chief wore.
I’m not sure about the aesthetic standards of this world, but I’m confident to say that this girl is beautiful.
“Although it is a bit rude for me to say it, but this is a very lonesome village, huh.”
I spoke to her while walking through the village. I chose my words careful so as to not anger Liscia, who was walking next to me.
“It was once a thriving village with a rich culture. But recently, misfortune kept falling on us…”
“Misfortune… Is that why there’s only children and elderly people in the village? “
“Did you notice that…?”
“Oh, so I was correct.”
There was this sense of incongruity since I first entered the village. Then, as I talked with the village chief and now walked around the village, that feeling turned into conviction.
『There’s only children and elderly people in the village of Urd』, it was that kind of mysterious situation.
Even now, as we walk, I can only see the occasional curious glance of a child or the wary and sharp gaze of some thin, old people.
“It all started some time ago…”
While we walk, Liscia briefly explained the situation surrounding the village.
It happened a few weeks ago.
The army of the Lord who rules this area suddenly started marching. Urd, a small settlement, was tentatively under the patronage of said Lord. By paying taxes, the village was recognized for many years with ethnic autonomy.
『Search everywhere! Look inside the houses, even in the livestock pens! 』
But that didn’t matter, the lord ordered his soldiers to occupy this village without paying any heed to our words. I have no idea what he was looking for. Anyway, stir rose all across the village.
『Is it not here yet… or are they hiding it? Hey, capture all the Urdians except the old ones and the children! 』
After finishing their search, the Lord ordered to his soldiers. Accordingly to his orders, the soldiers tied up all the adults in the village. In addition, they also took all the grains stockpiled and the livestock we had.
『I don’t plan on killing you. But if anyone dares to resists, I will massacre every person in the village. 』
The Lord threatened the villagers who tried to make a stand with those terrible words. Therefore, since Urd was originally a pacifist village, everyone decided to obey.
Thus, this frontier village in the mountains, Urd had become a village with only old people and children.
“After that, bad things continued to happen…”
Liscia continued to talk with a sorrowful tone.
A rumor spread that the Lord had abandoned this area, which caused a bandit group to appear. They targeted the road leading to the town, and with that, the peddlers no longer stopped by Urd, causing it to become economically isolated.
“Salt and miscellaneous goods are essential, therefore the need to rely on peddlers is huge…”
There was also a plan to go out and buy directly from the town. But if they were to be attacked by the bandits, there would be no adult to protect them.
“The biggest problem right now is the food shortage…”
In recent years, the crop yield had continued to drop. The main crop, which was a type of wheat, became sick causing the harvested volume continued to drastically decrease. And with the Lord taking away the stockpiled food and the livestock, the life-threatening food shortage was at its peak at the village.
“Therefore, I went hunting to the woods, even though I knew it was very dangerous.”
The blessings of the forests were many. (TL: blessings as in food)
However, there were many dangerous beasts in the forests, like the Big Rabbit. And with the adult hunters being taken away, there was nobody who could use the bow aside from Liscia.
“And the story now leads us to the present…”
Liscia’s sorrowful explanation comes to an end.
“I see. It is indeed a dire situation.”
I mutter to myself as we continue to walk.
I listened to her story and became aware of the circumstances surrounding the village. It is a considerable crisis looking at it from my perspective, taking into account that I came from another world.
Anyway, the village is not lively at all, and the atmosphere feels stagnated. The eyes of the villagers are dead and without ambition, as they sit at the sides of the road, too hungry to move.
It pains my heart just by looking at them.
“Anyway, the biggest problem in the village was the food shortage. With the stream’s water, the river fish and some edible wild grass, we’ve managed to stay alive so far, but if things remain as they are now, the village will eventually…”
Liscia deeply stares at the village, then her face becomes dark and gloomy. She had a cheerful look on her face up until now, but I guess she was forcing herself. By the way, the village chief also seemed to be forcing himself to smile.
When I look at her exposed neck and arms, she indeed looks thin, similar to the other villagers. It would not be strange if she had some places a little more developed considering her age.
Perhaps it is impossible, even if she’s the granddaughter of the village chief. After all, she was all alone in that dangerous forest.
“Sorry to just keep on complaining. Look, that will be Yamato-sama’s borrowed house. You can use the river for drinking water, and as for the fireplace, you can freely use the firewood as I already explained.”
Liscia showed me to a small, one story house.
It was an old house made with boards and clay for the walls. It seemed to be built with the mountain tribe’s unique building method.
“Since this is an uninhabited house, please feel free to use it. Also… It’s ok if you want to stay for a while! ”
“Only one night is fine.”
“Is that so… if there’s something you need, I’ll be at the village chief house.”
After replying with a slightly sad look on her face, Liscia walks away. Now, I need to finish dismantling the Big Rabbits I hunt earlier.
After the girl walks away, it’s just me alone in this house.
“Well then, where should I begin…”
I speak to no one in particular. It is a habit of mine, to speak my thoughts in order to calm myself down.
What I have learned up to this point and what I learned from my observation is that this village is in quite a crisis.
There’s also no hostility directed towards myself, who is an outsider. I might have made a good enough impression by saving the village chief’s granddaughter, Liscia.
“But I cannot remain optimistic…”
I do not know what customs a remote village like this one might have.
Perhaps they play the good people act and are secretly deceiving me. If that’s the case, I might get attacked in my sleep and be deprived of my belongings. Or maybe this tribe has a cannibalistic culture.
I might be overthinking, but it is a fact that I have had a similar experience when I was traveling in southeast Asia. If it happened on Earth in the 21st century, it wouldn’t be strange for it to happen in this undeveloped world. In other words, it means one can never be too cautious.
“First of all, I need to manage my valuables. Then I’ll make something to eat.”
I lower my mountain climbing backpack, putting away the tools I have and exchanging them for the necessary ones. While I was in the middle of a mountain climbing trip, I was suddenly transported here. My luggage consists of a tent, survival goods, clothing, food and water.
However, I didn’t have in my mind the idea to depend on these.
After all, this is a different world with a low level of civilization. It would be one thing if it was a few days trip. But let alone days or weeks, I might have to spend years in this world.
“I’ll have to consider using local supplies as much as possible instead, considering my limited supply…”
I have to get ready to live in this world until the day I die. For that very reason, I must not depend on the tools I brought from Japan as much as possible.
If possible, I’d like to return to my original world, but realistically, the possibilities are quite low. I mean, I don’t even know the reason, nor the theory behind my sudden transportation to this world.
“Good, I can use the wooden board here to hang it and hide de backpack.”
After wandering inside the run-down house, I find a nice place to secretly store my stuff.
It has a storage place where I can safely hide the big backpack I was carrying. It is a place which the villagers will not be able to find.
“I guess today it fine with only taking out the minimum.”
I move the necessary minimum survival gear to a spare small backpack which I can carry around easily..
Utensils such as a survival knife, a small pot, some seasonings, spoon and knife, basically, an all-purpose cookware set.
“If I can, I would like not being forced to use this…”
I also carry my personal self-defense equipment.
The anti-bear tear spray and the electrical stun rod are for mountain use. Those are “weapons” too dangerous to be used on people.
“What’s left is, the thing about my body movements…?”
After taking a deep breath, I throw a kick into the air.
Next, a shotei (open palm) strike followed by an elbow strike. Finally, I practice a series of stabbing and stopping motions with the survival knife.
This is the type of self-defense techniques that were hammered to me since I was young, by my self-proclaimed adventurer parents.
“My movements have become somewhat scary, after all. Several times better than when I was in Japan…”
I am convinced of such, as I finished a series of movements in the empty hall of the house. It is clear that the physical ability of my body is improving.
Of course, it is not only limited to muscular strength and agility, but also my eyesight and five senses seem to have improved.
“I guess it wasn’t really a coincidence that I could easily defeat the Big Rabbits in the forest earlier.”
I’m surprised that I can trace the self-defense movements better than I expected. It’s as if my body follows perfectly the image I have of those movements.
“Is it because the gravity is weaker in this world compared to Earth’s? Or is it because my body is somewhat influenced by something? “
This unexpected improvement in this unknown world is a pleasant miscalculation. Then again, I cannot be too optimistic.
For now, I have nobody I can truly trust. Not only the village chief and the villagers, that’s true even for the girl named Leesha.
It was at that moment.
While I was inside the house, I felt a presence. There were the presences of several people outside the building.
(Well, aside from that… this number of people…)
I took a glance outside the small window while concealing my presence.
I prepare myself without giving it too much thought. In order to take quick actions and overwhelm the opponent.
(I estimate around some tens of people…)
Before I knew it, I was surrounded inside the house. By countless villagers whose sharp eyes could be seen.