Botsuraku Youtei Volume 5 Chapter 1 (Chapter 87)
The edge of the outskirts of the capital. No, it would probably be better if I were to rephrase it as ‘outside the capital’s range’–that’s where Kudan prison was built, on a dry land detached from the circle of life. Even though I say it was built, the building itself isn’t mostly man-made either. There is an enormous pit near the capital which has been called the ‘Kudan Hole’ since the past. It’s a plot of land with a depth of over 30 meters. The walls around the pit itself make a 90 degree with the ground so just putting in the prisoners there itself was enough to keep them in captivity. The only ones put in here are criminals who have quite the shady history even among criminals. In other words, I have safely entered into the circle of people who have shaken the society. I still have some doubts about being thrown here for just temporary imprisonment but I guess it isn’t that hard to imagine when you think about the Dartanel family’s assets. Sigh — have the royal family and the princes abandoned me? I can’t help but feel that way. If they had said something more, would I not have been given a much lesser punishment? Am I that little of a value as a person?
Well, that doesn’t matter now. I have no other choice but to wait now. I can just hope that they judge the evidence with impartiality. More importantly, are father and the others alright? I hope my sins are not causing them any trouble…. He is quite a fragile person so I can’t help but worry.
“Rather than thinking about others, it would be for your good if you thought about how to live down there.”
“Thank you for the advice, I appreciate it.”
Removing the handcuffs which were on me, I was guided into the elevator which leads underground. From what I had seen, there were elevators along the walls and there doesn’t seem to be any other way to come and go from the underground.
“I will give you one more advice. Food is supplied as a whole only once a week. You’d better share properly and eat. From my experience as a jailer, I would advise you to not go against the leader of the group there — that would be for your own good. You won’t probably get food for a while but you will have to endure.”
“I am innocent so I will probably get out real soon either way.”
“I see. But even still, it is hard to think of it as an environment the great nobles can endure — even for a short period of time. In the first place, I wonder how many years it has been since a great noble has entered this prison… You should try not to attract attention.”
Is he actually being kind? Having received some advice from the jailer, the elevator still kept going deeper underground. The surface seems to be much further away. I guess 30 meters is quite deep. There are also no gaps in the wall — leaving no option of climbing. I somewhat felt this uneasy feeling of never being able to crawl up again. Ahh.. just once, just once would be enough. I wanted to see that person’s face one more time. I would have been able to live underground without feeling uneasy too that way. Also, I should have ate something sweet too. I am extremely missing it.
With an intense clanging noise and impact, the elevator had reached. The jailer opened the iron railing surrounding the elevator and I was imprisoned. I would be in the hands of these guys for a while now. Better convey my greetings properly. With just a few guards, the elevator started moving again, this time towards the surface. I can’t go back now. It felt as if that feeling was forced onto me.
It was pretty spacious inside the prison. In simple words, by eye measurement, it looked like it would be able to fit two Tokyo Domes in it. if it’s like this I guess I don’t need to worry about my neighbor snoring. At any rate, it is quite a crude space made only of soil and iron. Of course, there were no beds or sofas. It is the worst, but I guess it’ll do. I just need to endure it for a while.
Now then, it seems my room number is 136. Passing a few prisoners on my way, I found my room. Room no. 136 was of course, made with iron and the floor smelt like dust. I will be here for a while so I guess I will clean up the place first. Fortunately, it seems the neighboring rooms are empty so it might be easier to spend my time here.
Cleaning up the place with a piece of cloth lying outside the room, I tidied up the place and made it a little more hygienic and livable. Taking off my shoes, I tried lying down on the floor for a while. It was nice that there are no dirt on the floor now but since the walls are iron bars, it is completely visible from outside — which makes it hard for me to calm down. Some pretty bad looking prisoners have been peeking in while passing by for a while now. It feels really uncomfortable. Alright, I guess I will search for something which can act as a wall. It would be perfect if a big cloth or something is lying around here somewhere.
And so, just as I was about to go look for one, I realized that a group of those bad looking prisoners were coming my way. The ones who were passing by just now seemed like they were alone but… there are more than 10 people in that group. I guess it is convenient to live with a group everywhere, huh? I wonder if they are doing that…
“No. 136… Here, eh?”
Standing in front of my room, the guy in front confirmed my face and room number. Seems like they found their objective — as they surrounded me. So they wanted something from me, eh…? So, what is it?
“Let me just say this first, I don’t have any candy, alright?”
“I don’t need stuff like that. The boss calls for you. Come along.”
“I was planning on searching for something which could be used as a wall but, does your boss have something like that?”
“I don’t know. Just come. We were told to bring you by force if needed. You get it, right??”
Well, even if you threaten me like that… I do get it but, people are normally busy on their first day moving in, you know? Do you get that? After that, two tough looking men grabbed me by the shoulder and forcibly dragged me there.
“It’s pretty dry around here. Do you think this boss-san will share some water with me if I ask?”
“If you don’t shut yer trap I will havta force you shut, got it?”
‘Got it?’?…. Well, I do get it but… It is seriously really dry here, you know? My throat would naturally get dry, you get it, right? After walking for a while, just when I thought the filthy men had dispersed, it seemed like we reached the boss’ place. Oi oi, what is this? Just when I had thought there was nothing but iron and dust here, although I don’t know how they got it in here but the man in front of me was sitting on a sofa. Moreover, the room behind him has walls. This, too, I don’t know how they got, but it was made of wooden boards. On top of that, it’s vast! What is with that pleasant looking room?!
“You curious about that behind me?”
The boss-like guy sitting on the sofa asked. I was also curious about why they would place the sofa outside of the room but it is true that I was curious about the room itself too. Behind the boss, there were 10 heinous-looking prisoners standing and moreover, there were 30 underling-like men surrounding us.
“That room back there is the one the previous jailer used. We caused a rebellion and now none of the jailers stay here inside the prison. The ones on the surface have no concern with us.”
That man surrounded by those tough-looking men was much more thinner and looked like a normal person. This person is the boss? He doesn’t really look like it but then again, it is also true that you shouldn’t judge people by their looks.
“No. 136, you are the noble Kururi Helan–dono, correct?”
“Ah, yes. Did we perhaps meet before?”
“No, I am being the boss here in this prison. My name is Doulas. I was a spy for another country but was caught and have been here since then. I heard about you from a certain person.”
“A certain person?”
“Yes, a certain person. Here in this prison, we prisoners are self-governing so there are special rules here. Well, if I were to just say it then I myself am the rule here so once you are in, you are gonna have to follow them.”
“A certain person?”
“Enough of that already. The rules are simple. The status of newcomers are the lowest of the low. You will only get the leftover food, dispose of the excrement, and etc, etc. There are quite a lot of jobs, you know?”
Looks like it is also tough for newcomers here. Ahh, I wanna get out quick.
“However, you are different.”
“Don’t tell me, I will be treated like a VIP?”
“Well, it is a request from a certain person. I need to pay them back for getting stuff from the surface too. I was told to let you experience hell. To trample all over you and what not.”
“You don’t really need to hide the ‘certain person’. It is someone from the Dartanel family, isn’t it? Is it a request from Fregen?”
“Ah, you knew? Yes, that is correct. I will get a lot in return too so, although it is regretful for you but you don’t really have a choice.”
I guess there is no need to talk anymore. I wasn’t planning on being treated as a newcomer in the first place but now when I am going to be treated even worse, I can’t possibly comply.
“I refuse. I had decided to go about this the peaceful way but no playing nice anymore. For now, I have decided to peel off the wooden board and take it to my room with the sofa. You guys came threatening me so I will be being quite forceful here as well.”
After having said that much, the boss couldn’t stop his laughter. He really just looks like a normal person so when he laughs like that it doesn’t even seem menacing — which makes it kinda awkward. Maybe he might give it all to me? Probably not.
“You can’t exert your noble power here, you know? Do you even get it? Oi, someone do it.”
“Then, I will.”
A noticeably strong-looking man came forward. ‘Do it’? It is what I think it is, right…? I will take you up on it then.
“Hehe, ain’t no way I am gonna hand over this fun stuff to someone else. I love beating the crap outta these brats.”
“I see. Well, I am an expert at cleaning up dirty faces like yours so come at me.”
Taking the cheap provocation, he came charging straight at me. It’s quite fair so far, being 1v1. It won’t probably last long, though…
He kept coming again and again. Seeing through each and every one of them, I landed counter jabs at every one of the vital points. After a while when my body had warmed up quite a bit, I crushed the guy with a side jab. He fell on the floor, with drool coming out of his mouth.
“Alright, I am warmed up quite nicely. Come on, next, next!”
The boss whistled. With a smile, he sent the next one. So 5 people at once, huh? Well, not bad. I can keep going on and on.
I did take a few hits but kept beating them one by one. Looking at all the men fainted with drool coming out, I am pretty impressed with the accuracy of my punches. It just got much more fun. This is nice — it has been a while since I could go this far. Landing my knee on the third one’s chin, and after seeing him faint as well, I felt something sharp for a moment. Looks like my instinct was correct and the boss, Doulas did use magic. Sharp pointed pillars of water came flying towards me. I did sense it coming and could have easily reacted but I decided to take it all in instead.
The boss looked like he was tired of his pastime amusement and launched magic himself but now he was trembling with shock.
“What? You’re gonna come using magic first then, eh? I did feel more magic flowing from you from the start so I thought you would use it when you’re in a pinch but to think you would use it so early. I was planning on using mine first too.”
“Impossible!? How are you still standing?! How are you unscathed?! It all hit you properly!!”
The boss faltered. Well, it is understandable. All of the magic hit me directly. I could easily dodge but I decided to take it in. In fact, it is also better for me if I take it, considering my constitution. I did just learn about it the other day, though.
“Well, from the looks of it, it seems like magic does not work on me. Or rather, when I take in magic, my magic increases explosively and I can’t really hold it in, you see. Look? It’s already this bad. I can’t keep it in.”
“Impossible!! What is this amount of magic!?! What in the world is happening?!”
As expected, my magic had gone up so much it was visible and to this fact, the boss couldn’t help but be utterly shocked. The boss could have been the boss this long because he was the strongest among magic users, probably. And as such, since I am far above him, and if I display that, it would mean I am the boss. I don’t really want to be the boss or anything but I do want the sofa and the wooden board. I can probably get it if I become the boss.
“O wind, break out! Heave up these noisy trash and slam them into this dim cellar once again!”
Using up a big cache of magic, but still having tons of it left, I brought forth an enormous wind magic. A huge tornado rose surrounding me and swallowed up the 40-like people. It threw them all up in the air, and then again changed direction and slammed them into the ground. Screams of pain surrounded me and there was no one who could stand anymore… Except the boss.
“It wasn’t a coincidence that you were not swallowed up. You’re special. I will thrash you by myself.”
“St-stop it! I have the Dartanel family backing me, you know?! Are you okay with that?! Do you get it?!”
“I am fine. I am already at war with that Dartanel.”
“Owawawaaa?!! Stop it please!! I will drop dead if you punch me with that!!”
I took in all the overflowing magic in my hand and focused it all in one spot. Changing it to flame magic, I wrapped it all around my right hand and smacked it into the current boss’ face.
Doulas went flying. He probably won’t be able to live normally for quite a while now. Also, sorry but from today onward, I am the boss here.