We exchanged horses in the towns that we came across to resupply. The travel is continuing smoothly.
If there was anything significant, it was just the small matter of the carriage wheels getting stuck on the road, but even that was solved with muscle power, so our schedule wasn’t delayed much.
It’s been ten days since we departed. The horse carriage that we’ve been riding on, arrived at 『Snock Forest』 as scheduled. What lies ahead is the elves’ settlement, Floria.
「It really takes back, Ravi. Just ahead of this road, it’s where we met Loy and Nicky. 」
That day was stormy and rainy. While feeling nostalgic about it, I stared up at the blue sky.
We met the elf parent and son when their carriage was stuck and couldn’t move.
When I offered for help, they were totally wary of me at first since I was a human. Thinking back, they are the elves that are wary of the other races. I might have been too unreserved. Even so, we got it all cleared up because we are both parents with children of similar ages.
After that, we were invited to the treehouse that they were living in, and even got to try the famous dishes of the elves. Come to think of it, I wonder what happened to the house that burned down.
「It’s good if everyone is doing fine. Ravi wants to meet again with Nicky too right? 」
「Unn. I want to play again. 」
「It’s amazing how you’re friends with the elves! Ah! But is it fine that an outsider like me is coming as well……? 」
Catlie who looked at our exchange asked worriedly. I have thought about that as well. Certainly, the elves are wary of other races. But even so, I have understood something from talking with them.
In my impression, they don’t reject people without any basis, unlike what most people say. At the very least, the elves living in Floria don’t. That’s why Ravi and I could become friends with them.
「They might be wary of you in the beginning. I’m sorry if they make you feel bad. But they’re not bad people, so don’t worry. 」
「I understand……! I also get nervous talking to someone I met for the first time! 」
「Haha. Come to think of it, that’s not just a special trait of the elves huh. 」
We stepped down from the carriage just before the road that leads to the settlement, before telling the driver to pick us up at the same time tomorrow. After that, the three of us walked on the path in the forest.
「Ah! Daddy, everyone is there……! 」
I looked up as Ravi said so, the elves that were working at the entrance of the settlement looked at us with surprised faces. Their expressions were mixed with surprise and joy.
Huh……!? But they’re somehow……
「Even Ravi-chan……!! 」
「Uwaa!! It’s been a long time~! 」
They stopped their work, and the elves came here quickly while making sounds.
「Hey, everyone――! Douglas-san and Ravi-chan have come to visit―! 」
「What? They have come to play!? 」
It became a huge fuss in just a few moments, even the elves that were working inside the settlement came out to gather.
Everyone had the same smile as before, and seemed energetic. I was happy that they were welcoming us. But what was surprising was their appearance.
「Nn? ……There’s a beastman girl together with them? 」
「Outsider huh……. But, well……if it’s Douglas-san’s friend then……」
「N-Nice to meet you! I’m Catlie!! 」
Catlie who was nervous awkwardly greeted the elves. I hope it went well somehow. But leaving that aside……
「Why have you all become so muscular……!? 」
「Everyone became big……」
Ravi had a surprised face and round eyes as well.
Well, of course.
The elves men became muscular and their figure became tougher in the time that we haven’t seen them. Even though they were all slender and thin the last time we saw them. Looking at their faces, I can see some familiar ones. But even so, isn’t the change too extreme……!?
「Aiming for Douglas-san, we have been training every day since then」
「Douglas-san is our goal! 」
「It’s still far from your muscle power but, isn’t the result visible! 」
Laughing with their white teeth showing, they took a pose to show their muscles. Their faces are filled with pride.
「Not just results, it’s too much, isn’t it……」
Seemingly taken my words as praise, the elves high-fived happily. If they are this happy, well, it’s good, I guess. Loy and the others showed up a little after that.
「Douglas-san!! It’s been a while!! 」
「Y-yeah…… Loy, you’ve become tougher too huh. 」
Even Loy seemed to have increased in size three-fold. However, his modest smile was still there, so I felt relieved somehow. Even if his appearance changed, it seems that his heart hasn’t changed. But something that was even more surprising, was Nicky.
「O-ou, Ravi. It’s been a while……」
A young man that doesn’t seem too different from the adults stood in front of Ravi shyly. The way that he fidgets around shyly, certainly resembles Nicky. Nicky is amazing……. To think that a child like him could grow this much in just a few months……
It seems that he was training together with the adults, and thus attained a tough body.
「Ravi, it’s surprising huh? Nicky grew up this much after all……」
While saying that I turned around, but Ravi quickly hid behind me.
Seeing Ravi’s action, Nicky called out in surprise and sadness.
「Why are you hiding? Ravi! It’s me! 」
「Eeeh……!? I’m Nicky! We met in this village right! 」
「……Nicky, he wasn’t this big……」
Nicky seemed to be trembling while teary-eyed, and Ravi seemed to be wary of him. The shock can be seen in his eyes, in addition to some tears. It seems like it will take some time for Ravi to recognize Nicky as Nicky……