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Not over yet!
Chapter 158 – A Flourishing Town
In my hand was the sweet bread I bought earlier. Sometimes I let it sit in my mouth as I strolled through the street.
[This is delicious.]
Apparently both Roxy and Snow enjoyed sweets. Eris and Mimir also often bought some sweets for themselves throughout the journey to Hauzen. Women really like sweets, don’t they?
[Nn? Does Fai not enjoy these kinds of things?]
I was in the middle of thinking about something, so I probably unconsciously made a troubled face. And that sparked Roxy’s worry.
[That’s not true. I think the one with red colored jam was delicious. What jam was that again…]
[Yeah, that one. Thanks to the helpers from Heart territory, we were able to grow some grapes here.]
Failing to remember the name of the fruit had caused Roxy to bulge her cheeks unhappily at me. So I quickly attempted to swerve the topic.
Greed who was listening to the conversation laughed out loud. It’s annoying to hear him laugh that much, I ended up tapping the black sword hard.
[Thanks to that, both grapes and raspberries could grow firmly on Hauzen. Again, without Roxy’s cooperation, all that wouldn’t be possible. I must thank you again.]
[No no, I didn’t do that much. The praise should be directed to the helpers who were willing to come to Hauzen instead.]
[I guess you’re right.]
The orchard was a bit far away from here, so I couldn’t say hello to them today.
I thanked them in my heart, while enjoying the raspberries.
After Roxy arrived in Hauzen, she seemed to be intrigued by the cityscape since it’s very different from Hearts territory.
[Fai, what is that?]
Following the direction of her happy gaze, I saw a sign hanging on the wall of a shop.
It’s certainly something rarely seen even in the capital. The inn sign was shining brightly with occasional blinkings.
[That’s magic technology to help attract customers. It uses paint that emits light in response to the amount of magic in the air.]
It was something I learned from Seto. He always informed me in his letters whenever a new technology was used in Hauzen.
I was also drawn by the shining signpost, until Snow tugged on my hand.
[That person has been staring at us for a while now.]
[ [ Eeh? ] ]
Looking at the direction Snow was pointing at, there was the innkeeper approaching us as he rubbed his hands together.
[Staying overnight? I’ll give a discount. There are special rooms for a pair of young lovers.]
[We are not in that kind of relation! Excuse us!]
Roxy immediately took my free hand and dragged me away from there.
When we’re far enough to be out of sight from the inn, she smiled at me.
[Ah…that was surprising. I never thought that someone would tell me that this early in the morning…]
[I don’t really mind about that though]
[……we really should not. First of all!]
Roxy easily guessed that I was just joking. Pouting hard, she gently flicked my forehead.
[We have to find Myne’s whereabouts. But to find someone with her looks in this town is…]
[The number of the townspeople is really amazing.]
[So many! So many!]
Even on a small alley, there were still people wandering around….
It seemed to be the first time for Snow to see this many people, so she’s been bouncing on her feet excitedly. Her tail had been dangerously peeking from under her glittering white robe, so I hastily asked her to settle down.
She’s a Divine Beastkin after all. At first glance, she may look just like any other human…but her tail really gave her away. Some people might find it scary and make a fuss out of it.
That’s why I’ve been trying to teach Snow to act as human as possible all the time.
[Oi, this kid! Don’t get too excited!]
[Noo! I want to play with them.]
Street performers were showing off the result of their daily practice. Snow must’ve mistaken them for playing a game.
[They’re not playing games.]
Snow struggled strongly to release herself from my restraint.
As expected…her Area E power is not to be trifled with. If left alone, there’s no doubt that she’ll wreak havoc on wherever she goes.
I was reminded of the power that made us struggle when we fought her as the giant scorpion.
She kept wiggling her body like a caterpillar trying to escape from my grip.
I can’t hold her! At this rate she’ll charge toward the street performers!
Just when I thought so, Roxy put something in Snow’s mouth.
[How does it taste?]
While I was holding Snow down, Roxy went to buy skewered sweet fried bread from the nearby stall.
Snow was immediately engrossed in it. So engrossed she seemingly forgot about the street performers completely.
Thanks to Roxy’s quick wit, we managed to avoid Snow destroying the street.
I could finally ease up and release my grip on Snow.
[You’re a lifesaver, Roxy.]
[No no, it is just a cheap snack! Moreover I have been studying on how to handle little kids!]
Despite her words, Roxy still put her hands on her waist and puffed her chest.
Back then, when I was still but a servant, we went out to the capital where we encountered a weeping lost child. Since then, apparently she’s been secretly studying on how to better handle kids.
Being able to befriend Snow had further bolstered her confidence.
When they first met, I remembered how Snow tended to keep her distance from Roxy. And Roxy would droop her shoulders every time her attempt to get close failed.
When I think about it, they’re so much closer right now. Roxy’s hard work had certainly paid off.
[Look, looky here. Here is another one.]
Did they get along well…because Roxy had been feeding Snow with food?
But looking at Roxy’s happy expression, I could only think that it’s her trying to take one step forward at a time. For me, who had always been charging ahead hurriedly, being together with Roxy gave me a sense of reassurance.
While watching the two smiling faces, I felt a sharp gaze from behind.
The gaze was only directed at me. Because no other people had sensed it, including Roxy and Snow.
To be able to do that, the owner of this gaze must be skilled.
『Yeah, there is no mistaking it. That guy.』
With Greed’s confirmation, I kept the feeling of that gaze in mind. No, I burned it into my mind to be exact.
The gaze belonged to a man who single-handedly vanquished the city-eating monster living under the oasis in the middle of the desert. With the benefit given by that monster, banished or lost people managed to group up together and make a living.
The city-eating monster provided a good environment to attract humans to come nearby. In the distant future, it would’ve emerged from its hideout to eat the descendants of these humans.
Perhaps there was still a lot of time left before that happened. There wasn’t any need to kill the monster right away.
But that man could care less about the people living in that oasis.
Because from his eyes, I sensed a strong unwillingness to forgive any form of evil in this world.
Looking back, a gentle smile certainly always decorated Libra’s face. But his eyes were terribly cold.
[Hi, Fate. We meet again.]
The hem of his priest-like attire flipped around as he approached me. This time, Roxy and Snow noticed his presence, immediately became vigilant.
[Arara, am I really that scary to you all?]
[Obviously. That accident at the oasis is still very clear in my mind.]
[Nn? Oasis…ah, that one. That’s nothing important. Rather than that, are you sure you can afford to act this relaxed?]
He approached even closer, then whispered into my ear.
[If you don’t close the door to his land soon, this town will end up just like that oasis.]