Kenja ni Natta – Chapter 2-3

Happy New Year! Sorry I couldn’t bring you more than one chapter but with family vacations and the next chapter being double the normal length this is all I could squeeze out. I still owe you guys a few Kenja chapters so look forward to more later.

Enjoy!

Side note: This chapter was long… and so is the next… and the next. orz

 

Volume 2: Sightseeing in a Different World Together with Librarian-san

Chapter 2-3: The Eyes of a Tiger, Waiting in the Dark

 

 

By the time we left the shopping district, the evening sun was about to set.

 

「Well then, Good Night. See you tomorrow」

 

Primevère gave a modest curtsy, and disappeared into the twilight.
Perhaps because we were together for so long, my right shoulder had a really nice smell lingering on it.
We were constantly holding hands after all, so it goes without saying that there wasn’t much distance between our bodies.

 

An optical illusion of Primevère was still lingering by my side. While engraving that image into my mind, I made haste and headed back to the inn.
It had become pitch dark after all.

 

◇          ◇          ◇

 

As I walked through the residential district, I counted the gold coins that were in my pocket.
The clothes that Primevère picked out for me, they cost about 10 silver coins for a top-and-bottom set.
Since we bought 3 sets, by using simple arithmetic our expenses should have been 30 silver coins.
In the end, when you included other minor items with the outfits, the total came out to be 36 silver coins.
To complete the sets of clothing, underwear and small accessories, and a variety of other necessary articles were included.

 

36 silver coins.
Since 100 silver coins is equal to 1 gold coin, if I paid with a gold coin then I would receive 64 silver coins as change.
Compared to the thin and lightweight iron coins, having to carry 64 heavy silver coins will be painful.

 

While thinking something like that I gave the clerk a gold coin, and in return I was given 4 silver coins, along with 6 slightly bigger silver coins.
Apparently there is a denomination of currency known as Large Silver coin.
10 silver coins is equal to 1 Large Silver, and 10 Large Silver is equal to 1 Gold coin.
The order went as such.

 

Every time I see a new coin and think that I’ve figured it out, something like this always comes to throw me off.

 

100 iron coins for a copper.
10 copper coins for a silver.
10 silver coins for a large silver.
10 large silver coins for a gold.

 

Incidentally, among those denominations the iron and large silver coins were the last ones to enter circulation.
The reason for this is that the value of gold coins has been on the rise as of late.

 

The royal capital of the ancient past.
After melting his hard-earned gold coins with special fire magic, there was a merchant who tried making some easy profit by selling them as lumps of gold.
In the olden days the value of gold coins was lower than actual gold, and the merchant’s cunning plan apparently succeeded.
However, even in that day and age, there were people who tried to mimic that merchant to become wealthy.
Upon hearing rumors of that man, other merchants tried following in his footsteps and turned gold coin into raw gold. Just like their predecessor, their scheme was aimed at earn wealth.

 

The result was, as expected, a failure.
The gold coins that the merchants had saved up disappeared simultaneously, and because of that the value of gold coins increased in comparison to raw gold.
In the current age there is a law prohibiting the destruction of currency, but in the past no such regulation existed.
They probably thought that none of their fellow merchants would come up with the same type of plan.
The value of gold ingots dropped spectacularly, and at the time the value of manufactured gold coins multiplied by several times over.

 

In order to manufacture gold coins, you needed an excessive amount of high purity gold.
However, the merchants kept the depreciated gold ingots to themselves, begrudgingly refusing to sell them. Because of that, the world’s supply of gold was diminished.
But even if gold were to disappear from society, the current value of other currencies will not change.

 

Gold coins disappeared from daily wages, and instead people were paid with large quantities of silver coins.
I bet it felt like being paid your entire salary with 1,000 yen bills. [1]
Leaving aside the minor details, when buying a house or plot of land the calculations involved became tedious, and individual spending decreased overall.
Acting as rescue measure, the Large Silver coin was created.
Since it had the same value as 10 silver coins, it was successful in decreasing the overabundant supply of silver coins on the market.

 

Eventually more gold ores were mined, and gold coins gradually re-entered circulation.
This is apparently what led to the present currency system.

 

As for iron coins, they surfaced for a simple reason.
Rather than selling goods for a single copper coin, merchants would sell for two copper coins in order to turn a profit.
But if there was a difference of one copper coin, then customers won’t buy their goods.

 

Apparently it worked in the past though.
“The color of mine is better than the others”, or “We will give you extra services”, various sales pitches were used to deceive customers.
Among them were some who swindled customers who weren’t good at arithmetic. It was a regular occurrence for certain merchants to cheat customers out of their change.

 

Not before long arithmetic became more widespread, and merchants were no longer able to trick your everyday citizen.
When speaking about a single copper coin, they were enough to pay for the cost of 1 inexpensive fruit
For the smarter people, it was not easy to deceive them.
In that case, if we create a currency that is lower than the copper coin, then by using that small difference in denomination, then it should be possible for us to fool people again.
“How about we establish a currency that is cheaper than copper coins?”, the merchants sent an appeal to the government, and after many years and months the iron coin was established.

 

If you were wondering about the result, since arithmetic had been advancing steadily, it is said that the idea of ripping-off customers has disappeared from the thoughts of merchants at large.

 

 

 

Exiting the residential area I walked down a side-street, and I at last arrived at the inn.
Passing by the counter shrouded in darkness, I climbed the staircase as it creaked under my feet.
I first act was to enter my room, and I dropped the cloth bag on my back to the floor with a thud.
Aaah, that was heavy.

 

「Now then, it is time, for a Japanese adolescent’s sanctuary to play its part」(Ayame)

 

Making sure the cloth bag was tied shut, I crammed it under the bed.
Even in times of antiquity, whenever a young man needed a place for something important, they would always settle for ‘under the bed’.
Especially since this room is dark, it probably won’t stand out.

 

I was marveling at the results of this frightening concealment technique, when a *knock-knock* came from the door.

 

「Onii-san, dinner is ready~」
「Thanks, I was just starting to get hungry」(Ayame)

 

Creaking open the door, the tiger child walked in holding a lantern in one hand.
Whenever it was time for dinner, we would always eat together.
Apparently the tiger child has always been eating with that “Jii-chan” or whoever, but ever since I started lodging here we have always eaten together in my room.
When I asked the reason, apparently it’s because the meal tastes better when I’m around, or something like that
When they said that to me with such pure and innocent eyes, the tiger looked whole-heartedly happy.

 

「Onii-san, how does it taste?」(Tora-ko)
「Yea, it’s delicious」(Ayame)

 

As I chewed while taking in the scenery, the tiger child also put their own food into their mouth.
We passed the time by talking about what happened today, and about other idle small talk. Enjoying our dinner together has become a daily routine for the two of us.

 

「So you bought some clothes huhー」(Tora-ko)
「Yeah, do you want to have a look later?」(Ayame)
「Yup, I want to seeー. Aside from that, what is in that bagー?」(Tora-ko)

 

Reaching out their yellow arm, the tiger pointed their sharp claw behind me.
I almost felt my heart stop, I can’t afford to act suspicious here.
I can guess where the tiger child is pointing, but I can’t tell for certain if it’s under the bed.
They might be pointing somewhere else.
It won’t end up good if I handle this badly.

 

「Uhh, what might you be referring to?」(Ayame)
「Over thereー. Under the bed, there’s something weird over there」(Tora-ko)

 

The dried jerky almost came flying out of my mouth.
I’ve been completely found out.
Eh, what? You, are you Kiri-chan?
Being able to sniff out money based on the smell, do you have an ability like that?[2]

 

「Is it something importantー?」
「Yea, it is something really important」
Fuwaa~

 

*Clang!* Silverwear crashed onto the table. I had already lost sight of the tiger child.
The tiger child slipped past me by crawling on all fours, and they thrust their head under the bed.
As their striped tail swayed back and forth, the tiger’s bottom stuck out from under the bed as they rummaged about.
Although I heard the bad sound of something ripping, the tiger child held in their hands the contents of the cloth bag.

 

「It’s a chest? So heavy」(Tora-ko)
「Yeah, there’s money inside it」(Ayame)

 

Saying that, I took out a large silver coin and handed it to the child.
The tiger child accepted the coin, and stowed it in their own pocket.

 

「10 days worth, is itー」(Tora-ko)
「One of my recent jobs paid really well after all」(Ayame)

 

The tiger child plopped themselves back on their seat, and while nodding their head with a “Hmm-Hmm” they looked at me.
I bet they want to look inside.
But something like that, there’s no way I can let them.
We’ve spent sever days together so it’s not like we’re strangers, but as expected I should be careful about showing other people my everything that I own.
But,

 

「If it’s something important, then you should lock it up and leave it with Jii-chan」(Torako)

 

While delicately carrying the chest, the tiger child suggested that.

 

「’Leave it’, with him?」(Ayame)
「Yup, Jii-chan used to be an adventurer before, so he’s sensitive to robbers and the sound of footsteps. If you leave it with him then it should be safe. Even though our inn doesn’t have many employees, there’s never been anything stolen you know」(Torak0)

 

‘Ehehe’, the tiger puffed out their chest.
But still……
It’s true that I go out quite often, and this room only has an out-dated lock to protect it. If I left the chest lying here out in the open then of course I would be apprehensive.
Even so, to leave my trust in someone I’ve never met before… and to leave them with my entire life’s savings is a bit…

 

Well, I guess it’s fine if I think about it after meeting him.
I don’t have anything else to do either.
As long as he’s not someone I can’t trust in the slightest, then I guess I’ll ask him to help me out.

 

「Alright then. I’ll go meet him for now」(Ayame)
「Okaaay, then grab your stuff and follow meeー」(Torako)

 

Gathering up the empty plates, the tiger child opened the door while carrying the lantern under their arm.
After exiting my room, we went down the creaking stairs to the first floor.

 

After the tiger child ran down the stairs, they disappeared into the darkness behind the counter.
As I waited for a while, pitter-patter came from the counter and the tiger child appeared again.

 

「Please come inー, Onii-san」(Torako)

 

I was told to head behind the counter, but unfortunately behind there was total darkness.
I’m unsure where I should step. I wonder how I’m going get inside.

 

「The room inside has a light so there’s nothing to worry aboutー」(Torako)

 

All of a sudden a yellowish arm flew out of the darkness, and it grabbed on tightly to my hand.
Ah, that was the hand that held Primevère’s hand for a whole entire day……
“I’ll never wash this hand again!”, even though I thought something like that, it was overwritten in less than a day.

 

Well, the child’s hand was covered with small and fluffy hairs, so it also felt nice too.

 

While being pulled along by that tiny hand, I was slowly led down a narrow hallway.
I couldn’t get my bearings straight.
Turning to the right, bending to the left; it felt like a maze.
Distance-wise I only walked a few dozen steps, but because of the darkness it felt like a long time.
I’m worried that my confused feet might not remember the way back.

 

「We’re almost there, c’mon!」(Torako)

 

I could see a faint light, and I could just barely see my surroundings.
We were enclosed by clay walls, and the floor had planks of wood spread across it.

 

Heading past the passageway, I could see a room with a light in it.
Someone was inside.
A shadow stretched onto the wall of the room.

 

「Jii-chan. I brought Onii-san!」(Torako)

 

The shadow that looked like it was sitting at a desk, it slowly began stir.
A low beastly groan rang out. *Gacha Gacha*, I could hear the sound of metal pieces clanging against each other.
Was he wearing armor or something? I could see glimmers of light being reflected on the wall.

 

「Uhmm, nice to meet you. My name is Kazami Ayame」(Ayame)
「…… Billy Orbufel」(Jii-chan/Billy)
「Since it’s dark you can’t see each other, right~? I’ll go bring a light ‘kayー」(Torako)

 

The tiger child scurried into the room, and with a candle-like thing that was hanging on the wall, the child lit up a number of other ones in order.
With the number of flames multiplying, the room gradually grew brighter――

 

The Jii-chan, Billy Orbufel, his figure clearly came into my view.

 

「…………」

 

I wonder what expression I should make.
If I tried to sum it up, his looks were like a mix between a tiger and a lion.
In all entirety, I can’t describe him in any other way than as an animal that was walking on two legs.
Golden hairs were sticking out of his body that was wrapped in armor; his arms were etched with a striped pattern like a tigers.

 

His body was also very muscular.
There was a scar from some cut running over his left eye, and it remained shut the whole time.
I wonder if it was a wound from the past.

 

His one eye had a sharp and piercing gaze, Billy Orbufel had my square in his sights.

 

「You want me to hold something, is what I’m told」(Billy)
「Ah, yes, here it is」(Ayame)

 

I brought out the cloth bag that had some cute claw marks on it, and placed it on the desk.
Billy stared at it for a while, and in silence he picked it up and put it in a cupboard.
He didn’t bother to lock the cupboard.
I wonder if it’s really safe to leave it here.

 

「Don’t worry, I used to be a mercenary when I was an adventurer. If someone attacks in my sleep, I’ll beat them to death. The thing Kazami-sama entrusted to me, I swear I shall protect it」(Billy)

 

Maybe I let anxiety show in my face, Billy said that in a powerful and firm voice.
No, it’s not because I don’t trust you or anything.
I was just thinking if it’s alright for you to just stuff it in there, even when you didn’t even look at the contents inside.
Although the contents were just a jewel box with gold coins inside it, it could’ve been a bomb or poison gas you know.
Is it because you trust your customers, or perhaps your trying to say that you’d know right away if it was something fishy.

 

「I can tell from the weight. Inside is either gold coins or large silver coins right」(Billy)

 

Apparently it was the latter.
Is this because of his experience? I expected as much.
But Billy who goes by “Jii-chan”, I don’t think it’s a good idea to be saying that in front of the children you know.

 

「…… Gold Coins, and Large Silver!」(Torako)

 

The tiger child’s eyes lit up and glittered.
Hey now, that makes me worried.
Of course you’ll protect it from outsiders, but be sure to protect it from that cute grandchild of yours too.

 

「When I want to take out some of the contents, will it be better for me to come with this child again?」(Ayame)
「No need, if you put our hand to the wall and follow it then I doubt you’d get lost. Either way is fine」(Billy)

 

I couldn’t tell since it was pitch black, but it was a straight path huh.
No wonder why the tiger brought me here without getting lost.

 

Sending a glance over to the tiger child, they answered back with an innocent laugh.
It doesn’t look like they are thinking about trying to steal someone’s money.

 

「Well then, I’ll leave it in your care.…… Umm, as for the payment」(Ayame)
「It only means I got one more thing to protect. We finally have a guest staying here, so I won’t go asking more of you than that」(Billy)

 

His sharp eye closed shut, and he casually let out a “hmph”.
At first he looked like a bit scary, but he seems to be a nice person.

 

「Okay then Onii-san, shall we go back?」(Torako)

 

Grabbing my hand, I gave Billy one more bow before we left the room.
After we walked a short distance, the light behind us was extinguished.

 

Now that I think about it, Billy didn’t move a single step just now.
Even when he put the luggage in the cupboard, he only moved his body slightly.
He never got up, he sat in his chair the entire time.
Since he is called “Jii-chan”, he might be older than he looks.

 

As I thought of those things, we had already arrived at my room.

 

「Okay, bye now. Good night, Onii-san」(Torako)

 

Showing me their jagged teeth, the tiger child waved their hand and went down the stairs.
After seeing the child off, I went and collapsed on my bed.

 

From my right shoulder, I could still smell a sweet fragrance, like that of a flower.


 

 

Footnotes:

1.

TL note: As a reference, 1000 yen bills is like being paid in $10 US bills. (though the rate right now for 1,000 yen is 8.54 usd)

 

2.

TL note: I’m not entirely sure who “Kiri-chan” refers to. The closest I could find was Kirimaru Settsuno, a ninja from the anime series Nintama Rantarou who really likes money. If anyone knows for sure who “Kiri-chan” is referring to then please let me know in the comments.

Wikia link for Kirimaru here.

 

 

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