Bandit Arc ⑨ -Guriguri Village-

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Tensei Shoujo no Rirekisho was written by Karasawa Kazuki and this chapter was translated by yAmi on www.yamitranslations.com

When we arrived at Guriguri village, the appearance of the village had transformed to some extent.
The fields are well maintained. When we left the village, even though it was late at night then so I might not have been able to see clearly but the fields appeared to be in a messed up state.

We bandits went straight for the village chief’s house, just as we did before.

“Chief, did you encounter any problems when we weren’t around? More than anything, it seems that this place has changed. Have you all started tilling the fields?”

“Yes. That’s ruight. The truth is. Some days after Alek-sama left, the mages came. The crops had been grown with magic.”
*Sip sip*. He had been talking for some time so I guess his throat had become dry. Chief was slurping his tea.

“Mages huh? ……They came to chase us?”

“It sheemed that way. It’s just that, instead of being focused on subjugating you bandits, they were more interested on the whereabouts of this girl – who is with you.”
The village chief fixed his eyes on me while sipping his tea.

“Don’t tell me the mages were really activated……”
Rudel murmured with a pale face. That reminds me, before we left the village, he argued that there was no way the mages would come so soon.

“How did the Chief and the rest answer to their inquiries?”

“I told them we had no idea. They used a light spirit user to search but because Alek-sama left in the middle of the night, they found no traces. And since they made the effort to come all the way here, they assisted us in growing crops. However, because we did not plant any seeds *cough**hack**hack*!”
O-old man! The tea, drink the tea! Don’t talk for so long!

“……Fuh—, my apologies. Because we did not plant any seeds, there was not much of a harvest. And sho, the mages gave us seeds and something called fertiliser, and that is what we are growing with right now.”

“Ahh, I saw it when we came to the village earlier. Buds have started to sprout in the fields.”

“Yes, that’s the case. Anyhow, that the seeds were able to grow into buds……it is something to be joyous about. It’s all thanks to the fertiliser. We are now cultivating the field by mixing in ashes of burnt grass and decomposed soil that can be found in the mountains.”
Fertiliser? Speaking of which……I seem to recall teaching the spirit users of Rainforest about fertiliser……

“Could it be that the mage that visited the village was a haggardly old man with sunken cheeks and dark circles under his eyes who also looked like he was dying all the time?”

The “could it be” popped into my mind and so I cut into the conversation.
“Yes, indyed.”

I knew it! It is definitely the spirit user from the cruel black enterprise who always look as though death was upon him.
I see, he came all the way here to do business. Well done!

“Your acquaintance?”
Boss turned to face me.

“He might be called an acquaintance. When I was a maid, I gave him some help.”
Also, that spirit user is really doing a great service to the villagers by educating on fertiliser.

“Alek-sama, would you be staying for a short while?”

“……Ahh, I was planning to do so. I would be borrowing a room.”

As he said, the village chief turned to his back. Boss’s face was stoic.

*

Boss and the rest left the chief’s house and were guided to a vacant house that had been prepared.

En route, the three village-bandits were about to return to their homes and back to their families but for some reason, the boss stopped them and we entered the unoccupied house together.

No way, this house is so small, how can we squeeze all nine of us here? I certainly wish the villager-bandits return to their own homes though……

Everyone entered the room and shut all the windows and doors.
“Do you hear it?”
The boss muttered with an indiscernible expression.

“Ah, I hear it. The sound of horse hooves right?”
This time it was not the composed Rudel-san but a slightly flustered Rudel-san.

“Most likely, they have gone to inform the mages so that they can capture us.”
Eh!
In short, you mean that huh? That this bandit village has sold the boss out?

“It can’t be! Why!? There’s no way the people in this village would do that.”
“Retard, keep your voice down!”

The villager-bandit trio were greatly shocked and could not believe it. Kuwamaru raised his voice to remonstrate the bewildered trio.

“But, Kuwamaru bro! Boss and the rest are our benefactors! There is no way that anyone would do that.”
“Everyone may not all think your way. ……Do not forget that this time, the mages have bestowed their help and that there would be some who desire to lead a life dependent on the mages.”
Kuwamaru looks slightly dejected. Heartbreaking.

“T-that can’t……! All this time, the mages have abandoned us, the one that gave us a hand when we nearly died was……even though it was Boss-san and the rest! And now at this late hour, just because they grew the crops, it can’t be……”

In order to calm the somewhat agitated villager bandits, Kuwamaru placed his hand on Gozle-san’s shoulder with a *ponk*.
“You understand? This is how a portion of the villagers think. It’s not that everyone think like that, you got it?”
The villager bandits casted their eyes down and nodded.

“If the horses set off from today, it is unlikely for the mages to be able to reach here by today. We leave by sunset today.”
Boss had carefully timed himself to give these orders only after the villager bandits have composed themselves. The leaders among the bandits likewise agreed with boss.

Next, boss shifted his eyes to the villager bandits that are still in disbelief and who are still frozen in their thoughts.
“Gozle, Porun and Bucket. What about you guys? Will you stay in the village? Once we leave, there will be no return. Are you prepared to never see your family again?”

The three villager bandits slowly lifted up their face and stiffly looked up to boss. Their faces were pale. It feels like they still have many considerations and that they have yet to sort them out in their heads.

“Boss, can we have more time to decide……?”
“Nope, decide now. If you have hesitations, I have no need for you.”
Towards boss’s unrelenting words, the three of them could only gulp.

The room became so quiet to that extent that the air in the room froze over. The first to break the silence was Bucket-san. When he left for the village, he was the villager bandit that put a bucket over his head as a substitute for armour, and so he was nicknamed Bucket-san. He was generally shy, and hardly said much but still, he treated me kindly.
When he returned to Guriguri village, he had been worried for his mother that stayed behind in the village, and asked how his mother was doing while stuttering.

Bucket-san removed the bucket that was over his hand with his trembling hands, and dropped it. *Clonk* Next he went down to his knees.
He started crying while kneeling down.

“……Sorry, I cannot abandon my family.”
Bucket-san had decided to remain in the village.

The other two who had been watching him, crumbled down to their knees too.

“I, too, am very sorry. In the end, I want to be with my family……Being able to be on a journey with boss had been very fun but, that is only because we definitely had a place to return to.”

And then, the three of them kowtowed.

Kou-okaasan said in her teary voice, “It’s alright, we’ll let you stay by your family’s side. Raise your heads,” and patted their backs.
Kou-okaasan is easily moved to tears.

“I see. I understand. If the mages were to come, just tell them you had been forced to follow us against your wills.”

Boss reveal gentleness in his expression.
As for Kuwamaru-bro, he looked like he was having it tough too, probably because he would no longer have them little brothers around.

“Ryou, what about you?”

All of a sudden, boss directed his eyes to me.

Eh?

“What about me……what do you mean?”

“In any case, your future husband……Claude was it? That guy, to the extent of using the mages, he had been crazily searching for you it seems. Would you stay here?”

Ehh!

Even I would be given a choice!?

Being asked this question out of the blue, I took a hard look at boss’s face. It was never-changing deadly looking face. I could not read his true intention from his face.

If I chose to stay, does it mean I would be able to meet with everyone back at Rainforest territory?

From Alan to Cain to Irene-san to Claude-san to Stella-san. The faces of everyone with whom I had spent time with over there resurfaced in my mind.

However, if I did that, I would no longer, be able to be with the bandits……with Kou-okaasan……

I took a long look at the bandits. They all had their eyes on me. They await my answer.

“I will……”
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