Greatest Alchemist? Idle Talk 6

 

Idle Talk 6: Rehabilitation of the widow, Marnie

 

I am Marnie of the Rabbitkin Tribe.
I lived in an ashen world until recently.

When I was 20 years old, I married my husband from a neighboring village. But it was far from living a happy married life.

Cough, cough, sorry Marnie.」
「Please get better soon, okay?」

My husband’s body had been frail since his childhood, and he was bedridden from an illness soon after marrying me. We’ve just immigrated to a pioneering village, so whether I wanted to or not, I had to do all of the physical labor, such as cultivating land and the like, by myself, working myself to the bone.

Therein, the village I had desperately worked in to develop was to be abandoned, not even two years in.
We were exempted from tax the first year, but from the second year, were suddenly subjected to heavy poll tax and inflexible tax on the harvest. Of course, there was no way everyone in the village could pay, and because of the drought that was happening simultaneously, the feudal lord announced the abandonment of the village.
We of the pioneering village were picked up by Earl Rockford, and people of other pioneering villages who similarly failed were gathered and taken to Margrave Volton’s territory.

My husband died in his sleep the day after the abandonment of the village was decided.

I lost my meaning and willpower to work.
If I was asked whether I liked or loved my husband, I wouldn’t know what to answer. Because this is normal for our community. Since I was a child, I taught by my mother and father that the love between a husband and a wife grows as they live together for years as a couple.
Father and mother are no longer here either. Even in Lomaria Kingdom and Valkyra Kingdom where there is very little racial discrimination, we are regarded as an inferior race. I do believe that that is exactly what we, the Rabbitkin, are.

Beastkin tribes have excellent physical capabilities so many are active as adventurers or soldiers. But that is for the battle-oriented tribes. The Rabbitkin like us are said to not be suited for battle. In fact, in Triaria Kingdom and the Divine Empire of Sydnia, there was apparently a history of the Rabbitkin being traded as pet slaves. But even Rabbitkin like us are capable with agriculture. Unfortunately, the pioneering village where we applied for marriage suddenly failed.

We of the abandoned pioneering village were sent to the capital in the territory of Margrave Volton.
The town of Volton had an unbelievable sense of cleanliness. Beastkin have noses sensitive to smells, but there was no unpleasant odor anywhere in town. The town was brimming with liveliness, and pleasant scents that I’ve never smelled before wafted from street stalls.
There it was explained to us what would happen from here on. By all rights, we who had not been able to pay the taxes had fallen into slavery. Margrave Volton and Earl Rockford had scooped us up from this. That’s why we intended to follow what we’re told. Everyone was of the same sentiment.

「Silence! Listen well to what will be explained from here on!」

The discussion was that, in a place 100 km south of Volton, a pioneering village surrounded by protective walls was under construction. We were told that the walls would be completed by the time we arrive. There, we would construct a village that would cultivate new land. Construction supplies and food until the harvest will be provided by the country. The escorting soldiers are to travel with us to the site and will be stationed there as they are.
The people, with exception to myself, rejoiced when told we would be exempt from tax for the first three years.
Yes, with exception to myself………….
For me, I didn’t have the willpower to start over from the very beginning in a new place. With no home to return to and having neither parents nor relatives, I was not able to rejoice with everyone.

Thereafter, the pioneers, escort soldiers and knights, wagons loaded with materials, and craftsmen had assembled and departed from Volton town.
We had been surprised at that first stage.
A highway that extended straight south to the savage lands. The road was wide and was paved with a stone-like matter. Thanks to that, our travel on the carriage was very smooth and fast.

Then we saw the next surprise in front of us.

「………… curtain walls.」
「Was there always a town in such a place?」
「…… no way, is that it?」

The voices of the escort soldiers and knights’ voices of surprise were audible inside, and we understood when we got closer. Each and every one were jaw-dropped in surprise and had befuddled expressions.

Tall curtain walls and deep moat spread and stretched around, it couldn’t be called a pioneering village. It was even more surprising after we crossed over the drawbridge and went through the sturdy-looking gate.
The houses meant for us to live in were already completed, and even the agricultural land was complete with a waterway laid out.
A splendid castle stood on an area slightly higher in the town; Wide cobblestone roads; A completed town plan, with several buildings already constructed.

Afterwards, an indescribable beauty of an elf woman had come out to explain. Knight Leader Dorn-sama who had brought us along until now seemed to know the woman and called out to her.
When I took a good look, the woman was a slave.Though she doesn’t look like it at all. The clothes the slave was wearing were unimaginably high quality to concealing her figure that had a sword affixed to her hip, which brought about elegance that contributed to her appearing as a knight of noble origin.

After Knight Leader Dorn-sama and his troops went to see the town, we the pioneers received an explanation of the residences that will be allotted to us by the elf woman from earlier. Just how many times will we be surprised? Each house was installed with a Toilet Purifier DM. The water wells were attached with a convenient tool known as a hand pump, making it possible for even a child to draw water easily.
After that, there was a food distribution, and we received a brief that agricultural land will be allocated tomorrow.

I learned that I’d be assigned a house too spacious for a lone person to live in, and the distribution of land will be decided on tomorrow.

The next morning, the others had been delighted by the agricultural land and immediately began their preparations to sow seeds.
But I, a sole woman, might have felt slightly uncertain in that place. That beautiful elf woman came to greet me.

「Are you alone?」
「……yes, I lost my husband.」

For some reason, at that time, I told the elf woman, Sophia-san, about my personal history.
Since I lost my husband, this is the first time I talked to someone like this.

「…… I see. For Marnie-san who is alone, farming would be difficult, wouldn’t it? If that’s the case, how do you feel about working a different job?」
「……a different job?」
「Yes, let’s discuss this with my master, Takumi-sama.」

According to Sophia-san, her master known as Takumi-sama was, surprisingly, the one who built this town. Takumi-sama is a passionate and excellent artisan who has the trust of the feudal lord. To be able to make a town of this extent, I think excellent doesn’t do him justice.

「Also, I am Takumi-sama’s guard and assistant. Apart from myself, Takumi-sama has two other slaves, but one is a helper and does housework, while the other one is being reared into an artisan. And because we are all adventurers, I was thinking we need someone who is able to attend to Takumi-sama’s daily necessities and is able to do housework.」
「Housework?」
「Yes. Right now Maria and Takumi-sama prepare the meals, but Maria doesn’t just have housework.」

Just now, I thought I just heard her say that Takumi-sama prepares their meals, but does a master prepare the meals of the slaves?

「Marnie-san, can you cook?」
「Yes, I more or less learned from my late mother.」
「Then there’s no problem. The house is not of nobility therefore it isn’t formal, and my master, Takumi-sama, is a kind gentleman so I believe it is a good workplace.」

And so, when I was lead into a room to be interviewed by Takumi-sama that same day, my initial thought when I saw him was that he was young. He was the man that the feudal lord trusted to construct this town, so I thought he was much older. If asked, I’d say he was 16. He was 8 years younger than me, and a young man whose beauty transcended race. Even though I had just lost my husband recently, there was a silver haired young man in front of me that made me blush. This is also a trait of Beastkin, when a pairless woman has an outstanding man in front of her, she can’t help but be attracted to him.
「Then Marnie-san, please support us by working for our daily necessities. Let’s discuss your salary, too.」
「…… I look forward to working with you.」

I worked as Takumi-sama’s maid since that day.

Hiiー!」
「I’m Kaede, let’s get along.」
「I’m M-marnie.」

I suppressed the involuntary shriek I almost let out. Kaede who introduced herself has a lower half of a large spider and her upper half is still a young girl, which I later learned was a monster known as an Archenie. Aside from her, there was also a talking golem made of metal. I was informed that both of them are Takumi-sama’s familiars.

「Alrighty then, let’s take Marnie-oneechan’s measurements!」

Saying so, the beautiful human girl, Maria-chan, and Kaede-chan measured the size of my body.

「U-umm……」
「Don’t worry, Kaede-chan and I have to make your clothes and underwear or it wouldn’t do, Marnie-san. The size automatically adjusts to some extent because of an enchantment, but it’s better to get the correct size, after all.」

There was a variety of words that I didn’t understand, but it seems they’ll be making my clothes. The sample underwear I was shown was like a very beautiful work of art. It was a waste on a beastkin who grew up rural community like me. At that time, when I heard that this underwear and the clothes that everyone wears was made from the thread that Kaede-chan produces, the fear I felt for Kaede-chan lessened.

Laeva-chan was a Beastkin like myself, but amongst the Beastkin tribes that had low magic power and were bad at magic, she was from a tribe whose specialty was being exceptional at magic, a beautiful girl of the Foxkin tribe. She is Takumi-sama’s assistant and was said to be studying alchemy and, most recently, even smithing.

Sophia and the two others are Takumi’s slaves, but you wouldn’t realize they were unless their slave marks were seen because they live like a family. And it became clear that Sophia-san and Maria-chan alternate sharing a bed with Takumi-sama. I asked Sophia-san if I should also attend to him, but her answer was a NO.

「Maria and I have given Takumi-sama our hearts and body. Takumi-sama said that it would be okay if we slaves were freed, but I still wish for a stronger bond than what we have now. It is likely that Maria feels the same way.」

Hearing that, I seriously considered becoming Takumi-sama’s slave.

I decided to improve myself so that I might receive his affection one day. At that time, as heartless as it seemed, the image of my late husband disappeared from my mind.

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Sphy’s Note:

Thanks for reading~ Still sick but surviving…kinda but maybe expect delays? Anywho, got any ideas where I can put the illustrations at? It will definitely not be on this site and imgur / similar image hosting sites.

21 thoughts on “Greatest Alchemist? Idle Talk 6”

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

    Confirming a question I asked a couple chapters ago, it seems Laeva and Takumi aren’t romantically involved. Marnie’s comment about “pairless women” makes me wonder whether that will change though.

    Marnie sure makes immigrating to a pioneering village sound like a form of slavery Russian roulette, doesn’t she? If the crops happen to fail on the year that taxes are first due you get forced into slavery. I don’t think I’d take that deal.

    Reply
    • Serfs and peasants in most feudal societies were little better then slaves and in some cases slaves in all but name. Here it sounds like that while they have some freedom, they still lack many of the rights even those I third world countries might enjoy.

      For me, if I was going to sign up to a pioneer a village, I would make sure there is a clause stating that if the village as a whole failed, I would only be held responsible for my own respective duties and be guaranteed compensation for my work even if the venture fails. Eg, you cant blame a blacksmith when he supplied good and tools to the farmers and other craftsmen, yet the village still failed due to drought, monsters, or bandits.

      Reply
  2. A couple problematic bits in the text:
    [slave.Though] -> {slave. Though}/{slave, though}
    [high quality to concealing her figure that had a sword] -> {…} I don’t really get what it should mean:(
    maybe: {high quality, concealing her figure and that she had a sword}
    [Maria doesn’t just have housework] -> {Maria doesn’t just have housework skills} ~ ?

    So, I did guess that a side story(idle talk) was coming, but not the character whose perspective it was based on. Nice to read a little backstory on a new character that joins the group. Now then, I still want to read the reaction of the other nations.
    Thanks for the chapter! Awesome translation! God bless you!

    Reply
    • Yeah… got a few awkward sentences that slipped through, right there. I tried fixing them a little bit. Sorry about that and thanks for pointing it out.

      Maria doesn’t just have housework = household chores such as cleaning etc because she also sews (for the household and also accepts some commissions i.e. Madam Rose) and has adventurer work.

      Reply
  3. Only places i can think to post the illustrations are either in a discord server or maybe could put it in email thing so if anyone asks can send it right to them without having to put them on those file sharing sites like imgur if don’t want bot sites to just take them and put on their sites.Those best can think of atm and hope you get better soon.

    Reply

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