Chapter 118: Birthday
For Adventurers, the New Year traditions include the Grandes Church Festival on the first day of the year. The name of the Festival is a very uncreative “New Year’s Festival.”
Right before the sun rises, the highest ranked clergy of the Grandes Church will step in front of the altar to recite a blessing that give thanks for the previous year’s protection and prayer for further success in battle and conquest.
……….afterwards, there will be utter chaos of celebration until the next day.
Oh, but the Adventurers will all lift up their prayers too at the altar before that. And there are many people who see how lucky they will be that year by drawing from the Heaven’s Treasure Vault.
And after a few minutes of solemn silence and contemplation, we will all taste the wonderful, free liquor served by the Church’s tavern.
………and yes. Compared to the Ningel Church who’s ceremonies last half a day or the Sun God Nulvis who spends the day with believers announcing their New Year’s resolutions and goals to their God, it makes them wonder why our particular church had become the biggest and most popular on the continent.
But there is a reason for this too……sort of. For Adventurers, those without strength will not be able to make much money. And during the winter times, slaying demonic creatures becomes increasingly dangerous, and for those starting off as Adventurers, they would be living very frugal lives to survive till Spring.
For those people, the Festival aims to give courage and spirit so that they can make it through the rest of the winter — is the Festival’s true aim. Or so they say in the rumors. I don’t know if it’s really true.
But in fact, they do ask Adventurers who make a good deal of money to refrain from eating too much, and that’s been a consistent tradition, so I don’t think it’s completely false.
And as Adventurers, we attended the ceremonies and festival, but it was way too overcrowded, so we left pretty early on.
Ferris had gone to the Ningel Church’s festivities. And came back with renewed vigor to tackle this upcoming New Year.
And outside of the churches, there was an atmosphere of celebration in the air, and there were a few festival stands opened here and there.
………..but with this and that, the busy New Year’s traditions all came to an end.
Today is the 5th day of the 1st month. It is Cyril’s birthday.
Cyril: “Thank you, Henry!”
And before the lunch rush at the Bear’s Keg Inn, Cyril had one of her best smiles on her face. We did promise to meet, but she came early. And she came with overly abundant energy and enthusiasm.
I stopped sipping my coffee and raised a hand to greet her.
Cyril: “Okay, Henry. Please don’t hesitate to spoil me rotten today! I, Miss Cyril, have been looking forward to this day!”
Henry: “Oh knock it off. You really are full of energy this morning.”
Cyril: “He he he…the birthday is the one day in the year where people can celebrate with you no matter what. Out of the whole year, this is my favorite day.”
No matter what? Really? I don’t think that’s the case all the time, because as you get older, I’m sure there’s going to be more worries and concerns on your mind.
……….but at her age, she can still enjoy being one year older.
As Cyril said, it is a special day for her, so I’ll just follow her lead.
Henry: “Yes, yes. I’ll do my best to escort you, My Lady.” Cyril: “Yes, I’m pleased to have your company.”
I chug the rest of my coffee down and stand up. And I take the formal bow of my Knight’s Order and stretch out a hand to her. Cyril cautiously took my hand.
Henry: “..........and suddenly you’re very quiet.”
Cyril: “OーOh, um. Wellー this feeling of you bowing to me felt……kind of nice.”
Henry: “Take that.” I smack her head with the palm of my hand for that silly thought.
Henry: “Yes, yes. C’mon. Stop saying stupid things and let’s goーー”
We hold each other’s arm as we walk out.
And there were a few customers who came for lunch that day that caught sight of our bantering from beginning to end….
And the next day, all the witnesses that knew me well teased me quite a bit about it………I regretted being so careless to my surroundings.
The Bear’s Keg Inn is a good restaurant, but there will always be limitations to the food selection due to the low prices.
So for today’s lunch, we splurged and chose the Varsaldi Empire Style food restaurant ー a luxurious and expensive place to eat at.
This restaurant is known to compete as the best or 2nd best restaurant in Flowtier…….or so I heard. I got the information from Jend.
Even for lunch, a prior reservation is required. And compared to other casual lunch places, the price is a digit or two digits higher.
Cyril: “Wowー their interior decoration is just as extravagant.”
Henry: “Yeah, it really is.” The seating is also private rooms, and the pots and art pieces used for decoration must be expensive……or so I guess.
Cyril: “IーIt’s a little hard to feel comfortable here.”
Henry: “Yeah, to be honest, I’m not feeling too comfortable myself.”
In Ligaleo, you had to go to the center of the city to find a restaurant like this. And here, their main customers are not Adventurers but usually Noble families who came down to observe the city.
Since Ligaleo had difficulty importing quality food supplies in the first place, the prices they would charge would be even higher and their floors would be raised too. I think I’ve only eaten there once or twice for some kind of celebration in my life.
Henry: “But Cyril. Wouldn’t you be used to these kinds of places if you live with the Governor?” Cyril: “Hmm, well, the overall atmosphere isn’t really Alvenian-like.”
………….so I guess she understands what Alvenian style is like. On that point, she would already be a few steps above me.
So as we chatted about this and that, someone knocked quietly on the door to the private room.
“Thank you for waiting. Here is your appetizer, the seafood treasure terrine arranged in a Flowtier style.”
The waiter appeared without making so much as a sound and placed plates in front of Cyril and I.
The Varsaldi Empire cuisine typically is arranged like this where you are brought one dish at a time in a certain order.
And the waiter is explaining about the dish, but I have no clue what he’s talking about. After a while, he was finally done with his explanation, and I took a knife and fork in hand.
I cut off a piece and took a bite.
Cyril: “........yes, it’s good.”
Henry: “Yeah, I can understand why this place would be so popular.”
From there, as soon as we were done with one dish, the next dish came out.
The soup, main seafood dish, meat dish, salad, dessert, and then coffee.
All of the dishes were exquisitely arranged, and they not only tasted great, but looked like a work of art. And the fact that we really didn’t get enough to eat was expected too.
And we finished paying for our meal and left the restaurant.
Cyril: “Ohhh～～ that was so good! I would hesitate to go there if I had to pay myself, so thank you very much, Henry!”
Henry: “Well, yeah, at least for your birthday. I have some decent amount of savings too.”
Cyril: “Oh yeah, you mentioned something about that before. If it’s not too rude, could you tell me how much you have in there?” Henry: “Hm? Sure, here. It’s about……”
And I whisper the amount of money I have saved in a bank that is run by the Grandes Church in her ear.
Henry: “If I bought new equipment, I would easily use up a third of that though. But yeah, I’ve been hunting Higher-Tiers and Highest Tiers like crazy so I would have at least that much.”
Among my equipment, the pouch with the expanded dimensional space enchantment costs around 10 million zeniths.
…….oh yeah. That reminds me. I need to get it serviced for maintenance, but there’s no one in Flowtier who can help me.
Henry: “If you need money to get better equipment, I could help you out.”
Cyril: “Ohー umー that’s okay. If I depend on you like that, I feel like I’ll snowball into lazy habits.”
Henry: “Well, yeah. I was joking too.”
You buy your own gear with the money you earn. This is the Adventurers’ gold standard. No matter how good the equipment might be, you’ll need equal or greater experience to be able to use it effectively. There’s plenty of stories about rich fools who mistook the quality of their gear as a measure of their own strength and died.
But if there’s really no other choice, most adventurers will conveniently forget about that tradition periodically.
Henry: “So that’s why I don’t mind buying a few things on your anniversary day.”
Cyril: “Okayー thank you very much.”
Henry: “A good reply. Well, it’s a little early, but here is your birthday presentー”
Cyril: “Ohー we’ll see how good your instincts are with gifts!”
Ha! You fool. I have no confidence in that aspect. That’s why I didn’t choose the gift.
And she squeezes my arm tight as we both start walking in a certain direction.
As we entered the road where a lot of craftsmen set up shop, Cyril got a clue as to where we were heading.
Cyril: “.......oh, this road. Umー are we perhaps going toーー”
Henry: “To Miss Florence. I had her make a custom order. She would know your sizes.”
She was a former Fezard Kingdom, Palace Tailor and currently resided in Flowtier with a shop of her own.
A little while back, I was introduced to her by Cyril to help with repairing some of my gear, and I asked her to make some clothes for Cyril for Cyril’s present.
Henry: “I asked her to make something that would suit your taste.”
Cyril: “Whatーー I wish you would have chosen something for me, Henry.” Henry: “Butーー wouldn’t it be bad if I gave you something weird? If I’m giving you a gift, I would rather get something that you would actually wear.”
Cyril: “Hmmmm, then next year, let’s go shopping together. If we choose together, then there’s no problem.”
Oh, there was that option too. I didn’t think about that.
And as we talked, we arrived at the Florence Tailor.
Henry: “Excuse us.”
Florence: “Welcome. …….oh my, oh my. What a cute couple we have here.”
Miss Florence sat behind the counter and smiled teasingly towards us as she spoke.
Henry: “Are we that cute?” Florence: “Yes. At my age, you’ll almost make me blush watching you.”
Impossible. I understand about Cyril, but I’m a cool, calm adult now.
Florence: “But anyways, this is about your order, right? I have it right here. Cyril, I’m going to make some final adjustments so come over here.”
Cyril: “Okayー Henry, just wait right here.”
Henry: “Sure.” Cyril and Miss Florence stepped into the back where Miss Florence probably has her workshop.
With nothing else to do, I was looking at the clothes in the store for a while, but they both came back within a few minutes.
Cyril: “SーSorry to keep you waiting. HーHow is it?” Henry: “........yーyeah, you look good. Really good.” The cloth was white ー one of Cyril’s preferred colors. It was a casual dress with frills……but even so, she could easily slip into a ballroom party without anyone noticing. It was that elegant.
It caught me off guard, and I couldn’t help but stare at her for a while.
Cyril: “This is pretty extravagant, but it feels so comfortable to wear. And I can move just fine in it!”
Florence: “Of course. It’s one of my dresses. I went all out since it was my dream making this.” Cyril: “Dream?”
Florence: “He he. Of course, it’s to make a dress for our dear Princess Cyrule.”
………Miss Florence is the former Fezard Palace Tailor. Of course, she would be aware of Cyril’s identity.
After looking around to make sure that there were no other customers inside the store, Miss Florence walked up and hugged Cyril in her dress.
After a few seconds, Miss Florence let go and pushed Cyril gently towards me.
Florence: “.......here, Cyril. Go to your man. I’ll send the clothes back to the Governor’s mansion in a bit.”
Cyril walked over to me with small steps, and as if she held the rights to it, drew my arm.
Cyril: “Okay then, Henry. Let’s go somewhere!”
Henry: “Sure, sure.” I may not be well dressed enough to stand next to Cyril in her brand new dress, but Cyril is not the kind to worry about that.
I let her pull me as we left the store, and as I let out a small sigh………I noticed that I was smiling without even knowing it.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 10: Year End and New Year’s