Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yomigaeru Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru TLC(s): ShimizuA
Occasion to Celebrate.
It’s the day after I explored the labyrinth with Ruruka.
Yuel and I are in a corner of the adventurer’s guild.
It’s late afternoon, around the time when the exchange window starts to get crowded.
「Oh, Yuel. Before I go to the exchange counter, can you hand over all the raw materials?」
Yuel and I managed to clear the 7th floor of the labyrinth while hunting slimes by ourselves without any trouble.
With this, I can finally replenish my precious supply of Slime Jelly.
「All of them?」
「Yeah, so far I’ve just been selling them without really counting, so I thought it’d be good for future reference if we’re gonna keep entering the labyrinth.」
I’m sure the pure Yuel would hand them over without a second thought if I just came right out and said, “gimme the Slime Jelly.”
But what if, a few years later, the memory pops back up?
If Yuel in her difficult years comes to revile me, and I go to pat her head and she lashes back “I don’t want to be touched by Master!”
I might just keel over from the shock.
The current Yuel is cute.
Meek, adorable, fond of me.
But in the future, what will happen when Yuel grows up?
Will she have a rebellious age?
Dye her hair a flashy color and get a tan? (TN: gyaru style)
She already has silver hair and dark skin though.
I turn my eyes toward the voice, and there’s Yuel taking the raw materials out of her item box, head slightly tilted, gazing up at me.
「Ah, Yuel is so cute…」
Those words casually escape my lips.
「…! N-No way, me? C-C-Cute?」
Yuel yelps in surprise and her cheeks turn slightly red.
She bashfully glances around and fidgets nervously.
Obviously, she’s shy.
Such a cute, girly reaction.
…she must not be used to being praised.
Come to think of it, even I, the one closest to her, have never really praised Yuel’s appearance.
I feel like I’ve only ever complimented things like her fighting ability.
This is no good.
Yuel is a girl.
If she doesn’t get accustomed to some degree of praise from a young age, one day she might get taken advantage of by some bad guy who flatters her.
It’s not like I want her to become tough like Ruruka, but with how pretty she is, I can’t let her self-esteem stay this low.
「I mean it, Yuel is cute. You have a nice smile. I feel like I’m being healed just by seeing Yuel’s smile.」
Yuel hides her face in her hands and shakes her head.
Her face may be covered but I can clearly see her bright red ears.
This is kinda fun.
No, this still isn’t enough praise.
It’s dangerous for a girl to have no resistance to being praised.
For the sake of Yuel’s future, I must praise her more.
「Yuel’s hair is so smooth and nice to touch. It looks so glossy it’s like an angel’s halo. Yes, Yuel is as cute as an angel!」
「A-As an angel…?」
With one hand still pressed against her cheek, Yuel fiddles with her long, silver hair with the other hand.
She must really be embarrassed, squirming around like that.
Have I ever gotten such a great reaction just from praising a girl before?
No, there’s no way.
Eris’ cold, chiding response even though I only told her “you have a pretty face” is still fresh in my mind.
「Yuel’s skin is beautiful too. It’s an exquisite shade, not too light or dark. I love how healthy it looks. You always wear pants, maybe you could try a skirt next time?」
Come to think of it, I don’t remember buying anything for Yuel to wear other than practical clothes.
She’s probably at the age where girls start to become fashion-conscious.
And today was a payday, so why don’t I buy Yuel some cute clothes?
「Yuel is cute. It’s fun just being with you. I’m so happy, I want us to be together forever.」
「I-I want to be together with Master forever too!」
Yuel responds with tears welling up in her eyes.
She’s so overcome with happiness at my praise, she latches on to me and starts to sob.
Uh, aren’t these waterworks a bit overboard?
I’m starting to really worry about a bad guy taking advantage of her someday.
And I feel a little guilty seeing her so overjoyed from my half-teasing compliments.
Well, it’s not like I was lying about the aspects I praised.
Feeling a bit awkward, I avert my eyes from Yuel —
and onto Eight and Geyser, watching us from the line in front of the exchange counter.
…Oh yeah, we were in the guild this whole time.
Having just committed the reprehensible act of (apparently) driving a little slave girl to tears with backhanded compliments in front of the entire Adventurer’s Guild, I hastily made my exit along with Eight and Geyser.
「H-hey, guess what, we made it to the 7th floor by ourselves today.」
「Eyy, that far already? Nice going!」
「I knew you two could do it, but I didn’t expect you to make it so far this fast!」
I talk with Eight and Geyser as we walk down the road toward the tavern.
The tavern is located closer to the labyrinth.
It’s not that far away, but at the moment I’m thankful even for this short distance.
In the guild, they probably didn’t hear what I was talking about with Yuel, but what was certain was that I made a little girl blush and cry.
The looks I got from around the room were painful.
The only saving grace is that Eight and Geyser know that my relationship with Yuel is pure.
I’m a little worried about their giant grins, though.
「Well, exploring the labyrinth is Yuel’s specialty, I’m not doing anything.」
「But isn’t it reassuring to have a healer like Shiki for support? You can use EX Heal, you not only healed my leg but before I knew it all the scars on my body were gone.」
「Ah, as for the scars, I was in a hurry when I saw Eight’s injury back then. That happens sometimes when I use healing magic, occasionally it heals places other than the injury.」
When I first came to this world, my magic power rose dramatically.
It’s relatively stable now, but for the first few days I couldn’t control the excess magical power very well, and when I tried healing a small cut on a fingertip I ended up casting EX Heal around the target’s whole body.
I’m just glad that it didn’t end up making my healing magic weaker or entirely unusable instead.
「Well, I’ve heard that magic won’t even activate if you rush it. What’s with your healing magic?」
「I don’t even know, myself. Well, whatever, today’s a celebration!」
When we get to the tavern, I order better quality alcohol than usual, and a steady stream of food.
The healing clinic is closed today.
Why is that? Because today’s the special day that I got my hands on Slime Jelly.
The day that my friendship with Eight and Geyser paid off.
We clink our mugs to celebrate reaching the 7th floor.
Yuel has no idea what the celebratory mood is for or why we’re clinking mugs, but she clinks her glass of juice too.
It wouldn’t be right to leave her out.
「Um, Master. What are we celebrating for?」
「It’s to celebrate Yuel working so hard to explore the labyrinth.」
There’s no way I can tell her it’s to celebrate getting the Slime Jelly.
I have to deceive her somehow.
「Huh? It’s for the Sl – ouch!」
I won’t forget to stomp on clueless Geyser’s foot either when he nearly exposes it.
「Well anyway, today’s a celebration. Shiki, let’s order more.」
Eight picks up on my behavior and changes the topic.
Thank goodness Eight can read the atmosphere.
Not like Geyser.
I’m blessed to have such a good friend.
「Okay, today is my treat. Order as much as you want!」
「Really, Shiki! In that case, some soft-shelled turtle and–「 We don’t need that.」
We keep eating and drinking and eating and drinking, the sun’s probably gone down by now.
I feel like I drank too much too fast, caught up in Geyser’s pace as he kept ordering expensive liquor without restraint.
Geyser can really hold his liquor, he treats it like he’s just chugging water.
If I try to match drinks with this guy, I’ll end up like Eight who crawled off to the toilet and hasn’t come back.
I glance over at Yuel and find her staring intently at the waitress’ miniskirt.
I wonder what’s up.
There’s no way she could be hoping for a panty shot.
Oh, now that I think about it, I told her earlier today that a skirt might suit her.
That’s probably it.
「That reminds me, I need to give Yuel a present.」
She looks puzzled, maybe because it was out of nowhere.
「Yeah, since Yuel is always working so hard. As a reward for that.」
「N-No, I can’t…」
Yuel hangs her head shyly.
She’s trying to show restraint.
But I kinda want to see how she looks in a skirt too.
I couldn’t make her wear it in the labyrinth while I watch her battle fiercely from behind, but there shouldn’t be any problem with it as casual wear around town.
「I’m doing it because I want to give you a present. As thanks for always taking care of me.」
I push back again.
「I-In that case 「Hey Shiki, we got some Red Dragon Killer! Come have a drink!」
Geyser thoughtlessly calls out while holding a bottle.
…He really does not read the atmosphere.
Yuel and I were in the middle of talking.
But, it’s a time of celebration.
I’ll put up with it for now.
「Wow, is it a good drink?」
「Well it costs 5000 Zeni. I’ve never tried it, but it’s gotta be good, right?」
…T-This guy really doesn’t hold back.
I said it was my treat, but 5000 Zeni, is he really going to help himself to 50,000 yen worth of liquor that thoughtlessly?
While I’m shuddering at the thought of today’s tab, Geyser is pouring the 5000 Zeni liquor generously into his own glass.
The bottle is small, so at this rate he’s going to finish it off by himself.
「H-Hey, wait! I’ll drink too!」
It would be unforgivable if I paid for a 5000 Zeni bottle and didn’t get to drink any of it.
I wrench the bottle away from Geyser and pour the remaining quarter of Red Dragon Killer straight into my mouth.
It’s stronger than I expected and makes me want to cough, but I can’t spill such expensive liquor.
I swallow it all in one gulp.
I feel a heat boiling up from the pit of my stomach.
…This is pretty strong booze.
I feel my consciousness immediately start to slip away.
「…Isn’t this way too strong?」
「Really? Seems fine to me.」
I’m about ready to give up and pass out, but Geyser has drained his glass and seems none the worse for wear.
Geyser is short. Maybe he’s actually a dwarf? They’re supposed to be natural drinkers.
Ahh, Yuel says something to me, but I can’t understand any of it.
Maybe she wants to continue the conversation from earlier?
It’s impossible, my consciousness is cutting out, I don’t know what she’s saying.
Red Dragon Killer was too strong for me.
Yuel somehow looks like she’s full of motivation.
I’m sure the thought of receiving a present is making her say stuff like 「I’ll try even harder in the labyrinth from now on!」
「Ah, do your best.」
I don’t know if the words came out well.
But Yuel looks happy.
I’m sure I got the point across.
I can’t hold my head up any longer.
I’m so sleepy I can’t help it.
I let my face fall onto the table and close my eyelids.