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Chapter 13 – We Enjoyed The Festival
The next day, we left the inn a little after 10:00 am.
It seemed that the festival had already started, and the town was very lively.
From far away, we could hear the sound of fireworks. The main street was full of people, and if you looked to the left and right, you could see a line of Hotep stalls on both sides of the street.
The aroma of delicious soup wafted through the air, accompanied by white steam.
“Hotep♪ hotep♪ hotep♪ hotep~♪”
Surara, as usual, has a white round hat on his head and is bouncing around with a skipping motion. He even hummed a tune and seemed to be in a very good mood.
People on the street were making space around Surara so that nobody would step on him, but Iris picked him up with both hands when I thought that he might get in the way of the traffic.
“Surara-chan, it’s dangerous, so I’ll carry you.”
“Yay! Thank you, Iris-oneesan!”
“You’re welcome. …Ara, you’re surprisingly light.”
“Fufu! I can adjust the weight of my body!”
“…And it’s getting heavier.”
“If a monster comes along, I’ll crush it!”
I mean, what kind of technology was used to adjust not only body size but also weight? Ancient civilizations really are full of mysteries.
While thinking about this, I casually turned my gaze toward Lily.
Lily has not spoken a word since we left the inn, and she has a thoughtful expression on her face. She seemed to be out of her mind, but I wondered what was wrong.
“Lily, are you okay?”
“Eh, ah… yes.”
Lily came to her senses and looked up at me, and nodded.
“I’m sorry, I was just in a daze.”
“No problem. What’s troubling you?”
Lily seems to be having trouble explaining and is mumbling.
“Actually, [Foresight] was triggered yesterday as well. But the content was very fragmented…”
“What kind of dream was it?”
“First of all, Kou-san was receiving a trumpet in a place full of people.”
“Me? It’s kind of a strange situation.”
“I think so, too.”
Lily muttered with a puzzled look on her face.
“Then the scene changed, and near the fountain, Kou-san was pulling out a shiny green branch from your [Item Box].
The shiny green branch is probably a Yggdrasil branch.
It was previously obtained from Devil Treant branches through [Material Alchemy] and should be a future material for [Creation], but no new recipe has come to mind.
What in the world am I going to use Yggdrasil’s branch for in the future?
It is a mystery. It is too much of a mystery.
“At the end, the scene switched again, and we were all in the carriage. It seemed we were leaving Surier and heading northwest.”
“Northwest? Fort Port is northeast, and that’s a little off in the wrong direction.”
When I checked [Auto Mapping], I found large mountains and forests to the northwest of the city.
“What business do we have in such a place…?”
“I don’t know, either. …I’ve never seen [Foresight] so vague in my life.”
“Do you usually have a clearer picture?”
“Yes. It has been much clearer.”
Surara, who seemed to have been listening to Lily and me talking on the side, spoke up.
“An ancient scholar told me that there is a limit to one’s precognition skills! The future of a person with great power like Master-san is prone to change. So when it comes to events involving such people, we can’t see clearly, and we get fuzzy results!”
“Kou is certainly out of the ordinary.”
“You know, when I take my eyes off of you for a second, you can use magic, or you can fly, and there is no way to predict what you are going to do next.”
“Putting me aside, I heard that Lily’s [Foresight] has never failed to come true, so maybe it’s a completely confirmed future as far as what she dreamed about.”
Lily pondered for a while and then nodded deeply.
“I think you are right, too, Kou-san.”
“Then I guess Kou will get the trumpet from someone else after this.”
“Good for you, Master-san!”
Is that something to rejoice about?
I’ve never played the trumpet until today.
Well, I should be able to play better than that since I have the [Dexterity].
After we finished talking about the [Foresight], Lily’s expression softened a little.
It seems that she was worried about the contents of the [Foresight], the meaning of which she could not decipher, but perhaps she felt more at ease after discussing it with us.
After that, we compared the Hoteps at various food stalls and decided to head for the plaza, the central part of the festival.
As we walked down the street, we could hear voices calling out to us from both sides.
“Hey, there, brother! Our soup is excellent! We use the Toue beef tails, after all!”
“How about our special dessert Hotep with stewed fruit?”
“It’s a soup with lots of red wine! It’s hearty and velvety in the morning!”
Perhaps because it was a festival, there were many odd items on the menu. Since it was a good opportunity, I ordered from one side of the menu to the other.
“Beef soup tastes so good. It tastes like something classic.”
“Fruit hotep, sweet and delicious.”
“Pipipi! I’m feeling good! Pipipipi! Pipipipipi!”
Surara seemed to be drunk from the red wine soup, and his eyes were spinning around and around.
“Ugh, I feel sick…”
And he had a hangover (?) in less than ten minutes.
His metabolism is fast.
“Are you okay, Surara-chan?”
“Ugh. I’m an Osake Slime…” [T/n: a play on Osewa Slime.]
He seems to be in considerable distress, so I take out an antidote potion from my [Item Box].
The《Antidote Enhancement S+》effect is also effective against alcohol, so it should make things easier.
“Surara, here is the antidote potion. Would you like some?”
“Thank you, Master-san… I’m so happy… Yay! I feel better!”
His recovery was instantaneous.
Maybe it’s the effect of the potion, but perhaps the constitution of the Helper Slime also helped.
In the meantime, we arrived at the central plaza.
According to the program on the bulletin board, an “ancient lottery game” was about to begin. The list of prizes was written on the bulletin board, so I skimmed through it.
The first prize was a travel ticket to the royal capital, which would allow us to board a luxury cruise ship leaving from Fort Port.
The second prize is… a trumpet?
It’s kind of odd that a musical instrument is a prize.
Not many people can play the trumpet, and even if they received one, they would have no use for it or would have a hard time finding a place to put it.
Reading the prize description, it seems that there is a world-famous instrument maker living in Surier, and he offered a special model as a prize to celebrate the city’s 300th anniversary.
The organizers of the lottery game probably decided to give the trumpet second prize as a safe bet since it was a prize made by a locally well-known person and could not be treated lightly, nor could it be the centerpiece of the prize, since its use is limited.
“It looks like you’re going to win the second prize of a trumpet.”
I nodded in agreement with Iris.
“Let’s participate in this event as well, just to see if we can verify [Foresight].”
“I want some candy!”
The lottery game is free of charge, and the registration desk is apparently located at the back of the plaza, next to the special stage.
I quickly made my way there and found yesterday’s young guard standing next to a sign that read “Ancient Lottery Game Registration.”
“Good morning, Kou-dono. Would you like to participate in the lottery?”
“Yes, please. …What are you doing here?”
“The guards are also participating in the festival on the management side. I will be hosting the games afterward, so please come and join us.”
The young guard bows to me and hands me a rather thick card.
The card has a total of twenty-five squares, five vertical and five horizontal, with a number printed on each square. Around the numbers are semicircular slits, which can be folded backward by pressing hard with a finger.
…It’s like a bingo game.
As I was thinking this, Surara shouted, “I’ve seen this before!”
‘It’s a game called ‘numbers’ in ancient civilizations! The presenter announces the numbers, and if you get five of each of the vertical, horizontal, or diagonal numbers, you’re up, and you get a present!”
“You know it well, don’t you? That is correct.”
The guard nodded in admiration.
Apparently, the “ancient lottery game” is the same as the bingo game I know.
The number in the middle was “0,” and it seemed that a hole had been drilled in the middle from the beginning.
“I didn’t know such a game existed…”
Lily looked at the lottery cards with a twinkle in her eye.
She seems to have lived her whole life thinking only about fulfilling her mission, which makes everything new to her.
I let out a small smile at her innocent appearance.
It seems that Surara can also participate in the “Ancient Lottery Game,” and we received a total of four cards.
“The game will start soon. Please wait in front of the stage.”
“Thank you. Do your best, presenter.”
I told the young guard this and headed toward the special stage with Iris, Lily, and Surara.
Many people had gathered there, holding lottery cards in their hands.
A bench at the end of the stage was empty, so we sat there in a row.
“This is getting exciting…”
“My heart is pounding.”
Iris and Lily are looking toward the stage with expressions of half nervousness and half anticipation.
On the left side of the stage is a blackboard and a rattle for the raffle, and on the right side is a white cloth-covered table on which the prizes are arranged in a row.
The first prize, a travel ticket, is accompanied by an envelope containing a catalog and a painting of what appears to be a scene from the royal capital, although it is probably not an image of the city. The castle and the cityscape illuminated by the setting sun are very beautiful.
Next to it was the second prize trumpet, which was kept in a transparent case.
Soon a man in a clown costume appeared on the stage.
“Hey guys, are you enjoying the festival!? The morning’s main event, the ancient lottery game, is about to begin!”
The man’s hilarious voice and movements drew laughter from the audience.
Then he glanced at me for a moment and gave a small wave.
“That man is the guard from earlier, right?”
Soon the clown MC began to spin the raffle rattle, singing and dancing along.
“Come on, come on, let’s keep on spinning! First up is number… 29!”
As a side note, I am now twenty-nine years old.
The number 29 is also written on the second card from the left and the second from the top.
“That’s a good start.”
I whispered and tried to push my finger into the square marked 29.
However, the next moment, I felt the card shake, and a hole automatically appeared in the square marked 29.
What on earth was going on?
I looked around and saw that the other participants also had puzzled expressions on their faces.
The clown who was hosting the event raised his voice.
“Hahahaha! Surprised? I have the skill to do magic tricks, and I put tricks on your cards. The numbers can be switched or rewritten during the game, so don’t give up and enjoy the game until the end!”
That sounds interesting.
The second half of a bingo game tends to be divided into two groups: those who enjoy the thrill of the game with its many reaches and those who are bored and inclined to give up. I guess they used their skills to avoid this situation and keep the audience excited until the end.
…What a waste of service spirit to keep him as a guard.
After that, the numbers continued to hit, and eventually, the second horizontal row from the top was reached.
From left to right, 7, 29, 47, and 61 were hit, and only 88 remained.
“Now, are we starting to get the numbers right?”
The clown MC leaned forward from the stage and scurried around the crowd.
“If you have one more to go, please say ‘Reach’!”
Apparently, there are also rules set in place for reaching.
“Kou-san, you just need one more, right?”
Lily looked at my card and muttered.
“I wonder if I will win the second prize trumpet after all.”
“Well, who knows?”
I replied, quickly raising my right hand and getting up from the bench.
“Yes! Me too, me too!”
Oops, apparently, there were other ‘reachers’ as well.
Looking around the venue, a young woman with long blonde hair stood up a short distance away.
Her skin was tanned light brown, and she exuded an air of liveliness.
When she turned to me, she rolled her eyes for a moment and then waved her hand in the air.
“Oh, isn’t it Kou-chi? It’s been a while.”
I knew this girl.
Her name is Cal, a D-rank adventurer who works around the city of Aunen.
I had seen her several times before, for example, when I had completed a city quest such as helping in the kitchen of a restaurant. She was light-hearted but sincere in her work and must have had a good reputation among those around her.
“I didn’t realize Cal was in Surier, too.”
“My parents live here. Did you go sightseeing?”
“Well, sort of.”
“Oh, it looks like you two know each other! It’s a showdown!”
When the clown MC raised his voice, the audience caught on and said, “Oooooooh!” The crowd was very excited.
The next number was 6, followed by 18 and 26.
“I have a lot of reaches!”
Surara happily shows me his cards.
There are holes scattered all over the place, and if he hits just one more, he would be in the reach.
It’s hard to get a hit in a situation like this, isn’t it?
While I was thinking about that, the clown in my field of vision announced the next number.
“This time, it’s… 87!”
Too bad, I would have been a winner if it was 88.
As I was thinking… a change occurred on the card.
The number 88 was distorted and changed to 87.
If I drill a hole here, I get bingo with 7, 29, 47, 61, and 87 from left to right.
If I think backward from Lily’s [Foresight], I should be in second place.
But this would give me the first prize.
I raised my hand, still wondering.
“I’ve got them all.”
This is an unexpected turn of events. I had not expected the two of us to get bingo together.
The clown MC exclaimed with a look of surprise on his face.
“This is amazing! At the same time, at the same time! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give them a round of applause! You two, please come to the stage!”
Clap, clap, clap!
The entire venue erupts in applause, and Cal and I go up on stage.
“Now, now, we have one first prize and one-second prize. Let’s let the two of you decide which one you want.”
“Let’s see, I’ll…”
Cal glanced toward the first prize. She seemed to be hesitant to say something, perhaps because she was afraid to.
I stepped forward and told the clown MC.
“Give me the second prize trumpet.”
“Eh, Kou-chi, are you sure?”
Cal gives a startled shout.
“I was originally going to the royal capital. I’ve already secured a ship, so you can have the first prize.”
“Uwaa, uwaa, eh, wait, are you serious? I’m really happy, but… Eeeeehhh.”
Cal covered her face with her hands, with a look of half joy and half confusion on her face.
Her honest reaction was somewhat adorable.
“The first prize, then, goes to this young lady!”
The clown MC then brings from the table where the prizes are placed an envelope with a catalog marked “first prize” and a painting depicting a scene from the royal capital.
“Thank you, Kou-chi. Thank you so much! I’m so grateful!”
Cal received the envelope and the painting and held them up high so the audience could see them better.
At the same time, the audience went wild.
There was a lot of applause and whistling among the applause.
What a great turnout!
“Next up is the second place! Can I ask you to put your hands out in front of you for a moment?”
“Great! Let’s go then. Three, two, one… haah!”
White smoke popped in front of my eyes, and confetti flew.
And the next thing I knew, the trumpet was in my hands.
The case that originally contained the trumpet was still on the table where the prize was placed.
I don’t know what the trick was or how it worked, but I guess it was a magic trick using the [Sleight of Hand] skill to move the trumpet at a moment’s notice.
It’s quite interesting.
I nodded my head in interest and raised the trumpet high in the air.
The audience was excited and clapped everywhere.
Thus, I won the second prize trumpet and returned to Iris and the others.
The game continued, and Surara had won an assortment of sweets, as he had originally hoped.
“Good for you, Surara-chan.”
“Yeah! I’ll share with everyone!”
The “ancient lottery game” came to an end, as the assortment of sweets Surara received seemed to be the last prize.
“Oh, well, that’s the end of the prizes! But the festival is still going on, so please enjoy it!”
The clown MC concluded the game with these words and then left backstage with a dashing stride ── almost falling as he tried to leave, providing the audience with a laugh.
“Hmm, too bad.”
Iris muttered as she looked at the hole-filled cards. Several of the rows were reachable, but apparently, not a single bingo was made after all.
“If there had been a few more prizes, you probably would have won.”
“I was close, too.”
Lily gripped the lottery card gently with both hands and looked disappointed.
“I’d like to do it again.”
“Hopefully, I’ll get a prize next time.”
“Lily nodded her head vigorously.
Now that the lottery was over, it was almost lunchtime.
Let’s resume eating at the food stalls… and just as I got up from the bench in front of the stage, Cal came up to me.
“Kou-chi, thank you so much for earlier!”
“It’s no big deal. It’s just a coincidence that we meet at this place.”
“I was really surprised, too. And it’s not only Kou-chi, but Irin is here, too. Been a while.” [T/n: She calls Iris, Irin.”
“It’s been a long time. Cal.”
Apparently, Iris and the female adventurer… Cal knew each other. Well, they were both active in the city of Aunen, so it’s not surprising.
“That girl over there is a priestess of the God of War religion, isn’t she? Wow, your silver hair is so beautiful! I’m so jealous! My name is Cal; nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you.”
“I’m Surara! I hope we can get along!”
“Wawawa, aren’t you the Helper Slime! Let’s get along, get along so much!”
Cal held hands with Surara for a while and seemed to be having a good time, but then she turned to me and asked me something serious.
“Hey, Kou-chi, aren’t I causing you a lot of trouble? I was happy that you gave me the first prize, but I feel like I forced something on you that you didn’t want, and I’m kind of sorry…”
“No, that’s okay.”
I replied immediately.
“As I said before, I have already secured a ship to the royal capital. Besides, it’s not like I can’t play the trumpet.”
“Kou-chi, you can play a musical instrument? Seriously?”
I replied and took out the trumpet from my [Item Box].
The [Dexterity] was activated, and at this moment, I fully understood how to play this instrument.
It’s always a strange feeling.
Now that I know how to play it, let’s give it a try.
What song shall I play?
Just as I thought that, the [Full Assist] was automatically activated and suggested a tune to play.
The title is “Sasan’s Slumber,” and it seems to be a song that was written 4,000 years ago.
It seems that Surier was originally the city of an ancient civilization called Sasan, and in a sense, this song is perfect for this city.
I nodded my head, and the sheet music was installed in my brain.
Let’s get started.
I breathe into the trumpet, and a sweet, moist melody begins to flow.
“I know it.”
Surara murmured with a pensive smile.
He was probably trying not to shout because I was in the middle of a performance.
“This song is ‘Sasan’s Slumber.’ An ancient musician told me it is a very difficult song.”
“…It sounds beautiful.”
“Such an amazing skill.”
“Kou-chi, seriously, aren’t you too versatile…?”
Soon, one by one, passersby stopped and came toward us.
I noticed that a crowd had gathered in the vicinity, and when I finished playing, applause and cheers poured in generously from all over the place.
I played the trumpet casually, but it turned out to be somewhat of a big deal.
I looked over at Iris and the others and quickly walked away.