Awake in the middle of the night
Sakamoto Ryoma was underneath Sabnac’s castle.
That’s what his daughter was saying.
What reason could he have for being there?
I sat back down on the tree stump and asked her to explain.
As I wouldn’t be able to think clearly if I drank any more, I asked Eve to prepare some hot water.
While Ryoma looked like she could handle drinking much more, she was also the type who was considerate enough to accommodate me.
She accepted the water from Eve and took a sip.
“Lord Astha, allow me to explain to you my origins first.”
“That would be best.”
She had been saying that she was Ryoma’s daughter, but she looked like an elf.
It was interesting.
“You asked about Heroes having children. Well, if they put in the effort, why not? They are human, after all.”
I looked at the carriage.
It wasn’t a conversation I wanted Jeanne to hear.
“However, things can get very difficult in any world, when the one you want is a rare beauty. There is competition. Apparently, my father had a very hard time when it came to the beautiful elf who was my mother.”
If he sent her flowers every day, she would scold him for hurting them. If he brought her mushrooms, she would reject him, saying that she did not want his charity.
Elvish women were immune to strategic offerings. And so it took him five whole years to make her fall in love with him.
Five years was a long time for a human, but not so much for an elf. She remembered her father joking about that. Their perception of time was so different.
It was hard for me to imagine. Sakamoto Ryoma, visiting a forest every day in order to win a woman’s affection. It made me want to laugh. But I held it back. In any case, the person in front of me was the fruit of his efforts, I suppose.
“And so I was born. But my mother died shortly after my birth. And since the other elves hated me because of my hair, I could not live in the forest. My father took me away and we wandered around the continent.”
North, south, east, west. They traveled all the corners, until one day, they found a place to live in a southern trading town by the sea.
“My father always acted like a merchant, anyway. And so he found someone to work under and began to get busy. Like a fish that was thrown into water. The name Sakamoto Ryoma is quite famous in that town now.”
“That is very impressive.”
“Aye. It is. He was successful in no time. However, he grew tired of things very quickly. He liked challenges. Adventures. And so once he was established in that town, he left his business to others and set out on a journey.”
“I see. And so now, he is under Sabnac’s castle.”
“Yes. After all, there is supposed to be some great treasure down there. Something that allows you to speak to the dead.”
“In other words, he wants to talk with your deceased mother.”
“I think so. He is very loyal to her. She was his last wife, and no one, no matter how advantageous it would be to him, has been able to change that. He probably still loves her.”
Well, it wasn’t hard to imagine why, looking at his daughter. But I didn’t say that.
As I pondered over this story in silence, Eve asked a question.
“I understand that this Sakamoto Ryoma is underground. However, why must you search for him? Are you that age where you miss your parent?”
She asked the rather invasive question in a cool voice. But Ryoma did not become angry.
There was even a little self-deprecation in the way that she explained her true intent.