Chapter 51 – Bear-san Departs for the Royal Capital
I was very sleepy yesterday.
On the first day of the escort mission, I first stopped by Tirumina’s house to pick up Fina.
After that, we headed to the feudal lord’s manor to meet up with Noa.
「Big Sis Yuna, are you escorting Forschurose-sama?」
Fina anxiously asked me.
「That’s right. Didn’t I say so?」
「This is the first I’ve heard of this! To meet Foschurose-sama or the like…」
Fina’s complexion became rather pale.
Was the disparity between an aristocrat and a commoner in this world that large, like I had expected?
「You’re not going to be plucked and eaten, so it’s all right. Besides, the client who is supposed to be guarded is his daughter, Noa.」
「Noire-sama, is it? Even so, for someone like me…」
Oh? Even though I’ve been calling her by her nickname, Noire’s name came out instead.
Were they acquainted to some extent?
「In any case, let’s go, alright? If it’s no good, I wonder if I should decline the request?」
Fina followed along reluctantly.
When we reached the feudal lord’s manor, Noa was already waiting in front of the gate, standing with her hands on her hips in an imposing stance.
「You’re slow, Yuna-san!」
「If you thought so, wouldn’t it have been fine if you waited inside the house?」
「W-Well, when I thought that I could travel with the bear-sans, I got excited with anticipation and couldn’t endure it.」
She said in a mildly embarrassed tone.
「Although I understand your reasoning, can I ask something?」
「What is it?」
「I also want to take this child along. Do you have any problems with that?」
I pointed to Fina, who was being timid next to me.
「Who is that girl?」
「The savior of my life…」
「T-That’s not it! I’m the one whose life was saved by Big Sis Yuna, geez!」
「So then, this girl is going to be coming along with us?」
「I wanted to get permission, just in case.」
「It’s not particularly a problem. However, I won’t hand over bear-san!」
I could hear the crack of a whip in my head as she resolutely thrusted her finger at Fina.
「I was going to have the two of you ride on a bear.」
「Then it cannot be helped. However, I won’t give up the front!」
「Is it necessary to greet Cliff?」
「It is fine. Father has given me permission to depart as soon as Yuna-san arrives.」
「In that case, since permission was given, shall we depart for the Royal Capital?」
The three of us headed to the gate and left the town.
I summoned Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.
I would be riding Hugging Bear today.
The other two got on Swaying Bear.
「I said so earlier, but I’m in front.」
「That reminds me, what’s your name?」
「Yes, my name is Fina.」
「Then, my best regards until we get to the Royal Capital, Fina.」
「Yes, it’s a pleasure to meet you too, Noire-sama.」
Noa got on Swaying Bear, and Fina sat behind her.
I rode on top of Hugging Bear.
「With that, let’s depart for the Royal Capital!」
It wasn’t a rushed trip this time, so we took our time heading to the Royal Capital.
「Ufufu, Swaying Bear~ I’ll be counting on you to get us to the Royal Capital.」
Noa was gently patting Swaying Bear.
「Noire-sama is acquainted with Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear?」
「Ehem, I was allowed to ride them on one occasion, and we took a nap together afterwards. Geez, I could not help looking forward to today since yesterday.」
The two of them were getting along well and chatting.
「So then, I asked earlier, but what kind of relationship do the two of you have?」
「When I arrived at this town for the first time, the one who helped me when I was lost in the forest was Fina.」
「That might be the case, but since I was being attacked by wolves in the forest, I am the one who was saved by Big Sis Yuna. I only guided her to town.」
「After that, I became an adventurer but couldn’t dismantle the monsters, so I ended up asking Fina for help.」
「Yes, I am grateful to have been able to make some money as well.」
「Fina, you can dismantle monsters?」
「Yes. I have been doing it in the guild for a long time.」
「For a long time, you say; how old are you?」
「10 years old.」
「Aren’t you the same age as me? To be dismantling monsters…」
Noa was surprised.
As I thought, even in this world, a 10-year-old being able to dismantle monsters was strange.
After that, the two of them continued getting along and chatting on top of Swaying Bear.
It’s good to make a close friend.
Their conversation was pretty lively.
Since both of them were the same age, I hoped that they would get along, without caring about their relationship as a noble and a commoner.
Meanwhile, the bears leisurely advanced forward on the road that lead to the Royal Capital.
We didn’t encounter any monsters or thieves, and the sky gradually darkened on our leisurely journey.
The road to the Royal Capital continued onward.
I checked the surroundings as I searched for the optimal spot to camp out, before I finally led the two of them a short distance away from the road.
「Is it good enough around here?」
I stopped the bears in order to set up camp.
「Yuna-san, could it be that you plan to camp out here?」
「That’s right. By chance, did you think that we would be staying at an inn?」
「I didn’t think that, since I usually slept in the carriage.」
I see. You always moved around in a carriage, so you concluded that it was natural to sleep inside one?
「It’s my first time sleeping out in the open.」
「Rest assured, there’s a place to sleep properly.」
I told the two of them to back off a bit and took out the Bear House from the Bear Box.
It had its usual appearance of a couple of bears.
However, it was now travel-sized.
It was about half the size of the Bear House in the city.
Although I didn’t think that the size was big enough to attract that much attention, it was still big enough to attract attention in an open area.
「Yuna-san, this is?!」
「The Bear House. Though, it’s a bit smaller, since it’s for outings.」
「I wasn’t asking for its name, I was wondering where it appeared from! Uuun, though I actually understand where it appeared from, was this even an item you could place into an item bag?」
「I can put it inside, though even I don’t really understand the size limit for the items I can place inside.」
「Is that the case? Still, Fina isn’t surprised, huh?」
「I’ve seen the Bear House appear out of nowhere before. Later on, I also saw the Black Viper monster come out, so…」
「This matter is a secret, so don’t tell anyone, okay?」
I gave Noa a warning.
「Well then, let’s go inside. You’re probably tired from travelling all day, right?」
I unsummoned Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear before entering the house.
「Ah, sorry Noa, but please take your shoes off here, okay?」
It seemed like, in this world, it was basically a custom for middle-class households and above to take off their shoes.
Even in Noa’s manor, they would take off their shoes and put on slipper-like footwear.
However, lower-class citizens like Fina lived in dirty houses, so they wore shoes even inside the house.
Even the inn was fundamentally a place where you were supposed to wear your shoes into your room.
Noa, who had come inside the house, raised her voice in surprise.
「What is with this house?!」
After taking off your shoes, the first room you encountered was the living-room-cum-dining-room.
The interior of the room was lit up by the light magic stone installed in the ceiling.
The size of the dining room was just large enough to accommodate roughly ten people at any one time.
「Well, for now, properly sit in a chair and rest while I go prepare dinner.」
I headed to the kitchen, spread oil on a frying pan, and laid out ground meat and eggs for making hamburger steak.
At the same time, the preparations for salad were progressing, since vegetables were important too.
When the hamburger steak was appropriately fried, I portioned out the soup, which the inn had cooked, as well as some bread.
Lastly, I poured fruit juice into some cups, and with that, the preparations were complete.
I carried the completed dishes to the table. The only thing left to do was to eat.
「Yuna-san, what is this?」
「Dinner. If you were expecting cooking on the same level as the stuff at the manor, that’s impossible.」
「No, I wasn’t thinking of such a thing at all; rather, it’s the opposite. It seems to give off an aroma that’s even better than the dishes at home.」
「If that’s so, then all’s good. Let’s eat while the food is still warm.」
Both Noa and Fina started to eat.
「What is this? This food is super delicious!」
「It’s just hamburger steak though?」
「That’s right. Isn’t it eaten in this country?」
「It’s not a local food, to my knowledge. This is my first time eating this.」
「Is that so? This is just made from ground wolf’s meat and orc’s meat though.」
「Big Sis Yuna, can my family make it too?」
「You can make it, but it might be difficult to make the sauce, and it’s more delicious with grated radish.」
「Then, please teach me next time. I want to let my family try it too.」
「Noa is a noble, so isn’t it unnecessary for you?」
「That is the case, but it kind of feels like I’m being excluded. It’s an unpleasant feeling.」
「For the time being, I’ll teach you after we return to town, okay?」
「This soup is delicious too!」
「That was made by the inn, you know.」
「What about this bread?」
「I found a delicious bakery, so I bought them up.」
While having such a conversation, we finished dinner.
「Well then, after the meal, take a short break before entering the bath. We’ll depart when the sun rises, so sleep early, okay?」
「We’re heading out that early?」
The one who rose early because of her work: Fina.
The one who spent her mornings leisurely due to her noble status: Noa.
Their reactions were wonderfully divided.
「I don’t want to let other people see this house, you see. Other travellers should sleep at night and move out when it’s morning, so we will also move like that.」
「I got it already. Also, if my ears were working properly, I heard you say something about a bath?」
「You didn’t hear incorrectly, there is a bath. Even if you only rode on Swaying Bear, you still sweated, right? Please go clean yourself in the bath. As for how to use the bath, Fina, please teach her.」
「Uuuu, my common sense is crumbling.」
Fina took the dumbfounded Noa to the bath.
I cleared the table after the meal.
Though, it was just washing the dishes.
After the two of them got out, I lent them the dryer and told them to dry their hair.
I also wanted to take a bath.
When I finished my bath, both of them were waiting for me.
「Not going to sleep?」
Ah, I didn’t assign rooms yet.
On the first floor, there was the living-cum-dining room, the kitchen, the toilet, and the bath.
The second floor had three small bedrooms.
One of those was my room.
The remaining two were for guests to use.
In the guest rooms, there were two sets of bunk beds.
All in all, each guest room was supposed to allow for four people to sleep in each room.
After showing the two of them to a room,
「What do you want to do?」
I tried asking them.
「I’m okay either way, so I’ll let Noire-sama decide.」
「I also wanted to talk before sleeping, shall we sleep together?」
「Still, go to sleep soon.」
After making them heed my warning, I headed to my own room.