Good Village, Good People, Good Things
“Who are you? Where are you from?”
“We’ve come from Valdorf. Are there any inns here?”
“Ah, travelers. Sorry to tell you, but there ain’t no inns here…go and ask the chief. Maybe there’ll be an empty house.”
“Thank you. That’s very helpful.”
“Don’t mention it.”
The first villager we met was a nice person who was carrying a hoe. Thankfully, it seemed like it wouldn’t be one of those typical villages. You know, where you witness a mysterious ritual, there is a strange noise and an earthquake and before you know it, you are stuck there forever. And then I would get shot by an officer. Horrifying.
In any case, we would start by looking for this chief’s house. Well, there were not many houses here, so the one large one was easy to find. There was a ninety-nine percent chance that this was the chief’s house. Daniela was folding her arms as if she were my supervisor. I leave it all to you. That’s what was written all over her face. I guess it was up to me to negotiate.
“Helloo. Is the chief here?”
I shouted as I knocked on the door. Then we heard footsteps coming from the other side and the door slowly opened.
“…Who is it?”
“Are you the chief?”
“Asagi, why would this child be the chief…”
“Well, you never know…”
The person who had opened the door was a young girl. It wasn’t my fault that I had wondered if some fantasy elements would come into effect and a child chief would pop out as a result.
“…My grandpa is the chief.”
“Oh, is that right? I thought so. Is your grandpa home?”
“…Yes. Come in.”
The little girl opened the door and invited us in. The inside of the house was clean and tidy, and seemed to have an earthen floor. We walked in still wearing our shoes, and then an old man appeared from the back.
“Hm? Who are you people?”
“Travelers. We really need a place to stay for one night…”
“Ahh, that is too bad. But there are no inns in this village. But we can lend you an empty house instead. It should be rather dusty, as it has not been cleaned in a while. But it’s free.”
“Thank you so much. We’ll clean it before using it. Oh, and allow us to introduce ourselves. I am Asagi. This is Daniela.”
“I am called Rengel, the chief of this village. We may only know each other for today and tomorrow, but I hope that we can get along well.”
Ah, he was thankfully, a nice person. I shook his offered hand and we finished our introductions. Then the little girl came to us with some brooms. Three of them.
“…I’ll help you.”
“Are you sure? Thanks. Oh, what’s your name?”
“Merica. Let’s clean that place together.”
She smiled a little. A very quiet but good-natured child. Alright, big Asagi will pat you on the head.
“The empty house is on the outskirts of this village. Here is the key. Merica, don’t get in their way.”
“…Yes, I’ll be careful.”
“Rengel, thank you. We’ll take good care of the place while we use it.”
“Bah, this place is peace itself. I don’t think anything could happen. Relax and enjoy it.”
He said, and then disappeared in the back once again. The three of us carried our brooms and left the chief’s house to go to the empty house. We greeted any villagers that we met on the way. The house that we arrived at within minutes was very, uh, small. Though, I wouldn’t exactly call it a shack. It looked like there had been some maintenance going on.
I used the key to open the door. It was unsurprisingly quite dusty inside. And so I took out three clean handkerchiefs from the hollow bag and handed them to Daniela and Merica.
“Since it’s dusty in here. You should cover your nose and mouth, or you might get sick.”
“Indeed. Let us start cleaning then.”
“…I’ll do my best.”
Merica said with determination and clenched fists. She wasn’t the most expressive child, but it was kind of cute. Now, I better do my best as well. I did work the night shift after all. A night shift at a convenience store meant you would be cleaning most of the time. You might even call me a semi-pro.
First, I open the windows. All of them. Ventilate and allow the light to enter. Now the interior of the house could be seen clearly. Hmm. Hmm. It was doable.
Next, we needed to sweep the dust with the brooms. You start from the top and work your way down. Remove the dust and cobwebs from the empty shelves. Also the dust in the window frames and furniture. The fact that even an abandoned house had things still lying around here made me wonder if this village was rather well off.
I had assumed that they would just take anything that could be used and this house would be empty…but there was even a table. I guess they left it here for travelers like us to use. In any case, they were clearly not living like beggars here.
“Daniela and Merica, you two should sweep all of the dust out of the house.”
She was turning into Daniela. Maybe they understood each other on some level…
Once we had gotten rid of the dust, it was time to wipe. Fortunately, we had a good stock of cut pieces of cloth inside of the hollow bag. I had bought them for cheap at a clothes store to be used to wipe the dirt off of our bodies or to bind wounds. They were on the colorful side, but that was fine for rags. Daniela made a bucket with earth magic and I filled it with water magic. Merica watched this with bright eyes. Was it her first time seeing magic?
“It is. Is this your first time seeing it?”
“…Yes. First time. It’s so cool.”
She looked back and forth at us with her dazzled expression. It was adorable. I hoped that one day, Daniela and I would have a child that was just as cute as her.
And then my eyes met Daniela’s. Given that her cheeks flushed, we were probably thinking the same thing. That got a chuckle out of me.
“Alright, let’s wipe this place clean with these magical wet rags. It won’t take long with the three of us.”
“…I’ll do my best.”
She said with renewed determination and clenched fists. She was a person who expressed herself with actions.
“Daniela, stop thinking about lewd things and come and help.”
“F-fool! It is not lewd! It is natural! I think about it all of the time!”
“All of the time…”
“Ahhh…tsk. Asagi…this is not over…”
She said before leaving to wipe the shelves. And so I wiped the windows and walls. Merica was cleaning the floor and table. It really did finish in no time with three people.