Chapter 14 – Fortress on the Hiragis border (3/3)
There were plans for going hunting as well, but the people that were taken to be soldiers took all the available equipment with them. Even beastkin that have a higher base strength than humans, they can’t just go for it without proper training. And trying to go without any equipment is just suicide with extra steps.
They of course tried to negotiate with the higher ups of the Empire and Hiragis, sent a messenger to ask for aid from the beastkin of the Empire, tried to create fields to grow crops, and various other things, but by now they’re at a point where they need to decide if they are willing to wait for people to starve to death, or sell someone as a slave.
So, the kids were roaming the camp to look for possible ways to get food or some errands to run for some pocket money.
“Granpa haven’t eaten in three days already. He always just says that he’s fine…. I don’t want him to die.”
One child burst into tears after saying that.
“Hey, you big bros and sisters are rich, right?”
“Well, moderately I guess.”
We are an A rank party and we have nice equipment as well.
“Then please buy me! I will become an adventurer and I will fight as hard as I can!”
Don’t be absurd. There is no way a kid not even ten years old would be able to work as an adventurer.
“Please! I will do anything!”
Even if he says something like that, I have no intention of accepting any boys.
“You, what’s your name?”
“It’s Karl. Big bro, will you buy me?”
“No need for that. Out of respect for your determination, we’ll give you food.”
“Even if those here get some food right now, the rest….”
“I know. How many beastkin are around here in total?”
“Uhmmm….about a thousand, I guess?”
According to my previous calculations, we could take care of even a hundred thousand people, so a thousand would be a cakewalk. Even my allowance would be enough to finance it I think.
However, even if I were to give aid, I don’t want to do something that would stand out. If I were to provide them with a huge amount of food at this point, then it would most certainly attract attention.
Could I expect perfect information control ala the elves from the beastkin? Or should I hand over just enough so they can survive this predicament and ask Ann to disguise the rest as donations received via the Church?
Well, we can deliberate on the particulars in the near future, but first we need to save those that are already in danger of dying.
“Very well, Karl. I will lend a hand.”
“Since Masaru-sama said that, you can rest easy.”
“That’s right. Master will take care of everything.”
But first, a discussion was needed.
Leaving Francesca out, we gathered around and put our heads together. It was a secret family meeting.
“We have plenty of food, so I think it’s a good idea to help out, Masaru.”
Everyone else nodded in agreement with Ann’s words.
“Also, I would like to keep this on the down low as much as possible, but can we expect the beastkin to keep the secret like the elves?”
“Well, with a thousand people here, I don’t think we could count on that to be the case….”
Syrah-chan was pessimistic of our chances.
“We will go all out when it’s time to take Hiragis back either way. Does it matter if we stand out a bit here? Also, there might be some people from the beastkin that might get that. You told them you will lend a hand in hopes of that, right?”
Ellie said while glancing at the beastkin children that were looking at us anxiously.
The Blessing. It did cross my mind, but….
“To take care of a thousand people, my allowance might be enough for it by itself. I still have the money from the Grand Tournament as well.”
The hundred million yen equivalent money I got from the Grand Tournament. For a thousand people, that means a hundred thousand yen per capita. If I add in the monsters we got on the way, we could easily take care of them for a few months.
“Ann, could we use the Church as a proxy to do it all anonymously?”
“It might be possible, but then it would be the Church that might leak the information instead of the beastkin themselves. I don’t think there would be that much of a difference.”
I guess that’s also true. The Church is an organization that we can count on, but I wouldn’t go as far as to truly trust them. They just might be the worst possible place for my information to get leaked to.
“Then, should I try contacting my family instead?”
Will has amazing connections, so he should be able to arrange something on the down low, but he ran away from home.
“Let’s save that until we have no other choice.”
Well then, what should we choose?
Support them quietly? Go for broke and support them as much as we can in hopes of getting someone with a Blessing?
However, I don’t feel too good about doing that just in hopes of getting someone with a Blessing out of it. I just wanted to help out some hungry and crying kids…..
My eyes met with Sati’s, who was watching me. The image of Sati when we met and the little girl’s just now overlapped for a second. With that image in my head, I have no choice but to help in order to maintain my mental health.
Forget the trivial stuff.
“I decided. Let’s do as much as we can without standing out too much.”
If we did something about the entire refugee camp, then it might be one thing, but taking care of only a group of a thousand people should not kick up that much of a fuss.
“Will you do it alone, Masaru?” Ann asked.
“I will help as well,” Sati spoke up.
“I will bring Sati and Syrah with me of course.”
“Then I will do what I can on my end as well. Tell me as soon as something happens, okay?”
“Of course. I’m counting on you.”
They said that I could use all the monsters we hunted on the way here, but I decided to only use half for now. The main part of the camp might need some help too.
Assisting the Adventurer’s Guild, including making a warehouse, was decided to be Ellie’s role this time. I can just go in later and deposit the goods we brought with us.
We also decided not to change the schedule of our journey. In the worst case, I might not be able to go with them, but then they can just deliver Francesca and we can meet up after that somewhere with the help of Teleport.
As for the last thing, Tilika summoned a mouse to keep us in contact, which I hid in my armor. I wanted to summon one of my own as well to make the communication two-way, but my Summoning Magic is still at Level 1, so I only have an owl, which would stand out even if we discount Francesca’s presence.
“Then, do your best, Masaru. Ahh, Francesca, you’re coming with us. Leave the rest to Masaru here, we are going to the Fortress for now.”
Saying that, Ann dragged Francesca away with her.
“Well then, Karl. I will help out all the beastkin here, so lead the way.”
“But….why would you help? We beastkin are poor, so there won’t be any money here you know?”
Karl asked me with an anxious expression while we were walking. He must’ve been thinking that it sounded too good to be true.
“I like beastkin very much.”
“Just because of that?”
I think it’s very important.
“Don’t worry, I’m not planning on buying you with it or asking you to pay it back later. I’ve made it quite big with a bet recently, so I’m flush with money right now.”
“Sati-neesama and Master participated in the kingdom’s Grand Tournament and made a spectacular showing. Especially Sati-neesama, who won it against all odds, so we made a lot of money by betting on her.”
“That kingdom is quite a large country, right? That’s amazing!”
“Yeah. The ones who remained until the finals were all great warriors, much stronger than me, so the two who lasted the longest were truly amazing.”
“Huh? That small big sister over there is stronger than you?”
“Both Sati-neesama and Master are powerful enough to take down a huge dragon by themselves. I don’t even come close to them.”
“Have you ever defeated a dragon!?”
“I have. Do you want to hear about it? Very well, very well. The first one I took down was a flying dragon, about half a year ago I guess――”
It’s nice that all it takes for young kids like these to cheer up is me telling them some of my stories.