|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1222 words|
Before us showed up a peddler carriage, an encounter that happened often. They were employing the Adventurers for escorting, which too was an orthodox sight.
They didn’t seem to be familiar faces at a glance so Cortina hurriedly covered her cat ears with a hat.
Her fluffy tail wasn’t visible from the outside as it was hidden under her traveling cape.
The carriage stopped before us as they saw me being massaged on the roadside. The man holding the reins called out to me with a worried look.
“Good day. I’m a merchant, Bill Wyss. Is anything the matter?” asked a relatively well-built man, giving off the airs of a merchant.
He seemed like a good-natured guy at a glance; I couldn’t feel any malicious intent from him. The accompanying Adventurers didn’t give off such dangerous vibes either. Far from it, they even had an Elven female mixed amongst them.
That said, merchants generally came off as good mannered people. Their occupation was such that you couldn’t judge their true character based on their appearance.
Not all Elves were saints either, after all. It’s just that there were fundamentally less malicious individuals among them compared to humans.
They were somewhat secluded and conservative society, but for better or worse they were overall a virtuous race. Rather, you could hardly find careless individuals like Maxwell there.
In the end, I decided it was dangerous to let my guard down and focused my lax mind.
“Oh, no. This girl got a bit tired so we are just taking a little break,” Cortina answered in a light tone. She appeared to be slightly wary but not tense. Perhaps she also couldn’t feel any ill intent from them. The slight wariness was due to having never met them before.
Then, one of the Adventurers—the female Elf stepped forward.
“Fatigue, huh. Would you mind if I take a look?”
“S-Sure… Go ahead.”
Finia moved away and let her take a look at my legs. The Elf squatted down before me and introduced herself with a smile, her long, blonde hair fluttering in the wind.
“Nice to meet you. I am Haumea, an Elf as you can see.”
“Hello. I’m Nicole.”
I only noticed it after we introduced ourselves, but I could surprisingly see that she was quite aged.
Elves boasted of incredible lifespans, so it was exceedingly difficult to guess their age base on their appearance. Maxwell was very close to the end of his lifespan, so he looked like an old man.
She rubbed my legs a few times, examining them.
“It… Doesn’t seem like your fatigue came from overusing your legs.”
“Her constitution just happens to be particularly weak.”
“True, she’s lacking muscles quite a bit. And her skin’s so white, it’s as if she’s a noble.”
“That’s because she’s been staying inside the house due to her weak body until just recently.”
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After inquiring about my condition from Cortina, she took out some wild grasses from her belt pouch. She dampened the leaves with water and then elaborately rubbed them, making them sticky. She then stuck them on my calves and heels, and fixed them in place with a handkerchief.
“Those are simple compresses. But they should prove to be quite effective.”
“Thank you very much. Those were Mild leaves, right?”
“Oh, so you know about them. That’s right, they can remove heat from the flesh, so they are effective for reducing fatigue.”
Cortina was a catgirl whose race shared close bonds with the wilderness. Because of that, she was also more or less knowledgeable about the wild grasses. However, she forgot to prepare the fatigue relieving herbs despite the fact that it would be a few hours long trip.
“Excuse me for my question, but are you perhaps headed for the Elven village up ahead?”
“Yeah, but I’m just taking it easy since I have kids with me.”
“Would you like to board the carriage then? Perhaps it was fate that had us meet.”
“Are you sure? I’m really grateful for that proposal, but…”
“Oh, don’t worry, we have room to spare. And I don’t hate kids myself, so you are welcomed to.”
“…In that case, we’ll be accepting your generosity,” Cortina answered a little hesitantly, probably because all of us were girls.
It was true for Cortina herself, but even Finia was a perfect beauty. Michelle had an innocent charm, while Letina was a noble’s daughter, both of them having looks that boasted of great promise.
Slave traders would’ve probably seen us as an exceedingly appealing prey. Cortina was aware of that, so she spent some time ascertaining their natures.
“These Adventurers are a bit unsociable, so please pardon me on that.”
“Oh my, that’s quite a rude thing to say, Bill. I consider myself quite sociable, you know?”
“Hahaha, you are a rare case even among rare cases, Haumea!”
“Hey, now, I’m not that bad myself.”
“But you have a scary face, Torto.”
“Oh, come on!”
Their group consisted of the merchant Bill, Elven Adventurer Haumea, Human Torto and another Elven man. It turned out that the four of them were also heading towards the Elven settlement. We witnessed their unexpectedly friendly exchange as we boarded the carriage.
“Looks like you get along quite well.”
“Yes, I’m always making round trips between Elven settlement and Raum, and I’m always employing them as an escort.”
“Have you known each other for long? Ah, sorry, that was too inquisitive of me.”
Finia unusually took the initiative to talk to them. She was talking to Bill now, but she seemed to be more interested in talking with the two Elves. She was an Elf and an orphan, so these two were the only elves she had seen in a long while. Her interest was fully justified.
“Don’t worry about it. Let’s see, I’ve known Bill ever since he used to wear diapers. Same for Cole.”
“Yeah, it’s been quite long now that you mention it,” Answered the male Elf in a low voice. His voice carried dignity, letting me feel the weight of his many years.
“This guy is unsociable in the truest sense, so don’t worry too much. So are you aiming for the hot spring in the settlement?”
“Yes, along with the bath.”
“Oh, you mentioned her body was weak, right? That hot spring’s pretty great for it, sometimes even a Dragon comes to take a dip in it.
Haumea said something unbelievable. Letina leaned forward and asked again. There were plenty of places with hot springs on this continent. Still, I’ve never heard that they were places the Dragons visited.
“Um, is it really safe? We wouldn’t be eaten or anything, right…?”
“Ahaha, you don’t have to worry about that. That Dragon has the highest intelligence amongst their race.”
“High intelligence… You are talking about a Superior Dragon, right?”
“Yeah. They haven’t visited in the past few years, but they are quite an important named individual, you know?”
Cortina and I didn’t have such a good impression of Dragons. Our image of the hot spring worsened a bit after knowing that one of them was a frequenter.
“Well, the bath itself isn’t at fault, so just come and enjoy yourselves.”
Seeing our complex expressions, the woman told us with a cheerful laugh.