Here’s the chapter, enjoy~
Epilogue – Celebrating It With Everyone
The next day, we decided to stay in Surier for a while.
The Adventurers’ Guild was going to investigate the incident and keep a detailed record of it.
“We apologize to all of you while you are exhausted. However, we would appreciate your cooperation in our investigation in case a similar incident occurs in the future.”
An official of the Surier branch came to our inn and bowed to us in a very courteous manner.
Of course, we had no reason to refuse.
Iris and I belong to the Adventurers’ Guild, and as members of the organization, it was only natural that we should provide information.
In addition to testifying about the incident, I was also present at the site inspection for the underground labyrinth worship center and helped write a portion of the report.
As a result, I had to extend my stay in Surier, and the Adventurers’ Guild paid for my extended lodging. Considering that the “Five-Star Pavilion” was the most luxurious inn in town, this was a very generous offer. I wish Japanese companies would take a lesson from this.
As for the travel schedule, we contacted the Scarlett Trading Company to rearrange it.
Since there was plenty of free time in the schedule to begin with, it seemed unlikely that we would be late for the awards ceremony in the royal capital.
It was the evening of the sixth day of our stay when we finally completed all of our business.
When we left the Adventurers’ Guild building, we all stretched out.
“It’s finally over.”
“I think this was harder than the battle with the Gluttonous Dragon.”
Iris sighed deeply, and Lily nodded next to her.
“I’m a little tired, too.”
“Lily-oneechan, are you all right? I’ll give you a massage later.”
We started walking toward the inn as we talked.
Tomorrow morning we would finally leave for Fort Port.
Today is our last night in Surier, and since it’s our last night here, we might as well do something out of the ordinary… As we were thinking about it, a woman with long blonde hair came from across the street.
It was Cal, the D-rank adventurer.
I was told that she has a family home in Surier, and I guessed that she was on her way back home.
She was dressed in a short-sleeved shirt and shorts and was carrying a large square box in both hands.
“Yahoo, Kou-chi. Hello, hello. I was just on my way to your inn.”
“You wanted to see me?”
“Hmm, Kou-chi, or rather, Kou-chi sama’s party? You see, you protected the city this time as well, right? …So, here’s a present to thank you!”
Cal offers a square box to me.
I took the box and lifted the lid to find a large decorated cake inside.
It was filled with cream and fruit and looked very luxurious.
“Did you make this cake?”
When Lily asked that, Cal puffed out her chest.
“My parents have a cake shop. My auntie and I made this cake together, and it’s so good!”
“Wow! Looking forward to it!”
“Oh, Suraran, that’s a great response!”
Cal patted Surara on the head, then turned to me and said in a light tone.
“By the way, Kou-chi, I heard you defeated another dragon. To think you slew your second dragon, you’re really the strongest one. Isn’t that crazy?”
“It’s definitely crazy.”
Iris nodded her head.
Was it a sign of comradery that she was matching Cal’s tone of voice?
“At this rate, I’m sure he’ll be slaying the third dragon in the near future.”
“Irin, I know what you mean. But, I’m not only talking about three dragons, but four, five, or even six dragons.”
I’d rather not do that.
If my record of dragon slayings continues to grow, it means that many more calamities will be resurrected.
I honestly don’t want to see that happen.
“I don’t like the rough stuff, though.”
Iris, Lily, and Cal are all tilting their heads at each other.
When it comes to Surara, he bent his body and made a “?” mark on his body.
“…Well, putting aside Kou-chi’s joke.”
Cal clears her throat with a small cough.
“I’ve given you the cake, and my business is finished. So I’m going home. See you!”
With a quick raise of her right hand, Cal runs away with light steps.
What can I say, she’s so free, isn’t she?
Well, I have a magnificently decorated cake on my hands, but what should I do with it?
“Hey, hey, Master-san. I want some cake.”
I thought about it for a while, and then I suggested it to everyone.
“Since we are here, let’s have a moderate dinner tonight and eat cake at the inn.”
“That sounds good. A lot has happened in Surier, so let’s consider it a celebration. How about you, Lily?”
“Yay! Me too, me too!”
“Then we’re all in.”
I nodded and stored the decorated cake in my [Item Box].
If I accidentally drop such a magnificent thing, the celebration party will be ruined.
* * *
After a light dinner, we returned to our inn, the Five-Star Pavilion.
We gathered in the living room of my room and began preparing for the party.
I took out the decorated cake from my [Item Box], and the sweet aroma wafted through the air.
“Master-san, I’m getting hungry!”
“Can you wait a little longer?”
“Yeah! I’m excited! I’m excited!”
Surara’s eyes sparkled as he looked at the decorated cake.
I smiled at him and took out knives, forks, and plates for the four of us from my [Item Box]. I had previously created them with [Creation] using the hikino tree.
I picked up the knife, activated my [Dexterity], and cut the decorated cake into pieces.
The original size was too big, so I cut it into 16 equal pieces this time.
“Kou, thank you. You are really skilled at it, aren’t you?”
“It’s no big deal.”
I put one cake on everyone’s plate.
The drinks were wine and grape juice, both of which were a thank-you gift from the ranch in Toue.
There were wine glasses in the room, so I decided to use them.
“I’ll have the wine.”
“I’ll have the grape juice.”
“I’ll have a glass of juice too!”
When the drinks had been dispersed, I raised my glass.
“Well then, in celebration of our mutual hard work… cheers.”
The sound of glasses clinking against each other echoed through the living room.
And so the celebration party began, and the cake was even better than expected.
The rich cream, sponge cake-like sweet filling, and the sourness of the fruit accentuate the flavor and keep you coming back for more.
“…It’s so good.”
“I could eat many of these.”
“Master-san, I love this cake!”
Lily was eating the cake with a dreamy expression on her face as she took bite after bite to savor it. She was kind of cute, like a little animal.
Everyone, including me, was crazy about the cake at first.
However, perhaps due to our growing bellies, we gradually began to talk more and more.
The topic of conversation was the events in Surier.
The open-air bath on the first day of arrival, the festival on the second day, the encounter with the Count, the defeat of the Elder Lich…
And then the battle with the Gluttonous Dragon.
“We did well to win, didn’t we…?”
Iris muttered to herself, and Lily nodded beside her.
“If it weren’t for Kou-san, I think we would have been in a lot of trouble.”
“No, I couldn’t have defeated the Gluttonous Dragon on my own. It’s also thanks to Iris and Lily for your help. Thank you.”
“Fufu, I’m glad I could be of help to you.”
For some reason, Lily’s expression clouded over as she turned her head.
What happened to her?
As I recall, just before I used the Yggdrasil bow, Lily was saying some strange things.
──I offer you my life. That’s what she said.
It was a very disturbing word, wasn’t it?
I have a feeling that something terrible will happen if I leave it unattended.
Lily is an important friend of mine, and if she is having problems, I want to help her as much as I can.
…I’ll ask her while I can.
“Lily, may I have a word?”
“Eh, ah, yes.”
“Before you used the bow, you said something like, ‘I’m going to give my life for it.” What on earth does that mean?”
Lily looked troubled, and then she just clammed up.
Well, what’s going on?
Iris opened her mouth while I was pondering.
“Lily, is it something you are having trouble talking about?”
“…No. It’s not like that.”
Lily shook her head.
“I just have so many things I don’t understand that I haven’t been able to sort them out myself…”
“Then you might want to talk to us.”
Surara said in a slightly more serious tone.
“Ancient scholars say it’s easier to get things straight in your head if you talk to someone!”
That is certainly true.
I’ve had my own experience that conversation helps me to organize my thoughts…
I nodded my head and again addressed Lily.
“Why don’t you just tell us what you think? Surprisingly, there is a possibility that this will solve the problem.”
“…I suppose so. Kou-san may be right.”
Lily pondered for a while but eventually nodded her head.
“As I explained to you before, according to the lore of the God of War religion, the [God of War’s Shrine Maiden] is said to have two missions. Do you remember that?”
“Oh, yes, of course.”
I answered immediately.
“One is to give the bow of Yggdrasil to the [Transmigrator], and the other is to find the magic sword Gram, right?”
“Correct. However, there is actually another third mission that is not mentioned in the traditions. I learned about it in a [Foresight] when I was a child.”
“What kind of mission is that?”
When I asked this, Lily’s gaze wandered a little hesitantly, and then she answered in a whisper.
“…When the seal of the bow is broken, it is to summon the Calamity-Killer Arrow in exchange for my life.”
Was it because of the [Foresight] that Lily, upon seeing the bow, said, “I will offer my life”?
But what was actually needed was not life but magical power.
This is probably why Lily is confused.
“Does that mean that the [Foresight] was off?”
When Iris said so, Lily answered with a puzzled expression on her face.
“…I don’t understand. It may be that the future has changed due to some factor, or it may be that another battle in the future will be just as the [Foresight] predicted. For my part, I think the latter is more likely.”
“Lily-oneechan, are you going to die…?”
Surara muttered sadly.
“I don’t want that.”
“Thank you, Surara-san. But I’m proud of the fact that I’m a [God of War’s Shrine Maiden], and I’m prepared for it from the very beginning.”
Lily turned to me as she said this and continued speaking in a strong tone.
Her voice and expression showed her unwavering will and conviction.
“When I fought the Devil Treant in Toue, Kou-san saved me from a dangerous situation. In order to repay that debt, I will give my life whenever necessary.”
Next to me, Iris was speechless.
She seemed confused, not knowing how to talk to her.
I replied, looking straight at Lily.
“If that is Lily’s decision, I respect it as a friend. But I don’t want Lily to die. …If the situation should turn out to be as [Foresight] in the future, I will continue to search for a way to prevent Lily from being sacrificed until the very end. Is that okay with you?”
“I will not change my resolve to fulfill my mission, but I would also like to live longer if possible and visit various places with Kou-san and the others. …Do you think I’m being selfish?”
“No, it’s not. Right, Iris?”
“Yes. I think it’s a natural thing to do.”
“Lily-oneechan, I’ll help you, too. If you have any problems, just let me know.”
“…Thank you, everyone.”
After saying this, Lily smiled softly.
The smile was fragile and beautiful, like a melting snow flower.
* * *
After that, we were still talking about our experiences in Surier, and the next thing I knew, Surara was peacefully sleeping.
“Munya… I can’t eat anymore, mmmm, refill, please…”
You say you can’t eat anymore, but you want a refill?
That’s some incredible sleep talk.
I chuckled and turned my attention to Lily.
Lily also closed her eyes and fell asleep using the sofa’s armrest as a pillow.
Her sleeping face was innocent and age-appropriate.
Iris whispered to me.
“Do you want to go out for some air?”
“…I’d love to.”
Lily and Surara are both sleeping comfortably, and I feel a little sorry for them if I wake them up.
Iris and I nodded to each other and quietly got up from the sofa.
There is a door at the back of the living room that leads outside, so we go out onto the balcony.
Looking up at the night sky, we saw many stars shining.
“Lily-chan is sleeping soundly.”
“Maybe she felt better after letting a lot of things out.”
“…She’s a little like Felice in the way she holds things over her shoulder like that.”
Iris gave a small sigh and muttered as she looked into the distance.
Her profile is somewhat tinged with melancholy.
Felice is Iris’s twin sister and another [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden].
Three years ago, she was killed by a monster attack.
“Felice also had a [Foresight]. Looking back on it, I think she knew when she was going to die. She had organized her belongings and even left a suicide note.”
“…Maybe she knew everything through the dream.”
“I think she probably did.”
Iris nodded and continued.
“When Felice passed away, I regretted it so much. If I had been there, I might have been able to save her. I thought about that a lot. …That’s why…”
“You don’t want to make the same mistake.”
“Yes. …I’m sure I’m comparing Lily to Felice.”
“It’s not a bad thing. It’s natural to take the past and make use of it in the future. It’s natural.”
“Thank you. It’s a little comforting to hear you say that.”
Iris gave a small smile.
For a while after that, the two of us quietly gazed at the night sky, and then Iris murmured.
“You used a Flying Potion in the battle against the Gluttonous Dragon, didn’t you? I wondered if it would work on me if I drank it?”
“That was very sudden.”
Iris looked a little nostalgic for the old days when I replied.
“In the past, Felice used to say that she wanted to be a bird and fly freely. …I’m also kind of interested in that.”
“Well, why don’t you give it a try?”
I took out two Flying Potions from my [Item Box] and offered one to Iris.
“I have plenty in stock. Feel free to drink them.”
“Thank you. Then, I’ll have one.”
We took our first sips of the Flying Potion at about the same time.
We both float in the air.
I’m used to it, but this is the first time for Iris to fly by herself with the《Wind Blessing S+》.
Apparently, it was difficult for her to keep her balance, and she lost her posture in mid-air.
“Are you okay?”
I hold out my left hand toward Iris.
Iris took my left hand in hers and tried to stand up… and almost fell over again.
However, as she repeated it over and over again, she seemed to get the hang of it, and her posture eventually stabilized.
“…It’s quite difficult.”
“It was a good job for the first time. Then, let’s try to gain altitude next time.”
“How do I do that?”
“Straighten your back and look up, lightly.”
Iris stood up on her tiptoes.
Then her body began to rise gradually.
Iris was rising at a very slow pace, but that’s how it goes at first, I guess.
Iris was going up at about the same speed as I was, and I called out to her.
“Are you all right?”
“I’m getting the hang of it. But if I’m not careful, I’m going to fall. Can I hold your hand?”
“Of course. I’ll support you, so you don’t fall.”
“Yeah, I’m counting on you.”
Iris answered and squeezed my left hand.
The two of us then ascended into the night sky together.
As soon as we reached an altitude where we could see all of Surier, we stopped for a moment.
Iris said while looking at the town of Surier from a high altitude.
The magic lamps here and there in the city are twinkling, illuminating the area with a soft light.
“It is as if there is a starry sky on the ground. …I wish Lily-chan could see it too.”
“Next time, the three of us should try flying together.”
“Yes. I am sure she will be very happy.”
Iris giggled, then squeezed my left hand a little tighter.
“I hope we can all continue to travel together.”
“Of course. …How are things going for you, Iris?”
“What do you mean by how?”
“You know, there is a hidden third mission for the [God of War’s Shrine Maiden], isn’t there?”
I preface this by saying so before continuing.
“Then, doesn’t the [Dragon God’s Shrine Maiden] have a similar mission, one that she would give her life for?”
Iris pondered for a moment and then answered.
“At least, I don’t have any idea. I swear.”
“…That’s all right then.”
My impression of Iris was that she was not lying.
However, I could not deny the possibility that there was actually a third hidden mission… in the person’s mind that they just don’t know about.
“Iris is an important companion. …Please don’t suddenly disappear.”
“I know. ──Fufu.”
“I’m so lucky to have you say that to me.”
The expression on Iris’s face as she smiled was one of the happiest I have ever seen.