“Pwahahaha! You had to leave cause you couldn’t read a word of it!” Kera exclaims after I finish my explanation of the situation
“Why do you hit the same place twice!?” She yells as she crouches down and nurses the bump on her head
“Because you won’t get the message any other way! …Still, the situation wasn’t a complete waste. That nap I took gave me quite a few abilities.” I say looking through my skill menu again
I don’t have the greatest memory in the world, so it’s going to be quite hard for me to remember all of these skills while in combat. It would be easier to remember combos that I thought up beforehand. I wish somebody could survive my attacks so that I could practice them. Maybe I can find a monster that will be able to challenge me soon.
“How did it go with the geezers?” Kiel ask
“Hmm… I think one of them is suspicious of me, but he’s a hard person to read. Either way, I managed to negotiate a trade for the goblins. It would be best if we left quickly though.” I say brushing myself off a bit
“I still want to go and pay my respects to Tea for sending us this armor. Kiel, you should come with me.” I say motioning for Kiel to follow
“Ah, sure!” He says enthusiastically as he follows
“Oi!” Kera yells stopping us in our tracks
“What is it?” I ask as I turn and look at her
“…Seriously you don’t think at all do you?!” She says as she marches over to me
She grabs something out of her bag before lunging suddenly at me. Caught off guard I recoil backward and we both fall to the ground.
“Hey! What are you doin- no stop!- I demand that yo- stop!” I say as I struggle around as she pins me down in various places while doing something to my head.
“Sit still for a minute!” She yells back as she grabs both my horns hard
I feel a bolt of electricity run through me as my body completely freezes. Kera notices this and keeps her hands on my horns.
“Do you want to go outside with your horns still visible?” She says as she moves her hands around on my horns
…I completely forgot about them again. Should I make more monsters so they will shrink again? No, I can hardly even manage what I have. Perhaps there is some way to store the energy for later. I should ask Gero about that.
“There!” Kera says releasing my horns and getting off of me
“Ah! They’re gone!” Kiel says as he points to my head
Wait my horns are gone? Did she remove my horns!?
I quickly dart my head around the room searching for a mirror. My face turns blue as I find one. On my head, not even stubs remain. It looks as if I had never even had horns in the first place.
“What have you done with my horns?! Return them now!” I yell out suddenly, grasping Kera’s shoulders and shaking her violently
…Huh? Was I that attached to my horns? I don’t think they look particularly good or anything, but for some reason, I’m filled with rage and despair that the thought of them disappearing.
“Them” Kera says in spurts, attempting to talk through being shaken
“…What?” I say with a befuddled look on my face
I stop shaking her so she can explain.
Sigh “I simply put on some Meni Toad oil on them so we can stop covering them up,” Kera says with an exasperated look
I take one of my hands off of her and reach upward to feel for my horn. Sure enough, it’s there.
“Aren’t we jumpy today? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the library?” Kera says mockingly
You… If you had just explained that instead of lunging at me against my will, this confusion never would have happened.
I blush as I realize the lack of dignity that I was showing a moment ago.
“Hihihi, pretty cool right? It’s completely invisible.” Kera says with an incredulous grin
“Three times?! Why this time?!” Kera says as she falls to the floor to nurse her ever-growing bump
“Come on Kiel, we should hurry,” I say as I begin to leave the room again, though I imagine I was still blushing
“Wait! Be careful. Like I’m sure you have already figured out, you can’t see the horns but you can still feel them. If you go poking out anybody’s eyes with one of those things, it won’t be easy to explain.” Kera says
“…Okay.” I say after considering the scenario
My horns are something that I don’t think I could ever explain. If a person were ever to see them… my options would be slim. I need to be extremely careful in the future not to let them be seen.
With that, we exited the shop. On the streets, a commotion could be heard coming from the main road.
Kiel and I stare at an oddly large amount of people excitedly setting up stalls and booths. The town almost seems to be in a frenzy for some reason.
“What in the world is going on? It wasn’t nearly this busy earlier.” I say
“Beats me. It almost looks like they are setting up for a festival or something. I don’t remember any holidays being around this time though.” He says absentmindedly as he stares in minor amazement at the scene
“Perhaps Tea will know what’s going on. Which reminds me… I need to grill him for not telling me about the Yuusha coming through town.” I say as we continue forward
Tea’s shop is on a different street than Kera’s, but we don’t want to go into the chaos on the main road, so we take back-alleys and paths to get there. It doesn’t take long to navigate a path, as Kiel seems very familiar with the alleys of this village.
I must say though, for the size of this town it’s surprising that there are even alleys. You can see either end of the city from most streets, but the buildings separating them are so tightly packed in that they resemble large cities. Between each street are two rows of buildings, each leaving only small gaps between one another.
As we approach Tea’s shop we hear a loud sound resembling breaking glass.
“Old man!” Kiel yells as he runs for the shop
Worried as well I follow close behind.
Kiel practically tackles the door making it fly open. Inside is Tea behind the counter looking surprised and worried, with a man in front of the counter looking over his shoulder at us. The man has slicked back spiky red hair and a shady trench coat-like outfit. He is holding a small dagger just above an area on the counter that has been smashed through.
Is Tea getting robbed?
“Tch! You better pay up next time you rat geezer!” The red-haired man says tossing the dagger in his hand to the side and walking towards the door. I nearly decked him as he went past, but just as I clenched my fist Tea suddenly collapsed behind the counter.
“Tea!” I yell as I rush behind the counter to help him
He is on his knees with his arms limp at his sides looking at the ceiling. He is breathing heavily and sweat is running down his bald head, but aside from that, he looks fine.
“Maaaan! I seriously thought that was going to be the end!” He says breathing what seems to be a sigh of relief
“Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” I ask as I further inspect him for wounds.
“No, I was just a bit scared. Thanks for your concern.” Tea says looking at me with a heart lightening smile
Good. My heart skipped quite a few beats there when I thought he was hurt. Now that I know that he is okay…
“Kiel,” I say without looking back
“Yes?” He asks
“Bring him to me,” I answer
“Roger!” He says drawing his sword and turning on his heel
“Stop! You’ve misunderstood!” Tea yells outstretching his hand
Kiel turns and looks angrily at Tea, almost as if to say “I understand perfectly”.
“That man is from the financing company. He was simply here to collect a payment I owe.” Tea says turning to meet me instead of Kiel
“You took out a loan?” I ask looking over the damage again
Isn’t a financing company supposed to take collateral if they don’t receive payment? Why in the world did they break his counter for it?
“Well… at first, I didn’t really think it was a great idea, but these men who truly love weapons convinced me to do it!” Tea says with an expression of pride and happiness
“Weapon lovers?” slips out of my mouth in my surprise at his sudden change in mood
“Indeed! The men who I met both carried around huge decorative swords! After we talked for a while, they took me back to their office! It was amazing! They had swords, spears, crossbows, even decretive patterns that would look amazing on weapons hanging all over their walls!” Tea continued with a look like he could hardly contain himself
He… found a loan shark.
“Thing is… they have been kind of aggressive about their payments. I could swear I’ve already paid back what I owed for quite some time now… but every time I mention it they get angry. Am I offending them in some way?” Tea asks as he crosses his arms and lowers his head to ponder the question
I didn’t notice before, but Tea is an airhead isn’t he?
“Tea… I think you have been scammed.” I say attempting to break it to him gently
“Hm? Did Kiel put you up to this? I’ve already told him a hundred times that they are perfectly respectable people! Men who love weapons cannot be foul!” Tea says sternly while looking at Kiel
Kiel turns and refuses to look back. At his side, I see his fist clench so hard that it could only be painful.
I watch for a moment as I realize how long Kiel must have been trying to help him. It seems like he could hardly stand to watch anymore.
“Where is this office you mentioned?” I ask looking back to Tea
“Are you going to go and cause trouble?” Tea asks with a concerned look
“No, of course not. I… recently decided on peddling while I travel. Such respectable men sound like just the people to get a small loan from! I’ll even ask them about your situation while I’m up there for you.” I say putting on a fake smile
“Well… that’s a great idea! A pretty girl like you would be so much more successful than I would! You can find them up in the capital, they call themselves the “Grand Tier Company”. Tea responds with a happy smile
I look at Kiel to see what he thought… he stared back at me with a look I would nearly describe as “disgust.”