“This is made from the mooph (モーフ) material?”
Even if the fabric was made from the fur of the animals, grown in Rufk village, after this customer they had completely sold out the clothes, tailored with Yuusuke’s customization power.
In the morning they lined good quality clothes and shoes at a bargain price at the stall, which they reserved. The goods were of good quality thus they literally flew off the shelves. Yuusuke, who was being the sales boy as Zeshald was showing him the ropes, completed the deal in a breath.
“We sold a lot. Now we should search for the daily necessities and prepare for the trip back”
Yuusuke thought about the important secret, he was told last night, while he was packing the unsold accessories. Because of the recent provocations Zeshald was planning to infiltrate the neighboring country of Blue Garden as a spy.
It is not like he planned to take on this duty from the beginning. While palace officials were busy with their everyday duties, a direct military provocation was happening at the border with the Blue Garden. Meanwhile other provocateurs had their hands full with setting up the blockades on the main roads to further obstruct the flow of goods and people.
Loyal people, informed about the potential betrayers, considered shipping things through these roads to be too dangerous, which profited the betrayers even more so.
Despite that there still were people who held real power and achievements. Zeshald, still famous and popular within the palace, was one of them. Thinking shallowly, having retired from official duties as well as separated for the palace, Zeshald, having a lot of free time and talent, was indeed a suitable man for this task.
Yesterday’s commotion has shown the spies of Blue Garden “the antagonism between the former royal head divine arts instructor, Zeshald, and the king of Fonkrank, Esvobus” might indeed have turned out to be useful the propaganda that Zeshald said it to be.
“Do you understand? Even if the thing you want to buy looks cheap, do not immediately buy it – check around the market twice to evaluate the price”
“After all overcharging also exists here”
After his departure Zeshald wanted to entrust the matters of Rufk village to Yuusuke. There was also Sun. For Yuusuke to understand this world as soon as possible she could pass on her own knowledge and wisdom regarding the everyday life.
“It will be lunch soon”
“Want to grab a bite?”
After getting nearly all of the necessary commodities, the two entered a nearby restaurant. Even thou there were many stalls lined up along the street where one could grab a light meal, Zeshald chose an ordinary restaurant as to teach Yuusuke various new things.
The difference between the restaurant of the lower class district and those of the upper districts was huge. Generally a cheap restaurant also functioned as a bar during the night.
“These places never change, do they?”
“Well, the civilization is the same everywhere. Despite it being a different world you are still able to find a lot of similarities”
Zeshald’s teaching method, based on moving around the city and showing the rules, allowed Yuusuke to slowly familiarize himself with the general knowledge of this world. As it was dinnertime the inside of the restaurant was packed. In the midst of the lively clatter of the guests, a pair, resembling a teacher and a student, was an interesting sight for other visitors.
After coming back to their wagon they loaded it with the purchased goods and started preparations for returning to the village. If they left early in the morning they would be able to arrive at the Rufk village in the evening. Yuusuke also bought some seeds as he wanted to cultivate a field at the corner of the village. He planned to start customizing the land as soon as he returned home.
“I am sorry, are you mister Zeshald?”
As they were tying their luggage with a rope, a green haired man greeted them with a light smile.
“Hmm? My name is indeed Zeshald”
“So you are the royal head divine arts instructor”
Zeshald looked at the man who spoke with a mysterious voice for a moment, meanwhile Yuusuke blankly stared at the two divine arts users. The young man seemed to know Zeshald but he clearly was not his friend.
Knowing about Zeshald’s complex situation from their earlier discussion, Yuusuke assumed that this green haired young man was “a spy from Blue Garden”. Zeshald called out to Yuusuke before Yuusuke has fully understood the situation.
“Sorry Yuusuke, but could you leave us alone for the moment?”
Leaving Yuusuke at the wagon, Zeshald invited the green haired divine arts user for a walk on a road, leading towards the city. Although Yuusuke did not realize it, the green haired wind arts user accepted the invitation. The conversation between two divine arts users was private as the guest was a wind arts user and he was manipulating the wind so only his partner would be able to hear him talk.
[“Do you feel like leaving it, this country?”]
As Zeshald predicted, it seems that yesterday’s commotion was the deciding factor to initiate the plan to win the Zeshald over to the Blue Garden side.
After some time Zeshald returned alone and started to make his bed in the wagon.
Yuusuke was unable to find a topic to talk about since the old man returned. Zeshald was talking most of the time while Yuusuke wore a concerned expression. After finishing tomorrow’s preparations they laid down to rest.
“It might be a bit too early to go to sleep”
“Yeah, the sun is still up”
If someone would have listened to Zeshald’s quiet words and Yuusuke’s wordless replies, he would never be able to understand the true meaning of this conversation.
The next morning Yuusuke and Zeshald left the city before sunrise. During the journey Zeshald was talking about Kaltcio.
Soldiers of the divine art city guard, tasked with maintaining order, had the area they had to patrol, extent of their authority, and actions, to be taken in case trouble occurred clearly defined to them to the extent where they had minute instructions what to do in case of public urination, what to teach about hygiene, and where to take the apprehended person.
“It is a good thing to visit adjacent villages to obtain new information as well as to learn horse-riding. When buying a new horse you should go to the city and…”
Zeshald was making Yuusuke cram a lot of new things at once as opposed the comfortable learning pace from before. Yuusuke, remembering the uncomfortable feeling, thinking he should also give his all right now, was also trying to remember as much as he could.
[“It is related to the green haired fellow from yesterday after all”]
Going at the current pace, by the time they arrived to the village, Yuusuke thought he’d fall sick with the exam fever.
“Welcome home teacher. …Yuusuke, what happened?”
“Wa… My temples are twinkling”
“Umm, was it too sudden?”
As they arrived at the Rufk village the villagers gathered to help in unloading the Zeshald’s wagon. Part of the sold goods were provisioned by the villagers and part of the daily necessities were also requested by them.
“Teacher! Did you buy a new hair razor?”
“Yes, take it from there”
“Perhaps you sold the shell earrings?”
“Regrettably I only sold a pair”
Villagers were bustling noisily around Zeshald for a while until the old man slowly changed the topic to tomorrow’s weather.
“By the way, I have decided to go on a long trip again tomorrow so, everyone, please be careful and avoid getting injured or falling ill.”
Suddenly all of the villager’s emotions turned to surprise, but this was not the first time Zeshald went to far off lands or left the home for a long time due to his research, so villagers quickly regained their composure. They soon started jokingly talking about having to live more carefully for a while.
This time, instead of exchanging parting greetings with Zeshald, Sun turned towards the teacher with a confused expression, saying “I haven’t heard of this”. Having expected this Yuusuke calmly watched this chain of events unfold.
“Then will you return home?”
“Yes, I will, Sun”
Hearing this, the villagers also returned to their homes. After placing the wagon behind the house and guiding the horse to the stable the three entered their house though the back entrance.
“What happened, teacher?”
As soon as they entered the house, Sun jumped closer to Zeshald. Teacher always told her about his trip prior to leaving the village for a long time or going on a long journey. This time everything happened too quickly for the girl.
“Sorry, the circumstances became a bit too complicated this time”
“…you cannot speak about it, can you?”
Sun cast her eyes down as Zeshald nodded in acknowledgement. Zeshald stroked Sun’s white, well kempt hair and, having asked Yuusuke to join in, started to speak again.
“Yuusuke, you can live in this house even when I am gone. Sun, please look after him”
“eeeeh? ME?! Looking after YUUSUKE?
Zeshald implied the two of them living under one roof. Stealing a glance at Yuusuke she saw him listening intently to Zeshald without noticing her watching him.
“I thought of leaving things concerning Sun and the village to you, Yuusuke, as you still have quite a long way to go in understanding the common things about this world”
Yuusuke nodded, silently accepting Zeshald’s instructions and thoughts. Zeshald also nodded, appreciating Yuusuke’s thoughts.
Zeshald acted with sincere concern to educate Yuusuke about the world as much as possible and to push him in the correct direction knowing that, from hereon, Yuusuke will have to live without his support.
“Broaden your world, Yuusuke”
Zeshald also gave a key from the library, which was inside the house, to Yuusuke so the boy could learn to read and absorb the knowledge contained in the books.
That evening the three of them ate their supper, which was slightly better than usual, together. It was a party made with wishes to send Zeshald off on a safe journey.
Zeshald left before sunrise when it was still dark. A little bit away from the village he waited for the envoys of the Blue Garden slightly off the main road. When they arrived, he boarded their carriage. Afterwards they took the shortest route to the national border between Fonkrank and Blue Garden.
It was a bold move, but after passing Sanc Adiet they took the main road, leading to the national border. Spies, accompanying Zeshald, were that convinced that Zeshald would not betray them to the road patrols.
According to the report of the several years long investigation, the discord between king Esvobus and Zeshald only deepened over time. Finally an order to lure him over to the Blue Garden side was issued four days ago.
Footpads were ordered to invite him if they saw a good opportunity to do so. Princess Violet’s fondness of Zeshald was of some concern, but even she had no choice but to disregard personal feelings over governmental affairs thus Zeshald had no more support left in Fonkrank.
“We should be able to arrive at Paula in three more days after crossing the border”
“Doesn’t matter, I am used to sleeping in the carriages. That aside could you have that dangerous group leave the village?”
[“That village is my place of rest”] exclaimed Zeshald as he pointed out a presence, hiding in the shadows near the Rufk village.
“… … As expected of the former royal head divine arts instructor… to be able to sense the presence of the wind arts users group”
Sighing helplessly Zeshald returned a smile to his companions.
Waking in the morning Yuusuke found Zeshald had already left. From today onwards Yuusuke would have to think and make decisions for himself. Looking at the column of text in the customization window for the key for Zeshald’s study, Yuusuke, having decided on the most urgent problem, greeted Sun.
“… Good morning”
She answered awkwardly from the other side of the table. Seeing her so nervous with anxiousness showing all over her face, Yuusuke thought to himself [“Nothing will change if I will not make the first move”] and changed the topic. After putting the key into his pocket he suddenly stood up, making Sun shiver her shoulders.
“Let’s start making breakfast, alright?”
“ Eh? Ah, okay… I am sorry!”
Sun frantically picked up a bucket and turned to go to the well outside. Yuusuke shrugged his shoulders while looking at her go and then walked towards the food shelves to pick up dried meat and rara fruits that were supposed to be their breakfast. Having picked up the fruits he called the customize screen and found the parameter for their sweetness.
“Oh, Sun. G’morning”
“Ah, good morning … aunt Bahana”
“You are preparing breakfast from now on? Wouldn’t it be better to make him go for the water?”
Aunt Bahana spoke to Sun like that while shaking her head, urging her to pass on the manual labor. Unable to get any anxiety medication with Zeshald gone, exchanging morning greeting was difficult enough for the girl not to mention having any casual talk.
“You are having it tough, eh?”
While it was going to be tough, Bahama has decided to become the strength for the two youths in Zeshald’s stead.
It was around the time morning mist cleared on the lower districts of Sanc Adiet. In the dining room of the Volace palace, towering above the highborn district, Violet, proceeding to cut and eat the best parts of honey soaked fruits, served as dessert, proceeded to complain to her aide.
“Zeshald will not come to the palace today either, I guess”
“Probably he has a lot of other matters to settle”
“It’s boring. How long is father planning to be angry with Zeshald? He should make up with him soon”
Despite thinking she would be able to hear those long missed tales of travel after an unexpected reunion at the lower city, Zeshald showed no signs of ever coming to visit her. Kreivol, her aide, was only scolding her noisily about not behaving like a princess so spending time with him was not the least bit interesting.
“That’s right, there was another interesting guy, called Yuusuke”
He was a rude man that seemed to be an acquaintance of Zeshald. He seems to have grown up in a far off land so it might be possible to hear strange stories from him.
“If I go to lower city incognito again, I might get some interesting information”
“Princess, the king has released an order forbidding traveling incognito for the time being”
“I don’t care, I DON’T CARE! I will just behave like a spoilt child asking him things like [Do you hate me, Father?]”
Chief attendant, crackling from princess’s bad manners, sighed from all his heart, saying “King also has his shares of hardships”.
Several days later, every nation received an official announcement from Blue Garden.
—Former royal head divine arts instructor of Fonkrank, Zeshald, is welcomed as an instructor of the elite divine arts users of our great country—