When the sun started to set and the day was turning into night, we finished cleaning. We washed our hands in clean water and stood in front of the house. The doors and windows were left open for ventilation. The lantern that we used in the mines was set on the table, which kept the house decently bright.
“Ahh, it’s been a while since I cleaned this much.”
“…I did my best.”
“Aye, you did well. You deserve praise.”
Daniela picked her up and patted her on the head. I guess the two of them had shed off their reserve as they cleaned together.
Alright then, it was time to take her back to the chief’s house.
“Merica, thanks for helping us today. We’re thankful.”
“…Oh, no. It was fun for me. Thank you, Asagi and Daniela.”
“Uh…A-Asagi, could we not take her with us…”
“That would be a crime, you idiot.”
Daniela hugged her tightly, and Merica hugged her back. I sighed as I picked up the brooms and started to walk back to the chief’s house.
“Hellooo. We finished cleaning the place.”
“Ah, it’s Asagi. You must be tired. Come in and have some tea.”
“Thank you. Don’t mind if I do.”
The three of us entered the house and sat down in the living room, which was elevated from the floor. The fatigue rushed into your body as soon as you sat down. I stretched my limbs and rotated my shoulders as Rengel brought us some tea.
“Drink it while it’s hot.”
I take a sip and sigh. A drink was the best thing to have after cleaning…
By the time we finished drinking our tea, it had become completely dark outside. But we didn’t worry, as we had a place to stay. And it was time to start preparing for dinner.
“We should be leaving now. Thank you for the tea.”
“Ah, I see. Well, come again tomorrow and return the key.”
“Yes, of course.”
“…Good night, Asagi and Daniela.”
“Good night, Merica.”
We took turns patting her on the head before leaving. Then we waved goodbye as she smiled, and left the house behind us.
We saw a few people on the way back. For a moment, I thought they would shower us with ‘Get out of our village!’ and other such abuse, but they were just the same villagers we saw during the day. One of them was the guy who told us to visit the chief.
“Oh, there you are.”
“Ah, you’re that guy. Thank you. We will be able to sleep under a roof tonight because of you.”
“Haha, it’s nothing. You were cleaning all of this time, weren’t you? Do you have anything for supper?”
“No, we are going to prepare it now.”
“I thought so. I was going to give you this.”
So saying, he thrust a pot into my hands. Puzzled, I accepted it and immediately felt that it was quite heavy. It wasn’t an empty pot.
“Eat this. It’s a soup that my mum made!”
“Oh, are you sure?”
“It’s fine! It’s fine! Just leave it at the house when you are finished! Good night!”
“Ah, thank you! We’ll eat it! Good night!”
The villager waved at us and went on his way. Woah, this made me so happy. It was so generous. It was a kind of warmth that was unique to the countryside. I saw it on tv before.
“This is a nice village…”
“Aye, it has been a long time since I felt like this.”
Daniela felt the same… This was part of the pleasure of traveling. I loved it. I loved traveling.
With an immense feeling of gratitude to the mother of the villager, we put the pot over a fire. Thankfully, there was a kitchen. It started to boil after a few minutes so we took it off and mixed the soup before pouring it into our bowls.
“Let’s eat then.”
I take a spoonful and bring it to my mouth. I could immediately tell that the rich broth was from boar meat. Judging by how soft the meat was, it must have been boiled for a long time. A time-consuming soup. Not at all the same as the quick soup that I made. And it was delicious.
We kept drinking the soup as if we were competing, and so the pot was quickly emptied. And we were full. I filled the pot with water. I would wash it tomorrow and return it.
Hah. It was a good day. We met good people and ate good food.
“Merica, she was cute.”
I was wondering what she was going to say, but it was about Merica. Yes, she was cute.
“I want a child like that.”
“Yeah. In the future, I do as well.”
“Yes. Perhaps we should at least practice then?”
One moment she was next to me, the next she was kissing me. She had laid out our camping blanket at some point, and she now pulled me towards it, and knocked me down. Before I knew it, it was morning. My energy was now close to zero.