Rebirth of the Villainess Wife - Chapter 10
—“…The village chief? You said you wanted to see us…!”
A woman appeared at the door and said this as she waited for the villagers whom Telos had summoned to come to the village chief’s house.
At first she was going to ask Telos things in her usual manner, but when she saw me sitting in the seat where Telos would always be, her eyes widened and her body stiffened.
“I’m sorry, Your Highness. I thought only the village chief was here… please let me be the only one punished…”
She bowed her head.
This is not because I am a selfish duchess, but simply because I am a nobleman.
In a large town, a villager in a village of this size would only have contact with a noble once in his or her lifetime.
Therefore, their common sense about the existence of aristocrats is quite biased.
At the very least, they all have the sense that there is nothing good about getting involved, and that is why they have this attitude.
And that sense is not generally wrong.
There are a certain number of decent nobles, but it is certainly better to be careful.
It would be terrible to be cut to pieces and killed.
Of course, I would not do that, so I say.
“I won’t punish you, so raise your head. Then come here.”
“Of course, In the first place, I was the one who asked you to come here this time.”
“Hey. Here, everyone come inside…”
After she came in, I urged her to go to the door, and the villagers began to creep in through it.
The first to enter was a little girl, about five years old, who immediately clung to the woman’s feet.
It must be her child.
Then followed a man who looked like a middle-aged hunter, and then a farmer and his wife.
These were the attributes I had asked for in a man doing roughly this kind of work.
The hunter-man looked at me sharply and did not seem very intimidated, while the farmer and his wife looked relaxed, smiling.
The young woman who first came in is the most nervous.
The child, too, was probably nervous because of her mother.
I thought, “This is not good,” and turned my attention to Walter.
Then Walter pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to me.
I get up, and walk over to the kid, kneeling, making eye contact with her.
“…I’m sorry for calling you out so suddenly. I called you here because I wanted to talk to you all. So don’t be afraid.”
Then she grabbed her mother’s clothes even more tightly, so that her mother
So finally, Luka said, …
I smiled and nodded.
“Yes. But I won’t force you to do it, Luka. If you are bored, you can wait next to your mother while you eat this.”
I hand her a small jar of candy with three pieces of candy in it, which makes a sound like a cara-cara-cara.
Luca looks puzzled, but looks at her mother, and when he sees that she nods, accepts them.
“…What is this?”
“It’s a candy that’s been all the rage in the territory lately, and it’s sweet and tasty when you put it in your mouth and lick it off. They take a while to melt, so you can enjoy them for a long time. It even blows away boredom.”
I put one of the candies in my mouth with a semi-skeptical look on my face when he told me, and I guess I recognized the taste.
“…I see…wow, it’s delicious! Thank you!”
Then, when the atmosphere had relaxed a bit, I said to him
“You’re welcome…now, if you’ll all please take a seat.”
The villagers, who had been looking a bit frightened earlier, sat down with puzzled expressions on their faces.
“The reason I called you all here today is because I have a few questions I wanted to ask you.”
The hunter-man asked me without fear, as I immediately started with my business.
“…What is that? There doesn’t seem to be much unity among the members.”
“Recently, there has been a lot of damage to the crops in this village, hasn’t there? That’s what I’m talking about.”
The hunter-man and the farmer couple nodded in agreement.
The mother and daughter who first came in looked as if they wondered if we were there, but for now it was still fine.
“Is that why you called me in, to ask what kind of beast attacked the place?”
“Yes, I did. It was probably a forest deer or a demon rat, the village chief said…”
At that, the hunter-man looked at the village chief with an accusing gaze and said
“Chief. Didn’t you say that wasn’t a forest deer?”
I ask the man.
“What do you mean?”
“Oh…uh, I don’t know if you ladies know this, but a forest deer is. It has the power to leap. So, if forest deer did this…”
And having said that much, I had a guess.
“That means the fence couldn’t have been broken that way.”
“…! That’s exactly right. Wow, you’ve already seen the fields?”
“Yes., I have. Yes, I have. I thought the same thing you did…”
“I see. So, you and the demon rat, too?
“That one…I just wanted to ask Luka-chan about it.”
I looked at her, a little awkward as she was licking the candy deliciously, but then her mother
“Ru, Luka. Here.”
She turned her face toward me, in a good mood.
“What is it?”
she asked me.
“Have you picked up any demon rat tails lately?”
The village chief tilted his head at this question, but the rest of the villagers seemed to understand.
To my question, Luka replied
“Not much. Gaim and Justa are always collecting them in the fields, but there haven’t been many recently.”
To this, the hunter-man folded his arms and gave me a difficult look.
“Hmmm. If that’s the case, then maybe it’s not a demon rat…”
“I suppose so.”
“But if it’s neither a forest deer nor a demon rat…then…is it a wolf? No, but the way that fence is broken…”
Just as I was about to start talking to him, Telos said…
“Wait a minute. How do you know that, Miss Elaine?”
“Telos, you were in town when you were little, weren’t you?”
“What? Yes, I was, but… how did you know?”
“Because your clothes are in the fashion of the old capital, and your tone has a city accent. Besides, you don’t seem to know anything about the tail of the demon rat.”
“What exactly do you mean by the demon rat’s tail…?”
To this the hunter-man replied.
“It’s a good plaything for village children. When the demon rat feels threatened, only its tail falls off. It seems to grow back soon, but the important thing is that this tail stretches a little when you put a little force on it. It is not strong enough to be used for processed products, but children in the village often play with it by grabbing both ends together and pulling until it snaps. We used to do this when we were little.”
Luka’s mother and the farmer and his wife nodded nostalgically at this.
But Telos was a city dweller when he was a child, so he didn’t know about it.
“…But what exactly is the point of that…?”
I say to Telos, who is still tilting his head.
“I mean, if a lot of demon rats are coming to the fields, it’s normal for a lot of tails to fall off. Especially since you’ve been making rounds here, haven’t you? If so, there must have been a lot of surprised rats dropping their tails. But according to Luka’s story, not many tails have fallen off.”
“That means there ain’t many demon rats coming here.”
The hunter man concluded.
“So, then, what in the world could have destroyed so many fields…? If it wasn’t a forest deer, an ogre rat, or a small forest wolf…”
“I’m not certain, but I have a guess.”
─ It’s a monster.
The villagers gasped at my words.