Chapter 15 – The beastkin settlement (1/2)
We were led by Karl to the beastkin chief’s place, but he wasn’t present when we arrived. So, I decided to start handing out food for the time being.
I took out some crates of food from my Item Box and lined them up on the ground.
Ten crates worth of various boxed meals, meat skewers, freshly baked bread and such. It should be enough for about two hundred people. Lot of the food was freshly made, so their scent was particularly inviting. I’ve run out once at the Gorbas Fortress, so I’ve gone out of my way to buy stuff up when I could since then. That came in handy now.
There was also quite a bit of fruit. I picked the best tasting I could find and bought them in bulk, so there was quite a bit in my possession already.
“Can we really have all this!?”
Karl asked with an excited voice after taking a peek at the contents of the crates.
“Just wait a sec. This is not nearly enough for everyone yet, right?”
I soothed the kids that jumped at the food crates. That’s merely the appetizer. Nothing more than snacks.
With a bang, I brought out a huge boar, the largest prey we managed to hunt on our journey. We planned on eating it ourselves, but I might as well give it to the beastkin here.
I steered back the astonished beastkin that came closer to see what was causing the commotion and brought out a bunch of orc and harpy corpses as well. That should be around a fourth of what we hunted down during the trip.
“That’s it for now, I guess? Syrah, please distribute them properly.”
“Yes, Master―― Listen! After witnessing your wretched state, my Master decided to provide you with sustenance.”
Oooh! Their voices resounded.
“As you can see, there is plenty for everyone. Take with you as much as you need. Now, line up!”
“Ah, you can prioritize the children as thanks for leading us here. They can take as much as they want.”
When I said that, the children rushed the food crates and loaded up both their hands with as much food as they could.
I noticed one heading for the mountain of orc corpses. I think he wanted to pull one out and take the entire thing with himself. It was the kid that said that his grandpa was close to starving to death.
Syrah-chan looked at me to ask if she should do anything about it, so I nodded that it was fine.
“Someone, help him out.”
When Syrah-chan said that, a number of adults moved to help him out.
“Thank you, adventurer big brother!”
“No problem. Say hello to your grandpa for me.”
While we were dealing with the kids, the line proceeded quietly. I thought it would take a long time, since there were a lot of people present, but many decided to form groups and help each other to haul the prey away, so the line went by fast.
Many of them were women and children, some of them especially young. Some women had a bunch of children around them, so they were probably the mothers, though I saw some that were no older than Sati, in which case they were probably the older sisters.
The men were mostly just the elderly ones that appeared from time to time, with adults nowhere to be seen. It seems they really took all of them to serve as soldiers. The place was filled with cute cat eared kids and girls, which is a heavenly scene, but even if the reclamation of Hiragis succeeds in the end, if the men don’t end up coming back, it will be difficult for the beastkin village to recover.
“What’s going on here?”
When most of the food was gone and the line was nearly empty, a just past middle aged beastkin reached us and asked the people still in the line.
“Chief! These people brought us a lot of food.”
Hearing that, he approached us and bowed to Syrah-chan. Hah, that happens every time.
“It seems you’ve helped us out a lot. Thank you very much.”
“If you want to thank someone, then thank my Master instead.”
“Ah, there is no need for that. I think I might be able to provide some further help, so can we talk about it somewhere? Oh yeah, this large boar is a gift to the leader.”
The boar is obviously too big for others to bring away, so I decided to gift it to the chief.
“We are very grateful for providing us with this much food. Let’s talk in my shack. Uhm….”
“I’m Masaru, an adventurer. This is Syrah and Sati.”
Inside the shack, there was an extremely old looking beastkin sitting on a rug on top of the packed earth. The chief sat down on that side as well and since there were no chairs or even a table, we sat down cross legged. It might be a bit rude of us, but combat boots can’t be taken off quickly and sitting in seiza would be very difficult as well.
The beastkin sitting in the back looked very old thanks to her heavy wrinkles. It’s rare to see small children here, but this might be the first time I’ve seen someone as old as her in this world. She gave off the feeling of an old cat, which was kind of cute to be honest.
“So, first of all, I still have more of what we hunted on the way here, so I can offer that to start out.”
“That would be very welcome.”
“Also, I will give you this money. Use it as you see fit. This…. settlement? One of the children said that there are approximately a thousand of you, so this should be enough for a while, right?”
Saying that, I took out a coin filled box from my Item Box.
“Within this beastkin settlement, there are currently about two thousand people living here.”
So it was off by an entire hundred percent. I thought they seemed like smart children who could explain stuff pretty well, but they were just children in the end.
However, according to my calculations, we could’ve supported even a hundred thousand. Two thousand or so is no problem at all.
“There is exactly a million gold here.”
I told the chief whose expression changed once I opened the box.
“A million…..Just what are you planning on asking for it in return?”
Have I gone too far too fast? It seems he doesn’t trust me in the least, but if I was in his shoes and someone out of the blue said that they would give me a hundred million yen, then I might also think that it’s a scam.
Or perhaps they became less trusting after their workforce was conscripted and their food rations lowered?
Also, it might’ve been a bad idea to say ‘I’ there. However, if I were to include Syrah-chan and Sati, who’s the same race as them, that might lower the probability of someone getting a Blessing.
It would be easier with Ann in the picture, but then it would be just aid from the Church, so I have to do this myself. Even so, this is getting troublesome already…..
However, compensation, huh. If someone were to get a Blessing, then it would serve as compensation that you can’t buy with money, but then what exactly is the difference between this and buying slaves like I did with Syrah-chan?
Well, we don’t need to force them to come with us if someone in fact does get it. We don’t need more help in the immediate future anyway.
Though it’s a different story if they want to come with us on their own volition.
“I won’t ask for anything. I heard that people were in trouble and I thought of offering my help.”
“When it comes to a million gold, we can’t just….”
“With this, no one will have to starve for a good while, right?”
“Hearing the earnest pleas of the children, my Master was deeply moved by the terrible state of the people here and declared that he would use his private resources to help them.”
“Both the game we hunted and the money here is something I recently obtained. I still have other savings, so even if this money goes away, it won’t affect me in any negative way. I will not ask for anything in return, that I can promise, so please accept it freely.”
“Isn’t this a truly welcome turn of affairs.”
The old lady, who was just silently sitting in the back, spoke up for the first time.