The Adventurer continued to pester me for an autograph, and so I begrudgingly, unwillingly accepted the magical pen-like device that she offered.
“So…where do I write…”
“On the back of my armor!”
So saying, she pulled up her hair to expose the back of the light armor that she was wearing. Are you kidding me?
“Are you for real? There? My name?”
“Yes, right there! In big letters!”
She was acting like this was the most natural and accepted practice in this world, as if there was no other place that I could possibly sign. With a sigh, I moved the pen across the metal and wrote: 銀翆 上社朝霧. Bet you can’t read that! It was my little revenge.
“Thank you… I, I have been a fan ever since I first heard about you…”
She turned around with tearful eyes after I had finished.
“I am sorry for coming down so hard on you. I will treasure this armor from now on.”
“…Oh, uh, sorry. But is it possible to rewrite this thing?”
“Yes, you can… If you do it quickly. Just use the other side of the pen to scratch it off.”
“Got it. I’ll write it again.”
In no way did I think that I was special, and I wasn’t going to show off just because I had a second name. I’ve been that way until now, and I will continue to be like that. Regardless of flattery or criticism, I will be me.
But I couldn’t play such tricks on someone who supported me to this extent either. Damn it, I was too nice. Or just very naive?
“…There, looks better now.”
I rewrote it as ‘Silvergreen Asagi Kamiyashiro’ in the letters of this world. It was stylized with a little slant, but I should be allowed to do that much at least.
“Thank you! This means a lot…”
“Thank you as well. For back then and now.”
“Uh, it’s nothing.”
Until now, I only needed to live while thinking about Daniela. But now I had to consider how other people saw me… I am just me, but it is because of that, that I have to be careful about how I am perceived. And so I was reminded of the importance in living an honest life.
□ □ □ □
After that, Daniela signed her armor as well, and the Adventurer left with a satisfied expression. When that was finished, the other Adventurers who were watching…left us alone, as the line kept moving until it was finally our turn.
“Alright, I will see your status cards now.”
The guard talked as if we had been brought in for questioning. I guess it was hard to stay polite when there were so many people.
I took the card out of my pocket and handed it to him along with Daniela’s.
“Ah, what about you, Marie Elle?”
“I am a resident here, so it is alright.”
She pulled out a wooden tag from around her neck that had a coat of arms painted on it. I looked at in puzzlement and then Marie Elle pointed to the top of the gate. The same symbol was painted there as well. Ah, so it was like the Replant insignia. Something that people who lived here carry. A residency certificate.
“…Huh? That is odd…”
Those dreaded words came from the guard.
“…Is there a problem?”
“No…Aha! This must be the old one!”
The guard slapped his own forehead with satisfaction. I really needed an explanation now.
“These are the old status cards. In what remote countryside did you even make these?”
“Uh, Fhirlado, in Lambrusen.”
“I made mine in Rostrica, Lambrusen.”
“Lambrusen, eh? I see. They have an entirely different system that still accepts these artifacts, but Flugelnia has the latest machines installed. These cards will not do. Most people who plan to visit the empire make new cards.”
Did that mean that we could not enter? After coming all this way here?
“No, just wait a moment. I have heard of something like this happening before, so there must be an old machine somewhere. To be honest, I am rather new to this. Just wait for a while at the guard house.”
He gestured towards a door behind the gate, and so we headed there.
“The young lady with you can go inside. Hmm, you seemed to have left with another person…”
“I…um, my father was…it was bandits…”
“…I am sorry to have asked. But it is good that you are safe.”
The guard knelt down and patted her gently on the head. Then he looked up at us and asked, ‘And you two helped her?’ And then he stood up and bowed.
“I must thank you for saving the life of a citizen of Replant. I believe that I represent us all when I say that we are very grateful.”
“We just happened to be passing by. We regret not being able to help her father…”
“The root of it is that we have become lax in our monitoring of their movements. We will do everything that we can to prevent such a tragedy from happening again.”
“That is good to know.”
The guard thanked us and returned to his post. Now it was only me, Daniela and Marie Elle who were here.