It became quite late by the time everybody finished eating. We actually had a rather nice time joking around and telling stories. Lacking any stories to tell I of course abstained, which only made the Yuusha become more interested in me. He said something along the lines of “A swordsman of reputable strength and a mysterious past! A bit of a tsundere even! You have to become part of my party!”. He was unnecessarily energetic after he recovered from eating my food.
After having something of a party we all decided it was time to go back to the Inn and rest.
“Mano I’m cold!” Mana complains as we begin to walk
“Hold on, I have something you can wear.” I say remembering some of the clothes from the castle that I have stored in my inventory
Earlier Kera explained to me that special magic like the one that my inventory uses is apparently quite rare without some kind of magical item as a medium. In order to make accessing my inventory more manageable in public I decided to start wearing a strange ring that I found along with the clothes. The item seems to be perfectly normal, but it looks extravagant to the point of being completely unique. As such I can claim any items that I pull out of thin air are actually stored within the ring.
“Here you go.” I say pulling out a pelt and draping it over Mana
“It is rather cold though. Are we in the winter season?” I ask turning to Kiel
The days still seem rather warm, so I hadn’t really thought too hard on it, but what are the seasons like in this world? In some RPG’s the seasons would never change in certain areas and colder weather was simply a common occurrence to some cities.
“Precisely! I’ve been telling Hark the same thing, but he insists that it’s still warm enough to camp outside!” The princess lets out with a huff
“This world is really sensitive to the cold isn’t it? It feels quite nice to me.” The Yuusha argues with a bit of a defiant face
sigh “can such a selfish man really be the Yuusha?” The princess says to herself exasperated
“Huh?” I let out as something cold hits my face
When I go to investigate all that is left is a drop of water. It didn’t hit with nearly enough force to be a raindrop though. I look to the sky to try and surmise it’s origin when I’m treated to a bit of a spectacle.
“Snow?” I let out with a small amount of disbelief
Even though I feel a bit of a chill myself, I didn’t think it was nearly cold enough to begin snowing.
“Certainly it’s too early for snow already.” The princess says in equal disbelief
“I still know very little about this country. Are there any reasons why it would suddenly snow like this?” I ask
If even the princess of the country is surprised then surely this kind of thing can’t be common. In RPG’s events like this would usually mean the appearance of some kind of evil wizard or powerful demon.
“I heard of a powerful blizzard beyond the mountains to the north a few days ago. The rumor stated that the storm was so powerful that even the mountain wouldn’t stop it, but I thought for sure it must have been an exaggeration.” The princess explains putting her hand on her chin
“I suppose if it is the same storm than it’s on its last leg. I doubt the snow will even build on the roofs.” Kiel said looking closely at the snowfall
“Is that so? That’s a shame, I really like it when the city becomes decorated with snow.” The princess said in a somewhat wistful manner
“Does your country have anything like Christmas?” I ask as I watch the snow fall with wonder
The cities light hardly diminish the starry sky above, and the shimmering snows reflecting the flickering lanterns from the street vendors stalls make a marvelous sight. I feel I may never become immune to this feeling of fantasy that this world gives me, and I might never want to.
“Chrismus? Is that another of your countries interesting cuisine?” The princess asks excitedly at the mention of a word she didn’t recognize
“Ah, sorry, it’s actually a holiday celebrated just before the year’s end. It’s based upon a religion, but many who don’t follow that religion still celebrate the holiday.” I explain a little disappointed
I thought one of the previous Yuusha may have established the holiday. It was one of the most popular holidays from my world, so it’s the only one I really held in hope would make it. If even Christmas wasn’t brought over than I doubt I will recognize any of the holidays celebrated here. Perhaps Gero will be able to tell me about any holidays established before he disconnected from the world.
“Your country sounds very interesting. Often religious holidays are celebrated only by it’s practitioners in this country. All of them are so boring I couldn’t even imagine wanting to participate if I didn’t believe in the religion as well. How do you celebrate Christmas?” The princess asks while she seems to remember some unpleasant memories
“It’s pretty simple really. It’s a holiday about giving to those you care about more than anything else. It’s a show of appreciation and affection. Most usually decorate their houses with colorful lights and holly’s as well.” I explain
I suppose it’s possible the holiday exist simply under a different name. It doesn’t seem like they can pronounce it properly, so it would be pretty easy for a slang or different name all together to pop up.
“How fun sounding!” The princess says with a smile and blushed cheeks
…Or not. Thinking on it, I suppose I would have heard whatever word they used for Christmas if they did have such a holiday thanks to my “Natures Knowlage” ability.
“Forgive me for not being more familiar with your country, but what sort of things do they exchange?” The princess ask now completely intoxicated by the idea of the holiday
“What? Oh… um, normal things I suppose. Usually something that the other person has expressed desire in having.” I explain not entirely sure of her meaning
“Gems and expensive garments then? Your country must be quite wealthy to have such a holiday be common amongst your people…” The princess says with a look of amazement
She almost looks like she is judging me now.
“No, nothing that extravagant. Most people do it within their means. Some even hand make the gifts that they give out.” I say correcting her
“So even the poor give stuff out?” Kiel ask butting into the conversation
“If they can. The holiday actually manages to spark a lot of generosity in those with money actually, and the poor usually end up receiving warm meals and trinkets from those who have more than they need.” I continue
“This sounds oddly familiar…” The Yuusha says scratching his head
Crap! I completely forgot about the fact that he might know about Christmas as well! Should I play it off like a Yuusha introduced it to us in the past? That might be a bit hard to fake though… Should I just get off the subject quickly then?
“Ah, forget it. I’m too hungry and tired to think.” He says throwing his hands up in the air
“You just ate!” The princess rebutes
“My poison resistance completely nullified that food. It’s like I ate nothing!” He argues back
I feel like hitting him for that comment, but I suppose the change of topic is convenient enough to let it slide.
“Oh! I have an idea!” The princess says with a clap of her hands before running off
She manages to disappear into the crowd of people around us quite quickly, and doesn’t return for several minutes. She appears again just when we begin to worry about where she ran off to.
“Here you go. Happy Christmas!” She proudly says and she shoves a handful of gifts towards us
“Since your imps friends don’t wear any clothes under their armor I decided to get them accessories! I could only manage to find a bracelet that fit the larger one so I got matching necklaces for the smaller ones.” She says rushing over to Bik, Mak, and Kay and equipping the accessories to them
Bik received a copper bracelet with a dull amber gem in it. Mak got a necklace with a diamond shaped clear ruby red gem, and Kay one with a sapphire colored gem.
“For Kiel I got a leather glove! I noticed the blisters on your hand. I imagine you must practice with your sword quite a lot, so I hope this helps! I could only afford the one though.” She says with an apologetic smile
When she explains this I look at his hand as well, and notice quite a few scrapes, cuts, and blisters. Was he really working that hard while I wasn’t looking? Or is it possible that he was already practicing that hard before I ever arrived?
“I thought I was hiding that rather well… but, thanks. Tea always suggested I should wear a glove on my sword hand. He said it was disrespectful to the blade to bleed on it even if it had managed to protect me completely.” Kiel said looking fondly at the glove
To work to the point where his hands bleed on such a regular basis… I think I just gained a bit of respect for Kiel.
“I’m sorry I couldn’t think of something you might want a bit more, but I still don’t know much about you.” The princess says crotching down to talk to Mana, who has hidden behind my leg in turn
“You got something for Mana too?” She ask from around my leg with a bit of an expectant happy face
“Yup! A new Jacket! I figured you might not want to carry around a heavy pelt whenever you got cold.” The princess says as she holds out the jacket for Mana
Did I make a mistake in giving her that pelt? I suppose it did look a little heavy, but I think Mana is strong enough that it wouldn’t bother her.
“Pretty!” Mana cries out as she snatches the jacket out of the princesses hand
She quickly dons it and begins to dance around in joy. In doing so she throws the pelt to the ground. I simply let out a small sigh and return it to my inventory.
“For your animals I got a special feed used as a treat for tamers. Your Ina looks pretty obedient, but I think you should feed it to him anyway. I don’t want to take him away from you.” The princess says handing me a rucksack filled with oddly colored crisp pellets
The pellets actually seem small enough to Kiri to eat, but I doubt the entire bag would last Kurobe very long. I suppose I can get him something else later.
“I got something for your female friend as well if she wants it. I noticed a small tear in the funny hat that she wears, so I got a small sewing kit for her.” She continues handing me a small box
Kera doesn’t seem to like the princess very much… but I suppose I’ll need to force this gift on her. It was given with attention and consideration after all.
“Didn’t you say that you were running low on funds? The entire point is to give within your means!” I explain worried that I’ve caused an issue
Some of these gifts seem like they were quite expensive, and she is already sharing a room with me in hopes of cutting cost.
“Don’t worry about it. These came out of my secret fund! If I told Hark about this money than he would have just tried to spend it on some knock-off legendary item anyways.” The princess whispers to me quickly
“Actually I had a bit of trouble coming up with a gift for you Mano-san. The only two things I know you like are swords and trading your wares…” The princess says with a bit of a disappointed look
Well at least I didn’t put her out too much with a gift for me as well. She seems overly generous so I still feel a bit bad for introducing the concept to her and only receiving gifts.
“But I managed to come up with something! I’m going to lower the taxes for foreign import from 7% to 6%!” The says grasping my hand
“Huh?” I say stunned by the sudden statement
Not only did my gift trouble her, but her entire country… I have no hopes of giving something that can match that.
“Wait that’s way too much! I won’t able to give you anything near that good!” I say exasperated as I panic slightly
This is going to draw attention to me as well!
“Hm? I already got my gift? All I wanted was to see you all happy from getting things you wanted!” She says giving me a full hug
My heart can’t decide whether it’s touched, flustered, or panicked.
I hear an odd noise and turn to look at it in order to distract myself from the odd situation at hand, and I see all of my companions crying. Even Kurobe is looking at the princess with a deep sense of respect.
As the princess releases me I reach my hand up towards my head in order to rub it.
“Well, you managed to get the idea pretty quickly I guess.” I say trying to keep my wits
After that we returned to the Inn. If these kind of things are going to keep happening every day then I’m going to need my rest for sure.
Thank you everybody who reads the series for a satisfying and amazing year. For those of you wondering, no this is not this weeks chapter. This is an extra gift for both Christmas and the anniversary of the series. I have grown to love every one of you, and you have made writing this story fulfilling and a great learning experience for me to grow as a writer. Sincerely from everyone that works on the series to you, we hope every one of you have a happy holiday season and that you continue to enjoy the series. See you next Wednesday for the next chapter! -Vaan Cruze
*bow* I apologize for this coming a bit late, but I hope you enjoy it none the less.