Section 11: Wrapped in Kindness 1
All of this began one hour ago.
After finishing off breakfast, I sat down on a fluffy chair so criminally comfy, it would turn any normal person into a sluggified bum.
But that’s just me making excuses. No matter how slovenly I become, I refuse to be done in from sitting in a chair alone.
[Noelia]: “Calvafon-sama, would you like another cup of tea?”
[Iris]: “F-Fwee, yes please”
The real reason why my body is growing limper than a stick of melted butter is all thanks to Noelia-san’s tender care…….I mean, all the service she’s doing. For me. As a maid.
[Iris]: “Hwah……this tea smells so good, and it tastes delicious.”
[Noelia]: “I am honored by your praise.”
Speaking of butter, the honey lemon butter cream toast we had for breakfast this morning was positively divine.
A work of art no ordinary person could ever hope to replicate. Sticky bread soaked in a mixture of honey and lemon butter before being fried to a crisp, golden brown and then topped with a few grains of silver dragee. On Noelia-san’s recommendation, I took two of them.
My stomach already feels a little heavier because of it, but……but, it was s~uch a good time.
Just as I was about to drift off into blissful sleep, a light pain ran through my shin that tore my consciousness back to cruel reality.
[Iris]: “Eh, what?”
After propping myself up in my chair, I looked down to find Unicorn in her plushie form down at my feet repeatedly kicking my shins with her hind legs.
[Iris]: “Hang on, Unicorn? What’s wrong?”
Normally she would be running around this way or that with Lapris or Phoenix riding on her back. But since she’s alone right now, is Plushie Unicorn looking to sleep with me like she always used to?
[Toslin]: “What did you do Iris?”
After finishing her after meal break, Toslin glanced over towards me while making some maintanence to Carol’s armor.
[Iris]: “I-I’m not sure. I was just drinking some tea when…..”
[Saluena]: “Maybe Sarah is burning with jealousy.”
Saluena was similarly making some adjustments to Rose-san’s armor.
[Iris]: “Heh? Sarah?”
[Rose]: “Fufu, perhaps seeing Noelia-san briskly taking such extensive care of Iris-san has made her a tad green with envy.”
Ah, I forgot. Sarah can hear and see anything Plushie Unicorn can.
Which means, right now I might as well be face to face with the real Sarah.
[Sarah]: “Can’t you at least try to keep yourself together when you’re not at home?”
Groan~, I’m positive that’s what Sarah is saying right now.
[Iris]: “Uuu, sorry Sarah.”
When I picked her up into my arms and apologized, Plushie Unicorn turned her head away from me.
[Iris]: “Aah, don’t be mad. Your onee-chan will shape up. I promise my slovenly days are over, okay?”
I tightly hugged Plushie Unicorn to my chest for a minute before she finally rubbed her cheek against mine.
[Iris]: “Haha, so you forgive me? Thank you Sarah. I love you.”
*Nuzzle nuzzle nuzzle nuzzle.* After we finished rubbing our cheeks together, Plushie Unicorn’s tail began wagging like an excited puppie.
[Carol]: “…..isn’t Sarah just looking to get spoiled by Iris?”
[Toslin]: “Yeah……it’s already been more than two weeks since we left Soletta. Well, not that it feels like it for us.”
I see, time’s flying by whether I realize it or not.
How has Sarah been spending the last two weeks at home? Have the sisters and Aronda-sama been doting on her at the church all this time?
I started to feel a little sentimental, but I threw off that nostalgia when I jumped to my feet.
[Iris]: “Yosh, I’m going to do my best today as well! Hey hey, what should we do today?”
I’ve finally become an adventurer. So I want to do something an adventurer would do. No, I have to. Otherwise, what was the point of me becoming an adventurer?
Actually, just two weeks ago I was still an ordinary bookstore girl, so I have no idea what the fundamentals of being an adventurer would be.
So what I’m asking is, what does an adventurer do when they’re not out adventuring?
[Toslin]: “Oh yeah. We’ve always taken care of things until now, so how about learning the basics of adventuring Iris?”
[Iris]: “Yes!! Thank you very much Instructor Toslin!!”
After having started working on her own armor, Toslin stood up and picked out a piece of parchment from the rucksack she’s always carrying with her. She then handed the parchment over to me.
[Toslin]: “Here, I’ll have you go out shopping for today. I’ve written everything we need on this piece of parchment, so it’ll be your job to gather up our supplies.”
[Iris]: “Yes, I understand.”
Taking a quick glance through, I found a list of consumables like oil and rope listed one after another.
[Toslin]: “You’re not going to be able to carry that all on your own, so how about you take Rose or Saluena with you?”
[Saluena]: “Sorry, but I have to head to the church today. I promised I would train Ashel and our knights.”
[Toslin]: “I don’t suppose you’re doing that thing again are you? Those bouts”
[Saluena]: “Of course. It’d be impossible for me to adequately instruct them if I do not know their current skill levels.”
[Carol]: “Ugh. I’m still kind of traumatized. It’s the first time anyone’s ever completely sealed off my movements like that.”
[Toslin]: “And when you think about it now, we would’ve already been orange rank adventurers when that fight took place. Yet we weren’t even a challenge. Saluena’s just that strong.”
[Lapris]: “If it’s Anego, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was actually a blue rank. Heck, she might just be the highest rank there is.”
Staggering to her feet on top of the table with her swollen stomach after continuing to lapp up honey since breakfast ended, Lapris skittered over and plopped down on Plushie Unicorn’s back at my feet.
[Carol]: “You should get baptized next time you have a chance.”
[Saluena]: “If it’s necessary.”
Saluena brushed away Carol’s words while checking up on the arm guard of her armor.
[Saluena]: “And so Rose”
[Saluena]: “Enjoy your date with Iris today.”
[Rose]: “O-Oneesama? We are going out for errands not to play……”
[Saluena]: “If it’s just that much, you should be finished quickly enough. And there’s no need for you to come back as soon as you’ve finished up your errands.”
Saluena laughed while giving me a furtive glance. Maybe she’s……
[Iris]: “Saluena, did you overhear?”
Back at my parents’ house, when I asked Rose-san for that date.
[Saluena]: “It just happened to pass through my ear. Rosa, you have a feel for the land do you not? We came all the way to the capital, it would be a shame to keep ourselves locked inside the castle for our entire stay. You should show Iris around.”
[Rose]: “Y-Yes….. W-When you put it like that…..”
――And with that, we ventured forward on our errands date.
I’ll admit, I was a little flustered over this opportunity that had presented itself faster than I would have imagined, but I was excited more than anything else.
[Iris]: “Woah, so many people…….”
After passing through the third gate, we descended from the carriage, and my jaw dropped as soon as my foot touched ground. Oh, we don’t have Goldmund with us. This time we rode in an ordinary carriage pulled by an ordinary horse. Well, even if I call it ordinary, it’s the carriage Noelia-san prepared for us, so I’m sure it was very expensive.
The most bustling street in the city is Sanz Wanz. The name comes from one of Evil Dragon Oshunel’s four Pterosaurs¹, who was slain by the hero Ranroot on this very spot.
Numerous carriages weaved past each other down the spacious road. Florists, restaurants, boutiques, and curio shops were lined up from end to end. Over there is an armor shop. So many different kinds of shops, I’m not sure how anyone can make any choices with all these different options to pick from. Ah, a bookstore. Amazing, amazing. As expected of the capital.
[Rose]: “Then, shall we start with the lighter items?”
I quickly followed after Rose-san when she started walking. It’s currently slightly past 10 AM. In other words, from now until the sun begins to fall, I will be left completely alone with Rose-san.
[Rose]: “Ah, but before that…..Iris-san”
[Iris]: “Yes, what is it?”
Rose-san suddenly stopped in place and turned to look back at me.
[Rose]: “Taking a look around, there are quite a few people here, so I was thinking……you might end up getting lost.”
[Iris]: “Y-Yes. You’re right. I’ll be careful.”
I anxiously held my hands in front of my chest and mumbled to myself a bit.
[Rose]: “Yes, so…..if you are fine with it, I was thinking…..”
Rose-san was rapidly firing off words only to then abruptly stop in the middle of her sentence, shyly turning her gaze away from me.
[Rose]: “I thought, we could hold hands. That way, the risk of us getting separated disappears.”
I was a little surprised by her unexpected offer.
This is our first time going out together, and we’re already holding hands. I had to go out with Carol a couple of times before we started doing that with each other.
[Rose]: “Oh……of course, if it bothers you……”
[Iris]: “Huh, i-it doesn’t bother me in the slightest!!”
I grabbed Rose-san’s hand without a second thought before she could pull it away, causing her to raise her head once again and locking eyes with me a second time.
[Iris]: “Yes! I’m in your hands from here on.”
I could feel my face slowly growing red from embarrassment.
[Rose]: “Today is, I mean, it is another, um……..it is very nice and sunny out today.”
[Iris]: “I-It is. Thankfully so. We’d have no choice but to get wet if it were to start raining while we run our errands……”
But I could say the same thing about Rose-san, who is pulling my hand along while walking slightly ahead of me.
[Iris]: “But then again, it might be fun shopping with Rose-san in the rain.”
We should be able to finish our errands before the morning is up.
We’ll have lunch after that, and then……what should we do?
[Rose]: “Ah, uuh……you think so? Thank you for thinking so.”
Blue skies, white clouds.
[Rose]: “If Iris-san and I are together, then I am sure…..”
The two of us continued on, talking about much of nothing down a city street that glittered like a jewelry box filled of gems.
1. So the kanji for dinosaurs include the kanji dragon in it, and pterosaurs are specifically ‘winged dragons’.