Chapter 284 : Baked Sweets
「Ester, is there a place you want to visit in this village?」(Mark)
「I’m not sure… You know that I’ve never been here before, right? I’ll go wherever you go.」(Ester)
After saying that, she smiled at me and grabbed my hand.
She had been acting strangely toward me for a while after I helped her refine her Portal Crystal, but I’m glad that she naturally held hands with me like before.
Alright. I wonder where we should go.
We can go walk down the main street or we can go all the way back where we came from, or…
「Umm… Let’s go that way.」(Mark)
When I pointed at a side street branched from the main street, Ester nodded and replied to me cheerfully.
Ester and I were walking along the dry dirt road.
Most of the buildings built along this street were private houses, so it must be a residential area. However, I could also see a few shops among the private houses.
One of the shops seemed to be a greengrocer’s shop. There were large baskets filled with onions in front of the store.
According to what I heard from Kazuul-san, the specialty agricultural product of Lev Village is onions.
There are so many fields in this village but most of them are onion fields.
While we were walking down the street and looking at the houses and fields, I noticed that the surrounding people were staring at us.
Do outsiders like us stand out that much?
I heard that there are not many people visiting this village in winter, but…
「Say, Ester, do you notice that so many people are staring at us?」(Mark)
「Yeah, and I think I know the reason.」(Ester)
Saying that, Ester pointed at her ears.
Ah, I see now. I had forgotten about her ears because I’m already used to seeing them, but Ester has pointy ears.
It seems that elves and half-elves who have pointy ears rarely visit this village.
By the way, Kazuul-san is a half-elf but he has rounded ears just like Celine.
Come to think of it, I’ve never seen people with pointy ears in Fatia either.
I think staring at people like that is rude, but I can’t blame them since I once did the same thing. I remember I stared at Nei with curious eyes when I first saw her in Sadola Town because I had never seen a dwarf before.
「Ester, do you feel uncomfortable when people stare at you?」(Mark)
「Just a little, but I understand their feelings, so I don’t blame them. It’s only natural that you will curiously look at something you’ve never seen before.」(Ester)
「I see. You’re right.」(Mark)
Nei didn’t mind when I stared curiously at her, so I understand Ester’s feelings.
However, I would feel annoyed if I were Ester, honestly.
I feel good when people are watching me when I show off my magic skills, but I feel uncomfortable when people stare at me when I’m not doing anything.
「Mark, look! I wonder what they sell.」(Ester)
Ester pointed at a shop selling food on the other side of the street.
I know that they sell food because there are many children eating something in front of the shop.
「Wanna take a look?」(Mark)
I could smell a fragrant aroma coming from the shop as we approached it.
The children gathering in front of the shop were staring curiously at Ester but she didn’t seem to mind.
When I got closer to the shop and looked inside, I saw a middle-aged woman baking something rectangular about the size of a TV remote control.
It seems to be baked sweets, but I’ve never seen baked sweets like that before.
The lady noticed us and turned her face toward us while kept moving her hands, baking the sweets.
「Hello there! I’ve never seen you two before. Are you new here?」(middle-aged lady)
「We are on a trip. We came from Schultria Village.」(Mark)
「I see. Welcome to Lev Village! Do you want some baked sweets?」(middle-aged lady)
「Sure. I want two of them, please.」(Mark)
「Right away~」(middle-aged lady)
The lady wrapped two of the sweets with some kind of leaf and handed them to me.
「It costs two copper coins each, so it will be four copper coins for two.」(middle-aged lady)
Two copper coins each? That’s super cheap!
It’s only about twenty yen (around fifteen to twenty cent).
Perhaps the cheap price is the main reason why this shop became a hangout spot for children.
「Four copper coins. Got it.」(Mark)
When I was about to take money out of my pocket, Ester stopped me.
「No, Mark. I will pay.」(Ester)
「It’s alright. You know that I just made a lot of money from selling logs, right?」(Mark)
「Yeah, but I’m older than you. Besides, these sweets are cheap, so let me pay.」(Ester)
Watching us arguing, the lady giggled.
「Look how close you two are. Say, Onee-chan, at times like this you should let your little brother show his cool side by letting him pay for you. 」(middle-aged lady)
「Onee-chan…? Ahh, I see… So we look like an older sister and a little brother, huh…?」(Ester)
After Ester muttered so to herself, he lowered her shoulders and her pointy ears, looking disappointed for some reason.
Seeing her disappointed face made me curious, I brought my face closer to hers and asked her in a low voice.
「Ester, what do you want us to look like exactly?」(Mark)
「A coupーー N, Never mind!」(Ester)
I don’t know what she was talking about, but her face turned red somehow.
I think I should leave her alone for now.
I took out the money from my pocket and handed it to the lady.
「Thank you~ Please come again~」(middle-aged lady)
「Thank you. Onee-chan, let’s eat while walking, shall we?」(Mark)
「Geez, don’t call me Onee-chan!」(Ester)
Ester pouted at me. She took a bite of the baked sweets and walked away from the shop.
「I’m just kidding, you know?」(Mark)
I followed her and took a bite of the golden-colored hot baked sweets as well.
Mmm~! It’s too delicious for two copper coins baked sweets!
Perhaps I should buy more on our way back to the inn.
When I thought of buying more of the baked sweets while following Ester, suddenly the nearby children surrounded us.
They kinda reminded me of Delica and the members of Moonlight Wolf Team when I met them for the first time in the vacant lot in Fatia.
I wonder what they want…