When the battle was over, we used the escape spheres to get out of the labyrinth. We could have walked back, but we were still running on a high from killing the snake. There was also the chance of a mistake or ambush, so we just quickly escaped with the magic tools.
「Relius… seriously, I didn’t think potions of poison resist could be that good!」
「Oh yeah, you were totally engulfed by poison fog, weren’t you? Was the potion really able to completely neutralize it?」
I see, in that case, the rank probably also affects potency. The potions being sold on the market probably weren’t strong enough to fully neutralize the Poison Snake’s fog. It was a higher-ranked potion, so it was able to neutralize the poison. That’s how it is.
「Using the escape sphere early did cross my mind when it happened, but thanks to Relius, we were able to subdue it just like that!」
「All I did was prevent it from poisoning us. You’re the one who was constantly attacking it down to the last second, that’s why we were able to subjugate it.」
「No, there was your poison attack too, right? I don’t think anyone except you can use such a powerful poison…」
Perhaps my poison overcame the Snake’s resistance because my poison attack was S-rank. The enemy’s poison resistance was just a lower rank than the poison I attacked with.
「Well, I’m glad everything went well.」
Mear-san smirked and stretched lightly.
「I’m glad we succeeded. I’ve failed to clear this labyrinth in the past.」
「Oh, that’s why you were strangely upbeat, huh?」
Mear-san nodded with a smile.
「It was the first labyrinth I challenged with my new equipment. I almost died…」
I was amazed, I couldn’t imagine Mear-san challenging the labyrinth with that equipment. If she had died back then, I wouldn’t have been able to meet her, and we wouldn’t be here right now.
「Well, I can’t say that I was able to capture it completely because I had a strong companion named Relius today, but… still, it makes me more confident. Thanks, Relius.」
「I’m… just an assistant, you know.」
I was just running support the whole time, that was the only role I played in the party. Mear-san did most of the damage to the Poison Snake with her slashes, so she should be more proud, and not too modest. [ED: irony so thick you could stab it with 5 poison knives]
「No problem. Please, keep up the good work!」
Mear-san clenched her fists and smiled.
Our time together will soon be coming to an end. It’s a lonely thing, but the life of an adventurer has always been like that. I’ll be growing stronger every day, so that we can meet again someday.
When we meet again, I’ll be strong enough that Mear-san won’t be able to laugh at me.
◆ ◆ ◆
About two weeks later, when the new part-time worker had gotten settled in, Mear-san decided to stop working there.
Oji-san and Oba-san looked lonely, but they naturally wanted to support Mear-san’s dream, so on the last day they tried a little harder to make her smile. The inn closed a little early so we could hold a simple party to celebrate her departure.
We even invited Mear-san’s current party as well. I told them over and over again, “Mear-san can’t be trusted to buy quality items, so be careful about that.” They drank like fish, and eventually all fell asleep in the dining room, so I had no choice but to clean up the mess.
Geez… I wonder if this is okay even though we have our usual routines tomorrow.
I was a responsible adult, so I was a little more careful with the drinks. While I was cleaning, Ristina-san showed up with a red face. She at least still seemed conscious.
「Hmm… Relius-senpai, aren’t you drunk?」
「Not really. If you’re okay too, will you help me clean up?」
「Awww, but it’s such a pain, you know? Well, if you insist, there’s nothing I can do about it, right?」
With the cuteness of a small animal, she turned away her big round eyes.
She was going to be my inn partner after Mear-san left. Her fluffy chestnut hair swung over her shoulder and tickled my nose. She can do the job well, but she’s a bit of a cheeky junior.
「By all means, please do it.」
「Ehh… mmm, it can’t be helped. Can you carry these people with you?」
Ristina-san had grabbed my trash bag and was watching the drunk people.
Oba-san had actually been drinking a lot, too. She was usually in charge of stopping Oji-san’s excess.
Come to think of it, it was just like this when Lynn left. It could only mean Mear-san was also important to them.
I smirked and carried them one by one. I’d have to wake everyone up tomorrow morning and get them to wash themselves off. They’d all been drinking after a hard day’s work, of course they stink.
I had just finished carrying the friendly-snoring Oji-san to bed, and went back to the dining room. Ristina-san, who was cleaning things up nicely, hid a squeak of a yawn with one hand.
I made use of my own cleaning tools to help.
「So… it’s just the two of us, huh, senpai?」
I was a bit startled when she came close to me and said that. I knew she just wanted to make fun of me. Even so, it made me jump, so it was bad for my heart.
「It’s the first time I’ve been alone with you.」
Then she smiled, as if she were shy. That was a surprise to me, and she approached me with her eyes quivering.
「Senpai, I’m a little drunk right now, and my body is feeling so hot.」
「H-hot, you say?」
「Yeah… maybe you could help me cool it down it a little?」
Her chest was getting closer and closer. It wasn’t as big as Mear-san’s or Klua-san’s, but it was substantial enough to be conscious that she was very much a woman.
The moment I swallowed my saliva, Ristina-san laughed with her eyes narrowed.
「Ahahaha! I’m just kidding, senpai! Don’t take it seriously.」
No, I wasn’t taking it seriously at all. That junior of mine sure was cheeky, though. What’s more, I heard from others that she had a serious attitude to everyone else, but not me. Apparently, I was the only one she made fun of.
Geez. Well, I don’t care if she’s having fun working here, and mocking me all the time. I can just smile and tease her right back. Even if it’s kind of unprofessional, it’s not an unpleasant way to get along, though maybe the reason I don’t mind it is because the other party is a cute girl.
Since Mear-san is gone now, there will eventually come a time when Ristina will be a senior to her own juniors, and she’ll have to be professional about it. I’d prefer if she was a little more aware of that.