Chapter 11 – LITHIA FAHLHEIT
Lithia Fahlheit is the eldest daughter of the Fahlheit House. Her father, Nicholas Fahlheit has worked as a soldier of Cline Kingdom for many years. A few years ago, when there was conflict with the bordering Seruroa Kingdom, he solved it without casualty and with such meritorious service, he was bestowed with the title of 《Ritter》.
Originally, the prestigious title of 《Ritter》 was meant for a single generation, however the Cline Kingdom had an insufficient number of nobles, and so it was decided as a special case that the same title would be given to their children.
「Haa, being a noble is really tiring…」
A sigh escaped Lithia’s mouth. In any case, the perception of a commoner would have already taken root to those given the education of a noble past the age of 10.
And then the village chief appeared, opening the door,
「Well well, what do we have here? You are the new tax collector right? I am the village chief, Gibbeku. I look forward to working with you from now on」
The greetings were done. Lithia dismounted the horse and answered.
「I am Lithia Fahlheit, I am responsible for the Kaina Village area this year. I look forward to working with you too」
「Come on in, please make yourself at home」
The village chief prompted Lithia. Tying the horse to the stable, she entered the village chief’s home.
She was guided to the table and sat down, his niece Barbara brought over tea. Being thirsty, Lithia drank it in one go. Barbara immediately placed down a second cup. This time Lithia drank it a little bit at a time.
Having then taken a breather,
「W-Well then village chief, how has the harvest been this year?」
she began her work. The village chief is a serious person, she thought while,
「That’s right… it’s been about average I think?」
「Then you’ll be able pay the tax decided last year, right? 」
「Yes, that is alright」
It’s been about the payment of tax until this year.
「Well then, can you show me the village situation and field now?」
「Eh? Right now?」
Hearing that, Lithia knitted her eyebrows,
「I-Is there anything inconvenient with thet?」
She tried to show her utmost dignity, but after stuttering, it was in vain.
「No, I thought Fahlheit-sama might have been tired. Up till now, those that came did not do anything on the day they arrived and instead did their inspection the next day.」
「Is that so? However, I am me. Please guide me around」
Thus, the village chief guided her around the village and fields.
「This here is the wheat field. They sprout in Autumn」
「It seems to be going well」
And then the other crop fields.
「The vegetables have already been harvested」
Finally the storehouse.
「Fun-fun, if there’s this much wheat, you’ll be able to last the winter even if you pay the tax」
「Ee, I think we will be alright」
「I’m relieved. Can I transport it tomorrow?」
「T-Tomorrow is it? That can be done, but Fahlheit-sama, aren’t you tired?」
The village chief somehow noticed that Lithia was fatigued, but,
「I am fine. Because this is my duty」
She said and gave a forced smile, then a ball rolled towards her feet.
「Ara? This is?」
Lithia picked up the ball,
「Aah! Onee-chan, thank you~! That is my ball!」
saying that Kurt ran up to her,
「Okay, here you go」
Saying that she handed over the ball, but her line of sight was not directed to Kurt, but rather glued to the ball.
Wondering what it is, Lithia asked the village chief,
「… village chief, what is that round thing that child just then was playing with?」
「Aa, that is a ball」
「Ee, it is a thing to play with which Jin made」
「Jin would be… that person from before?」
「Ee, it was the person who had guided Fahlheit-sama here」
「That person made this ball?」
「Yes, that person was originally not from this village, he lost his way and came here in Spring. It seems he’s a 《Magic Craftsman》 from a far away country and has served this village well in various ways」
「He is? A 《Magic Craftsman》?」
「Is that so…?」
Lithia had become a little interested in Jin.
「The merchant Roland should be handling that item but…」
「Roland is it? I think I’ve heard of him. Recently there’s been some big talk about the merchant of that name from the Raglan Firm.」
「It is likely that person」
「Is that so? Then I’ll verify it after returning to the capital」
with the matter of the ball settled, the two left the field and went back to the village.
「Village chief, that thing there is a pump right?」
Along the way, Lithia noticed the water well pump.
「Ee, that’s right. That is also something Jin made.」
Lithia was surprised once again. Right now, not only in the capital, but in the surrounding villages as well, the pump was growing popular at a phenomenal rate. This was the driving force behind the rapid growth of the Raglan Firm, but for it to have come from this… furthermore, to say it was Jin, a 《Magic Craftsman》 from a foreign country who made it. Her interest in Jin was growing more and more.
「Well, with the work out of the way for today, please relax」
Saying that, the village chief had taken the Lithia to the hot spring. His niece, Barbara was already waiting there.
「Village chief, what is this place?」
「It is a hot spring」
「Well, try entering. Barbara, I leave the rest to you」
The village chief entrusted the other party to Barbara and returned back to his house.
「Now then, Fahlheit-sama, please enter」
Saying that she invited her into the dressing room, prompting her to take off her clothes,
「W-Why are you taking off your clothes!?」
Lithia looking at it like it was incomprehensible was a natural reaction. Barbara laughed,
「I’m sorry for not clearly explaining it. This is referred to as a hot spring, it’s a place where warm water wells up. And because of that, anyone in the village can come and soak in the hot water, recovering from fatigue」
「Is it different from a normal bath?」
「Ee, this uses hot water that wells up from underground. According to Jin, a lot of heat has gathered under the Mountain of Death, and the underground water that comes into contact with it heats up into hot water, was what he told me, but honestly I don’t really understand it well.」
「So this is also Jin-san’s?」
「Ee, he is the benefactor of this village」
After the talk, they soaked in the hot water.
「Aa, this feels really good」
With the tension finally gone, Lithia and Barbara both stretched within the hot spring.
The tax collector was now bathing, that is, it was quiet because the villagers were shut out with the exception of Barbara. The two sprawled themselves in the hot spring, and placed their heads on the edge of the hot spring. For a moment the presence of an old man appeared.
Lithia stared enviously at the two bulges attached to the chest of Barbara stretching next to her, but then pulled herself together and now had something else on her mind,
「Where in the world did Jin-san come from?」
she tried to ask,
「Saa… I was told he was dragged by an 《Artifact》 that malfunctioned and thrown here. If I remember, his home country was called Japan. Do you know of it?」
「Japan, no, never heard of it. Although, I’m not familiar with the geography of this continent 」
Lithia was a new noble and being a tax collector was her first job which she told Barbara. 16 years old and 15 years old, the two were only different by 1 year, and they became good friends through their naked socialising.