Just as I was resting after dispelling the curse, I noticed a piece of jewelry near the girl’s foot.
It’s a black necklace with a sinister design, probably the medium of the curse used. Skills related to magic that requires a charm of some sort usually uses jewelry as a medium because it has a higher spell efficiency.
「Have you seen this necklace before?」
The girl denied by shaking her head silently. Following her movement, her waist long hair swung to the side back and forth. Her honey-colored hair that is not washed for a long time had lost its luster from all the dirt and dust sticking on it.
「Do you want to wear it? It’s fine now that I dispelled the curse. 」
The girl shook her head even more furiously as a gesture.
(It was the medium of her curse after all, of course she wouldn’t want to wear it on her body……)
「Let’s pawn it for some money in the town then, I will be keeping on to it till then.」
Finally, a small voice came back. Her injuries are healed but her voice is still powerless like when she was still injured in her Fenrir form.
Is there anywhere else that she’s still injured. I asked her about it because I was worried but she said she was fine. It might be because she’s a quiet girl.
「Well then, for now, can you tell me the name of the town you were living in?」
I want to escort the girl back to her home. It’s not like I have a clear destination, I’m a wanderer after all. But then, what came back from the girl was unexpected.
「I don’t really have……a place to return……」
「Eh? No place to return to, your family? 」
「Family is already……not around……」
Huh? Did she mean she was already alone before the incident?
「But you had a place to stay before you were cursed, right? What about there? 」
Just as I asked that, she jumped as she looked at me with her pupil enlarging behind her long bangs. Fear is apparent in her eyes, she was clearly afraid deep down.
(Causing a girl to make such a face at this age……)
I don’t know what happened to cause her to be so afraid. I didn’t know but I knew I shouldn’t send her back to there no matter what.
「N,no……. I don’t want to return……, !…… I will do anything so please don’t send me back to there……」
She gripped my pants tightly with her trembling fingers while looking pale blue.
「―I understand. I won’t do anything. If you don’t wish it then I won’t send you back, you don’t have to worry. 」
「Yeah, I promise. 」
I came down to my knees and met her eyes to strongly tell her that. She looked me back through the gaps of her bangs. I was relieved as I saw her anxious mood lifting away.
But the problem is still at hand. She’s still a child so just sending her to the nearest town by herself can’t be a good idea.
(I said that but I can’t possibly do something like raising her up myself)
Since I’m single till this age. I can’t imagine how I’m supposed to raise her. On top of that, she’s a girl, she surely doesn’t want to travel with a Ossan like me.
(If that’s the case, I can only entrust her to someone trustworthy)
The town of Balzac float to my mind. It might be a little faraway but I only knew the people there.
She looked really apologetic when I told her about it. It seems that she has a bad habit of being too reserved.
I’m curious what kind of environment she grew up in. But her trembling just now made me difficult to ask.
―At that time, a ‘Gu―’ sound originated from the girl’s abdomen.
Her face started to dye in red as she seemed embarrassed while covering her stomach with her thin arms. I laughed a little as I felt the surrounding atmosphere loosening.
「Haha―. Let’s prepare dinner shall we. Actually, I haven’t ate anything also. 」
「Dinner……. Is it alright……? 」
「Yeah. We are departing in the morning after all. 」
The nighttime forest is crawling with many demonic beings, it’s fine if I’m by myself but now I’m with a girl. I should avoid danger at all cost.
「Even though camping outside is dangerous, let’s have a little meal and rest. Even the nearest town will take at least half a day to reach. 」
Thus, I started the preparation of dinner. First, I collected enough branches to start a fire. Normally I would use matches to light it up, but――
(Let’s try using a skill)
If I really regained my abilities, I’ll have to manage my output like I was in my twenties. I focused on my fingertips as I started to chant the aria.
《The spirit of fire, bless me with the flames of anger that you hold―― Fire Magic Salamander》
Suddenly, my hands started to become warm――.
An unimaginable strong flame was spewed out from my hands. This is not just starting a fire. It wasn’t just the branches and sticks I collected, even the tree that the flame collided turned into ash in an instant. Even though I held back substantially……
「Oi, are you hurt!?」
I ran towards the girl as I realized. She was frozen on the spot with her mouth gaping.
「It surprised me……. But I’m fine……」
I exhaled a sigh of relief, but now it’s time to collect branches again. After that, I told the girl to stay at a safe distance, and I tried once again. It’s enough with just the flames coming out of my index finger like a lighter.
As I reformed my image, I chanted again.
《The spirit of fire, give me the flames of anger that you hold―― Fire Magic Salamander》
I succeeded as the sound of ‘Poof’ was heard and a small fire was lit on my fingertips.
The girl at the side let out a voice of admiration.
How many decades had passed since the last time I had to hold back on my power. Somewhere deep in my heart felt a little ticklish as I thought that.
「It’s rare after all to see Offense Magic Skill being used in daily work. 」
「……Not just that. You limited your power after all……. I never saw anyone that could do that……. Even though The Spirit of Fire, Salamander is a savage, are you a kind person……? 」
(How come she knew the nature of Salamander)
It’s not a knowledge that you can attain easily unless you study Offense Skill deeply. When I looked her with a suspecting gaze, she looked anxious as she had her body tensed up.
「No, it was my bad. I don’t have any intentions to scare you. I was just surprised at how you had such knowledge. Did you study skills before? 」
The girl nodded silently. How and why, it’s difficult to ask her just after what happened.
「Uh, that-…….thank you for your praise. 」
(I am such a failure, I should be careful not to scare her from now on)
I checked my status while convincing myself. As expected, my HP didn’t decrease. I was relieved as I put down the rucksack on my back and sat in front of the fire.
I took out a used pot and knife, then a cloth wrapping an apple and a bun. As I patted away the dirt on my hands on my pants, I started the preparation.
First, cut and separate the portions of the bun with the knife. The bun was as hard as rock, so cutting it thinly was a nightmare. If it was me alone I would’ve been fine, but I should buy softer bread now that she’s around.
As I finished cutting up the girl’s portion and handed over to her, I realized her hand is still stained. The reddish black stuff stuck under her nails is probably clotted blood. I must be extra careful controlling my output while casting water magic, I will try it on myself first. After I finetuned my power, I let her wash her hands, then dried it with wind magic.
「It’s good now.」
I passed the bread, while trying to think of an idea.
「―Wait for a little longer. There wouldn’t be any taste if you eat it like that. 」
I put the pot over the fire to heat it up. In the meantime, I sliced the apple that I’ve brought thinly. As I put my hand over the pot…….
(Good, it’s starting to get hot)
I line up the sliced apple on top of the pot one by one. As the apple become softer, I waited for the timing to flip it. It’s finished after both sides are cooked.
I lay the baked apple slices on the bun I gave her just now. With that, baked apple bun is completed!
「Now, eat up.」
The girl stuffed her mouth while seemingly giving prayers of thanks, with her small mouth, she swallowed chunks by chunks. In the process, her eyes hidden behind the bangs shone.
Her mouth was so full that she could only let out a sound of exasperation. But the meaning is conveyed. Her mouth was puffed like a squirrel while looking happy. I’m glad that it is well received.
I as well chucked the baked apple bun into my mouth. Umu―, tastes good. The harmony of the increased sweet-sourness of the baked apple with the dry bun is exceptional.
Next, I poured water into the still hot pot, and put in dried Iriko Beans and Todoroki Boar’s dried meat and boiled it.
Iriko Beans is like a crunchy snack while dried. If you boil them, they would soften and swell up. It’s cheap to get on top of that, it’s an ingredient any adventure would have their hands on.
Todoroki Boar’s dried meat can make a broth with rich taste. As I slowly stirred the heated up dried meat with a spoon, the fat is slowly liquifying. The umami is packed in there. I swallowed my saliva as the gold-colored soup glittered under the moonlight. It would be good if she likes the soup as well.
As the soup is simmering, I plucked some herb nearby. I washed them thoroughly with water magic before putting them in the pot. The steam rising from the pot started giving off an appetizing smell.
Since I only have a single silver mug to hold the soup for drinking, and it’s not like we can share it…, ladies go first. She always reserved herself, even though I told her it’s fine many times.
“Blow on it first so that you don’t burn yourself”
The girl gazed into the soup with a serious face while holding the mug with both hands. Then she blown into it with a ‘Fu―, fu―’ The clumsy look she had while blowing it made me laugh a little.
「Isn’t it cooled down enough now?」
After I told her that, she finally took a mouthful―
Although she is someone that doesn’t show her emotions often, when she ate something delicious, she would show a face befitting of her age. As I felt my existence being healed by her innocent smile, I nodded with satisfaction.
TL Note : I tried putting the sentences together for better continuous reading. Let me know if you prefer this or the old style in the comments. It’s kinda frustrating the author haven’t revealed her name even after 2 chapters since she appeared too….