The next morning is a sunny day as well. We departed from Floria, being sent off by the elves who had accompanied us to that point. Thanks to the high-quality wine, we didn’t have hangovers, it left us refreshed instead.
Just like what Loy said during the party, he’s accompanying us on this trip. However, there’s one more person accompanying us. Nicky, who found out about his father’s trip insisted he was coming, and somehow got permission to.
Our wagon which is loaded with timber had already departed from Floria twelve days ago. The trip back was as smooth as the trip to there. Although we had to interrupt our journey for two days because of rain, we still managed to return to Balzac within the expected time.
「Here’s Balzac huh! Uwah, so many humans!! 」
「Nicky, don’t wander around. But still, this is quite the big city……」
Loy and his son, Nicky looked around, amazed by the unfamiliar sights and sounds. From what I heard, there’s another person responsible for delivering the elves’ timber to Balzac for business, so it’s the first time that Loy and Nicky have been there.
Once every few months, they seemed to have stayed in a small village nearby to buy supplies from human cities. Compared to that, Balzac is much larger in scale. It’s probably full of surprises for them.
For Loy and the others who decided to help out with the carpentry job, we prepared their accommodation in the same inn as us, the 『Round Square Inn』. It’s a small cozy two-story inn that’s run by Eihab’s acquaintance. It’s an inn that Ravi and I like as well.
Especially because their breakfast has a variety of dishes, it’s a small thing that we look forward to every morning.
The next day we visited the hospital with Catlie.
During the period we were out gathering materials, Eihab’s rehabilitation had been going well. The nurse responsible for his ward told us that he had left the hospital already, so we were surprised by the good news.
After that, we visited where Eihab was currently living, and it surprised me to see he wasn’t using a walking stick any more.
「Ravi-chan! It’s been a while! 」
While the girls held hands and rejoiced over their reunion, I asked Eihab about his condition.
「You’ve gotten much better since I last saw you.」
「I told you right, it’s not a big injury after all. On the other hand, he’s……did you visit him yet? 」
Realizing what Eihab is talking about, I nodded.
「Yeah, I went to his ward for a while. 」
It’s about Alan. He hasn’t woken up yet. It seems that his condition is much better now because of the treatment, and he doesn’t seem to be hurt anywhere. According to the doctor, these things happen when the patients themselves don’t want to wake up subconsciously.
Could it be that Alan refuses to accept reality? When I thought that, I felt uneasy. It’s something different than being sympathetic or guilty. The fact that such a straightforward young man like him is carrying such a heavy darkness weighed down on me. It felt like I was being shown the whimsical side of fate, making me let out a long sigh.
In the end, I couldn’t regard it as unrelatable. Right now, I’m living an impossibly happy life, something I couldn’t have imagined a year ago. The happiness that suddenly appeared in my life, would it disappear just as quick some day? That also depends on the whims of Lady Luck.
I felt goosebumps forming, as I swallowed uncomfortably. I’m such an idiot. Getting upset over something that hasn’t even happened…….
「Douglas? What’s the matter? 」
「Ah, no……it’s nothing. 」
「Is that so? ――Then, the miss over there? 」
「Oh, sorry for the late introduction. She’s the carpenter I met in the craftsman guild. 」
Since Eihab hadn’t recovered before we left, Catlie met him for the first time today.
「Eh!? Carpenter……But she’s a girl!? 」
Seeing the surprise on Eihab’s face, Catlie looked a little down.
As if noticing my intentions to cover for her, Catlie shook her head and took a step forward.
「That……I’m Catlie, a carpenter. 」
She mustered her courage and introduced herself while clenching her fist, then she took out the plans she had drawn and handed it to Eihab.
「I heard a lot from Douglas-san, and I added some of my own thoughts on it. I will prioritize your opinions of course, but I thought having something like this to start off would be better. 」
「T-This is……! 」
Eihab’s eyes became round as his gaze was locked on the plans.
「……This is some detailed plan. It’s very different than the one I had the first time we built the inn……」
「Is that so, Eihab? 」
「Yeah. The carpenter that time just said, 『It’s enough if the people building it understand』 and didn’t show me the plans. 」
「It’s made with various explanations for amateurs like us. Isn’t it easy to understand? 」
「Ah, it’s true! ……Nn? This counter. The sink is higher? 」
Noticing the same point I did before, Eihab raised an excited voice.
「This plan is good, but this one is also good. Ah, it’s hard to choose! 」
「……! D-Did you like it……? 」
「Of course! I can’t choose which one to go with, so I will leave it to you. Wait, I will discuss with my wife and daughter too, and decide on it together! Ah, the possibilities……」
In front of the happy Eihab, Catlie seemed to be moved. She looked back at me with an expression like she didn’t know what to do. I stayed silent, and nodded firmly.
Catlie’s eyes widened. I’m sure I’ve conveyed to her to hold more confidence in herself. Catlie who faced towards Eihab again, had her hands on her chest and her head raised proudly.
「I will do my best to make sure it will be a nice inn! 」
In response to her motivated declaration, Eihab replied 「I will be looking forward to it.
「Ah! But, what about the expenses? 」
「Please leave it to me」
Catlie who seemed to have a little more confidence now, patted her chest as she said so.
「We managed to purchase the wood materials at an amazing price, and Douglas-san and other kind people will help out with building the inn itself」
「That’s why I’m sure it will stay well within in the budget! 」
At Catlie’s words, Eihab seemed to be relieved a lot, as he let out a big sigh.
「Thank you. Everyone, really thank you very much」
While looking at Eihab’s happy face, Catlie and I decided to give our best for what’s to come.
After that, the interior and exterior were decided on after some discussions. Since the wood had already been cut into the required shapes and sizes, Catlie taught us the next steps to process the wood.
Since it isn’t something that can be done by amateurs, we put in a request at the timber shop to process it.
「Daddy, what does the processing do? 」
「It makes the log pretty and smooth. 」
「Make it smooth……!? 」
Ravi’s eyes sparkled. It seems it has caught her interest, so she watched the process together with Catlie.
The original log is stripped of its bark, and was cut into rectangular shapes. Bumps were sanded down, and holes were filled. After various steps of processing, its shape had changed drastically from the round log. In the end, Ravi who had a chance to touch the finished plank, raised a surprised voice.
「Waa, it’s so silky! 」
The workers in the wood shop seems to be smiling at Ravi, who’s eyes were glittering with excitement. Even though all of them were tough looking uncles, they couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces. I thought that I probably look like them too…….
「Daddy, this is amazing. It turned into a rectangular shape! 」
「Yeah. Indeed, it’s a display of skill. 」
「Ravi-chan, let’s cheer for the craftsman. 」
「Unn……P-Please do your best……! 」
Ravi, spurred on by Catlie, made an awkward guts pose before getting too embarrassed, it was a showing of angelic adorableness.
「Douglas-san, your daughter is so cute」
That’s right, that’s right.
「If we have such a cute cheering team, we must outdo our best! 」
「Ravi-chan, can you cheer me on too? 」
Wait a minute!
「O-oi oi! Ravi is my daughter! Such a request like that must go through me first! 」
As I panickily stopped them, the craftsman broke out in a loud laugh.
「I see, the Hero Douglas is soft on his daughter huh! 」
Looking at me who didn’t deny that I was overprotective, the craftsmen let out some hearty laughter. In the end, with the support from Ravi, the processing of the wood was finished in record time.