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Ilias saw me off when I returned in a carriage, but it seems she isn’t back yet.
I heard that she will be able to come back by tonight, so I headed to Ban-san’s place.
I praised Wolfe who stayed behind and changed into my original clothes while talking to Ban-san.
I have kept it a secret that I am an otherworlder, but how should I tell him I have been hired by Marito without disclosing this?
I honestly don’t want to say I have been hired as the court jester. I feel like my cool image would be broken.
Let’s go with the story that the king has taken a liking to me and he wanted me to go there for a while to talk to him.
Ban-san was really happy about this.
He obtained the opportunity to bring talks of direct support to the king after all.
The plan to search the unexplored land in Taizu wouldn’t be a dream anymore.
After that, I bought a few things and returned home with Wolfe.
I prepared a number of simple things first for Wolfe’s meal.
Later, I studied language with Wolfe to kill time.
Ilias came back within that time.
“Good work. But I won’t let you end it here.”
“This is…” (Ilias)
What was on the table were alcoholic drinks and simple fishes I had Ban-san prepare.
That’s right, we are having a victory celebration with us 3 to wrap it up.
If it had been a bit more coordinated, we might have been able to have a larger scale celebration with more people like Saira and Cara-jii, but this should be enough this time around.
Dog’s Bone is still open and there’s also other customers. I would like to wrap this up with only people who would celebrate the accomplishments of Ilias from the bottom of their hearts.
“Ilias, good work, and congratulations!” (Wolfe)
“Even Wolfe… Thanks.” (Ilias)
And then, we celebrated the hard work of the girl gracefully even if it was a bit noisy.
Night completely went by. Wolfe is sprawled on the sofa, asleep.
She is most likely still in a shallow sleep. I place a blanket on her and begin drinking with Ilias again.
“Speaking of which, Marito told me to come to the castle next time.”
“I see, the castle—wait, don’t call His Majesty without honorifics!” (Ilias)
“No, the person himself told me to call him as such. It makes me a bit apprehensive to do so in a place where other people are present though.”
“I-Is that so…” (Ilias)
Ilias was making a slightly vexed expression.
It is not like I don’t understand how she feels.
Even if she sees me in a good light, with me now getting along with the king she serves, our standings would get complicated too.
“But he is a good king. He assessed you properly and was also worried about your issues.”
“His Majesty did… I see.” (Ilias)
“You have been acknowledged by the top in this country. Now it all depends on your own growth, Ilias.”
“—Yeah, you are right.” (Ilias)
This is the first time I see the bashful face of Ilias. This is fresh in itself and it isn’t bad.
“That said, I plan on heading to Maya-san’s place tomorrow. Is Maya-san free pretty often?”
“Not really. There would be times when she would have to organize events depending on the season. It is pretty hard to meet her at those times.” (Ilias)
“Events as in festivals?”
“That’s part of it. There’s lively events that the citizens can freely participate in, and there’s also large-scale religious festivals performed only within the Yugura Church.” (Ilias)
“Which one is the closest one?”
“The former one: the harvest festival is close.” (Ilias)
“Looks like it would be better to find somewhere else for tutoring… Are there schools in this country?”
“There are. It is a place where young children who can’t work yet go to learn how to read and write, and also about history.” (Ilias)
“Wolfe could…no, considering the age of Wolfe, it might be a bit difficult.”
“She would stand out.” (Ilias)
I look at the sleeping face of Wolfe.
I would like to set up an environment where Wolfe won’t be treated specially.
I am currently doing a variety of things in order to have her learn some knowledge, but I would like this country to get used to her too in the end.
Children are pure. They speak out what they are thinking without much polish.
Even if the chances of causing trouble are low, it would still be putting a mental burden on Wolfe.
“I myself would like to learn as soon as possible and become her Shishou in the actual meaning of the word.”
“Exactly. It is Maya who has been doing all the heavy lifting right now after all.” (Ilias)
It is shameful.
Even though I had Wolfe call me Shishou, the only thing I have taught her is housework.
That said, it is hard to teach her conduct when she doesn’t have the bare minimum knowledge.
—Let’s slowly proceed with the preparations for that then.
“We might be able to prepare such an environment if we ask Marito after all. It is close to the training grounds, so she could do combat training too.”
“If it takes form, it would also be fine for her to join us in our training. That just now included you, just for your information.” (Ilias)
“I will do swings once I feel like it.”
I completely lose to Wolfe when it comes to initial stats.
With the difference in talent included in it, there’s basically no chance I can catch up.
It is okay. There’s merchants and stuff like that in this sword and magic fantasy world, you know?!
“Also, regarding my residence, Marito said that he would prepare one for me.”
If I am going to be commuting to the castle, it would be better to have a residence closer to the castle instead of Ilias’s house -is what Marito proposed.
The area where nobles live is also close to the firm of Ban-san.
It would drastically increase the convenience.
“But I refused. Please let me stay here for a while longer.”
“—Why did you refuse?” (Ilias)
“One of the reasons is for the sake of Wolfe. She has grown attached to you too.”
Wolfe is crawling into the bed of Ilias at night.
She probably doesn’t like to remember the days when she was alone.
If we change residences, Wolfe would come to me instead…probably.
That wouldn’t be good for my mental health.
If she were still 10 or somewhere around there, my rationale would still work though.
“Right. It would be rough to look after Wolfe by yourself.” (Ilias)
“The other one is a personal one. You see…I already told you about how I am still not used to this world, right?”
“There’s still a lot of things that make me worry when it comes to living in this country, you see… Well, that’s how it is.”
I am making excuses about Wolfe, but I am the one with the worries here.
My acquaintances in this country have increased in just 1 week.
Even with that, I only have a few who I can truly rely on.
I might be able to avoid loneliness with Wolfe by my side, but worries for the future will pile up just thinking about living in an isekai while looking after a girl.
I may be acting like an adult towards someone younger, but the inexperienced one that can’t let go of his dependence is me.
I should be able to live alone in this world just like I did in Japan.
But I was on the verge of dying after being thrown into this world.
My heart was on the verge of breaking at the fact that my words didn’t get through.
I was deceiving myself into thinking it was a fresh experience, but it is most likely a matter of time before that won’t work anymore.
Will I be able to last until I adapt to this world, or…
The existence of Ilias was big within all that.
She gave me the voice, gave me the opportunity, and gave me a place.
She provided me the foundation to face this world.
It is because she was there that there were a lot of… Yeah, that’s right. I refused because it would be sad to leave her and other sentimental stuff!
It was natural for me to return to an empty house. But that day when I saw Ilias waiting for me at the entrance, I ended up thinking ‘aah, this is not bad’!
I look at Ilias. She still has her dumbfounded face.
“I am off to sleep.”
I get up and try to carry Wolfe.
…Heavy. No, you could say she is light considering her age, but carrying a girl in her late teens is pretty strenuous.
It was quite heavy as well with Ilias too.
She is a full fledged adult in terms of body after all.
“W-Wait a moment, I will carry—I mean, I do intend on carrying her, but I didn’t understand well the true meaning of the words just—” (Ilias)
I say this and escape to my own room.
If I had a bit more alcohol in my system and I was more riled up, I would have been able to thank her and tell her my honest feelings…
“It means that I am also lacking here…”
I collapsed on the bed and fell asleep just like that.
I let Wolfe rest in her room.
—Ilias smiled seeing that sleeping face of hers.
Will she come in the dead of the night again?
That’s fine too.
I recall his words.
‘Take it in a good way’ -so am I right here…?
He says he wants to rely on me, and he showed that desire through action.
And he admitted it.
We are talking about him here. He might have already taken into consideration the extent of my ‘take it in a good way’.
Then, isn’t it okay for me to think about this as there being a meaning even higher than that…?!
“…What am I getting excited for?” (Ilias)
He has been in my care, but he has also helped me out.
I consider our relationship to be equal.
I am happy that a person like that has told me this, but it also feels ticklish.
This is not bad.
The amount of moments I think are not bad have increased since I met him.
I at first felt danger from him and was worried.
I thought that he might be an evil that would bring harm to the nation, so I kept him in my care with the intention of keeping an eye on him too.
But his actions were for the sake of himself and his surroundings.
The means in itself are not to be praised, but he must be doing all he can.
There’s a part of me that wants to rely on him now.
There’s a part of me that wants to protect him.
…This man really stimulates one’s desire to protect!
“But it wouldn’t be good to do that considering his age. I really must train him.” (Ilias)
Ilias mustered unnecessary resolve as she returned to her room.
I came to the church of Maya-san yesterday and today with Wolfe to study.
Maya-san can see through lies.
As long as I have my secret agreement with Marito, I should avoid any careless questioning.
Let’s wrap this up with aimless conversation.
“By the way, I heard from Ilias that you will have to prepare for the harvest festival soon.”
“Yeah, that’s right. It will get decently busy, but I can secure time to be the teacher of Wolfe-chan.” (Maya)
“That would be a great help. Please tell me if there’s anything I can help out with in the harvest festival.”
“I am happy to hear that, but we have a lot of people in the Yugura Church, so there’s no issues. I have a lot of work as the one in charge though.” (Maya)
“I will be asking not only you but the help of people like Ilias and Cara-jii in the education of Wolfe, so please don’t overexert yourself, okay?”
“It is a shame that I can’t dye Wolfe-chan in my colors.” (Maya)
“I will actually be reducing your time with her more and more.”
Well, this should be enough.
Let’s learn from this world’s history; especially the Yugura Church’s ideals.
Will they point their blades at me, or can they become a reliable backbone?
There’s also the need to discern whether it is possible for me to choose a forked path myself.
The same can be said for Marito though…
“Yeah, that’s right. I would like to borrow your possession spell in the negotiations with the black wolfkins.”
“I have heard from Ban-san. Of course there’s no issues.” (Maya)
“That’s great. But please don’t mess up, okay? It could create a fatal rift between both sides after all.”
“I have experimented with two people already, so it is okay.” (Maya)
“Their sacrifices will be mourned.”
After that, we headed to Dog’s Bone to have supper.
Saira welcomed us when we entered the store.
“Welco—Onii-san and Wolfe-chan!” (Saira)
“Saira~, food~!” (Wolfe)
“Welcome. Speaking of which, this is your first time coming here for supper, huh.” (Saira)
“Oh, you are right.”
I look around.
Despite it being a bit after lunch time, there’s still a decent amount of customers left.
“The peak hour has passed, so take your time!” (Saira)
“Yeah, we will do just that.”
I finished our order and peeked at the kitchen.
Cara-jii’s wife and Gozu were cooking diligently.
The movements of Gozu have gotten really smooth compared to the first time I saw them.
You can change this much in just a few days? Just how much has he practiced…?
“Oh, ain’t that Nii-chan.” (Gozu)
“You have completely turned from a tavern master to a cook now.”
“Thanks to you. The profits and fatigue have shot up drastically.” (Gozu)
“With that physique of yours, I feel like you will get used to it soon though.”
“I would say my mind is the one that has been trained though…” (Gozu)
I would feel bad getting in his way too much, so I gave him the recipe I thought of at once.
“I have actually made it myself, but I would like one or two more things added to it. Please show it to the other housewives and consult with them.”
“Ooh, that would help out. Can’t really offer you food on the house stealthily with this amount of customers coming in, but I will make them large servings.” (Gozu)
“I am a light eater though…”
“Gozu, move your hand before you move your mouth!”
“Yes, my apologies ma’am!” (Gozu)
You have truly become a splendid soldier.
Oh well, let’s share it with Wolfe.
I left our supper menu to their recommendation.
They are not dishes I have seen in Japan, but they are tasty. It is a rank up from the dishes of this world.
This much of a change from that terrible cooking. There’s no doubt the one who has grown the most in this one week is Gozu.
The runner-up would be…Wolfe, I guess.
“You have something on your mouth.”
I grab the food stuck on Wolfe’s mouth. It feels good to see her eating with glee, but she needs to learn the manners of a lady in the future.
Compared to that, I have barely grown.
If I had to mention a change since coming to this isekai, it would be that I have been led by my emotions, and my feelings of wanting to rely on others have gotten stronger.
Should I see that as me getting weaker, or see it as me being more flexible…?
Speaking of which, my muscle pain is mostly gone.
Does that mean my body has begun to adapt to the lifestyle in this world?
My mental adaptability has also been bolstered thanks to Ilias. I must repay her quickly.
I need to have an advantage in our standings or I will stay as a good-for-nothing who can’t even repay his debts to a young girl.
“…I have been in this world for more than a week, huh.”
I suddenly remembered my previous world.
It may be nostalgic, but considering the conveniences, my world excelled in that front to an incomparable degree from this one.
Even this meal I am enjoying. This could probably line up with convenience store food and ready-made commodities.
Most of the things I have learned from the troubles in this world would not be needed in my civilized hometown.
What kind of emotions do I feel right now while remembering a variety of things that are different from my life in Japan?
Do I have the desire to return?
I have a sea of lingering regrets.
I also want to know about the continuation to serieses I was watching and the books I was reading.
I would like to try out the elegant lifestyle I have not seen yet and the gourmet food I haven’t tasted.
I probably won’t be able to travel around the whole world even if I were to use all my remaining life.
This world has its own charms.
Most of the people are living in a straightforward manner.
That goes the same for the bandits that were executed by the time I noticed.
Cara-jii told me the other day in the carriage that the bandits that we interrogated and were promised to be kept alive until Dokora was subjugated were executed the day after.
One of them left a message. It was from the first man that was interrogated.
—“My life was shit. But I can die as a human. You have my gratitude for that.”
Are you a warrior?
The people in this world live their lives earnestly.
It is most likely because there aren’t many chances to get involved in a variety of info and events.
It feels nice to face a pure heart without many mixed things in them.
It spares me from feeling disgust even when looking at myself acting in a manner that allows me to live safely.
Thinking about it in that way, there might be no need for me to force myself to return.
It may be a bit sooner than expected, but it is like spending my remaining years in the countryside… Can’t really call this ‘a bit’, huh.
But there’s no need to go out of my way to cut off a path I can take.
Let’s search for a way to return to my original world to a moderate degree.
At the very least, in a manner that won’t make me lose sight of my way of living in this world when getting involved in that.
That’s how I lived in my original world too. I am sure I will be able to do it.
Along with the feelings that I want to live safely in this world.
Within the darkness where light doesn’t reach, there’s a being sitting in the very depths of its maw.
The reality that illuminated the magic seal stones shining faintly, embedded as ornaments of this room, was that this being had thrown away its human shell in ancient times.
The one facing this was also covering themselves with cloths.
It wasn’t possible to tell their emotions from the little bit of their face peeking out from the fabric due to that mask of fake emotions.
“So, did you manage to retrieve the record?”
“No. We did get a report that they have searched Gahne, Taizu, and all the bases he used though…”
“Is there no possibility that he got rid of it in Mejis?”
“It has been confirmed in Taizu -where he died- that he used necromancy. Something resembling that was found in the last base he used in Gahne, but only a few traces of it. He most likely read and understood the contents of the book in Gahne, and learned them.”
“Then, where do you think the book is?”
“He most likely brought the book to Taizu. However, according to the search of the lairs used and the lair candidates that weren’t used, the aforementioned record was not found.”
“Meaning that someone within Taizu has obtained it.”
“Taizu is surrounded by mountains and forests. The only path connecting to other countries is the one to Gahne. We currently continue observing whether the book is being moved from either country, but no hits.”
“So the book hasn’t moved from Taizu. And, what do we do?”
“We have prepared someone who will gather information. It is not clear how much time it will take, but I say we will definitely be able to narrow the possibilities.”
“You better hurry. The one in trouble if that thing gets to the light would be you.”
“I am well aware.”
“If it were just you guys being attacked by other countries, we would simply spectate. However, if they manage to sniff out our existence, this relationship is over.”
“We won’t be leading you to ‘what lies beyond’ if you become hindrances. Keep that in mind.”
“Thanks for the warning…Scarlet Demon Lord-sama.”