|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
「You really saved us there. I never imagined that we’d encounter forest wolves in this place, you see?
If not for you coming across us, my wife and I would have died back then.」
「I couldn’t move forward with them in the way. Besides, just being able to ride along already helps a lot.」
「I’m really glad to hear that. I’m sorry to say this but we only have merchandise on use, we barely have any actual money.」
「Come to think of it, this is also considered an escort request, right? In that case, it might be bad if I don’t ask for a reward.
Despite how I look, I am affiliated with the Hunter Guild, so I’ll be scolded for making exceptions.」
「Hmm…… Why not choose something from the back?…… Though, I don’t know if we have something you’d need, Cielmer-chan.」
「I don’t have a place to keep any of these furniture and handicrafts after all.
If possible, I’d like to ask about things. I just came from the countryside, so there’s a lot I still don’t know.」
Earlier on the road leading to the royal capital, we found a coach being attacked by several forest wolves and saved the coach.
As a show of gratitude, the two married middle-aged travelling merchants riding it invited us to travel along with them since we were walking without any company.
And at present, I’m sitting next to the husband on the driver’s seat and listening as he talks to me. However, the one answering him is not me.
From the time I was born, there is another person inside of me. According to her, she seems to be haunting me.
As for me, I don’t mind as long as I’m together with Ain, so I don’t really care if she’s haunting me or even if she takes over my body. To begin with, if not for Ain, I would’ve been dead already.
With that said, the one talking to the merchant right now, is my beloved person Ainsel. As we’ve been together since I was born, it’s been 12 years since we met.
Cielmer is my name that was thought of by Ain for me.
As for why Ain is talking right now, it’s because I’m androphobic—or rather Ain thinks I am.
To be more accurate, I’m a bit worse with men but I just don’t like people. Though, I’m getting better at talking nowadays.
「Still, I don’t see any forests nearby but do forest wolves commonly appear around here?」
「Well I can’t say that they absolutely don’t. Considering the area, they might have strayed off from the northern forest.
However, it also doesn’t happen frequently. We were quite unlucky. But since you came across us, you could say that we were also quite lucky.
Nonetheless, defeating forest wolves at that age, I suppose it’s thanks to your Job, right?」
「Talking about Jobs is a bit……」
「Ahh, right. It’s a breach of etiquette, isn’t it?」
The merchant man seemingly said that unintentionally, as he apologised with his hand over his forehead.
Jobs are sort of abilities given by god. For example, someone granted the Swordsman Job will get better at handling swords.
Since hunters in particular never know if other hunters would turn hostile against them, prying into one’s Job is a breach of etiquette. Moreover, since people could get discriminated for having certain Jobs, the Hunter Guild—being strongly against Job discrimination—forbids forcefully questioning people’s Jobs.
Realising that he made a blunder, the merchant changes the topic.
「Come to think of it, what brings you to the capital?」
「Just dropping by.」
「Just dropping by?」
「Yes. Though as a hunter, I wanted to visit there at least once too.」
「Well, sure, you won’t lose anything by visiting once, but you might get surprised if it’s your first time.」
Like that, I listen in on the stories about the royal capital while being jolted by the shaking coach as we head there.
It was dusk. The sun is stained in deep red and the grassland, once bright green under the light of the day, now seems somewhat lonesome.
While I already consider myself accustomed to these vivid sceneries, it’s strange how I end up being fascinated by them.
I think that it’s beautiful and I do want to touch it, but I somehow feel like I shouldn’t do so.
Perhaps noticing how I’m stunned, she told me 『We’re here』 after letting out a giggle.
While I’ve seen a number of towns in the past, the capital’s gates were larger than any I’ve seen before and the wall surrounding it was awfully tall and sturdy-looking.
The walls are dyed orange from the bright sunset, but it might be actually white if seen during the day.
Just like my hair. I remember that, in the first town we’ve ever visited, we entered while hiding my hair.
Ain taught me that it’s because my blue eyes and white hair might stand out.
In truth, while I can’t say they don’t, I was told that people with white hair like me are few and people having eyes as beautifully blue as mine are even rarer to come by. However, they don’t particularly stand out so much that we need to keep them constantly hidden under a hood.
Even if it doesn’t directly affect our survival, I’m really grateful for Ain’s consideration for me.
After showing my Hunter Guild Card at the gates, we’re allowed in without any issues.
It surprised the knight guarding the gates, but I’m already used to it anyway and I am aware that I’m a child, so it doesn’t really bother me.
We parted with the merchant couple before the inspection, but Ain has already gotten the information about the inns of the capital.
After switching with Ain, I headed to an inn we were told about.
What we require from an inn is that it should be a moderately priced and a safe place. In a cheap one, since people might enter our room to attack us at midnight, we—mainly Ain—won’t be able to relax.
Though, on the other hand, if we stay at a really expensive one, this time we’ll be seen as a child with money and get followed. When that happens, Ain will have more work again.
I end up relying on Ain since she can use detection magic and doesn’t seem to need sleep, but Ain insists that it’s fine that way.
Not wanting that, I forced myself up one time and ended up getting into danger from lack of sleep, so Ain convinced me that we have different roles and now we’ve settled into it.
My role, as a whole, is to fight. While Ain can search the surroundings with magic and uses a barrier that protects us, she can’t attack. In fact, even when she used combat magic, none of them could be used practically in battle. And even if she uses my body, a regular young girl with a weapon still isn’t very strong.
In my case, I can use combat magic to some extent and my Job isn’t really one that’s completely useless in battle.
Other than that, I’m the one in charge of living day by day. In times when we need to continue talking to someone for a long time—like earlier—Ain switches in for me since I’m not good with people, but it’s generally just me.
Now, back to the main subject. In short, to lessen the burden on Ain as much as possible, it’s necessary to find a moderately priced yet safe inn. To put it in words, an inn that generally caters to female hunters.
While it was good that we got the needed information, we’ll have to see it for ourselves before we can actually decide on staying there. Still, I noticed that there’s really a lot of people as I walked through the capital.
Although it isn’t so populated to the point that I’d constantly bump into other people in the streets, I can confidently say that I’ve never seen this many people in one place up until now.
The roads are also likely wide just to accommodate them, but I don’t exactly have the energy to enjoy the cityscape while being in the middle of an unfamiliar crowd.
As we finally exited the commercial district that was immediately in front of the capital’s gates, the amount of people decreased to some extent.
It seems like the lodging establishments are gathered in the same area as well since we quickly found the inn we were told about.
The inn is called the White Flower Metropolis. It’s an inn that only caters to women or groups with both men and women. The building interior is bright and tidy unlike the more hunter-oriented inns which generally has a rustic interior.
On the counter right in front of the entrance, there’s a mature lady sitting on standby. When we first enter an inn, we’re usually greeted with impolite stares half of the time but this time, it didn’t happen. In the meantime, we paid for three days worth and were guided to our room.
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In this three-storey inn, we were told that the 3rd are for the female-only rooms while the 2nd floor has the common use rooms. Our room is the very first one on the third floor.
The room has a white bed with clean sheets and, while the hot water itself costs extra, it has a bath as well, so the place is probably popular among women.
Putting down our luggage, I lay my body down on the smooth unwrinkled bed.
While I regularly keep myself tidy, it’s not like I have absolutely no filth on me, so lying down on top of the white sheets makes me feel like I’m doing something bad and it feels absolutely fun. It looks like I’ve turned into a bad girl.
「Fufu」 Perhaps due to this giggle that slipped through my lips, 『Is there something on your mind?』 I heard Ain saying so with a curious tone.
This is one of my little pleasures, but I can’t have Ain finding this out. I don’t want Ain to hate me after all.
Though I say that it’s a bad thing, I don’t really think that it’s too bad, so maybe Ain would forgive me for doing this too.
Anyway, I need to keep this from Ain somehow.
「We’ll be able to see the ocean soon, right? I’m just, really excited about it.」
『You’ve been wanting to see it for a long time after all.』
「That’s… Ain’s fault, you know? The ocean has a lot of water, right? But it’s blue?
I wonder why. The water in a cup doesn’t have any color though!」
Ain’s tone was awfully gentle. I think… she probably knows the answer. However, she also knows that I wouldn’t understand it even if she explained it to me now.
Really, Ain knows about a lot of things.
But like me, there’s also things that she doesn’t know about. I’m even the one that learned how to speak first, for example.
Still, that doesn’t mean to say that Ain isn’t smart. After all, even in my oldest memory, I’m certain that she was speaking some sort of language when she sang.
Ain was probably someone that lived in a country different from here. Even my name, Cielmer, was something that Ain gave me and she said that it was from a language—she said it was frentch?—that she knew.
It means the sky and the sea. I was told that it was based on my blue eyes and white hair, and this was also the reason why I want to see the ocean.
It’s unrelated, but although Ain knows several languages, it seems like she can only use one language proficiently.
『Besides, I’ll also have to see if the ocean really is blue as well.』
「Then let’s see it. If possible, I’d like to see the ocean that Ain knows but as long as I’m with you, any ocean is worth seeing.
By the way Ain. Can I ask you something?」
『What is it?』
「I’ve already asked this a lot, but Ain isn’t a god, right?」
『And I’ve already answered this a lot, but I’m not a god. If I was really a god, then it wouldn’t have taken us 10 years to escape the mansion.』
Ain said so, but while she might not be a god, I still think she’s someone special.
After all, even though Ain has never seen the ocean, she said that the ocean is blue. This means that while the ocean she knows is blue, the ocean we’ll be seeing might not actually be blue.
And most of all, Ain knew nothing about Jobs
If Ain was just a regular dead person, then there’s no way that she wouldn’t know about Jobs.
After all, god granted people Jobs ever since a long time ago. While I don’t know what happens to souls after death, I can’t imagine that a soul from the time when Jobs didn’t exist yet would stay as they are up to this age.
That’s why I sometimes think that Ain could be a god, or maybe that she somehow came from a world without any Jobs.
Still, as long as I’m with Ain, I absolutely don’t care about where she comes from.
Speaking of Ain’s secrets, there’s one more. It’s what her gender was before she died.
While I never asked her directly, when I tried alluding to it, she ended up dodging the question.
I absolutely wouldn’t mind even if Ain was a man though. With that in mind, I bring my hands to my breasts and massage them upwards, raising them from below.
It’s small when compared to an adult’s, but I suppose it’s bigger now compared to how it was before.
While I am seriously thinking about that, I’m not so pure to be unaware of what this act really means.
『Ciel…… What are, you doing?』
「What? You said that it’ll get bigger if I massage it, right?」
As I continued fondling them, I started to feel a somewhat rousing itch when Ain raised an objection.
With that said, I did my best to reply in a tone that makes it seem that I feel nothing at all.
『I, told you before, it’s just, a rumor.』
「That’s true. But you also said you haven’t tested if it’s true or not.
Then in this case, we can try it out by testing on me, right?」
As I replied, I touched the tip and 『Hyu!』 Ain raised a shriek.
That’s right, it’s as if Ain is “inexperienced” with what I’m doing, seemingly raising her voice in confusion and surprise.
It’s just so cute, so adorable, it makes me want to tease her more and more. Really, I’m such a naughty girl.
Still, it’s not that I want to do cruel things to Ain. After all, I don’t want to hurt her and I don’t want her to suffer as well.
Satisfied with hearing Ain’s adorable voice, 「Fufu」 I slightly voice out my emotions.
If Ain really was a man, then the reason she won’t reveal her gender is likely because she thinks that I’m androphobic.
Being a kind person, I’m sure that Ain thinks that if I learn that a man was with me all along, it would cause a negative influence to me.
However, I think that the reason that Ain doesn’t speak strongly against me when I do things like these, is exactly because she’s hiding the fact that she was male.
That’s why, considering that I absolutely wouldn’t mind if she never tells me the truth, I really, really am such a naughty girl.
Besides, whichever she was before, I really think that she shouldn’t worry about her former gender anymore. After all, god already recognised her as a female now.
Still, I definitely won’t tell her that.
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『Ciel, did you hear me? Ciel?』
「I’m sorry. I was a bit deep in my thoughts. 」
『Don’t worry, I only wanted to say that: if you want to sleep, how about an early bath? That’s all.』
「It’s been a while since we had one, huh. The hot water costs extra coins but being able to use magic is honestly so convenient for situations like these.」
Getting up from the now wrinkled sheets, I decided to go and fill the bathtub with hot water using magic.
Hiya~! Surprise surprise! It’s a Ciel POV, and not just any Ciel POV but actually the first version of the Royal Capital/To the Ocean arc~!
Now, as you may have noticed, this is a retelling of the events, or rather the main story is the extended rewrite of this story, and happenings as they travel towards the awaited ocean view~! Since the events here are more condensed an compared to the new one, the updates will be irregular and will follow the main story’s progress in parallel in order to avoid spoiling the story.
Now, as for why I translated this when the main story already has the same events + more, it’s because of this other important fact: It’s all completely in Ciel’s POV. Yes, basically a whole arc in Ciel’s POV. The author decided not to do much Ciel POV in the main story for this arc as well, since it would be triple redundant at this point, lol, and because this already exists.
Again, this short story may be redundant as this is was written as a sequel to the original short story, which is the entirety of arc one with barely any editing (since it was already good as a pilot, lol), and may have some slight difference in setting, but I hope you enjoy it~! Btw, it’s actually nice how the first short story (arc one) was entirely in Ain’s POV, while the sequel (this one) in completely in Ciel POV. They really are a set even in meta, lol.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!