Rumanshi: Please consider visiting my blog.
Chapter 2 Episode 11: Lucie and Kuu
After returning to the village, I go to the warehouse next to the chief’s house.
In the warehouse are stored ingredients and spices. I also put the gold coins I got today for safekeeping. Aside from my workshop there’s no other place with better locks.
I take the sack filled with gold from the carriage and it’s quite heavy.
After all, even though the coins are small, gold by itself is heavy and the empire’s coins have a high degree of purity. Each coin weighs about 40g. There are about two thousand of them totalling around 80kg.
While shouldering that much, I also carry the other bag to the warehouse.
Then after opening that bag, there are several smaller bags weighing about 500g.
On the inside, there’s brown sugar.
「I never thought I could get something like this in this lifetime.」
Sugar is incredibly valuable. The sugar cane it’s made from can only be grown in warm climates. Not to mention Elucie of the Empire, there’s no place suitable for raising it in the entire continent. So you have to rely on importing it from beyond the seas.
However the arts of shipbuilding and navigation are well developed and because the underwater terrain around the coast is rather complex the seas are very rough. Also the water sprite race that lives in the coastal area sees ships as encroaching on their territory and will often sink them. Because of that all imported good are expensive.
No to mention the Empire is quite far inland so to get from a harbor city one have to pass through numerous checkpoint and the taxes just pile up.
Also the demand for sugar is exceedingly high, to eat sweet foods is considered a sign of status among the nobility and the wealthy. Due to the ostentation a kg of sugar can reach the price of one gold bar(60.000 yen). In the first place, to even be able to get your hands in it is already a fortuitous occasion.
This 10kg of rice should be worth about 10 gold bars(600.000 yen).
「If the process of making sugar from beets were to be spread that would probably change, but that’s unlikely.」
I grumble to no one in particular. Cane is not the only thing you can use to make sugar.
The best example would be using beets that can grow even in colder climates. You can also call it sugar beets.
If you take the roots of these kinds of vegetables, cut them into small pieces, boil them and let the broth crystallize you can make perfectly good sugar.
Because of the quality and ease of cultivation, this type of producing sugar has actually surpassed sugar cane in quantity on Earth.
Even if you don’t use sugar beets, you can probably find a substitute for it if you look.
Also there’s one more way of making sugar…….
「Thinking only of Elucie, maybe it’s better that sugar beets and the way to make sugar from them is never discovered. That way, our speciality product that can only be acquired in winter is worth more.」
Yes, if this sweetness becomes widespread, the demand will reach an all time high and I’m thinking of ways to take advantage of the situation.
Elucie isn’t self sufficient. So aside from fast income like the one from today, we need to quickly establish a steady source of income, and also acquire foreign currency.
After two more months, we should have a basic shape down.
Well, now that my business in the warehouse is finished, time to look into private matters.
I got back to mine and Lucie’s house.
「Cyril, welcome back. Where did you go today?」
Lucie, who seems to have returned earlier greets me with a smile.
The preparations for winter are over so the the elves basically have nothing to do. The firefoxes on the other hand, with getting ready to raise goats and the preparations for making the specialty of the village are going to get quite busy.
I tought may we could shift some of the work to the elves, but since they can’t use fire magic the efficiency of the work drops a lot and I want to use this opportunity to show the value of the firefoxes. So I have to push this responsibility on them alone.
The firefoxes seem to trust me and there’s Kuu to help. I can convince them somehow.
But more importantly, recently here and there rumours are cirulatationg among the elves that I only care about the firefoxes and am neglecting them ot that I’m playing favorites. That leaves a bad taste.
I hope that these were dispelled after last night’s gathering, but if not it’s better to strike first.
「Today, I met with an important person in the empire and exchanged the hostages for ransom. So our financial problems are solved for a while.」
Hearing that Lucie start trembling and finds it hard to form words.
「Why do you do these things alone! Tell me these things earlier」
「If I tell you earlier you’ll get worried and one or two people will want to follow me right? To persuade them is troublesome and there was not enough time.」
At the current situation I can’t fight and protect someone at the time, things only work out because I went alone.
「I understand, I understand what Cyril is saying but even so, I feel lonely.」
Lucie says with a low voice.
She probably feel sad that I did not need her.
「Lucie, today’s conditions made such that I had to go alone, but there’s lots of time that won’t be able to handle alone. Those times I’ll surely ask for your help. In fact, I could use your help right now. 」
In some ways, this is the real issue.
「Tomorrow, I’m going shopping at the center of commerce on the Korine Kingdom the city of Erin. Would you come with me? I’ll need your help.
After thinking about things, i realized that going shopping alone would be impossible. I’ll need at least Lucie and Kuu.
「…. You need my help?」
「Of course, if it’s not Lucie there’s no point.」
「I understand! I’ll go with you.」
Lucie nodded with a happy smile on her face.
I look at that and give a bitter smile.
She probably wanted me to rely on her, even though there’s no need to mind that at all.
How much she has already helped me, how can i convey these feelings to her.
「Cyril, it’s fine to together with you. But I want you to stop leaving without saying anything like you did today. I won’t be selfish and will not trouble you, but I want you to at least talk to me. Otherwise every time I can’t see you I’ll think you’re doing something dangerous and worry, okay?」
She looks up at me.
To this lovable girl I gently place my hand at her cheek.
「I’m sorry, I was wrong. That’s right if I don’t say anything you’ll worry. From now on I’ll tell you everything.」
「I’ll be happy if you did that. ….. I want to know more about Cyril.」
Why does a smile suits her so well I wonder.
Just because of that, it’s hard to mention Kuu.
While sweating on the inside, I pat Lucie’s head. She told me not to treat her like a child but her body is honest and always reacts happily.
「Well then, let’s eat. I moved a lot so i’m very hungry. I got some good ingredients so look forward to it.」
I remove my hand from Lucie’s head and move towards the stone kitchen.
Well, let’s start the cooking that i’ll stake my life on in many ways.
「Lucie, it’s done. It’s best while hot so eat up」
「That’s a very delicious smell, what’s this?」
「A pastry called Donut. Once in awhile is good i think.」
What I made this time was a well baked light brown a about the size of a fist small round confection.
The way to make it’s simple. You mix wheat flour, water and sugar in the correct proportion and thread the dough then heat up in lard. Afterwards you sprinkle sugar over the finished product.
It’s actually closer to a sata andagi¹ than a donut, but since it’s hard to pronounce I went with donut.
「It’s sweet. I never ate something like this before, it’s so delicious it makes me so happy. 」
The sweet loving Lucie seems happier than ever and keeps biting on the donut.
From my point of view something made without baking powder and eggs is a little lacking. But for someone who never experience the sweetness of sugar like Lucie it’s the meal of a lifetime.
「Lucie I’ll heat up another helping so eat as much as you want」
「Uu, I want to take another but I want to enjoy this as long as I can so I’ll control myself. How did you make something so sweet?」
「I used a lot of sugar.」
「Sugar!? So you got something like that. It’s the first time I eat the real thing」
「Yes, the people from the Empire brought it」
「I wonder if there’s good people even in the Empire」
「I wonder, I think it was the first time I saw a upright soldier from the empire」
Until now it was the first high caliber soldier I saw. If he takes command, I’ll have to brace for a difficult war.
Now is not the time to talk about the amount of experience the people from Elucie have. We have to think of the measures we are going to need to take.
「Is there enough for everyone?」
「Unfortunately, to divide among everyone would be hard」
10kg of sugar, if divided amongst everyone in the village would be too little
「It’s too much of a luxury to me. Cyril that’s enough for me, but what are we gonna do? How are we going to divide what’s left? No matter what it will be unfair.」
While looking at the donuts Lucie holds her head. Even if she understand that it’s impossible to distribute to everyone she doesn’t want to give up.
She probably wants to spread today’s feelings to everyone.
「It’s alright. It’s hard to distribute the sugar as is but, if we make sweets to eat with soup everyone can have a taste. So no need for hesitation and eat as much as you want.」
「But that doesn’t seem right.」
「The gold I got as chief of the village, but the sugar I got privately so it’s actually all mine. But, Lucie would not like that so well treat everyone. If you don’t eat these donuts, I will hog all the rest of the sugar.」
「Cyril is always saying those unfair things. If you say that I have to eat. ……but thank you.」
Lucie stuff her cheeks with the donuts while smiling.
That smile alone is enough of a reason for me to work hard. But I have to say something that will freeze that smile.
「Err Lucie, I have something I have to apologize for.」
「What, why are you acting like that?」
「Kuu said she liked me, and I said I like her and slept with her」
When she heard those words, Lucie dropped the donut.
「Cyril, you like Kuu-chan now?」
「Yes, I was attracted by how she was giving her all. And, if I had refused she looked like she would fall into despair and I couldn’t refuse. 」
Lucie’s eyes moisten with tears and she looks like she’s about to cry. My chest hurts.
「Is it because I didn’t let you do it? I also wanted to do it but i promised my grandma I wouldn’t before getting married, and Cyril said we should wait until Elucie becomes peaceful to have the wedding.」
「That’s not it, Lucie!」
「What’s not it? Is there another reason, when did you stop liking me?」
「I not that I stopped liking you. Even now the fact that you are the one I love the most in the world hasn’t changed」
「So why did you do that with Kuu-chan」
「Because I like Kuu too. Lucie is the one I love the most, Kuu is after that」
While listening to my word Lucie makes an expression like she doesn’t believe it. She was raised by her grandmother a person with a big sense of virtue so she seems surprised when I said I love two people.
「…….. Cyril, if I said that I like you the most, but I also like another man what would you think?」
Lucie says to me in a low voice with a cold expression she normally doesn’t have.
「I would be very sad, and my chest would hurt.」
「If I slept a man other than Cyril, what would you think?」
「I would go crazy, and probably wouldn’t forgive Lucie or the man.」
「That’s exactly how I feel right now. Hey, Cyril why didn’t you keep it a secret? I didn’t want to hear that. The Cyril I love so much and my friend Kuu-chan, I don’t want to hate either of you. You should have just kept seeing each other without me knowing.
I also thought about that, but
「I don’t like that. That’s insincere to both of you. That’s why I said it. I know it’s just my own selfishness. But I want you to keep liking me, I want Lucie to remain only mine. 」
I may have hurt Lucie for my own self satisfaction. But even so I decided to tell her everything.
「Do you really love me?」
「Yes, the most in the world」
「You will not say the same to Kuu-chan?」
「I told Kuu that she would be number two. If that was fine I would go out with her.」
「… Kuu-chan, it’s a wonder she accepted that」
Lucie kept silent for a moment. After thinking about things she said.
「According to reason, Cyril’s father and the previous village chief as well each had three wives. They had to keep the bloodline going, that’s one of the jobs of the chief. They said man are creatures that can love various women」
Lucie looked like it took all her effort to squeeze that out.
「But my feelings are telling me it’s sad, painful and bitter. But even so I like Cyril and don’t want to be apart」
I’m instantly filled with immense regret.
「Will you forgive me?」
「Give me one night to think about it, if you say that suddenly I don’t know what to do」
After saying that Lucie leaves the table.
She goes to the bedroom and comes out carrying all her luggage.
「I’m sorry, but I want to think about it away from you. I’ll sleep at Konna’s place tonight, so watch over the house」
After saying that Lucie tries to leave but I grab her hand.
「Cyril, don’t stop me」
「It’s alright to want to be alone. But this is your house, if anyone’s leaving its me. I’m sorry, I’ll come back tomorrow morning. That time I want to hear the answer you’ve come to. And i’ll say it again, you are the one I love most in the world」
「I also want to believe in Cyril’s words」
「Lucie, I love you」
After saying these words from my heart, I left the house.
After that, because I’ll be leaving for a while to do the shopping I had to finish making some arrangements.
Later, I dropped by the new workshop being used by the firefoxes and tell Kuu that we’ll be leaving tomorrow to go shopping. After relaying that I go to the old workshop that’s on the side.
Kuu is necessary for tomorrow’s shopping.
We will buy clothes for the firefoxes, but I can’t choose clothes for women, and more importantly, firefoxes have tails so the basis for choosing clothes is different. There’s no one but Kuu that can take the place of their representative.
The reason I invited Lucie was to serve as a bodyguard and help Kuu.
We can only spare one day. While Kuu is buying clothes, I’ll be selecting livestock and buying food so I can’t accompany her.
But leaving Kuu alone is too dangerous. To have battle capabilities and be capable of helping while choosing clothes. Lucie is the only one who fulfill these conditions.
Kuu realized something from the way I was acting and when we separated she said 「I’m sorry, do your best」.
There is no need to make her feel bad. Everything is my responsibility.
「I wonder if Lucie will forgive me」
I was naive. I was hoping that Lucie would forgive me and accepted Kuu. Never thought she would be so sad.
It’s the first time I see Lucie like that.
If I knew, would I still have accepted Kuu that time?
「I’m sure, nothing would change」
While grumbling that my consciousness drifts away.
The next morning, I stand dressed for the trip at the front of Lucie’s house.
Kuu is also ready and stands at the side.
After waiting a while Lucie appears. All her preparations neatly made.
However in her case, no matter what her answer is she’ll still do the job discussed yesterday. My uneasiness is still not dispelled.
「Lucie, would you let me hear your answer?」
I ask with a voice filled with fear.
「Cyril, I like you after all. But I want you to promise me one thing」
「Please say it」
「I don’t want to feel this way again. So from now own don’t touch any other girls. No matter how much I like you, I’ll not forgive you a second time.」
「Of course, I’ll never do that」
After all, Kuu said something similar. To betray both Lucie and Kuu by going to another girl, I don’t even think about it.
「And to make me feel relieved, when spring comes marry me. I’ll not wait longer than that. I want to be with you in the true sense 」
「That’s right, I also want to be with you. When spring comes within two months of the snow clearing we’ll get married」
「Right, I promise」
While saying that I hold out and catch her hand and intertwine her fingers with mine.
This world’s pinkie promise.
With this my greatest fear disappears.
Kuu, seeing me and Lucie back to normal, makes a happy face. But, from somewhere a envious face appeared. She took a breath and said.
「Lucie-chan, I’m sorry. I knew how you felt but still fell in love with Cyril-kun」
「It’s all right, I’m not mad. I also understand your feelings… No lying is no good. To tell truth at the beginning I resented you Kuu-chan. Why would you say you like Cyril. But Kuu-chan is my friend and the one who decided was Cyril so I can consent. So Kuu-chan, take care of me for now on」
「Lucie-chan, thank you」
Lucie extended her right hand, and Kuu shook it.
When Kuu released the hand, her eyes were filled with tears.
「Well, let’s go then?」
I smile at Lucie and Kuu
We’ll be leaving Elucie for two days. I already made all the necessary arrangements. When I’m gone, the informant will certainly make his move so I left instructions with a few I could trust to be on the lookout for any suspicious movement.
「Cyril, where’s the carriage?」
「There’s no way we’re using something as slow as that」
After all, snow can start falling any day now. If we take the poor quality road to Erin City with a carriage it would take five days.
「Don’t tell you’ll do thing you did when we went to the firefoxes village」
「Of course, I improved on that」
「But I feel like there’s no way to carry the baggage」
「I have a magic that can hold everything we buy so that’s no problem」
「Cyril-kun can really do anything」
First I carry Kuu on my back. Hold her in place with the cloth I prepared in a way that distributes her weight evenly.
Then I lift Lucie in a princess carry. The bag filled with about three hundred gold coins(18.000.000 yen) I make Lucie carry. Gold is heavy so we can’t take more than what is needed. 300 gold coins weight about 12kg.
Then, like always I activate 【Body Enhancement】 and wind magic at the same time to move at high speeds.
But, today is more comfortable than usual
「Cyril-kun, should i warm you up a little more?」
「No, it’s okay」
「Cyril, it’s not hard to breathe?」
「This is just right」
Kuu is using her fire magic to warm up the surroundings and Lucie is using wing magic to reduce the wind around us.
Like that we can enjoy a calm and warm trip. And with the two so close to me I feel their body warmth and nice smell filling me with motivation.
At this pace we’ll arrive at the city of Erin that’s around 120km away in two hours.
After that, the fun shopping can start.
¹Sweet deep fried buns similar to doughnuts native to Okinawa.