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「Eh? Yuna-chan, you want to go to the Elf Village?」
「Yes, but if outsiders aren’t allowed or if I would get in the way…」
I remembered that elves were often quite territorial in games, manga, and anime. They would frequently attack any outsiders who entered their lands. For example, if someone stepped into their forest, they would be met by an arrow shooting past their head. When they would look where it came from, they would notice an elf on top of a tree who would say something like, 「Turn back now or the next arrow won’t miss!」If visiting the village would cause trouble for the two of them, I would sadly have to give up.
「No, that’s not the case. Elves are cautious of strangers, but it should be perfectly fine if we accompany you. The problem is that the Elf Village is quite deep in the mountains, so it’s difficult for a normal person to get there.」
I had my Bear Suit, so I could walk as much as I wanted without getting tired. I also had my Bears, which had no trouble traversing through rough terrain. Yeah, it shouldn’t be an issue for me.
Hmm, hadn’t I just been leaving everything to my Bears lately?
「Also, since coming with us won’t be considered a part of an official escort request, there will be no reward, nor will it have any effect on your ranking.」
She looked quite surprised when I told her I didn’t need any rewards. I only wanted to see the Elf Village.
「Although I’m glad you said that, Yuna-chan, I must tell you that there’s nothing interesting to see in the village.」
Of course an elf would think that, but to other people, an Elf Forest would surely be a mystical place. There could be many interesting things such as hidden treasures or precious medicinal plants that could only be found there. In fantasy stories, elven villages were always depicted as important destinations, and now that I was in a fantasy world myself, I just had to visit an elven village at least once.
Yeah, this would be my otherworldly sightseeing tour.
Since Sanya-san gave me her permission, I wanted to immediately go and prepare for the trip. That was until Ruimin dashed my hopes.
「Onee-chan, do you really plan on bringing Yuna-san along with us?!」
Ruimin looked at Sanya-san in shock.
So, Ruimin was against me travelling to the village, huh.
I really wanted her to be on board, though. She most likely just thought I would slow them down.
「It’s too far for her; she’s still small.」
She shouldn’t call me small when I was just about the same size as her, even in that certain area.
Still, it seemed she was against the idea of me going since she was worried about my safety.
「Ruimin, you do realize we are about the same height.」
「Yes, we may be the same size, but Yuna-san, you’re not an elf. It would be too dangerous for you.」
I appreciated the fact that Ruimin was concerned about me, but she was just worrying needlessly here.
「Too dangerous for Yuna-chan, huh.」
Sanya-san mumbled to herself and looked at me.
Why did she look at me like that? Well, I did understand what she was implying, but still.
For now, I needed to convince Ruimin to change her mind.
「Ruimin, you don’t have to worry so much. I’m an adventurer, so I can protect myself.」
「You’re an adventurer?」
She looked at me with a doubting expression.
It was the usual treatment; people found it hard to believe that a girl in a bear suit could be an adventurer.
Sanya-san came to my rescue, however-
「She may be wearing a weird outfit, but she is an excellent C rank adventurer and won’t get in our way.」
I couldn’t argue against the ‘weirdly dressed’ part, but it still made me depressed. Couldn’t she have put it a bit nicer?
「Rank C… you’re not fooling anyone, you know?」
「I’m not lying, though.」
What if I showed her my guild card?
She might think it was fake, though.
「Yuna-san, the trip will be very long and full of danger. You won’t be able to just come back in a few days time. Vicious monsters could attack you at any moment, plus it often rains in the mountains. And, it isn’t just monsters… some humans might try to trick you along the road.」
Only now could I better understand the hardships Ruimin had gone through to get to the capital.
I almost wanted to pat her head and tell her,「You really worked hard, didn’t you?」
Although, I didn’t see how it would be difficult for me as I could set up the Bear House for shelter from the rain and take down any monsters that came in my way. Of course, I also knew that some humans could be quite bad, but I would most likely simply outsmart them. I did notice a raise in pitch when she mentioned getting tricked by humans… Or, maybe it was just me.
「If you’re so worried, Ruimin, couldn’t you protect Yuna-chan? You must have gotten stronger since we last met.」
Sanya-san gave us her suggestion with a shadow of evil smile on her face.
Ruimin just stared at me for a while, looking slightly concerned, and took her time to think before responding.
「I understand, Onee-chan. I’ll protect her, but promise me you will protect her on your way back.」
The mood had gotten kinda weird towards the end, but at least Ruimin agreed to me accompanying them to the village.
Although I was happy Ruimin was concerned about me, I was far more worried about her. Ever since I found her passed out in front of my house, I had an inkling that she was a bit of an airhead. She was worried about me, but to me it seems that her going by herself was a much worse of an idea.
「Okay, let’s set a date of departure, then.」
Sanya-san looked through everything she had to take care of and proposed a date.
「Onee-chan, how do you plan on getting there? Are we going by carriage?」
Carriages were a pain. Not to mention that they were slow. We should at least go by horseback, but I figured Ruimin probably suggested a carriage for my sake.
「Ruimin, how did you get here?」
「I got partway by stagecoach then walked the rest.」
Stagecoaches were a means of travel between towns, and you had to pay a fee to travel to a specific destination.
They would be the equivalent of trains or buses in my former world.
Here, however, you could also pay extra for guards; I saw such requests on the guild boards sometimes. They were quite rare, though, as they were most often long term.
「That would be an option, but… Yuna-chan, can I leave transportation to you?」
Sanya-san looked a little worried and asked me to handle it instead.
Although she didn’t say anything, she seemed to be hinting towards using Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.
Because I had no problem with that, I simply nodded.
That way, the trip would be a lot faster, since my Bears were way faster than any carriage.
Having decided the date and transportation method, we made a promise to meet up at the Adventurer’s Guild on the day of departure.
Done with the conversation, I immediately went back to Crimonia to tell Fina and Tirumina-san that I would be away for a while.
「Be careful, Yuna-oneechan.」
「If anything happens, contact me through your Bear Phone, okay?」
I was always worried about Fina and the others, so like usual, I told her to contact me if anything occurred, so that I could immediately return using my Bear Gate.
「Yuna-chan, you are very strong, and you have Swaying Bear-chan and Hugging Bear-chan, but try to stay safe and come home soon, okay? The children get worried about you when you don’t show up for a while. Also, Fina and Shuri get lonely easily.」
I promised Tirumina-san that I would come back soon.
I didn’t plan on staying in the Elf Village for long, anyway.
I was really happy that I had people who worried about me in this world. I had never experienced this feeling in my former world.
If there was any trouble, I would always just set up the Bear Gate at the village and return immediately.
The only problem was that I would have to somehow explain the door to Sanya-san and Ruimin…
On the day of departure, I left for the Adventurer’s Guild just as the sun was just beginning to rise. Ugh, I was so sleepy. I didn’t think it would be necessary to leave this early, but they had told me it was so we could beat the morning rush at the gates.
Now that I thought about it, the gates at the capital were always crowded.
I stifled a yawn.
Well, leaving early wasn’t so bad; the streets were nearly deserted, so there weren’t any people staring or pointing at me for being a ‘weird, bear-suit-wearing girl’.
There were still some people walking about who got surprised upon seeing me, but I just ignored them, as usual.
When I arrived at the front of the Adventurer’s Guild, Sanya-san and Ruimin were already waiting for me there.
「Goo… good morning」
I had accidently yawned while greeting them.
「Yuna-chan, you look sleepy.」
「That’s because I had to wake up so early this morning.」
Normally, I would have slept for another hour or two.
I didn’t understand why we couldn’t leave later in the day; it wasn’t like we were in a rush to get there. Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear could travel at a really high pace, so it shouldn’t take us too long to get there. Also, if we ever needed to return to the capital, I could always just pull up my Bear Gate. I could understand why someone like Fina had to wake up so early due to her dismantling job, but why did I have to?
「You two don’t seem to be sleepy at all, though.」
「We’re elves, so it’s natural for us to wake up at sunrise.」
Ruimin immediately shut down Sanya-san’s declaration.
「What are you saying, Onee-chan!? If I didn’t wake you up, you would still be sleeping right now. No matter how many times I tried to get you out of bed, you just wouldn’t wake up. Also, weren’t you yawning just a minute ago?」
She exposed her.
That meant I could also yawn all I wanted, right?
I stopped holding back and let out another yawn.
I would take a nap on top of Swaying Bear or Hugging Bear once we got out of here.
「Today was a special occasion! I had to stay up late to finish my work yesterday, so I had a hard time waking up in the morning. It’s not like I normally wake up so late.」
So, she was yawning for a different reason, then.
「Yuna-san, are we traveling by horse or carriage?」
Ruimin asked me out of the blue.
Emm, was I expected to have prepared some form of special transportation to get us out of the city?
Both Sanya-san and I looked at Ruimin with puzzled faces.
「Didn’t Onee-chan ask you to take care of transportation the other day? I had thought that you were going to arrange us a carriage or at least some horses. Could it be that I was wrong? Did you maybe get us a stagecoach instead?」
I glanced at Sanya-san, I saw she was giggling to herself.
It looked like she hadn’t told Ruimin about my Bears. She must like to tease her little sister every so often.
「Ruimin, no need to worry. Yuna-chan has a way for us to get to the Elf Village.」
She said and looked at me, so I nodded.
I did have a mode of transportation, after all.
「Should we head out, then?」
Having nothing else to discuss, we headed to the gates.
Ruimin didn’t seem entirely convinced, though.
We finally depart in the next chapter!
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