Chapter 3 – The 42nd District (part1)
It was the first time I thought the night was so terrifying. I mean, what’s with this place!? It was utterly dark during the night. The moon was almost hidden, and the stars couldn’t be seen because the sky was cloudy all night long. I didn’t ask for street lights or the like, but not even a speck of light leaking from the neighborhood was too much.
The only thing I found shining last night were cat’s eyes. I was super scared and almost cried…. Okay, maybe I cried a little but there was no helping it.
After teaching that stupid girl about the bitterness of the reality, I walked away from the restaurant to look for a place to sleep. Of course, there was no such thing as convenience store or manga cafe in this world, it was quiet and dark everywhere .
The standard of living in the 42nd District is seriously low, and it seems there’s not even single inn built here. Even if it exists, that kind of a place will most likely not get many customers. Well, the main problem is that I don’t have money to rent a room.
Thus, I decided to camp outside…. under the horror of night…. that would even make those who didn’t believe in ghost tremble in fear.
No, the ghost would be rather cute. I mean, this is another world, I don’t know if there’s beast roaming outside during the night.
Thinking that those big frogs from the swamp would come out of the dark at any moment…. I curled up my body like a little girl. In the end, I couldn’t get a wink of sleep because of I was too scared until morning.
Upon seeing the sunrise, I was trembling with delight. I even prostrated myself and started worshiping it. I wondered if the old folks in the countryside pray to the sunrise while having this kind of feeling….
Now my head is pounding, my eyelids feel so heavy, and my legs are unsteady. All because I haven’t slept since yesterday.
I understand two things from staying up all night.
First thing is, there are animals and animal people in this city. Just as I said earlier, I saw a cat whose eyes glowed in the dark last night, but that was definitely an animal.
However, the bipedal walking cat that I saw at the gate yesterday was a person. Both are cats, but one was animal while the other one was a person.
I think it’s different from human and monkey, but where should I draw the line?
Is there a sense of kinship between them?
Can they understand each other?
…….. it’s still a mystery.
Just like with the cat, there were also chicken person and chicken animal.
Early in the morning, I heard chicken cries and rushed towards the place in hurry. I wanted to have a peace of mind by seeing a living creature, anything was fine. When I arrived at that place, I saw a chicken anthromorph picking up chicken eggs.
I tried to ask: “Do you eat those?”
I got an answer: “Of course!”
Next I asked: “Do you also lay eggs?”
Then, I was slapped immediately….
It seems like that question was equal to a sexual harassment for the chicken anthromorph. I need to be careful in the future.
So, what I’m trying to say here is, chicken anthromorph also consumes chicken egg, and it’s not a cannibalism. In the first place, it seems to be a something normal here.
Maybe they also keep chickens for meat? In that ase, then you can say there’s no sense of kinship between anthromorphs and animals of the same race.
…….. and that’s the second thing I understood.
Oh, there’s one more thing. I couldn’t distinguish the anthromorph’s gender by their appearance.
It would be easy to understand if there are distinctive things like cockscomb or mane….
Well, never mind that. Under the sun that came up at last, let’s start to take action immediately!
I will not sleep outside ever again. Trembling in fear while waiting the dawn that feels so long to come…. my heart wouldn’t be able to go through such a thing anymore….
First is an inn!
I must secure a bed where I can sleep at peace!
For that purpose, I need money!
I have to earn money that can be used in this world!
The pepper selling must be postponed. I have to earn money with whatever other means possible!
I’m going to sleep at the inn tonight, by any means!
With these goals in mind, I walked around the 42nd District’s streets to look for some fallen small change.
There is nothing….
Well, of course. This is the poorest district in this city. Those who live here couldn’t possibly leave some fallen small change alone.
Big city is a good place to hunt for small change. This is an ideal place of people who thinks “it’s not worth crouching down to pick up a fallen coin” gathered.
By the way, if there’s a big festival of the Gion Festival’s level, you should go to check that place on the following morning. Because there would be lot of small change scattered everywhere at that time.
The festival would move a large amount of small change for people shopping, and it was easy for the people to accidentally drop it. However, in such a crowd, people would be hesitant crouching down to pick it up, or didn’t even notice it falls.
I have an experience of picking up a little less than 20,000 yen worth of small change in such a place. I felt like being the winner of life.
Just be careful with “competitors”, that is. The so-called homeless, people who have trouble with money and gathering small change for living.
You must be careful not to be found.
Being discovered means immediate death.
This is not a game….
It’s a dangerous job….
Fortunately, I’ve never encountered such “competitors” in this 42nd District.
Well, of course. There wasn’t even single fallen coin on the street after all. I’ve been wandering the 42nd District since dawn without getting any result…. dammit!
However, thanks to that, I could generally grasp the geography of the 42nd District.
The wetland area which is adjacent to the 30th District is the most deserted area, and from there, it gets flourished as you get closer the 41st District. The housing increased, stores and the like began to be seen, and I also found an inn.
Then, on the hill near the border of 41st District, there was a big building. That was probably the lord’s house who rules over the 42nd District. For the proof, there was stone paved road and the vicinity of that area was also neater to some degree. There’s a visible disparity among the district, and the lords decorate their own surroundings to show their power.
The cityscape on that area is probably the highest level in this 42nd District, but…. it’s still quite low compared to the other districts.
The restaurant called Hidamari-tei that stupid girl runs, was built especially in the low level area among the 42nd District. Of course, there were almost no customers coming.
The west side of the 42nd District is wetland belt. On the south side, there’s an outer wall and a forest seems to spread beyond that.
There’s a somewhat prosperous area on the east side, while on the north side is a steep cliff across the swamp. In other words, surrounded by the cliffs from west to north, and the city wall on south, the 42nd District was made into a location like some kind of dead end. That place is located in a very bad location fir business.
For now, following “if you want money, go to the place where there are a lot people”, I will go to the east side of the 42nd District which is somewhat prosperous.
The sun is quite high in the sky already. Thanks to wandering around the 42nd District since dawn, I feel quite awake right now.
Early in the morning, there were no people around except those who made preparation to open their store. But now, the city had begun to show its hustle and bustle.
First of all is observation.
The population of the 42nd District seems to consist of half human and half anthromorphs. I drew such conclusions from watching those who passing by on the street.
By the way, this “anthromorphs” are dogs, cats, birds, etc. who are walking on two legs like human. This is the name I arbitrary decided to call them all in one group.
There are dog anthromorphs and cat anthromorphs in small numbers, and most of them are sheep anthromorphs and lizard anthromorphs. If I pay close attention to them, I can find some cute sheep girls, too. Well, they’re far from my strike zone, but I have to admit that animal-eared girls are quite attractive.
A wide variety of races seem to live and make a living in this city. However, I haven’t seen any frog anthromorphs on the streets so far. Even though there were so many in the wetlands, why can’t I find them here?