Chapter 2 – A Delicious Aroma Wafting in the Night Air (part1)
The city called Olbrum, which I entered through that huge gate, is appallingly big. There’s a plaza in front of the gate, and from there, it appears that there are about 12 lanes lead toward the city’s interior. The roads are very wide and straight.
In the plaza, there’s something like a guideboard displaying a whole map of the city, but…. I doubted my eyes for a moment. If the information listed on the guideboard is accurate, the size of this city would be equivalent to 23 Tokyo’s districts.
Those 30 meters of thick wall surrounding an area of that size, it’s unbelievable…. I wonder how much money, effort, and time were used to build it. Or, is this something that can easily be done in this world by using the power of magic?
I’ve always thought that the population of a city with this kind of design would be 10,000 people at most, but…. Olbrum is divided into 42 districts, where the area called the “Central District” is located in the heart of the city. From there, numbers are assigned to the other districts in a radial pattern. The 2nd District, 3rd District, 4th District, and so on….
By the way, it seems like I’m in the 30th District right now.
The 30th District to 42nd District are located close to the wall. There are also several more gates leading to the outside located in the other districts. The roads here are really wide which make it easy for carriages to transport goods to each district, and it seems that I will reach the Central District if I follow the widest lane.
Speaking of the 30th District, this area is ruled by the Wishart House that I heard about it before.
The cityscape is decorated with brick and stone houses that are beautifully arranged. There are also some wooden buildings but they don’t look shabby at all. Instead, they’re designed to reflect the beauty of wood grains in the stone-filled city.
It’s a beautiful city where the word “modern” is a perfect fit for it. A well-harmonized city with a lively, bright, and playful atmosphere.
I don’t know whether the 30th District is special or all the districts are also like this. But one thing is certain, the cultural level here seems to be relatively high. I had been underestimating it because of the bad food and poor clothing, but if I could get used to it, I could live comfortably in this city.
On that note, I first need to cash out the pepper and secure a place to stay. It’d be too risky if I sell the pepper that’s supposed to be delivered to the 30th District’s lord, here, in his domain….
“Yeah, let’s go to the 29th District next door!” (Yashiro)
It’s going to be quite a walk, but the distance won’t be an issue in the face of the 5 million yen I can earn from selling the pepper.
Thus I headed for the 29th District while skipping happily.
Strange…. This city is really strange….
There are a lot of people(?) with the appearance of animals walking around the city on two legs, and stir-fried weed is classified as a dish here.
There was a girl who looked beautiful from behind, but when I looked from the front, her face was actually that of a snail. Everything was too weird, to the point that I’ve stopped caring.
There’s one thing that bothers me more than anything…. In this city, I can’t lie!! This is not a figure of speech, I mean it literally.
I tried to sell the pepper to a grocery store in the 29th District at first. However, they told me that I needed a guild membership card or a resident card to do trading in this city. Otherwise, I could only sell the merchandise directly to the guild. Except for adventurers or merchants, anyone who wants to sell their merchandise would go to the guild.
However. this pepper had caused quite a commotion at the front gate, they will immediately know that I’m the culprit as soon as I bring it to the guild. Because of that, I tried to negotiate with the store to see if I can sell it directly but…. another strange thing happened. The shopkeeper of the grocery store first asked me;
“Where did you get the spice?”
There’s that Judgement of the Spirit thing that Norbert used before, so judging that it would be wise not to toss out a lie, I chose an ambiguous expression as the answer.
“I got it from a kind merchant.” (Yashiro)
The word got here has the meaning I stole it, so it was by no means a lie. I thought that it would work well but…. instantly, the shopkeeper turned like a demon and get angry.
“We’re not doing trade with a thief! If you don’t leave at once, I will bring you to the vigilante corps!”
Thus I ran away from the shop without a second thought.
“Go die, thief!!”
From behind, the shopkeeper shouted such words to me, who was running for my life. It seems like this incident became a hot topic in the 29th District, so I gave up on trading in this district and headed to another district.
Because this city seems to have been arranged in a circle around the Central District, I thought of heading to the 28th District and 27th District in succession at first.
Next to the 29th District is the 28th District and next to the 28th District is the 27th District. There’s a long distance from the 29th District to the 27th District, because this city is neatly organized and it’s necessary to cross one district to go to the next. You can go to the district with lower numbers immediately, if you heading to the inner circle.
The 30th District to 42nd District are located in the outermost circle. Next to them is the 23rd District to 29th District circle, 11th District to 22nd District circle, 6th District to 10th District circle, 2nd District to 5th District circle, and located in the center is Central District. Because of such arrangements, I headed to 22nd District from 28th District.
“Let’s renew my spirit and get a lot of money! Fufufu….” (Yashiro)
However, the same thing happened even there. Despite having successfully arranged a perfectly ambiguous wording….
“You thief! I will cut off those hands of yours!”
I was chased by a shopkeeper with a hatchet in his hand. Deception doesn’t pass, but if I tell a lie…. surely, it will come to bite me later….
“What the hell!?” (Yashiro)
In this city, I seriously couldn’t lie. Perhaps, it is due to the Forced Translation Magic. Even if I use complicated words, they will be translated into words familiar to the other party.
For example, “watashi”, “ore”, and “sessha” in Japanese, will be translated to “I” in English. The word got would be translated to tricked or stole or something along the line. This is a truly troublesome city, indeed.
In the end, despite having pepper worth five million yen, I’m still penniless.
I’ve tried to use Japanese yen, but they said that only Ruben coins can be used in this city. I was told to exchange them in the guild. However, I don’t want to go near the guild for the time being….
To make thing worst, the rumor that thieves are wandering around the city has begun to spread. I couldn’t stay in the 22nd District any longer, so I decided to escape to another district at once.
However, the information traveled faster than I thought, and the rumor about a thief was already spreading when I entered the 21st District which was relatively close to the 22nd District. I evacuated to the 10th District in a hurry, but the rumor had also reached this district.
“Fast! It’s too fast!” (Yashiro)
There’s probably a special method to communicate this kind of information, and the guild is most likely involved in this matter.
Speaking of the guild, it’s something like an association. Those in the same industry gather together, exchange information, and help each other make profit. In exchange, there are obligations imposed to the members, such as allotments or regulations.
In any case, it’s getting hard to stay here. I wonder if I should head straight to a farthest district…. like, the Central District for example…? Let’s arrange the available information once more.
I’ve wandered through 10 districts so far. From the 30th District, I steadily headed to the city center. As I went inward, I realized that the cityscape had gotten more beautiful. Compared to the 30th District that I thought was very well-organized, the inner districts have a more sophisticated image.
Thinking about the Central District in the center of the city, I wonder if the districts with smaller numbers have a higher position. The 20th District is richer than the 30th District, the 10th District is richer than the 20th District, and so on.
There are gas street lamps in the 10th District that couldn’t be seen in the 20th District. In addition, there are big buildings such as theaters in this district. The people here are also dressed in expensive-looking clothes. My guess seems to be right, and in that case….
“If I’m looking for a place to escape, the bottommost district seems to be the best option.” (Yashiro)
If the rich people live in districts with smaller numbers, there must be a lot of common people living in districts with higher numbers. The bottommost district in this city is the 42nd District, and according to the map, it’s located on the right side of the 30th District.
“It seems like I have to go back to where I came from. Let’s hide there until the situation has cooled down!” (Yashiro)