Chapter 30 A Journey Going Downstream (Lapisia's Level Up)
A refreshing clear morning.
Celica, Lapisia and I went to the river inside the capital with luggage on our backs. It's a branch of a large river.
Several ships are moored to the wharf, people are loading and unloading cargo.
We approached one of the ships.
The ship carrying more people than luggage. Half of the hull is covered by a roof.
It's a ship that looks like a pleasure boat that could carry around 50 people.
I talk to a man who seems to be the boatman while showing him the 【Emblem of Hero】.
"I'd like to go to Drias, does this ship go there?"
"Ou, aren't you Hero-sama. Yeah it does. The fare is three gold coins for an adult, two for a child. Add another piece if you've got a lot of baggage. Since Hero-sama isn't carrying a lot, two coins for three people will be fine."
"Understood. Celica, pay him."
Celica hands over two mid gold coins and two small gold coins.
"Hee. So these are mid gold coins. As expected of Hero-sama. --Oops there, d'you have food with you?"
"We have enough for three days."
"That's just right. It's gonna take three days until Drias. Hop on board."
I'm relieved inwardly.
--Looks like we can make it in time for the festival.
We got on the pleasure boat.
The ship is long and narrow.
There's around 20 passengers on board. They're sitting on their own places.
I look at the bank and say.
"Lapisia, careful with your footing."
She jumps onto the ship with fluttering dress. Her slender legs are shown to the root.
We went under the roof.
A merchant-like man and an adventurer-like woman are leaning on the wall inside.
There's a girl carrying a huge bag in the back.
Hiding her triangular ears under a hat.
"....Minya. What are you doing."
Her black tail raised straight up when I called her.
She's staring inquiringly from under her hat.
"Running away from home."
"....Haa. The old man will get mad."
"I'm just traveling alone. Meeting Keika-Oniichan is just... a coincidence."
"Like I'd buy that! Haa."
Looks like she ran away from home on her own since she couldn't get the permission.
This stubbornness must be from the old man.
"Would you go back home if I told you so?"
"Nn... I'm going to continue traveling alone."
I'm thinking a bit.
She's probably going to get on the next ship even if I drive her away now.
If that happens she'd be alone in the bustling port town. And there would be more people due to the festival, it'd be hard for me to locate her.
Besides, there are people who despise beastfolk in this country. If she got found out by people like that, they might take her to the back alley and let her experience something painful.
....It's too dangerous to leave her alone.
The boatman's voice can be heard.
"We're departing soon! Anyone else who want to get to Drias~?"
Several sailors start to unfasten the ropes in a hurry.
Celica sat next to Minya.
"You'll apologize to Kinmerick-san once we're back okay."
"....Will you take me along if I do?"
Minya's big round eyes are looking up at me. Staring without blinking.
I sigh for many times.
"Fine. But don't do anything dangerous got it."
"Got it. ...--Keika-Oniichan."
She hugs me as I'm standing on my knees. The swelling chest is pushed against my thighs.
I only noticed Minya's trembling body at that time.
--She must have felt lost.
She couldn't possibly know whether she would meet me or if she would be allowed to go together with us.
I smile while feeling amazed.
I gently pat Minya's back as she buries her face on my stomach.
"Don't act this rashly again okay."
She nods and sniffs.
Her tail is swinging happily even though she's crying.
I took out the 【Emblem of Hero】 and put Minya in the hero party.
And I asked someone in the pier to deliver a letter for the old man at the tavern.
The content informs him that I'll take Minya along and protect her.
I'm sure he's worried.
And then the ship left the bank.
Passing through a water gate, entering a large river.
It's speeding up in the middle of the several hundred meters wide river.
I leaned on the side of the boat while viewing the splendid scenery.
A calm flowing large river.
Gazing at the gleaming surface of the water while letting my fluttering hair in the wind.
A gray waterfowl flew quickly riding on the wind.
The figure of a river, different from a brook. It makes you feel better just by gazing at them.
The inboard became noisy all of a sudden.
A man shouts.
"Oy, this girl doesn't look good!"
"What's with this girl. Is she going to explode!?"
When I looked at the voice, I saw Lapisia in her white dress crouching down in the middle of the ship. Her blue twintail is spread like a fan, her body is rounded up and trembling.
Her small body is emitting blinking white light.
The interval of that blinking does make it look like she's going to explode.
Celica calls out to Lapisia with a flustered voice.
"What's happening!? Pull yourself together, Lapisia-chan."
"Lapisia, what's wrong?"
I rushed up and held her small shoulders.
And I stare her with <<Truth Sight>>.
The thing's different than the usual was the 【Job: Mother Earth God Lv1】.
This what makes her blink.
I squint my eyes to see the details.
『Mother Earth God Lv2 (Level Up Requirement - Be separated from the earth) 【Achieved/Unachieved】』
Her body blinks every time it alternates between 'Achieved' and 'Unachieved' .
You mean Lapisia's level up isn't from experience point but by accomplishing a requirement!
We're on a ship here. It's on a river, not the earth.
The requirement should have been achieved.
I look at Lapisia's condition.
Lapisia is trembling.
"Scary... scary... mom's not here."
--Ah, it's not that she's got to be physically separated, but mentally separated from her mother huh.
I gently pat Lapisia's back of the head and persuade her.
"Lapisia. Listen to me."
"Do you understand why you feel scary when you left the earth?"
"....Cause mom isn't here?"
"Wrong. ...That's because Lapisia doesn't know anything about river."
"On the other hand, you know everything about the earth. That's why you feel at ease when you're on the ground or a building. Then what should you do to understand the river?"
Lapisia strongly shook her head. Her blue twintail was rustling.
"Lapisia doesn't know."
"You just get to know the other party. You won't get scared if you know
about the river. If you want more--then you should make friend with river."
"Friend with river...."
"I love rivers. I'd love it if Lapisia also does. You'd need to open your eyes to do that. Look straight at the other party."
Lapisia stopped trembling.
I lift Lapisia's small body and bring her to the side of the boat.
Lapisia is tightly gripping my Wafuku's sleeves and collar.
"Don't worry, I won't let you go.... Look, it's blue and beautiful right?"
Lapisia's golden eyes open wide as she stares at the undulating water surface.
Waterfowls nimbly crossed the river through the sky, fish jumped from between the waves.
"You're right. The earth brings up living beings, as do the river."
Lapisia separated herself from me and leaned forward on the side of the boat. Her skirt is rolled up, her underwear can be seen.
I tightly hold her thin bare feet and waist to keep her from falling.
Lapisia timidly extends her hand at the water surface with her upper body completely off the boat.
And then she touches it.
Her white thin fingers twine around the blue water. A line is running on the water surface as if it's been cut.
"A bundle of water born in the mountain that flows to the sea. That's a river."
Lapisia turned around and laughed with a smile.
An intense white light emitted from her body right at that moment.
PING, a sound came up.
『Member Lapisia leveled up』
『Acquired new Skills』
Job: Mother Earth God Lv2 (Level Up Requirement - Love the sea)
Class: Healer - God Art User
Element: 【Good Harvest】【Radiant Soil】【Sacred Ground】
Strength: 50,000 (20,000) (+0) Growth Limit ∞
Agility: 30,000 (10,000) (+0) Growth Limit ∞
Magic: 120,000 (20,000) (+0) Growth Limit ∞
Wisdom: 50,000 (10,000) (+0) Growth Limit ∞
Luck: 999 (+0) Growth Limit ∞
Earth Vigor Concentration: Collect the power of earth, giving it to oneself or another god. Attack power x Lv value.
The requirement for the next level up is sea huh. Looks like she needs to love the sea without getting afraid of it.
That means a swimming beach.
This is just right as we're going to a port town.
"But still, you learned some amazing skill. This'd be a threat when you leveled up more."
"I have high hope of you. You're not afraid anymore right?"
"Hm? What's wrong? You don't look well y'know?"
Lapisia's childish face turns pink as she's squirming.
The hem of her skirt was rolled up and her underwear was showing since she leaned herself toward the river, but now she's desperately trying to fix it.
"Ke-Keika.... Put me down."
I put her down on the deck.
She meekly fixes the wrinkles on her white dress and the hem with her small hands.
After that was over, Lapisia fidgeted and said.
"L-Lapisia doesn't wanna get seen so much nano."
"But it's fine if it's Keika."
Her face reddened to the ears and then she trotted like a girl toward Minya. The blue twintail is flowing behind.
--....It's like the naughty kid suddenly felt shyness?
Don't tell me she's grown up by leveling up?
But I feel like this is something for parents to do.
I might have been forced with some troublesome task here.
But just how far will she grow I wonder.
The chest too?
In general, goddesses of harvest have a huge chest after all.
....But what if she becomes like the dogu.
<TLN: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogū >
For now I'm looking forward to Lapisia's growth. In various meanings.
Of course, I'd still protect her no matter how she becomes.
While thinking that, this time I'm the one shining.
『Learned Skill 【Cover】.』
『【Hero】 is added to the Class』
Wtih this, the hero skills have been released.
The tree does not only have Hero skills, but also other job's and common skills and magic included.
I probably won't use them since I'm already strong as a god.
Anyway, now I'm a step closer to the secret of hero. All is good.
Celica is sitting next to me on the side of the boat. The wind is blowing her blond hair.
"Is everything alright Keika-sama?"
"No worries. It went well. Lapisia just leveled up."
"Is that so. I'm glad."
She smiled and sighed in relief while controlling the raging blond hair with her supple hands.
"Right. Is there a swimming beach in Drias?"
"Swimming beach.... What is that?"
"Lapisia needs to swim in the sea for her next level up. Isn't there any place we can swim at?"
"Eh.... There is no one who would swim in the sea that's full of monsters."
I reflexively shout.
"What! Then that means there's no swimsuits either!?"
"Swimsuits? What is that?"
Celica quizzically blinked with her long eyelashes.
I'm at my wits end.
"No way! Sea is all about swimsuit....! Bikini is mankind's greatest invention--this country is a mistake!"
"....Keika-sama, you're thinking of something indecent aren't you?"
"What are you saying.... What is so bad about admiring beautiful objects.... Kuh!"
"I don't really understand, but do your best, Keika-sama. I'm sure that Keika-sama will be able to do it."
Celica smiled with a kind light in her eyes.
I groaned while thinking a way to do something about it.