It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (83/107), enjoy~
Proceeding majestically from the cape was definitely suspicious.
A person in gray robes emerging from the villa of the first king and heading straight for the town would be nothing but a suspicious sight.
Therefore, he took the back roads. The back road was not much of a road at all. On the ocean side of the cape, there is a path that leads down to the beach.
Getting off there and heading towards the town would simply be inconspicuous…
“It sounds like a great way to sneak.”
Ain’s boyish heart was tickled.
Still, the seaside is bright red.
Magna’s dusk turns the sea red as well. The color spread all the way to the horizon. The boats lined up near the pier, some finished fishing, some getting ready for the night’s catch.
Ain looked at the scene from the corner of the harbor and stretched out.
Suddenly, a fragrant breeze tickled his nostrils, making him drool.
“This is not good… I have to hurry.”
The stalls were waiting for him. He hurried towards the main street, a complete change from his previous leisurely walk.
Gradually, the aroma of the food grew stronger, along with the voices of the people.
Soon, he reached the end of the street lined with stalls.
Countless stalls lined up on both sides of the street to greet Ain as he emerged from the port.
Where should I start? He thought.
Lily, who had unexpectedly appeared from the shadows, called out to Ain.
She was also dressed in robes like Ain, and together they looked like a couple in the middle of a journey or adventurers in a party.
“It was nice of you to come so quickly. Where should we start looking around?”
“I think you can’t go wrong, so I think the right answer is to go to all the stores you like!”
“That’s great. Since you’re here, you should enjoy yourself too.”
“Well, I’m an escort, and I can’t really forget about work and have fun next to Ain-sama ── By the way, how about that stall?”
She pointed to a stall with charcoal smoke wafting from it.
“Are you drooling?”
Ain touched his own cheek and urged her to do the same.
“No, no, no, not at all──! I’m not drooling!”
When Lily confirmed that there was no drool on her cheek, she pouted her lips, slightly embarrassed but also frustrated that she had been beaten.
At any rate, they headed for the stall.
Some of the stalls around them were cooking over charcoal, while others were cooking on griddles.
By the way, Magna is a port town, but seafood is not the only specialty. It’s also the largest port on the continent of Ishtar, and many things come here from all over the continent.
From the adventurer’s town of Baltic, materials for monsters and meat are also brought in.
From the port, you can go inland to places that are crowded with merchants.
In other words──.
“The smoke from the stalls may be the very essence of Ishtalika itself.”
“So it’s no exaggeration to call it a visit!”
Lily said happily, having gained a great cause.
The stall they went to also had seafood on display, and there was a fish that was so big it would take several adults standing in line to lift it.
When they looked closely, they saw that the fish’s belly had been opened and shaved into a block.
“Oh! That’s the Serpent Fish they landed today! It’s an excellent fish, but it’s too expensive to buy!”
“Is it good?”
“It’s not just delicious. It’s so delicious that it could be made into a royal offering.”
“I see, I see. I haven’t eaten it much myself, but it looks great.”
“It’s just that it doesn’t last long, and it’s not suitable for long-distance transportation. I’ve never eaten it before, but I know it’s delicious.”
(No wonder I had never eaten it before.)
It would be a shame to overlook it.
“I think I’ll take that fish for a chance.”
“…Are you crazy? It’s ridiculously expensive.”
To the shopkeeper, the two people in robes did not look wealthy. The owner of the store looked at them skeptically.
“Then I’ll buy it, please! The payment will come after we leave, I think!”
It was a good buy, though it seemed too big for a souvenir. It might be a good idea to serve it to the knights and servants.
Not long after Ain left, the Serpent Fish was quickly purchased.
The regular knight who suddenly appeared claimed it for the castle and immediately took it to the villa.
The shopkeeper was no fool.
Thinking back to the words of the earlier customer, he immediately recognized his true identity. But at the same time, the knight had strongly forbidden him to say anything about it, and he returned to his work with a look of surprise on his face.
Meanwhile, Ain and Lily were in front of another stall.
“You’re either a traveler or an adventurer, right? Since you’ve come all the way to Magna, you’ve got to enjoy the stalls!”
“Oh, it’s called Stall Street.”
“It’s just a local name, though! So, how about some grilled skewers?”
“Hmm, I wonder what I should do.”
He looked at the owner’s stall and saw a lot of shellfish on skewers. It was grilled in the frying saucer and looked delicious.
The sign said 100g, which was much cheaper than he expected.
“I can’t do without this kind of food.”
He paid for it easily in response to Lily’s words.
“Yes, here you go. If it’s good, stop by again before you leave. We’re open all night!”
After parting ways with the energetic owner, Ain walked over and brought a skewer to his mouth.
“…This is seriously insane.”
“So… that’s the only word you can use to describe it, huh?”
The thickly grown scallop and the wide scallop string. One, two, three… five in total.
The fragrant fish sauces are also a delight.
He chewed the rest of it in one gulp, inhaling the steam that whetted his appetite.
The scallops had a nice crunchy texture, and the scallop strings made a nice crunchy sound.
Ain enjoyed his meal until he chewed the last bite.
“It is criminal that these things cost 100G each. I’m going to report this to the knights.”
“Do you want to check it out on the way back just in case?”
“It’s an important mission. Let’s do that.”
“Hey there, you people in robes! You can’t just eat skewers!”
Another stall’s owner saw that Ain’s skewers were empty and called out to him.
“Yes! Don’t just eat shellfish; you have to eat fish too!”
──There was a large grill in the storefront.
Whenever the owner fanned the air, the aroma of charcoal and fish cooking enveloped Ain.
“Our fish is fresher than the ones caught in the morning! We only use the freshest fish that’s just been brought in in the evening!”
It was impossible not to be tempted.
Ain opened his wallet almost unconsciously.
He paid for the two of them, no longer saying anything.
“It’s a fish you can eat, bones and head and all, so eat it all up!”
The grilled fish was handed to him, and when he held it in his hands, the smell of the charcoal combined with the oil from the fish made Ain’s saliva secrete even more.
It was so freshly grilled that the oil made a noise on the skin.
Behind the crispy skin, there is rich, white meat that is freshly cooked. The taste of the meat was bland, but the aroma of the oil and charcoal gave it just the right touch.
“…It’s indeed Magna. Even the salt is different.”
The crispy, coarse salt was sprinkled on the meat to make it taste a bit salty, which was a nice touch.
“150G is too low. I’ll have to report this to grandfather.”
“Ain-sama is mean, too. His Majesty will want to eat it, too.”
The only thing that Sylvird can do after hearing the story is to salivate and look regretful.
“Oh, traveler! You should also drop by my place!”
──That’s what he wants.
This is where Ain and Lily’s tour of the stalls comes to its own.
Since then, how many stalls have they visited?
They were all too good to pass up. Now Ain and Lily were sitting on a vacant bench, watching the town scene.
“We’ve eaten a lot!”
“I’m looking forward to the second half. you can come along if you want.”
“Hey, hey, I’m coming with you!”
Perhaps it was because he had walked and eaten so much, but his body was getting heavy in its own way. It was as if the seafood he chewed was seeping into his body with every breath he took, and he gave in to laziness that could only be satisfied.
They took a break for a few minutes.
Lily stood up.
“I think I’ve received some news, so I’ll excuse myself.”
“I think I’ll just stay here.”
“In case anyone asks, it would be troublesome… Oh, my men are in the vicinity, so don’t worry about the escort!”
She said she’d be back in a moment and disappeared.
In the meantime, Ain, who was the only one left, continued to rest his body, but another person sat down on the seat where Lily had just sat down.
Like Ain and Lily, this person wore a robe and walked in with a tired gait.
(What a familiar feeling!)
As he thought this, a voice reached him.
“…As expected, my legs are getting a little tired.”
Although he couldn’t see the face, he guessed that the person was a woman from the voice.
As soon as she said this to herself, she started rubbing her feet.
Did she walk all the way too?
Ain wondered and looked at her nonchalantly.
“I’d rather not stay out in the open.”
Staying out in the open?
He was curious about what had happened to her when he heard that she had come to Magna to stay in the open.
So he couldn’t resist calling out to her.
“Excuse me, but are you perhaps unable to find a place to stay tonight…?”
The woman was a little confused. But she quickly regained her composure and replied.
“Yes, I’m embarrassed to say it. Actually, I didn’t know it would be so crowded.”
“Haha, I see. I see. It’s a big crowd, isn’t it?”
“By the way, are you a traveler?”
“I’m not one, unfortunately. I usually live in the royal capital.”
“…Are you actually a nobleman?”
“I’m not a noble… but I’m definitely in a troublesome position.”
This is because royalty is a separate category.
“Then I won’t ask for details. It’s better for you, isn’t it?”
Perhaps she sensed that there was a reason for this, but she simply dropped the subject.
Ain raised the corner of his mouth in appreciation of her understanding and said.
“Haha… How about gratitude for not pursuing it further?”
“A noble person conversed with a traveler like me. Shouldn’t I be thanking you for that?”
“If you need to thank anyone for talking to you, every merchant would be dead.”
He had planned to wait for Lily, but after hearing her story, he could not leave this woman alone.
Lily’s subordinates, who were said to be nearby, would be able to tell her what had happened. He decided to show the woman around.
“I know an inn that has rooms even in times like this. My aunt told me about it once.”
He had heard about it from Katima. According to her inns, where nobles stay always have rooms available.
It seems that they are prepared in case of a sudden visit by a high-ranking nobleman.
(It’s probably because of me that the inn is empty.)
There may be others who are in the same situation as her. He couldn’t reach out to all of them, but he wanted to help at least those he could see.
“Let’s hurry up and head over there; I think it’s that way.”
He hadn’t heard about her budget.
When the time comes, he’ll pay for it himself.
If it came from the salary he received for his work, it would not be an injustice to the people. Ain thought about this and walked on.