Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「Setting Sail Once More」
The next day, at the southernmost tip of Great Canada Forest.
The elven village located here overlooked the Southern Sea and was rather large compared to other villages.
The beastmen Kingdom of Fabuna’ha on the Southern Continent was Landfria’s main trading partner. As a result, this village was larger and more densely populated than Raratoia.
One could also see visiting beastmen mixed within the elven clouds.
The fused tree buildings that were a rarity in Raratoia were the predominant structures here, there were even walkways connecting some of the taller buildings that were in use.
It was like a forest and a modern city had fused together, and honestly, it made me feel like I was simultaneously seeing a fantasy and futuristic city.
The particular roads beneath the trees were beautifully paved over with brick and were packed with elves and beastmen going about their business.
The jet black mantle covering my silver armor, the shield on my back and sword on my waist, together with Ponta sitting comfortably on my head, meant that all eyes were focused on our group.
Since I was used to this type of situation I did my best to ignore the stares and whispers.
“I never imagined I’d return to Landfria so soon.”
Ponta briskly wagged her tail on my helmet when she responded to my statement.
Our usual travel companions were close by.
Ariane, my self-assigned overseer, and Chiome, the master of espionage. Dylan was a new, if temporary addition this time around.
The relief force he would be leading into Doranto had already been assembled.
From what I heard, the group of twenty healers and warriors of the relief force were already gathered at the port.
As we entered the district surrounding the harbor, the elven mushroom-shaped houses started to replace the tree hybrid buildings.
We were now in the so-called commercial district.
Barkers were all over the place trying to sell miscellaneous goods brought over from Fabuna’ha, and combined with the distinct aroma, gave the area a unique atmosphere.
Since a lot of foods stuffs passed through the port, Ponta would frequently shift around on my helmet and cry out when a scent caught her interest.
“Ponta, we’re heading straight to the port today, we can’t make a side trip.”
Ariane had a slight smile on her face as she tried to explain things to Ponta, whose dejection was as clear as day when her fluffy tail dropped down.
“Don’t worry, Ponta. I’ll make you something on the ship.”
I raised the leather bag I’d been carrying as I spoke. Ponta’s wagged her tail and started moving around on my helmet again.
Chiome’s eyes brightened and her small nose and cat ears twitched when she overheard what I said.
Though her deadpan expression remained, her tail began to sway as she got a whiff of the bag’s contents.
“Arc-dono, that smells similar to the ‘teriyaki chicken’ you made yesterday.”
Her guess was a little off, while I did make use of the substitute soy sauce, this time I put to together the easily transportable yakitori, not teriyaki.
Normally you’d season yakitori with salt, but I made do by dipping the chicken in the sauce after grilling it.
Unfortunately, the sauce seemed to be leaking in the bag and it the yakitori had an irregular taste to it.
Just in case the flavor was too strong for Ponta, I’d brought along a dried fruit.
As I checked the contents of the bag by weight, I
realized that I hadn’t heard an essential piece of information for our voyage.
“Dylan-dono, how long in this trip going to take?”
For some reason, Dylan became a little depressed at my question.
“It should take around four days. I’m not that good with boats, so I’m a bit nervous.”
Seeing as the last voyage to the Southern Continent only took a day, by a simple calculation this trip would be four times the distance, though I haven’t seen the itinerary yet so it was just a rough estimate.
However, four days on the open sea would certainly take it’s toll on Dylan if his statement was to be believed.
Chiome entered my line of sight while I was thinking about the trip in my head.
Being enticed by the yakitori, Chiome’s appearance was befitting of a girl of her age.
“By the way, are no other member of your clan joining us?”
There were six great ninjas within the Blade Heart Clan, Chiome being one of them, that were the pinnacle of the clan’s strength. yet it was rare to see them working together.
Chiome took her eyes away from the leather bag and regained her normal deadpan expression when I asked her about what was on my mind.
“It’s alright, other members of my clan are continuing to trace Sasuke-oniisan’s steps from the Delfuento Kingdom side. I was the one who suggested requesting your assistance, but I would investigate the Hiruku Theocracy even if I couldn’t obtain your help.”
Quiet determination was blazing in Chiome’s blue eyes after she’d finished her powerful reply.
To see a loved one’s miserable end at your own hands was not something you could just let go.
I didn’t know if this would have been what Sasuke wanted of her…… but no one would be able to stop her in this pursuit.
In fact, she might not have been able to forgive herself if she did nothing.
“Well, it’s possible we’ll cross paths with them along the way,”
“Really? The total land mass of the Hiruku Theocracy and the three neighboring countries is larger than Rhoden Kingdom’s. Without our network, my clansmen may not be able to keep up with your ‘Steps’, Arc-dono.”
We’d passed through the commercial area was we talked…… my eyes naturally traveled to the hill that overlooked the sea in front of us.
Still, I couldn’t get over the Chiome’s dangerous attitude.
Ariane had been listening to our conversation, when I gave her a sideways glance I saw her pointed ears drooped a bit and her worry was clearly seen on her face.
Looking back down at the leather bag, I thought back to how Chiome looked during lunch yesterday.
She’d stuffed her face with the teriyaki chicken I’d made with great relish.
“Arc-dono, what is this? I’ve never tasted anything like it. It’s delicious.”
Her blue had been wide open as she went back to devouring the chicken after voicing her praise.
Ariane had a surprised look on her face when she tried a piece of teriyaki.
“The smell it had while it was being made was a bit much, but fully cooked it tastes wonderful.”
The two of them seemed to have taken to the soy sauce.
“Ara, what an interesting seasoning.”
Glenys also seemed satisfied with the new seasoning and nodded in my direction.
“It’s something modeled after a seasoning called soy sauce. It still needs a little work but it’s passable for a first attempt.”
I let out a relieved sigh in knowing that the Western-style false sauce was well received.
I’d like it if this new seasoning spread throughout the elven race if possible.
Chiome had finished eating during that exchange and held out her plate for another helping.
As she stuffed her face with her second serving Chiome give me a slight smile.
“Arc-dono. I would like to spread this throughout my village, could you teach me how to make it?”
I nodded and gave Chiome my consent.
“I don’t mind. Spread it to any village you like.”
Chiome’s cat ears stood up and happiness showed on her face.
Sometimes “It’s delicious” was not enough to describe the euphoric feeling eating good food stirred within someone.
I don’t remember cooking for other people in a while, but ever since coming to the world, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to do so.
It’s kind of ironic that people in this world were closer despite the lower population, while the higher populated modern world was more alone.
A self-mocking chuckle escaped my lips when I had that thought.
The image of that young girl devouring my homemade dish crossed my mind…… if she was able of making a face like that then it still wasn’t too late for her.
She was one of my few friends in this strange otherworld. It’s possible that my feelings of friendship were one-sided, but that was a trivial matter in the end.
With the abnormal amount of power I wielded, I should be able to help her…… an assertion born of fact, not arrogance.
While some of my more transcendent abilities were still a bit much for me to handle, I was grateful for my absurdity.
Though I didn’t mean to over- or underestimate my abilities, my only handicap was my lack of experience.
After we returned from the Southern Continent I had Glenys instruct me in basic swordsmanship.
Standing beside Chiome, I clenched my fist and looked out towards the horizon.
Ariane suddenly called us from behind and pointed in a certain location.
“Hurry up you two, the ship’s already anchored in the port.”
When I looked where she pointed I saw Dylan heading into a building above the harbor, and I quickly followed after him.
The building served numerous functions and housed a magic powered elevated that connected to the dock built into the cave below the cliff.
Multiple ships were docked in the underground harbor and a few of them had already set sail.
Dylan headed straight for one of the docked ships.
The ship was smaller than the Liebbelta we took to the Southern Continent.
Considering that the Liebbelta had been a hundred meter long ship, a vessel half that size couldn’t be considered small by regular standards.
The ship was similar to the Liebbelta with the two large mast towering above the ship’s deck, the hull was composed of a whitish, metallic substance and several embrasures that lined it.
Muscular dark elves were restlessly moving around the ship in order to finish preparations for departure.
Standing in front of the anchored ship were twenty fully armored elves that stood a little straighter when they noticed Dylan approaching,
They must have been the relief team being dispatched to Doranto.
The group consisted entirely of elves with pointed ears and green-tinged blonde hair. I saw a familiar face within the group.
I remembered his unfriendly disposition when we worked together to free elven slaves in Diento, however, wrinkles form on his brow when as he looked in my direction.
I believe his name was Danka.
When Ariane saw him, the two offed each other a slight nod as a greeting, the wrinkles on his brow deepened and he immediately turned his attention to Dylan.
I guess that was to be expected considering I’ve yet to earn his complete trust.
After my not so warm reunion, Dylan stood before the people gathered here and greeting them.
“Ladies and gentlemen, under the elder council’s order we shall journey to Doranto in the west. You all should have been informed already, but we’re being dispatch to answer a request for aid. However, it is likely that we will be overwhelmed. However, I ask of you to tell me any concerns you have instead of becoming confrontational.”
He observed the group’s reaction after saying that.
Some of them seemed to comprehend and accept what he said while others became grim-faced about it.
The atmosphere surrounding Doranto wasn’t all that pleasant, even I could pick up on that in my skeletal form.
“Ariane-dono, the opinion of the village isn’t that good..”
I told Ariane my opinion while we watched the scene play out in front of us.
She shrugged her shoulders and let out a sigh.
“Well, it’s a complicated subject. While their elder is a sensible person…… but it’s like my father said, the village as a whole dislike outsiders……”
It was as if she was describing the backcountry of the elven world.
“Please board the ship. Once everyone is aboard, we’ll set sail.”
At Dylan’s command, everyone picked up their luggage and started to board the ship.
Ariane and I followed behind them and climbed the bridge leading to the deck.
“Arc-kun could you come here.”
Shortly after we were on board, Dylan called for me.
I simply followed him as he went below deck.
While the interior wasn’t too complicated, it wasn’t all that simple either. We passed several rooms and other compartments while Dylan lead us through the ship.
Each time we passed someone in the hall Ponta would let out a cry and cause said person to give me a strange look before moving on.
We continued like this until we reached an open cabin in the stern of the ship where Ariane and Chiome sat.
The room wasn’t that large, but had stylish furnishings and a bunk bed on each side of the room.
Ponta leaped onto the bed to check its softness and appeared to be satisfied with it after kicking the bedding around.
When Ariane and I started surveying the room Dylan turned around to face me.
“I am sorry, but as you can see, this ship isn’t that large. Because of the lack of space, you three will be sharing this room.”
Saying that he had some other business to take care of Dylan left the cabin with a carefree smile on his face.
Ariane tried to chase after Dylan but she turned around like she was a mechanized doll in desperate need of oil.
Her face shifted through various complex impressions as a groan escaped her lips.
The ship’s size and the importance of the relief mission meant that she couldn’t complain to Dylan about this. Ariane was the one who volunteered to join this Sasuke follow-up after all.
After a bit of time, she let out a sigh and turned towards me.
“Arc, there’s a separating line down the middle, this side is ours and that side is yours!”
A blush could clearly be seen on her lilac skin as she pulled Chiome to their side of the room and pointed out the boundary line
Chiome gave Ariane a strange look but nevertheless remained silent.
She didn’t seem to have the same issue about sharing a room as Ariane did. Maybe it was because the “Blade Heart Clan” was male dominated and she just was used to this type of situation, or she could have still had the mindset of a young child.
Ariane was a warrior within elven society, another male dominated the field and should have been used to this type of thing as well, but she reacted to it like an innocent maiden.
Was her normally dignified composure and current behavior the so-called gap moe?
Meanwhile, Ponta paid the boundary line no heed as she ran around the cabin and let out joyful cries when she caught a whiff of something she liked.
After a few minutes, I felt the ship shake and a look out of the porthole revealed that scenery had started to change.
We’d just set sail.