To The Mountains with The Hunters
「Um… er, Aldo-san? What business do you have with my father today? 」
Flora, who was next to me, modestly asked me while we were on the way to her house from the road we took to the vineyard.
「Ah, I just thought that since I’ve more or less settled down, I’d like to meet the hunters of this village」
「It’s still only been four days since you’ve arrived, no? You had to do all the moving and cleaning, right? You want to start working already? 」
Flora opened her eyes wide in awe.
Certainly, it’s just as she said; getting a home, cleaning it, arranging furniture and preparing for meals…Starting a new life was very hard work.
Even though I was confident in my physical abilities, it’s not like it didn’t cross my mind to take about two more days off to relax and watch the field of flowers.
「I was helped out by all kinds of people since I’ve arrived. That’s why I want to give something back to everyone in this village as well」
That is how I strongly feel about it at the moment. Ergys-san, Fiona-san, Aisha, Flora, and Toack; I was indebted to five people in only four days. The truth is that they are people who would take care of people who don’t even know anything, and people like me will be bothering them even more with the futon and clothes that I still need.
It’s because they all have been supporting me that I want to support them back.
「…I see. Then, put lots of meat on people’s tables from now on, okay? 」
Flora said with a carefree smile.
Even when I haven’t hunted here before, she smiled at me as if she was sure that I would succeed.
「…I can’t guarantee anything, but I’ll try」
I answered her vaguely while being pressured by her strange confidence in me, and she responded, seemingly in a good mood.
Why does she have so much confidence in me? No…maybe that’s just what she hopes for. Or is she trying to put some pressure on me? Nah, I don’t think Flora is someone like that…
As Flora walked away with jaunty steps, I thought to myself that I will need to work hard so I don’t betray her expectations.
◆ ◆ ◆
「Ohh? Welcome back Flora. You came back with Aldo-san with you, too, huh? 」
Fiona-san, who was working in the backyard, said to us when we entered Ergys-san’s home.
I guess she’s pulling out the weeds since I see her bending over with gloves on.
「Oh hello, Ergys-san」
As Flora and I approached the backyard, Ergys-san stood up while patting his back.
「Hello, how’s your home looking? 」
「I finished cleaning the house, and thanks to the furniture I bought from Toack, I’m now able to live a normal life 」
「I see 」
After hearing my report, Ergys-san smiled. However, his eyes were opened wide in shock a moment later.
「Speaking of which, I forgot all about your meals. Are you eating okay? I’ll give you some if you’re starving…」
「Ah, I’m eating fine. Toack had let me buy some food off him」
「I see. I’m glad to hear that. I remembered about your furniture but I had completely forgotten about your meals. I was panicking just now」
Ergys-san put his hand on his chest, looking relieved after he heard me.
He is human, after all. Sometimes I forget about that.
「No, no, even I forgot about it myself」
It was thanks to the leftovers from my journey that I did not have to starve the day before yesterday.
It’s bad for anyone to forget about their own meals. If there was someone at fault, it wouldn’t be Ergys-san.
To end this topic, I will talk to him about what I’m here for today.
「Ergys-san, I think I want to start working today, so can I trouble you with what we’ve talked about before? About introducing me to a hunter of this village? 」
「You already want to work even though you just moved in? It’s okay to take some more days off, you know? 」
Since he was worried about the same thing as Flora, Flora and I both cracked a smile unintentionally.
Ergys-san was confused as to what we were smiling at since he had no idea about that.
「No, it’s fine. I want to start working soon, so by all means」
「… Alright. It’s a good thing to be increasing our number of hunters sooner anyway. I’ll hurry and introduce you to them. Flora, can I leave the fields to you? 」
◆ ◆ ◆
Ergys-san left to call the hunter, Loren-san, to meet me at the town center. So, I went back home to change into my hunting clothes.
I took off my white, short sleeved village clothes and changed into a green long-sleeved shirt, leather gloves, long trousers and leather boots. I equipped a chest protector on top, and a knife in my belt holster.
「… As I thought, it doesn’t feel the same as my long sword」
I muttered as I picked up my favourite sword that was wrapped in cloth.
Whoops. Just now, I had picked up my long sword out of habit. After all, I had used this sword for three years. It was this sword that stood with me as I confronted the dragon. It can be said that it was a partner who went through both the rough days and the happy days with me.
Even though we might encounter some monsters, this sword still stands out a little too much.
My sword was crafted by someone who could be called the kingdom’s best blacksmith.
It was made from expensive ores such as mithril and orichalcum, with materials mixed in from high ranking monsters. For people who are unfamiliar with weapons, it might look like a sword that’s made to look all fancy, but people that know will know from just one look that it’s not just any sword.
If I pulled this sword out in this village, there would be weird rumors going around. Therefore, I have to seal this sword away.
The long sword that’s wrapped in cloth will be left in the back of the closet, and instead, I will use the dagger on my waist as protection.
Then I took out a bow and checked its bowstring.
「Yeah, this looks fine…However, there’s not enough of the essential part of the weapon…the arrows」
The bow wasn’t damaged from the hunts during the journey, but since there was no way to resupply arrows, there were only eight left.
I had completely forgotten. I should have cut some trees yesterday and made some myself in this case.
「Nothing I can do, I guess. Maybe I can trouble them to do me a small favor…」
I muttered as I equipped the bow on my back and a quiver to my waist.
Finally, I finished the preparations by packing some emergency food in a small hemp bag.
I double checked the spot I was going to go, then I jumped out of my house and headed to the town square.
When I reached the town center, there were ladies chatting happily while they did trades with their food today as well.
As I looked around, I thought back to Toack’s words from yesterday. All the women in this village were wearing clothes that were no less beautiful than the vivid field of flowers, as there was nothing they wore that would ruin the atmosphere.
If it’s said that this village is beautiful, then the women here are also beautiful enough to not lose to the village.
When I was enjoying the view of the women in such gorgeous clothes, I noticed that there was a big man with brown hair that was all slicked back, and a young boy with blonde hair standing next to him.
If there was a man with bulging muscles standing in the center where flowers bloomed, of course he would stand out.
Since he was carrying a bow on his back just like me, perhaps he is the hunter Loren-san?
While I was having doubts about it, he started waving his hands from over there as if he took notice of my equipment.
「I’m Loren, the hunter of this village. Are you Aldo, who the chief was talking about? 」
「Yes, that’s me. Sorry to meet you so suddenly without a proper introduction. I hope we’ll get along from now on!」
I lightly lowered my head to Loren-san, and he nodded quickly in return.
「You have good manners, unlike someone else that I know」
「Please don’t bring up the stories of the past」
When Loren nudged the boy with his elbow, the boy answered him with a frown.
From their conversation alone I understood that they were close.
「Oh, yeah. This is my disciple, Kyle. Just to be clear, this cute looking kid is not my son, okay?」
「No, I’m sorry as well. I’m Kyle, twelve years old. Nice to meet you」
Kyle quickly bowed his head and introduced himself after Loren-san introduced him.
Although I’m aware they aren’t father and son from their appearance and tones, I could still tell that they were really close.
「Today I’ll be teaching you about the mountains here, but I want to make sure Kyle here knows his stuff as well. So, do you mind if we bring Kyle along?」
It’s only natural for a hunter to take his pupil along in order to nurture him, so I gave him my yes.
「Ohh, good. I’ve also heard that Aldo was good at hunting from the chief, so how long have you been a hunter for? 」
「I’m not a hunter, but when I used to travel, I’ve hunted along the way. I have also hunted in mountains before」
Since I’ve only used a bow for hunting and some special quests, I’m not completely confident with it. So, I told him exactly how it is.
「I see! There won’t be any problems then. Judging from your equipment, you don’t seem to be an amateur either so it’ll be a pleasure to work with you! 」
While looking at my equipment, Loren-san let out a hearty laugh as he lightly patted my back. Then, we headed out.