Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
I’m Home and the Girl’s Worries
「Phew… We finally made it.」
The sun was already setting by the time they got off the carriage. Snow had stopped falling, but the wind was still chilly, blowing frozen snow on the ground.
「It’s too cold, yes…」
The inside of the carriage was warm, with its protection against the cold and magic item. Stepping outside made them feel the chill even more.
The party—Drake included, who was shivering around Lavia’s neck—made their way to their apartment. Katy had the key, which they’ll pick up tomorrow. For now, they’ll just ask the landlord to open it.
「You can really feel the difference when there’s no wind.」Hikaru said as he lit a fire in the fireplace.
It might still be a while before they could remove their cloaks. The place wasn’t as dusty, considering they were gone for a long time. Perhaps Katy dropped by from time to time to air the apartment.
「Hikaru.」Lavia pulled on his sleeve.
「Now that we’re back, how about some greetings?」
Hikaru had no idea what she was trying to say.
「I’m home.」She wanted to say that this was their home, although temporary.
「Oh… Welcome back. And I’m home.」
「Welcome back, Hikaru.」
They both chuckled.
「Um, Hikaru-sama. There’s a letter on the table.」Paula said.
「Thanks. Maybe it’s from Professor Katy—」
As he scanned the contents, his eyes widened.
『What is that dragon stone? Please don’t leave that thing out in the open. I can’t suppress the urge to study it to my heart’s content. Please come back soon. It’s dangerous. That thing is dangerous. I don’t think I can hold myself back. It’s dangerous. Come back soon. It’s dangerous.』
It would appear that the dragon stone—the stone Hikaru got from killing the subspecies of earth dragon in Un el Portan—was too tempting for Katy. My bad, Hikaru thought.
Hikaru looked around the room. The huge dragon stone and other magic rocks lay on the shelf. The gems Lavia obtained from the underground dungeon and the book with the gorgeous binding were left untouched as well. The fact that dust hadn’t piled up on them meant that despite her complaints, Katy still came to do some light dusting.
The moment Hikaru sat on his bed, he felt the fatigue leaving his body.
「Finally… We can relax for a while.」he muttered as he lay down on the bed.
「Hikaru. Paula made tea.」Lavia entered the room.
「Okay, I’ll be right there. By the way, what was that book about?」
「It’s locked, so I haven’t read it yet. Looking at it from the side, it seems to be like an encyclopedia.」
In that case, I don’t have to read it right away. I could probably even use it as practice for opening locks.
『Whoa, what’s that?!』Drake woke up.
「What are you talking about?」Hikaru asked.
『That stone right there! The big one!』
「Oh, it’s a dragon stone I got from killing this subspecies of an earth dragon.」
『A dragon stone… Can I eat it?』
「What, why? And no, you can’t.」
『I want to!』
「No, you don’t. Is that even edible?」
『Of course. That’s the reason why we’re in this world in the first place.』
「What do you mean by that?」
Hikaru moved somewhere else and asked Drake questions while sipping his tea. The room had warmed up a bit, so he could now remove his cloak.
Hikaru and the girls snacked on some candies, while Drake devoured the fried garlic they bought from a food stand.
「In short, drakons’ mission is to kill dragons, creatures associated with evil. Dragon stones represent dragons, and eating them is proof of the kill.」
『Yup, exactly.』Drake said, garlic stuck all over his mouth.
Man, that stinks. Lavia was preparing some apple-like fruit to neutralize the smell. She’ll probably feed it to Drake later.
「What happens if you eat one?」
『Well, it’s our mission.』
「I know that. I’m asking you what happens afterwards.」
『We just have to eat them.』
「Nothing happens, huh? So it’s all just for self-satisfaction. In that case, it’s better to use it in making weapons.」
『You can’t! That means leaving behind something from the dragon! They reproduce at a fast rate, so we must annihilate them quick!』
According to Drake, there’s a turf war between the holy and the forces of evil in this world. Drakons and dragons fought for each side, respectively.
The Soul Board treats holy and evil equally, though. God belongs to the holy side. If the Soul Board was created by the gods, shouldn’t they favor the holy stats?
No. There has to be balance in the system. The existence of something holy can only be proven because there’s evil. Now that’s really fair.
「By the way, Hikaru-sama. About the uhh, experiment you did where you took out bandits. Did it go well?」
By experiment, Paula meant the test Hikaru did by spending others’ Skill Points—in this case, bandits—and seeing if his Soul Board level would increase. He ended up using over 200 points, but nothing came out of it. Hikaru still only had one point on his Soul Board plus.
「The experiment was a failure.」
「Oh, I-I’m sorry.」
「It’s fine. I’m going to bed.」
The tea warmed his body up, making him feel sleepy all of a sudden. He had a lot of things to think about—the complicated Soul Board’s system, the proxy war between drakons and dragons, what to do with the dragon stone. He could sell it for a hefty price or use it to enhance his gear. But if he were to believe Drake, he should let the drakon eat the stone.
Hikaru left the living room, while Drake, already full after eating all the fruit, was sleeping on the table. Lavia brought a cloth, folded it four times, and covered the drakon.
「Paula? What’s wrong?」
「It doesn’t look like it’s nothing.」
She clearly looked depressed.
「I asked Hikaru-sama a rude question earlier…」
「You mean the experiment? I don’t think it bothers him.」
「I couldn’t even help much in Agiapole. If anything, I only got in the way.」
Paula should’ve been the one most informed about the Church, but she didn’t get to accomplish much, and that bothered her. In fact, wearing clothes similar to a nun’s drew the attention of the Gray Deacon Gelop.
「I thought I was being nice, but I might’ve offended him…」
「You’re overthinking it.」Lavia said.「If he’s offended, he’ll say so. Quite bluntly at that. Him not saying anything means he doesn’t mind.」
Her words might sound harsh, but she could say them because of her trust in Hikaru. Despite her ability to use powerful Spirit magic, he never feared her, nor did he showed excessive concern for her; he was frank when talking to her. For Lavia, Hikaru was an irreplaceable person.
(…Hikaru hadn’t told Paula everything yet. And Paula knew he was hiding something. That’s why she’s worried.)
Lavia believed that Hikaru would tell her one day. It had to come from his mouth, not hers.
「It’s fine. You’re pretty, after all.」Lavia said.
「N-No, I’m not! And that doesn’t have to do with anything.」Paula replied, blushing.