Section 3: Adventure’s End
“For my part, I shall make sure to contact the church after leaving the neighboring village, but are you certain you do not wish to come with us?”
Rose-san was talking to Lapris who was still sitting on Quinn-san’s shoulder.
“I thought you wanted us to bring you to the Goddess?”
“According to that priestess, the Goddess should already know the village has been attacked, so it doesn’t make any sense for me to go all the way to her castle. So I’m not doing it. Being with you people has already seriously shortened my life span.”
Lapris kept talking while slapping her hand against Quinn-san’s forehead.
“Instead, this guy is taking me to Osnell since he’s going that way anyway.”
“We cannot afford to leave the dragon as it is. So I was going to go to Osnell and find a skilled craftsman that can dismantle it.”
Between all the buildings destroyed from the dragon that appears to have escaped from the hero and all the drowsy shroom spores which act as their main source of income during the winter used up to fight it off, Relton was facing a major crisis.
But luckily……or the closest thing to it considering the circumstances, we still had the dragon’s remains. If the rumors are true, this is a lower class dragon, but a dragon is still a dragon. They’re a legendary being, and its hide, horns, fangs, and scales should be more than enough to cover the village’s damages and provide a tiny profit.
“I see. Well in that case good luck to you”
“If possible I’d like to see you two again someday.”
“That goes for the stupid morons too.”
In the end, the dark elf never did reveal themselves. They most likely moved on to their next destination after leading the goblins and golem on an assault against the fairy village and obtaining the fragment of the Grief Sphere. When we came to that conclusion amongst ourselves, Rose-san looked really, immensely disappointed. When I glanced over to her from the side, I did my best to hide it, but I was a little jealous. I don’t have anything I care about enough that could upset me this much.
“Well then we’ve got what we’re owed, so should we head back?”
Carol spun on her heels with a glowing smile. In addition to the official commission, we also received a reward for beating the golem. We were given the remaining parts of the golem left over after it was broken down. Part of that was a lovely jewel-like sphere, the monster’s so-called core. It could apparently be sold for a hefty sum, and Carol wasn’t doing a good job of hiding her excitement.
And then as compensation for killing the dragon, the village mayor readily agreed to give us one of the dragon’s horns along with a portion of its hide and scales after the dismantlement was finished.
“You have all truly helped us over these last couple of days. I cannot thank you enough.”
The village mayor bowed deeply as he spoke. The other villagers gathered around him did so as well.
“You all definitely have to come visit us again. When that time comes, I’ll put all my skills to the test and whip you up a wonderful meal. And if it’s possible, come by in the summer.”
Ryland-san gave us a large smile alongside a meaningful laugh.
“Do you have a husband?”
Ryland-san broke out into a hearty laugh, showing off her white teeth at Toslin’s question.
“Ahahaha. Yep. I really want to introduce you girls to my husband. He’ll definitely be shocked to learn that a bunch of cute ojou-chans like you slew a dragon.”
“Don’t worry, we’ll definitely come back. We’d come even if you didn’t ask us to. So until then, be sure to take good care of those dragon parts.”
“Mm, certainly. You’ll have to come back or else carelessly forget your payment.”
“Well with that, shall we go?”
Rose-san gave the people of the village a respectful bow before following after Carol. Goldmund walked beside her pulling along our heavy wagon behind him. Toslin turned to leave as well, meaning I was the only one left to say their farewells.
“Take care of yourself on your way home, Iris.”
“Y-Yes. Ryland-san, everyone, thank you for all your help.”
“Tch, at most I’ll tell you to watch your feet so you don’t go tumbling down into the valley.”
“H-Hey Lapris…….sorry. I wish you all a safe journey.”
After the worst-possible encounter, this fairy continued to hate me until the very end. If I had any regrets about this trip, I suppose it would be the fact that I never managed to get along with Lapris?
“Thank you very much Quinn-san. Lapris, take care.”
“I won’t have to take care of myself so long as I’m not with all of you”
Lapris spit venom before fluttering her wings and flying in front of my face. I thought she was going to start kicking me in the face again, but instead, she reached her hand back towards her wings and plucked out one of her feathers.¹
“Look, take this. Joking aside, you’re really clumsy. Take this as a good luck charm.”
It was a soft feather that glowed all seven colors of the rainbow and bent over from even the slightest wind.
“Well, you’re still in a better class compared to that pipsqueak and her orc babysitter.”
When I took the feather, I wrapped it up in a handkerchief to make sure I don’t lose it.
“B-But don’t get the wrong idea! It’s not like I’ve forgiven you! And your group is still the worst! Don’t you forget it!”
A wee-little finger was thrust in front of my nose. But, I was still happy. She’s foul-mouthed and still holds a grudge, but in the end, I feel like this fairy and I have come to understand each other.
“Oh, that’s right. I checked up on you while you were sleeping, and……”
“Oi~, Iris, we’re going to leave you behind if you don’t hurry up.”
Just as Lapris flew up to my ear to whisper something to me, Toslin’s voice echoed and blocked her out.
“Ah, right!! I’m coming!! Um, sorry Lapris, what?”
“No it’s not a big deal. It’s something you’ll figure out soon enough anyway, so get going.”
Lapris patted me with a hand only slightly bigger than my earlobe as she shooed me away.
“I-I got it. Well then……goodbye. Everyone else too, take care.”
She told me not to mind it when I started to mind it, but as I waved farewell to the villagers of Relton, I still thought it’d probably be better if I knew whatever it was right away.
“See you, come back whenever you like!”
With the village mayor standing in front, the villagers continued to wave us off until finally we were out of sight.
“Welcome back everyone!”
A cheerful voice raised to greet us as we walked through the heavy wooden door. Sitting back, bored in a chair, Charlie jumped to her feet and welcomed us as we walked in.
“We’re back Charlie”
After leaving Relton village, we headed back home and managed to make it to Rifront by the next morning.
“Aah, I’m hungry”
“Come on, you’re always hungry.”
“We were in a bit of a hurry though, so it cannot be helped.”
To confirm that the highway really wasn’t closed anymore, the three of them hurried forward without my having to ask them to. On the way down I breathed out a feeble complaint to see if we could walk a little slower, but we still rushed ahead. The pace was certainly physically demanding, but more than anything it meant my time with them was disappearing all the faster, and I was feeling lonely.
“Well that’s how it is Charlie. It’s probably bad manners, but bring us something to eat. Anything’ll be fine.”
When Toslin patted Charlie on the shoulder, suddenly all four of our stomachs growled loudly at the same time.
1. It’s really jarring for me imagining a fairy with feather wings instead of bug-like ones. Like, rather than a fairy, Lapris is coming off more as a miniature angel. So she’s the equivalent to one of those yappy chihuahuas that people keep in their purses.