Translator: “Pink Tea” Editor: ”Ryunakama”
The sky began to slightly brighten up.
Finally, Avancier came into sight.
As always, compared to the capital, the town gates here didn’t look impressive at all.
And yet, they had a certain friendliness to them, which I liked.
This city is the so-called countryside.
There is nothing about the town that particularly stands out.
At most, there is a lake in the mountains a bit away from the town, where undine, a water spirit lived.
Thanks to that, water in the river that passed through the town was delicious and according to what people said, it could be drunk just like that. But that’s about it.
But even that advantage wasn’t unique to Avancier, with the town at the foot of the mountain benefitting a lot more from it. Supposedly, it’s pretty lively with tourists.
To put it poorly, Avancier is dreary, to put it elegantly, it’s serene.
There is no better place to rest.
At the gates were militia that protected this town.
A person fully clad in armor…… That’s probably her.
When our eyes met, the person approached, noisily clattering with the armor.
「Long time no see, Rude. Were you supposed to return today?」
As Feel, clad in heavy armor, raised the visor of her helmet, beautiful blonde hair peeked from beneath.
As I thought.
She might be the only one in this town with such solid equipment.
「Feel, it’s been a while. I guess I arrived a few days early. Can I pass through the gates?」
「Of course. ……And who is this girl?」
Upon making eye contact with Feel, Luna went to hide behind my back.
「Homunculus. She was thrown away…… So I thought it might be perfect to let her care for my sister.」
I have many interactions with Feel.
So even if I hide it, she will find out eventually.
「……Homunculus, huh. So they are popular in big cities after all…… But anyway, she looks just like a human.」
Feel intently looks Luna over, from head to toe.
Luna’s expression seemed nervously stiff.
「Stop that. I’ll return home for now. You also have work to do, right?」
「Sorry, I took your time. For how long will you stay this time?」
「For now I have no set date for leaving.」
「I see. I’ll be happy if you visit militia’s headquarters again. Surely, father will also be happy to see you.」
Then, Feel swayed her body a bit.
「If you get time…… How about having some fun together?」
Once in a while, this is fine as well.
After showing a smile, Feel lowered the visor.
I entered the town together with Luna.
The town has a lot of familiar faces.
Each time I pass nearby they call out to me. Among those, some suggested that I came back with a girlfriend.
Just look at Luna. Nothing in her attire implies that we came here together on good terms.
Using appropriate excuses I explain the situation to the townspeople.
When things finally calmed down, I looked at Luna.
「Sorry, Luna. There is nothing but such people in this town.」
「No, it doesn’t bother me at all. Everyone seems to trust Master a lot.」
「That’s because I hunt monsters during my stay here.」
I’m close with everyone.
That’s why I can leave my sister here and go on labyrinth subjugations.
It took a while before we reached home. The cause is being caught by an old lady from the neighborhood.
Upon finally reaching my home, I, with a wry smile, put the key into the lock and stepped inside the house.
「It’s still a bit early so my sister might not be awake. So please move quietly.」
Quietly, Luna and I enter inside.
And upon reaching the living room, we saw my little sister standing there with a cup in her hand.
「……Welcome home, nii-san.」
She looked at me with something akin to a glare with her usual cold black eyes.
In the past, I wasn’t good with this gaze, but now, I feel thrilled.
No, no, it’s like I’m some kind of a pervert.
My sister, Manicia, scooped water from a bucket and gargled it a bit.
Her beautiful black hair was cut at the shoulder length.
Perhaps due to the lack of exercise since the old days, but she even now, turning 17 years old but still looked as thin as a child.
But that didn’t diminish her beauty.
「I’m back. How are you feeling?」
「I’m fine, no problem…… And who is this lady?」
「She is Luna, a homunculus…… I met her on my way here. It didn’t feel right to just leave her there. So I took her with me.」
「I see. Well then.」
Leaving those words only, she slowly returned to her room.
「Are you…… On bad terms?」
「Something like that.」
As the door closed with a bang, I breathed a sigh, thinking about her unchanging attitude.
I wonder since when she became like that.
「Your sister, she was angry. Is that because of me?」
「No, it’s not that…… For now, Luna. I will teach you about adventurers, but it’s not like I will always stay in this town. Can I ask you to take care of Manicia in the meantime?」
「Yes, acknowledged. But what should I do?」
「Ye-ah. For now, at least greet her. With two girls alone you probably will be able to talk more comfortably.」
Making a small nod, Luna then went towards the room where Manicia entered.
「You two have a similar figure, so ask her if she can spare some clothes. If not, then we will buy something later.」
「Oh no. There is no need to buy something specifically for me. If it suits you, there wouldn’t be any problem with my operational capacity even if i am naked.」
「It’s a question of my reputation. Please, wear clothes.」
Homunculi might have a bit of a weird outlook on things.
Luna and Manicia…… Well, they’ll manage somehow.
With people other than myself Manicia is kind, sociable, cute and beautiful, so it surely will work out just fine.
I guess I’ll go meet people whom I’m yet to greet after coming back.
The apothecary and the blacksmith.
First, I head to the apothecary.
Though it’s a bit before the opening hour but, when she noticed me, granny Gigi, the owner of the store, opened the front door.
Making her deep wrinkles even more pronounced, she smiled at me.
「Rude-chan. It’s been a while since I saw you last time.」
「……It’s been a while, Granny Gigi.」
Granny Gigi, the apothecary of this town.
She is pretty old already, and yet her back is still surprisingly straight.
I’d like to be like that in my old age as well.
「Is it about the payment for medicine?」
「Yes. This is for this period.」
Manicia was sickly since her birth.
Apparently, the magic produced by her body is incredibly low.
As a result, she is continuously in a state similar to magic power deficiency that some magic users fall into from time to time.
Granny Gigi makes medicine to alleviate that.
However, since it requires pretty rare herbs, it costs a lot.
……Even so, granny Gigi makes them for a very low price, making almost no profit from it.
I don’t think I can ever repay this favor.
「Got it. For how long are you going to stay in this town?」
「For some time.」
「I see. Manicia-chan was lonely, so stay for a while. And also, come back again when my daughter-in-law is here.」
So Manicia was lonely.
Shouldn’t she be able to live more freely without me around?
And yet, she was lonely, huh.
Maybe she was even saying something like『Onii-chan, I’m missing you』. If so, then I’m happy.
「I will stay until I decide on my future course of action. I’ll come again when I need potions.」
「Yes, use them a lot. Oh, though normally it would be better if you didn’t? Hahaha.」
After bowing to granny Gigi who smiled a friendly smile, I headed to a shop that stood beside this one.
The blacksmith. If one wants to buy a weapon in this town, this is the only place.
Pushing the door open, a girl tending to the store is lying sprawled on a counter.
The listless looking girl is the daughter of the blacksmith.
「It’s been a while, Milena. Is the owner, Rigil-san, here?」
「Ru-Rude!? Was it already time for you to come back!?」
Now, as late as it may be for that, Milena straightened up.
……There are no customers, what’s the point.
「Yeah. I just returned.」
「He, he is here! Pa-Fa-father! Rude came back!」
「Yeah, I heard! Wait a bit, I’m coming!」
Regil-san shouted from the forge.
Until he comes, I look over the displayed weapons.
Then, Milena, fixing her hair, approached me.
「How long are you going to stay this time?」
「This is the third time I’m being asked this question after coming here.」
「Everyone wants you to stay. Of course, me as well.」
「I see. ……I’m glad to hear that. I’m planning to stay for a while. I’m no longer bound by a contract with that party after all.」
「Is that so? That is…good, or maybe bad?」
「Well, for me it means that I now have to search for a new party…… Well, though this is my chance to take a good rest, so it’s a bit of both.」
「I see! Then, this time, let’s go somewhere together!」
「If I get time. Which reminds me, Feel also invited me. Wanna go together?」
……For some reason, she breathed a long sigh.
Dropping her shoulders, Milena then grabbed my arm.
「I want to go together with Rude, with Rude alone. This is the important part. You catch my drift?」
「……No, not really.」
The two of us, alone.
If I’m not being too self-conscious, then it means that she wants to get close with me.
However, until I cure my little sister, I’m planning to put off all of my own issues.
Therefore, I couldn’t tell her anything.
And while it began turning awkward, Rigil-san appeared from the room in the back.
Regil looked at me and Milena and revealed a smile.
「Oh, oh. Looks like you are as close as ever. I wonder if I get to see a grandchild soon.」
「Ah, father. You are too hasty, right, Rude?」
「Hastiness is not the real issue here……」
In the first place, for him to see a grandchild, Milena and I will have to…… Well, get into that sort of relationship.
So Milena’s words just now really had this sort of meaning after all.
……Let’s not think about that.
「You seem to be just like always. So, greetings after coming back, huh?」
「Yeah…… And, can you make a sword for me?」
「……Speaking of which, you have no weapon on you. Didn’t you have the magic sword that you picked up in a labyrinth?」
I explained to him the situation.
「That magic sword was a pretty good one. And you want me to make something on par with that?」
「……No, I didn’t say that.」
「No! Why not do just that! I just had an idea for a pretty interesting sword! Come to pick it up later!」
「……Understood. Then, I’ll be staying here for a while again. See you around.」
As I said that to the two, they replied back with smiles.
Two weeks have passed since then.
It was right after I was done with introducing Luna around and was about to start my activities in the town.
「Rude! Just listen to this!」
Nin barged into my house.