This is technically the March chapter so I still owe 2 chapters along with the April one.
Right now I’m bogged down with school so I can’t promise much, but I’ll be free in a few weeks so look forward to some more Kenja. Also, as I mentioned before, this chapter and the next are really long…
Volume 2: Sightseeing in a Different World Together with Librarian-san
Chapter 2-4: Together with Librarian-san
「Alright, I guess this should be good enough」(Ayame)
Donning a magician’s robe that looked like it came straight out of some RPG, I stood in front of a tall mirror and did a quick turn.
The exterior was a profound gray color, and the interior fabric was vibrant navy blue.
Since I was always wearing a dark gray jersey, people must’ve thought that I had a fondness for the color gray.
But, well, it’s not like I dislike it.
It’s a bit similar to the color Silver after all.
「It really suits you huh~, Onii-san. But, isn’t it a bit too baggy~?」(tora-ko)
Lifting up the sleeve that was adorned with a blue line, the tiger-child patted down the robe.
Well I couldn’t do anything about that.
I realized the robe was a little baggy when I was trying them on, but apparently this was the standard size for someone of my height.
My stature was similar to that of your average high schooler, but no matter how you look at it my body weight was on the lighter side.
Without any signs of muscle, I was your stereotypical frail child.
There were a lot of magicians with small builds, but although the store did sell robes that fit races like rabbit beastfolk and imp mazoku, none of them were the appropriate height.
If I was just a little bit shorter, then I would’ve been fine with having it despite being one size too small.
Being baggy is better than being so tight it is hard to move in, is what I was definitively told.
「Nnn~, Onii-san looks coool~」(tora-ko)
Perhaps touching the fabric felt really nice, the tiger-child had stuck themselves squarely on my back.
「So soft and fluffy~」(tora-ko)
「Come on now, you can hug it again after I come back」(Ayame)
Grabbing the yellow colored hands that clung to me, I gently separated them.。
Luckily for me their claws were not protruding, so there weren’t any visible marks left on my clothes.
「Are you going to the library again~? Is the library really that fun~?」(tora-ko)
「It’s very fun. Somewhere that is more enjoyable than the library, I have yet to come across such a place」(Ayame)
Spreading out their hands to the sides, the tiger-child flew out of the room.
◇ ◇ ◇
Taking up my usual residence at once of the desks deeper within, I piled up several books.
The books that I will be reading today are『The Tale of Wizard Wayne’s Murder』, and one more thing that caught my interest.
「A number of Demons ran away, huh……」(Ayame)
According to my conversation with the soldiers, there were reports that a few Demons managed to escape from the training grounds.
Considering that, even though such a large army of them showed up, the soldiers didn’t really seem too surprised by it.
The Demons, I wonder if they are capable of multiplying.
Or maybe they brought along comrades, are they like monsters that travel in flocks?
「Either way I’m worried about it……」(Ayame)
Since the last battle was outdoors, I was able to use fire magic that relied on Mana to deal with them, but I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to handle them if they appear indoors the next time.
Even though I spent half a day healing the injured little girls, at most I can only earn a few silver coins.
But just by defeating a single Demon, I’m able to earn a gold coin.
If you were able to cast offensive magic, then no matter how you think about it the latter option would be better.
It’s a rather profitable job.
If I am to continue living here from now on, then it would likely be better for me to prioritize requests related to monster subjugation.
If it is outside, then I will be able to use magic in the majority of places after all.
Hence for that reason, I believe it would be best to learn more about the characteristics and behavioral patterns of monsters.
If fire magic will work against them, or if water magic is effective.
Or if magic doesn’t work very well, or if it’s completely ineffective, or if the monsters possess stuff such as poison.
Even if I only learn the bare minimum, I’ll be able to defeat the monsters if I happened to come across them.
For the time being, one by one I read through books that contained information about monsters that often appear in this world.
It might have been fine if I only focused on monsters that appear around the royal capital, but I decided to do this in order to be prepared.
Non-native species, things like that could always show up.
Although they normally wouldn’t appear, they might show themselves if, for example, their original habitat was destroyed.
Urgent Quest! Zin*gre has appeared at the Misty Peaks! Or something like that.
Although Primevère is a half-mazoku, if she suddenly appeared from the forest, then she might be mistaken for a monster.
Better yet, I myself might have been considered a monster.
Ojou-san~, why don’t you run?
……Let’s leave the jokes aside for now.
Mazoku and monsters are completely different existences.
In reality, monsters are unable to produce children with mazoku, human race, or beastfolk if they were to have interracial intercourse.
Their basic physiology is different.
In the distant past, slaves were forced to mate with monsters, and this was used to determine whether or not they were monsters themselves.
I find it disgusting and repulsive just thinking about it.
By the way, in this world orcs and elves are not considered monsters.
If they were to “do the deed” with other races, then they are apparently able to have offspring.
Races such as half-orcs, they normally exist in this world.
Generally speaking, orcs are apparently categorized as mazoku.
As for goblins, the tried-and-true staples of fantasy worlds, they were categorized as monsters.
As such there was no problems with subjugating them.
Thank god. If goblins were treated the same way as mazoku, then I would have committed a serious crime from the first day I arrived in this other world.
Let’s rehearse it in my head.
“Orcs are mazoku”, “Elves are elf-race”, “Goblins are monsters”.
Alright, I’ve got it memorized.
Luckily they have the same names as fantasy creatures I’ve heard of in Japan, so memorizing it came rather quickly.
Let’s research deeper into what Demons are.
Their size is so large, apparently their intelligence is less than that of a goblin’s.
Looking back on it, the goblins I encountered did seem to have a high level of intelligence.
Before the goblins transported the meat they had the presence of mind to drain the blood first, and they skewered it with a stick to carry it easier.
In exchange for having low intelligence, Demons had an appropriate amount of brutality and physical strength.
Despite not being from the dragon-race, Demons were able to fly great distances without tiring, which is a feat very few monsters are capable of.
Hold up, dragon race?
A new vocabulary word had just appeared, but let’s ignore it for now.
Continuing on, it seems that Demons are monsters with little intelligence but compensate for it with raw strength.
If they are capable of multiplying, or if they travel in flocks, information like that was not specifically written down.
But as expected, it seems like fire magic is their big weakness.
“Once their bodies are set alight, their movements begin to grow sluggish,” was one of the given reasons.
Normally even a low-grade fire magic could set them on fire, and the usual tactic would be to pierce them once they are slowed down.
What you have to watch out for when you are subjugating Demons, is to avoid getting innocent bystanders involved in the battle.
You must do your best to lure it into an open area, and prioritize defeating it in a single blow.
I see, so that is why the soldiers led the Demons into the plaza like that.
I can understand the reasoning.
I also read about the characteristics of other monsters, but learning about all of them will prove difficult.
As I thought, it would be best if I could experience them first hand, but I still want to have basic knowledge……
I wonder if there is some Area where “The only monsters that appear here are this, that, and those types,” kinda like in a game.
The most efficient way to fight would to first learn each individual species’s weaknesses, behaviors, and attack patterns.
Of course, the aforementioned was all learned from my experience with games.
「…… I’m getting pretty hungry」(Ayame)
Sitting deeply back in my chair, I stretched my arms out on the table.
The beams of sunlight coming through the windows had become vertical, and the number of people still reading had diminished.
Taking a look at the clock in the book room, I could tell that it was now past noon.
「Lunch, I wonder if I should go out somewhere」(Ayame)
Someone had suddenly seized hold of my wrists that were stretched out on table, and I was rendered powerless to resist.
A sweet fragrance drifted in the air.
A monochrome work outfit entered my vision. I turned my head all the while trying to calm my rising heartbeat.
「Primevère-san, what is the matter?」(Ayame)
「I have finished today’s work within half a day as well, so I was thinking if we should partake in lunch together」(Primevère)
While playing with her beautiful silver hair, she smiled and let out a small “ehehe“.
A lovely smile like a blooming flower.
「Ah, then today please allow me to pay. Yesterday I showed you a rather worthless side of me after all……」(Ayame)
I felt my hand against a pocket that was sown into the lining of my clothes.
Inside of it was a few gold and silver coins that I received from yesterday’s Demon subjugation.
Even if the meal is a bit extravagant, the cost is a trivial matter.
When the two of us walked out of the library side-by-side, the young man librarian at the information desk looked at me with a look of envy.
I sorta feel like a “winner”.
◇ ◇ ◇
Down the main street, the two of us walked shoulder to shoulder.
Unfortunate to say, but our hands were not connected.
I had offered my hand the same as yesterday, but I was met with a reply of,「It will be fine. You will probably not become lost anymore」 accompanied a good-intentioned smile.
All I wanted was to hold hands, but I do not possess the mettle the say so upfront.
After going through such lengths to establish a favorable sense of distance between us, I would not want her to back away if I proceed carelessly.
The way things are, I have to be satisfied only going out to eat together like we are currently.
「Well then Kenja-sama, what would you like to eat today?」(Primevère)
「Yeah, if I were to voice my desires, then I would like to eat something other than rye bread and dried meat, or something like that」(Ayame)
It’s not like I hate them, but those two foods are what I always have for dinner at the inn so I’m a bit tired of them.
I don’t get tired of eating rice every single though. How very strange.
Anyways, since we are going out to eat, I would prefer to have something different.
「Something besides rye bread and jerky, is that it. If you are all right with air-dried fish then I think it would be possible, but it will be expensive……」(Primevère)
What, this world also has stockfish!?
It’s to be expected that they wouldn’t have anything like sashimi, but I wonder if people here eat grilled fish and boiled fish.
I regret the fact that there isn’t any rice, but at times I find myself craving for some fish.
If it’s whitefish or salmon, then it would also go well with bread.
「So even though there doesn’t seem to be an ocean nearby, the royal capital also has fish huh」(Ayame)
「Yes, peddlers who visit from island countries, they sell dried fish from time to time. The restaurants will not have it in stock, but the taverns have fish every once in a while. People who come back from exterminating monsters and complain that “all I ever see is meat so I don’t want to eat it,” those kind of people sometimes order fish」(Primevère)
But, a tavern huh……
When speaking of taverns, it means a place to drink alcohol, right.
I don’t know what the legal age is in this world, but I don’t really want to drink……
If I say that I’ve never tasted alcohol while I was in Japan then it would be a lie, but it wasn’t very good.
「A tavern, is it」(Ayame)
「Ah, no need to worry. There are many establishments with delicious meals, so even children regularly visit them. Even for myself, as I am still only 17 years of age, it has only been 2 years since I have been eligible to drink」(Primevère)
――――Wait, what did she just say.
Being 17 years old, 2 years have passed since she was able to drink.
Oh, so that means that the legal drinking age is 15 in this world huh.
No, that’s not it.
Yeah, that’s not the part that I was surprised about.
It has to do with Primevère’s age.
17 years of age? She’s 17 years old.
The same age as a youthful and beautiful high school girl. Seventeen.
I took a quick peek at Primevère’s face from the side.
Long and delicate silver hair, and translucent ruby eyes.
Her perfectly curved nape was captivating, and frankly the work outfit that wrapped around her body had a deadly allure.
If she were to wear any less clothing, then I fear that I might not be able to maintain my sanity.
Her height was around the same as mine.
No, she is just barely taller but only because she is wearing heels. If we were standing back to back then I’m certain that I would be the taller one.
「Is, something the matter?」(Primevère)
Since she was being glaring at so intensely, Primevère showed a look of concern.
I immediately broke my gaze and replied with an, 「It was nothing」.
Kazami Ayame: Eighteen.
Woohoo~, so I was the older one~.
I always thought that Primevere was my senior though.
That was close. Using myself as a reference, I thought that Primevere was in her early 20s, or at most a youthful 19-year-old.
There isn’t much of a difference between 17 and 19?
I suppose you can say that. But the important part isn’t whether she is 17 or 19, it was distinguishing if she was older or younger than me.
No, now I’m getting things confused.
“Primevere is younger than me”.
Alright, understood. I have memorized it.
That was really dangerous huh. If I for some reason went overboard and forced her to treat me like her senior, then she might stop talking to me all together.
…… No, I suppose that would be a bit of an exaggeration.
「…… What has been bothering you since a while ago? Wrinkling your brow, making an expression as if you had accepted something, and then ending up with a smile. Were you perhaps thinking about something really difficult?」(Primevère)
Certainly, 「How old do I look?」ranks among the world’s most difficult questions to answer.
Okay then, I’ve finally calmed down.
But still, there is a certain thing that had been brought to light that caught my attention.
Earlier Primevere said that, 「No need to worry. Because even children visit those places regularly」.
Exactly how old does Primevere think I am……
I don’t exactly have a baby-face, and I’ve never experienced being mistaken as a girl for having gender-neutral facial features.
If I appear to be younger than my actual age, then it must be because of some reason like “your naive expression shows that you haven’t experienced the hardships of life yet”.
Since I do not wish to receive an unnecessary wound to my self-esteem, I decided not to ask about what age I look like.
「No, I was just having trouble deciding if we should have fish or if we should have something else instead」(Ayame)
「Oh Kenja-sama, were you truly that hungry?」(Primevère)
Hiding her mouth with her hand, she let out a slight chuckle.
「The taverns are quite the ways away from here, so shall we visit one of the restaurants nearby instead?」(Primevère)
「I suppose so, let’s do that then」(Ayame)
For me, well, I am not good with dealing with the smell of people drinking alcohol.
Whenever events like New Years came along and my relatives joined in celebration, every time I had to struggle against that smell.
That’s why whenever people came over, I would always seclude myself in a separate room and read an elegant book.
Having cute little relatives come in to say「Wat’cha reaadin~」while hopping onto my back, or them saying 「Read me a storyー」while gently tugging on my sleeve.
Those stereotypical Galge developments, I have never experienced anything like that.
Chasing Primevère from behind, I headed to a place where restaurants lined the streets.
◇ ◇ ◇
The restaurant that Primevere led us to, was one of those so-called “special of the day” shops.
Since they had a stew set that didn’t have any rye bread or jerky, I ordered it without a moment’s hesitation.
Primevère took a while to decide, but in the end she ordered the same stew set as me, along with some black tea.
Yesterday she also had several refills of black tea, so I suppose she likes it quite a bit.
「Here ya go, Lunch is served~!」
Less than 10 minutes after we ordered, piping hot food was delivered to our table.
The robust looking aunty who brought us our food, she switched her gaze between me and Primevère as she set down our dishes. And after looking at us she made a warm and heartfelt smile.
Sitting across from each other, a seventeen year old and an eighteen year old. Apparently we would be considered adults in this world based on our age, but from a grownups prospective we must have looked like a young couple enjoying our youth.
Watching Primevère sip her stew in a quiet manner, I followed suit and began to indulge in my meal.
The sight of her holding up the dish and slowly guiding it down her throat was so hypnotizing that some of my stew, or rather it was more like a salty vegetable soup, ended up spilling out of the side of my mouth.
The aunty who witnessed all of this from beginning to end, she couldn’t hold back her smile as she wiped up the stew that I spilled.
Unable to respond with words, I could only glance back at the aunty while trying to return a slightly forced smile. This is a bit embarrassing.
After finishing our meal and resting for a bit, I went to pay for it and the whole thing only amounted to 1 silver coin.
“If only we ate here yesterday, then I could’ve paid for it!” is what I thought to myself.
After paying the tab I turned to look at Primevere, but she was feigning ignorance with a look of satisfaction on her face.
Well, she seems to be okay with this, so I guess it’s alright.
At times like this, the cost isn’t important.
Despite telling myself that, I could not help but feel the my stomach cringe when I remember the worthlessness that I displayed just yesterday.
TL note: Quick reminder that Silver is the same color as Primevere’s hair. So when Ayame says he likes gray because it’s similar to silver, he’s implying… yea.
TL note: The quote “Urgent Quest! Zin*gre has appeared at the Misty Peaks!” is a reference to Monster Hunter 3, directly referring to a Threat Level 5 monster Zinogre who’s habitat are temperate mountainous areas like the Misty Peaks.
TL note: This is a reference to the campsong “The Other Day I Met a Bear”, the japanese version being “Mori no Kuma-san”. If you want, you can listen to the English and Japanese versions linked below. The specific quote is sung at 0:36 seconds in both versions
TL note: Stockfish is unsalted fish (with organs removed) that is left out to air dry. It is a very traditional and economical method to preserve fish such as cod. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockfish