Chapter 40 – Wagon repair

“Ah, excuse me nyanne.
My nyame is Nekoko Catwalker, a traveling salesman Cat Sith nyanne.
Let’s get along free of charge nyanne.”

“Ah… Hello.
I am Chrom, and I am El’s childhood friend.”

A female friend of my childhood friend.
It feels kind of awkward.

It looks like we’re the same age, but I can’t help but start speaking politely.

“Anya~… So you’re that Chrom nyanne?”

“That?”

I tilt my head.

Nekoko slowly walks towards me, and starts going around me and smelling me.

“Nyamu… This smell feels nice and warm nyanne.
But it also feels rich and refined like an old clock nyanne.
It’s a weird smell, like two smells blended together nyannne.
Nyafuu… I might end up liking it nyanne~.”

“H-hum…?”

Someone I just met is commenting on my smell like some sort of sommelier.

She just keeps smelling me for a while, until… She suddenly claps her hands like she’s satisfied.

“I knew it nyanne.
It’s the smell that’s always on Miss Ellunya nyanne.
So he’s that Chrom nyanne?”

“Fufufu~.
Yes, he’s that Chrom!”

El looks proud for some reason.

“What do you mean ‘that’…?”

“Miss Ellunya is always bragging about how her boyfriend Chrom did this and that nyanne.”

“Bo…!? It’s not like that…!”

“But Miss Ellunya, I sense the smell of a mating season even more than usual on you nyanne.
Is this a date nyanne?”

“Hneh!? N-nyot are you saying nyanne!?”

“El, she’s infecting you.”

El gets flustered, and Nekoko has a mischievous smile on her face.
She’s having fun teasing El.

“But… The Chrom Miss Ellunya keeps talking about sounded stronger and cooler nyanne.
The real thing looks weak and like he has a low annual income nyanne?”

“C-Chrom isn’t weak! And his annual income isn’t low!”

“It’s actually zero…”

“Nyan nyan.
Cat Sith can understand people very well just by smelling them nyanne.
And Miss Ellunya looks like the type to get tricked for free by bad guys nyanne.”

“Muu…”

“I-it’s all right El, I don’t care.”

El starts puffing her cheeks and I rush to step in the middle.

(Well… She’s right in a way.)

I have memories of the future, but my body is still the one from when I was a failure.

Thanks to my distorted magic circuits, my magic energy is zero and I can’t use normal magic.
If she’s gauging my strength by just smelling it, it makes sense that she feels I’m weak.

(Still… What an interesting ability.)

Can Nekoko’s sense of smell… Be used to find ‘that’?

I’ll have to keep that in mind.

“More importantly, it looked like something was troubling you, Nekoko.”

Anyway, I don’t want the mood to turn bad because they’re talking about me, so I change the subject.

Something’s been on my mind for a while.

“Nya… Well…”

Nekoko’s ears droop, and it looks like this is hard for her to say.

“…One of the wagon’s wheels is broken nyanne.”

She says while pointing to a broken wheel next to the wagon.

The giant cat attached to the wagon was so impactful, that I didn’t look at the back… It looks like the wagon is being supported by a wooden box.

“It won’t go anywhere like this, will it…”

“Nyanne…”

Nekoko sighs.

“It’s been raining a lot nyanne? The wheel got stuck in mud and got all bendy nyanne.
Freshness is everything when it comes to flowers, but now I can’t take them nyanne.”

There’s a saying around here, ‘the fourth month’s rain brings bread and wine’.
Everyone welcomes this season’s rain.

But for a merchant, I guess rain is a mortal enemy.

Wheels get stuck in dirt roads, and horseshoes and wheels become slippery on stone paved roads.
And wagons break very easily.

“Nya, Nekoko’ fail to honor her promise will haunt her for the rest of her life, but Miss Ellunya will have to go with another wagon, nyanne?”

Says Nekoko with some tears in the corners of her eyes.

“Eh? No, we can fix this.”

“Yes, Chrom is here, so it’s fine.”

“Nyanne?”

I crouch down near the wagon and check its state.

The wheel is broken, the metal ring has come off, the axle is bent… This would usually take a lot of work to fix.

However…

“So, is it really impossible nyanne?”

Asks Nekoko with uncertainty in her eyes, but I respond with a smile.

“No, it’s all right.
Are there any parts missing?”

“No nyanne.”

“By the way, when did it break?”

“…? About an hour ago nyanne.
Why do you ask nyanne?”

“Then there’s no problem.”

“Nyanne?”

Those are the two most important things when it comes to fixing things with time magic.
No parts are missing, and it hasn’t been long since it broke.

If these two conditions are met, it’s easy to fix anything no matter how badly it’s broken.

“‘Time, turn back’.”

I whisper, and a magic circle that looks like a dial of a watch appears.

This is the ‘Time Reversal’ technique used to roll back the time of a target.

The hands of the clock start moving counter-clockwise, and the broken wheel not only fixes itself, but it also returns to its place.

I hear what sounds like the gears snapping into place, and the wagon returns to ‘before it was broken’.

“Hum, is that good?”

“Nyanne!?”

Nekoko’s tail points up.

She goes around the wagon and checks its parts.

“Yes nyanne! This here is good too nyanne! Nyanne nyanne! Wow nyanne! It’s like the wagon’s new nyanne!”

That’s because I rolled its time back to when it was almost new.

It’s the least I could do, since El and I will be using it too.

“W-what did you do nyanne? I’ve never seen magic that fixes things so quickly nyanne.
And I didn’t smell any magic energy on you, so how come you can use magic nyanne?”

“Fufun.
I don’t really get it, but this is Chrom’s power!”

“I-I don’t get any of it either Nyanne.”

Nekoko’s tail forms a question mark.

“But as they say, a talented cat hides its claws nyanne.
Sorry for what I said earlier about you being weak and having poor annual income nyanne.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

“Anyway, let’s all get along free of charge nyanne♪.
And sell things together nyanne♪.
I can smell a lot of profit if I have you with me nyanne♪.”

“Y-yes.”

It’s a complete about-face.

She’s so crazy about money that… It actually goes back around in that it’s so pure that I can’t hate it.

“I’m glad you two managed to get along so quickly.”

“I’m not sure if that’s a good thing…”

Well, I guess I should try to form a positive relationship.

“Well then nyanne… How much for the repairs nyanne?”

Nekoko asks hesitantly.

“It’s going to be expensive, nyanne?”

“No, you don’t have to pay anything.”

“Nyanne!?”

“Just keep being good to El.”

“…You sound like an old man nyanne.”

“O-old…”

“Then, as a thank you… I’ll let you squish my hands free of charge for one day nyanne.”

“You usually charge for that?”

“Of course nyanne♪.
Money is god nyanne♪.”

I feel like I have this girl figured out.

So, after a little disturbance, we get on Nekoko’s wagon, and head to the capital.

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