□ □ □ □
“Stop right there!”
The voice rang clearly in spite of the rain. It was a woman’s voice, which was rather unusual. I looked through a gap in the tarp.
“Yes, stop right here.”
“Must be hard having to work under this weather.”
“And you as well.”
The guard then handed Laptor a piece of paper which he began to scribble something onto.
“He is writing the name of the merchant and company.”
“You mean your name and your store?”
“Yes. By the way, it is the ‘Sangro.’”
“Hmm, I don’t think I asked you yet…but what is it that you sell?”
“We generally sell famous products from different areas to other towns. It works as a kind of advertisement, and people are most grateful.”
I guess it was a kind of a trading company. Though, I didn’t know anything about such things. Famous products…huh. I did like regional food.
“Well then. I will have to search your wagon.”
We heard from outside. The guard started to approach us.
“…Oh? Guests of yours?”
“We troubled him for a ride.”
I explained as we handed over our status cards.
“I see…it seems like you’ve been through a lot, Mister Tanjelin.”
“Yes. It was a good thing that they were there. Truly.”
They seemed to know each other.
“Well, I will have to go and scan these cards. Please wait here for a moment.”
She said as she left. It would probably take a while.
“Mister Tanjelin, do you know her?”
“Uh, yes. I travel through here quite often in order to reach the capital. In spite of appearances, she is the leader of the guards here.”
“At that age?”
Very impressive. She was clearly no idiot, like myself.
“Ah, but she is not young at all.”
“She is an elf.”
Daniela said as she leaned against the wall.
“A grey elf.”
Well, what hair I saw from the edge of her helmet did look grey.
“You can generally tell by our hair color.”
The elves sure were…colorful.
“What other types of elves are there?”
“Hmm… It is not as if I know every single tribe. But I have met light, dark, grey, pink, red, and blue elves.”
“Not quite the entire rainbow then…”
I wonder if I would be mistaken as a dark elf? Oh, wait, Eve had brown skin.
“Alright, it is finished now. Here are your cards. Ah, but I have not seen any of my kind in so long!”
“Is that right?”
“Yes. I…am quite busy here…”
“I see. Well, good luck with everything here.”
“Thank you. I am called Lemonfrost Grasilf. It is an honor to meet you, Master Daniela!”
“Yes! And welcome to the wetland town of Arkaroid!”
While Miss Lemonfrost had the most welcoming voice, but the rain was pouring as hard as ever. I recalled that beautiful scene with the ponds and tried to imagine how beautiful this town might be under fairer weather. I missed the blue sky so much…
The wagon continued to roll through the mud until it stopped in front of a certain house.
“Where are we?”
“It is an inn that I always stay at. The service is good and the price affordable, which is why I would recommend it.”
“Thank you. Do they have a bath house?”
“Yes, a public one.”
“That is good. Let us go, Asagi.”
“Hey, wai-… Mister Tanjelin, thank you.”
Daniela started to pull me away by the arm.
“Oh, you should hurry up and warm yourselves. I have business matters to attend to and will have to stay at a different inn this time. So please rest and do not be concerned about me!”
“Thank you for everything. We’re very grateful.”
“It’s the least I could do. Really!”
I was then dragged out of the wagon and thrown under the roof of the inn. Mister Laptor bid us farewell and the wagon slowly drove away. I waved at Mister Tanjelin’s hand that poked out from the tarp. They quickly disappeared in the thick curtain of rain.
“What a nice man.”
“Ah, a good merchant. I am sure he will be very wealthy one day.”
“You think so?”
“I have a feeling about it. Now, let us get a room.”
And with that, we opened the door. I really wanted to take a bath.