We said to Adlus and Manager, who seemed to have finished preparing to leave. As they were a group of seasoned Adventurers, they were very quick. Most of the tents and tables had been packed up. The only thing that was left was our tent and belongings. As it was clear that it was in the way, I kept the talk short and started to clean up. But then again, all that meant was stuffing everything, from the table, magic tools, and other supplies into my bag. The magic lights had been returned to me and were neatly lined up on the floor. Yes, they were all there. And not a single one had been broken. Good. Good.
“I know that it’s important that you pack your things, but how about a report?”
As nothing had really gone wrong, I had been more focused on getting our stuff out of the way.
And so I told Adlus what had happened as I put our things away.
“…Well, what a coincidence, huh? These ancient elves have really amazing technology.”
“So, that means another similar stampede could occur again… We’ll have to keep that in mind.”
“But light elves are able to access the ancient elf terminals, so I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
“No, that might not be much help.”
I stopped what I was doing and turned to look at Adlus. Wasn’t he a light elf?
“There have been many tribes of elves after the ancient elves. And there is more to it than just color. We light elves are not all the same.”
“I see. Is that like how Daniela’s name is Villesilf, and yours is Brasilf?”
“Aye. We are different. Perhaps Daniela is able to access it because her race and family just happen to be related to the ancient elf bloodline.”
That reminded me of something Daniela had said about her past. Her deceased mother had been a shrine maiden, I think… I didn’t know any details, but perhaps that was related to all of this.
“Did you just think of something?”
“Sorta. I’ll have to talk to Daniela about it. But you might be right, Adlus. It would probably best that you don’t go around raiding ancient ruins.”
“I see. Well, it’s not exactly a common occurrence…”
You never knew what you would find. These ancient elven ruins were filled with mystery. However, I felt that the Karma would always help us in their own way. That was a nice thought.
Stop the Nova. We would think about the rest later.
Well, there was one thing that I had already decided.
No matter what. No matter the outcome. I would stay with Daniela until I died. Yes. That was one thing that would not change.
“Alright, I’m done.”
“You should take this tent down then. I’ll help you.”
□ □ □ □
We departed as soon as we finished packing up everything. We intended to spend the night in the houses of Namila Village. I wanted to tell Felz, Marcel, and Silket what had happened. The village was now safe again.
We traveled through the silver world that was the forest. There were no monsters or animals now. And then we reached Namila Village just as the sun started to set. Adlus was walking in the lead, but he raised his hand for us to stop.
“We will rest here for tonight, and then head back to the imperial capital immediately. But remember to clean up before you leave.”
They answered, and everyone scattered throughout the village. I was thinking about going too, but then I remembered that I had to see Felz in the chief’s house.
“Daniela, I’m going to go with Adlus for a short while.”
“Very well. I will go on ahead.”
I waved at her and we separated. Everywhere, the snow which had probably been undisturbed just a minute ago, was now trampled by the Adventurers. I walked through it as I headed to the largest house. As it was getting dark, I activated Night Eyes. I saw that Adlus, his scouts, and Manager were in front of me.
“Hey, wait up!”
“Hm? Ah, Asagi. What is it?”
“I thought you should know, but we have guests.”
“Ah, you did say something about that before…”
Well, I hadn’t actually told him. But perhaps someone else had made a report.
It wasn’t really a secret.
The sounds of snow crunching under our feet could be heard. But perhaps our voices were louder. Silket slowly opened the door and peered out at us. I was the first to see her and so I waved. She looked relieved as she came out to greet us. There was a short sword in her hand.
I might have been stabbed had I just walked up to the door and opened it…
□ □ □ □
“So, that’s what happened…”
“It’s a miracle that none of you died…”
Silket and Marcel said after Adlus and I had finished telling them what happened. But there was something in their expressions that seemed like they were full of regret. They had really wanted to be a part of it after all.
“The stampede is finished. The village is safe. And that is thanks to you two. The village and the boy seem quite well.”
Adlus said with a surprisingly warm expression.
It was a peaceful time. I felt this strongly as I watched the steam rise from the cup of tea that Silket prepared. Everything had finished, everything had been resolved. The only thing left to do was to return to the city. I felt like I had just taken a hot bath. A warm, comfortable kind of tiredness spread from my fingertips to the rest of my body.
“Hmm…Asagi. You cannot sleep here. Hold yourself together a little longer.”
“Ahh…I didn’t realize I was falling asleep.”
I rubbed my eyes and stretched my arms. I even yawned. As an Adventurer, it was important to not let your guard down so soon after a victory. It was one of the important tricks of survival. But I had a tendency of forgetting.
“Ah, it’s no use. I’m going to sleep…”
“Hehe. It’s been a while since his last night shift. Of course, he is tired.”
“Good night, Mister Asagi.”
Adlus was exasperated. Manager chuckled. Marcel and Silket were more polite.
“Good night. See you tomorrow then.”
“We’ll be leaving at sunrise. You better be awake by then.”
“I know… Haaaahhhh…”
I wasn’t the kind of human being that someone like Adlus should worry about. After all, I had never been late for work.
“We’ll go later.”
“Please leave some beds for us.”
I had forgotten that Marcel and Silket slept in the same house as us. I tried to think back on that night, but my brain wasn’t operating as it should. Had there been that many beds…? I couldn’t even remember where they had slept. Maybe I never knew.
I felt the chill of the snow on my skin as I walked to the house we would be staying at. It was then that I went to the bedroom and discovered that there was only one bed. And so I decided to let the girls share it.
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