Chapter 100 – Bear-san Makes A Stone Statue
We ate the meal that Atora-san prepared.
It was a simple fish meal, but Cliff didn’t complain. It was funny, seeing Atora-san’s anxious face as she watched him eat it.
「I prepared a carriage outside, so we should head towards the tunnel.」
She said after we finished eating.
It seemed that she had prepared everything while we were eating.
We went outside, where a roofed carriage waited for us.
「Cliff-sama, Mylene-san, it may be small, but please get on.」
She was right. It was small compared to the carriage Gran-san used at the capital.
However, there were no nobles in Mireera, and preparing this carriage was probably the best they could do.
Cliff, who understood that, wouldn’t complain.
「I don’t mind, so don’t worry about it.」
The carriage could seat three people on each side, opposite of each other.
Cliff, Mylene-san, Atora-san, and the three elders.
Jeremo-san headed for the coach seat.
So, where would I be?
Perhaps, the roof?
That wasn’t the case, as it seemed that Atora-san and Jeremo-san would both sit in the coach seat.
With Jeremo-san’s lead, the carriage started to move forward.
「Missy, thank you very much.」
Grandpa Kuro, who was sitting in front of me, stated his gratitude.
「You brought the Feudal Lord of Crimonia from so far away.」
「We don’t have enough words to express our thanks to you, Missy.」
「Not to mention, you made a tunnel for our sake.」
The three elders gave their thanks.
I felt really uncomfortable when they said it straightforwardly like that.
「I just made the tunnel on a whim, so you don’t have to mind it that much.」
「Are you saying that it was something you did on a whim? You… People who work in that field of expertise would be angry if they heard that.」
Cliff, who was sitting next to me, retorted.
I said that I did it on a whim, but I made it carefully. Still, it was true that I got really fed up with the monotonous task halfway through, so I started humming while working.
The only things that I really thought about while making it were the difference in height, the strength of the walls, and the flow of groundwater. I wanted to make it so that two carriages could fit through at the same time, of course, but amusingly, I forgot that carriages could differ in size.
The carriage slowly rattled onward, and we arrived near the tunnel.
Cliff stopped the carriage and we got out.
「We will walk from here on.」
For some unknown reason, Cliff took the lead.
Even though only three of us knew the place, it wasn’t okay for a noble to take the lead inside a forest, right!?
Well, just in case, I used detection magic to check for monsters and humans along the way.
The tunnel wasn’t too far from the road, though.
When we arrived at the tunnel, Atora-san took a deep breath.
「This tunnel goes to Crimonia?」
Atora-san asked as she peeked inside the tunnel.
「To be precise, it leads to a road that takes you to Crimonia.」
「It’s pitch black.」
「We plan on placing light and wind magic lines inside. We will be the ones paying for it, of course, so don’t worry about it.」
The moment Cliff spoke about the magic lines, the faces of the five representatives from Mireera darkened. Cliff noticed that and reassured them.
「Is that really okay? Of course, if you asked us to pay for it, the city doesn’t have enough right now, but…」
「We will be paying for it because we will be asking for a passage fee, so don’t worry.」
「A passage fee, you say?」
「Seafood can be brought to Crimonia through this tunnel, and some people will also buy things and take them back to Mireera. People will go to see the sea as well. The profit will increase if more people pass through.」
「Going to see the sea, you say?」
It seemed that the residents of Mireera didn’t really understand why people would want to see the sea.
Well, people who lived at sightseeing places normally wouldn’t understand people who came from far away to see these places.
「The people who were born and raised in this place might not understand it, but…for people who have never seen the sea before, just seeing it is worth it.」
「Is that so?」
The elders tilted their heads, seemingly unconvinced.
「Don’t you want to see Crimonia?」
「I want to.」
「I would like to go there.」
「It’s the same thing. That’s why you should prepare, since a lot of people will be visiting Mireera. They may change this calm city into a noisy one. Some rowdy people may also be coming. In return for everything you will receive, you should also be prepared to lose some things. That’s why I will do my best, so you won’t regret choosing me, but you will have to do your best for the city as well.」
「When this tunnel is finished, people will come. During the construction, you should increase the number of soldiers and hire adventurers to strengthen the security of the city. I will also lend you some people, of course.」
「Will there really be that many people?」
「There will be! I will advertise it, after all. I would be troubled if nobody was using the tunnel, you see.」
The elders shook their heads in disbelief.
I voted for Cliff’s idea as well.
I made this tunnel on a whim, but I just realized that it might cause problems for the city.
「For now, I will tell you what I was thinking about yesterday. We will talk about what is or isn’t possible afterwards.」
The elders nodded.
Would it be okay?
I became uneasy when I saw the elders acting like that.
「First, we will expand the city so it reaches this tunnel.」
「Expanding the city?」
「The city is not far from here. We will cut down all the trees around here and make a military station. If we do that, we will be able to inspect the people who come through the tunnel and the coastal road at the same time. Having two checkpoints near each other would be meaningless.」
「What will we make after we cut down all the trees? We aren’t really in need of plots of land for now, though?」
「How many inns do you have in the city? If dozens or even hundreds of carriages came, do you have any places to put them? Do you have enough places where visitors can eat food? Are there places to build houses if people wanted to build them? There are a lot of different ways to use those plots of land.」
「Will so many people really come?」
Grandpa Kuro, how many times had you asked that now?
「They will come! I am absolutely certain that the city will stop being peaceful. If you want to curse someone, then you should curse this person who made the tunnel.」
When he said that, he looked towards me.
「Still, personally, I don’t think it’s a bad thing when we consider the future.」
I was sure that inside Cliff’s mind, the future of Crimonia and Mireera was already decided. I was also sure that the future he had pictured was one that would bring the two cities in a good direction.
「You are right.」
「That’s right. We have to change or we won’t be able to move forward. Staying with our old way of thinking won’t do.」
「There are good and bad parts. We should be thankful that we even have the choice.」
At that very moment, they all looked towards me.
「Now, we should talk about the passage inside the tunnel. Two carriages can fit at once, but we should make it one way only, and change sides daily. After all, if a big carriage were to pass through, it would block the whole tunnel. You will be in charge of this as well.」
Atora-san and other representatives all nodded.
「Well, that’s still in the far future. We have to place the magic lines before anything else can be done.」
The talk continued.
Cliff stated his ideas, one after the other. With that, the discussion, or rather, Cliff’s one-sided talk finished.
Then, Grandpa Kuro approached me, with the two other elders behind him.
「Missy, thank you very much. We can’t repay you enough for this wonderful tunnel you made.」
「You subjugated the bandits, killed the Kraken, and even made this marvelous tunnel for the sake of our city, we can’t possibly be thankful enough.」
「Missy, there is no way we can repay you for everything you did.」
I made this tunnel so that seafood could be transported to where I was living, though…
Well, I was happy, and the elders were happy. That was why, I believed there was no problem.
「You see, we have another favor to ask of you. Could you make one of your Bear Statues at the tunnel’s entrance?」
「A Bear Statue?」
「It’s okay if you just make the same statue you made when you killed the Kraken. With it, we won’t ever forget our gratitude towards you, who made the tunnel. I won’t live forever. Still, the future city mustn’t forget. That’s why, could you make it for us?」
Huh, that meant I had to make a bronze statue of my bear-self?
What was with this level of shame play…
「Yeah, that’s a good idea.」
Cliff, who must have been listening to our talk, said.
He was grinning. He probably found it really funny.
「I want you to make another Yuna (Bear) on the other side too. Ah, that’s wrong. A Bear (Yuna), please.」
TL: Wordplay about how Yuna and Kuma sound similar..
It was because of my imagination that I heard the same thing, right?
「That’s a joke, right?」
The elders were making serious faces. It was not a mood where I was able to refuse.
「The tunnel will need a name as well. You made it, so I will give it a befitting name.」
Cliff grinned broadly.
I had a really bad feeling about this.
「What do you think about Bear Tunnel?」
I looked at him, shocked.
「That’s a good name.」
「We can be grateful to the missy when going through it with this name.」
「It will be handed down through generations.」
「With that, the people from the town will never forget.」
Everyone wanted to keep the name.
I shouted, but nobody acknowledged me.
Thus, it was decided that I would make a statue of Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear, the two that I considered my other half.
What was with this humiliation?!
I was so embarrassed that I wouldn’t be able to marry anymore. Though, it wasn’t like I planned to do it anyway.
Thanks to all of you, we made it to the 100th chapter.
I thank the people who read it from the start, and the ones who just started recently. I will count on all of you from now on as well.
It’s not my 100th chap, I just started at the end of August, more precisely at the 63rd chapter. Still, it’s really a pleasure to bring you this series from Japanese to English. My birth language is neither Japanese nor English, so I take a bit longer than most of the other translators. I don’t use any MTL though, just my self taught Japanese, so I think it’s pretty accurate, and the staffs of X&M are here to back my lacking English up. I have to thank the whole staff of X&M, especially the editor Mali (who takes a lot of time for Kuma), all the proofers who check after him, Cyn who does the final check, and of course, the boss Xant, without whom, I wouldn’t even have started translating.
Well, let’s finish this banter by thanking you for reading Kuma and saying this: これからも、よろしくお願いします (I count on you all from now on as well.)