Few days had passed since Ardis had returned home with Rona tagging along. Sometimes enjoying a nap on the porch, sometimes getting caught in the playful acts of the twins and Rona, Ardis was having a good time.
There’re times that he goes into the forest together with Nere to procure food or sometimes with Rona to hunt. And every single time when they did that, Rona’s competitiveness would resurface, and Ardis would have to stop him from overkilling too much animals in the forest.
By the way, the fact that Rona could speak was immediately found out by the twins shortly after the incident with Nere. Although Rona said that he will pretend as a normal beast for a while, he couldn’t keep that up when he got bored and was chatting with Nere. He was found out when he was playing with the twins in a similar fashion as well.
「Hey hey, Al. 」
「Nn―? What? 」
It was about the time when the sun reaches overhead. It was when Ardis who was bathing in the warm sun felt Rona’s paw pushing on his cheeks.
「Let’s go hunting? It’s already been two days before since I went already. 」
「Nn―. Leave it for next time. 」
「You said that yesterday already―」
With a dissatisfied voice, Rona started knocking on Ardis’s head with his paws.
「Didn’t we go three days before? 」
「It’s already three days since―」
「I mean, you can go by yourself. 」
「It’s boring to go by myself――. There’re no strong ones anywhere here. They all run away when I get close――. 」
Even if they’re still around the outskirts, it’s still considered in the middle of a dangerous forest. It isn’t a place where normal mercenaries could reach. Rona’s words would make mercenaries in the capital doubt their ears if they heard it. It went on a while with Rona trying to drag Ardis along, but it seems his efforts was fruitless as the young man prefers a nap instead.
With that kind of exchange going nowhere, Nere who came out of the house gave an advice.
「My master. It’s good to rest well for the sake of health but, overdoing it is sloth. 」
「……That’s too harsh of you. I’m not being lazy. I’m just taking advantage of the time that I can use effectively for sleep to sleep. 」
Ardis’s objection was immediately met with Nere’s retort.
「Is that not the definition of sloth? 」
「That’s right. You’re a lazy bum―! 」
And Rona just rode with the flow. With such gazes from the self-titled servant and even his own partner, Ardis finally lifted his heavy body.
Since Ardis had no choice but to now accompany Rona for a walk in the Corsas Forest, he figured that he would head to the capital to procure on some supplies as well.
「There was enough in reserve but, the mouth of this guy consumed much more than expected. 」
There will only be tasteless food if this goes on, Nere said so as she shifted her gaze to Rona. If it’s just for filling up his stomach, Rona can achieve that by going into the forest by himself. But rather than tasteless raw meat, it seems that Rona prefers Nere’s cooking.
Unfortunately, sweet things are scarce here in the forest. As the result, the flour and sugar in the kitchen all disappeared at an amazing pace.
It seems that Rona is supporting the idea as well since he will be the most devastated if he can’t have delicious meals.
「Then let’s go shopping―!! Hey hey, Al. Let’s go buy some sweets? 」
「At least try to hold yourself back. ……Rather than that, do you even have any money left? 」
Certainly, Rona had received the compensation reward from Solte. But on the day of returning home, Rona had been splurging on all the stalls for food. Ardis thought that it couldn’t be all used up yet but, there probably isn’t much left.
「Ah, then let’s earn some money with subjugation request too. Just by hunting, earn money, and even the food from the stalls. Amazing. 」
As such, Ardis who was resting peacefully for a while was forced to start working again.
Two hours approximately after that. Ardis and Rona are now walking down the streets of Gran.
「Al! That! Let’s have that! 」
「Oi, remember to keep your voice down. 」
There were appetizing smells coming from the stalls that lined up in all directions. Rona seemed like he couldn’t hold back as his tail waved around furiously. Forming an unnatural gale, the pedestrians around who turned to see what’s going on saw Rona’s size and paled.
「Let’s get to a dining hall first. You’ll just waste time if we bought these. 」
「Dining hall? Are there tasty stuff there? 」
Ardis’s words were vague and there was a moment when some hesitation formed on his face.
「Normally, meaning? 」
Rona asked it curiously, but Ardis just cut it short and rushed on.
「Don’t mind it, let’s go first. 」
「Ah, wait up Al. 」
Bringing along Rona who seemed a little pouty, Ardis headed towards his frequented inn in the capital, 『Seseragi Inn』. It’s an inn prided for its affordable food, the dining hall there has food that are well in the copper coins range.
The two had arrived at the front of Seseragi Inn without any particular events. Rona sniffed his nose.
「There’s a good smell coming. Al come here often? 」
「Yeah. It’s not comparable to Nere’s cooking but, the stuff they serve here are pretty good. Usually. 」
At Ardis’s words that had a deep meaning, Rona couldn’t quite understand it.
「Well, you’ll see once we get in. 」
Ardis who gave up on explaining stepped into the inn.
「Ah―, isn’t it Ardis-san! Welcome―hyii――! 」
The signboard girl Melir who saw Ardis’s face welcomed him, but it changed into a scream halfway.
「Yo, Melir. I’ve come here for some food. 」
「W-, ww-wwhat is that!? Ardis-san! 」
The reason lies within the giant golden beast beside Ardis.
「This guy? He’s Rona. My partner. ……Oh, I see. Can he not enter? 」
Although Ardis brought Rona here thinking it would be quicker than spending time at the stalls on the streets, come to think of it, the dining hall is where normal people have their meals. Bringing a beast like Rona here is definitely inappropriate.
On top of that, Rona wasn’t like a normal beast, his length was over a meter. The fangs that peeked from Rona’s mouth, it was the proof that he’s a carnivorous beast. Without ever venturing out of the capital in her life, Melir was shocked when she saw Rona for the first time.
「Eh, ah……, i-it won’t jump at anyone right? 」
Melir had suddenly taken up the tray in her hands and used it as a shield substitute, and asked as her eyes peeked out anxiously. But only her face was covered, everything else is unguarded, there wasn’t a single meaning to her action. Smiling bitterly, Ardis patted Rona and answered to calm her down.
「No problem. If no one really finds any trouble with him, Rona wouldn’t be doing anything. He would follow the rules as well, this guy is smarter than many people out there. Right, Rona? 」
Rona agreed with a reply that didn’t fit his size.
「I-If that’s so……. There are less guests now, if you don’t mind sitting a little way from the entrance, then it’ll be fine. 」
Having the approval from the signboard girl, Ardis went to a table in one of the corners of the dining hall.
Just like what Melir said, there were only two groups of people around since lunchtime had passed. They were surprised when they saw Rona but probably felt alright after seeing Melir and Ardis’s exchange. It’s only to the degree of looking over here with interest and muttering among themselves.
「That’s the sword magic――」
「The guy that did in the Three Great――」
「Then that much is――」
From what Ardis is able to catch, it seems like the people around knows Ardis. Surprisingly, it might be that they had complaints but wouldn’t dare to speak out in front of Ardis.
「Umm, Ardis-san. What do you like? 」
Melir asked for their order now that she had calmed down. Her professionalism showed as she smiled albeit seeming a little afraid at Rona’s presence even as she did her work.
「Is your father in today? 」
「Yes. My mom is taking a rest now, but father is still in the kitchen. 」
It seems like it’s a safe day today.
「Then, please serve us six persons worth of full course. 」
Melir’s eyes were round at the unexpected order.
「Yeah. One for me. The other five will be for Rona. It should be fine even if they’re all the same. 」
「A-Alright. I will prepare it now, please wait for a little. 」
Leaving those words behind, Melir had walked away with big strides.
「Why is everyone so afraid of me? 」
After confirming no one is paying attention to him, Rona muttered confusedly.
「It’s natural though. For those that lives in the city, they probably never seen any beast that’s as big as you. 」
「Well, that’s fine. Rather than that, will the food come quick―」
「Oi, you’re making dusts fly, so stop waving your tail around. 」
Ardis complained at Rona who seemed sloppy with his tongue out and his tail waving around.
「Oops, my bad―. But there’s no one around anyways――」
「Melir-chan! Did Ardis come here!? ……Oh, there! 」
A man’s voice that had interrupted the two that was waiting on their food came from the entrance.
「Nn? Ah, Jeanne huh. 」
Ardis recognized the voice’s owner.
It was a man in his forties. He’s a familiar person for any mercenaries around here since he’s often the one introducing requests. It seems like he was originally a skillful mercenary but ever since he got a deep injury on his leg, he retired from being a mercenary. That was what Ardis had heard from the information broker Chezare.
Apparently he had good looks and abilities, and even had fans amongst his female mercenaries friends and other citizens, but that are all in the past. Now, he’s at most referred as a 『Good father』, he didn’t seem like a playboy who is fawned by everyone. The hair that had a little grey, it showed the age he experienced.
「Just good. I found you a really suitable joaaaaa! What’s that!? 」
Jeanne who saw Ardis in the corner came around but was shocked at Rona.
「Ah, no need to worry. This guy’s my company. He won’t do anything if you don’t mess with him, so rest easy. 」
「I-Is that so? Well, if Ardis is saying so, it should be fine……」
He’s a retired mercenary. Different than Melir, he didn’t show as much fear as she did and came to the table where Ardis and Rona were at. The way he walks peculiarly by dragging one leg with him, it’s probably because of the injury he suffered in his mercenary days.
「Anyways, it’s quite a lively beast. 」
Leaning front from the chair beside Ardis’s, Jeanne was staring Rona.
While looking at Rona who was yawning with his mouth wide open, the man tilted his head.
「But was there such creature like this……」
Jeanne who was muttering by himself was hushed by Ardis.
「So, what is it? The job that suits me? 」
「Ah, right……. Oops my bad. 」
Jeanne’s work face returned as he turned around to Ardis.
「It’s a new request that just came in. The destination is a little tricky and I can’t leave it to the other mercenaries……」
After all, Jeanne had come out to find Ardis especially, the request should be something not suitable for an average mercenary.
「Apparently the request is about an investigation, the compensation is fifty gold coins. 」
「Fifty? Just investigating? 」
Ardis was surprised at the amount.
「Yeah. Just investigating. But, I think the compensation is fitting. 」
「The destination of investigation is a small island in the south of the capital. 」
Ardis who had recalled something at Jeanne’s words frowned.
「Yeah. The island where the 『Four Winged』 was subjugated by a certain awkward mercenary as one of the Three Great Demons. 」