C234: DREADFUL NEIGHBOR
I’m just your typical resident from a rural village in the middle of nowhere, so my name doesn’t matter.
I was born to farmer parents and grew old doing the same mundane thing day after day.
Nothing good, but nothing too bad, either.
Before I knew it, I had a wife and became a father of one.
Our daughter will turn eight this year.
One day, the Human Kingdom that ruled us was destroyed and the demons took over, but nothing much has changed.
Either way, it doesn’t matter to us commoners.
Still, taxes have been reduced and the soil has somehow become richer.
The crops we planted are growing well, and if this keeps up, our lives will become more comfortable.
Or so I thought, but the celestial gods have given us a test!
“There were monsters on the hill!”
“I knew it…”
I’ve been noticing a strange presence in the mountains recently, and I was right on the money.
I sent a courageous young man from the village to check it out, but he came back ghastly pale.
“…So, what kind of monster did you find”
The huge kind.
Dozens of them!”
“Those must be orcs, intelligent monsters who move in groups.
This is troublesome!” explains the most knowledgeable elder in the village.
But what good does it do to know their species
All monsters are born brutes.
It’s extremely rare to have a small village like ours be suddenly attacked and destroyed by a pack of monsters, but it’s still something that you hear about.
“How were the monsters acting Did they notice us Do you think they’re going to stay for a while”
“They didn’t seem to notice our village, but they definitely seem to be settling there.
They were even cutting down trees and making things out of them!”
Just the fact that monsters are hanging out near the village is catastrophic enough!
They’re not aware of us at the moment, and it would be great if could stay that way.
Because the moment they are, it’s all over for us!
“It would take only ten orcs to destroy a small village like ours.
How many of them were there”
“Thirty, at the very least!”
This is it for our village.
“Contact the feudal lord right now and have him send out the troops to get rid of the monsters!”
“I believe that’s for the best.
Very well, send out our fastest chap in the village.
Until the feudal lord makes his move, let’s just hold our breaths and pray the monsters don’t notice us…”
Everyone agreed with the elder’s instructions, and we decided to stay still like the plants around us.
This was the beginning of our long, quiet days.
Now and then, we would scout our surroundings.
Thereupon, we found something surprising—the monsters had built a castle atop the hill.
At first, it seemed to be a hut to shelter from the rain and dew, but as the days passed, it grew larger and larger until it could no longer be called a hut.
“It’s a huge castle with stone walls and gates! I don’t think the troops are enough to subjugate them!” reports our lookout as he sheds tears from being distraught.
“If worst comes to worst… We might have to abandon our village…” says the elder, as if in despair.
So, are you saying we should leave the village, run far away, and start a new life in a different place before the monsters could attack us
But I was looking forward to next year’s abundant harvest now that the mana has returned to the soil after the disappearance of the Human Kingdom’s thaumaturgy magic!
“It’s better than being slaughtered.
Or do you prefer our men killed and our women used as their plaything before they die a slow death”
But my daughter has recently caught a cold from the winter cold and is bedridden…
Her fever won’t go away either, it’s impossible to make her move in her current condition!
“We can no longer afford to wait for the feudal lord’s help.
There is no time to be lost.
We can only hope that your daughter will make it.
The rest of you, hurry up and start preparing to evacuate!”
Everyone was as reluctant in leaving the village, but we had no other choice, so we could only comply.
But my daughter has a fever.
The poor girl won’t be able to withstand the long journey ahead.
The rest may be in good health, but my family can’t escape right now.
As a poor villager, I can’t provide my own daughter with healthy food or a warm bed.
At best, all we have is a shabby hemp mattress.
In such a poor environment, we have no way to cure her.
What am I to do now
Is there any way I can save my daughter and protect my village
O’ celestial gods…
If you are watching, please help us!
But before we could leave the village, the monsters came.
They finally realized that our village exists.
They were fast in their actions, and by the time we realized they were approaching us, it was too late.
“We sincerely apologize for dropping by to introduce ourselves this late.”
The orcs came in a small group of three.
They had no weapons but instead carried some kind of package.
“This is a gift from us.
It’s not much, but we hope you accept it.
Please pardon our rudeness for not showing our faces for almost a month.
We had absolutely no idea you lived so close, you see,” says the orc as he hands the package to our elder.
He then adds, “These are vegetables from our home.
Please feel free to cook and eat them as you desire.
More of our men will come later with a cartload of them so that everyone gets their share.”
“I-Is that so… …”
The elder looks as if he’s about to ascend to heaven with fear and confusion on his face.
But I don’t want that to happen just yet, so I tactfully take over.
“U-Um, so you’re not here to attack us!”
“Nonsense, my good sir.
We have no hostile intentions.
Peace is always the best,” replies the orc.
Not only is he polite, but his dignified demeanor is also overwhelming.
“S-So, why are you building a castle That was a castle, right Ones built to attack or wage war”
“We just want to build one, that’s all.”
He answered so decisively that it was pointless to press the matter further.
“B-But we were all bothered by how close you were.
We don’t know when you’re going to attack us.
We’re so frightened that we can’t even take leisure walks outside! We can’t fetch water or collect firewood either, we’re all mentally exhausted!”
I desperately blurted out everything I wanted to say.
I don’t care if they lash out.
“I even have a sick daughter!”
“You do That’s not good.
Have you brought her to a doctor yet”
“There’s no doctor in this destitute village!”
“Let me take a look at her then.”
“Despite appearances, I’ve learned how to examine people from a famous mermaid doctor.
I may be able to help you and your daughter.”
I have no idea what is going on anymore, so I did as the orc asked and took him to my daughter.
He peered into her mouth, listened to her heartbeat, and said…
“It’s a common cold, but her condition has aggravated, almost turning into pneumonia.
Poor nutrition and the cold air are probably to blame.”
“Even if we know the cause, what are we supposed to do!”
“In the meantime, I’ll share with you some of the first-aid medicines I got from Lady Garra Rufa.
You can also make a hearty soup with the vegetables we gave you.
Also, keep the room as warm as possible, and the cold should go away on its own,” says the orc as he takes a vial from his pocket, pops a pill out of it, and puts it in my daughter’s mouth.
The next morning, she was suddenly well again.
The crisis in our village vanished without any logical explanation whatsoever.