Chapter 196 : Fall Asleep
「Look. Onii-chan is over there!」(Nicola)
Upon hearing Nicola’s voice coming from the distance, I was awake.
When I opened my eyes, I saw the sky was already dark.
I planned to sleep for just fifteen minutes or so, but it seemed that I slept for like two or three hours.
I raised my upper body and turned my gaze in the direction where Nicola’s voice came from.
I saw Nicola and Celine approaching me. There was a light ball floating above their heads as the source of light.
「I waited for you but you didn’t come back so I came to look for you, but… Ara~ Seems like you have been playing with Ester all this time and got closer to her. Fufu.」(Celine)
While saying that, Celine looked at someone next to me and smiled.
I glanced to the side and saw Ester sleeping while holding my hand.
It looks like she moved next to me while I was sleeping, and in the end, she fell asleep just like me.
『Hoho~ First, Delica, and then Pamella, and now you’re going to conquer Ester this time, huh? Onii-chan, this is not a story about building a ‘harem’ in another world, you know?』(Nicola)
『Huh? We’re just friends.』(Mark)
After replying to Nicola, I gently let go of Ester’s hand and shook her shoulder.
By the way, I thought that she had hard arm muscles since her arms were very strong, but her arm felt so much thinner and delicate than I imagined. No hard muscles at all. It was just like the normal arm of a girl.
As soon as Ester opened her eyes, she stared blankly at me.
「Ester, I’m sorry. We overslept because of me.」(Mark)
「Umm… I fell asleep too, so it’s not your fault…」(Ester)
Ester raised her upper body and looked around with her sleepy-looking eyes, but then she suddenly opened her eyes wide, pulled her feet out of the footbath, and stood up.
「I, It’s already dark!? And why is Celine here!?」(Ester)
「Good morning, Ester~」(Celine)
「Uhh, I wanna play with you but my mom will scold me if I’m late for dinner! I will come to play again tomorrow! See ya!」(Ester)
After saying that, she quickly grabbed her shoes and knee socks and started running barefoot toward her home.
I don’t know if it’s okay to run barefoot in the forest but I think she will be fine.
「What a busy girl. Well then, Mark, we should also go home and have dinner.」(Celine)
「Alright. I’m sorry you have to take the trouble to look for me.」(Mark)
「Fufu. Don’t worry about it~ I could have waited for you a bit longer, but my mom said she was hungry.」(Celine)
While talking to Celine, I took my feet out of the water that had become cold, took a towel from my Item Box, and wiped my feet.
The skin of my feet was a bit wrinkled because I soaked it in water for too long.
I put my socks and shoes on, and when I stood up, I just noticed that Celine wasn’t wearing her usual black dress.
「Oh? That one-piece dress…」(Mark)
She always wears a black dress but now she wears a white one-piece dress. I’ve seen her wear this outfit a few times, so it’s not so surprising, but still, it’s kinda refreshing seeing her in a white dress.
「Y, Yeah… This is the first time I’ve worn it since we came here. Do I look weird?」(Celine)
「Not at all.」(Mark)
Suddenly, Nicola sneezed a bit loudly.
「It’s so cold, so Celine onee-chan, let me borrow your waist~」(Nicola)
She then wrapped her arms around Celine’s waist.
「Ara ara~ It’s surely cold out here, so let’s hurry home~」(Celine)
I wanted to water the field but, I think I will do that later.
I nodded to Celine and followed the two from behind.
「Hwaahh~! Mark-chaann~ Why are you so late? I thought I was gonna starve to death…」(Eclain)
As soon as I entered the house, I saw Eclain resting her chin on the table, looking so eager to eat.
The person who once said that she would be fine as long as she could drink wine had been waiting for me without even drinking. I feel really bad…
「I’m so sorry. I was so tired and fell asleep…」(Mark)
After apologizing, I immediately took out some of the best meals made by my dad from my Item Box and put them on the table.
「Hmmm~~ Looks delicious! Let’s eat!」(Eclain)
As soon as she saw the food, Eclain sat straight and immediately started eating.
The three of us then sat on our chairs and started eating as well.
「By the way, Mark, I didn’t know you were so close to Ester. You know, she rarely plays with children in this village. What happened?」(Celine)
While eating my dad’s special beef steak, Celine asked me.
「We just became friends today.」(Mark)
「Is that so? I was a little worried that she didn’t have any friends the same age as her, so I’m relieved that you became her friend~」(Celine)
「*Munch munch* Ester-chan always practices alone in the woods all the time, so I thought she was the kind of child who didn’t want friends, but it seems like I was wrong. Children still need friends, after all. *Munch munch* I hope she will start making new friends so that she won’t become a men hater like a certain daughter of mine~」(Eclain)
While eating a delicious-looking salt-grilled Tentacles meal, Eclain joined the conversation.
She smirked at Celine as she said “A certain daughter of mine”. Celine then looked away.
「Ester-chan wants to become an adventurer, right? That means she will soon leave this village. I’m glad that she makes a friend while she is still here. Mark-chan, please be kind to her, okay?」(Eclain)
「Of course. By the way, Nicola will be working at Ester’s house starting tomorrow, so I think I will be able to see Ester every time I take Nicola to her house.」(Mark)
『Geh! So I’m really going to work starting tomorrow? Uuu…』(Nicola)
Nicola’s unenergetic voice was suddenly heard in my head.
Come to think of it, I haven’t told her yet that Ester agreed to hire her.
『I asked Ester to let you take three days off a week, so you have plenty of time to rest. Do your best not to disappoint our mom, will you?』(Mark)
『Three days a week, huh…? That’s not enough… I will need at least seven days off a week.』(Nicola)
『Then when will you work!?』(Mark)
『Can I take my first day off tomorrow?』(Nicola)
『Oi, you want to take a day off on your first day of work? Come on, it won’t be so bad. I will accompany you if you want.』(Mark)
『Khh…! I want to complain so badly… But… Ughh… Alright, fine!』(Nicola)
While saying that, Nicola glanced at me with resentful eyes, but then she closed her eyes and smiled when she put a piece of her beef steak in her mouth.
Dad’s special beef steak is amazing as always…