Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「The Capital City Olav」Part 1
The next day, Ariane and I transferred to a location overlooking Hoban’s city gates with 【Transfer Gate】. We didn’t stay for long since I instantly started to use 【Dimensional Step】repeatedly to travel in the direction of Rhoden’s capital.
The elf we saved yesterday was staying at Dylan’s home in Raratoia and was set to leave the village tomorrow morning.
Last night I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious meal and bath at Ariane’s home. When I get a house, I’m going to make sure that I’ll have a bath for my exclusive use.
The thousand gold coins in my luggage bag were also the reason my desire to get a home of my own was growing.
Ariane’s mother Glenys said I could come and go as I pleased, but something was preventing me from accepting that invitation.
The reason for that was the condition attached to that offer, which was that Ponta had to accompany me.
I could only tip my hat to Ponta for her ability ensnare the hearts of women and children.
Ponta was at her usual spot atop my helmet, and she would occasionally yawn at as she gazed at the scenery in-between the transfers.
It would normally take two days of traveling via carriage to reach the capital from Hoban, but the three of us didn’t even need half a day thanks to the use of 【Dimensional Step】.
Besides, the only scenery around here was that of a calming plain and occasional villages and their fields. With 【Dimensional Step】, any large distance can be easily traversed.
Since the highway leading into the capital had a lot of pedestrian traffic, I transferred a little bit off to the side of the road so that we weren’t seen.
Along the way, we came across a great river flowing south from the north.
Approaching the boundary of the river, I could see that the gentle current allowed the sunlight to be reflected off the water.
Soon we came across a large bridge built across the river, and visible beyond it was a large sprawling city.
Though it was difficult to describe the scenery that spread out in front of my eyes, the capital, separated into four layers by the walls that were built inside it, seemed to be the epitome of the architecture prevalent in human territories.
“This is a masterpiece……”
When I had that slip of the tongue while glancing at the city, Ariane tilted her head in confusion.
“What was that?”
“Hmm, it’s nothing.”
I shook my head while answering Ariane’s question before I once again stared ahead.
We made our way onto the highway and blended into the crowd heading towards the city.
The main reason we were heading towards Olav was to gather information for future operations.
We still had a few names on the sale contracts that we needed to look into: Londes De Lanbaltic and Drusus De Barishimon.
Since Hoban will be rather chaotic after the rebellion, we decided to go to the capital in order to look for information about the remaining two names.
In the distance, I could see the outlines of multiple people and carriages crossing the large bridge built over the Rydell River in front of the capital.
On the other side of the bridge, the road leading into the city was similar to the one in Diento. However, unlike Diento, the city’s urban district stretched into the third and fourth sections.
After crossing the bridge straddling the Rydell River, the city walls of the royal capital became visible.
The walls were over 30 meters high and the lack of trees, like those that surrounded Raratoia, only made them appear even taller.
We were approaching the 10-meter tall eastern gate now and one could tell how prosperous city was by simply looking at the vast amount of carriages and people that passed through it.
Ariane and I join the line for pedestrians that was beside the one for carriages and waited while watching the waves of people who entered the gate.
It wasn’t long before we found ourselves in front of the guards.
The guard didn’t give me more than an empty, fleeting look before he started to automatically recite a phrase he must’ve said an uncountable number of times today.
“Identification or 1 sek entrance fee.”
The guard spoke in the business-like tone and silently gestured for us to pass through the gate after I handed him 2 silver coins before he moved on to the next person in line.
I looked up at the large opened gate as we entered the Rhoden Kingdom’s capital for the first time.
The street beyond the gate was the same width as the gate and paved with stone. Shops lined both sides of the street and the large amount of people passing by gave the impression of being in a huge mall.
The people wore a variety of different clothes and all the hustle and bustle gave the capital a real sense of vigor.
Ponta’s restless movements were transferred from the top of my head as she looked at the scenery.
However, the capital was starting to show signs of the problems with having such a high population density. As the saying goes, “Fires and fights bloom in Edo.”, and that became all the more obvious as we approached the crowded marketplace.
We came upon a group of muscular men fighting against one person, and by all odds the single man should’ve been at the disadvantage.
Yet that wasn’t the case as the outnumbered man was well over two meters tall, wearing a turban-like hat on his head and a piece of cloth over his mouth. His upper body was bare, except for a mantle, revealing muscle that seemed as strong as tempered steel.
Despite the large crowd, the man’s presence could be felt all the way over here and for a moment I even thought I saw the Conqueror of Century’s End¹.
“You bastard! What’s a Shima like you doing in Dica territory!!”
The poor hoodlums were putting on a show of false bravado in front of the turban wearing conqueror. It appeared that the territorial distribution agreement between the locale gangs had been broken.
However, the conquer either didn’t remember the agreement or didn’t see the men as much of a threat, as he only glanced down at the men once before trying to move on.
“Bastard don’t just ignore us!!”
Suddenly the situation reached a boiling point as the hoodlums surrounding the turban-wearing conquer drew their daggers.
The spectators seeing the bloodshed that was about to happen started to scream as they backed away.
However, what followed were the screams of the men that had been shouting at the conqueror. The man with the turban had managed to approach two of the hoodlums and lifted them with a vice-like grip by their heads.
“Gyaaaaaaaaa!! My head! My Heeead!!”
“Make it stop!! Make it stop!!!
The two men struggled to break free as they cried out in pain as the turban-wearing conqueror mercilessly tightened his hold on their skulls, till the point where sounds of something cracking could be heard.
This display of an overwhelming difference in strength caused the surrounding bystanders to go motionless as they wondered if the men’s skulls would be crushed.
“You crazy bastards!! What do you think you’re doing!!”
Hearing the all the commotion, guards started to approach the area while pushing their way through the crowd. Upon seeing the guards, the spectators began to scatter in every direction.
When I looked back I saw that the Conqueror of Century’s End had disappeared as well, leaving behind nothing but two unconscious men with stained crotches.
“Such a barbaric place……”
While frowning at the smell of the urine, Arian let out a sigh from beneath her cloak.
“It’s convenient for use that this place is slightly barbaric, full of so many people, and easy to get lost in.”
Ariane and I were having this exchange while we were walking away from the scene of the incident.
“First, let’s find an inn to stay in, then we’ll split up to search for some information……”
I agreed with the seemingly tired Ariane as we made our way through the city while discussing our future plans.
After walking the streets for a while, I tapped one passerby on his arm and ask for directions.
“Excuses me, I’m looking for an inn. You wouldn’t happen to know anywhere good?”
“Huh? O-Oh…… well shouldn’t a knight such as yourself be able to stay in the second district?”
The young man’s eye bulged when a strange knight started speaking to him, but he managed to give me a proper response.
According to the youth, we were now in the fourth district and the higher status and the more wealth you possessed allowed you to move closer to the center of the city.
Only nobles were allowed to stay in the first district and it was a rarity for a commoner to pass through those gates.
After thanking the youth with a silver coin, Ariane and I continued down the main street.
The main street stretched from the east gate all the way to the second gate, and soon we found our way to the third district’s gate.
The gate was around twenty meters tall and even the walls to the left and right of it were rather nice. There was a variety of stalls along the wall in a similar fashion to shops set up under the underpass downtown.
The security on both sides of the gate wasn’t all that impressive, only having a guard station on each side. When we crossed the gate, the miscellaneous sounds of people moving about calmed down, but the number people remained unchanged for the most part.
However, unlike the wooden buildings that filled the fourth district, the buildings in the third district were made of stone and in a arranged in a somewhat elegant manner.
Since we would be more noticeable in the more upscale districts, we decided to look for an inn here.
Turning off the main road and walking down the shop-lined streets, we eventually came upon a large flowing waterway. The gondolas that were carrying people and luggage back and forth along the waterway gave off the impression of being in Venice.
There was a stone bridge that the gondolas would sail under, and it lead to a residential area.
The street wasn’t as crowded as the main street and along with the shops there were restaurants and inns lining the streets.
We entered one of the three-story inns and booked separate rooms for Ariane and myself.
Since tonight’s lodgings had been taken care of, Ariane and I split up after leaving the inn and began to gather information in the city.
Because the city was larger than a normal town, I decided to walk the main street so that I wouldn’t get lost.
Besides, I wasn’t sure I could get much information in the back alleys──, I walk the streets with that excuse in mind.
I never thought that I would have so much of a problem with information collecting.
Since Ferris De Hoban a noble with a city named after his family, it was likely that the remaining two people were lords with their own cities named after them.
If that’s the case, then I simply had to search for cities with the names of Barishimon and Lanbaltic.
The easiest way to find this information would be to speak some merchants, as it’s a requirement of their trade to be knowledgeable on that sort of things.
With that in mind, I retrace the path leading to the inn since it was a good place to start
I turned the last corner and came upon the row of stalls that lined the third district wall.
A lot of the stalls had been offering a variety of different fruits and vegetables, causing Ponta to wag her tail rapidly on top of my head.
Ponta started to fidget even more when we walked by a certain stall.
An old man was selling some dried berries by weight at the stall. The bitter-sweet smell coming from the barrel full of berries seemed to have greatly stimulated Ponta’s nose.
“Old man, two cups of berries, please. Put them in there……”
I reached inside by luggage bag and handed the old man a small leather pouch.
“Yes. Anytime, Knight-sama.”
Although rather slowly, the old man scooped the dried berries into the pouch I handed him.
“Oh yeah, Old man. I have a question. Do you know where the Lanbaltic or Barishimon territories are in relation to this city.”
When I asked the old man that question he tilted his head a little before nodding his head like he remembered something.
“Oh, I know where Lanbaltic is. You take the highway out of the west gate to reach the port city of Lanbaltic.”
“Hoo? To the west. How far away is it?”
The old man folds his arms and furrowed his brow as he looked up at the sky.
“Hmm〜 it’d be about six days by carriage……”
That’s quite the distance if it takes six days by carriage……
“Have you heard anything about Barishimon?”
“Sorry, I haven’t heard anything about that〜”
The old man looked at the sky for a while before shaking his head no.
“That so. Don’t worry about it old timer. This is for your troubles.”
I gave the old man five silver coins for the bag of dried berries and information.
The old man’s eyes bulged when he saw the coins but he immediately gave me a toothy grin.
As I left the stall, I started to feed Ponta the dried berries. I went to the other stalls to try to collect some information on Barishimon, but no one seemed to have heard of the name.
I succeeded in finding out some more information about Lanbaltic, but I couldn’t find anything on Barishimon. When I was starting to think that we had the wrong name, someone called out to me from behind.
“It’s been awhile.”
When I looked back, I saw someone I had met somewhere before.