-A Warm Welcome and a Torrid Welcome–
I asked Russell about all sorts of things.
“I saw you talking with Gardo back there, was there a problem? Those two, they have foul mouths and… Well, they’re adventurers who drifted here. But they aren’t bad people.”
“They were a little rough, but I know now that it was on your orders, so it’s fine.”
They also gave me a strange nickname, but it wasn’t a big deal…I think.
There were more important matters.
“It’s my first time in this town, and I’m wondering if there is any place to stay.”
“Ahh, in that case. Go straight down this road and turn at the second corner. There is a good inn over there. They may be a bit more accommodating if you mention my name.”
“Oh, are you big in this town then?”
“No, you stupid bastard. I’m just the captain of the guards.”
That’s what you call big. He even proudly showed the star-shaped badge that was on his chest. I suppose it was the proof that he was the captain. Now that I think of it, so it was the captain that came out to help me first… How blessed I must be…
“So, you were a captain. That’s really impressive.”
“Haha, if you say so! By the way, Asagi. Where are you from? I’d hardly call it normal for someone to be wandering around the forest like you were. Did something happen to you?”
Russell’s gaze fixed on me. How should I reply to him? I didn’t feel like he would believe if I just blurted something about coming from another world. I felt a little guilty about it, but decided to make up a random lie at that moment.
“From pretty far away, actually. I got chased by goblins along the way and lost all of my belongings… I was running without really thinking and ended up on this hill.”
“A hill around these parts…you must mean the Hill of Mist.”
Hill of Mist?
“Surely you’ve seen that hill sticking out in the middle of the plains. There’s a hill there. It’s a strange place it is, it becomes shrouded by mist in the morning, even if it’s not cold. I don’t believe there are any other hills around there?”
“No, it’s that place exactly. I was surrounded by mist before I knew it.”
“Haha, I thought so. It would’ve taken you quite a long time to walk from there. You should rest up today.”
So saying, Russell handed over a small cloth bag. I accepted it and heard the sound of jangling. Was this…I looked inside and there was indeed money.
“Russell, I can’t accept this from you. You saved me, and even gave me clothes to wear already…”
“Asagi, you stupid bastard. I’m the one that suggested that inn. How would you rest without some coin?”
“Ahh, don’t you get me wrong, alright? I’m not giving it to you. It’s a loan. You can make it back and repay me, alright? Whenever you can. When you have enough money, you need only hand it over.”
“Russell… Thank you, for everything.”
“It’s fine. Don’t mention it. You should also get registered as an adventurer, while you’re at it. It’s quite lucrative!”
According to Russell, there is a job known as adventuring wherein you kill monsters and explore ruins. Well, it was honestly something I already knew a lot about. Apparently, all you needed to do was go to the guild and get registered. G ranks were known as ‘Rocks.’ It had something to do with their value being little more than the rocks on the ground, or strength perhaps.
“It also means there are so many of them that they are disposable!”
According to Russell, anyway.
“But you know, even among rocks you might find precious stones known as ‘gems.’ With a little polish these guys will turn into impressive jewels. I pray that you prove to be such a rock.”
And with that, he hit me hard on the back. The breath was pushed out of my lungs, but I felt like I received a lot of spirit in return.
“Thanks, Russell. I should go now.”
“Ah, get going!”
I waved a hand at him and then headed off to the inn.