This extra chapter is thanks to Jonathan 🙂 Thank you for the support!
(066) Town atop the bridge
“Sorry for keeping silent about it.”
Carol said but she didn’t look sorry, rather, she showed a smile like a delighted child who succeeded in a prank.
“Don’t worry, I was able to be genuinely surprised because you kept quiet about it. Thanks … so, why is there a town here?”
Town … right, it was a town.
Even though I called it a town, it didn’t have housing-type buildings but not only were there numerous stalls and shops lined up, there were also what looked like simple rest areas.
“Ichino-sama, this is not a town. It is not recognized as a town. The reason being, this place does not belong to neither Arundel nor Dakyat.”
That’s true, at the moment, I have left Arundel and have not entered Dakyat.
I see, this place certainly does not belong to either country’s territory.
“Living on the bridge is not recognized and securing buildings to the bridge is also not recognized but trade is recognized. Originally, this place was for the sake of transactions between Merchants from Arundel and Merchants from Dakyat. Using that system, children who came here to sell fishes they fished from the river appeared. From then on, bento shops, souvenir shops, general stores and many stalls opened shop one after the other and it reached to today’s state. There’s no need to pay taxes when doing business here so it’s a heavenly location for Merchants.”
“Wow … but, since you mentioned that living here is not recognized, where do the shopkeepers stay? If they have to pay the cross-border tax every time they return home, no matter how good it is to not have to pay taxes when doing business, won’t it be harsh for them?”
“Ichino-sama will understand if you look below the bridge.”
Listening to Carol, I peeked under the bridge.
Underneath the foot of the bridge, there were many raft-like structures with small huts built on them.
Rope ladders descended down from the bridge to those rafts.
A brown-skinned girl wearing T-shirt and shorts appeared from within one of the houses, grabbed the rope ladder and began climbing it.
So they take up residence there and do business on the bridge huh?
What indomitable merchants.
I confirmed that and returned to the carriage.
“Nevertheless, what an interesting town. I’d like to take a while and take a look.”
“Okay. Then, let’s stop the carriage and tour the place.”
“There’s even stables!?”
“Yes. But it’s slightly expensive though.”
No matter how I think about it, grass won’t grow around this area so won’t that just take up space?
The place Carol guided us to was after advancing just slightly into the bridge.
There, I entrusted Fuyun and the carriage to them.
With an additional fee, they would bring the carriage to the stable on Dakyat’s side so I requested for that.
The stable owner gave a wry smile when Haru firmly told Fuyun: “Listen to what this man says okay? But if he brings you to a strange place, please rampage when that happens.”
Tentatively, to prevent crime, I returned the goods into my item bag.
“That’s right, I’ll pass these to the 2 of you.”
I took out drawstring bags and passed them to the 2 of them.
“Master, this gold is for?”
“It’s gold to enjoy this place. 1000 sense a person.”
“It’s way too much.”
Yup, 10 silver coins, thinking in terms of Japanese yen, it would be 100 thousand yen after all.
There aren’t anybody who carries 100 thousand yen to walk around festival stalls.
It certainly feels like we’re touring as rich people.
“Look, thanks to Carol we were able to save 4500 sense cost price so it’s fine for you to use the money freely at times like this. If you don’t finish using it, it’s also good for you to save it. Also, Carol definitely has to be together with either me or Haru.”
“Ichino-sama, aren’t you treating Carol like a child? Even if Carol looks like this, Carol will soon be 17 years old you know?”
I seriously treated her as a child.
While thinking if I did something bad,
“Master is just worried about Carol.”
Yup. Nice follow-up.
“Master won’t worry about me because I have half-baked strength so I’m jealous of Carol.”
Haru said so sounding slightly depressed.
Wait, isn’t this dangerous?
Is this the flag where when together with 2 girls, I must treat them equally?
… I often see protagonists in games or anime travel together with 5 or 6 girls but I wonder how many more times of hardship do they face compared to what I’m facing currently?
“Ah … yeah, since it’s the first town we’re visiting together after all, why don’t we tour it together? I’ll feel lonely by myself anyway.”
Thus, it was decided that we would walk together.
There were many food-based stalls, truly like the stalls in temple festivals.
Since the 3 of us bought sandwiches that slightly resembled hamburgers with grilled meat and lettuce sandwiched in bread for 4 sense each together with water-filled bottles, we looked around the city while eating and walking.
There was a shop with accessories and dolls made from wood and the 2 girls were chatting.
I thought to myself, as expected of girls to talk about such things but,
“This brooch is only 3 sense!? It’s made from a shell but the design workmanship is intricate. If we buy all the stock and sell it … it’ll definitely have to be in that town if we’re to sell it.”
“This wooden doll — looks like the wooden doll in the royal castle. I wanted to have the doll as my sword practice opponent when I grew up. Shopkeeper, do you have any large dolls around this size?”
“Erm, please give me all of these brooches. Yes, all of them. Also, if you have something like a certificate saying that they are purchased from this city, please sell that to me too. Yes, information on suppliers is the information that other merchants want the most.”
“This is the largest size huh … hn ‒ , too bad. Hn ‒ , I have no choice but to make my own by assembling logs. I guess I’ll need to have this doll as a model. Excuse me, this wooden doll … eh? Piru-chan? It has such a name? It would be difficult to cut it after giving it a name but well, it might serve as good practice too. Please give me one.”
It’s completely different from the conversations I imagine between girls during shopping though?
Was this always how girls shop?
Looking at Haru carry the 1 meter tall wooden doll with care and Carol’s satisfied expression carrying cloth bags filled with shell brooches, I had a question mark float above my head as I tilted my head.
After heading into the center of the bridge, street performance-style exhibitions and event shops became more numerous.
There were stone chairs lined up so we sat there and watched the street performances.
The William Tell type of exhibition where a person used a bow and arrow to pierce through an apple placed on a person’s head was quite impressive.
However, the man shooting the arrow was 【Archer: Lv23】 so well, skill correction most likely came into play.
Incidentally, the exhibition was done by a shop selling apples and one could buy 10 apples with 20 sense. Carol said that it was slightly expensive but mentioned that the higher price was due to the wrapping.
Among the shops, there were also shops with little customers.
” … This is … ”
I sent a quizzical look to the item placed in that shop.
A silver sword pierced into a rock.
There was a signpost placed in front of it, with the history of the sword written on it.
【Legendary sword that can only be drawn by heroes — Excalisur.】
TL: No that’s not a typo lol. This author likes to change popular names/terms with a single character/letter difference.