Translator(s): Yomigaeru Editor(s): Yuzuha Proofreader(s): Yomigaeru TLC(s): Lox
A Chance to See.
「Ah, good morning, master.」
When I awoke, Yuel’s blue eyes were right in front of my face.
「Yeah, good morning.」
Yuel is propped up next to me in bed, intently gazing at my face. Apparently she was watching me as I slept. I bring a hand to my lips and feel a trickle of drool. It’s a bit embarrassing.
But it’s unusual for Yuel to be awake before I am. Normally she wakes up a little after I get up. …Well, it’s not like she’s never risen early to stare at my “tent”.
The atmosphere feels slightly different than usual, though. Mixed in with her smile, there’s a sense of accomplishment like a feeling of satisfaction or something along those lines. She seems a little tired too. I wonder what happened?
Oh right, I got wasted at the tavern last night. How did that turn out? I remember passing out on the table, but Yuel and I are together on the bed. And why is the tired Yuel wearing that satisfied expression–
…No, it can’t be.
Looking closely at Yuel, instead of the usual thin comfy pajamas, she’s dressed to go outside. Why has she already changed her clothes? Did she wake up early and have nothing better to do than to get changed? Or maybe, did she do something to get them dirty while I was aslee–
…No no, there’s no way that would happen.
I surreptitiously inspect my clothes beneath the blanket.
Everything seems to be in order. It’s the same outfit as yesterday. My pants and underwear are still in place. The belt is tightly tied, and nothing’s particularly dirty.
Thank goodness. Nothing happened.
But if nothing happened then why is Yuel…
She happened to wake up early, got dressed and then got bored of waiting for me so she slipped back into bed again? She looks tired because she didn’t get enough sleep? Is that how it went?
「Did someone carry me here yesterday?」
「Yes, Geyser-san brought Master back.」
I need to thank him… wait, why should I? It’s Geyser’s fault for ordering the Red Dragon Killer that got me wasted in the first place. Sure, I’m the one who physically drank from it. But I meant it on an emotional level.
For breakfast, we head to the tavern. We commute there every day without fail, so at this point we’re the most regular of regular customers. Well, it’s only natural since I run the treatment stall there.
As I look inside the shop, Miniskirt Waitress-san glances over and waves. Um, the girl with the black panties. What color are they today? I really want to know.
I’ve spoken with her maybe 2-3 times since the day she fell down and I healed her, but there haven’t been any particular developments. I’d like to get close enough with her that she’d willingly lift up her skirt for me, so I’ve struck up a conversation with her a few times, but maybe on account of her clumsiness she has her hands full with work and doesn’t have much time to chat.
In other words, she and I aren’t very close.
But having said that, she’s being friendly today for some reason. Waving enthusiastically with a warm smile. I’d rather see that skirt wave though.
I start to wave back– then the realization sinks in.
She’s not waving at me.
It feels like she’s looking slightly to the side. I lower my hand and look over —
Yuel is bashfully waving to Waitress-san.
Yuel-san, when did you become so close with her? Aren’t you getting along better with her than me, who healed her for free?
I wonder if you got a chance to while I was asleep yesterday.
Even so, while I was struggling to make progress, you captured Clumsy Waitress-san in a single night? You devious child. You absolutely must teach me your techniques.
Yuel stops waving, and Waitress-san’s attention shifts over to me. When our eyes meet, she smiles sweetly. She stops her work, and walks over to me in a hurry.
Has she fallen for me?
No, that’s not it. What could it be?
We haven’t taken a seat yet, so she wouldn’t be coming to take our orders. Maybe she had something to talk about with Yuel? But that smile was definitely aimed at me.
What’s with this? I’m getting my hopes up.
Yesterday, did Yuel portray me in a good light? Maybe now she’s feeling like “I already thought you were nice, but you truly are a kind person! Take me!”
As these thoughts are running through my head, Waitress-san arrives in front of me. And then, with a big smile, and a cheerful voice–
「Last night’s bill comes out to 12,000 Zeni!」
We finish our meal at the tavern and enter the labyrinth. Our goal is the 7th floor.
I have enough Slime Jelly for the time being, but now I want money. This morning, the contents of my wallet have all but disappeared, and I promised to give clothes to Yuel.
Since it’s a present for Yuel, I should get something new rather than used. As long as I’m buying new, I want it to be high-quality. And good clothes aren’t cheap. An outfit typically goes for thousands of Zeni.
That’s why I want to secure the biggest budget possible.
Slimes are weak, but the mobs on the 7th floor drop magic stones at a reliable rate. That makes the 7th floor a good place to farm for money. It’s not like I haven’t thought about the fact that I’m buying Yuel a present with the earnings from monsters that she defeated, but I’m sure she doesn’t mind that sort of thing.
Getting to the 7th floor feels like second nature by now. Monsters up to the 3rd floor can’t even be considered opponents for Yuel anymore, and we can ignore the slow Green Ivy and Giant Ant if they’re not in our way. She takes the initiative against Big Tick by throwing knives as soon as they appear to reduce their numbers, so we make quick progress.
And just like that, we reach the 7th floor. It seems to be a well-known hunting ground for adventurers, and we occasionally even come across groups that bring tents to camp overnight. Since they managed to make it past the comparatively dangerous 5th and 6th floors, they probably want to hang around the 7th floor as long as possible.
But the overnight hunters need one person to stand watch while the others sleep. That would be pretty difficult with just the two of us. There’s also the problem of losing track of time if you stay in the labyrinth too long.
We could potentially use consumable magic items that create a barrier with a certain duration, and watches exist too, but we’d need money for those things. They’re not items you could afford just by spending a few days in the labyrinth. And I’m broke now anyway. Shopping will have to wait.
We continue hunting around the 7th floor and eventually arrive at the boss room.
Within the boss room awaits the Huge Slime. Its rare drop is Slime Drop. From what I overheard at the adventurer’s guild, a single one apparently sells for 200,000 Zeni.
200,000 Zeni, huh…
Although it’s a rare drop, a single one would land us twice what we make from a half-day hunt on the 7th floor. That’s quite a lot of money. I want money. As much money as I can get.
But hold on. What if we can’t beat it?
Huge Slime is around 3m in size. Yuel would be facing it with a 20-30cm knife. I can’t possibly see us winning against it by ourselves.
I glance over at Yuel and she’s staring at the boss door with a pumped-up expression like “I’m ready whenever!” But we can’t go in like this.
It’s safer to continue to hunt slimes normally, and the efficiency isn’t bad. We’re not so desperate for money to justify it.
There’s no need for such a high-risk method.
「I’m ready whenever!」
「No, we’re not going.」
Yuel said exactly what I thought she would, but there’s no need for us to do it.
She looks disappointed, but there’s nothing I can do about that. She’s certainly talented, but there’s a reckless side to her. I’ll have to keep that in check in the future too. That’s my responsibility as her guardian.
「Master, I’m just going to go fix my hair.」
After the labyrinth exploration we head to the usual tavern. As soon as Yuel leaves for the restroom, Ruruka drops by my treatment stall. Her timing is suspiciously convenient.
「Shiki, I got hurt. Heal meee.」
Ruruka closes the curtain behind her back as she enters the stall with a wry grin. Yeah, she knows where this is going.
「This isn’t Eris’ hospital, you know. One Heal is 400 Zeni.」
「C’mon, can’t we decide on the fee after you take a look at the injury?」
As she speaks, she pops open her shirt buttons one by one. Her chest gradually becomes visible. From the gap in her shirt a valley peeks out from between two plentiful peaks. I catch a glimpse of a cute white undergarment decorated with frills, unusual for an adventurer.
Once Ruruka unfastens the 4th button, she exposes her shoulders assertively. There’s a cut that looks like she got caught on something sharp.
「It’s such a teeny-tiny wound, don’t you think?」
「The treatment fee depends on the magic used, it has nothing to do with the size of the wound.」
I firmly refuse. Of course, this is the start of our negotiation play.
–How does Ruruka feel about this, though?
Her expression when we went to the labyrinth together two days ago… That attitude made it seem like she was jealous of Yuel.
Up until then I had thought she was just the kind of woman who didn’t mind fooling around a little to save money, but I have a feeling that’s not quite accurate. This is a good opportunity to find out.
I’ll see how far she’ll let me go and judge accordingly. Or rather, I want to push it as far as she’s willing to let me go.
「Ehhhh, it’s really a small wound though? Why don’t you get a closer look…」
Ruruka stands up and bends her body forward. Her lovely face is nearly touching mine. As I look down, that bare valley greets me. Her bountiful breasts jiggle and sway under the effects of gravity.
She said to get a good look, but all it took was a glance to know that Heal would take care of the injury. Yet Ruruka is letting me continue. You might say this is proof of our mutual understanding.
Regardless, what a refreshing view. I still need to determine how far Ruruka will go today, though. I can’t let it end here.
「Hmmm, it’s still hard to see…」
「Ehh? W-Well, it can’t be helped…」
Ruruka looks around nervously and double-checks the curtain before turning back to me. Her face seems somewhat flushed.
「I-In that case can you tell by touch?」
Then Ruruka grabs my hands and pulls them onto her breasts.
I feel a soft sensation as my fingers sink into her flesh. Through her shirt, that is. My palms press into her abundant mounds and they squeeze together impressively along her exposed midline. Ruruka can’t meet my eyes anymore and she’s looking away in embarrassment.
We’ve done this a few times before, but the fact that she might actually be into me adds some exquisite spice to the experience. I start to waver.
But this much is just the default route. It always ends here with the discount. This is the critical point for me to find out how far I can take it.
「Hmm, I can’t tell from over your shirt.」
「Eh? Ah… ummm.」
Is it no good after all? She’s hesitating. Casting furtive glances in my direction, face flushed, considering it.
Ruruka opens her mouth. There’s a soft sensation on my fingertips and a sweet voice pleading in my ear.
–But I’m no longer paying attention.
Because my eyes met hers.
Yuel’s. She had returned.