On the night before my 9th birthday…
“Goodnight, Father, Mother.”
“Goodnight, Father, Mother.”
“Goodnight, both of you.”
After saying goodnight to my parents in the living room, I headed to my own room. I stopped in front of El’s room and wished him a goodnight too.
Then, I entered my room and settled into bed. As I lay there, many thoughts and memories flooded my mind.
“Tomorrow, I’ll be 9 years old… I’ve been through so much since I came here.”
I remembered my initial panic when I first arrived in this world, the discovery of magic, the formation of our new family, and even the harrowing experience of being kidnapped.
“I’ve been to so many places too…”
I recalled the various locations around the mansion. I had visited the underground chamber, the adjacent training ground, and even the maid’s flower garden within the estate. But then, I realized something.
“Wait a minute… I’ve only left the mansion during the kidnapping incident, right?”
Silence followed as I contemplated the implications.
“Not good… I’m just a sheltered son! I’ve never ventured beyond the mansion walls! Ashera goes out into the town regularly, and I’m cooped up here! If this continues, I’ll become a recluse!”
It was a startling revelation. Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss.
“I need to talk to them tomorrow on my birthday. I want to go outside, explore the town, have adventures, do anything but stay locked inside!”
My birthday had suddenly taken on a new significance, and I was filled with excitement.
At breakfast the next day…
“Al, El, happy birthday. We’re planning a simple home party tonight, so everyone can celebrate Al and El turning 9.”
“Joshua, that sounds wonderful. Let’s have everyone join in the celebration.”
“Thank you, Father, Mother.”
While El responded with gratitude, I kept my gaze lowered and didn’t reply.
“Al? What’s wrong? Are you feeling unwell?”
“Al? Is something really wrong? Roland, get a doctor as soon as possible!”
“Hmm? What’s wrong, Al? Can you say it again?”
“I… want to go outside!”
“I want to leave the mansion!”
Everyone’s eyes widened in surprise.
I proceeded to explain what he had been thinking about the previous night.
I’ve only been outside once since I was born, and that was during the kidnapping. El, on the other hand, has never set foot outside the mansion.
Aldo explained what he had been thinking about last night.
I have only been outside once since I was born. That one time was during a kidnapping.
El has never even walked the streets on her own, including during the kidnapping.
Is this the way to raise a decent human being?
What about money sense? If I don’t know the value of money because I am an aristocrat, I am sure I will be in trouble someday, I thought.
And what about interpersonal relationships? Except for the maids, butlers, and other hierarchical people, Ashera is the only other person in the house. This is not good.
They should have a broader perspective. I don’t mean outside the city walls. At the very least, I need the freedom to walk around the city.
I spoke passionately and enthusiastically about these things.
“Ugh… you might have ulterior motives, but what you’re saying does make sense…”
“Kuh… for a kid, Al sure talks big.”
Father and Mother found themselves on the verge of being outwitted.
But I was dead serious. With age equivalent to 43 years, I was going to argue my case armed with logic.
“Mom was a commoner, of course, but I’m sure Dad used to sneak out of the mansion when he was a kid too!”
“Well, I did not do that …… I think …… maybe ……”
“Roland told me! He told me that when you were a child, Father used to sneak out of the mansion and go to the red-light district!”
“You! Saying that in front of Rafina? That ……”
I think the temperature has dropped …… No, it’s actually dropping. It’s the work of Ice Witch.
“Honey….. could you come to my bedroom for a minute…..?”
“No, you got it wrong. My Rafi, I want you to listen to me …….”
“It’s okay, I’ll listen to you, let’s go…….”
Dona dona~na, dona~na~♪
The scene of being escorted was well-suited to the “Don-don-don-da, don, don-da” music.
The shiny mother and the tired father were sitting in front of us.
“I understand what Al is saying. I’m thinking of allowing you to go to the city.”
“Thank you, Father!”
“However, you will have an escort. This is non-negotiable.”
“Naturally, El and Ashera want to go as well, right?”
Father looked at the three of us.
“When you go to the city, make sure to tell Roland and have an escort provided. Also, I’ll give each of you one silver coin as an allowance every month. I want you to use actual money to develop your financial sense.”
“Thank you, Father.”
“Me too? Is that okay?”
“Thank you, Joshua-sama.”
And so, we obtained permission to go to the city. However, we still had to study in the mornings on weekdays and practice magic in the afternoons. This meant that we could only go to the city on our days off.
Day of Darkness————
“Alright, all three of you, be careful. Garl, Berett, you’re in charge of their security.”
“”We understand” “
And so, the three of us set off for the city.
Each of us had one silver coin in hand. In reality, I have no idea about the actual value of a silver coin.
Despite preaching about the lack of financial sense, I was reminded of how little I knew about the world’s currency. I didn’t even know the various types of coins in this world. Were there copper coins? Silver coins were a given, but what about gold coins or other currencies? Were there only coins, or did they have paper currency?
If I were left in an unfamiliar place, I might not be able to survive. I had to find out more. I turned to Gal.
“Garl, can you tell me about the types of currency and general prices?”
“Currency… Prices… Al, you know some pretty tough words.”
“I’m smart, you know. Just tell me.”
“You’re saying that about yourself… Alright. Let’s start with iron coins. Ten iron coins make one copper coin, ten copper coins make one silver coin, and ten silver coins make one gold coin. Normally, we only use up to gold coins.”
“Normally? Are there more?”
“I’ve never seen anything beyond gold coins, but apparently, there are platinum coins, god silver coins, god red coins, and god gold coins.”
After that, Gal roughly explained the prices, with Berett occasionally chiming in.
Going by my sense of things, one copper coin was worth about 100 yen. Ten iron coins would be 10 yen, ten copper coins 1,000 yen, ten silver coins 10,000 yen, and ten gold coins 100,000 yen. Platinum coins were 1,000,000 yen, which was quite a hefty sum. One million yen!
And apparently, god silver coins were made from mithril… mithril was a thing here. I wondered if adamantite and orichalcum existed as well. Were god red and god gold coins made from those materials?
One silver coin was worth about 1,000 yen, which was basically a kid’s allowance, but it was actually our allowance. We would receive one silver coin per month, and there were five weeks in a month. It seemed a little low, but I didn’t plan to visit the city every week.
So, receiving 1,000 to 2,000 yen per month worked out just fine. It was a well-considered amount.
“However, today is our first shopping trip in this world. I should make the most of it!”
I decided that I would spend all of the one silver coin today.
For a start, we headed to the familiar food stalls.
“Garl, what do you think is the best here?”
“The best? I’d say the grilled skewers.”
“Grilled skewers, huh? We just had breakfast, though.”
“In that case, why not get some fruits from that grocery store over there?”
“Fruits, huh? Sounds good, let’s go for the grocery store then.”
So, Garl led us to the grocery store.
“Nii-sama, what should I get?”
“Ask the shopkeeper.”
El approached the shopkeeper.
“I’d like to buy some fruit. Which one is the best?”
“Well, let’s see… This time of the year, the Stral berries are delicious.”
“Stral berries, is it? I’ve seen them in our dinner sometimes.”
“They’re sweet since it’s their peak season.”
“In that case, we’ll take some Stral berries, please.”
“Here you go.”
El bought some Stral berries.
“Ashera, aren’t you getting anything?”
“I’m good for now.”
“Are there any small items you’d like?”
“Hmm, I might want to look at some trinkets at the street vendors.”
“Trinkets, huh? Let’s check them out if there are any.”
Ashera seemed interested in browsing through trinkets. She really was a girl.
“Hey, shopkeeper, is this red fruit any good?”
“That’s the Apo fruit. It’s not as good as Stral berries, but it’s tasty.”
“In that case, one Apo fruit, please.”
“That’ll be one copper coin.”
“Here’s a silver coin.”
“Here’s your change.”
“Come back anytime!”
As I was about to take a bite of the Apo fruit, I got bumped from behind.
I almost tripped, but managed to keep my balance. However, the Apo fruit was gone.
I looked around, thinking I had dropped it, but it was nowhere to be found.
Could it be that Ashera had stolen it? I glanced at Ashera, but she didn’t have the Apo fruit.
“The Apo fruit is gone!”
Hearing my words, Garl and Berett smiled wryly. I couldn’t understand why.
“Nii-sama, I think that person we bumped into earlier took it.”
I immediately used my enhanced body and began chasing after the Apo fruit thief. With enhanced abilities, I moved at a speed that wasn’t typical for a 9-year-old.
“I see him! He’s slow. I’ll jump ahead and cut him off.”
I jumped, landing in front of the Apo fruit thief.
Startled, he came to a stop and looked around, probably thinking of how to escape.
“Oi, give me back my Apo fruit.”
I confronted the thief.
(Hmm? He was wearing a dirty robe, so I didn’t notice, but this guy… is he a child?)
El and the others quickly caught up. The thief started running and dashed into an alley.
Again, I chased after him, using magic to accelerate. Garl began talking as we caught up.
“Al, let him go.”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s a kid from the slums.”
“He did it out of desperation, to get something to eat.”
“If you want, I’ll buy you a new one.”
“I’m done with the Apo fruit. I’m going to go after him and make sure he doesn’t find me. Wait for me around here.”
I wrapped myself in my full magic and continued chasing the child. Even though I didn’t know, I was inexplicably furious with myself for scaring a hungry child.
I sprinted up walls and onto rooftops. With my enhanced body, I silently followed the child to make sure he wasn’t found.
After a while of keeping tabs on him, I sensed someone behind me. It was El. Just like me, he could run up walls and use spatial kicks. He didn’t know why he could do these things, but he could use the techniques I had learned through magic resonance.
El approached me.
“Nii-sama, what are you planning to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know…?”
“Then let me ask you this. Are you not bothered by the fact that there are hungry children?”
“Well, I am bothered, but… What can we about it?”
I was irrationally angry with the society that allowed the existence of a hungry child, with my family for not knowing about it, and with myself for not knowing it either.
I probably liked my current family and was imposing my ideals on them. There’s no way anyone could be a ruler who could make every single person happy…
After some more running, the child stopped, out of breath. He looked around and discreetly hid the Apo fruit in his clothes.
After walking for about ten more minutes, he entered a run-down church. El and I went down to the back of the church, concealed our presence, and observed the inside.
“Sister, I’ve got an Apo fruit. Please eat it.”
“What’s happened to this Apo fruit?”
“I got it from a kind person. That’s why I want you to eat it, Sister.”
“… Yamato. The spirits are watching, you know…”
“Well, there may be days when even the spirits aren’t watching.”
“So eat it together, everyone. Don’t forget to be grateful to the kind person.”
Perhaps that sister was ill. Could it be that she could no longer take care of the children? If that was the case, then she wanted to help the children in any way possible. But, even if they were helped, it wouldn’t last long in their current situation.
I thought about possible ways to help them. If I asked my father, could he do something…?
But, even if he could help, it wouldn’t be a long-term solution. They needed immediate assistance with food, clothing, and shelter. It probably came down to money…
As I tried to think of ways to help, one idea came to mind. It had been a whim a year and a half ago, and it might not work, but it was the only thing I could think of doing.
I left an “upfront fee” at the church in the form of the change for the Apo fruit and returned to Garl and the others.
“El, sorry. I’ve got a place I must go to. Will you come with me?”
“Nii-sama, what’s going on all of a sudden?”
“I want to help the children.”
“Understood… I’ll leave it to you, Nii-sama.”
We hurried back the way we came. When we met up with Gal and the others and tried to head to our destination, Garl was visibly angry.
“Return to the estate immediately, and I will never be your guardian again!”
“Sorry, Garl, but there’s a place I really need to go.”
“No, you can’t! I’ll make sure you go home. If necessary, I’ll do everything in my power to send you back!”
“Please! It has to be now.”
“I won’t listen to the one who escaped from his guards!”
“Please, I beg you! I want to help that child!”
For Garl, escaping from his guardians was unforgivable.
I had no choice but to resort to my last option…
I bowed on the edge of the street.
“You, what are you doing!”
“I just really need to help that child.”
“Hey, stop it! Do you even realize what you’re doing?”
“Fine, fine, I get it! Just stop it! Please, stop!”
“Sorry, and thank you, Garl.”
I stood up and shared the story of the slum child I had encountered with Garl and Berett. Their responses were starkly contrasting.
Garl wanted to help the church children if possible.
Berety believed that it was impossible to help all the children, and that it was not my responsibility.
Both of their opinions had their own merits, and there was no clear right or wrong answer.
It was clear that this incident was driven by my own desire for self-satisfaction.
Even so, now that I had witnessed it, I wanted to help those children.
As I discussed these matters, we reached our intended destination.