|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1096 words|
Afraid of a second assault, Merc chose to remain awake and maintain guard, whereas Totoara succumbed to tiredness and fell asleep.
When the sun began to emerge and it got bright enough for a person to see the front of their feet, they both set off again.
The terrain they traveled on was rugged, as it had been previously, but Merc and Totoara were moving fast. Totoara was merely following behind Merc, who was moving quicker than usual.
“Hey, Merc. There’s something I’d like to ask.”
Totoara said this while nibbling on a red fruit she’d plucked from a nearby tree.
“What is it?”
Merc deduced from Totoara’s expression that it wasn’t something she could readily ask.
“Totoara, what is it?”
Merc asked in a gentle tone, so as to prompt Totoara to speak.
After making up her mind Totoara finally asked.
“Well, I wasn’t really sleeping yesterday, I was just pretending. I also realized that you were staring at me all the time.”
“So? You did look at me, didn’t you?”
Totoara asked, leaving Merc speechless. Merc had never believed she’d be exposed.
It was true that she had spent the night observing Totoara. Rather, she’d spent it staring at her two defenseless protruding mounds.
To think that I’d be found out! I let my guard down thinking that she couldn’t see in the dark. Her eyes must have gotten used to the dark at some point…
If Totoara discovered that Merc had been ogling her chest, their journey would become quite awkward from now on. Furthermore, she’d think that Merc was some kind of pervert that enjoyed ogling women in their sleep.
It’s not like that’s wrong but still… I need to swindle my way out of this…
“T-That’s… I was free while waiting for the bandits to attack again so I passed the time by looking at your face. There’s nothing to do during the night so I got bored, so I needed to find something to do… Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have any ulterior motives. If you don’t like people looking at your face while you’re sleeping, then I apologize for doing it. I’ll also make sure that it doesn’t happen…”
“But you weren’t looking at my face. You were looking at my chest, weren’t you?”
“Ack… Chest? Oh! Your chest! Well… I guess I did see it… But even if I did, that doesn’t imply I was staring at your chest the entire time! I won’t dispute that your chest is attractive, and that your clothing emphasizes it, but I was merely keeping an eye out in case any bad guys came! I kept an eye on your chest!”
Wait… Didn’t I just admit that I was ogling her chest…
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Merc had unintentionally dug herself a hole.
“It’s fine. I get it, so you don’t need to try and lie to me.”
“I-I’m not lying! Just what do you think you know about me?!”
Merc reacted fiercely, most likely spurred by Totoara’s expression of pity. Totoara, on the other hand, merely smiled and spoke warmly.
“I get it. You’re a girl too after all, Merc.”
“What? A girl?”
“That’s right. You were interested in the size of my breasts, weren’t you? You don’t need to worry. Yours will grow too!”
Totoara had entirely misinterpreted the situation.
Thank god… I’m saved! I’ve never been more grateful for being born as a girl!
Totoara suspected Merc had gazed at her chest, most likely because she was envious of its size.
However, what she didn’t know was that Merc was perfectly fine with the size of her chest. Rather, she hoped that everything would stay the same. She prayed that the elf race’s special characteristic would also protect her.
And, as Totoara had previously stated, Merc’s appearance and height were like those of a normal adult. There was no chance her chest would continue to develop on its own.
As Merc was convincing herself of that, she suddenly remembered something.
Wait… Come to think of it, why did Totoara do that at that time?
As Merc contemplated this, she discovered Totoara had already proceeded forward.
“Merc, is there something wrong?”
Totoara asked with a smile as she turned around.
“N-No. It’s nothing.”
Merc answered without expressing anything and simply started walking.
She did, however, make a mental note of what she’d just remembered, just in case.
They finally arrived at the foot of the mountain about the time the sun was hanging high in the sky after a long walk.
As they did, they suddenly noticed a small settlement.
However, referring to it as a settlement would be an exaggeration. It was a little community with only a dozen houses, all of which appeared to be in ruins. Furthermore, this location had not even been noted on the map provided by the guild. It appeared to be deserted from what both could see.
“This place is eerie.”
“You’re right. There is not a single person he… Huh?”
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Just as Merc was about to say that she suddenly shifted her gaze to one of the houses.
The house was slightly larger than the others, and there was an old man in front of it, who was taken aback when he spotted Merc and Totoara.
When he came to, he suddenly began waving at the two girls.
“Ah! There’s a man there. Is he a ghost perhaps?”
“Hey! That’s rude. He’s a living and breathing human being… I think…”
As Totoara had just mentioned, the old man in front of them didn’t appear to have much life left in him, and his complexion was also poor.
However, he certainly still had his legs attached and the presence he was giving off was certainly that of a living human. He didn’t appear to be a ghost or the likes of it.
“We’re sorry for startling you old man.”
Both said after getting closer to the old man.
Most likely, not many people went by here, which is why he had been surprised to see Merc and Totoara.
“Are you two travelers?”
The old man asked in a weak voice, getting straight to the point. Merc and Totoara exchanged glances before Totoara responded.
“You could call us that.”
“Are you strong?”
“Strong… Well… I feel like we wouldn’t lose to normal adventurers1. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call us strong.”
Totoara exclaimed pompously. Following that, the old man abruptly bowed his head.
“Please! Could you listen to my request?”
He inquired, leaving both of them stunned.