CHAPTER 4: EVEN THE MOST REMOTE FRONTIER ISN’T PURELY SLOW LIFE…
“So this is my territory huh…“ (Yuo)
A week after our encounter with the bandits, we finally arrived at the remote, frontier village that was supposedly my territory.
It was the shabbiest village I’ve ever seen.
A frontier of frontiers.
“It’s quite rough, isn’t it?” I can’t blame Lara for saying that with a sullen expression.
The villagers lived in old shacks.
The village fence was falling apart.
There are a few fields but seeing the condition of the crops planted in them, I’m not too optimistic about the harvest.
To be honest, I thought it would be nice to live a slow life at the frontier.
It might not be as extravagant as the capital but at least it can be refreshing and relaxing.
Waking up to birds chirping in the morning, living a healthy life with simple villagers.
But it’s tough out here.
This can’t even be considered a slow life.
Well, of course, we truly are in the middle of nowhere.
According to Lara, this village hasn’t developed because of its location.
The area around it is teeming with monsters.
Only a mountain separates it from the Demon King’s newly conquered territory.
Moreover, no inns exist nearby so adventurers wouldn’t dare venture here.
Again, the frontier of frontiers.
Even if we try to develop this land, it will get overrun by monsters and the demon tribe anyway.
I was told that I can do anything I want with everything within sight, not just the village, but I had doubts regarding our safety.
“Ah! Yuo-sama! I am Sunrise, the head of Yapan Village.
I was a knight under the previous Duke Reinhardt!“ the village chief-ojiisan greeted us right when we arrived at the village.
I vaguely recall hearing about a knight called Sunset but seeing him now, he gives off the impression of a frail, old man rather than a knight.
He even had constant tremors and looked like he could pass away any minute now.
“It’s quite embarrassing but I was sent to retire here after getting severely injured during a monster attack…” (Sunrise)
Sure enough, the chief was using crutches to aid his injured leg.
Barely able to stand, his granddaughter was also worriedly holding his shoulder for support.
“My name is Hannah.
Nice to meet you, my lord.
It’s been so long since I’ve met anyone from outside the village!” the village chief’s granddaughter said with a bow.
She was a lovely and honest-looking young lady who looked about the same age as me.
Just like the injured village chief, his granddaughter and the rest of the villagers also looked thin and malnourished.
The fief’s people are emaciated and live in shabby, poorly-made houses.
It seems things are worse than I imagined.
“Why are monsters able to attack the villagers? Isn’t there supposed to be a barrier protecting the village?” (Yuo)
“A very strong monster recently attacked the village and rendered our barrier useless.
I’m truly ashamed of myself.” (Sunrise)
According to the village chief, he received his recent injury in an attempt to drive away a monster that attacked the village’s livestock.
Is it even possible for a monster to destroy a magic barrier?!
We need to recruit more people to patrol the area and reinforce the village fence.
We have our work cut out for us.
“There may even be times when it’s necessary for master to engage in actual combat.” (Lara)
“Well, I’ve been itching to test my skill out anyway.” (Yuo)
I trembled in excitement when I heard her say ‘actual combat’.
Although I’m not good with swords or magic, I’m quite adept at physical combat.
I fought monsters on my way to this village so something like protecting this village is a challenge I can easily accept.
“No, no! The monsters in this region are much stronger than those you’ve fought in the capital.”
“Yes, you can easily get killed if you put your guard down.”
The villagers started to get nervous about how lightly we were taking things.
Their warnings should make one cautious but I still believe a lord should be able to protect their people.
To assure them, I puffed out my chest and said, “If anything happens, leave it to me.”
After that, the villagers guided us to my home in the village.
“Master, I’m gonna start cleaning up! The amount of dirt and dust in this place is getting me excited! I’ll do my best!” (Lara)
Once inside the mansion, Lara immediately began cleaning.
It’s quite fun seeing her clean the previously dusty furniture squeaky clean using magic.
After an hour, the entire mansion was already polished and pristine.
I’m grateful she came with me.
This mansion was owned and used by my grandfather, which explains why it’s fully furnished.
It was a relief not having to worry about where to stay the night.
Well then, I’m going to explore the mansion.” (Yuo)
While walking around, I discovered a door marked ‘Yapan Archives.’
Huh, an archive? Why would such a remote territory need one?
I opened the door and found various items displayed inside.
The room smelled musty but it looks pretty similar to a library in the royal capital.
Hmmm…maybe it’s grandfather’s collection or something.
I was hoping to find some gold or jewelry but all I can see are useless junk.
What is this book?
There was a battered book labeled ‘Excavated from Noboribetsu Cave.’ It was a large yet thin book.
Pretty unusual. Out of curiosity, I picked it up.
A magical painting? No, it looked much more vivid and realistic compared to a magical painting.
The painting was so vivid that no one would believe it was excavated underground.
It depicted a scene of people’s daily life.
The script beside the image was written in a language that doesn’t exist in this world, as far as I know.
Looking at the scene and script, it’s clear that it came from a completely different culture.
One page depicts a woman taking off her clothes and entering a milky, white pond with an ecstatic expression on her face.
“… What’s this?” (Yuo)
What is in the pond that’s making her so satisfied?
Bathing is common in the capital and our bathing culture was quite developed but I’ve never seen anyone bathe this way.
I wonder if this type of bathing is common in their culture.
She had an expression of full bliss that made me interested in trying, but this method of bathing still looks really odd to me.
Steam could be seen rising around her.
From the looks of it, the milky pond seemed to be warm.
The book contained various other paintings other than this strange scene.
“Master, we’re having dinner soon,” Lara called for me while I was reading the book.
It seems I’ve been reading the mysterious book for an entire hour without noticing.
It was just too interesting.
“Hey, Lara! Look at this!” (Yuo)
“As expected of master, you found something interesting!” (Lara)
Unable to keep such an interesting book to myself, I showed Lara the “paintings” depicted in the book.
We talked about various things and shared our ideas.
Little did I know…
I never expected that this book would greatly change my life and the future of my fief.
A village on the frontier
A poor village of less than 100 people.
Located on forbidden land.
Low security and low income.
Mysterious old documents were unearthed from the village’s cave.
The document seems to depict different customs from another culture, but everything is shrouded in a veil of mystery.
 Noboribetsu is a place in Hokkaido famous for its onsens or hot springs.
The book/documents she saw were probably pictures of a catalog for Noboribetsu.
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