Chapter 11: The Stranger Is Back!
The shady guy showed up at the same time of the day as yesterday. For starters I’m going to extract some information out of him while keeping my caution up.
"Oh came first n’ waited for me? Nice, nice."
"No, I’ve been here the whole time."
Recently I’ve entered a cycle of going back to eat in the morning, then visiting the kitchen to talk with the cook about new dishes, and the progress and outcomes of her experiments, and lastly secluding myself on the mountain until dinner. I’ve also been washing myself out here. So far no one ever came here, so it’s not like anyone got to see me naked either.
The man knitted his eyebrows.
"The whole time? …That okay with your job?"
"Look, I’m training out here for the very sake of finding a job! There’s no way that a kid, who can’t do anything, would be able to get a job…right?"
At the end I phrased it like a question, tilting my head in doubt.
…Maybe children can actually work in this world!? In such a case, it might be smart to speed up my schedule a bit.
For the time being, I’m going to ask this shady guy whether there’s any work I could do. Yep, let’s do that.
"Ahh…guess callin’ it a job goes bit too far. Helpin’ out your parents…would be better?"
…Oh, I get it. That’s how he meant it. What a disappointment.
"Nevermind it. I don’t have any parents though." I loosely waved his reservations off.
In response, the man awkwardly scratched his head.
"…I see. Sorry for askin’ something inconsiderate."
"Don’t worry. It’s not like it’s wrong to ask whether someone is fine in regards to helping out their parents. …At least as far as my common sense goes."
I wonder how it might be in this world…? Oh, it might actually be wrong to ask this in the other world as well.
The man smiled wryly, "You a funny fellow. …Alright, I like you, so I’ll give you some trainin’."
"Please wait a moment. I have a few questions first." I held him back quickly and decisively. "Right now I’m seven years old, but can you usually find a job at such an age?"
"No, probably not."
…Then don’t get my hopes up! And don’t deny it instantly as if it’s only natural!
"…How old do you need to be to get some decent work? Or to be precise, I want to know the minimum age and job types that would allow me to earn enough to be able to live normally by myself."
The man placed a hand on his jaw.
"…Sorry, but I don’t know much ’bout jobs other than adventurer. You can basically become an adventurer whenever you want. Kids, who lost their parents like you, register as adventurers to get some cash or earn their livin’ by doin’ odd jobs."
That means the adventurer job would be the quickest way to support myself. What was it again that adventurers do? Ah! The ones in fantasy stories kill goblins and dive into dungeons, don’t they?
…Sounds kinda interesting, so maybe I should try giving it a go?
"…You plan on becoming an adventurer?" He asked while looking amused.
"I’ve added it to the candidates. Or rather, I don’t know of any other jobs. …Oh wait, cook is also an option."
Our cook has told me that my skills are already at the level of a professional. I think it was just flattery though…
However, working as a cook is definitely impossible as a child.
Even if I were to extort some money from that man when leaving home, I basically cannot trust the people of this world. Human society is separated into classes. I don’t know how much of a difference there is between nobility and commoners, but there’s a clear distinction between adults and children. I can’t believe that I’d be taken seriously, so I’d like to avoid any job where I’d have business partners to deal with.
In the worst case, I can sustain myself with my skill set, but I’d love to go sightseeing. I mean I’ve already come to this world, so I want to make full use of that opportunity, and just staying in the mansion or on this mountain all the time is boring. If possible, I’d like to live a bit longer this time around.
"Wow, bringin’ that up means you can cook?"
"Yeah, more or less…I can cook up something edible, I’d say."
He’s intrigued by that news. Well, at least cooking is something the otherworld me has done before, so yeah. Seeing how I’ve done it for a good while now, it’s only natural that I’m capable of it at my current age… I mean I know that it’s normal in the other world.
"…I don’t know any other places than the mountain forest around here and the house I’m currently living in. Going by my common sense, it’s only natural to be able to do most of the things you’re interested in, even at my current age, but I don’t know whether that common sense applies to this world as well. That’s why being able to cook isn’t anything overly special as far as I know…" I explained.
"…I see. Well, I’d say it’s a bit unusual. But okay, for the time bein’, if there’s anythin’ you wanna know, I’ll teach you. As long as it’s within the range of what I know or what I can find out from other people, that is. So…what’s it gonna be in regards to the trainin’?"
"Of course I still want to do it. Just as you’ve guessed, I’ve never fought against a live opponent. As I’ve learned everything through self-study, I don’t know whether my training is lacking in some parts. If possible, it’d be a huge help if you could tell me whether I have the skills necessary to become an adventurer. I’d like to adjust my training menu as early as possible.
The man laughed.
Oh, finally your shadiness vanished, you know?
"…What, your totally actin’ like an adult, or rather, like a cheeky lad, I s’pose. Indra, was it?"
"Gotcha, then come at me. …The wooden sword tied to your waist is your weapon, right? Draw that and take your stance."
…Is he going to look at my stance? Hmm…I don’t really mind, I guess. But, the otherworld me was a fairly decent black belt holder, okay?
I smoothly drew my sword, and took my stance.
"Hoh. …Ain’t that a fairly decent stance for someone who’s self-taught?"
"…No need to bother with my form. I got the necessary knowledge."
"Knowledge and actual experience are two different pairs of shoe, aren’t they?"
"Sure, but my stance and form are fine. I just haven’t experienced any real combat with this body."
The knowledge of what the other world me has experienced is recorded in my brain. No matter how much people say you got to experience things with your body, it’s the brain that moves the body. As long as I possess the knowledge how to move, the brain will move my body accordingly.
"To be blunt, I don’t get half o’ what your sayin’, but I’ve got it that your confident. If your talkin’ so big, come at me and I’ll coach you properly."
"Don’t know how to fight?"
"No, that’s not it. …I’m troubled about you not getting ready for combat. Or is there anyone else I should attack?"
…The common sense of this world is super hard to understand.
Just in case, I looked around me, but I don’t really get it. Hmm, what should I do?
"Nah, I’m your opponent. …Now listen, you think I need to take a proper combat stance for a pipsqueak like you?"
"I think so, yes. …Let me tell you in advance, but I’m not looking into becoming a murderer or bandit. You have to measure someone’s real strength before practicing with them without preparing in any way. For today I’d like to normally practice fighting a hostile enemy."
As I was talking, admiration began to color the man’s expression.
"…Your really cheeky, you know? Well, whatever. You convinced me. Just a sec…"
He walked around, and once he found what he was looking for, lopped off a branch and readied it as something similar to a long staff.
…Ah! That stick! It’s kinda like a wooden sword! Gimme! 1
"That stick is really nice! Would you trade it for my sword?"
"Bah, stop sidetrackin’ and come at me, will you?"
It looks like it was hopeless to hope for a weapon exchange. Shrugging my shoulders, I closed the distance and slashed at him.