Translator: pinky onee-sama Editor: anirhapsodist
Louisa-san, Igarashi-san, and Theresa are drinking. I have yet to confirm Theresa’s but there are no age restrictions for consuming alcohol in this country.
Elysha took quite some time to dress up. She arrived a tad late. As a pair to her straight and flowing golden hair, she opted a blue accented one-piece dress that looks similar to what she wore under her armor. We made another toast to welcome her arrival. –At this point, I have already been drinking quite a considerable amount.
“Misaki, your face is all red. Have you possibly been drinking?”
“No, Suzu-chan didn’t allow me to. Ely-chan, do you drink too?”
“E-Ely-chan…? That’s my first to be called like that. If its Ely though…”
“Then, may I also call you Ely-san from now on?”
“…Yup. Will Suzuna be good enough, since it rings better for me?”
“Uhuh~. I thought so, you’ve become super chummy~. I know, right?~ Because you have matching personalities, and both of you are calm and composed.”
“T-That’s not true… I’m chatty from time to time. I mean, I can also speak up you know!”
The three younger girls spoke heart-to-heart while Theresa sat beside them, drinking at a restful pace.
“Oh, so good! Right now that there’s everyone, it tastes better than usual.”
“Onee~san, you handle your alcohol well! Here, here, here! Have another!”
“Misaki-chan, Louisa-san is already on her fourth cup, so I think it’s best to let her be.”
“The mood has already changed from a while ago. Consuming more alcohol beyond this will be bad”
Misaki serves Louisa-san a drink. Suzuna seems to be worried about the bad luck that’s accompanied Misaki recently and Elysha was somehow overwhelmed with Louisa-san’s glamour while she was looking at her cup.
“Suzuna-chan’s consideration pinches the heart. Once in a while, we adults just want to have a drink. At times, I also wished to have a drink at a bar with my friends, not just to stay at home and accompany my dad while he drinks when we have dinner. Atobe-kun, are you even listening?”
“Y-Yes I heard you but, I think it’s already past your limit with alcohol, Igarashi-san”
“My, I’m still not drunk, you know. Atobe-kun, you’ve never seen me get drunk yet. Since yesterday, all I ever drank was water… Don’t you want to join me for a drink?”
“No, no it’s not that I don’t want to. We’ve been drinking, but it’s almost time you know?”
“Now, now, it’s still early, isn’t it? You still have time to spare before going to the mercenary guild with Theresa…”
While saying that, Louisa-san poured herself a drink. Suddenly, with faintly flushed cheeks, she boldly wraps her arm around my back then raises toast face-to-face.
“L-Louisa-san, that’s so sudden. Is something the matter?”
“Sorry, it seems that I may have gotten a little drunk. It’s kind of annoying, but I have the habit of clinging to my friends when this happens…”
“Hey~ stop that! Isn’t that a little too stimulating for onii-chan?”
I somehow anticipated that this might happen, but her sense of distance has become near excessive. Even Misaki felt so embarrassed, Suzuna too didn’t know what kind of face to show.
(Don’t tell me that she’s the type that gets erotic when she gets drunk? T-This is bad, Igarashi-san is just behind me.)
“E-Excuse me. Please, let me step outside for a bit….”
“Hey, don’t escape. Just sit down properly, okay? Atobe-kun, because you accomplished a great feat, have more pride in yourself. You can order us as much as you want, you know? Here, I’ll pour you some more. You have to drink lots and eat lots! Say Ah~…”
Igarashi-san is becoming preachy, or should I say, she’s becoming someone like a mother. She pierced the remaining ham with a fork, ate it then followed it up with a drink.
(If I have been drinking with the both of them yesterday, this might actually be the very same result… Is this a good outcome? Or a bad one?)
I’m not that of a heavy drinker, but there’s one thing I can say about Igarashi-san when she gets drunk. She leaves a lot of openings.
(So I have been thinking about those kinds of things, huh, but even so… worldly desires are unnecessary for my party. I and Igarashi-san are companions… I must never take advantage of her, just because she’s drunk.)
“Gulp, Gulp… Haah…! So good! Hey, Atobe-kun, it was because I thought that you were the person who was up to the task. Compared with the others, your documentation was flawless, even though I have not required anything with regards to the format. Wasn’t that a good thing? There was nobody else for the task but you, my reliable subordinate…”
“I-I understand. Excuse me!? Can you please bring us some water and some pickled fruits?”
“Certainly sir, please wait for a moment.”
I told the lady shopkeep at the back. While waiting, Igarashi-san continuously narrated about how much she has held me in high regard and how regretful she was for abusing me.
(I wish you could have told me about that when I was working overtime, but really…)
“Also, last Valentine’s Day, as an act of gratitude, I even made them a little different from what I had distributed to others. I know I made the packaging the same, but Atobe-kun didn’t even notice. Hey, are you listening!? Back then, did you properly eat the chocolates I gave you!?”
“I ate it and it was delicious, you know? So please, calm yourself down.”
“My, I don’t feel like believing any of your words because of the way you speak. After all, those chocolates, they were from your most hated boss, so you threw them away, am I wrong? I returned home carrying a precious return gift from White day. But having heard that it was just obligatory, when I opened the fridge, it was all but empty…my mum and brother, both of them ate it without asking my consent. Can such things be done so normally? Even if it’s obligatory, It was given to me and I brought it home!”
Seriously, I wish you could have just kept it in your room, but I am in no position to utter those things. I wonder. Could it be that Igarashi-san too, even by the way she is, got subordinates who admire her? Or am I just too stressed that time for failing to notice? No, I just believed that it was nothing to be concerned of.
“Arihito onii-chan, did something happen between you and Kyouka onee-chan~? If so, this is quite platonic.”
“Something like that would be unacceptable, wouldn’t you agree? Look, can you understand the situation here?”
“Atobe-kun, don’t go scolding someone in a manner like that. Here, have some meat. Eat your meat and everything will turn out well. I’m already getting irritated because you’re not eating any meat, you know?”
I don’t know if she’s in a drunken daze, but at the very least, she’s not picking a fight with anybody else. When Louisa-san came and leaned on me, I wasn’t, in any way, able to escape.
And to Elysha, who had been waiting for our exchange to finish, finally decided to insert herself into the conversation then asked curiously.
“…during Valentine’s, friends exchange gifts, don’t they?”
I see, now I understand where this conversation is going, however, she is from Scandinavia and it seems that their practice for Valentine’s is different from Japan, the only country with all certainty that causes a racket for a mere obligatory gift.
After leaving the bar, Louisa-san and Igarashi-san seems to have hit it off and both proposed that we move to my room to continue our chat. To sum it all up, they plan an overnight stay.
Is Elysha sobering up too, or was it because of the temperature inside of the tavern? She was looking up while flapping her cheeks.
“Well then, I’ll accompany Louisa and Kyouka home. Suzuna, Misaki, do you want to come with me?”
“Sure♪. Onii-san, how does a suite look like?”
“…it is the first time that I get to visit a room of a man, so if it’s with everyone then…”
(Anyway it would still be later before I go back to the suite. If I include Theresa, then there will be four people.)
But assuming that I will have to sleep on the couch, there’s no way that we can have a single person in a bed.
“Louisa-san, and Atobe-kun too. From now on, I hope that we will continue to have a good working relationship.”
“Same here. I am also looking forward to Kyouka-san’s active participation. I’ll be glad to support all of the members of the party.”
Igarashi-san and Louisa-san are like kindred spirits. Maybe they can comfortably sleep together.
After entrusting the key of my room to Elysha, we parted from them. I then took Theresa with me and returned her to the mercenary guild. Upon arrival, I asked the staff who was outside to call for Leila-san.
“Oh, there you are. If you go beyond the working hours, you’ll be restricted to hire a mercenary. It’s good that you came back in time.”
“Leila-san, at last, I was able to gather the required number of copper tickets after our explorations for this day. Regarding Theresa, can I officially enlist her to my party?”
When I handed over the copper tickets, Leila-san visibly showed signs of her surprise. After accepting and rifling through the bunch of tickets, she double-checked to ascertain the quantity.
“I surely have received it…100 tickets. I’ve heard that there was a large orc that was brought to the dismantling yard near the outer wall. Tell me Arihito, was that your doing?”
“Yes, though I couldn’t declare it in a louder voice. I also want to quietly get passed that, so please keep it confidential.”
Leila-san exhales a short sigh. Rather than being impressed, she reacts with admiration.
“You’re certainly something. Even for a rookie like you, I believed that it could take around one month in the shortest. Just unbelievable. I didn’t even expect that you could prepare the tickets the next day after we have discussed it.”
“I am surprised myself. So far, I’ve had a variety of fortunate and less fortunate engagements. I need to be more vigilant from now on as well. I need to revert Theresa as human, too.”
“I see… I honor those intentions. It has always been my duty to give refuge to demi-humans, but more importantly, it has always been my desire that they recover their heart. Regrettably, I can only do this much… but if it’s an honest and excellent seeker like you, my hopes are not lost.”
“Regarding Theresa, she is my first partner. There are these moments that even though she could not talk, I somehow know what she feels. Whether it’s my imagination or not, I can ascertain her emotion even though she doesn’t speak.”
Theresa remained quiet all throughout. But when I handed the copper tickets, she fixed her gaze at me.
She has emotions. But for now, it’s just so limited.
“Arihito, ever since Theresa showed that she’s taken a fancy of you, she maintained that feeling. I cannot completely say that Demi-humans have emotions or that they have a will of their own, but if that’s what your intuition tells you, right now is a better than yesterday because you’ve earned yourself a place in Theresa’s heart. That is what I believe.”
“Thank you very much! I sure do hope so, too.”
The events from the time we’ve spent together is more important than an indication for an increase in credibility. I should not take advantage of her and from now on, I’ll be relying on her.
Leila-san and I finished sealed the deal with a handshake. After that, we headed back to the inn.
Theresa continued to patter while following me from behind. Is it the rogue’s skill or an effect of her lizard equipment that I cannot hear her footsteps?
“Theresa, you don’t need to walk behind me. You can walk beside me if you want to.”
Theresa thought for a while, then she lined horizontally beside me — Though I thought that she has lined up, she then went forward a little.
“…Are you just going to walk in front of me like the usual? As in my ‘Vanguard’?”
Whether or not I understood her intentions, so I asked. And as expected, she didn’t answer.
–No, it was not the case.
She nodded repeatedly and moments after that, she shook her head. But what’s that supposed to mean? — Once again, she came back and lined up beside me.
“That’s it. You can walk anywhere as much as you want. But in battle, you can set out in front. And then, just like what you have done now, I can support you.”
Again, she nodded repeatedly. She looks at me and lightly tugs my sleeve.
“Shall we start heading home soon, is it?”
She didn’t answer. Is there also a need to hurry? If you want to walk together, then having a stroll with a drunk who’s also sobering up may not be that bad.
We eventually took our time strolling around town until we reached the inn where everyone was waiting. The moon hung from the sky and the lights of the street lit aglow. They illuminated our path as we walked forward.