Volume 1: Chapter 003: Lord Elric: Threw His Back Out at the Harbour City
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
My name is Elric Odille, a Count of the Ruskia Kingdom. We are a major ruling nation in the Southern Continent.
Though my county consists mostly of the countryside, I am in charge of the Delia Fields. Where the lands are wide,  rich and fertile and each year, profit pours into our coffers through the sale of fruits and other crops.
Today, I come to the neighbouring harbour city, Karted.
As expected from a harbour city, life here is very different from the countryside.
From the salty smell of the ocean and the cry of seabirds, everything seems somehow more uplifting and lively here.
I come to this city to trade with the local feudal lord.
I think I managed to get a pretty good deal. Delia Field’s harvest this year is unusually rich but I was able to sell a lot of wheat and fruits at the price I wanted.  Normally, prices will go down when there’s a glut in supplies but I still managed to sell my goods at a profit.
It goes to show just how good my selling skills are.
Tomorrow is my beloved Makia’s birthday.
A most beautiful and intelligent daughter there never is. She takes after my lovely wife and will be 7 years old soon.
Well, I say that she is 7 but she certainly doesn’t act like any other 7-year-old I had seen. She would sometimes make complex remarks that are difficult even for adults to understand.
Moreover, she lacks the greed and normal materialistic desires that most children have.
However, she loves eating and has a very gourmet tongue. I find this side of her very adorable.
She is a difficult girl to give presents to. Just last week I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and Makia, who was reading a book about the history of this country, replied with ‘Friends of the same age’ after some thought.
This might sound like she has no friends, which… well, most daughters of other aristocratic families have trouble communicating with her.  It certainly looks like Makia had to dumb down herself to be on the same wavelength as them.
Long story short, what she really wants are children of her age who could converse at the same wavelength, over the same topics as her.
“How about getting an attendant of the same age for her? Or should we get someone older? That child needs friends she could get along with.”
My wife, Elena, had also been troubled by the matter.
Could someone so convenient really appear?
I’m starting to wonder if such a child exists.
“Yodel, what do you think? Where do you think we can find a suitable attendant for that child?”
“My lord, what about a girl raised in the mountains by her grandfather, fed on nothing but bread and cheese? Or perhaps a child from the orphanage could be educated as her attendant? Since no one is a good fit, perhaps we could look for someone completely unfit?”
“… Uhm, this is a really difficult matter,”
“When it comes to Makia-sama’s attendant, it can’t be a person of doubtful origin,”
“I wonder… Don’t you think someone of doubtful origin would spark her interest more?”
I drop my shoulders and sigh. Only to realise a little later that I have stop in front of one of the seaside street stalls. This particular stall was filled with dolls and little accessories that most little girls would be happy to receive.
There are plenty of these things at home, so I don’t think that child would be happy if I brought more home.
She would just pretend to be happy in front of us, and I don’t want to see that forced smile on her face. I wonder if I should put more effort into getting some interesting food for this year as well.
Yodel is still behind me, carefree as usual.
Still, for all his carefree attitude, he’s someone I can trust.
While I watch him working his brain, someone suddenly rams into him from the side and before we knew it, the bag Yodel is carrying is snatched away by a rough-looking man.
“Ahhhhh, the important documents for today’s business talk are in there!”
My shout of despair is unusually long and detailed but it’s not like I wasn’t in a panic.
I’m seriously panicking here!
Yodel is as careless as he had been back in Delia Fields. However, this is the harbour town! A place where all kinds of people gather and dangerous people like thieves and pirates appear.
Also, that Yodel is too slow!
Looks like I can’t really depend on him after all.
Having lost hope in that avenue, I try my best to go after the thief.
“Wait, you thief!! Who do you think you’re stealing from!! I’m from the Delia Fields…”
A most unpleasant sound. Unfortunately, I know exactly what that sound that was. It is my lower back.
I should not be running full speed at this age. I tripped and collapsed onto the street as my back gave out.
“S-Someone… g-get that man…”
I weakly reach out one hand towards the rapidly disappearing man.
I will suffer a great loss if he disappears  with my documents. What should I do now?
While my gloomy future play out like a series of distorted images across my mind, the thief suddenly took a dive sideways, hitting a fruit stall and rolling to the ground.
Wha… What just happened?
My waist is so painful that my eyes are watering. Yodel had finally caught up and helped me hobble to the fruit stall.
“Hey, old man, is this yours?”
There is a young boy before me with black hair and eyes, what an unusual colour combination, he has a chimney sweeping brush in one hand and in the other was my recently stolen bag. The boy hands the bag to me.
“Yes. Were you the one who took down this person?”
The rough-looking man is just lying there, covered in oranges.
The boy nods and laughs.
“You look like a noble. I’ll let you in on something, in this city, keep whatever is important inside your clothes. That carefree-looking brother over there doesn’t seem sharp enough to handle incidents like this.”
Judging from appearance alone, I believe this boy should be the same age as Makia.
Perhaps a couple of years older? Considering how much smaller children lacking nutrition could be.
Still, what of it? This independent manner of speaking, that confident stance, the strength in those dark eyes… somehow he reminds me of Makia.
“You… What is your name?”
I ask almost unconsciously.
“Tooru Sagaram. If you have a chimney that needs sweeping, just call me, yeah?”
With a wide grin, the boy, Tooru, swings his tall brush casually and runs off.
This was my first encounter with the young boy Tooru.
[Gumihou: That boy… is very sus… Also, what’s that random Heidi reference, lol!!]
 Filling in the ‘Unspoken’. Often, when it comes to Japanese novels, the translation might be a bit lacking since the author deliberately chooses to use less words and let the reader fill in the blanks through a preset cultural understanding.
If the missing info looks too sparse, Gumi will fill in some of the blanks. This is not to imply that the writer’s craft is lacking, but we do have a cultural gap. Gumi will try to fill in these gaps unobtrusively.
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