Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
A Flamboyant Restaurant
East was shown to an inn near the Tower. Attendants of guests from foreign countries usually stayed there. For him, who had endured harsh training under Captain Lawrence, the place was heaven.
His room was small. After cleaning himself up, he changed into the clothes that they prepared for him—pale blue-green, plain clothes that seemed a bit formal, but fitting for a knight nonetheless.
Having successfully delivered the letter, East now had nothing else to do. Although, he needed to send his equipment for repair and write a report to the Order, but those could be done in half a day.
After sitting on his bed for ten minutes, he decided to take a nap. Surprisingly however, his body was too thrilled that sleep never came. He was trained to sleep even without feeling drowsy, but since he didn’t need to train today, he decided to indulge himself.
「Let’s go check the city, then.」
East left the inn. He was too much in a hurry earlier that he failed to notice the liveliness of the streets. The city was much more orderly than Ponsonia; too orderly, in fact.
「I have no idea why my friends from the sixth squad would be jealous about this grueling mission. I think they mentioned something about souvenirs.」
East started walking down the streets, images of his colleague on his mind—one who’d make a move on every woman he’d see and the married knight who seemed to be extremely composed. They’d gotten closer after their security mission in Count Morgstad’s residence.
Knights didn’t just go to war. They sometimes accompanied the Foreign Minister abroad, but only as escorts. They basically never had free times like this. East felt like he was living luxuriously.
「What would the captain do at a time like this?」
The image of Captain Lawrence D. Falcon—a man East held in reverence, almost worshipping him—popped in his mind.
「I’m sure the captain would train…」Suddenly, he stopped in his tracks.「I should train as well. Yes.」
He was about to turn back to the inn when his stomach growled. It was too loud that a woman passing by let out a giggle.
「I, uhh… Is there a place around here with good food?」East asked.「It’s my first time here. I’m not too familiar with the place.」
The woman gave him directions to a restaurant.
「No problem. May Saint Beyond guide you always.」
As he watched the lady go, East thought about going back to the inn, but although he asked on the spur of the moment, he didn’t want to disregard the lady’s kindness in giving him directions.
「I-I suppose one can’t train on an empty stomach. I don’t think I had a decent meal on my way here, either. All right, then. Let’s eat.」
East followed the woman’s directions. One thing he didn’t notice however, was that woman was a young lady. In other words, the restaurant she pointed him to was the gaudy kind that young women frequented to.
「Hmm, no mention of anything.」
「Yeah. That means the holy mana items that Hikaru-sama found are extremely top-secret.」
Lavia and Paula were at the Church library’s reading room, whispering to each other. They’d hit the notable books, but couldn’t find what they were looking for—anything related to holy mana and the items Hikaru found. They had thought there would be records of them in the past. After all, these items were very rare. It wouldn’t be strange for there to be records of them when they were brought in from outside the country. The girls didn’t find the name Lugantz anywhere as well, the person who apparently created these holy mana items.
「All the more reason to increase our adventurer ranks.」Lavia said.
「Rank C looks like a long way off.」
「Hikaru’s rank D. I’m sure it wouldn’t be long now till he’s promoted. But being rank C also has its fair share of troubles, like being called during times of war.」
Rank C and above adventurers were allowed to enter the Adventurers Wisdom, a guild library located in Agiapole. Unfortunately, none of them met the requirement yet.
They had considered using Stealth to sneak into the place, but a magic lock made it impossible to get past the entrance. The windows were fitted with iron bars and equipped with magic traps. Hikaru could probably find an opening with his Detection skill, but he had gone off on his own. The girls couldn’t ask him to accompany them in reading books.
They found themselves in a dilemma—they wanted to help Hikaru, but they couldn’t do anything without him.
「I can’t even do anything for Hikaru-sama…」
「No, you’re doing a lot. I think my abilities are barely useful.」
「That’s not true at all. You provide moral support to Hikaru-sama.」
「I can say the same about you. Having you around lightens the mood.」
「Oh, no no no.」
「It’s true.」Lavia said.「In any case, there’s no point in doing this now. How about a break?」
「Okay… I’m kinda hungry, anyway/」
「You sure get hungry easily.」
「What? N-No way…」
「I’m so jealous. All the calories must go in there, huh…」
Lavia eyed Paula’s breasts. They weren’t particularly huge; just the right size for her age. Lavia’s, on the other hand, were rather modest in size.
Hikaru said size didn’t matter, but the heroes in stories all love big breasts… No harm in having bigger ones, Lavia thought, wearing a frown.
「What’s wrong?」Paula asked.「I can’t really hear you. Your voice is too…」
「It’s not small, okay? I’m still a growing girl!」
Lavia rose to her feet and slammed her hand on the table. The Gray Deacon managing the reading room looked at her, his cheek twitching.
The girls left the Church library. There was actually another facility behind it called a Temple library, but one had to at least be a Gray Deacon to enter. While Paula was a girl who served the Church and looked like an actual nun, she wasn’t an official member. Registration was quite troublesome, with background checks and verification of one’s abilities, exactly what Sophie of the Four Stars wanted.
Two big libraries, the Temple and Guild library were just around the corner, yet they couldn’t enter any of them. This filled Lavia with stress… or so one would think, but she didn’t feel that bad.
Agiapole had a lot of books, and that meant a lot of bookstores, more than a hundred of them. These stores were gathered in two areas: the Northern Bookstore District for religious and art books, and the Eastern Bookstore District with its novels, folklores, and memoirs.
「Let’s go check out the bookstores in the afternoon.」Lavia said, feeling enthusiastic about her plans to indulge herself in her hobby.
She had actually been there yesterday, but it took her hours to visit three stores. Lavia’s excitement was off the roofs after finding out she could buy a book, read it, sell it, then buy another one.
「You really love your books, huh.」Paula said.
「Weren’t you the one excited about finding some stories about Saints in the Northern Bookstore District?」
「I bet you want to read all the romance novels you can find in the East, though.」
Lavia hit the mark. Paula loved romantic stories. Reading wasn’t allowed in the stores; the moment you took a book, you had to decide whether to buy it or not in under a minute.
「Anyway, where do we go for lunch?」Lavia asked.
「You can decide.」
「Hmm. You can decide this time.」
「Whaaat? Pia and Priscilla were never a fan of my choices…」
「Now I’m really looking forward to it.」
「You’re surprisingly cruel.」
And so Paula made her choice.
「Oh. No adventurers would come here.」
「See?! You don’t want to eat here, right? Right?!」
「It’s fine. This is an opportunity. We won’t be able to get in here with Hikaru around. Let’s go.」
The moment they stepped into the restaurant, they noticed majority of the customers were women. The place was furnished with round tables painted in either blue, green, or yellow. Thick cushions were stitched onto the seats. Display cases lined the walls. The place also sold stuffed toys, scarfs, and accessories made of beads. Employees—women who wore multicolored bandanas on their head —wove through the decorative plants displayed here and there.
「How many seats do you need?」an employee asked.
She had tanned skin, golden eyes, and pointy ears—all features of a Dark Elf, an elven race that lived in caves and dungeons. While not as greatly welcomed as in Einbeast, demi-humans could lived here without any trouble.
「Table for two, please.」
「Uhm…」The Dark Elf seemed to hesitate with her next words.「We have a few vacant seats, but… Would you be all right with them?」
「What do you mean?」
「I-It would be faster if you come with me.」
The employee led them inside the restaurant. Customers filled every table, indicating that business was booming. Although, men who were dragged into the place by their girlfriends looked embarrassed.
At the center of the establishment was a space with no customers.
Why is there no one here? Lavia wondered.
But she soon found her answer. A man was greedily gobbling down his food. All alone, with no company. From behind, Lavia could tell it was a knight. Even during his meal, his sword still hung on his waist. The way he devoured the food seemed almost bloodcurdling.
「As you can see, there are vacant seats there…」the employee said.
Customers must’ve left because of him. What now? Lavia thought as she looked at Paula.
Then all of a sudden, the man turned around, wondering perhaps who arrived. Or maybe it was his way of saying “Don’t stand behind me”.
「Ah—」Lavia’s mouth hung open. The man stopped chewing his food.
「Wh-What’s wrong, Lavia? Is it someone you know?」Paula asked.
「Lavia—」The man quickly rose to his feet.「Lavia D. Morgstad?!」
Somewhere unexpected, the two met again.