As evening approached, once the inn’s work ended, Ruth returned to his room on his own. Seeing the westering sunlight flood into his room from his window made him think about how the sun is about to set soon. There was only an hour left before he had to go prepare dinner but at this brief break, Ruth sunk into his bed.
“...is what I want…”
However, the moment he closed his eyes he heard the whispers of a man and woman from outside of his room. Ruth, who recognized the man’s voice, crouched down and peeked outside from his window.
(I knew it…)
The ones outside of his window were his closest childhood friend, Alec, and the daughter of the medicinal herbs shop, Paria, who is 3 years younger than them. Incidentally, Ruth remembers all the names of the girls in the village.
Their facial expressions were almost opposite from each other. Alec was turned away from her while looking slightly irritated but Paria stared at Alec with upturned eyes in embarrassment.
“In any case, I have no interest in things like that. I’m sorry but please give up.”
“That doesn’t concern you.”
“It does concern me! Until I hear a proper reason, I won’t give up!”
When Paria firmly declared that, Alec let out a small sigh.
“Please do not tell anyone… I am thinking about proposing to the person I like soon.”
When Alec dropped that bombshell, Paria had a pained expression on her face. She must be shocked since it’s definitely her first time hearing about it. However, Ruth who was still hiding and listening momentarily stopped breathing from the shock.
This was sudden news for him too. Of course, he understands that at this age everyone has things they don’t want to share but Ruth, who considered himself as Alec’s closest friend, was slightly shocked to hear about such important matters for the first time.
“I-Is that so… I understand.”
Just like that, Paria’s small mumbling voice was mixed with tears but knowing that saying anything else would be useless, she gave up. After a little while, the sounds of footsteps leaving was heard.
A while after she left, a deep sigh from Alec can finally be heard.
“This is the first time I’ve heard about this person you want to propose to, Alec.”
When Ruth opened up the window and called out to Alec, Alec made a horribly surprised face.
“You, since when…”
“ Since around the ‘I have no interest in things like that’ part.”
“… Did you hear that too?”
“Haha, you're more of a ladies man than you seem. And so, when did you confess?”
“... I …”
Alec, whose speech became somewhat rougher than how he usually is, strangely blushed as he approached Ruth.
(Even though I thought I was Alec’s number one closest friend… it’s disheartening knowing that Alec never told me.)
However, Ruth had already cultivated his patience and understanding almost like a sage in his past life. Ruth has no recollection of ever getting angry when someone has left him in the dark, it surely must be that Alec has his circumstances that make it hard to talk about. Therefore, like a good friend, Ruth lightly teased him. That way, Alec won’t feel too awkward.
“...I was planning to give this.”
After he said that, he leaned on his window and showed Ruth a beautiful bracelet with an intricate design. Affixed in the middle was a blue gem that gave off a mystical color.
“It’s a beautiful bracelet.”
“...Do you like it?”
“Ah, of course. The jewel in the middle, especially, has a nice color.”
“I used magic to cast a spell on it. I think that’s why it has that effect.”
“I see, it’s your work. So that’s why it’s more beautiful than what's at the general store.”
Alec not only creates his own magic but he also has high enough skills to cast magic on accessories (magical equipment) on his own. However, only Ruth knows of this since it’s a secret withheld the people in the village. Magical equipment seems to be fairly valuable even if it’s badly made; if it was able to be produced yourself, a fight would likely break out because of it. Because Ruth learned about this in Father’s history classes, it was his idea to keep Alec’s abilities hidden.
Ruth genuinely complimented him and Alec seemed to blush from joy.
“... You’re the only one who would compliment me normally on something like this.”
“It’s not like that…”
“If I do anything even slightly different from what I usually do, those other guys would make an uproar over it.”
“... Yeah, well…”
Certainly, whenever Alec does anything big, the village would kick up a commotion about it. Nevertheless, that has had an impact on Alec while he was growing up.
- In here he uses 俺 ore. It’s a more informal way to refer to oneself.
- Usually Alec refers to himself as 僕 boku, which is a more polite way to refer to oneself (more so than 俺 ore).
- Sage in here refers to a Japanese popular trope where a virgin guy turns into a sage/wizard when he is past the age of 30. It's suppose to refer to how patient after enduring so many "trails". Kinda like going through a long RPG game. By the way, thank you to Momo for letting me know about this.
MARY: Hello everyone! Very short chapter this week but unfortunately, I will be out of town for the rest of this weekend so I probably will not be able to finish this chapter before this week ends. However, I still wanted to get something up by then so I've decided to split this chapter in half. I'll post the other half of the chapter as soon as I can. Thank you for your patience! As always, please let me know if you see any mistakes ^_^)/