It’s Ko-Fi’s Supporters’ chapter (41/79), enjoy~
Maybe it was because of the recent disruption in their lives, or maybe it was because of Sage. Both Ain and Chris hadn’t been able to fall asleep.
It would take some time for the railroad tracks to be restored.
When they returned to the water train, they took a shower first and foremost to cleanse themselves.
They rejoined each other in the lounge as if they had planned it.
“Chris-san couldn’t sleep either, huh… Eh, that dress?”
“Ah, um, um… that’s not what I intended! I wasn’t in a situation where I could wear anything else, so I put on this dress I had just in case…!”
Chris let down her long, well-groomed blonde hair without restraint, exposing a different kind of charm. Her waist was tightly curled. Her small, upturned buttocks. She wore a long crimson dress that accentuated all of her large, shapely breasts, and her slender arms and legs seemed to exude an odor.
She is usually innocent and does not seem to know the opposite sex, but she is sexy and beautiful right now.
When she twisted around shyly, her breasts were pushed up. Seeing that gesture, Ain was reassured that it was the usual Chris.
“I think it looks good on you. You don’t have to be shy about it.”
It would be rude not to say something. If anything, Ain wanted to avoid giving the wrong impression that it didn’t suit her.
“Um, thank you very much… W-what do you want to drink? I’ll have it ready in a minute!”
As usual, he sat down at one of the seats at the bar, and Chris immediately came next to him with a drink in her hand.
“You couldn’t sleep either, Ain-sama?”
“Yeah, I’m kind of dizzy.”
“Right, me too, actually.”
Chris smiled wryly and tilted her head, looking like a goddess with her dress.
“If you want, let’s have a toast. To celebrate the fact that our investigation on the Ist is finally over after all these efforts.”
“Sounds good. Let’s get started.”
The glasses rubbed lightly against each other and made a faint sound like a bell.
Ain put down her glass first. Chris was still sipping. Her fingers on the stem of the long, slender flute glass caught Ain’s attention. When she lowered the glass, she put her finger on the bottom of the glass to make sure it didn’t make a sound. The whole manner was like a painting.
After a few moments of basking in the afterglow of the toast, Ain was the first to speak.
“Professor Oz has helped us a lot, hasn’t he?”
“He was a real help… I feel so much more at ease now.”
During the journey to Ist, they had obtained a lot of valuable information. Among them, the encounter with a researcher named Oz was a valuable resource.
“I wonder if the next place we’ll investigate is the adventurer’s town of Baltic.”
“If the information provided by Professor Oz is correct, I think that’s what we should do.”
“The castle of the Demon King is nearby, isn’t it? What kind of place is it?”
“Hmm… It’s a ruin. The half-demolished castle town is spread out, and only the Demon King’s Castle, towering at the far end, still stands majestically after hundreds of years.”
“Looks like a lot of adventurers visit there.”
“No, that area is a restricted area, so basically, no one is allowed to go near it.”
The main reason is the danger.
“To tell you the truth, we don’t even know how dangerous it is. We’ve sent out several survey parties, but there are a lot of vicious monsters in that area.”
“You mean it’s not going to be easy?”
“That’s right. There seems to be some kind of seal around the Demon King’s Castle, so we can’t even open the gates.”
Then she suddenly looked straight at Ain. The fact that she was different from usual made Ain feel nervous.
“A seal that functions no matter how many years have passed… I thought that a monster that could do such a thing had been absorbed by Ain-sama.”
“Oh, you mean the Elder Lich?”
“That’s correct. It’s a seal that works overtime, and only she can do it, don’t you think?”
“Now that you mention it… I should probably ask her in my mind──”
“Please don’t do that… Don’t even joke about it. I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
Chris smiled at Ain, who cleared his throat.
“The other thing I felt near the Demon King’s Castle was that something was watching me. I heard that Lloyd-sama felt the same way, but nothing happened, and there was no attack as well. It was just the presence of a strong person that made me wary. Would you like a refill on your drink?”
“Thank you. I think I’ll have one.”
Chris rearranged her legs as she stood up. She walked gracefully with her thin, white legs peeking out of the slit and returned to her seat with a new drink for the two of them.
As she sat down, an unfamiliar floral scent wafted from her neck or perhaps from her hair.
“What is this scent?”
“I put on some perfume just in case… Did it smell too much…?”
Chris looked worried as she said that. She wasn’t used to dressing like this or wearing perfume. Whenever she has a chance to show up at a party, her knight’s uniform is always enough. However, the way she was dressed now would make a socialite jealous.
“I think it suits you fine, Chris-san. If anything, I like it enough to want to sniff it more.”
“B-but if you say you want to sniff it more, I’m embarrassed too… Uh…”
He thought he had gone too far…
It may have been too much, but it wasn’t a lie. It’s enough that Chris didn’t feel regret for showing a feminine side to him that she doesn’t usually show.
Ain also blushed, but this kind of embarrassment must have been a small price to pay.
“A-are you sure it’s okay? It’s not troubling, is it…?”
Chris came about ten centimeters closer. At this distance, the sweet scent of Chris’s own pheromones melted his brain, but if he avoided it, she would inevitably get hurt.
She was embarrassed but desperately asked with an upward glance, which was dainty despite her appearance. When Ain noticed that she was grabbing the sleeve of his clothes, it was not a calculation. It was a result of the desperation of the girl, who is usually called a clumsy person.
“It’s fine! I think it’s a calming scent.”
“Really? Can I trust you?”
“Trus me… No, I mean, I don’t like being doubted.”
Chris then removed her hand from Ain’s sleeve.
“It’s actually the perfume of my hometown.”
“You mean the home of the elves?”
“Yes. Are you interested in it?”
“Yes, I am. I’d like to visit, but I’ve heard it’s a closed place.”
Although he didn’t ask to be welcomed, he felt bad about going to a place that was too closed off. So he expected that it would not be so easy for him to set foot in the place.
“I’m sure Ain-sama and Olivia-sama will have no problem getting in. After all, you both have Dryad blood in your veins.”
Ain was puzzled, not understanding the meaning.
Smiling happily, Chris said with a leap in her voice.
“As Majolica-san said, the ancestor of the dryads is considered to be the world tree. And since the elves believe in the world tree, they have a good impression of the dryads.”
“…I see. If that’s the case, maybe I’ll go there someday. Is it okay if I ask Chris-san to show me around?”
“Of course! Please leave it to me!”
Chris’s eyes sparkled, and the corners of her mouth lifted.
“Oh… I-I’m sorry! We were talking about the Demon King’s Castle…”
“Don’t worry about that. I have plenty of time to talk, so let’s take it slow. Okay?”
The morning sun began to rise as they talked, but there was still no sign of the water train advancing.
It is obvious, the bridge that leads to the land has been destroyed, and the only way to fix it is to use magic tools from nearby towns or cities.
“I don’t know if we’ll be going to the Demon King’s Castle, but I’m interested in the adventurer’s town of Baltic. I believe there is a large corpse of a monster on display that was defeated by the first king, right?”
“Fufu, you’re really interested in that, aren’t you, Ain-sama?”
Then she looked straight at Ain again.
“There were a lot of things that happened, including the commotion at the Tower of Wisdom, but… I think you are getting closer to someone like the first king.”
“Yes. You were very nice, dignified, and… cool.”
Chris’s emotion-filled words penetrated Ain’s heart with her azure eyes. She looked somewhat divine in the morning sun rising over the horizon, and even each of her long eyelashes was clearly visible.
“No, I’m embarrassed when you say that directly…”
It was always the opposite position, he thought.
Ain turned away as if he was unfaithful, but inwardly he was not; he just wanted to hide the fact that Chris had dyed his cheeks red. Chris was aware of this feeling, but she didn’t mention it and hummed and played with her legs as she watched the sunrise.
It was rude to turn away. Ain tried hard to calm down and turned around to see Chris’s smile shining like the sun.
“Let’s travel together again, shall we?”
That was the answer Ain hadn’t gotten on the way to Ist.
He nodded immediately and said, “Yes,” and made another toast with her.