|Author: Kaburagi Haruka
|Original Source: Syosetu
|Word Count: 2579 characters
|English Source: Re:Library
|Word Count: 1220 words
When I got up early, the first thing I saw couldn’t be described as anything but complete chaos. Because this inn was centered around tourists, the room structures differed from that of normal houses. The cotton-filled bags were laid directly on the thick, grass-knitted carpet, and we slept on top of them.
The five of us should’ve been sleeping side by side on those beddings, but in the morning, that order was in a complete mess. Michelle was lying sprawled on top of me, but her legs were being used as a pillow by Letina on the other end of it.
Finia was the only one sleeping straight, but Cortina was twined around her in an extreme lock for some reason.
I wasn’t sure what kind of dream she was having, but Finia looked quite miserable so I decided to wake her up at once.
“Cortina, wake up.”
I squirmed out from under Michelle and started slapping her cheeks to wake her up, but she didn’t show any signs of waking up.
She was a skilled Adventurer, but her sleeping habits when she wasn’t adventuring were pretty bad. She used to wake up quite easily during the adventure, so perhaps she was the type that could unconsciously switch between normal and emergency modes.
The fact that she was completely defenseless here was proof that she was letting her guard down around us, which of course made me happy, but that was not the point here.
Quite a bit of time has passed already since the sun has risen. If we don’t show our faces, someone from the inn might come to check on us. We couldn’t show such unladylike appearances to some stranger. Cortina even had her chest exposed quite a bit.
I kept on slapping her cheeks and she finally opened her eyes a bit. Realizing it was me—she suddenly went for an embrace with an amazing force.
“Mmm, so soft, so warm…”
“Just wake up already.”
I didn’t particularly mind being hugged, but why was she pinning my right hand under her back!? Also, she pushed her hands between my elbows, so my joints were—wait, this is bad!
My scream resounded through the inn, and with that, everyone finally woke up.
“Yeaa, sorry about that. I ended up coiling around you without realizing.”
We didn’t order the morning meal at the inn, so instead, we stepped out and headed for a cafeteria. This was both a health resort and a tourist attraction. As such, they put quite a bit of effort when it came to food, too.
Instead of eating set meals inside the inn, it was more enjoyable to try out many variations outside of it.
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“How about you stop going for joint locks when you do that?”
“Yeah, I’m reflecting on that.”
She apologized while scratching her head. It seems that she had a bad habit of using the moves she learned for self-defense to hold people in place. I didn’t notice this habit in my previous life as we slept separated by gender. I should keep in mind to ask Maria how she dealt with her.
We arrived at the cafeteria after a bit and discovered a crowd forming before us. They gave off quite a dangerous feeling so me and Cortina instantly put ourselves on guard.
Just in case, I brought along the dagger and the ring that I had gotten appraised just yesterday. Cortina, on the other hand, had a ring that assisted the activation of Magic equipped on her finger. It apparently also increased the power of Magic a bit when worn.
Michelle also brought along her new bracelet and the Third Eye, but she didn’t notice this presence. Finia and Letina were also out of the question.
“What’s going on?”
I asked Cortina while putting a hand inside my jacket and grasping the hilt of the dagger. She seemed to have realized what I did and answered with the tense expression.
“I don’t know. But I’ll go ask, so can you wait here?”
“Okay. Come back if things look dangerous.”
“You sure are a worrywart. But, I will.”
Cortina had the highest combat power among us five. However, she was still a rearguard at the end of the day. She wasn’t skilled in fighting at the front lines. It seemed that Finia noticed my tension, she asked with a puzzled expression.
“What is the matter?”
“There’s a bloodlust coming from that crowd.”
“And Cortina went to find out what’s going on.”
Hearing the situation, Michelle silently unfastened her bow case. She did that just in case something went wrong. Since she was always hunting with me, her combat intuition had become quite sharp.
Cortina approached the crowd and asked what was going on. She was a beauty, so the males of the group started explaining the situation quite sociably at first. But the moment they saw me behind her, their attitudes underwent a complete change.
“That’s her! I saw her talking with Mikey yesterday!”
With his words, the atmosphere of the group changed. They were acting clearly alert. Then, a single woman stepped out of the crowd towards us. It was a middle-aged woman with a worn-out expression. She wasn’t particularly beautiful, but had a sense of sincerity around her.
However, she was currently dominated by hysterical emotions and was glaring at me angrily.
“Were you the one who took Mikey away!”
“Don’t play dumb! Where did you take him!”
She accused me emotionally with a loud voice as she drew near. Seeing that, Finia got between us and blocked her path. Michelle took Third Eye out and nocked an arrow in it. Letina, too, prepared to use Magic at moment’s notice.
I stopped the two with my hand and asked.
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“I don’t know what’s going on, but who is this Mikey?”
“He’s my child that you took out yesterday!”
From what I could guess from the fragmented conversation, this Mikey was her child and he disappeared yesterday. And I was seen talking to him? I don’t remember anything of the sort… No, wait!
“Ah, could it be that kid from yesterday?”
“So you do know him!”
“No, no, I haven’t seen him after we parted ways yesterday.”
“Stop spouting lies!”
My words weren’t getting through at all. Her words influenced the crowd behind her and their atmosphere starting growing dangerous by the second. At this rate, things could get violent.
While I racked my brains thinking how to get out of this mess, Cortina took off her hat and exposed her cat ears.
“Um, I can guarantee that she doesn’t know anything. So please calm down and let’s have a talk, okay?”
“Who would trust your—Wait, those ears!?”
The cat beastmen weren’t many in number. And when it came to a blond, longhair type beastmen that was also a magician, there were only a few in the entire Raum. It wasn’t just limited to cats, the Beastman races in general were more suited for physical battles and often took vanguard jobs.
“My name is Cortina. She is Nicole whos under my guardianship. We might be able to help you with something, so let’s sit and talk.”
Everyone present looked at her in bewilderment as she politely introduced herself.