I'm presently heading to a place known as 'Inner Gate' in order to leave the empire.
Apparently that's the fastest route to get to elven village.
Serena's group has gathered all kinds of information in this empire. And this is one.
We headed straight there from the ceremony venue, but this empire is super huge. Hence we're still inside the city. We were only hurrying up at first, and right now we're about halfway there. Also got another info. Which is.
"The deeper you go in the forest, the more dangerous the magic beasts that lurk there huh..."
Bear Sighted! Danger! or something like that. Probably. I recalled a sign I read in my past life.
Due to this reason, the gate has a regular schedule when it opens and closes as a prevention mechanism against magic beast invasion.
Of course they also have gatekeepers posted there, but you still can't just get the gate open whenever you want.
The city is full of festivities today during this ceremony day. Thankfully news about the uproar at the site hasn't reached here yet. Why do I think that you ask.
Because I'm wary about their side sending people to look for us.
But with a crowd this dense, they won't find us so easily even if they do.
Gotta be careful not to get dragged into another mess.
As for the Chimera I brought with me, it's currently hanging loosely on my shoulder like some kind of panda.
It would occasionally cries, 'meoow' while half nodding off. Weirdly enough, it's not falling off even though I'm not supporting it.
(How come? This can't just be explained with being dexterous. Special ability? Acrobatics? Just how?)
My belly rumbled there. It's way past lunch time. The ceremony started early in the morning. The finale was around early afternoon.
"Welp, I'm hungry, care to look for unusual food since it's a festival day and all?"
Music is being played here and there, young men and women are dancing in open spaces next to the music, stalls are crowded.
I told the elves to go buy up food they fancy on their own.
We're having our meal in an alley a bit away from the tumult of the festival. We took tables out of the magic bags and started feasting.
The elves that were hesitant to eat together with me at first now do it like it's only natural. Must have gotten used to it.
"No milord, we all still feel honored to dine with you."
(Eh? Did she just read my mind!?)
I was startled by Serena telling me that out of the blue. I pretended to miss that and worked on my meal.
Together with Chimera. I brought the food I bought close to its face, then it sniffed on it before chomping it down.
(Is it an omnivore that'll eat anything? Wonder how much should I feed it? And what about its territorial nature and poo disposal? Does it go into a cyclic heat? Are there other like it in the wild. To begin with, which one is this thing...)
<TLN: Catch the latest updates and edits at Sousetsuka .com >
I, who had already accepted Chimera as a pet, used this chance to observe it.
After meal, we resumed heading to the gate. Since it's mentally draining to not have a single word spoken along the way there, I took the initiative.
"What was your favorite stall food you bought earlier?"
I wish we could have a natural chit-chat as we walked, but it was a complete silence up until this point.
Not because there's no topic, but because the elves still think themselves as my attendants so they clam up around me.
Hence, I gave them an advice here.
"A group who walks in total silence in the middle of a festival is gonna draw attention. Let's talk about what's on our mind, it serves as a disguise too. Don't hold back now."
Chimera on my shoulder cried out here, 'Meow~' and tapped my head with its paws.
That was the signal.
'I really liked the stir fry vegetable from that stall.', 'Those plump fried bread were so good.', 'The meat from that place has this thick flavor, I love it, a bit hard though.', 'I wonder what was on that skewer? The texture was so weird.'
The conversation livened up a bit, as someone who was feeling the awkwardness from the silence, this was liberating.
We could have arrived at the gate sooner if we took a more deserted route, but I personally did not choose it.
(I was the only one who couldn't enjoy any sightseeing. I wanna have some fun in this little detour.)
Yes, I did have alone time in the castle, but I was also getting stressed out from many stuff there, so now I'm feeling like having a bit of fun.
That alone time cost me opportunity to tour this empire, and weighing the plus minus it's not zero thanks to my duel with Goddel. In fact it's minus.
I never would have thought that this would result in us arriving a bit late at the gate and ended up getting involved in another mess.
I was drunk in the festive atmosphere and forgot just what kind of existence I am, one who 'gets dragged in' no matter what.