|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1282 words|
After leaving the capital at forenoon, it took one hour of trip for me to run out of stamina. After that, we boarded Bill’s carriage and arrived in this hot-spring town after two more hours.
Moreover, it took one more hour for us to drop our stuff at the inn and relax in the bath. Then we returned to the room to rest and even had dinner…
“And yet, it’s still so early.”
“It’s indeed a bit too early to sleep.”
“Shall we go check out the town a bit?”
Cortina followed up on my speech, followed by Finia’s suggestion. It was still not even 7 PM now and the sun had just set. It was too early to just go to sleep—we were in agreement on that.
“I do want to, but…”
I glanced at the futon where I was sprawled on until just a while ago. Michelle and Letina were lying on each other on top of it and sleeping soundly. They were usually tougher than me, but the excitement today made them go too wild.
Due to the characteristic fast sleeping habit of little kids, the two fell asleep on my back before I noticed. Then I somehow made my escape from underneath and here we are now.
“Well, it’d be a problem to leave those kids alone. Alright then, I’ll keep watch on them so you and Finia go and have a look around.”
“Eh, is it really alright…?”
“Sure, sure! I’m… not exactly coming here all the time, but it’s not my first time either. But it is for you, right?”
“Yes. I haven’t left the village all that much.”
“Then go ahead and check everything out. That’s part of the studying too.”
“In that case… Shall we go together, Lady Nicole?”
While Finia was an adult now, she was still a sheltered girl at the core. There was no knowing what kind of trouble she could get rolled up in an amusement quarter like this. If I didn’t keep watch, something like kidnapping… Probably wouldn’t happen, but it was plenty possible that some drunkards would start hitting on her.
After all, even if you disregarded the fact that she was an Elf, Finia was still quite a beauty.
“Don’t worry, I’ll do my best to protect Finia.”
“Gotcha, though I was more worried about you, Nicole.”
I was a very normal kid. When have I ever done anything naughty… Wait, I’ve done it a lot. Cortina looked at me in amusement as I was stumped for a comeback.
“You have an idea why, right?”
“I do indeed.”
“So act more maturely, okay?”
“I shall carefully analyze things and deal with them positively.”
“I meant you, not your excuses!”
She gave me a little smack on the head as she replied with a smile.
As expected of an amusements quarter, the night streets were filled with bustling. While this was an Elven settlement, it didn’t mean only Elves lived here. In the first place, this was a sight-seeing area, so you could catch sight of many other races.
In normal districts, the shops would’ve already started closing and the streets would’ve gone dark, but there were many taverns here and a lot of shops were still open too. Rather, the number of taverns was unusually high. Oh, and the souvenir shops were open too.
“What a lively town this is, Lady Nicole.”
“It sure is.”
Finia couldn’t hide the excitement from her gait as she peeked inside the souvenir store. Seeing her like that, I also started looking around. Unlike her, however, I was looking around with a goal in mind. I was searching for Bill to get the dagger and ring appraised.
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Because of how she walked forward… or rather backward, it was no surprise that she managed to crash into someone. The force of the crash made the other party crash on the ground.
Finia’s petite build was enough to blow them away, so they were likewise petite. Actually, it was a kid.
“Ah, I’m so sorry!”
“Ooouch! Did you drop your eyes!”
“I’m really sorry. I was a little distracted.”
Seeing that the other party was a kid, Finia’s speech also turned more frank. Perhaps her wariness subsided a little. That kid was a little older than me, and didn’t look too different from the God of Destruction.
It was a mischievous-looking boy with somewhat dirty clothes. As he got up, he dusted off his pants that got dirtied when he fell on his backside and then glared towards us.
“For real, be more careful!”
“Yeah, sorry. I was a little excited.”
“Sorry that my clumsy girl here crashed into you.”
“Lady Nicole, that was a little harsh.”
She felt a bit dissatisfied with my choice of words, but she was unarguably the one at fault here. There was a need to properly apologize and reflect on it. Well, only a bit of need.
The boy’s face blushed a bit when he took a look at us, then cooed and darted away without saying another word. Well, both Finia and I were quite blessed with looks, so I wouldn’t blame him for blushing a bit.
“Finia, aren’t you a bit too excited?”
“Ugh, I’m sorry. I’ll restrain myself.”
“It’s fine to be excited, as long as you are more careful.”
“That’s very hard to do in practice, you know?”
Seeing her puffing her cheeks at me unlike her usual self made me burst into a laugh. She made a little blunder, but everything was fine as long as she was having fun. I felt bad for the kid, but her smile was more important to me.
“Ah, look. This handkerchief would suit you really well.”
Changing the topic, I pointed at the handkerchief displayed at the shopfront. It was made of white cloth, with four-leaved clovers embroidered at the edges. The price was reasonable too, cheap enough to buy with my pocket money… Though the fact that I needed to borrow pocket money made me feel quite miserable.
“It’s so cute. Then let’s get one for everyone.”
She suddenly decided to buy everyone’s share too, but I hurriedly stopped her. This came off as if I asked her for it.
“That’s not it. I didn’t mean it as a souvenir for everyone… Err, I want to buy this for you!”
“It’s okay, I have quite a bit of money even if I don’t look that way.”
Along with receiving monthly pocket money from Cortina, I also made quite a sum through my hunts with Michelle. And recently, not just rabbits and birds, we even hunted a goat too. We didn’t take their skin and extra meat home but instead sold them off to the nearby butcher’s shop. Thanks to that we had more money on us than what was appropriate for kids of our age.
“In that case, let me buy you a present too, Lady Nicole.”
“Look, this one with the new moon embroidery would look perfect on you.”
It could be rude to force my present and refuse to receive one here. Exchanging presents would make things less awkward for her too.
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“Okay, then let’s exchange presents.”
We took the respective items we had our eye on and headed for the counter inside. There we saw another man standing in front of the cashier and having a deep talk. He didn’t seem to be a customer, as he didn’t have any items on hand—but he was someone I had seen before.
“Huh, Mr. Bill?”
That person was Bill, the same peddler that had done us a favor today.