Ch. 161: Return to the Bear’s Keg Inn
Lana’s Award Ceremony was over without incident.
The Award Ceremony was open to the public and was held at the Alvenia Central University in one of their lecture halls. Though it was front page news, the article was written for a very limited, technical, specialized group of readers. Very few people from the public attended the ceremony, and putting aside everyone directly connected with Lana, there were only a few Professors and students involved in the area of Magecraft Studies that were present.
On the other hand, Lana was relieved to see such a small crowd, so I think that it ended up for the best.
But with her invented Spell Inscription gathering momentum and spreading farther, she will not be able to avoid gathering the public’s attention. I’ve only heard this in passing, but for the Alvenia Kingdom, this would become a powerful card for negotiating with the Salaiz Republic and Varsaldi Empire.
[I don’t think anyone would attempt an abduction at this point, but there will be people who will start sniffing around for information. While you are nearby, be weary of those people.]
When we were leaving the Capital, Ms. Beatriz warned me about that.
And apparently, they have already sent Sir Alvare, the Flowtier Governor, messages asking to tighten security to ensure Lana’s safety.
[Well, she is still a child, so we’ll be busy in the background, so as not to cause her any concern.]
ーーis what Ms. Beatriz was saying, but…….I’m sure she meant that there were going to be people secretly watching over Lana to protect her from now on.
……….it really felt like Lana was now someone far above my social ladder all of a sudden.
On the other hand, Lana went to tour the Capital with her mother during her free time, and she excitedly engaged in girl talk when Princess Aileen came charging through the door and rounded up her and Cyril. In that sense, she was no different than any other girl her age.
Her ability to both balance her genius and just being an ordinary girl was one of Lana’s best traits.
Lana: “? What is it, Mr. Henry?” Henry: “Nah, it’s nothing.”
We were on our way back to Flowtier on a gently shaking horse carriage.
As I let my thoughts drift, I had been unknowingly staring at Lana who sat across from me, and she turned a questioning gaze back towards me.
I waved my hand reassuringly to emphasize that it really was nothing.
Cyril: “Henryーー? Staring at Lana like that…..are you cheating me～?” And Cyril should know how…….how honest and loyal I am! Yes, and yet she must have been bored from the ride and tried to start something.
Henry: “..........ugh, why would you say that? There’s no way I would cheat on you.”
I state that as clearly as possible, and Cyril began nodding approvingly as she spouted thisーー
Cyril: “Well, that’s true. Henry, you are head over heels in love with me!”
Henry: “.........who’s head over heels, huh.” I began pulling her cheek as it began stretching wonderfully.
Cyril: “Oーow! Hey shtop dat!!”
Henry: “Fine, fine.” And I release her cheek immediately.
Teo: “.........Miss Cyril, your cheek stretches so well. It’s like mochi.”
Henry: “Mochi? ……..oh, I think I’ve heard of it before.” Teo: “It’s a food served on the Rishu Island. It’s made from rice.”
From Teo’s words, I trace back my memory.
……….ummm, during the New Year’s celebration in Ligaleo, the volunteer militia from Rishu would come and with a wooden hammer, a wooden mill, they would make something with that name.
They gave me some to taste, and there were a lot of ways you could flavor it, and I liked all of them.
………and yeah, now that I think about it, they stretched really well.
Cyril: “Urghhhh, Miss Cyril’s cheeks are not to be played with!”
Henry: “It’s your fault for making bad jokes.”
Cyril: “I did no such thingー”
Against Cyril’s protests, I covered my ears to act as though I couldn’t hear anything she said.
Lana and Ms. Linda laughed as they watched our exchange.
Jend: “Heーy, we can almost see Flowtier from hereー”
And outside of the carriage, Jend, who was jogging along beside the carriage, let us know with a loud voice.
My butt was starting to hurt from all the sitting, so I stood up and headed towards where the carriage driver sat.
Henry: “Oh, hello, sir. Isn’t the view magnificent?”
“........yes. Yes, it is indeed.”
I reflect upon the carriage driver’s words, and I agree with him wholeheartedly.
A bright white wall without a single blemish surrounds the beautiful city. From a far distance where you can view the whole city, you can see the planted and arranged flowers that decorate the gardens and houses.
The sun reflected off Lake Requin, and the light danced and shimmered across its surface, and in the background, the sacred mountain of Altohern stood tall.
………I first came to Flowtier around one year ago.
The scenery has not changed since then, but my impression of the scenery has changed drastically.
When I first visited the city, I was concerned about how I would make a living going forward.
Cyril: “Wow～～! We’re finally back homeー!”
Cyril shoved me to the side as she wanted to get a glimpse of her city and raised a voice of glee at the sight.
I…….felt the same way. “I’m home,” was the first thing that came to mind.
ーーAnd I know that someone might look skeptical at me because I only live in an inn, so I remain quiet. Besides that, it’s the Bear’s Keg Inn’s fault for being way too comfortable to live in.
I silently made a string of excuses to myselfーー
ーーas I gazed at the familiar city, and spent the rest of the hours like that until we arrived.
At the city gates, we parted.
Lana, Ms. Linda, and myself returned to the Bear’s Keg Inn. ……..yeah, I wasn’t planning on changing inns from the start.
It was long past the lunch hour, but this diner continues to function until the evening. Since it has been a while, I wanted to have a meal here, and as a celebration of completing my training, have a drink………butーー
Henry: “Huh? It’s not open?” Hung on the door was a “We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but we are currently closed” sign. And they were planning to open…….at night.
Henry: “........oh! That’s right. Their two helpers during this hour are gone, so that’s to be expected.”
Though the Bear’s Keg Inn employs several part-time employees, between the lunch rush and the evening dinner hour, Lana and Ms. Linda, who are family, runs and monitors the floor. If both of them are in the Capital, then…..
Lana: “Oh, no, no, Mr. Henry. We should have had people come in on our behalf while we were out.”
Linda: “I wonder if he’s not feeling well today? …….well, if it’s Nord, he’s probably just preparing for dinner.”
Ms. Linda opens the door wide.
Linda: “Nord! I’m ba…….ck……”
Ms. Linda’s words slowly trailed off into nothingness.
I wondered what was going on and peered inside past her as Ms. Linda began apologizing profusely.
Linda: “Pardon me. I did not know that the Sir Governor was visiting our establishment. I did not mean to intrude.”
Alvare: “Oh, please don’t apologize. You have done nothing wrong. I am only a Governor because the people support me as the Count.”
……and so, at one of the restaurant’s table, the inn’s owner, Mr. Nord, sat across from the current Flowtier Governor, Sir Alvare.
Alvare: “Oh, it’s Mr. Henry. Hello there. So today was the day of your return…….and that means Cyril has returned to the mansion?” I was taken back by the sudden meeting too, but I coughed several times to clear my throat, and straightened my back as I answered.
Henry: “I have just returned, Sir Governor. Cyril has gone straight back to the Governor’s mansion. She was excited to bring you, Sir Governor, and Lady Asteria gifts from our journey.”
Alvare: “Haha, that is just like her.”
The Governor’s laugh was polite and graceful as his gaze fell on Lana.
Alvare: “Well, hello. Are you Miss Lana?”
Lana: “Yes, Sir Governor. I hope the day is finding you well.”
She grabbed the ends of her skirt to curtsey and bowed her head politely. As a daughter of an innkeeper, she knew the basic formalities. Ms. Linda was taken by surprise and fumbled in her response, but her recovery afterwards showed how well she dealt with Nobility.
Alvare: “Haha, yes, a pleasure making your acquaintance.”
Lana: “Yes, but Sir Governor. You knew about me?”
Alvare: “Of course. The Hestani 2nd Class Medal is a very important medal. If anyone from this city was selected for that medal, I would hear about it of course. ……..but I never would have expected that such a young and beautiful girl would be the starring hope of our city.”
Lana: “IーIs that so? Thank you very much.”
Lana seemed embarrassed at the sudden compliment. Well, I’m sure that there was some obligatory lip service in his comment……..but in a few more years, Lana will probably grow into a very beautiful woman.
Lana: “Oh, and um…..so Sir Governor. What brings you to our establishment today?”
Alvare: “Oh, yes. It’s really nothing. The streets here can be pretty crowded during the evenings, correct? I’ve heard of some incident reports recently, and I was thinking about increasing the patrol security. That’s why I am here today to speak with Mr. Nord who is a representative of this area.”
Ms. Beatriz’ words about her request for the Governor to watch out for Lana crosses my mind.
Maybe Sir Alvare saw some realization in my expression, but he discretely winked at me while no one else was looking.
Lana: “I see. If that’s the case, we’ll be retreating to the back. If you need anything, please let us know.”
Alvare: “Oh, that’s alright. We finished our discussion and were having a polite chat. …and my [daughter] has also come home, so I need to take my leave shortly.”
The Governor chuckled gently as he picked up his things and stood up.
The soldiers on guard stepped away from the wall, and they left the Bear’s Keg Inn.
Once the Governor left, Lana, Ms. Linda, and Mr. Nord look at one another.
Nord: “.......welcome home, you two.” Linda: “Yeah, it’s good to be back, Nord.” Lana: “We’re back, dad!”
And Mr. Nord nods in acknowledgement.
Nord: “Mr. Henry, thank you very much for looking after my family.”
Henry: “Of course. And I’ll be here at the Bear’s Keg Inn for a while once again.”
Mr. Nord gave off the silent type vibe, but underneath his serious expression, I sensed his welcome.
Linda: “So, hon’, any problems while we were gone?” Nord: “None.” Linda: “Good. Then I’ll get dressed, and let’s go ahead and take down that closed sign and re-open the diner.”
……..and Ms. Linda was already ready to get back to work.
Henry: “UーUm, are you not feeling tired from the travels?”
Linda: “I’ll forget all about that as soon as I start working. Mr. Henry, you wanted a drink, right? Just wait a moment!”
……..I’m pretty sure that she looked exhausted from doing long carriage rides that they were not used to, but now, there’s not an ounce of fatigue I could see in her face.
I mean, I’m glad to be able to eat and drink, but I hope she’s not pushing herself too hard.
And as I was thinking, Lana spoke up to Ms. Linda.
Linda: “Hm? What is it, Lana? Oh, you can take a break.” Lana: “It’s not that. Don’t we have to go pick up Rando from grandma’s?” ……..Rando is Lana’s younger brother who hasn’t even turned 1 years old.
When Ms. Linda, his mother, is unavailable, she takes Rando back to her parents’ home.
……..that’s true. I’m sure that he misses his mother.
Oh, Rando recognized me before we left on our journey to train, but I wonder if he still remembers me.
Linda: “.......oh～ that’s right. We do. Sorry, Lana.” Lana: “No, that’s okay.” Ms. Linda looked a little ashamed as she apologized to Lana.
And well, I am hungry, but I can wait tillーー
Lana: “I’ll watch the diner, so you go pick up Rando. It’s been a while, so I’ll work really hard.”
Linda: “Okay, I’ll leave it to you.” ………..wait, seriously? She had that award ceremony and meetings with many powerful and famous people. During her breaks, they went touring the Capital………out of all of us, Lana should have been the most exhausted, but now she looked excited and energetic to get the diner reopened.
I really think that she should take a break……but she looks so excited right now…….and as I reflected on these things, Lana brought over the inn’s record book to where I was sitting.
Lana: “........Mr. Henry, let’s take care of your reservation first. How long will you be staying? We’ll give you a discount for staying 3 days or longer.”
Henry: “Then 5 nights.”
Lana: “Then…..with the discount and special price for being our regular, that will be 2,500 zeniths.”
I handed over the rent. In exchange, she handed me a key. ……..it was the room I rented before. I guess it was still open. I’m glad.
Lana: “Then please drop off your luggage in your room. You can take a short break, and we’ll have the food ready by the time you get back. Do you want the usual?” Henry: “Yes, please.” With an energetic “Okaーy”, Lana responded back energetically.
And I began climbing up the familiar steps.
CHONKY TL Shifts (Location Name Update)
ルカン (phonetically: Lukan) (potentially: Requin). Going to go with Lake Requin.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 11: Preparation for the Conquest