Chapter 24 – Reconciliation With The Shop Fairy
“You want to ally with His Majesty the Demon King? Why?”
“To be honest, I don’t like the human king. That guy… umm, what was his name again?”
“Joseph, King of Pizznut Kingdom?”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s the one. That king forced us into a hero party and commanded us to defeat the Demon King.”
I explained the whole story to the Shop Fairy, only hiding the fact that we had been summoned from another world. We don’t particularly want to be hostile to the Demon King.
However, we only just came to the Apricot continent, also called the Demon continent, and we didn’t come with hostile intentions. It goes without saying that our primary objective was to obtain the necessary items to lift Ren’s curse.
I finally finished explaining everything.
“Well well, I thought they were a terrible country since they didn’t like His Majesty the Demon King, but they’re even worse than I thought.”
The Shop Fairy sighed loudly and apologized to me, saying, “I’m sorry.”
“It’s fine… we did come here with some notion of possibly defeating the Demon King. It’s natural that we might get attacked along the way by the Demon King’s cautious allies.”
“You’re actually quite kind, aren’t you, Hiroki?”
“Well, I can recover any injury with my Healing anyway.”
Even if I wanted to attack you, it wouldn’t do anything… I kept the real reason to myself. We made our apologies, and I think we were able to reconcile for now.
“Anyway, the Shop Fairy is a friend of the Demon King, eh? …What kind of Demon King is he?”
“You want to know about him?”
“If I can meet him, I’d like to what kind of skills and magic he likes, that kind of stuff.”
“…To be honest, His Majesty is actually not very good at meeting people.”
The Shop Fairy told me it might be difficult.
“But… he might want to meet someone who’s a bit weird, like you.”
“What’s weird about me?”
“A Priest who raised his evasion? I mean, I’ve met a lot of Healers, and you’re a particularly special one… that is, you’re the only one to do that!”
The Shop Fairy laughed and ends the story. She pointed at me, saying, “Come to think of it… what about the Great Tree’s Drops?”
“Oh yeah, you’re right. I should collect that and head back quickly.”
I stood up and walked to the recess in the rock where the Great Tree’s Drops had accumulated. It’s glowing a little, but aside from that… doesn’t it just look like ordinary water? I guess it’s not.
I touched it a little with my fingertips, but it was just as cold as the spring water. I tried smelling it, but it was odorless. The Shop Fairy came over and looked up at me. For the first time, I actually saw her face. She was completely androgynous, but her eyes were like gorgeous jewels ― beautiful red eyes.
“…It’s actually fine to drink the Great Tree’s Drops. It’s mainly a potion ingredient though, so drinking it is kind of a waste.”
“I didn’t drink any, I was just a little curious about it.”
I smiled awkwardly and drew some of the Great Tree’s Drops off into the bottle. Now I had the ingredients for a curse-cleansing potion; I could truly be relieved. Then I asked the Shop Fairy next to me what she planned to do next.
“Well, for now, I’ll give you something as an apology.”
“Even though you recovered, I still attacked and injured you. So don’t hesitate to take it.”
“Well… I won’t hesitate then―”
I suddenly sneezed. I decided to head back to where everyone was waiting and think about all that in a place that wasn’t so weird.
◆ ◆ ◆
“Hiroki! Welcome back, was it alright!?”
“Whooo, that’s cold!! I’m back, Lusha.”
I got out of the spring and made a beeline to the bonfire Ruri prepared. The Shop Fairy came back with me, so we warmed up together.
“I’m glad you’re safe, Hiroki.”
“Ren, any changes?”
“It’s peaceful as usual.”
I was the only one who had suffered this time; Ren and the others were in tiptop shape. As I wrung the water out of my clothes, Ruri came over to me.
“When the Shop Fairy jumped into the spring, I was worried that something was wrong… and I thought it might have been better if I followed her immediately.”
I hadn’t even told them about the fight yet, but Ruri was reacting as though she knew I’d been harmed. When I tried to laugh it off and say she was mistaken, she smiled and said, “You can’t fool me. It’s hard to see on your black outfit, but I can tell there’s some blood… Was it a knife wound? Take those clothes off.”
“U-uh… well now that you mention it… but I healed myself just fine, and everything’s settled, so don’t worry about it.”
Under Ruri’s sharp inquiry I could only smile awkwardly, but Lusha and Ren immediately objected, shouting, “What’s that supposed to mean?” I eventually gave in under their barrage of questions.
With these two looking so menacing, they wouldn’t let it go until I explained everything. I glanced at the Shop Fairy, and she nodded. With that, I figured it would be okay to tell them about it, but before I could open my mouth, Ruri stopped me and said, “Hang on, if we don’t dry you off, you might catch a cold. [Fire]. [Wind].”
“Whoa, so warm…”
Ruri combined two magic skills to generate warm air and dried off both our clothes. Being able to use magic like this is just amazing. Ruri also cut only the hoodlums’ clothes in the bar that one time, so I guess she’s just the type that’s naturally skilled at magic.
“Well, thank you!”
“That was a big help. Thanks, Ruri.”
We thanked her, and I got my jacket back from Lusha. I told the three of them everything that happened inside the spring.
“No way! That’s what happened!? I’m so glad you’re safe, Hiroki!!”
As soon as I finished telling them, Lusha had tears in her eyes and hugged me tightly, continuously muttering how happy she was that I was safe. I couldn’t refuse such strong feelings. Since it couldn’t be helped, I patted Lusha’s head gently. I also saw Ruri looking at me warmly from where she and Ren sat. Ren was nodding, but thinking about it any more just felt unnecessary.
The Shop Fairy spoke up. I’m not sure if they can read the mood.
“My, my, I feel truly ashamed! As an apology, I’ll give you one item from my store for free.”
She went ahead and arranged her items for us.
“I’m fine, see? I’m not hurt anymore, am I, Lusha?”
“…Right. I’m glad you’re safe. For now, I think you should get the most expensive one!”
I laughed at her smart suggestion and looked through the items. Not only did the shop have various pieces of equipment, it also had potions and skill acquisition books. Truthfully, I wanted all of them, but personally I thought it would be better to get something hard to get on my own.
“You mean elixir? it’s an excellent thing to cure any injury!”
I spurted out unintentionally when she took out a rarer item than I’d even expected. Since it can cure any injury, it’s definitely the best recovery item in the game usually. Even having a single one for your party is a bonus, and they’re not easy to get. Lusha was obviously just as surprised as me.
“I’m looking at an Elixir for the first time… it really does exist.”
“There aren’t that many! You won’t often be able to find them!”
The Shop Fairy tells me that now is my best chance to get it. I certainly do want one… but I want equipment, too. I asked a question to the Shop Fairy while looking over the equipment lined up next to the elixir.
“Is there any equipment that boosts evasion?”
“Well now, there’s not really anything for evasion. No one’s ever wanted it before!”
“Damn, and here I was hoping I’d been able to spread my influence as an evasion Healer…”
In the end, the only way I’ll get evasion equipment is through special order.
“Hey, Hiroki, why don’t you take that red skill book? I think it’s good for you to learn more skills!”
“Eh, we can probably get one of those on our own, so I’ll pass.”
Lusha recommended the skill book, but I’d prefer to get equipment instead. The next thing I noticed was a ring with an attack stat of (+17). Based on the size, you could tell it was a ring for a woman’s pinky finger.
“Well well, that’s just as good as an elixir, you know! It’s called Ishtar’s Ring. It has a maximum stat value of 17, and it’s hard to find such small equipment. Right now, the only thing with a stat value higher than 15 is that ring!”
…This might be good. The design is also pretty when I look at it, it’s meant for a girl. It was a gold ring with diamond-shaped decorations. A white jewel adorned the center, framed by small jewels on either side.
“I’ll take this.”
“Heh, I understand. But it doesn’t have evasion or recovery, you know? It’s attack power, is that fine?”
I was well aware the ring was the opposite of my evasion Healer stats. I obviously wasn’t getting it for myself. “Lusha, come here.”
Instead of getting something for me, I got this equipment for Lusha. Ren, Ruri and I basically started at level one with high stats from the start, and another 50 stat points on top of that. That’s right, the three of us were far more competent than our levels would actually imply. I knew Lusha was struggling with her strength and working hard for it, so if this ring could increase her attack stat by another 17, of course I’ll choose that.
“Wait, Hiroki, you should choose something you can use!”
“She didn’t have any evasion equipment, though? And I also wanted to give you a present. Even though I lacked common sense, you’ve been so kind to me… That’s why we formed a party together.”
“You… I wanted to stay in a party with you because I enjoyed it. I already said that.”
“Even so, you…”
Lusha helped me a lot, and had treated me kindly.
“I want to continue adventuring with you, so please take it.”
Lusha groaned in frustration. “Hiroki always prioritizes everyone but himself!!”
In spite of that, she took off her gloves and shoved her left hand out at me. Apparently, she wanted me to put it on her, which I did, holding her left hand and slowly putting the ring on her little finger.
…How should I put this, don’t you feel embarrassed!?
When I looked around, I could see Ren, Ruri and even the Shop Fairy looking at me with devilish grins. It’s not like this has a special meaning, you know! Cut it out, you’re making me nervous!
But of course, this was an unexpected turn of events. This only happened because that ring was the best item available. If it had been a bracelet or some other accessory, I still would have chosen it.
But all of my nervousness disappeared after seeing Lusha’s smiling face. “Thank you, Hiroki! This will make killing monsters that much easier!!”
I almost forgot Lusha was a total air-head.