Chapter 135: Mimicry (1)
Celseus and I followed Seiya who kept walking on the snowy road without stopping. Actually, it was easy to walk because the people were shoveling the snow. Eventually, we arrived on a large street with a series of wooden buildings. I felt that some of the tattered buildings were likely to collapse from the weight of the falling snow. However, many humans and demons were on the streets, making this place the most vibrant area I’ve seen in this town. This area was probably the center of the town of Igle.
「Hmm. Is this a tool shop, huh? 」
Seiya eyes were looking at a certain building with an item sign. When I opened the wooden door and entered the shop that resembled a mountain hut, I noticed that small tools were on display on the shelves. Other items included medicinal herbs. I noticed that swords and shields were also leaning against the walls.
「Eh. They have weapons as well. This shop feels like various stores combined in one.」
It looked like there were no shop owners, so I looked at the products lined up without their permission. I saw some terrifying tools that one could use with magic. They probably had these type of odd tools because they coexisted with demons. Seiya probably expected to find something useful for him, but I didn’t think that these type of tools would be beneficial for him. I stared at the items on display inside of the shop for a while. Suddenly, I heard a rattling sound from the back of the shop and a young girl rushed out.
「I…I am truly sorry! Please, welcome! Thank you for waiting, dear customers!」
She looked like a girl in her early teens. She was an innocent-looking girl with pigtails and freckles. Was she perhaps helping the owners of this shop?
I was impressed when the innocent girl bowed her head to us in respect. On the other hand, Seiya looked at her as if he was looking at an idiot.
「So careless of you. If I we were thieves, all the tools and weapons in this shop would be gone by now.」
「I’m so sorry! I was preparing some goods for sale in the back shop…Ah, eh…Thieves!?」
The girl looked at Seiya and Celseus with a startling expression on her face.
「Wait a moment please! You’re misunderstanding because Seiya said something weird to you! And it’s obviously not true! We’re not thieves! This person here is a hero! I’m a goddess, and this muscular man is also a god…eh, what?」
When I looked attentively at the young girl’s face, I suddenly felt as if I’ve seen her before.
「Eh, excuse me. But, have we met before? 」
「I am the goddess Listarte. What is your name? 」
「I am Nina. 」
「Nina…Nina!? Don’t tell me that you are “that” Nina! Did you live in Edna Town?」
「Eh, yes! That’s right! Edna is my father’s hometown!」
Her age was different. But, her facial features remained the same. She was the young child whom I met in Geabrande after summoning Seiya for the first time. That child was Nina.
「Whoa! You’ve grown so much! 」
「Lista. You sound like those tedious grannies from the neighborhood. 」
「Who…Who are you calling a granny from the neighborhood! 」
I stared angrily at Celseus. But in fact, I was delighted to see the little girl whom I knew before. I was even happier to know that she grew up so well. Therefore, I probably sounded like those grandmas.
Suddenly, Nina looked at me with shining eyes.
「You really are a goddess! You seem to know everything about me!」
「Ah, no, I just happen to know it, that’s all…By the way Nina, do you work in this shop?」
「Yes. Lady Rosalie gave me this job. 」
「Rosalie did that? 」
「Lady Rosalie brought the survivors to this town. Until then, my father and I had been traveling from place to place, fleeing from the pursuit of dragons. I came to Igle five years ago. We’ve arrived at a place where we could finally settle down. I’m truly grateful for what Lady Rosalie and Lady Chaos Makina did to us.」
In Geabrande, the world that I knew very well, Nina’s father was almost killed by Chaos Makina. On the other hand, Nina was grateful to Chaos Makina in this twisted world. Well, this swirling fate sounded somewhat strange to me…
「Speaking of which, where is your father? Is he helping you with this shop?」
「No. My father died a while ago… 」
「I see… 」
This town looked safe to me. So, did he have a sickness? Did he have injuries? Well, be a sickness or an injury didn’t matter that much. Death remained painful regardless of the consequence that led to it.
The atmosphere was sullen until it was interrupted by the overwhelming sound of metals clashing together. I noticed that Seiya placed a large number of weapons and tools on the counter.
「Weak weapons and useless tools such as these seem like they won’t do a great deal for me. But, when combined, they might be advantageous in some way. I’m going to buy them.」
「Wait, Seiya! We don’t have Geabrande’s currency right now, you know?」
「Don’t worry. I’ve already prepared a replacement for money. 」
Seiya took something out of his pocket and presented it to Nina.
「…I’ll give you Celseus’ horns. 」
「Not that again!! 」
No matter how valuable it was in the Underworld, those horns couldn’t be used universally! They weren’t made of gold or platinum! When I looked at Nina, I saw that her eyes were wide open.
「Are…Are those the devil’s horns!? What a rarity…!! I’ll take them for a high price!!」
「Hey, is it really fine to substitute them for money!? Are Celseus’ horns truly that remarkable!?」
For some reason, Celseus crossed his arms quite proudly. Don’t tell me that he was overjoyed with this!? Didn’t he know that he wasn’t that great to being with!?
I felt frustrated and sickened by Celseus’ attitude. Then, Seiya thrusted into Celseus the dozens of swords he had purchased.
「Celseus. Take this with you. 」
「Ehh! Thi…This is too much for me! 」
「You are the Swordsman God. Just hold it. 」
「Just because I’m the Swordsman God, doesn’t mean that I have to carry your own things… I…I’ll carry these swords!! Please let me have them!!」
After seeing Seiya touching his sheath, Celseus rushed to pack his swords in the luggage bag. When we tried to leave the shop after Seiya finished his shopping, Nina came running to us.
「Excuse me, since you’ve bought a lot from me, I’d like you to have this…it’s actually nothing much, but it’s my pastime passion. So, I’d like you to have it.」
She gave us an amulet with a flower pouch.
Ah! Come to think of it, this girl gave a similar flowery pouch to Seiya before!
The scene where a young-looking Nina gave a flower pouch to Seiya revived on my mind. Well, at that time, Seiya said that it was a cursed item. I wonder if he felt embarrassed when thinking about it now. But, it felt so nostalgic to me…When I remembered the old days; I realized that Seiya looked a little bit unsatisfied.
「Just one, huh. Don’t you have a hundred more? 」
「Why would she make so many flower pouches!? This isn’t an item, you know!?」
「Hmm…Is that so. I’ve only said it because of my usual habit. One is fine.」
「I mean, thinking about it better, I don’t need it…Yeah. I refuse it.」
「How can you say that you “refuse” it!! Just get one pouch!! You’re extremely rude!!」
Nina laughed aloud when I tried to give the pouch to Seiya and he tried to push it back. Seiya sighed afterwards.
「Let’s go. It no longer makes sense for me to be here. 」
「O…Okay, I understand… See you later, Nina! 」
「I’m glad that I’ve got to meet you, Lady Goddess. I wish you the best of luck in your journey. Goodbye…」
Immediately after we left Nina behind, Seiya rushed me to open the portal to the Underworld. I looked back at the town of Igle anxiously after I summoned the portal. Celseus stared at me because I had a serious-looking expression on my face.
「What’s wrong, Lista? 」
「No…It’s nothing. 」
I recalled Nina’s smile moments ago. At first glance, she had a bright expression and acted quite cheerful. However, I felt that her joyfulness held something dark behind it. That has been bothering me since we parted ways with her. Nonetheless…
「Ah! Wait for me, Seiya! 」
I saw that Seiya dived into the portal, so I followed him in a hurry.
「…The Underworld is still calmer than Geabrande. 」
「Well, that’s right. I think that Uno’s house is quite cozy. 」
While talking to Celseus, we arrived at the entrance of Uno’s large house where she lived along with her brother. Uno and Due noticed us and greeted us with a smile.
「Welcome back! We’re glad that you’re all safe! 」
In the Underworld, the flow of time was very slow just like in the Gods’ realm. The hours we spent in defeating Hydra and strolling through the town of Igle may have been days for Uno. Therefore, Uno was deeply moved when she saw me.
Due asked me a question in the wide living room.
「So, how it went? 」
「Well, we defeated a fire dragon named Hydra. The problem was afterwards. I thought that we were going in with a great resolve to “start the saving quest of the Twisted Geabrande”, but it ended up being different from what I expected it to be…」
I turned my piercing eyes to Seiya, but he responded as if it was nothing much.
「I left the “saving quest of the Twisted Geabrande in the hands of the Rosalie’s party”.」
「That’s a very weird saving quest…! Don’t you two agree with me…?」
「I think its fine, Lady Lista. This saving quest needs to be completed according to Lord Seiya’s own pace…So, should I make some tea?」
「More importantly, there’s something I want to ask you. Is there a Joker on the Seventh Avenue of the Underworld?」
Uno nodded positively, and Due struck his knee as he said 「I see. 」.
「Yeah. If you learn Joker’s skills, it could be useful for you in the future.」
…Joker? Who…Who’s that?
This topic continued, and they left both Celseus and I out of it. Seiya was asking them for the detailed location of Joker, among other things. Apparently, Seiya had investigated the Underworld in advance, and had set his eyes on his next training destination.
「Okay. Let’s go now. 」
「Eh, right now? I’d rather have a cup of tea instead… 」
Seiya grabbed the neck of a reluctant Celseus, left Uno’s house and walked towards the Seventh Avenue.
Poor Celseus always being mistreated bu Seiya…
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