When Iris had just joined me in the carriage, she was reserved and precautious . She would barely talk into any detail about her household, but by spending four days together, her wariness naturally disappeared and she talked about her personal history to me .
It seems that Iris’ father was a blacksmith; however, when Iris turned twelve, he fell sick and left this world .
After that, with her mother, three younger sisters, and two younger brothers, they made their livelihood by working in their house’s field .
However, that was a strained lifestyle and one without any form of luxury .
Iris told me how she was worried about whether her sisters and brothers would be fine countless times .
It seems that’s really all she’s thinking about .
Even in our territory, the amount of households living off of farming is large .
However, as long as there is no sort of calamity, you should have some surplus in money .
According to Iris, the tax within her territory is heavy, which puts pressure on their lifestyle .
“Well then, you should come to Helan . Our tax isn’t that high and the territory is growing more and more prosperous . You’ll surely be able to live well there . ”
“That’s a pleasant offer, but I can’t throw away my homeland so easily . ”
I got rejected .
Certainly, it’s not something you can decide so easily .
It seems there are also bad feudal lords in this world, while my father shines in comparison .
It seems that due to Iris excelling at her studies from the time she was a child, she was persuaded into taking the entrance exam for the academy by her mother .
At first she refused, but in the end she decided to take the exam due to her mother’s enthusiastic persuasion and imagining herself supporting her family in the future .
In the time between working on the farm, she learned fundamental education, magic, and swordplay, the three subjects for the exam, all on her own .
I thought this to be amazing perseverance and character .
“And then, when I passed I was really happy, but when it came time to leave home, I felt really lonely . Even now, I’m not sure if I made the right choice . ”
“I was also worried when leaving the territory .
‘My father is like a messenger of peace, so won’t he get tricked?’ and such . But he’s surely doing fine . Iris’ brothers and sisters are definitely doing better than Iris thinks . ”
“Nn, It would be nice if they were . ”
“They definitely are . ”
She seems to have recovered some of her spirit .
Luckily, the weather is good .
It would be a waste to continue with such a dark conversation .
I might as well tell her one of my father’s grand stories to make her feel better .
“It’s seems there’s a fuss going on outside,” Iris cut me off and said .
“It looks like trouble,” a servant reported with a sullen expression .
We exited the carriage and confirmed the situation .
There is a carriage that a merchant would seem to use stopped in the road .
What could be thought to be the whole crew were assembled outside .
“Sorry, do you think you could open up the road?”
I called out to the men .
“Ah, sorry . I’ll move the carriage immediately . ”
A slightly chubby man hurriedly gave out orders to his subordinates .
There is a lot of luggage and the carriage is larger than the norm .
Due to the narrow highway it seems moving it is taking a bit of effort .
“Just what happened?” I asked in pure interest .
“You see, we were delivering a tribute to the royal family, but the permit for entry into the royal castle was taken is a bit of trouble . ”
“By trouble you mean?”
“Some monsters suddenly attacked .
Luckily, there were no injuries and nothing of a high price was damaged, but unluckily, the entry permit was taken . ”
“That is quite unlucky, huh .
I tried asking, but it’s wasn’t a very interesting conversation .
Hurry up and get out of the way .
“You seem to possess an expensive sword, but perhaps you engage in the elimination of monsters?”
“No, I carry this for self defense upon outings . ”
The scabbard and sword are both handmade . His eyes are correct for judging them as expensive . A skilled merchant without a doubt .
“Ah, is that so . If you hunted the monster, I was thinking of paying you a gold coin . ”
What a rude guy . I am, for the time being, a noble . My heart cannot be shaken by a mere gold coin .
“Is that true!?”
Out of my expectations, Iris bit at it .
“Will you really pay a gold coin?”
“Of course! If the two of you go, I’ll give you two gold coins . ”
Iris is looking this way with watering eyes, seemingly about to cry .
I can’t refuse if it’s like this .
“Let’s do it . ”
“Two wolf-formed monsters attacked us .
We found its nest at a place five hundred meters into the forest . Since we aren’t capable of fighting, that’s all the assistance we can provide you . ”
“Understood . ”
We received a simple explanation and headed back to our own carriage .
“Iris, what’s your ability in magic?”
“I passed the exam for Elenowar, but this is my first battle .
Ah! But I use magic normally everyday, so I might be pretty good… . ”
Hmm, if I remember correctly, Iris possesses excelling sense in both magic and swordplay .
While it is her first battle, it’s a weak monster so it should be okay, perhaps?
In the worst case it’ll be fine if I follow her up .
“Do you have a weapon?”
“Yes, I’m carrying a sword for the swordplay lessons . ”
“Well then, equip it and let’s go . ”
Just as the merchant said, we spotted two wolf-formed monsters in the forest at about five hundred meters southward .
We’re taking quite the distance so they don’t pick up on our smell .
Honestly, I can take both of them out by myself at this distance .
I’d like to finish it like that since it has a low chance of danger .
However, a problem is born after I take them out by myself .
I’m sure Iris will refuse the reward .
She’ll definitely say, “I didn’t contribute, so I cannot take any money . ”
“Iris, can your magic hit from this location?”
“Um, it’s probably no good . There’s too much distance . ”
As expected, huh .
Alright, if that’s the case then there’s only one strategy .
“Iris, I’ll take one down from here with my magic . The other will notice and come attacking, so can I leave you to intercept it?”
“Yeah, I think I can do it . ”
I produce some mana and add water’s application of property change and ice’s physical alteration .
What I formed in my palm was an arrow made of ice .
While it’s the first time I’ve made it, it’s pretty good .
I go further, creating an explosive gust with mana and shoot the arrow .
The arrow goes straight through a monster while making the sound of cutting air .
The monster died without making a sound .
“Well then, the other one is coming . ”
The second one goes into a frenzy after it’s partner was killed and charges over .
Iris also produced mana, changed it to fire, and released it at the monster’s feet .
While it’s not enough firepower to take it down, the aim was to kill the force of its charge .
Just as intended, the power behind the charge decreases and the faltering monster fell to Iris’ sword .
What amazing agility .
The monster’s head beautifully flew off .
Smooth and quick . But I think I heard a strange sound .
“You did it, Iris . ”
Iris is hanging her head . For some reason, she’s not expressing any happiness at all .
“The sword, thesword, br, broke . ”
“Haha, for it to break in one strike, you must have had a defective product pushed on you, huh?”
“The sword that Okaa-san, Okaa-san pushed herself to buy for meeeeeeee, uaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh . ”
She’s seriously crying!!
“If it’s a sword, I’ll give you my new one . See, don’t cry . ”
“Even though, eventhoughOkaa-sanworkedsohardtobuyit, uaaaaaaaaaahhhh . ”
Ah, so that’s what it is .
I finally understood Iris’ feelings .
“Don’t worry about that!
That sword’s still fixable . When we get to the academy, I’ll repair it for you . ”
“Really? It can really be fixed?”
“Really, really . Rather, I’ll make even cooler and more durable than before . ”
“No, it’s fine like it is . ”
“Yeah, I got it . After we grab the permit, let’s return to the highway . ”
“Yeah . ”
The permit was made with leather . Because of that, it was taken by monsters, huh .
I retrieved the permit and then observed Iris’ state .
Her eyelids are red from crying .
It’s not as if I was the one who said we’d exterminate the monsters, nor did I break her sword .
Despite this, why does my heart hurt so much!?
“I’m not bad here, right?” I asked toward Rahsa’s kind smile far away .
‘Of course,’ I created Rahsa’s response on my own .
“I am truly thankful . Here are the promised two gold coins . ”
In exchange for the permit, we received the reward .
Iris begins making a racket, shrieking, after one coin is passed to her .
She must be relieved since she know her sword will be fixed .
“My name is Famiel . I deal mainly in products with historical value .
I will not forget this debt and have the desire to eventually repay this .
If it would be fine, would you please tell me your names?”
“Kururi Helan . That’s Iris Palala .
While it is surely rude for me, a noble, to be giving you advice on your trade, but if I were to give you one piece of advice, it would be good of you to never forget the name and face of the woman behind me . ”
“Yes, a merchant will thankfully take any advice . It’s free after all .
Kururi Helan-sama, Iris Palala-sama . I’m anticipating this meeting with you two to lead to a profit in the future . ”
“You say something like that in front of the other party?”
“Yes, a merchant is that sort of creature . Well, let’s meet again sometime . ”
The merchant completed a mechanical greeting and left .
The merchant and the others opened the road, so the carriage was finally able to pass .
Speaking of Iris, she’s rubbing her cheek against the gold coin from earlier .
“What will you use that gold coin for?”
Well, the answer’s a given, though .
“I’ll send it to my family . They should be able to eat something nice for awhile with this . ”
As I thought .
I actually want to give her my coin too, but she definitely won’t take it .
“However, I think I should give this coin to Kururi-san .
I’ve been in your care during this time and you said you’d fix my sword for me .
I don’t think we will become even with this, but please let me pay you for these four days . ”
So it came like this .
“I won’t take it of course . This is money that Iris earned after all . ”
“But, I really can’t give you anything else . Please, at least let me do this . ”
“Do you want to give that money to me? Or do you want to send it to your family? Now, which are your real feelings?”
“…, I want to send it to my family . ”
“Then you should do so . That way, everyone’s happy .
Do you think I’ll be happy with one gold coin?
Helan’s most expensive hot-spring hotel costs fifty gold coins for one night, which includes the hot spring, meal, and all other remaining services . ”
“Fifty gold coins!? That’s, then I don’t think I’ll ever be able to enter Helan’s hot springs .
“Well, that’s the highest grade service after all . There are plenty of cheap inns . ”
“Ah, that’s good .
…, Kururi-san . I will send this coin to my family . ”
“That way is definitely better . ”
“However, I will definitely not forget this debt!! I will definitely return this in the future!
I am a woman that takes responsibility for her words, so believe me and look forward to it . ”
I got the feeling of entering a big insurance company .
“Well, the academy is right ahead . Let’s enjoy the rest of the trip!”
“That’s right . I wonder what it’s like, huh?”
I’ve also been wondering about that and am excited to find out .
The carriage arrived at the academy on that day’s sunset .
For an academy, this it much too big, possessing a size so grand as if a single town exists inside .
“It’s huge, huh . ” “Huge . ”
I can’t find any other words .