Chapter 73 Elf and Half Elf
After finishing up sowing first seeds in the garden, I ask the two assistants I had.
"Since we're done with the garden sooner than expected, let's go take the baptism for Tino-chan this noon. Have you decided on which god you're requesting?"
"Un! I want the matching one with Nobu oniichan!!"
Well now, if that didn't make me happy. Even if I don't swing that way... whoa, not good, something got on me.
I'm fine with it personally, but is she really okay with no-goddess?
"Is that okay with you, Dilt-san?"
"Yes, not an insignificant number of us elves worship Levelitt-sama after all."
Apparently since elves have their longevity to boast, they have all the time in the world to polish their ability and growth. Hence choosing Levelitt opens up many possibilities, so she's comparatively popular. Yet she's apparently still not as popular as the other goddess though.
"Well then, once we're done with the baptism I'll introduce you to some kids your age I know. I'm sure you'd like to have friends near your age right. They're girls who work in an inn I stayed before, they're all good girls, I'm sure you'll get along with them."
Dilt-san looked worried for a bit but then she made her resolve for the sake of her daughter's future.
"I'd be lying if I said I'm not worried, but please if you would. Even though, as her mother, I don't want to see this child heartbroken, it's important to form connections if she were to live among people after all."
And so, it's an outing with Tino-chan.
She's put on a camouflage consisting of a hat and my handmade hooded poncho (cat eared) I've prepared beforehand. There's Tino-chan and Mitama ecstatic to see the cat eared hood. Then there's Futsuno-san who looks peeved somehow. I'll make a fox-eared one next time. Ah, Kagura-san, no I'm not gonna make a horned one. You can't put on horns unless you're a commander after all.
By the way, Kagura-san has stopped disguising herself and is now in her Onifolk form permanently. She's reported the matter to the guild as well. People were startled at first, but it should settle down in time. I'm gonna crush anyone persistently trying to pick a fight with her though!
"Million mani~♪ Million mani~♪ My purse is dramatic~♪"
We're holding hands together so she won't get lost. Tino-chan is bouncing around while humming a song. This girl is frolic, she must be thrilled to go out. But where did she hear that song anyway?
I walk trudgingly while showing her the stores around. Since I'm matching my steps with a child's, we're walking very slowly. I could let her board Hakumai, but she won't remember the area if she's not walking on her own feet, and thus it's turned into an outing of two people and one animal to introduce her to Boss-san and co. in case of emergency. For this occasion, Tama-chan has gotten on top of Tino-chan's head inside the hood. She'll contact me right away if anything happens.
"I have made my entrance!"
BANG!! I flung the door open and threw a thumb up. Infected by Tino-chan's high tension, I got too into it myself.
"Ou, that you Nobusada. What's... you, when did you make a child!?"
He ignored me just like that. No wait, hold it right there. The way you're saying it is like I made a robot or something.
"This girl is a daughter of our new employee at [Shut-in Lamia]. She might occasionally go out to run errands or something along the line. I was thinking, maybe she could run here and hunker down if anything were to happen."
"Oy oy, why would ya ask that to this old man."
I took her hood and hat to show Boss-san. He looked surprised to see her long ears, but he immediately got the message.
"And that's the circumstance. I think of Boss-san and the gang when I think of people I can trust."
"Humph, yer' like a magnet to trouble aren't ya. Geez, young lady, I'm Maurio. Nice to meetcha."
"My name is Tino. I'm currently staying at Nobu oniichan's place. Maurio ojichan, pleased to meet you."
Boss-san's scary face melted at Tino-chan blooming smile. The corners of your eyes are sloping down, y'know.
"Umu umu, come on right here if you're ever in trouble just like Nobusada told ya."
Boss-san gently patted her head with his rough hand. Alright, succeeded securing an ally.
<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.>
"Halt, this is Public Inspection!!"
"Weeeee, what's going on here Nobusada-san."
"Mind me not, just playing around as Shinsengumi."
Dumbfounded Bell with ??? above his head. Fumu, his complexions look good. Seems like he's been eating well. It's kinda like having a son who's gone to a big city.
"So you see. We're here today for this kid's baptism. C'mon help us out here, you look free anyway."
"Yes yes, leave it to me~ Huh? Is there something the matter young lady?"
Oho? Tino-san froze when she saw Bell.
"Nobu-oniichan. Is this person an elf too?"
Oh! I completely forgot about that since I had him pegged as a helpless kid, but this guy is actually a half-elf. Hohhohho, no no I'm going senile over here.
"Eh? Eh? 'This person, too'??"
She let down her hood and hat, then Bell was at a loss for words.
"Aa, aaaa, aaaaaaaa"
He's looking at Tino-chan while bawling his eyes out. Eventually he's turned into a sobbing mess clinging on her legs.
After 10 minutes, Bell seems to have calmed down and realized the situation he's in. He's earnestly apologizing with a red face, probably thinking that he's gone and done it.
"S-s-s-sorry. It was such a huge shock to me that I went and did something so unbecoming."
"It's okay, Tino doesn't mind either. Mom said that you'd feel better if you cry out when you're troubled."
Umu, Tino-chan ways of thinking are pretty grown up. Wonder if it's a fruit of Dilt-san's teachings.
Still, what's up with Bell-san. I never heard him talking about his upbringings though. Just thought that it'd be rude to ask him about the half thing too. I forgot all about that though.
"Thank you, you're far stronger than I am even though I'm older. I never know my mother's face since I'm an orphan you see. So when I saw Tino-san, a real elf, I overlapped the figure of my mother on you and ended with that..."
He's scrubbing his red eyes while speaking. Now that I think about it, Bell is a 14 year old. Yet he's thrust into a situation where he has to live alone without even knowing his parents, wonder if I could regard that as quite harsh.
Afterward, we listened to a bit of Bell's life story.
There was a half-elven baby abandoned in front of a Levelitt's temple in another town. That was Bell. (Since there was a letter found with him, [I beg of you, please give your guidances to this child. Forgive me for being a selfish mother], does that mean it's his mother that's an elf? Thus they guessed.)
The priest there took a pity on the abandoned baby and raised him as his own child. Fortunately, he has aptitudes as a priest class (I think it's thanks to his skills like Oracle and Divine Mingle), hence he underwent training as a priest instead of monk.
He was working in a suburb town near the capital, but from what I gathered from his story, people around him were apparently keeping their distance, so his foster parent appointed him to this town.
Living in an area predominantly filled with General Humans, there must have been many who outright showed him unpleasant looks for acting as a priest despite being a half elf. When even people who worship that no-goddess are this bad, wonder if it's even worse at other temples? Even while thinking, that's one hard life, I feel to heart the hardships he's gone through.
"Oh excuse me for the gloomy story. It's all right, I'm basking in joy right now, I can have meals every day I even forgot about those hard times."
Apparently, his situation was such that he was forced to learn water magic and acquired knowledge on plants and animals to get by. (Thanks to his senior apprentices harassment, he would often go on a day without food and stuff), since he couldn't trouble the priest he's indebted to any further, he learned water magic from books and gathered fruits and mushrooms between training, which turned into knowledge about plants and animals before he knew it... Wait, he's got more than enough talent. No wonder those senior apprentices were jealous of him. Not defending them though.
"I can even save up now thanks to Nobusada-san's jam sales and treatment center. I can never thank you enough. Oh right, please don't worry about paying for the baptism. I've got to show my appreciation..."
I poked his forehead. Bell was a bit teary eyed as he held his forehead. Kukuku, this is exactly why I can't leave him alone. He's like an age-apart little brother or nephew.
"No need to play favorite with me. As the maker, I also got my shares from the jam sales. Don't worry 'bout it."
"Frankly, you're already repaying your debt so long as you keep your mission to spread Levelitt, and do god charity work in the form of treatment center. I'm not doing anything as a believer after all. Just pretend that my support has made it easier for you, got it?"
He reluctantly ceded after I told him that. I mean, we're forgetting our objective here.
"Well, in any case, please proceed with this kid's baptism. She's a daughter of an elf who's started working at our store. You'd probably see her again from time to time, be nice to her okay."
"Please call me Tino. It's nice to meet you, Bell-chan."
"B-Bell-chan!? I'm a man you know. L-look here, I even amassed a bit of muscles lately!"
He flexed his arms to show off. Un, it's so soft and fluffy. But Tama-chan ain't gonna lose to you, ha ha ha. Speaking of muscles, I've gotten much stronger compared to the time I first got to this world thanks to the rapid level up I experienced. Specifically, I'm strong enough to easily crush an apple with one hand now.
"I'm sorry for thinking you were a girl."
"Oh please don't worry, I've gotten used to it since people often mistook me as one, sob. Well then, please step before the goddess's statue. And then please kneel down and close your eyes."
Tino-chan stood before the goddess statue as told. Then she took a praying pose.