“I should wake her up now… Hey, Daniela. It’s morning.”
I moved away from the bonfire and opened the tent flaps in order to pull Daniela out of her peaceful sleep. What I saw there was a surprisingly naked…not really. She was sleeping like normal. I put a hand on her slender shoulder and tried to wake her up.
“Hey, wake up.”
“Mmmm…no…I want to sleep…”
“We’re going to see the ruins, remember? Come on.”
She was always so grumpy in the morning… But she would continue to sleep if left alone…But then again, there were times when she got up by herself… Hmm. Maybe she was using magic to improve her sleep?
Well, there was one foolproof way to wake up Daniela. It just took one shot.
“So I guess you don’t need your breakfast then.”
“Good morning, Asagi.”
“Alright, get up, get up.”
Daniela was a woman who fully supported the eating of breakfast.
“Asagi, your cooking has been very poor recently.”
“What? It’s been what?”
“It used to be so luxurious.”
“…I can’t help it. I didn’t get any cooking skills. I’m very disheartened about it, you know? I’m broken. And who cares anyway, as long as it tastes fine?”
“Hmph…but, I would like to eat like that again…”
Daniela said as she looked at me. However, I had no talent. None at all… But I wasn’t such a failure that I could ignore her sweet, pleading look. Alright. It hurt, but I would give it another try!
“I have no choice, do I? I’ll just have to make something that satisfies you.”
“Hehe. I love you, Asagi.”
“Don’t you mean, you love people who can cook?”
I said, just a little embarrassed. However, I was already getting distracted by ideas of what I would make tonight.
□ □ □ □
We retraced our steps from the camp and headed west from the mountains and village. There was a forest here. And in the forest, was the old ruins. I had no idea what this old, decrepit building was, but it would have probably made a very beautiful church.
“So this is the ruins.”
“It is as they said…there is really nothing.”
There was grass growing inside, and even some small trees, which made it difficult to walk. Vines grew thickly along the walls and seemed to accentuate how old the place was.
“From what I had heard, many teams were sent to investigate this place. They wanted to know what stones were used, what purpose this place had, and how old it was…”
“But they couldn’t find any information?”
“Aye. They searched the surrounding area as well, but they don’t even know what country this would have been at the time. There were no towns around, so this building was completely isolated.”
“Hmmm… Nothing but mysteries then.”
I looked at the building again. Of course, there was no ceiling, so the sunlight came through directly. The collapsed ceiling, broken walls, and rubble that had once been the floor was all piled together.
“It makes you want to clean.”
“It is an ancient ruin. Perhaps you will find something.”
“True… Ahhh, it’s no use once I’ve thought about it. Can I at least sweep the floor a little?”
Daniela looked at me with exasperation. But I could no longer stand around idly. I took out a broom from the hollow bag. Why did I have a broom in the hollow bag? To clean our campsite, of course!
“I will not be helping you. I will go and look at the surrounding area.”
“Sure. Have fun.”
We came all the way here and… Daniela grumbled as she left. But I didn’t care. I would move these broken stones and sweep away the dust. Well, there was probably nothing here anyway. But I might as well tidy the place up for the other tourists that would come here, I guess? I told myself as I swept. I moved the larger rocks with the pressure of water magic. Water made with mana would evaporate as soon as the supply of magic energy stopped. And so there was no fear of flooding the place.
Rinse and repeat. I wanted a clear path from the entrance to the far back. Partway into my project, I asked myself why the hell I was doing this, and I suddenly remembered a very old ambition I had once had.
I was watching a television program about an Egyptian tomb. It had seemed like the coolest thing at the time. Decyphering old letters that looked like codes. Exploring places that no one else had seen… A treasure hunter. It had been my first ever ambition in life. Now that I think of it, I suppose they were actually called archaeologists.
And now, I was treasure hunting in a ruin with a broom in one hand. Was I the caretaker?
“Huhh… Daniela won’t like it if I take too long…”
It had been my dream for a while, yes… But the reasonable side of me was saying that the person I had promised my future to was more important than the old dream I had for my future.
“I’ll stop after moving this rock…oomph…!”
I used the blue-colored magic to lift it. And then I slowly moved it to the side against the wall.
“Hahh…I’m tired. …So tired… Hmm?”
I sat down on the now clean floor. There was a stone in front of me that had been flipped over. And towards the bottom, I could vaguely see that there appeared to be something like a pattern. I used my broom to sweep away the dust and it became clear. It had only looked faint because of the dust. Well, it had also been facing downward as well. In any case…this pattern. It looked kind of familiar?