Chapter 156 – I discovered a gate!
“Thank you for the food! …Now, let’s start the day’s work!”
I said as if to rouse the others after we had finished eating breakfast.
“Aye! Let’s go digging!!”
Fule and Taran raised their pickaxes into the air.
And like that, the monsters moved out from under the World Tree and headed towards the cave. This time right after breakfast was always incredibly lively, and many were busy putting away the dishes.
It was my custom to say a few words to Rienna, who was the overseer. After all, if something happened on the surface, Rienna and Baris would be responsible.
“I better talk with Rienna first. There was that incident with the tentacles, after all… Wait, huh?”
I couldn’t believe my eyes.
Rienna usually wore a white dress, but she was currently wearing a very comfortable looking pair of overalls.
She walked towards me now with a look of slight embarrassment.
“Rienna… Are those new clothes?”
“Y-yes! Do I look odd?”
“No, I wouldn’t say that. They really suit you.”
Indeed, she looked very cute. Her usual more ruffled clothing was nice, but these simpler clothes that fitted her looked great as well. Actually, she looked good in just about anything.
Rienna looked like she wanted to say something.
In the past, Fule had told me during a conversation that I should always compliment girls when they change their clothes. And so I had… But perhaps merely saying ‘it suits you’ was too plain an answer.
As I stood there puzzled, Fule spoke up.
“Lord Heal. The clothes.”
“Huh? Clothes that are easy to move in… Wait, Rienna. Do you want to go digging with us?”
“We-well, I don’t mind. Baris did say he would be staying on the surface today. And there isn’t any pressing threat that I know of.”
Besides, we could easily go back if we used the railroad. And then there was the Teleportation Stone. We could be back in minutes.
“But, why? Of course, I am happy to have you.”
“It-it’s…just…there is something that I want…a precious stone.”
“Precious stone? But there are plenty of…”
“I want to dig it out myself. As it’s to give to someone important…”
“I see… In that case, let’s go and dig out some precious stones today! Fule has marked out all the best places for them on a map. Fule, can you guide us?”
I asked. Fule looked at Rienna with a grin.
“Ahhh… I see how it is. No, I won’t go with you. I’ll give you the map, and you can take the princess. Besides, there’s a place that I want to check out with Taran.”
“I see. If that’s the case, the two of us can manage.”
“Yes! You two have a good time together!”
Fule and Taran waved their hands as they went off to the cave. While it was just for a split second, I thought I had seen Fule wink at Rienna.
“Clearly, she is signalling something. What…what is she planning?”
“Oh, I don’t think so at all! Fule would never try to put us alone together! I mean…!”
Rienna’s face turned red as she covered her mouth.
From far away, I could see Fule had an expression that looked like she was saying, ‘oops!’
“You really aren’t good at lying, Rienna… Well, I think it would be nice to spend time together once in a while.”
In fact, there was something that I wanted to tell her.
About the future. Some of it was about the island, but I also wanted to talk about the confession on that day.
When Rienna showed me her old form with the Ryukin.
I had not been able to contain my feelings, and declared that I loved her.
Well, perhaps it was time to follow up on that. Wasn’t it time to propose…? Such were my thoughts.
I hadn’t felt embarrassed about it at all, at first, but thinking about it started to make my face feel hot. Perhaps I was getting too tense. That was no good. I had to be natural.
And so we went to the railroad…the iron carriage, and got in.
“Ri-Rienna. By the way, has anything changed while I was gone?”
“Yes! Last night, a Goblin and an Orc became a couple! They are going to get married! Married…marriage…”
Her voice trailed off. She looked quite red. Was she feeling alright?
“A-are you alright? Do you have a fever?”
“I-I see. Still, marriage…huh…?”
Speaking of marriage, we should… Was this my chance to bring it up?
However, that’s when it happened.
The carriage suddenly stopped.
Apparently, the driver had stopped it as we had reached the spot on the map where the most precious stones could be mined.
“We had reached your destination, Lord Heal!”
I thanked the driver and we got out of the carriage.
Hmm. I had missed my chance. But…more importantly…
“A Goblin and an Orc, huh? Was anyone against it?”
“No. No one would be on this island. I and everyone else gave them our blessing. And we told them that we would have a great celebration.”
“I see. Yes, I will help too.”
As this was a marriage between different tribes, I had assumed that someone would object to it.
However, perhaps that was due to the values I had been raised with as a human.
But Rienna looked at me seriously as she continued.
“It would have been unthinkable in the past. Indeed, it’s all thanks to you and this island, Lord Heal.”
“I didn’t do…”
“No. They would not have become bound together if they didn’t come here. If they didn’t meet you.”
“I-I’m not sure…”
I was starting to feel a little embarrassed, but perhaps it was true that it was something that could only happen here.
After all, had I not fallen for Rienna myself? It was my hope that we would get married.
“And it all started…with just a swing of a pickaxe like this. I had just wanted to make a place to sleep.”
I said as if remembering. And then I began to swing the pickaxe.
“Yes, you were holding a pickaxe when we first me, Lord Heal. I don’t wish to be rude, but back then, you looked very…”
“Frightening? Oh, but they tell me that I still look like that sometimes. So I have to be careful.”
“Hehe. But I think anyone would look like that if they became so absorbed with digging that they forgot to sleep or eat.”
“Yes. But you make the most delicious food, Rienna. You’ve saved me in various ways since coming here. And so…”
The words were just at the tip of my tongue. And I was going to say them.
Just a few words. Let’s get married.
However, that’s when it happened.
The pickaxe that I had swung suddenly hit something.
“Huh? What is…”
As the rock wall crumbled away, a golden wall appeared in front of me.
I had seen this before when we found the winery… In other words, the Orichalcum wall.
According to Shiel’s report, there were other undiscovered facilities. She said that most of them had been lost when meteors fell.
“It seems like there is some kind of facility on the other side… I can’t detect any magic, so it should be safe to open it from here.”
“Yes! I will cast Shield.”
“Yes, thank you.”
I left the defenses to Rienna and swung the pickaxe.
And then the Orichalcum wall crumbled away…
“…What is this place?”
In front of our eyes, was a place that looked like a temple.
And in the far back, stood a giant gate.