“I’m hungry as well. Would you join me?”
“You don’t mind…?”
“As an apology for crashing into you. Let me get you dinner.”
“But, I bumped into you as well…”
“It’s fine, it’s fine.”
Let’s just eat. We could argue about splitting the bill later if we wanted. Of course, it would be a short argument once we were finished eating.
“We’ll take two of these.”
“Coming right up!”
I paid after receiving the food. We then walked a little and settled at a park that was away from the main road.
Sometimes, I would kill time over here on days where a quest ended earlier than usual. It was a nice little spot.
“You shouldn’t have, but thank you.”
We sat on a bench with our food.
And then I became curious. Could this person even eat with that mask on?
The mask was being noisily removed. Oh, it just comes off then… Until now I had been imagining things, such as it being a ‘limiter’ to suppress a power that was too strong, or perhaps there was a tribe that wore masks every day, or it was the sign of a dying race of people who lived on the frontier, or it was some kind of training. I felt rather stupid now.
“Hahh… Let’s eat then.”
But the face that appeared from underneath the mask was that of a very beautiful woman.
□ □ □ □
I had now finished eating. I never did find out what it tasted like, and it had looked so appetizing before buying it. The masked stranger, now an unmasked woman, was still chewing on her noodles. Her expression showed the kind of happiness one has when eating something delicious. It was cute. I kept stealing glances at that expression when suddenly, our eyes met.
“Hmm? Is something wrong?”
“Uh, no… You looked like you were really enjoying it.”
“Ah, well, you shouldn’t stare so much.”
Then she blushed. Cute.
But on the other hand, this was an uncomfortable position… No, it was not as if I wanted to run away, but there was something very nerve-racking about sitting next to someone so beautiful. I felt like I was suffocating. I didn’t hate it. Who didn’t love a beautiful woman? They were easy on the eyes, but…
“Mmm… Well, that was delicious. Thank you.”
“Was it really?”
“It was. I would eat it again tomorrow.”
“Hehe. Good thing we chose that one. Well, now that we’re no longer hungry…”
I stand up and stretch my limbs.
“I’m really sorry. It was my own carelessness, but you even got me dinner.”
“No, don’t mention it. It’s much better to eat with company.”
She blushed again. She had a cool, beautiful face but seemed to have a bashful side.
“Well, see you around.”
“Ah, uh. Thanks for dinner. See you.”
“Yeah. Good night.”
I casually waved a hand and walked away. Then turned the corner and headed back to the inn. Of course, I still had to be alert in order to avoid the scum who would try to catch me. But then again, I was nervous as hell and completely off guard until a moment ago… I should be more careful. I shook my head, shifted gears, and walked on.
Then, there was a faint but definite voice that reached my ears.
“What, what do you want!”
I quickly turn around. It was the voice of the woman in the mask. I dash back towards through the park and to the town square. There the woman stood, the mask was halfway on her face. Five to six men surrounded her.
“Hey, what are you doing!”
I shouted as I ran towards them, my hands were on the pommels of my swords as I glared. All the faces of the men who turned to look at me were very familiar.
“Hello, Black Rabbit.”