Interlude 1 Sefi and Alchemy
It's only been a week since that slightly unusual boy visited this store. It really hasn't been that long, is it~. Feels like I've known him loong before that.
When he timidly came inside the dim store, it reaally stimulated my protective instinct. But when we actually talked, he was stealing glances at my face and chest. And when I told him about that, he turned red, all sweaty and like, "Y-you knew?". *Chuckle*, I forgot who said it, but men's glances are very obvious to women you know~.
And before I realized, he has become something like a pupil in alchemy to me.
It started with the quest I put out at the Adventurer Guild. Before when I put a similar quest, the herbs were plucked haphazardly, the variety were mixed all over, and the adventurers who took the quest boasted they rooted out all the herbs they found. And despite that terrible job, they even demanded additional fee as a remuneration.
That's why I made the reward to change depending on the state of the herbs this time. The guild receptionist looked troubled when I submitted the quest description, but she let it be and even apologized when I explained why I did it. I'm glad that the one in charge was that senior girl. I mean, the younger ones would probably persist and not allow it~.
He took up that quest and came to this store with the herbs. I almost doubted my eyes back then~.
Going as far as separating Maji Grass and Para Grass that amateurs have a hard time distinguishing, and thoroughly storing them in cloths to protect the roots. And he had sorted them all in bunches. I mean, he brought quite a lot after all. I'd like the big dummies back then to learn from him.
I've come to really like this kid, uun, Nobu-chan at this time. I changed the quest to personal quest only for him too. He seemed to have an interest in alchemy and magic, and agreed to it if I taught him that, he said.
Oh my, he's better at negotiation than I thought, sometimes he showed adult sides in contrast to his appearance, how mysterious~.
Afterward, the alchemy class begun every time he came here with the herbs. And he's really really quick at learning. He went and mastered the basic of compounding while I stared in amazement you know~. According to the person himself, "I get some parts easy since those parts are similar to cooking. And Sefi-chan teaching is easy to understand too." he said. Onee-san is spoiled~.
Come to think of it, his looks are quite uncommon too. I think there's rumors saying he's from Hinoto Empire. I mean, black hair and black eyes are rare in this country. When I asked, "Where are you from~?", he turned evasive and said that he didn't really know cause he was an abandoned child. Bad baad boy, don't underestimate woman's intuition you know~. It was obvious from his gestures that he didn't want to talk about it~. Weell, I'm not one to talk though. I mean, I'm living while hiding my identity as a Lamia kin~.
It's only natural that everyone has something they hide, but I wonder why I feel a bit lonely about this.
A shocking question flew out of his mouth then.
『I'm wondering, just what kind of other races there are out there? I've seen animalkin and dwarves, but I don't know about the others. I knew from books that Lamia and Onifolks exist though....』
My heart almost leaped out of my mouth. Perhaps he noticed something somewhere~.
If he really did, I probably would have to leave this city I had been living for a long time. I'm not really fond of disputes. It was the same reason I lost my hometown.
The one other place that I could call my home had also been lost when demon king-sama passed away.
I knew without seeing first hand that my mother and siblings were dragged into power struggle after demon king-sama passed away.
I was trained since childhood in assassination techniques like mixing poisons, spear and magic handling for the sake of power struggle. I became well known amongst Lamia kin before I realized it. And I was forced to fight my family. Even if they're of the same tribe...
And when I got sick of such a family, I met demon king-sama. I was attracted to that person and his mysterious atmosphere. And before I was aware, I had disclosed what I had in mind. So easily to the point that it was like I was under some magic or something when I think about it now.
I was really young back then. Yet that person never forced me to participate in battle. I was made to make medicines to help everyone with alchemy as my main job. It was a moment of peace unrelated to my life up until then.
However, that life didn't last long. My real mother and siblings directly went to demon king-sama and demanded me. However, I had no intention at all to return to those people by that time.
Perhaps demon king-sama was aware of my resolution that he told me this.
『Sefilot, you're a very kind kid. But you would be dragged into this if you stay in this country. So you should hide yourself in a human country. I'll teach you the skills you need for that. And I'm sorry about this, but would you do two things for me in exchange?』
Even though I didn't understand why he would go that far for a lowly lamia like me, I decided to take up on that offer.
Demon king-sama teleported me to a forest in the outskirts of Gramada. Near a small hut.
As requested by demon king-sama, I put a plain paper entrusted to me and a magic rucksack on the desk inside the hut, and installed big barrier stones around the hut. I don't know what it's for, and I don't think I should scrutinize either. That's why I went toward Gramad without looking back.
Afterward, I was active as an adventurer and built this store after amassing some fortune.
And then one day, I heard news about the death of demon king-sama.
I could do nothing but looked down, unable to even repay his kindness. That was exactly one of his requests. It's an unchangeable future. So please, don't worry about it.
I was sobbing like I had turned back to my child self, wasn't I~. But it's weird, I wonder if demon king-sama knew about his assassination. There's no way to find out about that now though.
<TLN: If you're reading this novel at any other site than Sousetsuka .com you might be reading an unedited, uncorrected version of the novel.>
"Sefi-san. You locked the front door again. Ah, I've brought the herbs again, let's go and process it okay."
Nobu-chan's voice came from the back door. I see, the reason why I felt like he was a close old acquaintance was because he feels a bit similar to that person.
I wonder if he would you stay like this even after knowing my true form?
If possible, I'd love that future. I only hope for a place of repose~.
Well, leaving all that stuff asides, I just like Nobu-chan so much I want to eat him~.
Ufufu, you can't run away from one-chan you know~, No-Bu-Chan.