Chapter 38: The Woman Named Ageha
That night, a hero descended upon the Bear’s Keg Inn.
On the frontlines, it’s not uncommon to run into heroes, so unless it’s Ms. Lotte, they won’t make a fuss when a hero arrives at a tavern, but here in Flowtier, it’s a different story.
News and Tales of the Heroes of Legend are heard even in Flowtier, and one of the main characters from stories that sound like it's straight up out of a fairy tale just arrived in person. Of course, the people would get excited.
The regulars listened to Ageha’s tales of valor (chopping off demonic creatures’ heads) and were cheering with every episode. She spoke about the tale of fighting the War Dragon when I was still in her party (she again chopped its head off), and everyone was shocked to hear the details.
After drinking plenty of Flowtier Ale, she laid her head on the table to sleep.
Henry: “Ugh, great…”
The dining hall of the Inn is empty. They hit closing hours a while back, and Cyril and the rest of the party already left. It was getting late so Jend escorted Teo back home. ……..but with Teo, even if someone tried to nab her, I’m pretty certain that they would have met their end, but this was just to take all precautions.
And Ageha was supposed to spend the night at Teo’s, but she had no sign of waking up any time soon, and that plan abruptly got quashed. So we decided to let her sleep at the Bear’s Keg Inn.
Lana: “Haha….wow, she’s sleeping so soundly.”
Henry: “Yeah…..at this point, nothing will wake her up till morning.”
Lana brought me some water to help ease off the buzz from the alcohol, and I looked upon my old comrade with some nostalgia and annoyance. She’s not strong against alcohol, but she loves to drink. I had to look after her so many nights because of this habit. If Yuu was here, I would have passed Ageha off to her.
Lana: “Well….ummm….what should we do? We have a room available on the second floor….”
Henry: “Here, I’ll help carry her.”
Dangit. Maybe I could have asked Ferris to carry her…..actually, no. That wouldn’t work. If you’re not used to it, Ferris may not have reacted in time.
I let out a deep sigh, and I get close to Ageha who’s sleeping with a happy expression on her face.
And as soon as I get into her arm’s reach…
Henry: “WHOA! ….sheesh, that was close.”
Ageha’s hand stretches out to strike my throat. I grab her wrist and stop her immediately.
Henry: “............yup, she hasn’t changed a bit.”
Lana: “Uーum, Mr. Henry? Is Miss Ageha….awake?”
Henry: “NOPE. She’s sound asleep, but if she senses anyone come near her, she’ll strike at your neck just like she did now.”
We questioned and interrogated her about this habit of hers, but finally, we concluded that it’s pure instinct. It’s a really annoying, awful instinct if you ask me.
But if Lana or someone like her comes near her, it’s fine. Apparently, it’s a matter of whether you have sufficient strength to do her any harm. And if you’re a man, unless you’re very little or a really old geezer, you better be careful.
…………..in order to figure this out, we had many noble sacrifices. I can’t count how many times I’ve been struck.
And don’t tell us that we wasted our time. After we found out, we became entrenched in finding out all its rules and boundaries - if for nothing else, it was for our own safety and well-being.
But back in the day, at least 1 out of 10 times, she drew her blade, and we were able to at least reduce the chances of that happening to almost nil so there were some….improvements(?) that we accomplished through the process. She’ll actually stop after cutting through your first layer of skin though.
Henry: “She’ll relent after you block her first strike, so I’ll be okay now.”
I pick her up by the shoulder and hold her against my side.
She’s like a ragdoll, but she’s also very light, so I can carry her easily.
Henry: “Lana, which room is it on the 2nd floor?”
Lana: “Oh, IーI’ll show you the room.”
With Lana leading the way, we go up to the south eastern room.
I throw Ageha into the single bed, and she unconsciously lands breaking her own fall and goes soundly back to sleep.
Okay, good. All done here.
Seeing as how Ageha broke her fall with feline-like instincts, Lana is still in wonder and confusion.
Lana: “So only people like this become heroes….?”
I answer her without hesitation.
Henry: “Lana, the first Hero you met was Sir Ezeal. Your second example’s right here.”
And I rest my case.
Henry: “Alright. Then I’ll be going to sleep too. Good night, Lana.”
Lana: “Oh yes, good night, Mr. Henry!”
I leave Lana with her thoughts about the character and personality of our heroes and return to my room.
Well, she just got a small taste of who and what I had to deal with in Ligaleo.
The next morning…
Even though she drank like crazy, Ageha woke up without an ounce of alcohol left in her. She was so delighted with the breakfast at the Bear’s Keg Inn that she immediately declared that, “I'm going to be adopted here!”’ And with that, she invited a barrage of terse comments from me.
After our expedition, we went straight to the Bear’s Keg Inn to celebrate and haven’t turned in our drops, so we head to the Grandes Church and meet up with the rest of the party.
There, Ageha declared loudly.
Ageha: “Okay! Let’s go on an expedition!”
……….since she’s wearing the Hero of Legend’s Adventurer’s tag, everyone is looking at her, and she makes this remark.
Jend wonders if he should say anything and then goes for it.
Jend: “Ummm, Miss Ageha?”
Ageha: “Just call me Ageha.”
Jend: “Sure, Ageha. We just came back from our Griffin Slaying expedition so…..”
And it was a multi-day expedition camping out in the mountains. All expeditions require that you risk your life, so taking one on while you’re mentally and physically worn out is dangerous. Usually, you take about 2 or 3 days of a break between expeditions to ensure that your party recovers properly, or at least, that’s how our party does it.
Ageha: “I see. So what are we going to slay today?”
………...yeah, I understand where she’s coming from all too well. When I first arrived at Flowtier, I had a hard time adjusting to the way Adventurers operate here.
Henry: “Ageha, this isn’t Ligaleo. The Adventurers here will take a break between expeditions to rest.”
Henry: “Yeah, really.”
It’s not like there was absolutely no concept of a break or off-day in Ligaleo. You fought demonic creatures every single day, and very few people can continue doing that forever. Ligaleo was a fierce battlefront, but the Grandes Church there recommended a 2 day break out of the week to recover.
………...but the problem was that the organization “recommending” a 2 day break per week gave you a job that took one month non-stop to complete.
Seriously, stop giving us Quests like “Oh, look, in the Demon King’s realm, the Dragons’ eggs are going through their hatching season, so go break them all.”
We had to be wary of demonic creatures on the way there, so just going there and back took a week. At the time, Ageha and I were in the same party, but it would be suicide to take on all the Dragons at once inside their nest. We snuck around in full alert and fear for weeks breaking all the eggs carefully.
Finally, Ageha got tired of it and was about to go on a rampage against the Dragons, and the entire party had to hold her back. We can laugh about it looking back on it now.
………..back then, it would have been impossible, but now, we may be able to pull it off.
Ageha: “Wha～t, that’s so boring! What else is there to do?!”
Henry: “There’s a lot you can do. There’s a lot of fun, leisurely activities to do around the city, and if you don’t wanna do that, you can read the most recent, popular books, so there's a whole lot more stuff than at Ligaleo.”
Ligaleo’s library was full of how-to-survive, how-to-fight, and what-to-fight books, and there was not much in terms of leisurely entertainment. The few fun books that we did have circulated around the parties multiple times.
Between the guys, we had some sketchy books……...and Yuu discovered it, and since then I could never find a good hiding place for it. There were brothels, yeah, but books had their own allure and quality.
Ageha: “Huh, so like hobbies? Henry, you didn’t have a single hobby in Ligaleo, but did you actually find something to do here?”
Henry: “Hey, who cares about that. You just need to find something you like to do.”
Ageha: “After recommending me to do something, you haven’t found anything, have you?”
Henry: “I can just eat and train, and the day’s already done by the time I’m done～.”
Ageha: “Ugh! You can still be so annoying!”
Ageha slaps me on my back.
………...hey, who cares if you don’t have hobbies? It’s not like I'm causing anyone trouble by being boring.
Ageha: “Then in that case, it’ll just be me and you. It’s been a while since we paired up.”
Well, it’s not like I’ve forgotten how Ligaleo was. My body still remembers its hellish culture. Anyways, I can still keep going, and it won’t be a problem if we head out today.
Henry: “Fine with me, but in the Flowtier Forest, the Griffin is the strongest thing we’ll find around here. You okay with that? Personally, I don’t like the Giant Spiders but…”
Ageha: “Griffins, huh? Well～, that’s okay. It’s been a while since I went on an expedition with you.”
If you haven’t gone on an expedition together, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to immediately coordinate well. But even if we don’t work well at first, we can easily recover if it’s just Griffins. From that perspective, Griffins are a good target.
Ageha: “Alright, it’s settled then. Show me what the Flowtier Forest is like.”
Henry: “Sure, sure…”
I was trying to think of how I was going to explain to Ageha who’s only hunted in Ligaleo about other hunting territories, when Jend spoke up.
Jend: “Hey, Henry. Do you mind if we tag along?”
Ferris: “Yes, I would like to as well.”
Ferris too? Teo is also intently staring at me…
Jend: “It’s a rare opportunity to see a Hero of Legend fight during an expedition.”
Ferris: “Yes, it’ll be good for us just to watch.”
Hmmm…. I guess?
Teo: “I want to see Sister Ageha’s awesome fight scenes.”
Ageha: “Oh～♥ Teo, you’ve gotten so cute too～♥”
Ageha is overjoyed with Teo’s sincerity and with a wide smile spread across her face, she’s patting Teo’s head pretty hard and rough, but then takes a moment to glare at me.
Ageha: “Henry, if you touch her, don’t expect to find your head anywhere.”
Henry: “HA! Like you can take me out.” Ageha: “What?”
Henry: “You heard me.”
We cross glares and sparks crackle in the air.
In this line of work, if you get looked down upon, it’s over. Even if she was joking, letting someone say they’ll kill you and leaving it like it was nothing would mean the end of your career…...
Henry: “Wait……….we’re in Flowtier. Ageha, sorry. Ignore what I said just now.” Ageha: “Huh? For real? I don’t mind at all though.” Henry: “Yeah, I don’t have to worry about my reputation too much. It’s not like I’m trying to get employed around here but……” UGH! It’s so annoying having your old party member come down all of a sudden. I’m slipping into my old habits, and my speech is getting my rough and violent.
Teo: “........I hate that you’re just ignoring me now, and getting all hyped with just the two of you.” Ageha: “Ha ha ha, sorry Teo! But really, be careful around Henry, okay?”
Henry: “There’s nothing for her to be careful about. I have no intention of laying a finger on her.”
Wait about 5 years, and I dunno. But even if I wanted to, I’m pretty certain Teo wouldn’t pay me a smidgen of attention.
Jend: “So can we or can we not go with you guys?”
Cyril: “I’m going too～!”
Cyril was eating her parfait intently, but watching Jend get a little frustrated, she raised her hand too to poke me for an answer.
……….but she’s so quiet while she’s eating sweets. You really are a kid…
Ageha: “Of course I don’t mind! It’s not like it’ll be any less fun!”
Henry: “I don’t mind either.”
I wonder what’s going to happen….
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 3: The Flowtier Days