It’s been a month since Ashley left for Amar, which means I was able to reach Amar much earlier than normal. I heard before that it’d take about two months to get here. While in the early stages I drove down the flat roads with VMB’s vehicles, I traveled on foot through the mountains with Sharle-san using shortcuts.
The sight of Amar greeted me as it was spread across the other side of the mountain we had climbed. Rows of houses had been built along the slope with factory-style buildings hugging the coast. And as we walked down, I took in the scenery. I found not only regular houses, but cave dwellings carved into the actual rocky slopes. It was fancy like, with beautiful carved window frames and doors. Something uncommon in my world, so it must’ve been done with magic.
Was it weird of me to look around in fascination like this? Sharle-san had been throwing glances at me with a proud expression.
“What do you think? Amar’s cityscape is amazing to look at, right?”
“Eh, yes. I’ve seen similar scenery before, but I’m amazed by how they’re more natural and beautifully arranged within the city.”
“Fufuhn, it’s a city built by a great number of architects who’d mastered earth magic! It can also be turned into a tourist spot in the summer!”
We continued down the slope as she gushed over the city with pride. Eventually, we reached the gate that separated the city from the mountain. Two guards stood beside it, for what it seemed to be us.
“Charlotte-sama! Welcome back!”
Between the two gatekeepers standing near the gate, the younger one waved his hand and called out to us. Charlotte-sama? Was he referring to Sharle-san? Looking sideways, Sharle-san waved back at him.
“… Sharle was the name I used to register as an adventurer. The people of Amar only know me as Charlotte. This will be my first time back in four years. You can still call me Sharle-san if you want. For all we know, I’m also Sharle, the C-ranked adventurer.”
“— Alright, Sharle-san.”
Still waving back to the young gatekeeper, Sharle-san still smiled. But for some reason, there was a tinge of sadness in her eyes.
“Welcome back Charlotte-sama. And this sir here, welcome to the Port City of Amar. It’s the rule here, but can you please present me your identification?”
The other gatekeeper, who looked more experienced, was a middle aged man. Presenting my guild card as requested, I got permission to enter the city. Sharle-san did the same as she talked with the older guard.
“How is the fleet reorganization going?”
“It’s been finished. The reconnaissance ship already sailed a couple of times even. I believe the first fleet will sail in the next few days.”
“Who is the commanding officer?”
“That would be Reizen, Viscount Drumo’s eldest son.”
“That Piggy Reimon?!”
“Calling him that is a bit…”
“What about my elder sister?”
“Should be in the command post, or the mansion.”
“Very well, I shall head home then. Can I use the elevator?”
“Yes, certainly. It’s still working per usual.”
“Thank you. Alright then, I’ll take my leave now — Schwartz! I’m heading down into the city, follow me!”
I was waiting for them to finish their talk while enjoying the view with the younger guard, but apparently, they were done. I heard a snippet about the elevator. Was it really an elevator, or was it more of an escalator, or something similar? Following Sharle-san, I was taken to an axial track with floorboards that extended up the coast through the steep slope.
“Magic elevator! With this, we can go directly to the bottom!”
The magic elevator moved via magic magic. The floorboards were about 6 meter in width so I assumed that even a wagon could fit in it. There were four of these elevators lined up next to each other. When I looked down, I saw another packed with boxes as it descended slowly.
“Get on it quickly, let’s go!”
I chased after Sharle-san who’d already gotten on it first. Once I got there, she placed her palm on a device that looked to be the control panel. A magic circle emerged from the top, and at the same time, the floor vibrated before we began to descend. I couldn’t quite understand the principle behind the structure, but I was aware of what was happening. While it fascinated me that magic could be applied this way, I was still disappointed that it could only be used via magic.
I wouldn’t be able to use this let alone as a ‘magic escape device’. The magic tag I’d gotten from the wolf labyrinth could be used to fool transfer circles, but I wasn’t sure about this.
“Schwartz, we’ll be going our separate ways once we get down there.”
“You see that house with the red roof over there?”
Sharle-san continued to operate the control panel with her magic as she pointed out in a certain direction. There was indeed a red-roofed house that stood out taller than most others.
“Yes, I can see it.”
“That’s my parents’ house. After you deliver the letter to the Marida company branch ship, go there. I’ll treat you to dinner.”
There was still some time till sundown. I still needed to find accommodations and deliver the letter to the ship. It was quite a lot of things to do given the time frame, but since she’s offering free dinner, why not?
“I’ll gladly take up that office. I’ll come over when I’m done.”
“Fufuhn, I’ll make sure that there’ll be a lot of Amar’s seafood specialties. I haven’t tasted them for a while myself. The merchant ships usually dock on that side, although I don’t know which one belongs to the Marida Company.”
“That’s more than enough. I should be able to find them myself.”
We reached the bottom and the scent of the sea wafted past me, even though we were on the mountain.
“We’re here! Alright then, Schwartz, I’ll be expecting you so come over for sure!”
“Yes, thank you very much, I’ll visit later.”
Getting off the elevator, I walked in a different direction from Sharle0san. Right in front was the breakwater and beyond, the blue sea. The sea was beautiful from above, but it was even more beautiful from here as it glittered in the sunlight. Near the horizon, I could see what seemed to be fishing boats with larger ships which were probably the merchant boats.
I walked toward that direction where the merchant ships were supposed to be. I saw various kinds of people along the road – marchants, fishermen, and regular city folks. They acted natural despite the fact the one side of the road led to the sea while the other led to factories. I could catch the merchants selling their wares, and some lively chatterings.
I was wondering whether they’d suffered form the pirate attacks, but apparently, they haven’t attacked here. Only raiding at sea. The city was so vibrant that such anxiety meant nothing to it.
I entered the area where many merchant ships were docked. A number of piers extended into the sea with merchant ships anchored to them. Big burly men unloaded wooden boxes and took them to warehouses. I asked one of them who looked to be free where the Mirada company’s ship was anchored. They pointed to one ship and I headed there while comparing the many different ships..
“Excuse me –”
On the longest pier I’ve seen, I called out while looking around the lowest deck of the largest merchant ship that served as its loading bay.
A beastman appeared from the back. A dog beastman I guessed.
“D-ranked adventurer Shwartz here. Can I see the captain of this ship?”
“You mean Boss? Please wait a minute —. Booosss! Come down here, there is a customer!”
The beastman shouted towards the stairs that led to the upper deck. What came back was a gruff reply.
“A customer you say? — I’m the captain of the Mirada Company merchant ship, Bolroy. Customer, do you need something?”
A middle aged cat-man came down. I assumed he was a cat beastman by his ears and tail. His brown hair was unkempt and the stubbles on his chin gave a different feeling compared to the others I saw that worked for the company back in Barga.
“Nice to meet you, I’m schwartz, a D-ranked adventurer. Chairman Malta-san told me to visit here. This is the letter he wrote.”
I handed the letter over to Bolroy-san. He opened the seal and read the letter’s contents.
“I see. Certainly. Customer, Marida Company will take care of your every need during your stay in Amar. Hey, you, run to the Seaside Lighthouse and book the best room. This customer’s name is Schwartz.”
Bolroy immediately relayed the order to the first beastman. Just what in the world did Malta-san write in the letter…
Customer, let’s first head to the second floor. It’s more comfortable to talk there.”
Guided by Bolroy-san, I went to the second floor.