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The next morning, I managed to get up without being woken up by anyone, probably because we had gone to sleep early.
I rubbed my eyes and looked out the window, seeing only a faint light before the sunrise.
I let out a yawn and stretched. Only then did I notice that Fina was up as well, holding Swaying Bear between her legs.
(Note: Raw used 女の子座り . It looks something like this. The picture doesn’t link to anything.)
「Good morning, Big Sis Yuna.」
「Morning. You’re up early.」
「We just woke up. Right, Swaying Bear?」
Swaying Bear cried out softly in response.
Fina didn’t seem sleepy, though, so maybe she actually woke up earlier than me.
On the other hand, the other girl of Fina’s age was still sleeping soundly.
Even though she was sleeping, she kept embracing Hugging Bear. Her long and beautiful golden hair was even covering Hugging Bear’s face.
Hugging Bear appeared to have no problem with it, but I still moved the hair off its face just in case.
Hugging Bear, which was obediently letting Noa embrace it with its eyes closed, opened them when I petted its head.
「Let her sleep a little longer, okay?」
「Uuu, Hugging Bear, Swaying Bear…」
Noa talked in her sleep and pulled Hugging Bear closer to her.
After patting her head as well, I climbed out of the bed.
「Well then, Fina, I will go prepare breakfast.」
「I will help you.」
「No need for that. Instead, could you wake up Noa for me in a few minutes?」
I said as I changed into the Black Bear, and headed down to the first floor.
Huh? Someone was already there?
Cliff was sitting on a chair all by himself. I looked around and didn’t see the two guards.
「You’re up early.」
「Yes. It’s because I didn’t sleep that well.」
「Oh, did the bedding make you uncomfortable? I even put on a brand new bed sheet… Could it be that you can’t sleep unless you’re in a high quality bed?」
「Of course not. I couldn’t relax after seeing you take a house out in the middle of the road and being told to sleep inside it.」
What an absurd reason.
「Cliff, you’re the one who told me to take it out.」
「I did, but that’s for my daughter’s sake. I had no idea it would hit me this hard, though.」
I would probably have a hard time relaxing if I had to camp outside, though. Heck, I would be too scared to camp outside if I didn’t have Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear with me.
「Are the guards still sleeping?」
Cliff was the only one here, so were the guards still asleep even though their master was awake?
「No, they’re working right now.」
Oh, it seemed like they had woken up and were doing their jobs.
「Rabon is taking care of the horses, and Goju is cleaning the bathtub.」
Even though he told me their names, I had no idea who was who.
「Taking care of horses and cleaning the bathtub, you said?」
「Yes, Goju is cleaning the bath to thank you for yesterday’s meal and being allowed to use your bath.」
「So, you didn’t tell him to do it?」
「No, he asked me on his own. I hope it isn’t a bother?」
「Of course not, it saves me the trouble of doing it myself.」
As soon as I responded, one of the guards entered the room.
Hmm, who was this one?
He came from the bathroom, so…
「Cliff-sama, I have finished cleaning the bathtub.」
「Yuna-dono, I would like to thank you for yesterday. The bath and the bed were very nice.」
Unlike Cliff, this guard seemed to have slept well.
「That’s good to hear. Cliff didn’t find them as appealing.」
「I didn’t say that. I just couldn’t relax, that’s all.」
How was that different from what I had just said?
「Anyway, thanks for cleaning the bathtub.」
「Oh no, we would like to thank you, instead, for letting us use it.」
He straightened his back as he thanked me, and for a second, I thought he was going to salute me.
「By the way, where’s Noa? You all slept together, right?」
「She’s still sleeping. I’ll let her sleep until I prepare breakfast.」
「Should I go wake her up, then?」
「I already asked Fina to do it. Well then, I’m off to prepare breakfast now, so you can just wait here, Cliff.」
「Cliff-sama, I will go help Rabon first.」
「Sure, go ahead.」
I went to the kitchen and prepared a simple breakfast. Just as I started placing everything on the table, Fina and Noa came down from upstairs with the Bears in their arms.
「Yuna-san, Father, good morning.」
Noa greeted us.
「Good morning, Noa. Fina, breakfast is ready, so can you go outside and call the guards?」
Fina said and headed outside while I used the time to finish setting up the table. Fina returned with the guards right on time, and we all sat down to eat, Fina and Noa setting the Bears aside, of course.
「Cliff, how much further to Sheelin?」
I asked since I had no idea how far away Sheelin was. My Bear Map didn’t show places I hadn’t gone to yet; if I opened it, the unknown areas were just black voids. If Sheelin was still far away, I would take a nap on top of some high quality fur for sure.
「We traveled quite a distance yesterday. Since we could already see the forest, we might be able to reach it tonight if we push our horses a bit. Still, it will trouble Old Man Gran’s family if we arrive at night, so we should take it slow and camp out once more.」
「Cliff, you’re being considerate of the other side, huh?」
「Of course. Even though we are friends, we would cause them trouble if we arrived in the middle of the night. We have no reason to hurry, either. We just have to make it in time for Gran’s birthday party.」
Okay it was settled, then. Since we would only get there tomorrow, I would take a nap on top of Swaying Bear or Hugging Bear.
Once we finished breakfast, I put away the Bear house, and we resumed our journey to Sheelin.
We carried on peacefully, making sure to let the horses take frequent breaks. Everytime someone passed by, they looked at Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear in shock, but not much else happened.
It was so peaceful that my detection magic didn’t even detect any monsters.
We ate lunch, but after a while, I got hungry again, so I had some potato chips on top of Swaying Bear. Noa and Fina looked like they wanted some as well, so I shared it with them as well.
I would feel bad for Hugging Bear if they sprinkled it with crumbs, so I asked them to eat carefully. Just in case, I looked down at Swaying Bear’s back and saw a lot of crumbs. I brushed them away carefully so that it wouldn’t notice, but Swaying Bear turned its head back to look at me as if asking what was wrong.
I said, trying to fool it.
Eating chips made me thirsty, so I took out some fruit juice, but since the cup kept shaking, I realized it would be impossible to drink it. Hmm, I should probably get some canteens.
Cliff had some kind of a leather waterskin, which he could drink from even while riding on a horse. I never had to drink something while riding, so the thought of needing a canteen hadn’t even crossed my mind. Oh, Fina and Noa both had one as well. As expected of people who lived in this world; they were always prepared.
As we were steadily advancing towards Sheelin, the guard in front told us to stop.
I looked to see why and saw a stopped carriage in front of us.
「Father, that carriage is stopped there.」
「Yeah, it is.」
「Why did it stop, though?」
「I’m not sure. Maybe it broke down, but there’s the other thing as well…」
The other thing?
「Cliff-sama, I will take a look, so please wait here.」
The guard nodded and rode towards the carriage.
「Cliff, why did you tell him to be careful?」
「Just taking precautions, that’s all. There have been cases of thieves luring in unsuspecting people who think there was an accident, and attacking them when the get close enough.」
Such things happened in another world as well, huh. I should probably be more careful, too, because even though I could easily handle a surprise attack from things like thieves, I could still end up getting others involved.
Anyway, when the guard reached the carriage, a man came out from behind it. A woman and a child followed him soon after. They talked for a while, then the guard returned to us.
「The wheel of the carriage is stuck in the furrow, and they can’t get the carriage to move.」
It had nothing to do with thieves, it seemed.
「If we help them, could we get it out?」
「We won’t know unless we try.」
「Alright, we should at least take a look, then.」
We all headed over to the carriage.
As we got closer I noticed that the woman was holding a baby and the child next to her was a girl, around Princess Flora’s age. They were just a regular family, no matter how I looked at it.
「Why, if it isn’t Cliff-sama. We apologize for taking up the road.」
The man and woman both bowed. The little girl grabbed onto her mother’s clothes as she looked at me. When I waved at her, she hid behind her mother.
I wasn’t that scary…
「You know who I am?」
「Yes, we live in Crimonia and have seen you before, Cliff-sama.」
「Well, if I heard right, one of your wheels is stuck in a furrow, right?」
「Yes. Due to this bad luck, the carriage is completely stuck. We’re sorry for causing you trouble; I hope there is enough room for you to pass by on the other side of the road.」
Cliff called out to his guards.
The two of them got off their horses and headed to the wheel that was stuck in the furrow.
「I don’t know if we will be able to help, but we will try at least.」
「Oh no, to have you lend us help…」
「Do you have a better idea?」
「Well, no, but…」
「With four men here, I think we can make it work out somehow.」
「Please wait, Cliff-sama. Let the three of us try first.」
One of the guards proposed, not wanting Cliff, a noble, to dirty his hands with such work.
Well, that made sense. I had never seen a noble lift a carriage, not even in manga or novels.
「Thank you for helping us.」
The husband said with another bow, and then, together with the guards, tried to lift the carriage. The carriage didn’t even budge, however.
Could it be that this was my turn to shine?
Wait, if I lifted something that even three grown men couldn’t, wouldn’t that be kind of weird?
Pretty sure I would have been made fun of if I had told them that it was ‘The power of the Bear’.
「I will help, too.」
「No, we can’t have you helping us, Cliff-sama.」
The man tried to refuse his help.
Well, it was common sense that a noble shouldn’t be lifting carriages.
「Don’t worry about it. You’re citizens of my town. It’s my job to help you.」
The man couldn’t refuse Cliff after such a kind gesture.
Letting Cliff try seemed intriguing, but it was about time for me to step in. I felt bad for the family, after all.
「Why don’t you let me try?」
I nodded and recited the spell for earth magic, making the furrow rise. Naturally, the wheel rose along with it.
I had filled in the furrow, too, so it was like killing two birds with one stone. With this, other passing carriages wouldn’t get stuck in it, either.
Eh, why didn’t I just lift it back out, you might ask me? I could use spells, so why would I do something as silly as that? Besides, everyone would have looked at me weirdly if I had done that.
「You know, if you could do something like that, you should have said so straight away.」
「I wanted to let you act like the kind feudal lord you are so you could show off your good points.」
「I’m a normal person, unlike you.」
No, he wasn’t. He was a noble.
「Um, thank you very much.」
「Thank you, Bear-san.」
The little girl hiding behind her mother also thanked me. She had been staring at me the entire time.
「I’m not scary, you know.」
「Yeah, I know.」
「My daughter is a fan of yours.」
「When she saw you in town, she kept saying ‘Bear-san, Bear-san’ happily.」
She hid behind her mother the entire time, so I figured she must have been scared of me.
「Why are you here, though? You don’t seem like merchants to me.」
「My mother lives in Sheelin. We went to visit her to show her our newborn son. We were on our way back to Crimonia when this happened.」
The man said while gently patting the baby’s head.
「I see. I hope that he grows up to be a healthy boy. I know that raising children is difficult, so keep it up.」
「Yes, thank you for your concern.」
「Well then, we will continue on our way. Be careful on your way back, okay?」
「Of course. Again, thank you for helping us. You really saved us.」
「The one who saved you is this bear here.」
「It was nothing, so don’t worry about it. You do have your children with you, so make sure to travel safely.」
「Yes, we will.」
After exchanging farewells and seeing that their carriage was moving properly, we resumed our journey to Sheelin.
It seems like I will be able to post a chapter every three days now.
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