Laura and I exited the residence and walked around the capital of the Luminous territory.
“As expected of the castle town of a Marquis! It’s very prosperous!”
“It’s not as grand as the royal capital, though. The goods manufactured in the Luminous territory are generally transacted here and transported to the capital.”
My plan for today was to bring along Laura and show her the Luminous town. This was the town I was born and raised in, as well as the place I spent the most time in. I wanted Laura to see this place as well, and I kinda wanted to relive some nostalgic memories.
“This is the main street. There are all sorts of shops. Let’s go check them out.”
A wide variety of stores were lined up on both sides of the wide street, and there were just as many people coming and going across the street. Merchants desperately called at them in an attempt to get their attention.
This was the heart of the Luminous territory.
Large amounts of goods and money were in fluctuation here.
You could tell just how lively this place was by how fiercely people went in and out of stores. While walking, I realized that I didn’t know around half of the stores I saw.
…10 years is a long time, huh…
I once again felt just how long I’ve been gone for.
I then realized that Laura, who had been walking by my side, was gone.
When I looked back, I saw Laura stopped in front of a small stall.
She snapped out of her daze after I approached and called out to her.
“Ah, sorry, Albert!”
She spoke and tried to walk away from the stall.
In response, the stall keeper called out to Laura.
“Hey now, young lady. Shouldn’t you think it over a bit more?”
“Ah, no, I was just looking, so—”
“Aren’t you interested in this?”
The stall keeper kept a watchful eye on Laura, giving her no chance of escape. His store sold accessories for women, and he pointed at a brooch in the shape of a crescent moon.
It was a small, unassuming ornament that would discreetly adorn a section of clothing; It was a good fit to Laura’s atmosphere.
“I do have an interest, but…”
Laura had a sullen look on her face.
The reason must’ve been about money.
The sharp-sighted stall keeper guessed that was the case and called out to me.
“Hey, Mr. Boyfriend. Isn’t this the time to show your manliness?”
Laura raised a loud voice.
“Nononono! This person is a friend I respect! We don’t have that kind of relationship whatsoever!”
“…What she said.”
“Ah, that was rude of me.”
The stall keeper smiled bitterly.
However, I thought buying it wasn’t all that bad of an idea.
Turning my feelings of gratitude for Laura into something physical would be nice.
Besides, it wasn’t that expensive. It’d be difficult for a poor student to consider buying it, but a commoner with a job could buy it without any financial worries.
However, buying something as a gift might not be the best idea.
Laura and I were friends and had an equal relationship.
Wouldn’t buying something as a gift without any reason give rise to a hierarchical relationship between us? Wouldn’t our pure relationship be destroyed?
I was a noble, and Laura was a commoner.
I was an adult, and Laura was a young girl.
Wouldn’t those differences rear their ugly heads—
I then suddenly realized something.
“Laura, when’s your birthday?”
“Huh? June 6th, what about it?”
“Hm? It already went by?”
“Yes. It’s already the 16th, you know.”
It seems like Laura aged a year before I even knew it.
Now I have a good reason.
“Laura. This is a little late, but I’ll give you a birthday present… as a friend who’s in your debt.”
“It isn’t that strange for a friend to give birthday presents.”
“I appreciate the business~”
I handed my money over to the stall keeper as he grinned, and I gave the brooch I bought to Laura.
Laura accepted it with great care.
“T-Thank you very much! I’ll treat this preciously—no, I’ll put it on the bookshelf as a family heirloom—nonono, I’ll revere this as the village treasure!”
“You can use it normally.”
With a delightful expression, Laura gently caressed the box containing the brooch with her hand.
“Um, when is your birthday, Albert?”
“Me? My birthday is—”
I told her a certain day in the winter.
Laura nodded her head up and down.
“I’ve committed it to memory! Let’s celebrate it! Let’s definitely celebrate it! I’ll be the one to give you a present next time!”
You don’t really have to worry about it—
Is what I was about to reply with, but I changed my mind and said something different.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
That is what an equal relationship is—The proper way of being friends.
Feeling glad that my relationship with Laura didn’t become distorted, I let out a sigh of relief in my mind.
From then on, Laura and I began walking the main street again.
I then noticed something particular.
“The lack of merchandise in the stores stands out…”
The shelves of many stores were noticeably empty.
This was the heart of the Luminous territory. All of the merchants that set up shop here were skilled, sly foxes.
Empty shelves would only entail a loss of business opportunities.
It was highly unlikely that they would do something so wasteful. It wasn’t just a single shop, either—stores all over the place were empty. There must be something going on.
I tried asking a shopkeeper as I bought a drink.
“There seems to be a lack of merchandise. What happened?”
The moment I asked, the shopkeeper made a troubled-looking face.
“Aah… about that. One of the main roads that connects to this town was blocked by a landslide. As a result, the arrival of merchandise got all jumbled up… It’s a total headache for all of the stores.”
“Is it gonna take time for recovery?”
“I hear the road got destroyed pretty badly. They say we should expect it to take several months.”
I thanked the shopkeeper as he threw up both hands in hopelessness, then we left the store.
“…Landslides are terrible, huh…”
“Yeah, that’s right…”
Thereupon, I suddenly placed my hand on my lips and fell into thought.
Laura tilted her head after seeing me like that.
“What’s wrong, Albert?”
Just then, the scene of the aftermath of my battle with the Crest Master crossed my mind.
A large, gaping wide tunnel carved into a cliff.
The hole that I blasted open with my Magic Arrow.
“Hey, Laura. Wanna go to the landslide right now?”
“I get a feeling that there’s something I can do.”
Today’s first chapter. Bit of a late release, sorry about that. I’ll post the next chapter of recreator later on, see you guys then.