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KENS Chapter 47

Chapter 47 Team Battles (1)

The sky as clear. Only a few white clouds could be seen  and the sun shone bright making us feel warmer than we should as it was winter.

As if this warmth had been the reason, the capital was bursting with energy and liveliness and the main street was filled with people. Along the side of the street, countless stores selling various kinds of eatables were lined up and the appetizing smell of roasted meat and fresh fruits filled the air.

Other than that, shops selling accessories, delicately crafted swords and shields made for decorative purposes were also there. Oc course, such stalls were equally crowded as well.

The stone buildings had been decorated and the open windows or swing-doors showed much more customers inside than usual. Especially inside inns and bars. Even though it was still mid day, many people were already drinking beer happily.

Everyone was thoroughly enjoying this day. The whole atmosphere made me feel jolly as well. Seeing such a scene made me feel the peaceful of side of this world.

“Even though there’s so much people on the streets, you sure you don’t want to keep your restaurant open?”(renji)

“Well, I was summoned by the king himself, I can’t prioritize my restaurant over that now can I?”

“Well, I guess that’s true.”

Saying that, he sighed. It’s a lighter one than usual but a sigh was a sigh. I felt a bit bad for him as well.

It’s a great thing to be summoned by the king. Though that man feels more like that old energetic man who lives in your neighbourhood rather than the King but if somebody heard me say that, I’ll be thrown in jail for lese majeste so I won’t. And I do respect the man still.

And King Joshua didn’t mean any harm when summoning him either. In fact, the king even goes as far as to listen to all our requests as much as he can as well. But still, he just doesn’t like standing out like that. He is a proper commoner at the very core after all.

[You say that but you don’t hate it either do you?]

“Well, I guess not. It’s rare for all of us to assemble together like this usually after all.”

“That’s sad in its own way.”(renji)

“…….Yamada-san, you’re one of the main reasons for that you know?”

“I had no intention to make it so though?”

As I shrugged my shoulders while passing through the crowd of people, I could hear his deep sigh even among all this commotion. Was it just my imagination that I felt even coldness and astonishment in his sigh? According to him, the reason why all 13 of us aren’t together is because I went away on my journey.

When he says it like that, I guess he probably isn’t wrong. I, for one, don’t like staying in one place for very long after all. Though I did spend almost months lazing around in the same village. That said, it’s pretty much the same if its not a big city like the capital. It’s pretty much the same as me not being there. And above that, Souichi and others were living in the Magic city, Masaki-chan was in Tactics City and Yui-chan was……….where the hell was she before this? I feel like someone said that she had been travelling all over the place on her Fafnir.

I don’t even know where the rest of them are, so I guess, such occasions were rare. That said, it’s still not all 13 of us.

“But still, is it fine to go in those clothes Toudou?”(renji)

“You’re the last man I want to hear this from, Yamada-san.”(toudou)

[Seriously.]

Toudou was currently wearing extremely casual clothes made of good fabric that most of the people in this city wore. If not for his jet black hair, noone would even think that he was one of the 13 heroes. That’s how similar to normal people his clothes were.

Similarly, I looked pretty much the same as any adventurer would. Since it was winter now, I had a fur mantle and thick clothes. Without the mantle and the mithril sword hanging on my waist, I would also look not any different than normal people. In fact I feel like the elves or beastmen walking around felt more adventurer-like than me.

I wonder what she thought of us as Ermenhilde gave another sigh. It’s convenient how her voice directly resounds in my head especially in such crowds and noise.

“That said, I am amazed that you actually felt like taking part in the tournament this time, Yamada-san.”(toudou)

“Hm?”

“After all, you can’t use Eru-san in the tournament and don’t you hate fighting in the first place?”

I looked towards the man beside me who was slightly shorter than me in height. His shoulder long hair, that he simply found too much effort to cut, had been tied behind his head in a small ponytail and it swayed as he walked. Having grown up more from the time we travelled back then, his gentle expression made his face look much more amiable.

Toudou Hiiragi. One of the 13, and my comrade.

Toudou, who was a very good friend of mine, while moving his plump body, walked in a very relaxed manner as if enjoying the atmosphere of the city.

“Well I had my circumstances which resulted in me taking part.”

“Hmmm.”

“I may not look it but I am busy with various things, you know?”

” ‘Various things’, eh?”

“Yes, various things.”

[What the hell are you guys even talking?]

These various things include, debt repayment and things like that. It kinda feels pathetic to tell others about it. And listening to Utano-san repays it back anyway………I feel like a dominated husband. Please let this be just my imagination.

“In my cae, I have just been lonely since nobody comes to my restaurant anymore. Yuuko-san did visit once in a while till some time ago though.”

“Well she’s been busy with tournament and stuff. She’s taken up too much on herself already, or rather, tries to do everything herself.”

“Yeah, I get what you’re saying. That said, it’s because we weren’t of much help that this happened though.”

“That’s true.”

Toudou lacked fighting skills, his job is literally a cook after all. He was the one who always prepared meals for us while on our journey. In my case, I can only fight against monsters with Ermenhilde’s help. As a result, all work that used the brain went to Utano-san.

……….well maybe I’m over exaggerating a bit. Even we used our heads once in a while when required. But most of the time, our plans would be full of holes or would be unable to explain what we thought of to others properly. And also, since we had received super powered cheats from the Goddess, we always had the option to just charge in head on. We had a way of fighting that’d be impossible for humans of this world. Now whether that was good thing or not is debateable. In my opinion, it’s probably the latter. Now that I think about it, it’s amazing how we survived being so reckless like that. No matter how well you could use a weapon or magic, we still were commoners in our heads, it made us realize that.

Even if you learn the results or history of wars, we weren’t taught how to set up soldiers and their formations or warfare tactics, etc. It was always Utano-san who could convert her and our ideas into a proper [plan]. Much more efficient and safer than charging head on, she led us through the battles.

“It’s been one year from then but she still likes to order others around.”(renji)

“That probably applies to only you, Yamada-san.”

[He’s soft towards women after all.]

“Stop saying such misleading things, will you?”

Saying that, I lightly hit Ermenhilde over my pocket.

“Somehow it feels weird.”(toudou)

“Hm?”

“For Yamada-san to call Eru-san by her full name.”

[Really?]

“Or rather…….Eru, that’s also a name though?”(renji)

“Well true but still.”

[Hasn’t it been always like that?]

“Eh?”

At that moment, Toudou certainly stopped in his tracks and looked at me with confusion.

Taking his gaze, I ignored it and continued walking.

“Well, things happened here as well.”(renji)

“………..is that so?”(toudou)

“Ain’t that right, Ermenhilde?”

[Seriously. Like getting new comrades, and a huge debt.]

“Comrades aside, could you not speak about the latter?”

Saying that, I hit Ermenhilde to shut her up.

Seriously, she starts saying useless things the moment I stop paying attention.

“Well, not much has changed………I guess?”(toudou)

“Who knows? We may have changed somewhat surely. You seem to have put on some weight after all.”

When I made fun of him, he poked me with his elbow. Since he didn’t complain means he’s aware of it as well.

Well he was always on the fatter side but not as much as now. He must be pretty conscious about it, it seems.

I gave a sigh having successfully changed the topic. One day I will have to tell them but somehow, I didn’t have the courage to. Hiding that deep inside  my heart, I continued walking while facing forward. Toudou seems to have let go it as well.

“I’ve stopped going on journeys, and don’t even have to fight monsters anymore. You can get Orc meat just by ordering from the adventurer guild after all.”(toudou)

[You should, at least, move your body somewhat in my opinion.]

“Being a cook is still a pretty energy consuming job though.”

Hearing that, though I felt bad, I ended up laughing. This guy won’t be travelling anymore I think, I’m sure.

Managing his own restaurant, having employees, he’s enjoying his different world life already. He’s already become a part of this world completely. As a citizen of the capital. With the danger to the world now gone, he didn’t have any reason to travel around like back then.

He might take up monster subjugation requests once in a while but that’s about it. When I thought about it like that, my friend laughing beside me suddenly felt like he was far away making me feel slightly envious.

“It sounds nice and peaceful, so it’s good.”(renji)

“Of course. Though the danger of monsters and demons is still there, the main problem has been taken care of after all.”

While laughing he said that but he poked me with his elbow again. Realizing what he meant, I felt a bit heavier inside.

The main problem he talked about——-the subjugation of the Demon God. It was me who completed it and the number of sacrifices made to achieve that were uncountable. Among those, the person I wanted to protect the most is also included. But…….the capital was filled with smiles. Men and women, whether to my right or left, whether it be humans, demi-humans, beastmen, everyone had smiles on their faces.

Even though there was so much danger in the world, they could still say with confidence that they had peace.

Sometimes I realize how well we have adapted to this world. Back in our own world, I didn’t even think about such things.

Even though the capital is protected by huge walls, the threat from monsters was not nil. Though uncommon in Imnesia, there were monsters that could fly. Demons can also fly with magic. there was always a chance that this jolly festivities could instantly turn into a hell of screams and despair.

Even while knowing that, we still consider this world to be at peace. Still, we laugh like this. Not crying and getting depressed over the people who died for this cause was not in any way an insult to those men and women. After all, they put their lives on the line solely for this.

“So Yamada-san, are you taking part in today’s team matches?”(toudou)

“No, not in this one. But one of my comrade in my current party is taking part so I thought I’d go cheer them on.”(renji)

“I see.”

When I said that, Toudou sounded happy for some reason.

While giving him a sidelong glance, I bought two skewered Orc meat and gave one to Toudou.

“Thanks. Speaking of comrades, where had you been travelling till now?”(toudou)

[Just roaming around this continent. He spent almost half the year lazing around in just a village though.]

“You’re not supposed to talk about that.”(renji)

“………..what the hell, Yamada-san?”

I saw astonishment mixed in with his sigh at me. Well, I do understand what you mean.

“Half a year is an exaggeration. It was more like, yeah, 3 months of lazing around.”(renji)

“That’s still quite a lot you know……….”

[Not to mention, if he had not met Francesca, he had no intention to start travelling again as well.]

“Going by the name, it was a woman, eh?”(toudou)

[Yes, it was a woman.]

There, for some reason, both of them seemed to have some mutual understanding. These two get along pretty well as usual.

“What the hell, you guys, do you enjoy teasing me that much?”(renji)

“How is this teasing? We aren’t doing anything like that are we, Eru-san?”(toudou)

[Yeah. I’m just giving a report on you, Renji.]

“Stop that, will you?”(renji)

Saying that, I lightly hit her once more.

“Wait, did you tell the same things to Utano-san as well?”(renji)

[If I had, you would be confined inside the castle for sure by now.]

“uwaahh.”

“Stop with the ‘uwaahh’, I’m not laughing, goddamnit.”(renji)

“No, it just sounded so realistic that I…”

“No, no it’s not!”

What the hell is with this ‘confinement’ talk. Even Utano-san wouldn’t go that far. Probably.

“Speaking of yuuko-san, I just recalled something.”(toudou)

“If this is something ridiculous again, I’ll punch you in the face okay?”

“No, no. I wanted to ask if your relationship progressed any more from then.”

The moment he said that, I threw punch at his face. I had only swung it without any proper swing or anything but still he dodged it without even getting grazed by my fist.

“That was close!”(toudou)

“Seriously. You are curious about the weirdest of things.”(renji)

“That doesn’t mean you can punch me, you know?”

“But you dodged didn’t you?”

“Well, obviously.”

“Don’t dodge.”

“No way.”

[…….You guys sure are enjoying this.]

Well, somewhat I guess. After all, I don’t have many people with whom I can fool around like this. Not because he gets my jokes or anything but more because we usually take our jokes way too far. Though those usually end with me getting my life in danger.

Even from sudden attack Toudou wasn’t perturbed at all. Even his walking speed was the same.

My fist must have seemed like coming in slow motion to him. Even though it was a surprise attack. It’s sad how even the non-combatant member of us 13 still possesses that level of physical ability. If I had to fight Masaki-chan who was a fighter to the core, just how much gap in power will be there? I felt gloopy already. Well, to fight her, I have to first win against O’brien-san though.

“By the way, why go for maid clothes for your employees?”(renji)

“It’s nice isn’t it? That said, they aren’t as in demand in this world as they were in ours.”(toudou)

“Really?”

“Maids are a common thing here after all. Unlike back on earth, it’s not a job filled with hopes and dreams of men.”

“Yeah.”

[Dreams, hopes, in maids??]

“Don’t think too much about it.”(renji)

[??]

Certainly, like Toudou said, maids were common here. Normal people probably won’t hire one but maids working for nobles doing stuff like shopping etc is a common sight. Their job is to serve their master like it was in our world but the maids here are far more polished and refined than the ones in our world in my opinion. Not that I have gone to maid cafes or anything so I wouldn’t really know.

Probably Toudou should be much more knowledgeable in that sense. He has hired maids for his restaurant after all. Well, there’s something about the maid uniform that fascinates you, I agree with that. As a man, I can’t deny it. I could continue complimenting it without restraint if I got a chance. Yup, being  a maid is a proper job.

“Where did you get those uniforms from though?”(renji)

“They had spare ones in the castle so I took those.”

I see, that made sense.

Having your employees in uniforms must look better from another person’s point of view, not that I have any experience as a shop manager or owner though. That said, it might not be true in this world as well.

Uniforms, as a concept, doesn’t really exist in this world. It’s more like designing the clothes that are as easy to move in as possible and don’t get in the way of your work. He must have thought of properly implementing the uniforms as one of the means to make it interesting for customers.

It’s a pretty good approach in my opinion. I guess that also comes from the knowledge of another world? Though he still ended with maid clothes. No matter how seriously you think about it, in the end, he ended with maid clothes. As a man it’s not like I don’t understand him but maybe he should try changing his focus point a bit.

Or rather, shouldn’t he focus more on his own cooking rather than maid clothes? Especially dishes and preparations that don’t exist in this world.

I asked him to tell me more about his cooking rather than continue rambling on about maid clothes.

“Well, I have thought of various things.”(toudou)

[Wow. I’m surprised.]

“………could you two not sound that surprised?”

As both of us looked at him surprised that he had actually thought about it, Toudou made a sad face. He must be thinking that I was almost sure that he had thought of absolutely nothing before opening his restaurant.

Well, his reaction was amusing so I let it as is. Even though like this, I do respect the guy.

Even while not possessing a fighting ability, he stuck along with us till the very end of our journey.  I can still remember him desperately cooking for people crying in burnt villages, with people dying all around.

With his cooking, something we couldn’t do, he saved many. I doubt anyone else could do what he did.

No matter how much you think about it, talk about it, till you take action your feelings don’t reflect anything. No matter how high the ideals you hold, it’s useless if it cannot be seen in your actions.

That’s what it’s like to truly save people.

That’s why, from the bottom of my heart, I respect him. Though he never talks about it.

Having eaten the meat, he twirled and played with the skewer in his hand.

“Well then, I should go to the arena now. What are you going to do Toudou?”(renji)

“It’s already time, eh?”

Saying that, he looked at the sky. It’s because the tournament was set to start when the sun reached its peak. I think only an hour or two remains for that. I need to return, make an appearance and wear that damn heavy armour once more. I felt sluggish just thinking about it. It’s really heavy; that damn armour. Though only because I’m not used to wearing it.

“I’ll come as well. Might as well meet this, Francesca-san was it? Introduce me to her, kay?”(toudou)

“Yeah, sure. Wait, I haven’t already?”(renji)

“No, you haven’t………”

“We even ate at your restaurant though.”

“She came to my restaurant!?! Why didn’t you introduce me then……..”

“No, well, I thought you’d be busy so I would feel bad to distract you.”

“I think it’d be fine to at least talk for a bit!?”

[Hiiragi, Renji’s only enjoying your reactions you know?]

Hearing Ermenhilde’s suggestion, Toudou slumped his shoulders. Umu, his reactions definitely are too amusing.

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