Atelier Tanaka Volume 3 Chapter 5 part4
The meeting of the two villages took place that same day.
I proposed that we hold it over dinner. After all, you can’t have a mixer without food. The location was decided to be the women’s village due to there being a larger building available. And I like the idea of eating with several women. I remember reading in a magazine that women love Italian food.
I flew to the nearest town which only took about an hour. I bought the necessary ingredients there and borrowed one of the kitchen’s available in the women’s village. I didn’t recognize many of the ingredients, but I managed to create a dish that had the taste I was aiming for. Of course, I made Italian.
I was really motivated to make this dinner a success.
I’ve always wanted to take part in a mixer.
Even in my previous life I never had the chance.
I prepared enough food so that everyone would have plenty to eat.
We were now in the drawing room of the Mayor’s house. A large table had been brought in and the food I had was set out on it. Everyone was already seated at the table. It was quite easy to gather everyone here using my flight magic.
Ester-chan paid for the table and everything I needed to make the food. Thanks to her, I was able to create a good atmosphere. The drawing room itself added to the atmosphere and overall I was satisfied with how everything turned out.
“Now then, the mixer has officially started.”
I gave the official start of the mixer after everyone was seated.
“It’s what people from my country call an event like this.”
“R-Really!? I-I’ll remember that! A mixer!”
Besides Ester-chan and I, the chosen representatives of each village were also present. The members of the women’s village sat on the same side as Ester-chan while the men were on my side. They were sat face-to-face with each other.
I noticed something interesting once everyone was gathered. The average age of the women seems to be quite high. I’d say they’re all in their thirties. The average age of the people in this world is fairly low. Those that are in their twenties and thirties make up the largest percentage of the population pyramid. This actually might be why they were chosen.
Now I feel like I tricked some popular girls into coming to a loser’s mixer.
“Well, t-thank you very much for preparing such an extravagant meal for us.”
The first person to speak other than Ester-chan or I was a member of the men’s village.
I think he’s nervous about Ester-chan being here.
He quickly thanked the host for the meal. It reminded me of a corporate slave that had been forced out to a company dinner by his boss.
“It wasn’t me that prepared the food. You should be thanking him.”
The lolibitch pointed at me.
I don’t really care who they thank for the meal, but the lolibitch is particular about the finer details.
“I-Is that so? But this tastes better than meals I’ve had at restaurants in Tricklis. Does your attendant have experience as a chef? If you don’t mind, I’d like to get the recipe….”
“I don’t mind at all.”
“But there are certain methods you have to know to be able to properly make it….”
“That’s fine by me. For something this wonderful, I don’t mind putting in the extra effort to learn to make it correctly. I’ll engrave your teachings into my soul. I would love for you to teach me.”
“All right then. I’ll give it to you once this meeting is over.”
“Okay. Thank you very much!”
The men are actually more polite than I expected.
I can see genuine interest in his eyes.
Personally, I’d like him to teach me how to break a girl’s hymen.
Well, that will have to wait for another time.
“We should toast! A toast to celebrate our first mixer!”
Everyone raised their cups following Ester-chan’s instructions.
After the toast, everyone fell silent. The sound of utensils scraping the plates and chewing filled the room. There was no sign that either side wanted to start the conversation. The fact that a noble like Ester-chan is here is also making everyone nervous.
Should I break the ice with some casual conversation?
No, that’s impossible for me.
This is the first time I’ve ever participated in an event like this.
Plus, it’s with people from this world. What can I even talk about?
Maybe the weather?
“….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….” “….”
The silence is deafening.
The silence must be making everyone feel uncomfortable.
What should I do?
My first ever mixer will be a failure at this rate.
Just as I was starting to fall into despair, the female mayor spoke.
“Noblewoman, I have something I wish to say.”
“I truly appreciate everything you’ve done to arrange this event, but that doesn’t change the fact that the women of my village will have trouble trying to live with these men again. I told you before, what these men did has caused a pain to my village that I fear will never heal.”
“…I would first like to hear their side of the story.”
All of the women, including Ester-chan, looked towards the men.
“Is it true that you were violent towards the women?”
A shadow appeared on the faces of the men after hearing the lolibitch’s question.
They look regretful.
“…what did you do?”
The man that spoke was the same representative that we spoke to when we first arrived here.
“I apologize for speaking about personal matters in front of you, Noblewoman, but I must say this: to the best of my knowledge, there is not a single man in the village that ever laid a hand on a woman.”
The man remained calm as he spoke.
But the women all became furious after hearing his response.
“E-Even if I was sick or tired, I was forced to answer to every demand thrown at me!” “I would tell him I didn’t want to do something, but he’d just grab me by the arm so hard he’d leave marks that lasted for days!” “All my husband ever does is look at other women!”
And they were all so quiet a moment ago.
Once one person spoke up, the rest of them wanted to say their piece.
“Even here, you brought your weapons and just left them lying around!” “She’s right! There are children in the village! What would we do if one of them were to get hurt!?” “Yeah, they’re right!” “Would it kill you to be a little more considerate to those around you!?”
The men were starting to look impatient.
But they all remained silent and allowed the main representative to speak.
“I-I see. I’ve heard you all and we all promise to make a sincere effort to improve.”
He was still speaking calmly.
“So, please, can we just reunite our people? If things continue like this and no children are born, no matter how hard either of our villages tries, we will eventually fail. This will be the end of everything we’ve worked for. We have to end this.”
The man’s desperate plea.
He must really want to have sex.
He must be nearing the point of starvation by now.
I can understand that feeling.
“So you’re just telling us to deal with it? That’s funny.” “We’ve been dealing with this for so long, but, no matter what the cost, it ends now!” “My home in our original village was burnt down and I was left homeless. I didn’t survive that only to be treated like this!” “I’d rather die than let this treatment continue!”
“I-I’m sorry. I promise I’ll do everything in my power to ensure every man in the village treats you all with the respect you deserve. We’ll double the amount of food we supply to you. So, just please, forgive us and allow us to come back. I want to have children.”
The men’s representative responded to the women’s anger.
Still trying to remain calm.
“Double? You think that is good enough?”
“Wha…. A-Any more than that would be difficult….”
What does he mean the food they supply to the women?
This is the first I’ve heard of this.
“I’m sorry to interrupt but what is this about the food?”
The representative from the men’s village gave me my answer.
“The women can’t be asked to go into the forest to hunt. So we deliver the minimum amount of food they need once a week. We can’t allow the women or children of our village to go hungry, so this is the minimum we must do.”
They’ve still been caring for the people in their old village while building their new village.
That’s pretty amazing of them.
They’re just refugees but they’re such hard workers.
“Noblewoman, don’t let them trick you into believing that is some great kindness! They just bring in enough so that the children don’t starve! I doubt we’ll be able to survive the winter at this rate. If they really cared for their children they’d be bringing in more food!”
The men seem willing to compromise, but I can understand why the women wouldn’t want to take them at their word. All of this really just comes down to the alleged violence inflicted on the women by the men. I glanced over at Ester-chan but she looked just as unsure as me.
I really didn’t know how to help.
But then something interrupted our mixer.
Screams from outside —
“There are monsters attacking the village!” “M-Monsters!”
Monster’s decided to disrupt this virgin’s first ever mixer.
We ran in the direction that panicked voice came from.
The men were the first to move. The shadows that hung over their faces disappeared in an instant and the scary faces I had grown used to reappeared. They stood up in a hurry, knocking over their chairs in the process, and dashed out of the room.
Ester-chan and I followed.
We left the mayor’s house and ran down the streets of the village, passing several women fleeing in the opposite direction. They couldn’t even manage to speak when we asked them where the monsters were. They would just raise a trembling finger and point us in the direction. We barely even stopped to give them a nod as we ran as fast as possible through the village.
Ester-chan was faster than the men.
But thanks to me we were gradually falling behind them.
However, due to the village being small, the men eventually spotted the monsters and stopped dead in their tracks allowing us to catch up. I quickly used my recovery magic to restore my stamina in anticipation of the battle.
“Orcs. Looks like thirteen of them….”
Muttered one of the men.
That monster is familiar to me. I encountered them in that village some time ago when I was with Team Orgy. Most of the orcs were still outside the walls of the town but a few had made it in and those that were still outside were making short work of the wooden barrier between them and us.
I spotted a woman that had failed to escape in time and the orcs were having their way with her.
This gave me more motivation to stop the orcs.
I started walking forward while trying to look as cool as possible.
“Stay back. I’ll handle –”
But I was interrupted before I could say my cool line.
“Mason to the back! Ethan and Luke, you’re with me in the front. Oliver, take out any orcs that have been isolated from the main group. Make sure that none of the orcs are allowed to reach the noblewoman or her servant! Let’s go!”
The main representative barked out orders to the others and they were in formation and charging forward in a matter of seconds. The weapons that the women had pointed out earlier where now held at the ready.
The man called Mason held a staff in his hands. Ethan and Luke along with the representative held swords and the man named Oliver held a bow with an arrow already nocked and aimed at his target.
It looks like a fairly balanced party.
The man named Mason shot a fireball into the mass of orcs attacking the walls. The three at the front acted as the vanguard to protect the archer and mage from any orcs that tried to rush them. The archer, Oliver, took out one orc after another with perfectly placed arrows.
This is something I’ve longed for.
A party that I can count on and trust completely.
The mage is being protected by the vanguard as he fires spells over them. The archer is taking out orcs as the leader calls out the target.
They look so cool.
Ester-chan looked just as surprised as me as we both watched them in awe.
But there’s clearly something missing from their party.
One of the orc’s attacks managed to get through their guard and connected with Ethan’s arm.
It’s possible that if they were fighting normally, that attack might not have connected. But I could see them constantly glancing over at Ester-chan and me. One of the orcs took this opportunity to slash out at Ethan.
That means I’m at fault for that injury.
I don’t need to shout anything to heal but I got caught up in the moment.
The gash on Ethan’s arm was healed in an instant.
“W-What is this!?”
“I’ll protect you!”
In this situation, the fewer words the better.
And that way I look cooler.
“Thanks for the help!”
My assistance decided the battle.
The men gained new momentum and were able to push back the orcs. The orcs were more than double our number, but they were able to stand against them. I’m not sure about individual power, but as a team, I’d say they’re stronger than Team Orgy.