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The day after I took Ruimin in, we went to the Adventurer’s Guild. We decided to leave late in the morning, so that we could avoid the morning rush hour. Ruimin wanted to go as soon as possible, but I felt that going later would be less troublesome.
Ruimin looked like she had something to say as she hid behind me.
I had a feeling that I knew what she was going to say but replied anyway.
「Everybody is looking at you.」
Yes, I knew that. It happened all the time.
There were even some children pointing at me, just like usual.
「I guess your outfit is… not weird, but… not special, either… I guess, unique?」
She tried to come up with a suitable word to describe my outfit, but it didn’t mean much as she mentioned everything else along the way.
「Maybe they’re looking at you. We don’t really see many elves around these parts.」
「That can’t be. No one has looked at me like this before.」
She didn’t have to deny it so much. We all knew who everyone was really staring at. Yeah, this was just par for the course whenever I went to the capital.
Compared to Crimonia, the capital was huge; there were a lot more people and only a handful knew who I was. It only made sense for people to keep staring at me here.
「Ugh, this is quite embarrassing.」
Ruimin tried to keep to herself.
They were only looking at me, so it was kind of pointless to hide behind me like this.
If it was that bad, would it be better if she walked a distance away from me?
She was feeling the stares because she was directly behind me, after all.
I decided to pull the front of my Bear Hood down a bit, to block out the stares.
In the past couple of months I had learned that the stares only bothered me if I let them get to me. I wanted to tell Ruimin that, but… it took me quite a while to reach that point.
「Yuna-san, how much longer before we reach the Adventurer’s Guild?」
「Just a bit longer.」
As we walked down the main road, a building that towered over the others came into our sight.
「That big building over there is the Adventurer’s Guild.」
I pointed at the building with my Bear Hand. It was way way bigger than the building that housed the Crimonia’s Adventurer Guild, as the number of adventurers and request was on a completely different level.
「Big Sis is in there…」
Ruimin said, suddenly dashing towards the guild.
「Wha… Ruimin, wait!」
I had to chase after her but she still beat me to the entrance. Once I got inside, saw Ruimin looking around restlessly.
Suddenly, all eyes were on us.
「Where is Big Sis?」
「Hold on a minute.」
I grabbed Ruimin’s hand and lead her deeper inside. We were going to hold up traffic at the entrance if we stayed there.
I could hear people whispering, 「It’s the bear」, as we made our way towards the back.
Of course, nobody dared to come close, though.
Had the rumor of my one-sided duel at this guild became common knowledge?
I was fine with it, as long as people left me alone.
When I looked over at the receptionists’ desk, the lines were empty since the morning rush had already ended. I took Ruimin to the desk.
「Umm, can I ask you something?」
「Yes, how may I help you?」
The receptionist lady answered me politely.
Well, guild’s staff must have also been informed about the incident I had caused here.
「We want to meet with Guild Master Sanya-san. Could we speak with her now?」
「Do you have an appointment with her?」
「No, we don’t, but could you tell her that Yuna wants to see her?」
Sanya-san owed me a favor, so she should agree to see me even without an appointment.
「Please also tell her that her sister, Ruimin, has come to see her.」
The receptionist was surprised by Ruimin’s statement.
The nearby guild staff also looked at Ruimin in astonishment.
Why was everybody so shocked to see her?
「Please, I beg you. I really want to see Sanya-onee-chan.」
Ruimin said and took a deep bow.
「I understand. I will notify her immediately, so please wait a moment.」
The receptionist left the desk and headed to the back.
Would it have been better if we had made an appointment?
Maybe it wasn’t that easy to meet with the capital’s guild master since she should be really busy?
As I thought about it, the whispers of 「bear」 were replaced by the nearby adventures’ saying, 「That’s the guild master’s sister.」
Ruimin started to panic as everyone’s attention shifted to her.
I really wished she stopped hiding behind me….
「Everyone wants to know who Sanya-san’s sister is, I guess.」
「Uuu, this is so embarrassing.」
Yeah, now that everyone was staring at her, she had to learn how to ignore it.
As Ruimin covered her face in embarrassment, the door at the back flung open.
Sanya-san came out of the room in a rush.
Sanya-san practically dashed over to Ruimin and embraced her.
「How long has it been? Five years? You’ve grown up so much.」
「Onee-chan, it’s been ten years.」
「Oh my, that long already?」
The two of them laughed.
I couldn’t keep pace with these elf sisters; their perception of time was completely different from mine.
「Why did you come all the way to the capital, though?」
As Sanya-san asked that, she noticed all of the stares from around the hall. Both the adventurers and staff members were watching the scene unfold.
「You lot, get back to work. Adventurers, stop wasting time and go accept some requests.」
She warned everyone around us then brought us into the guild master’s office to escape from the prying eyes and ears.
I somehow ended up entering with them. Was this okay? I didn’t want to get in the way of their reunion.
「Ruimin, it’s been so long. By the way, may I ask why the two of you are together?」
Sanya-san looked at us.
Ruimin had trouble telling her.
Well, she probably didn’t want to mention the fact that she had passed out in front of my house, forcing me to take her in.
「She got lost and ran into me, so I brought her here.」
I helped out Ruimin to save her the embarrassment.
Sanya-san suspiciously eyed the squirming Ruimin.
「Yes, that’s right.」
「Yuna-chan, I’m really sorry that my little sister caused you trouble.」
「It was a coincidence, so don’t worry about it.」
‘I just happened to find her passed out in front of my house.’ I added to myself.
「So, why did you come to the capital? Did you come just to see me?」
「The barrier around the Elf Forest is getting weak, so the chief asked me to bring you back.」
「The barrier has gotten weaker?!」
Sanya-san raised her voice in surprise.
The Elf Forest sounded like a forest full of mysteries, so it was understandable that a weakening barrier would be a big deal.
「That’s right. There seems to be a tear in the barrier, so monsters are entering the forest. The chief wants you to help repair the barrier.」
「I understand that, but I can’t believe something was able to break through. It should have been fine for another hundred years or so.」
「Even if you ask me, I have no idea how it happened. Either way, the barrier has gotten weaker, and more monsters are pouring in through the gap.」
I could get behind what Ruimin was saying. The barrier was supposed to hold for another hundred years, but if monsters started to flood in, that would mean the barrier must have considerably weakened.
Still, if what Sanya-san said was true, did that mean there was a specific reason why the barrier had gotten weaker?
In games and manga, this would be all a part of the villain’s plan to attack the Elf Village. It was quite common of have evil-doers destroy a village’s barrier and invade to steal their treasure.
「Umm, can I ask something?」
「What is it, Yuna-chan?」
「Does the barrier only let elves through?」
「No, other people can enter, too. The only thing it stops are monsters.」
Did that mean that only monsters with magic stones couldn’t pass the barrier? This kind of ruined the chance of the villain breaking the barrier story.
Still, if anybody could enter, then I could get in too, right? A forest village full of elves was the highlight of any fantasy story. Could I accompany them, maybe? This was a fantasy world, after all; I really wanted to visit the Elf Village at least once.
「Sigh. This is so troublesome. I have no other choice but to go.」
「Are you the only one who can fix it, Sanya-san?」
I somehow managed to hold back my urge to ask if I could tag along.
「No, there are others that could. However, the barrier magic and the treasure used for it are passed down in the chief’s family, and since the current chief is our grandfather… Not to mention that we need three people to control the barrier’s power. So only our grandfather, father, and I can control it. Of course, Ruimin could do it, too, if she only had enough magical power.」
I wanted to try fixing the barrier, too, but it seemed to be a secret technique, which meant I couldn’t help them.
「Still, the Elf Village is quite a distance from here.」
「Is it really far?」
「It’s in the neighboring country.」
I couldn’t understand when she just said ‘the neighboring country’. Just how far away was it?
Well, Ruimin was able to come here by herself, but on the other hand, for her to pass out in front of my house, she must have worked very hard to make it all the way to the capital.
「Ruimin, which inn are you staying at right now? Come stay at my house for the time being.」
「For the time being?」
「I can’t leave immediately. I need to assign my tasks to the vice guild master and complete any unfinished work. I’m the guild master, so I cannot cause trouble for anyone else here.」
Oh right, Sanya-san was the capital’s Adventurer Guild Master, so her workload must be huge, and she had to properly delegate her tasks to others before taking a leave. She was a working adult and took her responsibilities seriously.
「So, where are you staying right now?」
Ruimin quickly glanced at me.
「Tell me honestly.」
Sanya-san began to study Ruimin with her eyes as if she already knew something was wrong.
「I arrived at the capital yesterday, and Yuna-san let me stay at her house.」
「Sigh, so that’s how it is. Yuna-chan, I cannot thank you enough. This girl is a complete scatterbrain, so I was pretty worried when I heard she came here on her own. I want to do something to express my thanks, but as I said before, I have a lot of work to wrap up, so I’ll give you my thanks after I return from the Elf Village.」
Sanya-san said apologetically.
「In that case, how about you just take me along to the Elf Village?」
And so, we finally head off to the Elf Village!
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