8. Seems like you get it, I guess.
Morning comes, we’re still at the inn. I hit the door, but there’s no response. The chibi hit the door together with me, but still nothing happens.
In other words, it’s that. Gusu-oyake’s still asleep. Well, I guess she’s exhausted.
I have breakfast at the inn, and once I finish, head back to my room with the chibi to goof around.
The time is just a bit before noon? The door to my room flings open. I jump to my feet, but it’s not because I’m nervous!
Gusu-oyake then appears in the doorway. Her head hangs from her shoulders.
Did something happen?
She says, “Why did you not wake meeeeeeeeeee!?”
No matter the world, girls still get ticked at oversleeping. Sheesh…
And just like that, me and the chibi shrug by raising up our palms. Looks like they feel the same way.
— — In the afternoon, we finish eating some rice and then leave town for the forest. Gusu-oyake grumbles on and on the whole way.
She says, “This is Zero-san’s fault, because Zero-san neglected to wake me, Zero-san messed up…”
I feel a bit bad for making her feel this way, but saying anything would just make things worse. Right now, saying nothing is for the best. So annoying.
For now, in order to change the mood, I confirm what we discussed yesterday. “Today we’re going to the spirit forest, right? You said you had an idea about where to look.”
“This is Zero-san’s fault… Ah, yes, there is nothing to worry about, probably.”
“Really? So where is it?”
“Spirits reside in areas rich in mana. Therefore, the spirit forest should be a place with plenty of mana! Probably.”
…is something like this seriously okay? Maybe that place I was staying at?
I say, “Is a high amount of mana important?”
“It is. Spirits possess a tremendous amount of mana. This results with them blessing their home, the spirit forest, with abundance. It creates a lively forest filled with pristine water and rich soil, probably.”
“You’ve been saying probably, probably, for some time now. You sure you know where we’re going?”
“…Everything is fine, probably.”
That’s no good. We won’t get anywhere at this rate. Just yesterday you were brimming with confidence that you’d lead us to the spirit forest, that you’d absolutely find them since you know all there is to know about them.
That said, I just came to this world and don’t know jack squat about it. I don’t know nothing. I recognize this place here, though. It’s where I met the chibi.
…wait? Now that I think about it, the water back then was quite pristine. The place was thriving with plant life too.
Gusu-oyake says, “If I am not mistaken, then I believe we should probably go this way.”
“I hear you, but under what basis?”
“Intuition! Ah, don’t underestimate intuition?”
I knew it, she’s is no good. Well, it can’t be helped, since we have no clear target, let’s just go check that place out.
I say, “Yo, Gusu-oyake, I sorta have a place in mind. For now, how about taking a look?”
“I am against it. Are you taking me some place deserted? I see straight through you!”
She… This freaking amateur, I’m seriously gonna send her flying. Actually, should I send her flying?
I smack Gusu-oyake across the head without a word.
Gusu-oyake says, “Owwwwwwwwww! Zero-san, what are you doing!?”
“My bad, my hand slipped.”
“Did you not just strike with all your strength!?”
Gusu-oyake naturally starts squawking after that, but I completely ignore everything she says. I might have been a bit rash there.
Hmm, maybe the chibi might know something. Those guys have probably lived here all their lives, after all.
I say, “Gusu-oyake, let’s stop for a bit. Just a small break.”
“Ahre, ahre, ahre, ahre? Zero-san, are you already tired? Well, I guess it can’t be helped. We do not have much time, so just a short one, alright?”
“Yeah, my bad. If only someone hadn’t overslept, then we’d have way more time.”
I don’t understand a thing Gusu-oyake is spewing, so I ignore her and talk to the chibi.
“Say, you guys know anything about the spirit forest?”
They nod with great vigor. I’m seriously worried they’re going to shake their heads off one day.
“Seriously? You mind leading us there?”
Oh, what a confident thumbs up. These guys are totally dependable, nothing like Gusu-oyake.
I say, “Hey, let’s go.”
“Eh? You are already finished resting? I don’t mind waiting a bit longer.”
“Get a move on.”
“Like I have been saying, stop that! Do you think I will accept such an uncouth invitation!?”
Since I have no idea what Gusu-oyake is yammering about, I ignore her and follow the chibi. She really doesn’t seem like she’s coming though.
I can see you staring at me. Are you debating over coming with? Whatever, doesn’t bother me either way.
She doesn’t watch long before getting flustered and chasing after us. “Are you truly going to leave me behind!? Is that not too heartless!?”
“Shut uup! I’m heading to the spirit forest! If you’re coming, then not a peep, boke[i] Gusu-oyake!”
“Boke Gusu-oyake!? That’s horrible! Ah, bakenasu[ii] and Gusu-oyake rhyme. That is quite clever, Zero-san… Hold on, is that not actually terrible!?”
What’s she going, “Gya, gya, gya, gya!” for!? I should have just lived in that forest with the chibi forever.
I follow after the chibi. As we walk ahead, Gusu-oyake’s expression twitches.
Can Gusu-oyake really not see the chibi? What? Am I delusional? No, that can’t be right. They’d never have been able to make rice if that were true.
So, just what the heck are the chibi? …Actually, forget it. The chibi are my friends. I ain’t gotta think any deeper than that.
Even though I stop thinking pointless thoughts, Gusu-oyake keeps on yammering and yammering. Shut up, already.
The path the chibi take me through is starting to feel familiar. I ain’t wrong. This is where the chibi and I used to live. In other words, it’s that. I got sick of life outside the forest and am now returning home.
Hehee, what a great welcome. Gusu-oyake… uhh, I guess I can see her back to town later.
That’s when Gusu-oyake gets quiet. She then speaks up. “Amazing…”
“The mana keeps getting denser and denser… No, it’s peaked.”
“What’s that mean?”
“I do not know. Yet even though I don’t know, I understand.”
I don’t get what she’s saying. All I got was that mana is apparently getting denser.
The mana is dense? Ahre, doesn’t that make this the spirit forest?
After a bit more walking, we reach the cave that used to be our home. The chibi come to a stop and begin jumping up and down. Looks like this is the place.
Gusu-oyake looks around in shock. I don’t get what’s so surprising. What I do know is that it’s dusk and that I should probably rinse out the pot for dinner.
We stocked up on meat back in town, so maybe I can roast it? It would add a nice flavor to the soup.
While I’m washing the pot and thinking about dinner, Gusu-oyake shakes my shoulders.
“Hey, I’m washing the pot right now. Quit bothering me.”
“This is not the time for that! Zero-san, do you not realize where we are!?”
“Ah? Ain’t this my home?”
“What kind of nonsense are you spouting!? This place is the spirit forest! There is no doubt about it. Zero-san, why do you know of this place!? I have referenced countless documents an infinitesimal number of times, but even then, I still failed to understand a thing! Not even those who have been here have been able to return a second time…”
“No, that’s cause I lived here.”
“Lived!? Here!? How?! Please explain properly!”
Ehh—… So annoying.
No choice, I give Gusu-oyake an explanation.
Skill: The Person Loved by Spirits
Special Feature: Intimidating Eyes
Items: Stone Ax
Objective: Assist Gusu-Oyake
T/N: Another chapter down!! Gusu-oyake is adorable.