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Chapter 055 – The Way Back Home
The next day at school, there was Yuuta, who was sleep-deprived, lying face down on his desk since early morning. How should I say, it’s amazing that he could even come to school in that state.
“Good morning, Yuuta. You have a really sleepy face.”
Yuuta looked up absentmindedly and, after confirming that it was me, he woke up.
“You~ what other information have you been hiding from me!? Spit it all out!”
He came at me so strongly that I felt like running away.
I’m not hiding any information from you.
Just what information? If it’s really that amazing, I’d like to hear it myself too.
“Did you explore the region after that?”
“That’s why I’m this sleepy… And what is wrong with that road? When we advanced further, the stronger monsters like those that were supposed to come out later in higher level places came out, and after forcing our way through the road, we finally arrived at a strange place that looked like a hidden village. If it wasn’t for the [ Mad Ride ] party, we would all be dead. Harpon-san became so excited when a being with pointy ears told us that it was rare to see humans come to their village, so we weren’t able to log out until dawn. …Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get excited either.”
“Hmm, so there’s a place like that. So how was it?”
“It looked like an elf’s hidden village. All of them have pointy ears and they’re all extremely beautiful. There was a crowd of people like that handsome owner of the general store, so everyone was sparkly. Otsu-san was hitting on every woman he saw, so we had a hard time stopping him. I just hope he didn’t bring shame on the human race.”
When I tilted my head in confusion at the name I heard for the first time, Yuuta told me, “He’s that huge guy with a weak presence from the [ Mad Ride ] party.” Ahh, it’s that guy who’s even taller than Yuuta. He’s so tall in fact, I’m jealous.
“Well, it’s kind of a strange place. Harpon-san tried to appraise all the things that were growing here and there, but all of them showed nothing but [ Unknown Material ], so even he became puzzled. They told him it was forbidden to take the materials, so he tearfully gave them back.”
Ahh, uhm. I want to go there. It’s probably a treasury for alchemy materials. I really want to go there, but before that, I want to go back to Tre. Maybe I’ll go there with my treasured alchemy recipe notebook that is kept in my workshop in the near future. And also after I raise my level. It would be impossible for the current me. It’s a place that pushed even Yuuta’s group to near death, so it’ll be instant death for me if I even step foot in there.
But if it’s about elves, is there a connection between them and Crash? I’m a bit curious.
“And, how did it go with you, Kengo?”
“Um, I somehow managed to clear the quest.”
“Seriously… Kengo, you might actually be an amazing guy. You managed to take the quest outside of the guild request by chance, quickly cleared it, and then, you even managed to tell us a strange road. Now I wonder if you’re emitting something like ‘Kengo’s aura’?”
“My aura, just what is that?”
“Umm— like an NPC magnet?”
“Now you’re saying something stupid.”
I lightly tapped his forehead with my palm and turned to the front, hearing the class bell.
‘Today’s the day I’m gonna ride on that carriage and go back home!’ With full motivation, I logged in at the inn.
When I went downstairs, the elderly woman who gave me a towel yesterday beckoned me with a smile.
“I heard you helped revive the plantation! Tream-san brought us fruit in the middle of the night and I heard the story. Tream-san was really happy!”
Just when I thought it was a name I had never heard of, there came a new notification in the friend list column.
It seemed like Tream-san was the owner of the Sette plantation. His name was on my friend list. Ohh, does this mean I can call him by his name next time? But I didn’t tell him my name yet.
“You’re going back today, right? To your hometown. It’s gonna be lonely here. Here, take this with you. You can eat it in the carriage.”
The woman handed me a rather large packed box.
It smells good. Could this be a lunchbox…?
This isn’t an amount I can eat by myself. Is it okay for me to take all this?
“Thank you very much, but to take all this…”
“It’s okay. Ever since I saw your crying face yesterday, I somehow felt that you looked a bit like my son who went independent long ago. He is living so far away that he rarely shows his face here. I’m just doing this for my own self-satisfaction, so you don’t need to hold back.”
Her husband was glancing at me from behind her, waiting for me to take the lunchbox with a bright smile.
Just when I thought his expressionless face was a little bit scary, he gave me a thumbs-up! So cool! Ohhh! While I was impressed, he went to the back.
The woman looked behind her to watch the back of her husband and then, she chuckled.
“My husband, he’s a childhood friend of Tream-san. He had been worried about Tream-san the whole time, saying he didn’t want to see him feeling all depressed. But last night, after you went to bed, he was really glad to see Tream-san come here looking so happy, so he’s been making this lunchbox in high spirits since early morning. That’s why I’m saying I’ll be really happy if you could take this with you.”
“If that’s the case, I’ll gladly take this. It’s really regrettable that I missed the chance to have your husband’s meal yesterday, but instead, I got the chance to have a really delicious meal from Tream-san.”
“He’s very good at cooking, too.”
Then, she sent me off, saying please be careful, and waved at me. And finally, I headed to the place where the stagecoach was waiting for passengers. I asked for the location in advance, so I won’t get lost, I hope.
As soon as I arrived safely at the place, I heard a shout saying the carriage to the desert city would be leaving soon, so I hurriedly got on to it.
It looked like the carriage would drive through the night and arrive at the desert city tomorrow evening. I thought we had to camp overnight, but they were using horses specialized in high stamina, so it seemed like the coachmen would take turns to drive through the night. They told the passengers that they could sleep as they wished.
I told the coachman that I was going to sleep through the whole journey and probably wouldn’t wake up until we arrived. Well, I do have to attend school.
The coachman laughed saying, ‘It’s fine, it’s fine,” and gave me a lift. He’s such a kind man. A journey that was supposed to take several days on foot now had been reduced to a day. If it was with a quick horse, it would further be reduced to half a day. Just how was the quick horse? Now that I remember, I wonder if they found the quick horse. I should have at least asked about it when I was still at the adventurer guild.
Swaying on the bumpy road while riding on the horse-drawn carriage, I opened the lunchbox that I received.
There were three people in the carriage together with me. One with heavy equipment, but the marker definitely indicated that he wasn’t a player. The other two were uncles.1 Each one of them was carrying large suitcases. Were they maybe peddlers or something?
And, all those three.
They were all staring at my hands, to be exact, at my lunchbox, with loud gulps.
This lunchbox was called [ Yamanosachi Lunchbox (extra-large portion) ]2, but it was a multi-tiered lunchbox of premium quality with lots of fruit sauce dishes, like the ones I had at Tream-san’s place.
The first tier of the lunchbox contained plenty of side dishes, and the second tier was filled with tightly packed sandwiches.
All three of them were staring at the lunchbox with scary looks so I couldn’t help but offer them my lunchbox.
“I can’t eat this all by myself, so would you like to eat this together with me?”
I couldn’t say their faces were scaring me. The fact that they were staring at me fiercely like they were about to eat me alive… okay I’ll forget it. I’ll just forget it. …It was scary as hell.
But there were enough portions in the lunchbox for everyone to have their fill, so thank goodness. Did the lady’s husband make a lot knowing this would happen? He’s amazing.
Anyway, I leaned over and shared my lunchbox with the coachmen, and then, I also took a sandwich for myself.
The sandwich I took had slices of aranne fruit with some kind of smoked meat and lots of vegetables. Looking at the sandwich’s filling that could make my stomach full with just a piece of it, the sound of a hungry swallow rang in my ears.
Let’s dig in! Enthusiastically, I bit into the sandwich.
While eating, everyone was dead silent inside the carriage.
It was so delicious that there wasn’t a moment for us to talk. All the side dishes were handed to everyone one by one, so we had to take them by hand. My fingers would become a little dirty, but it couldn’t be helped. When I reluctantly licked my fingers, the man wearing armor poured water into the water bag using magic as thanks, so we all washed our hands and mouths. To be able to use water magic freely, I’m a bit jealous. Should I start learning magic from now on? Ah, yes, there’s a certain someone who’s so eager to teach me the ancient language. But sadly, I don’t think I’ll be able to memorize it at all.
While doing this and that, it was already midnight, so a cloth was hung down over the window-like opening. It was to prevent the dim light inside from leaking out, said the coachman, who was planning to rest first, and he went inside the carriage. Then, the man with armor went out in his stead. He said he was hired as a guard.
It was almost time for me to log out, but as an adventurer myself it didn’t sit well with me to just sit and stay, so when I asked about it, the coachman told me that the rental fee for hiring the bodyguard was already covered in the carriage fee, so I could just relax and sleep. But anyway, I gave him two bottles of high potions, just in case something were to happen, and I sat back in my seat. It’s a seat made of wood, so my butt’s gonna hurt for sure.
I took a peek outside, moving aside the cloth covering the window and leaning against the wooden frame.
While listening to the rattling sound of the moving carriage and feeling the vibrations, I closed my eyes and logged out.