Thud, thud, thud
The three Behemoths shake the ground while walking.
These animals are very conspicuous, so we avoid busy roads as much as possible and pass through more rural roads where not many people pass by.
Soon we are in Sinus territory, where Monica's father rules.
Once we get Monica home, we can finally take a load off our minds.
The Behemoths cross a stream, jump over rocky terrain and emerge over a cliff.
From the highest point, he could see the city in the distance.
Apolloa, it seemed, was a port city.
And in the distance we could see a large sword stuck in a rock.
"What is that?"
"It is said to be a remnant of a great battle that took place long ago. This city was built on the ruins."
"So that great sword is a relic?"
I didn't know such things existed in these lands.
It's really interesting.
This is the passion I was talking about, the love that provokes wanting to travel.
We continue on foot from here.
We said goodbye to the three Behemoths and headed back to town.
In a room in the mansion, Monica is yelled at by her father.
"I told you to stop being an adventurer!"
"You leave me no choice, you will have to receive the lashes, as the clan's secret punishments dictate."
"Please forgive me! Anything but that!!!"
Monica was grabbed by the knight and dragged out of the room.
I'm curious about that spanking thing?
Why does it have to be that way?
Her father crosses his legs and smiles.
"You saved my daughter's life. Thank you."
"There's nothing to be thankful for."
"Don't be shy. I'll pay you back handsomely."
Marquis Bilfrel claps his hands and the human servant places a leather pouch on the table.
From the sound, I could tell that it was gold.
"One million. That's a lot of money for a human adventurer."
"I don't doubt it..."
The amount of money makes me laugh.
It's not a lot of money.
He seems to despise me quite a bit.
Well, that's fine, since I wasn't expecting any payment.
When I looked inside the room, I noticed that there are some very old things on display.
A jar with barnacles, a sword, a shield. Among many other things.
"Don't you think it's wonderful? I'm a collector, mostly of rare artifacts."
"But why do you keep them?"
"Because it gives me a sense of history. If you find something good, bring it to me. I'll give you a good price for it. Though I doubt you'll find any, inferior race, hahahahahaha."
Kaede and Frau look annoyed hearing her words.
I wouldn't like to stay in this place for long.
Besides, I'm afraid that if we don't get out of here soon, Frau will start misbehaving.
Say one more word, and her temper will cause her hammer to smash the whole place to pieces.
We left the mansion after a few random conversations.
"What the hell is wrong with that guy, only a million for rescuing his daughter?! Every single thing he said irritated me! He was making fun of my Lord!"
"Ho? I like that idea, Panda! We're going to destroy his mansion!"
"You two, stop."
I ordered Frau and Panda to calm down.
I think we should be glad we got some tip.
It's not right to complain about the small amount of money.
I looked at Kaede and was pleased with her attitude.
She was very calm and wasn't complaining about anything at all.
"I can't forgive him, he made fun of the Master! He thinks he's an inferior being! We're going to freeze this city. It'll be permafrost overnight."
I was wrong. Kaede, you made all my admiration vanish.
I'm afraid of Kaede. Her eyes are full of murderous intent.
I mean it. If I don't do something soon, this city will disappear overnight.
"Let's enjoy the city more. We've crossed the ocean, there's sightseeing, eating and adventures to be had."
"He's right. It's more meaningful to have a good time with the master than to engage with the elves like that. What that old man did almost made me forget myself."
Whew, that was close.
I break out in a cold sweat.
Actually, I'm probably more afraid of Kaede than I am of Soara.
She's the last person you want to piss off.
There's a knock at the door and Kaede opens it.
"Thank god, I found you."
"Monica-san, weren't you at the mansion?"
"I snuck out. I didn't think my father would reward Toru-Sama and his friends so little money."
Monica continued speaking
"Since my father doesn't plan to do anything about it, I'm going to resort to thanking you per my clan's traditions!"
The moment her belly button came into view, Kaede and Frau rushed to hold her clothes in place.
"I'm so sorry. I knew that people in this country had a tendency to look down on humans, but I didn't think my father would behave like this towards the man who saved my life."
"Forget it. You don't have to worry, Monica."
"Toru-Sama is very kind. You're strength and generous spirit make me want to take off my clothes without resorting to my clan's traditional show of thanks."
You're an exhibitionist.
I'm going to hand you over to the authorities if you don't stop.
I tried to persuade Monica to keep her clothes on, and sat down in a chair.
"My father is a good person. The day my mother died, he changed completely. Now he collects heirlooms like he's obsessed with them."
"I could tell that."
Monica frowned as she looked down.
But her expression quickly brightened.
"What will Toru-Sama and his friends do now? Come to think of it, I didn't ask you what you were going to do."
"We're looking for the Master's hometown. In addition, we will also visit my hometown. Although I know where it's located, so we'll save that for last."
Oh, so Kaede remembers her hometown.
I thought you didn't even know where it was.
While Frau was relaxing on top of Panda, she flies over and asks Monica something.
"By the way, do you know anything about Dragon Town?"
"I'm afraid I don't know anything about it, but if you go to the capital, there are people who are investigating and might be able to tell you something.
Good question, Frau.
Ah, yes, the capital.
If we go there, we might find some clues about my mother's homeland.
"I will repay you for saving my life, I will no longer depend on my father, I will be the Guide for Toru-Sama and his friends. Tell me what you wish to see in this land, and I will take you there."
"Can you take me to where that great sword is?"
"I'd like to visit some souvenir shops."
"Sure, no problem."
"I want you to show me places where I can find some good food, and I want to be shown places that have nice views, preferably somewhere exciting."
"Leave it all to me, I'll take care of everything."
Monica immediately invited us to dinner.
There were many seafood dishes lined up on the table.
After all, it is a port city so seafood is plentiful.
So it is normal that it is used in every meal.
I thought all seafood was the same, but it all has different textures and flavors.
"It's crunchy and has a nice texture. It's addictive."
What Kaede and I are eating is a kind of shellfish that looks like a whitish bird's beak.
In contrast, what Frau is eating is a shellfish with thick, soft flesh.
Monica smiles with both hands on her cheeks.
"It's fun to be with you guys. I feel like everyday I get to teach you something new, and vice versa. It's like you're from a different place."
After hearing that, I got to thinking.
This girl, hasn't she figured it out yet?
Although it's partly my fault for not explaining it to her.
But it's something that most people would guess.
We have crossed the open sea, after all.
Well, I don't want to stand out in a weird way, so I'll keep my mouth shut for noe. It will be our insurance that nothing bad will happen to us.