Chapter 31 – A Happy Home with Heroes
My house had completely burned down.
I really liked the place too. Oh well.
It was because of Luka and Vi-Vi’s battle. But, I don’t blame either one of them.
「Damn it all.」
「I guess you’ve got to finally camp after a long while.」
For some reason Cruz wanted to camp and Luka didn’t.
And I completely agreed with Luka.
Just then, I noticed that the chief and all the villagers behind him were standing around, worried.
It was because Luka showed up, fought with Vi-Vi, and now they were obviously scared.
And this was the first time they’d seen Cruz.
「Chief! Everyone! These two were old friends of mine and…」
「We’re still your friends!」
Cruz interrupted with a smile.
「Cruz, I know you’re happy to be here, but I have to untangle a lot of loose ends here, so shut up for a second!」
I introduced Cruz and Luka to the villagers.
I didn’t say that we all defeated the Demon Lord. If they knew she was the hero, then the whole village would throw a celebration and crown them guests of honor.
And if that happened, then the villagers would get all nervous around the two.
In addition to that, Cruz and Luka didn’t like special treatment.
「Um… sorry for the…surprise. We thought this sub boss of the Demon Lord was going to make a magical monster.」
Luka bowed deeply.
The villagers all laughed.
「No, no, there was no need to apologize.」
「We were the ones that made the mistake about you being an attacking outlaw.」
Luka smiled after being easily forgiven.
Cruz also split off to play with the children. Collette joined along.
「Al, what do you plan to do tonight?」
「Well, my house is burned down, so I was thinking about staying in the storage shack.」
「Well, there’s no way we can allow your guests to stay in such a place.」
Millet piped up suddenly,
「Until we rebuild the house, you all can stay in my house.」
「Oh, good idea! Millet’s house is large enough. Fine.」
The chief agreed.
Since I had lost my house, we all ended up staying over at Millet’s place.
「Thank you so much for having us.」
「Please, make yourself at home.」
Millet welcomed us in.
Collette ecstatically embraced Femm around the neck.
「Femm! Letsth play!」
Cruz and Luka both bowed deeply.
「Sorry to trouble you.」
「Thanks for having us.」
Millet just smiled back at them.
「So, Cruz and Luka, you’re both friends of Mr. Al.」
「Yes…Al changed his appearance when I first saw him so I had no idea…」
Cruz smiled innocently.
I asked about something I was wondering about.
「Hey, so how is Yureena doing?」
There was a healer in the hero’s party called Yureena as well.
Usually two person parties are heroes and healers, or warriors and healers.
A warrior and a hero is a bit unbalanced as a party.
「Yureena has the mumps.」
「The mumps? Too bad.」
「It’s spreading around the capital quite a bit. She was so busy healing people that she caught the bug herself.」
「That’s quite a worry.」
「She’s fine. She’s being treated well at a local hospital. When we left the capital we checked on her and her fever had fallen.」
That was a relief. Even with her fever down, she couldn’t go outside.
It would be bad to infect others. And if she was careless, the fever would come back.
「Well, tell her I said hi.」
「Sure. She’ll be happy to hear you’re doing well.」
We were smiling at each other after seeing each other again, but I noticed Vi-Vi was sitting in the shadows, hiding.
She was probably being very cautious.
「Vi-Vi! What happened to Moofy?」
「That warrior got in the way.」
「I see…well, maybe tomorrow.」
I could see that Luka was uncomfortable hearing that.
「I’m sorry for getting in the way…but if anyone were to see a sub boss of the Demon Lord making a magic circle…they’d get in the way.」
「I guess you’re right.」
I think Luka was perfectly correct in that supposition.
「And I’m sorry for burning down your house, Al.」
「Don’t worry about it. I was the one that told you not to worry about mistakes.」
Vi-Vi looked apologetic all the same.
As did Luka.
「I’m sorry for making that mistake! I knew you were casting undead, but I couldn’t tell the if the magic circle was for zombie or skeleton magic.」
「You’re a warrior…you don’t know so…it’s okay.」
From a wizard like me, they look completely different. But a warrior couldn’t tell the difference.
Actually, it’s rare to meet a warrior that knows the differences in magic circles.
「Wait, there are differences in circles?!」
Cruz said, airheaded, like she usually did.
I really wonder how she looked at my magic up until now.
「Of course there’s different types. I probably showed you around 20 different types during our adventures.」
「I thought those were all the same circles. It’s really something Al, for you to get so many effects from the same circle.」
「Glad to be of service.」
「No, no, you really are awesome.」
Cruz doesn’t get sarcasm.
I gave up talking to her and turned back to Vi-Vi.
「So…Vi-Vi, you really are one of the Demon Lord’s sub bosses?」
「Hm? I thought you knew that already!」
I decided not to tell her that I never really believed that she was one.
「Why don’t you remember? You fought her before the Demon Lord, right?」
Luka replied, confused.
「Did I? I don’t remember though.」
「And I…don’t really remember anything either.」
We only remembered that we couldn’t remember fighting her.
It was a bit regrettable, now that it was mentioned, but since we couldn’t remember at all we just shrugged.
「You two need to sharpen up!」
Luka angrily said, and then explained.
When we had just entered the Demon Lord’s region, we crushed a small fort.
Vi-Vi was there, it seems.
「Why were you all the way out there?」
「I had to improve the soil and livestock for the Demon Lord.」
The Demon Lord’s region had barren land.
That’s why the Demon Lord’s army always had problems with provisions.
「Maybe if we had never beaten Vi-Vi’s fort first, then the battle later would have been much worse.」
「Is that how it went?」
Cruz was impressed now that we remembered that small battle, as was I.
It seemed that Vi-Vi actually played a role in the Demon Lord’s army.
「Good luck! Chance! Beating me! You all had the greatest luck, you bastards!」
「Whoaa, sthub bossth!」
Collette giggled happily.
「Right?! Right?! You all should have some respect for me!」
If Vi-Vi had been able to improve the food for the Demon Lord’s army, it would have been a harder battle for sure.
However, one of the main reason the Demon Lord’s army was attacking was because of their need for food.
「If you had improved the food sources for the Demon Lord, even if the attacking didn’t stop, at least it would have made them relax a bit, right?!」
Vi-Vi puffed out proudly.
「I don’t think it would work that well. If the logistics improved then their attacks on humans would have gotten even faster.」
Luka might be speaking the truth. And there were a lot of commanders in the Demon Lord’s army that ate humans.
Even for the sub bosses other than Vi-Vi…there were some crazy bosses that had a taste for eating humans.
Because of them, we had forgotten about Vi-Vi due to her lack of presence.
Since both Luka and Vi-Vi were at a conversational stalemate, they both groaned.
It would have been safer to secure farming lands instead of improving livestock, right?
Looking at Vi-Vi, I thought about it.
Maybe I could teach her how to grow crops the next chance I get.
「I have some snaaacks!」
Millet brought out pancakes that smelled delicious.
「Thank you, Millet.」
「What an excellent idea!」
Everyone was happy.
Luka and Cruz must have been hungry. We said our thanks and began eating.
Millet asked Cruz,
「Miss Cruz, why were you there all alone?」
「I was on the trail of a magic beast and I got separated from Luka. I lost my way.」
Cruz didn’t look sorry about it at all, though.
Even if she lost her way, she knew she’d get out somehow. She had that much luck and strategic thinking.
So at least she didn’t think that she had made a mistake.
「You should have at least noticed.」
That was the only reply she needed for me.
「Cruz, so, did you drive the magic beast away?」
「No, I couldn’t…heh heh.」
Luka asked to a slightly embarrassed Cruz.
What kind of beast could Cruz not drive out? I was a bit worried.
Luka followed up with an explanation that completed my question.
「Cruz suddenly found the trail of a hydra, and she almost instantly disappeared soon after.」
「Cruz. I keep on telling you, you have to go WITH THE PARTY!」
Thought Cruz responded promptly, Vi-Vi looked at her, worried.
「A hydra is nothing to fool around with.」
It had multiple heads, and was a very strong monster that could spit poison. It was as strong as a dragon.
「I think it was just Cruz’ mistake. After she broke off from me, I looked around and couldn’t find any trace of a hydra.」
「No, it had to be a hydra!」
Cruz seemed convinced.
Even so, Cruz was a hero. She was a bit goofy, but her intuition wouldn’t miss in a case like this.
「Well, if I find it, I’ll hunt it down.」
「Yeah, sorry to be a burden to you, Luka.」
Lately a lot was happening in this village of nowhere, I thought.