|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 950 words|
We had four days, counting the weekend, off in total. We planned to manage this time so we could stay for two nights and three days there. The hot spring in question was in the elven settlement located inside the forest a few hours away from Raum.
There was a trade route going through the forest towards it, so the trips weren’t that difficult. The five of us going there were me, Finia, Cortina, as well as Michelle and Letina. The parents of the last two had things to do so they couldn’t accompany us.
As such, we departed early morning towards the hot spring resort, but our journey turned out harsher than we imagined. For me, that is…
“There’s no helping your lack of stamina.”
I had collapsed on the maintained stone paving on all fours. The Magic Buildup Disease itself was already completely suppressed thanks to Dr. Tricia’s medicine. I no longer fainted from the sudden exhaustion like before, but that didn’t mean my initially weak constitution disappeared with it.
The forest path, in particular, had limited sunlight, high humidity and the wind blowing through it, which shaved my stamina away. You could call it a calming environment if you were staying there for a short while, but it was different when it came to walking through it for a long time.
Cortina understood that too and let me take a short rest and offered me a flask of water.
“Well, you are able to walk for an hour now, so that’s an improvement. We have some time to spare, so let’s take a short rest here.”
“This is disappointing even if I say so myself.”
“That can’t be helped. Rather, the two of you are too lively for your ages.”
Cortina pointed at Michelle and Letina and said that. Indeed, Michelle had too much stamina for her age, enough to even rival a girl in her teens. Letina, on the other hand, was the indoor type, so while her initial energy was good, she was quick to tire too.
She still seemed to have some energy to spare now, but give her thirty more minutes and she would end up in the same shameful state as me.
“Nicole, wasn’t your illness cured?”
“It was cured, okay? I just don’t have enough stamina yet.”
“No helping it then, let’s rest.”
“That’s what Cortina said already.”
I suppose she was at an age where kids liked to act as leaders. I observed her with pleasant thoughts as she puffed her flat chest and gave those instructions.
My limbs had gone completely limp, though. Finia was gallantly massaging my legs and it felt really nice. Seeing how I was completely retired, Cortina asked in worry.
“Are you sure your magic power isn’t leaking? You really don’t need me to suck it out?”
“Yeah, I don’t.”
“Why did you click your tongue!?”
My power of emission was forcibly widened now, so until I learned how to emit it myself I needed someone else to help me with it. Cortina and Finia took it as a ‘reward’ and fought over who got to suck it out during morning and evening.
To be honest, I got to kiss two beauties because of it so I actually welcomed it a lot… But this was a secret they didn’t need to know.
We moved to the roadside so we wouldn’t block the path, then I took a sip of the lukewarm water. I was feeling a bit cold so warm alcohol or something would’ve been a blessing, but beggars couldn’t be choosers.
Rather, this body was extremely weak to alcohol, so just one sip would’ve left me dead drunk. It would be great if we at least had some milk, though, but this trip was going to take around half a day so we decided against bringing food that easily spoiled.
“Oh, right. Nicole, wait a bit, okay?”
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Cortina took my flask, dropped some kind of fruit in it and crammed it into another pouch. Then she put that pouch on the ground and warmed it up with Ignite magic. The pouch was made from incombustible material, so Ignite only warmed it up instead of burning.
After she kept warming it up for a bit, she took out the flask and poured the contents in a portable cup, and passed it to me.
“Here you go.”
“Hm, what’s this?”
“I put dried apricots inside and warmed it up. You looked like the water wasn’t quite enough.”
“Ugh… Did it show on my face?”
“A bit. You are still a kid, Nicole. You don’t have to act so reservedly.”
She treated me like a kid, but I was an adult on the inside, and a man at that. Of course, I would act reserved.
I awkwardly brought the cup to my mouth. The sweet and sour taste of apricots was mixed with the water, making it easier to drink. Michelle and Letina looked at it with wistful eyes. Cortina noticed it too so she poured the water into other cups and passed it to them.
“Here’s some for you too, Michelle, Letina. You should rest a bit too, Finia.”
“Okay, I will do that once I finish this up.”
“Sorry about this, Finia.”
“I think of this as a benefit instead.”
Finia responded while massaging my branch-like, thin legs. I felt like her loyalty was developing in a weird direction. Thanks to that, her masochistic nature was slowly recovering, so I wasn’t sure whether to feel happy or sad about it.
While we were resting on the roadside, one carriage happened to pass by.