Chapter 63: Floral Ales and Wines
Other than the Fenrir, there were other Demonic Creatures atop the summit, and we made sure to clean up the area before departing.
Once we were done, we came back to the City of Flowtier.
By the time we returned, the sun was close to setting, and the noises of the festival were toned down a notch.
Jend: “Well, I know we just fought as we were ordered, but…..I think we did get stronger after all this time.”
As we chatted about this and that, we landed on the subject of our most recent expedition that just ended.
Jend tightly gripped his fist as he let the words settle in his mind.
I had too much on my hands with the Fenrir and couldn’t pay attention to the battles behind me, but Jend and his group was able to take down 2 Giants and the Snow Queen. Yes, their abilities were greatly enhanced by Ms. Lotte’s Magic, but this victory was a huge milestone for their development.
Jend: “......still, I guess it’s too soon to fight anything like that Fenrir. I don’t think I would even survive the initial strike.”
Henry: “Hey, don’t think about that too hard. If you keep training, in about a year, you’ll be able to stand to face it. At least, I think so.”
I bang on Jend’s back casually as he mumbles his complaints and worries.
I mean that too. Even with me out of the group, the four of them should be able to start taking down the Highest-Tiers without too much risk. Once they arrive at that point, they’ll be in the top leagues in Ligaleo.
……..though I still have reservations as far as letting Cyril go to the frontlines.
Cyril: “But the Governor was so shocked to hear the news.”
Ferris: “Of course he was. No one in these parts could stay calm hearing that a Highest-Tier Demonic Creature appeared in their territories. ……...It was most fortunate that Little Charー...I mean, Ms. Charlotte was here to deal with the threat.”
Yeah, we went straight to the Governor afterwards to deliver the report.
Ms. Lotte already told him the possibility of a Highest-Tier appearing in the area, but as expected, once he got the actual report, you could see him sweat and his smile visibly strain.
I don’t blame him. If that thing came down from the mountain to the City, Flowtier could have been completely wiped off the map, so I understand how he felt.
If I was sneak attacked by a Demonic Creature of that speed, even I may not be able to do anything and be instantly killed.
……….and Ferris, I thought I saw a surge of Little Charu energy just now. You sure you’re okay?
Henry: “I know you refused any rewards or payments for the Slaying, but was that really the right decision, Ms. Lotte?” Charlotte: “Hey, all I did was go because I wanted to and took down whatever came up. But was it okay for you to also refuse the reward, Henry?”
Henry: “That was mostly Ms. Lotte’s efforts and doing. There’s no way I could receive credit much less a reward for it if you refused.”
I mean, sure, I was supporting her throughout the Fenrir fight, but it was Ms. Lotte who was carrying the most weight from beginning to end.
Besides that, my Party was able to see the fight of the top Adventurer against the top threat, the Highest-Tier, and not only that, they also got to experience what it would be like at least 2 or 3 levels from where they are now through Ms. Lotte’s song. This was huge for every member of my team. Wishing to earn more than this would just cause a whiplash with karma later.
Teo: “As far as money goes, Ms. Charlotte, you bought our drops at market price, so we earned a lot. With this much, I will be able to purchase the Magecraft Artifact I wanted.”
Ms. Lotte offered to buy back the drops from the Giant and other Demonic Creatures at Market Price, and everyone’s wallets were filled to the brim.
Although Teo’s not one to change her expressions often, I can see that she’s quite happy with the results.
With the Flowtier’s Church, I was telling Ms. Lotte that they would probably not have the funds available to buy our drops, and Ms. Lotte offered to do so in their place. Ms. Lotte would be able to go to other larger towns and do the official exchanges there.
Me? I received part of the Fenrir’s fur as my reward. My armor was damaged during the fight, so I need to repair it, and if possible, I’d like to increase the defensive quality of my gear.
Charlotte: “Ohhhh, a Magecraft Artifact, huh. What do you plan to buy～?”
Teo: “I want the [Sound Killer]. I’ve been bothered by the sounds of my feet or when I go through a brush, so this will really help my scouting going forward.”
Charlotte: “......a very owlish decision for someone your age.”
Ms. Lotte seems to be a little taken back.
But yeah, for Adventurers of Teo’s age, they would first buy out the Magecraft Artifacts that significantly increase your abilities.
Even so, the [Sound Killer] is a great Magecraft Artifact. The technology and skills used is incredibly refined and sensitive, so it is not cheap. In exchange, the Magic cost to use it is minimal, and you can turn the artifact on or off at your own will. And even though your sounds are muted, you’re not prohibited from hearing sounds around you. Being able to approach an enemy unnoticed is one of the most fundamental and greatest advantages an Adventurer can wish for.
But I’m starting to worry if Teo is leaning too much towards Ageha, who she admires, and Ageha’s assassination techniques and style. I guess it’s okay either way but I feel some degree of apprehension towards seeing her go in that direction.
Charlotte: “Oh, Teo. That reminds me. Weren’t you in the middle of helping out with your family business? I’m sorry we had to pull you away from that all of a sudden.”
Teo: “Please, it was a precious and rare experience for me.”
Charlotte: “Is it okay that you’re not going back to work right now?” Teo: “I don’t think I have the energy left after that expedition…...and even if I did, I’m sure we sold out hours ago and closed the food stand already.”
Ohhhh, yeah, it was super popular, so I don’t doub that that’s the case.
Cyril: “Teo, would you like me to talk to the Governor and have him explain the situation? I don’t want you to get in trouble for any of this.”
Teo: “......Miss Cyril, please don’t involve the Governor for these kinds of affairs. My family will flip on their heels if he shows up at our doorstep. I’m certain that my parents will understand once I explain to them what happened.”
Yeah, well, if needed, I was ready to step in on her behalf. I am technically the Party Leader, so it falls on my plate of responsibilities.
Charlotte: “Well, we had to take care of one small problem, but let’s leave that aside and keep enjoying the festival. Henry’s Quest to guide me through the Flower Festival is still active.”
Ms. Lotte returns the conversation back to her original goal.
……..and it shouldn’t surprise me that slaying a Highest-Tier Demonic Creature to her is nothing more than a “small problem.”
Cyril: “Ye～s, let’s get back to having fun! But it’s almost night time. Was there something going on after this?”
Cyril digs out a piece of paper from her pocket.
Apparently, the Festival Event’s schedule is written down on it.
Cyril: “Hmmm～ all the major, fun events are all over. At night, there’s a drinking contest. They’re going to line up different kinds of alcohol that’s been brewed or fermented with flowers, and you’ll be able to try out an assorted variety.”
Charlotte: “WHAT?! We definitely have to go to that!”
Stars are dancing in Ms. Lotte’s eyes. I would like to go too.
Cyril: “Really～? That’s fine if you want to go.”
Henry: “Here, let me see the details.”
I look over and peek at Cyril’s pamphlet and the event details.
Interesting...all drinks are 20 zeniths each. That’s cheap. They’re also selling the alcohol, and you can purchase it in bottles as well.
Lana said that most Floral Ales and Wines are only sold during the Festival period, but it looks like they’re trying to expand to bigger markets. It’ll be a big affair with so many kinds of drinks.
Jend: “Floral Ales and Wines, huh. I drink it because it’s served in celebrations, but I like regular ales better.”
Teo: “.......I haven’t gotten a good taste of it yet, so I want to have some.”
Ferris: “Teo, I don’t think it’s good for minors to be consuming alcohol.”
Teo: “It’s a festival though. A time of celebration.”
Ferris: “Well, that is true...but….”
Teo responds curtly back to Ferris’ warning.
But aren’t you drinking regularly even if it’s not a festival? ……..this isn’t good. The girl’s turning into an alcoholic. I wouldn’t know what to tell her parents who entrusted me with their daughter's care if that happens.
IーI’ll just make sure that she doesn’t drink too much tonight.
Charlotte: “Alright! Then it’s decided! Let’s head towards the event location!”
And with Ms. Lotte leading the way, we all start walking down the Festival streets.
The Floral Ales and Wines Drinking Contest's stage was in the east of the city. It is the city-maintained training grounds so I’m well acquainted with the area.
Today, there are many stands selling Floral-related alcohol and other snacks that would go well with the drinks all around. And there’s tables and chairs set out for visitors to enjoy their drinks and food.
Although it was crowded, our group managed to find a table, and we drank to our hearts content.
Henry: “Oh…..” I bought a Flower Ale that didn’t have a line around it, and as I tasted it, I’m deeply impressed.
I heard that some people say the overall taste is very experimental, but hey now, this is pretty good.
It’s true that the taste is a little lacking, but as you drink, the floral scent wafts through your nose, and it’s a fun experience.
Cyril: “.......I like the scent, but it’s a little too bitter for me.”
Henry: “Oh～, true. It is bitter.”
Cyril scrunches her face as she sips the cup.
If you’re not used to drinking, this may be hard to appreciate.
Henry: “Here, got you a snack.” Cyril: “Tha～nk you～”
I share the dried fruits that I bought with my drink and pass it to Cyril.
I take a dried apple, pop it into my mouth, and take another sip. Yup, something sweet matches drinking something a little bitter like this.
Teo: “......I’m going to go get seconds.”
Teo seemed to have guzzled down her first drink, and she went out to purchase her second.
……...that was way too fast. I think you should take the time to appreciate the taste more.
Charlotte: “Teo～, can you get me some too? I’ll pay for your drink.” Teo: “Yes, that is fine.”
Ms. Lotte calls towards Teo, and flicks her 50 zeniths her way.
The coins arc gently and land right into Teo’s hands.
……...she really uses her talents for useless tricks…..
And though they’re both the smallest out of the group members, they love to drink.
Charlotte: “What should we do about tomorrow? Cyril, what events are there?” Cyril: “Ummm, tomorrow….let’s see….There is the Flower Girl Contest which will be the most popular.”
Charlotte: “What’s that?” Cyril: “It’s a contest to decide what girl looks best with flower decorations…….in other words, a beauty pageant.”
Yeah, underneath it all, it’s simply that.
Charlotte: “Oh～ will there be a swimsuit section?”
Cyril: “No, it’s way too cold for that…..they’ll just be wearing regular clothes. But if you get past the qualifying rounds, you get to borrow a dress that will have a lot of flowers decorating it. There’s a lot of girls who want to wear it at least once and join the competition just for that.”
A dress huh…...it doesn’t really stir up my interest.
Charlotte: “....sounds like fun. I wonder if I can participate.” Ferris: “If Little Charu joins, you’ll definitely win 1st place!”
Charlotte: “Of course! But I guess it’ll be too unfair to the other participants, huh?”
Ferris: “No doubt! Little Charu is the world’s cutest and sweetest!!”
Ferris is getting more and more pumped up.
……..Jend, you need to stop her. I put some emphasis as I look his way.
Jend: “............” Annnnnnd he looked the other way! Hey! Aren’t you her boyfriend?! Take responsibility!
Oh no, Ms. Lotte is getting more and more in the mood to participate with Ferris’ compliments.
IーI...better….stop her…? Can I….? Really? Stop.....her?
“Of course you can’t participate. Lotte, calm down and think over your actions more carefully.”
Charlotte: “Oh, hey～ it’s Runa.”
Runa: “What do you mean, ‘hey～’! I’ve looked all over for you, Lotte!”
A woman suddenly appeared on the scene, and she gives Ms. Lotte an accusing stare as she speaks to her.
She has a very serious expression with black hair and glasses. Her mole underneath her eye is her charming feature, and we’ve met before.
Runa: “Sheesh. I finally locate you and here you are, spouting nonsense left and right.”
Charlotte: “Wha～t, what do you mean? Wouldn’t the competition get really exciting if I join?”
Runa: “A professional like you should refrain from joining any amateur competitions like that. Besides, you’re OFFICIALLY arriving here 3 days from now!”
She’s in charge of Ms. Lotte. She’s her caretaker(?) or manager(?). Anyways, she’s that kind of person.
She’s a [Human Race] and has been helping Ms. Lotte for the last 10 years or so.
She’s only involved with Ms. Lotte’s Celebrity career and does not touch Ms. Lotte’s Adventurer-side of things.
Henry: “........hello, Ms. Runa.”
Runa: “Ohh! Henry, was it? It’s been a while.”
Typically, Ligaleo is a dangerous town, so Ms. Runa would not come with Ms. Lotte when Ms. Lotte visited us.
But I had ample opportunities to perform Quests in other cities, and occasionally, I would run into her during one of Ms. Lotte’s live performances, and met her that way.
Runa: “I heard that you assisted Lotte in her last expedition. Thank you so much for your help.”
Charlotte: “Crap, you already know about that?!”
Runa: “Of course I do. I’m your caretaker. Sir Alvare was kind enough to inform me as soon as he heard the news.”
And with that, Ms. Runa lets out a deep, exasperated sigh.
Runa: “At the very least, it looks like you weren’t wounded.”
Charlotte: “Yeah, I got a few scratches, but Ferris over there took care of me.”
Runa: “Miss Ferris, is it? Thank you so much for your assistance.”
Ms. Runa bows her head to Ferris in appreciation.
Ferris: “No no! Of course! Anything for our Little Charu!”
Ferris has a HUGE smile across her face. I mean, yeah, I think you did good work as a Healer. You did great work actually….but….like…..I don’t know how to put it……your reaction right now is ruining it all….
Teo: “Ms. Charlotte, I brought you your drinks…...oh, who is that?”
And Teo brings back the drinks for her and Ms. Lotte.
Runa: “Good evening. I am Lotte’s caretaker. My name is Runa.” Teo: “Oh...I’m Teo, an Adventurer.”
Runa: “And you’re drinking so much…..you know that alcohol is bad for your singing voice.”
And Ms. Lotte smiles and scratches her head to avoid the subject with a, “Yeah～ I know～ but～”.
Charlotte: “But hey, why not have a drink with us. Here, you can have my drink.” Runa: “Fine…..I’ll have one.”
And with that, Ms. Runa takes the cup and downs the contents in one chug.
……...she’s strong. I never drank with her before, but I can tell that this woman can really drink her liquor.
Runa: “Fwew…….please hold for a second. I’ll go buy more.”
Charlotte: “It’ll be bothersome to keep going back and forth. Could you go buy us about 5 drinks?”
Runa: “Yes, understood. …..this is a good drink. I’ll go buy 10.”
I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this….
And my instincts were correct.
For two days straight now, I was drinking with Ms. Lotte and Ms. Runa until the morning sun peeked its head over the horizon.
……….but it was a lot of fun, so I guess that’s okay.
Semi-retired Adventurer Lives Leisurely
Written by Hisagushien
Translated by: ChonkyTranslator
Book 5: Flowtier Flower Festival