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As soon as I entered the room, I changed my clothes and fell into bed, and fell asleep without even eating dinner.
There were various experiences before I arrived at Finlis.
It was a day that was chock full of events for just a few days.
I wasn’t tired, but his mind seemed to be quite tired.
Still, I woke up before daylight. My body is functioning and responding due to Lid’s instilled habits.
I went out to the inn’s courtyard and carefully rinse my face with well water. My head feels clear and refreshed because of the cool water. But there is still some lingering drowsiness.
After confirming nobody was around I used [Magic Sword].
Moving my body while following my skill’s direction as I swing the [Magic Sword].
Gradually I reconcile my skill-driven movement with my mind and body. I drive in my movements into muscle memory and reflexes.
I have never done any form of sword art outside of school lessons. So I am grateful for the skill that allows me to move at the expert level just by swinging.
However, it is bad to just leave everything to unconscious control.
I wanted to understand my skills and techniques so that I could control it with my own will.
After finishing all the forms and stances, the drowsiness disappeared from my head.
“Good morning, Toru. You sure practice early.” (Esther)
“Oh, good morning Esther”
Esther emerged from the inn. She washed her face with well water before stretching her body.
Now Esther’s hair which was once on a ponytail is loose and falling freely behind her. [T/N: The author has some weird obsession with Esther’s hair]
The first rays of the morning illuminated her hair. The golden light of the morning makes her hair glow as if the rays became one with her hair.
A woman washing her face. I can’t help but enjoy the scene.
“Toru, the weather is good today.” (Esther)
“It’s a perfect day to party.” (Esther)
“There is no such day.”
In a party (companion) way, not a party (celebration) way.
Me suddenly being solicited as a party member made my shoulders sag. She doesn’t seem to have given up on partying with me yet.
“I can trust Toru!” (Esther)
I am afraid for the person with so much unconditional trust.
What would she do if I was an outrageous villain? I became uneasy about my future.
“Do you have good eyes for judging people?”
I can’t blindly trust her words. So I stared and observed Esther.
But Esther doesn’t seem to have any shred of doubt in her words. Even if I stares at her suspiciously she remains calm.
“Isn’t it normal for Toru to escape from the goblin horde after seeing that many goblins? Humans show their true nature when they are in the face of danger. Toru’s actions at that time are enough. I think it deserves credit.” (Esther)
“I guess that’s reason enough…”
“And, Toru. There are those people I can’t trust, but I can’t deny trustworthy people.” (Esther)
There is no smidgen of doubt on my words, I have thought things through.
Seeing Toru speechless, I thought, “Is that the last push needed?”
There is no question why I want to party with Toru.
Toru is very strong. He is also not prideful and arrogant.
He is sincere in his reaction to money.
As soon as he got his money, he repaid the large copper coin on the spot.
It can be understood from the current interaction that Toru has a personality that cannot be faked.
He may not be the best looking but he is pleasant to the eyes.
He also doesn’t glance at me with lust-filled gazes, unlike the men of Eargard.
I dared to appear in a vulnerable moment in front of Toru, but he was completely unresponsive.
Toru’s apathy towards me is a little worrying though, I began asking myself if Toru came from a world with men with no libido.
Humans are animals. It is an impossibility to not have libido because humans have to leave offspring to survive as a species.
However, whether to suppress it is the most important point in forming a party between the opposite sex.
I thought Toru was the best person to party with.
I have been active as a solo adventurer, but I am not particularly planning on staying solo.
I believe that forming a party is essential if I would continue to be an adventurer.
Then Toru a superbly talented person appeared.
I was only worried that he was a “Lost person,” but I feel no fear or dissatisfaction with his combat power.
I was quite enthusiastic about this chance and did not want to miss it.
“I want to have a party with Toru.” (Esther)
“If you’re going to have a party, I think it’s better to be a stronger person rather than a lost person…”
“I saw Toru defeat the hordes of Goblins with my own two eyes. Whatever other people say I believe in Toru’s power.” (Esther)
What a wonderful and powerful speech. But when it comes to being told face-to-face, those are quite embarrassing words. I couldn’t resist being embarrassed.
I felt that being in a party might decide the future both mine and Esther’s.
But for adventurers, parties may not be as special as I thought.
If you’re an adventurer, you might even organize a temporary party for a quest.
At such times, there aren’t many people who worry about such things and their future.
Still, I could not form a decision immediately.
Forming a party is taking responsibility for the lives of allies.
I do not know whether I will be able to bear that level of responsibility.
I consider Esther to be my benefactor. She is also a good person. There is no reason not to be happy when the other party invited me to join a party while using such embarrassing speeches.
However, that’s why I couldn’t give a quick answer.
I, who was uncertain about my answer, decided to escape.
“… Well, Esther. The answer is still the same.”
“Oh, hey, Toru!” (Esther)
I didn’t want to talk more to Esther and so I returned to my room.
After training, I wiped off my sweaty body, fixed my appearance, and headed to the inn’s dining room.
When I entered the dining room, Esther is already sitting in her chair. Breakfast is prepared in front of her, but she hasn’t touched it yet.
“Toru, here!” (Esther)
Raising her hand and waved, but I ignore it and sat down in the far corner.
With such an obvious reply, Esther puffed up her cheeks. She picked up her tray with breakfast and quickly approached the seat where I was sitting.
“Toru. Is it vacant here?” (Esther)
Currently, only I am the one sitting at the table for four.
“No matter how you look at it, it looks empty.” (Esther)
“Don’t ask then if you know the answer.”
I intended to ignore her, but for some reason, Esther looked happy and sat in the seat in front of me.
“Now Toru!” (Esther)
“It is useless”
“I haven’t said anything yet!?” (Esther)
I guessed she was going to say, “Let’s form a party!” Looking at me with such eyes, Esther’s eyes became teary.
From there, Esther and I had some small talk and had a meal. Occasionally Esther would say, “Let’s form a party,” but I sealed it with a quick activation of [Intimidation].
Breakfast was black bread, salt soup, and salad.
The black bread is very hard, and if you try to bite it, you’ll feel like your teeth will break.
“…Eargard people have strong jaws.”
“No. No, you can’t eat it as it is. This is how you eat it.” (Esther)
Esther dipped the tip of the bread into the soup. It seems that black bread cannot be eaten without softening it in the soup.
I imitated Esther, soaked the bread and bit into it. Then, unlike the toughness it had before, the bread broke when bit.
Because the color is black, I thought it might have a distinctly unique flavor. However, contrary to expectations, the black bread was incredibly bland.
In contrast to black bread, which was tasteless, the saltiness of the soup is so strong. The bread is made for both to be eaten together.
It’s just salty soup. There is no stock. The only ingredient there is small pieces of dried meat. It is terrible just to throw in the scraps.
The salad looked almost like weeds. It is quite terrifying.
Unexpectedly or expectedly. This was the most delicious part. It’s a bit bittersweet, but it’s delicious enough to be eaten by me who has the taste for Japanese cuisine. If there was some dressing on this, I felt that it would easily be improved.
“Hey, Esther. Is this breakfast common in Eargard?”
“I think most of the time, it’s just bread and soup. This inn is great because it comes with a salad.” (Esther)
I wondered if, “Eargard is under extreme poverty,” but in Japan, bread and coffee is the normal breakfast meal. It doesn’t change that much.
The biggest problem is the taste. Also, nutrients are a concern. A soup made from salty meat and tasteless bread. There is also a very small serving of salad, I do not think it is a very healthy diet.
“Additional bread is free. How about another one?” (Landlady)
“…No, that’s fine.”
“You won’t grow big if you don’t eat, isn’t it right?” (Landlady)
The landlady was kind but a bit pushy, but I declined politely.
My stomach is not full, but my brain is sick of it and doesn’t want more of it.
It’s like eating bland bread and hot water.
No matter how hungry I am.
If I leave it as it is, I may lose weight and become weak.
Today, securing a delicious meal was one of the most important issues for me.
After having breakfast, I opened the window in my room and escaped from there. I felt that if I leave the inn the usual way, Esther will be endlessly following me.
My [intuition] skill was capturing Esther’s presence who was waiting at the front door.
I intend to head to a magic store that Esther taught me yesterday.
If possible, I wanted to slowly look at the items in the magic store without worrying about anyone.
I walked while chewing on the dried meat from my [Inventory].
Dried meat tastes better than black bread and soup. Lid seems to have quite good cooking skills.
“What kind of magic is there. I’m looking forward to it, but first I wonder if I can use magic.”
I put points for [Magic Art] and [Chant-less Casting] on the skill board. If I trust the skill board, I can surely use it. However, it is reliant on whether or not a person has the necessary background.
Besides, I am a “Lost” person.
We are called “Inferiors”.
(Earth has no magic. Even if I allocate some skills, it may be difficult or impossible to use.)
As I was walking around thinking about that, I arrived at the magic store taught to me by Esther.
The magic store was a small wooden building.
The outer walls are covered with plants.
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