Free Wind, Elves, and dogeza.
My birthday finished safely. Listening to my complaints at my fourth birthday, everyone has brought relatively normal gifts.
I am currently wearing the handmade, adventurer-like light clothes from Mother and twin swords from Manya on my waist. A high-capacity bag (an exceptional item in which insides ignore the passage of time) from Martha, all kinds of restorative medicine from Arc, a large number of high quality canned food for emergency use from Father, and Elder brother’s handmade monster repellent/lure. Elder brother’s handmade item can lure out or ward off monsters by scent. I don’t smell anything personally.
An amulet enchanted with protection magic I received from Dirk-sama is swaying around my neck. It has the protection of spirits.
Such me is currently walking through a forest together with the adventurer party “Free Wind”. The request came apparently from Father, but they are an S-ranked party and are acting as my guards. Everyone was busy, so we weren’t able to go together.
Presently, our objective was the Elven Forest. It would normally take about a week to reach it, but… Darkness-sama and Kou sent us on our way. As expected, they sent us just before the forest.
There’s no need to say that they would come to pick us up if I call for them again. I failed to mention that the return will be done by teleportation.
The party’s common-sense man, Mirula-san, who was in charge of the recovery and protection grumbled.
“Err, I am sorry.”
“No, Himesan is not at fault… probably. I just am unable to accept it”
“Eh~? Riding a Dragon and Quetzalcoatl is not an everyday occurrence, ya know? that was fun, my view was flowing super fast!”
Sole-san, the party leader and the front lines fighter said. He’s the stereotypical musclehead, so he doesn’t mind the trifling… even not trifling things.
“Gee, it would be better for you to mind more things, Sole! Still, Himesama, you really are out of the norm!”
The first Elf whom I have met, Sugar-san. In charge of rearguard and back up. Not only is she an Elf, she’s a peerless beauty. She has no boobs though. She’s the stereotypical Elf with blond straight-long hair, and emerald-colored eyes. She has been calling me princess since some time ago, but I didn’t succeed when I asked her to stop calling me like that just because I was her target of protection.
“However, the monsters are not coming…”
Binet-san who was in charge of the vanguard shield duty muttered. Binet-san is taciturn, so he apparently doesn’t speak much usually.
“Which reminds me…”
Mirula-san activated an enemy detection magic. A map with us as the central point spread in the air. The blue dots are us, while the red dots are monsters.
“T, the hell is thisss!”
Mirula-san shouted. It was obvious from what the magic shown that most of the monsters were avoiding us.
“Ah~ maybe it’s because of Kou…”
Kou is a Dragon, a monster at the top of the food chain. His presence itself causes dread to the monsters in the surroundings.
“… How convenient, a Dragon.”
“No, it’s case-by-case. He isn’t suited for collection requests…”
The knife which I threw hit a monster behind our backs.
“Not coming to us is only natural, but those who fell behind will take us by surprise. It’s not like they won’t come at us at all”
“U, umm… Himesama, you seem to be quite strong yourself, is there a meaning to have us here?”
Sugar-san pulled back.
Ah, the monster I have defeated was A-ranked Jewel Snake that is often seen around here. The knife stabbed in quite well… Rosalia seemed to be pleased by the result of her training. I definitely feel like she has acquired the skill of assassination though?
As expected, even I would pull back if someone near me killed something this strong so easily while talking. No, I’m pulling back myself now.
“I, I might be fine in a fight, but I have never walked around a forest alone, so the request was made just in case, I think.”
“Alright, I will teach the way!”
The musclebrained Sole-san explained, but his explanation was difficult to understand and full of holes, so I had Mirula-san and Sugar-san explain in the end. Yeah, it was very useful!
“And also, I think that they wanted me to meet you.”
I quietly spoke to Sugar-san. The junior adventurers Arc and Martha spoke of. They wanted to introduce these trustworthy people to me through a request.
“I heard from Arc and Martha that you guys are trustworthy. Their eyes for people are precise, so let’s get along from now on by all means”
I bowed my head.
“No, Himesama!? A noble personage like yourself must not lower your head!”
“A formal place aside, there’s only us right now. I am a person who respects my seniors, and that’s you. There’s no problem in that.”
“Uh-huh, showing respect to your seniors is a good thing.”
Sole-san tapped my shoulder. It plainly hurts. Kou on top of my head was startled by the vibration.
Sugar-san and Mirula-san smiled wryly.
“However… Arc-san aside, I wonder what did Martha Neesan say.”
With Binet-san’s nonchalant question, rest of the party members stiffened.
“I can only remember getting hit by Neesan.”
Ahh… you were hit, Sole-san. You must have done something bad. I can picture it.
Umm, I’m curious about the other frightened members, but I won’t ask. What have you done, our Martha?
“Free Wind can be trusted, you have made a good choice. That’s what she told Arc.”
All members looked at me with doubtful eyes. That much?
“I have also heard it.”
They have started to believe it for now with Kou’s comment, but I was really curious about what Martha is like in their minds.
“We are almost there.”
Thee hours of walking in the forest. The presence has changed. I felt signs of holiness from the ordinary forest. I could feel magical power too… a barrier, perhaps?
Sugar-san opened an entrance with magic, and once we passed through it, the scenery instantly switched, and we have arrived at a village.
“Welcome back, Sugar.”
Ohh, so many Elves. The houses are mostly made of wood. Simple yet wonderful.
The moment Sui gave his comment, the Elven villagers obviously became frightened. No, Sugar-san is frightened too. What have you done? Sui-san yo. Moreover, you are unusually in the pretty boy mode.
“Is this your birthplace, Sui?”
“Yeah, you are going to the Eternal House right, it’s this way.”
Sui quickly took my hand and begun to walk.
“I have been born here as well.”
Haru was sitting on my shoulder before I noticed. He’s in the Fairy-san size today.
“I see. Then, the present from before was from here?”
“Yeah~ I got the stone you made into a brooch from here as well.”
I was nonchalantly walking while talking with Haru, but I was bothered by my frightened surroundings.
“Hi, Hihihimesama! Are you an acquaintance of that demon!?”
Sugar-san broke into a run and caught up with me. The other members followed after.
“Demon? I am acquaintances with spirits, but I know no demons?”
“That green one!”
There was only one person in the direction she pointed at. No, although I understood, I didn’t want to accept it…
“Sui is a spirit who gave me his protection, but…”
“Ueeeeh!? This ill-natured one!?”
“Let’s go quickly, Rosarin.”
Ignoring Sugar-san, Sui led me away by the hand.
And then, we have stopped in front of the biggest mansion in the village.
“Old geezer, you have visitors.”
He opened the door with such words without hesitation.
The first thing I saw after entering through the door was a bald head. Eh? Head? Not being able to understand the scene in my view, I froze in place.
“I am truly sorry for my grandchild’s careless mistake…”
The baldy head… not, the grandpa said. The grandpa’s hardships were very transmitting.
“This is the first time I have been greeted with a dogeza.”
“Jiisan has been having quite a hard time because of Sui after all.”
Yes, I generally understood. My head began spinning too.
Going to the grandpa’s side, I took his head in my hands and raised it.
“Umm, Sui… your grandchild has not been causing me any troubles. Three years ago, my relatives have asked for a big favor for my sake, so it is I who came to apologize.”
The grandpa stared in puzzlement.
I appealed to Sui with my gaze. Sui has obviously averted his gaze in discomfort. Even so, he still spoke to the grandpa.
“Ah~ Rosarin is a human whom I gave my protection to.”
“Originally, I should have come to greet you earlier, but I was too young so I could only come now. Please pardon my rudeness.”
Grandpa, you have been saying only ‘Ha?’ since a while ago.
“I am called Rosarin Rosenberg. I received Sui’s protection and become his friend”
A light returned to Grandpa’s eyes.
“Yes, he has been taking a good care of me as a friend.”
“That’s a lie, riiight!?”Such scream reached me from behind, but I ignored it. I have not been lying. Right? When I looked at Sui to confirm, he bashfully nodded his head.
“Everyoneee! Alcohol!! Bring me alcohol! We are celebrating todaaay! It’s my grandchild’s friend festivaaaaaaaal!”
Grandpa started running outside. Sui seemed to be shocked by this and froze in place for a little, but soon recovered and began chasing after him in panic.
“I will go stop him! I don’t understand what he meant!!”
“Fuha, that fellow has no other besides me. And so, Jiisan has suffered a lot because of that”
“Ah~ I see. I planned to return on the same day, but it cannot be helped, it seems”
It wouldn’t be possible to stop that vigor. Friend festival or something might be embarrassing, but let’s bear it for Sui’s sake.
“I am looking forward to it~”
Kou on top of my head tilted his head in puzzlement. Haru was finding it way too funny.
Sui was desperately chasing after the vigorously running Elven grandpa.
And, the Free Wind who couldn’t comprehend the situation.
“Anyhow, we will have to stay the night today.”
I conveyed with a smile to the Free Wind members among the chaos.