(182) A person who wasn’t supposed to be there
After landing at the cove, we starting moving on foot.
I felt a little insecure leaving the ship there like that but well, the ship wasn’t loaded with any cargo and the fishermen would remain behind to keep watch so it would probably be fine.
If I was betrayed, I’ll deal with it when the time comes.
“Carol, are you all right?”
I held out my hand to Carol.
It was a slippery rocky area so it was easy to slip with the shoes we had on and even I would slip too if I wasn’t careful.
“Yes, Ichino-sama — kya!”
Carol slipped on a rock and fell and dragged me along with her as she was holding onto my hand.
My head landed on Carol’s skirt, to be exact, at the place where one mustn’t place their head at.
“Er, erm … Ichino-sama.”
Carol closed her eyes with an expression like she had prepared herself.
I’m begging you, please don’t resolve yourself at a place like this.
I cried and got up.
“Sensei, Ma’am, would you like me to introduce you to an inn if you want to flirt around?” (TL: They refer to him as Sensei, in this context more like martial arts/skilled Master, since it would clash with him being Haru and Carol’s master, I’ll leave it as Sensei.)
“Shut up! Rather, even if you guys revere me, why do you guys call Carol Ma’am as well?”
“Ichino-sama, the fishermen recognize me as a full-fledged woman because there are many Mini-hume who ride on ships.”
“Yes. Mini-hume can accurately determine their position by looking at the stars and they are adept at reading the movements of clouds and wind to predict storms. Even though Carol’s ability is incomplete as Carol is half human, Carol still appears similar to the Mini-hume present in the seaside town. Carol’s appearance is that of a seventeen-year-old single girl so even if Ichino-sama brings Carol into a room, that …. they won’t assume that Ichino-sama has interest in young girls.”
” … We’ll be sleeping in the same room but we’ll just be sleeping.”
I noticed that Carol’s seduction was increasing by the day. I do consciously see Carol as a single female but her image does overlap with my younger sister and more importantly, I would feel guilty towards Haru.
” … I guess it would be cowardly after all if we do so before we met up with Haru-san.”
As if she read my heart, Carol said that as she stood up.
“Ichino-sama, the footing is bad after all so could you please lend me a hand?”
She extended her hand.
I took Carol’s hand and followed after the two fishermen in front.
Climbing up the slope along the coast, we passed through a small cave on the cliff and the town of Port Kobe was spread out beneath us.
The town built along the sea had countless small boats stopped along its coast. Among those boats, one ship seemed to have just arrived at the port. Did they just return from fishing? I could see many people there the size of sesame seeds.
“Hey, even though they can’t fish for shrimps, the fishing industry is still working fine.”
“Sensei, that is the trade ship from the Southern Continent. Look closely, do you see a large number of people on the ship?”
“That’s true now that you mention it — ”
“The trade ship also serves as a connecting ship to the Southern Continent. You will reach the Southern Continent after 7 days if you take that ship.”
“Then it would take 14 days for that ship to return?”
“No no, there are factors like the tidal flow and wind direction so it would take 17 days.”
Ah, I totally forgot about the wind direction and tidal flow.
“Sensei, do you see that large cedar tree beyond the town?”
“Hn? Ah, that tree on the hill?”
It was easily noticeable as there was only a single tree atop a large grassy hill. I wondered what was it about.
“Beyond that hill lies the former pirate hideout and is where that Miryuu currently resides. Please make sure to not approach that area — I’m afraid that even Sensei would not come out unscathed if it turns into a battle.”
” … Okay. I also don’t plan to walk into a battle.”
I, of course, did not think I would lose but that Miryuu was annihilating pirates — she was doing the right thing for the public. A necessary evil is not exactly something good so — it’s really just doing the right thing. She wasn’t an opponent I should go defeat precisely because I was going to be acting as that necessary evil soon.
“By the way, how do you guys know that Miryuu is currently staying there? Are you guys conducting reconnaissance?”
“No, it’s because Miryuu’s female underling comes to town once a day to buy stuff before returning in the direction of that hill.”
” … If she’s going to do that then she should just stay in town … it’s not like she’s doing anything bad. Why would she continue to stay at such an inconvenient location?”
“Beats me, we don’t know why either —”
Now that I think about it, I didn’t even know the reason why that Miryuu was annihilating the pirates.
It was pointless to think about it.
That conversation ended there and we descended to the town.
Normally, one would be charged the town entry tax when entering a town but the tax wasn’t collected for some reason. There wasn’t even a gatekeeper there. And I was thinking it was a chance for me to level up my Commoner job.
“It’s because it is difficult to reach Port Kobe by land. Normally the town entry tax is included in the ship transport fee that you pay to enter by ship so they don’t have the practice of collecting tax here.”
As usual, Carol explained it to me in a simple manner.
Incidentally, trade ships also pay another round of taxes when they purchase the trade permit so like the fishermen said, there would have been a high chance that we got caught up in trouble have we entered Port Kobe’s harbor without any permit. I would have gladly paid it if the fine was triple the usual tax amount though.
The town was filled with the scent of the ocean but since I was transferred to the deserted island, apart from when I was leveling up inside the underground labyrinth, I was immersed in the scent of the ocean for the whole time so it was nothing new to me.
“There are surprisingly many large buildings.”
“Most of the buildings are warehouses. As this is the sole gateway to the Southern Continent. Also, most company headquarters are based here. Thanks to the taxes they pay, we fishermen only need to pay a small amount of tax so we’re grateful for that.”
The fisherman laughed as he commented.
As expected of the doorway to the continent.
“Can one only reach the Southern Continent through this harbor?”
“No, you can also travel via the westernmost town in this Western Continent, Yggrasib, and the northernmost town, North Leica. North Leica is also the only gateway to the Northern Continent so a lot of Northern Continent goods gather in that town’s harbor.”
The fisherman explained. As expected of a local, it felt like he was really knowledgeable.
That place gave the impression of an exotic atmosphere where all kinds of culture mixed together … eh?
“Ichino-sama, is something the matter?”
I stopped as I stared at the back of the street and Carol also stopped and asked.
“I thought I saw an acquaintance but … it was probably my imagination.”
I could no longer see their figure and it was likely to be my imagination so there was no need to chase after them.
There was no way Norn from the Vigilante Corps at Florence would be here.