Chapter 2: The Uncle and Hero no. 576
When it comes to winter, roasted sweet potatoes really are the best.
But given the dry weather, the house may catch on fire, so I can only give up.
However, success! Sweet potato cakes can be made at home. Given that this is a different world, different methods have to be used to create the paste-like sweets. Of course there was wheat flour used and a bit of honey for sweetness, though the unique taste came mainly from the sweet potatoes.
It was served with a small spoon to eat it.
There was already be a layer of snow outside, so the weather wasn’t very good for customers.
Incidentally, from the start, the one responsible for cleaning the house, Elan, had continued to discreetly glance to the side. Of course I had prepared her portion, but it was really fun to tease her.
The next time she peeked over, I met her eyes.
Elan’s face went red and her hands fiddled with the broom. Embarrassed, she was trying to avoid looking panicked.
“Your portion is in the cabinet, so when you are done cleaning, go eat.”
She worked extremely hard to finish her work. Ah, she really was still a child.
Not long after…
“Sweet and delicious~”
Her two hands cupped her cheeks, her eyes shining brilliantly.
I gently stroked her hair. Because there were no customers today, I let Elan take off her hat. Her hair was bright silver and reached her jaw. It was very fluffy and smooth to touch. While I stroked her hair like a cat’s head (ED: awkward like me), Elan instinctively leaned close to me.
“He-hey brother, do you remember this time of the year last year?”
Elan, with her eyes closed, gently nuzzled me (TL:Hehe). I could feel the little horn on her forehead.
“Ah yeah, you were lying silently in front of my house; that really scared me too.”
“I wonder if anything will happen this year~”
Elan happily kicked her legs.
“Just eating white rice is good enough.”
“Elan, you have to work hard, no slacking off!”
Whenever I get mad, my speech tends to become more punctuated.
I sighed, and she waved her hand, brushing it off.
-Bang, bang, bang
Intermittent knocking sounded at the door.
There were still customers at this time? I motioned for Elan to put her hat back on.
Cautiously, I opened the door a crack.
Late at night, the ground was snowy, and the sky seemed to go on for miles.
A fifteen year old boy with an unkempt appearance, tattered clothes, frostbites full of pus, thin cheeks, and frail body, lay prostrate on the ground.
He lifted his head and looked at me with eyes like a wounded wolf.
He seemed helpless and fearful, but his face seemed to say that even death would not make him give up.
“Why don’t you come in,” I said.
I took him through the side door to the house. The house was divided into two parts: the home and the shop; the home side was significantly smaller, consisting of only a kitchen and a bathroom. A spread of blankets was usually the bed, located on floor of the shop.
I let him take a shower to wash up, gave him clean clothes, spread the bed, and had him sleep on my right side.
Elan usually slept on the left side. Of course, we used two sets of bedding. Even if we hadn’t, I wasn’t interested doing anything to little children.
“What is your name?” I asked, as I gave him medicine.
“Nord. Nord Bali Rio.”
“OK. I am the owner of this weapon shop, and that is my little buddy, Elan.”
Nord barely glanced at Elan and moved on.
To be honest, he was not truly interested in Elan; rather, his interests lay in the shop full of weapons.
He looked around as if he was trying to find the hidden treasure.
Nord didn’t seem to like talking.Well, that was fine. After all, silence was its own type of medicine as well. After a while, I used a bit of white bandage to wrap his wounds. I discovered that Nord is actually a very handsome child. If it weren’t for his emaciated body, he would be quite popular with the women.
After a while, Nord turned to me and said:
“I have no money to give you.”
“I didn’t save you for money.”
His eyes flickered.
“You are like my father. He also used to own a weapon shop.”
Even though I knew it was not a good story, I thought that it was still better to understand it.
“There was a huge fire. Everyone died; only I was able to escape.”
Nord’s whole body tightened.
I gently patted him on the back.
“That damn demon race.”
At hearing the harsh words, Elan was shocked and shrank back, clutching my legs.
“Was it demons who started the fire?”
Norld nodded. I almost thought that Elan had been discovered.
“Can I see the swords you make?”
“Go ahead, although the quality may not be up to your father’s.”
In truth, I was being modest. Few people on the entire continent could match the quality of my forged weapons. However, even if I had the skills, I didn’t have the best materials.
“That black sword is better than what my dad makes.”
He pointed to the sword in the left corner behind the counter.
Hey, kid. Do you even know what’s good?
I gently took down the sword that he had pointed towards.
Nord solemnly took it with both hands. He immediately ran his thumb along the edge and watched the fresh red blood well up. However, Nord acted like nothing happened.
“The advection is very good. My father has made similar swords, but his skill cannot compete with your’s.”
He looked a little unhappy. This child probably considered his father’s casting level as the best in the world.
When he returned the sword, there was no trace of reluctance.
“I’m leaving tomorrow.”
He didn’t meet my eyes, as if he didn’t know whether he was saying it to himself or me.
“You’re not staying any longer?”
Although I couldn’t say I wanted him to stay, if he was going somewhere, I couldn’t just not care. Almost as if he read my mind, he answered the unspoken question clearly.
“No, I want to bring down the demon lord.”
“Really.” I noncommittally replied.
I liked how he didn’t repeatedly pronounce his determination. Unlike him, some youths would be infuriated at my attitude and raise their voice against me before rushing out in fury.
His determination wasn’t only just talk.
The next day, we rose with the sunrise and the early birds.
“Are you leaving now?”
He paused for a moment then said, “I’m very sorry, but can you give these clothes to me?”
I nodded. Suddenly, he kneeled on the ground, setting his body down.
“Thank you very much.”
I grunted, then turned and placed the black double-edged sword in front of him.
Nord gazed at it in disbelief, then looked at me, hesitating before finally saying,”I do not have money.”
As I walked back towards the shop, Elan smiled cutely at me.
I pulled open the shop doors.
“I already said so; I don’t want your money.”
Shall we call him Hero no. 576? No, most of the others were ordinary. This child is much more interesting. Then, is he just Nord? What about the next one then? Would he be Hero no. 576 or Hero no. 577? Ah, how troublesome.
I leaned against the doors, thinking of some irrelevant matters.