Chapter 200 : Ester’s House
When we reached the village square, there was no one around. It seemed that it was too early for people to start gathering.
After we passed the village square, we walked down the street to the west and stopped in front of a one-story wooden house that was slightly larger than Celine’s house. There was a small garden next to the house.
Ester reluctantly let go of my hand and opened the door.
「I’m home. Mom, Dad, I brought Mark and Nicola.」(Ester)
「Oh? Hello there. Welcome. You can come inside.」(Ester’s dad)
We were greeted by a man who seemed to be Ester’s dad. He has short blond hair and long elven ears.
There was a woman, who seemed to be Ester’s mom, sitting on a chair behind him, holding her big swollen belly. She seemed to be pregnant.
They both looked pretty young for parents who have a fifteen-year-old daughter.
I’ve already seen many young-looking half-elves in this village, but the gap between their appearances and their ages still surprises me.
「Good morning. I’m Mark. This is my sister, Nicola. She will work here for about three months. I hope you will take good care of her.」(Mark)
「I’m Nicola! Eight years old!」(Nicola)
Unlike me, who politely bowed to Ester’s dad, Nicola raised her hand and showed her usual angelic smile.
「Hoho! A polite brother and an energetic sister, I see. My name is Miguel. I’m Ester’s dad. And this is my wife, Stina.」(Miguel)
When Miguel-san introduced her wife, Stina-san, I couldn’t help but stare at her big belly.
She smiled at me while rubbing her stomach gently.
「Fufu. Ester will have a sibling soon. As you can see, I can’t work much, so I was happy when I heard from Ester that there was someone who wanted to work here.」(Stina)
I see. It seems that they currently don’t have enough manpower.
Nicola is going to help but I don’t think she can do much by herself. Perhaps I should also help them.
「Umm, if there’s anything I can do, let me help too.」(Mark)
「Mark, you want to work here too!? Yaay!!」(Ester)
Suddenly, Ester jumped and hugged me. She looks so happy.
I guess she is happy because she will be able to work with me rather than being happy because her parents get more manpower.
I didn’t say I would work here forever though…
Stina-san looked a bit surprised for a second when Ester suddenly hugged me. She then turned her face to me again and smiled.
「Mark-kun, thank you! I’m happy you want to help us as well. Alright then… Nicola-chan, can you help Miguel and Ester in the kitchen?」(Stina)
「And, Mark-kun, you will be helping me with other works.」(Stina)
「Mom, I’ve said this many times, but don’t overwork yourself, okay?」(Ester)
Ester looked at Stina’s belly worriedly, but Stina lowered her eyebrows, looking a little troubled.
「Hahh… Ester, I’ve said this many times too, but you don’t have to worry. I need to move my body for a little.」(Stina)
「Mark, please take care of my mom.」(Ester)
「Don’t worry. You can leave her to me.」(Mark)
Ester still looked a bit worried even after I replied to her so. She reluctantly headed to the kitchen with Nicola and Miguel-san, leaving me and Stina-san in the living room.
After confirming that we were alone, Stina-san grinned at me for some reason.
「You get along very well with my daughter, it seems~」(Stina)
「You know, you are the first boy my daughter brought into our home. Ester told me that you were her friend, but you two actually have a special relationship, right~?」(Stina)
A special relationship? Don’t tell me… she thinks that I and Ester are…
「N, No, no! We’re just friends.」(Mark)
「Ara ara~ You don’t have to hide it from me. It’s not that I want to interfere with your relationship with her, but rather I want to root for both of you. Well, as you know, she’s a bit childish, so you may find it hard to make progress.」(Stina)
She’s not listening to me…
「As her mother, I allow you to ask her for a date. You can hold her hand and kiss her anytime you want, so go for it!」(Stina)
Oi, oi… It’s not something you can say to an eight-year-old boy…
Hahh… She kinda reminds me of my mom…
Why do adults like to tease children like this?
「No, it’s not what you think. We are really just friends.」(Mark)
「Is… that so…?」(Stina)
I replied to her with a nod while looking at her with a serious expression.
Seeing how serious I was, Stina-san let out a big sigh.
「Haahh… You don’t seem to be lying. That’s too bad… I’m sorry, Mark-kun. I was so happy because I thought she finally decided on her future husband. I just don’t want people to call her “men hater” in the future just like they did to Celine.」(Stina)
「I, I see….」(Mark)
Stina-san leaned forward a little and stood up from her chair.
「Let’s get to work. There’s something we need to do in the backyard.」(Stina)
「Stina-san, if it’s something I can do by myself, let me do it for you. You can just sit here.」(Mark)
「Ara, you’re such a kind child. Thank you, but as I said earlier, I need to move my body a little. It’ll be bad for my baby’s health if I just sit all day doing nothing. Let’s go.」(Stina)
Saying that, Stina-san walked slowly toward the back door. I followed her from behind.
In the backyard, there was a shelf with a canopy on the top.
Firewood and charcoal were neatly piled on the shelf, and there was a small cart next to the shelf.
「By the way, we usually cook with magic tools, but sometimes we use firewood and charcoal. It’s a bit troublesome but there are some menus that need to be made with this method. Well, it’s not that you can’t make them with magic tools, but they will taste better if you use firewood and charcoal.」(Stina)
Come to think of it, in my previous life, there are also some dishes that will taste better if you use firewood or charcoal to cook them.
「Mark-kun, can you put some firewood and charcoal in this cart?」(Stina)
「Are we going to take them to the kitchen?」(Mark)
「If that’s the case, then…」(Mark)
I stretched my hand toward the shelf and put some firewood and charcoal in my Item Box
Stina-san was surprised when she saw the firewood and charcoal suddenly disappear.
「Eh!? I, Is that an Item Box? Ester said that you were an incredible child, but it seems to be true. As expected from a child who went on an adventure with Celine.」(Stina)
It seems that Celine has a good reputation in this village. It makes me kinda happy when people think that she is a strong and dependable adventurer.
「What should I do next?」(Mark)
「Well, there’s nothing left we can do here. Let’s go to the kitchen. Oh, right. Can you take the cart as well? You can park the card near the kitchen and dump the firewood and charcoal in it later so that Ester and the others can take them when they need them.」(Stina)
I then followed Stina-san to the kitchen while pushing the empty rattling cart.