The mutants left large scars on the city of Rotsgard.
There were a lot of casualties, and the city was damaged considerably.
Of course, the citizens are unable to return to their normal lives and have to live in temporary housing while they work hard on repairing the city.
We made it appear as if the sisters Eva and Ruria had died in this incident and took them to Kaleneon.
People are still saying farewell to the dead over here as well, so I keep hearing about their reputation.
There’s not many people now, but surprisingly, it seems that they’re working hard every day without any complaints.
From our point of view, they were mutants (lol) but to the people of the city, they were an almost unprecedented event.
The demons’ conspiracy theory leaked somewhere, so the demons’ reputation had deteriorated considerably.
And so, a year passed.
Or at least, it would have been easy if things concluded like that, but I’m not completely uninvolved with this city.
I’m participating in the merchants’ guild meeting (though there are an amazingly small number of people now) and we’ve been making decisions such as opening temporary stores and declining people wanting to become lecturers at the academy.
Day after day, I’m doing work that’s beyond my ability.
I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of tasks I have to complete each day. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.
「Is it really necessary to meet with the important people from other countries right now?」(Makoto)
I unconsciously let out a complaint.
This is needed, that is needed – In every meeting each night, one after another, additional materials are requested (in other words, my workload increases).
In order to get the lectures at the academy started again as soon as possible so that academy city will appear as if it’s returned to normal, I’ve been getting nothing but unreasonable requests. (We’re still in the middle of restoring the city and they’re worried about the damn lectures; I wonder if they’re idiots.)
I have my hands full with this alone.
Despite that, for some reason, the prince of Limia, the leader of Lorel and the important people from the temple are taking turns calling on us for assistance.
I had to resist the urge to tell them to shut up multiple times.
Today, we’re fixing the main street.
It’s been about a week since we started on that, and quite a number of places in the street are looking like they’re back to how they were before.
However, the prospects for our shop still aren’t looking good.
The temporary stores near the temporary housing facilities have become important so even if we hurried to restore our normal store, it would actually be inconvenient for the customers. So we’re putting that off until later.
「Sensei, how can you even call this a lecture?!」(Jin)
Jin is shouting.
「Sif and Yuno are working for the merchants’ guild in the warmth, this is discrimination!」(Amelia)
Amelia is shouting.
Indeed, today’s wind is quite strong so it might be a bit cold.
「I don’t think this is the work that we’re supposed to be doing...」(Izumo)
Izumo is complaining as well.
It seems that each and every one of the students attending my lecture is unhappy with its contents.
The people here are my students, minus Rembrandt-san’s two daughters.
I wonder if those idiots have lost their minds. As soon as I returned to the academy I was told that they’ve scheduled lectures to be resumed.
Of course, I told them that the lectures can wait until academy city has calmed down a bit, but they went and said that they want lectures to resume as soon as the academy is up and running.
My schedule for meeting people is packed and my business with the merchants is even busier, so it’s not the time for... No, a lot of areas in the city are still in ruins, and there are a lot of people who lost their loved ones.
People tend to forget the danger too quickly once it’s passed.
Therefore, under the pretense of solidifying the foundations, we decided to demolish the various partially-destroyed buildings and have some people work on engineering works all day.
Participation is mandatory.
Right after the academy is finished, I’m finishing the negotiations to get the personnel we need to restore the rest of the city. There’s a considerable increase in the speed of the city’s restoration if magic is used.
Therefore, the participation of the people who can use magic is quite important.
For some reason, Rembrandt-san heard about this beforehand and told us that he had assigned Sif and Yuno other work, so they managed to get out of it.
Well, it might be a good opportunity for those two to watch and learn from their father’s work up close, so I didn’t force them to work.
「It’s because you complain about this kind of stuff that you panic when facing mutants. Your weapons are crying, you guys.」(Makoto)
「... Raidou-sensei, now that I’m talking to you directly, I was thinking.」(Jin)
「What is it, Jin.」(Makoto)
As if he’s fallen for my words, Jin is talking back to me.
「You’re the same age as us after all, aren’t you? Actually, I get the feeling that you’re younger than us.」(Jin)
「Are you saying that it's a waste for me to be talking?」(Makoto)
「You have more dignity in writing... Wait, that’s not what I wanted to say. I was wondering whether the work would be finished sooner if Sensei were to participate. Since you’re young and all.」(Jin)
「I could consider it as long as I’m not being made to do something bothersome like being in charge of the site. Well, if you guys don’t proceed according to the schedule, I’ll probably end up having to make it a regular part of the lectures.」(Makoto)
「You mean to say we haven’t actually been assigned anything?!」(Amelia)
「The other guys are already getting lectures on practical skills at the academy, that’s horrible!」(Izumo)
Amelia and Izumo interrupt the conversation between me and Jin.
Even though they’re girls around the same age as me, being looked down upon and glared at is enough to make me want to take a step back.
「... There’s no way that’s true. If I’m working behind you guys at the site, we all have a collective responsibility and we’ll all receive the same penalty.」(Makoto)
「A practice battle with Youthrie-kun, no, I’ll add Blue-Lizard-kun and Zwei-san to the group.」(Makoto)
『Impossible, impossible, impossible!』
All three of their reactions were in harmony.
That’s pretty amazing synchronization.
Incidentally, Youthrie-kun is the third Mist Lizard.
Fortunately, or rather, unfortunately for them, they didn’t have any opportunities to participate in the recent fighting. Even so, they kept demanding for lectures without understanding the situation, so I set up a mock battle with him for them.
All of the students versus Youthrie-kun.
They will make a formation with the weapons I’ve given them, while Youthrie-kun will just be wearing elbow-pads and shoulder-pads, light protective equipment that won’t slow down his movements.
Youthrie-kun is an unarmed fighter.
Apparently he was originally someone who found it easier to fight with his bare hands rather than use weapons, but he’s a strange person who took a liking to some of the hand-to-hand fighting techniques in my memories and earnestly practised them.
He ditched the dagger that he had been using for the sake of having a weapon, and now he’s the one and only grappler in Asora.
If you say that Blue-Lizard-kun has technique and Zwei-san has power.
Youthrie-kun has both technique and power.
In short, he’s strong.
He could have held back against them, but I requested that he kept that to a minimum. For them, his strength must have seemed like that of an emissary from hell.
They were knocked down by Youthrie-kun like bowling pins in a strike.
Their weapons were completely destroyed, and they were treated to a full course of being punched, kicked, thrown around and arm-locked.
Seeing their fear, I’m guessing it caused some trauma on them.
They got their weapons fixed nicely by the Eldwas and they’re back to normal, but even I was honestly surprised by Youthrie-kun’s Wave Fist.
「So do it seriously. In any case, I think assisting in the city’s restoration would only be a good thing, for both the academy and yourselves.」(Makoto)
「... There are plenty of people among the townsfolk who are just trying to leech off of us and make profits, though. You’re the one that’s changed, Raidou-sensei.」
「I’ll make myself clear. For me, returning the city to normal is more important than giving lectures. That being the case, I’m going to stop giving lectures for a while, you know? Students would have to reapply. Is it alright if I close my lectures for now?」(Makoto)
「The way you’re saying that. T-the rumor that you turned down becoming a full-time lecturer, was it actually true...?」
「Yeah, I turned it down. I don’t intend to feed myself by being a lecturer forever.」(Makoto)
「It’s a person that you can’t apply common sense to! We’ll do it, we’ll work hard! Please spare us from having to reapply. The acceptance rate will be crazy! We shouldn’t have said anything...」
「You should have said that from the start. Even if you get kouhais, they’re going to overtake you guys in no time.」(Makoto)
For some reason.
After hearing my last words, these three have stopped complaining and are showing a lot more spirit to work.
In reality, I was joking about making them reapply, but I will have to accept new applications once everything’s calmed down.
I have to continue with my lectures for these guys, too...
But if the uncomfortable feeling I had in Limia is correct, these guys might already be pretty strong right now.
I have to give a little thought about how hard I want to train them.
It wouldn’t be funny if I created students that were stronger than the Knights’ Order.
I thought I was looking to raise elite students so I used the adventurers from Tsige as a baseline standard and evaluated the students on their individual specialized abilities. Looking back, that might have been a mistake.
I’d thought that this would be a basic requirement, but I have to set the level of being able to survive trips into the wasteland as a goal, too.
Today, Shiki is portioning rations with Sairitsu-san from Lorel, and Mio is in Asora.
Tomoe is helping with the transportation of goods around the city, so... Haah. We won’t be seeing each other until the evening.
I wish I could go back to the night of the party.
The morning’s work is finally finished.
The students and workers are on their lunch break, so they’re scattered around doing as they please.
As for me?
I have to go and meet some people for a little while.
I’ve given orders for what needs to happen with the repair work, so it’ll be fine even if I don’t come back for a few hours.
As long as nothing bad happens, anyway.
I have to meet the first person, so I head away from the main street and pass through the ruins of the Kuzunoha company, which is basically just rubble now.
「Ah, I’m sorry about that, Raidou-sensei. Having you come all the way out here.」
「Please stop that. You’re older than I am, Ester-san, and I am not your teacher, so you can just call me Raidou.」(Makoto)
「It is rather troublesome that you do not feel guilty for mentioning my age, Sensei. But for me to refer to my savior without an honorific is quite impossible. The boss has not arrived yet; would you mind waiting inside for a little while?」(Ester)
「Yes, I understand.」(Makoto)
「I have to say, you surprised me since you suddenly became able to talk. You do seem younger than when you were communicating in writing.」(Ester)
Ester-san is looking at me like it’s unusual for me to be talking normally.
I rescued her from a mutant at the brothel near here, but I never imagined I’d be meeting with her boss. I did think that it would just be lip service, though.
He’s a person from the underworld, so it’s best if I keep a certain distance from him.
Jin said it as well, but I wonder if sounding younger when I’m actually speaking is a compliment or a bad thing.
I just copied the spoken language, but apparently the impression people get is different.
「This is a major event, after all. There might be an opportunity to take here. It seems the damage is less severe here compared to other areas; when is business scheduled to be up and running again?」(Makoto)
Looking around, it seems that repairing the current buildings without having to demolish them first could work.
That being the case, once the road is fixed, won’t these people be able to return to their normal lives sooner than expected?
「... We’re in the sex industry, after all. There is no way that people and business will return without the city getting on its feet. We cannot welcome people just because the building and the girls are safe.」(Ester)
「Is there no demand from the people who have gathered here to restore the city?」(Makoto)
「Fufufu. Demand, you say? They have to worry about the eyes of the city’s people. A brothel does not stand out as something that is necessary. It is a business that is influenced by its popularity and the people’s patronage, after all.」(Ester)
Is that how it is.
I suppose there are services that can’t be offered just because there is a demand for it.
In that case, it’s no wonder she’s exasperated after hearing my useless talk.
She’s looking at me in a gentle way. Or more like, I feel like I’m being viewed as a child, so I’ll leave it at that.
「Hmm, it seems that the boss has arrived. Well then, I will bring him here. In any case, I think he simply wants to thank you. He has a frightening appearance, but he has some compassion and kindness. And... No, I’ll let you look forward to it.」(Ester)
It already seems like the type of person I’m not good at dealing with.
Oh yeah, that’s right.
Compared to Io’s face, no matter how frightening he looks, there’s no way a hyuman’s appearance can be that scary.
I imagine the face of the powerful giant.
If it’s a hyuman, I guess Zara-san would be a better comparison.
Thinking about the trauma I got from that person, I think this person should be alright.
「My apologies for making you wait. It seems Ester and the other girls from the brothel are greatly indebted to you... Raidou?」
「... Representative Zara?」(Makoto)
The face that I was imagining has appeared in the doorway.
The person himself?
「Ester, what’s the meaning of this?」(Zara)
「Oh? Did you know each other already? There’s no “meaning of this”, he is the person who saved my life and his name is Raidou. He is a merchant running a small company.」(Ester)
「... You, you had me meet with Raidou knowing that he’s a merchant?!」(Zara)
「Well, yes. He is still a novice, but he seems to hold a lot of promise. I thought I’d let him meet with you, to return the favor he did for us.」(Ester)
「That’s not the problem here!」(Zara)
「Please calm down, Boss. I can assure you that he has no hidden intentions. Though it seems you not only know of him, but rather, you are acquainted... Have I done something unnecessary?」(Ester)
「Ah, no. I see, he’s Raidou, the one who saved you.」(Zara)
Zara-san lets out a sigh.
To be honest, I want to let out a huge sigh as well.
I want to be spared from having to come here without mentally preparing myself first.
After a brief pause, Zara-san turns to face me and lowers his head.
「Raidou, thank you very much. I’m very grateful.」(Zara)
「Wait, Representative. What I did is not such a big deal!」(Makoto)
「No. You saved many of my employees. Showing this much gratitude is only normal.」(Zara)
Now it’s become awkward.
「Y-you were in ownership of these kinds of businesses too, Representative Zara? I am quite surprised.」(Makoto)
Desperately wanting to change the topic, I say the first thing that comes to mind.
「... Yes. I’m in charge of these street-walkers and gambling. I’ve crushed all of the others who were doing similar operations in other cities. I didn’t plan for things to turn out this way, but I also have my own reasons for this.」(Zara)
The head of the merchants’ guild, and the head of the underworld as well.
It looks like I have my work cut out for me today.
I didn’t plan for this to happen, so it’s amazing that I’m doing this.
「Is that so? Well, I just happened to hear the screams of Ester-san and the others and came running to help. I do not have any intentions of making you feel indebted to me.」(Makoto)
I can’t really word it right, but I want to get across that I didn’t do it to receive their gratitude.
「... Fu, you haven’t changed. You still keep coming up with good answers. Even so, the Kuzunoha company has been spreading its name to the point of fiendishness. It’s not like I’m accepting Rembrandt’s words, but it does seem that you’re going in a different direction from regular merchants.」(Zara)
For one moment Zara-san has a strict look on his face, but then he lets out an exasperated sigh and begins talking.
「The majority of your fellows who wanted to deceive you have died. Limia’s second prince and the empress of Lorel have summoned you so that they can directly measure your usefulness. Don’t get too thrilled with the people from the temple, either. I’m not joking when I say that the one who has benefited the most from the mutant rebellion is you, Raidou.」(Zara)
Rather, the relations with those people are speeding things up unnecessarily.
Incidentally, the empress of Lorel is Sairitsu-san.
I’d assumed that she was the wife of the emperor, but it’s actually an important title given to the person in charge of that country’s Priestesses.
Sairitsu-san said herself that her name isn’t really well-known, but surely that’s a joke; the name of anyone with a high position in one of the four great powers should be quite well-known.
... Not that I knew it.
「Even as a guild. There is a cost to having pushed them so hard for the transportation of goods. There aren’t even supposed to be that many medicine stores in the first place. More or less, the guys trying to resume their trading are starting up in different businesses.」(Zara)
「Eh, that wasn’t my –」(Makoto)
「Idiot. It’s not just for your sake. As long as you guys keep improving the quality and prices, there won’t be a single store in the city that can compete with the Kuzunoha company when it comes to medicine. I was going to say this tonight. You should consider going in a direction to increase your sales, even if only a little at a time. Opening branch stores is fine as well.」(Zara)
It’s hard, because we won’t have enough people.
「I have already mentioned this to Shiki... san, as well, but it would be helpful if you keep acting as a mediator with the academy to some extent. Right now, the reason the restoration of the city is progressing at a high pace is because we can use magic without holding back. We want to keep this up until it’s all back to normal.」(Zara)
Why does he add -san to Shiki’s name, but drop the honorific for me?
Could he be thinking that I’m his guardian?!
... It’s mostly true, so I can’t deny it.
「For now, I intend to continue making requests to the academy. As well as the transportation of goods around the city through Tomoe.」(Makoto)
「The woman who tamed the dragons even better than the Dragon Knights, huh. To be honest, I have things to say about your inexperience and ability. But I can only take my hat off to the sheer number of unorthodox methods at your disposal. To think that you’d be using a tiger cub from Lorel instead of a carriage.」(Zara)
「I thought that everyone in the Dragon Knights were strong.」(Makoto)
「... How so? I went to see them once, but they’re nothing more than decorations. Under that woman’s directions, they moved like a unit of flying dragons and they were barely fearsome at all.」(Zara)
「At this rate, even if only in appearance, Rotsgard’s cityscape will probably return to normal in about a month. As the head of a guild and as a manager of prostitutes. I’ll say it once more. Thanks, Raidou.」(Zara)
Not only Zara-san, but Ester-san imitates him as they both lower their heads in a bow.
I can’t really get used to this, being bowed to by a representative.
「I would also like to thank you. From now, if I show any flaws, please guide me, Representative Zara.」(Makoto)
「I will, whenever Rembrandt-san gets angry at you... Now that I think about it. As thanks for saving the prostitutes, when this road’s shops reopen, I’ll let you in for free. What do you say, Raidou?」(Zara)
... As he raises his face, its expression has completely changed.
Ah, he’s got an unpleasant look on his face.
「What do I say? I’m only half a man, and I do not partake in such activities.」
「One flaw I see in you is these ambiguous answers you give. Well, I’ll interpret that in my own way. In that case, from now on, this brothel is free for the Kuzunoha company. Use it as you like. I’ll give an order to use your stores for their daily necessities. That’s my way to show my thanks, and as my payment to keep your mouth shut about me being the manager here. I’ll trust you with that. Well then, sorry for taking so much of your time. Both of us are busy people, but you have to put your best efforts into tonight’s meeting. Don’t forget, Raidou.」(Zara)
After this one-sided monologue, Representative Zara turns around and leaves.
This means that he predicted that I wouldn’t turn him down.
... No, I don’t think any good would come of exposing him anyway, so I won’t do it.
Even though he doesn’t have an intimidating air, I somehow find that man somewhat hard to deal with.
Err, next is the prince of Limia.
That’s arranged to be in the conference room at the academy.
Buy us some coffee!