Chapter 119 – Majolica – Part five
“Here is the key.
How long will you be staying?”
“Twenty two days, at least to start with.
If I don’t pay when the time comes, please extend it another twenty days.
Can I pay by card?”
“Yes, no problem.
But is there any reason why you won’t extend it personally?”
“I might be in the dungeon at the time.
I haven’t really made plans yet.”
Then I will keep that in mind and put the contract together.
But please come see me at least once within a hundred days.
If you can’t, you can send someone to represent you.
Just make sure to have the representative bring something that tells me you sent them.
If you can’t follow this procedure, I’m going to have to terminate the contract.”
I’m renting a house with four bedrooms.
A gold coin for twenty days… It would be cheaper to stay in an inn if it was just us, but oh well.
“Let’s go then.”
I say, and the younger kid is surprised, and hiding behind Mia.
The older one looks exasperated, but follows me.
The first thing to do is to clean this place.
And you two need a bath.
I have Hikari and Sera go out to buy clothes, and Mia give them a bath, although I’m the one who cleans the tub and warms the water.
I’m impressed by how swiftly she undresses them, and she gets mad at me for looking.
In the meantime, I do what I can.
Check things around the kitchen and clean rooms.
We have furniture, but not enough.
We don’t have enough beds for example, but I already knew about that, and we’re going out to buy what we need tomorrow.
Sera and Hikari come back while I’m cleaning, so I tell them where the bath is.
But Hikari starts cleaning right away, and very well, like she’s used to it.
It’s like her body knows how to do it, even though she herself is surprised by it.
When the two finish their bath, they’re unrecognizable.
Their disheveled hair is neat, and so are their faces.
Their clothes aren’t exactly the right size, but that’s to be expected.
This is Hikari, and this is Sera.”
I’m sure they already know Mia.
I introduce myself while kneeling, so I can look them in the eyes.
I think I remember hearing that you should do this with kids.
Although technically our eyes aren’t really meeting, because I have a mask on…
“H-hum, I’m Elsa, and this is Alto.”
“Are you two brother and sister?”
“No, we’re not.
We are not.
But we used to be together a lot, so…”
Did Mia tell you what’s going on?”
“Yes, she did.”
“I don’t expect you to be able to do everything right from the start.
Mia is the same.”
Elsa looks up at Mia, who seems embarrassed and turns away.
You’re going to be living together, so I’m sure they would find out sooner or later, Mia.
“You can take your time learning.
And Alto, you’re younger than Elsa, so there’s probably less you can do compared to her, but no one’s going to get mad at you for not being able to do something, so I don’t want you to quit just because of that.
Are you up for it?”
Alto looks at me, or rather, my mask, and nods.
I ask how old they are, and learn that they’re eight and five.
I think they’re a little small for their ages, and Mia confirms it by saying she also thinks they’re smaller than average.
I’m sure that’s down to poor nutrition.
Their arms and legs look thin too, like they would break if I grabbed them a little strongly.
I give Mia instructions, and she tells them to sweep and scrub the bedrooms.
I ask Sera to do one of the rooms too, while I drain the water from the bathtub and fill it again with magic.
I can heat the water just before it’s used, so I let it sit like this for now.
The house has a small backyard, but it looks like it’s been neglected.
I guess the people that rented this place before didn’t care about it, because there’s weeds all over the place.
We can leave this for tomorrow too.
It doesn’t look like we’d finish today.
After cleaning the house to a certain extent, we take a break and go shopping.
We need pots and plates to use here, and along the way we notice we need forks too.
We also need blankets and spare clothes.
The ones they’re wearing are already dirty because they’ve been cleaning.
For now, I can cast purification magic.
We go back after we finish shopping, and there’s a person I know standing in front of the house.
“Where did Sora go!? We went through the trouble of finding this place, and then we get here…”
“Big sister, please be quiet.
Think of the neighbors.”
It’s a noisy Leila and a levelheaded Casey.
“How did you find us?”
“We stopped by the inn, and were told you left.
I figured you were going to follow up on your plans to rent a house, so I asked the merchant guild.”
And they told you? Is that really the kind of information that should be passed along so casually?
“Let’s not talk here.
I invite them in and let Mia and the others handle what we bought.
“H-hum, who are those two?”
Leila asks as she sits down.
I explain why the two kids are here.
In a way, they’re the reason why I decided to rent this place.
I see Mia is still the same.”
Leila looks at Elsa and Alto with a certain gentleness in her eyes, but she quickly sits up straight and asks another question.
“You said you are going to challenge the dungeon, correct? What are they going to do in the meantime? They have been living alone, but aren’t you concerned?”
I could ask Mia to stay, but I want her to experience the dungeon too.
There’s a lot to learn there like self-defense, how to handle magic, and all sorts of other things.
And I want her to level up too.
And it doesn’t seem like Mia herself feels any differently.
“I think I know someone who might be able to look after them.
Should I ask them?”
I should probably rely on her.
If I have to look for someone myself, I’ll have to ask the merchant guild, because I don’t have any connections here.
And I can trust someone Leila knows more than a stranger.
And I’d appreciate it if you asked how much it would cost me.”
Are we not friends? Did you not save my life?”
She refuses when I offer to pay.
I look at Casey, but she tells me to just give up.
I don’t remember doing anything that important, but if it makes Leila happy, I’ll leave this up to her.
Somehow I feel like Leila is too stubborn to back down.
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