Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou Volume 10

Prologue

Sasahara Nozomi was the 21st generation.
Of what you ask? Of a family owning an old hot spring inn.

The human lifespan was quite long in this age, so the Sasahara inn had been founded approximately 2000 years ago.

That might sound impressive, but the inn had had poor business for the majority of its history. It was a bit unclear whether one should praise them or insult them.

It had done well just after being founded, but complaints had started to come in when guests came down with food poisoning. From that point on, some kind of incident occurred every ten years. In one great commotion known as the Sasahara Inn Incident, terrorists took the mother of the family hostage. One time, a boiler explosion destroyed half of the inn. The water of the hot spring dried up one day, so they had started putting "essence of hot spring" in normal hot water, but they had been exposed on a national broadcast. People started choosing the inn as a place to hang themselves, so suicides became an almost everyday occurrence. After everything that happened, the family began to suspect the place was cursed, so they had called in a shaman. Legend had it the shaman ran away the instant he stepped through the gate.

After all that, one might wonder why they stayed in business.

"This is the pride of our family," was Nozomi's mother's answer. Nozomi had asked her countless times as a young child and her mother's answer had always been the same.

"Our family has imperial blood, so we cannot quit."

Nozomi did not really understand what connection there was between having imperial blood and not being able to quit running an inn. In fact, her mother probably did not know either. But if that was what her mother said, she figured it had to be true.

After all, magic and artificial humans known as L'Isle-Adams were ubiquitous in the current age and every imperial citizen was ensured a minimum income and lifestyle. In a society like that, there were only two reasons to work: to give meaning to your life or to earn enough to live more luxuriously. The Sasahara inn did not give them a luxurious life. In fact, it was a drain on their finances, so they were essentially keeping it open on stubbornness alone.

But that was a problem for Nozomi who was to inherit it. If quitting would result in more money, there was no reason to continue. And if they had imperial blood, shouldn't the empire provide public assistance? For that reason, none of their acquaintances or anyone else believed that the Sasahara family had imperial blood. In the end, no one showed them any respect.

Nozomi's everyday life was naturally filled with melancholy. Inheriting an inn sounded nice, but waiting for customers who never came was tedious. At this rate, she was going to completely waste her 16-year-old youth.

However, she was not tall, she was not all that smart, and she was not very brave. She was aware she did not have what it took to leave her family and make something of herself. The only thing supporting her was the dubious claim that her family had imperial blood.


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