Black Cat Chapter 72: What A Party Is

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“I reminded you several times to stay away, didn’t I?” (Serge)


“Sorry……” (Nyango)



 After breakfast, Shure had talked about my night out, and Serge, who had good instincts, realized that I had gone to scout the slums.


 I was dressed in black, and I didn’t set foot in the slums, just peeked through the roof of a warehouse, and came back with my tail between my legs after a bouncer-like man threatened me.



“Well, I’m glad it was only that bad, but don’t go in the slums.” (Serge)


“Yes, that’s enough for me.” (Nyango)


“So, did you know any catkin?” (Serge)


“That is……” (Nyango)



 It is hard to say that the catkin thief was my own brother, who sold his body for a pittance as a male prostitute.



“Apparently, someone you know is in a situation you don’t like to talk about.” (Serge)


“Eh, how…” (Nyango)


“Nyango shows too much in his expression and attitude. I can’t leave negotiations to you…” (Serge)


“Uh…” (Nyango)


“It may be hard to talk about, but we can’t help you if we don’t know what’s going on. Talk to us.” (Serge)



 Certainly, as someone who just came out to Ibouro, I don’t know the situation in the slums.


 Even if I say that I have memories of my previous life, my experiences up until high school are unlikely to be useful.



“Actually……” (Nyango)



 I confided in him the whole story, from the fact that there was so much snow this year that my brother was late getting out to Ibouro, until the situation I witnessed last night.


 When I finished, Serge scratched his head and scowled.



“I don’t know how it happened, but there’s no doubt that he went to the slums because he couldn’t get a decent job. But whether it’s because they’re in debt and can’t get out, or… they’re stuck in a bad spiral, the former would be quite tricky.” (Serge)


“If he is as capable as Nyango, he can find any number of jobs, but it’s not easy for a catkin to find work…” (Shure)



 It seems that it is harder than I thought for a catkin to find a job in Ibouro.



 It’s difficult for a catkin with a small body to do physical work, but if you’re from a race with a large body, you can also do mental work without any problems.



 If you have a sharp eye and a talent for business, or if you have a lot of acquaintances in your local village who are likely to be customers of peddlers, or if you don’t have anything better than others, you can’t hire a catkin from the countryside.



“You’re probably thinking, ‘If he can’t find a job in Ibouro, why doesn’t he just go back to Atsuka’, right?” (Serge)


“Yes, rather than living in a slum, go back to the village…” (Nyango)


“What are you going to do? Do you have enough work to get a wife and support a family in Atsuka?” (Serge)


“If you make that kind of money, you can go back…” (Nyango)


“Isn’t that possible because it’s you, Nyango…?” (Serge)


“I see… Maybe…” (Nyango)



 I can catch Forest Mouse, I can catch fish because I can use void magic, and I can pick medicinal herbs because I’ve been walking around the mountains for years, taught by Grandma Carisa.


 My brother went to school every day, but I never saw him studying at home, and the only impression I have of him is that he was just moping around, not doing his chores.



“Huh? Could it be that my brother was useless?” (Nyango)


“I don’t know what kind of a guy your brother is, but a kid who just started working is more or less useless. Nyango, you are in and out of school, right? Do you think those guys over there can make it in the world right off the bat?” (Serge)


“That’s… difficult, isn’t it?” (Nyango)



 I’m not sure if Miguel and Jasper are the same age as me or one year younger than me, but if you ask me if those guys are going to be useful in the next three or four years, I’d have to say it’s going to be difficult.



“I would say that your brother is more normal and Nyango is quite abnormal.” (Serge)


“Abnormal…” (Nyango)


“Dumbass! I doubt there are any people your age who can kill a Bronze Wolf. It’s normal to struggle against goblins.” (Serge)


“But the adults in the village were fighting against orcs, and I killed even one goblin.” (Nyango)


“That is only if a number of village men get together, isn’t it? There is not much one man can do alone.” (Serge)



 I thought that once the Nest Leaving Ceremony was over, I could register with the guild and Horacio would be scouted by the knight order, so I knew I had to become more like an adventurer as soon as possible.


 But it seems that even those who choose the path of adventurers only become a real asset in the fight to defeat the enemy after they have trained for a number of years and have reached the age of seventeen or eighteen.



“If you’ve ever been to the slums, you’ll know that the people who end up there are not limited to catkins. People who are not good at what they do, lazy, or physically weak, even if they are from the larger races, will fall down the hill at the slightest brush of a misfortune.” (Serge)



 Serge’s story reminded me of a documentary I had seen about homeless people in my previous life in Japan.


 The company he worked for went out of business, or he was working as a contract worker but was suddenly laid off. He couldn’t find another job, couldn’t pay his rent, and was evicted from his apartment.



 He lost his address and couldn’t find any more work, and all he had was more debt… I wonder if my brother has also fallen into what is called a negative spiral.



“What should I do…” (Nyango)


“First of all, we need to know if he has any debts or not, and if so, how much he owes.” (Serge)


“I’ll have to talk to him, won’t I?” (Nyango)


“Yes…” (Serge)



 The only way to hear from my brother would be to go to the place where he is selling, but that would also let him know that I am aware of his current lifestyle.


 It would be dangerous for me to go there in the first place, and of course, Serge would not be happy about it.



“Nyango. Can you walk on stilts?” (Serge)


“Eh, stilts?” (Nyango)


“Yes, either the kind you hold in your hand or the kind you put on your feet.” (Serge)


“No, I’ve never tried one, so I don’t think I can.” (Nyango)


“Okay then, let’s practice.” (Serge)


“Practice means… I am going to go to the slum on stilts?” (Nyango)


“Yes, I do. Even if I were to go with you, I wouldn’t be able to carry you, and it’s a place where catkin rarely come and go as customers.” (Serge)


“So, I am going to disguise myself as a large race?” (Nyango)


“That’s right.” (Serge)



 Serge’s plan was for me to go to the slums, in disguise, to pretend to buy my brother and bring him out.



“Then I can hide in a bag or something, can’t I?” (Nyango)


“No, you can’t bring big bags into the brothels in the slums. There are people who hide small prostitutes and try to escape. If your brother is also in debt, you can’t take him out. Don’t run away. If your brother has debts, too, you can’t take him out. I’m sure he’s under surveillance to make sure he doesn’t run away… but since he came to the market to steal, he may not owe any money, or if he does, it may not be much.” (Serge)


“So, you’re saying that he’s just desperate for money and is taking customers in the slums?” (Nyango)


“I believe that possibility is high.” (Serge)


“If he had a place to live and decent clothes, would he be able to find a job?” (Nyango)


“Well, that’s up to him.” (Serge)



 I couldn’t make up my mind, feeling all eyes on me.


 To be honest, we don’t get along very well. But he’s my brother and I want to help him.



 However, I think it’s a little presumptuous to ask my brother to stay at the base of a party I just joined.


 Besides, while we’re on the expedition, my brother will be the only one left, and I’m worried that he’ll sell the base’s equipment without permission, although I don’t think he’ll do it.



“Haaah…” (Serge)



 Serge let out a big sigh, and I jumped involuntarily.



“Nyango. Are we that unreliable?” (Serge)


“Eh, no, that kind of thing is…” (Nyango)


“Then why don’t you rely on us? We are a party.” (Serge)


“But I just joined…” (Nyango)


“You think you’re a pathetic party that can’t even save one little catkin? For adventurers, a party is a group of friends who bet their lives on each other. You can never betray them, you can trust them with your back, you can put your body on the line for them, you will never get killed by them… That’s a real party.” (Serge)



 Serge’s words, hit me head-on, and my spine unintentionally straightened.



“Nyango, what do you want to do? Do you want to save your brother, or do you want to abandon him?” (Serge)


“I want to help him. Even though he’s like that, he’s still my brother, and I want to help him in any way.” (Nyango)


“Then rely on us. If you can’t do it on your own, ask for help.” (Serge)


“Please, help me save my brother.” (Nyango)



 I bowed my head so hard that my head hit the table, but I did not get a reply.



“Raise your head, Nyango. This isn’t a stranger’s request.” (Serge)


“Then…” (Nyango)


“Hmph, leave it to us… We’ll show you the power of a B-rank party.” (Serge)


“Yes!” (Nyango)


“For now, you practice your stilts.” (Serge)


“Eh, do I really need to use stilts?” (Nyango)


“Stop complaining, just start practicing.” (Serge)



 I thought it was a joke to disguise myself as a large race using stilts, but it seems to be real.


 For now, I decided to start practicing by making stilts with void attribute magic. 






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