Chapter 137: The People of the Sea
(Note people is written here as Men and Women)
On that day, a carriage with a supplies from the queen arrived.
“I heard the Hero of the Shield could be found here.” (Knight)
“What do you need?” (Naofumi)
The knight who came with the carriage addresses me.
I think I’ve seen this face before… I think she was practicing swordsmanship with Rafatalia.
Her appearance is… that of a standard female knight from a game. If she takes off her helmet, I think her face will rival Rafatalia’s in beauty.
Her hair is long and strawberry-blond. Most of it is stuffed into her helmet.
Her eyes are blue, like Firo’s. She looks like she would fit the role of a Wicked Queen perfectly.
She is accompanied by other knights, one of whom I recognize as part of volunteer army that helped me during the wave before the last.
“Hero of the Shield!” (Volunteer)
“You… How have you been?” (Naofumi)
“We’re working hard on rebuilding the city.” (Volunteer)
“I’ll bet. But, that’s not what I’m asking. What has happened to you guys since then?” (Naofumi)
“Nothing major has changed. I’ve been sent here to act as a messengers while the others here are reinforcements.” (Volunteer)
“Ah, I see.” (Naofumi)
The Queen seems to have completely grasped my train of thought. She has already sent more personnel.
“For now, it’s just me, but I have been instructed to act as the official messenger between here and the castle.” (Volunteer)
“Not the Shadows?” (Naofumi)
“Those people are to act as the unofficial messengers.” (Volunteer)
What’s the difference?… Well it doesn’t really matter.
“I’ve been asked to act as a martial arts instructor for the slaves.” (Female Knight)
“Ah, that will be helpful.” (Naofumi)
Rafatalia is mostly self-taught. It’s good to have someone with professional training experience.
“So… where are the ever-so-important slaves right now?” (Female Knight)
“I sent them out to level grind. I think they’ll be around level 25 when they get back.” (Naofumi)
“Fumu… Your lessons sure are fast-paced.” (Female Knight)
“It’s Spartan style. Also, I plan to have around 30 more people for non-combat related purposes.” (Naofumi)
“For what purpose would that be?” (Volunteer)
“This and that. Well, we also need to rebuild the buildings.” (Naofumi)
“Understood, I’ll relay that to the castle.” (Volunteer)
Now then, I need to move on to the next task as well.
Recently I’ve been researching various plants. I’m trying to see why I can’t modify certain substances.
There are quite a few faults to my modification skills.
For some reason, there are some plants I can edit and some I cannot.
In that respect, the Bioplant is very easy to modify.
So I’ll see if I can make that Bioplant produce some simple medicine.
I finish readying a plot for the plant without issue.
“The Hero of the shield sure is enthusiastic.” (Kiel)
Kiel, who had just returned, stumbles out of the carriage.
He has stopped complaining to me about cooking, but…
His stomach still growls.
A few days later.
The slaves are having fun climbing up the Bioplant.
Their levels have all passed 30. Their appearances also changed, and they now look to be around 14-15 years old.
They only look slightly younger than Rafatalia. They have started to look an age that can actually be sent out to battle. They seem to be growing quite healthily.
Their appearance… well I would put it above village children. But there is no one here who rivals Rafatalia in looks. It just seems that they are eating proper meals.
Out of the boys, the one with the best face is probably Kiel. His face looks like a girls. He might grow into a Pretty boy one day (TL: Bishounen). Rather than saying he looks like a boy, it would be more accurate to say he looks like a boyish girl.
Not that it matters to me.
“Hey, Shield-Niichan! We’ve only been having meat and vegetables for a while. I’m tired of it.” (Kiel)
(TL: I’m debating whether or not to translate Shield-Niichan as Shieldbro)
“Don’t be selfish.” (Naofumi)
For some reason, he’s started to become quite impudent. It’s getting to be quite a pain to deal with.
I should try to set him straight, but he does his work fine, so there’s not much I can do.
He’s been acting quite familiar with me. He’s talking to me as a younger brother rather than a slave. He has also begin to say, ‘Thank you’ when getting food.
As long as he’s motivated…
It seems many of these children were used for physical labor before.
It may seem strange coming from me, but many consider it unethical to send child slaves into battle. They are mostly used for other purposes.
They are quite skillful at physical work.
“Hey, I’m going to go off to the ocean and catch some fish, so please cook them, Nii-chan.” (Kiel)
“I don’t remember becoming your brother!” (Naofumi)
Kiel is definitely looking down on me.
Should I lecture him?
Oh right, Kiel seems to be shorter than the other boys.
His voice is also higher.
“I would also like some fish.” (Rishia)
Rishia and the other slaves voice out their agreement.
“Niichan, I want to eat Seafood!” (Kiel)
Damn, it seems I have mass produced Firos.
It’s a good thing the eggs haven’t hatched yet.
There’s no way I could handle a strange monster joining in here.
“Ah, I got it. Today we’ll go to the beach to catch some fish. While we’re there, Firo, go swim out and capture some aquatic monsters.” (Naofumi)
“Yes~!” (Children in unison)
And so it turned out that we were headed for the sea.
Well, it has been getting quite hot lately.
Swimming around a bit won’t hurt.
These people… They lived here before, so they can swim, right?
And so, after a short walk, we reach our destination.
And so the slaves enthusiastically run out towards the water carrying harpoons. They all take off their clothes and enter in their underwear…
In the middle of this, I noticed… Rafatalia and Rishia noticed as well.
“Eh? Eh!?” (Rishia)
“Firo! Go catch Kiel!” (Naofumi)
“? I got it.” (Firo)
“Wah!? What is it!” (Kiel)
Firo drags Kiel out of the ocean.
Kiel is violently struggling under Firo’s arm.
“What is it, Shield Nii-chan!?” (Kiel)
“Let me say this first. I don’t really care, but there is something I must point out a large problem in the way you act.” (Naofumi)
“And I’m asking what it is!” (Kiel)
The other slaves notice the commotion, and come over.
They seem to have caught on to the problem.
“Kiel-kun… are you possibly supposed to be Kiel-chan?” (Rafatalia)
“Wha?! What are you talking about? I’m a boy.” (Kiel)
Kiel’s chest has a bandage wrapped around it, and he… she is wearing a loincloth below.
… For obvious reasons, Rafatalia is pointing at Kiel’s nether regions.
Recently I have been unable to read Rafatalia’s behavior.
It may be that meeting up with old friends has restored some lost parts of her personality.
“Kiel-kun… do you know the difference between a man and a woman?” (Rafatalia)
“Um, you know… A man is someone who has…” (Rafatalia)
Rafatalia begins whispering in Kiel’s ear.
“That can’t be true. If I were god, I wouldn’t do something so painstaking as to differentiate men and women like that.” (Kiel)
“Then please look at the other boys No, look at Naofumi-sama. He’s a bit different, isn’t he? His chest isn’t wrapped right?” (Rafatalia)
“What are you talking about? That’s what happens when you become an adult. I just have a bit of excess fat so my chest sticks out. When I become an adult, it will fix itself.”
The BS is spilling out at quite an alarming rate.
… How the hell was Kiel raised before becoming a slave?
I have too many questions.
Or was she perhaps raised without such standards? Was she allowed to freely choose her definition for Male and Female?
Whatever the case, she was definitely raised abnormally.
Anyways, how did no one notice during the time he was a slave?
…Was this part of the Slave Dealer’s schemes?
If I were the Slave Dealer, I wouldn’t go to the trouble of changing a slave’s world view, and would just sell her as is.
This country is quite rotten. There’s probably a perverted noble who would buy her thinking she were a pretty boy.
And maybe another pervert who found Kiel’s lack of gender Identity to be a turn on. All this just raises her selling price.
It seems she has already been sold a few times.
I think I heard that she had broken too many plates at her last place and had thus been returned…
Kiel also has some signs of significant physical abuse, so I guess she didn’t receive any preferential treatment.
It seems that the abuse of Demi-human slaves is quite common in this country.
Rafatalia also showed such signs of abuse.
I guess this is the aftereffects of the recent war with Silt Welt.
Out of the 8 slaves one of them said that they were saved by a hero before.
I guess even those people can’t stand to see children being abused.
I see that they had left the issue to the country, and the child had eventually been resold as a slave anyways.
In the few days since she came here, I’ve gotten a good grasp on what personality Kiel has.
Around 6 of the new slaves still act cautiously when away from Rafatalia.
But that isn’t an issue I have any influence over. I’ll leave that to Rafatalia and Rishia.
At night, Rafatalia puts the other children to sleep, and sometimes sleeps next to them.
She also went through a similar experience, so she is able to understand their problems.
Even if I stay around, I don’t think they will open their hearts to me.
Firo, being Firo is able to interact well with them.
She seems to be good with dealing with children in general, that bird.
This may be similar to the practice of Animal Therapy. (TL: google it)
However, the children still get nauseous at the sight of her prized carriage.
“B-but father said that a man is a man if he thinks he is a man no matter what.” (Kiel)
So did the daughter began to imitate her father’s manly attitude?
And anyways, that talk in itself is implying that you are a woman.
She was raised like someone from a story I had heard about.
(TL: I don’t know the reference. Possibly Yukimura of Boku wa Tomodachi ga Tsukunai)
The other female slaves laugh amongst themselves.
I’ve heard some women like to imagine boys who cross-dress, but what do they think of a Girl who wants to be a man of the sea?
“This can’t be… I mean, what’s the point of separating man and woman anyways!? I don’t even know anymore!” (Kiel)
Author note (TL: The Real one)
Kiel wasn’t meant to be an important character, however the personality I gave him overlapped with another male character I planned to make down the road, so I decided to give ‘him’ a little… quirk.