After separating from Seruberie and returning to town, the sun was beginning to rise and it had already passed breakfast time. After all I did do quite a bit of things today.
If it’s already this late anyways, I don’t think it would matter much if I took my time at a leisurely pace. Before returning to the inn, shall I go visit some street stalls? Who knows, I could find some really cheap high-level mediums from one of the stores.
I walked into an open area with a lot of street stalls, and from the corner of my eyes, I caught sight of someone I was acquainted with. It was Claude.
「Isn’t that you Zeph-kun? Good morning」
「Ahh, good morning, Claude. I’ve come a little late. My bad」
「I also just returned just now. I was at sparring with Lydia and I may have expended too much energy. I was going to use the guild message system to tell Milly that I was going to be late, but there was no answer from her end. Maybe she’s still asleep……?」
If I remember correctly, she had also risen up really early yesterday and was sparring with Lydia. When I turn my focus towards our inn, I could feel Milly’s magical power being trained.
「Milly is just Milly so she must be doing something by herself. She’s probably just too concentrated to notice that you’ve sent her a message」
「Lately, she’s been getting up quite early every day in order to meditate. Normally, whenever I come back home, she would be so concentrated that she doesn’t even hear me arrive, so I suppose it makes sense」
I can’t believe that sleepy head is becoming an early riser. It seems that Claude is also the same, because of my influence on them, these two people have been waking up every morning in order to train themselves.
「Don’t overwork yourself too much alright? Both Claude and Milly are still growing children, you guys are not yet established adventurers, therefore…」
「That may be true, but……Why is Zeph-kun, who is supposed to be the youngest one of us all, trying to treat us like children?! Mouu」
「Fuh, I guess you are right on that one. Hahah」
Both of her hands are on her waist and she puffs out her cheeks. I unintentionally burst into laughter after agreeing with her opinion.
「Let me just tell you, Zeph-kun you are such a weirdo you know that!」
「I know, I know…….Kukuku」
If I keep laughing too much, Claude might get unhappy, so let’s just change the subject.
「By the way, Claude since you are also here, does it mean that you are also doing some shopping?」
For some reason she answered in a shy manner.
Because we have been hunting almost every single day, we have been able to obtain all of our basic equipment, therefore whenever we would get a rare item, we would sell it to Lydia and then split the profits equally amongst those who came for the hunt.
She must have saved up enough money to some extent and wanted to have a look at new equipment.
「Zeph-kun, would you like to come with me and have a look around?」
「Of course I don’t mind it」
When I agreed to come, Claude looked really happy and was in a good mood.
「Then let’s go! If we come back home too late then I’ll feel sorry for Milly」
After saying that Claude grabbed on to my hand. Well to be honest looking at what occurred yesterday, I think that even if we were a little late, she probably wouldn’t mind.
「Come to think of it, Claude’s shield is already worn out isn’t it? Are you planning on getting a new one?」
「No, I’ve kind of built an emotional attachment to it, so if it’s possible I want to maintain it and continue using it」
After taking out the shield which was filled with plenty of cracks, Claude starts to trace her fingers over her wounded shield.
「Since I left home, it has always been by my side…… it’s been with me the longest」
「Certainly, if I looked carefully, I can see that the shield is decent in quality. There isn’t any deep cracks, besides you’ve been maintaining it really well」
「When I left to start travelling, I received it from my mother. She told me “I hope that this will protect you”」
Claude’s family was quite a poor knight family, and because of this fact she was driven away from her house in order to decrease the amount of mouths the family had to feed, it would seem that at that time she received the shield from her mother.
To think that she’s kept it with her for such a long time, I don’t doubt that she has some attachment to it.
「Then are you buying weapons?」
「Lydia is actually going to make my weapons」
「Then what did you want to buy?」
「Th…..That is……J-just don’t worry about it and please follow me!」
She pulls on my hands and walked forwards.
The destination we reached after walking for a while was actually a boutique shop that sold clothes, moreover the store had a stylish feel to it.
「I see, so you wanted to buy some clothes, If that’s the case, wouldn’t it have been better to ask Milly to come with you? I don’t really know much about this kind of stuff」
「It’s fine! Look! We’re going in!」
She pushes me into the store and forcibly makes me enter.
「Hello, how can I help you today…….Oh?」
The moment we entered the store, a female clerk wearing glasses greeted us. It would seem like they already knew each other. She probably came here quite often?
「The companion with you today, is that the person Claude-san would like to show your clothes to? Considering that you’ve brought him along today, can I assume that you will finally purchase the clothes?」
「Whawawa, What are you saying all of a sudden? Natalia-san geez……M-mouu shall we have a look!? Zeph-kun!」
Watching Claude, Natalia was giggling “fufufu”.
Rather than just being mere acquaintances it would seem like they knew each other on a first name basis. They probably spent a lot of time together?
「Claude, don’t get cold feet now okay? 」
「Like I said, I’ll buy it today!!」
Both Natalia-san and I were grinning at Claude, and her face was completely red whilst she was picking her clothes.
As usual, she’s so fun to tease.
「H….How does this one look?」
「Oh that’s the thing you’ve tried on many times in the past isn’t it?」
「If you like it then you should just buy it, right?」
She was holding a white dress across her own body, and both Natalia-san and I were still talking to her in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
After hearing our words, Claude’s body froze in place and was trembling *puru puru (trembles)*
Did I go a little too far?
「….I’m very sorry Claude-sama. Please pardon my rudeness, if you will forgive me, how about I offer you a 10% discount?」(TL: Natalia speaking in honorific’s as a form of joking apology)
「I’m also at fault, I’ve said to much, it’s my bad Claude. You can choose whatever you like. I will pay the money」
If she’s going to be in a good mood just from this, then this is a cheap price to pay. Her mood was becoming better after I apologized to her, and she was happily looking around for various clothes.
Natalia-san was able to relate to what Claude was saying, but for me since I had no knowledge whatsoever about clothing, the best I could do was frantically nod my head in agreement.
「…….So, in the end, you chose the first one?」
「Yes, Thank you very much. Zeph-kun♪」
After changing her clothes in the fitting room, Claude walks out wearing the white dress and white heels to match, whilst cheerfully walking around me.
It seems that she was very pleased, at times she would twirl around to show off and the frill of her white dress would flutter. Claude was walking under the sunshine and at times, I could see the slender outline of her body through her slightly transparent dress.
「What do you think? I look like a girl, right?」
Claude was gently stroking her hair as she laughed, and looking at her like this, as one would expect, it would be really hard to think that she was a guy.
「…..That’s true, it suits you really well. You look really cute, Claude」
When I praised her with my honest opinion, perhaps she didn’t expect it coming from me, but Claude was starting to blush.
「…..Finally, you’re treating me like a girl, aren’t you?」
「Hey come on, did you really think that I seriously thought you were a man or something?」
「Just a little bit♪」
Talking so playfully like this, she was laughing and joking around and she truly looked like a mischievous child.
「Ah, you weren’t thinking of me as a boy again did you?」
「…….It’s just your imagination」
She’s always so perceptive to my thoughts, it’s troubling….
In any case, to think that she would be this happy just from buying clothes, she’s a really simpleminded girl isn’t she?
Hm? Now that you mention it, could it be…..?
「Hey Claude, do you always drive a bargain like this?」
「……I will leave it up to your imagination♪」
After saying that Claude was laughing.