Bastard Swordsman Chapter 7

**Road Patrol During the Harvest Season**

The land of the Kingdom of Harpelia is vast. And most of it is flatlands excelling in agriculture and dairy farming. Although there are some undulations, they are mostly gentle hills, with mountainous areas here and there.

Despite that, a large river flows through around the middle of the country – a blessed location.

Its weakness seems to be the scarce mineral resources and lack of stone. But that is trivial compared to the mountains of wheat that continue to be stably supplied.

As its name and the emblem on its flag indicate, Harpelia is a nation that has developed with the scythe as its center of power. That is, the size used by farmers.

Many of its people are involved in agriculture in some way, and because of the large agricultural population, no one looks down on farmers.

They receive generous subsidies from the country in various ways, and surprisingly, there are many wealthy people among farms that are doing well.

However, having a vast national land means maintenance is very difficult.

In the off season before the busy harvest time, the cheerful atmosphere and prosperous-looking freight wagons attract shady types thinking of mischief along the highways.

“Miss Mireille. Isn’t just me not enough for this road patrol?”

“No, it’s not. …I told you this last year too, right?”

“Oh really, we have to form groups of 8 or more? It’s hard to relax when there are too many people.”

“The road patrols during this period also serve to intimidate the rogues. If we don’t have enough people, it defeats the purpose. It’s simply dangerous. Please give up and accept the job request. If it’s too much trouble Mongrel, I can allocate you appropriately here.”

I’m a solo specialist.

However, I can’t do whatever I want completely solo.

That’s because the guild is great. You have no choice but to obey the decisions of a great organization.

But every year, it’s like this during the harvest season.

Military men, guild members, all are dispatched to highways and desolate rural areas to stand guard and help out.

They say everyone from adults to children help out during the harvest, but in this Kingdom of Harpelia, all the citizens become workers.

Well, it’s fine. Road patrols and patrols around rural villages aren’t very tough jobs.

It’s just, this thing where you get forcibly made to participate in harvest festivals in the name of village hospitality is quite tiring.

You get made to dance weird, incomprehensible dances.

Drinking alcohol almost certainly leads to power battle.

You get stuffed full of festive food that isn’t really your preferred flavor.

Why do old men and women in rural villages try to make people eat so much, even in another world… My stomach can’t handle it anymore at my age…


“Come to think of it, there are 2 open spots left in Artemis. Should we put Mongrel-kun with acquaintances there? They’re all women.”

“No way, that’s like a punishment game to put a man in the minority in a group full of women, Miss Mireille.”

“That’s an awful way to talk… Ah, then how about this Legol patrol squad? You’re acquainted with Mr. Caspar from the third team, right?”

“Oh, Caspar’s party has openings? That’s perfect, can I request to join them?”

“The dispatch location is quite far from Legol, though?”

“It’s work I have to do anyway. While I’m at it, might as well go far out and enjoy some unfamiliar scenery. Miss Mireille, want me to bring back any souvenirs?”

“The safe return of guild members is the best souvenir for us.”

The refined rephrasing of “I don’t need your souvenirs” that she has likely said to men countless times before stung me a little.

“Yo, it’s been a while, Mongrel… You look well, most of all…”

“Mr. Caspar, long time no see… But are you worn out again? Are you okay?”

Early morning. Among the hunched old men on the bench in front of the guild’s reference room was Mr. Caspar.

He is a skilled healer belonging to the patrol squad of this city, Legol.

However, Mr. Caspar’s body was trembling in spurts, and for some reason, clear dark circles were under his already half-asleep eyes.

To be honest, I don’t know what’s going on to result in such a visual. If I were a healer, I would have him lie down and rest on the bench, but unfortunately, Mr. Caspar himself is the healer.

This is truly the negligence of a doctor.

“Yeah, last night, a patient came from the nobles’ district in an emergency… I wanted to rest in preparation for tomorrow too, but they said they specifically came relying on my skills as I’m familiar to them, so I couldn’t refuse…”

“You’ve worked hard. Seriously, don’t overexert yourself. Will you be okay today like that?”

“Ah, we’re riding in a carriage… So I plan to rest there… I’ll be fine, fine…”

He looks the most like a patient out of everyone though…

“Yo, you’re Mongrel-kun, right? I heard from Caspar. I’m the leader of team 3, Thomason. It’ll be a party of just us shriveled up old men, but well, please treat me kindly.”

“Hello, Mr. Thomason. I’m Mongrel. I’m always indebted to Mr. Caspar. Please take care of me this time.”

The patrol squad of my city Legol has a neighborhood association uncle vibe, how to put it.

It’s like a gathering of men who are close and familiar with each other as they patrol around.

Of course, they are proper members of a patrol squad, so their skills are reliable… At least in their youth.

So I fully trust in their abilities. Certainly more than a motley crew of newbie guild members gathered in a party in name only.

Mr. Caspar, who already seems to be at death’s door before departure, used to be an elite healer working at the church in the royal capital.

He has a past of being demoted to Legol after questioning injustice and embezzlement by higher-ups. Contrary to his gentle looks, a surprisingly tough old man. Even when I ask him about that time, he just smiles gently, so he must have really been legit.

The carriage loaded necessities to be delivered to distant rural villages and the barely alive Mr. Caspar before departing as scheduled.

The speed of freight carriages isn’t that different from human walking speed. We’re split to the front and back of the carriage, surrounding it in a formation as we walk.

Well, when I say walking speed, it’s the walking of armored old men. It’s a slightly more leisurely pace than normal.

They merrily laugh amongst themselves with what are likely worn out inside jokes as we walk. I don’t try to force myself into that atmosphere, just enjoying it from afar is best.

“Nice weather. Good it’s not raining.”

“Really really. Another good harvest this year.”

Along the road, we can see farmers in the distance reaping wheat in the fields.

Brawny men wearing wheat straw hats are swinging long-handled great scythes, steadily cutting down the walls of wheat.

Leaning the whetstones on their waists, swinging their whole bodies to mow with the scythes in a distinctive motion. Even as I think it’s inefficient, sights like that make me feel it’s part of the culture.

Great scythes with handles attached at the midpoint.

True or not, I heard one of the equipment of royal capital cavalry knights is sometimes those great scythes. It feels dubious, but in this world, it’s scarily possible. Well, I guess it’s a romantic weapon. I don’t think it’s bad. Scythes are cool. Just not my taste.

“Ow, my back hurts. Sorry, let me rest a bit on the wagon.”

“Gahaha, it’s your age.”

On the way, the old men lagged behind to rest on the cargo several times, but somehow we arrived at the first relay point before it got dark.

We’ll be continuing this for another 2 or 3 days.

Traveling in another world is tough. Well, there’s various things to see so it’s fun.

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