At the other end of the road, Kaede was waving her hand.
It seems that she and the others have gathered and only Soara and I are left.
Kaede was wagging her tail and seemed happy to see me in front of her.
We parted for a short time, but I wonder if she missed me that badly.
"How was your shopping?"
"There were lots and lots of things, and I couldn't decide what I should buy. I also bought a lot of things for you, Master. I'll show them to you later."
The backpack Kaede is carrying is very bulky.
I gave her the magic storage, but she didn't seem to use it.
Or maybe she was so engrossed in shopping that she forgot all about it.
"Marianne, did you get what you wanted?"
"Yes. I was able to buy souvenirs for my father and Urara, and I found some rare items, so I'm happy, and so is Luna."
"That's right, I have my bath brush, my bath sunglasses and... Oh no, I can let you see this, Toru-Kun. Hey, don't move."
Luna's bag is constantly moving.
……I wonder what it is. I'm curious what's in that bag.
"What are we going to do now? Are we going to meet up with Nei and the others?
"They probably didn't sell well. We're done with our work, so we should help them."
"I agree. I am indebted to Nei-San for her help."
And so we moved to the market.
"There are a lot of people."
"Is there a problem?"
I can hear many voices from the place where Nei is.
"Don't push! The vegetables aren't going anywhere!"
"So, you want to buy this cucumber for 1,000? It's a special occasion."
"Guys, get in line! Otherwise, I won't sell anything at all!"
"Here's your money. What? You want to shake my hand? Sure, I'm happy to shake hands with such a pretty young lady."
In the crowded market, Nei's stall was the main attraction.
Both men and women were concentrated there.
I don't feel like going anywhere near that crowd.
"It's all sold out now! Spread out!"
Apparently, everything was sold out.
People go home in regret.
"It looks like everything went well."
"It wasn't easy. I didn't know so many people were coming."
Nei sits down and spreads her legs in exhaustion.
On the other hand, Alusha and Frau each have a dreamy look in their eyes.
"Elves are very popular among humans. I'm surprised."
"Most people usually don't pay attention to me because I'm always around Kaede, but Frau is a magnificently beautiful fairy. I feel like I'm finally getting the recognition I deserve."
Pione looks embarrassed for some reason.
"I know people mistake me for a man because I'm dressed like one, but it's complicated when all the girls are coming on to me. I don't think I'm attractive enough to be a girl."
Cheer up, Pione.
You have done very well.
And you're a pretty girl.
I put my hand on Pione's head to cheer her up.
"Relax, it's all over now."
I rubbed her back gently.
"Well, you three really helped me. I've made a lot of money and now I'll be able to feed my family for a while."
"You still have a sister and brother who are still children."
"Our monthly food bill is twice what it used to be. Since I stopped working as an adventurer, things aren't the same as before."
"I'm going to give you this."
I took a leather bag out of my magic storage.
A loud bang is heard and Nei's eyes light up.
"What is all this?"
"They're for you, I don't need them."
"That's impossible! There are several rare items here!"
"Say yes, they're for you."
These are items I obtained in Berserker Valley.
Actually, I completely forgot to sell them and had them just sitting there taking up space.
If I just keep them for a long time, it'd be a waste of treasure, and it would be best to give them to Nei, who has taken great care of me.
They all nodded their heads, as if thinking the same thing.
"Thank you, Toru."
"Don't cry. I'm going to want more vegetables anyway. It's like paying in advance."
"I'm not crying! Don't look at me!"
Nei rubbed her eyes and became embarrassed.
"Well, let's have lunch."
"I know a good place, I'll show you."
After gathering all her things, Nei pulled the cart and we started walking.
I already know where we are going to eat.
I am looking forward to it.
In the evening, we all walked home while talking.
In the back of the cart Nei was pulling, Alusha, Luna, and Frau slept.
"We had a great time today. The time we have spent with all of you just flew by, and I will miss you all so much."
"I share the sentiment, I would like to spend more time with you all."
"It's nice to be in a party without all those nasty men, Nya. I don't want to go home, Nya. I can't stand the thought of having to work in that sweaty place again. Nya～"
"Come on, Lynn-san. Are your teammates really that bad?"
Pione reassures Lynn, who scratches her head.
Kaede, who was walking alone, had her tail hanging down, looking sad.
Soara hits me in the side with her staff.
"Girls, can I talk to you for a moment?"
I walked ahead and stopped them all in the middle of the road.
From my magic storage, I took out a large bag containing the gift I bought for the girls. I placed one in each of their hands.
"Master, what is this?"
"Open it, please."
What appeared after opening the wrapping was a small wooden box.
When they opened it, the girls' eyes widened.
"Um, I hope you accept these gifts.... They're my thank you for everything you've all done for me."
The jeweled rings in their hands glittered in the setting sun.
Kaede put on the ring and smiled with tears in her eyes.
"Toru-sama, is this what I think it is?"
"Hmm? Oh, yes, of course, that's exactly it."
The girls are surprised and squeal with delight.
Yes, it is my thanks.
Soara said I had to give them each a ring.
As soon as you give one to a woman, you have taken an important step in your life to show your gratitude.
But I didn't know that.
I didn't know a ring could be given to a friend.
I thought it was something that only lovers did. You know, when you want to commit to someone in marriage.
No... I don't think Soara tricked me into buying them engagement rings, She's my friend, she's always advised this kind of thing.
"Oh, and this is for Kaede and Frau."
I give them both another package.
"Is it a collar...?"
"I wanted to ask you to be my slaves again. Although if you don't want to, to you can say no."
"Are you kidding? I'm so happy, I'd love to be my master's slave again."
Kaede sheds tears of joy.
She put the collar around her neck and then put her hand on her chest.
"Please, let's make a master-slave contract."
"And I will be with you forever."
"So it shall be."
I was surprised when Frau peeked over from the side.
"Hey, Frau also put on her collar, why don't you look at me?
"I'm sorry. It looks beautiful on you."
"Yes! I knew Frau would be the perfect slave for my Lord! Caress me, pat me on the head, and tell me you're happy I'm your slave again."
"All right, All right, don't press your head against me so much."
I stroked Frau's head, and she happily said; "Thank you! I love you!"
Suddenly, Alusha, who was in the cart, stands up.
"Toru-Dono, why don't I have a collar too!?"
"What with this sudden question?"
"Humans always want to enslave elves! Then it's only logical that Toru-Dono should want to possess Alusha."
"Do you want me to make you my slave?"
"Don't make me say something embarrassing."
She suddenly loses her momentum and becomes embarrassed.
"I wonder if I can be a slave too, even though I am an aristocrat.".
"Yes, me too."
"It's probably impossible. Although I'd like to become one, but since I'm royalty and my father might cry, the most I can do is a master-servant contract."
Marianne, Pione and Luna also wanted to be my slaves, but because of their high social status they could not.
I can't help but wonder why they want to do something like this.
"It's not that big a problem. Anyway, we're going to get back together later on, so why don't we all sign a master-servant contract with Toru before we go?
"That's right, we'll meet again in the not too distant future."
What the hell does that mean? Another meeting?
Are there any meetings or anything I don't know about?
Kaede grabs my arm and pulls me.
"Master is my master."
"Kaede-San, running away is for cowards! Everyone, catch Toru!"
Hey, they're chasing me!
Kaede, who was pulling my hand, had a smile that was to be admired.