Authors: Fujino Omori
Tags: #Fiction, #Fantasy
“You should rest before you go!”
Hestia didn’t turn around or respond, just waved her hand as she headed out the door.
She had been waiting in a small room behind
’s main store. She walked right past it and onto Main Street.
I can’t wait to give this to him!
Just thinking about his face the moment she gave him the dagger made her so happy she could die.
First, he would simply smile at her, look at her with respect and admiration, and he would hold her…
Hestia’s cheeks puffed up as she thought of how to set up that moment. She was walking down the middle of the road, her face stuck in the same expression, giggling to herself.
She calmed down a bit as she walked farther down Northwest
Main. She decided to wait for Bell at home, rather than trying to find him in the city. Of course, she wanted to give it to him as quickly as possible, but she didn’t know where he was at the moment.
Probably somewhere in the Dungeon, knowing him.
“Hmm?… Ha-ha-ha, I see…”
She’d had a plan, until she happened to see a poster on the side of a shop. No one showed it to her. It was just there. A triumphant grin grew on her face.
The poster detailed the schedule for Monsterphilia, opening today.
The yearly festival is today! Bell just came to Orario. If he knows about Monsterphilia, that’s where he’ll be!
Therefore, if she went, too, chances were she could see him there. She was in such a good mood that the idea of searching for Bell in a massive crowd didn’t bother her at all.
She’d figured out how he thought. Or so she declared to herself via her new (slightly unfounded) confidence. She knew where she needed to go.
Turning on a heel, she made her way toward East Main.
She flagged down a horse cart that was passing through by waving her small hand.
The young driver neatly pulled right up at Hestia’s feet. She climbed into the cart and said, “To East Main, please!” and pointed that way for good measure.
“Ha-ha, loud and clear. Are you by chance going to Monsterphilia, Miss Goddess?”
“Something like that.”
The young man flicked the reins, sending the cart into motion. The sound of wooden wheels hitting the rock pavement bounced in her ears. Her seat shook with each stone.
This was a huge city. Home to the most adventurers and
in the world, Orario distinguished itself from the rest of the larger cities. Inside a city this large, walking wasn’t the most efficient form of transportation. Horses had been brought in to help
transport supplies to businesses around the city as well as assist private citizens.
The term “taxi” was first used by a god trying to flag one of them down. The name stuck and had been used ever since.
“I want to get there as fast as I can. I know it’s crowded today, but can you speed up?”
“Do I look like a man who would refuse the request of a goddess?”
The young man was more than happy to oblige and urged his horse to run faster.
Since the main streets were full of people and food stands, he veered off the main road and went into the backstreets. Sometimes their path was so narrow that the cart barely fit through the gap as they rode toward East Main.
The driver, who couldn’t have been more than five years older than Bell, was very friendly and kept a lively conversation going during the trip. Hestia got into the festival spirit watching all the decorations fly by their cart.
“A-ya-ya. I’m sorry, Goddess. Looks like I can’t go any farther.”
They had been making great time, but suddenly the cart came to a halt. East Main was only a block away, but the number of fairgoers had increased to the point that the taxi couldn’t proceed.
The driver lowered his head in apology, but Hestia figured this was close enough and started getting ready to disembark from the cart.
“It’s okay, Mr. Driver. I’ll walk from here.”
“I really do apologize. It may be a little dark, but if you use that side road, you should be able to get to East Main.”
“Thanks! How much do I owe you?”
“It comes to ninety vals.”
Hestia turned her purse inside out and emptied the entire contents into the driver’s hands, her face glowing with excitement.
“Hee-hee. Keep the change! It’s your tip!”
“Um, Goddess, this is exactly ninety vals…”
His words fell on deaf ears as Hestia half danced her way onto the
side road he had suggested. He watched her for a moment, a slightly lonely look on his face. Giving up on the tip, he turned his cart around and set off to find another customer.
The side road was dark and narrow. But unlike the main street, no one was back there, and Hestia moved quickly down the path. She skipped forward, humming a happy tune and cradling the weapon case in her arms.
It was at that moment she realized she wasn’t alone.
“Huh? Is that you, Freya?”
Hestia almost ran into a woman covering her entire body with a navy blue cloak at a small intersection. Hestia could tell it was the Goddess of Beauty from a few locks of silver hair sticking out from the neck of the hood and the woman’s posture.
“Did you come to watch Monsterphilia, too? Taking a back road like this, you must be in a rush.”
“… In a sense, yes. There are many children on the main street, so I’m staying out of sight. Sneaking around back here is the fastest way to get around.”
“Ah! Must be difficult being the Goddess of Beauty!”
Everyone who saw Freya had a different reaction, but many tended to stop and stare. She could avoid a lot of hassle by staying out of sight. That meant she couldn’t ride a taxi to get around, either. This had to be her only way.
Freya smiled her usual smile. Hestia gave her an affirming nod.
“Oh, Freya, while I’ve got you here. Have you seen the boy in my
? I’m looking for him.”
“He’s a human with white hair and ruby-red eyes… Kind of looks like a rabbit!”
Hestia mimed out her explanation of Bell, arms becoming rabbit ears. Freya stopped smiling and went silent.
But her smile soon returned, and she told Hestia what she knew.
“Now that you mention it, I have. On East Main, not too long ago.”
“Yes. He was heading toward the stadium. So if you take a left up there, you should be able to avoid the crowd completely.”
Accepting her directions without a second thought, Hestia thanked her with her biggest smile yet and set off.
Freya smiled a different kind of grin before continuing on her own path.
Hestia followed the road and turned left. More and more sunlight reached the street as she got closer to East Main.
It wasn’t long now. Hestia picked up speed and burst out of the side street and into the throng of people on the main street.
The fairgoers didn’t have any time to waste, either.
But in the waves of people, she immediately found Bell’s white head trying and failing to move forward through the crowd.
Is that who I think it is over there…? Oh, wow.
Haven’t seen the goddess for days, and suddenly she shows up here, in the middle of this mess?
“Goddess?! What are you doing here?”
“Hey, don’t be stupid! I wanted to see you, why else?”
She comes all the way up to me, her ridiculously large boobs leading the way.
That’s not really an answer… She’s making me a bit nervous.
“Yeah, I wanted to see you, too, but not that. Where have you been…?”
“What a wonderful coincidence, don’t you think? I wanted to see you, and here you are! We must have some kind of special connection! Hee-hee-hee!”
She’s not listening… at all.
She’s gone into her own little world. Where does that leave me?
“G-Goddess, you seem to be in a really good mood. What happened?”
“Hee-hee… You wanna know? The reason why I’m happy…”
I swear she’s smiling hard enough to power all the magic stone lamps in Orario… She’s also hiding something behind her back. What could that be? Well, I’ll just have to wait. She’s really drawing this out.
“The truth is…”
I wait for her to continue, but she just stops.
She looks around the fair, taking in the sights and sounds. But I don’t think she’s really here, in the real world. Now she’s staring up at the sky. What is going through her head?
“… Hmm. We’re already out here, so I’ll tell you later!”
“Look forward to something really special!”
My shoulders drop; pretty sure my jaw does, too. What is she trying to do to me? Wait, what? She grabbed my hand?!
My heart skips a beat as she takes my right hand. Her skin, it’s so soft… She’s pulling!
“Let’s have a date, Bell!”
She turns her back and looks over her shoulder with a cute little smile.
“… A date?!”
“Yep, yep! Just look at the city! Everything looks so fun! We’ll have a great time!”
“Sure, but what do you mean, a date?”
“Hee-hee! Let’s go, Bell! Let’s go!”
I’m blushing like mad; I can feel it in my cheeks. But the goddess looks so happy.
Her silklike fingers clamp down on my hand, and she leads me straight into the crowded street.
The street vendors show no signs of slowing down. They are selling so many things! Meat on a stick; easy to carry, I suppose. Oh! Small souvenirs, key chains, accessories with
’s emblem or a monster on them are in that one! Aren’t those… real weapons?? Not the highest grade, but they’re very real. Only in Orario…
Fireworks fired off from the stadium dot the sky. I can barely hear them over the noise on the street.
“Wait, Goddess. I have to tell you, I’m in the middle of something!”
“Oh, like what?”
“I was asked to find someone.”
“Okay, then, we’ll look for them while on our date! I think the phrase is two birds with one stone? Hey! Mister! Two of those crepes, please!”
She brushes me off again… I’m in trouble now.
I can’t go back to The Benevolent Mistress without getting Syr’s wallet to her and say it was because I was on a
! Is this a date…? Anyway, if those ladies find out, they would hate me for sure!
And then there’s…
The goddess. I can’t take my eyes off her.
My hand won’t relax, damp with sweat. That’s nothing compared with all these new looks from the goddess.
It is strange to think, but she’s acting the age she looks, going from vendor to vendor, her eyes sparkling as she points to a pastry or clothes like a teenager. She’s completely different at home, more grown-up. Her smile is always contagious, but now it’s… cute.
The goddess really is a beautiful young lady. Seeing this side of her proves it.
My heart is beating a rhythm now… What have I gotten myself into?
She’s a goddess!!
“Ah, yes. What is it?”
She’s making this a whole lot more complicated…
She’s holding one of the crepes that we just bought up to my mouth with that radiant grin on her face…
While she finally lets go of my hand, she’s on tiptoes holding the crepe with both hands and trying to get me to open my mouth.
My arms flail as I struggle to get words out, eyes locked on the confection now inches away.
“Goddess, what are you doing?!”
“What do you mean? Say ‘ah’! Ready, ahh-nn. I always wanted to try this.”
My whole body is twitching… How pathetic…
I forgot what I was going to say, great. All right, maybe if I don’t say anything, she’ll get the message. My cheeks are on fire!
I know she’s in a good mood, but this is absurd! Maybe it’s the festival that’s giving her these ideas.
“Aww, what is it, Bell? Is it because I took a bite first?”
“N-no! It’s not that, it’s just…”
It’s a little embarrassing… and you are a goddess!! I have to respect you! Respect!
Being fed like that by an otherworldly deity? I have no manners at all!
Avoid eye contact! I already look pathetic enough! Come on, think! There has to be a way out! Ah! My own crepe!
“I bought that for you! To take a bite of your crepe would be disrespectful because I have my own. Please have a bite of mine instead!”
“… You got away…”
Her smile is gone, pouting a bit. At least she lowered the crepe.
But she shrugs it off. “Oh, well.” Her smile is back!
“Okay, we’ll do it your way. I’ll have a bite of yours.”
She closes her eyes. Her thin lips are open.
Okay, I can handle this. Just bring the crepe close to her mouth…
Her cute cherry-blossom lips jump forward as she takes a small bite. She looks like a cute, innocent child… Stop looking at her like that! I’m blushing again!