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“You know how that pharmacist is goin’ to use that potion, don’t you?”
“Obviously I’ve taken into account that my handmade potion would be used on family and friends without ever being sold.”
Sword laughed at my response, “Don’t make it sound like it’s somethin’ made by some village child. In a certain sense, it’s more amazin’ than 『special-grade』, isn’t it? It can completely regrow bones, can’t it?”
“Sure can, but…what if we ask whether it’s really going to be a part of your own body? It’s going to be a bone made out of magic elements, you know? I wouldn’t be able to put my faith into it. Do you know how babies are made?”
“For the most part, yeah. …But if you’re goin’ to doubt that part, it’ll immediately turn into a question why people are alive, no?”
“Correct. That’s why we should limit its use. In short, I’d like you to not consider it as 『Regrowth』, but rather as 『Replacement』 of a missing, natural body part through magic elements. For this reason you can’t really describe it as amazing.”
“…Well, if you say so.” He caressed my head. “On another note, if you claim that your handmade potion is obviously goin’ to be used on family and friends, you’ve made handmade potions for me as well, haven’t you?”
“……It’d be much better to not rely on them, you know? Rather, you’ll get careless if you have the option, won’t you? You’ll believe that everything will get healed as long as you drink the potion, right?”
“You think I’m such a careless bloke? Just think ’bout it. I wouldn’t be alive right now if I was so careless.”
I guess he got a point there.
I took them out.
“Oh, these are mine?”
“Let me tell you in advance. Those are potions exclusive to you.”
Sword looked at me with a stupefied look, “…Haah?”
“These are healing potions with your body’s information registered, so I’m telling you to not use them on anyone else.”
“……Waaaaaaaiiit!? J-J-J-J-ust when did you do somethin’ so scary!?”
“Shut it! It’s better to compensate for the loss with your own cell tissue, isn’t it!? It’s much easier for your body to get accustomed to them! After all, it’s going to have the same “genetic information”!!”
“Once again a bundle of incomprehensible, technical words…”
“That’s how these things are called! Probably! By chance it might work, regardless of whether it’s made out of magic elements or something else altogether, but you’d also hate it if I tried it on you and it didn’t work as intended, right!? Safety comes first, and if it’s based on the same cell information, it should become mostly identical to the rest of your body!” I shouted.
In response, Sword ruffled my hair and accepted the potions.
“…Good grief, just what am I goin’ to do with you～? But alright, these are exclusively for me then.”
“I’ve also given some to Ryoku. Either way, now you’ve got some as well. Don’t make any mistakes, okay?”
Sword grinned broadly, “Don’t worry. Ain’t like I’d let anyone drink special-grade potions except for you.”
Just what is that guy blathering!?
“Don’t make me take any of them either!! It wouldn’t be funny at all if I ended up becoming a guy!!”
What should I do if I suddenly grew out a dick!? Sword is guffawing, but it’s not funny at all, for heaven’s sake!!
After stifling the laughter and putting away the potions, he looked at me with an apologetic expression, “…Somehow I’m only receivin’ stuff from you.”
Since he suddenly brought it up, I replied with a sullen look, “…It’s the other way around. Aren’t you paying for almost everything?”
No matter where we go and what we do, Sword pays for all of it. I know that it’d hurt his pride if he made a small child pay for things, but it troubles me.
“I do get your wish of wantin’ to be equal, but you see, there’s no way I could make you pay for stuff. It’s a matter of honor for me.”
“I’ve been letting you pay without saying anything because I’m well aware of that. Since I let you pay for things even though I have my own thoughts on the matter, I want you to accept what I give you without any complaints, even if you have your own thoughts about it.”
Shrugging it off, he swiftly put his arm around my neck.
“What is it?”
“I like that part of you. Any ordinary Joe would have told me to cough up the dough since I’m rich as S-Rank anyway, you know?”
Well, I can understand that notion. It’s the same feeling, or maybe I should call it weirdness, when a boss invites his subordinates out for drinks and then asks them to split the costs or when men and women pay evenly during a mixer.
“Well, that’s all well and good. It follows the principle of getting treated in your young years, and then, in exchange, treating the young when you’ve grown old.”
“No? Also, how ’bout not treatin’ me like an old man on the fly?”
He strangled my neck.
“…I-I…don’t…want to…owe you…I…want…to pay myself…rather than…feeling…inferior…People…should…be…equal.”
Though it might be a way of thinking that doesn’t exist in this world. The difference in standing, the disparity between men and women, and the disparity of wealth are so striking over here. That’s the very reason why I dislike this world.
I’m a woman, and I only have the money I cheated out of that man. But, I don’t want to bend my knee to some ruler either. That’s why I don’t want to always feel inferior to Sword while being around him.
At last Sword relaxed his hold on me.
“That somehow sounds like an interestin’ concept. Was it like that in the other world?”
“As a concept, yeah. It was normal for men and women to be equal, social status to play no role, and being able to eat and wash your body every day even as a poor person. Though I should add that I’m talking about the country my otherworld self was born in. ―In this world, noble women are political tools of their family’s patriarchs, commoners are disposable tools for nobles, and commoner women basically have no rights to speak of, correct?”
I want to be equal to Sword while holding up my head high without having to bend my knee to some absolute authority. You might call it a boring insistence on my own pride. But, I will firmly keep that attitude for the sake of standing next to Sword and succeeding as an adventurer.
…Guessing my feelings on the matter, Sword caressed my head.
“Don’t worry. Gender disparity or difference in social status doesn’t exist for adventurers. However, a distinction by rank is part of the show.”
“That’s no problem. Such concept is called 『Ability-ism』 in the other world. Anyway, as I had thought, adventurer is truly my calling.”
Sword laughed, “You sure happy-go-lucky ’bout this. Other adventurers don’t think ’bout it like that. It’s just that they’re ill-suited for other work. Adventurer is a job chosen by those with no money who hate havin’ to lower their head, gettin’ abused, or bein’ pushed ’round.”
That in itself is alright, though.
Suddenly I tried asking him something that popped up in my mind, “How was it for you?”
…The instant I asked, Sword froze. Kinda like he thought I wouldn’t ask.
“……Me? Your askin’ ’bout me, huh……? ……I wonder. I feel like I had some dreams and hopes in the beginnin’. But, those got crushed and trampled underfoot somewhere along the way, and before I realized, I had become an S-Rank.”
…That’s just like a song I’ve heard somewhere.
“Well, it’s not like I had any particular dreams and hopes before landing here. I won’t start preaching something like 『Let’s go on a big adventure to find the big treasure the pirate king hid away before getting captured and executed!』, you know?”
Sword exploded into laughter.
He finds it hilarious without actually understanding the meaning?
“Did you become an adventurer in the past while harboring such exaggerated dreams and hopes? Or does such a legend possibly exist?”
When I asked him with a tinge of admiration, he roared, “As if! Are you sayin’ that for real? I really don’t get you, girl.”
He was flabbergasted, but I think this would be an objective for adventuring that’s very easy to understand, and it’d be the very definition of what it means to have a dream.
Sword placed a hand on his jaw, brooding.
“Hmm… Let’s see…seein’ how I’ve finally obtained you as my partner and since we’re talkin’ ’bout having dreams, how about we head to the dungeon in the capital, the Kingdom’s most challengin’ dungeon which no one beat so far, and clear it with just the two of us?” Sword suggested, seemingly having come up with it on the fly.
Still, a dungeon, huh? Well, it does have something of a dream…I think?
“You’re right, I suppose that’s a 『reasonable』 dream to have.”
I mean, an adventurer’s dream isn’t about exploring known dungeons, but finding new ones, isn’t it? And isn’t it about discovering the riches and treasures hidden in such unexplored dungeons?
At very least it’s got to be about exploring the toughest and biggest dungeon on this planet!
“In that case, we might as well aim for the top dungeon in the world, no?”
“That would be the castle of the demon king country.” Sword told me.
“Okay, I see. So the Sir Dungeon Core is His Majesty the Demon King, huh? That definitely makes it worthwhile to capture the dungeon.”
Sword rolled his eyes.
“…That’s the least an adventurer’s dream should entail, no? Discovering new monsters or finding untrodden continents; those things are the core of adventuring.”
“Yeah, I got it now. I’ve fully understood that your idea of adventurers and the reality of adventurers got absolutely nothin’ to do with each other.” Sword nodded as if having come to some kind of conclusion on his own.
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