Chapter 47.4 : Ariadya For Those Who Becoming Rich
「Those self-proclaimed heroes were surprisingly weak… Compared to Reiji, can they even be called heroes?」
Among us, Sahoko was the weakest in terms of strength. But that didn’t mean defeating her was easy.
「Enough talking about that event, Chiyuki-san. You know Reiji-senpai is special.」
Nao said ‘special’ with a strange tone as if making fun of that fact. Nevertheless, she was right. Compared to Reiji, those ‘heroes’ left much to be desired.
Even in our homeworld, only a few men could fight against Reiji on equal grounds.
When I looked at Nao, I noticed the rat she held in her hand. According to her, the rat had slipped into our luggage at some point in the journey.
It was my first time seeing that type of rat. Its shiny red fur reflected the lighting inside the room, making it look like it was on fire. The round body resembled a hamster. If it didn’t have such a cute face, Nao would have thrown it away the moment she caught it.
But it looked so cute that she wanted to keep it as a pet.
「Nao-san, it’s about time for our meal. Can you put the rat beneath the table?」
Nao swiftly tied the rat with a tough thin cord to prevent it from escaping. At first, the rat seemed to hate the cord but it gradually calmed down.
Maybe I was just imagining things, but I got the feeling that the rat understood human language.
After the rat was secured under the table, a middle-aged plump man entered the room. He was the owner of the mansion, Tormalkis.
「Thank you for waiting, everyone.」
Tormalkis was married to Atlan, the person we saved earlier. After our conference with Clasus, Atlan led him to meet us.
It seemed that he wanted to express his gratitude to us for saving his wife with a feast and a free night at the inn.
「Thank you very much for your invitation today, Tormalkis-dono.」
As the group’s spokesperson, I put my hand on my chest and bowed toward Tormalkis in gratitude.
He was quite wealthy, even compared to other Republic citizens. However, he wasn’t native to Ariadya.
Being a successful businessman, he gained citizenship in Ariadya by investing in public facilities. He was even chosen as a Diet (parliament) member in response to his philanthropic actions.
「Nonono, I’m the one who needs to express his gratitude for saving my dear wife, O great heroes. Unfortunately, my wife must leave due to a pressing matter. Please forgive her sudden exit. In exchange, allow me to show my gratitude to you, Reiji-sama.」
After he said so, Atlan left her seat.
Reiji made an extremely disappointed face once he discovered that Atlan was leaving. I restrained my urge to tell him not to reach his hand toward someone else’s wife. [ED: scumbag][TL:Agree]
「We put our everything into cooking today’s dishes.」
That seemed to be the keyword for the servants to come in carrying the dishes. Fortunately, there were only young men and women amiss the servants. I felt relieved when I didn’t spot any Goblins.
Maybe it was because of his wealth, but Tormalkis preferred using human servants, which had a higher cost than Goblins.
He was just a normal citizen, not even a native. And yet he was wealthier than most influential people in this country. It may be a common situation in other countries, but not in Ariadya.
The young men served the dishes to me, Rino, Nao, and Sahoko while the young women served Reiji. None of them were ugly, they all had very refined appearances.
Maybe they weren’t just common servants. The inn might provide sexual entertainment for the clients who asked for such things.
But that kind of service wasn’t in our interest. I believe being entertained by an unknown man might irritate Sahoko the most.
Honestly speaking, it would have been better to replace the young men serving Sahoko with more women serving Reiji.
Reiji grinned non-stop while he was entertained by those young women.
How dare you!!
「Well, then. Go ahead, everyone.」
Tormalkis’s words prompted everyone to look at the dishes prepared for us. There was a mixture of dishes including cheeses, fish roes, and salads.
There was roast beef garnished with foie gras, fragrant mushroom soup, baked vegetables and meat pie wrapped with wheat flour. There was also some kind of fish steamed with herbs. [ED: why u do dis,? I hungry]
For dessert, there was a cake-like dessert with many layers of nuts. Each layer was kneaded with honey. They even added some sugary white ice cubes.
That was not all. More dishes had yet to arrive at the table.
And every dish was made with rare ingredients.
「Quite the luxurious banquet. It’s my first time seeing these types of dishes.」
I took a sip of the liquor made of dried fruits. The rich aroma spread through my nose as I brought it to my lips.
「I have to say, only Ariadya can display this kind of sumptuous feast in this world.」
Tormalkis had a delighted expression on his face. His tone was polite, but I could sense the cynicism in his words as if he looked down on the country hick.
The young man assigned to me gave me an in-depth explanation of the dishes. Where that fish came from, what part of which animal that meat was… Long story short, they practically used ingredients from every country.
However, these delicacies all had a point in common: none of them were specialty dishes from Ariadya.
From what stories I’ve heard, Republic Ariadya’s self-sufficiency rate was zero.
We’ve encountered many self-sufficient countries so far, but it was the first time I learned of a country with zero capabilities of sustaining itself. That might be a factor in why the demon populace was so scarce around this country.
I had long wondered why the territories of the city-states were generally so small. The demons might be the answer.
The expansion of human territories was probably being suppressed by the Demonkind. Humanity was very weak, after all. Even a mere Goblin was a threat to a human at night.
Since demons were always an inhibiting factor in the distribution of goods between countries, a city/country shouldn’t depend solely on imported goods.
That was why self-sufficient cities became the norm. Including daily necessities, citizens also needed to protect their city.
After a long time passed, such a flow of events would turn a city into a country.
But the Republic Ariadya was the sole exception.
The Republic formed a trade with its neighbors called the Ariad Union. The Union could be considered a country, with the Republic Ariadya as its capital.
Unfortunately, the recent events placed the Ariad Union in a crisis. Usually, an errant Goblin could be found only once or twice along the Union’s highways. Or, in the case of mountain roads, you might find a Harpy.
Since the prison break, there were half-human, half-fish creatures in Ariad’s Bay, Lizardmen attacking merchant ships docked on the Quiche River and Centaurs raiding the highways of the Minon Plain like bandits.
None of those races were natives of the area. At the moment, the damage wasn’t that great because their numbers were low.
But that could be remedied because demons could mate with humans. By kidnapping human women and breeding with them, they could bolster their numbers quickly. Soon, the whole area would become hard for humans to live in, just like in other countries.
Clasus assured us no superior Orc species were among the prison escapees, but it was obvious that those Orcs were attacking in flocks. Either there was a superior Orc among them or someone else controlled the Orcs.
Orcs were native of the region around Ariadya, but they rarely approached human settlements. However, the raids along the highways suggested a change in their ways.
Once they started assaulting human women, they would become a threat to the humans living nearby. And the majority of the human cities that lived nearby…
… Had self-sufficiency rates just as low as the Republic Ariadya.
If the circulation of goods kept getting delayed because of demon raids, those countries would fall into ruin. The damage wouldn’t be immediate because they probably had emergency rations stored. But how long could they resist in that situation?
Clasus acting so humble in front of us was a sign of how dangerous the situation in Ariadya had become. He was willing to use every method available to get out of that predicament.
「Good grief… Demons are finally running rampant just like in the rest of the world. And yet…」
I commented on a very low voice. In my opinion, Ariadya was a bit too luxurious, considering the situation.
Judging by how those men kept carrying in one dish after another, Ariadya had yet to show us its true wealth. But if the flow of money stopped, they might be unable to afford such a luxurious lifestyle anymore. Or so Tormalkis told us while laughing loudly.
He didn’t seem to feel any sort of crisis approach, nor did he seem worried about the situation. He should be a merchant, so the trade route blockade should spell trouble for him.
And yet, he didn’t appear the least bit interested in that matter. It was like he had no ability in business.
His current success might be all thanks to his wife, Atlan, who wasn’t present.
I wondered where she was… Could it be she had an important meeting with the other merchants regarding the runaway demons?
Many people had already started planning countermeasures against the demons. We were also going to start tomorrow.
It seemed that the other Heros made their move.
I held the liquor on my lips. It was so rich in flavor.