After all this time, there has been a grand discovery that I had not realized until now, and I don’t think the previous translator ever noticed either. The name of the border town where they live is literally named Border Town in the same way the holy land’s name is the Holy Land and its capital is called Holy City. I almost didn’t want to admit to this mistake out of spite and have it keep being a nameless border town.
Shopping is the Best…….
On a certain day with the date of the class field trip fast approaching. Shirley walked out of her Hero’s Toolbox after preparing the cameras she used for her peep shots……..scrapbook photos, when Sophie and Tio came up to her.
“Mom, is everything okay?”
“Nothing much. I was simply making some preparations for your field trip, but there are a few things I am short of at home.”
“Oh, I see.”
It may seem surprising to others, but Shirley and her daughters had only gone traveling a couple times before.
Shirley is the type to overreact and worry about potential dangers to her daughters in all things, so having them leave town has always had a negative connotation in her mind.
However over the years as Shirley gained experience as an adventurer and honed her skills to the point she could eliminate all dangers, she eventually lifted the travel ban out of the city. That was the only reason the girls could travel to the capital for the Summer Solstice Festival. Even then though, the girls could count the number of times they had traveled to another town on one hand. Mostly because there wasn’t any place they truly felt like visiting.
“I’m guessing you understand what I mean then. So, do you want to come shopping with me?”
“Let’s go grab our coin purses”
Shirley couldn’t help but let a wry smile spill out as Sophie and Tio instantly ran over to grab their own pocket money.
“……that’s supposed to be my job.”
Apparently Shirley’s lessons on frugalness had become so engrained in the girls that they were reflexively going to grab their pocket money to try and alleviate some of the burden of the family finances. With that being the case, do they think their family so poor that they’ll end up in the red if they don’t use two children’s allowance to make up the difference? If she wanted to, Shirley could have them live like kings in the finest mansion for the rest of their lives.
But that’s besides the point. A child’s monthly allowance is something they’re supposed to spend on themselves. It is a parent’s responsibility to cover the cost of any school materials.
(I almost wish they’d act a little more childish and spoiled……)
Did she raise them too well? Or are they just naturally this wonderful?
Seeing Sophie and Tio act so responsibly at the tender age of ten, Shirley was convinced that it was probably the latter.
“Hold on a minute you two.”
“Hm? What’s wrong Mom?”
And so Shirley took a moment to sit them down and explain that balancing the books was a job meant to be left to the parent.
“So, what do you need?”
It was getting to that time of year when the brisk autumn breeze is mixed together with the cold air and it becomes impossible to go out in light clothing because of how chilly it is outside. After leaving the inn, Shirley walked through town with Sophie and Tio taking the lead.
Like in spring, monsters become more active in the fall which naturally leads to adventurers having to be constantly on the move. It was an everyday sight to see people with even the shoddiest of equipment mixed together with the regular townsfolk as street vendors rushed to sell tools to the busy adventurers.
Normally Shirley and her daughters would take a little time to check out the stalls lining the street, but because they were there on specific errands today, they ignored all of them as they walked past. Their first target was a daily goods store.
“The teacher said we would need shoes and clothes that are easy to move around in.”
“Clothes and shoes?”
“Yeah. Apparently while we’re on our field trip, we’re going to be walking up a lot of hills and mountains.”
Field trips are at their core meant to be an occasion for off-campus learning. No matter how much free time they may give you, it doesn’t mean you’re only there to play around.
In order to allow the children to experience history with both their eyes and bodies, each group of children is supposed to visit at least five of the Holy Land’s cathedrals, churches, or temples as tourist destinations using their own two legs.
“True. You two don’t have very many clothes suitable for exercising, let alone mountain hiking……”
Sophie and Tio’s regular clothes were all ones Shirley had picked out and bought herself which meant they were almost all skirts. There was nothing there you would want to hike up a mountain in.
“The Holy City is quite large. Will you be using dragon wagons and carriages to get around?”
“Mm. The teacher told us all the tourists use dragon wagons to get around the city, so I assume we will be using them.”
As the name implies, Border Town is a small town on the outskirts of the country, but for larger cities like the Kingdom’s capital or the Holy Land’s Holy City, carriages capable of carrying dozens of people pulled by dragons like Rangritz is a regular sight.
Those kinds of services are all but useless to a certain high-ranking adventurer who gets around everywhere by running across people’s rooftops, but it is a very important utility to the general public.
“It’ll be our first time riding one, so I’m a little nervous. We’re still just kids too.”
“Think of it as another new experience. And it will be a good opportunity for you two to deal with something you are unfamiliar with. You will probably have to buy a ticket, but please keep in mind that this isn’t going to be like buying food at the grocery store. You will need to tell them the exact place you are looking to go and at what time you wish to leave.”
“Sophie, I’ll give you my money, so you can take care of that.”
“Geez~. You always push this kind of stuff on me.”
It was things like this that made the school field trip so highly valued. Having students encounter problems they don’t normally encounter is a valuable experience in its own right, and Shirley was able to appreciate this fact because she knew she would be secretly following them the entire time. If not, the ensuing anxiety would have probably caused her to hate the event with all her heart.
“But you’re going mountain hiking? If it is the Holy City, then they must be talking about the spirit mountain, Mt. Eldorado.”
“Huh? You know about it Mama?”
“Have you been there before?”
“No, but that mountain is quite famous.”
Shirley had never climbed the mountain herself, but the stories of it were famous across the continent.
A long time ago, the area where the spirit mountain Mt. Eldorado sat was a plain of death, filled with poison and miasma from magic used during the war.
It is said that once you walked in, your body would go gangrene, and if you took a breath, your throat would rot away. Meanwhile your eyes would have gone blind long before you would have reached the poison itself. It was from beneath this barren land that the strongest dragon Aion, later known as the dragon god, would appear.
Mt. Eldorado was formed from the lava that spit out the hole the dragon bore through. The lava pooled upwards, forming a mighty mountain that released a purifying power upon its formation. The poison and swirling miasma dispersed while any nearby monsters were repelled from the area.
The Holy Land was built with that mountain serving at its heart, and the capital Holy City rests with it.
It is said that the Holy Land has hardly any monsters within its borders thanks to the protection of the spirit mountain. The only one of real note would have been the vampire princess who was able to bear through the purification thanks to her high wisdom and knowledge of magic.
“Even now the mountain is often used as a training ground for monks and soldiers. Although thanks to an increase in tourism the road to the summit is well-maintained, so it should not be too difficult a climb.”
“Heh~…….oh, this is our store.”
For the most part it was a general boutique except for the fact that it also sold shoes as well. The store mainly sells work clothes that are easy to move around in, and while Shirley and the girls had never really shopped there before, it was the first store that came to mind in regards to their intended purpose.
“Pardon us. We came to buy clothes for these girls that are easy to move in. Where would I go to find ones in their size?”
“In that case, you should find everything you need in that corner over there.”
The store clerk guided them to the section of the store where the clothes for younger children were hung up. Tio was over there in a heartbeat, and after checking the price tag of the first two shirts on the rack, she pulled them off the hanger.
“I’m okay with this and this.”
“Fast!? There’s nothing wrong with that, but you should check to make sure they suit you before you decide!”
“It’s all the same so long as you can go hiking in them.”
Sophie tried getting Tio to put a little more thought in her clothes, but with zero interest in dressing up during the best of situations, she didn’t pay her much attention.
“They’re going to get dirty anyway, so there’s no point in worrying about designs.”
“I suppose that’s true, but”
“Actually now that I think about it, don’t we only need new shoes? We could just go hiking in our gym clothes. I wish we didn’t have to do this kind of wasteful spending when we have something like that available to us.”
“Yeah……but, it sounds like there are some special circumstances there. It would be for the best if we didn’t ask too many questions.”
A lesser known fact about the school’s gym uniforms is that over the last few years, they have been knitted together with cloth and thread using a new method that is currently prohibited from being spread outside the country.
To add on to the value, the gym clothes themselves have been enchanted with Canary’s magic. She wanted to provide the kids with clothes that could prevent student injuries and protect against heatstroke. They also have a comfy, light texture unlike any other set of clothing that Shirley had ever seen. Which is why she interrogated the clothmaker to find everything out about these clothes.
“If you have picked yours out, how about at least trying them on to see if they fit?”
“Ah, me too!”
Shirley snuck out her camera from her Hero’s Toolbox and followed Sophie and Tio as they made their way over to the dressing room. Once the girls pulled the curtains closed, she slid in a new roll of film and readied it for when they came out.
“It’s on. It feels nice wearing it too.”
“Ehehe……how about it? Does it look good on me?”
Shuffling around Tio and Sophie at a speed beyond the ability for a human eye to perceive, Shirley instantly used up a roll of film taking pictures of the girls in these fresh new outfits.
Whether it was by chance or because of the fact they were twins, the girls had chosen a set of clothes with very similar designs to each other. Long-sleeved shirts to protect their skin from any branches and leaves coupled with a pair of shorts that were easy to move around in. A pair of black undershorts meant to keep them warm when they’re at the top of the mountain extended just below the hem of the shorts as well. The dark black clothes created a stark contrast between it and the girls’ pale legs.
“Magnificent, the both of you. You look wonderful.”
After using up a second roll of film in an instant once again, Shirley stopped and complimented her daughters.
Sophie and Tio usually wear more girlish clothes that their mother picked out for them, but these were much lighter and exuded cheerfulness all over. It was a really fresh feeling. Shirley had never seen her daughters like this, so with a mountain of photos already taken of them, she was now doing her best to sear their image into her mind so the sight of them would remain forever in her memory as well.
“These kinds of clothes are pretty good. They’re easy to move around in.”
“I thought they were plain at first, but they look pretty cute after you put them on. I like them.”
Satisfied with how happy her daughters were, Shirley wrapped around behind them. Pulling out a pair of hair clips from her Hero’s Toolbox, she lifted up their hair and tied it off.
“You both have long hair. If you are going hiking, it would be better for you to tie it up like this.”
Sophie’s hair was done as a half up while Tio received a ponytail. It cooled down the back of their necks, giving their new outfits an even fresher feeling.
“From what I have heard, the area around the mountain does not get cold even during the winter because of the mana it naturally exudes. Several monks suffer from heatstroke every year because of it though.”
“Mm. Got it”
The girls decided to go with the clothes they had picked out. Changing back into their original outfits, they had their new clothes folded into paper bags and began on their way out of the store, but as they walked out, they were stopped by a familiar voice.
“Hm? Is that Sophie and Tio?”
“Chelsea? What a coincidence. Are you out shopping today too?”
“Yep. Big Brother Kyle says I need a wallet and suitcase for the trip.”
“Chelsea, calling me like that when we’re out in public is a little…….”
Chelsea walked over from down the street with Kyle in tow, seemingly having already finished their shopping for the day. As the three girls set down their things and began excitedly talking about their upcoming trip, Shirley called over to Kyle.
“You’re buying things for her field trip?”
“Oh, yeah. I’m helping out on behalf of our guardians……I’ve been making a lot of money over the last six months that I’ve been saving up.”
Kyle had originally become an adventurer so he could help out at the orphanage. In this case too, it seems that he is offering to cover the cost of the field trip that the orphanage would usually be paying for themselves.
“Ah, we need to head home soon.”
“See you later Chelsea.”
“Mm, see you at school tomorrow”
The sun sets earlier now than it did during the summer, and day was slowly giving way to the evening. It’s getting to be around that time, so after finishing up a short chat, the two groups split apart and made their respective ways home.
“Oh, welcome back. Did you buy everything you needed?”
By the time Shirley and the girls returned home, the fragrant scent of dinner was drifting out of the dining room and waving in any potential customers through the front door. Sophie and Tio immediately made their way alongside their mother to the kitchen where Martha was and lightly held up the paper bags filled with the clothes they just bought.
“Yeah! Look, we bought some things that feel pretty good to………huh?”
Sophie opened up the paper bag to showcase the clothes to Martha, but as soon as she looked inside, her face instantly froze over.