Life in the Village
“&%$& Nanaze&% &%&A$ Wajia.”
First of all, I could not even make out the sounds properly. Except the words I had been taught. It sounded more like a spell than an actual spell.
“Uh, umm… Chi-ha-you…”
“&’&%$# &%$# Nashim.”
“If you don’t say something other than ‘chihayou’ (I don’t know), then you will not improve.”
The chief shook his head and sighed. It was easy for him to say, but I could not say what I did not know.
The chief, no, people in this world, seemed to believe in ‘familiarizing rather than learning.’ Just listen, memorize, and speak.
Apparently, if you do it enough, you will acquire a skill. If acquiring a skill was all that was needed, then there was no reason to think deeply about the words.
That being said, I had always been bad with language studies. So I suppose it was good to have an obvious goal like acquiring a skill. I could just think of it as training for a skill, rather than studying.
“With children, they first learn to speak by listening to their family. If I have advice, it is to not use Eralt. For that, you must learn the words of everything around you. And learn to think in Amerata.”
“Yes, I’ll do my best…”
I stretched my arms out on the desk and collapsed.
I didn’t know what he said to me, but it sounded angry, and so I straightened my back.
“You seem to be rather tired. I suppose that is enough for today.”
Even though it had been my idea, using your head was exhausting. After all, ever since I came to this world, the days had been overwhelmingly about physical labor. There was so much I had to learn to do with my body, so that it had been awhile since I used my mind like this. It was as if my brain had turned into muscle.
“Natahite kuyolana (Thank you).”
I said the Amarata I had just learned, and left the chief’s house.
“Ah… This is going to be a lot harder than expected.”
“%&%$ %$&& &’%$& &%$&%#?”
“Woah! Don’t use that on me right now!”
“How pathetic. What happened to all your previous passion?”
As I held my head over the store counter, Mezerir shook her head with exasperation. I made sure to pay her a visit whenever I had time. Part of it was to learn Amerata, but it was also because she seemed to have the most free time in the village.
“Passion isn’t enough in the long term…”
“Really, you are hopeless. Here, drink some tea.”
She placed a wooden cup on the counter, which had a refreshing smell. I took a sip of it and sighed.
“Phew. That’s good. What kind of tea is it?”
“It’s made from hemusit leaves.”
Those were very common trees around these parts. I didn’t know you could make tea with them.
“Huh… So you can make tea out of hemusit leaves. I’m surprised this isn’t more widely popular.”
I took another sip. Yes, it was refreshing.
“The place it is grown, as well as the harvest methods are special. Elves are very proud of this tea.”
Mezerir said boastfully. So they weren’t just ordinary leaves. Well, I would expect nothing less from the forest tribe. Though, Mezerir was practically a villager here now.
“How long have you lived in this villager, Mezerir?”
“It will be thirty years now. At first, I was with my father…”
She said with a far away look in her eyes. I suppose that even with a long lifespan, it was a harsh world.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to pry.”
“Huh? Oh, it’s not that. He is still living in good health in the elf homeland. Even we elves allow our children independence once they are of age.”
So he’s alive! That was some misleading wording there. That being said, surely it must be lonely to live so far away from the other elves?
“Do you ever want to return to Amernisus? To see your family.”
“No. That place is so boring. This village is much more interesting. I prefer being here.”
Apparently, not. I could not really understand her, and decided to drop the subject.
“If village life is so fun, then surely other elves would want to live here as well. So, why did they close off their country?”
She trailed off while touching her jaw with her finger.
“It’s not exactly a secret, so I could tell you, but… since you’re making such a commendable effort, I think I will tell you once you can speak Amarate.”
She said happily. She enjoyed toying with me.
“Oh, I shall learn to speak it. And faster than you expect. You better not back down on your word when that happens.”
“%$#’ &%$# &%$% &#$&?”
“But not right now!”
“Well, it looks like I have nothing to worry about for quite some time.”
As she burst into laughter, I left her store behind me. Damn it. I will show her.
“Mr. Ajifu, you are C-Rank, are you not? Are you sure about this?”
“Don’t worry. I’m doing it because I want to.”
I carried the stacked boxes one by one. I had been asked to help clean a storage house while the husband was away.
The requests from the village were not separated by rank. But even if it would have been a G-Rank quest, I had no reason to reject it. After all, there were no low-ranking Adventurers in this village. Normally, they would gather around towns with actual guilds.
Besides, requests from within the village were actually preferable for me.
Even if there was no reward money, not once did I leave empty-handed. I would receive some kind of gift that was not money. It might be that day’s lunch, or some of their farm produce. Or they might even help me with a different request.
More than anything, it was a chance to become friendly with the villagers, which was a big enough reward for an outsider.
“Oomph. That’s done. Is there anything else?”
“No, no. That is enough. Thank you. Here, please take this.”
She handed me a wooden bowl that had a cloth covering it. When I pulled away the cloth, I saw that it was filled with shrunken vegetables.
“Mename pickles. Thank you. I shall eat them with some meat.”
They were slightly sour, which went well with meat.
And so I took the pickles, and went to the house of the hunter who gave me the giant centipede quest. At this time, Ozlo should be at home.
“Hey, I got some pickles, so give me some meat!”
I shouted from outside. After a moment, Ozlo’s head peaked out from behind his door.
“I’ll give you some meat, but you give me some pickles. Oh, this smell. It’s from Mrs. Rilesari, isn’t it?”
He could tell which house it’s from by the smell. Was he some kind of pickle expert? It was indeed a good smell. I suppose her pickles had a special reputation.
“You have good taste. Yes, I got these delicacies a moment ago.”
I said, as if that made them more special.
“These will go well with my ale tonight! I know, some smoked nana fowl would be perfect. While it pains me to part with it, I will share some with you, Ajifu.”
Nana fowl were especially fatty birds during this season. If pickles could turn into smoked meat, that sounded like a good trade.
“Thank you. I don’t want to be presumptuous, but I’m sure you’ll give me a lot.”
“What the…well, I understand what you mean. …Here, will that do?”
He cut up two large pieces of the smoked meat and handed them to me.
“Ah, very grateful. Thank you.”
I then shared some of the pickles with him and left Ozlo’s house. On my way back, I stopped by Mrs. Rilesari’s house, and gave her one of the pieces of meat. I was also infected by Ozlo’s enthusiasm, and ended up buying a small barrel of ale before returning.
For dinner, I ate fatty fowl meat, and the refreshing pickles, which did indeed go amazingly with ale.
This satisfying rich dinner felt like proof that I was really fitting in in this village. And so while I drank, I thought of the different people I had met that day, and the night in the village passed quietly.