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Botsuraku 135 – Part 1

 

 

The construction of the Dragon’s Spine has started on Karalas as well.

The Karalas region, once subject to a stagnant economy, was starting to brighten up. The fortune that the Lord of Karalas had been amassing started to flow back to the people, and rumors about the land’s upcoming prosperity started to spread out.

The magic train was only operational in Helan at the moment, but demand for it grew day by day. It was no longer exclusive to Helan, and people from the royal capital would be starting to use it to go sightseeing in other places.

The people’s desire to ride the magic train rained down on us like a deluge, and it took some time to process all of their requests.

We realized we needed to make another magic train, or maybe two. With this kind of demand, the production cost would soon be paid off either way. The magic train has only been produced in Helan so far, but after our deal, we would continue to produce them here in Karalas. My plan was to share more details about the magic train, and I wasn’t against allowing other noblemen to produce their own magic trains. The Helan territory only needed to be at the vanguard by making the best use of our technology and experience.

Things were still quite flurried in the royal capital, so even though I’ve told Rahsa and the others that I’d like them to try taking the magic train, they have replied in their letter that sadly they would not be able to do so for now.

I had been sadly turned down by those I wanted to invite the most.

Since there were so many requests from people interested in trying the magic train, we decided to hold a big raffle.

The right to participate in it could be obtained directly by purchasing an entry ticket, but we also granted the ability to participate to those who had visited the hot springs in Helan, and also to those who had made purchases for a certain amount of money in the craftsmen’s street.

We established a deadline of one month, when Eli and I would be picking the winners of the raffle at random from the large number of entries that we had received.

It would be boring if only the rich could ride the train, so even though we have limited space, we had prepared special passenger cars for the townsfolk. Though they would lose out on comfort, the price was the same. They were divided into first class, second class, and third class, and we received several applications for each of them.

“Look here. They’ve not only written their seat name but their reason for applying to the raffle as well.”

Eli was holding a paper slip that had caught her attention, though she must have definitely picked it at random.

“Huh? It’s from a 4-year-old kid.”

I decided to silently listen to her talk about it.

“What? Huh? No way! This is too much… Hey, can we let him on the train?”

Did you pick one at random only just to make the decision yourself? That’s not how this works, Eli…

I wanted to give her a piece of my mind, but there was a chance that she might boycott our dinner if I refused too coldly, so I took the piece of paper she was holding and started reading it.

“My grandpa always talks about the magic train that was built in Helan.

Every day, he seems to be having so much fun talking about it.

I really, really love my grandpa!

Grandpa said that one day we’d go on the magic train together.

Through great effort, he saved and saved money so we could go together…

But my grandpa is not in this world anymore.

I want to make my grandpa’s wish come true.

That’s why I want to be in the first-class car.

I want to see the things my grandpa wanted to see!

Please, please let me ride the magic train!”

Uh…

I think I’m going to cry…

But nope.

This is written way too well for a 4-year-old kid.

And his grandpa saved money so that they both could go on the first-class car? And it was such a great effort? First-class is quite expensive, you know? Come on, you’re definitely rich.

Eli has already put this slip into the winner’s box, but I’ll get rid of it later.

“Hey, look, look! They’ve written their reasons for applying in this one too.”

“Another one? I’ve already said that all they need is their full name and address…”

“Oh, oh! Waah! You poor thing! We definitely need to let this one through too!”

But we can’t do that!

However, I said nothing. She might even not cook dinner at all if I do.

“The day the magic train was put into operation, my life was changed forever.

I was told I had an incurable disease, but for some reason, the moment the magic train was put into operation, my disease disappeared completely.

I think it was fate.

This was surely a message from the gods to tell me to keep on living.

I should get on the magic train because of that experience.

I have no money, but the force of my spirit is second to none.

So please, let me ride the magic train.”

That’s a great story.

So your incurable disease disappeared completely on the same day the magic train was put into operation?

Now that’s a story that wants you to really feel its message.

But nope.

Your incurable disease might have been cured by some miracle, yes, but it has nothing to do with the magic train.

And also, pay your fare! If you’re cured, you can definitely work.

That was quite shameless for someone who wants to go in the first-class car.

Eli has put this slip into the winner’s box too. And I’ll get rid of it later as well.

“Oh, I’d like to see what other reasons have our contestant put on their applications! Are there any more like those?”

Hey! This is a raffle! They’re supposed to be selected at random! Have you forgotten that, Eli?

She seemed to be too much into choosing the winners herself based on their stories for me to be able to stop her, so I decided to keep my mouth shut and cooperate with her for the time being.

I’ll draw the actual winners later tonight, so I’ll humor Eli for now.

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