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Chapter 14 : First Step!
「What is it Sara?」
Sara braved herself to ask Nelly something that bothered her.
「You looks kind of down lately. Are you worried about something?」
Answering to Sara’s blunt question, Nelly replied like nothing particularly happened.
However, Sara still thought that something must have happened. She decided to ask again.
「Did something bad happen while you were in town?」
「No….. Or rather…..」
Nelly pulled in her legs, which she had stretched out toward the fireplace, and carefully choosing her words.
Sara quietly waited for Nelly.
「Actually, my duty in this mountain was only from spring to autumn」
「Eh…? That means…」
Sara was thinking.
Maybe it’s because I’m here? No, not maybe. It’s definitely because I’m here Nelly had no choice but to stay here in winter too.
Sara’s heart ached a little.
It must be hard for Nelly to say that.
「Wait, Sara. I think you get it wrong」
「I never said I didn’t want to be here all year. Besides, people in Roza Town would be happy if I’m staying here and hunt monsters all year long」
Sara calmed down and kept listening to Nelly.
「It’s just… In winter, sometimes there are many special quests from the guild」
「Quests that are addressed for specific people. In other words, many strong people will be appointed to complete the quests」
Nelly proudly said so at first, but then dropped her voice.
「Of course we can refuse the quest because quests specified for strong people must be the dangerous one. Well, normally, they can’t force us to do it」
In other words, the quest that was appointed to Nelly was coercive or something that was similar to a forced job.
「Two years ago and also last year, I declined it. This year, I tried to decline it again, but……」
Nelly made a bitter smile.
「They keep pressuring me」
Nelly stretched out her hand, stroked Sara’s head and saidー
「Sara, it’s not for your sake, so you don’t have to mind it. I decline it because I just want to be here in this hut」
Even though Nelly said that, Sara knew it was for her sake. No… it was her fault Nelly declined the quest.
Nelly didn’t want to talk about it because it would make Sara uncomfortable.
Sara has been in this world for two years. She was 12 now.
And to be able to register in the guild, you must be 12 years old.
「….But….. my feet aren’t strong enough. For now, I can only stay for three nights outside….」
「Hm? You said something, Sara?」
「I can only stay for three nights, but if I try harder to walk faster, maybe I can manage to get to the town. And then you canー」
Actually, Sara thought that she might be able to get to the town by next spring.
It was only half a year faster than she expected, so she thought it might be okay.
「Sara, listen. Roza Town is a cruel town. It’s a dungeon town, meaning that it’s really difficult to live in except for the people who originally live there and strong people who make a living in the dungeons」
Now that Nelly told that, in the first place, Sara didn’t even think about entering the dungeon.
She decided to register to the guild only because she wanted to sell the slime magic stones and the monsters she had collected so far.
「It will take a lot of time to prepare a place to live there. If you’re unlucky, you might end up living outside the town. Besidesー」
「If that’s the case!」
Sara interrupted Nelly all of a sudden.
「What if I go with you when you go to clear that special quest in the winter?」
Nelly thought for a moment.
「Hmm… Maybe when I go to clear the quest, I can leave you to someone in the royal capital…. But…..」
Sara had a lot of questions.
Where is the royal capital?
Why does Nelly, who protect the town from the monsters, have to be sent away from the town?
There were many questions she wanted to ask, but she endured it for now.
「Sara, I’m sorry. I can’t decide right away. The next time I go to town, I’ll consult with someone I can trust. You remember? Someone I told you before, the Pharmacist Guild master, Chris」
Sara tried to remember.
「Chris? Ah! The only person we can trust in Roza Town」
「Yes. Well, the Adventurer Guild master is alsoー No, wait. I forgot that person was kinda dumb……」
Sara remembered about Chris because she never heard of anyone other than that person from Nelly.
「If I ask Chris about this, we might be able to go together」
Nelly’s face became brighter.
Nelly was the type of person who thinks about everything alone without relying on people.
But there were times when she had to rely on someone.
Nelly looked a little relieved, but Sara thought they couldn’t be relieved until Nelly talked to Chris properly.
At the time when Nelly was going to go to town to buy groceries as usual.
「I’ll talk to Chris, and then decide what we’re gonna do later」
Nelly then made a serious look and saidー
「Sara, listen carefully. Three days…no, four days. I usually come back in two days, but this time, it might take some time because…. there’s something I have to do…. If….. If I don’t come back after four days, Sara, I want you to go to Roza Town」
「You can take your time to walk. Even if you’re alone, you have to reach the town and meet Chris in the Pharmacist Guild immediately, can you do it?」
「……..Okay, got it. I’ll do my best to walk to the town!」
「I hope it doesn’t happen tho…」
Sara didn’t know why Nelly looked as if she was preparing herself for something.
But Sara nodded even though she was worried and didn’t know what Nelly would do.
「If I do come back, let’s do camping practice again! After that, let’s go to Roza Town together next year!」
「Alright… I’m going then…」
「Be careful on your way」
While wyvern were flying in the sky and alpine wolves were following, Nelly went out to the town to sell monsters and buy groceries as usual.
And in the morning on the fifth day.
Nelly still didn’t come back.
「…….Nelly………Something must have happened to her…….」
While muttering to herself, Sara made a final check of the preparation for her departure.
As promised, now that Nelly still didn’t come back, Sara would be going to the town today.
「In case we miss each other on the way, I’ll leave half of the food stock worth for three months for Nelly here, and I’ll bring the other half for me」
The food took up nearly half the space of her storage pouch.
In addition, with camping equipment, change of clothes, and the large amount of slime magic stones she had collected until now, two-thirds of the space was filled.
「But it’s okay, I still have a three-wyverns storage backpack」
While talking to herself, Sara held her tears that almost flowed from her eyes.
「Nelly….. No, Nelly is strong, I don’t know what happened to her but she’ll be okay. Even if she got into trouble, with her physical strengthening, I think she’ll be just fine. Even alpine wolves and wyverns can’t hurt her. Un… Nelly is fine」
Sara looked back at the inside of the hut from the front door.
She remembered the first time she entered the hut.
Dirty clothes lying around, trash and animal bones everywhere.
Now, the hut was clean.
「I hope I can come back and live with Nelly again…」
After that, Sara fixed clothes she was wearing a little.
In the end, Nelly didn’t buy her girls’ clothes.
She only wore a tunic over the trousers and pants that sleeves and hem were folded up, and tightened the tunic with a belt around her waist. She tied the storage pouch to the belt so she could quickly take out everything she needed.
Finally she put the storage backpack on her shoulders and opened the door.
「I don’t need the wolves….. Oh, well, it’s a goodbye anyway」
Nobody would come anyway, so she didn’t lock the door.
「The next time I come here, I’ll be with Nelly, so it’s okay」
She got down the stairs, stopped in front of the barrier. And then she took a deep breath and made a loud voice.
「This is my first stepー!」
And now Sara’s life in another world has truly begun.
TL : I know. Nelly is full of mystery.