May 13, Wednesday 4
I started walking towards the entrance of the cave with Noemi, but I immediately sensed something is strange. A hot burning smell was coming from the outside.
[What could it be]
I rushed outside and found out that the whole fortress is burning. The turrets had collapsed and flames crackling everywhere. It looks like they already abandoned this fortress because I can’t see a soul in sight.
I ran through the flames, protecting Noemi, and managed to get out of the fort. And as I was looking back at the burning fortress, Noemi called to me.
[I think the bandits set fire to the fort to destroy the evidence, and then flee.]
[Destroying evidence? Of what?]
[Proof that I was captured here.]
[Erm, Sorry but I can’t understand what you’re saying]
According to her guess… the bandit might have thought that by me coming here the Adventurers’ Guild in Rumel had found out that they held Noemi captive. So, they locked me and Noemi in a cave, burned down the fortress and if they could, they would have tried to get rid of the both of us.
I asked the fundamental question again
[Why are you captured?]
She turned her head slightly and look sad then opened her mouth.
[It’s embarrassing to tell but I got in trouble at home]
[Hmmm? Domestic troubles?]
[Yes. I’m sure my sister is involved and I have no proof of this…]
There maybe some families where sisters do not get along. But an older sister that lets her younger sister be abducted because of a mere domestic dispute is a bit….
[What happened to your parents?]
[They’re both busy with various things…]
Noemi clammed up at that point.
So, I decided to change the subject
[So, what would Noemi do from here?]
After she thinks for a while, she decided on something.
[I have a request.]
[what is it?]
[Can you take me to the Aarv God Tree Kingdom]
[Aarv God Tree Kingdom?]
[How far is that from here?]
[It would probably take 10 days by carriage and about a month on foot]
Even by carriage it will still take me 10 days… If I go with Noemi to Aarv God Tree Kingdom I would need to stay to this world for 10 days and it will naturally interfere with my quota of Magic stone in Earth and also my credits in the university.
[Sorry… but I have a lot of plans for the next few days, and I don’t think that I would be able to go with you.]
[Is that so…]
She was visibly depressed. Tears are forming in her eyes, so I called her out quickly.
[Let’s go to the city of Rumel first for the time being]
While going to the city with Noemi chan, I remembered something important.
[Sorry Noemi but do you know where the City of Rumel is?]
[Actually, I got lost… I don’t know how to get back to Rumel]
I explained to Noemi, who calmed down after a while that I had arrived at the bandit’s fortress by sheer coincidence while I was looking a way back to Rumel.
[So, in other words, Takashi-sama was lost?]
[Well, that’s a quick way of putting it…]
[You’re quite mysterious, aren’t you? You have those weird magic tools that I have never seen before and a skill that I never heard before and yet you are lost liked this….]
[A ha ha…]
After she spoke, she then begun humming something as if she was singing with a serious face. Soon, something small and glowing approached us. She mumbled something, and the glowing thing began to move as if it was trying to lead us somewhere.
[Takashi-sama, let’s go]
[Erm, this is…?]
[I asked her to take use to the city]
Well, this is a different world for me. I wasn’t surprised to hear that something shiny would lead us back to the city. At any rate I can finally return To Rumel. After ten minutes of being led by the shining ball we have finally pass through the forest and in a little further I can finally see the city of Rumel.
Noemi then whispered something to the shiny thing and it disappears like melting into thin air. We then continued on our way and were able to reach the town while the sun is still high in the sky. I then spoked Noemi after we entered the city
[Before we go to the Adventurer’s guild, I would like to stop by somewhere first, is that ok?]
Noemy said with a smile so I hurried on my way to the < Raging Giant’s Pavilion>. And, when I opened the door of the in Matteo san noticed my entrance and came running towards me from behind the reception counter with a surprised look on his face/
[Takashi! Are you okay?]
[I’m sorry for making you worry, Matteo-san]
[Well, that’s fine. Anyway, let me get Aria!]
Noemi and I then sat down at a chair in the lobby, while watching Matteo run up the stair. Noemi then asked me.
[What is this place, Takashi-sama? Is this the inn you are familiar with?]
As I was about to talk, Aria and Mateo ran down from up stair and Aria quickly jumped at me with tears streaming down her face.
[Takashi~! I’m so glad]
[Sorry for making you worried]
I gently stroke her back as if I was soothing a child. After a while she noticed Noemi who’s sitting beside me
[Takashi, who’s this girl?]
[Oh, she’s Noemi. She was captured by the bandits and I was able to rescue her today by chance…]
[Bandit? You fought with bandits?]
Aria rolled her eyes.
That’s right Aria must have thought that I’m still around level 4. I don’t know the average strength of a bandit in this world, but it seems like it was impossible for a level 4 adventurer to venture at a bandit fort on his own.
Now I wonder how would I explain this…
As I was thinking about this, Noemi stood up and bowed to Aria.
[Nice to meet you, Aria. Actually, I was kidnapped by bandits a few days ago and was locked up in their cell. Today, I escaped while the fortress is in a turmoil but got lost and Takashi-sama, here saved me]
I was impressed with Noemi-chan’s quick wit, who looks like in her teens.
That reminds me elves in fantasy stories are always depicted as long-lived with age that belies their appearance. Perhaps she’s to old to be called with <chan>
Anyway, Aria seemed to be convinced by Noemi’s explanation. I gently bowed my head so that Noemi would be the only one to understand.