40 – The Elf who Was a Freeloader
“My name is Erulula Zaphyra Fyrasilula Akatsuka. Because it’s a long name, please call me Eru okay?”
That was the name of the lady elf standing in front of Tatsumi, who was not only the owner and mistress of the bar called [The Elf’s Resthouse], but also someone who once lived in Japan.
“—-Then after Miss Eru’s husband died, you came to this world?”
“Yes. After Yasutaka…My husband died of age, I used a sword which contained the power to cross worlds to come here. Including my home world and the world of Earth, this would be my third world.”
Tatsumi and Calcedonia who were sitting in front of the counter of [The Elf’s Rest House] while listening to Eru’s life story.
In the past, Eru had been transported from her home world to Japan with the use of a magic item.
She met people of all different sorts there, she was saved, and in the end, she ended up getting a formal family register for Japan. She even married.
But she could not have a child with her husband. As an elf she possessed a far greater lifespan than her husband, so after he passed on, she once again used the magic item to arrive at this world about 20 years ago.
“But, for mistress to be from dear’s home-world…. I’m really surprised.”
“It’s the same for me. To think that Calsey was a Cockatiel in her past life. And because you thought of Tatsumi so much, you even ended up successfully summoning him…… Normally it’s not a story one could simply believe.”
Tatsumi and Calcedonia, with Eru, were happily talking about their life in ever so nostalgic Japan.
By the way, the since the three of them were speaking in Japanese, the monster hunters around them couldn’t understand even if they were desperate in trying to eavesdrop.
“But a Cockatiel huh. Though I never kept one, I often saw them in pet shops. They were so cute.. … Now that I remember, that person also really liked animals didn’t he?”
Eru looked at the picture frame that was placed on the counter.
In the photo, there were 3 highschoolers besides Eru, 2 male and 1 female. The boy standing next to Eru would probably be her husband.
The gaze Eru was currently casting on the picture was very gentle. It was clear that she was still deeply in love with her deceased husband.
After that, they continued to talk about Japan.
Specially Tatsumi and Eru who couldn’t really talk much about Japan until then were simply gushing forth with topics related to it.
“Eh? Miss Eru lived in the Hinobu city of Aichi prefecture? I lived in Seto city…”
“Eehh? Hinobu and Seto city are right by each other!? I, I went to Seto a number of times you know? For the Earthenware Festival, and when it’s Autumn I went to the Iwaya temple to see the autumn colors.”
“Yeah….But I never really went to Hinobu much. At most that time when I went there on the middle school excursion to the Aichi farms.”
“Maybe I might have even met Tatsumi somewhere before.”
While Eru and Tatsumi were happily chatting, Calcedonia, on the other hand, was somewhat sulking as she rested her chin on top of the counter.
It seems like she didn’t like the fact that Eru and Tatsumi were having fun chatting all by themselves.
Though she knew a bit about Japan, as she was a Cockatiel back then, her knowledge was severely limited so she could not keep up with their conversation.
While talking with Eru, Tatsumi noticed Calcedonia’s condition. Thus he gently patted her head.
And with just that, her face bloomed into a gentle, happy smile.
As her mood got better, Calcedonia leaned her head on his shoulder just like that.
And seeing them like that, this time it was Eru’s turn to be flabbergasted.
“…… I’m amazed. For that Calsey to fawn over a man this much……”
Before, when Calcedonia still frequented this place, she kept her contact with men to a minimum.
As a monster hunter, there were times when she teamed up with other hunters. But even then, by no means was she ever close to another person like now.
A happy face that even Eru had never seen till now. And the person her smile was meant for was smiling happily too.
They weren’t talking but, in the first place, they did not need words to convey their feelings.
Eru as well, sensing the inseparable bond that existed between the two, smiled happily.
“Now then, once again welcome to the [Elf’s Resthouse].”
After she happily finished her talk with Tatsumi, she revised her attitude.
From now, it wouldn’t do to just talk about their past, they also had to talk about the future.
Maybe because of that, she changed her language from Japanese to the common trade language of the Zoysalight continent.
“This bar and inn is mainly used as a gathering place for the Monster Hunters. I, Erulula Zaphyra Fyrasilula Akatsuka, am the owner. Of course, other than me there are also some employees working here. Even though I am here most of the time, the employees work in shifts.”
The people gathered here weren’t all monster hunters. There were also information brokers, and people wishing to post a monster subjugation request.
Of course, there were people who came here simply for a meal, and there were people who wanted to rent a place for the night.
“Unlike games and light novels, the monster hunters of this world don’t have a supporting organization like a [Guild]. So of course, there are no dividing ranks either. From the moment one thinks ‘I am a monster hunter’, he becomes a monster hunter. But, well, whether or not he actually has the skills to take down a monster is a different matter altogether.”
For the most part, the faster ones take the requests posted in the bar room.
But whether or not the request is something he is able to do, is something the consignee has to decide for himself.
Though one might receive advice from friends and seniors, in the end, it’s self-responsibility.
“For me, I can’t leave requests to people who cannot possibly subjugate the said monster. If all we got were failures, then it would end up as a matter affecting the store’s reputation. However, there are always people who get lured by the rewards, not even looking back to evaluate whether they really can finish it considering their own abilities. For people like them, there are cases of severe injuries. In the worst case, they die.”
That’s why, Tatsumi should think it through carefully before accepting a request — That’s what Eru was implying.
“I understand. I am not in a hurry so I’ll steadily start with simple requests.”
“Yes, it’s important that you think like that.”
By the way, Eru meaningfully smiled with that as a preface:
“As the owner of this place, I have the duty to evaluate just how strong Tatsumi is. So, I want to prepare a small test, how about it?”
As someone who acts as a middleman for Monster hunters, she had the duty to understand how skillful each of them was.
The ‘test’ Eru was talking about was without a doubt something to grasp if Tatsumi had the minimum requirement as a monster hunter.
That’s why Tatsumi agreed to take the test without any hesitation.
“So then, what’s the test going to be about?”
“Ufufufu. When talking about tests like these for newcomers, of course it’s gotta be [Herb Collection] quests.”
“I see, basically collecting a certain amount of a certain type of herb right?”
“Yes. But rather than a certain amount, a single stock will do. Please go and collect the herb I am about to tell you and bring it here. This will be Tatsumi’s trial.”
The herb Eru told him to bring was called Grendan. In these lands, it has been long used as salves and ointments.
“This is a trial only for Tatsumi, so Miss Calsey, you can’t go alright?”
Though she obediently replied with that, her expression showed her dissatisfaction. It seems like she wasn’t willing to part with Tatsumi, even if it was just for a small time. Though in this case, she could not be stubborn.
“But, I’ve never seen a Grendan herb…”
“It looks like this. Tsuil, can you?”
As she lightly addressed the ring she wore on the middle finger of her right hand, a small humanoid figure appeared.
From what Tatsumi could see it was about 15cm tall. It looked to be like a human but had 2 sheets of dragonfly-like wings on its back.
It was wearing green clothing, with a three-cornered hat of the same color on the head. Most of all, its big nose in the center of its face was eye catching.
The little figure smiled at Eru and soon vanished, in its place a vivid stalk of herb was floating in front of Eru’s palm.
“This is the Grendan Herb, please remember it carefully.”
The herb was floating on top of Eru’s palm like a real projection. Suddenly seeing that Tatsumi blanked out for a moment.
“T-This… Is this magic?”
“Yes. Using the power of the spirit of illusions, it created a phantom image.”
“Eh!? T-Then, this is the so-called Spirit Magic?”
Unlike the Aria Magic Calcedonia used, it was a completely different type.
Though he didn’t know much about Spirit magic, he remembered that when he was first summoned here Giuseppe had spoken to him about it.
And Giuseppe said that there was a single lady who was spreading this magic around.
“Could it be, that the person propagating this magic is… Miss Eru?”
As Tatsumi said that, Eru showed a shy smile.
“Ehehehe, tentatively, that would be it.”
She came to this world about 20 years ago.
At that time, seeing her using a magic completely different from the type used in this world, many were excited to be her apprentice.
But of course, not everyone who came under her wing could use spirit magic.
To be able to use spirit magic, other than the constitution of the mage himself, there was the important factor of being able to communicate with spirits.
For that reason, even within the small number of people in the world who could use mana at all, the number of people who could use spirit magic was even smaller.
She and the small number of her disciples, who had abilities far above normal mages, started to receive the attention of the world about 10 years ago. So actually, spirit magic had been propagating only since 10 years ago.
“I’ve really received one shock after another today. Not only is the mistress someone from dear’s country, but even the founder of spirit magic.”
It seems like Calcedonia was not aware that Eru was the originator of Spirit Magic.
Though the number of times Calcedonia frequented this place wasn’t that few, she had never seen Eru use spirit magic.
“Well than Tatsumi, have you remembered the features of the Grendan herb?”
The phantom image of the herb was still floating on top of her hand.
Tatsumi looked at the image as if he wanted to copy it in his brain: its color, special traits, everything.
But even though he’s seeing the herb, he had no confidence of actually recognizing it in the fields.
That’s where Tatsumi took the help of the convenience of modern civilization.
Tatsumi took out a certain something from the sack hanging on his waist. It was something he had when he was summoned here, a cell phone.
The cell phone he had was an old type of patterned design one. But its power capacity was excellent as it was still working splendidly.
Of course, he couldn’t perform the original purpose of the cell phone but he could utilize the digital camera built in.
Tatsumi started up the camera and took the picture of the image. With this, he could have a better reference.
And seeing Tatsumi using the cell phone, Eru had a surprised reaction.
“Oooh, that’s a rather antique model. Isn’t that a model from the early 2000s? Even when I first started living in Japan, only a small percentage of people used these types.”
“Well certainly, but I was in Japan in the mid-2010s so… even if it was a bit older, it was still being used a lot. It couldn’t really be called an antique you know?”
“Eh? In the mid-2010s?”
Eru stared blankly. And Tatsumi finally noticed there was something wrong in the conversation.
“Erm… until when did Miss Eru stay in Japan?”
“I was in Japan till 2080 but……”
Eru went to Japan in the 2010 period. That’s when she met her husband who was still 10 years old. That’s why she lived in Japan for 70 more years till her husband’s lifespan was naturally over.
“… … I see. There seems to be a time gap between the period you and I lived in Japan.”
“That seems to be the case. I might have even crossed time when I came here. In the first place, there is no proof that time flows the same in both worlds, and there is no way to ascertain that. Maybe the world I lived in and the world Tatsumi lived in were just [Two very similar but different Japans].”
Tatsumi nodded at Eru’s words.
Just like she said, there was no guarantee that all worlds had similar time flows. Maybe the rate time changed in each world was different.
“But I think that my meeting here with Tatsumi is the most important thing of all.”
With that, Eru sweetly smiled.
“Well then, about the trial. How about we start right now?”
With an expression like that of a kid who thought up a new prank, Eru looked at Tatsumi.
“That’s right, I’d like to wrap this up quickly too.”
After Tatsumi agreed to Eru’s proposal, he stood up from the counter then looked at Calcedonia.
But what he didn’t notice was Eru showing an expression of shock after he turned around.
“Well then, for now I’ll return home and prepare a bit. What’s Calsey going to do in the meantime?”
“I’ll just stay here and wait for you to come back.”
Her voice was as calm as usual. There was no uneasiness hidden within.
Seems like she didn’t doubt that Tatsumi would succeed the trial.
“By the way miss Eru, is it okay for me to ask where this Grendan herb grows?”
“G-Grendan herb, right, exit from the south gate of the town and go a bit down south. The herb grows at the entrance of the forest there but… are you seriously going to take the test now?”
Being asked by Tatsumi, Eru subconsciously obediently replied with that.
After that, as he already had learned where the herb grew, Tatsumi said with a smile “I’ll be back,” and just like that, exited [The Elf’s Resthouse].
Eru reflexively wished Tatsumi farewell but, it was then that she finally came to her senses.
“Calsey!! Is it really okay for Tatsumi to take the test just like this?!”
Eru impatiently asked.
But Calcedonia, without being perturbed, rather, she replied with confidence.
“It’s okay. My husband, he will be back with the herb right away.”
But one of the Monster Hunters who happened to listen to the conversation of the girls approached them with a concerned look on his face.
“Oi oi Miss <<Holy Maiden>>. That brother who just left, if he goes out now to look for the Grendan herb, he might not come back alive if he does things unskillfully you know?”