“We wish to offer you the fort to become your residence.”
So announced the old knight.
A mere ten days ago, I was transferred to this world, and woke up in the cells of that very fort. Then I passed that first night there together with Mora, after chasing off all the bandits. Following the destruction of the Shadow Demon nest 5 days ago, I once again stayed 5 more days there, together with the knights and adventurers. It has become the place that has left the deepest impression on me. The layout of the place easily comes to my mind.
But seriously, that place? As my home?
Back when I was a salaryman, I lived in an apartment in a 30-year-old building and had indeed yearned for a standalone house of my own.
“I-, I’m afraid I don’t see where this is coming from.” (Gio)
“This is quite embarrassing for me, but……” (Amrand)
My shock must be visible on my face, because the Grand Cross is smiling wryly.
“The bandits that were based there previously were the relatively quieter type. It seems that their policy was changed after that magician became their head, but…… Up till then, their M.O. had been to demand passage fees narrowly within what merchants and travellers could bear.”
In other words, the Order had purposely let those bandits be, as subjugating them would possibly merely open up the spot for an even more vicious bandit group to take over.
That really is quite embarrassing. But well, I get the world can’t always be perfect.
“So you wish for me to also maintain local public order while living there?”
“I don’t think the word ‘maintain’ is apt here. Public order will be revived. After all, I doubt anyone will commit any acts of evil right under the nose of a Great Wizard.”
That is a really cool way of putting it, but it doesn’t change the fact that he wants to use me. Public order of that area is supposed to be under the Order’s responsibility.
“Pardon me for saying this, but I fail to see much merit for me in this deal.”
“We have no intention of burdening you with any duties. So long as you own the place, you won’t even have to actually live there.”
So, ‘we’ll give you the fort but not the authority over the area,’ is it? The demerits are starting to pile up now.
But well, I’m not actually opposed to lending a hand in preventing bandits from running rampant.
“This might just be my own arbitrary misunderstanding, but don’t famed magicians—and wizards—live in secluded towers?”
He’s got a point. Great magicians and sages from fantasy novels that I’ve read do not live inside cities or towns. Considering the commotion at Yuule and the villagers’ attitude towards me, it might not be a good idea for me to live within a human settlement.
“And in actuality, do you not also wish to be free of the burden of miscellaneous tasks and find a place where you can live quietly?”
Now that he brings it up, that property might not be so bad as a mancave. Forget standalone house with a garden, this property is a fortress surrounded by a forest. That first night, I was so surprised by how quiet it was, and the star-studded sky was amazing too.
“According to reports, the place is almost entirely undamaged. Furthermore, it has already been outfitted with all the facilities necessary for comfortable living.”
That’s true, there weren’t any particular difficulties when I stayed with the knights for those 5 days. The bath that I used was basically a barrel filled with bathwater at the top of the main tower, but the view of the majestic mountains and forests was breathtaking.
…… While I’m thinking about all this, I remember that I also need a place to safely store all the treasure that I’ve been lugging around in my sling bag, as well as a place where I can safely create some magic items.
Oh right. And I still need to make a copy of my spellbook.
“This might not be sufficient as thanks for aiding us with the Shadow Demon subjugation, but please think of it as saving me face.”
“Well, if you put it that way, then I cannot decline it.”
Umu. I’ve made the right choice.
“Hah?? You, are you an idiot??” (Claura)
After hearing my account upon my return, Claura rains freezing water over my parade. How rude.
“My decision was reached after very careful consideration. People won’t come close, it’s quiet, and it’s safe. What problems could there be?” (Gio)
“That is not what I’m talking about! What happened to your promise to go with me to Lelis and turn yourself over to the Magician’s Guild?!” (Claura)
Claura’s eyebrows immediately shoot up and she reaches over to pinch my earlobe again, but I successfully evade her with a beautiful sidestep.
“Come on, I seriously need an environment where I can quietly work on things. I’ll definitely visit the Magician Guild, but can’t it just wait for a bit?”
I am not just lost in the idea of a mancave of my own.
When I think of the order of priority of all the things that I have to do, for humane reasons, gathering information about Shadow Demons is at the top of the list. Next, for practical reasons, is the replicating of my spellbook. If the appearance of Shadow Demons is connected to The Overlooker, then that is also my problem.
As for the spellbook, now that I’m going to be living in this world, I can’t very well carry it on my person 24/7. At the very least, I need a place to safely store it, and a copy in case of theft or damage. In order to make replicas, a certain amount of materials, budget, and workspace will be necessary.
Going by priority, investigating Shadow Demons is at the top, but practically speaking, I won’t be able to move without worry until I have that second spellbook. In other words, accepting the fort means I have gained both a place for safekeeping as well as a workspace.
After I finish thoroughly and calmly explaining all that, Claura reluctantly nods, albeit still looking extremely displeased.
“In that case, then when will you be able to start for Lelis?” (Claura)
“The anti-Shadow Demon measures still have to be dismantled, so the fort will be ceded to me 5 days later. I have to put down my things, after which……”
“In. That. Case! I will only wait for 7 more days! Then you must go to Lelis, you hear me?” (Claura)
“This is you two’s new marriage home, right? I don’t think it a bad idea to spend a bit more time checking it out, y’know?” (Sedam)
Having been listening to our exchange with an amused smile, Sedam teases us. This is the first time that I’ve heard him crack this kind of joke. How dangerous—if this was modern Japan, he would have earned himself a sexual harassment complaint with that.
“It is because you are not a magician that you can make stupid jokes about this. You have no idea how much of an obstacle—actually, ‘threat’ would be more accurate—how much of a threat his very existence poses to all magicians.” (Claura)
“I myself also have an interest in magicians. Don’t worry, I won’t make you wait longer than that.” (Gio)
I cannot possibly replicate the spellbook in a single day, and I also have to gather the materials I need, so I might as well first drop by Lelis once.
“And of course, I’ll go to the fort with you.” (Claura)
“What is with that face?! It is the very epitome of rudeness!” (Claura)
Having fantasized of a refined bachelor lifestyle, I couldn’t help but to let a stupefied cry escape my throat.
The next 5 days, I continued to lodge at the White Sword Castle guest room.
The days were quite idyllic, composed of strolling through Yuule, borrowing books from the library and reading them, and helping the Carbanera siblings with their training. The villagers and knights generally live a simple and laid-back lifestyle. However, the looks of fearful awe from the villagers never toned down. Rather than being hated, I feel that I’m being respected more than anything else, but…… it made me think that I really shouldn’t live in any human settlements.
Including Sedam, all the adventurers, except for Claura, left White Sword Castle for Lelis on the third day.
“After all, I need to report about you to the Adventurer’s Guild. Being the Great Wizard and great hero that you are.”
“Please go easy on me.” (Gio)
So said Sedam while exchanging a firm handshake with me. No man, I’m serious, don’t lay it on too thick, alright?!
Arnogia and Vice-Commander Gunnah also headed for Lelis, apparently having been tasked with reporting to the Council of Lelis about this incident.
As for me, I am now riding a spelt phantom horse down the mountain trail that leads to the fort.
The roads were indeed destroyed by my meteors, but because of the frequent traffic between White Sword Castle and the fort in the recent while, a new, and even shorter, route has been properly established. Therefore, our journey is quite comfortable.
“…… Only two nights, you hear me? We’re really going to Lelis after staying here two nights, right?”
“I already told you that’s what we’ll do…… You sure are a distrustful person, aren’t you.”
Incidentally, she doesn’t have a horse, so she is currently sitting behind me on the phantom horse.
“When there are no Shadow Demons and no bandits around, riding a horse through all this nature sure feels good.”
The slightly stronger sunlight of early summer, all the greenery around, and a refreshing breeze. Though noisy, I do have a beautiful lady behind me on my horse. If the me back in Japan knew about my past few days, he would grind his teeth in envy, definitely.
“Ohh, I see it. My Jiiteias Castle.”
The fort that has been named with the name of Gio’s birth country (or so goes the setting) has come into view.
Up until yesterday, the knights had still been using the place. As they had cleaned and put everything in order before handing the place over to me, I’m getting a more extravagant and solid impression than when I had first laid eyes on it.
In the afternoons, I can go into the untouched forest and forage for acorns and wild vegetables. The mountain streams must be great for fishing, and I’m sure I’ll catch some wild animals too if I lay down some traps. Land is one thing that I now have an abundance of, so cultivating a vegetable garden might also be good.
And when it rains, I can go to the top floor of the main tower and read a book. This is what they mean by ‘seikou udoku,’ isn’t it?
(T/N: Seikou udoku: ‘working in the field in fine weather and reading at home in rainy weather, living in quiet retirement dividing time between work and intellectual pursuits’ ~Akebi dictionary)
When night falls, the quietness I will be able to experience will be a far cry from the boisterousness of towns.
In the evenings, I can make dinner out of what I gathered in the afternoon. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my cooking skills, but well, that’s why they call it ‘a guy’s cooking,’ right?
I can take super laidback baths while enjoying a real starry sky that I can never see in modern Japan. Although the bath is just a barrel, I plan on eventually digging a hotspring.
Truly the envy of all middle-aged men in the world. A quiet life of leisure with dignity. The ultimate slow life!
My goals of replicating my spellbook and gathering information on Shadow Demons remain unchanged, and I will rush over if there is news of Shadow Demons or another [nest] appearing, but well……
I don’t think I’ll be punished just for pursuing a little bit of personal enjoyment in my off time, right?
Because I let the phantom horse proceed at a leisurely pace, it is nearly dusk when we reach the fort, despite having left White Sword Castle early morning.
Deciding to have dinner first, I have Claura wait in the reception hall while I head to the kitchen in the residence building.
Though limited, I do have magic items that can make food. However, such unconventional measures are what they would call uncouth.
“Alright. First, let’s get a fire started in this stove.”
I take out a flintstone from my sling bag.
“? I just have to strike this place really hard, right?”
It is a tool that I have used countless times in TRPGs, but of course, it is my first time using the real thing to start a fire. But well, these past few days I’ve seen adventurers and knights doing it when we camped out, so I’m sure I can manage somehow.
I totally smashed the flintstone onto a fingernail with full force.
“Uooo…… it hurts……”
The pain in my finger might have successfully returned me to my senses.
I look around the kitchen, and realize that none of the appliances I got used to seeing in Japan are present—no fridge, no gas stove, no rice cooker.
“Eh? Wait, am I actually in big trouble right now?”