About the Taniko Scene, it was a reference to this
I have the video file, but youtube blocked it for copyright within 20 seconds of me uploading it.
Chapter 144: Descision
I head towards the town Female Knight told me about.
It’s close enough to this village to walk there.
“Ah, it’s the Hero of the Shield!” (Villager)
When I head to the village, I find that construction is already underway. Many people are working on salvaging the pre-existing buildings here, and some are starting construction on new ones. Some people stop what they’re doing, and come over to greet me.
I put on my best business smile to meet them. The leader of the group seems to be a youth from Ryut village.
“I’ve heard about your situation. Have any problems surfaced yet?” (Naofumi)
“Well… There’s a river and a well nearby, and food circulation is going quite smoothly. If I had to mention a problem, it would be that the management of personnel is difficult.” (Leader)
“I see.” (Naofumi)
“It seems there have been some disputes over property rights here and there.” (Leader)
Well, this was a town whose buildings were all destroyed in the wave.
What’s more, the town is undergoing restorations under the supervision of a Hero. Some people will probably try to arbitrarily claim some land as their own.
“Even if they used to live here, it doesn’t matter. Please have anyone without the intention to cooperate leave the premise.” (Naofumi)
As I declare this, some people seem to rise to object, but they quickly give up.
“Also, if you need to extend past the boundaries of the village, feel free to do so.” (Naofumi)
I then begin to consider the possibility of flooding.
I will need someone to manage the roads, but I don’t think there are many people knowledgeable in that field.
“Anyways, for now try to build while focusing on bringing new businesses here, and expand accordingly. Also, we will need to build some inns.” (Naofumi)
No matter how reparations proceed, getting businesses will be essential. They should build while keeping this in mind.
“Next, we’ll need some sort of security force.” (Naofumi)
For now, we are leaving this to the Castle’s guards, but I eventually plan to leave it to the slaves who wish to fight in the wave.
That way, it will be easier to reprimand them for excessive behavior.
“We’re getting new applicants who want to live here by the day.” (Leader)
“It will be troublesome if they start gathering at my village, though.” (Naofumi)
“The Female Knight that was with you spread the rumor that this village was your actual base of operations.” (Leader)
That Knight does good work. I should probably ask for her name at some point in time.
I can hear hammers pounding away as people resume their work.
“Ah, aren’t you the Shield Hero kid?” (Magic Shopkeeper)
I turn around and see the old lady from the Magic Shop coming towards me. Ah, yeah. A lot of people had come here from Ryut Village. It’s not strange that she would join them.
“Ah, you’re from the Magic Shop. The shop collapsed, right?” (Naofumi)
“Well, yeah…” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“Did you come here to help with your family?” (Naofumi)
“I’m currently helping feed the workers.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“I see… By the way, how are the repairs on your store going?” (Naofumi)
“I don’t know when they will be finished, but there are quite a few people in the Castle Town waiting expectantly for its reopening.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
With all the damage done to it, I guess re-opening will take a while.
Though the Queen is doing her best to help, the country’s manpower and resources suffered a large loss.
“If possible, I would like to set up shop here for a bit…” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“A magic shop will be an important asset. I’ll give you special permission.” (Naofumi)
“I am very grateful for your words.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“But only after we get some usable buildings completed.” (Naofumi)
“I’ll wait expectantly.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“Don’t worry. Oh, and if you have any free time, can you come to the neighboring village and teach some magic?” (Naofumi)
Some slaves have begun learning from books, but there’s a limit to self-study. We also don’t know anybody’s magical affinities. It will probably best to ask an expert in the field.
Recently I have been considering constructing a school-like institution.
Right now, the slaves are learning combat from Female Knight and Rafatalia outdoors, but having a Dojo might also make things easier.
For that purpose, it is very fortunate that we have a Magic Shop close-by.
“I’ll think about it once I set up shop.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“You’re quite a resilient person. To take on more despite your current situation.”
“Even though I look like this now, I used to run the largest Magic Shop in the Castle Town, you know.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“Please invite the Apothecary as well. It’s good for business to have many different facilities.” (Naofumi)
“It seems the Hero of the Shield is quite the Business Man.” (Magic Shopkeeper)
“Well, I have been called greedy on numerous occasions, and I can use the reasoning of, ‘It’s for the sake of the world’ as I please.” (Naofumi)
“Fufufu…” (Magic Shopkeeper)
The people around us have begun to distance themselves.
After that, I start to give orders regarding the construction.
One Week from that
Rishia’s level is now 40, and the other slaves will be able to class up soon as well.
It’s about time for us to go to the dragon hourglass.
Female knight already notified the Queen before-hand, so all we have to do is go there.
So I gather together the higher level slaves, and headed for the Castle Town.
“It’s been a while since I last came here.” (Naofumi)
We parked the Carriage at a near-by village, and entered the Castle Town by foot. This is because we will be recognized if anyone sees Firo pulling the cart.
It’s been two weeks, and the Castle town is still recovering.
“Shield Nii-chan, Why are you wearing a cloak?” (Kiel)
The slave whose level is second highest to Rishia is Kiel. Her straight-forward personality makes her well suited for battle.
She’s started to be able to coordinate attacks with Rafatalia and Rishia. Female Knight tells me that Kiel will become an amazing fighter someday.
“If I’m found out, it will become impossible to move.” (Naofumi)
Hooray for the Shield! Is what people will say as they fence us in.
Though I’m a hero, I find that it’s quite a pain to actually be treated as one.
“Is that so?” (Kiel)
“Firo, make sure you don’t assume your monster form unless you absolutely have to.” (Naofumi)
Should I stop by the weapons shop on the way back?
… I don’t have enough money. If I get something too expensive, and have him put it on my tab, I’ll feel bad.
Though I don’t think I should keep him waiting for too long.
I’ve been slowly saving up, but everyday expenses have been piling up…
I decide to stop on by on the way back anyways.
And so we reach to the Dragon’s Hourglass.
“We’ve been expecting you.” (Soldier)
A soldier, who looks quite talkative, comes out to greet us.
“Today, I’m here for my comrades’ Class Up.” (Naofumi)
“I’m aware, I received the message earlier.” (Soldier)
The Ceremony starts in the same way it did with Rafatalia and Firo. I order Firo to assume her Monster form.
“U-um… What should I try and class up to?” (Rishia)
Rishia looks over at me with a troubled expression.
“You need to choose for yourself…Though there is something here that may choose for you…” (Naofumi)
Firo’s Ahoge shows no signs of movement.
“If your Ahoge starts moving, you need to get out of the building.” (Naofumi)
“Do you want something like that time with Rafatalia and You to happen again?” (Naofumi)
The result worked out, but it wasn’t good for the individuals. In order to let them choose their own paths, I need to caution Firo.
“Yeah… I got it…” (Firo)
Okay, I got Firo’s consent.
“Hey, you. Wait for a second.” (Naofumi)
“What, Shield Nii-chan” (Kiel)
“I’ll ask just in case, but you do know that we have come here to class up, correct?” (Naofumi)
“Well, Yeah…” (Kiel)
“You told us earlier” (Slave)
The slaves all nod at me.
“And so, my belief is that you should be the one to choose your own destiny. This is something separate from preparing for the Wave.” (Naofumi)
“What do you mean, Nii—chan?” (Kiel)
“I’ll give more training to those that personally want to participate in the wave. But we also have to consider what happens after the wave is over.” (Naofumi)
Rafatalia watches over me in silence.
That’s right, I started this village with Rafatalia in mind. But, everyone here will also have a life in this world after everything is over.
“The class you choose here may heighten your abilities, but it will also narrow the possible roles you can play in the future. Does everyone understand?” (Naofumi)
The slaves nod.
I confirm this, and continue speaking.
“Your lives will take you to many places from now. You’ll experience many new situations and take on many roles. That’s why you should be the ones to choose your path here. It’s not always best to simply have someone pick the route that gets you the best stats for you.” (Naofumi)
“Can that really happen?” (Slave)
I give a heavy nod.
“Rafatalia and Firo here are victims of such a phenomena.” (Naofumi)
The two unenthusiastically raise their hands.
“Do you see the crest on Firo’s head? It arbitrarily decided their class-ups for them. But the class it gave them had higher stats than most normal ones.” (Naofumi)
“Yeah, but for you guys, combat abilities isn’t everything. If there’s a role you really want to do, there should be a class that allows you to specialize in it.” (Naofumi)
There’s no perfect class. And among those present here, there are definitely no perfect people.
And that’s why.
“Just make sure you don’t regret it.” (Naofumi)
The slaves whisper amongst themselves.
“I got it, Shield Nii-chan. I… Want to become as strong as I can possibly be. If such an option exists, then I don’t need a choice.” (Kiel)
Kiel speaks with determination.
The last time she went back to train, she suffered quite heavy injuries and had to be carried back.
“I want to Class Up like Rishia Nee-chan and lead the others.”
“You won’t be the only one taking damage. In the worst case scenario, some may die.” (Naofumi)
“I know, Shield Nii-chan.” (Kiel)
“You have a habit of being impulsive. If you screw up here, you may regret it.” (Naofumi)
“Don’t worry! It’ll definitely work out!” (Kiel)
Is what she said. Though her enthusiasm was unmatched, she put too much focus on a single monster, and took an unexpected attack from a blind spot.
Her comrades were also quite injured.
“Shield Nii-chan. I think this is the first time I have tasted defeat… If I don’t do my best, will it turn out like that again?” (Kiel)
She said afterwards. I had healed her wounds with magic and medicine, but the experience still lingered in her mind.
“Shield Nii-chan always protected me… so I never noticed. That fighting was such a scary thing.” (Kiel)
“… In the end, It’s fine because no one died, but if anyone were to die under your watch, you’ll feel a pain greater than any other.” (Naofumi)
“Yeah… Nii-chan, I’m sorry for looking down on you until now. I’ll go tell the others.” (Kiel)
“…I thought it was supposed to be difficult to teach them discipline, but they went and learned it before I had even noticed.” (Naofumi)
And that experience gave everyone a lot to think about. It seems that Kiel cried that night.
Kiel still bears the scar of that incident, but the experience she gained outweighs the damages.
After seeing Kiel’s squad come back with injuries, the rest of the slaves have also begun to develop a fear of fighting.
They’ve become more diligent and have begun to develop tactics. If Rafatalia hadn’t been there to rescue them, who knows what would have happened to them.
Even I understood that I was being too light on them, but it seems Rafatalia and the others were harsh on them to compensate.
Rafatalia is supporting me in many ways.
The boy next to Kiel steps forward.
“I… want to pick my own future.” (Boy)
“I understand. Please split into two groups, those who want to choose, and those that don’t.” (Naofumi)
The slaves follow my orders, and divide themselves.
“Now then, Firo. I’ll have the people that don’t want to choose go first, so please back off when those that do step forward.” (Naofumi)
“Rishia, what will you do?” (Naofumi)
“I… Want to become stronger by my own hand. If it means giving up my choice, then I don’t need such an option.” (Rishia)
I had anticipated that Rishia would pick that. She came with me for this sole purpose.
“Then it’s fine. Pick a class that suits your tastes.” (Naofumi)
The hourglass begins to shine, and Rishia closes her eyes.
The soldiers in the area surround the Hourglass, and liquid begin to flow into the grooves on the floor that formed a magic circle.
The Hourglass glows brighter, and the circle on the floor begins to shine with it.
Rishia’s class up menu appears in front of me,
but I close it
Firo fidgets with her Ahoge
So it won’t act up like last time.
“Okay, Rishia, it seems that there are no problems.” (Naofumi)
Rishia begins breathing slowly, and reads through the list.
The light begins to converge on her.
“I’ve made my decision.” (Rishia)