Chapter 18 – The Beastkin kids (2/2)
Was that too flashy? A number of beastkin fell down from the flash and explosion noise. They kept their distance, so I thought it would be fine, but maybe I should’ve warned them first.
It’s obvious that the rest of the camp and the fortress could hear it too, but this was just an adventurer taking down a prey he found. I wasn’t playing around or anything, so there is nothing I would need to make excuses for.
While I was thinking that, a giant armored fish slowly floated to the surface with its belly up. It seems I was able to take it down fine.
It had tough looking scales on its back, but its belly was white, looking very much like a catfish’s. It was quite big, so it looked a bit like a whale as well, but it did have gills, so it was indeed a fish. The living creatures were all so big in this world.
There were also a lot of other fishes floating near the big one. It seems my somewhat serious Mega Thunder had quite a large area of effect.
Glancing back at all the beastkin cheering about the incoming food and the magic they witnessed, I took a trip to the middle of the river, stored everything there, then flew back. We were good on food for now, so I might as well put all this into the cooled warehouse.
“Masaru-sama, Tilika-chan said that she wants to try eating fish.”
Sati told me once I got back.
“Understood. Tomorrow I’ll be making something with fish then.”
The mouse on Sati’s chest let out a loud ‘chuu’ sound.
I’ll try to slip away from the party after this as soon as I can, but the second floor of the warehouse may not be suitable for longer habitation. It would be fine for sleeping only, but there is no roof over it, or a bath within. We’ll be staying for a while, so I really need to build a proper house after all. I might as well replace the rackety shacks the beastkin are living in and build a few more wells too.
I wonder how the hot water supply is right now at the bathhouse? When I asked the children, they ran to check, notifying me that it was apparently already almost out. There were still a lot of beastkin that haven’t gone in yet, so I need to refill that.
Apparently, it was the Chief’s role to decide where you can build. Uuhmm, there he is. So he came to check on us after all.
I waved at him when I found him, causing him to jog to us.
“W-what might be the problem?”
I just wanted a quick word with the Chief and then arrange for the new house, but the Chief’s attitude became strangely polite all of a sudden. We drank together to make up, but his informal speech changed to polite speech for some reason.
“He must’ve been confident in his strength, but he’s likely scared after witnessing your prowess, Master.”
Syrah-chan explained. I told him that I was an A rank right at the start, but I guess he did not believe it before this. Seeing is believing I guess.
The meat could’ve come from prey hunted by others in my party and the only magic I showed him was when I built that warehouse, produced water, and my Item Box, so he might’ve thought I was just an excellent support mage.
“Master, you were acting fairly humble, and well, you don’t look that strong either, so…..”
Well, that is true. Even if we have good equipment and our party is A rank, all that means that we can be expected to be somewhat strong.
“Also, we need to show them your power. No matter how much money or food you give them, without power you wouldn’t be able to gain the true respect of beastkin, Master.”
So that’s why Syrah-chan proposed having sword training in front of them.
Well, if the probability of a Blessing appearing goes up because of this, then it was worth it.
“I guess I still have some work to do today.”
However, in contrast to the kids still loitering around me, the adults seemed to pull away a bit. The shock might’ve been a bit too much for them, so they might be a bit afraid of me now.
Ellie told me to pull in any possible good prospects, but right now there are only the children that seem any way possible to get on my side. Though they are really looking at me with bright sparkling eyes.
“Syrah, what is your opinion on what Ellie said before?”
“I think any number would take you up on the offer if you were to ask right now.”
That sounds fun too, but I hope to have Syrah-chan amply take care of me today. Also, it couldn’t end at a one night stand either, since there is no easy way to tell who would be likely to get a Blessing even if I don’t contact them regularly after.
I guess I can only hang out with the kids for now. Well, I guess that’s mostly what I did today already. If I were to brazenly go for some girl at this point, it would be simply too obvious.
Even if many would happily accept my invitation, I couldn’t just have them stay the night right away. That would impinge on my honor as an Apostle of God. I can only aim to increase the chances of naturally coming into contact with others.
“Karl, how about I go and build a new house for you first?”
I asked while I was making a tenement house at the place the Chief pointed out. I can start with the families of these kids first.
“Then do granpa’s house please!”
“Grandpa? Ah, do you have any other relatives?”
I can guess though….
Karl said dispassionately. A few months have passed already since then, and since everyone else around was mostly in the same circumstance, he had to move on. Poor guy.
“I see. How about you, Partia?”
I was curious so I asked the rest as well. Partia was the kid that burst into tears that her grandpa was about to starve to death.
“We have granpa with us!”
Grandpas, grandpas everywhere.
“And you, Mel?”
Mel was the girl that got the first meat skewer. She rarely spoke, but she was one of the kids that were following us around.
“Dad went to be a soldier. My mom and my little sister are living at home with me.”
Finally. That’s a bit better.
The rest were in similar circumstances. Children like Karl, who had no close relatives left, were apparently being looked after by distant relations or other acquaintances. There is no such thing as an orphanage in a beastkin settlement, children are treasured and customarily taken care of by everyone.
So my investigation established the fact that there was no unmarried girl of marriageable age among the families of the kids. Beastkin women can also fight, so most of those that would match that description went to join the army as well.
In other words, those that remained are children, or mothers with children. And the grannies, I guess. Of men, there are even fewer present.
I guess then I can only place my expectations on the kids.
“I see you all suffered a lot. Well then, if you have a problem, then come to me and I will help you.”
“Yeah. I can help with most things.”
I can give them wealth, fame, and influence somehow. What I can’t do anything about is world peace, I guess.
“Can I become an adventurer?” Partia asked me.
“That should be no problem.”
Not immediately though, but I only need to teach her the basics, give her proper equipment, and that’s about it.
“Then, can I become as strong as you three?” Karl asked.
That depends on them; whether they get the Blessing or not.
“Sati-neesama and I were trained by Master. If you swear your loyalty to him, then he’ll be able to make you powerful in short order.”
“You will honor my Master as your Lord, becoming our comrade in arms.”
“I will! I will be your comrade!”
“That’s all well and good, but you need to ask your parent or guardian first if they’re fine with you becoming my comrade, okay?”
The kids scattered in every direction.
“It’s fine, really. We will just train them for a bit while we’re here. We won’t take them with us of course.”
The Chief looked like he wanted to say something, so I explained more, which caused him to sigh in relief.
“These tough circumstances will continue for a while yet, so it would be for the best if you could take them under your wing.”
Could one of them get a Blessing just from this?
If things go the same as it did with Sati, then maybe, but it’s also possible that my meeting with Sati was something of a miracle.
“It….would be nice if our numbers could increase.”
I replied to Sati with only that single word and nodded.