Chapter 3 Part 5
Invited by Irisdina-san, she and I were walking together in a section of the commercial district. Many stores were built on the street, and probably because each store was preparing for dinner soon, a good smell was beginning to drift from here and there. I can see some people on their way home, perhaps after finishing their days work.
I had no knowledge about the land around here because I had been devoted to training in my school life so far, but Irisdina-san, who should be a young lady of a famous family, walks swiftly instead.
”E, erm, youre moving ahead without hesitation, does Irisdina-san often come to this area? ”
I asked Irisdina-san, but my voice had become stiff, probably because I was strangely nervous.
It cant be helped. I cant imagine being invited to a date by the black-haired princess…
”Yea, sometimes I go out to commercial areas and civic areas with Somia. Actually, Ive never been to this area, so Im really looking forward to it. ”
I was a little surprised. Since Arcazam is a city that each country attaches great importance to, the number of military police patrolling is large and the security is quite good. However, that is not absolute, and there are some unsafe places in commercial areas where many people from outside the city gather, and I think that people who are related to government officials and aristocrats do not come here very often.
”Its true that commercial areas are not safe, but there are many things coming there from all over the continent. Sometimes I and Somia can see things we have never seen, and I like to go around those places. ”
At school, she has always been a model honor student, like a sharpened knights sword. At least no one has the image of her innocently parading through a commercial district.
”……… Its a little surprising. You didnt have the image of coming to such a messy place when you were at school. ”
”Isnt it exciting to walk in a place you didnt know? Well, some of the people in my household are noisy, and Im just too stiff myself, Ill just get suffocated if I stay there. ”
Irisdina smiles with a happy, innocent face. Looking at that smile, my cheeks also loosened.
”And also, I know how to protect myself. ”
When Irisdina-san says so, she taps the handle of the rapier on her waist with a triumphant face. Well, she is one of the highest-ranked students in the school, and her ability to reach A rank is not just for show. Nozomu also got a glimpse of her ability in the battle with Rugato. At that time, her opponent had a big difference in strength, so she was defeated, but if it was the average opponent, she wouldnt be defeated. Its not often meeting thugs in this safe city with good public order.
”Alright, lets go ”
I hurriedly chased after her who started walking again after saying that.
The commercial district is a place that accepts many people from outside the city, such as travelers, and various merchants that buy goods from other cities and sell their products here. There are many stalls, here and there. Little children and lovers are walking around on the paved cobblestones.
”As I thought, there are various stores here… Is that a candy seller? ”
Irisdina-san found a stall selling a variety of candy crafts. On the shelves and desks, not only animals such as birds, rabbits, and cows, but also figures such as travelers, dancers, and various things that imitate lovers are made with colorful candy craft. There are many children around the store who probably live in this area.
In the back of the store, an uncle with a wide physique, who is probably the owner of the store, is making a new candy craft, and the sweet smell of melting sugar has enveloped the store.
”Hey, hey, next time make a knights candy for me! ”
”Eeh! Its my turn next! Hey uncle, I want a princess! ”
The children are making a lot of noise and trying to get the shopkeeper to make their own candy.
”Please be patient. Ill make it without rushing. ”
The children around him were rushing and said ”quickly ”, perhaps because they couldnt wait, and the owner of the store was struggling to make candy with the children.
At that time, the line of sight of me and the shopkeeper suddenly met.
”Aah, you guys! Give me a moment please? ”
When the shopkeeper suddenly stands up, he pushes his way through the children and came here.
”Hey, can you help me a little? There are too many children. Its okay even for a moment. Of course, Ill return the favor. Can you please help me? ”
”Isnt it okay? Looks like the children are about the same age as Somia, so there is no problem. How about Nozomu-kun? ”
”Its okay, well, Ive never made candy myself, but I can cook, so I think I can help. ”
”Alright !! Its bad, but Ill ask for your help. ”
The shopkeeper guides me into the stall, and Irisdina-san heads for the children. Im not sure, but the candy craft itself is my first experience. Im a little worried, but its a great opportunity. Lets do it anyway.
I am now surrounded by children. When I asked if they would like to talk because it still takes time to make the candy, the children suddenly get into it.
”Heey, heey, Onēsan. Is Onēsan a student at that big school? ”
The children started listening to me because Im a student at Solminati. The beautiful school uniforms based on white are quite noticeable. And if they live in this city, they cant be unaware of Solminati Academy. Children may see the students of the school many times in their daily lives. As soon as they realized Im a student at the school, the colors of the childrens eyes changed.
”Aah, thats right. Im studying a lot over there. ”
”Amazing! Thats the school for becoming a knight ?! Then, will you become a knight in the future? Youre so lucky, I want to go too! ”
One boy was amazed, saying ”amazing, amazing ”, and the eyes of the other children are shining like the boy. Perhaps the Solminati Academy is a place for children to admire.
Children are about the same age as Somia. They, looking with the same pure and innocent eyes as my sister make me very happy.
It is true that many of the graduates of the school have been summoned to various countries and have held various important positions, and the countries of the continent have established this school and provided a large amount of support to develop such advanced human resources.
Knights are one of the positions of those who serve the country, and some go on that path. It is incorrect that the children thought students of Solminati Academy = knights, but in a sense, it is also not entirely wrong.
”I see, then why do you want to be a knight? ”
”I want to be strong !! Get stronger, defeat the bad guys, and protect everyone! ”
The boy answers my question without hesitation. His eyes are shining.
”I see, its good to have a goal, but you have to do a lot to reach your goal. ”
”Yup. Thats why, when I grow up, Ill go to Onēchans school! ”
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I listen to each childrens future dreams. All the children happily talked about their dreams.
“I want to be a knight”
“I want to be an adventurer”
“I want to be a candy shopkeeper”
”I want to make a lot of beautiful clothes ”
The children who told me their story were all full of dreams, and I was strangely happy listening to them, and it is as if they were sharing their strengths.
(Yes, I want to protect many people, including Somia, and above all…….. I want to continue to be Somias goal)
Thats my goal and the reason I keep going. Somia was never held in her mothers arms. I tried to be her mother replacing her deceased mother, and above all, I wanted to be the sister she is proud of.
For that reason, I was able to devote myself to the harsh training and endure it.
Suddenly, Nozomu-kun, who is making candy in the street stall, caught my eye. What is the reason for him to fight? What is the reason why he continued to keep going even after he was sentenced to be unable to become stronger due to the manifestation of Ability Suppression?
And the rumor with Lisa that flowed during the 1st year, and what happened to him after that?
I met him only a few weeks ago. I and he didnt have enough time to understand each other.
When Irisdina-san was dealing with the children, I helped the shopkeeper to make candy and to put the candy in the bowl on the fire to melt the candy.
I have never made sweets such as candies, I lived alone, cooked for myself at Shishōs place, and cooked simple meals even in the forest. However, it was limited to when a safe place could be secured in the forest.
All Im doing is putting a fixed amount of syrup and ingredients such as sugar in a bowl, stirring them, and heating them to boil. The shopkeeper looks at the stickiness and color of the candy that I boiled, takes out the candy from the bowl at the right time, uses a wooden stick, and quickly makes work with his familiar hand. There is no momentary stagnation in his hand, and in a blink of an eye, a candy craft of a princess and a knight is made.
By the way, I also tried to make one, but I couldnt handle the soft and dripping candy with a wooden stick, and it became messy.
”… Its an amazing handiwork ……… ”
”Well, Ive been a candy shopkeeper for a long time. Im used to it. ”
Im not sure about candy craft, but I felt that his technique for skillfully making various things into candy craft was great. In fact, the candy I made wasnt a craft, it was clearly an object of avant-garde art that went too far.
”Ermm, why are you running a candy store? ”
I was wondering why he had so much refined his candy crafting skills. Candy craft obviously needs a lot of effort, and the price isnt high compared to the trouble. It wont pay for the effort he spend.
”Originally, I love to eat rather than make. I bought various candies and compared them. Of those, I wasnt satisfied with just eating them. I started making various candies myself. I was surprised to see the candy I made, and I was happy to see everyones smile when they ate the candy. So before I know it…… thats about it. ”
The shopkeeper does not stop his work while talking. The softened candy swells as if it were alive in the hands of the shopkeeper.
”But as I thought, its the most fun when Im making candy. Sometimes its not very profitable and sometimes its painful, but its fun so it doesnt bother me at all. I want to do this job all the time. ”
The shopkeepers face is lively while making delicate work with candy. I think he really likes candy. Its a smile that only for those who are doing what they really love.
”What I want to do ……… a dream, is it? … ”
A dream I had before. A dream that I have lost and turned my back on.
Im a little jealous of the shopkeeper who could talk about his dreams like that.
”Hoi, Its done. Please dont fight, just eat peacefully ”
”Waa~a~a !! ”
”Amazing! It looks just like in the picture book princess and a knight !! ”
Children flock to the candy that was made. It was like ants swarming in sugar. Not only Irisdina-san and the candy shopkeeper, but also the people passing by naturally smiled at the appearance of children chewing on the candy with smiles.
Looking at them makes me feel a little more energetic. A scene that I never saw when I was alone. Before I knew it, I was naturally smiling.
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