50: Towards the western village


The birds are singing in the morning.
After eating breakfast at the tavern on the ground floor, I came back to my room.
I actually should be chasing after Leo right away, but I still had something to do.

Celica seems to have left somewhere, only Lapisia is in the room.
She sits on the floor, holds the egg with her thin limbs and sings with a smile.
She seems to enjoy herself.

Then Fal in her habit came to the room.
"Good morning, Keika-sama. Is Lapisia-chan here?"
"Yes --heeey, Lapisia"

Lapisia's hair swung when she looked into our direction.
"yeees?"
"Let's study magic together"
"n..."
She looks at me with her golden eyes while hugging the egg.

I strongly nodded.
"Go. It's fun if you can use magic"
"Understood!"
Accompanied by Fal, Lapisia went outside.


The room becomes quiet.

I sat down at the desk and took out the package I got from the mayor.
Shards of "Demon Lord's monocle (old type)".
I'll try to find out the composition and how it was made.

First I pulverize a shard. I pick it up with my fingertips and crush it.
Then I put magic into the pulverized glass to analyze it.

As a result, I learned how it was made.
First, glass is mixed with powdered gems and horns of demons, then baked until it is hard, next it is made into a lens and finally it is polished up by the Demon Lord's magic.
By doing so, it seems that it got the abilities of long distance view and to see through the "Light" attribute.


This means...
This huge monocle with a diameter of two or three meters was diligently polished by the Demon Lord.
That was a lot of work.
So even though they now have a new type around, Evil Squid's monocle was most likely postponed because it is a lot of work to make.

The old type was unable to see through the "Light" attribute when it was only secondary like with with Fal and Leo.
Celica was not judged in the same way, so it's only a rough estimation.

Then, there was a long distance view built in, so it can be concluded that the Demon Lord does not have clairvoyant abilities.
In other words, even if an unexpected incident occurs, he can't immediately confirm it, but has to send out his subordinates.

"I see"
So my existence also shouldn't have been known until recently.


There was also a magic to track its location put into it.
I can't carelessly throw this into the garbage bin.

That's about what I found out about it.
It may be a small discovery but in its entirety it's important.

"Well then, shall I go?"
I re-wrapped the shards of the monocle and put them in my pocket, then I grabbed my backpack.
I left the room.



I heard disputing voices when I went down to the tavern on the ground floor.
Rather than a dispute, isn't it actually a one-sided voice?
When I peeked into the kitchen, Minya stood there with crossed arms and an imposing stance.
Kynmerick sits in front of her in seiza. He shrugged his shoulders and curled himself up.

Minya speaks with a monotonous voice while her face is expressionless.
"You can't make food if you don't buy ingredients. You understand that?"
"Yes, that's right."
Kynmerick nods with a victorious attitude.

"This place is located in a side street and small. We'll go out of business if we don't have food. You understand that?"
"Yes, you are right."
"The goods that are lined up at the morning market are cheap and good, so you have to buy them. Which means you have to go early. You understand that?"
"Exactly."

Due to his always similar reply, her pointy ears are trembling with anger.
"When did you get up today?"
"Ugh...this is, yesterday, I drank with Keika..."
"Keika-oniichan got up early today even though he drank with you. Father, when did you get up?"
"Ugugu..."
"You're prohibited from drinking alcohol for the time being as punishment"

Kynmerick reflexively rises to his knees.
"Th, that is...!"
"Who went to pile up the stocks today?"
"*Gugugu...!*"
Kynmerick grits his teeth and goes back into seiza.

Minya nimbly unsheathed her kitchen knives.
"Who went to pile up the stocks?"
"Ah, yes. I got it, I will abstain from drinking"
"Very well"
Minya sheathed the kitchen knives. With her usual expressionless expression, she's still clad in an aura of anger.
"Damn, you're just as scary as your mother..."
Kynmerick wiped the cold sweat from his forehead.


I scratched my head and said.
"Are you ready? I wanted to depart soon."
Minya's triangular ears are standing up with a *ping*.
"Understood. I'll prepare immediately"
Minya went to put her luggage together.

I speak to Kynmerick who is still sitting.
"You have it hard, huh?"
"Well, I know that it's my mistake that I overslept and couldn't buy up. ...I was saved because Minya was here."
"Although alcohol is important for relaxation as well. As long as you're not 100% drunk, you can just tell Lionel to take over I guess."
"That'll help"
Kynmerick broadly laughed.


Then we started to prepare for our departure.
I tell Lionel thoroughly about the alcohol.

Kynmerick sees us off from the inn's entrance.
"Stay healthy! And don't push yourself"
"I know... ah, that's right."
"Hm? What is it?"

I took the package with the monocle shards out of my pocket.
Can I ask you to bring this to the Naga of Driad Firm to dump this into the ocean? They should listen to you if you mention me."

"Understood. I'll do it later."
"Please do it. Well then, we're off"
"See you again!"
I slightly raised my right hand to Kynmerick's cheerful voice and we departed.


We are heading west.
I have two objectives.
To help Leo and to help the people who are troubled by the dragon.
-- By doing so, I will also spread the name of Hero Keika!

======

Three days have passed since we left the capital.
Fields and meadows spread as we walk along a gentle sloping path.

We passed several villages but didn't hear anything of importance.
Only, that a group of demons headed west.


In the mornings, I am now waking up under the sound of attacking swords.
In the refreshing wind in the morning, the sound of metal clanks reverberates with *cling clang*.

I am under the tree, where we are camping and watch Celica and Minya, who are fighting at a vacant spot.
Celica's way of fighting is sincere and based on taking over the basis.
Minya on the other hand leverages suicide attacks with consecutive strikes like a dance.

Just watching the competing beautiful girls brightens up my heart in the bright falling sunlight.

Celica's blond hair is leaping and her big breasts are shaking.
Minya's slender limbs are dancing.
Her red skirt is spreading while her black Hakama is moving like it lifts up.
Both of them had sweat running over their white skin.

It is a suiting beauty precisely because of their high class jobs.
I was watching them for a while.


At the end, Minya's kitchen knives are at Celica's thin throat.
"It's my defeat...--I couldn't win even once. I still have a long way to go."
"That's not true.--You're strong, Onee-chan"
"Thank you"
Celica smiled while her blue eyes were half closed.
Minya returns the kitchen knives into the sheathes at her waist.

I got up and applauded.
"It's wonderful every day"
"Good morning, Keika-sama"
"Keika-oniichan, good morning"
They lightly panted while saying this.
It's amazing that they are only lightly breathing after moving that much.


After that we had breakfast and continued our travel.

======

Twilight.
We reached a small village.
We were supposed to stay at the house of the mayor, but there was something to worry about.
There were huts lined up at the border of the village like a slum.


While we had dinner in the dining hall, the village head sitting next to me looked troubled as he spoke.
"Hero-sama, if you are heading west, might you not be able to do something about the dragon?"
"So it's like that. What will you give me if I get rid of it?"
"Ugh... I'm sorry. This village is poor.. or rather, even if you won't defeat the dragon, maybe you can resolve it in a discussion."

"I don't have to beat him? But aren't the villages near the western mountains attacked?"
"Yes, that's right. We also have evacuees at this village..."
"Those huts, huh."
"But, the dragon possesses a god-like strength, she even attacks ferocious beasts. I'm sure, if it's you, you can have a discussion with her and quench her wrath, Hero-sama"
"I see"
I was thinking while I put my hands on my chin.

He seems to be strong, but he shouldn't be an opponent to me.
Instead of thinking how to help, I thought about how to sell my name.


The village head lowered his head in earnest.
"I beg of you. At this rate we won't be able to continue to live here."
"Understood. If I get rid of the dragon, please erect statues of me in the surrounding villages."

"Eh!? In all the villages!?"
"I won't ask to do it immediately. You can discuss it with neighboring villages and then decide it."
"I, I understand. In that case, I'll accept the condition and try to persuade the other villages. It might take some time though... I'll give my best."
The village head bowed his head.


I nodded and continued my meal.
-- Then, I noticed something interesting.
"...Are these terms okay? Isn't there already someone else tasked with the dragon extermination?"
"Ye, yes. A hero from a neighboring country was invited to resolve the situation, but I hear that instead of doing something about the dragon, he just demands money and goods... and also women"
"Heh. Is there such a hero?"
"Yes. He's staying at the town called Kerkia that lies straight to the west following this highway."
"...Interesting. I'd like to meet him"

Because I had such a wicked smile, Celica spoke to me with a worried voice.
"Keika, are you OK?"
"Don't worry. I'm just looking forward to find out what kind of hero that might be"
"Celica was wryly frowning when she looked at me while I was laughing with a *kuku!*"