Episode 17【Idle Talk】: Night of the welcoming party – Village Chief side.
The ‘welcoming party’ had already ended.
“Yamato-dono, is this seat available? ”
“Yeah, go ahead. Village chief.”
Urd’s village chief asked then sat down in the seat in front of Yamato.
The old blacksmith Gaton already went back to his workshop after he handed over to him the new drawings of what he asked him to craft.
Right now, there was only them and some of the elderly people, drinking and eating while chatting in the village plaza.
“Did you enjoy the feast, Yamato-dono?”
“It was good.”
“I’m glad to hear that.”
He tried to express his gratitude. Using the same polite speech as he always did with the village chief.
“Come on, Yamato-dono. Here, have another drink.”
“Ah, I’ll gladly accept.”
The village chief then poured some alcohol into his mug. It was a peculiar local liquor, but it tasted extremely delicious.
“That reminds me, before the feast, you and my granddaughter were at the observation deck…”
“We were just talking about the village and the future.”
The chief of this village was already an old man.
Recently, as his age increased, his granddaughter Liscia had joined him in leading the villagers.
Together with her, Yamato had been working while at the same time learning new things as he consulted with her.
『Liscia will become the acting village head. She will help implement the ideas Yamato has in my stead』……That was the position the Village Chief had taken as he asked him to help with the village affairs.
“By the way, Chief, I got something to ask you.”
“What is it? Go ahead Yamato-dono, I’ll answer it if I can.”
The village chief said he would answer anything as long as it was in the range of his knowledge. That knowledge was the best in the village since he was one of the oldest people and its chief.
And since he had given his consent, Yamato asked.
“I’m not good at beating around the bush. So, I’ll just go straight to the point. The 『Inhabitants of Urd』, who are you？ ”
“The people of Urd, is it…? Well…”
“It’s ok if it’s only a little for now. But please tell properly me in the future.”
The village chief became silent at the unexpected question.
The current atmosphere was very awkward, but this was something Yamato absolutely wanted to hear.
『Who are the people of Urd？ 』
During this past month, as he has been living and hunting together with the village children, this was a question that he came to wonder more and more.
“It’s ok if I tell you an old story first, Yamato-sama?”
Whether his feelings were properly conveyed or not, the village chief opened his mouth and replied. With eyes expressing a sincere intention.
“Long ago, there existed a clan of talented individuals that aimed at uniting the continent under a single rule…”
He quietly started speaking.
About a clan born with a mysterious power and a superior physical ability. They survived in an era of war with their own skills, and advanced their plans of unifying the continent step by step until it was almost completed.
But, one day.
They met betrayal by the hands of their trusted subordinates, and the country they had built was ruined.
“The surviving members of that clan escaped and moved to a remote mountainous region, choosing to live quietly with nature…”
And so, the village chief story ended.
This story was only orally transmitted to every succeeding village chief. A secret no other villager knew about.
“So the people of Urd are the descendants of that clan?”
“It’s an old tale passed down to each village chief.”
He didn’t try to deny that question.
In other words, this was a true story. A story about how the ancestors of the people of Urd fought wars and came out victorious.
“I see… so that’s the reason the children have such high physical abilities and amazing aptitude.”
“The blood of Urd has become thinner. They no longer have the strength to crush rocks with their bare hands, nor the power to run faster than a gale.”
In the past, the people of Urd could accomplish such feats. It was a frightening story, even though it was just being passed down as a legend.
But with this, I’m convinced.
Listening to the village chief explanation, he finally made up his mind.
He always questioned where the excellent physical and learning ability of the children had come from.
They easily mastered a crossbow brought from modern Japan. They quickly absorbed the techniques he taught them, one after the other, such as cooperating in formations with the shields or taking covert actions in the forest.
These children were only about the age of a kindergarten child to an elementary school student. So, it always felt odd for him to compare them with modern Japanese children.
“I see. I’m planning on teaching the children how fight during winter.”
“How to… fight…”
The village chief furrowed his brows.
He was a little upset by the sudden proposal.
“It’s in order for them to protect the village. Don’t think it is for something bad.”
“If so, then there’s no other choice…”
Battle training was essential to protect the village from external threats.
As Gaton said earlier, there was a lot of chaos in this world.
Currently it felt like a dream to live peacefully in this mountain village, in this remote place living in isolation.
And since he already heard from the village chief about the secret of the people of Urd, Yamato decided to teach the children how to fight. Instead of keeping them sheltered under his personal protection, he would teach them ways to survive using their own power.()
“I have to wake up early tomorrow. If you excuse me, I’ll go to bed now.”
After the chat with the village chief was over, Yamato got up from his seat and decided to go to bed.
The festive atmosphere still continued. It was probably fine even if the celebrated person left a little earlier.
“Well then, have a good night, Yamato-dono.”
The village chief then saw him off with a polite tone. No trace of him being upset from before remained, it was his usual polite speech.
“Oh, that’s right, there was one more thing I wanted to ask you.”
“What is it? “
“The night when I first came to the village. Was it alright for you to have the children bring those ‘welcome nuts’ to me? ”
“……That, I wonder what you are talking about.”
To that parting question, the village chief choked as he tried to reply. Now Yamato was the one feeling a little upset.
“I dislike people who aren’t honest. Please remember that.”
“……I’ll keep it in mind.”
He didn’t deny it. In other words, his guess had hit the mark.
『It is a custom of Urd Village, to give a present to the travelers who come. It is a sort of a proof of being welcomed! 』
That was what the children who gave him those ‘welcome nuts’ were saying.
Perhaps the children visited him after being skillfully directed by the village chief.
Regardless of the reason behind it, he was able to reconfirm one thing tonight.
“Next time I won’t follow along.”
“I suppose I can’t use the ‘I’m just an old man’ excuse, Yamato-dono.”
“Well then, let’s work together for the village’s future.”
With a face as if nothing had happened. The village chief once again saw him off politely.
I can’t let my guard down with this old man…
At first sight, the village chief was just a polite and harmless gentleman. However, he was quite the schemer.
Well, I don’t hate that kind of people.
While remembering the image of that tough and reliable village chief, Yamato went to bed while smiling wryly
After the harsh winter, the spring filled with hope was sure to come.