"By the way, Jinga."
"Yes. How can I help you."
"A <Shield of Wolkan> got dropped on floor 43 of Dungeon Ninae."
Lecan grinned when he saw the usually calm and collected Jinga's surprised look.
"Is that true. To tell you the truth, my shield was a drop item in Dungeon Ninae as well."
Lecan knew that already from his <Appraisal>, but Jinga didn't seem aware of that.
"Did you get it yourself."
"No. The previous marquis-sama bought and bestowed it to me."
Heles said that <Shield of Wolkan> is the dream of every knights. The marquis who went to get that shield and gave it to Jinga must still hold him in high regards even now.
Lecan absolutely refuses to serve under someone.
He's also never laid his life on the line for the sake of a mission. He will try to do everything he can to accomplish a job he took on, but if the situation changes and doing that job means putting him in disadvantages, he will immediately get away. You can't be an adventurer unless you've got that much brashness at least.
However, perhaps that's precisely why Lecan holds a unusual sense of respect to those who swear loyalty to their master and those who throw their life away for the sake of completing a mission.
I don't want to fight against this guy anymore, thought Lecan as he gazed at Jinga's deeply wrinkled face.
"The tea Jinga made is so good."
"I'm honored to hear that."
"It's true, it's nice."
Lecan likes this time of enjoying tea while gazing at the garden along with Norma and Jinga.
When he's here, he doesn't have to think about dungeons or fights to death, he simply gazes at the growing herbs, spending times in relaxation.
It's been two months since he came to this clinic.
The garden was full of red and white flowers at the time.
Right now it's filled with vividly green trees and grass. With small white flowers popping up here and there.
The lustrous charm of spring is nice, but the summer's serene yet vigorous atmosphere is also good.
Lecan never had an opportunity to admire grass and trees like this before.
Dungeons are a colorless world.
It's dull with nary red, blue, green or white, there's only a meager amount of soot-like tints.
Even when he tried to retrace his memories of dungeons, he couldn't recall a single vivid scene.
Lecan's entire recollections are dyed in gloomy gray.
Only red is the odd one out.
Only the color of blood red is painfully vivid.
And his mouth and eye involuntarily laughed when he recalled that color of blood.
That's the world Lecan lives in.
Days of being covered in yesterday's blood.
Tomorrow will likely be another blood-covered day.
But just for today.
Just for this one day.
Next to a woman who devotes her life to treating others' wounds and illnesses.
I want to be soaked in the scent of tea.
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
As they ended up getting back late, they bought spit-roast on the way home, but it turned out Arios had prepared lunch for them. Both the spit-roast and Arios's cooking in everyone's stomach.
"Lecan-dono. I'm thinking of selling the Venom Sac you gave me to Chaney Company, do you mind?"
"Do as you like."
They had that conversation.
Chaney Company's HQ was a plain single-story building.
The buildings on both wings seem to have been another stores the company bought later and then made connected, they're made of different materials and of different ages, heights and roofs.
Chaney in person ran out of the building to greet Lecan and Arios.
It's a surprisingly spacious store, with an abundant of warehouses.
They were led to a small secluded building in the back.
It's a cosily-made building sporting an elegant garden.
Beautiful female employees brought nicely fragrant tea in luxurious-looking cups.
They enjoyed the tea while gazing at the garden for a while before Chaney started reminiscing.
"I, you see, was born in this town. When my father passed away, I sold our general store, paid all our debts and went out traveling to peddle my ware. Thanks to a chance, I managed to start up a small store here in my hometown. I really worked myself to the bone there."
Lecan kept silent.
"This was a poor town, but the young town lord took many measures like reducing merchant taxes, and other policies to tempt more merchants here. I have no idea why he was especially fond of me. This store has faced numerous crises in the past, as does this town."
Chaney's face as he gazes at the garden looks shockingly aged.
"But the town is now bustling. I have ceased finding people on the side of the road dying due to starvation during winter. My store has grown quite big as well."
(This man is trying to make a resolve on something.)
(He's looking back on the past to steel this resolve.)
"Then some odd bunch came butting in, I got driven out of town lord's chief merchant position I had kept for many years, and fell into a crisis that might very well ruin my store, if not for Lecan-sama's help."
Before he realized, Lecan is now getting called with <Sama> honorific by Chaney.
"That was a coincidence."
"Yes. It was a coincidence. Coincidences are something sent to you by gods. I believe my encounter with Lecan-sama was god Boa-sama's guidance."
God Boa is supposedly a god of trade.
"Our company is secure now. I have been thinking of retiring and handing over the company to my grandchildren."
"Eh? Chaney-san. Aren't you still young. I'm sure you can keep going even further."
"Hahahahahaha. I guess I really shouldn't give up yet if someone as young as Eda-san could say that to me. However, even though I apparently look young in other's eyes, I'm actually from the same generation as the town lord-sama's father."
This fact surprised Lecan.
He recalled the town lord's aged face.
Lecan isn't good at guessing this world human's age, but that town lord is surely not less than 40.
Chaney being the same age as that guy's father is a real shocking revelation.
"That was when Lecan-sama brought something truly tremendous to me."
Mysteriously enough, Chaney's face has lost its agedness. It's a youthful face full of ambitions.
"Materials of magic beasts found in Dungeon Ninae's depths. Legs, heads, abdomens and venom sacs of 24 greater Octocular Great Spiders, and the web threads of Spotted Spiders found on floor 20s. I'm confident to say that not even big merchants at the royal capital have ever got hold of all these materials at once."
Chaney turned around.
Looking straight at Lecan's right eye.
"Human, take up the challenge. Thus god Boa-sama whispered to me."