After all, I was hungry, so Leanne and I decided to talk while we ate.
Two of the usual, please.
Leanne and I sat down on a simple wooden chair in a back alley stall and ordered our usual dishes.
I had learned about this restaurant from a fellow construction worker, and I had come to frequent it often.
One of the best dishes is egg noodles in a cloudy white broth with some kind of meat and vegetables chopped into small pieces on top of it.
In particular, the meat on top - I don't really know what kind of meat it is, but it is just delicious.
When I asked the owner what it was, he just laughed quietly and would not tell me, and when I asked my colleague who told me about this restaurant, he said, "Don't ask. I asked my colleague who told me about this restaurant, but he said, "It's better not to ask.
I thought that there was no need to keep it a secret, but I didn't pursue the matter too deeply because I was of the same opinion.
"It's delicious, isn't it? I've never tasted anything like it.
Lean seemed to like it too.
"So, what's the story?
Leanne put down the bowl of food she was holding and turned to me.
"Yes. As a matter of fact, I have to go to Mithra in three months. ...... It might be a dangerous journey. So, if you would be willing to accompany me, that would be very reassuring to me.
Yes, ......, would that be all right?
Leanne looked into my face as she picked up the bowl of noodles and soup.
I think that's the country I tried to go to the other day, but it was cancelled.
Of course, I want to go there.
I want to go there.
Because I've never seen the city with my own eyes.
That feeling hasn't changed.
But you did say something that bothered me.
You said it was dangerous. What did you mean by that? You said it was dangerous.
Lean put down his bowl and thought for a moment before answering my question.
...... Honestly, I don't know. To be honest, I don't know. But maybe we'll be fighting a threat as great as the one we fought before.
The only threats we've fought before were goblins and poisonous frogs.
Well, I might be able to handle that, I thought as I sipped my noodles.
But then I thought, "No, wait a minute.
Am I really going to be able to keep up?
I'm still weak.
I'm still weak. I've been through a lot, and I know that.
At the time of the last imperial raid, even I was able to defeat the demon goblins and poisonous frogs, and I was thinking that I should be a little more confident ......, but the next day I heard about a ridiculous monster from my uncle in the guild, and I immediately had second thoughts. But the next day, I heard about a monster from a guild uncle, and I quickly reconsidered.
He told me that a huge monster called the Goblin Emperor had appeared in the streets of King's Landing, and that it was much bigger than the ordinary goblins that Lean and I had defeated.
I was so astonished by the story that I couldn't believe my ears.
To me, even a mere goblin seemed astonishingly huge, but the Goblin Emperor was a frighteningly huge creature, more than ten times the size of a normal goblin, and it moved several times faster than anything I had ever seen.
I can only say that it's terrifying.
When I said that, the guild's uncle laughed, but .......
I would not be able to compete with such an unimaginable monster.
And there were more than one of them in the King's City.
And yet, the adventurers of this city worked together to defeat them.
The uncle who is the master of the guild also took the lead in the battle, and it seems that it took five of them to kill the Goblin Emperor, and he smiled happily, saying, "It's been a while since I had a good workout.
I found out for the first time that he used to be a Gold-level adventurer.
In fact, he was an amazing person.
I can't even imagine what kind of fight they had with such a huge monster like a mountain.
No, I've heard there's someone even more amazing than them.
The king of this country is said to be very skilled, and he killed three Goblin Emperors in a matter of seconds.
And he did it all by himself.
His appearance is said to be a story even among adventurers.
There really were some extraordinary people.
The world is much bigger than I thought.
But he risked his life to protect his people.
No wonder he's so respected.
When we arrived at the capital, we didn't see any of those huge creatures that looked like they could reach the clouds, so they must have already been defeated.
I listened to their story and kept it in my mind.
I could have killed a demon, and I could have faced a dragon one-on-one and not died, but ...... that's all. Compared to these extraordinary people, I'm still a weakling.
So I was a little lost.
Is it really okay to follow them?
If we were to run into a Goblin Emperor-level monster somewhere, it would be too dangerous for Lean and I to go alone.
Are we the only ones going?
No, Rollo has been invited this time, so he'll be going with us. That is, of course, if he wants to go.
Rollo has been invited?
Yes. So for now it's going to be me, Ines, Rollo and the doctor. We don't want to have too many people in the room.
...... What's this all about?
It may seem a little strange, but the ...... dangerous errand is to celebrate the coming of age of an acquaintance. There's a party and I'm just going to attend it. ......
A coming of age ceremony is dangerous ......?
What do you mean?
I don't think so. .......
I wonder if Mithraism is one of those countries where you have to defeat a violent demon to come of age.
And there is a certain amount of danger involved in witnessing this coming of age.
I wonder if this is the case.
I've heard that there are some places that have such a custom from time to time. .......
I see, the demons who participate in the coming-of-age ceremony need to be escorted because it would be dangerous if they were to go out of control.
That makes some sense.
It must be that kind of dangerous coming-of-age ceremony that Lean is talking about going to.
So, is there anything I should prepare? I don't know anything about that.
Leanne, perhaps sensing my concern, replied with a smile.
I don't need to worry about the preparations. All you have to do is follow me.
We'll prepare all the costumes for you over there. I'm sure you'll have to check the sizes and such.
Is that really necessary?
Is it possible that the attendants will be forced to participate in the ceremony?
A costume for this purpose could be ...... something like a war suit.
Is it dangerous if you don't wear it?
I'm getting more and more worried.
Is it safe for me to go to such a place?
"Yes, you just need to be there if nothing happens. I'm sure there will be delicious food served at the dinner, so I think you can look forward to that.
The food ...... is very exciting.
If the land is different, the food is different.
Maybe there will be mushrooms that are even better than the dragon's death mushroom.
I'm very excited to think about it.
A place I've never seen before.
I'd love to go there.
"No. Maybe I shouldn't go.
"............ eh ......?
Leanne was surprised by my answer and froze.
I guess I didn't say it well enough.
As you know, the reconstruction of King's Landing is still in progress. There are people who lost their homes in the previous turmoil and are in trouble. If I leave at a time like this, it might delay them from getting home. I'm still trying to be of some help, and it's still going to take some time to recover.
Well, you're right, sir, but...
I'm not the only one who'd be a good escort. To be honest, I'd like to visit Mithra, and I'm interested in the coming-of-age ceremony. But I don't know if it would do anyone any good if I went along. So I think I'll stop.
"...... wow ...... wow ...... I understand ...... if you say so, doctor. ......
Leanne seemed to agree with me when I said that. ......
If you look closely, you can see that her face is still smiling, but her eyes are filled with tears.
Then, with trembling hands, she took the bowl and began to sip the soup in silence.
It seems like a lie that he was talking cheerfully just now.
I don't know what ...... is, but he seems to be very depressed.
I feel sorry for him when I see him like that.
"Or is there a reason why it has to be me?
"Yes. I think it has to be you.
When I asked her, she turned around and answered immediately.
No, let me correct that. No, let me correct that. I shouldn't have asked you half-heartedly in the first place.
Lean stood up from the wooden chair in the stall, faced me straight, put his hand on his chest, and gave me the same polite bow he had given me before.
"Dr. Noor, there is no one else I would trust with my life but you and Ines. I ask you to accompany me. I will do everything in my power to repay your kindness in the name of the Linneburg Crease.
You're exaggerating just to be present at a coming-of-age ceremony.
Well, I don't feel bad if you say so.
Still, I wonder if this child is still misunderstanding.
I'm not as strong as she thinks I am.
I'll talk to the master tomorrow. Then I'll decide whether to go or not. Is that okay?
Lean's expression brightened instantly.
She's very happy that I said I'd go.
I wonder how long it will take for her to get over her misunderstanding.
Still, since she's relying on me so much, I want to do something to help her.
Even though I know that I am not good enough, I want to catch up with her.
No, that's not it.
I know what I'm really doing.
I'm just using her as an excuse.
I just want to have an adventure.
I did enjoy my work in construction.
It was rewarding.
A land I hadn't seen yet, Mithra.
I know there's more there that I don't know.
And I know it's dangerous.
But despite the danger, I want to go.
I want to see it.
I can't help the curiosity that rises in me.
I can't lie to myself about that simple feeling.
Because I became an adventurer for the sake of adventure.
I've made up my mind.
But if I'm going to travel, I have to make preparations.
I've heard that I'll be going to dangerous places, so I'm not sure if I'm up to the task.
They say I have three months before I leave, but it's only three months left.
In that time, I must train harder and become stronger.
I have learned that there are many monsters like the Goblin Emperor in the world.
Even though Inez will come with me, if I'm going to go on a journey, I need to be able to deal with them when I encounter them, or I may die at any time.
If that's the case, then the training I'm doing now while working on construction is of course insufficient.
I'll have to consult with the master right away.
I'm sorry to the master and everyone else.
This is just me being selfish.
What will I say when I see them tomorrow?
That's what I'll say when I see you tomorrow... After I left you, I spent the night thinking about that.
The next morning.
I visited the construction site early in the morning as usual.
"Sir. I need to talk to you, okay?
"What do you want? That's unusual. What's with the formalities...
I was wondering what I should say to the wondering master.
In the end, I couldn't put my thoughts together.
The master looked at me and smiled, as if he had figured something out.
He looked at me and smiled as if he understood something.
"What? What? How did you know?
I haven't said anything yet, but...
How did he know?
You don't have to say anything. It's written all over your face. All right, go ahead. You got a dream, don't you?
"...... dream? What do you mean, a dream?
No, ...... that's a bit of a question for me to ask, but ...... that's you, right? You've got something you want to do, right?
Yes, I do.
This time, it's not so much a dream as it is a dream of the master.
Well, there are things I want to do.
"But... if I'm going to do that, I'm going to have to leave.
I'm afraid I'm going to cause trouble for everyone who's ever helped me.
When I said that, the master laughed in his usual tone.
"Hey, hey, don't talk like that.
You knew this day would come.
You always insisted on being an adventurer no matter how many times I invited you to join our building guild.
I'm not trying to keep you.
You've already done more than enough work, and thanks to you the construction is two months ahead of schedule.
I'm grateful for that.
No one says you don't work enough. ...... Or maybe you've worked enough for a hundred people in the past month.
It's a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your money.
...... Oh, okay.
But... come back when you feel like it.
You've still got a lot of skills to learn.
And I haven't given up yet, you know.
Come back to me whenever you change your mind.
I believe that even if I paid you ten times ...... or even twenty times the salary of a normal employee, it would still be worth the change.
"Yeah, I'll be back. Just wait for me.
And so, that day, I left the construction site I had grown accustomed to.
I decided to train even harder starting tomorrow, aiming for three months from now.
To go on a journey to Mithra and come back alive.
I must become even stronger than I am now, to the point of exceeding my limits.