Luke the village chief was nothing at all like I expected.
He had none of the arrogance and overbearingness that were common in nobles. He didn’t even mind that I talked casually to him, too casually some would argue.
This gentle and kind lad didn’t belong in this war-torn era. One has to wonder how exactly he grew up like this.
In terms of maturity, he certainly got Hazena—the youngest among us—beat by a large margin. But then again, maybe that’s thanks to some kind of special lesson taught only to noble kids.
“A dungeon!? There’s a dungeon nearby!?”
“Yes. We’ve just discovered it recently.”
“Monster-infested areas and a dungeon…why, I think we can call this place a haven for us adventurers already…”
We came to this place with the goal of exploring the monster-infested areas nearby, but we ended up discovering an even better treasure trove.
To make it even better, the dungeon was supposedly within the village. The village chief offered to take us there and we gladly accepted.
Along the way, I witnessed something bizarre.
“Hey, is that an elf over there?”
“Yes. The elves have become part of our village.”
“You serious…? Aren’t they supposed to have cut off all interactions with humans and moved to the ends of the world, or something?”
I saw an elf casually talking with a human.
The elf acted so naturally that I initially noticed them for their head-turning beauty and not at all for being an elf.
“Just so you know, dwarves have also become part of our village. They mostly stay underground though, so it might be harder to meet one.”
No, wait, what do you mean underground…?
We walked some more and I noticed something else.
The village itself as well as all those who lived here were tidy and clean. As an adventurer, I have been to many cities, but never have I been to a place that was completely clean until now.
Usually, there would be human waste and trash lying on the roadside, but none of that was here.
From what I was told, everybody being clean could be attributed to two things: public bath houses, and each home having its own bath and lavatory.
And everyone here had a home. It was incredibly rare for a city to not have any homeless person, but this one apparently was one of those.
“We always provide people a place to live, and that’s how we’ve become a village of immigrants.”
Always provide? You make it sound so easy…
We were taken to a place that had these mysterious, gigantic buildings.
“Wait, those are inns!? They’re stupidly big…”
“Yes, they’re inns. Ah, but just to be clear, these ones are exclusively for adventurers who will challenge the dungeon. I made them this big and this many in anticipation of future traffic.”
We were informed that each unit had its own bath and lavatory, much like the homes of the villagers.
“Amazing! That’s making me want to live here forever!”
When Hazena heard the explanation, her eyes sparkled.
Inns near monster-infested areas or dungeons typically had subpar accommodations. Which was to be expected since monsters attack them from time to time.
If a dungeon was managed by the lord of the land, there was a chance that there would be a decent inn nearby. However, right now, there was only a few of such dungeons in this country.
It was also explained to us that the entrance to this village’s dungeon was just a few steps in front of the inns. Or more accurately, the entrance was surrounded by the inns.
Given that, I thought it was only a matter of time before monsters come out of the dungeon and attack the buildings. When I raised my concern, the village chief told us that there was no need to worry about such a thing.
I’ve done nothing but be surprised since we got to this village, but by far the thing that surprised me the most was when we were informed that we could blessed here for only 1 gold coin.
Half-convinced, I was brought to a church-like building.
In front of it was beautiful lady.
“Welcome. I am the priest Millia.”
…this beauty is the priest? No, more importantly…why is she wearing a maid’s outfit?
◇ ◇ ◇
My name is Dant.
I am the governor of the North, the most northern region in the Albert territory.
Until recently, I have been completely devoted to my duty. I only did one offense, but it was a major one: I hid the existence of the village in the northern wasteland from Raul-sama.
When it gets discovered that my report was false, my head would likely roll to the ground, literally.
Still, I would have no regrets.
I had complete faith in Luke-sama, after all. I was certain that he would become an important figure in the future, surpassing even his father, Lord Albert.
There was a chance that he could even change this very country for the better.
Thinking about that, the risk I was taking was nothing.
“Nevertheless, Dant-sama, we can’t hide the existence of the village for much longer. Rumors about it has spread farther than the North. Before long, Raul-sama himself will likely set out to investigate the matter.”
“I realize that. And that’s why we’re heading to the village right now.”
I agreed with Bazara.
I and my elite guards were once again toward the village, but this time, it was partly to give thanks to Luke-sama who has greatly improved the food shortage crisis in the North. The other purpose of our visit was to relay a certain important piece of information to him.
“It’s been half a year since then, hasn’t it… I wonder, how much the village have grown since then…I can’t help but feel excited and scared at the same time.”
“It has been quite a snowy winter, so perhaps it hasn’t changed much.”
Bazara’s words made sense, but my gut feeling told me otherwise.
…furthermore, it told me that I needed to brace myself.
When we were near the wasteland, we noticed something.
“…we’ve passed by quite a number of people, haven’t we?”
“Yes. The only place ahead in the village though…”
“Then, it’s probably safe to assume that that’s where they’re headed.”
“But all of them? Aren’t there too many?”
The advent of spring probably meant a significant increase in immigrants.
Among those we passed by where groups who seemed to be merchants. Some even looked like adventurers.
“I see. Because of the monster-infested areas nearby, the village would indeed make a wonderful base of operations for the adventurers.”