Chapter 09 – The Encounter

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In a blink of an eye, 2 years had passed since I started living with Chelsea.

While taking in the common sense of this world from Chelsea, I was on friendly terms with the people from the town thanks to the usual visit I’ve made to sell off the herbs and fruits I gathered from the forest.

And at times, I went to Lydia’s to play and help her with the cleaning of orphaned rooms.
I also did things like having mock battles with the fairies using my full power, teaching tricks to Kotarou, etc.

I was living a fulfilling everyday life that the matter with Asahi and my former classmates seemed like a thing of a distance memory.

It was on a random day, that Chelsea once again stepped into the spotlight of my life.

“So Ruri, what’s your plan for the future?” -Chelsea

“My plans for the future?” -Ruri

“It’s been 2 years since you came here.
You were talking about wanting to take revenge and whatnot, but it doesn’t seem like you’ll be doing that anytime soon. Shouldn’t you start thinking about how you’ll live your life here in this world?” -Chelsea

“But it’s not decided that I won’t be able to return…” -Ruri

“Then why won’t you ask the fairies?
They’ve been in this world since its inception. There’s no better person to ask about this.
You should accept the reality of things already.” -Chelsea

Being thrown with such heavy words, guilty me can’t help but avert Chelsea’s gaze.

It’s not that I won’t ask the fairies about this. I can’t.
What if the answer given was that ‘it isn’t possible’…

I was holding the faint hope that it is possible to return to my previous world.

“You understand, don’t you?” -Chelsea

“……” -Ruri

The fairies knew that I wanted to go back. But not once had they touched upon that subject, which in itself was already a statement.

However, I tried to not think much about it.

I have a family back home.
I have friends that I made in the college I studied so hard to enter, that was free from Asahi’s grip.
It wasn’t a life I could just forget after living here for 2 years.

I was trying to escape reality, still thinking that this place may just be a dream.

Deep inside, I know that what I’m doing is wrong.

I cannot squander the good will of Chelsea any further.

“I know that things can’t continue the way it is. I cannot always depend on Chelsea-san.” -Ruri

“I don’t actually mind it you know? Instead of living all alone, it would be more fun to live with Ruri after all.
It’s just that I’m worried for you.
I’m not sure if it’s really alright to keep you here in this forest, with you running from reality.” -Chelsea

I felt a warm fuzzy feeling inside me when I heard that.
It’s all because of Chelsea here who was always earnestly worried about my wellbeing, that I had a peaceful 2 years.

“… I really don’t know what I should do…” -Ruri

“Can I bother you with an errand then?” -Chelsea

“Something in the town?” -Ruri

“Nope. The capital.” -Chelsea

I was surprised by the unexpected answer.

“Just so happen that my son told me to send him some herbs, so I was thinking of having you to go in my stead. Feel free to look around the capital while you are at it.” -Chelsea

“Me alone?” -Ruri

“Yeah. I’ve sent my regard and told my son to take care of you while you’re there. Take this time to look around the capital and see how life goes on over there.
You might just find the answer on how you should proceed in the future.” -Chelsea

***

Just like that, I bid farewell to Chelsea while holding onto the Herbs and letters intended for her son.

“Be careful on your trip over.” -Chelsea

“Ok~” -Ruri

“Fumo, fumo~” -Kotarou

As if saying ‘I wanna go with you too’, Kotarou shrinks his large body and rubbed his nose on me.

“I’m sorry. I can’t bring you along with me because of your size. If I did, there’d be a huge uproar. I promise that I’ll come back for you, so in the meantime be a good boy and help out with Chelsea in my stead.” -Rur

“Bumou~” -Kotarou

After seeing a lonely looking Kotarou released a cry and walk to Chelsea’s side, I flew to the sky.

“I’ll be off then.” -Ruri

Waving goodbye, I started my journey to the Capital.

After 2 years time, I naturally learned how to fly in the air. I got so proficient that just recently, I didn’t even need to ride on Chelsea anymore. I was able to fly all the way to the Town by myself.

That said, I had to take breaks in between for the multiple-day-journey to the capital. Although my current possible top speed is quite fast, the distance to the Capital is just that far.

It wasn’t like I was in a rush or anything, so the trip felt more like a tour.
The capital had more of a ‘western’ feeling in its architecture. When I walked on the stone paved walkway, It felt more like I was in a trip oversea.

If the people walking around me was all in their human form, I might even mistake this place as my previous world. But I was reminded of the fact that I wasn’t when I saw people with animal ears and tails, and faces that of a beast or animal everywhere.

From the scale of the place to the number of people, the capital was bigger than any other town I’ve visited in this world since my arrival.
In such a place, If I was to let the fairies cling on me, there would be an even bigger uproar than the one I had experienced in the town. As so, I told the fairies to follow me at a distance.

The voice of dissatisfaction that came from the fairy was so overwhelming the I reluctantly got a huge robe that would cover me in whole and let a few fairies that won in rock-scissor-paper hide in it.
Because I gave my wig to Kotarou who looked so sad, I covered my head with the hood of the robe.

Staying in the capital cost money. So the first matter of business is the acquisition of money.

The thing I am planning on selling is something passed down from Lydia’s previous contractor, a gun. The gun was something Lydia holds no sentimental value at all, so It was alright to sell it off. Plus, I’ve no use for a gun which is too big for my size anyway, so I’ll take this chance to turn it into cash.

Because demi-human have a sharp sense, I told the fairies to cancel off their presence and entered the weapon shop that Chelsea had recommended me.

“Welcome! What could I do for you?”

“I have something I want to sell. I heard from Chelsea-san that this shop is trustworthy.” -Ruri

“Oh, you’re an acquaintance of Chelsea? I haven’t seen her for a while. Is that old lady well and all?”

“Yeah. Lively as ever.” -Ruri

“That’s great to hear.”

Without wasting time, I placed the gun I took out from the alternate space on the counter. The weapon shop owner was surprised with the sudden reveal of the gun.

“What do we have here! This is a really old relic of a gun. But the handicraft, not to mention the pristine condition it is in, this is quite the gun. How did you get your hand on such a gem?”

I couldn’t tell him that I had received this from the time fairy. When the shopkeeper saw my pained expression of not being able to say the truth, he gave an understanding nod. I’m pretty sure whatever he thinks the reason is, it’s not it.

“Perhaps it was the mischief of the fairy?”

“The mischief of the fairy?”

“Where without any reason, things you don’t remember having appears in your own alternate space. From national level items to garbage, things that used to be owned by people who had died and had their alternate space forever destroyed just mysteriously appears in your own alternate space. It is said to be the work of some fairy that was playing a prank or something.”

I think I remember hearing Lydia said, that before she destroys a space, she’ll toss the items from it to some other people’s space.
I’m sure that harmless action is what the people from outside call the mischief of the fairy.

(That Lyria… So she’s been doing something like that since long ago…)

“You’re lucky, young lady. Just once, I would like to experience the mischief of the fairy too.”

“Ahaha”

He couldn’t be any more wrong, so I cracked a laugh to deflect from the truth.

“This is quite troubling. I would really like to buy this off your hand because you are an acquaintance of that old lady, but…”

“Is it no good?” -Ruri

“This gun fetches a very high price. Unfortunately, a small shop like mine does not have the required amount of cash on hand to make that transaction.”

After saying that, the weapon shop owner closed shop and lead me to a bigger shop in the shopping district.

I was amazed by what transpired after.

It was a fierce battle between the shopkeeper who wanted to buy the gun at a cheap price and the weapon shop owner who was trying to squeeze as much value out of the gun as possible.
In the end, with a single ‘then I’ll take my business elsewhere’, the gun was sold at a price where one could live lavishly for years.

“Here you go! Told you that something like this is a piece of cake for me.”

“T-thank you very much!” -Ruri

The shop owner handed me the money filled drawstring bag with a satisfied smile.

Considering the fact that I would’ve easily given in to the pressure and accept the cheaper offer, I tried to give part of the sale to the shop owner. However, he refused to accept the money and said he would prefer my future patronage to his store. After calming myself, I gave him a deep bow and said my goodbye.

Things were going great… until I encountered the 2 thugs.

“Hey there sweetheart. Why don’t you come play with us?”

“Quite the fortune you have there sweetie. Why not share some of it with us?”

It seems that they overheard the haggling session in the marketplace, and after seeing the shop owner passing the money to a weak looking me, I was targetted.
Well, can’t blame them. A big transaction like that was bound to catch the attention of people.

The shop owner should have expected a situation like this. But because he was so engrossed in his victory, he had forgotten about the possibility of such danger.

I kept walking backward in an attempt to shake off the pursuit of the thugs. At some point, I found myself in a situation where I was alone with them.

(Ah, this might be bad.)

This might be the second time I had this feeling of dread, that my life is in danger, ever since I was thrown into the forest. I was also in a different sense worried about the movement of the fairies in my robe.

(Wah~ Wait!~)

While suppressing the movement of the fairies by pushing down on my robe, I did the ‘What’s that over there?!’ gag to distract the thugs.
With the thugs falling for the oldest trick in the book, I slipped through the gaps between the thugs and ran as fast as I could.

“Ah! Stop there you!”

“Like hell will I do that!!” -Ruri

During the time I spent running and making turns in the back alley, I could hear voices of some really ominous nature coming from under my robe.

『Ruri’s enemy is our enemy, right?』

『Let’s finish them.』

『Yeah! Destroy them.』

“No means no!”

The warnings Chelsea gave me before I left flashed in my mind.
‘The fairies move according to how you feel. If it’s for you, they will take excessive actions. Danger lurks in every corner of the city, so try to keep out of danger and keep their actions in check.’

(It’s impossible to ‘keep their action in check’ Chelsea!!)

Because of my contract with Lydia, not only was I able to sense the presence of the fairies in my robe, I too could sense the presence of fairies from everywhere else. A lot of that presences were starting to gather around my location.

(thisisbadthisisbadthisisbad)

Not to mention that this is my first time here in the capital. I had no idea of the geography for this place.
I was aiming at reaching the main road with a lot of people, but somehow only manage to get deeper into the dark alley.

In the other hand, the thugs were very well versed with the roads in the capital. I was nearing my limit.

Forced by the situation, I took out a ball-shaped item from my alternate space and threw it onto the pathway as soon as I turned to a corner.

I closed my eyes and held my breath. Shortly after that, a bright flash and smoke could be seen coming out from the previous pathway I was at.

After a while, I went back and was greeted with 2 unconscious thugs and a very very putrid odor.

“Ugh…” -Ruri

I wasn’t the only one that was taken aback by the foul smell. The fairies that couldn’t take the smell spread out in an instant and their presence faded away.

The item that was given to me by Lydia was to be used to protect myself during my visit in the Capital. Once thrown, the ball would release a bright flash of light and a very foul smell which should act as a deterrent against the demi-humans with sensitive senses.

However, It was proved to be a little bit too effective as I was affected by it as well.

“I feel sick…” -Ruri

I regretted not putting up a barrier beforehand.
In order to not cause a disturbance, I used wind magic to disperse the smell in one puff.

“I hope they’re not dead…” -Ruri

I don’t think that they’ll die from just the smell, but when they weren’t moving at all, I started worrying.
It was then when I hear the sound of someone snickering. I turned to the source of the sound.

A person in black that had his face hidden behind a cloth, with only his impressional deep green eyes showing was standing there.
On his hip, a long sword was sheathed. The person couldn’t be any more suspicious.

“Who are you?” -Ruri

“I saw someone getting chased by some thugs and decided to follow behind.”

After hearing that, I relaxed a bit.

“You were going to save me?” -Ruri

“I suppose that was not needed.”

The man gave a look at the downed thugs in front of me.

I had a conflicted feeling about that. If you wanted to save me, couldn’t you do it earlier? Like, before I released this smelly bomb thingy?

The smell was THAT smelly.

“…What a splendid job.”

“Why, thank you.” -Ruri

I totally thought that he was talking about me defeating the thugs. But I was proved wrong when he started touching my hair with his hand.

I just realized that the golden hair I had hidden under the hood was showing its face to the world when I accidentally let it loose during my chase by the thugs.

This is really bad.

In my mind, words like human trafficking, slaves trading, suspicious guy in front of me was making its round. A sense of danger was hitting me nonstop.

I was almost robbed. There’s no definite prove that the person in front of me right now is safe.
In a back alley without the presence of other people, It’s hard to trust the suspicious person with only his eyes visible.

“I-I have something urgent to do, see ya!” -Ruri

“Ah wait…”

I didn’t stop for the voice behind me.
Although he didn’t come after me, I continued to take my distance from him. I basically ran.

***

Meanwhile, we have Chelsea that had given Ruri her farewell.

“I wonder if Ruri is alright…” -Chelsea

She made another sigh which adds up to god knows how many in total for today.

“I should’ve gone to Klaus’s side with her. Although she’s smart, she sometimes does things that prove otherwise…” -Chelsea

Although it was her idea to let Ruri go alone, she was having buyers remorse.

After living with Ruri for 2 years, she was something akin to a mother to her.
Chelsea only had sons in her family, and because the children of the dragon race have strong bodies since birth, they live by the code of liberal upbringing.

Compared to the Dragon race, Ruri was weak.
Chelsea was more worried about Ruri than she ever did for her sons.
Although the fairies with tremendous magical powers were with Ruri, that in itself was contributing to the worries Chelsea has for Ruri.

In truth, Chelsea didn’t want Ruri to leave the house.
If Ruri wanted to hold on to the faint hope of being able to return to her own world, she could’ve let her wait until such discovery was made.

The lifespan of the dragon race is long. And so should be of the Ruri with an extraordinary amount of magic powers within her when compared to a normal human being.
There was a lot of time for her to sort out her mind.

But the situation was not looking good considering the information her grandson Joshua had gathered about Nadarsia.

The Shrine Maiden summoned by Nadarsia is looking for her friend.
She lamented the loss of her friend by claiming the Dragon Kingdom had kidnapped her.
Nadarsia hid the fact and used her to their advantage and more.
The latest intel was that Nadarsia used the front ‘for the sake of saving your best friend’ to manipulate the Shrine Maiden and is preparing for a war against the Dragon Kingdom.

“Nadarsia just never learns… That said, that girl Asahi… she’s either an idiot or just too trusting of people. Does she not notice the trouble she’s causing to her surrounding by doing anything she wants without considering the consequences? Does she not know she’s being used at all?” -Chelsea

Either she’s blind to her surrounding, or she just believes what she wants to believe.
When your best friend goes missing, shouldn’t you doubt the very people of the country you are in before blaming others?

According to the report, Asahi hated studying. She didn’t even try to learn about the country called Nadarsia let alone the Dragon Kingdom.
Quite the leap of conclusion for her to make claiming that the Dragon Kingdom is the bad guy here.
As Chelsea was affiliated with the Dragon Kingdom, she was understandably mad.

For an outsider like Chelsea, it was so obvious that the whole thing was only a farce concocted by Nadarsia.
That’s to say, Asahi is the perfect puppet for Nadarsia as she believes everything and doubts nothing.

Chelsea hasn’t told Ruri anything about this.
The reason for that is because Ruri will no doubt go over to Nadarsia herself to complain and probably rain fire in the process.

In order to prevent that, Chelsea had Ruri learn about the consequences that would bring about by her actions (T/N: Fairies go trigger happy). There’s also the thing about letting her sort out her life going forward in this world.
In any case, for the truth about Nadarsia framing the Dragon Kingdom for Ruri’s abduction to come to light, It would be better to make it so that Ruri meet up with Asahi.

In order to let her know how big of an influence the fairy around her and the magic power within her have in this world, It would be best to let her meet with people she never got to meet.
Be it the innocence common people, politicians, or people with ulterior motives, meeting them says more than what a simple explanation could in a huge margin.

If anything, Chelsea just wanted Ruri to learn not to act on her feeling that would cause the fairy to run wild.

But that comes with its own danger…

“I’d better check up on her once in a while.” -Chelsea

So was a troubled Chelsea.

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