Chapter 2 – The Delicious Smell that Floats on 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 that 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 town, 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 Ward” is located in the heart of the city. From there, numbers are assigned to the other areas in a radial pattern. The 2nd Ward, 3rd Ward, 4th Ward, and so on….
By the way, it seems like I’m in the 30th Ward right now.
The 30th Ward to 42nd Ward are located close to the wall. There are also several more gates leading to the outside located in the other wards. The roads here are really wide so it’s easy for carriages to transport goods to each ward, and it seems that I will reach the Central Ward if I follow the wider lane.
Speaking of the 30th Ward, this area is ruled by the Wishart family that I heard about 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 Ward is special or all the wards are also like this. But one thing is certain, the cultural level here seems to be quite high. The foods taste bad and the clothes are not that good, but it seems like I can live comfortably here after doing some adaptation.
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 Ward’s lord, here, in his domain….
“Yeah, let’s go to the 29th Ward 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.
Yashiro headed for the 29th Ward while skipping.
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.
But there’s another thing that bothers me more…. 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 Ward 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 merchandise directly to the guild. Except for adventurers or merchants, anyone who wants to sell their merchandise would go to the guild.
But 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 better 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 into a demon and scolded me.
“We’re not doing trade with a thief! If you don’t leave at once, I will bring you to the vigilante corps!”
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 Ward, so I gave up on trading in the 29th Ward and headed to another ward.
Because this city seems to have been arranged in a circle around the Central Ward, I thought of heading to the 28th Ward and 27th Ward in succession at first.
Next to the 29th Ward is the 28th Ward and next to the 28th Ward is the 27th Ward. There’s a long distance from the 29th Ward to the 27th Ward, because this city is neatly organized and it’s necessary to cross one ward to go to the next. You can go to the ward with lower numbers immediately, if you head to the inner circle.
The 30th Ward to 42nd Ward are located in the outermost circle. Next to them is the 23rd Ward to 29th Ward circle, 11th Ward to 22nd Ward circle, 6th Ward to 10th Ward circle, 2nd Ward to 5th Ward circle, and located in the center is Central Ward. Because of such arrangements, I headed to 22nd Ward from 28th Ward.
“Let’s renew my mood 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 can’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.
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 Ward any longer, so I decided to escape to another ward quickly.
However, the information traveled faster than I thought, and the rumor about a thief was already spreading when I entered the 21st Ward which was relatively close to the 22nd Ward. I evacuated to the 10th Ward in a hurry, but the rumor had also reached this ward.
“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 far-away ward…. like, the Central Ward for example…?
Let’s arrange the available information once more.
I’ve wandered through 10 wards so far. From the 30th Ward, I steadily headed to the city center. As I went inward, I realized that the cityscape had gotten more beautiful. Compared to the 30th Ward that I thought was very well-organized, the inner wards have a more sophisticated image.
Thinking about the Central Ward in the center of the city, I wonder if the wards with smaller numbers have a higher position. The 20th Ward is richer than the 30th ward, the 10th Ward is richer than the 20th Ward, and so on.
There are gas street lamps in the 10th Ward that couldn’t be seen in the 20th Ward. In addition, there are big buildings such as theaters in this ward. 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 ward seems to be the best option.” (Yashiro)
If the rich people live in wards with smaller numbers, there must be a lot of common people living in wards with higher numbers.
The bottommost district in this city is the 42nd Ward, and according to the map, it’s located on the right side of the 30th Ward.
“It seems like I have to go back to where I came from. Let’s hide there until the situation has cooled down!” (Yashiro)