Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
⌈Tour of Raratoia⌋
First thing in the morning, the smell of breakfast and the sound of bird’s chirping reached my ears and nose. My eyes were tempted into opening and I was able to catch sight of my surroundings.
Raising my head to look around the room, I saw that my silver full-body armor with white and blue undertones was sitting next to the bed.
Yesterday was the first time I took off the armor to sleep since I came to this world. Since I was nothing but a skeleton there was no need to cover myself, but I would feel weird if I didn’t.
When I started to sit up, I noticed my body was heavier than usual. Looking under the cover, I saw that Ponta had sneaked under my blankets at some point during the night. Moreover, she was sleeping inside of my rib cage.
I unintentionally shouted in surprise.
After removing Ponta from my chest, I placed her down beside the bed while she continued her trip through dreamland.
Pulling a creature out of your own rib cage……, what an indescribable sensation──
While I got out of bed, the sound of my bones lightly cracking 「Kokikoki」 could be heard. You’d think that there would be a loss of flexibility with a body that lacked muscle, but I didn’t have that feeling.
I put on the armor that had been off to the side before putting the helmet on.
While the elder’s family was aware of my body’s secret, I did not need to didn’t need to share it with every single one of Raratoia’s inhabitants. Dylan said that very few people actually knew about it last night. In fact, the only ones besides Dylan’s family that knew were the former captives from Diento Senna and Oona.
I heard that it was rare for humans to enter elven villages, so when it happened the news quickly spread amongest the villagers.
You should avoid unnecessary trouble when you can.
The black cloak I let Oona borrow yesterday was in my hands; she had already returned it, but neither the black cloak or the flashy armor would detract from my figure inside the village.
Since it wasn’t necessary to wear the cloak inside the village, I shoved it into my luggage bag.
Once I was ready to leave the room, Ponta rose up unexpectedly and made her way in front of the door, having a good posture and wagging her fluffy tail.
It seems Ponta was attracted by the smell that was drifting in from downstairs.
When I opened the room door, she nearly butted her head against it as she ran down the stairs as fast as her little body could take here.
According to the elves, spirit beasts can last a long time without eating, and they are rarely seen eating in public.
When they leave the forest for more residential areas, it was possible to see spirit beasts taking part in more meals; however, this rule didn’t seem to apply to Ponta since she had a healthy appetite no matter the location.
When I reached the room on the second floor from last night’s delicious meal, Ponta was already absorbed in her plate of breakfast, and Ariane’s mother Glenys was watching her.
She was wearing an apron on top of the elves’ traditional dress she had been wearing yesterday.
“Ah, good morning. Were you able to get a good night’s rest? For a skeleton to sleep…… I just find that hard to imagine.”
Glenys most have tried to imagine it because she had an amused smile on her face.
While it might have been amusing to see nothing but a skeleton outlined by covers, it took a very bold person to joke about that in front of the person himself without hesitation.
Unlike Ariane, there was a gentle atmosphere surrounding her through.
“It’s rather early, Glenys-dono.”
When I returned Glenys’s greeting, Ponta also gave her own; she raised her head to call out before stuffing her face with breakfast again.
“I’ve prepared breakfast, so please sit down and wait a moment.”
After petting Ponta, Glenys stood up and took her apron figure to the back kitchen.
“Much obliged. By the way, I haven’t seen Dylan-dono or Ariane-dono, have they already headed off to Maple?”
While looking around, I asked Glenys a question while she went off towards the back kitchen.
“Yes, earlier this morning.”
Glenys gave a brief answer as she returned from the kitchen with a tray of breakfast. She sat the tray in front of me before taking the seat opposite to my own.
I put my helmet to the side, before placing my hands together above the meal in front of me.
The meal was composed of fried sausage links covered in a white sauce, light brown toast, fried eggs, and a side of miso soup.
When I bite into it, the sound of the crisp toast and the smell of cooked bread welled up; the fried sausages were both tender and seasoned to perfection. Furthermore, there was something familiar about the taste of the sauce, and I ended up letting out a surprised cry.
“Oh, you know of it? It’s a sauce that the first chief devised, I thought that it had only spread to the humans of Rinburuto……”
Glenys tilted her head in confusing at the unexpected revelation.
The name of the concoction seemed to be mayonnaise. Since mayonnaise was not that hard to make, it can be done if you have a little knowledge about it.
The first chief built Maple 800 years ago, and it might have been possible that he had been someone in a similar situation to my own. The elves had long life spans, so was it possible that the person was still alive?
“Is the first chief still alive by any chance?”
While popping another fried egg in my mouth, I asked Glenys the question without much hope.
“Fufufu. While elves indeed have great longevity, we can not live that long. The average life expectancy of an elf is about 400 years.”
Still a 400-year lifespan……, wasn’t the average lifespan of a human around 50 years during this time period? No, wouldn’t those in power be able to extend their lives with the use of recovery magic?
It was possible that the first chief had been someone in the same situation as me, but there was no way to confirm it when the person in question is deceased. Since there was no way to confirm it, it’s better that I don’t dwell on it forever.
After this, I plan to explore the elven village of Raratoia today.
Since I got Dylan’s permission, I planned to leisurely spend my day walking around. Glenys agreed to act as my guide, but there would also be observers. Thinking about the relationship between the humans and the elves, these measures couldn’t be helped, so I didn’t really mind.
Since Dylan was scheduled to return in the evening, it’s better to not cause any trouble in the village.
Just like last night’s dinner, the food was delicious. The staple foods of commoner humans were lightly seasoned potatoes, beans, and different types of porridge. There was meat from monsters to make a variety of meat dishes, and a few common spices were available as well.
I’m thankful for being able to stay in a place where I can eat delicious food.
When I brought the last fried sausage link to my mouth, Ponta focused in on it from her place beside the table.
When I started waving the link on the fork back and forth like a maestro changing the tempo, Ponta waved her head side to side.
I resigned myself and gave the last sausage link to Ponta, who happily seized it before gnawing on it.
Glenys laughed cheerfully as she stares at the scene with warm eyes. A skeleton could not change its complexion, but I cleared my throat to change the atmosphere.
“You seem to be amused Glenys-dono”
Showing my gratitude for the meal, I stood up while putting my helmet back on; once she was finished, Ponta used wind magic to fly to her regular spot.
When I went down to the first floor of the tree-like mansion, I looked out from the front entrance.
Yesterday, the darkness made it difficult grasp the area in its entirety; however thanks to the morning sun, the view from the mysteriously fused structure became clear.
While the cityscape of humans gave off a similar feel to medieval Europe, the scenery before me looked as if it came out of a game or novel. The buildings in this village were the likes of which I’ve never seen. Several of the houses in the distance were basically large wooden mushroom.
When I looked back in the mansion, I saw that Glenys no longer had her apron on as she approached.
“Are these buildings unusual to humans?”
When she noticed that I was intently looking around, she gave me a small smile while asking her question.
“Um, I simply have no clue as to how these structures were built.”
“That’s right, it might be impossible to create them without the application of spirit magic.”
The buildings seem to be constructed with spirit magic, and it must be a taxing process as the were only a few of them around
“Sometimes fluffy foxes like Ponta would take up residence in this mansion’s hollows. Fluffy foxes usually travel the winds in a skulk after all……”
While she was talking, she looked at Ponta who sat on top of my head. Ever since I used magic to heal her injuries, that spot has been her favorite place.
If we ever came across Ponta’s companions, then it would be her right to leave with them.
Thinking that, I followed Glenys as she led me through the village.
I was met with curiosity as we passed by other elves, so it wasn’t all that different from the humans.
The walls of Raratoia village happened to encompass a large area of land. From a distance, you could see the green top of the village’s entrance.
Inside the wall was a vast pasture for the cattle to graze, and a beautifully maintained stream flowed throughout the village. There was also a field with a variety of crops planted in it.
Before long we came upon a shelf entwined with strange ivy plants that had gourd-like fruits sprouting from their tops.
“Glenys-dono, what are these?”
The gourd-like fruit was semi-transparent and filled with liquid; the core floated in the center like a hydroponics cultivator. The surface was rubbery when I poked it, kind of like a plastic bag filled with water.
“Watermelons. While the content is mostly water, the skins are still usable. Once you drain the water and smoke the skin, the husk can be used to tenderize meat with herbs.”
“Huh, was the fried sausage I ate this morning made like that?”
“Yes, since some types of monster meat are rather hard, they need to be processed before they can be eaten. The first chief was the one that devised the way for us the watermelons in such a way. Though in the old days, it seems that the watermelons were only used as water sources.”
The first chief seemed to have been eager in his search for a decent meal.
When I looked around I saw an elven fieldworker bowing in our direction. There were many other elves working in the surrounding fields, similar to those from the human villages.
Honestly, the number of elves here made it felt more like a town than a village.
“Is this a relatively large village? There seems to an abundant number of elves here.”
“For security reasons, multiple smaller villages combined into a single large one; maybe around 4000 people live here?”
4000 people living in the depths of a forest was a rather good number when I thought about it. While I thought, a girl ran towards me from the opposite side of the field. I recognized the girl as one of those that were rescued on the mission.
When she was in front of me the girl stops and looked up. Her braided green-tinged blonde hair cutely bobbed up and down.
“Armor ojii-san! Can Ponta have this?”
The girl held out something in her hands when she asked. She was holding up a small red apple-like fruit.
Ponta’s twitching nose indicated that the fruit’s sweet smell had provoked her, and before long she jumped from my head to the girl’s palm.
“Oh, I don’t mind.”
The girl gave her cheerful replay before giving the whole apple to Ponta. After thinking for a while, Ponta stated spinning the apple around as she took bites out of it.
From behind the fascinated little girl, a young looking man and women came up to me and deeply bowed their heads.
“For rescuing our daughter, thank you very much.”
The young man, who seemed to be the girl’s father, looked straight at me as he offered his gratitude. The women, who was apparently her mother, lowered her head multiple time as her sobbing and tears prevented her from speaking coherently.
“What, there’s no need for your thanks. I was only employed by Ariane-dono, so there’s no need to humble yourselves this much.”
However, the couple shook their heads and once again expressed their gratitude. The strange situation caused the surrounding farmers to curiously look towards us.
When the two parents noticed that they were causing a scene in the middle of the village, they lowered their heads and offered their gratitude once again.
Since I only took Ariane’s personal request, all of this was causing my back to itch a little. No, since it was me, it would be my spine and shoulder blades that itched.
Ponta seemed to be satisfied with her meal because she skillfully leaped back on my head and dozed off.
Fortunately, the two managed to regain their composur
When I looked around I saw that the sun was already setting and the installed streetlights began to light.
Glenys called out to inform me that Dylan would be returning soon and that we should be making our way back to the mansion.