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Chapter 220 – Bear-san Reaffirms That Elves Are Indeed A Long-Living Race, Part 2

    「So, is the barrier okay or not?」

    Sanya-san asked about the barrier, which had been the reason she returned home in the first place.

    「Monsters break through occasionally, but other than that, it seems to be working just fine.」

    「Even so, that means the barrier has indeed gotten weaker.」

    「Yes. It all started a couple of years ago if I recall correctly. Out of nowhere, monsters started to break through the barrier. At first it was just one of two of them, but lately more and more of them keep waltzing in. That's why Father-in-law decided to have Ruimin find you, so that we could try to fix it.」

    When I had first heard that the barrier had gotten weaker, I had thought it was something serious, but it turned out that it wasn't really an urgent situation. In that case, I should be able to explore the village in peace.

    「So I take it no real damage has been done yet?」

    「Yes, everything's fine. Arthur and a few others are taking turns guarding the area. We did forbid the children from going out too far, though.」

    Talia-san said while also throwing a glance at Luca. It made sense for children not to be allowed to wander around with monsters about. I still recalled how Fina had gotten into danger while looking for medicinal herbs on her own in a forest full of monsters. Children weren't able to protect themselves, so they had to be kept where it was safe.

    「We should still hurry and fix the barrier as soon as possible. When exactly are we planning on doing it?」

    「We'll have to ask Father-in-law tomorrow. I haven't heard all the details myself yet.」

    Was the barrier really something that could be fixed so easily? In games and manga, protective barriers usually took a lot of effort to make and fix, but based on what I had heard so far, that didn't seem to be the case here. Was it only the matter of having three blood-related people performing the ritual? I hoped they would allow me to observe the ritual, even though I didn't know anything about the barrer or the magic used. Since I had come all this way, I really wanted to see it. Well, they had told me that it was a secret ritual passed down in their family, so maybe I couldn't even be there to see it.

    「Oh, this reminds me. Yuna-chan, right? Thank you for helping out my daughters」

    「Oh no, it was nothing.」

    「No no, without you, Yuna-chan, we wouldn't have been able to make it home as quickly, and the ride wouldn't have been as pleasant, either.」

    「That's right, Yuna-san's Bear-sans are really fast.」

    「You're talking about those summoned bears, right?」

    From the corner of my eye I noticed that Luca, clearly lost on what we were talking about, tugged on Ruimins clothes and asked her about it.

    「We didn't understand what Labriatt meant with bears in his report at all. He just suddenly told us that Sanya and Ruimin were riding with bears back to the village. Father-in-law and I were so confused.」

    It made sense for any normal person to be puzzled by it. Well, at least it looked like the elf who had stalked us had given his report like promised.

    「And, when I saw Yuna-chan riding behind you, I was even more surprised. It only then made sense why he had said with bears not on top of bears. I had expected you two to be riding them, but to learn they were Yuna-chan's summoned beasts...」

    When she paused I overheard a part of Luca and Ruimin's conversation, 「I wanna try riding them, too.」「Let's ask Yuna-san later.」 Well, I saw no reason to say no if they actually asked.

    「I don't really have anything I can thank you with, so please at least feel free to stay at our home.」

    I appreciated the offer, but I would have preferred to find a spot where I could build a Bear House. It seemed like not many people went in and out of the village, so I should be able to find an unnoticeable spot if they let me set one up. Then, I could simply set up a Bear Gate inside. Hmm, if I were to have a gate inside, would it maybe be better to pick a spot deeper in the forest?

    「Sanya-san, could I build a Bear House around here somewhere? Close to the village if at all possible.」

    「Build a Bear House... Well, I think it should be fine, but you'll have to at least ask Grandpa for permission.」

    In other words, I needed to speak to Mumuroot-san about it. Well yeah, it made sense to speak with the Village Elder first.

    「We can just all head to his house tomorrow.」

    「Are you sure that would be ok? Don't you have something important to talk about?」

    「Don't worry, we won't talk about that as soon as we get there. Anyway, you can stay in my room tonight.」

    「Sadly, she can't.」

    Talia-san rejected Sanya-san's suggestion.

    「Why?」

    「Well, we are currently using it as a storage room.」

    「Why would you do that?!」

    「You didn't come home for ten years. Oh, but wait, the bed is still there, so I guess it should work. I just need to put new bedding on top..」

    Sanya-san stood up and went to what appeared to be her room. Soon after, a scream followed.

    「Um, it's a bit cramped, but please stay in my room tonight, Yuna-san.」

    Ruimin most likely knew the state Sanya-san's room was in and decided to offer her room to me as an alternative. Sanya-san rushed back, and immediately began complaining to Talia-san, who nonchalantly gave her excuses.

    「If you want your room, you just have to come back once a year.」

    「Don't be so unreasonable.」

    「Fine, then you just have to stay here for good.」

    「Mother...」

    Sanya-san dropped her shoulders, showing how tired she was from dealing with her mother. Well, if she had my Bears, she could come back whenever she liked, but with horses or other means of travel, the distance wasn't as feasible to travel back and forth every year.

    「Ruimin. Sanya.」

    「Father?」

    A man who looked to be around twenty years old appeared by the front door. I kind of guessed for him to be the father before Ruimin spoiled it. After all, if Luca was to be the future chief, then they shouldn't have had an elder brother.

    Now that the whole elven family had gathered, it created a very strange image as they looked more like a group of siblings than parents and their children.

    「Sanya, it's been awhile.」

    「Yes, it has.」

    「Thank you for bringing her home safely, Ruimin.」

    「I told you I would be able to do it, didn't I?」

    Ruimin answered proudly, but I really wanted to mention everything that had happened to her during her trip to the capital. Just to give a few examples of things I was aware of: she had been so hungry she passed out, had gotten lost inside the capital, and had even sold off her bracelet. I was sure there had also been many other terrible things that happened to her during her trip. Well, if it was even found necessary to reveal the truth about her trip, Sanya-san could easily tell them about it all, so I decided to stay quiet. Still, watching Ruimin boast about her trip like that made me a bit worried of what could come in the future.

    「Sanya, you haven't changed much.」

    「I'm not going to change that easily.」

    「Well, I'm happy you at least agreed on coming home to help us.」

    「There's no way I wouldn't after hearing that the barrier got weaker.」

    Sanya-san's father proceeded to pat her on the head when she said that, and Sanya-san, clearly embarrassed by it, shook it of.

    Smiling, her father then turned to me.

    「By the way, young lady dressed as a bear. It heard you noticed that Labriatt was tailing you, which made him very frustrated.」

    He said and laughed. Sadly, I couldn't tell them that it had only been due to my detection magic.

    「I noticed them, too.」

    「Their exact positions?」

    「That's...」

    「I heard that this young bear lady here was able to figure out the exact count of people and the positions they were hiding at.」

    Thanks to the detection magic, this issue became a big deal; all because I had spoken out about it.

    「Yuna-chan is an excellent adventurer, so it makes sense for her to stop them.」

    「That's right, Yuna-san is amazing.」

    They didn't have to flatter me so much; I was just a regular girl without my Bear Suit.

    「I only noticed because of my summoned Bears. I'm not that amazing at all, really.」

    「Oh right, I did also hear that you had summoned bears with you.」

    「Yes, and those very Bears told me about the elves following us.」

    For now, I simply tried to pass it off as one of the Bears' abilities, to avoid having to reveal my detection magic.

    「I see.」

    「Yes, and that's why Yuna-chan's summoned beasts are also amazing.」

    Sanya-san seemed to completely buy it.

    「Those kids have been getting cocky with their tailing lately, so this should be a good lesson for them.」

    That guy wouldn't end up holding a grudge towards me, would he?

    Anyway, I decided to officially introduce myself to Sanya-san's father. His name was Arthur. He claimed to be the father, but if they had told me he was their older brother, I would have believed them completely.

    「Still, it surprised me to see you are really dressed like a bear. When I heard about it from Labriatt, I simply laughed at how stupid it sounded.」

    Yes, I was a bear, laugh at me all you want. I could say nothing to object, though, as it was indeed true.

    「Well, we don't have much to offer, but feel free to stay at our humble home.」

    I was going to sleep in Ruimin's room today, but for some reason, I also ended up helping Sanya-san clean her room. Looking around her room, everywhere other than on top of the bed seemed to be covered in piles of boxes and other miscellaneous things.

    「I cleaned up the stuff from the top of the bed for you.」

    Talia-san said proudly. Well, the bed indeed looked quite clean, but everything else on the other hand...

    「Since you knew I was coming home, you could have at least cleaned up my room for me.」

    「Well, I did change the bedding for you.」

    Talia-san said then left us to deal with all the mess.

    「I'm sorry for having you help me, Yuna-chan.」

    「Don't worry, I don't mind. Talia-san seems to be quite the oddball, though.」

    As we started cleaning her room, I figured it would be best to make a storage shed in their yard and move everything not needed there. Once Talia-san noticed, she also moved some of her own stuff into it. Well, I made it so they could store stuff, so it should be okay for her to use the chance. At this rate, the shed would probably get full quite quickly. Well, it wouldn't matter to me much as I wouldn't be staying here for that long.

    「She's always been like that. I wish she at least cared about others a bit more. Oh, that stuff belongs to me, so you can leave it here.」

    Based on Saya-san's instructions, I moved some of the stuff into the Bear Box. There were a whole bunch of wooden boxes. How had they managed to stockpile such an amount? I was really curious about their contents but still placed them into the Bear Box without looking into them. I noticed there were quite a few vases rolling around the room as well. It kind of felt like they had just thrown any unnecessary things into Sanya-san's room. After putting everything Sanya-san didn't need into the Bear Box, we took it to the storage shed I had created previously.

    「Yuna-chan, I'll get mother to dig through it, so just throw out the stuff wherever you like.」

    As she requested, I took out the all stuff and placed it randomly before returning to her room. Now that most of everything had been moved out, it appeared much more spacious.

    「Thank you, Yuna-chan. Now I can finally sleep.」

    Sanya-san said and collapsed onto her bed. Even though I was planning on sleeping in Ruimin's room, I noticed that Luca had taken my spot while I was cleaning, so I instead ended up staying in Sanya-san's room.

    Author's Note:

    This is the last chapter of the year; please take care of me next year as well.

    (Note: And this makes the last Post of this year for us as well.)
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