Chapter 37 – Sheila’s Friend
“Half of the reward money…If Theodore…had my information, I think anyone would have been able to save everyone like that.”
Sheila looked at me and surprisingly said such a thing.
“I don’t think others could move the same way I did. It’s true that I’m grateful to you.”
Sheila gave me a small smile. Then that smile disappeared and she spoke with a serious expression.
“If it’s fine with you…I want you to get along with my friend. That child is at the Adventurer’s Guild.”
“Oh…In other words, they are…”
“…Irmhild is a Lamia. We grew up together in the Western District.”
Speaking of the Western District…that area is probably the Slums.
“A Lamia, huh? Are you worried about her situation now that she’s being taken care of by the Adventurer’s Guild? You were even hesitant to talk about that earlier.”
“I didn’t know whether Theodore would save her if he heard she was a Lamia. I can’t be too indebted. I truly considered taking her from the Adventurer’s Guild, but I decided to not make things worse, since the Guild doesn’t appear to have handled her with violence.”
If there was violence, it might get mistaken as a Demon disturbance, and the two parties would clash.
Lamias were Monsters that had the upper body of a human and the lower body of a serpent. They could either be friendly to humans or oppose them, and although it was different for each individual, there were even stories of them falling in love with humans, since they could take on a human form.
Within the Adventurer’s Guild, there were plenty of people who had experience in saving Monsters that didn’t oppose them.
Even if one removed risks, such as opposing tribes which could be handled without any obstacles, friendly Demons were unexpectedly important.
After that was…hmm. I had heard of stories of Adventurers who wished for love with female Monsters. Those types of Adventurers were really idiotic.
Due to that, I felt that…Sheila was worried that I would act coldly towards her friend?
There weren’t any Lamias, from the information I had seen with Caduceus. All I saw were Sirens and Harpies. Irmhild might have taken the appearance of a human while she was captured.
“That child is certainly a Lamia. She doesn’t attack humans. Rabbits, birds, and the like are plenty for her.”
…I see. I understood the things Sheila wanted to say. Even if she was a stranger, it was impossible to reject her thoughtlessly. Although it was convincingly impossible to understand someone who didn’t really know me, perhaps there were people who weren’t like that. The suspicious actions of Sheila, who was trying to not harm her friend, were completely understandable.
Lamias, who consumed blood as nourishment, were hated since they were regarded in the same light as vampires. The difference between them and vampires was that lamias didn’t have the lethality and the contagiousness of vampires. Their coexistence with humans, who saw them as beasts at best, wouldn’t be too difficult if they could understand each other.
“I understand that. Well, I do not think there is a need for Sheila-san to worry.”
There was no way I could be hateful towards her for a reason like her bloodsucking. That went without saying.
“I’m a dhampir, after all.”
With that, Sheila blinked after Grace gave her a smile. She closed her eyes and nodded.
“I see. With this, I won’t worry about it anymore. I believe in Theodore.”
“…I have something I want to ask of Sheila-san. Where in Boundary City does this person come from?”
“She said she couldn’t go back ever since she headed out of the Labyrinth…a long time ago.”
Hmm. Perhaps this was saying Irmhild was fine, if one were to ask about the stories of the Monsters in the Labyrinth.
“She couldn’t go back, you say?”
“She also said it reached the point where Labyrinth Monsters attacked her, and she could no longer go inside.”
Hmm. Perhaps one would be recognized as an alien if one headed out from the Labyrinth even once?
I realized that it was quite understandable if one were to consider that, even if one used a Red Dimension Stone, the items brought out from the Labyrinth wouldn’t be lost once they were brought back into the Labyrinth.
Besides that, Irmhild, huh? Maybe I could ask her some simple questions, if she had gotten used to human society. Although she might not be able to help if it was related to something from a long time ago, it would be better if I just asked about it.
“Although Irmhild-san will definitely speak with him once her condition improves, will Sheila-san come with us?”
“…Is that fine?”
“She’s your friend, right? Isn’t it hard to appear at the Adventurer’s Guild by yourself?”
“…Thanks. I am grateful.”
“I, too, have an interest in talking with a person who originated from the Labyrinth.”
Rossetta and Sheila finally returned home and it was now the three of us.
We ate dinner at the dining table, since it had already become evening.
After we finished eating, we entered the bath and washed away the sweat and dirt.
The three of us were slowly passing the time while seated on the couch.
After going into the Labyrinth, there was still a need to get rid of Grace’s impulses, even if it wasn’t morning. It wasn’t like the vampiric impulses would disappear if they were left as it was. The more she endured it, the worse it would become during her next “Thirst”.
In other words, it was very important to continue this, for the same reason that I was doing Ashley’s Mana Refinement.
During this time, I had come to use Mana Refinement on Ashley as well. However, this really wasn’t the correct posture for Mana Refinement. I realized the amount of time that Ashley, along with Grace, stuck closely to me had recently been increasing day after day.
“I really love the warmth during the Mana Refinement.”
“Is that so?”
What was with today? I felt like Ashley was being assertive and taking advantage of this more than usual. Her posture was the same as Grace, placing her cheeks on my shoulders.
Well, as for Ashley, she experienced her first battle. The effects of her Brave Wind probably vanished but, was it because of that?
“Hmm, good work today.”
After I said that, Ashley’s cheeks blushed for a bit.
Well then… let’s do that?
“I’m sorry. I’ll be fine before long, even if I don’t rely on Magic.”
“Don’t worry about it. Would it be fine for the three of us to sleep together today as well?”
She seemed to hesitate for a bit, but Ashley nodded deeply. It would get resolved peacefully if they could put up with me, and for today, perhaps I would also overcome my sleepiness.
“It can’t be helped, since it was Ashley-sama’s first time inside the Labyrinth and in battle.
After experiencing something dangerous like going out on a hunt, even I have calmed down after having my head stroked by Theo.”
“Is that so?”
Such things had happened. Speaking of Grace going out on a hunt, that happened for a while during Mom’s passing. Even I was worried that time.
Hmm. Still, for her to bring up this story now…
Grace had a gentle smile.
…Well, that’s fine. I stroked Ashley’s beautiful, silvery hair as I continued Mana Refinement.
“Hey, that tickles.”
Ashley laughed and squirmed around. Grace squinted her eyes, as if she had seen something amusing.
If these two were on equal terms with each other, then I should include Grace too. I placed my hands around their slender shoulders and threaded my fingers through their hair.
Grace closed her eyes a bit and leaned against me.
Speaking of just coming out of the bath, I smelled her shampoo, which was made from the sap of the Savona Tree. Their hair, the feeling of touching them, and their smell was indeed amazing…but I didn’t have the time to worry about this the more it happened.
Ashley dozed off after we continued on like this without really thinking about anything.
She was probably tired. I laid her down and let her sleep on my lap.
“How about we sleep like this… for today?”
“Well… I wonder. Waking up like this will be pitiful.”
“I brought a blanket, you know.”
Grace headed to the second floor after she stood up.
Ashley, who was on top of my lap, talked in her sleep. I stroked her hair like I did previously.
… That’s right.
Ashley’s circumstances were similar to mine. I understood why Ashley went into the Labyrinth, fought with Monsters, and was being more assertive.
If one were to say that they knew they were strong, or that they could become stronger, then there was value in exerting oneself. Whenever one was worried about this, one could receive confidence by being together with someone like this.
“Thank you for waiting.”
Grace covered Ashley’s body with a blanket, then placed it over my shoulders. She sat next to me, and put on the same blanket.
“Well then, good night.”
“Good night, Theo.”
I turned off the magic light ball that floated near the ceiling and closed my eyes.
Although it was a bit too early to sleep, it was important to rest, since I had plans to head into the Labyrinth again tomorrow. I couldn’t really sleep yesterday, so I immediately let my drowsiness take over.