As I looked at it and wondered why it seemed so familiar, Daniela returned from her stroll.
“There really is nothing around here… What, that, that…!”
“Ah, Daniela. Yeah, this. I know I’ve seen it before, but I can’t remember where.”
“That is an ancient elven crest!”
I frantically took my bag off and pulled out the ancient elven sword. On close inspection, it really did have the same crest on its handguard. I see. I rarely looked at it and so I had forgotten…
“It’s the same…”
“So this ruin was made by the ancient elves… Asagi, this is quite a discovery!”
“I guess. But if it’s so important, why hasn’t anyone realized it before?”
Supposedly this place had been investigated many times. That seemed very inept on their part.
“Well, people had long assumed that there was some value to this place. They must have been careful not to change too much. I imagine they would not have been turning everything over…”
“So in other words, I was the first person to flip this rock here. And so it was discovered.”
It was a weird coincidence. My job when I worked the night shift was mostly cleaning, and so I liked to keep things tidy. And I suppose that tendency led to this. My days as a part-time worker were not for nothing then.
“But this building is in a lot worse condition than the other one.”
“There would be some kind of preservation magic on the important parts. That means there could be something where we cannot see.”
Now that was something our predecessors should have looked into. But I guess they didn’t turn things over and shovel and sweep as part of investigations in this world. In fact, seventy percent of the building had practically returned to nature.
“Well then. If we investigate this place thoroughly, that could lead to a great discovery…”
“I know that we are not exactly in a hurry, but surely you do not think we are going to set up camp here and dig around forever?”
There was the matter of food as well. Daniela added. It didn’t seem the most convincing coming from Daniela, but it would definitely be a problem. If we stayed here for too long, we wouldn’t have enough food when crossing the mountains.
“We could return to Replant once…”
“You…spent all that time saying goodbye to everyone, and you want to return before a week has passed…?”
I have no shame.
“Ah, but one can’t ignore the possibility of a treasure right in front of him.”
“I understand how you feel, but it will not do. If it is there, then it is hidden. You must start by searching for it. It could be underground or in the sky…”
“The sky? How would you hide something in the sky?”
Surely there isn’t a castle floating up there…
“They say that islands floated in the air during the age of advanced magic, you know? Perhaps remnants of it still remain.”
“Huh… Must have been amazing back then…”
Islands in the sky on a sunny day. I looked up now, but of course, there was nothing there. Maybe it was hidden…
“Huhhh…I guess it’s no use then…”
“I am disappointed about it as well.”
I get it…but I didn’t like it at all…!
“Daniela, you go on ahead.”
“I’m a romanticist. I cannot abandon the possibility this lies in front of me!”
I wrung my fists and burned with the passion of an adventurous soul. Would I be a man if I gave up here?
“How will you eat?”
“I’ll go hunting.”
“Are you stupid?”
“Maybe I am!”
She looked at me with exasperation, but it did not change my resolve.
“Huhhh… You can be stubborn at the strangest of times, Asagi. I suppose it is I who must bend…”
“I’m sorry, Daniela. I promise. I’ll finish in two days. Even if I don’t find anything, I’ll come after you once those two days are up.”
“…Very well. Walk straight from our last camp, then you will reach the mountain path. It is an actual path with signs, so you should have no trouble catching up to me with your speed.”
I handed Daniela the hollow bag.
“I’m used to sleeping outside. You should take everything.”
“Two days. I hope you will not forget it in your fervor?”
“Don’t worry. I’ll keep my promise.”
I knew that I wasn’t making it easy for her. But surely it was fine to do as you want, once in a while…
To crush just a little of my guilt, I picked Daniela up and used Legs of the Forest Wolf to carry her back to our camp. This way, she wouldn’t waste any energy on me.
“Well, see you in two days.”
“Aye. I shall have no expectations.”
“I’ll try to bring back something good.”
You will try. Daniela said with a laugh and waved. I returned to the ruin in a hurry. I would find what so many had failed to find in a limited time frame. I had to hurry.
And so my detour began.