【Crimson Lilies are a Maiden’s Oath】 has mostly ceased its operations nowadays. Since we’ve turned everything into money, even selling off our equipment, we wouldn’t be able to take on anything but collection requests and odd jobs like we did as G-Ranks. Thus we’ve decided to do individual jobs to earn money.
Cathy is working at an inn as a live-in. Given that people capable of using fire magic are highly valued, she seems to be given a fairly decent wage. The other day she smiled bitterly, bickering, “Isn’t it totally outrageous that this job earns me more than working as an adventurer?”
Some adventurers ridicule and jeer at us for being in such a mess, but on the other hand, some encourage us. The latter seem to grow in number the higher their rank as adventurers.
…I’m pretty sure it’s because they know. That having survived is more important than being broke. And that we’ll be able to make a living as adventurers again as long as we continue without becoming discouraged.
In the past, our party would have belonged to the group of people ridiculing and looking down on others. But, now it’s different.
――We’ve started to honestly do our best.
But, I was naive in many respects. I never realized it until I felt death looming over me. Being pulled along by Cathy, I pushed all responsibility on her while leaving all decisions to her. Even though I knew that we should have headed back a lot earlier, I didn’t say a word. Just for the reason that it’d be troublesome to persuade and pacify Cathy.
But, that was wrong.
We’re a party, so we have to talk with each other since it involves the lives of all of us. I’m sure he also shares his opinion, even if his partner is an S-Rank adventurer. I’ve got to follow that example a lot more.
……As a matter of fact, I’ve been meeting and talking with him while keeping it a secret from Cathy and Liz.
Cathy always flies into a rage thanks to her personality, but in reality it’s pretty obvious that she’s head over heels for him. I also didn’t miss how Liz became as bright red as an apple when he gave her medical treatment.
But, at that moment – the instant he planted himself in front of us in the blink of an eye and erased the spell – I also fell in love with him.
――He answered me normally when I chatted him up during a normal situation.
He is younger than me, but has a very pretty face. He is a bit slender, but not only his magic, but also his swordsmanship seem to be amazing. And he was strong enough to run while carrying us three with ease. What gave me the finishing blow is his silky hair and him not stinking like the other men!
When I spotted him the other day, I boldly called out to him. I worried what I’d do if I’d get ignored again, but he stopped and looked back at me.
“…We had to even sell off our equipment to pay the fine, and currently we’re earning money by doing odd jobs. Oh, I almost forgot! I’m deeply grateful to you for saving us, and no, that’s no sarcasm or anything! I firmly believe it, because being alive allows us to keep being adventurers as long as we do our best like this! That’s why, umm…thank you for saving us!”
He smiled gently, “I see, but please give your thanks to Sword. I just accepted the request because he’s my partner. …Sword has been unlucky since the guys he rescued insulted him for it, so he got hurt and has been feeling down. I think he’d be delighted to hear that you’re grateful. Also, I share your opinion. Making great efforts while being positive about the future isn’t for anyone’s sake but your own. The process of persevering while believing that you’ll achieve your dreams one day is very important.”
I got to see his modesty and diligence. When I met him for the first time, he only seemed very peevish, but now he is treating me very gentlemanly.
When I called him Mr. Sword’s pupil, he denied it over and over again. He is claiming that he learned everything himself!
He explained that he met Mr. Sword by chance, and when Mr. Sword invited him to work as adventurers together, he simply accepted it.
But now it makes sense. I mean everyone would be pissed if you agree on something like this, and yet get dumped the instant you arrive at a town.
That golem…is something he built after teaching himself how.
To be honest, it looks like a monster, but…but the longer I look at it, the cuter it seems to me. It’s also wonderful how it’ll repeat what you’ve taught it.
As I kept listening to him, I understood his amazingness and how much he‘s cherishing Mr. Sword. Whenever we talk, Mr. Sword will pop up as a topic, so it’s obvious that he is worrying about Mr. Sword.
…Some people in town are against Mr. Sword. In reality, Cathy is one of them as well.
According to her, he’s drinking booze at bars while treating folks to expensive liquor every night. She also mentioned that he’s recently going around with a white golem that looks just like his golem, boasting that it’s his exclusive golem. Cathy seems to have heard all of this from the inn’s customers, and felt disappointed about it.
“…Isn’t that the cash he got from our fine!? Even that guy, who did nothing but bicker around, fell into slavery because he couldn’t pay up. And yet he uses that money to treat himself and others to booze, and to buy a golem? …Why don’t you feel anything after hearing that? Wouldn’t it have been okay for them to at least lower the fine!?”
“…But, isn’t it a normal reward for completing a request? Even we would have hated it if someone told us how to spend our money when we completed requests to save villagers, no?”
“…That’s true, but…”
“It looks like various things happened to Mr. Sword during that rescue, and he has been feeling down ever since, trying to drown his pain with liquors. Moreover, it’s not like his liquor has been bought with the money for saving us. It seems it’s the liquor he’s brought with him from his own brewery…Besides, I heard he didn’t buy that golem, but “he” made it for him. They said “he” built it for Mr. Sword as encouragement…”
“…Sasha? Don’t you know awfully much about all of this? How come?”
“……It’s the gossip of the town, you know?” I deceived her with a cheerful smile.
No matter what, I won’t ever tell her that I’ve heard it from him.
When I heard that he would leave town, I cried.
“I’ll do my best, so you do the same. Let’s meet again as adventurers.”
I nodded at his words.
“…Oh, and lastly, I’m no he, but a she. Please address me like that when we meet next, okay?”
He departed, leaving those cryptic words behind.
Wait, ehh!? She? What’s that about?