Volume 1: Chapter 033: Tooru Receives a Dead Crayfish
Translated by Zzonkedd
Edited by Gumihou
Day 15: Makia
Hey, isn’t this enough?
Come back, I’m not angry anymore.
This is Tooru.
Makia had suddenly changed her attitude, I wonder if she is starting to feel a little lonely.
Also, there is a dead crayfish in my bag.
“….. Woah ……..”
Is this harassment?
It is harassment, isn’t it?
I can’t say that I reacted well. Rather, thanks to the build up of everything that has been happening, a murderous feeling begin to boil my blood.
Just where on earth did she find this pitiful creature? No matter how despicable a witch she is, surely she wouldn’t have put a live crayfish into my bag  and left it to suffocate to death?
“Teacher Tooru, what are we doing today?”
“…. Uhmm……. Uhm…..”
Let us all learn about the importance of life. That day, we buried the dead crayfish at a vacant lot next to the church.
Day 16: Tooru
Oi, did you put a dead crayfish in my bag?
What a scary woman…
Day 17: Makia
I don’t know anything about that.
Day 18: Tooru
Well, I really thought it was Makia who did it but, I feel like there’s something wrong with her response. Could it really have been someone else?
Day 19: Makia
What’s the incident? Are you being bullied?
As expected, Karted’s pretty unsafe.
Did you annoy someone?
You’re rather unfriendly after all.
Oops, looks like I was really mistaken? If Makia’s the one who did it, she would not have denied it outright.
However, from her response, I know for a fact that it can’t be her. Sorry Makia, I thought it was one of your vicious little pranks.
Still, just how did a dead crayfish end up in my bag?
“Teacher Tooru, Bruno didn’t come today”
“Huh… He always comes early. I wonder if he’s stuck at work?”
“Oh, I know, I know. Bruno’s dad has a cold.”
The children all start chatting with each other about Bruno. That child is the one who is always hanging around the group leader, Antonio. The two of them are the ones who take the lead in disturbing lessons and inciting the others to run off.
I think he doesn’t have a mother and lives with his dad. His father owns a shoe store on a slightly quiet street, which happens to be near a glamorous shopping street.  That location can’t be good for business…
Well, I’m still annoyed by the dead crayfish, but I need to look into Bruno’s issue first. He’s one of my special students,  probably because he’s that type of lively and slightly annoying character that teachers just could not leave alone.
That day, I ended the lessons early and paid a visit to Bruno’s house.
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“Excuse me! Bruno, are you home?”[I had been by Bruno’s place before, to convince his father to send him to school. Hm, how should I put it… the store,  which is the front part of their house, is quite small and dull. There are not many items of the shelves and whatever is on display are all covered in dust.
The kids said that his father caught a cold, and since they only have each other, it is a little worrying.
“… Teacher Tooru,”
“Ohh, Bruno. … Are you okay? I heard your father is sick?”
Bruno had quietly appeared from the back of the store. He looked a little depressed and miserable.
Suddenly, the child burst into tears.
“Wh-what is it? Could it be…”
Don’t tell me his father’s condition has worsened!
I rushed past the store into the living area. I have magic, and though I am not well versed with healing, I could still try and boost his condition…
However, when I reached the bedroom, the sight that greeted me was…
“… Oh, who are you?”
“…wait a minute. What the heck is going on?!”
The small room is littered with whisky bottles.
There is a large man in the middle of the bed, a gaudy naked lady on his arm.
Let me tell you, I became pretty upset by that point.
For a moment, I just stood there, staring.
I close the door.
No, it’s not like I was scandalised by what I had seen.
After all, I had been a Great Demon King with a great harem.
It is impossible to shock my senses with just this much. It’s not like I’m some kind of junior high school kid.
“Teacher, are you okay? Your face is really red.”
“No no no, I’m fine. It’s not like I’m shocked by that scene in there!”
Anyways, scene or not, the stink of stale whisky is irritating my nose, so I leave the room for the shop front. Let’s calm down and think about this carefully.
Wait, isn’t that Bruno’s father?
“Hey, Bruno. I heard that your dad caught a cold?”
“He did, but then he went to that bar and brought a woman home.”
A sudden sense of weakness strikes me. I put a hand against the store’s dirty window.
That… Why did I come here again?
As I ask myself that question, Bruno starts crying again.
That’s right, this kid was crying just now. Well, wouldn’t you cry too if your father is like that?
I really don’t know what to say under these circumstances.
“Teacher, I’m sorry. It’s my fault the crayfish ended up in your bag.”
Through his sobs, I heard something unexpected.
I had been concerned by the dead crayfish incident, but had completely forgotten about it after seeing that shocking scene just now.
“I- I… that day, I stole a crayfish from the marketplace and… and… my father caught a cold and looked like he’s in pain. Also, also, he really likes crayfish…”
I’m a little flustered by the sudden revelation.
What is this child saying?
Wait, you stole it? You stole a crayfish?
“I was scared and wanted to give it back, but then I saw Antonio. When he saw the crayfish he said ‘Let’s surprise Teacher Tooru and bully him a little’. I can’t go against Antonio, so, so, when you left your bag in the square by the church, that’s when we put the crayfish in…”
I have a lot to say, but let’s focus on my bag first.
If I’m not wrong, I left the bag at the plaza to borrow a book from the bishop one morning. It did not occur to me to take that gap into consideration since Yodel was at the plaza too. Also, I had not thought that the culprit would turn out to be one of my students.
Blast that stupid Yodel!
He must have been sleeping on the job again!
Also, when we buried that dead crayfish yesterday, Antonio-kun was with us the whole time. He acted like the crayfish had nothing to do with him… what a frightening child!
“I… I was wondering what I should do if I ever get caught stealing, and, and I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. Teacher, you also didn’t try to investigate it and… I’m so sorry, teacher!”
That’s right, if I had properly faced my students yesterday with my best bitter smile and demanded, ‘Who did this?’ the culprit might have surrendered himself immediately.
However, I had been so sure that Makia was behind the crayfish incident and had not thought to suspect my students for this kind of mischief.
Antonio must have been bored by my lack of reaction too.
“…crayfish, huh… well, they are unexpectedly tasty.” I mused.
Also, they did leave a beautiful corpse behind them
I am all kinds of surprised, but…
“It’s not like we can do anything about it. Also, your father looks like he’s feeling much better. In more than one way? No, anyway, shall we go to the market place together and apologize to the vendor? Let’s see what you can do to make it up to them.”
Dusk has fallen and stars can be seen in the purple sky.
The night market isn’t quite as lively in the morning one, but it is still quite busy with shops transforming into food stalls that sell small snacks and drinks. There is a steady flow of customers crowding the place.
The people of Karted generally buy some side dishes from the market to supplement their dinner tables.
Speaking of which,  what these stalls or stores sell depends a lot on their morning wares. Fruit and vegetable store owners would sell vegetable stir-fries or salads. A butcher would sell skewered meats, while fishmongers sell grilled fish and shellfish.
The fishmonger Bruno had stolen the crayfish from is located at the corner of a busy street. I happened to know the guy. The man is a fisherman with a large scar on his bald head. There are a lot of theories on how he had gotten that scar, ranging from fighting with a shark to having angered his wife.
Bruno and I sincerely apologized for the theft. I paid for the crayfish, of course,  since Bruno is my student and therefore my responsibility.
Unexpectedly, the scarred and fierce looking former fisherman forgave us.
I guess his fierce looks are just that, looks.
“… Teacher, I’m sorry. I even made you pay with your own money.”
“Dummy, I’m only lending you this money. Once you’ve grown up as one of Karted’s merchants, I expect you to repay me.”
Bruno is crying again.
He must have suffered from a lot of guilt.
Now that the  crayfish incident is over and done with, I direct my thoughts towards other matters occupying this child’s mind.
Bruno’s father is a rather sloppy character, however, he is also the child’s only father.
Bruno’s loyalty and care is shown when he stole that crayfish just to cheer that man up. Unfortunately, that sloppy father not only got drunk after catching a cold, he even brought a woman back to his place. It is clear that he has no consideration for Bruno’s feelings at all. Three characters were involved in the crayfish-in-my-bag incident, but only Bruno felt any guilt over it. That poor kid… Looks like his feelings are wasted on the people around him.
“…well, Bruno. That matter is over now, just promise me you won’t do it again and we’ll forget about it, okay?”
I stopped by a few cheerful looking stalls, now lit up with lights, and bought grilled fish, some shellfish cooked in its shell, skewered meat, vegetable meat rolls, cheese and bread as well as some roasted nuts and fizzy lemon soda. I bring these to the communal table set up by the streets and invite Bruno to eat with me.
“Come now, let’s eat. I’m hungry.”
“But, but teacher…”
“It’s fine, just eat. You’ve had a few hard days haven’t you? You should know, part of being a teacher is being there for my students.”
However, this outing is kind of a secret between me and Bruno. Also, I’m new to this job.
Bruno seems interested in the meat skewers, which are still giving off a little steam, so I casually placed them in front of him and nibble at the shellfish.
Lively music can be heard from somewhere out of sight. The harbour city is really noisy, both day and night.
“Back when I was your age, I used to be a chimney sweep in this town. I guess you know that, but, at that time I had no money and my mother was very sick… I could only smell the food here but not eat them. I hated this cheerful music too.”
Bruno chews at the meat skewers as I talk about my past.
“Do you still hate it now?”
“Well…once I entered this world properly, I started enjoying music again. I was lucky.”
“You need to grab all the luck you can as you grow up. This music that you hear can sound pleasant or grating to the ear depending on how you live your life. Karted has a meritocracy system,  this means you have the opportunity to get ahead so long as you do well. Stay tough and you will survive.”
Bruno nods as he sips his lemon soda. He then reaches for the grilled fish. As expected of a resilient kid from Karted, he is already taking what’s being offered.
“Teacher, I really like studying. I want to go to the new school and learn how to make my father’s shop successful. Will you be one of the teachers there?”
“N-No, I’m not really suited to be a teacher”
“Really? I think you’re a fun teacher.”
This fellow… you’re already flattering me into buy you more things. Just a little earlier you looked so miserable but now you’re buttering me up for future gains.
Well, I’m fine with that. To become a good merchant, you will need these skills.  Both the ability to invest in the future and to bounce back from setbacks quickly.
Hopefully, you will one day become someone who could enjoy the music of this town without hesitation, boy.
[Gumihou: Antonio has the makings of a great scammer…]
 Filling in the ‘Unspoken’. Often, when it comes to Japanese novels, the translation might feel a bit lacking since the author deliberately chooses to use fewer 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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