Tsuki ga Michibiku Isekai Douchuu
Extra 48: Tsige Episode ~ the sister that had no family in the past and bathed in muddy water ~
“Why, damn it~~?!!”
The shout of Eris reverberated in the late night forest.
Putting more detail to it, it reverberated in the bedroom that her partner Aqua and her use at the temporary residence.
“Shut up! What revelation was it this time?! Think of the time. Please let me sleep!” (Aqua)
At the time when the nightmare called TM bootcamp had finally calmed down and they were finally seeing a livelihood in this new land that is called Asora, it had been a while since Aqua had returned to her bed, moreover, she wanted to enjoy the supreme bliss of being able to sleep quite a lot the next day, too.
This may be a temporary residence, but the bed is of fine quality and she was about to fall asleep in comfort, and yet, this happens.
She didn’t really mind that her partner Eris brought a variety of documents with blazing eyes as if she were a child that had just come back from a festival, and began to read them.
That’s right, as long as it doesn’t get in the way of her sleep.
“A number of hells have been eliminated from the next term’s TM bootcamp-ja!! There ain’t no way that’s okay-ja!!” (Eris)
“Don’t go spouting weird dialect! Listen here, don’t tell me about where you got those documents, okay? I have nothing to do with this. Good night!” (Aqua)
“This is the worst. They should also get lacquer poured on their head! They should fumble around not knowing anything about the characteristic trees of this place and face hell!” (Eris)
Eris was saying really terrible things.
“Let me sleep!” (Aqua)
Aqua reprimands her on her wit’s end.
“I refuse!” (Eris)
But she refuses.
Aqua throws her cute nightcap with full bloodlust towards Eris.
The nightcap flies towards Eris with scary sharp and polished angle. It was hard to believe that nightcap was made of cloth, it was more like an arrow.
This is a technique that Aqua can pull off thanks to her drastic growth in Asora.
“Too soft!” (Eris)
But Eris reacts immediately, pinches the tip of it, throws it, and it softly lands spectacularly at the corner of the bed’s footboard.
This was also impeccable technique.
“Hehe, having been polished by the same bootcamp, there’s no way something like that would work against me!” (Eris)
“Then it should be okay let me sleep tonight as a comrade that faced the same hell, right?!” (Aqua)
“The next term’s TM bootcamp lacks way too much Waka-sama components! At this rate, there’s the fear that the M will not stand for Makoto-sama, but Mio-sama!” (Eris)
“Isn’t that good? Honestly speaking, the temporary program of Waka-sama was the one who led to the most injuries.” (Aqua)
It is the truth.
This is something that all the Forest Onis agree with from the bottom of their hearts.
The lord of Asora, Misumi Makoto, had brought elaborate wooden tableware from who-knows-where, and brought a work proposal for the Forest Onis of collecting sap from trees that would serve as varnish.
It was a mystery how wooden tableware and sap were connected, but…it was hell.
What Makoto showed to them was the collection of sap with a peculiar edged tool, this technique being called urushi-kaki.
The amount of sap required was decently high, but it didn’t look like something difficult to perform.
Even when warned about how there’s the chance to develop rashes from the sap, for the Forest Onis who are forest specialists, it was within daily life parameters.
There were still some Forest Onis that still looked down on the ignorant lord, but the moment the tool of the Forest Onis touched the lacquer tree bark while thinking today it would be an easy job…a large amount of milky white liquid poured on their defenseless heads.
A little after that dumbfounded voice of Makoto was made, the Forest Onis rolled about while screaming.
It was a sight from hell.
Aqua and Eris couldn’t forget that abnormally fast and strong itch either.
The fist-sized hole that suddenly opened from the trunk of the tree released a large amount of lacquer that was poured on them; a nightmarish memory.
The reason why they raised their spirits as if they were entering battle whenever the sap collection was confirmed in the schedule was also because of this experience they had.
Of course, the first group bootcamp of men and women with Mondo at the lead investigated the reason why the lacquer poured on them, how to safely gather it, and learned through trial and error.
“The next guys will -from the very beginning- be gathering the sap with the method we painstakingly found, you know? That cannot be. Is it really okay for such unfairness to exist?!” (Eris)
Eris was trembling with the same tension as before, yet even with that, there wasn’t a single wrinkle in the documents, which can be attributed to the results of the bootcamp as well.
“…No, that’s natural, right? Why would the next group have to face the same hardships? If they learn the technique we obtained, they can reduce the time required, and they could also apply new things to it.” (Aqua)
“Don’t go playing the saint here, Aqua. If they don’t learn with their own bodies and underestimate the gathering of sap, it would double the dangers and the issues. I would say it would just create great damage and reap no benefits.” (Eris)
“In that area, Tomoe-sama and the others must be restructuring it, right? And what’s a saint? It sounds church-like and it gives me the chills.” (Aqua)
“Muh, true. If it is Tomoe-sama…yeah. She just has to show them an illusion of getting poured lacquer on their whole body and they would be able to understand a bit of our stomach pains too…Kufu.” (Eris)
Aqua was bothered by the phrase stomach pains, but didn’t say anything about it.
It is always like this.
She never explains what saint means either.
‘I just want to sleep soundly’, that was the sole wish of Aqua right now.
“In the first place, they said that the menu would be polished each time it is performed. That’s why, just sleep, Eris. It is okay, we did it. We can do our best in Asora, and the outside is okay too, so good night.” (Aqua)
“That’s true, but…” (Eris)
“Yeah, then it is about time—” (Aqua)
“The forest park menu has also been made easier!! This one’s a core! A core!!” (Eris)
(Aah, I can’t deal with this anymore, I want to sleep, I am going to sleep.) (Aqua)
Aqua lets out a slightly low voice.
“Things like the mind preparation for Olive Trees, the instant sleeping of the Katsura Trees! The amount of time allotted on trees is way too low!” (Eris)
They were a new concept in this Asora.
A mysterious plant world that even Makoto was slightly surprised at.
Trees that not even the wasteland or hyuman history has heard of, and it is one of the subjects that surprised the Forest Onis the most in Asora.
“Not only the mid-term and final exams, they should also experience and train themselves! I have found the second point I can’t back out on.” (Eris)
A pretty low voice came out from Aqua.
“I am in a good part here, what’s the matter, Aqua?” (Eris)
Maybe Eris preemptively noticed some kind of danger, she finally reacts.
Aqua had raised her upper body, looking with muddled eyes at a part of Eris’s bed and points at it.
“Return me my cap.” (Aqua)
“…Here you go.” (Eris)
“…Thanks. I can somewhat understand that Tomoe-sama or Ema-san are trying to do something. But you know, Eris, I really want to sleep. I want to sleep more than my desire for bananas, do you understand?” (Aqua)
“Good, thenseeyoutomorrow. GoodnightEris.” (Aqua)
“Have a good night.” (Eris)
There was no response.
Aqua puts her fingers inside the folded part of the nightcap, and takes out two earplugs and equips them.
She covered herself in her soft blanket all the way to her neck and journeyed to a world of bliss.
“Fumu, I did cause too much of a ruckus even though this isn’t a personal room…probably.” (Eris)
It is not probably, she was clearly making way too much of a ruckus.
There’s many things placed there at the side table of the bed. It was as if Eris was saying she doesn’t plan on moving out from here tomorrow.
Lying down on her bed face down and using her arms to raise her upper body, she had documents spread out on her pillow, showing that she still had absolutely no intentions of sleeping.
And then, Eris puts on a nightcap that matches Aqua’s.
They may say a lot to each other, but they are partners.
By the way, this room is a bit like a hotel’s twin room.
Even though it is a temporary facility hurriedly made for the TM bootcamp, it has quite the quality.
Currently, the only point that the Forest Onis appreciate in the bootcamp is their lodgings.
Even though you went on an excursion and are tired by all the activities, you are somehow really energetic when you get the same room as a friend of yours; that’s kinda how Eris feels.
“If Aqua reads these documents, she would also end up having a general idea as well, huh. Have to reflect on that. Well, not like it is bad that she learns about it though.” (Eris)
Eris lowers her voice slightly and shows restraint.
This is actually a request from Tomoe.
But well, considering their standings, rather than a request, it is more like an order.
“It is true that I am seriously happy about having the chance to rest tomorrow and I also want to sleep, but…if I manage to finish this job by tonight, I would be basically free all the time till next week and the next term.” (Eris)
Eris’s smile was slightly changing into a bad one.
“If we take away the daily training that’s settled for everyone, I would have half of the holidays…and the weeks… This is already consecutive holidays. Aah, how nice it sounds, so sweet. No no…I will soon be able to go outside, so I will have to get used to free days so that they don’t think weirdly of me in this Tsige place. That’s right, this is in order to let others know that the Kuzunoha Company is not a corrupt company that exploits their employees. You could say that this is an act brought by my selfless service towards Waka.” (Eris)
And in reality, for the Forest Elf Eris, working and acting outside as an employee of the company is heaven compared to the calculated hell and tension of Tomoe, and on top of that, the horror happenings that come from Makoto.
They could take it easy and relax in the good sense, so it would become a job they wouldn’t want to let go of ever.
Eris would use her everything in order to maintain that standing (which isn’t actually that big of a thing as she would simply be a regular employee), but right now she doesn’t know that.
She didn’t have one of those mysterious revelations either.
“Now, let’s do my best!” (Eris)
Eris was showing rare easy to tell motivation towards the bright and sweet future of having holidays.
The next day, Aqua coincidentally met Tomoe and the thing at night was exposed, making the consecutive holidays plan of Eris crumble in the very first day.
However, in the future when Eris left to the town, even when she couldn’t obtain consecutive holidays, she would be able to adapt to the Kuzunoha Company better than anyone and manage to enjoy a relaxed town life, which you could say is a blessing within the misfortune.
At that time, Tomoe told Eris she was being a racoon <sly> which made Eris have a slight hatred towards the racoons in Asora.
By the way, the racoons in Asora specialize in illusions and have special transformation techniques, making them into quite the formidable foes.
A little after the opening of the Kuzunoha Company.
At the time when the equipment repairs of the dwarves and adventurers who fervently made custom requests were silently increasing, two sisters were looking at the merchandise of the Kuzunoha Company.
“This is quite the varied store.”
“Yeah, they are going for the easy road of being a store of everything.”
It seems like they are surprised and amazed by it.
Mixing slight admiration in it as well, the Tsige girls to the core, Keema and Carol, slowly inspect the inside of the store.
“The fruits and medicinal plants that are the central allure are already sold out, huh. We have to come check them out sooner or they will already be gone, then.” (Keema)
“That’s strange. If I remember correctly, he bought a large amount of wooden tableware.” (Carol)
“Isn’t it you mistaking him for another person? Someone in deep blue coat and speaking in written language could be done by someone else.” (Keema)
“Keema, don’t say that about the owner of the store…” (Carol)
“Hmm, but there’s nothing that resembles that here. Was it to use it in his own house?” (Keema)
“Now that I think about it, I made those with the plan of using them to advertise my ability, so I might have made them a bit too thin for actual use. But it was too many to be used for his own home.” (Carol)
“Then maybe he bought extras in case they break?” (Keema)
“Do you really think a merchant would do something as wasteful as that?” (Carol)
The two of them were being surprised by the clear rare materials that are placed wherever in here and tilting their heads at the empty shelf that stands out; from an outsider’s perspective, they look like people who are inspecting a competitor.
Even so, the elder sister Carol may have well-cleaned clothes, but they are patched up; and the little sister Keema is wearing the clothes of a waitress.
Many of the merchants in Tsige make sure to look presentable.
That’s why these two won’t be seen as merchants of the same trade.
Fortunately, there weren’t that many customers, and even though there’s times when there’s people passing by, it wasn’t congested to the point of being unpleasant.
There weren’t any inconveniences in stopping their feet and looking at the merchandise.
“But you know, this is interesting, don’t you think? You can even buy weapons, that adventurers would throw large sums of money, for pocket money a child would have. It is funny in a sense.” (Carol)
Carol stopped her feet and speaks out her opinions to her sister while stuffing into her apron one of those ‘things that even children’s pocket money could buy’ that are made with special technique and craft.
She gave a side glance at the dwarf that is tending to the store and she felt as if he looked at her for a moment, but he wasn’t showing any movements. He didn’t react at all either.
Her sister that was at her side also didn’t notice the sleight of hand.
(He seems to be a decently skilled dwarf, but even he wouldn’t be able to notice if taken from a blind spot, huh. That brown skinned store clerk as well… But it would have been fine if my sister noticed. It would be troubling if she were to dull too much.) (Carol)
The Rembrandt Company and Tsige’s Irregular Underground Association have warned the others, so they had no intentions of stirring trouble with the Kuzunoha Company.
That’s why this is a theft that serves as a substitute for a greeting.
If someone like Morris were to detect this with their outrageous abilities, they can just return it the next day.
It was an action with that kind of light feeling.
“Customer, are you searching for something?”
“Oh my, it isn’t something that requires us to bother a store clerk.” (Carol)
The reaction of the sisters after being suddenly spoken to was contrasting.
Keema’s shoulders trembled and she stopped breathing.
Carol didn’t have that much intention of buying anything, and was wondering about how much the wooden tableware she made was being sold at, which she felt bad that it made a store clerk come to them.
“Please call me without worrying. Our representative isn’t here at the moment, but if it is about the merchandise, I have a decent understanding of them. If it is about special equipment talk, it is okay to speak to that beard over there.”
“It seems like he is doing maintenance and is busy though?” (Carol)
“He may look like that, but he is actually pretty free. Nice to meet you, I am Eris. It is my first time in a town this big, but you can count on me for merchandise knowledge. No doubt.” (Eris)
Quite the friendly brown skinned demi-human, or more like, blunt.
Carol once again felt validity in the rumours heard everywhere about this company having almost no hyumans, and returns the greeting of Eris.
For Keema and Carol who have a past of being orphans, their discrimation towards demi-humans isn’t that strong.
After being adopted by the owner of a big restaurant called *Vilky*, they have had a lot more experience in seeing the dark side of society than your regular hyuman, which allowed Carol to act natural here. <Not sure if the restaurant name was established before>
“Thanks. You are really dependable even when you are so small, Eris. I am Carol, and this is my little sister, Keema.” (Carol)
“The small part was unnecessary. I am probably older than you two. We are kind of like relatives of elves, so we grow slower. That’s all there is.” (Eris)
“I see. I thought for sure you were the daughter of that person there. So you were sisters.” (Carol)
“Aqua there is my childhood friend. Not my mother, nor sister. Carol, even though this is our first time meeting, you are a natural at being rude.” (Eris)
“Eh, childhood friends?! But the growth…eh? Ah, sorry. Hey, Keema, where’s your greeting?” (Carol)
She was about to fall into the pace of Eris, but she did her best to change the subject by pushing her little sister to introduce herself.
And in reality, the one being unreasonable here was Eris. Looking properly, you could see Aqua, who is displaying the merchandise close to the entrance, and the dwarf at the counter a bit far away smiling.
“…Keema, nice to meet you, Eris.” (Keema)
On the other hand, Keema was making a light version of her usual friendly smile.
(I didn’t notice her approach even when she got so close that our hands can reach? Since when was this little girl here…) (Keema)
She didn’t let her guard down.
Even though it is a prank, they were planning on stealing merchandise, so of course she should have been keeping tabs on the three store clerks.
And yet, the demi-human called Eris closed the distance that much and spoke to them. Slipping through the senses of Keema who has confidence in her assassination skills.
“Nice to meet you. From what I saw at a glance, Carol was searching for something, and Keema was accompanying. Is that correct?” (Eris)
It looks like she isn’t that bothered by the tone of Eris anymore.
Maybe because Eris is small and cute, but also because of the unknown and slightly dangerous aura she is giving off.
At any rate, Eris nodded satisfied at the answer she expected.
Keema was increasing her guard to the highest, and makes a poker face smile that’s different from the one she has when she is a waitress, and went meek, simply following her sister.
“Well then, customer, what is it you are looking for?” (Eris)
“Wooden tableware.” (Carol)
“…Wooden tableware?” (Eris)
The atmosphere of Eris changes; that’s what the sisters felt.
“Yeah, like for soup or a plate, one for hot pots would be good too. The representative, Makoto-san, bought a whole lot of them. I thought for sure he bought them to sell them as merchandise…” (Carol)
“Soup bowls and plates, you say?” (Eris)
The shoulders of Eris tremble slightly.
She hugged her shoulders with both hands as if she were enduring something.
The sleeves that were being tightly held by her thumb and index finger were making wrinkles.
Her face was slightly down, and Keema and Carol couldn’t see her expression.
“Yeah, but…is something the matter?” (Carol)
“Were they…thinned to the point where you would question if they were for practical use?” (Eris)
“Y-Yeah. I think it is those.” (Carol)
“They didn’t have any sort of strange material aside from that particular point?” (Eris)
“…The one who showed Waka the unpainted wood was y—!” (Eris)
A gale passed.
Keema was barely able to detect that the other brown skinned demi-human, Aqua, had her body blur as if disappearing.
Keema and Carol were surprised by the sudden wind, and at the next instant, the figure of Eris who was acting strange was no longer there.
Substituting her was the dwarf that was supposed to be in the counter.
The slight mysterious sound of ‘I will get yoooou’ remained slightly in their ears, but they didn’t understand it and didn’t mind it.
“I am really sorry about that. That girl had a bit of a harsh past, you see.”
“A harsh past…towards wooden tableware?” (Carol)
Carol was letting out question marks from her whole body as she asks.
Of course she would.
A harsh past and wooden tableware.
Just what kind of fate made those two connect? She can’t even begin to imagine.
Keema was tense and cautious for a different reason and she already lost the ability to smile.
“Yeah, that was an unfortunate accident. But I see, you were the one who made that unpainted wood. You have good skills.”
The dwarf is a craftsman himself, so he is directing sincere eyes towards them.
“By unpainted wood, are you referring to my work?” (Carol)
“That’s right. Waka-sama took a real liking to them. Tomoe-sama also had an interest in them.”
“Tomoe-san -I mean, by Tomoe-sama, you mean that brave woman that doesn’t falter even in the wasteland?” (Carol)
Carol was shocked by the name she didn’t even expect would come out.
She doesn’t know the details, but Tomoe is a female adventurer of unbelievable high level.
There hasn’t been anyone who has been able to confirm it, but there’s people saying she is an illusory existence that has 4 digits.
The strongest in the minds of children is normally level 999, so in realistic terms, the only one who would rival that would be the dragon slayer, Sofia, who defeated a superior dragon.
If it were only the representative of the company, Makoto, it would be one thing, but the possibility of catching the interest of Tomoe made Carol instantly nervous.
“Umu, the reason why we call them unpainted wood is because Waka-sama went through one extra process with your work to test it.”
“Extra process, you say?” (Carol)
Carol tilts her head.
It is true that it was tableware with no remarkable materials to it.
It should be possible to add more things to it.
But what did he actually do?
Maybe something like using a coating spell to prevent damage, or draw patterns to decorate since they weren’t decorated in any way.
Those were possibilities that Keema thought of in an instant, but she herself denies them.
“Even if it is coated, it wouldn’t get value worth its cost. If he wanted to make extra patterns or drawings to it, it would mean that he has craftsmen who are able to do things like that, so he wouldn’t need my work…” (Carol)
“Fufufu, well, it is a simple, but solid process.” (Beren)
“You are half correct.” (Beren)
“Oh, sorry for the lateness. I am Beren. I am being left with everything regarding this store’s coming and going of equipment and materials.” (Beren)
The dwarf introduces himself and tells the sisters about his job.
“Ah, I am Carol. A novice woodwork craftsman. This one is my little sister Keema. As you can see, she is a waitress.” (Carol)
“Right, glad to make your acquaintance.” (Beren)
Beren lightly lowers his head.
It was a show of his respect towards Carol’s craftsmanship.
She will be able to get technique on the level of a dwarf in a not so far future, but to be able to create tableware with such thinness in less than ten years of training despite being a hyuman, in the eyes of the elder dwarf Beren who has a long lifespan, it looked extremely bright.
“Uhm, so…if possible, I would be grateful to hear what kind of process you are doing to it, to an extent you can tell me. I would be willing to provide the materials for it.” (Carol)
While telling Beren that this is not for the sake of exposing their business secret, Carol shows unconcealable interest.
“It is an impossible thing to do. But I understand your feelings. In the near future, I will be bringing a completed product to your place. How about that?” (Beren)
“Eh?! Is that okay?” (Carol)
“Of course. Aah, but yeah, intruding at your home would depend on your own convenience. It may be to show our gratitude to you, but no matter if we are fellow craftsmen, it might hurt the reputation of both sides since the Kuzunoha Company isn’t that reputable yet.” (Beren)
“Uhm, you don’t need to be so considerate. It is okay for me.” (Carol)
“…After one week.” (Beren)
“After one week forward, in a time convenient for you, Carol-dono, can you come here and ask? It would be a good time to show you at the inside of the store.” (Beren)
Beren nods satisfied at his own suggestion.
This was a most welcome proposal for Carol.
It is the freedom of the buyer to do whatever they want to do with the product, but if there can be extra profit to it, it can serve as a source for business.
If it is known and then imitated, it would no doubt hurt their profits.
Thinking about it in that way, the proposal of the Kuzunoha Company is so convenient for them that it is unnerving.
But Carol was already completely taken in by her interest in woodwork.
Beren’s sincere respect for her as a craftsman is also thinning her caution.
“? What is it?” (Beren)
“Can I be present as well? I am grateful for the offer, but when my sister has the eyes of a craftsman, she is kind of dangerous.” (Keema)
It would be quite the dangerous situation if the Kuzunoha Company has evil intentions, so Keema requests for her presence.
They are an opponent that requires the highest of cautions, but even with that, if it is just to run away with her sister, she should be able to manage.
“…You have a nice relative there. Of course, you two sisters can come together. I will be waiting.” (Beren)
“Thank you very much. Onee-chan, let’s go.” (Keema)
“Okay. Please give my regards to the representative Makoto-san as well. I will definitely come visit. I will be taking my leave for today.” (Carol)
Keema tried to leave the store quickly, but Carol stopped her feet and lowered her head, which Keema hurried.
Beren watches over them with a slight smile.
Incomprehensible shouts like ‘the soul of the lacquer!’, ‘until a hundred!!’ resounded dully in the basement storage room, and this time around, it didn’t reach the ears of the sisters.
By the way, the small article had disappeared from the apron of Carol and instead there was a handwritten note saying ‘low-grade goods, by Eris’ with a sign on it.
But she would only notice after having gone pretty far away from the store , and when she noticed, she shouted loudly. The ever changing expressions of her sister, which is rare to witness, made the little sister Keema laugh out loud.
There’s a tableware called lacquer ware. It is one of the major tablewares lining up there together with ceramics and is well known in Japan. It is light and durable, and there’s no need for a stove in the making of it.
When these lacquer wares appeared for the first time in Tsige, it was said that it was before ceramics but also after ceramics.
The reason for this is because only a few circulated at first and soon disappeared, and then, as if waiting for the arrival of ceramics, it was seen once again, which was strange.
Thinly made wooden wares that were coated with a special ointment, having lightness, durability, and also beauty to it. These pieces of art would be evaluated as highly as ceramics from then on.
At a later time, it was discovered that the coating was from a tree found growing in the wasteland, and through trial and error, the making of them stabilized.
But…there were still a lot more mysteries behind the lacquer wares that surpass even ceramics.
Just how were the lacquer wares made before the tree was discovered? How was it spread?
It was an era where the lacquer tree was not known of, and yet lacquer wares existed. Also the many techniques left by the wooden ware master, Carol Katsura.
There were so many contradictions that even scholars who specialize in history avert their gaze from this.
It is one of the biggest shocks in this dark period where the Kuzunoha Company and the Rembrandt Company stood side by side.
Even though the town was of large scale, it was just one part of history, and yet, there were many specialists in several fields popping out.
Within those, one of the mysteries is lacquer ware.
Even though now it is a famous product bought at low prices in the town as souvenirs, the source of it was deep inside the darkness.
It may be easy to go back to the middle of its history, but the genesis of it doesn’t let a single ray of light enter.
There were even people who had wild delusions like saying Carol Katsura was the Goddess herself.