Chapter 9: Really Had to Do It to Feel Right

Chapter 9: Really Had to Do It to Feel Right

“The reason I left you guys isn’t anything big. I’m merely going to give you a chance since it’ll be the same elsewhere too even if you leave here.”

In the first place, if they couldn’t go home, then they’d just become another city’s vagrant or a hooligan even if they left Ogwen. Rather, one could say that Ogwen, which currently was experiencing an economic boom due to jobs endlessly overflowing, was environmentally better.

I hadn’t merely stuck myself at home and only trained and studied for the last 3 years.

The period called 3 years that I spent while even resolving myself and splitting up resting times absolutely wasn’t a short time. If one tried to avoid excessive training that could hinder growth, then extra time naturally formed even if one did this and that. Even that disappeared if one disliked studying, couldn’t concentrate, or couldn’t comprehend very well, but with the direction set by a thirty-plus mental age and a still malleable head met together, there wasn’t anything like that. As if to prove that the saying ‘education at youth is important’ wasn’t a nonsense, my education was simply smooth sailing.

I passed the time while splitting the inevitably remaining time to analyze the city. Enough for not only the guards but even a few merchants to remember my face.

If one looked just a little bit, works one could do even if one wasn’t particularly educated were all over the place. They merely were kept quiet due to being unable to trust outsiders very much.

“If I were to look for jobs with a minimum day’s pay of 4 copper coins, there’s nothing stopping me from finding enough for all of you. With 4 copper coins, you can at least sleep in a room a person can sleep in, and two meals a day is also possible. You can go and wash yourselves clean at a public bath if you occasionally get an extra income, and you can increase your work and earn more if you get familiar with it. Then you’ll get credibility as you do, and your wages will also rise and you’ll have some extra time.”

Even if the average age of the remaining kids were 14, they were kids whose majority of life were merely living in villages and helping out with housework chores. Because there wasn’t anything like mandatory education, most didn’t even have a proper idea about concepts like same-day job and economic activity, and as a result the things they did after resolutely running away ended up being vagrancy and hooligan acts that didn’t even have any future. They were at an age where they only want to live doing all that they like, so what else could have happened?

“I won’t force you. If you don’t want it, then you guys can just remember the one name, Eldmia Egga, and run away through there. Of course, I’ll break your legs if I see you again. But if you stay, then I won’t personally give you money, but give you jobs that won’t rip you off. Choose.”

Ogwen wasn’t a land of opportunity just for the hooligans. Since the inflow of outsiders was increasing and was quickly developing, they could quickly settle as a member of the city so long as they worked diligently when young. It absolutely wouldn’t be easy, but even if they ran away right now, the only future they’d earn was at most a prostitute for the girls and a hooligan for the boys.

If they were brats that could create a heroic epic beyond that, then they probably should already be creating that and not meeting me.

I said that and quietly stood, but no one moved. Perhaps because they really were kids with nowhere to go, they at least seemed to have some thinking in them.


When I searched the dead chief’s pockets, 20 copper coins came out. The bent practice longsword abruptly brushed past my mind and crumpled my face, but with the tip-off from the remaining kids, I could find the hidden cash. There were 4 silver coins and 40 copper in a small pouch when I opened the box used as the chair, and I could smile brightly.

It was infinitely lacking to call it a compensation for insulting Asileye, but it wasn’t bad for a side income.

I planned to keep the 4 silver coins and use the rest on these guys. Like that, we crawled out of the alley with the corpse and the warehouse behind us, and went and found a clothing store at the market.

It was a used-clothing store that fixed up clothes ordinary families stop wearing after a while and resold them at an extremely cheap price.

“Uncle Tex! Long time no see!”

When I did this and that chores for a while trying to learn the market prices, I delivered clothes sold cheap by families and became familiar with the owner-uncle.

“Eh? Isn’t this Eldmia? You look like you get bigger every time I see you.”

“‘Cause I’m at an age that’s still growing. Anyway, I’m trying to buy some clothes in better shape than the rags these guys are wearing. Do you have anything that’ll fit?”

When I pointed at the ragged bunch following behind me in a line, Uncle Tex turned his already thick chin into a triplet and began drawing an intersection on his forehead.

“I do, but... aren’t those kid vagrants? What’re you gonna use them for?”

“Yeah, vagrants. They just didn’t look right, so I’m gonna give them work.”

“You really are an oddball, anyhoo. Skirts for the girls? One-piece?”

“Huh, the world. Just what is it about war.”

Even as he took the copper coins I passed, Tex looked pitifully at the kids and clicked his tongue. He too was a father with three children, and even in my eyes he was a man really really overflowing with fatherly love.

Although the ones that actually saw loss from the war were just one among them, I didn’t particularly point it out.

“Even so, we got a plan to save those guys because there’s people like uncle. Going by that, isn’t this still a good world?”

“Just by how you talk, you really are better than my son. Why don’t you... no. I almost said nonsense from getting old. Forget it.”

He probably was going to say just live in this village, or as a joke say be my son. But the family circumstance of the sole survivor Eldmia Egga was a story that everyone in the village knew of. He likely thought that it wasn’t a topic to bring up as a joke.

I felt thankful for that kindness and drew a bright smile.

When I took up the clothes we earned like that and then came out after I threw them into a public bath, it was already 4 in the afternoon. Since the dirty brats would have to wash for an hour to properly wash themselves either way, I directly went to our final destination, the inn, and acted cute towards the inn owner Alisha.

“Sis! I came!”

“Who’s your sis you mannerless brat!”

When I deceptively cheerfully opened the door and entered the 1st floor, Alisha, who was cooking alone in the room where the kitchen and the dining hall were connected into one, glared with her eyes and shouted.

The over-50-years-old expletive-spouting aunt waved the kitchen knife in her hand and seemed to be erupting with rage.

“Asileye is sis too, so of course Alisha sis is a sis. No?”

“Bullshit. A tiny brat is already thinking of a line perfect for snaring a girl; it’s the end of the world, the end. Why’d you come!”

“You have a room?”

“Stop bullshitting and go home. You acting like this ‘cause Asileye isn’t beating you up? Sleeping outside already, really?”

Yes. Wherever and anytime, she was a curse-shouting aunt. But however much her voice went up and contained expletives, there was thoughtful kindness at the core. That kindness was in everything from the building to the food, and provided the best rooms and meals among the 2 copper coin worth inns in the village.

“No. Not me but five vagrant kids. Currently washing ‘cause I’m gonna make them work starting tomorrow.”

“...ahuuh, fuck. There’s exactly the right rooms from a guy coincidentally leaving today, so bring them or whatever. And the meal?”

“‘Course I gotta feed them here. Ah, I’m gonna eat back at home.”

“Fucking making me busier when I’m already dying from being busy!”

Even then, her hands tirelessly moved to prepare additional ingredients. When I passed just the room fees in advance and then brought back the kids that finished washing, she was already waiting with even the plates all laid out. With the kids whose eyes were turning and mouths watering at the hefty chunks that in no way could be called a 1-copper-coin-worth stew before me, I strictly stated.

“This is the owner and the chef of the inn you guys will be sleeping in, madam Alisha. If you guys have the thing called a head on you, you should easily feel the love overflowing between madam’s loud voice and expletives, so always be thankful to her.”

“Stop bullshitting and gobble up quick! The foods’ cooling!”

Within the warm stew, pieces of meat that definitely should’ve disappeared if it was boiled together were a little, but evenly divided among the five bowls.