Chapter 4-43 : Looking For An Exit Ⅶ (part 2)
「Nord-san, Gray-san, nobody cares about your stinky muscles, so stop fooling around and let’s return to the village!」(Sarasa)
「Stinky muscles, you say? Look. Sarasa-kun, muscles are important in life. They’re convenient to have. Well, a skinny girl like you won’t understand though.」(Nord)
「He’s right. Sarasa-chan, I think you need more muscles.」(Gray)
「Not just muscles, she also needs some height.」(Nord)
I’m aware that I’m skinny and short, perhaps because I grew up in an orphanage.
However, I like the way I am. As a girl, I absolutely don’t want to be macho like them.
Who cares about muscles? I have magic!
How dare they mock a girl’s body like that!
Looks like I need to teach them a lesson!
「Nord-san… Gray-san… I think we should find out if you and those muscles you are proud of are stronger than a skinny short girl like me or not. Don’t worry. You don’t have to hold back just because I’m a girl.」(Sarasa)
As I said that, I cracked my knuckles and glared at them with blank yet intimidating eyes.
「Hold on, Sarasa-chan! Let’s… not do it!」(Gray)
「Hmph. If you’re that confident in your muscles, then can you carry that alchemy pot and magic furnace to the village?」(Sarasa)
I borrowed Daruna-san’s carriage to bring my alchemy pot and magic furnace here. Because Daruna-san needed his carriage to work, I returned it to him as soon as I was done using it.
It would take a long time if we had to go back to the village to borrow his carriage again, so I thought of making use of these men’s muscles instead.
With that in mind, I grinned at Nord-san and Gray-san.
Gray-san was at a loss for words because he knew how heavy my alchemy pot and magic furnace were because he helped me put them on the cart before we came here.
Meanwhile, Nord-san, who had no idea about it, was only tilting his head.
「Alchemy pot and magic furnace…?」(Nord)
「Yup. Hold on a second.」(Sarasa)
I went to the hut and returned while carrying my alchemy pot and magic furnace with both hands.
The two big items made a heavy sound as I put them in front of the two.
「There you go. Please don’t say that you can’t carry them. A skinny short girl like me can do it, so it should be easy for two men with splendid strong muscles, right~?」(Sarasa)
Nord-san and Gray-san were looking at me with their eyes wide open as if they couldn’t believe what they saw.
「Uhh… But, Sarasa-kun, it takes a few days of walking from here to the village, so…」(Nord)
「No problem. You’ll be in the village in one day if you run.」(Sarasa)
「You want us to carry those heavy things while running for a whole day in this jungle!?」(Nord)
「Ooh~? Nord-san, weren’t you so confident in your muscles a minute ago? Iris-san, Kate-san, what do you think?」(Sarasa)
Iris-san and Kate-san who came to see what was happening quickly read the situation and grinned at Nord-san and Gray-san as well.
「Well, I think muscles are not something to show off to other people but to be used.」(Iris)
「That’s right. There’s no point in having splendid muscles if you can’t even use them. Say, Nord-san, are those muscles of yours just for show? 」(Kate)
「O, Of course not! Oi, Gray, don’t just stay silent. Say something!」(Nord)
Gray-san had only been looking down at the ground without saying a thing. Perhaps he thought that there was no point in arguing with me.
「Hmph. As I thought. Muscles that were not born from actual combat aren’t that impressive after all.」(Gray)
「Huh? You still want to argue about that!?」(Nord)
「If you think that muscles that are born from training are better, then prove it!」(Gray)
After yelling at Nord-san, Gray-san approached the alchemy pot on the ground, lifted it, and carried it on his shoulder.
「Hey, that’s not fair! That pot looks lighter than the furnace!」(Nord)
Nord-san is not wrong. Certainly, the magic furnace is heavier than the alchemy pot.
However, since the magic furnace seems to be easier to hold due to its shape, it’s difficult to decide which one is easier to carry.
「No, it’s just your imagination. They’re almost the same in weight. If you believe in your muscles, then stop complaining and carry that furnace.」(Gray)
「Khh…! I’m sure it’s lighter than the furnace…. Oh, well…」(Nord)
Nord-san sighed and approached the magic furnace.
He carried it and followed Gray-san from behind, running toward the village.
「Sarasa-chan, let me apologize in Gray’s stead.」(Andre)
「No, it’s alright. Certainly, I’m a bit surprised by Gray-san’s behavior today but it’s nothing compared to Gil-san’s usual behavior.」(Sarasa)
「Hey, what does it mean!? Am I usually annoying!?」(Gil)
「Eh? You don’t realize it?」(Sarasa)
「Oh, come on!」(Gil)
Honestly, I think Gil-san is quite dependable and can get his work done perfectly, but he occasionally makes dirty jokes and acts like an idiot.
He’s not a bad person though.
「Gil, looks like it’s time for you to start learning how to act like an adult. By the way, Sarasa-chan, I’ve packed all our belongings, so we’re ready to go.」(Andre)
「Thank you, Andre-san. I know I can count on you.」(Sarasa)
Compared to Gil-san and Gray-san, Andre-san rarely acts stupid and can always be relied on.
As expected from their leader.
「Guys, I think we should hurry or we will lose them.」(Iris)
Iris-san looked in the direction of where Nord-san and Gray-san went.
Their backs looked smaller and smaller as they ran toward the village.
「Don’t worry. They won’t last long running at that pace while carrying that heavy equipment anyway.」(Andre)
「Yeah. I don’t think they can reach the village in a day. We will join them on the way.」(Sarasa)
After checking our luggage and making sure that we don’t leave anything in the hut, we decided to start walking.
「Alright. Let’s go home!」(Sarasa)
I clapped my hands together and lifted up my luggage.
「Ahh~ Finally we’re going home.」(Iris)
「Fufu. I suddenly remember when you cried while saying, “What if we can’t return home? What if we’re trapped in this cave forever?”」(Kate)
「Wh, What are you talking about? I, I didn’t cry, okay?」(Iris)
For some reason, Iris-san’s face turned slightly red.
She then brought her face closer to Kate-san’s and whispered to her.
「Hey, I told you not to talk about that in front of Store Owner-dono!」(Iris)
「Ahaha. Alright, I’m sorry.」(Kate)
Iris-san glanced at my face while whispering to Kate-san.
I barely heard her but somehow I knew what she was talking about.
I couldn’t help but put my hand on my mouth and giggled.
「Well, we can forget about that but Iris, you didn’t forget about what we should do after we get home, right?」(Kate)
「Ugh… Reporting to my father…?」(Iris)
「Yup… We still have more than a day to get home, so we still have time to think about it.」(Kate)
「We need to come up with a plan to avoid being scolded.」(Iris)
As Iris-san and Kate-san let out a sigh at the same time, Andre-san, Gil-san, and I followed them from behind while smiling.
The cold wind of winter blew with a rustling noise as we walked through the forest.
While feeling the coldness of the wind, Iris-san put her hands on her cheeks and looked up at the sky.
「It’s already winter, huh…? It’s so different from inside the cave.」(Iris)
「Yeah. It seemed that autumn had passed while we were in the cave.」(Kate)
Kate-san looked around the surrounding trees and muttered a little melancholically.
「We had been trapped in there for quite some time after all.」(Iris)
「But thinking that we’re still alive, losing a chance to enjoy this year’s autumn is not a big deal.」(Kate)
「You’re right… Winter, huh…? …Somehow I feel like it will be a tough season for us Collectors…」(Iris)
As Iris-san said that while looking at the sky, snow began to fall as if it responded to her words.