Volume 2, Chapter 9
I’m not exactly sure why I decided to do such a thing… Honestly, it would have been much simpler just to tell Cindy who I was. Maybe I felt it would be a good time to improve my abilities?
Well, no matter the case, it is the truth that I have put myself into this situation. I need to convince Cindy that I am a mercenary by protecting her and her merchant friends on the way to a neighbouring town.
Well, the merchant friends were most likely her cover in order to get here. It seems the mercenaries they hired on the way here decided that they did not want to go back the other way so they were already looking for a new group to hire. Although, they did seem dubious of the claim that I was making: We will not meet any monsters on the way.
Luckily, onee-sama and Yuuki demonstrated their strength (with the permission of Cindy) in order to convince them they would be safe in either circumstance. Well, that makes me feel better as well. This was such a stupid endeavour to undertake. I can’t believe how far I went in order to convince Cindy I wasn’t the prince or a noble. Ah, I should stop worrying about it, shouldn’t I?
Disregarding my worries, onee-sama and I have gone to collect some stuff needed in order to make the trip. That is, food, water, torches (the burning kind), that kind of stuff. Without it, even if my bluff works out, we would have been screwed. Death by starvation would not be a fun thing, and the merchants would either not share with us, or charge us exorbitant amounts.
“Oi… Why exactly did you say such a thing? Your acting was quite good to begin with, but you got carried away. What do you have to say for yourself?”
Onee-sama has spoken out… though, it feels strange. It doesn’t feel like she’s ‘Angry’ as such, more ‘Concerned’. Well, that’s a lie. I can definitely feel ‘anger’ coming from her, but it is not only that single emotion. I think onee-sama really is beginning to have some more faith? She hasn’t seemed to solely hate me recently, Have I thought that sort of thing before?
Whatever, let’s just answer onee-sama honestly.
“…nothing. I completely messed up this time. I can only hope that nothing goes wrong.”
I hang my head in shame. It’s not like I can do something else, right?
“It’s good that you understand.”
Following that, onee-sama and I descended into mutual silence for some time. It wasn’t awkward silence, though.
We just generally browsed for what we needed, occasionally stopping to buy it. Such as right now…
“Excuse me, sir. We would like to purchase these potatoes and carrots. How much would it cost for a bag of each?”
Onee-sama began the conversation with the store-owner… A man with a wrinkled face and grey hair. It’s quite dirty too.
“Young lady, the cost for that would be a silver coin for both together.”
A silver coin all up? That should be… 500 copper coins, right? That seems a little…
“Sir, your goods do seem good but is that not just too expensive!? Surely, you’re not attempting to cheat us?”
It seems that it really is expensive. Onee-sama doesn’t appear to like the cost that he stated.
“Hahaha, you have good eyes. My produce is the best you will find around here! I will give you a taste of what can be made out of it, then tell me if I am a cheat!”
The old man crouches down and after a moment, stands back up with a pot in his hands. A glance inside it of it shows chunks of potato and carrot in a brown liquid… A stew, is it?
The old man then scoops some of the stew into two wooden bowls and hands them to both onee-sama and me.
As a precaution, I motion for onee-sama not to try it before me. After all, I have mastered my single Martial Practice enough in order to detect poison.
I put the bowl to my mouth and tilt it…
There was no poison in it and my only reaction was that it was really tasty. Once I nod my head to signal onee-sama, she too tries out the stew sample.
She voiced out her response?!
Old man… My respect! He actually got onee-sama to react pleasantly! I was expecting something along the lines of ‘…needs work’. It turns out onee-sama has eyes! Well, taste buds!
“Sir, would you happen to sell a recipe for the flavourings used in this stew?”
Oh, looks like the old man has caught onee-sama in his trap…?
“I must disappoint you young lady, for I do not.”
Onee-sama’s face contorts, before returning to normal.
I guess she regained control of herself?
“Then we will be on our way.”
Onee-sama turns to leave and I follow suit, as it looks like our endeavour here was fruitless.
“Young lady, wait! I said I do not sell it, not that I won’t give it to you!”
Onee-sama stops walking, but doesn’t turn around.
Suddenly, in this market, where there were people noisily moving everywhere, with peddlers trying to sell their products and people falling for scams, everything turns quiet.
“Huh? What happened?”
In my confusion, I voice my thoughts aloud.
Onee-sama simply remains standing still.
I look towards the sky.
There are many birds, suspended in the air.
It seems that time has been stopped. Now the question that remains is…
“Ohoho, it seems she really did pick a curious one.”
“I would prefer to be called Lord Ares, thank you very much.”
A Greek god, isn’t it? An olympian and son of Zeus… He lords over war, right?
“Something like that. Well, that person and I hold some history, so I came to gift you.”
“Here, take this.”
Ar—Lord Ares throws something towards me.
“It’s a ‘Spacial Ring’. It holds 4 items. It currently holds 3 matchlocks and a bag with a considerable amount of 10-monme musket balls.”
“One of the earlier types of guns… Well, it’s invented in this world already. Not around you, but somewhere. They’re pretty irregular, take a long time to fire, and might not even fire. It should be fine.”
Wait, somewhere in this world, there are people who have invented guns? Who knew… Well, whatever.
“Well, with that, it seems I’ll gift that young lady the recipe… Hmmm, take care of her, boy. Seems like she’s in for some trouble soon.”
Suddenly, all at once, the noise returns, the people begin moving again and the birds in the sky have begun flying again.
Taking a look at my hand, there is a ring on it… Seems like the old man really was Lord Ares. Thought I might of zoned out for a minute there and dreamt it all up.
“I’ll give you the recipe if you buy the produce as well.”
We returned home with the potatoes and carrots, as well as the recipe.