6 My Venture Begins in Another World!
After a couple of minutes, Arric and I arrived at the outskirts of the Port City of Irylia.
The walls that enclosed the entire city have an imposing height as I observed the well-built and massively thick masonry structure up close.
We crossed a wide stone arch bridge with stone brick pavements that spanned the stagnant brackish moat.
Infantry humanlike cats and dogs armed with rapiers and pistol flintlocks tightly guarded the gate ahead of us. Surprisingly, they had firearms in this world.
'Toktok. toktok. toktok.'
"Halt! Grrr!" One of the soldiers shouted. As far as I could tell, it was an officer because of the military attire of the anthropomorphic leopard was better than other soldiers.
"Easy, steady. Baroo." Arric gripped and skillfully pulling the reins attached on the halter of the horse to stop it.
"Grrreetings Sir Arric! How was your trip to Asrence?" The leopard had black spots dotted on his grey fur with the stylishly cool black military uniform; holster and scabbard attached to a belt that wrapped around his waist; a hat matches the attire, approached us while giving a salutation.
"Baroo Lieutenant Estevan. It was fine and I hadn't met any trouble on the road. Please let us enter, this fellow is my friend. Baroo." Arric replied and glanced at me.
"Good day!" I raised my hand briefly.
"Oh, a newcomerrr! Are you here to visit Irylia?" Estevan scanned his eyes at me for a while as if he was sizing me up.
"Yes I am a traveler and it is my first time to come here." I calmly replied to him.
"Is that so... By the way, welcome to Irylia. Grr." Estevan had a slight smile on his face.
"Thank you." I smiled at him back. He seemed easy to get on with even he had an intimidating appearance.
"Raise the porticulis! Graaaa!" Estevan turned away and roared as he ordered the soldiers inside the flanking towers of the gateway.
I could hear the clanking sound from the chains as the latticed metal grille rose up. The path was cleared when the gate was open.
"Keep up the good work Estevan!" Arric waved at them and whipped the back of the horse while holding the reins tightly to steer it.
"Certainly, Sir Arric." Estevan nodded.
I was intrigued about the real identity of Arric. I doubt that he was not just a coachman because we just easily entered the heavily guarded walls of the city.
We passed through the dark and long gateway. As we reached the end, the light from the sun shined upon us.
Finally, we entered the Port City of Irylia.
"I never thought that Irylia was a magnificent city! Look at those elegant buildings!" I was amazed by numerous structures of the city within the walls of Irylia. They were distinct but their architecture was identical—very similar to sophisticated Renaissance design of the earth.
"I told roo! What you see currently see proves that Irylia is progressive. Baroo." Arric seemed proud.
"Mm, I agree." Well, he was right.
Arric and I went along the street of the city which had stone paviours with pleasing and neat patterns. There were palm trees of the same kind aligned orderly on the verge that separated the sidewalk and the road.
In a short while, Arric pulled the rein to stop the horse at the front of a two-story building. 'Raize Inn' was written on a wooden signage board. "We are here, Neel. Now, you can rest from your long travel. I highly recommend this inn because they provide the best service in the city. Baroo."
"That's nice. Thank you Arric for bringing me here." I went down from the wagon and stretched my back.
"Don't mention it. I could tour you around the city but I have something important to do. So, I am very busy at this time. Here, take this." Arric picked up something from his bag and then he extended his paw with a small pouch.
"I understand... Oh? Thank you but I—" I politely rejected his offer because he helped me pretty much but Arric interrupted me. "I know you have no Rifties, just keep it. It's not that much, I only lend you enough so you can stay at the inn for three sols and buy some necessities from the marketplace. Baroo." His expression was genial as he offered the pouch.
Oh well, if you're really persisting it then I'll take it.
"I really appreciate your kindness Arric. Tomorrow, I'll repay this. I promise." I received the pouch and put it inside my pocket.
"Baroo roo roo! Then, it is settled. If you are getting familiar with the city, visit my place in the commercial district. Find Vino de Perro, it's a liquor store. I'll wait and see you there. Baroo." Arric laughed as he waved and whipped the horse.
I watched him until he turned at the corner of the street and disappeared.
Now I know! Arric is just an owner of a liquor store. What a nice guy. I will return the favor in double.
"Alright. Time to sightseeing and roaming in the city! I'm very excited! But first, I'll check in at this inn. Hmm... 'Raize Inn'? Sounds like raisin or racing, what a bad pun." From the outside it looks modest, snug and inviting. The bell rang as I opened the wooden door and went inside.
The inn had a cozy atmosphere. The interior was rustic and almost made out of wood with oil lamps as lighting. Tables and chairs, shelves with flower vases and other decorations. Devil's Ivy grew on the hanging pots attached to the wooden posts around the inn.
It was odd, I thought this place will be crowded. Arric spoke well of Raize Inn but there was nobody besides me and that catgirl.
"Wait, what!? A catgirl! For real?!" I talked out loud as I saw a lady resembling a human with cat ears and tails behind the counter.
"Welcome to Raize Inn! We provide breakfast and dinner as part of our service. Would you like to stay here? Nya~" The catgirl with plain clothing had a radiant smile on her face.
"Wow! Can I touch your ears and tails? I want to do it so bad!" I was frenzied because I always dreamed about meeting a catgirl personally.
"You're quite funny. Purr~" She covered her mouth with her paw.
Suddenly, a sinister bloodlust struck to my senses, I turned around but there was no one behind. Which direction did it come from?
"Hello, sir! I'm Raize and this is my wife Rizz. Welcome to our inn. How long would you want to stay here?" A tall, grey anthropomorphic cat appeared out of nowhere standing in front of me. His speech was friendly but the tone of his voice and expression was malicious when he emphasizes the word 'wife'.
Forgive me! I didn't mean to seduce her!
"Erm... Uhm... th-three sols." My voice faltered because of that unnerving pressure from his deathly gaze.
"Raize! Don't treat the customer like that!" Rizz scolded him.
"Tch." Raize scratched the back of his ear with his claw and retracted it while resting his arm on the counter.
Phew. That was terrifying, I thought he would slash his claws at me.
"Three sols in a single bedroom was worth 30 Rifties. In-house services are included." Rizz placed a key above the counter without delay.
"Erm... wait a second." I groped my pocket and took the pouch then I untied the string to open it. There was a handful of identical small square gemstones with red, green, and blue colors inside. I didn't know their value so I picked each of them and gave them to Rizz.
"Hmph! Sir, the amount you gave was insufficient." Raize was annoyed as he looked at the gemstones on the counter.
"Sir, you need to pay either 30 green Rifties, 6 red Rifties, or 3 blue Rifties. Nya~" Rizz gave a piece of mindful advice.
Oh! I get it. That was timely, it really helps. Hmm... so I'll add 2 red and 4 green gemstones, is it?
"Here is my payment." I paid the gemstones to Rizz. Then, I tied the strings of the pouch to close it and put it back to my pocket.
"Enjoy your stay here! Your room number was five, located on the second floor. My husband will prepare your breakfast and my daughter will remind you if its ready. Also, we have a detailed and complete map of Irylia City, you can get one over there in case you need it." Rizz collected the Rifties as she pointed her paw at the neatly arranged short bookshelves beside the counter.
"Thank you." I nodded and smiled. After that, I went to the same direction and took a rolled rough paper from a small basket above a bookshelf.
I hope your husband will not put something dangerous on my food... Oh, did I hear it right, you have a daughter? Hmm... that's great but I'm cautious now. If I do something stupid again, it will cause big trouble.
After that, I climbed up the stairs and ambled towards my room. The door was locked so I used my key to open it and closed it again as I enter.
Windows opened wide as cold fresh air went inside the simple and tidy room which was perfect for only one person.
My whole body landed on the cozy mattress with smooth white sheets and a fluffy pillow. A tear fell off from my eyes as I missed lying down on a comfortable, proper bed.