334 an early toast

"Welcome home.

 When I greeted them, I received seven "I'm home" messages. After tomorrow, that number will be reduced to six. Considering Anne's original status, I won't have any more opportunities to meet her casually in the future.
 I feel sad about that, but I guess once in a lifetime is also life.

Helen, excuse me for coming home so soon, but I need your help.
Oh, you got it?
Yeah. I'm looking forward to it.

 Helen immediately understood, probably because she was holding a spear in her hand, and responded enthusiastically.

See you outside.

 I went outside and set up some logs, just as I had done the first time. Rikke thoughtfully brought me some sheet metal, and I fixed it to the log.

Sorry, thanks.

 On the surface, he was trying to look calm, as if he was just helping his master, but it was easy to see by the glint in his eyes. I guess he just wanted to see what would happen.
 Well, I don't blame you for that. I don't blame you for that. Having that kind of curiosity is a necessary ingredient for improvement. I think .......

 Helen is swinging the spear I gave her around. She's handling it lightly, but it must have weighed a fair amount when I held it a while ago. I wonder which has more to do with her strength or skill, that she can swing it as if it were a hollow clothesline.


 With the same lightness of touch, Helen slashed at the sheet metal fixed to the log. The sheet metal parted and fell, making a small sound. There was no other sound.


 We added the sound of applause to the quiet garden, where the only sound was the wind blowing.
 If you look closely, you can see that only the sheet metal has been cut, but not a scratch on the log. This was the result of Helen's skill and the ability of her weapon to respond to such precise manipulation. There is no doubt about Helen's skill, but a poorly made weapon would not have been able to keep up and either the sheet metal would not have been cut or the log would have been damaged.

There's a big difference when you're balanced!
Is it that different?
Of course it is.

 Helen said, holding the log in the middle and turning it around, as if she was still checking the balance.

I'm glad it's good.
"I'd take it if I could.
The price will be fifteen gold pieces. Anytime.

 And all seven of us laughed.

"All right, let's have dinner. Make sure you clean yourselves up.

 I say, and six of them respond. Also from Krull and Lucy. And then they all went back in separate groups.

 This would be Anne's last meal at Eizo's workshop. We'll be leaving first thing in the morning tomorrow, so Anne and I won't be eating at home, we'll be eating our own food, like bento.
 So I made a very generous meal. I served both wild boar and deer meat, and different sauces to go with them. There is also a garnish similar to a glace made from root vegetables.

It's quite a sumptuous meal by our standards. It may be insignificant to you, Anne. ......

 When I said this, Anne waved her hands in front of her face.

No, no, no, no, no! It's not every day you get to eat something like this, even in the royal court!

 She denied it. Even if it's a compliment, it's fine as long as you enjoy it.
 I've already poured wine for everyone (though Rike is drinking fire wine as usual), so each of us stands up with a cup.
 After clearing my throat, I said.

Congratulations on the completion of the spear, and a safe journey home to Anne!

 And then all seven of us.