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Upon closer observation, I noticed the girl was undoubtedly an elf. She had long, light green hair and long, pointy ears. The ears were a very distinctive feature of an elf.
She looked about my age, but was most likely older, as elves had longer life spans.
Anyway, the girl was leaning against the wall of my house, not moving an inch.
I really hoped she didn’t die on my doorstep.
As I took an even closer look, I found out that she was still breathing.
Great, she was still alive.
The last thing I would want was to come across a dead body right outside of my household.
「Are you okay?」
I tapped her shoulder then shook her lightly.
The girl slowly opened her eyes.
「What are you doing here?」
The elf girl looked at me with vacant, half-opened eyes.
The girl stared at me and tilted her head slightly.
「Why are you sleeping here?」
「Am I dreaming? There’s a girl dressed like a bear; there’s no way somebody would wear a weird outfit like that.」
「Well, sorry for wearing such a weird outfit.」
「If I go back to sleep, I’m sure I’ll wake up from this dream.」
The girl actually closed her eyes again. I could even hear her snoring.
I lightly shook her again, but she wouldn’t wake up.
What should I do?!
I considered calling the town guards, but it would be awkward to just hand them a sleeping girl.
Also, I couldn’t leave her like this while I ran off to call for them.
Since I had no other choice, I carried the girl into the Bear House, bridal-style of course.
I was able to carry her easily thanks to my the Bear Suit.
I took her upstairs and into the guest bedroom, where I laid her down on the bed.
Hmm. I just brought her into my house. Was that really okay?
I looked at the elf girl sleeping peacefully.
It surely was better than just leaving her outside.
As I told myself that, I removed the girl’s item bag and weapon from her back since they would get in the way of her sleeping and placed them on the table.
The moment they were off her back, the girl turned around in her sleep. Yeah, she was looking completely serene now.
Would she be comfortable enough with this?
I was about to leave the room before realizing I had something else I had to do first.
I summoned Swaying Bear in its cub form on the corner of the bed.
「Can you please let me know when the girl wakes up?」
I said and patted Swaying Bear’s head gently before leaving the room.
I went back downstairs and sat down on the sofa then took out some potato chips and orange juice.
Really, this was simply unbelievable.
I never thought I would pick up an elf girl.
For some reason, that elf girl’s face looked awfully familiar. Had I seen her before?
I gave it some thought but couldn’t remember where I could have seen her before. Maybe I had passed by her on the street somewhere?
Lazing around on the sofa and eating potato chips started to make me sleepy, so I summoned Hugging Bear in cub form and embraced it.
「Hugging Bear, wake me up if something happens, okay?」
I collapsed on the sofa while hugging Hugging Bear.
Afternoon naps were humankind’s most supreme luxury.
Cuddling Hugging Bear made me feel better, so I closed my eyes and quickly fell asleep.
It appeared that Hugging Bear was trying to wake me up.
I got up while still holding onto it.
「Morning, Hugging Bear.」
Hmm, how long had I napped for?
It was probably around evening since it was dark outside. Maybe I slept a bit too much.
I stood up from the sofa and noticed Hugging Bear was now crying softly while looking up at the ceiling.
「Did the elf girl wake up?」
Hugging Bear tilted its head while looking at me.
Oh, was I wrong? If that wasn’t the problem, what was?
Then again, Swaying Bear would have notified me if the elf girl woke up, so it made sense that wasn’t it.
I went upstairs and found the door still closed; my Bears could open them if they transformed into their normal forms.
I headed back downstairs because I was worried she would hear Hugging Bear if it started to cry louder.
Hugging Bear kept looking upwards, however, so I returned upstairs again to find the source of the problem.
Opening the door to the guest room the elf girl was sleeping in, I saw that the girl was now up, hugging Swaying Bear.
「Hnnn, so soft and warm.」
Swaying Bear was trying to get away, but the elf girl held onto it tightly, making its escape impossible.
If Swaying Bear used more strength, it could free itself but didn’t know if it should.
Wait, the girl didn’t look like she was awake… She must have grabbed Swaying Bear in her sleep.
Swaying Bear looked at me hoping for rescue. So, Hugging Bear woke me up because Swaying Bear was asking for help.
Still, I would feel bad if we woke the girl.
As I was pondering on what to do, the girl slowly opened her eyes.
Was she actually going to wake up this time?
The first thing the girl did was look at what she was holding onto.
Her gaze then moved towards me.
「Another bear…? I must be dreaming, still.」
She tried to go back to sleep.
To stop the elf girl, I lightly bonked her on the head.
「No, this isn’t a dream.」
When I told her that, her eyes opened wide.
It would be a problem if she didn’t get up soon.
The girl instantly stood up and started looking around the room restlessly.
「Where am I?」
She looked at me again.
Hadn’t she called me that enough times by now?
「This is my house. I found you collapsed outside. Don’t you remember that?」
The elf girl appeared worried about something as she began to think.
「I… I was walking in a large crowd of people for hours and got exhausted. I had nowhere to rest and didn’t have any more money, so I wandered for a bit until I saw a bear-shaped house and decided to rest there. After that, I don’t remember much.」
In other words, she got so tired that she collapsed right in front of my house.
「Where do you live?」
「In the Elf Village.」
Where was the Elf Village, though?
It didn’t help that she made it sound like it was really close by.
「So, you have no family in the capital? Did you come here all the way from the Elf Village all by yourself?」
「Yes, I came on my own.」
I couldn’t believe such a young girl, or better, a girl of similar size than me, would travel all by herself.
I was impressed that she had managed to make it to the capital with no money. What were her parents thinking?
Or, could it be that elves her age were considered adults and could travel by themselves?
That didn’t mean that there was no danger to that, however.
Hmm, if anyone heard what I just thought, they would probably call me a hypocrite… Nevermind that.
「Okay, so you came to the capital all by yourself…」
As I started to speak, the girl’s stomach growled slightly.
「Sigh. Alright, let’s get you something to eat first. I’ll make some food, so can you come downstairs?」
She most likely hadn’t eaten anything for a while.
Oh well, I could always listen to her story while we ate.
「Is that okay?」
It seemed like the girl wanted to know my name.
「Thank you, Yuna-san. My name is Ruimin.」
「Nice to meet you, Ruimin. Now before we go, could you let go of Swaying Bear?」
Even while talking, Ruimin was still holding onto Swaying Bear.
「Is this child called Swaying Bear?」
She lifted up Swaying Bear.
「The black one is Swaying Bear, and this white one here is Hugging Bear.」
I introduced her to Hugging Bear, which I was holding onto.
Ruimin then released Swaying Bear.
After that, I took Ruimin downstairs.
「Take a seat wherever you like.」
Ruimin sat down on a chair, and I gave her a loaf of Morin-san’s bread along with some juice.
「Thank you very much.」
Ruimin said with a bow, and at the same time, her stomach growled again.
With that, I urged her to eat.
Deciding that I would also have dinner here, I took out my share and sat down.
「This is really good. I’ve never had such delicious bread before.」
Ruimin ate happily.
I was sure that Morin-san would appreciate the compliment if she was here to hear it.
「By the way, Yuna-san, where are your family members? I would like to greet them.」
「They’re not here. It’s just me.」
「Eh? Yuna-san, you live alone?」
「Yeah, that’s right.」
When I told her I lived alone, she looked really surprised.
「You’re living by yourself even though you’re so small?!」
Should she really call me small? She was of about the same height than me.
Still, elves did have long life spans, so she was most likely older than me.
How old could she be? She didn’t look more than 15 years old.
「I’m not really alone. I have Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear with me.」
Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear were my precious family members.
Both of them came over to me when I mentioned them.
「I know I keep asking questions, but is your outfit a trend in the capital? I only reached the city today, so I don’t know much about it.」
She finally popped the question. She did seem to be intrigued by my outfit this entire time.
Well, it made sense for people to be curious about it.
「No, it’s not a trend.」
If it acutally became a trend, that would be terrifying.
「As for why I wear this… I don’t want to answer that. Anyway, why did you come to the capital, Ruimin?」
I didn’t want to tell a girl I had just met all about myself, so I tried to change the topic to why she had come here instead.
「I’m looking for somebody. The last time we met, she told me she was working in the capital.」
So, she was searching for somebody in the capital. Was that why she was walking around for hours?
I really hoped that wasn’t the reason…
「Do you know where they work? If so, I can take you to them.」
I asked just in case.
It would be impossible for her to look for someone if she didn’t even know the general area they would be in.
As long as she knew the location, I could take her there, and if I didn’t know either, I could just ask Eleanora-san.
「From what I know, she was working at the Adventurer’s Guild, ten years ago at least.」
「Ten years ago?!」
「Yes, ten years ago. Is something wrong with that?」
Ruimin tilted her head.
That long ago? As expected of the elf race, ten years for them must feel short.
If the person she was looking for was working at the Adventurer’s Guild, does that mean they were an adventurer?
「Is the person you’re looking for an adventurer?」
「I don’t know. I just know she was working at the capital’s Adventurer Guild.」
Hmm, maybe Sanya-san would know?
She was the guild master, after all.
Not to mention, Sanya-san was also an elf….
I looked at Ruimin’s face… Wait, they looked similar?
「Is something the matter?」
Ruimin got embarrassed from being stared at.
「Um, what’s the person’s name?」
「Her name is Sanya. She’s my older sister.」
No wonder she looked so familiar. It was because she was related to Sanya-san.
Why didn’t I realize it sooner? They were both elves; I should have noticed their similarity.
「Do you know her?」
She asked based on my reaction.
「I do. Sanya-san is the guild master of the Adventurer’s Guild here.」
「She’s the guild master?」
「Yes. The guild master is an elf with the same hair color as you, plus her name is also Sanya. There’s no doubt about it.」
「Yuna-san, please take me to her, I beg of you.」
Ruimin said with a bow.
「That’s fine, but it’s already getting late now, so let’s do it tomorrow.」
It was almost night time. The Adventurer’s Guild was open all day long, but right now the place would probably be crowded with adventurers returning home. I really wanted to avoid busy times like that.
Also, Sanya-san might have already finished up her work for the day and headed home.
It only made sense to go there tomorrow instead.
The locations that are going to distribute the Noa short story (bonus for buying Volume 2) have been decided.
I received the notice the other day and was asked to write a message to the stores.
Anyway, the elf girl turned out to be Sanya-san’s younger sister. w
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