I stare at the woman the Yuusha called “princess” intently. At first, my gaze was due to confusion, and fear… but it was soon replaced by a feeling similar to looking at beautiful scenery. Her long pink hair that hung to her waist and slender pale body were like those of a doll. Though she angrily scolded the Yuusha, she still radiated a warm feeling.
“I’m sooo sorry about him!” She says turning to me and bowing
“Hey, didn’t that butler guy at the castle say you weren’t supposed to bow to people?” The Yuusha says as he puts his hands in his pockets nonchalantly
“Then stop doing things I need to apologize for! When you asked to leave the castle without a guard I told them I would take responsibility! If you keep going around harassing people, then not only is it going to bother me, but it’s going to make them think you’re an incompetent Yuusha!” The princess yells turning back to the Yuusha to continue scolding
“Please is there anything I can offer you in return for forgiving him?” She says bowing to me again
I’m left in awe of the situation in front of me. My eventual murderer is being scolded by the princess, who is constantly degrading herself for the sake of making sure he doesn’t look bad. I’m so stunned that I just continue to stare as I try to recompose myself.
“Hello?” She says tilting her head up at me
“Oh! Um… well…. Yeah, just…. Forget about it.” I stutter out flustered
“Are you sure there isn’t anything?” She says with tears in her eyes
“No! No, no, no, I mean don’t worry about it! Water under the bridge!” I spurt out flustered again
“Water?” She asks tilting her head again.
“Ugh! …Don’t worry about that either. I have something I need to go report to the merchants of this town, so I should be headed that way.” I say calming down and remembering the danger of the situation in front of me
“Merchants? Oh! Then take this!” She says taking a ring off of her finger
It is only one of about 3-4 rings she is wearing on her hands, but it is certainly the most plain. It is a simple iron band with a flat area that displays a strange symbol.
“If you show this to any merchants they will let you trade with them!” She says placing it in my hand
“Oh… um, I don’t really nee-” I get out before I turn to look at her
“Ouuuu” she whimpers as tear begin to form in her eyes again
“Ack! Okay, I’ll take it!” I say putting the ring on to show her
“Yay! The Yuusha seems to have a good eye for people! Please do consider heading his request, you will be rewarded greatly.” She says looking over her shoulder at the wandering Yuusha
I don’t know when he wandered off, but he is currently playing with a cat-like creature. Seems after he got scolded he lost interest in me. I must admit I’m curious about the creature he’s playing with as well.
Looking at him, he only seems to be maybe 14-15. I suppose the princess here somehow got stuck babysitting… Now that I think about it, how old am I? When I looked into the mirror earlier, I thought I looked about as old as a high school student… but that can be pretty vague. I would believe someone if they told me I was anywhere in the age range of 17 to my early 20s.
My thoughts are brought back by the puppy-eyed princess looking at me expectantly
Sigh “Fine, I’ll think about it. No promises though. I have other plans, and I don’t really think I could put up with him for the rest of my journey” I say looking past her at the Yuusha
I regret saying that I’m kind of lucky that he was annoying and immature; it gives me the perfect reason to say I don’t want to be around him. I might have gotten stuck with him for fear of looking suspicious if he were charming in any way.
Sigh “I can understand that much… He’s not that bad though” the princess says looking fondly at him
Hmm? Do I sense some romantic inclination on her part? Looking at her, she doesn’t seem to be much older than the Yuusha. Maybe they could live happily ever after… though thinking on that, it would have to stem from my death. I really do feel like the bad guy for saying this, but I’m really hoping that happy ending doesn’t happen.
“Well… I’m going to go now. I have quite a few things that I need to do and something tells me if I get sucked into his rhythm again that I’m not going to get any of it done.” I say as I slowly start to leave
“Okay~ Keep in touch! If you’re ever in the capital please stop by the castle!” The princess yells as she waves me away
“Hey where are you going? Aren’t you going to join my par- ACK!” The hero says as he begins to run after me, only to be interrupted by the princess grabbing his collar
“Now, now Yuusha-san we have business to take care of!” The princess says dragging him away
…I can’t help but feel like I just dumped my biggest problem onto the nicest person I’ve met since being summoned/born into this world. It feels even worse than wishing the Yuusha didn’t get a happy ending too.
A smile breaks out on my face, as I can finally walk in the relative peace of the streets to the Merchants Guild. Since my peaceful walk here was completely ruined, I wait for a moment before entering the manor when I arrive. I take the moment to recompose and ready myself to negotiate and acquire the trade for the goblins. Then-
“You?!” I hear from behind me
I turn to see the merchant named Harum standing behind me with a surprised look. The look turns to a look of conceit after a moment however.
“Hmph, so you gave up already huh? Figured you would have at least stayed out there another day or two just to make it look good. Don’t worry though, we already sent to Yuusha to clean up your failure.” He says looking down on me
“Huh? What are you talking about? The goblin camp has been taken care of just as you have asked.” I respond irritated
I understand he thought it was going to be difficult… but for him to think I had no chance irritates me. I’m only irritated more by the idea of needing help from the Yuusha.
“What?! You lie!” Harum blurts out in response
“Listen you! Send anybody you like! The goblin camp has been taken care of!” I yell in return
“That little girl took down the goblin camp?”
“I can’t believe Harum would even send her…”
“…Perhaps they aren’t as reputable as we thought…”
Groups of nearby merchants and residents of the town begin to chat to those close to them about the scene.
“…Ahem! Maybe we should discuss this further in my office?” Harum says trying to save face
He just can’t hide the look of irritation on his face though.
Still irritated I follow him to his office while staring daggers into the back of his head. As we walk into his office, I notice the one named Faurch staring out the window.
“Ara? You have returned so soon?” Faurch says turning to meet me with a smile
Somehow… he doesn’t seem surprised. If he assumed I would fail as well… I’m not going to be happy.
“Yes… She claims to have completed the job we sent her on already.” Harum says sitting at his desk
He rests his head on his hands in a way that would suggest a headache.
“Hohoho I figured as much. You don’t seem like the kind to waste time on such a task.” Faurch says smiling
…I don’t feel like I can trust his smile. He always seems to have a double meaning to whatever he says.
“Master… you don’t mean to tell me you believe her?” Harum says raising his head
“Why of course I do. Do you truly think a noble would risk the name of their family just to read some old books?” Faurch says glaring at Harum
“Hmph! Fine! Then you may read whatever book you please! If that is all, then please leave.” Harum says placing his head back on his hands
“Not just yet.” I respond
“You said that if I returned that we would discuss my reward. While I was taking care of the goblins, I thought long and hard about what I wanted in return.” I say
“You! You should feel lucky just to be able to read from our library! I see no reason why we should reward you with anything more than that!” He yells in response, raising his head again
The veins on his forehead protrude to show his anger.
“I wish for trade between your partners and my family’s territory,” I say disregarding him and turning to Faurch
Honestly, I wish I didn’t even have to deal with this fool.
“Wha?!” Harum blurts out
“Recently our realm of control has increased. I will spare you the details, but the point is that we need recourses to build a new town on our domain.” I continue ignoring Harum completely
“Preposterous! You don’t even have the documentation to establish trade, do you!” Harum yells
“Calm yourself!” Faurch barks out
Hearing him angry silences the room. Both Harum and I stare at him in amazement.
“Are you so angry as to forget everything I’ve taught you?! What was lesson one?!” He continues in a commanding tone
“…Look at the customer’s hands, and learn about their past…” Harum responds dejected
“Have you done so since meeting her today?” Faurch asks, still talking with a commanding tone
Harum turns from Faurch to look at my hands.
“Wha?!” He blurts out with a look of amazement on his face
“The royal crest! How in the world did you receive such a thing?!” Harum ask
“This? I was told it would serve to make merchants trade with me. I received it as an apolo-… a gift from the princess.” I respond looking further at the ring
The royal crest? Did I accidentally get an important rare item? I suppose I shouldn’t go around saying the real reason the princess gave it to me… or it may cause her more trouble.
“Hohoho, that it certainly will!” Faurch says happily
“…I can’t believe this. If I must continue to deal with this woman, I’m sure to go bald by winter!” Harum says returning his head once more to his hands.