The Price of Education
“Sorry, sorry. I won’t go into the north forest. I promise.”
“You’re not lying?”
I had raised both hands in a pose of surrender, but Mezerir looked at me doubtfully. As my desire to go had remained the same, it was no wonder she was skeptical.
“It’s true. Besides, there is something I want to ask of you. And so I’ll heed your warning honestly.”
“What? What did you want to ask? I don’t like the sound of it.”
She said, now on her guard. But it really wasn’t anything unreasonable. How rude.
“I want you to teach me the elvish language. I will pay, of course. Would it be possible?”
“Amerata? Hmm… I refuse. Besides, I have no use for money, as I barely even use it.”
I tried asking, but was quickly refused. She was merciless.
“Please consider it. Perhaps there is some other way I can pay you back?”
“No, there is not. All I need is in the forest and village and…”
Her voice trailed off, and Mezerir fell silent. After a moment, she looked at the Adventurers plate on the table and then opened her mouth.
“Hey…You… Ajifu, yes? Since you want to learn a new language, you must intend on staying here for some time?”
“Aye, that’s the plan.”
“Then what about this? In this village, there is one other person who can speak the elven tongue. I will introduce you.”
“Oh! I would be very grateful! Thank you.”
“Don’t get ahead of yourself now. I am just saying that if you help this person, then perhaps they will teach you Amerata. This is someone who has much more troubles than me, and might desire some help. Besides, if you are able to help and come to an agreement, then I would not mind if you visited occasionally, and we can chat. With the words of elves.”
“That is better than I could have hoped for! Is this person also an elf?”
“No, human. The chief of this village.”
The chief, eh? They had told me at the gate to go to the chief’s house later. So it was perfect.
“Well, since it’s decided, let us go!”
Mezerir declared, and so I decided to go with her before she changed her mind. I had Mulze wait at her house, and the two of us headed to the chief’s house in the center of the village.
“You don’t need anyone to keep watch?”
“People just leave the money on the counter when buying things. Though, customers in general are rare.”
“I’m surprised you can survive like that.”
“I provide potions to the village. I believe they sell them in Suelbur.”
I see. Then there should be no problem if she has few customers in her store. After a short walk, we arrived at the large house.
“Lozon, are you in there?”
Mezerir said as she opened the door and walked in without any proper greeting. That’s just how things were in the countryside, I suppose. As I waited quietly behind her, an elderly man came out. So this must be the chief.
“Ah, Mezerir. What is it? Oh? Who is this?”
“I found you a little Adventurer that you can order around!”
She said proudly. That was quite a way to put it. Well, I suppose it wasn’t wrong.
“Hello, my name is Ajifu. I came because I have a request to make.”
I said, and showed him my Adventurers plate. The chief looked at it with some surprise.
“Oh, C-Rank? That is reassuring… But what is this request?”
“The elvish tongue…Amerata. I want to learn it. I could pay you, either with gold or by working as an Adventurer.”
“I see, so that’s what this is. But then, wouldn’t Mezerir be…”
His gaze turned to Mezerir, but she folded her arms and turned her nose away.
“It seems she has no intention of teaching. Hmm.”
The chief thought about it silently for some time. I waited quietly, and then he finally spoke.
“To learn a new language, that will take some time. Are you sure about this?”
“Yes, I am ready.”
“Very well then. If I teach Ajifu Amerata, and spend less on hiring Adventurers, then that would help the village.”
“Thank you! I would be very grateful!”
“Well then, for now, we have a small cabin for guests, so you can stay there. Mezerir, will you show him to it?”
“Fine. Come with me, Ajifu.”
“Aye. And thank you too, Mezerir.”
“It’s nothing. If it helps everyone in the village, then it would help me as well. We all work together here.”
The way she talked, it was not like someone who came from a country with closed off borders. The villagers seemed to trust her, and she cared for this place. What could have caused such friendly elves to cut themselves off from the world… While I was curious, I was not going to dampen the enthusiasm of the moment.
As I would be staying in this village for a while, there would be plenty of opportunities to talk about such things, I thought, as I chased after her.
Mezerir left the chief’s house and headed to the guest cabin. Thankfully, there was also a stable, so Mulze should be quite comfortable here. The cabin itself was very small, but it was clean and obvious that it was maintained regularly.
“It’s usually used by Adventurers who come for quests. This village does not have an inn. And so please use it without any hesitation.”
“Thank you. But…what if someone else comes?”
“If that happens, then I will have a special tent pitched in my garden!”
“What an honor.”
While I should be comfortable enough here at first… I had no idea how long it would take for me to learn Amerata. If it takes too long, I might have to think of a different place to stay.
After that, I was given a tour of the village, and introduced to the people by Mezerir. I bought necessary supplies, and on the following day, my new life began. It had been a while since I last lived in a farming village.
That being said, I would have to go to town occasionally and complete quests in order to have an income.
“Ajifu, do you have a moment?”
The chief visited the next day as I was preparing for lunch.
“Yes. I was going to pay you a visit this afternoon.”
“Yesterday, I went around the village and informed everyone that you will be working as an Adventurer for this village. At the same time, I gathered together their requests for you.”
So saying, he handed me four sheets of paper. I suppose it was a lot easier to ask when you didn’t have to pay. There were more than I expected. When I checked, I saw ‘Goblin extermination,’ ‘Fitol stone gathering,’ ‘Suelbur round trip escort,’ and ‘Giant centipede extermination.’ Each had the villager’s name.
“Well, this might take some time to do all of them. Is there an order in terms of priority?”
“The goblins are top priority. Next would be the escort. The others, you can decide yourself. You can visit me between quests, instead of after finishing all of them. And I will teach you. Well, good luck then.”
Said the chief, and then he left. Well, I suppose I better get started.
And so from that day, my life as a village exclusive Adventurer began.