Chapter Three: A Fateful Encounter
T/N: Hi! I am the same translator who translated the first two chapters but I’m really excited to bring this series to tamagotl!
One week after leaving the village.
Following the forest road, I passed several villages and towns before I came to the largest city in the region. It was located along a large river and surrounded by high walls.
The city’s economy relied on buying agricultural products, lumber, ore, crafts, etc. from the surrounding villages and transporting them abroad on riverboats. This attracted a great number of merchants. There was also a dungeon on a nearby hill that adventurers continuously explored. This meant that there was a local adventurer’s guild which supported a thriving weapons store, armor store, magic store, and pharmacy. The main street was always bustling with people and the voices of hawkers filled the air.
As someone from a small village, I couldn’t look directly at the liveliness of the city. Or rather, the shear number of people was scary and I felt timid. I’d never felt this way before but I guessed if I want to live in the city, I’d have to get used to it.
Avoiding the crowds on the main street, I entered a back alley. My fellow villagers had told me about the city, including where I could stay cheaply. However, the city was larger than I expected and the many tall, stone buildings meant I couldn’t find my destination.
Oops, I guess I was lost.
Surprised that even the narrow alleys were paved with cobblestone, I looked around for an inn. However, the further I went, the more desolate the streets became. The houses looked dirty and abandoned despite the people that lived in them. It must’ve been the slums.
Next, I came to a place between the edge of the slums and the city wall. Small mountains of trash had built up in the plaza along the wall. When I looked closely, I found fish and animal bones, vegetable scraps, broken planks, and torn cloth. Pieces of paper and dust flew through the air when the wind blew. It looked like the city’s garbage dump.
I spent a long time looking at the piles of trash. In the village, even broken things had a use: boards and cloth could be burned, rusted nails and broken knives could be melted down and reforged. Additionally, raw garbage could attract monsters and animals, so it was burnt or buried or crushed or used as fertilizer immediately. The village was poor so nothing was wasted.
This city was wealthy. So many useful things had been thrown away thoughtlessly. I was not the only one who thought so either, children in tattered clothes were climbing the garbage mountains. Some were picking up scrap metal, some cloth. There were even children looking for scraps of meat and half-eaten bread. I picked up a few pieces of scrap and put them into my bag.
I pitied those children who survived only by scavenging through trash. But I realized that tomorrow that could be me. I could only use low level healing spells and if I couldn’t find a job, I would have no choice but to scavenge as well. Besides, was I even cut out for city living when I had gotten lost on my first day.
I stared off into the distance, filled with melancholy.
A fight broke out between some of the children. A limping girl with a cane had picked up what appeared to be a string from among the trash. But it was a pendant, shining green and possibly even bejeweled. At that moment, a boy launched a flying kick from near the top of the mountain.
“I found it first, why are you taking it?!”
“Ah!” The kick connected, sending the girl rolling down the pile of garbage. The boy’s momentum sent him crashing to the ground as well. A dull sound echoed through the slums.
Instinctively I ran over to help the girl. “Are you okay? — Hey! What are you doing, that could be dangerous! Don’t pick it up!” I yelled to the boy. However, the boy took the green pendant and fled.
“Finders keepers~! Gyahahaha!” hollered the boy as he ran away.
I turned my attention back to the girl, worried about her injury. She was young, no older than thirteen but her malnourishment made her appear smaller. Blood dripped from the crooked bridge of her nose and her right eye was closed.
“Eh!? Your eye!”
“No, that happened before… I don’t know who you are, but thank you,” said the girl in a weak voice. She then crawled to pick up her cane and tried to stand up. However, perhaps because of her weak leg, she groaned a little and squatted down.
“What about your body? Are you hurt anywhere?”
“I think my knee.”
Her eyes were unfocused and her left eye was clouded, meaning she must have been almost blind.
“I see, then I’ll fix it. [Heal][Heal][Heal].” I put my hands on the girl’s knee and chanted. Then I cast the same spells over her foot and finally her eye. The magic caused both my hands and the girl’s body to shine with white light.
I helped the girl to her feet. She was staring blankly up at me, her lips parted and her eyes wide.
“Huh? Eh… Uh?”
“Better, right? You should be able to walk now. And your eyes should be better.”
The girl looked down at her hands, up at the blue sky, around at the cityscape, and finally towards me. “Liar! … But I can see! And my legs move! Why?”
“I just healed you. Is that so surprising?”
“Eh, but, because… Because!” With tears in her eyes, the girl clung to me with her delicate body and began to cry. She was shorter than me and buried her face in my chest as she wept. “My eyes and legs are bad… I was thrown away… as a baby…! Wow!” Ah, because of her bad eyesight and legs, she was abandoned. Someone would have to be a pretty terrible parent to be so unwilling to pay for treatment.
“Okay, okay. You’re good, it’s going to be okay.” I patted her on the head to comfort her. The girl let out a cute sound as she continued to cry. Although it was dirty, her healed face was also cute. She had large eyes, an upturned nose, smooth cheeks, and red lips. She looked like a porcelain doll.
Thanks for all your translations so far. I hope you continue posting!