Chapter 19 – A Peaceful Date (3)
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The Town of Hollowden was one of the several towns that was situated at the borders of the Psythe Kingdom— the kingdom located at the far east boundary of the Empire of Sephite. Although the quality of living in the towns at the borders were quite unaffluent than most places within the core of the Empire, this town here could still be said to be thriving nonetheless because of the countless merchants and dealers from the other side of the continent constantly stopping at this place to rest, and even trade. Among all the popular towns that was situated at the eastern borders, the Town of Hollowden was famously considered to be the main site of transaction between the three Empires (one yet to be unofficially announced) that was separated by continents— the Empire of Sephite from the Allos Continent, Axiom Congregation and Empire of Fertrune from the Hierron Continent.

Looking around the town, Kaiji saw several markets by the side of the stone pavement and met numerous peddlers on the way.

Back then when Kaiji and Simonne were still being pursued by the persistent Congregation's soldiers that came all the way from the other side of the Mystic Mountain Range, the reason why they haven't encountered any merchant's carriages or anyone on the way was because they didn't took the main route. If they did went for the said route that time, no one knew just how much would it take for them to get out due to the overwhelming vehicles and people— and if that really did happened, their bodies would already be in the hands of the Congregation's soldiers. It was also the same case when they've entered the town of Hollowden— they took the shortest and most derelict route to get to the Institute just to be cautious.

So to sum it all in one sentence, Kaiji haven't had the chance to enjoy the trip.

That's the reason why he had been really thrilled when Saki offered to take him for a stroll around the town.

"...Do you like c-croquettes?" Saki timidly turned to Kaiji as she pointed on a small stall selling various street foods, including croquettes, sweetened fruits, and many more.


Kaiji immediately nodded.

"Two please." Saki went to the stall and pointed at the fried-egg balls displayed at the counter.

The vendor smiled and nodded as he began to place the fried snack in a small carton and applied some seasonings.

"Here." The vendor held out the two cartons of steaming golden croquettes with some kind of a yellow sauce on its top. "Only 10 silvers, my dear."

Saki nodded and gave the coins.

The vendor smiled again before putting away the money. "...I heard that the Colosseum of Wonders will be open until the next day. I've seen many couples going there. It must be something nice." The vendor gave a wink at her.

"W-were n-not couple!" Saki hurriedly refuted, her face turning red.

"But I've never said that the two of you were." The vendor chuckled.

"Colosseum of Wonders?" Kaiji stepped forward and asked. "What's that?"

"It's basically a show where strange things and creatures were being exhibited out for everyone to see. I heard that some of them were rare beasts, some were odd things, some were... I don't know. I only heard it, not watched it." The vendor shrugged.

"U-um..." Saki looked at Kaiji, unsure of what to say.

"Let's go there!" Kaiji excitedly responded.

Apparently, the Colosseum of Wonders was located at the farthest end of the town. So before they could even reach the place the vendor had suggested for the two of them to go into, they had first went on through the various popular tourist spots and took some little stroll while lingering around.

One of those places was a fountain.

It was located at the center of the town so the site had been one of the easiest place for them to reach.

Kaiji stared at it in awe.

There was a large pool of water at the bottom part of the fountain in which was divided by cobbled stones in order to prevent the water out from leaking. In the middle of it stood a human-sized sculpture of a wild wolf, baring its mighty fangs out like a king. It was, apparently, the symbol of the Town of Hollowden.

'I wonder what kind of beast is that...'

Kaiji muttered. Although the citizens here insisted that the statue was indeed a wild wolf, he still held some doubts.

He had personally seen what a real wolf looked like when him and Simonne were still traveling on their way here. The difference between the two them was that the one in the statue had a longer, leaner muzzle than what the real one had. It also had a skinnier, slender limbs and a stretched tail that was about the size of its own body. It was clearly not a wolf.

However, there was nothing he could do about it, so he simply sighed and went on through their next destination.

After the fountain site, Saki and Kaiji visited some public buildings like the armoury and weaponry, town library, apothecary, smithy, bakeyard, grainfield, church, pub, etc...
Until finally...
"There's only one hour left before the Colosseum of Wonders begins! Don't miss this chance to watch!"