The Boys’ Way Of Life
I went to the village’s entrance in my usual formal Spartan trainee uniform that consisted of being topless with something like a pair of underwear on and string shoes for my feet. I’m too used to wearing this so I had no intention of changing into something else.
At the village’s entrance, Ark and another big man were standing there next to each other.
Ark turned around and came to me as he realized that I was there.
「Aniki, take a look at this guy. I’ve recruited a new neighborhood watch member! 」
Ark introduced the giant man who was about two meters tall. He looked strong, so this guy might be of some use.
「Good work. I’ll be counting on you for that kind of chore, Ark」
「Yes sir! 」
Ark responded vigorously.
With this, our numbers have grown to three. There’s still a need to recruit more.
「So, what’s the situation around here today?」
「There’s nothing unusual」
If the village were to be attacked, it would be by Spartan slave traders, Sparta’s trainees, or people from a nearby village. Sparta’s trainees should be here one day, but I cannot say when exactly. There are several villages near this area, so there’s the possibility of them heading to the other villages as well.
I do not have any information on the neighboring villages in the first place.
「What are the villages around here like, anyway? 」
「Aniki, please take a look」
Ark picked up a stick and then he drew a circle on the ground as he crouched.
「If this is the city of Sparta, then there is a large slave village in every direction from it. There are also some villages with thirty people or less, but let’s skip them first」
Ark started to explain as he drew a map on the ground.
There were four large slave villages in Spartan territories.
The south village, which is the one I’m in, has a population of ninety people.
The east village has a population of two hundred.
The west village has sixty.
And the north village has about a thousand.
I grew a little concerned as I listened.
「There are only sixty people in the west village? Did something happen to them? 」
「Ah, about that, Aniki. Where do you think the inhabitants of that village come from? 」
For that small amount of people, they shouldn’t be people who fell into slavery in Sparta. Half of them should be the locals, and the other half should be slaves that were brought there from elsewhere.
Precisely speaking, when Sparta goes to war with the smaller cities nearby, they bring in the captives as slaves.
They also seem to take war refugees.
That’s why there are slaves with all kinds of backgrounds and statuses.
Ark frowned as he explained.
「In the west village, thirty out of those sixty people are thieves, criminals, and former soldiers. They are the most troublesome people in Spartan territories.」
As I thought back from his words, the slave village’s neighborhood watch is just a part time job as well. Other than helping out with farming, I was practicing martial arts whenever I was free. So, I never had the time to train the people here.
Realistically speaking, the farmer based militia here don’t have many people who know how to use a sword at all, and so they use easy-to-handle weapons such as farming tools, clubs and axes. In the first place, there was never enough iron to make swords in this village. But, that being the case, what difference would being thieves, criminals, and former soldiers make? I won’t know until I meet them.
「There is also a war between the slave villages. So, please be careful of those mad dogs from the west. I’m not trying to say anything bad, but it would be better to avoid those people」
After hearing that this is a war, the corner of my mouth cracked. I could not hold back my fearless smile.
「A war, huh. Surely, it will be a bloodshed」
「A, Aniki? Don’t tell me… 」
In the first place, the main reason why I went through military training since I was a child was to kill the enemies for the country, and become a cold-hearted weapon for murder.
I just wanted to try it, to see how far I can go as a soldier.
「Is there somewhere that a war is breaking out right now between the villages? 」
「N, no. Um… just between us, I’ve heard rumors that the west and the east were going to go at it」
There may really be a war. I would like to go see the battlefield with my own two eyes. If there are women in the villages… just thinking about it makes my head and crotch throb.
「I’m going there」
When I turned around and started to walk, Ark went around me and blocked the way.
「A, Aniki. That’s really not a good idea. What are you going to do there? 」
「I won’t know what I’ll do until I see what’s happening there. I have to know the situation first, then I’ll make the best choice available」
Then, Ark’s tone got heavier as he desperately appealed.
「But, it’s dangerous to go alone. It’s true no matter how strong you are. If something happens, no one will be able to come help you, you know?? 」
I, too, won’t know what will happen if I were to be surrounded by enemy soldiers in the battlefield. It’s a situation where I won’t know until it happens.
「In the worst case, I’ll just die」
You die if you can’t fight or your luck is bad. That’s just how it goes.
Then, Ark looked down with a gloomy look on his face.
「Here’s where… we’re going to follow you, right? 」
「If I ask that of you, can you protect yourself when it gets dangerous? 」
「No, no way! That’s impossible! 」
He answered immediately. The big guy who was behind him was also shaking his head. Even though they are not on the battlefield yet, they were already taken over by fear. It would be impossible to take these guys along.
I wonder if this guy even cared about my safety.
I don’t feel like someone like that would be worrying about my life.
「Remain here then. I’m leaving the village to you」
Ark was nervously biting and chewing his fingernails.
「Even I get it. The enemies would come attacking us someday if we just do nothing but wait. I know that the village will be destroyed… But I can’t do anything… a small fry like me」
Being able to admit his own downfall at this time… he might be a more straightforward person than I thought he was. I suddenly realized that Ark was just a young, sensitive fifteen-year-old boy even though he was a new member in the neighborhood watch.
I remembered a little bit of when I lived in the modern Japan a long time ago. Once upon a time, I was a pure boy like that. I was also confronted by a massive wall of reality when I tried to start something in life and did not know what to do. My heart was broken, and sometimes I was frustrated and I despaired just like him.
Just a little, I had remembered that past from looking at him.
「Whether you are a small fry or not, you decide that yourself. If you don’t want to be a small fry, then think about what to do with your own head」
I left him with those words as I left.
Ark stopped moving without saying a single word. Oh, what should I do with someone like that?
In the southern village, children between the ages of seven to twelve gathered together and were playing outside.
They were told firmly to not go out of the village since it’s dangerous out there. However, many villagers go missing every year regardless of the warnings.
With that many people going missing, you can never tell what’s going to happen. That’s why the children live in fear of the outside world and were commanded to protect themselves in the village.
The kids played in various ways, mainly chasing each other and playing pretend as swordsmen.
There was a popular game where they would pretend to be a monster too. One person would act as monster and they would try to catch everyone else.
Games of make-believe prophets were also popular. They imitate the use of magic, and tell stories to ease each other’s minds.
Every day, the games they played were competitions that made use of their bodies. The young men matured and grew with their friends as they played.
However, there was also daily bullying.
Especially those who were slow on their feet, those with weak bodies, and those who were pushovers. Those people were targeted and they were beaten up often.
The bullied kids were often pushed to tears.
Such a thing was very common in the village.
That’s why in order to not become the lackeys of the strong kids, the bullied kids formed a group with the other weak people and shut themselves inside their houses even though there were no books in their homes and there was nothing for them to do.
Eric is a twelve-year-old young boy, with beautiful blonde hair and blue-colored eyes. He was a half born who carried the blood of Spartan nobles.
However, Eric doesn’t know what his noble father looks like.
His mother was a beautiful woman, but there were various circumstances.
Since Eric has been working with adults as a lumberjack since he was ten years old, he was stronger than the other children around.
He ran the fastest, his swordsmanship was unbeatable, and no matter what he was playing he was always the best.
His group of friends also had a reputation in the village, so the villagers were more lenient on him.
His group of friends were known for messing around and playing pranks on the villagers.
For example, they would approach people who were in the middle of agricultural work, and suddenly stick their hands down their pants.
They messed with people like that regardless of their gender.
Then, they would make fun of them depending if they had hair growing down there, or if their penis was big or small.
They took joy in the embarrassment that the people showed when they were harassed.
Eric was especially naughty with the pranks because people were more forgiving on him since he was the center of a strong young men’s group.
Thus, the villagers were put through shame since Eric was a child. The adults were pranked like that along with the children as well.
However, when things went too far, the adults over thirteen years old would still get angry.
Eric would get hit in the face and had to take the humiliation that came with a visible bruise on his face.
It hurt him quite a lot, but everyone thought it was needed to educate him, so it couldn’t be helped.
But recently, there was something that he could not stand.
A guy named Hercule arrived in his village.
He came from the forest and he mowed down trees in a blink of the eye; he was very strong.
Eric could not believe that they were the same age. There was a big difference in their height and the man’s body was much tougher.
Everyone was afraid of that man.
However, Eric did not believe that he was unbeatable. Even more so, He couldn’t lose to an outsider.
Eric had just caught sight of Hercule leaving the village a moment ago.
It was scary outside of the village, but that man bravely went out alone.
「…What is up with that guy?」
Even though I was taken by an adult every time, I went outside every day, so it’s going to be fine.
I returned to my home and grabbed an axe, then I hopped over a fence to leave the village secretly.
Hercule went towards the village in the east. It should be okay if it’s not the west.
Let’s chase him without being found out.
Eric moved like a beast between trees.
He was familiar with the area like his own backyard. Then, a village came into sight.
「*Haa*…..*haaa*… it’s the east village! 」
He was out of breath, but Hercule was nowhere to be found. Just how fast is that man on his feet?
Suddenly, Eric noticed a change in the east village.
The buildings of the village were set aflame with red fire.
He stopped and started thinking that something suspicious is going on.
Then, he heard an ominous voice.
「Boy, you are unlucky」
Eric’s body shook as he was taken by surprise.
From the shade of the forest, five men who looked like bandits came out.
They were equipped with leather armor, and armed with long swords in their hands. They had expressions of beasts. Eric was surrounded in an instant; there was nowhere to escape to.
They are the bandits from the west. Why are they here at the east village?
「What, what do you want?! Waaaahhh!! 」
Eric swung his axe desperately, but the five people jumped at him all at once, and he was pushed onto the ground from behind. He could taste the blood that was spreading in his mouth from the impact with the ground.
It seems that there was a cut somewhere in his mouth.
One of the thieves came close to his face while laughing.
His eyes were gleaming, his teeth were tattered and yellow, and he stank.