Tranquility of Apple Mint Tea
As we walked down the hallways inside the home of the village chief, Aisha turned to Fiona-san and said,
「Hey, Fiona-san. Flora isn’t here? 」
「Yes, that child isn’t here because she went to gather some fruits. I think she will be back by sunset」
「…Then, please tell me when she gets back」
Aisha suddenly stood up after Fiona-san’s reply.
「Okay then, I’ll head back because I was in the middle of work」
「A, Ah. Thank you for guiding me up to this point」
I thought she was just going to bring me to the village chief’s home, but from the conversation they just had, it seems like she wanted to meet a person named Flora.
So since Flora isn’t here, she would naturally head back after bringing me here. It’s a simple reason that can be understood easily.
Aisha quickly turned around and went outside.
「I wanted you to stay for some tea, but there’s nothing I can do since there’s field work to be done」
Fiona-san muttered while wearing a gloomy expression. It’s the expression of someone who is watching their child, who hasn’t been home in ages, leave again after having just returned.
Then, she took her eyes off the door and said to me, “Let’s go”, and we started walking again.
「This is the village chief’s room」
*knock**knock*, Fiona-san started knocking on the door after hearing my reply.
「Chief. There’s a guest to see you here. Aisha brought him here」
「…I see. Come on in」
Upon hearing the response of a male’s voice coming from inside the room, Fiona-san opened the door.
I entered the room after seeing Fiona-san hinting me to do so with her eyes. Then, I saw a dandy man with clean-cut features standing there with a pleasant smile on his face. His age is likely in the late thirties.
He is wearing a red jacket with long, white colored sleeves, and long brownish pants. However, it looks like they were made of slightly better fabric than the clothing of the villagers.
I wonder if you have to at least dress like that when you are a chief of the village.
In his room, there is a bookshelf and wardrobe which look to be made of simple wood, with a sofa set up on the side. And, deep within the room, there is also a work desk where he seems to do his paperwork and such on.
「This person wishes to move into this village」
「Hoh~ that’s something I rarely hear about. There hasn’t been anyone coming to visit me from outside the village since long ago. Please, go ahead and take a seat」
The village chief invited me to sit down with a smile after being informed by Fiona-san.
「Okay, excuse me」
「I’ll make you some tea」
Fiona-san leaves the room as I took my seat.
By the way, I’m happy for that because I’m quite thirsty right now.
「I am the village chief of Nordende, Ergys」
「Aldo. I came to live in this village from the kingdom of Abalonia」
I thought of giving him a fake alias, but after thinking about it, I decided not to. It should be good enough just using my abbreviated name “Aldo”.
The name Aldred and Aldo are originally quite common anyway. From the church I was once in, there was another person with black hair named Aldred, and there was an Arnold and an Alto as well. Even during my adventurer days, I’ve met another Aldo as well.
So even if someone in this village has heard of a dragon-slayer named Aldred, the person themselves would not think the “Aldred” from another country would be the one in their village.
There is no branch office of the adventurer’s guild here, and even if there was one, I don’t think they would know exactly how I look. The Rumors of the dragon-slaying heroes are exaggerated as they spread, in some regions some have even said their leader was a prince from a ruined country or he was a beautiful man with blonde hair and blue eyes.
「That is an extremely far place you come from. Would you tell me why you have come to live here? 」
It took me about a month and a half to get here. Since that was me going at full speed by myself without having to worry about monsters, it would probably take an average person about two months to get here. Naturally, he would wonder why someone would come to a place so far away.
「It’s because I was here once nine years ago. Since then, I still cannot forget the beautiful sight of the fields of flowers here… 」
「Ah, so it’s about that. The fields of flowers are our village’s pride. Even I could not get tired of watching those beautiful flowers that change colors according to the seasons」
Ergys-san nodded as if I somehow had him convinced.
「Travelers and villagers from neighboring villages have also wished to migrate here before for similar reasons, but it’s the first time we’ve had anyone from the Abalonia kingdom. You must quite like it here」
He showed a faint smile that was much gentler than the smile he had before.
I understood from the dialogue we just had, that Ergys-san really loves the flowers as well. After I settle down, it might be nice to have a nice long chat with him while flower gazing.
As I started thinking of such things, Fiona-san came back knocking on the door.
White steam comes pouring out of the tea cups on the trays, and with it comes a refreshing, sweet scent.
「That’s a nice smell」
I took a deep breath unconsciously to take in this sweet aroma.
「It’s apple mint tea. It’s freshly picked so it smells nice, right? I’ve added some honey too, if it’s to your liking」
「It’ll calm you down once you drink it」
I reach out for a cup on the table after being urged on by the both of them to try it.
When I took a sniff at the apple mint tea, I could smell the sweet, fresh smell of green apples. I tilt the cup slowly as I drink it to enjoy the pleasant smell at the same time.
The refreshing sweetness of apple mint runs through my nose, and spreads in my mouth as the drink goes down my throat.
The tea gradually warms my body up, and I can feel the fatigue leaving my body.
「*Hahhh*…. it feels so relaxing」
When I let out a sigh of relief, Ergys-san and Fiona-san both giggled.
「At last, you have eased a little, haven’t you?」(chief)
「Yes, Aldo-san is a bit too tensed. Your tone and attitude were making me feel a bit tensed myself」
Now that they mentioned it, I start to notice it as well.
My tensions seem to have not yet been lifted since I have been on the alert the whole time during my journey here alone from Abalonia.
Jeez, I have already arrived here. There’s no guild staff, royalty, or nobles here. I should relax a little.
「Sorry, It’s because I have been traveling alone」
Since I was talking to people older than I am I couldn’t really do it for our first time meeting. But, now I can feel a natural smile forming on my face.
「It couldn’t be helped since you came such a long way. Just settle down here and take it slow from now on」
「Does that mean… that I am welcomed to live in this village? 」
「Yes, there are no problems with the people here as well」
I am quite pleased that I received permission from the village chief.
I did it! I can finally live in Nordende.
「Aisha isn’t someone who would bring a bad person here. She might be an open-hearted person, but she has quite the discerning eyes for people, you know?」
Since it’s a must to pass by the vineyards to enter Nordende, Aisha must have naturally developed the perceptiveness to see the nature of the different types of people as they pass by.
At first, I was a bit scared by her.
「There are no vacant houses near the central part of the town right now. But, there is a place you can live in that is not too far from here, what do you say to checking that out? 」
「With that said, you still wouldn’t be able to move in this quickly, just spend the night here to get rid of the fatigue you accumulated from the trip. We can go check out your place tomorrow」
I am very thankful for his offer. For a long time now I have been on the pattern of riding on a horse carriage, resting at some inconspicuous places, to moving on foot. I am quite tired from repeating that process for who knows how many times.
It will feel good to be able to get a good night’s sleep without having to stay alert throughout the night.
「Thank you for all you’ve done for me so far」
「Yes, we’ll take care of you」
I thanked her while lowering my head and Fiona-san replied with a smile.
It was a conversation of nothing special, but it gave me a feeling of warmth.
I wonder if this is how it would have felt if I had parents. This is a very pleasant feeling.
「By the way, Aldo-san. Do you have anything you’re especially good at? Or is there like something in particular that you’d like to do? If there is, I can introduce you to the right people. Men in the prime of their life are highly welcomed in all kinds of workplaces as they are in high demand」
… Something that I’m especially good at, huh.
My biggest specialty is subjugating monsters, but that isn’t what I want to do here.
From what I’ve seen, there are few occurrences of monsters appearing here, but I am not needed to step in for that.
If I can, I could use the skills I developed from being an adventurer for hunting, or maybe plowing small fields.
Plowing a field by myself, and eating my own crops… I would like to live that type of self-sufficient lifestyle.
As for hunting, I’ve already hunted an infinite amount of times to secure food during my adventurer days. Although I’m not very skilled in using tools like keels[i] to hunt, a bow and arrow I can handle.
But, for agriculture, I’ll need someone to teach me since I’ve never done things like that. However, it should be fine if I hunt and farm separately.
「… Let’s see. I’m confident in my hunting skills, and I also want to try cultivating a small field」
「Ohh, that would make the people here very happy since there are only a few hunters in this village. I’ll introduce you to the hunters of this village after you get settled. Please teach them about the ingredients and animals that can be taken from the mountains. As for the fields, depending on what you want to grow, the choice of the person I’d introduce you to changes, so give some thought about what you want to grow and tell me」
「Thank you, again, for all you’ve done so far」
Since they’ve done so much to help me, I’ll have to do my best to hunt. I want to do something back for them, too, by any means.
「No, no, Aldo-san is already a member of the village. I’ll help you, not only as the village chief, but also as an individual」
Ergys-san laughed while being somewhat embarrassed.
Despite how he looks, he might be a pretty shy person.
「Aldo-san, what would you like to do for now? It’s still a bit early for lunch, but would you like something to eat? 」
Certainly, I am a little hungry, but there’s something I would like to see before eating.
I still have some preserved food left, so I can eat that for lunch.
「No, I will go check out the fields of flowers」
Ergys-san showed me a bright smile after I answered him as I stood up.
[i] keel is used for hunting (ducks?) or something when I googled what a keel is, but I still am not too sure…