Chapter 123 - Bear-san Regrets Going To See The Silkworms

    Bear-san Regrets Going To See The Silkworms

    The Black Tiger collapsed.

    Even though I went easy on it, its ability to detect magic made this a difficult fight.

    I managed to get its black fur though, so I was going to ask Fina to dismantle it when I returned.

    「Yuna-san, did you defeat it?」

    Shia came out of the thicket and asked timidly.

    「Yes, I defeated it. It just took me a while to do it.」

    「I can't believe it; you defeated a Black Tiger all by yourself...」

    After Shia, Cattleya and others came out, too.

    The four of them approached the collapsed Black Tiger. Aside from Shia, the other three were looking at the collapsed Black Tiger as if they couldn't believe it. Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear came out after the students.

    「Swaying Bear, Hugging Bear, thank you.」

    I gently stroked their necks when they approached me.

    The wolves didn't approach the students, and that was probably thanks to Swaying Bear and Hugging Bear.

    I used detection magic to check where the wolves were, and saw them fleeing back into the forest in all directions. Did they scatter because the Black Tiger had been defeated?

    Well, they weren't a part of our job, so who cared.


    Marcus approached me as if he wanted to say something.


    「Y-you saved us. Thank you.」

    Marcus thanked me while stuttering.

    「You're right. Yuna-san, thank you very much. You really saved us.」

    「Yuna-san, thank you very much.」

    「Err, thanks.」

    The girls and Timor thanked me, too.

    「Don't worry about it. Protecting you guys is my job, after all.」

    Marcus seemed like he wanted to say something else, but he kept his mouth shut.

    I was sure that he had some complicated feelings about being protected by someone he didn't even consider to be an adventurer.

    This should be a good lesson for him, though. You shouldn't judge a Bear Person by their appearance.

    The four of them were all poking the defeated Black Tiger. Staying here forever would be a waste of time, so I suggested that we should return to the village.

    「With the way the things have turned out, wouldn't it be best to return to the village for now?」

    Nobody opposed my idea.

    I put the Black Tiger into the Bear Box and made arrangements to go back. Well, I did say 'arrangements', but it was just disposing of the goblins, which the Black Tiger cruelly massacred. We didn't forget to take the goblin magic stones as a proof of subjugation, either.

    「Well then, you guys should return to the village first.」

    「You won't come with us, Yuna-san?」

    「There is something I want to check out.」

    「Check out?」

    「The village chief was worried about what happened to the silkworms, so I'm going to take a look. Don't worry; Swaying Bear will escort you to the village.」

    I approached Swaying Bear and asked him.

    「Swaying Bear, can I leave these four to you?」

    Swaying Bear responded with a Kuun.

    「Also, make yourself small when you approach the village; it would be bad to scare the villagers, after all.」

    He cried out again.

    「Well then, I think it should be okay with Swaying Bear, but please be careful when going back.」

    I jumped onto Hugging Bear, and we ran off.

    I was going to a place where, according to the village chief, the silkworms were.

    Hugging Bear ran deep inside the forest.

    It should be around here. We walked slowly so that we wouldn't miss the place.

    Silkworms of this world really were monsters, huh? My detection magic gave me a proper reaction. If they really were monsters, I could understand why they were eating goblins.

    ...I immediately regretted coming to the silkworm nest.

    Crawling on the ground was a silkworm, which was over a meter long.

    It looked absolutely disgusting.

    Just like in the game, the insect monsters here were really disgusting, too...

    A hikikomori like me, who had been living in a city and never had any contact with insects, was repulsed twice as badly by them.

    Here, these normally small worms were human-sized. If they had faces, they would have been the epitome of trauma.

    Back when I was still just playing the game, the company released a secret event, but it was suspended in just 30 minutes.

    In this event, you had to exterminate cockroaches... Human-sized ones.

    Just after the event started, agonizing cries could be heard from everywhere. I logged out the moment I saw those cockroaches, but I still had nightmares for a few days after. It was a terrible memory.

    Nothing was more terrifying than seeing human-sized cockroaches creep around.

    It was so bad that the event had to be suspended, and we even received consolation items as an apology.

    A few players were praising them for the realistic feeling it gave, but... this was the only thing that should absolutely never have been made realistic. They were really terrifying...

    As one would expect, silkworms didn't creep around like cockroaches did, but their size was still intolerable...

    Things like these made me more aware of my hate for insects.

    The village chief said that the silkworms of this world had a scent that attracted animals and monsters, but..., as if to prove this, a lot of goblins and wolves were entangled in the spider threads, completely immobilized.

    I really wasn't sure if they were silkworms, spiders, or a different type of monster...

    The goblins that were entangled here were the goblins from the other side of the forest, right?

    I got it now. The Black Tiger attacked the goblin nest, and the goblins fled here. The Black Tiger then chased after them, and ran into us.

    I might get all the details if I went to the goblin nest, but that would have been troublesome, so I decided not to go. If the villagers wanted to know the details, they just had to investigate it themselves; I had no obligation to do it. I still decided to return to the village only after I investigated the silkworm's place a bit more.

    After looking around, I determined that there was no damage. There were no signs of an attack. It seemed that the Black Tiger didn't come here. Well, even if it did, I didn't think that it ate insects. Whatever, it seemed that the silkworms weren't attacked; the villagers would surely be relieved with this.

    When there were worms, inevitably, there would be cocoons. The color of these cocoons were strange, though.

    If I remembered correctly, cocoons were yellow because of the mulberry tree leaves or something like that.

    It differed on the species of silkworms, but their cocoons were mostly white or yellow. Yet, there were some green and red cocoons mixed in here.

    It would be bad if I took these cocoons, right?

    I would like one of each, though...

    Well, even if I took them, I couldn't make clothes, so I wouldn't have any practical use for them, but they might still make a good souvenir for the children at the orphanage.

    Still, when talking about souvenirs, it would be best if I took threads, right? If I took them back like this, it would only trouble them. I decided not to take the cocoons.

    Both the students and the villagers were waiting at the entrance of the village when I finally returned there.

    Swaying Bear was settled in Shia's arms; it seemed that he escorted them back properly.

    「I'm back.」

    「Yuna-san, are you okay?」

    「I'm okay. I had Hugging Bear with me. So, why are you all out here?」

    Shia approached me and gave me Swaying Bear, whom I then petted.

    「We were waiting for you, Yuna-san.」

    「For me?」

    「Excuse me, you are Yuna-san, right?」

    The village chief entered the conversation.

    「These children said that a Black Tiger appeared and that you defeated it. Is that true?」

    「Yuna-san, the village chief doesn't believe us.」

    Shia said, displeased.

    「Well, of course, he wouldn't.」

    「I think I wouldn't believe it either.」

    「Same here.」

    The other three students understood the village chief.

    It was difficult to believe something so unrealistic even when they saw it themselves.

    「So, do you have proof?」

    Oh, right.

    I brought out the Black Tiger from the Bear Box.

    All the villagers shouted in surprise when they saw the Black Tiger's corpse.

    「Did you really kill this thing?」

    The village chief said as if he couldn't believe it while switching his gaze between me and the Black Tiger.

    「Yeah, I did. I also went to the silkworm's place after that, and it didn't seem like there was any damage.」

    「You really went there?」

    「You seemed worried, after all.」

    「Thank you very much.」

    「Oh, and there are wolves inside the forest, so be careful. You should properly make a request at the Adventurer's Guild to deal with them.」

    「Okay, we will. I'm really sorry that you had to go through all of that.」

    The village chief bowed.

    To thank us, the villagers made us dinner with a lot of delicious food brought out. Well, it wasn't nearly as delicious as Morin-san's cooking, but it was still quite good.

    The villagers started talking about the reward, and everyone looked at me.

    Did they want me to decide it?

    It seemed to be that way, so I asked for thread, cocoons, or cloth made out of them. I also said that I would buy them if I was asking for too much.

    The village chief said that he would prepare them by tomorrow.

    The meal was finished, and since it was already late evening, we went back to our assigned rooms.

    「The food was delicious.」

    Cattleya sat on her bed, rubbing her stomach.

    In the room, there were three beds, side-by-side.

    I sat on the middle bed, and decided to eat something sweet to relieve the fatigue of this day. I took a pudding out of the Bear Box and started to eat it by myself.

    When tired, sweet things were the best!

    Cattleya was surprised to see me eat the pudding.

    「Yu-Yuna-san, th-this... Is this possibly...」

    「It's pudding. Do you know about it?」

    Was it possible that she ate it before?

    I showed Cattleya the pudding I had on my spoon and then ate it.

    Still, pudding really was delicious, right?

    「It's not about knowing it or not... This is...the legendary food, which was brought out at the King's birthday party...」

    Ah, she was talking about the King's birthday party.

    More importantly, what was this about? The legendary food? It was just a pudding, you know.

    Oh, but now that she said that, I did recall Noa telling me that the assembly hall exploded in an uproar when the pudding arrived. I completely forgot that something like that had happened.

    「Cattleya, were you present at the party?」

    「Yes, I was there and ate the pudding. I still remember the taste, even now.」

    She made a happy expression when she recalled the taste.

    She was exaggerating. It was only pudding, you know!

    「Yuna-san, you were the one who made the pudding, right?」

    Shia, who was sitting on the last bed, joined the conversation.

    「R-really? Yuna-san was the one who made the legendary pudding!?」

    「I don't know anything about this legendary thing you are talking about, but I did make the pudding...」

    「Then, does that mean you were the mysterious cook, Yuna-san?」

    I had been hearing things like legendary and mysterious for a while now, but were people really saying that when talking about pudding?

    It had been a long time since the party, too...

    「Shia-san, you knew about it even though the King didn't say anything, no matter who asked...」

    「Yuna-san gave me some pudding before the party, after all.」

    「Really!? I'm so jealous!」

    Cattleya looked at the pudding I was holding.

    I looked at Shia, and she was also looking at my pudding.

    「Hmm, do you two want some?」

    I would feel bad if I was the only one eating, so I brought out a pudding for each of them.

    「May I really?」

    「Thank you, Yuna-san.」

    They happily accepted the pudding.

    「Ah, this taste!」

    「I got to eat more pudding since Yuna-san often brought it as a souvenir.」

    「Shia-san, that's unfair!」

    True. Whenever I went to the capital, I gave Eleanora-san some pudding for Shia.

    「My little sister gets even more than me, you know!」

    「What do you mean?」

    「Anyone can eat pudding at Yuna-san's shop in Crimonia. My little sister goes there to eat all the time.」

    It wasn't that often, though.

    She only sometimes came when she slipped out of her house; her butler got angry every time.

    「Yuna-san's shop!?」

    「Yuna-san has a shop in Crimonia. The pudding there is sold at a price even normal people can afford, and it is really popular...」

    「The legendary meal that was presented at the King' s birthday party is being sold in an ordinary shop......」

    She was looking at me and the pudding, dumbfounded. Was she unable to find the words she wanted?

    The pudding wasn't such a high class food, you know...

    「A shop... Yuna-san, aren't you an adventurer?」

    「I'm an adventurer, but I also own a shop. I leave the management to someone else, though.」

    「I see. If I went to Crimonia, I could eat all the pudding I wanted......」

    Well, there was a limit to how many puddings a person could buy, so she actually couldn't eat all the pudding she wanted.

    「I really want to go back to Crimonia soon.」

    *Knock, knock.*

    While "we" were in a heated discussion about pudding, there was a knock at the door.
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