Here’s the first Science shall Prevail over Magic chapter for the week.
I was supposed to post it yesterday, but I couldn’t, so I will post the next chapter later today.
Well then, enjoy the read.
Helium, 6th Chapter | The Mole Group
“……Then, how do we round that guy up?”
“N? Ah, well. Although he’s the first visitor in a long time, we will do it like we always do. Judging from his attire……well, judging from that greaves esque thing, he seems to be holding quality goods. Also, being a magic power (Mana) user, he must be carrying a fair quantity of Mana Calculus (Manamite).” (Translator’s note: Not the maths one)
“Is that so? For an Adventurer, he was pretty empty handed. Oh well, not that it matters. Is he a worker there?”
In the bar, every mouth was discussing as to how should the seemingly Adventurer, who made an abrupt appearance, be dealt with.
Wide Town was a desolate town situated in the southernmost reaches of Van Der Kingdom.
Nevertheless, due to being situated upriver, Water Mana Calculus could be mined in the vicinity of the source. By way of Mana Calculus and sojourn of border traversing merchants or Adventurers, the townspeople made their livelihood.
However, several months ago, the town was placed under total control of a certain bandit group.
The Mole Group: a gathering of thieves who made their livelihood by robbing the Adventurers or other people and selling the loot. Their numbers continued to increase. In the due course, they felt the need of a base. For such a group, would there be any better place than a town situated in the southernmost part of Van Der Kingdom? A town that was neglected so much so that even the tax wasn’t collected there?
The townspeople, who were few in the first place, accepted them in the name of coexistence. However, in the time it takes to say ‘ah’, they were forced to kneel in front of the military might of the Mole Group that comprised dozens of people.
Most of the townspeople toiled at the quarry upriver while rest of the townspeople were forced to labour at the processing and stocking of Mana Calculus under the supervision of the Mole Group.
“It’s not to the extent of causing us any trouble. Besides, those outsiders rarely visit this town as of late……once he has been robbed of his belongings, he will run away.”
“Hee……won’t that spread the rumor? Also, he may resist.”
Groups of Adventurers did visit this town, that had been under total control of the Mole Group, in the past.
On that occasion, the central storehouse was raided, and their possessions were stolen. However, as you would expect of the Adventurers, who bore martial arts; they resisted.
Those in the Mole Group were not pushovers, though. Amongst them were magic power (Mana) users, skilled swordsmen and former Guild members. Against several people of such power, few Adventurers were powerless.
Currently, they were reduced to labourers, who worked at the ore field.
“We will do it. There’s just one ordinary Mana user anyway. It’s not to the extent of making the matter worse……Glenn is at the inn; tell him to do it properly.”
The man who had a silver breastplate put on a well built body, the leading figure of the Mole Group, grabbed the cup once again after instructing another man.
The inn, which the man just now mentioned, was soon found.
A two storeyed wooden house.
The fairly neat grain door was pushed open.
In the inn, where no sign of life could be found, was a counter. A man, who was clad in untidy leather clothes, was dozing there with his legs raised.
The man, who appeared to be the innkeeper, was called out for a while. However, there was no sign of him getting up.
Such a defenseless sight would be unimaginable to Shin if he were in the warring Japan.
Shin loudened his voice and woke the man up.
Surprised, the man jumped up from the chair he was sitting in. However, upon seeing Shin’s face, his expression suspiciously stiffened.
“……Is this an inn?”
While saying so, Shin realized that he had no money.
He had no clue of the money used here. In the past Japan- no, the past Earth, electronic money was used all over. However, it was a pre-war story. After the emergence of Android Killrers, the opportunities to use the electronic money became nonexistent.
“……Ah? Haven’t seen your face before……are you some Adventurer?”
Shin had no idea as to what an Adventurer was. However, he concluded that there were many such people, who were equivalent to travelers, in this world.
Back in the village, he had heard about the Guild and reward. The humans associated with the Guild probably made their livelihood through temporary rewards while roaming the world.
Upon Shin’s ‘that’s right’ reply, the man went silent as the corners of his mouth curled upward. With an amused expression about his face, he sat back in the chair.
“I see, I see. It’s been a while. Oh well. If you’re looking for a room, it’s up there.”
Saying so, the man pointed to the stairs leading to the second floor.
“The innermost room. The lock is open.”
To be honest, he was prepared to leave upon hearing the answer.
He wasn’t abreast of the prices here. As far as his possessions were concerned, he had one unreliable silver coin he received at the earlier village.
In Japan, an inn would cost about 20,000 a night. By no means would this silver coin amount as much.
“……N? Aah, right. How much do you have?”
That question sounded incongruous. However, if this world determined the market price based on the value of money, it would be convincing. Shin took that one silver coin out of his pocket and showed it to the man.
“……One silver coin, huh? Oh well, it would suffice for lodging. Alright then, use it to your liking.”
For some reason or the other, it was sufficient.
Although it was deplorable to lose a precious material of this world, the appraisal had already been done. There was no way for him to return to his previous world anyway. If he had to support himself in this world, he would have to use it.
Besides, considering he was able to obtain the information that lodging could be acquired for one silver coin, it was an acceptable trade off.
Shin thanked the man and immediately went upstairs to the second storey. Out of many rooms, he entered the innermost one.
The interior couldn’t be called spacious by any standard. A table and chair. A plain bed. A white cushion, which no more than one person could repose on. Upon seeing it, he adjudged it to be a futon.
‘When did I last sleep in a futon?’ The past Earth didn’t have any such thing anymore. Shin, too, had almost no memory of it left in him.
Capsule Machine, which allowed cellular revitalization, that had a relaxing effect on the brain, was mainstream in Shin’s period; hence, the concept of sleep had become nonexistent.
Without a moment’s delay, Shin threw the alloy boots off and flopped onto the futon.
The alloy boots, that seemed to be abnormally light, were in actuality quite heavy without the assist.
Leaving the device on the bedside and noticing there was no key hanging in the room, which he found amiss, Shin fell deep asleep.