ITSUJITA ~ C22: I'm home and welcome home.
Chapter 22: I'm home and welcome home.
We walked through the forest and returned to the town of Ninorich.
We are relieved to be back, and then...
"Ah! Shirou-Onii-chan!" [Aina]
What a surprise.
Aina is waiting for us at the entrance of the town.
When Aina sees me, she gets up from the wooden log she was sitting on.
She ran up to me and stopped a step in front of me.
Then she looks up at me.
"Welcome home, Shirou Onii-chan." [Aina]
"I'm home, Aina-chan." [Shirou]
"...... Ehehe." [Aina]
Aina grabbed my hand happily.
It seems that she wants to hold my hand.
"An-chan, is this your daughter?" [Ryer]
Seeing us holding hands, Ryer asked me.
Kiki, who was behind us, suddenly dropped down while saying...
"You called me 'cute', but you already have a child." [Kiki]
"Hey, hey. Aina will be confused." [Shirou]
"No way. She's not my daughter. This girl is Aina-chan. She's the girl who helps out in my store." [Shirou]
"I didn't know that. I'm sorry for saying weird things." [Ryer]
Ryer then squatted down and made eye contact with Aina.
"I'm Ryer, an adventurer. I will be visiting your store from now on, so please take good care of me, young lady." [Ryer]
"Yes. Eto.......I! We'll be waiting for you!" [Nesca]
"Hahaha! She's still a little girl, but she's a great employee. You should take good care of her." [Ryer]
"Of course I will." [Shirou]
"OK. We'll report it to the mayor. An-chan, you two can go back to the store." [Ryer]
"Eh? I'll go with you to Karen-san place." [Shirou]
"Go home, go home. You must be tired from doing something you're not used to.
Leave the debriefing to us. You can relax and get some rest." [Ryer]
"If you said so, I understand....... Please give my regards to Karen-san." [Shirou]
"Ou! I'll report about An-chan's activities to her." [Ryer]
After saying that, Ryer-san took his friends and walked towards the town hall.
I felt a bit worried when I see Ryer grinning at me as we parted.
After parting ways with the four members of Blue Flash, I returned to the store with Aina.
"Phew. I guess being an adventurer is hard work."
"Thanks for your hard work, Shirou Onii-chan."
I am sitting down on the chair behind the counter and take a breath.
I kept the Murder Grizzly material inside my space storage.
According to Ryer, time stops for items stored in the spatial storage, and they won't rot even if they are left in there for a long time.
That's really convenient, isn't it?
That's why "Blue Flash" decided to stay in Ninorich for a while longer since they no longer needed to rush to sell the materials. If they want, they can take me with them when they are going to sell the materials.
It's important to survey the market in other towns to do business.
"Shirou Onii-chan, how was your adventure experience?"
"Well, it was a great experience. Want to hear about it?"
"Yes! I want to hear it!"
"All right. OK, I'll tell you. We were in the forest......."
I told Aina about what happened in the forest in a lively and funny way.
"And then Nesca-san......"
"Oh, my God. That's amazing."
"And then all of a sudden........."
"And then, and then what?"
Aina listened with a serious face, and her expression changed from time to time.
"......Well, it was an intense experience in the past two days."
"Pheeeew. Aina almost stopped breathing. Shirou Onii-chan is amazing to able to beat the Murder Grizzly."
"No, it was everyone in "Blue Flash" that defeated it. I just helped a little."
"Eh? Aina thinks everyone would have been killed without Shirou Onii-chan."
"Ahaha. Maybe that's right. Really, I was really nervous when the big bear appeared, but we managed to get back safely. I also found out what adventurers might want... Yeah, I'm glad to have experienced being an adventurer."
"I'm happy for you, Shirou Onii-chan."
As Aina smiled at me, I nodded and smiled at her too.
There are only five days left until the inspectors arrive.
I don't have much time, but I'm sure I can get enough stuff by shopping at the home center and online shops.
"Since I've decided to do that, I should go home and...."
Just as I was about to get up from my chair and go back to my grandmother's house...
Donk donk donk! Donk donk donk donk!
There was a violent knock on the entrance door.
"Shirou! It's me. Karen! Are you there?"
The person who knocked is Karen.
She seemed to be in a hurry. I wonder what on earth is going on.
I unlocked the door and opened it.
"What's wrong, Karen-san?"
As soon as I opened the door, Karen-san hugged me as hard as she could.
"Shirou, are you all right? I heard you encountered a Murder Grizzly in the forest.
Are you in pain? Are you hurt? Are you OK?"
Karen replied to me.
Oh, I see.
So someone from the Blue Flash told her about the battle we had with the Murder Grizzly.
That's why she is rushing here, worrying about me.
I'm the one who said I wanted to experience being an adventurer, but I guess Karen thinks she's the one who started this whole thing.
She's really a person with a strong sense of responsibility.
"I asked you too many things...... I'm sorry! I'm really sorry! Hurt.... are you hurt?"
Karen sounded like she almost cries.
I can't imagine how worried she is because of her usual cool attitude.
However, I'm still being hugged tightly by Karen.
Especially since my face is buried in Karen's chest. When I tried to speak, the only sound that I can let out is "fugafuga".
"Hmm, what's wrong? Can't you speak? Don't tell me - your throat's been crushed! Hang on. I'll take you to the doctor now!"
You're the one who's currently crushing my throat.
If this continues, it's going to be really bad for many reasons.
Literally, I can't breathe and in great danger.
"Mayor, Shirou Onii-chan can't breathe."
"Ng? Aina. You're here too?"
Perhaps because she is distracted by Aina, the strength of her hold loosened slightly.
I hold Karen's shoulders and manage to pull my face out of her rich chest.
I made it back safely from the border of life and death.
"......Ppuhaaa. I finally made it out."
"Thank God. You still can talk, Shirou."
Karen looks relieved.
"Don't worry. My throat is fine, and I'm not hurt at all. Everyone in the Blue Flash was protecting me."
"But the leader of the Blue Flash told me that you took the lead in the battle against the Murder Grizzly."
Ryer, what the heck did you say to Karen?
That's right. I used a bear repellent spray. ...... Hmmm. I'm not sure if that counts as a fight by adventurer standards.
However, if I saw Karen's reaction, it seems like he (Ryer) told her quite a lot.
"Is that so?"
"Yes. I just used an item from a distance. I didn't fight it directly."
"............ Thank God."
Suddenly, Karen drops down on the floor.
She seemed very relieved.
"I heard from the leader of the Blue Flash that you fought alone against the Murder Grizzly. The Murder Grizzly is a fearsome monster. It's so strong that even skilled adventurers cannot defeat it without being injured. That's why I thought you were......."
It seemed the story has been spiced.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one spicing up the story.
"I'm sorry for making you worry."
"No, I'm sorry for my hasty assumption. More importantly......."
Karen, who is still in shock, extends her right hand to me.
" It seems I've lost my strength. Can you help me stand up?"
I grabbed Karen's hand and helped her up. Her legs are still trembling, so I have to lend her my shoulder for a while.
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