Here’s the bonus chapter, thanks to the Patreon, enjoy~
Chapter 20 – Celebrate the freedom
After terminating Ren’s contract bracelet, we came right out of the castle. From now on, we can go wherever we want.
“For now, let’s have a meal… come to think of it, we were together in the flow, but was it okay for Ishmer-sama and Lucia-sama to be together with us?”
A tremendously new question now…
Ishmer seemed to think the same thing, and he sighed deeply.
“It wouldn’t matter, especially since I didn’t open my mouth. His Majesty wouldn’t be happy about it, but it’s more important for me to know what’s going on in this country.”
“…It’s just that Ishmer-sama is like a knight in shining armor, isn’t he?”
“What, you just figured that out now?”
“A knight would be more humble in that regard…”
We exchanged a few words, and we both laughed. Soon after, Ren came over.
“Thank you, Hiroki. You are always helping me.”
“No, not really. I’ve had a lot of help from Ren, too. And, of course, Ruri and Lusha.”
“Oh, I’m so happy to hear that. I’ve got people helping me too.”
“If you say so, I’m the one who’s getting the most help from Hiroki! Because without Hiroki, I wouldn’t even be able to fight. I could have been a baggage carrier for the rest of my life!”
As Lusha exaggerates, the four of us can’t help but laugh. The ones who are looking at the situation with a pouting face are Ishmer and Lucia-sama.
“…You guys call each other by different names sometimes, don’t you? Was Sakurai an alias or something?”
Ren, Lusha, and my voices overlap with Ishmer’s question. Ruri was the only one who had not called her name, so she chuckled with a cool expression.
“Sakurai is Hiroki, Watanabe-dono is Ren, and Miss Takanashi is Ruri, right?”
We look at each other, wondering what’s going on.
…We’ve had such a great deal of success with the king, and I was able to break the contract’s bracelet, so there’s no need to use both our real names and our family names now.
Besides, if they set a trap for us, we have the ability to avoid it. Of course, it’s possible for them to return the favor.
“Then, we’ll talk about it while we eat.”
“What, you’re gonna tell me?”
“We’ve been so grateful to Ishmer for all the help he’s given us.”
Then we can’t just go to a cheap bar for a celebration.
“Hmm… Ishmer-sama, do you know of any good places to go? I only know the cheapest places.”
“Hmm. Well, I know a great restaurant that’s good for us to go to.”
The restaurant was close to the royal castle, and after a five-minute walk, we arrived.
◆ ◆ ◆
Ishmer’s recommended restaurant was a two-story house type restaurant. The first floor is an open space, and there are private rooms on the second floor. Of course, we were shown to a private room on the second floor.
Ishmer, Lucia-sama, me, Lusha, Ruri, and Ren, in that order, were seated at the round table. We held the fruit soda that was served to us and toasted it first.
“A lot of things happened, but Ren’s contract bracelet has been successfully terminated! So cheers to our victory!”
At my voice, we all clinked our glasses together.
Charcoal-grilled roast beef and a salad of fresh vegetables. The fish was grilled lightly with salt and served with a squeeze of fruit juice. A bowl of cream soup with lots of corn and many other dishes were served. We ate for a while, and then Ishmer asked us about what had happened.
“So you’ll tell me, won’t you?”
“Ah, yes, of course. But wait a minute. I’ll check it out just in case.”
I don’t think the two of them will say something, but that doesn’t mean I’m allowed to judge them. I looked at Ren and Ruri, and they both shook their heads as if there was no problem.
“Well then, let me introduce myself again. My name is Hiroki Sakurai. Sakurai, which I’ve been calling myself until now, is my family name.”
“My name is Ren Watanabe.”
“My name is Ruri Takanashi.”
I briefly explained my interaction with the king and told him that I didn’t want to give him my first name because I didn’t trust him in any way. Incidentally, I wondered what to do about the summoning crap as well, but I was afraid Ishmer would find out if he went up the ranks, so I told him honestly that I came from a different world.
Ishmer immediately understood, saying, “I see”, but Lucia-sama was very surprised.
“So that’s what happened… I didn’t know that at all. Perhaps there were many things that Takanashi-sama was uncomfortable with?”
“No, not at all. I was happy to have you as a friend, Lucia-sama. Please, please call me Ruri, too.”
“Ruri-sama…Fufu, I’m so happy.”
She smiled as if the flowers were smiling, and Lucia-sama said thank you for what was said. And there is another person who was greatly surprised.
She frowned impossibly, and her expression became whimsical――it was Lusha. I had explained the conflict with the king and so on, but I hadn’t told her that I came from a different world. I wonder if it was wrong to keep it a secret for so long…
…What can I do to improve her mood?
“No, I apologize for not telling you that I was from a different world. I’m sorry. But we didn’t know about this world either, so we couldn’t be too open about it… I mean, we didn’t want to get Lusha involved.”
Apparently, I said the wrong words.
“I’m going to go outside for a little while to feel the wind!”
She left, leaving the word that she would be back soon. What do I do in a situation like this? I should go after her right away, right? As I stood up from my chair with that thought, Ruri stopped me, “Calm down,” she said.
“I understand what’s happened to Lusha. But I also understand that she wants to cool off a little bit. She said she’d be right back, so why don’t we just wait for her to come back?”
If that’s what Ruri of the same gender says, then maybe it’s better. I sat back in my chair and sighed heavily, sigh. When Ishmer saw that, he laughed.
“You were in the presence of His Majesty just a few moments ago, but that’s how you are in front of Miss Lusha?”
“I’m not a handsome guy like Ren anyway.”
“Wait a minute, don’t mention my name there.”
“Yeah, yeah, ~~.”
I sip the fruit soda as I linger in my mouth. From the side, it looks like I’m drinking alcohol, but it’s just soda water with fruit in it.
“It’s all right, Hiroki-sama. I’m sure Lusha-sama was just as worried about you the same way you were about her. So maybe that’s why she was a little… lonely.”
“Yes. But you’ve told her everything now, haven’t you? Then, when Lusha-sama comes back, you can give her a proper welcome.”
Lucia-sama reminds me not to be unfaithful or distant, even if I’m wrong.
“I understand. I’m going to take a firm stance and have a proper talk with Lusha.”
“Yes. I think that would be a good idea. …You two will still be adventurers in the future, won’t you?”
The next goal is a big one, which is for Lusha to switch to Hunter. It will take some time as we’re going to the temple on the Tangerine continent, but I’m very excited to be able to go somewhere I’ve never been to before.
When I told her about it, Lucia-sama said, “That’s wonderful!” She clapped her hands and smiled.
“Tangerine, well, I’ve been there once, and there’s so much nature there. It’s a strange way of life, different from a human town.”
At Ishmer’s words, I tilted my head.
“But beastmen… have the same body as humans, with ears and tails, right? Then I feel like the house is in the same shape…”
“That’s something to look forward to when you get there. I’m sure Hiroki will love it.”
“Well, that’s a tease.”
I’m having more fun going to Tangerine. The city where the demon race lives was decorated with lamps, and many magical tools were sold. Just looking at them was fun, and there were many things I wanted.
So, is Tangerine rich in medicinal herbs or something? Then I feel like it’s unique to countries with a lot of nature. Also, do they sell a special potion that is made from it? Maybe there’s a potion I’ve seen in the manga and movies that can transform you… maybe even something like that.
I’m suddenly getting excited. Besides my excitement, Ishmer called out to Ren and Ruri as well.
“Then what about Ren-dono and Miss Ruri? Will you two be following along to Tangerine?”
“We haven’t decided where we’re going yet, so we’re going to discuss it with Hiroki and Lusha and make a decision.”
Ren and Ruri didn’t answer the question immediately but replied that they were on hold. The specific thing that has been decided is Lusha’s job change. The one thing that is floating around is finding a way to return to Japan. This is the plan to find the people of the Great tree, but we haven’t decided anything about where to start looking first.
“Well, if you need any help, I will be there to help you. Give me a call anytime.”
“Oh, you’re sure? Perhaps it might cause trouble for Ishmer-san. Like your job, or your position as a knight…”
When I said that, he lightly replied, “I don’t mind”.
“It’s true that it’s important to associate with royalty and nobility.”
“――But. If I could weave a bond with a hero from a different world, don’t you think that would be more appealing?”
I see that may indeed be attractive; I look at Ren’s face. At first glance, he looks like he’s kind and doesn’t seem to have anything to do with fighting… but he’ll definitely be the strongest vanguard in this world. That’s why I’m going to be the strongest healer in this world too.