“Homph~nom, gulp gulp…”
For a girl, she was showing quite the wild way of eating that didn’t care about the eyes of her surroundings, and she is the person that is right in front of me.
One of the two adventurers that saved me that night.
Together with them, we were now in a small faraway town from Kannaoi.
Even if I say small, it is simply because I am comparing it with Kannaoi where I have been living in.
It is a place that is surrounded by an outer wall and has a higher than standard functionalities of a town.
…I don’t know the name of the place though.
It has been over half a day since then, and yet, we have moved pretty far.
“You are being bad mannered, Haku.”
“I ninum geth fu eath thif momning after all.” (Haku)
Uhm, I think she tried to say, ‘I didn’t get to eat this morning after all’.
“Seriously, you are a woman, so try to care about the gazes of the surroundings.”
“Gulp, at stage, I am properly paying mind to them, so that’s fine~~.” (Haku)
“Don’t mind it! I have been saved by you two-na no desu. Just by letting me accompany is already saving me an incredible lot-desu!!” (Iroha)
I have never seen it before, but a woman wearing a priest-like outfit threw the conversation at me.
If I remember correctly, her name is Ginebia-san.
And the other one that is immersing herself eating is *Haku Mokuren*-san. <I am not sure if that’s really her first and last name. ハク＝モクレン. The = sign is confusing me.>
She wore an exotic dancer outfit that is high in the exposure rate.
She spoke about a stage just now, so she is probably a dancer.
Both of them are probably in their twenties.
The two are older and give me the feeling that of reliability.
“Once again, I am Ginebia. Leaving aside my denomination for now, I am a bishop. Right now I am the guild’s…no, that’s not it, I am a free adventurer.” (Ginebia)
“I am Haku Mokuren. Just as you see, I am a dancer. Together with Bia–Ginebia, we were travelling far away for a bit.” (Haku)
“I am Osaka Iroha-desu. Uhm, as I was returning home, I was betrayed by adventurers…” (Iroha)
“Is mostly a lie, right?” (Haku)
Haku-san looked at my eyes and suddenly said something like that with a smile on her face.
“You have the scent of a runaway girl coming from all over you, Iroha-chan. Also, your reactions are sometimes dull when calling you Osaka. Iroha is your real name, but Osaka is a fake one, right?” (Haku)
I-It’s only been half a day, and yet, it was all exposed?!
“Since you were at that place, you definitely came out of Kannaoi, and when taking into account a name that’s close to Osaka, and a child that has the money to hire adventurers…you must be a child of the Osakabe household, right?” (Ginebia)
The supplementary information of Ginebia-san is also exactly right.
…Correct-na no desu.
As I thought, my journey was destined to end in failure-desu ne.
Anything I say would be pointless now.
I know that, but it seems like my mouth wanted to try saying some sort of excuse.
“And? Where was Iroha-chan trying to go that it made you run away from home?”
“Tell this Onee-san, hm~~?.” (Haku)
Haku-san moves aside the (many) piled up plates, and looks straight at me.
Eh? Wasn’t this the pattern where I get caught, brought back, and they get a finder’s fee?
Ginebia-san as well, she shrugged her shoulders a little, but looks like she intends to listen to what I have to say.
And then, while nervous, I held a mysterious relief that maybe they will save me, and began telling my circumstances to the two adventurers, Ginebia and Haku.
Check the towns, investigate their actual life conditions, and have my father and the main family rethink their thoughts.
Ginebia-san and Haku-san had a gentle smile in their face from beginning to end, and listened to my story until the end.
“That’s why I left my house, and decided to leave to the outside on my own, but…” (Iroha)
Just as the result points, I have not been able to do anything.
“I see. It is important after all, your quest to find yourself. I understand that feeling!” (Haku)
Eh? Quest to find myself?
“Haku! What are you sympathizing for?! Don’t forget that as a result, Iroha-chan almost died!” (Ginebia)
“But you know, Bia, a girl that’s as reliable as her should study now, and in the future, it might bring prosperity to the country and the outside. It is true that Iroha-chan is currently naive. *Naive as a kasudosu*.” (Haku) <Naive in Japanese is also said as sweet. So sweet=naive. Kasudosu is a pastry.>
I have never heard of this ‘kasudosu’.
I can somewhat tell that it is a sweet food though.
“In that case, it would be best to have a proper talk with father to—” (Iroha)
“Nai~~ve!! This is serious, Bia. Her rebellious phase is on the level that she can leave home! With this naivety of yours, Iroha-chan, you won’t last long, but in this quest to find yourself, you should learn a lot of things by yourself!” (Haku)
“Haku, what are you getting hyped for…” (Ginebia)
“Isn’t that fine? We are using the Spirit path to move safely, and well, we won’t be able to bring her around to towns in order, but we can at least bring her with us till Mizuha, right?” (Haku)
“We are also not in a journey for fun, you know? Rokuya-san and Hitsuna are waiting for us after all.” (Ginebia)
“That’s why I’m saying we will do it while we are at it. Fortunately, Iroha-chan also has money, so we can have her go to Mizuha’s Adventurer Guild and place her together with trustworthy people. If we search for an inn as well, it will be fine.” (Haku)
“…Only in this kind of troublesome moments you have fast decision making.” (Ginebia)
“That’s why I love you, Bia~~!!” (Haku)
“I haven’t given you the ok yet, you know!” (Ginebia)
Seeing a comedy-like conversation unfolding right in front of me, to my surprise, it was decided that they will accompany me to Mizuha, the city that is said to be the entrance of Lorel-na no desu.
I-It has turned into something incredible-desu.
“Uhm, it is only been half a day since I met the two of you, and even though I haven’t been able to reward you with anything, why is it that you are so kind with me?” (Iroha)
“In the world, there’s bad adventurers, and there’s the good adventurers as well. It is as simple as that.” (Haku)
“Aren’t you ashamed of calling yourself a good adventurer, Haku?” (Ginebia)
“But it is true! Without any reason at all, you two are doing so much for me…” (Iroha)
“So you want a reason to believe us, right? Hm hm, it is nice to be young. Well, putting it bluntly, it is because that inexperience of yours was nostalgic, but…” (Haku)
“The thoughts that Iroha-chan currently considers as the correct way of a town, it kind of…doesn’t take proper form, I think. In that state, it will only stay as naive. That’s why, I felt like seeing a bit of that decision you will bring out.” (Haku)
The decision…I will bring out?
“Search unyieldingly for your ideal, and fall; or will you obtain the ability to gently deal with the situation, and at the same time, change your very own thoughts? Or maybe, you will continue single-mindedly with that sweet idealistic thinking of yours, and still possess something that will be able to change reality in some way…… just kidding.” (Haku)
“The third one is way too ominous, Haku. Don’t say things that might tempt others to make a pact with the devil.” (Ginebia)
“Yes~. And so, that’s how it is, Iroha-chan. The point is, I took an interest in you.” (Haku)
“…Yeah, in that point, I am also of the same sentiment. In that case, about the movements of the Osakabe household…” (Ginebia)
“Rokuya-san, right?” (Haku)
“Right. I will ask her of it in thought transmission. We are in an advantage since we don’t use normal paths, but if the other side were to use teleportation to close the distance, that would be it after all.” (Ginebia)
“E-Excuse me!” (Iroha)
Within the conversation that was quickly proceeding, I had something I wanted to tell the two no matter what, so I cut into their conversation.
“What is it?” (Ginebia)
“Was the food not enough?” (Haku)
“P-Please call me Iroha without any honorifics!!” (Iroha)
“Ginebia-san? Haku-san?” (Iroha)
The two of them fell silent and look at each other.
“Isn’t she a cute girl? To the point that I want to bring her back to my guild.” (Haku)
“Can’t do.” (Ginebia)
“I kno~w.” (Haku)
“Well then, Iroha, it will be a short journey that will last until tomorrow morning or noon but, pleasure being with you.” (Haku)
“Yeah. Also, about the matter of me opening the Spirit path we will be using now, I ask you to keep it a secret, okay Iroha?” (Ginebia)
“Yes!! Understood!” (Iroha)
How reliable and amazing women.
They also have feminine charm and flexible strength.
They are calling themselves adventurers, so they must definitely be strong.
Strong, huh. How would that feel?
After that, I continued to listen to these two trusty people as I imagine a bit about my own figure fighting bravely by gracefully controlling Hotarumaru.
This unfamiliar name denotes the mysterious forest that Ginebia-san opens.
It is not a path, but a forest.
And that forest is warm, the sunlight filtering through the trees is bright, and it was a gentle forest like the ones that appear in fairy tales.
It is also a silent forest where we didn’t encounter a single mamono or demi-human.
Spirit Path, after walking for a while in this forest, and once again opening the path with Ginebia-san humming the aria, we arrive at a far away place. A mysterious spell-desu.
It is similar to teleportation, but we are walking, so it takes more time than teleporting.
But the spell-user, Ginebia-san, doesn’t seem to receive much of a burden, so this looks a lot better than teleportation.
It was truly a mysterious experience.
In the end, at noon of the next day, we arrived at the city of Mizuha.
‘Bia, I am already tired. Let’s just teleport until Mizuha, okay?’ (Haku)
‘If I teleport the three of us until there, I would be completely empty and won’t be able to move for 1 whole week. Now, do you want to teleport? Hey, do you want to?’ (Ginebia)
‘I-I was just kidding, Bia-sa~n.’ (Haku)
In the middle of the way, a conversation like that unfolded between the two.
How peaceful. It really soothed me.
One day… I want to become like the two of them, calm and unfaltering; a woman of composure. I wonder if I will be able to become like that.
I felt a bit of uneasiness towards my own future as well.
Also…Ginebia-san, even when she is supposed to be a priest, she is able to accomplish something like teleportation which surprised me too.
“This is Mizuha…” (Iroha)
I have only heard of it from word-of-mouth, the city that has the most amount of tourists in Lorel.
As the entrance of Lorel, there’s a lot of traffic from various places, and as a tourist location, it is the city that has the highest scale in Lorel.
But well, in terms of tourism, the grand labyrinth in Yaso-Katsui doesn’t fall so far off though.
The small information I had of Mizuha beforehand wasn’t that different from the real thing. It is a place that’s filled up with a variety of people.
The variety of people don’t reach this level in Kannaoi, but there are a decent amount of tourist customers that come purely for sightseeing.
Also, as a whole, I feel like I see more merchants than tourists and adventurers.
Maybe they have come here to buy the unique articles of Lorel Union.
The path is wide and there’s a lot of people too, and the number of carriages as well… Anyways, it is lively.
“This number of people, it is pretty numerous, right? First, let’s find people we can trust in the guild, and…Bia?” (Haku)
The moment Haku-san was trying to keep me company as I was overwhelmed by the energy of the city, Ginebia-san suddenly stood still and seemed to be surprised. And then, after furrowing her brows a little, I see, for the first time, an expression that let out a scary atmosphere.
Only doing a signal with her eyes, she maintains her silence and doesn’t answer the words of Haku-san.
“Acha, is it a report that’s not good?” (Haku)
“Report? Ah, thought transmission?” (Iroha)
I was told that Ginebia-san was doing thought transmission, and at the same time, she made a short sigh and turned to us again.
“Bia, did you finish the thought transmission?” (Haku)
“Haku, I have received information of that person.” (Ginebia)
“!! We are just about to leave Lorel, so the timing is perfect!” (Haku)
“Not really. There’s information that the person was seen right in the middle of a war zone. That muscle brain… they said they would be going out for a while, and thought they disappeared, but now I see this, just what’s that person thinking?” (Ginebia)
“War…that means the north huh. I am not good with cold. Well, sounds like that person’s fine, and isn’t that just how master is?” (Haku)
“Also, the search for Iroha…or more like, the pursuit for Iroha has begun. It seems like they are already heading for Mizuha and going full-throttle with teleportation. The information came from Rokuya-san’s line.” (Ginebia)
“That’s quite the fast reaction. A little more and it would be unnatural even.” (Haku)
“Seems like the Osakabe household is the place Ryoken-kun is serving.” (Ginebia) <Ryoken=hunting dog>
Is there a person with a name like that?
One of my bodyguards, Yuduki, does give off that kind of feel though.
My other bodyguard, Akashi, if I had to define her with something, I would call her a wild boar. She doesn’t give off the feeling of a hunting dog.
“Hunti—Ah! Shougetsu-kun huh. Heh~, that person huh. He should be pretty old already, but he is still in active service huh. Won’t Bibi-chan get happy about it? If she learned that her master is still in active service and lively-Ah, Rokuya-san as well. His disciples are doing well after all.” (Haku)
Bibi, Rokuya; again, names I haven’t heard and don’t know about.
The old man, Shougetsu?!
“Seems like his stalking—I mean, his pursuing skills have been polished even more. Now then, this is troubling.” (Ginebia)
“Right. Now that we have information of master, we are also in urgency here, and if we are heading to the north, we are also in need for preparation. Having said that, we can’t just abandon Iroha.” (Haku)
“Exactly. We will guide her to the guild, and after that, we will give detailed instructions to the reception and leave the city as soon as possible. That would be the rough idea.” (Ginebia)
“Right. Iroha-chan’s search for herself and her study of society will be entering its real stage. Little girl, do your best, okay?” (Haku)
“Eh? Uhm…Yes!” (Iroha)
Suddenly having the conversation thrown at me, I reflexively answer.
“…If us meeting there was destiny, suddenly separating here is also destiny. At the very least, I think that Iroha-chan is blessed with good luck. Sorry that we had to do something like leaving the job halfway.” (Haku)
“The two of you have been of great help already-desu! If there’s a time when you come to Kannaoi, please, definitely visit my family-na no desu!” (Iroha)
“In that case, we will be intruding on you with Bibi-chan and Rokuya-san. Now then, let’s hurry. To the Adventurer Guild!” (Haku)
Haku-san pulled my hand, and the two of us entered together the Adventurer Guild.
A peculiar atmosphere.
I felt like ambition and greed were mixed in the air here.
Since my first mistake, a small sense of weakness was born inside of me.
Even so, the relief of being led by these two surpassed this weakness, and I continued my steps onto the reception counter.
“What is it?”
The middle-aged male staff member looked at us with a doubtful expression that he didn’t even bother to hide.
Maybe because we are sticking out like a sore thumb.
“We want to hire bodyguards for this girl. The reward will be paid by this girl. That’s why…I want to request for trustworthy and competent people. In regards to the pay, give them a bit of an extra, okay?” (Haku)
“Hah?! What are you saying all of a sudde—!!”
Haku-san immediately goes straight onto the topic.
Of course, there was no way the staff member would accept such a strange and suspicious request, but the moment I thought that, Ginebia-san does one step forward and lines to the side of Haku-san…and showed something to the man.
“We are in a hurry here too. I can ask this of you, right?” (Ginebia)
“P-People from the a-apple…you are…” <Apple is also in this world?!>
“Haku Mokuren. Just like us, don’t pry onto this girl, and I ask of you to arrange the lodging and the bodyguards. I am counting on you, okay?” (Haku)
“…Understood. Request accepted.”
The request went through with what was close to an immediate reply.
What does Apple mean?
Ginebia-san, Haku-san; they are filled with mystery.
“Thanks for the help.” (Iroha)
I said my thanks to the two, and both looked at me.
“And that’s how it is, so from here on, we are changing with this old man here. We will praying for your safety.” (Haku)
“Me as well. We will be leaving before Shougetsu…-san arrives to this city, but we will be praying that you will be able to reconcile with him and your father.” (Ginebia)
“I-I am truly grateful-desu!” (Iroha)
With a simple ‘see you’, the two left in quick pace.
The staff member called Haku-san and Bia-san to a stop when they were about to leave the guild.
Stopping their feet, the two turned in silence.
“…I will prepare a coloured paper, so the next time you come, please give me your sign!”
Without answering, the two wave their hands and leave.
So they were famous people…
“Uhm, I…my name is Osaka Iroha.” (Iroha)
“This is a request from the people of Apple, I will prepare you the best bodyguards. How much gold do you have? ……Hoh, so you are not a mere kid huh. Fine, there’s no problem. But…”
When I tell him the money I have left, that person nods satisfied and continues speaking.
“They will be returning tomorrow morning. People that I can soon arrange with the ones that are currently here…well, there’s no assurance that some unforeseen circumstances might occur. Sorry for this but, you will have to pass one day in the lodging of this city, but…is that okay?”
“It is okay-na no desu.” (Iroha)
“Alright. I will introduce you to a safe inn, and will arrange a carriage that will take you there. It goes without saying, but at the times you leave the inn, try to stay in places that have as much people as possible. Also, don’t walk outside at nights. It seems like you are being chased, so I think you already know though, but just in case.”
I silently nod.
When I hear the word ‘night’, it reminds me of that one night.
I could tell that the darkness was turning into fear and was whirling inside of me.
The current me is probably afraid of the night.
“Ah, right. Little girl! Are you registered in the Adventurer Guild?”
Maybe because I was silent with a bitter expression, the staff member suddenly said that to me in a cheerful tone.
It is obvious but, I haven’t registered in the Adventurer Guild.
There’s no expectations for my battle prowess, and I have heard that people register as a means to obtain an alternate identification proof, but my household name is an identification in itself.
There’s a number of people hidden that are able to proof whether someone is of the Osakabe household, and I don’t think I would need an identification from the Adventurer Guild presently, or in the future.
That’s why I shook my head to the sides.
“I see. There’s a good amount of children that register at around your age though. In that case, how about registering today, since you are here anyways.”
“Me? But things like being an adventurer and doing requests is just…” (Iroha)
“There’s no need to use it. You can make it a conversation sparker, and when something happens, you can kill time by gazing at it wondering if there’s any change to it. There’s no demerits in having one. How about it?”
I can clearly tell that he is being considerate.
I understand that this is because the power of Ginebia-san and Haku-san’s words are heavy, but it is most likely because the person himself is not a bad person.
Refusing would feel kind of bad.
Also, it doesn’t seem like there’s any obligation by simply registering.
Izumo-sama once said in a letter that he also registered. Right, if it can serve as a conversation starter, that in itself is useful.
“Understood. I will register.” (Iroha)
“Alright! Well then, I will do the preparations, so wait for a bit. I will also arrange for the carriage. By that time, the registration should be all over…ah, in other words, we are diving straight into killing time already.”
The staff member leaves into a deeper part of the guild with a relieved face.
After I make a single breath, the staff member returned.
I began filling the necessary spaces in the documents.
“Hoh~, what beautiful writing. Quite impressive for a person your age.”
At the end, I took the level distinction paper in my hands and check for my current level.
“Level is…8 huh. I thought you were a lady from a good household but…maybe you are related to a military family? No, I won’t pry into it, that was the promise. Sorry, please forget it.”
I don’t understand well, but being able to guess that I am from a military family from this must mean that this is high for my level.
If I remember correctly, Izumo-sama is close to level hundred though…
While I was troubled by how to answer, the staff member stopped the conversation on his own and left again, and then, after a little while, he came back with a card in his hand.
If it was so easy to register, I can understand how children around my age can register as well.
“Done. This is the proof that you are an adventurer.”
Saying that, he gives me a card.
It is not something that I especially wanted, but why… I feel happy.
Silently thinking that inside of me, I was given an explanation of the card.
About levels, ranks, and even matters regarding requests and parties.
He explained it to me in an easy to understand way.
“And for the last part, there’s something called titles.”
“Depending on your actions, there’s a variety of benefits. Like getting increasing attack and defense against specific demi-humans or mamonos.”
So there’s a variety of things huh.
What kind of titles does Izumo-sama have?
I will try asking on the next letter.
“If you touch this part, you can see them, but well, it is a matter unrelated to you right now…no, it looks like you already have.”
“Eh?! I still haven’t done anything though.” (Iroha)
“This is…a title I have never seen before either. [Owner of Unconventional Luck (Good)], the effect is…not bad. No, it is a vague description, but it is quite good.”
Owner of unconventional luck?
It makes me happy, but at the same time, it doesn’t make me happy…
I can clearly tell that it is telling me I am not normal.
But if the effects are good, well, that’s fine.
“Yeah, normal titles have pretty straight effects, like; fighting a bug mamono will increase your attack power, or give you extra damage; well, it is that kind of straight. But this one is not like that. In other words, it is a rare type of title. For now, I will set it for you.”
“Ah, thanks.” (Iroha)
“The effect is: ‘you will be guided by a good star. Respond to your own efforts and encounters, and turn troubles and disturbances into your stepping stones. Chance will be your ally in most situations’, or so it says.”
“…Rather than calling it an effect, I feel like I am listening to some sort of fortune telling.” (Iroha)
“Right. But there’s practically nothing bad written in it. I won’t know the details unless I investigate further into it, but I think it is quite the rare and powerful title. Aside from particular situations, it will passively show its effects, or something like that.”
It is true that the contents of it wasn’t that ominous.
“Well, for argument’s sake…”
“There was someone with the opposite title [Owner of Unconventional Luck (Bad)], even if it is a rare title, I wouldn’t suggest to equip it. In the first place, there would be no one who would, because it would most likely bring that person to a premature death. But if we see it like that, little girl, you are (Good), so just leaving it like that will bring good practically with no conditions. It can be called a fortunate life. It might become a slightly lively and noisy life though. Hahahaha.”
Noisy life… That doesn’t make me happy-desu.
Also, the owner of strange and bad luck wouldn’t even need to set up the title, it sounds as if that person’s normal life is coated by misfortune.
It is true that I am happy because of my good luck, and that might be exactly why I was able to meet Haku-san and Ginebia-san.
…hm, that’s why I was betrayed by the adventurers I hired?
Uhm…it is probably better not to think too deeply about this title-na no desu.
“Oh, sorry for the wait, little girl. The carriage is here. I might not need to say this to an adventurer that possesses a rare title but, I wish you luck. Don’t forget to come here again tomorrow, okay?”
The staff member-san suddenly looks at my back, at the guild’s entrance.
“Yes, thanks for taking care of me.” (Iroha)
With this, I will stay in the inn for today, and then, hire trustworthy bodyguards.
With my own eyes, I will look at the real state of the towns, and with my own ears, I will listen to their voices.
I will open the eyes of father and the others.
I won’t let anyone get in my way, not even Shougetsu.
With that resolve deep in me, I ride the carriage that was prepared for me, express my gratitude to the staff member-san again, and left the Adventurer Guild for the second time in my life.