Chapter Fifteen: The Development of the City?
On the Sunday of the week after midterms ended peacefully.
A little past 11 in the morning, the doorbell of the Akatsuka residence rang. It’s roughly at the promised hour.
Yasutaka who thought it was just in time, walked up to the entryway and pushed the door open.
「Hey Yasutaka-kun. Morning.」
「Good morning, Yano-san.」
The one who arrived at the Akatsuka residence is a man in his thirties called Yano. Of course, Yasutaka knew that person very well.
He is the secretary of Takashi’s father, Hagino Kouichi, the mayor of Nisshin City, so they have met a number of times before.
Over Yano’s shoulder, one car could be seen past the gate. ”If I’m not mistaken, that’s the Toyota Vellfire.” thought Yasutaka as he tried to remember. It’s the Hagino family ーー Takashi’s family’s private vehicle.
In the passenger seat of that minivan sits Takashi who waved his hand when he noticed Yasutaka. Similarly, in the back seat, Aoi could be seen.
It seems that before coming to the Akatsuka residence, they went to Aoi’s house to pick her up.
「By the way, Yasutaka-kun. the you-know-who……」
「Ah, yes. She’ll be here soon. Ooy, Eruuu」
When Yasutaka called out into the house, Eru responded.
Wearing the translation earring, Yasutaka heard 「I will be right there.」but it was a cryptic language to Yano.
Eru who appeared is wearing a turquoise blue tank top over an off-white cutsew shirt, and a light blue hemmed capri.
And on her head is the usual knitted hat with earflaps. Since the temperature is almost at its peak, It must be tough having to wear the knit hat all the time.
Seeing Eru’s beautiful face emerge from within the house, Yano was entranced, but he came to his senses and hurriedly invited Yasutaka and Eru into the car.
「Th, then, shall we be off? Sensei…… Mayor Hagino is waiting for us in the city hall.」
It takes approximately 15 minutes by car to go from the Akatsuka residence to Nisshin City Hall. However, a lot of thing that happened before Yasutaka and his friends arrived at Nisshin City Hall.
It being her first time riding an automobile, Eru nervously boarded the car.
Upon boarded the car, she thought “Wooow. There’s so many sofas set up…… it’s just like a small room!” as she looked at the interior of the car with great interest.
Now that she’s actually experienced riding a car, she was surprised that it was much faster than she had expected.
While moving through the Meitetsu Nisshin Station, Eru saw a train pass by overhead, and she clamored about how a large monster was rushing into the city.
For Yasutaka and the others, Eru’s reactions were quite charming, but for the person in question, it was a series of surprises.
Before long, the car they were in pulled up at the parking lot of the City Hall.
「Now then, we have arrived. The Mayor is waiting. This way, please.」
The City Hall is closed on Sundays so there are no people. The main entrance is closed so Yano led them through the staff entrance at the side.
Still, even though it was just a staff entrance, it had a guard station across from it, and inside them were some guards.
However, as he is the Mayor’s secretary, Yano can enter the City Hall freely.
Though Yasutaka and his friends felt uneasy from the guard’s scrutinizing stare, they followed after Yano into the City Hall.
Upon entering, some of the staff working on their day off could be seen here and there. They were sending curious gazes at Yasutaka and his friends who came even though it was a Sunday.
However, realizing that they were being guided by the Mayor’s Secretary, Yano, they judged that it was some sort of student event, and went back to doing their respective duties.
Guided by Yano, they walked in the City Hall. Yano led them to a room with a with a placard that states 「Mayor’s Room」.
「Here we are. The Mayor is waiting inside.」
Going through the door Yano opened, a middle aged man was waiting inside.
He was tall, medium built, wore an expensive suit, and had a gentleman-ly air about him.
「Hello and welcome. It’s been a while, Yasutaka-kun, Aoi-chan. You look well. As for……」
The man ーー the current mayor of Nisshin City, Hagino Kouichi caught sight of Eru, smiled and bowed gracefully.
「Welcome to our Nisshin City. Traveller from a far-off land, on behalf of the citizens, I, the mayor of this city, wholeheartedly welcome you.」
Having heard Mayor Hagino’s speech, Eru smiled and, although with much difficulty, replied in Japanese.
「It’z nise tu meit yuo, Meiyor-san. I em the elf nemd Erulula Zaphyra Fyrasilula. Plis col mi Eru.」
「Oooh, your Japanese is quite good. Then, I shall accept your kind offer, Eru-san. To start with, please sit down. If I am not mistaken, my son mentioned that you liked black tea. It will be prepared shortly. What would you three like?」
The three each said their choice of beverages and Yano temporarily left the Mayor’s room to prepare them.
A table and sofa for chatting are set up in the Mayor’s room. Mayor Hagino took the initiative to sit in one of them.
Eru sat opposite of the Mayor, and beside her, Yasutaka. Aoi and Takashi settled down on the sofa on the left of Yasutaka and Eru’s point of view.
「For taking the trouble of coming to the City Hall today, thank you very much. Although it would have been fine to talk in Yasutaka or my residence, upon taking the future into consideration, I believe that meeting in the City Hall is the most appropriate. Well then, Eru-san. There was no other way to have you come here. I would like for you to assist in the development of my Nisshin City from here on.」
Mayor Hagino looked directly on Eru, and began the talk with a serious expression.
At present, Yasutaka is wearing the translation earring.
Since this was originally a talk between Mayor Hagino and Eru, the two should be the ones wearing the translation earrings for a smoother talks, however, if that were the case, then Yasutaka, Aoi, and Takashi would not completely understand the conversation between the two.
Certainly, they would understand the gist of it with only Mayor Hagino’s words but they still wouldn’t be able to understand it completely.
Thus, Yasutaka took the position of 「Interpreter」. In doing so, Aoi and Takashi would properly understand Mayor Hagino and Eru’s exchange as well. Of course, this was something Mayor Hagino has agreed upon beforehand.
「Yasutaka-kun, Aoi-chan, and Takashi. When you hear 『Nisshin CIty』, what is the first thing that you associate it with?」
Suddenly bringing up a topic they weren’t expecting, the three unintentionally exchanged glances
「Even you who have been living here since you were kids could not immediately cite anything notable. Well, this is not limited to just you three, but the great majority of the citizens as well.」
It’s just as the current mayor says, there is nothing famous in Nisshin City.
Since there are four universities and colleges in the city, it’s called a university town by it’s citizens, however, it isn’t rare if looked at from a national standpoint, and though it has some tourist spots such as Iwasaki Castle and Aichi Farms, it’s still hard to say that it has anything major that’s at a national level.
There aren’t any famous hot springs and the like either, so crowds only tend to gather for famous professional golfers when the Nagoya Golf Club holds a tournament .
「There is nothing in its industry that stands out either. In the first place, before Nisshin City’s developments started when Meitetsu Toyota Line opened around 30 years ago, there were only rice paddies and mountains.」
Nisshin City developed as a residential district right after direct access to the Nagoya Metropolis was made possible. Even now, with residential development is still advancing, new houses and apartments are being constructed all around.
「True, it will continue to develop as a commuter town from here. However, for me, something more…… I want to bring forth something nationwide from our city. I have always thought so. For example, in neighboring city, Nagoya, has Nagoya Castle and TV Tower, Nagoya Meshi…… even sports, they have teams like Chunichi Dragons and Nagoya Grampus. There are plenty of things anyone can associate with it in an instant. Something that’s only in Nisshin City is what I want to bring forth as it’s mayor. And in doing so, I could expect a positive economic effect.」
Mayor Hagino let out a feverish speech. However, Yasutaka and his friends could not make out the Mayor’s intentions.
The city’s development and the visitor from another world, Eru. They wondered how these are related.
「Now then, here’s another question…… what do you think is the liveliest industry in the country right now?」
Yasutaka and his friends exchanged glances once more. They were high school students but they were aware that the current Japan’s economy wasn’t that lively.
No matter the industry, performance is unsatisfactory. Only a limited portion of industries and businesses have been able to leave soaring results. But then it’s not as great in comparison to the golden age.
「Even under such circumstances, creatures known as man still invest funds into the things they like. I believe the most extreme among those is the so called otaku industry…… the subculture industry.」
“Certainly, this industry doesn’t have a good reputation right now, but” Mayor Hagino added
「Even so, this industry has an unfathomable power. That power, for this town’s development, I’ll use……err, rather I wish to capitalize on it.」
Calmly glossing over his real intentions that leaked out by accident, Mayor Hagino continued again.
「There is an instance where in Chita Peninsula in the Aichi prefecture, there is a personification of the the prefecture, a cute girl…… a so-called moe-character caused a large increase in revenue, and there’s also a precedent where the earnings of a city that became the stage of a popular anime exceeded a hundred million in the economy.」
「Oy, Tousan! You don’t plan on displaying Eru-chan, do you!?」
As suspicious ideas crossed Takashi’s mind, he interrupting his father’s talk.
A rare spectacle with Eru in a cage like an animal in a zoo. A scene that both Aoi and Yasutaka instinctively associated with the thought.
However, the father readily denied his son’s censure.
「Naturally. There is no way I could do such an inhumane thing, My plan is something similar to 『Gotouchi Idol』 or 『Local Idol』」
「Ojisan, what on earth do you plan on having Eru cooperate with?」
Unable to follow Mayor Hagino’s plans, Aoi asked bluntly.
To that question, the mayor smiled a truly refreshing smile.
「My plan is a city renewal.」
「City renewal……? 」
Mayor Hagino stood up from the sofa , walked up to the window, and shifted his gaze onto the Nisshin cityscape.
「Let’s see…… how about a catchphrase such as this?」
Mayor Hagino looked back at everyone in the room. He appeared confident as he said the catchphrase.
「『Elf dwelling City, Nisshin City』…… How about it? Easy to understand, it’s good, don’t you think?」
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- There’s plenty of stuff mentioned that exist IRL. I’ll just make one footnote link for them so it isn’t too cluttered. Check below the last footnote for details regarding them if you’re interested. Totally optional though, I don’t think they’d impact the story very much.[↩]
- The Golden Age in Japan was in the Edo period, 1603 to 1868.[↩]
- To my understanding, Gotouchi is basically the same thing as Local Idol, one is just in kanji and the other is in Katakana[↩]
Although some things have been mentioned about this time’s stage, Nisshin City, please understand that I meant no ill will.
I think it’s a nice town, Nisshin City.
Then, I look forward to your continued support on 『Elf-san』.
Thanks for reading! The translation got a bit iffy 2/3rds of the way, I was quite confused and was stuck on this for days. Also, sorry I’ve been late at posting chapters lately. I can’t keep my Wednesday schedule for Elf since it’s hard to keep my motivation up for it and I’ve been busy too. For the 2 chapters left for volume 2, I’ll try to translate them at the same pace as before but after that, I think I’ll post on an irregular schedule which could be one to three weeks in between each chapter. I won’t drop it though, I just have a love-hate relationship with it right now.
On a lighter note, with my posts today, I’ve released 50 translations. Thank you very much for reading till now, I hope you continue to do so.