Three days had passed since the fight with the Ice Dragon.
To begin with the conclusion, the townspeople thanked me.
Because we repelled such a clear danger.
Apparently the militia had been wiped out.
The bandits who had remained at the hideout had been routed by Shion-san.
There seemed to have been a number of magi and there had been victims among the assault group, too.
Among them, the guild members attacking from a certain direction had been wiped out.
According to one member who had been nearby and luckily escaped, it had all been done by one dark-skinned woman...
Both that woman and the bandit group are gone now.
And while there had been damage to the town, it was along the way to regaining its peace.
I had gone around and checked if I couldn't help people.
It had been difficult, people being surprised by Heal and thanking me for it.
After all I may have been a reason for this whole mess. I really felt like running away.
But apparently only the priest in the single church and I can use Heal in this town.
...no, I'm certain Till can use it too, but asking that much of her would go too far.
Ostensibly, Till said she didn't want to get involved with humans.
Speaking of good news, Eleanor-san and her impertinent little brother Kal, as well as their family, were alright.
They cried when we met again inside the town. It was a bit overwhelming.
Anyhow, the more I was thanked, the more could I feel my smile cramp.
The three days passed in that fashion.
And in the third night, I was sitting on the bed, grasping my knees.
When depressed, why does that posture already make it a little better?
"Hey, I get why you're down, but really want to know: Why are you occupying my bed?"
Right, I was being depressed in my sister's room.
While sitting at her desk and writing a report for the guild, she had gotten tired of my ceaseless sighing and broached the topic.
"Don't mind those small things..."
"I really don't get whether you're depressed or not."
To begin with, does this time's incident have a causal relationship with me?
There's no information allowing a clear decision and I only have guesses.
But speaking from those guesses alone, you could say there is a causal relationship.
But it's also an endless like the question of the hen and the egg. It feels wrong for me to be depressed over it.
"Uncle and Aunty are?"
"I think Pops is still out, helping restore the town. But the fires went out pretty much right away and not many buildings were destroyed by magic, so I think they'll be done in no time."
With his hurt leg, Uncle hadn't participated in fighting the Ice Dragon and had gone help with the town's evacuation right away.
In the battle with the Ice Dragon, apparently there had been no human casualties from its deflected breath.
That's something to be grateful for.
"Mom was sewing something, I think. I did tell her to take it slowly, though."
"Is, that so."
Over the last three days, Aunty has recovered enough to live as usual.
Even if you close wounds with magic, it seems it takes time to recover the lost stamina.
But then, from the level of modern medicine in my former world, it was a miracle.
"——you know, thanks, Alice."
"But if I say so, you'll just feel down, won't you," Shion-san laughed and teased me.
"...how long are you going to keep doing paperwork? Aren't you going to sleep?"
"Ohoh, is this princess displeased? Wait, you're planning to sleep in my bed?"
"Right now, I desire human warmth."
It definitely wasn't anything to feel guilty over.
"Hehe, alright. Let's sleep."
"Wai-, so daring!"
"Why are you getting shy all of a sudden? You're so complicated..."
If I told her I said it just because, I think she'd hit me...
"Understood. Come at me!"
"Alice, are you really feeling down?"
Shion-san gave me a playful punch as she came to my side and we fell on the bed together.
Lying face-up, we watched the ceiling.
"... Onee-chan, you smell so good."
"Do I? I think you smell better though."
... that means my body and soul slowly diverge more and more, huh.
"Onee-chan, do you have someone you like?"
"Hehe, you're the age where you're interesting in love? You're such a maiden, Alice, having nightly talks about love."
"Somehow that take really annoys me..."
But Shion-san's pretty, and refreshing, and she has a good personality, and her breasts are big.
Her figure is nice, and she can fight, and she's gentle.
Just how amazing is she!?
"I've never really thought about it so far, I guess."
I'm sure if they heard this, a good portion of the men in town would cry.
"But lately, there's this person who I just can't get out of my mind."
"That little sister that makes so much work for you, you mean."
Even I can guess that much, yes, yes.
Ah, but with Shion-san around, I really calm down.
My frayed heart is also being somewhat healed by her.
At the same time, reluctance to part wells up.
The people in this house are family to me.
Shion-san is precious to me.
Once more, I realized that.
"Onee-chan, tomorrow... I'm leaving for the capital."
"... I see."
"You're not surprised."
"That's not quite true. But I somehow had that hunch."
"... I see."
I'd wanted to travel the world in the first place.
But right now, more than traveling, I want to move to a safer town than this, to a better protected town than this.
I no longer think it's fine for me to die, I can't.
But to stop disastrous incidents from happening as much as possible, I think it's better to move to a more secure town.
In the royal capital with its knight order, it should at least be more secure than here.
"Do you have a plan?"
"Yes, Till's going to look after me."
To begin with, since I became Till's disciple, we have to be together for training me.
"That elf missy, huh."
"She's an awfully good girl."
Good girl. I have no idea if that expression is fitting, but what should I do, it just fits her appearance too well.
"I see... it's going to get lonely."
My chest tightened.
"D――," I start, but then I swallow.
"I've really... been in your care, so I'll at least leave some money."
"I don't need it. By the way, how much do you have anyway?"
"Till lent me some money, as an advance for the necessities."
"Hee, so that girl has money?"
"Yes, she gave me a platinum coin."
As one would expect, that made Shion-san jump up in surprise.
Platinum coins were the highest coinage in this world and were worth a hundred times as much as gold coins.
Well, in other words they were worth just that, a hundred gold coins.
"I've already used forty gold coins though, on something personal."
"Just how wild is your spending..."
"I put a bag with fifty of the remaining coins in a drawer in your desk, Onee-chan."
"Heh, you're such a stupid. But I'll take it."
"I thought you'd say so. That's my Onee-chan!"
She really considered my mentality.
"I'm going to use it for getting the town back on track."
"Yes, I'll be happy if you use it for what you like."
I felt I had more or less said what I wanted to, so I rolled over to hide myself from Shion-san.
Behind my back, I felt Shion-san also lie down on the bed once more.
With nothing better to do, I touched the bracelet around my left arm.
I was uneasy about going to an unknown place, but the anticipation I had felt in the beginning was there, too.
My traveling companions could be trusted.
Currently, for her stay she had taken a room in an inn in this town.
Among the names I've heard in this world, hers is the first with a last name.
Is she a noble in elven society?
Or do elves have different customs altogether?
Unknown lands, unknown customs.
I can interest myself for everything in this world.
In truth, the world before my rebirth also had many unknown things left, so I'm very self-centered.
But I finally feIt fired up about something.
Although I hadn't just experienced good things, but a fair share of bad things, too, in such a short time.
Strangely, I don't feel the wish to return to my former world.
Just, in my former world I probably disappeared like I'd gone missing without in trace.
Like this, to my family over here, I can properly say goodbye before going on my trip.
Thinking about that, I at least want to tell my family in my former world that I'm doing fine.
And 'I'm going.'
At least that much.
While immersion myself in my thoughts before falling asleep, I was called to from behind.
The tone was unusually serious, but also gentle.
"Are you awake?"
"Turn this way for a second."
Even though I had in fact rolled over because sleeping while facing Shion-san's way isn't too good for my mental health.
If she wanted me to, there was nothing I could do.
I heavily rolled over and turned the other way――in other words, Shion-san's way.
For an instant I was hugged――and kissed.
"...on the forehead?"
On the forehead.
"Hmm? Did you want it on the lips?"
Seeing Shion-san's teasing smile up close, heat shot into my cheeks.
"S-surprise attacks are... bad for my heart..."
And what's with you anyway!?
Are you some handsome guy!?
I also want to do that!!
"Alice... no matter how far apart we are, you'll always be important to me."
"Yes... I also love you, Onee-chan."
"Hehe, that makes me happy."
Overcome with sudden emotion, I hugged Shion-san.
Shion-san gently stroked my hair, like she was comforting a child.
... if this feels the best in the world to me, can I still go back?
Mentally, I mean.
"... Onee-chan, you're unfair."
"You're too cool."
Like some time ago, she bumped her forehead against mine.
"Are you ready to leave?" Till on the coachman's seat asked my while yawning.
In the early morning, not many people were in front of the town gates. Only some farmers passed by.
Till had bought this carriage from the guild.
She really had money, this girl.
"Yes," I nodded, and Till pulled the bridles to give the sign to advance.
Till really can skillfully do anything, I was impressed.
I'd said my goodbyes to Uncle and Aunty.
I'd thought they'd scold me for suddenly breaking that to them so early in the morning, but I'd been wrong.
Apparently Aunty had somehow found out I'd go on a trip, so she'd even gotten me a coat, a change of clothes and a new Leather Robe.
She still wasn't in normal condition, but she'd already sewn those for me. Her powers of observation were amazing.
There's a limit to how much you should surprise people
I cried a little.
Uncle... he on the other hand cried rivers.
His snot ran, too.
It was a bit disgusting.
Seeing a man of such a good age cry himself to pieces does have something taxing...
But I really am grateful to him.
He's the very first person who taught me the ropes for living in this world.
I told them they didn't have to see me off. Otherwise I'd never be able to leave.
If they had in fact seen me off, my tears might not have stopped.
The girl next to me on the carriage's load tray as I watched the town grow smaller called out to me.
I turned around to her and found myself reflected in her clear, emerald eyes.
Her fluffy, fluttering blond hair was radiant in the morning sun.
"In place of your sister, I shall protect you, Alice-sama."
"Yep... because you're strong, Ilya, I have high hopes for you."
This was the extravagance I allowed myself in this town.
No, because I bought what I wanted for a price I acknowledged, you might not call it extravagant?
"Yes, this body is Alice-sama's shield. I shall flawlessly protect Milady from all trials and tribulations."
In fact, this girl is still full of things I don't know about her.
Not that I doubt her, but her loyalty to me is a mystery.
I looked into her eyes that had taken a somewhat gloomy expression."
"Make sure to protect yourself, too, okay? Ehm... that's an order."
She had expressed that pure desire to live to me, so I think I might not have needed to say it though.
Ilya had set on to say something but swallowed her words and instead gave that stiff reply.
Behind us, on the coachman's seat, Till let out a big yawn.
Ahh, all things considered, this is a nice weather.
I lay down on the load tray. The sky above was endlessly blue.