Chapter 30 – Girls’ Talk on the Riverside
Few hours after going with Suura-san and the guards,
We were able to find the『Trader Group』, our goal, quite quickly.
Well, just like Suura-san thought, they were on the woodland path, moreover, I too was using my enhanced hearing ability to search.
Then, after searching for an hour, I heard some sounds seeming like a quarrel, we went there and bingo, we found them.
Incidentally, the traders we secured were together with adventurers they had hired in Volca as escorts, and those adventurers are……
「Well, it is a coincidence. For being able to meet you two again after tomorrow and in this place」
「……err, Zari-san, right? Well, you’re right in a sense」
「Don’t add『san』, just call me Zari without any honorifics. It’s not like we don’t know each other, right?」
No, I seriously think if that conversation which didn’t even last more than some minutes is enough to put me in the『Acquaintance』category.
Yeah. The『Escorts』were Zari and other two delinquent adventurer who made a fuss near the『Board』in the guild yesterday.
Just when I thought I have secured the Trader Group, something strange came as free product……that really surprised me, seriously.
Among them, this flashy guy, Zari came in the same as our carriage saying the more the merrier.
As for the remaining two……the obese guy and gorilla-macho-man who were aiming for Elk yesterday.
「Like I said, this is da necessary expenses, right? So don’t be stingy about it, mister richy trader」
「If we don’t use our power, we won’t be able to protect ya treasure, right?」
「Stop f*cking around! Where do you see escorts who lays hand on the commodities they are required to protect!!」
Good grief, they’re still at it.
Apparently, the two were hired as escorts, but their behaviour was exactly like delinquents.
From what I heard, before we rescued them, these two laid hands on the commodity the trader was carrying……no, aren’t I repeating what they just said.
「Aww, at that rate we would be getting complained upon reaching the city. We don’t even have accomplished the request, now we would have to give penalty, fine」
「Didn’t you had wrong people to work with?」
「Ahaha, you’re strict~……」
Hearing the prickly lines of Elk, the flashy man laughs it off without paying attention to it.
Apparently they really met some days earlier and tried to take up on a request together. Though it might be wrong to say it……but this guy got the losing lottery ticket.
However, upon talking like this, the air around this Zari, surely is frivolous……but not irritating unlike those two.
At the very least, he isn’t someone one would want to avoid based on his appearance. I don’t feel indecent stares toward Elk or Suura-san, but neither does he keep much distance between them and him.
As if he noticed, he suddenly looked towards me,
「Ah, that’s right. Hey, boyfriend-kun」
And said something like that to me.
At that time, hearing『Boyfriend』, Elk turned red in an instant, but because it was really cute, so I didn’t retort.
「I forgot to ask yesterday, but……you’re that, right? The adventurer in black, the one who defeated『Naga』」
「AH……you can tell? Really?」
「Well yeah, that’s your appearance after all. When I first saw you, I thought you were a crow」
……Don’t you have good examples other than that.
But well how to put it, he is unexpectedly fun guy to talk with, so along with Zari and other three adventurers too, our travel went comparatively happily.
Leaving the moving to coachman and horse, we just relaxed and talked.
Only sometimes did demons attack, it was alright to just handle them suitably.
Perhaps due to more people, the demons who attacked became low.
Then that time continued for some while, now it was time for sun to set down.
Normally thinking it was dangerous to move forward in night, so we decided to put up a camp near this area, and we all begin preparing the camping ground.
The night of that day, we had a barbeque party with the dry preserved foods brought by the Knights and the edible animals (demons too) we hunted for procuring more food.
Due to the situation, they had only brought simple plain foods, but when I brought two bears, everyone got delighted.
I was holding one in each hand, so I thought they would be taken aback, but on the contrary I was praised and even got my back struck violently. It sure is great, the people who are straightforward and don’t make fuss about everything. Though, it is indeed stifling.
At that time, I encountered some slimes and red lizards, so I hunted them down and gave them to Alva.
On the night of that day,
I woke up, moreover wide-awake and couldn’t go back to sleep.
I couldn’t sleep at all, so I thought to wash my face for relaxing, and I headed to the river we found in the vicinity.
I speak with the guards on duty for night and left the camping grounds.
The night guarding is being done by Knights of the guard troops in shifts.
At first I suggested that I should too go night watch, but Suura-san said me to rest in night, I had helped her fight and also brought wonderful food.
She kindly told me and I accepted her words. To cover up for it, I would work hard in morning.
After reaching the river, I washed my face by splashing the water which felt cold because there was no sunlight unlike daytime. And it feels really good on this body which hasn’t gone in bath for last two days.
……But, now I feel that I’m more awake than before for no reason at all.
In my case, after washing my face like this, I would be able to sleep after a while even if I’m not feeling sleepy right now.
Looking at the position of the moon and all, I finally realised it was going to be dawn pretty soon.
At this rate, it would be good to be awake. And I don’t feel any lack of sleep.
It’s like this, should I also catch some ingredients to add in the breakfast.
It was some minutes later, Elk arrived.
I was『catching』big fishes, because I had many small ones, at that time, I heard footsteps of someone approaching from behind the brushwoods.
I turn back and Elk came out of there holding a large towel.
「Yeah. Meat will be too much heavy in the morning, and I also ate that yesterday, so I thought fish would be good. Well it is only secondary job after washing my face」
「I get it, but……you catch fish in quite an interesting way」
「Interesting, is it?」
「Surely. From what I know, the only ones who catch fish that way are you and bears」
Ah, well, I also think that this way does seem like the way bears hunt salmon in Hokkaido, by slapping the swimming fish and throwing it to the riverside.
But, I hate luring them with fishing pole. Because I hate waiting and being patient.
This way is more quick and reliable.
And, for not letting the fishes get injured, I’m scooping them out gently, so their condition too is good.
「And how are you able to stand on water? Magic?」
「No, this is that……surface tension, never heard of it? Like gerridae」
[ET: Gerridae is the family of insects like water striders or pond skaters. Basically, they have the power to play freely on water without any magic, chakra, or ninja water slippers]
[AK: is only me or … reminds me of Naruto]
[ET: Even I wonder why I used that shit here and why Minato used something similar]
The technique to activate surface tension on the bottom of feet by using water magic. This too was developed during training.
Right now I can walk on the water surface and stand just like gerridae – Mom told me they exist in this world too -, and like that I can play on water.
Upon running fast the magical power on the bottom on feet would scatter, but at that time I can just run at full speed, so problem.
When I told her, a sigh came back. Sorry for being a freak.
「By the way, why are you here?」
「I am……for bathing. I hadn’t entered bath for past two days」
Saying that while hesitating, she started to undress, without even paying attention to the fact that I am in front of her.
「Ah, then I should go to other side」
「It’s fine. I’m not concerned on letting my body being seen by you after all this time……we are doing even bigger things than this after all」
Ah, well, she’s right.
Since that night, I became more close with Elk, and not only stayed with her in day but also night.
Several days later,
It started when Elk said for us to be in the same room, as it would save money and we have entered a deep relationship too.
Surely she wasn’t wrong. Elk came to my room many times for sorting the raw materials I hunted, or for discussing the plans for next day, sometimes, she came but didn’t go back too.
The bed of the room too is pretty big for two people……like that, it went to『that sort of thing』too.
So it became to the talk of us living in same room, when we told Tanya-chan, I was made fun of with a face as though she were having fun, moreover a room with double bed was also prepared.
No, well……she’s doing her work fine, so no problem.
Anyhow, everything went that way, and our distance also closed up quite a bit, more precisely, at least to the level we won’t feel embarrassed on having our naked body seen by each other.
That’s why, seeing Elk undressing in front of me……though not completely, but yeah, I’m not startled as much I used to before. The places I haven’t seen on Elk’s body, are now non-existent.
The same goes for Elk. She doesn’t feel embarrassed upon having me seeing her, her recently it has gotten to point『You can stay here and keep guarding』, just like she said before.
I’m happy and unsatisfied as man, but I can feel trust in those words, so I’m happy.
While I was thinking all that stuff, Elk has already finished undressing and started to wipe her body with a small wet towel.
The scene of Elk washing her body under the moonlight is truly fascinating, to the extent that I have already started to staring at her without blinking.
I watched her too much, so she asked『Want to enter in water together?』, but that I refused.
Though it is a fascinating invitation……but there is high possibility that I will feel remorseful later. The mental strength of boy in puberty is not strong. And it will be even weak during camping.
I even got asked『You don’t want to wipe off you sweat』, but in that area, I have a trick though it won’t make you feel refreshed.
What is it? It is really simple, but dangerous.
It is ignite my own body with fire, then become a fire ghost doll……and just like that burn and exhaust all the dirt and sweat. If in fire for 1 minute, all the dirt and old cuticles too fall down.
And my clothes and equipments can’t be burned with flames, so laundry also is done together. The only fault is, I can’t do that while indoors.
Hearing that Elk, shows a fed up, amazed and perplexed expression……and just after, while showing an expression as she remembered something,
「If I asked then would to tell me those……the convenient magics? Well, it’s only after I become more good at magic after practising……」
She asked me that while hesitating a bit.
Seeing me use various types of insane but interesting original magic – I am using various others during exploration and training – , Elk too must’ve thought to use some of them.
Hearing that, I didn’t got much flustered.
Frankly, I had known she was going to ask me that at some point.
From what I conclude, the answer is half Yes, and half No.
Elk is my partner whom I can trust in both public and private matters, so I can help her grow, then I’ve got no hesitation at all.
The convenience magics I am using right now, I would tell her while being happy.
Of course, only after, just like Elk said, her magic has started to take form.
Due to her having the talent which I don’t, she might be able to use them more greatly than me, so I’m looking forward to that.
But this only the Yes part. The No part is different.
Among the magics I have, there are those who have been referred as『Taboo』,『Not for teaching people』or『Don’t use it』, which let alone teaching, even I cannot use.
There are also types which are completely banned and some are allowed with conditions attached, there are many reasons, for example the 18th one『Elemental Blood』would be dangerous largely if it is leaked to outside carelessly, so I have no intention of teaching it to any person, no matter who it is.
So, for them, though it is unfortunate, but I can’t teach it to Elk either.
Of course, if Elk, after completing her training reached that realm, then at that time, if I was able to trust her completely then……yeah I don’t know what I would do.
But when I told her that, Elk didn’t show an expression of sadness, but revealed a smile filled with fighting spirit.
She might have gotten in high spirits thinking that she too would be able to use these interesting magic, aside forbidden ones. Well, it’s good to be motivated, so no problem there.
Even I’m excited to see her use magic like me.
Some minutes later,
The time when Elk almost washed her body, and I too collected too many fishes,
I sensed several presences in surrounding, immediately after, a black shadow appeared above me.
But, due to sound of wings flapping – which mostly didn’t make sounds – I noticed it, and not got scared when it perched on my shoulders.
「Alva, you are awake too? ……Oh, right you’re a nocturnal animal」
Well, I don’t know if it is friend of owls or not.
It has grown a lot from morning, it looks more like owl and falcon mixed in one……what the hell I’m thinking about right now.
The problem is the other presences……two, moreover both are coming from downwind.
one of them has really weak presence. As if a professional spy……to the extent I can somehow sense it due to my enhanced hearing ability and smelling sense.
But, the other one, the one without any intention to hide, appears from behind the brushwoods the moment later……ah, what.
「Oh, so there were previous guests. Minato-dono and Elk-dono」
It was Suura-san letting her blue hair flutter in morning breeze, it seemed a lot refreshing.
She isn’t wearing armor, but sure is carrying her favorite set of bow and arrow.
In her other hand is a simple yet soft to touch, somewhat big towel.
Looking at her hand luggage, it seems like she too came for same work Elk did.
And Suura-san perceived it. She realizes that Elk just now finished the work she herself was going to start.
And looking at the situation more clearly, I too am at that place.
「Fumu……just like I expected, you both are not simply adventurer partners, but have more intimate relationship. It doesn’t seem like you both did that here」
「Hahaha……I somehow beared it」
「I see. Fufu, that’s sincere of you though being young」
I see, Suura-san says that and puts her hand on clothes to undress.
Ah, wait, this is going to be that, right.
「E-Elk, well then, I’m going back before」
「Oh, Minato-dono, are you going back? I don’t mind if you stand there, though」
Then, Suura-san said that in manner I don’t know if I should categorize it into serious or joke.
Huh, is Suura-san, more of frank type of person……liking these sort of jokes?
Well, she is living in an army of men, so maybe she isn’t feeling anything upon being seen by others……so I can’t possibly say『I will take that offer』, so let’s get our ass out of here.
I will keep guarding from somewhere far, and Suura-san can use bow and magic so problem in safety department.
The place, Alva is pointing and trying to get my attention towards by poking my head……the place with the other person’s presence, I decide to go there.
「Then, have fun」
Saying just that, I kicked the ground.
Ah, I forgot bringing scarf and fishes. I will come back later~
Immediately after Minato disappeared on the other side of brushwoods.
She……Suura, who came to bath just like Elk, undressed and entered the water holding towel in one hand.
Elk is currently naked, but because other person is also female, there isn’t any need to put her guard up.
……And Suura has already seen her naked with Minato, so she isn’t all that embarrassed at this point.
Before they knew, with natural flow, it started from normal chatting and turned into girls’ talk.
Like troubles in the places full of men, or about having troublesome partner and subordinates……and some more idle complaints got mixed into the talk.
From that conversation, the two understood more and more about each other.
To Elk, Suura is a sincere, calm and composed, strict at times needed, and is frank person who is easy to talk with.
It seemed like Elk finally understood the reason, the subordinates accompanying them would yearn for Suura and trust her.
On the other hand, Suura too found Elk to be a stern and strong woman but kind at some points.
And also realized that she couldn’t be honest to herself when given kindness by others and in turn gets angry.
Also the fact that, that young man might like her this part too.
Though they didn’t found the deepest parts of each other’s heart, but the talk went on causally.
「However, Minato-dono hasn’t returned yet. Before, it seemed like he found some presence and went to confirm it……Elk-dono did you sense something?」
「Nope? But he has really good hearing ability, and judging from his expression before it didn’t seem like he made an excuse to run」
Elk guessed it because she knows about Minato’s super five senses.
「But what might it be? If it isn’t demon, the thinking normally……it might be someone aiming to peep at our bodies……」
「Like those two delinquents?」
Elk recalled the face of two ill-bred adventurers she met in front of board in guild and rescued yesterday, and she knit her eyebrows.
Yesterday’s night, in a drunken frenzy they called out to Elk, Suura and other females in guard troop. Naturally, everybody ignored them.
On the other hand, the frivolous Zari, didn’t show any signs of that and was doing manly talk with Minato. Just, like Elk and Suura are doing their girls’ talk.
「Well that is probable, but sometimes, during expeditions the males from squad……to peek on me and other females when changing the clothes」
「Eh!? What, is that alright with you!?」
「Well, I’m not alright with it, but men are like that, so I have no intention of scolding them. They too must have the resolution to accept severe punishments upon being found out」
「That……can be interpreted as that there are times they peek without getting found out?」
「You’re right. But that also means they have good spying abilities, right? At that time, well……I let them see me naked as reward for them training」
Elk was surprised on Suura’s word filled with all her heart.
Does living in a society of men like army increases the resistance like this?
That is in truth not wrong, most of the females in army or guard squads, don’t mind on being seen naked and can easily do indecent talks too. Suura too couldn’t get out from that resistance.
Becoming aware of it, Elk’s eyes looks over Suura’s body.
Though in the dim place, the body of Suura seemed fascinating to Elk too, though being the same female.
Her breasts were large, and waist slim. An ideal figure for a woman.
She thought it wasn’t strange that all men wanted to see it, even if they had to peep.
「But if that『someone/something』is really present, then I can only compliment this level of skill, I didn’t sense it at all. I don’t think it is them two, thought I would be happy if they’re my subordinates……」
「No, I’m not happy about that」
Around the time, the two women were having that conversation,
Minato, who went to confirm that『someone/something』, stood on the top of tree……and surveyed the surroundings with a serious looking expression.
Because that『someone/something』was not the one Suura thought.
The person hiding was really skillfully erasing his presence.
Even after concentrating through eyes, he didn’t find any shadow. It was a perfect hiding skill which can’t be caught unless someone has the ability to smell magical power scent like Minato.
To that『someone/something』which even has vague scent, Minato started talking alone.
「……Well, I don’t feel any hostility, and I have no intention to pick your faults, so I’m returning for today, you too go back」
He turned back on the branch of tree.
It seemed like he would go immediately, but
「You must’ve had some goal, but I don’t feel good on having my partner’s body being peeped at. So, if you do something like this, or even more……」
One beat later,
「……I will use my hand, and then don’t ask for forgiveness」
He said that and jumped below.
Some seconds later,
From a tree far from there, a single man appeared.
Smiling in a light smile not different from the daytime,
「……Not only my presence he even noticed my position……even though I had confidence in my skills of playing hide-n-seek. Just who is he, really」
While having his orange hair shine with the light of moon who is soon about to disappear, he spoke in voice with no tension.
「So, he is one of those sleeping dogs who shouldn’t be disturbed……I’ve gotten used to dangers already, but it’s foolish to disturb a sleeping dog, so I will draw back for now. Though he is interesting……but seems like ‘they’ have no relation」
That man……Zari says that and without breaking that smile till the end left the place obediently.