There was a forest called “Shackna Forest” four kilometers southeast of town.
It was a place inhabited by weak monsters and often became hunting grounds for beginner adventurers — but every once in a while, a formidable foe called the “Beginner Killer” appears, reaping the lives of the young adventurers.
It was a place of many deaths, of shady history.
Therefore, the townspeople of Coura don’t often come near the place.
“Haah…” I sighed. I was right on the edge of Shackna forest.
I will soon be stepping into this forest.
I didn’t want to come to a creepy place like this, but I had to come here no matter what it took.
Since it seems that my capture target this time was in here.
Even though she was a noble’s daughter, Kirisha plays in this forest every day.
“You didn’t have to play in a place like this …”
While grumbling, Iused mirror and transformed into a certain old soldier.
A man nearing his sixties, but he had robust mucles all over his body, and his back wasn’t even hunched.
Compared to my original body, it was much easier to move in.
In the form of the old soldier, I set foot into the forest.
Then after walking a while —
“There she is …”
I saw a beautiful young girl in a clearing in the middle of the forest.
The young girl Kirisha was playing there underneath the sunlight.
Wearing a well-tailored yellow dress and a hair ornament in the shape of a sunflower on her head.
Kirisha was sitting on a soft black sofa brought in from somewhere.
Flailing her legs, and with little birds waiting upon her.
“Such innocence …” I took a tired breath.
It somehow feels, calming, to see her ….
Even by looking from far away my heart feels like it’s healed.
The High Orc with a loose screw
The bothersome big-breasted book girl
The self-centered priestess
None of them posessed the charm Kirisha does.
“Well, I can’t just keep staring at her …”
In the guise of the old soldier, I feigned coincidence and approached Kirisha.
“Oh! Little lady, what could you be doing out here … were you separated from your parents?”
When I called out to her, Kirisha turned to look at me.
“No, Kirisha isn’t lost nodesu. Kirisha is here because Kirisha wants to be here. This place is Kirisha’s playground nanodesu!”
Kirisha flashed a wide smile.
What is this cute little thing ….
“Oh, is that so … but it’s dangerous here, little lady. There are scary beasts here you know”
“There’s no need to worry nanodesu! The scary monster’s under Kirisha’s butt!”
“Butt …? Ooh, you mean …!”
Kirisha wasn’t sitting on a sofa.
A black, canine monster.
The strongest monster around here called a Godoff.
The monster Godoff had a red shining band on its neck — this was Kirisha’s power.
“So you have the ‘Tamer¹’ power little lady! I see, then you’re safe here”
¹ «TN: the actual word is joubuku, exorcism, i.e. suppression of a malignant entity»
“Yes, my monster friends all protect Kirisha so Kirisha can play here all safe and sound nodesu!”
“Is that so, well, I’m jealous that you have so many friends. You can play all you want!”
“Yes, Kirisha loves this forest nodesu! Are you here for a loiter?”
“Um, please call it ‘a walk’ if you can …”
“Ah, excuse Kirisha! Kirisha has a large vocabulary but doesn’t know how to use it well nodesu!”
*grin*, smiled Kirisha.
Yep, I can forgive anything.
Even if you stabbed me, even if yo go tehepero at me, I’ll forgive you with room to spare.
“By the way little lady, it must be fate that we met here. If it’s all right with you, will you have me for a chat? This place is a little lonely” I smiled wistfully.
“If you’re lonely Kirisha will tell you looots of stories desuyo! Kirisha knows a lot so Kirisha can talk with aaaany kind of people nodesu! Let’s see, how about we talk about ‘nursing²’ this time?”
² «TN: as in ‘nursing home’»
“Um, why don’t we talk about something more, cheerful …”
“Oops, Kirisha made a choice mistake desuyo! I know, why don’t we talk about ‘funeral’ then?”
“It’s a little less gloomy but … I know, if it’s all right with you why don’t we talk about what your dreams are? Since I’m an old person I like talking about dreams”
“In that case,” Kirisha cheerfully began talking.
“Kirisha will one day, become an adventurer and go to ‘Fahra Valley’ nodesu. Then Kirisha will tame the giant dragons at the bottom of the valley nodesu! Kirisha will be the first ever Dragon Tamer desuyo!”
“Ooh, amazing! Having dreams is good!”
“Then when Kirisha gets a dragon Kirisha will start a safe and comfortable high speed transport business! Kirisha will use it to gather capital and this time get involved in the spice trade, and Kirisha will turn over the company headship at the young age of 40 and retire early nodesu! Secure stocks ahead of time and set up a cloistered rule desuyo!”
“That’s realistic …”
“Kirisha’s assets will of course be in the form of non-depreciating ores!”
“Really realistic …”
And then I continued listening to Kirisha’s dreams.
So anyway Kirisha first wants to go to a place far far away.
However, no matter how grand Kirisha’s dream was, it was followed along by a sense of reality.
“Well, it’s been fun talking with you little lady. Thank you very much for talking to this old soul”
“No, you’re just about the same age as Kirisha’s papa or granpa, so you’re very easy to talk to desuyo!”
“Ooh, is that so!” well, I knew that. “By the way little lady. You said you wanted to be an adventurer … but have you gotten permission from your parents?”
When I asked that, a shadow fell over Kirisha’s face.
Kirisha’s father wanted to use her as a tool in a political marriage.
He wanted Kirisha to marry into the family of the man called Montavo.
And the one who objected to that was Yuutarou.
If Yuutarou won against Montavo, Kirisha will be officially free.
If Yuutarou lost his duel against Montavo — Kirisha will be married to Montavo immediately.
“Papa wants Kirisha to marry but … Yuutarou said he was going to save Kirisha so there will be no problem nodesu!”
Kirisha smiled with her whole face and looked up to the sky.
“Kirisha will soon leave Coura and see the wide wi–de world desuyo!”
The blue sky and white clouds reflected in Kirisha’s eyes.
In her heart she held anticipation for the world she had yet to see.
Or else —
“Little lady, if it’s alright with you will you let me come by again later?”
“Yes, of course nodesuyo! Kirisha will be playing with Kirisha’s friends here everyday so please come by anytime!”