Chapter 92: That time when we had a discussion1
We returned to the elevated part of the village where we were talking about the windmill. Oda-san wasn’t back yet and Enomoto-san was nowhere to be found. Because of that, we discussed things with just the three of us.
「So, what should we talk about?」
「We asked Caam-kun over here who’s a Demon Lord for help in order to cause a bit of mischief」
Ugajin-san nodded as he sipped the barley tea I brewed for him.
「Aida getting all excited about it but what exactly do we need help for?」
「Let’s see. For now, we’ll just need to borrow a place on this island that we can use as a base while we gather heroes to the port town of Corundum. We’ll try to manipulate the information as much as we can in order to keep the islanders safe」
「Well. that’s not unreasonable, is it? So, what will you do Caam-san?」
「A secret treaty to safeguard the support type heroes and other stressed-out heroes who plan to take over the castle of the royalty taking advantage of them?」
「Um, since it seems like we’re proceeding with the negotiations with just the three of us, I have to say the disadvantages of this deal are pretty obvious to me」
「We’ll take care of those parts so come on, give us a place. Just think of it as sheltering people who were abducted from Japan」
「While it’s true that I feel bad for you guys, will it really turn out as well as you say it would? I wouldn’t want to be the one to pick a fight you know?」
「Hmmー, that’s true. It doesn’t seem like it would provide any benefit to Caam-san at all」
「Wouldn’t you be getting more skilled workers?」
「You’re already too late. We already have a dwarf and a shipwright who’s currently in training back at home even before you came after all」
「Doesn’t that mean you need knowledge even more then?」
「Can’t you just use that knowledge of yours to stop picking fights? I want to live as peaceful of a life as possible」
「But there would be more victims, you know? Not just the Japanese, but the demonkin as well 」
Aida-san frantically appealed to me. To be honest, I’m not interested in helping those people who are beyond my reach. I should try and push it a bit further.
Besides, if I’m eventually going to be discovered, I’d like to be able to get ahead of that and keep us safe. Then let’s try and lead to an outcome where myself and the island will be safe.
「In that case, why not just put up a sign in the capital that’s in Japanese so you can gather the others. After you tell them the truth, you can just form an underground organization to cause a commotion. Also, please don’t involve the island too much. I know I said that I’ll think about it but if it’s gonna be dangerous, I’ll have to decline」
「We don’t intend for the island to get involved though. We’re just asking for supplies and shelter. We also require sulfur so we can make black powder」
「I don’t mind giving you supplies but isn’t it dangerous to shelter you guys here? I wouldn’t know when I’ll get stabbed in the back after all. I accepted you guys here because you were associated with Iwamoto-kun but what if there is some hero out there who actually thinks that demonkin are bad? What are you going to do then? If you don’t have anyone to rely on other than the royalty that’s in front of you, you’ll easily believe the conveniently worded nonsense they say」
「That’s true. Come to think of it, Caam-san may be a Demon Lord but this would be dangerous for the average demonkin, wouldn’t it?」
「Please worry about my wellbeing too. I’ve already said this to Enomoto-san earlier but I have a family. Apart from my parents, I am also married with kids. And those kids are still just four years old you know?」
The two of them were surprised when I mentioned my wife and kids. Is that really that surprising?
「I see. Then I guess you can’t do anything rash」
「I’d rather not do something like that actually」
They looked very disappointed. They might start reducing their conditions so I shouldn’t get greedy and just try to find a reasonable compromise.
「Then, how about when we’re more or less finished with our preparations, we’ll get in contact with you somehow so you can move together with the team. That way no matter the outcome, you can just be there to show that a Demon Lord isn’t an absolute evil」
「It won’t put me nor the island in danger so I don’t mind」
It looked like it was going in a good direction so I just went along with it. I have no complaints if it’s just that.
「I’m not saying it won’t ever happen and I don’t think it absolutely won’t but I just promise to do my very best to keep the risk as minimal as possible」
「Got it. To be honest, I’m not really enthusiastic about this but if Aida-san is good with that then it’s good for me」
「Thank you Caam-kun」
「Is that alright? I’m gonna keep myself safe but I’m pretty much not going to do anything apart from that. Also, please ensure my safety from Corundrum to the castle okay?」
「It’s fine. Can you do that Ugajin?」
「Towns and villages on the way are a bit too spread apart so we’ll need to camp out. There’s nothing that resembles a checkpoint at Corundum so it’s not really necessary to smuggle you in a barrel or something. Once we get to the capital though, we’ll need to sneak in at night. We’ll also need to sneak into the castle but I already have a path set up so it’s all good. It’s even possible to send a large number of troops through that route after all」
If they’re this prepared then they shouldn’t have any problems right? I feel bad for them but at least I hope I managed to protect the island’s peace with this.
「How does that work?」
「There’s an apartment near the slums by the protective wall that separates the lower class district. To be honest, I immediately found that place really suspicious. Nobody lived there you know? I tried asking around and learned that the place hasn’t had a tenant in years but the owners don’t seem to be struggling financially」
Is it one of those hidden passages known only to the royalty and a few of the royal guards?
「When I went inside to check it out, I found one of the rooms had a floorboard removed with a ladder going down a hole. I followed the pathway and it led me straight to the castle. I came out of a fireplace that was in a room that looked like a lounge. After looking around for a bit, I noticed that there was an unnatural gap in the wall that separates the lounge from the next room. I entered that and continued following the hidden path, passed by the familiar audience room, then ended up at some sort of relaxation room where I heard the sacrificial pawn thing」
「Ninjas are amazing. They’re more stealthy than I thought」
「That kind of castle only has the usual stuff after all. I managed to peek through several rooms from that secret passage so they’ve probably been eavesdropping on us regularly」
「Well, it seems like the invasion route is not going to be a problem but how are we going to get in touch with Caam-kun?」
「I regularly use transfer magic to check the stock of the coffee shop you visited in Corundum so please give the shopkeeper a letter that’s written in Japanese」
「So that was your shop after all huh?」
「No no, those two own that place. I already have my hands full with the island after all. They even get all of the profits. And besides, it’s about time for the rumors to have spread. It seems like we’ll be able to get some of the chocolate production going so we’re planning to add chocolate and cocoa to the new menu. We should use our money for this and get all the things necessary. Ah, this is for the island of course」
「Oda-san was happy to see the shop you know? He drinks coffee after all」
「He came 5 times a day so the shopkeeper managed to remember him. They told me he even stopped by just before closing time just to buy the coffee beans. I’m surprised he even managed to finish 50 packs of said coffee beans while you were on your way here」
「I was also surprised by that. I didn’t think he’d drink that much. Ever since we arrived, it’s like he’s been bathing with the stuff with how much he’s drunk」
「He’s drinking it quite a lot huh? I don’t really know much about it so I’d rather leave it to you」
「Hahaha. I need Oda to do a few things for me but that’s only for when I’m able to get in touch with him on a regular basis. Once he’s settling in on this island, he can be the island’s barista AND technical expert」
After the plan had been somewhat decided, we continued to have random conversations until evening. I also lent him one of the houses near the beach for his lodging during his stay on the island.
The next day, I showed him around the island since I would’ve felt bad if I had just sent him back after he came all the way here.
「They were able to get this far with just 50 slave humans you know? Don’t you think he’s pretty good at making use of his workers?」
「I just treated them normally, you know? I let them eat, sleep, and also drink alcohol from time to time」
「You might think that’s just common sense but they won’t even think of giving that kind of treatment to the slaves in this world」
「I figured. Well, I managed to gain their trust thanks to that though」
「Apart from that, you also raise livestock and do a lot of things using magic. Isn’t the island stable enough as is right now?」
「There doesn’t seem to be any iron in this island though. I couldn’t find any ochre deposits on the riverbed so it doesn’t look like there’s iron on the mountains. I think the lake at the center of the island is just underground spring water but there’s not even a trace of it in the streambed. That’s why, if we don’t earn enough to purchase iron, all we’ve done till now could just crumble down」
「I see. I now understand why you’d get into business. And since you’re on an island, there will be times when you’ll have to rely on imports to survive」
「I’ve made a promise with a dwarf that’ll end with us getting a pot still so if there’s sugar cane or something similar that I know can be turned into liquor, we’ll make it and sell it. For now though, distillation by saccharification of barley followed by alcoholization seems to be the stable way to go. In the meantime, I’m thinking of making liqueur. The first thing I plan to add to the distilled liquor is coconut」
「Sweet liquor huh? I personally prefer the bitter ones and I heard that whiskey is good」
「I’m thinking of using it for tourism purposes, you know? I don’t know how long in the future that will be though」
While we were having that conversation, we saw a couple of mermaids who looked like they were playing around in the bay which caused Ugajin-san to immediately run towards them. Looks like he’s definitely interested in them.
「Ugajin-san likes mermaids, doesn’t he?」
「Haven’t you already realized that from yesterday’s exchange?」
Ugajin-san frantically called out to the mermaids in a loud voice while waving his hands in the air.
Seeing that, the mermaids swam to the shore then Ugajin-san started conversing with them.
「M-my name is Ugajin. W-would you g-give me the pleasure of getting to know you all!」
「Pretty ambitious, isn’t he?」
「You can clearly see his ulterior motive. I’ve never seen this side of Ugajin before」
「I don’t mind but you have a different hair color from the other humans, don’t you? What’s wrong? Are you sick?」
「I am one of the summoned heroes. That’s why my hair is like this. However, please don’t worry. I get along well with Caam-san so I have not a single plan to cause you harm」
Ah, he’s way too honest. Also, don’t drag me into that conversation.
Hearing that, the mermaids started staring at Ugajin-san.
「Hmmー, I did hear of rumors that the heroes have black hair but…」
「Wouldn’t he have already attacked us if he came to fight? I don’t think he’s a bad human」
「His eyes look scary though」
「I was just in awe after seeing you beautiful ladies. How about it? Shall we talk a bit more?」
「He’s just trying to pick them up huh?」
「He definitely is. I honestly thought he would keep being stiff for a bit longer」
「Me too. I didn’t expect him to be that type of guy」
「Like, if this was Japan, it feels like it would end up with him just being that guy who gives gifts and receives nothing in return」
「Even if this place is different, the same thing could still happen. But it looks like their conversation is going well」
「That’s true. How about we go rest under a shade while we wait?」
As I said that, we went to the tent to rest and resumed talking about our future affairs. After a while, we heard Ugajin-san shouting so we hurriedly looked at where we left him but it seemed like he was just excited after more sahagin women came. He doesn’t discriminate, does he?
We heard Ugajin-san scream again but this time we took our time before finally checking out what was happening with him. He was now surrounded by plenty of male ajot types. After all this time, I’m still not sure if they’re part of the merfolk or fishkin.
Seems like they joined the conversation because they looked like they were having fun. When Ugajin-san came back, he was totally dejected.
「My beautiful memories were offset by that thing…」2
He laid down on the sand as he said that but instead of throwing a tantrum, he just silently cried.
Well, those guys really leave a lasting impact after all.
「It’s the mystery of life, isn’t it? Just what in the world were those things? I thought it was some kind of hobby gone wrong where they made such an elaborate fish costume you know?」
That’s right, it’s in the same category as that half-naked guy with the horse mask, isn’t it?3