The Peerless Kobold - Chapter 156
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(That little fox looks awfully familiar…)
If memory serves me right, I think this is the disguised form of the fox-mixed Kobold I met in the forest half a year ago. I still remember that time because I was astonished by its behavior of acting as bait to lure out the prey.
(It even raised its paw in greeting, was it directed at me?)
In other words, the man who is carrying a Compound Bow on his back and the little fox sitting on his shoulder is…
(Could it be… could it be them?)
My eyes were unconsciously glued to the lightly armored archer. His well-trained, wrought iron-like physique coupled with the impression of a hunting dog made it impossible to look away and I became curious.
“Hnn? Anything wrong?”
“Nuh-uh, it’s nothing.”
Ares, who brought him, tilted his head and looked like he was wondering about my reaction, so I gave him a vague reply, but for some reason, Mirea who was sitting beside me, took interest.
“Could it be love at first sight for our Myuri? So you’ve finally come to that age～♪”
“… I, there’s only one difference between us, isn’t there?”
“I’m curious, is that refined body slightly firmed up by alchemy?”
Although she’s smiling mischievously, I’m sure she wasn’t ogling the silver-haired man, but the impressive metal bow on his back. It seems there are several unfamiliar parts attached to it which makes it distinctly different from the mass-produced bows similar to it.
(Hnn~, but his bow is quite different from when I saw it before…)
As I became anxious about not knowing what to expect, Ares began to introduce us with a refreshing smile.
“Oh sorry, we haven’t introduced ourselves yet. I’m Ares, a vanguard warrior. The lightly armored warrior over there is my partner Riberto, and the injured girl over there is Mirea, the archer I told you about earlier.”
Ares pointed to himself first when he introduced himself, then said the names of the people who were seated on the round table while they lightly nodded in return.
“And lastly, this is our resident mage, Muriel.”
He had slightly emphasized the Mage part of my introduction, but I pretended to act natural and extended my hand.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. silver-haired archer.”
“… Yes, I look forward to working with you, the name’s Archer.”
A magic-user can feel the magic possessed by each individual through physical contact. Although I hesitated a little, I figured it should be alright since I’ve slept and shared meals with her before, so I shook the soft, white hand that she offered to me.
After she nodded slightly with a confident look, she moved her chair and pulled another one from the next table, and gestured for me to take a seat beside her.
There was no reason for me to refuse, so I obediently followed, and Ares also took a seat and called for a waitress.
“It’s on me today, order anything you like!”
“I don’t remember agreeing to anything yet though, is that alright?”
“Oh it’s fine, I’m just glad you agreed to listen.”
“But aren’t you paying for it using our living expenses? Don’t try to act cool.”
Ares became speechless when his companions retorted and quietly opened the menu instead and ordered some bergamot herb tea and a dish, and asked for a plate of milk while pointing at my sister who was resting on my shoulder.
After I quickly made my order and looked up from the menu in front of me, I met Mirea’s gaze and she told me about what happened in Grau village.
During that time, I observed her and saw that she was wearing skimpy clothes which were focused on ease of movement and looked at the painful-looking wounds on her hands, arms, and thighs which were wrapped in bandages.
Basically, healing magic uses magic intervention to forcefully activate the body’s healing process, so if a healer tries to forcibly heal someone with a grave injury, the body will be unable to withstand the rapid recovery, and the wound will heal unnaturally, leaving after-effects behind.
Additionally, since healing serious injuries consume a great deal of energy, there was a tendency for the affected person to die from over-exhaustion in worst-case scenarios. So whenever there are life-threatening injuries, it’s necessary to let the wound heal naturally over time while assessing their physical strength.
(From what I see, those wounds would take at least two weeks to heal.)
It would be suicidal if they took her along in such a state, so it was the right call for them to find a temporary replacement.
“So, what do you think? We’d like it if you could help us out though.”
Muriel gave me an expectant look as she lightly fidgeted with the hem of her dress.
In the first place, there’s no other quest I could do aside from this one anyway and I was more than willing to join her since I’ve already made a connection with her before, so I nodded as I took a bite out of the rye bread.
“N, thank you, we’ll be counting on you.”
“Great! With this, I can finally take it easy and focus on recovering.”
“I know it’s been said before, but we’ll be counting on you, Archer.”
“I’ll do my best.”
I stuck my fork into a dish of roasted venison that had been cut into bite-sized pieces as I responded to the lightly armored warrior called Riberto (I think), and fed it to my sister who had been stomping on my shoulder since earlier.
“Kyua~n♪ Kuon, gauu!” (Yummy~♪ Big brother, gimme more!)
Tsk, I’m already feeding you, and yet you’re asking me to give you more!?
You spoiled beast!!
As I helplessly poked at another piece of meat, Mirea pointed at the little fox.
“Hey, can I touch it?”
“Eh, you shouldn’t touch other people’s companions…”
Muriel, who knew about us, stopped her, but Mirea shook her head.
“I didn’t mean the little fox, I wanted to touch his bow!”
It seems she was pointing at the bow on my back and not at my sister, so I handed her the bow sling that was attached to my leather armor, or rather, I handed her the leather case that holds my Mechanical Bow Baroque.
“Wow, the handle has been slightly hardened by alchemy while the rim is made of layers of thin sheets of wood made pliable through alchemy and hardened by resin!? I’ve never seen anything like this… What is this?”
After carefully receiving the mechanical bow, Mirea excitedly started talking as she examined it. As I listened to her yammering, unfamiliar words popped up here and there but it merely flew over my head.
(I said I’d take it, but I didn’t know it was this special…)
As I thanked Ernesta in my mind, a woman neatly dressed in a maid outfit entered the guild and walked up to Muriel who was munching on some stir-fried vegetables.
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