Chapter 12 – Return

We show the parts to prove we took down the goblins, and the village chief thanks us again and again.

We’re invited to a celebratory banquet that night, and the villagers also thank us for ridding them of the goblin threat.
Kids ask us to tell them about our battle with the goblins, but to be honest, I was so entranced while fighting that I don’t really remember it.

Rurika puts on a performance that would put actors to shame, and exaggerates the story just a bit, but the kids all listen to her with a spark in their eyes.
The adults also laugh as they listen.

We leave the village, and it takes us three days to return to the capital.
In the meantime, I kept fighting Rurika with wooden swords.

“S-Sora, are you all right?”

When we enter the guild to report that we completed our quest, Mikaru speaks to me with a worried tone.

I have a bandage on my head, but the wound is pretty much gone.
Part of the reason why I still have it on is because Chris was concerned and wrapped it for me, but also because I have something in mind.

“They were pretty strong.
I could fight them one on one, but it was kind of tough to keep fighting against multiple goblins.”

We report that there were more goblins than the request stated, deliver the parts to prove we took them down and the magic stones, and since we have no materials to sell, we can settle everything here without having to go to the purchasing counter.

“Oh, and what happened with that wolf pack?”

Asks Rurika, and we’re told they’ve been successfully hunted.

Just as they thought, there was a unique specimen leading the pack, but it was quickly dealt with by multiple B and C rank parties.
Normally that would be overkill, but they decided to throw a lot of fighting power at this problem and settle it quickly because it was so close to the city.

However, the ecology of the forest has been damaged a little, so people are being told they should avoid it for the time being.
We’re also being told to be more careful if we accept quests to pick medicinal herbs.

I check the quests on the wall before we leave, and after we say goodbye, we check to see if there’s room in our respective inns.
It turns out the three of us managed to stay in our inns again with no problem.

The innkeeper is surprised to see me back with a bandage on my head, but I quickly explain that it’s there just in case.

After taking it easy for one day, we meet up to go look at the quests again.

Rurika picks quests for beginners that involve defeating monsters, and we start following a routine of leaving early in the morning, completing a quest, and returning that same day.

We hunt various monsters.
The first time I see a bug type monster, a chill runs down my spine.
I’m really not good with those, but I have to get used to it.
Although I’ll probably run away if I come across one of those while I’m alone, and it’s not the actual target of my quest.

Animal type monsters are relatively profitable, because their fur is valuable.
Some have weird quirks and can be hard to beat, but aren’t that big of a deal if I remain cool.
A lot of them are edible, so taking them apart can become more troublesome than fighting them.

Since not only Rurika but also Chris are doing it, I can’t just throw this meat away, and instead work silently.
I’m seriously considering looking for and learning a skill to take monsters apart.

We also go out to pick materials, and they’re surprised when I start using Appraisal.
Of course, since I’m keeping Appraisal a secret, I lie and say I’m just confident in my memory.

The more we work together, the more the jealous stares turn lukewarm, like they’re just watching over us.
I guess when they see Rurika giving me instructions, it feels more like a big sister teaching her little brother.
Sometimes people even wish me good luck.

We keep accepting various quests, my pockets get fuller, and my guild rank goes from E to D.
It’s around this time that Rurika and Chris are also promoted to rank C.

This also means it’s time to say goodbye, but something crosses my mind.

“So we’ll be leaving in five days… Are we going to rest in the meantime? Accept quests?”

Rurika asks, probably to Chris and not me.

Her eyes are on an escorting quest.
It’s a one way trip that will take ten days, and it says people can accept even if they don’t have a carriage.

The destination listed is close to the Beast Kingdom of Lath, so they’re going to head that way when they’re done.

Chris looks at me like she’s thinking about something.
She’s probably remembering that being promoted in rank and accepting an escorting quest means it’s time to break up our temporary party.

“Then Rurika, about that escorting quest… Can I accept it with you two?”

Both Rurika and Chris are surprised to hear me say this.

“I don’t know what an escorting quest is like, but if it’s all right with you, I want to do it while you teach me about it.
Assuming I won’t get in your way, of course.”

“…We told you before, we’re going to the Beast Kingdom of Lath.
That means we won’t come back here together.”

Apparently I can take a horsebus between towns and cities, so worst case scenario, that’s how I’ll come back.
There are different quests in guilds in different cities, right? I want to see what they’re like.”

“…Then let’s check if we can accept it as a three person party.
Apparently it’s a medium-sized caravan, so they’re probably looking for a lot of people.”

We bring an escorting quest to Mikaru, and she seems kind of worried.
I’m sure it’s because other guild employees and adventurers already knew about Rurika and Chris, and they had already declared that they would be leaving to another country when they were promoted in rank.
That means I have to tell Mikaru what I just told Rurika and Chris.

I go back to the inn to tell the innkeeper about this too, and then we go meet the person that put out the request to confirm the details.

We buy what we need, and since I have some free time, I accept delivery quests to level up.
Making some extra money doesn’t bother me either.

“Now that I think about it, I haven’t been here, have I?”

The fourth quest takes me to an area I hadn’t been to before.

I avoided this because I heard it’s less safe.
I just happen to find someone I’ve met before, who tells me this area is centered on the pleasure quarter.
He wishes me good luck with a big smile, and leaves.

Pleasure quarter… So nighttime activities? It looks like some places are open during the day too.

I look around while checking the map, when suddenly I feel my sleeve being pulled.

When I turn to look, I see someone I know, but didn’t expect to find here.

“What are you doing here?”

I hear this person’s voice, that sounds lower than usual.

When in doubt, ask a question back, but I feel like that’s not a good move here.
I can’t see them because of the hood, but I’m sensing something from those eyes.
Something like bloodlust.
I don’t think I did anything wrong, but I’m getting chills.

“I-I’m here on a delivery quest.
Why are you here, Chris?”

I stuttered.
This strange feeling of nervousness makes my mouth dry.

“I’m looking for someone.”

“Looking for someone?”

“Yes… We stand out too much here, so let us talk somewhere else.”

“Can you wait a moment? I’m going to deliver this.”

I start walking, and Chris follows me.
No, I really am just here to deliver something.
I’m not going somewhere weird.

I finish my delivery, and the person that accepts it looks at me oddly.

We didn’t walk much, but I’m tired.

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