Chapter 46 – The Banquet (first part)
At the time it was announced that an impromptu party will be held, the women’s camp that was in charge of cooking was probably fully occupied.
However, as the night deepened, they somehow managed to deliver the banquet on time.
The fire was kindled inside a hearth, and the gathering place became bright and warm.
Dishes, such as sea bass seasoned with herbs and a sauté made from a freshly killed goat were lined up on the table.
Smelling the rising aroma from the dishes, Eiji sensed a drool that was about to drip by itself from the inside of his mouth.
Unlike their daily meals, which were casual in taste, this meal was quite an extravagant one.
Recently, it had become possible for them to taste wild plants and spring vegetables, nevertheless, during winter season, they still had to content themselves with little meat. Every day, their meals included hard bread, which one had to soak in soup, otherwise their teeth wouldn’t pierce through its texture.
Being invited to a luxurious lunch like this due to guest arrivals, one would consider such occasion as a blessing.
They may need to return this favor to those who weren’t called this time.
An alcohol was poured into each person’s cup. What everyone received was a whiskey favored by some avid drinkers.
Casually smelling the poured wine’s aroma, Eiji looked around.
The 5 people who were sent from Nazioni sat on Franko’s left side while creating a lump.
The 5 of them consisted of 4 men and a single woman.
Bona sat on the right side. Her seat was the seat of honor.
Among the newcomers, a single big man stood out from the rest.
His physical build was comparable with that of Philip, who was considered the biggest in the village.
His lion-like bristles and his thick pair of arms that were equivalent to a woman’s waist were his characteristic features.
At least, they seemed to be thicker than Tanya’s waist….
Just what kind of person is he?
Eiji was concerned about that man’s eyes expression which gave off a bad feeling. The man didn’t even try to conceal it.
The man’s eyes glared without any restraint as he directed his sight in a manner of looking down at everyone.
His eyes met with Eiji’s.
The man’s light stare was filled with a threat similar to that of a beast as if telling Eiji not to avert his eyes.
It seemed as though his eyes didn’t show any intention of befriending.
Or perhaps, what he wanted was to establish a master-slave relationship from the very beginning?
If it was Eiji himself, he would rather choose someone who’s willing to establish a friendly and trustful relationship.
Eiji couldn’t comprehend the thoughts of the man who gave off a sense of intimidation since the very beginning.
– Well then, now that everyone has received their drink, we shall start the welcoming banquet.
Bona, who was sitting at the honor seat, gave a signal.
The gathered people, who consisted of mostly men, raised their cup.
– In commemoration of the 5 newly arrived people, a toast.
– Cheers. (x3)
With each of them making individual wishes inside their own heart, everyone clinked their beer cups together while generating hard sounds.
– Eiji-san, it will be bad if you drink in excess.
– I got it, honestly. Since I can’t hold much liquor, I’ll just enjoy its flavor. It would be shameless, were I to get drunk here.
At that time, Tanya’s belly became a little bit round.
After she learned about her pregnancy, she decided to completely stop drinking.
Both of them have decided to drink water instead.
Eiji skewered the goat meat, which was served on his plate.
As he began to chew the meat covered in a deep red sauce, he could feel its tenderness.
The food ingredient was probably processed from a young goat.
It was a bit smelly, but tasty.
– Ah, this sauté made from the goat meat is delicious, and this sauce made from wine…
– Here, try some fried cheese with wild plants.
– Were all of these made by Tanya-san?
– It was quite troublesome to prepare the dishes together with Jane-san.
– They’re indeed delicious.
– Looks like it was worthy of our effort. Ah, there’s some sauce on your cheek.
Once she wiped it away with her finger, she moved it toward her mouth and licked it using her deep red tongue.
– It’s embarrassing.
– Sorry for that.
Smiling at him innocently, Eiji couldn’t bring himself to get angry at her.
His eyes ran all over the place, at the same time feeling embarrassed.
Bona and Franko sat next to each other while tilting their cups.
Judging from the way they tasted the alcohol, it seemed that they also didn’t plan to get drunk.
From time to time they would exchange some words with a calm accent; nevertheless, their eyes appeared to indicate the opposite.
One could feel the tension coming from both of them as if their skins were itching to do something.
Despite Mike and Philip getting flustered over the guests, they kept a distance from the people so as not to become noticed.
The 5 people from Nazioni dined on their meals.
Judging from the situation, it didn’t seem like their conversation will gain any progress. However, as soon as the alcohol does its job, everyone should be able to exchange some words.
Then, it went as said.
A single man gulped down his whiskey and took a deep breath, telling out straightly something that couldn’t go unnoticed.
– Heh? Considering this poor and boring village located deep in the mountains, you wouldn’t have expected for there to be a delicious meal like this.
– Hey, which part of it is poor and boring?
Hearing the statement of the big man with lion-styled hair, Mike bit back at him.
At first it seemed that Mike planned to go easy on them and enjoy his drink depending on their behavior, still, he probably couldn’t tolerate his village being mocked.
The atmosphere of the banquet changed in an instance.
– Hmph, I just said what I think. Was the truth too harsh for you?
– You bastard. How dare an outsider like you say these bold things… guu!
– Don’t become grumpy all of sudden. After all, you’re just a weakling.
Mike drew closer to the distance at which he could throw himself upon the guy. However, as soon Mike was thought to be grabbed by his neck, the man lifted him.
His physical strength was unbelievable.
That man lifted a man single-handedly, on top of that, with the arm stretched out.
It was probably difficult to breath, having one’s neck grabbed.
Mike had his face distorted while delivering his sharp kicks to the man. Nonetheless, he wouldn’t flinch.
The man was standing up with a calm expression.
Eiji rose up hurriedly and rushed over.
Why isn’t Franko trying to stop them? – He thought.
Franko, who has never had to deal with a situation like this in his whole career, stood next to the man while getting irritated.
– Cease your actions and let him go!
– Hey hey, he was the one looking for a fight.
– Look who was the first to instigate this fight!
– It seems that you too, plan to disobey me. I’m the son of the ruler, you know.
– What does it have to do in a situation like this? If you want to stay at this village, you better follow this place’s rules!
– Damn, got it.
At Franko’s words, Dante smacked his lips and released his hand. Once he did, Mike fell with a thud on the ground.
Because of his neck being tightened in an upward position, Mike’s face was white from hypoxia.
His neck was stinging, and there was a red, hand-shaped mark on it.
Despite that, Mike furrowed his eyebrows and pointed his sharp eyes at Dante.
Eiji too, looked at Dante with sharp eyes, which was not common for his usually gentle attitude.
A man like this is supposed to stay here? – He thought.
There was no way to let the man do as he pleases from now on.
At least, there was no telling what will happen, were they to let him go on a rampage like this time.
– You, what’s your name?
– You ought to introduce yourself first.
– Hmph, I’m Dante, the man who will become the next ruler of Nazioni.
– My name is Eiji. I’m in charge of teaching you guys smithing from now on.
– You too, are a cheeky one, ain’t you? —Pay me respect and bow down!
Dante swung downward trying to pin down Eiji’s head against his own will.
They slapped each other’s hand powerfully.
If the man was to get serious, he would probably have no problem in dealing with Eiji.
—-A brief moment.
Eiji moved instantly.
Using his left hand he grabbed Dante’s wrist and inserted his right hand under the man’s armpit.
Dante’s body folded up. As soon as Eiji’s foot pressed firmly against the ground, he threw Dante up.
It was a splendid shoulder throw.
Dante’s big body floated in the air with a violent force.
Drawing a beautiful arc, Dante was dashed onto the floor.
Together with an unbelievably huge shock, the floor groaned, making the gathering place shake.
Dante probably wouldn’t expect such a turn of events as he didn’t assume a defensive stance. It seemed that he was unable to stand up quickly.
After receiving the blow, Dante became agitated.
Was it the first time for him to experience something like this? His eyes turned monochrome as he became shocked.
He looked down at Dante.
Eiji wouldn’t let his guard down as he prepared his posture so as to act immediately in case he will be assaulted again.
After that Eiji said.
– Please choose more wisely whom you want to pick a fight with, but bear in mind that I’m in charge of teaching you. For this, whatever your social status is, I won’t forgive that haughtiness of yours even if you beg me to teach you.
– Y- You…!
– Franko-san, how about you tell this guy to go back? It would be troublesome to have someone who’s unwilling to cooperate.
Turning his head around, Eiji directed his sight toward Franko who was at the seat of honor.
However, despite witnessing this sort of situation, Franko shook his head sideways.
– No, I’ll teach him some manners. There’s no excuse for ruining this banquet that was hosted thanks to everyone’s effort. I’ll excuse myself and Dante for a moment. So everyone, please get along.
– Be silent!
It was a sharp voice of reprimand.
Dante, who was, till now, assuming importance with his impudent attitude, also noticed his misbehavior and nodded while saying ‘Got it’.
Can a person with such attitude reflect on their own behavior? – He thought.
Eiji had the feeling that he witnessed Franko’s unexpected side.
He was indeed a capable person, and he would look for solutions that don’t lead to a situation like this one.
Nevertheless, his capability was probably not just limited to that.
It seemed that Dante quickly recovered after being thrown down.
Once he managed to stand up, Franko took him along and left the place of gathering.
As soon they reached the front of the door, Dante stopped.
Turning around, he glared at Eiji.
– Hey, you. Don’t think that you’ve won.
– I don’t think it’s the matter of winning or losing.
You could feel an almost scary killing intent emanating from him.
His sense of intimidation made a chill run through Eiji’s spine. It was the same fear as the one he had when facing the wolves.
I guess the trick with shoulder throwing won’t work a second time. – Eiji thought.
Translator and reference notes:
: Franko again.
: It seems that there are 2 seats of honor.