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Volume 16… starts.
We went through the main road, and we got off the road by Fia’s guidance. Now, we were in a forest without a road.
We would definitely not able to proceed with the carriage, so we got off and properly hid it.
We brought as few luggage as possible, and since Hokuto carried heavy luggage, we were able to move without problems.
More than anything, since we had a person who lived in a forest, Fia, there was no need to worry about getting lost.
While defeating monsters that occasionally attacked us, two days passed after travelling in the forest with her guidance, and then.. we arrived at a river that stretched across the forest.
There were no trees growing nearby the river and since the view was good, we decided to take a break here.
As we did our respective tasks during the break, Fia sat on a nearby rock and turned a smile on me.
“You see, Sirius. Do you remember this place?” (Fia)
“Aah, was it here? It’s nostalgic.” (Sirius)
This place was where Fia and I talked about each other’s abilities and became friends.
It had been almost ten years since then… time had gone by so fast.
Although I recently met with Fia, it felt like we were a couple for years.
“It feels somewhat strange. Even though half a year hasn’t passed since I met you, I feel like I was with you for years. It is evidence that I had fun spending the days.” (Fia)
“What a coincidence. I also agree with you.” (Sirius)
“Hehe, well, it’s our lives from this moment on.” (Fia)
When I noticed, Emilia and Reese were curiously looking at us.
“Aah… sorry. I left everyone behind.” (Fia)
“No, I think that it is unavoidable to be immersed in memories. It will be even more if it was with Sirius-sama, right?” (Emilia)
“Did Sirius-san and Fia-san meet here?” (Reese)
“To be accurate, it was in this forest and this place here was where we talked about our secrets.” (Sirius)
And then, Fia talked about our encounters with Emilia and Reese.
I had already told them to a certain extent, but it was different when we were in the actual spot.
Fia happily talked about the time she was impressed by flying in the sky, how she could see magic and my peculiar magic.
“I was amazed looking at Sirius’ back when he easily defeated a wyvern here, and I grew attached to him.” (Fia)
“I understand that! The time when I met Sirius-sama… I can’t forget his back when he jumped in.” (Emilia)
“M-me too… I can’t forget the appearance that came to help me when I was about to get married and in the labyrinth.” (Reese)
“So, I wasn’t me alone who felt his great power. It seems that everyone is falling in love with Sirius when you notice that.” (Fia)
I listened to their love talks while boiling hot water, and Reus, who set next to me, curiously asked a question.
“Hei, Aniki. When you met Fia-ane for the first time, what did you think about her?” (Reus)
“Hmm… I thought that she was beautiful, but since I was a child at that time, I didn’t think something like lovers.” (Sirius)
“Is that so… I am probably having it similar.” (Reus)
“No, I understood Marina’s and Noir’s feelings, but I recently noticed that I was in love with Noel-ane when I lived in that mansion.” (Reus)
The shocking fact came out here.
When I tried to remember&h
ellip; he probably liked her not as a sister. However, Reus didn’t show any hint at all. It seemed that we didn’t even realize it because the person himself also didn’t notice.
“If that’s the case, what did you think when Noel married Dee? Was it frustrating?” (Sirius)
“There is no such a thing. I thought that I wanted Noel-ane and Dee-ani to be tied in marriage, so when they got married, I was happy and I didn’t feel anything else.” (Reus)
It seemed to be a complicated situation, but in other words, Reus didn’t only like Noel, he also liked Dee. Although the person himself wasn’t aware about the unrequited love, he didn’t feel depressed because he was clueless about love.
I guessed that it was all good since Reus didn’t feel jealous?
No… wait a sec.
If Reus tasted jealousy and heartbreak, he might not have been raised such an air headed man.
“…There, there.” (Sirius)
Well, it couldn’t be helped to think about it now.
Now he had Marina and Noir, it was probably going to be alright because he grew up to the extent of noticing such feelings.
For the time being, let’s calm down by stroking the approaching Hokuto.
After we kept walking through forest for several days, we finally arrived at our destination.
The dense forest suddenly disappeared. There was no doubt that this place with grassland spread was where I parted from Fia ten years ago.
“Eh? Why the trees suddenly disappeared?” (Reus)
“You’re right. What a strange grassland.” (Emilia)
“This place is under the influence of the forest that covered the village. There is my hometown in the depth of the forest that can be seen over there.” (Fia)
Beyond the grassland pointed by Fia, we could see a forest that creates a clearly different atmosphere than the forest we’d been through.
It certainly sensed intruders in that forest instantaneously, and it was said that a barrier was made to make people other than the Elves to stray away.
Even if I used [Search] the response was dull maybe because of the barrier’s influence. Whether the mana always flowed in the forest, the reflection wave of mana didn’t accurately return.
Well, I also learned to perceive presence without relying on [Search] and since there was no plan to enter the forest, there should be no problem.
“I also thought this at that time, but it is a truly mysterious forest.” (Sirius)
“It’s fine if we don’t enter the forest, right?” (Emilia)
“Yeah. You will not only get lost when entering the forest, but you will also immediately get attacked. I think if you can’t hear my voice, absolutely do not enter.” (Fia)
“Sirius-san and Fia-san can fly, right? Can’t you enter the forest from the sky?” (Reese)
“It is impossible to see the village because of many trees will get in the way. Actually, I tried it before.” (Fia)
“What a troublesome forest. So, what are you going to do from now on, Fia-ane?” (Reus)
“I will have my voice delivered by the spirit. I was thinking to have my dad come to the entrance of the forest, but…” (Fia)
Fia was seen by an Elder Elves, a higher rank of Elves, and she ran away because she had to marry him.
In other words, she was also a criminal in her hometown, and it seemed that there was hesitation to call up her relatives.
“Well, there is no need to decide in a hurry. Today is already late, so we will camp here. Please think about it in the meantime.” (Sirius)
I looked up at the sky and the sun started to set. It was about time to start preparing for the camp.
If she made a call now, the response would be later at night. Hence, we probably should take a rest today.
There was a possibility of our companion being attacked when Fia called her father. If by chance that would happen, then, I had to think about the possibility of escaping
“Yes, I will decide by tomorrow. I’m sorry, everyone. If possible, I would like to invite and welcome you to my home, but Elves are very strict to the outsiders. Moreover, I am not able to enter the forest right now.” (Fia)
“You don’t have to worry about us. Besides, we understand the feelings where the safety of family becomes a matter of concern.” (Emilia)
“There were various scenery until we came here, so we’re glad to be here.” (Reese)
“Hehe… thanks.” (Fia)
“Well then, shall we start working?” (Sirius)
Everyone nodded at my words. After unloading the camping equipment that was on Hokuto’s back, we decided to divide the labors.
“I saw a delicious looking bird on the way here… is it still there?” (Reus)
“There is no river, but the Spirits are active. Are the trees holding water?” (Reese)
“You can put it in that way.” (Fia)
“I wonder if this much is alright.” (Reese)
“Sirius-sama, which one would you like to use today?” (Emilia)
Reus entered again into the forest that we came through. In the meantime, Reese poured water into a portable bathtub which would be used for cooking and cleaning.
We set up the tent that had been assembled many times with the remaining members, and then, we started preparing for cooking.
After that, we completed our respective tasks, finished the meals, decided the order of night watch and lastly, we went to bed.
I didn’t think that there was a meaning for night watch because of Hokuto, who was highly sensitive, but if there was no specific reason, we still did it on rotations. Moreover, it was probably not good to take advantage of Hokuto.
“Well, I’m going to sleep first, Aniki.” (Reus)
“Sure, good night.” (Sirius)
When I took the turn from Reus who had been watching until just now and sat down before the bonfire, Hokuto, who was sleeping in front of the tent, came close to my back and lie down. When I was on a night watch, this cute partner of mine never fail to become my backrest just like this.
While stroking Hokuto, I reflexively looked at the night sky where the stars shone.
“The brightness of the stars is the same whether it is in a different world… right? But the place is totally different.” (Sirius)
“Aah, it’s not like I feel lonely. I just missed the constellation a bit.” (Sirius)
“Hehe, the stars are beautiful…” (Fia)
Other than the constellation, I was also concern about the disciples left behind, but as I threw firewood into the bonfire to divert the subject, Fia came out of the tent.
Fia’s turn was after mine, but it seemed that she had something to talk about by judging from her appearance. When I beckoned, Fia came next to me with a smile.
“I’m sorry, Hokuto. I will rely on your body for a bit.” (Fia)
I was wondering whether she got the permission from Hokuto when she sat to me, and she put her head on my shoulder after clinging to my right arm.
Since she occasionally came to me with this kind of skinship, I was somewhat understood that she wanted something. When I moved my right arm around Fia’s shoulder and brought her closer, she happily laughed while rubbing against my cheek.
“Hehe… yeah. As expected, I feel better when you do this.” (Fia)
“Well, do you have something to say?” (Sirius)
“Yeah… I wonder if it’s nothing different.” (Fia)
“It’s a joke. It’s just a bit, but… it feels disturbing.” (Fia)
She gradually became sentimental when talking.
Although it was possible to escape from the village with the assistance of her father, was he safe after that?
She was concerned about leaving as she couldn’t say much during parting.
“Tou-san is also the head of the village, and he is in bad situation because he let me ran away.” (Fia)
I understood that his father loved Fia from the point letting her escaped from the Elder Elves who was the higher rank of the Elves.
It was just that… when calling her father, who was safe, it felt empty when considering the possibility of being attacked because of her father standpoint.
“Which is why I could never have married to the Elder Elves…” (Fia)
“That’s just like you.” (Sirius)
“Besides, it is fun to travel with you, so I don’t regret for running away from the village.” (Fia)
“…Is that so?” (Sirius)
Since this was just a matter of feelings, it was something she could do nothing but to accept it.
Therefore, I became listener without interposed as much as possible, and I stroked her head with my arm that was on her shoulder, just to make her feel relieved even a little.
“The Elves is a long-lived but the birthrate is low. Since it is difficult to see grandchildren, I am thinking to show our children to him. However… by the time I can openly enter the village, you will not be by my side.” (Fia)
“I also want to properly meet your father, but things don’t always go the way we want.” (Sirius)
Fia’s nature of offense would cause a hundred years banishment from the village, and by the time it was cleared, I definitely would not be alive anymore. It would be impossible to bring children and greet him.
Thereupon, she complained about the Elder Elves for a while, and then, it derailed to the part where she wanted a boy. Fia kept talking until she looked satisfied.
“Haa… it feels refreshing.” (Fia)
“I’m glad. By the way, have you decided what to do tomorrow?” (Sirius)
“Yes, I have. I was hesitated a lot, but if I can confirm Tou-san’s safety, I don’t have to call him to come out.” (Fia)
It was fine because she had decided. So, I silently her brought her closer.
Well, the time to alternate the night watch was approaching, but…
“Is it alright if you are not sleeping, Fia? The time to alternate the night watch is not there yet.” (Sirius)
“Yeah… I’m getting sleepy once I feel at ease. I will take a light sleep, so please wake me up when my turn comes.” (Fia)
“Understood. You should sleep now.” (Sirius)
“Yeah… thanks.” (Fia)
As Fia was tired due to the continuous walking today and various things which had been held inside were resolved, she soon started to sleep.
Without waking Fia who showed an innocent sleeping face while I still embraced her, I threw another firewood to the bonfire and stroked Hokuto.
“The night watch is extended. Hokuto, you have to stay with me for a while.” (Sirius)
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There was a time where the envious Emilia bit my shoulder because Fia slept beside me, and on the next day, we had a breakfast once everyone woke up.
This morning breakfast was a stewed soup put with various wild plants and spices, and there were three small breads per person.
After everyone finishing setting up the table, as I signaled the start of the breakfast, Reus noticed that his bread was decreasing by one.
“…Eh? That’s weird. There were three just now… is it you, Aniki!?’ (Reus)
It was a little late, but Reus noticed that I had four breads.
I took the opportunity and stole it from Reus, but I didn’t mean to eat it and I didn’t have bad intention.
This was a part of new training for Reus.
“You’re being careless. You left it unattended.” (Sirius)
“Dang it… it’s difficult.” (Reus)
Although this was during mealtime, it was a training to act with minimum warnings and signs.
Of course, he would always feel tired if he kept focusing his mind, but what I wanted to say was, this was something similar to a feeling of a thin skin where he needed to sense one step ahead before the action materialized.
And he needed to remember it with his body.
“If you get used to this, you will be able to protect yourself even while you are sleeping. It’s fine to take it slow, and you will definitely learn it later.” (Sirius)
Although it was a considerably unreasonable thing from the view of an ordinary person, this was the reason how I survived again and again.
Eventually, he would be able to react to hostile enemies who were approaching him even when he was unconscious. Therefore, he would be likely to intercept with defense.
Besides, I was still the nice one. Anyhow, Shishou didn’t only target my meals, she also aimed with a gun filled with rubber bullets. Even if I was reincarnated, I still couldn’t forget the pain that I got shot when I was slowly taking a bath.
I tried to return the bread after telling Reus various things, but he shook his head and refused.
“No, I will give up that bread, Aniki. I was careless, so I am no good if I don’t sharpen my sense.” (Reus)
“If you say so. But, I don’t need four, so shall I give you during noon?” (Sirius)
“Oh yeah! I would be glad if Nee-chans also help me on this training. Because I want to memorize even a little.” (Reus)
“That’s good intention, Reus. Understood, let me help you. But, I will not do it for your meals.” (Emilia)
“It seems fun. I wonder if I should ask the Spirits. Yeah, as a practice to silently make it float… yup, this might be my training.” (Fia)
Reus’ bread was… totally gone.
And Reese had three breads.
In other words…
“Do not let your guard down, Reus. Eating is occasionally become a battle.” (Reese)
Actually, I was watching the stealing scene. It could be described as high speed… no, it was she made her presence disappeared.
Reus was unable to response to Reese who had a serious expression.
“…Here you go.” (Sirius)
It was pitiful, so I returned the bread for the time being.
“Yes, I will also give it back to you. You better be careful next time.” (Reese)
“…Reese-ane! Ouu!” (Reus)
Reus, who received the bread that was returned, made glittering eyes of respect. It was a sight that could make other people believed that there was an absolute hierarchical relationship between those two.
As a result of the family discussion held at a later date, it was decided that I would be the only one who could do the training during mealtime.
It was because there was a possibility that Reus’ portion of meals would be exhausted.
“It is many times better to eat bread with soup, rather than the bread alone.” (Reese)
By the way, the reason to eat bread with soup in this world was to make it easy to eat preserved edible bread which was hard to eat. However, the bread that I made had its own taste, and I made it with somewhat strong taste.
As I continued eating while smiling, Reus, who had finished eating earlier and was looking at the direction of the Elves village, turned his face to Fia.
“Say, Fia-ane. In the end of the day, what are you going to do from now on? You will surely call your Tou-chan, right?” (Reus)
“Yeah, well. Since it may be troublesome if I call Tou-san, I will call my friend.” (Fia)
“Do you have friends, Fia-ane?” (Reus)
“That’s rude. I do have a proper friend.” (Fia)
Reus received a light punch from Fia because of verbal slip, but since I thought that was just a little, there was no need to blame Reus.
Nevertheless, Fia’s best friend, huh…
“Is that person a person who is good at taking care of others or someone who is open minded?” (Sirius)
“…I understood that feeling.” (Emilia)
“Me too.” (Reese)
“What’s with that conclusion?” (Fia)
That was because how free-spirited Fia was.
I thought that it would be difficult to associate with a person unless that person wasn’t being too crazy or funny.
“Well. I had my voice delivered by the spirit a little while ago. So, I think that that person will come soon, but…” (Fia)
“Will it be alright for her to leave the forest?” (Sirius) (TLN: The author didn’t mention the gender in these conversations)
“She is younger than me, and she hasn’t come out on a journey yet. It doesn’t hurt to come out for a while and if it is near here.” (Fia)
I guessed that it was all good because Fia said so.
Even so, there would be new Elf, other than Fia and Rodwell.
I imagined her personality, but when I did that, Fia sat down next to me and brought her body closer.
“She is a girl who often acts rashly and gives slightly wrong impression, but she was honest and straightforward.” (Fia)
“Oi, isn’t suspicious when you used ‘act rashly’ words?” (Sirius)
“Compared to Sirius’ dreadfulness, she’s not that bad. Aah, yes, you can have her as a lover too. If you don’t mind, she’s a really cute girl.” (Fia)
“Oi, don’t decide that on your own…” (Sirius)
The moment Fia hugged my arms while completely ignoring my will, I waved my arm in front of my face while activating [Boost].
It was a single arrow that was held in my hand.
At the same time as I confirmed it, an arrow was released again from the direction of the forest, but Hokuto and Reus leaped out and repelled it.
“Is it an enemy!?” (Reese)
Emilia stood in front of me while reaching out to the knife, and even though Reese was surprised, she created balls of water and prepared for battles.
And then, Fia who was still clinging to my arm…
“…What are you doing!?” (Fia)
A strong wind rolled up when Fia swung her arms, and something popped out of the forest and tumbled before us.
It was a female Elf who had similar characteristics with Fia.
The Elf rolled on the ground several times and it seemed that she looked at us when she finally stopped rolling, but she quickly stood up and set the bow as to cover the unsightly appearance earlier.
“Tha-that human! Get away from that Elf at once!” (??)
“No… it’s not me, but it is her who is sticking to me…” (Sirius)
“What a nonsense excuse! Humans like to disgrace the Elves. I know that it is natural for them to keep us like a pet! I will never forgive you for doing that to that Elf!” (??)
“Haa… Please calm down a bit.” (Fia)
“Since the human keeps her as a pet, I will–… mugyuuu!?” (??)
When Fia swung her arms once again, a compressed wind came down from the above and hit the Elf to the ground. It seemed that Fia adjusted her strength, but it looked painful because the Elf fell with the face to the ground.
I observed the other side during that time. She was an Elf with green and yellow mixed short hair and she was shorter than Reese. I could understand why she was said to be still like a child.
The Elf raised her face after a while, and she was bitterly looked at Fia while letting out tears.
“O-onee-sama… why did you do that?” (??)
“Have you calmed down a little? Look, I am clinging to this person at my own will, and the other children are my companions.” (Fia)
“U, uu… Onee-sama… with that man…” (??)
“Aah… it seems that you haven’t heard this. I am running away again.” (Fia)
“Fia… she is…” (Sirius)
“Yes, this girl is Asha. She is my friend in the village. I treat her like my younger sister.” (Fia) (TLN: The name in raw is アーシャ)
I felt a bit sorry because she was in tears while lying on the ground, but this was our encounter with Asha.
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It was Hokuto-kun’s habit to become his Master’s backrest when he was on watch duty at night.
As long as he did this, he would be stroked by the Master. Of course, his real feeling was to be useful to the Master.
In addition, if he put out his tail, there were also times when it was brushed. This was definitely a blissful time for Hokuto-kun.
Such Hokuto-kun was… currently devoted to be a sofa to him.
Anyhow, the Master and Fia-san were chatting with each other while leaning against him, and it seemed that they were in a very good mood.
There was no way for Hokuto-kun to disturb the atmosphere with rough movement, so… he remained still as a sofa.
After a while, it was Emilia’s turn for a night watch and she was surprised to see them when she came around.
“Si-sirius-sama!? And with Fia-san…” (Emilia)
“Sorry. It seems she is a bit tired, so I’m putting her to sleep.” (Sirius)
“H-how sly…” (Emilia)
“You too, come here.” (Sirius)
“…Yes! Hokuto-san, is it alright for me to stay here?” (Emilia)
As a result, Emilia-chan and Fia-san snuggled on both sides of the Master.
“There, there… just a bit more, alright.” (Sirius)
Hokuto-kun was a patient child.
※By the way, Hokuto felt a bit painful because he maintained his posture, but he didn’t think it was too heavy to have three people on his back.