I greet the cooling morning sunlight shining through the window as I woke up. Yesterday was rainy the whole day. Our schedule was delayed even further thanks to that, so I’m grateful for the weather today.
The military police had given me the greenlight to leave the town yesterday morning. Mattroc and his subordinates was to be transferred to the jail in imperial state soon. The orphanage was renamed to “Addinton Orphanage” and it seems it’s going to be funded by the citizens.
After changing and fixing up my attire, I put away the rucksack that is filled with travel necessities. What I’ve gotten in the commercial area yesterday are stuffed in there too. Speaking of which, I wonder how many years it had been since I last spent without worrying about my pocket.
What I bought was daily necessities like hand towel and preserved food. And the spices for widening my selection of dish. After that, I got a cloth sling bag and a canteen for Ravi as well. Then, a children-sized coat to ward against the weather.
Ravi immediately put the coat over her one-piece. It’s a plain beige-colored coat just like mine. I personally had wanted to buy one that was frilly like the ribbon but, 「I want to have one like daddy’s……」and left me with no choice.
(Just thinking about it warms my heart)
An old man like me getting fidgety is just disgusting. I hit my cheeks to focus myself.
Ravi looked at me anxiously because of the loud sound.
「No, it’s nothing. I was just raising my spirit. 」
「……! Then me too……」
Before I had a chance to stop her, she had already hit her own cheeks. The pristine white face was turning red. Even though just looking at it makes me feel painful, she’s making a happy face. Children likes to imitate others a lot, so I’ve got to pay attention to my actions.
By the way, Ravi’s necklace is still in my pocket. After I bought the necessities in Theo-jiisan’s store and took out the necklace again, he asked me「How did you even get such a rare ornament? 」. Without telling about Ravi, I explained that it was used for a curse, then I was scolded with 「There’s no way I will buy that stuff」.
Holding an ornament that had been its curse dispelled would pose no problem. But usually even so, people would hesitate to have it is what Theo-jiisan explained. Then what about me who’s been taking it around like nothing……. Theo-jiisan sighed and 「You’re a good person, but too bad you’re lacking delicacy. 」. Even while complaining, he told me the name of a certain baron and the city he’s in.
「I have a little acquaintance in Milton, he’s a magic item collector. If it were Baron Morris, he would definitely buy it at a high price. You should ask him. 」
Even having relationships with a baron, he’s really not just a usual old man. If we were to go by the sea route, we will stop by 『City of Joy, Milton』. As I thanked Theo-jiisan, I memorized the baron’s name.
The baggage is finished packing. Ravi also looked prepared with her bag behind. She’s holding the watery blue ribbon like it’s her treasure. After that morning, it became my daily routine that every time before we would exit the room, I will tie her hair.
I would brush her hair with a comb, then tie it at the back. As expected I would’ve caught the hang of it after doing it day by day.
「Alright. It’s done. 」
Ravi closed her eyes and smiled happily. Even though I’m doing it every day, she still showed me a happy smile every time.
After thanking the innkeeper, we set out from the inn we stayed in for the past days. After passing through the streets in the city, we headed towards the junction point……
There’re a few familiar faces there.
「Oh, finally here? 」
「Theo-jiisan……. And why everyone’s here……」
「Why you say, of course it’s to send you two off」
The Guildmaster dressed in his usual gaudy clothes said while covering one of his eyes. There’re the others that we met in Theo-jiisan’s store, Theo-jiisan’s son, bearded leader and his comrades, military squad’s member, also the officers.
And behind them, were the children from the orphanage.
I was surprised because I didn’t think that they would come to see us off.
「Thank you for everything! 」
「Stay healthy! 」
「Come visit this city again sometime! 」
The warming words and the smiling faces heated up my chest. I looked the faces one by one, engraving their smiles on my heart.
Leaving like this is a first time for me. While travelling alone, I didn’t interact much with others, because of that, I felt lonely. It’s different than the quiet departure before in every way. I felt a little lonely but also happy at the same time.
(They’re all good people. I’m glad that I’ve met them in this city……)
I felt that deeply in my heart. I don’t know if we will ever meet again. Even so, I will never forget about them in the future.
「I’ve been in your care. Stay well too everyone! 」
I bowed together with Ravi before stepping out. The people in Addinton never stopped waving their hands even when our figures are fading away in the distance.
The the second afternoon after leaving Addinton. When we’ve reached the forest, the weather started to turn bad. The fast-flowing clouds gives off an bad feeling, but there’s no where to stay until the next village.
(It would take more than half a day to reach……)
We hurried as much as we could, but as expected, it started to rain when we were still in the forest. The big rain droplets that splashed on our face.
「There’s no sizable trees around. Ravi, let’s try our best for a little more. 」
While Ravi is covering her head with the hood, we continued looking for a tree that can ward us from the rain.
That time ――.
I saw a carriage in the direction we’re heading. It seems like the wheels is stuck in the mud. And a male elf is trying to push it up. And beside him was a boy that looked to be around Ravi’s age trying to help him. Under the blonde hair were a pair of long and pointy ears. They are both elves. His droopy eyes look like the child’s, they’re probably father and son.
「I will go help out a little, so wait under that tree for a while. 」
Even if it’s a thin tree, it should be enough to cover Ravi alone. After confirming Ravi went under the tree, I went towards the elves.
The elf who noticed my footsteps swiftly put his hands on the bow behind him. Elves are a race that’s very cautious. To show that I had no hostility, I raised both my hands up.
「Need any help? 」
「We both are sharing the same difficulties right. And I’m also with a child. So, count on me please. 」
His face loosened a little after explaining that.
「……Thank you very much. But the carriage that’s stuck is very loaded……. We can’t lift them up an inch even with two people. Thank you for your concern but it’s seems impossible. 」
The elf man frowned and looked at the carriage. Certainly, it looks quite heavy. Unless we had a few tough men here, it seemed to be not budging any time soon.
(If that’s so……)
「Take a little step back」
He hesitated at my words.
「……Dad, is it fine to trust him? 」
「Hey, shush. 」
As expected, the man was the father, he took his son’s hand and backed up a few steps from the wagon. After verifying their safety, I immediately started chanting.
《Boil up the expanding power――Muscle Power Strengthening!!!》
The muscle on my both arms swelled up and pulsed. The elves were surprised at my stature that expanded by several fold.
「Awesome――!!! What was that!?!!! 」
The young elf looked really excited as he jumped a little. I smiled wryly and lifted the wagon to the flat ground with ease. Then canceling the buff and facing towards them……
「Thank you so much……! That really helped us……! I thought I’ve ought to get help from the village after walking to there……. But you became drenched because of that. 」
「Don’t mind it please. I’m glad I’ve been of help. 」
「Please do come and take shelter at our village. It’s only a few minutes away if we go by carriage. 」
Their words surprised me. I heard the elves don’t accept anyone other than their race in their village. That’s why I didn’t plan to stop by there in the first place……
「Letting me in is fine? 」
「Yeah, of course. We elves are cautious, but we do know to at least repay our gratitude. 」
He probably knew the reason I was hesitating. He explained while smiling wryly.
(Ravi is also with me, it would be good if we can take a breather there)
「Sorry for troubling you」
I bowed my head lightly, then beckoned Ravi over.
「Ravi, let’s take a rest in these people’s village」
She stared shyly towards them and lowered her head a little.
「P-please take care of me……」
「Yeah, me too. ――What a cute daughter you have」
Ravi getting commended makes me happy too.
「Now, let’s get on the carriage. 」
「……Uh, hey. We kids will be at the back, so come with me. 」
The boy grabbed Ravi’s hand with an awkward gesture. Ravi was surprised by the sudden contact, and reflexively pulled her hand back. The boy probably didn’t imagine he would be rejected so reflexively. His eyes became round and his face became red.
「I-it’s alright anyways! I just wanted to offer my hand to help a little! 」
What is 『It’s alright』.
The face that became red suddenly, and the excuse he spat out wasn’t even comprehendible.