There are all kinds of “non-human people” living on Cross Island.
Everyone who works at Shion Castle is also “non-human.”
Frosty, the butler, is Jack Frost.
Silk, the maid, is a Cait Sith.
Filgred, the coachman, chamberlain, and chore man, claims to be half human and half elf.
The head chef is a brownie. (***T/N: A brownie is a scottish elf/fairy/goblin creature. Kind of like ‘Dobby’ from Harry Potter)
Besides that, I sometimes see other maids and strangers doing yard work and such, but it was Zak, and these four, who were always there for me.
The buildings of the Shion Castle in Elementia and the Shion Castle on Cross Island were identical in construction, with doorways connected by a magic circle.
It is said that they use that path to receive the products of Cross Island and that the ‘non-humans’ also come and go through it.
I was curious that Filgred was half human and half elf, but according to current common knowledge, elves were an ancient race that no longer existed in Elementia. However, I heard that the High Priest has lived a long life because of his family’s elven blood, so perhaps the people of Elementia were rather accepting of that kind of thing.
On Cross Island, there are races that can live in the midst of humans and those that can’t.
If a large dragon flew in the sky, it would be a big deal in Elementia, but in the Zikvah of Kainahatan, there were dragon riders and wyverns flying normally in the sky. I guess those situations changed depending on the history and circumstances of the country.
When I asked Zak for more information on the situation of the non-human creatures, I learned that not all ‘non-humans’ live on cross island, but some also live in Elementia amongst the people. They all lived while pretending to be human.
In Filgred’s case, it seems that children are rarely born between humans and other races. But his mother, an elf, and his human father overcame the barriers of being difference races and living together in the human world. They were able to have children.
To my surprise, Filgred had a twin brother, but I had never met him before.
Their human father had eventually died and their mother was now living on Cross Island.
They had lived together in the human world as a married couple until his death.
All non-humans have magical powers, so it is easy for them to change their appearance so that they can hide in plain sight of others.
Filgred and his brother seem to have been born with their mother’s nature, and they were half-elf as they had no pointed ears. They were also not afraid to enter human society, so they came to live with both people and “non-humans.”
Few non-humans liked the outside world and few wanted to go out into the human world.
Cross Island was protected by Zak’s barrier, which was very rich in magic, and did not allow the ugly greed and filth of people to enter the island, so it was safe to live there. It was easy to survive, and it was said that everyone there could live a long life span. But not everyone was like that. There were also those who wanted to visit and live in the human world at least once.
Amongst the past royalty of Elementia, there were a few who made friends with the ‘non-humans’. The royal family arranged for the creation of a sanctuary for “non-human beings.” That was the current Cross Island.
At that time, the number of non-humans who found life among humans difficult was increasing, and now their numbers were decreasing. It was still the same even today, but it did not restrict the movement between Cross Island and Elementia.
However, it seems that currently, in order to protect Cross Island, those without Zak’s permission are not allowed to enter from the outside.
Frosty and Filgred were mainly responsible for those detailed exchanges.
And so, Zak approached me for a consultation.
He told me that some of the recent residents of Cross Island wanted to live and work on the mainland of Elementia. Would it be possible create a place for them to learn the art of living and working in Elementia? A place where they could learn how to live and interact with humans as a place of residence. That was the main point.
In fact, even now, there were ‘non-humans’ living in the midst of humans.
One of them was running a tailor’s shop in the city of the common people in the royal capital.
My clothes and dresses were also made there. Silk always arranged everything for me, so I knew about it, but I had never actually gone to the shop. I was afraid that it would be a nuisance if I rode in a nobleman’s carriage to the shop, even though it was in a commoner’s town.
I heard that all the craftsmen were residents of Cross Island, and they ordered from the Cross Islanders as well as the shops, and made them there as well.
I’ve been thinking about it for a while now, but what if we sold some of the unusual products made on the island, or things related to the reconstruction of the eastern part of the country, in a general store? I think we’d be able to see the reactions of the general public in person.
I wondered if it would be possible to build a place like a little café where people could easily eat the kind of unusual snacks and other foods I used to eat in my previous world.
Such things belonged to the wealthy upper-class in Elementia, and were hard to get for ordinary people. Was it possible to create an opportunity to sell them cheaply, even little by little? That’s what I was wondering.
If that was the case, I wanted to create a general store that sold a variety of good, cheap items for the common people.
First of all, I need to consider the situation of the shops in Elementia. It is also necessary to consider the location of the store.
While I was thinking about that, I received a letter from my brother Sörth.
[When is your next holiday? Why don’t we take a look around the shops in the royal capital in the afternoon on your day off?] It was an invitation to go.
When I consulted with Zak, he told me to travel in a carriage with Filgred as the coachman. I was told to use a small, inconspicuous carriage with no family crest on it. I decided to met with my brother and had him pick me up there.
Because Sörth had a commoner friend who was an official in the castle, he had the opportunity to ask him for various information, including information on shops that sold sweets or accessories that girls would love.
We decided to meet up at the fountain in the general central square. I arrived a little early with Filgred, so we were going to pay for our carriage at the carriage stop next to the square. My brother was going to wait in the carriage. But even though we arrived early, he was already there before me and got off the carriage right away.
“Take care of yourself, miss. I’ll be here at the appointed time.”
Filgred said as he held out his hand to help me dismount from the carriage.
“Yes, thank you. Then please come back to pick me up again.”
“Yes, leave it to me.”
Folding his hips in a beautiful posture, Filgred sent me on my way with a polite bow.
Normally, an ordinary young lady wouldn’t run up and down the street, but if it was a commoner’s town, the mood would be more open. I was looking forward to walking around the city with my brother, so I ran up to where he was.
“Brother Sörth, I’m sorry to have kept you waiting.”
I jumped up to my brother and smiled at him.
“Oh, what good cheer, alright, let’s go!”
My brother stuck out his right elbow to me.
What is that?
“Fiaragent is so small, so I’m worried that you’ll get lost in the crowd. Hold my elbow. You can rest assured that I’ll guard you well so you don’t stand out in the middle of a crowd. I have told the Duke of Valmonter that I will protect you properly.”
There certainly was a lot of foot traffic, and I was a petite person.
“Yes, Brother Sörth.”
I replied with a big smile and gently held his elbow. Brother turned his face and blushed a little shyly.
Brother Sörth didn’t have a fiancée yet, so he was probably not used to dealing with women.
It’s still a long ways off, but after the eldest brother Henrik inherits the dukedom from his father, another Viscounty territory, owned by the Marquis Tizar family, will be assigned to Sörth. So it seems that there are many noblewomen who want to become his bride, but he always refuses to talk about it, saying that he doesn’t need it right now because of his knightly duties.
As for my escort, I’m actually protected by ancient magic tools and Zak’s protective magic, so I’m fine. But Zak also told the Marquis Tizar family that if they take me out of the house, even if it’s to my parents’ house, it’s on the condition that I have a proper escort.
“You are my dear fiancée. It’s a matter of course. It’s only right to be careful.” The seriousness in Zak’s voice as he said that made me realize that this really was a world with magic. I knew I had to be careful not to cause Zak to worry about something unexpectedly happening.
“Yes, it was discussed amongst the Knights Order that a new shop selling sweets and other items was opened in the noble district. The import ban of cocoa beans from Rhodocaius has been lifted, and a shop specializing in chocolates, sweet drinks, and the like, is said to be opened. I’m going to visit the town of the common people today, but shall we go together another time?”
Brother Sörth’s words startled me.
“Chocolate! Yes, I’m going!”
My brother laughed at my energy.
In the southern continent of Rhodocaius, Yvold, there were sweet chocolates, but they hadn’t come into Elementia, so I was curious and found out that they couldn’t import them. In Rhodocaius, the supply hadn’t been able to keep up with the demand until now, and they hadn’t even been able to export it. Besides, they had ‘sugar cane’ over there that produced sugar, so it was the strongest.
After the defeat by the imperial army, it took a long time for the country to rise, and now it had finally gotten to the point where they could export those goods.
There were no cacao trees or sugarcane in Elementia. The climate made it impossible.
It might have been possible if it was the territory of the Fisaris family though. That place was enriched and well moisturized, so it was famous for other things.
Come to think of it, according to my previous knowledge, chocolate originated around 1900 B.C. The cacao tree was burned in a forest fire, and people in ancient times noticed a fragrant aroma from the seeds. It seems that it was a accidental coincidence that someone began to grind up the seeds and eat them. The same thing must have happened in our world.
Until then, I was eating the cube-shaped white pulp with white fibers around it, which were packed with yellow and orange fruits, shaped like that of an American football.
The white pulp kind of tasted similar to lychee and was sweet and sticky and delicious. Each of the many white fleshy parts inside the fruit had a seed in it. Later, the seeds became valuable enough to be used as currency in some places.
At first, they were treated as a medicine, mixed with chili peppers. Don’t add something spicy to something that’s just bitter!–I would say. The turning point would be that sugar was mixed in instead of chillies around 1500AD or later. From there, it was considered a sweet drink. Either way, it was a favorite of royalty, aristocrats and the rich.
Chocolate was not solidified until after 1800 A.D.
Considering this, I think that Rhodocaius, where the culture was sweetening the chocolate and pouring it over fruit, had made a remarkable development. It was interesting. I would never forget the taste I had during that expedition.
Also, if chocolate came into Elementia, the sweets would become more varied. That was something to look forward to.
From the meeting place, my brother and I walked to the street lined with busy commoner shops.
The street was lined with shops in old buildings that were lined with more small shops. I saw a wooden tableware shop that sold wooden dinnerware, wooden utensils and wooden spoons and forks. There were also shops that sold only pottery vessels, shops that sold hardware, and so on.
There were many similar shops here and there. It was just like a souvenir shop where there were many similar souvenirs in a prehistoric sightseeing spot. However, as it was the royal capital (or maybe because it is a place where people gather) many people seemed to look into the shops and compare them, choosing the best and fair-priced ones.
“The stalls and souvenir shops are not on this street, but on the other street over there and beyond. There are more people and inns there.”
Porcelain tableware and luxury items like silverware were not sold in the shops around here. This area was really a place where common people could buy everyday items. There were several other similar streets. A little further down, you could find a place where the wealthy common people shopped.
As I was told, there was a row of simple shops made like the market where I used to shop when I was a child. The buildings were old and not very sanitary, but still, they were full of people because it was the royal capital, and they were full of energy.
I had hoped to create a general store for the common people in the city that would sell Kainahatan goods and other rare and unusual items from Cross Island. That’s the kind of store that was similar to what was called an ‘antenna shop’*** in my previous life. I decided that I would start by doing some preliminary research. (***T/N: ‘Antenna shop’ is a Japanese term originally referring to outlets set up by corporations to display and sell their products with the goal aim of putting out feelers–antennas– to assess consumer demand. However, it is now largely associated with shops promoting regional goods)
T/N: First we had the ‘history of dates and honey’ and now we have the ‘history of chocolate.’
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