Young Girl, Going back to Kroix.
When the two of them returned back to Kroix, it was roughly just as they had planned, right after the beginning of Summer, and into Summer itself.
Latina hands Braoh’s reins over to Dale and rushed over to 『Dancing Ocelot』 the moment she saw it. Slipping under the entrance of the shop with a face full of smiles.
Rita who was working on paperwork at her usual station, stopped her hands and looked up. Forming a smile with both shock and joy.
“I’m home, Rita.”
At Rita’s words, Latina looked even happier. It looked like her 『Face full of smiles』 got even brighter.
“You know, you know? There’s a lot of souvenirs!”
“I’m really looking forward to it. By the way, where’s Dale?”
Being asked by Rita, Latina who had calmed down slightly, tilted her head sideways and then turned around. He, who should’ve been right behind her, was not there.
She continued thinking, still tilting her head.
“Did you want something from me?”
Dale’s voice came from opposite the counter, the kitchen. Since he couldn’t bring Braoh inside the shop, he had to come around from the rear entrance.
With an extremely surprised look for some reason, Latina rushed into the kitchen. There, Kenneth was working, cooking up his ingredients as usual. Kenneth who was talking to Dale, noticed her coming and smiled at her.
“You’ve come back, welcome home.”
Jumping up and down twice, pyon pyon, like a rabbit, she looked sort of sad and said.
“I’m home, Kenneth.”
Kenneth who was told that, could only cock his head.
“Latina, wanted to be the first, to say ‘I’m home’ to Rita and Kenneth…. But it was taken by Dale….”
“That’s because Dale isn’t very smart.”
“Am I the one wrong here?”
“Is Latina 『wrong』 then?”
“It’s obviously all my fault, and my responsibility for stealing away Latina’s expectations.”
“Nothing’s changed at all.”
Kenneth smiled bitterly at Dale’s unchanging demeanor and stops working on his end.
A rather exquisitely designed ribbon was tied on her head, shaking as 『normal』.
“The best thing is that you’re safe. Welcome home, Latina.”
Hearing the words repeated again, Latina returned a smile back at him.
Latina, having returned back into the shop again, looked at Rita with her eyes turning round.
“Rita, your stomach is so big!”
It was hard to tell from how she was sitting behind the counter like she usually was, but before they left, Rita who already looked like she was pregnant, was now carrying a well defined, large stomach.
“The baby’s already moving, you can tell if you touch it.”
“Uwahhh! A baby…. Amazing…”
Latina gently brushes against Rita’s stomach with an excited look, then looked up at Rita seriously as if she had realised something.
“Isn’t it…. Heavy? Your stomach got this big.”
“It is heavy. My waist and back hurt and it’s terrible.”
“Can you use healing magic?”
“…Now that you’re back Latina, I’ll ask you about it ok?”
There aren’t any working magicians who would cast 『Healing Magic』 just for something like back pains. However, if it was this kind, and young girl then, even things that are difficult for an adult to ask, could be done casually.
“Did you have a fun trip?”
“Yeah! There was lots of things I didn’t write down in the letters.”
Standing opposite Latina, who was just starting to talk about her trip, Dale called out to her with a sly smile.
“How about after you change, Latina? We have to unpack our luggage as well.”
Looking at Latina spin, and then rush into the kitchen, the adults exchanged a peaceful look with each other.
“Latina is so energetic.”
“She’s excited. It was her first time going so far away after all.”
Feelings of relief, having come back safely, showed even in Dale’s report.
“Looking at Rita, it looks like everything’s going alright.”
“It’s our first time, so there’s so much we don’t know.”
“I asked Dad, to help us with the task of 『(The Green God) Akdar’s Message Board』 right now. It’s impossible for me to go back and forth from the kitchen, all by myself.”
Using Rita’s marriage as an opportunity, her parent’s entrusted the shop to the young couple, and were sent off into a life of retirement in the residential Southern District. However, of the jobs in 『Dancing Ocelot』, the one to work 『Akdar’s Message Board』, was limited only to those qualified. They needed permission from the 『Shrine』 as well as some sort of licence. There was no way they could get away with just hiring a temp worker for this.
Because of that, for no one else but their daughter and grandchild, the previous generation, Rita’s father was diligently commuting to work and providing them with the assistance they need.
“….Kenneth, were you alright?”
“I’m an adult who gets things done so I was fine. However, I thought so many times that it would’ve been better if you were here, Latina.”
The calming effect this cute girl has on the place could already be the limits of a special technique.
As the husband of Rita, the only daughter in her family, while it may be true that he was acknowledged by the previous owners, it couldn’t be said with absolute certainty that Kenneth had a perfect relationship with them. They weren’t on bad terms. It’s just that they were opposed to living with each other.
That was also the reason why the previous couple retired.
“Is father really that scary?”
“….He’s not scary to me. He’s my father after all. To me.”
In the business of dealing with adventurers, he was a man who would take a stand. There was no wonder Kenneth and Dale were looking at each other with a curious expression.
With the sounds of feet trotting, they could guess that Latina was coming back. Having changed out of her travel wear into her normal one piece, Latina peeked out suddenly.
“Dale, I’m collecting the laundry so put the clothes down.”
It’s been established that most of the housework is done by Latina. Before she had left on the trip, Latina had been working, but during her several month long stay at Tisroh, Latina was polishing her housework skills next to Magda. It was the exact opposite of Dale who was completely separated from housework, since he was relaxing, having returned back to his actual home. As a result, the fact that Latina was naturally entrusted with most of the housework still wasn’t noticed by Dale.
“Somehow…it looks like Latina is becoming more and more, reliable.”
Rita muttered, looking as if she said it subconsciously.
Latina started to diligently unpack the luggage on top of the 『Ocelot’s』 desk. She did this, knowing precisely that there won’t be too many guests at this time.
“Here’s your souvenir Rita!”
Saying so, she pulled out a charm that could be held in one hand from within the bag. Being complicatedly weaved into a shape with string, it gave off an elegant feeling.
“This is… a charm of Korumozei?”
“Well, thank you Latina.”
『(The Orange God) Korumozei』 is the god that governs over prosperity. It’s the god that gathers together the beliefs of safe childbirth and plentiful descendants.
It was very common for pregnant women or those around them to request such a charm.
“…Did you make this?”
A little further away, Kenneth asked Dale, who turned away, looking slightly embarrassed.
“Latina said, that she wanted to give Rita a charm…. so, since I am a priest… after all….”
Kenneth knew that Dale didn’t think very favourably upon his own 『Divine Protection』, and merely gave a quick reply with a calm expression.
–It was when the two of them were in Tisroh, and about halfway through their stay.
“Yeah, you see. Rita has a baby in her.”
Latina said that to Wenn-baa while she was reading a book that she had borrowed from Teacher Cornelio, in Wenn-baa’s room and was in the middle of talking about her life in Kroix.
“Hoh. Then it would be good if you made an amulet from 『Korumozei』 for her.”
“Amulet? A charm? I’ll make one?”
“Only those that have the 『Divine Protection』, basically a priest, can make one. However, it’ll be fine for you to make the decorations for it. I’ll get my stupid grandson to do the actual contents.”
“Yeah. Even he can do something 『Priest-like』 like this.”
Since Dale normally didn’t behave anything 『Like a priest』, Latina tilted her head, puzzled. However, Wenn-baa just laughed loudly.
“That old hag said that?”
“Yeah. I want to make a charm for Rita. Can you help me Dale?”
Late at night, while the two of them were alone in the bedroom, Latina asked Dale with a 『Pleading』 face. The person herself didn’t seem to realise this, but her slightly upturned eyes, bending her head sideways just a little bit, had extraordinarily destructive power even without taking her age into account.
If she continues to grow up like this, there’s no doubt that this child would make countless boys cry. However, there’s no way Latina would show such an expression to some random person. Being asked for 『Help』 by Latina was a right, that only 『he』 had.
“Hmmm… the materials… are here.”
It’s not like that materials used here are particularly rare.
An existence close to 『Korumozei』, basically a plant that can be thought of as a part of the fruit, is used to create the charm.
Although they couldn’t just use the flowers as they were, they would use the flower’s fibres, which had been coloured with the flowers as the charm’s materials. (fix)
In a large place like a city’s shrine, they would use a luxurious cloth weaved with a complex pattern. However, Tisroh’s styles of charm was made by weaving a much more simple ribbon, making an ornamental shape.
“…I’ll make the real substance of the charms that form the prayers, 『the insides』, so can you make the bag that that goes into Latina?”
The materials that Dale prepared was a bundle of string that was surprisingly multi-coloured. In front of Latina, Dale takes out several strings and dexterously knitted it up.
“That’s amazing Dale!”
“…I was made to help out here, quite a lot, when I was a kid…”
When it came to the production of the decorations for the familial ceremonious events, even kids were recruited. Because of that, each generation passes down the method to create the succeeding ornaments.
“I’ll do it slowly so watch carefully, ok?”
Just like he was a parent teaching his child, Dale takes the young girl’s hands into his, and started to teach her a unique ribbon knitting, creating a pattern.
The 『Charm』 that Latina had made, looked shoddy no matter how dexterous she was. Nevertheless, it was filled with 『thoughts』 that couldn’t be compared with a 『Charm』 that was awarded from the normal shrines.
Rita hugs it against her chest happily and smiled. In that smile was a slight feeling of 『Motherhood』 that she didn’t have up until now.
“Thank you Latina, really.”
After doing that, she looked towards Dale with a smile, an expression she rarely looked at him with.
“You too, Dale. Thank you.”
Dale, who couldn’t avoid and change Rita’s straightforward gratitude into some sort of joke, looked like he was clearly shaking, even when you stood right next to him.
(Author’s note: This has been a story talking about the souvenirs as well as the episode that relates to the souvenir and how they are coming back.
Thank you for always reading.)