I’m visiting Village Five at the rate of once every ten days.
Youko seems to want me to come more frequently but we’re preparing for winter.
I also visit Village Five as a part of our preparation for winter.
In case of a blizzard, we should be ready to evacuate to Village Five.
Maa, even if we don’t go to Village Five, I feel like we can live without any problem in Big Tree Dungeon….
Better safe than sorry.
Even so, what I’m doing in Village Five is receiving the greetings of merchants who cooperate in stockpiling food and fuel.
Even if I don’t receive their greetings, I’m sure there won’t be a problem in stockpiling food and fuel but people need to rely on each other especially in times of emergency.
I also have to connect faces with them.
Connecting faces means getting to know each other.
I need to at least know their names, how they look, and what business they are running.
However, I have memory problems.
I think my memory is….normal.
It’s a challenge to remember all those merchants with my normal memory skill.
First of all, there are many of them.
They are 35.
Then, their names are similar.
I understand that siblings and parents have different stores but why do they have to choose similar names for their stores?
In some cases, I think that both parents and children are harassing me by choosing similar names for their businesses.
Another thing is, they have the same fashion.
Did I do something that made them hate me?
When I asked the civil servant girls next to me, they denied my claim.
They are wearing similar clothes because I praised the clothing store that’s selling them.
Did I ever praise a clothing store?
I usually wear clothes made by Zabuton so I rarely go to a clothing store.
When I was thinking about when, a civil servant girl told me.
There was a merchant that praised my clothes so I praised the merchant’s clothes in return.
Now that she said that, I may have praised that clothing store indirectly.
But that’s only a casual chat.
I can’t even remember.
I don’t even remember what kind of clothes it was.
Ah, the one I praised is what these people are wearing now.
So that’s the reason why everyone’s wearing the same fashion.
Does that mean that merchants are sharing information among each other?
To prevent being despised by me, they are cooperating with each other?
That means they are helping each other.
It’s not a bad thing to be closed but should I inculcate to them to not gang up and control the price of a product?
Are there merchants like that in Village Five?
Let’s trust them.
It’s not good to doubt them from the start.
While trying not to miss anything important to my casual chat with the merchants, I finished receiving their greetings.
I asked the civil servant girls whether there were problems with my response.
They said that there’s no problem but I persistently ask.
Recently, the civil servant girls no longer correct my mistakes so there’s a tendency that what I’m doing is not correct.
I think they might have been influenced by Ruincia.
Because of that, I’m not letting my guard down.
Ah, there were a few points after all.
I’ll listen to you obediently and try to correct it.
Since there was that fashion thing, I have to be more careful of what I’m saying.
After greeting the merchants, I observed the race held at the foot of the mountain.
The horse of Big Tree Village, Belford, that I love to ride should be competing but he was removed from all the races he should have been participating in.
For some reason, other horses don’t even try getting ahead of him.
Belford looks bored too.
He practiced hard after all.
Other races were really exciting.
I can even hear roars of joy and voices of sadness in each race.
I can even hear screams of joy one race after another from Prada who’s near me.
She seemed to have earned a lot.
I thought she’s amazing, at least until the final race when she raised a voice of regret.
I feel like I understood Prada’s character a little.
Prada informed us about the bandits that attacked us last auction.
According to her information, it seems like the remnant of that band of bandits came to Village Five too so they were all captured.
As a result, the bandit group of more than a hundred people was disposed of by forced labor.
They work in two groups.
The first one is the adventurers group.
They are subjugating monsters and demon beasts in the forest around Village Five and pay part of the subjugation reward as fine.
The other one is the workers group.
They are working in the construction and food and beverage industries of Village Five. And of course, part of their pay will be taken as fine.
In both cases, they are not staying or sleeping in prison but renting a few cheap houses and are living in groups.
Considering their rents and daily living expenses, it seems like they will have to continue working for the next five years in order to pay up.
Is that harsh….?
They are free.
Their food is free too.
「Youko-sama said that it is more efficient to have them choose their job than forcing them to do something they don’t want.」
That’s true but, won’t that diminish the meaning of punishment….?
Maa, let’s leave that part to Youko.
I will not say anything unnecessary.
The bandits have apologized to me again and again so I accepted their apology.
By the way, Prada’s the one in charge of the bandits.
That night in Village Five.
Yuri is singing on the stage.
It’s quite an exciting performance.
I guess it’s because she’s dressed like an idol and singing idol-like songs.
Or maybe because the band behind her is playing well.
When I thought of that, I stared at the band and was surprised to see that the band playing were the noble ladies that greeted me last auction.
Their instruments are lute, harp, drum, and flute.
Maa, they sound great but the drum sounds a little quieter.
There were five noble ladies back then but….where’s the other one?
Is she a props man?
Or did she leave?
When I asked the civil servant girls, they said that those noble ladies were members of noble families that make a living with music.
In short, they came from artist noble families.
They are originally commoners that gained the title of nobles after being recognized for their art.
They are the type of nobles that won’t be given territories but they’ll be given an annual salary in accordance with the rank of peerage they receive from the royal family.
Of course, because it is impossible for the whole family to live by relying on the annual salary, they will earn money by performing in a concert or by being music tutors.
Even those four noble ladies are famous tutors even if they are still young.
In other words, they are not even showing what they truly are capable of.
Looking at them play, they indeed look at ease.
「However, those with high pride don’t want to be taught by them because they are too young….」
Is that how Yuri managed to invite them as her band members?
What about that one at the backstage?
「She’s a mage that can make sound louder.」
I did not notice.
So that’s why I can clearly hear the songs and the sounds.
That’s an amazing magic.
I’m sorry for thinking that you left.
Yuri sang six songs and made everyone watching full of excitement.
I think she’s wonderful.
When Yuri began her greeting and moved near me, I praised her.
However, Yuri looks dissatisfied.
Did you make a blunder?
Ah, because a louder cheer can now be heard when someone stands on the stage.
Everyone’s more excited compared to when Yuri was performing.
The name of the one who stood on the stage was Five-kun.
The proud mascot of Village Five.
「To lose to that, I’m not convinced….」