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I made a mistake. (TL Note: probably a typo that has long since been fixed.)
We passed through the gates together with some merchants and carriages. I noticed that most of the leaving people had at least some sort of transport.
「Umm, we aren’t going to walk all the way there, are we?」
Ruimin asked with concern. Well, I understood where it was coming from. She must have started to worry when we just walked out the gates without getting a ride or giving any further explanations. We walked for a while before finding a deserted spot.
「Here should be fine, right?」
I stretched out my arms and summoned Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.
「W-w-what are those?!」
「They’re Yuna-chan’s summoned beasts.」
For some reason, Sanya-san was the one who boasted about them. She did realize they were my summoned beasts right?
「They are Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear; you’ve already met them both, remember?」
「Swaying Bear-chan and Hugging Bear-chan? But, they were much smaller before.」
Ruimin said while gesturing how small they were in their cub forms with her hands.
「Those are their cub forms.」
I said and changed Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear into their cub forms. And then, Sanya-san was the one let out a shocked cry.
「Yuna-chan! What are these small bears?!」
Sanya-san cried out with her eyes wide-open in surprise. It seemed like she had never seen them in their cub forms before.
「Umm, just like I said just a moment ago, they are my summoned beasts: Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear. Earlier, they were in their regular form, but they can also change into a cub-sized versions of themselves.」
「I had no idea.」
They each picked up a Bear and held it tight. The sisters exhibited surprisingly similar behavior when I observed them closer. I got them to let my Bears go so I could return them to their normal size.
「Yeah, it really is.」
「Okay then, can the two of you get on Swaying Bear?」
「Do you mean we’re going to ride them?」
「They’re faster than horses and way more comfortable, too.」
Sanya-san and Ruimin slowly approached Swaying Bear.
「This will be my first time riding a bear.」
「Normally, you wouldn’t be able to ride one, you know.」
Swaying Bear lowered its back, letting Ruimin and Sanya-san climb onto it.
「Umm, Swaying Bear-chan, please take care of us.」
I got on Hugging Bear, and gently patted it.
「Thanks for doing this, like always.」
Hugging Bear cried softly in response.
「I know you two are probably a bit nervous, but please don’t do anything rash while on top of it. Ready to go?」
And so, we departed for the Elf Village.
「We’re going really fast.」
「Is it okay for Swaying Bear-chan to run at such high speed?」
Ruimin asked, clearly worried about Swaying Bear. We were only going a little bit faster than we would on horseback, though… The bears could go even faster, but since we would be travelling for quite a while, lowering their speed should help conserve their stamina, which would also allow them to run longer than a horse. Plus, I really didn’t want to burden them too much, so I told them to take it easy. Besides, I wasn’t quite sure how much of my Bear’s strength should I reveal.
「We can take a break on the way if you are worried too much. Sanya-san, we’re still heading to Raruuze first, right?」
We had discussed where we would head first just yesterday. I hadn’t really grasped how far away the place was, but I figured it would be fine since Sanya-san and Ruimin could guide me. I only provided the method of transportation; the rest of the journey planning was up to them.
「That’s right, the city is right next to the border with Sorzonark, the country we are heading to. 」
Based on Sanya-san’s additional explanation, there were quite a few small towns and villages between the capital and Raruuze, but whether we would stop at any of them during our trip would depend on the situation. I really wanted to make a map of the whole area, but if we were only going to stop by the city… Not to mention the fact, because of my Bear Suit, I couldn’t just simply go sightseeing without getting bothered…
Well, it would be fine if I was traveling by myself, but I had Sanya-san and Ruimin with me, and I really didn’t want to trouble them.
I was still quite sleepy since we headed out so early in the morning. The sky was clear, and the sunlight hitting my face felt very nice, which made it the perfect time to take a nap. I just wanted to bury my face in Hugging Bear’s fur, but had to respond to the two chatting next to me.
「Anyway, why haven’t I ever hear about your bears’ cub forms before?」
「And you didn’t tell me they could turn big, either.」
The two of them were criticizing me, each for slightly different reason. It wasn’t like I was trying to hide it from them; I just didn’t like to needlessly spread the information around, and there hadn’t been a good opportunity to tell them.
「Still, they are very cute.」
Ruimin said and patted Swaying Bear’s head. She didn’t look afraid of it at all.
「Now that I think about it, you weren’t afraid at all when you saw the Bears in their adult forms.」
Which was a good thing, of course. Being afraid of Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear would have made them sad.
「There’s a cute family of bears in the Elf Forest, so that’s probably why I wasn’t afraid of them.」
「They don’t try to attack people?」
「They’re friendly bears, so they don’t attack us. And even if they did, we are strong enough to easily fend them off.」
That was a relief to hear. I was glad she didn’t find my bears scary, although I couldn’t say the same for other bears. Normal bears were scary, honestly. My Bears were fine, of course, as I had spent so much time with them and knew they weren’t scary at all.
Our trip proceeded smoothly. Everytime we saw someone else on the road, we left the path for a while so that we wouldn’t scare them or their horses, which could go out of control if they saw my Bears. We also took breaks here and there, making sure to switch Bears every time.
「We’re switching them because they would get jealous otherwise? How cute.」
「Not really. They get very upset and even stop looking at me. Appeasing them when it happens is a real chore.」
Was what I told them, but honestly, all I had to do was cuddle up in bed overnight with them, and they would be back to normal the next morning. Still, I never wanted to upset them on purpose, so switching the Bears had become completely natural by now. As the sun began to set, Sanya-san proposed that we should stop for the day.
「If Swaying Bear-chan and Hugging Bear-chan keep going at this rate, we should be able to reach a village today.」
「Are we going to spend the night there?」
Ruimin asked. A village, huh? I didn’t mind, but was it really a good idea?
「There is still quite a distance, though. If you want to keep going, that’s fine with me, but it might just be better to camp out around here somewhere. What do you two think?」
Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear could easily keep running and get us to the village. However, I was thankful that Sanya-san was being considerate of my Bears. Even though they were summoned beasts, she wouldn’t force them to push themselves for us.
「I’m fine with camping out. I don’t want to make Swaying Bear-chan and Hugging Bear-chan overwork themselves. We’ve covered such a large distance in just one day already; they’re simply amazing.」
「I agree. I didn’t think we would have make it this far already. Do they ever run out of stamina?」
Sanya-san asked and looked at Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear warmly. I honestly didn’t know what they were fully capable of; it was something I could only find out if I ever pushed them that far. Of course, I had no intention of ever doing that just for the sake of testing it. That was why we always took breaks even though the Bears didn’t look tired in the slightest, and why I also made sure not to make them run for long periods of time at their max speed.
「Yuna-chan, are you okay with camping out, too?」
「Yeah, I don’t mind. Could we maybe do it there?」
I said and pointed to an area off to the side of the road where several trees would block people from seeing us. Nobody would notice us as long as they explicitly didn’t approach that area. I didn’t know how long it would take us to reach the Elf Village, but since we would be forced to camp out eventually, it would be better if they learn about the Bear House sooner than later.
「It’s a bit off the main road, but we would be out of sight because of the tree cover.」
They agreed without any questions as to why I wanted cover.
「Sanya-san, Ruimin, there’s something I have to tell you two.」
「I want you to keep quiet about what I’m about to take out.」
「Why shouldn’t we tell others about it?」
「I’m not really sure why myself but please just don’t tell anybody about it.」
Ruimin agreed immediately, so I looked over at Sanya-san.
「Okay… I won’t tell anybody.」
She said a bit more reluctantly, but that was enough for me, so I proceeded to take out the Bear House.
The things they noticed were different, but they were both clearly shocked at the sight of my Bear House.
「Yuna-chan, may I ask you what this is?」
Sanya-san said and pointed at the Bear House while looking at me intensely.
「It’s a house.」
Not much else I could say.
「Onee-chan, is it possible for the people at the capital to bring an entire house with them?」
「Normally, that’s impossible, but Yuna-chan’s item bag is an ancient relic. Maybe that’s why it’s possible for her?」
Oh, that was a setting I had completely forgotten about.
「Her item bag is an ancient relic?」
Ruimin looked at Swaying Bear, Hugging Bear, the Bear House, my Bear Hands, then finally at me.
「Yuna-san, just who are you?」
She popped the question which was very difficult to answer.
「An adventurer that likes bears, I guess.」
I dodged the question with that, then urged the two of them to head inside the house. Ruimin didn’t seem convinced but luckily didn’t push the issue further.
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