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This was the first time I had walked into the city after coming for the request, but I had been to this city several times before. Compared to that time, the people in the city still seemed somewhat restless.
Would it settle down in a few more days? Once word of the Horned Dragon’s defeat had spread through the city, time would tell. The only problem is how to deal with the refugees who are out there now. What exactly will they do?
The Arsus family will have to think about that as well.
…It must be tough. That’s the only impression that came to mind as I passed through the noble district and arrived in front of the Arsus family’s residence. As expected of the mansion of the lord who is in charge of this land, it is incomparable to the other residences.
In the garden, which I could glimpse through the gate, there were a number of carriages lined up. Perhaps those are the people from the theater.
There are two gatekeepers. I approach them, who have been looking at me. First, I put down the box I was holding. They were slightly cautious, but I quickly handed them the permission letter that I had received from Klua-san.
One of them comes in front of me and the other moves to check the contents of the box.
“…Certainly, it belongs to Klua the Merchant. Okay, come in.”
After putting the luggage back in my arms, I went straight inside.
…I was able to get here without any problems, but there’s also the question of whether or not Ristina-san is here now in the first place.
I’m heading to the building away from the mansion, as the knights told me to. It seems that the knights’ tools are being managed there. The knights also come and go frequently. Moreover, people who seem to be merchants also come and go.
…Indeed, it isn’t easy to collect a large number of potions from a single merchant under normal circumstances. It’s only natural that they’re talking to a number of merchants. So one of them is Klua-san.
I call out to a nearby knight.
“Excuse me, I’m here to deliver the potions on behalf of the merchant Klua but where would you like me to take the package?”
“All right, just take it inside, then. The guy inside will tell you what to do.”
It’s quite a load, so I hope they receive it as soon as possible, but maybe the knights know that too, so they’re making me carry it all the way like this. When I entered, one of the knights showed me the place. I put the luggage in the designated place and then exhaled lightly.
…That was heavy.
I lightly craned my shoulders and then exited the detachment. Now, all that’s left to do was to see if I could afford to talk to the people in the theater group. I walked slowly on my way home, but I didn’t see any of them, either because of bad luck or because they weren’t around at the moment.
What a shame. It can’t be helped. Next time I see you at work again, I’ll ask you about this time. I was just leaving the mansion with that thought in mind.
The voice was somewhat less energetic. It didn’t look like she was exhausted.
“It’s been a while, Ristina-san.”
“Y-yes. …Senpai, what are you doing here? Oh, could it be that you’re here to see me or anything like that?”
Ristina-san smiled teasingly at me. I made a wry smile and nodded.
“Yeah, well, that’s about half of it.”
“What? R-really? …but half?”
“Yes. I was originally coming to deliver the potions for Klua-san’s business.”
“Ah, so that’s it.”
Ristina-san glanced at me, blankly. Looking at her like that, I asked her a question I wasn’t sure whether to point out or not.
“What’s happened to you?”
“Wh-what is that?”
“You seemed to be in a bit of a downward mood.”
Apparently, it was a bull’s-eye. She closed her mouth tightly. After that, she tried to act cheerful… she smiled for a moment, but still, again, her expression was sinking.
”…Well, there’s a lot of things that have happened.”
“I’ll at least listen to what you have to say… I’m here originally because I was a little worried about Ristina-san.”
“…Is that so?”
“Yes. When we left, you were bullied by a senior member of the troupe, right? So I was wondering if they were doing anything to you again.”
…It seems to be a bull’s-eye, too. In other words, the reason for her lack of energy is because of that senior―I believe her name was called Kurutta?
“…Uhm, could you come over to the tent I’m using for a moment?”
I was a little bit startled. But only a little bit. Because looking at Ristina-san’s expression, I knew she wasn’t joking. Normally Ristina-san would definitely say it in a teasing way.
I walked with her into the campsite once more. In the meantime, I passed through the gate with no problem, because Ristina-said I was a friend. I go into the tent placed in the garden of the mansion with Ristina-san.
Perhaps because Ristina-san has returned, the people from the other tents have appeared.
“Yo, Ristina… Eh… who’s that man?”
A man, a refreshingly nice young man, looked at me steadily.
“It’s my boyfriend.”
At the same time as she said that, Ristina-san crossed her arms on me.
What was it all of a sudden! I almost squealed at the soft touch against my right arm. And the man’s eyes widened as she made a peace sign to the man.
“What? I-is that true?”
“No, that’s not…”
I said that with a sigh, but the man didn’t believe me, and he turned frozen like a statue with his mouth just snapping open and closed. As we passed by him, Ristina-san finally released my arms.
“Are you throbbing, Relius-senpai?”
“…Well, more or less.”
“I knew it. It’s good to see you in good spirits!”
Ristina-san smiles at me and then goes into the tent we’re going to. I went in there too… and at that moment, I froze in place. Inside the tent, I found what appeared to be a costume used in a drama.
As I looked at it, which was covered in mud and torn apart, I turned my gaze to Ristina-san.
“It was the outfit I was going to wear for the show.”
When she said, “I was,” her face trembled with sadness.