4 Episode 4

 It took about a week of riding in a horse-drawn carriage.
 The carriage finally arrived at the nearest town to my destination village.

 From there, I walked to the village where I was to be transferred.

 It was getting dark, so I used magic to light the way.
 It was probably because it was night, but there was no sign of anyone after I left the town.

 I continued to walk along the narrow streets with my map, wondering if there were really any inhabited villages ahead.

 It must have been about three hours after I left the gate of the nearest town.
 Finally, I saw the lights of the village.

 I stood on top of a hill with a good view - although it was pitch black because it was the middle of the night - and looked at the lights of the village below.

 From the top of the hill, I could see that the village was not as deserted as I had expected, and was somewhat larger.

 The number of houses scattered among the fields was probably a little more than a hundred.
 I think the population of the village was about five hundred.

 I finished checking the whole village and headed down the hill toward the lights.

 Eventually, I arrived at the entrance of the village.
 There is no gatekeeper, and no one is there to greet you.

 The perimeter of the village was enclosed by a simple wooden fence, but I thought occupationally that it would be difficult to prevent goblins from entering the village if it was so sparsely populated, but that was beside the point.

 It was already dark, and there was no sign of the villagers in the field.
 I decided to head for the village chief's house.

 I went there thinking that it was probably the biggest house in the village, and I was right.
 When I knocked on the door, a girl who said she was the chief's daughter came out, and after a bit of an argument, she let me in.

 When I showed her the letter of resignation from the academy, the old man who called himself the village chief stared at it intently.
 Then, as if finally remembering something, he clapped his hands.

"Oh, you're the teacher of the Academy of the Brave. I'm not sure what to make of this.

 ...... Hey.
 Are you okay, old man?

 I'm not sure what to make of it.

 I'm not sure what to make of that.
 I'm not sure what to do.

 You'll be able to get a lot more than just a pair of shoes.
 I'm sure you'll be happy to know that the house has not been used for several years, so the first thing you need to do is clean it. .......

 Also, this can be done tomorrow, but I wanted to take a look at the school building of the Academy of the Brave, so I asked the village chief to give me the key to that as well.

 At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if he said, "There is no such thing as a school building, sir. At this rate, I wouldn't be surprised if he said, "There's no such thing as a school building," so I thought I'd get all the culture shock out of the way...

 And then the village chief turned to me with a mysterious word that I hadn't expected.

The door to the school building of the Academy of Heroes is unlocked. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I'm not the only one.

 ...... Three kittens?
 This is a great way to make sure that you are getting the most out of your investment.

 I'm not sure.

 The teacher's residence had not been used for many years, and as expected, the house was covered in dust.

 The house itself was rather spacious and had several beds, as if it was designed for a family.
 In addition to the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom, it was not a bad place to live ......, or rather, it was too nice to live alone.

 But whatever it is, if you don't clean it, it's not going to be useful.
 I thought it would be better to give up on sleeping in this bed today.

 So, what should I do for a place to sleep today?

 It seems that there are no inns for travelers in this village, so the most realistic option would be to ask the village chief to let me stay here for one night. .......

 Then I suddenly thought of something.

 I have a blanket for traveling.
 It's a warm time of year, and as long as there's a building that's sheltered from the wind and rain and not covered in dust, I'll be able to wrap myself in the blanket and sleep just fine.

 When I thought about this, I wondered about the school building of the Academy of Heroes.

 Since it was unlocked, the school building was probably being used on a daily basis for some purpose.
 Then it should not be covered in dust.

 In addition, I couldn't help but be curious about the "three kittens" that the mayor had mentioned.
 With this curiosity in mind, I took the magic light and headed for the school building of the Academy of Heroes.

"......, hey, is this the school building?

 I muttered to myself.

 When I arrived at the place the village chief told me to go, I found a small shack that was probably smaller than any other house in the village.

 It looked like it could hold one small classroom for a few people.
 All the wooden windows were closed, so we could not see inside.

 There was an oddly large garden-like space that served as the school ground, but that didn't seem to matter.

 Sighing heavily, I put my hand on the door of the ramshackle hut called the school building.
 I see, this size might be enough for a kitten to live in.

 I grabbed the handle.

 When I push the door by the handle, the door opens with the sound of creaking wood.
 There is no lock on the door.

"...... kitty, are you there?

 I turned the magic light to the inside of the hut and looked inside.

 And then... there they are.
 Three kittens.

 No, no.
 Not cats.
 I don't think cats are that big.

 Inside the little shack were three human children.
 Three of them lying together on the back wall of the house, wrapped in a blanket.

 No, I don't know if I should call them children.
 They look old enough that I am not sure whether to call them a boy or a girl or a child.
 More specifically, all three of them are a little younger than a 15-year-old adult.

 But what can I say?
 All three of them look very dirty, like orphans living in the slums of the city.

 On the other hand, the children, who were wrapped in blankets, seemed to have noticed that I had come in.

 One of them jumped out of the blanket and grabbed a wooden stick that was lying nearby.

 The child stood in front of me, protecting the remaining two, and glared at me.
 It was a dark-haired kid, hard to tell if he was a boy or a girl.

Who the hell are you? You're not from the village!

 He's shouting at me.
 He sounded like a boy before he changed his voice.

 I see. ...... The village chief has had his fill.
 I thought, "This is a hell of a kitten I've encountered.