Atelier Tanaka Volume 4 Chapter 1 part1
Territory Pioneering 1
In the dead of night, we arrived at our destination.
The biggest problem facing my life right now is the territory I was given, Radius Grasslands. It’s also the location of the battlefield where I fought soldiers of the Pussy Republic just days ago. Even with our little detour, we managed to arrive here within a day of leaving the capital.
“This place looks different at night, doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, I get what you mean.”
We were standing atop a high hill looking down over the featureless plains beneath us.
There wasn’t much to the land and I understood how difficult the task that lay before me was, but I still felt a sense of pride. The same feeling I had when I purchased my home in Kalis.
“Everything you can see from here is land granted to you by His Highness….”
“It’s spacious yet cramped at the same time.”
From atop the hill, I could see the entirety of my land. Even with the only light being provided by the moon, I could still see everything. Bodies that had been blown to pieces, bits of flesh and meat, and destroyed armour and weapons littered my land.
The grasslands stretched from the hill we were standing on to the forest that led to Tricklis. The Pussy Republic bordered the rest of my territory. One of the problems with this territory is that it partially stretches out into a forest that lies within the borders of the Pussy Republic.
Basically, my territory is a flat piece of land sandwiched between two large forests and many hills.
The border with the Pussy Republic has no wall or anything indicating where my land ends and the Pussy Republic begins.
It would be nice if I had something similar to the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border but nothing convenient like that exists.
I could see a watchtower off in the distance that was clearly within the Pussy Republic’s borders but I’m guessing that tower is just used by the Pussy Republic to watch for any potential invasions.
“Even lower ranked nobles like barons usually aren’t given such difficult territories to manage.”
“I didn’t think so.”
Considering I’ve lived in a one-room apartment for most of my life, being told that all of the land before me is mine sounds amazing. But if I were told that I need to earn fifty gold per month using just this land, I’d say that’s an impossible idea.
I was basically given a vast, empty plot of land and told to turn it into Shinjuku over the course of the next year.
This will be almost as difficult as trying to open a new business in Tokyo and make it a success.
Well, there’s no point agonizing over what’s already happened. I’ll just have to work my hardest going forward. I also don’t want that Prime Minister to get whatever it is he’s aiming for.
“It’s what we’ve been given and it can’t be helped now. We just need to do our best.”
D-Do you have any idea of where we should start?”
Without towns or villages, we can’t utilize the natural resources found in the hills or rivers. Crops aren’t an option either. We don’t have enough time to grow them before the taxes will be due. Every solution I can think of requires something my territory lacks.
Tourism could be an option, but the bloody fields and rotting corpses probably won’t be a huge draw. Actually, with all of the rotting corpses, the plague is a real concern. Wait, are there zombies in this world?
“By the way, Ester-san, is it just me or does the ground appear to be glowing?”
“E-Eh? Oh, it is!”
“I thought it may just be my vision playing tricks on me. It must not have been visible during the day when we were last here.”
It looked as if the entirety of the grasslands was emitting a pale glow. The darkness swallowed up the surroundings, but the grasslands were just barely lit up enough for me to see the ground from up high. The light was just slightly brighter than that of a firefly.
At first, I thought it may just be the light from the moon reflecting off the ground, but the light completely disappeared outside the boundary of the grassland. There’s no doubt that the grassland itself is emitting this dim light.
“Is this a magical phenomenon?”
“I’ve never heard of anything like it.”
Just because she hasn’t heard of it doesn’t mean it isn’t a known phenomenon.
It would’ve been helpful if I brought the noble mage along.
“I’m going to go down there and get a closer look.”
“I-I’ll come with!”
“You should stay here, Ester-san. There’s a chance it could be dangerous.”
“Then I should be with you!”
“…fine. Just make sure to stay by my side.”
“Ah! Y-Yes! I will always stay by your side! I’ll never leave!”
I flew down from the hill with the loli bitch by my side.
The moment we landed on the ground, a soothing feeling enveloped my body. It reminded me of the feeling I get when sinking into a hot bath or breathing in fresh morning air.
“W-What is this…?”
“It feels very minor, but I think I can feel the exhaustion leaving my body.”
What’s causing this?
There’s no hot spring in sight.
The temperature is the same here as it was on the hill or in the forest.
“…it feels refreshing.”
“Yeah, I feel the same.”
It felt like I had been soaking in a hot bath for a while.
It feels great.
There was one possibility I thought of that could be the source of this feeling.
“Umm, d-doesn’t this remind you of….”
She seems to be thinking the same thing as me.
“Was this caused by you repeatedly using your recovery magic? The area that’s shining covers the area of the battlefield. Plus, this glow and warm feeling remind me of the magic you use.”
“It’s strange, but I was thinking the same thing.”
Ester-chan looked excited just by hearing me agree with her.
“It might be possible for us to use this!”
But I’ll need a lot of help to make it possible.
After examining my territory, we travelled to Tricklis.
Again, I held Ester-chan in my arms as we flew. It didn’t take long for the city I had left a few days ago to come into view. It’s still late. The entire town looked asleep aside from the entertainment district.
For now, our destination is the Adventurer’s Guild.
We managed to make it in just before they closed for the night.
“Oi, oi, I don’t care who you are. We’re closed for the day….”
There was a bald, macho man standing opposite us behind a counter.
His eyes quickly landed on Ester-chan.
“W-What business does a noblewoman such as yourself have here at this hour?”
The bald man was almost yelling at us when we entered and he was trying to look as scary as possible, but the moment he saw Ester-chan, his body went stiff and he dropped the tough guy act.
But, it isn’t Ester-chan that has business with him.
“Excuse me, do you have a way to get into contact with Gonzalez?”
“…what could a noble need Gonzalez for?”
The macho clerk looked cautious of us.
The Twilight Company has a close relationship with the commoners of Tricklis, but the nobility of Tricklis appear to dislike them.
I was reminded of the Great Thief.
But she isn’t important right now.
“Can you tell him that Tanaka needs to speak with him?”
“Tanaka, you say?”
I met him before but he didn’t seem to recognize my name or face.
He was here when I first arrived and I also ordered food from him with the Dark Elf. There were many other adventurers at the time and I’m sure he sees dozens of people a day so I guess it can’t be helped.
“Yes. He’ll know to find me with just that.”
“Is that all?”
“If you get in contact with him, tell him to find us at Tricklis castle.”
“The lord’s castle?”
“…oh, all right.”
He still didn’t look sure of us, but, with Ester-chan still by my side, he nodded obediently.
“Then, we should be leaving….”
I bowed and turned to leave.
But I spotted someone entering the store from the way we came in.
“Manager, sorry for the late visit, but I wanted to speak with you more about that matter we discussed the other day….”
Gonzalez has come to visit.
“Oi, is that you Tanaka? What are you doing here so late?”
“Ah, Gonzalez, you came at a good time.”
His huge muscles aren’t just for show. He must’ve been out working hard late at night. A familiar wild smile ran across his face when he noticed us. This macho guy looks cool today too.
This is a great coincidence.
“Were you looking for me?”
“Yes, Gonzalez, I actually wanted to speak with you. I know it’s late at night, but can you spare me a little of your time? It’s an emergency.”
“It must be serious for you to be looking for me so late at night.”
“If it’s too much trouble, we can meet tomorrow….”
“No, it’s fine.”
“Are you sure? Thank you very much.”
“Well, this shop is closing. We can head out to the Twilight Company’s base if you’d like. You and that noblewoman will be welcome there.”
“That would be great.”
Good. A place to begin the discussions.
Good. Then, let me finish up here and we can head out.”
This is a crucial moment that very well may decide the success of my territory. I have to do my best.
The Twilight Company’s base was located along the border where the slums and the downtown area of Tricklis met. It was a brick building around fifty metres square and three stories high. We travelled south from downtown along a small back alley. If we kept heading south we’d end up in the slums. This seemed like the perfect location for a group of outlaws to set up a base.
“Well, it’s nothing fancy, but feel free to make yourself at home.”
We were now in the parlour on the second floor.
Ester-chan and I were sitting on a sofa across from Gonzalez who was sitting on his own. There was a short table between us.
There were three glass cups filled with amber liquid resting on the table. They gave off a sweet aroma that tickled my nostrils.
“I’m sorry for troubling you so late at night.”
“I really don’t mind. I was up anyway and it’s to help you.”
“Well, I appreciate it none the less.”
“So, did you two finally decide to run off together into the night?”
“R-R-Run off together…. That’s not…..”
Gonzalez’s attempt at a joke caused the pure bitch’s face to turn red.
She didn’t seem to hate that idea at all.
“That’s not what this is about. Actually, I wanted your help with –”
It’s already late at night so I wanted to get straight to the point. But, just as I was ready to explain what’s going on, the door to the parlour slammed open followed by the sound of small footsteps slapping against the wood floor.
I looked over and saw —
“Gon-chan, welcome hooommme~!” “I’ve been waiting all night for you, Gon-chan!” “Me too! I never even went to sleep!” “Welcome home, Gonzalez-san.” “Oi, Gonzalez, c-can we practice with the sword some more tomorrow?”
“You children, can’t you see Gonzalez-san has visitors?” “Gon-sama, would you bless me with your company tonight?” “Gon-chan~! Gon-chan~!” “Ah~, that’s unfair! I want to have Gon-chan’s child!”
A young girl here, a young girl there. A few young women ran in chasing after them. Oh, there’s also a few young boys.
What kind of beautiful loli harem is this?
Nearly two dozen children came running into the parlour.
“Oi, you guys shouldn’t just come barging in like that!”
Mister Gon-chan barked out at the loli brigade.
“You seem to be quite popular, Gonzalez.”
He lightly scratched the side of his head.
He must be embarrassed.
“You saw a bit of a shameful side of me.”
“Who are those kids?”
“They’re children of the Guild. Well, I say the Guild, but they’re mainly children that have been abandoned, urchins off the street, or they’re parents were adventurers that died.”
He’s such a good guy.
But what’s with the high rate of exceptional lolis? There was a half-dog girl, an elf, and many other variations of lolis I’d never seen before. It’s like the U.N. of lolis. And all of them are obsessed with Gon-chan and screaming their love for Gon-chan.
Especially the younger ones. They were rushing to hug him, wrapping themselves around his thighs, and climbing on his back. The thing which all men desire. Skinship. The young women may not have been throwing themselves at him, but I could see an overwhelming amount of lust filling their eyes.
Ah, this is such an enviable sight.
My goal, nay, my very dream lies right before me.
Is it due to the location? Is location really that important? Maybe being located between the downtown area and slums led to such a diverse group of lolis gathering here.
“Aida, sorry, I don’t mean to kick you out of the room, but there’s still a noble present. She’ll only put up with so much rudeness.”
Gon-chan spoke with glancing over at Ester-chan.
I doubt the loli bitch cares, but there’s no point clearing up his misunderstanding.
The girl named Aida nodded nervously. Compared to the other lolis, she appeared to be more mature. I’d say she’s either thirteen or fourteen, dressed modestly, and has short brown hair. She’s probably the one that looks after the younger kids. She also had a small chest visible through her clothes.
As she was answering, her gaze shifted over to Ester-chan and Gonzalez loud voice drew everyone’s attention to her as well. I don’t think any of them even noticed she was here until now. They were all just obsessing over Gon-chan until now. Just how crazy are they about him?
Their faces turned blue and they all went stiff. Even though we’re so close to the slums, the vast difference between nobles and commoners is still respected. The feudal system of this world is engrained in the minds of almost every citizen. Even Gonzalez has been acting cautiously around Ester-chan.
“Children are the treasure of our country. I’m happy to see them all so full of energy, but….”
I crossed my legs and waited to hear what the loli bitch would tell the children.
“…it’s not good for you to stay up so late. If you don’t get a good night’s sleep, you won’t be able to grow into a fine adult like him. You should all go to sleep at a good time so you can grow up to be fine adults.”
She was gentle with them as she tried to get them to do what’s best for them, even if it’s not what they wanted. Although, I’m not sure if she would’ve behaved differently if I weren’t here.
Nevertheless, she gave off a calm atmosphere that helped calm down the young women and even Gon-chan.
“Do you understand?”
But the young children were still nervous. When she addressed them directly, they all trembled.
“I’m sorry, but could you all stay quiet and wait out there for me?”
When Gonzalez spoke, their attention all snapped to him and they nodded in unison.
Aida, who appeared to be the oldest, all herded the loli brigade out into the corridor. She then turned around, gave us a bow while trembling, and shut the door behind her.
Allen had his own harem, now I see Gonzalez has one of his own. It really is all about being an ikemen. I could feel any confidence I had left as a man leaving my body. My HP must be at about half now.
“Sorry for the interruption.”
“N-No, it’s fine.”
I need to stay calm. I need to be cool like an ikemen.
No, I don’t need to become an ikemen. There are other routes to building my own harem. That’s actually why I’m here. It’s not uncommon for nobles to have one or two mistresses. My own path to forming a genuine harem lies right before me.
No matter how difficult the path, I will achieve my dream using my own power.
“It might take a while, but I need to tell you everything….”
For now, I decided to tell Gon-chan about everything that had happened.