So a couple weeks ago I called Mycena a boy in the additional character sheet. That was my mistake. There wasn’t anything that told me her gender, and there wasn’t going to be anything that told me her gender for the next 20 chapters or so. But I’ve finally read far enough ahead to say that she is definitively a girl. Honestly I should have just assumed. Somebody who wants to marry Iris? Of course they’re going to be a girl.
Section 6: To Church
Even though there’s a beautiful, open blue sky today, I’m currently walking while staring down at my feet.
“Despite how violently the wind was blowing during the storm last night, we didn’t get that much snow.”
“For sure. But instead the stone road’s been frozen over, and Iris is already covered in bruises.”
“I-I am not!! I’ve already been healed, so there’s no pain, and…….and I was just a little careless, so I can walk on my own!!”
It was the day after I returned to my hometown of Solretta Litta. After finishing breakfast, Saluena and I headed to the inn where Toslin and the others were staying.
This was the town I was born and raised in, so I knew where just about everything was. So I immediately knew where we had to go as soon as I heard the name of the inn they were staying in. We weaved through backstreets and alleys without ever losing our way and made it to our destination in about ten minutes.
But, things didn’t end there.
“First thing in the morning, and I was laughing. I wonder if we would have been able to hear Iris’s shriek all the way from our room?”
“Uuu……forget about that Toslin……”
“Oh no no no, that’s impossible. It really was something.”
I was so excited about the city scenery that I hadn’t seen in six months, I failed to notice the puddle that had formed right in front of the inn. Furthermore that puddle was unluckily frozen……and as you can imagine I fell flat on my butt.
“Are you really all right? If any pain remains, please tell me.”
Nothing hurt…..anymore. At first it hurt too much to even stand, and I could only raise an anguished voice from off the ground. Rose-san ran over and healed me right away, but in the meantime Toslin and Carol were both howling with laughter. I mean really, are you supposed to laugh that hard when you see me almost crying in pain?
“Thank you Rose-san……..Rose-san is my only ally.”
To my great fortune, my butt was protected by the wool panties my sister had knit for me. If I hadn’t been wearing them, I would have probably died. Yes, that is how hard I hit the ground.
“I’ll be troubled if you forget about me.”
When I looked up, I saw how Saluena, who was walking right next to me, had a proud expression floating across her face.
“Ah, yes……..Saluena…….you did an extremely good job…….of rubbing my butt.”
“As your knight, it is vexing that this is all I can do for you.”
As time goes on, my impression of Saluena continues to change. Saluena was so gallant and cool when she slew the dragon, but if you were to ask me now, I’d say she’s a little……disappointing. No, I mean she’s still cool enough though? Just so long as she’s not doing or saying anything.
I think Rose-san has started to understand this too which is why her gaze towards Saluena has started to grow softer.
“Sally-oneesama. Would you like me to teach you the prayer for a healing miracle? Perhaps the Goddess Illya will hear your words and allow you to utilize the same miracles as a priestess.”
“Thanks Rosa. But the me right now is not qualified for a miracle from the Goddess. And even if I was, I have already dedicated my sword to Iris. I cannot serve two masters.”
I had mentioned that I was walking while staring at my feet, but the truth is that I’m currently being sandwiched with Rose-san and Saluena walking on both sides of me. Both of them have one hand placed on my back while the other holds one of my own hands as we walk. But from the outside looking in, I almost certainly look like a grandmother being assisted after hurting both her legs.
Funny. I’m already at that sweet sixteen, so why………I mean I can walk normally just like everybody else? It’s just that there are a few spots here and there that are frozen and slippery? I’m not scared to walk?
“Oh? Isn’t that Iris-chan? When did you get back?”
I looked up when a voice suddenly called out to me, but unfortunately at that very instant my foot hit a patch of ice on the cobblestone road, and I started to slide.
“Hee, I see. It must’ve been hard. But well, it’s good that you’ve come back safe and sound. That girl will be delighted when she finds out too.”
The voice that had called out to me belonged to the carpenter Roswald-san. It looks like a door wasn’t fitted correctly, and he was in the middle of fixing it.
“Ah, yes. I was thinking I should go see Mycena soon, but it would be a huge help if oji-san could tell her for me.”
“Mm, leave it to me. But I’ll see you later. And tell that Flammel to show his face once in a while.”
Roswald-san then went deeper into the building he was working on, his large body sauntering to the left and right.
“Sorry to make you wait everyone.”
I ran forward to rejoin everyone who were waiting for me a short distance away. When I came to a stop, I didn’t miss the fact that all four of them were standing at the ready.
“C’mon, quit fooling around.”
“No no, have you forgotten what just happened?”
“I have been severely underestimating Iris. In the opposite way from what you’d think.”
Carol was amazed, and Toslin was looking at me with some admiration in her eyes. The opposite sense of underestimating me……in other words, I’m even more clumsy than she thought I was.
It’s vexing, but I can’t refute them when I’ve almost fallen on my butt twice in the last thirty minutes. By the way, it’s only ‘almost twice’ thanks to Rose-san and Saluena’s support.
“By the way, who was that artisan from before? He seemed like an acquaintance.”
Art-san? Oh, maybe she means carpenter¹. Sometimes Saluena’s words get muddled together and are hard to understand. During times like those, I’m always thankful that I’ve read so many books.
“Well, I have a friend named Mycena, and that was her dad. He’s Roswald-san.”
“That friend, with a name like that, is she a Catail?”¹
“No no, she’s a normal hyurian. And she’s a very good girl. Although a bit noisy.”
As the name implies, catails are a race of people who have cat ears and a tail. I suppose they’d be the cat version of a werewolf? Or something like that at least. They’re apparently a very cautious people, and you don’t see them often in towns. To be honest I’ve never seen a catail period.
“Oh it is, when did you get back?”
The sun had been out for a while now, and as the rest of the city started to wake up, the traffic on the street increased. As a result, the people moving through the city would end up stopping in their tracks, surprised to see me for the first time in six months.
“Ah, hello, I just came home yesterday and am going to report to the church now.”
It was true. We were all currently making our way over to the church. I was a little surprised when I answered, but as soon as I did, we immediately snuck away before they could draw us into a conversation.
“My my, what lovely ladies. Are you adventurers? Perhaps you came to this town with Iris-chan?”
But immediately after escaping from those two oba-samas, another oba-sama came up to talk to us.
“Yep~. We’re staying in this town for a bit, so thanks for having us.”
“Hey, speak politely and use honorifics when talking to your superiors.”
“Ouch!? Don’t hit me stupid Toslin!!”
Toslin’s fist fell on Carol’s head, and the usual exchange began.
“Hohoh, bright and cheerful girls like you are always welcome. Head to the guild if there’s ever anything you need. They can give you all sorts of help.”
“Thank you for the considerate information.”
Gyaa……Carol let out quite the loud, girly shriek. Well, it’s not like I have the room to talk about anyone else.
After parting with those three oba-samas, we were finally able to resume walking.
“Fufu, I have thought this since meeting those soldiers yesterday, but everyone in this city truly does love Iris-san.”
“D-Do you think?”
“The people here would not be calling out to you like this if you were not.”
This is the town I was born in, so for me, these people who I talk to are all people I’ve know since I was very young.
“I-I suppose. I……really love the people of this town too.”
It’s a very cold town, but the people who live in it are bright and warm. That’s why I had never really thought of leaving this place before, and if not for that errand, I might have spent my whole life here thinking that this city was all there was of the world.
Each and every day, surrounded by my favorite books, my eyes focused only on the world that extends from those pages……
But, now I know. What a real adventure is.
“Oi~, Iris. Which way should we go?”
“Toslin-sensei, please don’t take the lead. I don’t want us to end up as a bunch of lost children and……ka!!”
For the umpteenth time Toslin’s fist came down on Carol’s head, cutting off whatever she was about to say next.
“Ah, oh yeah. Take a right here…..”
What about as I am right now though? Could I spend the rest of my life in this city?
1. Mycena is a very common name for cats in Japan.