Chapter 228 : Exciting Hunting
After strolling around the village square while buying some stuff for about thirty minutes, we parted with Ester.
By the way, Nicola glared at Ester and me who were holding hands with jealous eyes the whole time…
After Nicola and I saw Ester off, we caught sight of a young man about the same age as Ester calling out to her. Ester then stopped walking and talked with him.
『Oya oya~ Look, Onii-chan. Someone is hitting on Ester-chan! Doesn’t it make you worry~?』(Nicola)
『Of course, it does! Aah, what should I do? Should I approach them?』(Mark)
『Ooh!? I was just teasing you. What an unexpected reaction. Phu phu! What happened? Are you developing a desire to monopolize her now that you have gotten even closer to her~?』(Nicola)
『It’s not what you think. You know Ester’s bad habit, right? She’s totally defenseless in front of someone she recognizes as her ‘friend’. Haven’t I told you that she even let me take a bath with her yesterday? I’m worried if she made another friend of the opposite sex, she would treat him the same way as she treats me.』(Mark)
『Khh…! You know that I want to bathe with her so badly. Why did you bring that up!? You want to brag ‘cause you have bathed with her while I haven’t, huh!?』(Nicola)
『That’s not the point! Besides, it was you who persistently told me to tell you about it last night! 』(Mark)
『Well, it’s because I was curious.』(Nicola)
『If you want to bathe with her so badly, then just ask her!』(Mark)
『Gunununu…!! It’s easy for you to say because she has recognized you as her friend!』(Nicola)
While Nicola and I were fighting, glaring at each other and arguing through telepathy, the young man who was talking with Ester suddenly dropped to his knees and hung his head while looking at the ground with blank eyes.
I don’t know what happened but he looks so depressed for some reason.
While I was wondering, Ester turned around and approached us.
「Ester, what happened? Who is that guy?」(Mark)
「I don’t know him… Umm… Mark, I know we just parted ways but… Can I stay with you a little longer…?」(Ester)
Ester asked me with cute upturned eyes.
I wonder if she’s afraid of that guy… But… I don’t think that young man is a bad guy though.
「Of course you can! We will send you home if you want! Right, Onii-chan~?」(Nicola)
Nicola turned her face and glared at me without Ester knowing, telling me to say ‘Yes’.
「Y, Yeah, of course. We’ll take you home.」(Mark)
「Thank you, Mark! Nicola!」(Ester)
『Gufufu~! With this, I got at least 3 ‘friend points’! The day when I become Ester-chan’s friend is drawing near~』(Nicola)
『’Friend points’, huh? How many points have you earned so far, by the way?』(Mark)
『Umm, twenty, maybe?』(Nicola)
『Then how many points do you think you need to become her friend?』(Mark)
『Huh? How am I supposed to know that? Anyway, I’ll just keep doing as best as I can to earn Friend Points!』(Nicola)
『I, I see… Good luck…』(Mark)
I wanted to say, “Friend Points have no meaning then?” but I refrained from saying that so as not to discourage her.
「Well then, shall we go to your home now?」(Mark)
Ester grabbed my hand and then the three of us started walking together, heading to Ester’s house.
『Gununu…! Those hands will be mine too someday! I swear!』(Nicola)
As always, Nicola glared at my and Ester’s hands that were holding each other with jealous eyes.
After sending Ester home, Nicola and I went to Celine’s house to have lunch as usual.
Today, Celine didn’t look in a good mood for some reason.
After we finished our meal, I was about to ask her what happened, but she started talking before I could ask.
「Mark, I want to take a break from refining my crystal branch today, so we’re not going to the Portal Crystal.」(Celine)
「I see. Do you have a different plan today?」(Mark)
Replying to me, Celine nodded with a tired face.
「Yeah. I’m going hunting later.」(Celine)
『Oh!? Are we going girls hunting!?』(Nicola)
『Huh!? I don’t think so. What are you? A flirtatious man with a good-looking face who goes to the beach just for picking up women?』(Mark)
After glancing at Nicola for a second, I turned my gaze toward Celine and asked.
「Why do you wanna go hunting all of a sudden?」(Mark)
「The village’s harvest festival is coming up soon. It’s the festival where everyone in this village brings various foods and eats them together in the village square. Since I haven’t contributed anything to the village since I returned, Deel told me to join the hunt… Haaahhh… What a pain in the butt…」(Celine)
I see… That’s why Celine looks like she’s in a bad mood today and Deel looked somewhat happy when I saw him in the village square.
「What are you going to hunt? Monsters?」(Mark)
「Yeah. There are bird-type monsters called “Arrow Dodging Birds” on the other side of the river. We’re going to hunt them. As the name suggests, they’re good at dodging arrows, so people named them just like that. Well, I might hit them with my Fire Arrows, but the forest would burn if I miss. I don’t know why but I have a feeling that Deel told me to join just because he wants to show off his magic skills to me… Does he really think that I’m gonna be impressed?」(Celine)
Celine answered while frowning, making wrinkles on her forehead.
Deel is annoying but he’s not a bad person. Still, Celine seems to hate him no matter what he does.
「Mark, I think you should join us. I hate to admit it but for a super annoying person, Deel is very good at magic. I think you will learn something from him.」(Celine)
「I see. Alright then. I don’t have anything to do anyway.」(Mark)
When we finished talking, we suddenly heard someone knocking on the door and thenー
ーa guy in green clothes barged into the house.
「Yo, Celine! It’s me, your future husband, Deel! Fwahaha!」(Deel)
Yup. It was Deel.
He walked into the house before anyone could open the door. Because of that, he was welcomed with disgusted gazes by the four of us.
「What a cramped house as usual! Celine, you should become my wife and live in my big house! Fwahaha!」(Deel)
Celine frowned even more, increasing the number of wrinkles on her forehead.
This is not good… She will look older if she keeps making that kind of face…
「Ara, how dare you said that in front of the owner of this house~」(Eclain)
Eclain glanced at Deel and said that while eating fried beans and drinking wine.
She doesn’t seem to care about what Deel just said though.
「By the way, Deel, can you sprinkle more salt on your fried beans before bartering them? They’re not salty enough.」(Eclain)
「Is that so? I’ll let my chef know about this. Well then, Celine, shall we go now? Kid, you’re going too!」(Deel)
「Alright, alright… Just wait outside while we’re preparing. Shoo, shoo!」(Celine)
While still looking at Deel with a disgusted face, Celine waved her hand in a disgusted manner as if she was chasing away a filthy dog or something.
「Alright, I’ll wait for you outside! Hurry up and finish the preparation, will you? Fwahaha!」(Deel)
While laughing loudly, Deel turned around and went outside.
「What a noisy man… Well then, you guys have fun~」(Eclain)
「And you don’t drink too much, okay?」(Celine)
「Hahh… Well then, let’s start the preparation. Nicola-chan, do you want to join us?」(Celine)
「Un! It seems interesting!」(Nicola)
『You sure you wanna come?』(Mark)
『Of course. I can’t miss the chance to see Celine drenched in sweat!』(Nicola)
Listening to her stupid reason, I sighed and took out the expensive cloaks and leather shoes for adventuring that we got from Grandpa.