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Chapter 43 – Feast, Alcohol, And Her Thought
In the evening, when the cleanup from the battle has taken a break, I take the spoils out of storage on a banquet table set up in front of the church.
The dwarves’ enthusiasm at the sight of the pile of liquor bottles was extraordinary. It’s just extraordinary.
“I know, I know, Yoshua, it’s liquor! And it’s a pretty good one, too!”
“No, I’m sorry, but it’s probably cheap.”
“No. It’s just wonderful because it’s liquor!”
…So, anything is good.
Apparently, distilled liquor is not very common in this world, but in the dwarven villages, they love a strong liquor called “fire liquor” made by a secret method. Fortunately or unfortunately, there was no such thing in Casemaian (or rather, they were too busy securing food when they first came here), and the old men were overjoyed with the strong liquor that they hadn’t had since they were forced to leave their homeland.
The elves were smiling at the sight, but they were relatively calm. They picked up the bottles and talked about this and that, but they seemed to be more concerned about the molding of the glass and the material of the plastic bottles than the liquor itself.
“Don’t elves usually drink alcohol?”
“They do drink, but not as much as the dwarves. They just like to drink homemade fruit wine.”
“Really… that’s it for now, I guess. I think it’s grape wine. I don’t know what condition it’s in, so if it’s getting worse, get something else.”
The liquor Simon brought was of various brands and countries of origin, most of which I had never seen before. The only ones I could barely recognize were Gordon’s gin and a green bottle with a yellow label called J&B whiskey. Cheap, easy-to-understand liquor. There are only a few bottles of wine among the nearly 30 bottles and two 12-packs of beer, but I don’t know the brand.
“What’s that ‘stuff’ over there?”
“I think it’s a food that goes well with alcohol, but I don’t know what it is either.”
I opened one of the large cans and found that it was some kind of sausage and bean stew. I don’t know the name. I can’t read the writing on it. The others were generally not bad choices as snacks, and the drinkers enjoyed them to a certain extent.
There were a few snacks in bags or tubes, a big salami wrapped in film, and a Bologna sausage. There was also a vacuum-packed cheese as big as a brick. It was yellowish, probably cheddar. I shaved it onto some ribs that were roasting on the fire (probably wyvern, judging from the size), and it was a hit with the beastman ladies and the kids.
“Delicious! Yoshua, this meat is soooooo good!”
“Yoshua, this stuff is so good! It has a strange smell, but it will give you strength.”
“It’s delicious as it is, but I like it better when it’s cooked. Yoshua, what’s this?”
“That’s cheese. Have you ever heard of it?”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
That’s about right. Ever since I came here, I’ve been on the run, and I’ve never eaten in the kingdom. I don’t know what the food culture of this world is like. I think there are at least dairy products.
“Myrril, do you know what cheese is?”
“I believe there’s something similar in the royal capital, but I’m not familiar with it.”
Beastman and dwarves don’t raise livestock, so they don’t have many opportunities to come in contact with dairy products. In the case of the elves, they raised goats and sheep, but that was in the good old days when they were still able to maintain their own way of life in the forest.
“I’ve heard that the elves who live in the forest, whatever they’re called, eat sloppy, sour milk with fruit in it?”
I think it’s yogurt. Do elves like to eat vegetarian-like food? I hope that eventually, each race will be able to regain its own culture.
Myrril, who never had drunk alcohol despite being a Dwarf, tried this and that and made a subtle face.
“Did you find anything to your liking?”
“It’s not bad, but it’s too sour, too spicy, and it makes me feel hot in my stomach. I prefer tea or fruit water.”
She didn’t seem to be much of a drinker. I told her it was a celebration, so she could just tag along for a bit. After all, she’s only seventeen. I don’t know what the age of adulthood is in this world, but there’s no need to force yourself to drink.
The genuine dwarves seem to be getting excited, though.
“Hahahaha…! Yoshua! This is really delicious! No, it’s bitter but delicious!”
What the hell is that? The old dwarves were passing around a liter bottle of something (probably alcohol). I looked at the empty bottles (empty plastic bottles) lying around, but… yeah, I can’t read them. If it’s anything other than basic English, I can’t even understand what it says.
I think I’m speaking in Japanese, but I’m having a conversation with Simon, who seems to be speaking in very broken English. I’ve never had any trouble with conversation since I came to this world.
“Why don’t you drink a little of the alcohol we have available?”
Myrril, holding a plastic bottle, poured some into my cup. I poured some in return, and we toasted together.
I felt a little bit like a girl, embarrassed by her unfamiliar gesture.
“We haven’t had many opportunities like this since we met, have we?”
“Well, yeah. I’ve been too busy trying to survive to drink.”
“Thanks to you, we’ve had this time. I’m grateful.”
“Stop it. We’ve done this together.”
Hmm… That’s all well and good, but this is the same stuff that the old dwarves used to drink. It’s really bitter. They said it tasted bitter and delicious, but it didn’t taste very good to me.
I guess it’s liquor, but it tastes like medicinal herbs or something that I don’t understand. And it’s very strong.
That’s what it says on the plastic bottle. The dwarves are indeed guzzling it like a fat man drinking Coke, but it’s alcohol, right? When I look at it, it says proof… 45 degrees or something like that, this one!
“Myrril, are you sure you’re okay to drink this?”
“Ueeeee… Itsh okayyy!”
My-My-Myrril-san, your eyes are sinking!
For whatever reason, the drinks and food have been distributed, and the residents of Casemaian are enjoying a brief rest.
I gave her some mineral water to dilute her blood alcohol level, and Myrril, who had been in a drunken state, began to calm down. Her cheeks were still a little inflamed, and she looked so cute and young.
Myrril sat down beside me near the fire and glanced at me. I looked at her to see if she had something to say, but she looked away every time.
It’s okay if you just sit together in silence; it makes you feel more relaxed.
After several hesitations, Myrril spoke to me. I knew there was something on her mind. Her voice was a little stiff.
“You, do you have a problem? You can consult me if you like.”
“…Eh? No, I don’t.”
“Despite this, you often look back at the direction of the royal capital and the Dark Forest and worry about it. It’s not like you’re on the lookout for enemies when you’ve made it that far, is it?”
Before the feast, I checked on the remaining enemies, took care of the corpses, and set up a few traps with unused grenades and homemade bombs on the path from the royal capital to Casemaian.
I don’t want to lose sleep over the deaths of innocent people who happen to be passing by ― I don’t think they’ll be coming to Casemaian now ― so I’ve barricaded the area in front of them with the wreckage of a carriage and put up a big sign. I asked the elves to write a warning in some kind of shared language. “Instant death trap, call out if you need help.”
I can’t be responsible for any deaths that result from this.
“Oh, yeah. No, it’s not a big deal…”
Myrril tilted her head suspiciously, but it really wasn’t a big deal. It’s just that I can’t think of anything about the future.
I didn’t have the idea of thinking about “post-war” that some generals in the kingdom’s army naturally did.
The reason I’m here now is because of the situation, not because of any cause or purpose. The reason why I saved Myrril in the royal capital or helped rebuild Casemaian was not that significant. If I had to guess, I’d say it was a matter of humanity and justice on the spot, but at the root of it all, I was just trying to cope with the obstacles in front of me.
It’s just a matter of getting out of the kingdom.
“…What about now?”
“What do you mean by “what”? You can talk to me with your heart out. Even though I look like this, I can at least listen to your problems.”
“I know that. You’ve helped me a lot. I appreciate it.”
Even though I thanked her and smiled, Myrril’s expression did not clear up. In fact, she shook her head as if to say that her concerns were correct.
“…You don’t really think you’re going to go off on your own somewhere, do you?”
Hmm. She’s very perceptive. I don’t know if it’s a woman’s intuition or a dwarf’s psychic ability.
“I think… it’s not that I don’t want to. It’s not that I don’t have somewhere to go. I have no purpose, I have no relatives, and I have no means of food…”
“Hmm? Aside from that, aren’t you a merchant? And you seem to have a tremendous amount of unusual abilities.”
“Oh, yes. I forgot. I’m a merchant. Yeah.”
“…Are you all right?”
One of my concerns has been resolved. The problem still remains that the products handled are too unbalanced and that I have no knowledge of this world.
Even though I am a merchant, I am a merchant of death. I mean, I can’t just sell guns and bombs to people from this world. What should I do?
Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m not in trouble with gold and silver coins, but I don’t feel like I have any prospects from here.
“I guess so. Maybe I’ll just have to make do as a merchant.”
“…Yoshua, I have a favor to ask you.”
“Yes, you can count on me.”
“Will you stay here with me and help me rebuild Casemaian? As you can see…”
I stopped the noja loli fluffy head as she tried to lower her head. I stared straight into her face as she raised her head in frustration.
“Don’t do that to me.”
“I told you to leave it to me. Of course, I’ll do anything you ask. Keep your head up. You’re my…
I’ve never really thought about it. I’m not sure what kind of position Myrril has.
We’ve been through a lot together, we’ve laughed and cried together, we’ve only known each other for a short time, but we’ve come to strongly believe that we don’t want to be separated.
However, I don’t feel like a lover. She knows a lot more about me than I do about her, even though she doesn’t know everything I’ve told her.
But I still don’t know anything about this girl.
“I’m your what?”
I tilted my head to look at the dwarf girl who was blowing her nose in anticipation, anxiety, and some other unknown emotion.
“…I wonder what it is?”
The noja loli sudden hook pierced my side. Myrril hit me with her fist as I crawled on the ground, bent over my body like the “ク” character.
“There! Get it right! Don’t you dare! No matter if it’s a lie or an excuse! That’s it! Do this or that! You’re supposed to be doing something! Idiot!”
“Ah, w-wait, Myr-Myrril sa… n… Gfugh.. gefu!”
It may look like a heartwarming scene, but the dwarf power that can swing a grown man around with one hand is chipping away at my HP…
I was about to go down, but Myrrill lifted my cheeks with both hands as if to wrap them around me and looked me straight in the eye.
The sight of a middle-aged man with a girl no taller than a schoolboy holding his face and hoisting him up is far from romantic, but my eyes are drawn to her clear gaze.
“I want to be with Yoshua. If you have your desires, your wishes, and what you want, I want to go with you towards it. What about you? Come on, answer me!”
Her words were more like an interrogation than a confession, but they were honest and sincere in her own way.
I can’t just let it slide, can I?
With a gentle squeeze of her hands, she let go of both my cheeks.
I fell on my face again and beckoned to her. The face of Myrril, bent down, was more young and fragile than I had expected and more dignified and beautiful than I had expected.
“What! If you have something to say, say it!”
I put my lips to her ear. I smelled a slightly sweet scent and felt a small surge of excitement in my chest.
“…There’s only one thing I want.”
“Mm, yes. What is it? I hereby pledge to support it with all my might and make it come true!”
“…When this war is over.”
“…I want you.”
――Huh? There was no response.
Myrril-san’s face becomes redder and redder, and her mouth begins to tremble as she crouches down and stiffens. Her clenched fists were opened, squeezed, and opened again, and she covered her face and began to writhe.
This is not good. This is a bad idea. I have to run…
Oh, she’s grabbing me. My neck is being hung by her small hand. Impossible, impossible, impossible…
I was slapped back and forth at super high speed by Myrril, who raised a high-pitched cry of shame, and I was blown away by the vertical rotation, and I lost consciousness as I flew through the air in a whirl.