The Two Smiling
The next day.
Thanks to the furniture that was set up in the living room, it was possible for me to meet a barely satisfactory standard of living.
Even though I’m still missing my custom-ordered beds and chairs, I did not wake up with back pain this morning because Toack had lent me a sofa to sleep on.
I got up from the sofa and groomed myself, and then I ate the leftover vegetable soup that I made for yesterday’s dinner after I warmed it up.
I felt full of energy after eating the vegetable soup that was filled with umami.
I could feel the soup warming me up from inside.
However, something was still lacking in that soup compared to the one I had at Toack’s house. Since the vegetables that I used in my soup were the same as his, was it because of the difference in time spent boiling? Or was it the seasoning?
Let’s try asking him the next time I see him.
I have finished my breakfast, so I start wondering what I should be doing now.
The necessary furniture I needed was already here, and the custom made stuff will still take some time to complete.
I definitely wanted the clothes and futon, but there’s no rush for that. Toack promised me that he would introduce the people who could make them to me. It would be fine to order them when he informs me that my bed is nearly done.
According to him, there are enough futon and clothes there that there won’t be a need to order them ahead of time.
Since I took a nice break yesterday and got some good rest, maybe I should have Ergys-san introduce me to a hunter and take them both to the mountains.
It’s about time I do some work in return to pay everyone back.
I might be a bit afraid to meet Flora, but I can’t stay like that forever. She should have calmed down after a whole day anyways, right?
As far as I’m concerned, I will be going to the mountains and searching for food there.
Right when I was planning that out, Toack showed up with a bag of fishes and a bottle of Nordende’s wine.
『this wine was made at Aisha-chan’s place』
I remembered these words that Ergys-san had once said to me.
Oh yeah, even though Aisha was the one who made it possible for me to live here since she was the one who helped me with first introductions, I haven’t even thanked her properly yet after I’ve settled down.
That is a very big blunder. How rude of me.
I should have thanked her on the day my house was decided, or even yesterday.
Well, I don’t think that she is the type who would mind, but I should go and thank her in person nevertheless.
Therefore, I decided to go thank her this morning.
「Hmm? Aisha’s house? 」
Ah. I had no idea where she lives so I’m asking Toack, since he came here.
I’m guessing he just woke up cause his hair was all messy as he replied from the window. He was squinting his eyes twice as hard as usual and he seemed to be in a bad mood.
「Yeah, her house. I want to go pay her a visit and thank her since I haven’t done that properly even when I’m indebted to her」
「Ah. You have to head to the border of the village and go through that vineyard to get there. But I don’t think that girl is someone who would care about that at all」
Toack replied as he scratched his head, but he had the same idea as me about Aisha.
However, there was still a chance where she would bluntly say something like, 「Hey, since I was the one who helped you here first, shouldn’t I be the first person you should pay a visit to? 」. That’s why I shouldn’t ignore this.
「Aisha should be in the vineyard already, so it’s probably better if you take the one path that leads to the vineyard rather than going straight to her house. But, if you want to go to her house anyway, head south from here. Her house is surrounded by vineyards, right by the warehouses that manage the grapes and wines. You’ll know when you’re there」
「Oh, got it. Thank you! 」
After Toack taught me how to get there, I turned around and got going.
◆ ◆ ◆
I headed to the vineyard as Toack instructed, and just as he said, Aisha was there with her work clothes on.
Seeing her figure sitting by the fence along the road, it looks like she’s taking a break at the moment.
I felt relieved from being able to find her and started walking closer to her. As I close in, I noticed that Flora was behind her.
Wha! What the… Why is Flora here?! I shouted that out in my mind, but then I remembered the words of Fiona-san. Those two have always hung around each other since they were young.
They have been best friends from a young age. I guess it’s normal that she would come here even if she had no business to be here.
At least I can wait a bit here until she left, as I was still a bit unprepared to meet her yet.
Ah, but after thinking about it, maybe it would be better if I confront her here and solve the problem when Ergys-san and Fiona-san aren’t around.
I have not done anything that I should feel guilty of so far…No, actually, showing my naked body to her made me feel pretty guilty, but now might be a chance for me to fix this.
I continued to move forward with the power of my will even as my steps kept on getting heavier.
When I got close enough, Aisha took notice of me.
Flora poked her head out to see who it was, then she turned around while making a strange face.
Her response was just what I had expected. After she saw me, her face went red with a *poof* and then she tried to escape. But, since Aisha grabbed her arms, she was struggling violently as she tried to get loose.
Then, Flora calmed down and stopped flapping her arms after Aisha whispered something in her ear.
Looking at the situation, it seems like Aisha knew what happened between us.
I’m thankful for her follow-up, but I’m a bit ashamed that she knows about it as well.
While smiling bitterly, I stopped by them.
I said hi to them but Flora hid behind Aisha and did not say a word back.
I knew it; I was being avoided after all.
As I put on another bitter smile, Aisha tapped Flora with her elbows lightly.
Flora then protested to Aisha silently with watery eyes. It felt like she was saying “Noo, I really can’t do this”.
However, Aisha moved behind her and then returned a silent glare at her.
Before long, Flora moved up as she trembled.
I did not understand what happened in the second half of that, but it seems like they somehow sent each other messages.
It was a communication method that works only among close friends.
「Um, ummm… hi」
Flora greeted me with a soft voice. Her white cheeks were as red as an apple.
Her gaze is wandering as if she’s still thinking of the embarrassing thing that happened on the day before yesterday, so it can’t be helped that she’s not really giving me eye contact. But, even so, I’m happy that she did not run away and is giving me this chance to apologize to her.
I also greeted her again with a smile, then there was a silence.
Flora has started twiddling her thumbs, and I also felt awkward and had no idea how to break the ice.
That is because I know that I was also at fault. Should I just lower my head and apologize as it is? As I thought about that, I sensed a sharp gaze coming from Aisha, who is behind Flora.
Her mouth moved slightly. I think she was trying to tell me to apologize already.
I decided to respond with a light nod, and I lowered my head.
Then, Flora looked to be surprised from it as she kept looking around, seemingly at a loss.
「Um, I’m sorry about what happened the day before yesterday. I came out even when I wasn’t done changing」
「No, no, I’m sorry as well… I completely entered your home without even waiting for your consent. I’m sorry」
She lowered her head as she responded.
What the? Not only that she did not blame me, but she followed it with an apology of her own. What a kind person she is.
I raised my face after hearing her words, and we both looked at each other and laughed.
It wasn’t that we made up since we weren’t really fighting, but the awkward atmosphere that we had between us until now was gone.
I’m so glad.
After we laughed for a while, Aisha, who was still behind Flora, made a coughing sound.
Flora and I were surprised by it and turned to look at her right away.
「It’s about time I go back to work, so why don’t you two start heading back? 」
Aisha said as she started to put her gloves back on.
She probably went out of her way to help me. I’m indebted to her once again.
However, I still had to thank her for showing me around on the first day I got here.
「Aisha-san, thank you for taking care of me the first day I got here! I now live near the furniture craftsman Toack’s house」
「Ah. Yeah, yeah. So you live near Toack, huh? Alright then, next time I’ll be coming to bother you」
Aisha replied as she walked beyond and disappeared into the vineyards.
「Should we head back then? I have some business with Ergys-san also」
「Ah, yes. I will go home as well」
From the one road where we came from, we headed back to Ergys-san’s house.
By the time Aisha comes to visits me, I hope that I will be able to catch some game from the mountains and treat her to a feast.