78: The Keika Village residence


We went back to the village to the north of the capital the next day around noon. I've been away for more than a month.
Several wheat fields are already beginning to change into a golden color.
It lets you feel the arrival of autumn.

Fioria, who is riding a Boo Horse, mutters while she looks at the fields.
"They are growing well. It feels nice, doesn't it?"
--Rii, who was riding with her, nodded. She prudently smiled.


First we'll head to the residence that was built in the east.
It is at a large plot of land in the village's outskirts. The site is rectangular shaped and concealed by a fence. It is about 30 meters wide and has a building of about the same size in the back.
The plot is larger than the mayor's house and they had to specifically allocate a vacant plot outside of the village.

There are three one-story buildings. We'll live in the mansion in the back. In the center of the land is a wooden stage. And to the right is a tenement with five rooms.
There is also a backyard, although it's not visible from the front.

The point is, that is was laid out like a typical shrine with something like an inner sanctuary, a front shrine and a shrine office.
Although it was made with the local crafting techniques and looked like a blend between western and Japanese styles, it was without a doubt my shrine.
I can't stop grinning.


Celica spoke while she surveyed it.
"It's a wonderful residence. It's quiet and splendid."
Fal nodded in agreement.
"It also feels sacred somehow. It has a nice atmosphere."
--As expected of a nun. She knows her stuff.

I nod while I have a smile over my whole face.
"Yeah. I can't go with anything less when I'll become a Valor God."
"But there are no buildings with two or even three stories."
"That would be difficult with the village's crafting techniques and even then it would take a lot of time. They also have to do agricultural work, so there aren't enough hands."
"Ah, you've thought that far ahead. As expected of you."
Celica was deeply impressed.

Minya tilts her head while her pointed ears are standing.
"Where is, the kitchen?"
"It should be in the back of our house."
"Ah. Looking forward."
"Shall we take a look at the residence?"

We walk around the front shrine and went to the residence in the back.
--Maybe this way should be paved with stone. The ground will sink in when there are a lot of people. And I want to cover the sides with gravel. I hope that there is something like that in this world.
I also want to plant high trees along the outer perimeter.
There has to be some dignity if I want to gather believers.


While I was thinking about those things, Clarissa came out of the tenement. One young girl is following behind her. She was one of the slaves if I remember correctly.
"Welcome back, Keika-sama."
"Welcome, back."
"We just returned. It looks like everyone is well."

"It's all thanks to you, Keika-sama. We've been cleaning the residence every day. The furniture is from the mayor. We slaves are living in the tenement."
"Heh. Melvius, Olivia. This is the slave chief Clarissa. Clarissa, please look after these two who came from Industria."

"Understood--welcome to this far away place."
"We'll be in your care-- *a!*"
Melvius's wife was staggering beside him. Melvius holds her.
"Are you alright, Olivia?"
"Yes..., I'm just a little tired..."

"Melvius, please let your wife rest. Clarissa, please be so kind."
"Leave it to me--then, please follow me."
"I'm sorry, Clarissa-san."
Guided by Clarissa, Melvius entered the tenement with his wife.
The girl brought the luggage inside.


I tilt my head.
"I thought that she had completely recovered by the medicine and magic though."
I couldn't find any abnormalities in her status.

"She was perfectly fine in the morning. Maybe she's just tired from traveling."
Celica's face was clouded with anxiety.
"Well, let's see how things develop for now. Let me know if something happens."
"Yes. I'll ask about her condition later."


We headed to the residence in the back.
The residence is facing south and is wooden with a stone foundation. Logs are lined up like pillars in the front. The exterior looks like an imitation of the Parthenon. Although it's just one story made of wood.

The entrance was spacious when I opened the door and entered.
A long corridor divides the center of the residence, and there are three rooms at the southwestern side and three rooms at the southeastern side.
Five rooms were lined up on the northern side and in the northeast were the kitchen and the dining room.

"Let's make the room directly after the entrance to the west into a reception office. My room will be next to it. That makes it easy to deal with guests. Do you want the room next to it, Celica?"
"Eh? Ah, Yes."
She behaved as if she had received a surprise attack. Her blond hair swung.
"By any chance, did you plan to take a room together with me?"
"Th-This is...I'm fine either way."
Celica's cheeks blushed as she cast her eyes downward.


"I, also want a room!"
"You're right, Lapisia. Let's give you and Minya rooms on the northern side. Fioria, Rii and Fal should use rooms on the east side. The room at the entrance will be a storeroom."
"Eh...? Isn't the storeroom usually in the back of the house? ...Well, since it's you, you most likely have already deeply thought about that, so please do as you like."
Celica tilted her head but didn't retort.
Well, in case of an ordinary person that would be the case.

Actually, I was thinking about putting an object of worship into that room while making it look like a storeroom.
That way, I can hear the wishes of the people who visit the front shrine, no matter where I am in the world.


Lapisia's eyes sparkled as she spoke.
"I, want entrance room!"
"Rejected. Lapisia, you're even forbidden from entering there."
"Ugh... yes"
Lapisia tampered her cute lips to a point.

It'll become your shrine if you live there after all, Lapisia!
That's what I thought but couldn't say because everyone present.
She probably grasped the function of the residence instinctively.
She might be a child, but she's still a god after all.


"Well then, everyone, how about checking your rooms?"
Suddenly, Minya's bag was moving violently.
The fairy Haya shows her face.
"Where is my room?"

"Maybe the room next to the storeroom... no, you might be seen when someone comes to the entrance. --Celica, can fairies stay at a normal house?"
"There are rumors, that fairies have miraculous powers and they can be sold for a high price when captured, hence it might invite unnecessary trouble."
"I don't want to live with forced labor again."
She wildly shook her head. Her triangular, pointy hat is shaking.

"What do you want to do, Haya?"
"I just want to live in peace and create tools."
"I also want you to create tools... Maybe I can build a small workshop in the backyard."

Then Fioria spoke.
"In that case, how about leaving her with us for the time being? We know more about fairies than humans after all."
"That might be for the best. I was told that fairies and elves belong to the same group. I'll leave her to you."
"Yes, Keika-sama."
"Celica, you'll protect them in case of trouble."
"Yes, Keika-sama."


Rii spread her arms.
"Come here, Haya-chan."
"Yeees."
She jumped out of the bag and leapt into Rii's arms.
Haya looks just like a pretty doll when she's held by a girl.

"Well then, please check the rooms. Fioria, please come to the entrance once you've brought in your luggage."
"Yes"
We entered our respective rooms, unpacked the luggage and checked the rooms.


I immediately left the residence afterwards.
The wide ground with the high, blue sky feels refreshing.

I approached and looked at the front shrine.
It's a wooden, rectangular stage that is supported by thick pillars. It's not large, but it looks like Kagura can be performed.
I'll ask Minya someday.


Fioria came out soon after.
Her green hair is coiled up by the wind while she approaches. Her breasts pushed up the fabric as they boldly shook.
"What do you want, Keika-sama?"
"Is it true that elves are good at handling trees and plants?"
"Yes, we have to take care of the World Tree after all. But we're also familiar with other plants."
"In that case, is it possible to plant trees around the residence to act like a wall?"

To my question, she looked around the fenced site, crouched down and touched the ground. Her seductive thighs are peeking from her short skirt.
"Hmm, let's see... The earth is a little infertile since it's residential land. It might be difficult for trees from foreign countries to grow even when using fertilizer."
"I see"
"Is there a forest nearby? It's easier for young trees, that are growing in the same earth, to take root."

"That's an expert for you. That might be for the best. Can you please do that?"
"Yes, please leave it to me"
"Then, I'll go ask about the forest."
"Until later."
Fioria saw me off while holding her disheveled hair down.

I headed to the mayor's house.

======

A large building with two stories in the center of the village.
I freely enter and go up to the second floor.
A maid was slightly startled when I passed by her in the corridor.
"He-Hero-sama, i-it's been a while"
"Is the mayor available?"
"Ye-Yes, he's in the study on the second floor."
"Very well."

I step into the study without knocking.
The mayor was taken aback and wryly smiled when he caught sight of me.
"Th-This is... It's been a while, Keika-sama."
The mayor greeted with a flattering attitude. His long, white beard is trembling from anxiety.
I don't care because he's only reaping what he has sown.

"It's been a while."
"Have you already seen the residence?"
"Yes, well done. It's exactly what I wanted."
"Then I'm glad."
The village mayor seemed to be relieved from the bottom of his heart.


"How is the village?"
"Thanks to the expanded barrier, we are able to harvest fast growing vegetables and root crops."
"Sounds good. Should I expand the barrier even further?"
"Eh? Is that okay?"
"Sure. In exchange, I want you to rename the village to Hero Keika Village."
"Eh, to change the village's name!? But to decide that on my own discretion... can I at least decide after discussing it at the village assembly once...?"

"Ah, sorry. It seems you misunderstood. I want you to go around to persuade the villagers and officials to change the name to Hero Keika Village."
"And, if I can't do that...?"

I was forcefully sighing.
"If I remember correctly, there is some village in this country, where all the villagers tried to kill the hero. And hasn't said hero already made friends with the king and saved the princess...? Maybe he should directly talk to the king about it when he visits the capital next time..."

"I'll do it, please let me do it!!"
The mayor's face was crumpled as he pleaded.
--With this, I can further spread the name of Hero Keika.


"Is that so? Then you'll do it? I'd be delighted if you could do it as fast a possible-- as for the funds..."
I walked to a wall and removed the picture that was hanging there. There were three big gold coins.
"The talks should go smoothly with these."
"Th, Those are, the expenses for the festival"

"The festival? Are the preparations for the festival done?"
"Yes, we're just finishing up. It'll be a large festival because of the good harvest."
"Is that so. Please give it your best. ...Next, is there a forest nearby where I can take trees from?"
"There is a small forest to the east if you need wood."
"Do I get there when following the road in front of my residence eastward?"
"That's right. Wild plants can be picked up in spring and nuts in autumn."

I put my hand at my cheek while I'm in thoughts.
"I guess I shouldn't damage it too much..."
Although I have to collect as many believers as possible, it'd be for naught if I invite the villagers opposition.

"Yes, if possible... please keep it at a minimum."
"I know. I'll only take them to the extent that the forest isn't affected. Well, it should be okay since I have elves."
"Elves!?"

"Ah, that's right. I forgot to mention it, but I brought two elves and lots of slaves with me. Later there will also be clerics and sinners. Please be careful not to give rise to disputes."
"I, I see... understood. I'll tell the villagers."
The mayor now looked somewhat uneasy.


I suddenly remembered something and asked.
"By the way, how exactly are you identifying the sinners in this village?"
"Ah...with, this crystal ball."
The mayor took a palm-sized, round ball out of the desk's drawer. The ball emits a ghastly purple light.
"Heh."
I closely looked at it with "Truth Sight" when I received it.
[Sinner Judgement Device (New type)] Shines when approached by a sinner.

--As expected, it doesn't seem to have been made by the Demon Lord. He's inside the cocoon after all.
There wasn't any long distance view incorporated into it.

"I'll borrow it for some time."
"Yes, Keika-sama."


"Then, I'll expand the barrier around the field tomorrow."
"Thank you. We'll be in your care."

I left the study after I had finished the talk.
While I was closing the door.
"Ah, what have I done... I have to succeed..."
I heard the mayor's words of anguish.