Hunting and Conversion
I finally made it to a town after going the opposite way that Princess Helene’s carriage went. Surrounded by walls of stone, it was a western-style town. To be specific, the walls looked like they were made in order to hold their ground against something. Making my way to the entrance of the town, I was quickly stopped by armed soldiers—two of them wearing simple armor, each equipped with a long spear.
“Halt! Where are you from?”
The soldier pointed his spear at me.
“Umm…Even if you ask me, it’s…”
What should I say? They wouldn’t understand what I meant if I said Japan.
“Why won’t you answer?”
“He’s wearing some bizarre-looking clothes.”
Come on now, don’t just accuse me of something I haven’t done. It’s true that I’m wearing UNI*LO1 clothes right now, but there’s no way I look that suspicious…or do I…? Leaving aside the soldiers, just glancing inside the town, I can see that the inhabitants’ clothing is vastly different from mine. The only other people I’ve met so far were the princess and her knights who had just been attacked by those bandits. Next, I met the soldiers outside this peaceful town. That’s probably why they realized sooner that my clothes are a bit off. Now then, how to get around this…?
“If you’re not going to answer, then we’ll seize you”—
“Wait, take a look at this.”
As one soldier moved to capture me, another one called out to him, stopping him in his tracks. Following that, he pointed at my waist. As I looked down in puzzlement, I realized that the object he was referring to was the folding fan that Princess Helene had given me. Since I had it in my pocket, half of it stuck out.
“Ah, you mean this?”
I took out the fan and opened it in front of the guards. Thanks to that, the crest drawn on top of it was now perfectly visible.
“This is the royal family’s crest! And this folding fan, this means…”
“A belonging of Princess Helene?! No, but…the princess would never grant this to a person of low standing. I’ve heard of knights receiving this for their war service, but that is thought to be a rumor.”
“Yes, I am aware…”
The two soldiers started discussing between each other. Judging from the way they were talking about it, this seems to be something immeasurably important. I looked down at the fan. I began reminiscing about the events that took place, and about the person who I received it from. Princess Helene…
Being called out to by one of the guards, I quickly focussed on the current situation.
“Could you let us determine if what you are holding is genuine?”
Presumably thanks to the fan, the attitude of the two guards had significantly improved from before.
“If it is indeed the genuine fan, then it should have been endowed with the royal family’s magical power.”
“Um…What should I do?”
One soldier reached out towards the folding fan, chanting something. As a result, a faint light emitted from the fan, and the crest on it turned three-dimensional.
“P-please excuse our rude behavior!”
“F-feel free to pass whenever you’d like!”
Apparently, that reaction just now proved that it was indeed the real deal. Letting their spears stand on the ground next to them, they stood in a pose similar to a soldier standing at attention, their faces slightly twisted by anxiety. Though, I didn’t pay much attention to them and passed through the gate. Stirred up by the ruckus that the guards and I caused, the masses around me were ogling me from afar like I was some sort of celebrity.
“That is Her Highness’s…”
“It seems to be the real one.”
“That means…this person is close to Her Highness…”
“Maybe he’s a new noble.”
Since my hearing ability also improved ever since I arrived, I could grasp their words as clear as if they were standing next to me. Somehow, this feels really nice. That being said, I can’t just bask in this feeling forever. There are three things that I have to take care of as quickly as possible.
Clothing – Food – Housing
The three most basic things needed to survive. For now, I could ignore the problem of clothing (although I should probably make sure to change into something more fitting for my surroundings soon), so my attention should be on food and housing. In order to afford that, I need money. Hence, I need to find some way to earn money. But how should go about doing that?
Behind me, a group of four people passed by. They were riding in a horse-drawn carriage, carrying a large beast on the back of the carriage. The beast didn’t move in the slightest, but it was unclear if it really was dead or not. That group of men stopped in front of a certain building, entering said building with the carriage. After a short while, they came out again.
“Alright, we got a good amount today, so let’s go drink something.”
“It’s been a while, so going wild tonight sounds good to me.”
And so on, as they went off again.
“Did they convert it into money just now?”
Having grown interested in it, I headed to the building, entering inside. The second I did, I spotted the beast from before. Close to it were other men trying to unload it, as well as one man giving instructions. I approached the man and asked him.
“Do you have a second?”
“Hm, what? Are you an aspiring hunter or something?”
“…So if I hunt that, you’ll buy it from me?”
Since he was a fellow who was quick to catch on, I decided to cut to the chase.
“Yeah, if you bring me a mountain bull, I’ll buy it from you for a good price.”
“Mountain bull…? Something like a cow?”
I took a closer look at the beast. Truth be told, it had the characteristics of a cow, but it had a long mane and sharp fangs, making it look more wild than a domesticated cow. To be completely honest, it didn’t look like an herbivorous animal, but a carnivorous beast.
“You alone? Listen, I don’t wanna be that guy, but if you don’t have a party or anything, you’re better off not going. Even in a trained group, you’d need at least four to five people, with an inexperienced group even requiring up to ten people. That’s how dangerous this thing is.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. Their meat is terribly delicious, but hunting them involves a lot of risks. Well, that’s what makes them worth hunting in the first place, since people pay a lot for it.”
“…Can you tell me where I need to go in order to find beasts like that?” I asked, and he quickly taught me the location. At the very end, he once again reminded me to “Properly go there with comrades, alright?” but I’m sure things will work out one way or another. Receiving a map from the man, I left the town and came to a grass-covered plain. In the near distance, I could even see a mountain range, so there should be mountain bulls nearby…
“Oh, is that it?”
A bit further away, I spotted one of those beasts. Or rather, I spotted it together with a group already fighting it. Said group consisted of six people, three of them as the vanguard, and the other three acting as rear guards.
“Guess someone got the jump on me… I’ll have to find another one then.”
Deciding on that, I was about to depart from that location, but…
“Job! Shit, how dare you!”
“Don’t just carelessly plunge in!”
The voices I heard sure weren’t full of confidence and positivity. I stopped my feet and turned around again. As I did, one of them, shortly followed by another, was blown away by the mountain bull. Eventually, the vanguard collapsed, and the beast headed toward the rear guard. From the looks of it, said rear guard clearly wouldn’t be able to handle the situation.
Clicking my tongue, I dashed toward them. Closing the distance of around one hundred meters in a matter of seconds, I tackled the mountain bull. The bull flew quite a ways, but quickly raised it’s body again. Just as I had suspected, it’s body was much more solid and sturdy than a human’s. Hence, I went on a pursuit, throwing a punch into the side of it’s head. It wasn’t any special punch, but I put all my strength into it. The mountain bull spun in the air from the impact, then stopped getting up altogether. Due to the beast being unexpectedly light, or probably my arm strength increasing thanks to my skill, I could carry it back to the city, to that very building I visited before.
“Did you hunt that all on your own?”
“Yeah, it was an easy victory.”
“Not bad. Here, for you.”
After showing admiration for a second, he panicked ever so slightly as he took out a cloth bag. Inside there were silver coins I had never seen before. Since he handed me the whole bag, this must be some sort of market price.
“Hey, how about you go hunt them on a regular basis? If you can guarantee a stable supply, I don’t mind raising the price by ten percent.”
That sounded like quite the good condition for me.
“How many are we talking about?”
“At least one every two days. If possible, one every day.”
“Alright, I’ll take you up on that offer.”
“Seems like we’ve got ourselves a deal.”
I nodded along and separated from the man. Seems like I found myself an easy and profitable job. That should solve the problem of money.
I gazed up at the sky. While I was busy talking, the sky had already changed to a deep orange color. Yeah, next is looking for a place to spend the night.
1 UNIQLO, fashion brand