Furniture Craftsman Toack
I slowly opened my eyes as I felt the warm sunlight on me.
In my vision, there is a roof above me. As I look around, there are cream colored walls.
And not only is the floor not in the form of soil, but it looks like I am currently lying on this wooden floor with a cloth over me as a blanket.
I could hear the sounds of birds chirping coming from outside.
Suddenly, I came back to my senses and remembered everything.
「…That’s right, I have my own house now」
I muttered to myself while rubbing my sleepy eyes with the back of my hand as I raised my upper body.
In order to stretch the tightened muscles in my back, I extended both my arms up.
Then, I slowly exhaled as I let my arms back down. From there, I twisted my waist slightly and a satisfying popping noise came out.
Sleeping on the wooden floor with a blanket was better than camping on the ground outdoors, but the burden it had on my body was still heavy. There was an uncomfortable feeling in my back.
As I thought, it was the correct choice to ask for the name of the furniture craftsman.
I want to get a bed soon so that I can get some quality sleep. Of course, that would include getting a futon as well.
Even though I got my hands on a new house, there were still lots of things missing.
“It was still refreshing to sleep at my own house even with a lack of furniture! Yee! Let’s give it my best today too—” Oh how I wish I could think positively like that.
「Sigh… What should I do…? 」
Last night, I fucked up by showing myself naked in front of a shy girl who isn’t good with strangers.
I had planned on meeting with Ergys-san again, and there was also that promise to share some fish with him.
Flora, who is his daughter, will be there when I pay a visit to him. It will be very awkward.
Ahhh. Even though she was finally warming up to me, I guess now she will run from me again.
If it was just any random person then I wouldn’t have minded at all, but it hurts a little to be avoided by such a good girl like her.
I would like to apologize to her since I didn’t get to yesterday, but if the man who flashed her suddenly showed up at her door, she might be a bit disturbed. So let’s apologize after giving it some time.
After telling myself so, I decided to put my feelings elsewhere for now.
As I washed my face with the cold water from the well, it refreshed both my body and mind.
What’s done is done. Let’s get through the day doing what I have to do without being such a worrying wuss.
◆ ◆ ◆
After fixing my clothes up a bit, I headed towards Toack-san’s house to order some furniture.
I rubbed my belly as I walked in this slightly cold morning.
My stomach had been complaining since I did not have any breakfast or anything before I slept last night.
I should have worried about my meals before worrying about furniture.
Also, I should have bought some food from Ergys-san.
But if I go to Ergy-san’s place, I might run into Flora. Maybe I can just buy some food off Toack-san after I meet him.
Since I didn’t understand the ecological state of the animals living here, I thought that I shouldn’t put my hands on them yet.
Even though I’m going to be introduced to a local hunter tomorrow, it’s still a big deal to have an empty stomach for a day.
While I was lost in such thoughts, I was already in front on Toack-san’s house in no time.
I stood still silently in front of his house inside the forest.
The house is built rather differently from mine. It’s a one-story building that was built from stacking up wooden logs. It seems to be fairly roomy inside, and the stairs, fences, chairs and tables around the house all look to be hand-made from wood.
The furniture seems to be made from different materials from the house, perhaps they were all made by Toack-san, the furniture craftsman. If that’s the case, he would be quite skilled.
I took a seat at the table. Surprisingly, it was a good fit for my body and it felt very comfortable.
「This is nice. I want a chair like this too… 」
「… Are you Aldo? The one that the chief told me about? 」
When I was ascertaining the feel of this chair, a voice suddenly came up.
There was a man with blonde-colored hair looking at me from the window when I turned around to the direction where the voice came from.
His hair is short, and his blue eyes are squinted, displaying a mean look. His face shape is slightly long and some freckles can be seen.
He is about the same height as I am, or maybe just a little bit taller. Lean muscles are visible from his short sleeve, white colored top.
「Um… Are you Toack-san? 」
「Oh, yeah. That’s me. When I woke up this morning, I was surprised to find a stranger excitedly sitting in a chair inside my yard」
Toack-san answered with a sour face when I asked timidly.
I mean, since there was such a nice chair there, I unintentionally entered and sat down in his property.
I feel awkward now because I have been rude from the very start. I wonder if he’s mad at me.
「I’m sorry about that」
「It’s not like I’m mad. I was born with this mean looking face. The chair thing surprised me, but I was happy that I was complimented for the chair I made」
To my apology, Toack-san shrugged his shoulders and replied while smiling awkwardly. It seems that he was trying his best to form a genuine smile, but it looked more like a sarcastic one instead.
「…I’m not good at smiling」
「Haha, so it seems」
I replied to Toack-san’s words with a bitter smile while scratching my cheeks.
Well, he doesn’t look like a bad person, and his age looks to be close to mine. It feels like we might be able to get along well with each other.
「Well, why are we still talking like this? Hurry and come inside」
◆ ◆ ◆
Toack-san’s home is big, and the walls of its interior were all made from logs. There were also his handmade tables and chairs, couches, and something like a cupboard. There is a strong homey vibe.
As I took a deep breath, I felt calm from the smell of lumber.
「I’d like to eat something first, but what about you? Rather, have you eaten yet? 」
「I haven’t eaten yet! Please, thank you! 」
Toack-san’s suggestion was just what I wanted to hear, so I replied immediately.
「Why are you so shamelessly happy? Well… anyway, I’ll go heat up the pan so please wait a bit at the table」
Toack went in the kitchen while making it sound like a hassle.
I took a seat while filled with anticipation.
My stomach was already rumbling since I did not eat anything last night. I want to eat something soon.
As I thought about that with my arm resting on the table, I felt the smooth sensation that is a distinct characteristic of woodcrafts.
Ohh, this table has quite a nice feel to it. It’s better than all the tables in the inns of the royal capital.
I spontaneously put my face on the table and felt it with my cheek.
If I am ordering some tables, this smooth texture of material would be also what I want.
While I was feeling the skillfully-made table, a smell like vegetable soup started to drift in the room before long.
「Here, vegetable soup and bread」
As Toack brought out vegetable soup and bread on a wooden tray, I got my face off the desk in a hurry.
「Ohhh, thank you so much. My stomach was rumbling like crazy」
Toack put the tray on the table and placed the dishes.
In the soup there are potatoes, carrots, broccoli, onions, and small pieces of ham. It looks very delicious.
「Okay, shall we dig in? 」
When Toack got everything ready, I immediately put a spoonful of vegetable soup into my mouth.
The sweetness of vegetables filled my mouth. The taste was plain yet it was very tasty. As I drank the soup, it warmed me up from the inside, and it felt as if energy was spreading throughout my body.
「…Ahh, so good」
The potatoes were melting into one with the soup, and the onions were also stewed.
I see, so that is the secret to this delicious taste.
Toack ate while dipping the bread in the soup, so I imitated him and tried dipping my bread in my soup as well.
The bread that was softened up by the soup was also very delicious.
Its sweetness from the dough combined with the soup was truly exquisite.
Going back and forth between the bread and soup like that, I finished it in no time.
「Pheww, thank you. That was delicious」
「… You ate without catching a breath. Did you not eat dinner yesterday or something? 」
「Well, I was cleaning my new house yesterday so I was swamped…」
The last part where Flora saw my naked body was hard to say out loud.
「Well, I knew you were busy before you came, but you coulda at least ate some breakfast, couldn’t you? 」
「You’re right, but I haven’t bought any ingredients yet… 」
「You coulda bought some off the chief? … Don’t tell me it was because of money? 」
Toack started giving me a stink eye as he took such a guess.
To start a new life, a certain degree of funds is needed.
A man who suddenly tries that while being penniless is disgustingly stupid.
However, I was the kingdom’s A-ranked adventurer. I wouldn’t brag about having a fortune but money isn’t something that I have to worry about.
「No, I wouldn’t have moved here if I didn’t have any money. It’s just that I missed my chance to buy any from Ergys-san, who is my only connection here 」
Toack showed a look of relief after hearing that I have money.
「If that’s the case, isn’t it good to buy some this morning? 」
「No, I can’t do that either due to a reason I can’t say 」
It’s just as Toack says, but I can’t do it because of the thing with Flora.
「What? A reason you can’t say? 」
I seem to have piqued his curiosity as he looked at my face that was full of hesitation.
「No, it’s just…kinda… 」
「What is it? I gave you a meal, didn’t I? Depending on how fun the story is, I might just sell you some food ingredients, you know? 」
Perhaps Toack had become irritated after seeing my indecisiveness, as he tempted me with a devil’s whisper with a grin.
Ugh, I’m weak to the topic of food right now. And, Toack’s suggestion will make everything work out. However, I feel like I’m getting worn out from this.
Even so, this guy has the qualities of a bully. As soon he realized that I was hiding something, his face lit up with interest.
Kuu, what should I do?
As I worried, Toack said as he poked more fun at me,
「Don’t tell me, that you had something going on with the chief’s wife, Fiona-san? 」
「No, that’s not it! It was just her daughter, Flora, who saw me naked!」
I accidently spilled the truth as I was accused by an unjust suspicion with a person I am indebted to.
Toack’s mouth was wide open from what I just said.
「Huh? Naked? More so, it was not you who saw Flora naked, but it was her that saw you naked? That’s the best thing I’ve heard yet! 」
He broke out laughing while holding his stomach.
「Oi. Don’t laugh at this. I’m new here and my connection with the villagers is thin, I’m in quite the trouble, you know? 」
「Hahahahaha! That shy Flora saw you naked」
He seemed to find it very funny since he has lived here since long ago and knew of Flora.
This man, who always has a cranky face on, had his face distorted completely from laughing just now.
「Oi oi, this isn’t something to laugh about. If I go to Ergys-san’s house, it will be bad if I run into Flora there. What will I do if they ask what happened between us? 」
It was inevitable that my tone with Toack had gone rather informal.
Despite my words of desperation, he seemed to have found it even funnier and laughed again.
What a cruel person he is, to laugh when the others are having a struggle.
「….*Hahh*, I was finally able to have a conversation with her, yet she might run away from me again now… 」
「Ohh? It’s unusual for that Flora to talk to guys in the first place」
said Toack, with a look of surprise to my sighing and ranting.
「She’s quite a shy person, that’s why. However, she would be able to easily have a conversation with the males from this village, right?? 」
「No, not at all. I’ve been here the whole time since she was born, yet she just runs away when I try to get closer to her. The only time I had been able to barely talk with her was like during a village event or something」
Toack denied my words with a serious look.
Hmm? What did you do to her for that to happen? Well, she ran away from me at the beginning as well.
「… Is that not because of your scary looking face? 」
This is a man with a mean mug on him at all times. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say that Flora is scared of him.
「That’s not why. Do you want me to not sell you any food? 」
Toack replied. His face twitched from me pointing that out.
「Oioi, weren’t you laughing at me just now? I told you about my embarrassing story and you didn’t even give a crap?! 」
Author note: Aldo has made friends with a neighbor.