I spent almost an hour trying to figure out how to center chapter titles to no avail. So instead I changed how the site looked a little partly because I thought it was a little easier on the eyes and slightly because my site looked so bland compared to other sites like Jingle translations that I always visit. Did I do a lot? No, I’m not an art major. But if this new look bothers anyone, let me know.
Section 5: Hero’s Secret
“Fufufun. So~……..Nishishishi. The hero was really seriously so cool~.”
With a bottle of alcohol in hand showing just how much she had already drank, Charlie’s lips continued to move even though her articulation wasn’t all there. Meanwhile a mountain of sake dishes were piled over each other and all loaded up on top of the table. All of this was from Charlie as well……..
“Is this girl all right? Shouldn’t we stop her?”
As Charlie continued drowning herself in alcohol, a sober Toslin was starting to look worried. Of course I was looking the same way.
“Come on, it’s about time we leave it there Charlie. Your face is already bright red.”
“Over where is there? Nihihi, my face is red nyaha……..I’m near Iris!”
Dead drunk, Charlie suddenly started clinging to me.
“Oh, seriously……you shouldn’t be this strong after drinking this much……”
“Just kidding~. But, it sucks…….Whyyyyyyyy is Iris a woman……….if you were a man then I’d definitely, absolutely………snag you……*hick*…….”
“More and more I don’t understand what you’re talking about…….hey, everyone should stop watching and help me……..”
But, Toslin and Carol were looking like they were having too much fun and were completely useless. Meanwhile Rose-san, who should have only been drinking juice this whole time, has now gone completely red in the face too……..
“The hero too…….if she wasn’t a woman…….I absolutely would’ve……..”
I tried snatching away the bottle of alcohol from the already reeked of booze Charlie, but then her next drunken stammer made me stop.
“What did you say just now?”
“The hero’s a woman. Is that true?”
Toslin and Carol both leaned over the table, blinking furiously.
“Do you think this Charlie-san would lie to you~? You wound me…….. *hick* Really truly, you can’t fool this Charlie-san’s eyes.”
“Oh, looks like I missed out on the fun.”
We all turned when we heard the landlady’s voice, who after a mixed sigh, irritably swiped the bottle of alcohol from Charlie’s hand. Before I had realized it, it was already almost time for the sun to set. Now that the thing blocking the road has been taken care of, guests could be stopping by the Shining Hen at any time now. But, more importantly……
“Um, Meltaria-san. Just now Charlie told us that……apparently the hero is a woman……..”
On behalf of everyone’s curiosity, Rose-san opened her mouth. The landlady’s face stiffened for an instant, but a lamenting look soon crossed over instead.
“……….Haa, I give up. I’m going to have to make sure this girl doesn’t drink from now on.”
“So then, it’s really true?”
“Yeah, it seems so. She’s really supposed to keep her mouth shut, but……..I suppose you girls wouldn’t carelessly spread it around right?”
Even if we did, it’s not like anybody would believe us. His, no, her name has reached even a remote region like this.
“T-That is really…….but, she’s able to perform a job as dangerous as exterminating a dragon, so why”
“……..why is she hiding the fact she’s a woman? She has a complex about that. When she takes the throne in the future, being a woman will certainly be a huge disadvantage for her. It’ll cause huge problems if other countries were to look down on our king. So she intends on remaining a man until at least a few years after her coronation.”
The landlady then suddenly grabbed Charlie by the scruff of her neck and lifted her up.
“However, although it may have been just a little extra guesswork because she has a pretty face, that girl ended up getting found out by Charlie here. This girl, she’s only ever sharp-eyed at times like this.”
“U, Woo………I’m amazing…….”
“Quit your boasting. Honestly, drinking like a fish in the store without permission. The road’s not closed anymore. Is it any wonder we don’t have any customers here right now? Blatantly slacking off like this, good grief.”
The landlady tried forcing Charlie to her feet while making her drink some water. But Charlie grabbed hold of my clothes and refused to let go.
“Nooo……I don’t wanna do any work today~. I wanna stay together with Iris~.”
“What? Quit saying something so selfish.”
“B, But……she’s going to be gone soon…..Iris is leaving……I’m lonely…….*sob*……Iris…….No way~, no way she’s going home~……….Nooo~”
Charlie continued to shake off the landlady’s grip and stuck to me. It was my first time seeing the cheerful, always lively Charlie like this.
“*Sniff*, *sob*…………No~. I’m not ready……..don’t gooooo~…….”
Charlie kept rubbing the tears out of her eyes with the sleeve of her shirt as she began to bawl. I get it. I know what’s coming. I’ll be leaving here. I’ll be leaving everyone.
“Sorry about this Iris……. It’s selfish, but could I ask you to stay with her tonight?”
“Yes. There, there Charlie. You’re a good girl, so there’s no need to cry. Should we go back to my room? Can you walk?”
I kept stroking Charlie’s head as she slowly nodded.
“So then, you’ll soon be heading back. Home.”
I was in my bed, in the room I had been staying in for half a year now. Toslin spoke up after I had managed to get Charlie to stop crying and lulled her to sleep.
“Mm. Originally, I only came here to deliver a book.”
But, that’s just my official opinion. If I’m telling the truth, I want to stay here. Stay here, and if they let me, stay with everyone.
Every day we do something silly and I laugh, or sometimes get angry, and then sometimes we go on adventures. And while I think I’m scared, I also look forward to that same thumping in my chest as we head out………..I want to keep my feet planted in a world like that. After this last trip, I became aware of that fact. I realized just how much I long to go on an adventure.
“H-Hey. Aren’t you already an adventurer? Like this, we could definitely……..”
“That’s right. If Iris-san were to stay with us, it would certainly be a great deal of fun. However Carol-san. It’s not that easy. There are people waiting for Iris-san to return.”
Yes. I have to go back home. My family is almost certainly worried about me.
“Sorry Carol. Like Rose-san says, I have to go back. So, I’ll depart tomorrow.”
I need to thank my family for raising me as they have until now. And then with my own lips I want to tell them about how wide the world is and all the different people who live in it.
They might laugh at me, what I’m saying might be obvious, but I never knew about it. And then I want to think. Once more, I want to think about what I want to do. Once I’m surrounded by my books, knowing what I know now, I want to think about what I want for myself.
“I see……….I see. Right, I understand Iris.”
Carol looked up to me and smiled. Toslin and Rose-san both nodded as well.
“Everyone……for everything up to now……..t-thank you……..and…….”
In the end, the emotions pooling in my heart overflowed, and I began to cry without being able to say what I wanted to. That night we joined up our beds and all slept together.