Chapter 30: That time when I went back home to the village
During our lunch break, I decided to speak with the boss while everyone else was eating their meal.
「Boss, I’d like to take a three-day leave starting tomorrow」
「Ou, is it about the rumored girlfriend of yours? It sure is nice being young!」
He said that in a loud enough that everyone else heard it. Their smirking faces were ticking me off but I’ll just ignore them.
I’ve been working at the same place for almost thirty days now so I’ve become pretty close with the guys there. After that discussion, we left the diner and went back to our work. At that time,
「Since you’re leaving, take us to the red-light district alreadyー」
Kitsune-san kept hitting my back while saying that. A lot of things happened so we didn’t have any opportunity to go to Sweet Memory. Even though they know that there’s a certain extent of danger in going there, it seems like they still want to go. They’re already starting to become restless.
「Well, although you say together, I’m not going to avail their services so all that I’ll be doing is accompanying you」
「It’ll be fi~ne. She won’t find out」
「Nonono. Tsuno-san, you can only say that since you don’t know her」
「Th-they’re right. You should just do it so that you can experience the taste of other women」
「The taste of other women, you say…… That’s pretty rude you know, Macho-san」
After saying that, we went back to work. We encountered no particular problems so we were able to finish in no time at all.
I’ll be going back tomorrow so I should go and buy a souvenir. Because of that, I decided to take a different path going back to my apartment. For my parents, I’ll just get them a spice set. I remember Suzuran asking if it looked good on her that time when I gave her a hair ornament so I decided to get her a pair of silver earrings.
I’m not sure if she just thinks that it’s not necessary to dress up or she’s not interested in that kind of thing but I’ve only seen her wear accessories a few times. She wasn’t even wearing the hair ornament I gave every day. She just wears it during festival days or something like that.
If it’s this, then I think it would suit her black hair so I don’t have any particular problems in choosing it. I should ask Mir’s advice on what to get for Suzuran next time I come back. She’s always wearing some kind of accessory so I’m sure she’d have some kind of idea what to get her. I mean, I don’t even know the size of Suzuran’s finger in the first place so I wouldn’t be able to buy her a ring.
Getting back to my room, all that’s left is to complete my preparations for tomorrow. When I informed the landlady that I would be away for about three days, she said.
「I’ll just sell all of your belongings if you don’t come back so you don’t have to worry about rent」
I was only able to let out a strained laugh to that while convincing myself that it was just a joke. It’s really hard to get this person to open up. It’s like she’s putting up a thick wall or something.
The sun has risen and I was making my breakfast and lunch while waiting for the gates to open. I didn’t get to take that many breaks on my way to this town but this time, I’m going to take my time going back.
「Ohー, don’t you have work today?」
「Yeah. I’ll be going back to my village for a bit. I was told by my girlfriend that we have to meet once every thirty days so I have to go back」
「I see. I’m sorry to say this but you’ll still have to pay the toll fee once you come back. Make sure you don’t leave your money at home, okay? Also, make sure you properly flirt with your girlfriend while you’re there. It’s much better than spending all your money at the red-light district」
We continued with that trivial exchange for a while. I’d like to think that I’ve already gotten pretty close with the gatekeeper-san since we are already able to do something like this.
I reached the halfway point towards the village and, although it’s a bit early, I decided to take a break and have my lunch. While I was resting, I noticed goblin monster was lying in wait in the thicket. After confirming that no one else was around, I created a 【Stone Bullet】 and shot it at the goblin.
You could hear the sound of the bullet tearing through the wind.
Without even letting out a scream, it fell forward and only it’s upper body was sticking out from the thicket. Everything above the mouth was blown to bits so I won’t be able to sell it. However, if I just think of it as some kind of experimentation fee then it’s pretty cheap since I haven’t used this magic against monsters before.
I’ll need to destroy the evidence after this. If I just leave it as is, wild animals and other monsters around here would deal with it but because it fell over at a place that is visible from the gazebo, I have to do that. Dragging it away by its feet would have been a pain so I just used the magic 【Fireball】 to reduce it to cinders.
「It’s just a normal fireball this time, not an extra-large one」2
Nobody else is here so I tried saying that. I guess I should experiment with fire and water compound magic later.
Aside from that goblin, I didn’t encounter any other monsters as I approached the village. I wonder if I should consider my peaceful journey home a good thing.
As I got closer to the village, I heard somebody call my name.
Even though I can only see the tip, I’m sure that it came from the watchtower. I can’t see that far but I think that was Schinken so I’ll wave my hand for now.
As I continued walking, Schinken approached me.
「It’s been a while. Did your arms get thicker? What kind of work are you doing?」
「We can just talk later. I mean, you’re still in the middle of work, right?」
「It’s fine if it’s just this much. Standing watch at the watchtower gets pretty dull at times so it’s inevitable for me to have free time」
「Even if it gets dull, you still need to be vigilant」
After having that light exchange, I decided to head straight home.
Nobody’s here. That’s pretty sad… Well, the sun’s still high up so I guess that’s natural. I’ll just leave the souvenir I bought on the table and went out to meet Suzuran. She was taking care of the birds like usual so I called out to her.
Then, she ran up to me and said,
Why does it feel like something’s out of place.
「You came back earlier than I expected expected. I thought it would still take 5 more days for you to return」
Huh? Why is this girl suddenly talking like this?
「Ah. The place I’m working at right now hires by the day so I
take a day off after working for a few days. It just so happens that today is one of those days so that’s why I was able to come back earlier. Here’s your souvenir」
She doesn’t usually smile like this before. I wonder what happened.
「You’ve started talking a lot more, huh. I wouldn’t have thought you’d change this much in just 30 days」
「Un. That’s because I had to take care of the chickens. Once they lay their eggs, a lot of people want to buy them. I had to speak more than usual because of that. I also realized that I haven’t been talking to Caam that much so you would not be able to understand the things I want to say if I stayed like that」
Woah. I’ve never heard her speak that many sentences before.
「The onee-san talking in charge of the ponds told me. I should speak more since I have a beautiful voice」
Oohhー we also have her to thank for this, don’t we?
「Ahー, about this souvenir, I just bought this since Suzuran doesn’t dress up all that much. That doesn’t mean I’ll get you something like this every time I come back. This is just to commemorate the first time I earned money in town.」
It was slightly embarrassing to say that but I had to make sure I get my feelings across.
「Thanks. Is it okay for me to open it?」
I nodded. Even though her actions weren’t anything special, I still thought it was really cute. I think she would be even cuter if she was a bit shorter than me and with upturned eyes but that might be asking for too much.
While I was thinking about that, she opened the paper bag and put an earring on one ear.
「How does it look?」
She combed her hair back so that she could show it to me. That gesture made my heart skip a beat.
「Yeah, it suits you」
That was all that I could say while pretending to be calm.
I thought she would just wear both of it right now but she took it off, put it back in the bag and said,
「I’ll put this in my room so you can just wait in the living room」
After saying that, I just entered Suzuran’s house which is I’m already accustomed to by now. Well, she doesn’t usually wear accessories like that so it can’t be helped.
After waiting a while, she came back carrying tea. It the tea that I’ve gotten used to drinking whenever I come here. It’s nice since I’ve only been drinking chamomile tea in town.
While drinking tea, I told her what happened during my close to 30-day stay in town.
「So you won a fight against 4 people. Caam doesn’t usually like to fight so that’s quite rare coming from you」
「That’s because the person living in the room above mine and the one next door told me, 『It’s fine as long as you don’t kill them. Just settle it already』. Before I actually fought them, I already ran away twice. It’s just that they were really persistent so that’s how it ended up」
Before I noticed it, it’s already evening and Ricoris-san has already returned.
「Araー, it’s been a whileー」
「Ah, sorry for the intrusion」
After that, we continued talking even more.
「You know, while Caam-kun was away, our daughter has become a lot more talkative. That makes me so relieved. I mean, without Caam-kun here, I thought she would go back to her usual taciturn self」
「Yeah, I’ve already heard it as well as the reason why. Anyway, has there been any changes with the village?」
「Let’s seeー. I guess the village chief has been pretty annoying ever since you went to town」
「That old man has already been relying on me too much. Still, it’s true that with my magic, I was able to reclaim unused lands, create a water reservoir, make a new type of sake and various other things though」
「Ohー did you just come back right……now?」
「Ah, pardon the intrusion」
「Oi, you just came back and you’re already flirting? Huh?」
What a terrible misunderstanding.
「You, the reason you went to town was for the daily employment, right? What rank are you right now? I’m sure you registered with the guild to make it easier to get those kinds of jobs, right? Have you been taking subjugation requests?」
「Well, er, I’m still rank 2. The job I took was to repair the town’s outer wall so all I’ve been doing is mixing ingredients to make bricks everyday」
「Oi oi, if you’re a man then you should do subjugation request, right? If you’re not strong, then how are you supposed to protect Suzuran!」
I think your daughter is already pretty strong though. She has already become the embodiment of strength after all. Of course, I didn’t say that out loud.
「I’m a coward. I don’t like painful or dangerous things so I decided to earn money in a safe environment. If the time comes where I have to protect her, I’ll just do something about it at that time」
「Still, you’re Hail’s son, you know! You shouldn’t embarrass him!」
「Father. Caam got into a fight while he was in town. He said he won against 4 people」
Ah, damn itー, thank goodness she didn’t add any unnecessary information on her follow up.
「Oh…… What rank were they? Were they armed?」
「Um, all of them were rank 5. The four of them were always together so I think they’re probably in a party. As for their weapons, they weren’t armed since we were within the town」
「Then, are you saying that you beat four rank 5 guys in hand to hand combat?」
「Well…pretty much. I didn’t kill them though」
After saying that, I decided to tell them how it started.
「Wasn’t that a cowardly move?」
「Nnー, his methods may have been a bit cowardly」
Suzuran was just drinking her tea without saying anything.
「Honesty and fairness no longer matter once you’re in a fight. Furthermore, even though they were the ones who picked a fight, they didn’t come at me and just continued rambling on. In order to win, I just gave them a surprise attack」
「But still, you know?」
「Hmー, I can’t really sayー」
「It’s fine as long as Caam’s safe」
「Still, what do you think about him throwing sand in their eyes」
「I think that’s fine as long as he’s alright. He was up against 4 people after all」
Since Ichii-san’s here, that must mean that my parents are already home as well. I guess I should go home now.
「Uhmー, I’ll be heading home since I think that my parents are already home by now」
「Sure. You’ll be here for a while, right?」
「I’ll be going back to town at noon the day after tomorrow」
「Take care of Suzuran for a bit while you’re here」
After that, Suzuran started hitting Ichii-san. I wonder if she’s embarrassed. I was able to receive that on my stomach so Ichii-san is really tough being able to receive that on his shoulder. Oh well, let’s just go home.
「Ara, welcome back. Since when have you been back? I didn’t realize」
「Just a bit after noon, I guess」
「How was it, living over there?」
「I’m getting used to it. The place I’m living at has some pretty interesting people」