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I wasn’t quite sure what I was looking at. I wasn’t even sure where I was as my eyes drifted around. Then someone suddenly shook my body and my vision shifted.
“Mister Asagi. Wake up. This place is going to close.”
“Ahh…I must have fallen asleep…”
When I looked around, I saw what might have been two dead bodies.
Felz had escaped this fate as he had only drunk fruit water.
“Get up, Daniela. We gotta go.”
Daniela was hunched over the table with her arms spread out. I shook her violently and she twitched before slowly raising her head.
“Aifis, you too…”
Aifis was leaning back heavily into his chair and showed no signs waking up no matter how much I shook him. Even his head was bobbing back and forth. What the hell?
“Damn it…I suppose I’ll have to carry him. Felz and Daniela. I hope you can walk normally.”
“My head hurts…”
Daniela muttered. She sounded like a ghost with a grudge. Alcohol never really stayed in my body for long, so I was fine. But Daniela never failed to get a hangover.
As it was us who brought them here, I paid for the meal. I even added an extra tip, since we inconvenienced them by staying right up until closing time. But then again, Daniela was their loyal customer, so they hardly sneered at us when we left them.
“It’s all dark outside…”
“Here you go.”
I poured some water into a cup made of ice. It was all the fruits of my magic. Daniela drained the cup in a single gulp and then started to nibble on the ice. She probably wanted to cool down after all that drinking.
“You sure can do anything, Mister Asagi.”
“That’s not true. I can only do what I can do.”
Felz muttered as if he had no idea what I meant. And so I took his hand and we walked towards the north district.
We arrived at the lodging facility and I continued to carry Aifis to his room.
“Well, in spite of everything, my mission is complete. I heard you’ll be returning to the village tomorrow. So you should get some rest.”
“Yes. So, is this goodbye, Mister Asagi and Miss Daniela?”
“I guess it is…”
This was rather abrupt. Felz looked disappointed.
“I’m sure you’ll do well. Listen to your brother and grow strong. You will have to help protect the village from now on.”
“But do not get too stressed out over it either. Just do what you can.”
“Thank you, Miss Daniela. I’ll do my best!”
Felz hugged Daniela tightly. Daniela patted him on the head with a tender expression. I watched them fondly. In no way was I irked by his nerve!
“Alright, I better go to bed. See you later, Mister Asagi. Miss Daniela. Thank you for saving our village!”
“Yeah, I’m glad we were able to help. Good night.”
He waved at us and then shut the door. Well, that was likely the last time we’d see him. Aifis as well. There was probably something important that we could have talked about, but who wanted to be bothered by serious talk when there was meat on the table? Eating meat had brought us all closer together. That was just the way it was.
We had survived. Wasn’t that enough? Maybe there were some injured on the way, but the results were good enough to celebrate. It’s not like it was possible to live without getting hurt once in a while.
A lot had happened, and it had been tough. But it wasn’t all bad, and even the bad stuff added to my experience. If something similar ever happened again, I would be better equipped to deal with it.
Daniela had been standing straight when Felz was around, but she now slouched and looked tired.
“I’ll carry you to the inn.”
“Oh… What kind of trick do we have here? Well, if you insist.”
“You don’t have to be so snooty.”
“I like to tease you.”
I squatted down in front of her and felt her warm body against my back. She was the perfect weight. Which was something I could not say in regards to Aifis. Daniela had a softness to her, and she also smelled better. Well, she mostly smelled of drink now, but there was also a sweetness there, which I liked to think was something shared by light elves.
“I suppose we will also be leaving soon. We received directions to the Nova, after all.”
I was expecting her to bring that up. But we had stayed here for so long, that it made me sad to have to leave.
Of course, staying wasn’t an option either. We would prepare, say goodbye and then go on our next journey. That was the way we did things.
The night in the imperial capital was still lively. And it was among all the cheerful noise and drinking, that we made our way back to our room.