‘Lord, I am nearby and keeping an eye on them. What are your instructions, do you want me to engage?’
‘No, regardless of what happens, just keep watching them. Later, when they take off at fast speeds, I will be relying on you to keep me up to date on their position.’
‘Unfortunate, but I will obey your orders Lord.’
The Elves’ forces seem to be hidden away. Have they realised that I had spotted them?. Anyways, at this point I was completely relying on Jenna’s ability to keep track of them.
I kept enjoying the peaceful time to myself, until the sun started coming down and I saw the three women walking my way.
I had forgotten that they couldn’t see as well as I could in the darkness. So after some time of waving my hands in the air pointlessly, I shouted out to them.
“Gaspard, how long have you been waiting?”
They were also a bit early. It was only 6:30 but our meeting time was set to 7 pm.
“No worries, I was passing the time watching people walk past, shall we get going?”
“Alright! But, you shouldn’t come so early next time, it makes us feel bad.”
Both Kishande and Miranda had a pouting expression, unhappy that I had been early and was waiting for them. I put my arms around them to comfort them and brought them to the restaurant in which I had made prior reservations.
“What’s this… the place looks expensive.
“It’s ok, we don’t eat out often.”
“Hehe good! Our first time eating out!”
“God guided us on our path to you, thank you Gaspard!”
They seemed happy with my choice of restaurant, especially when all the employees came out to greet us as we stepped in through the doors.
“We’ve been waiting, Gaspard’s party please come this way.”
“What’s going on Gaspard?”
I had booked the whole restaurant. Even if it was a place of great repute, I was easily able to make reservations and it wasn’t too expensive. This was largely due to my recent rise to fame, with the spreading of rumors about me taking the Goblin King’s punitive Quest. They were extremely glad to host me and even offered me a 50% discount.
“Well… we do have to celebrate sometimes.”
Because I had chosen such a high class establishment, we were able to enjoy the fine cuisine, accompanied by a musician playing the lute and a poet singing in the hall.
“I’ve never eaten such a delicious meal!”
“Miranda, please eat quietly.” chided Kishande.
“God, I think I was born for this day. No, I can’t fall for the temptation of such delicious food!”
Ashe and Miranda were acting cutely, like children discovering something new. Kishande however, was looking at me quite nervously, hardly touching any of her food.
“Kishande, if you eat so little, isn’t it impolite towards the chefs who have worked so hard?”
“We don’t deserve this kind of treatment.”
“Stop it, you’re spoiling the mood.”
Kishande went back to eating, slight tears forming in her eyes.
‘Hmm, crying while eating…is it because the food tastes bad?’’
I called the waiter over.
“How can I help you sir?”
“Have my instructions been prepared?”
“Yes of course, would you like to have it now?”
As the waiter returned, Miranda and Ashe were squirming in anticipation, while Kishande had a slightly troubled look.
“Oh it’s nothing much, I just don’t remember celebrating since we first met. We are now a team, so I guess we can consider today as some kind of anniversary.”
As we conversed a large cake and bouquet of flowers were placed on the table, a single candle was placed in the middle of the cake.
“Kishande, why don’t you be the one to light the candle.”
“I determined to never again cry…but, today you… sniff.”
“Oh sis, stop crying so much, this is a happy occasion.”
“Right, God may give us many trials, but he also blesses us with days of joy.”
While we had been together the last few days, their hearts had healed a lot. On that dreadful day, they had become broken and sullied women, unable to walk into any shops in town. Still, to this day I wasn’t sure how the rumor had spread so quickly, just that it had. Though they had been relieved by their survival, the World had already designated them as outcasts, and only through our recent companionship have I relieved their burden somewhat. It was out of consideration for them, that I prepared this dinner today, and wished to see them happy as we sang a celebration song together. Of course my pitch was terrible, leading to Kishande both crying and laughing at the same time.
“Cheers everyone! This party is the best!”
“To the best Party!”
After the toast the owner brought out a platter of fruits and more wine. Kishande seemed to finally forget her troubles, and was the first to fall asleep at the table. Miranda continued singing more songs and her voice was improving the more wine she drank. I also tipped the musicians generously and allowed them to leave early as most of us had already drunk too much. Ashe who had survived towards the end told me “ Don’t sleep!” before passing out on my shoulder. Being a warrior, I had a much stronger constitution and was able to sober up before the women.
“Customer, I have prepared a carriage outside.”
Thanks to the thoughtfulness of the restaurant owner, it was considerably easy to arrive back at the Inn. After helping the women to their room, I came back to my own and settled down.
“I hope that it helped settle their pain a little.”
The burden from thoughts I had this morning, regarding the actions I had taken when we first met in the cave, had already disappeared.
Returning to my main body, I awoke to find myself surrounded by Ian, Gwyn, Mallepi, as well as the rest of the insects. All them seemingly waiting for me.
Ian’s bright voice and Mallepi’s cries made me feel warm and comfortable.
“Right, I’m back.”
“Do you like these clothes? I’m wearing one of the new one’s you’ve sent over.”
I wasn’t sure about Ian’s body size so I had to go with a rough estimate when I was purchasing, but judging how good it looked on her I had a pretty good eye for this.
“Does it look strange?”
I shook my head.
“No, I was staring because you’re pretty.”
“Oh ho, a heartfelt praise from Johra, but i heard you’ve been spending your days with three women….”
Although her lips suggested she was laughing, her eyes flashed with a dangerous glint.
“Of course, I needed to blend in with the Humans.”
“Please tell me what you’ve experienced, we heard from Alpeon that you would usually return around this time.”
Ian pulled out a notebook, ready to jot down what I said. The Insects were likewise listening with rapt attention while Gwyn just took the chance to settle down in my skull.
“Ahhh, finally! This is indeed the best place to sleep after all!”
Gwyn was always living in her own little world.
I spent the night recounting my adventures in the human world. Ian seemed somewhat relieved when I mentioned booking two rooms at the Inn. the Insects however were truly interested by my tales, after all, they rarely met humans or the other creatures I mentioned. When the sun rose, I returned to my Avatar.
They had been fast asleep in the adjacent room, but somehow still managed to arrive on my bed. My morning routine started as I changed my clothes and picked up some breakfast for them. Kishande was the only one up and we ate breakfast together. While she helped the other two women change out of their clothes, I left for the Adventurer’s Guild to quickly check on the status of my Goblin King’s punitive force, before returning home to find the three women all dressed and waiting.
We once again spent the day shopping and and visiting restaurants. In the evening we returned to eat a delicious dinner prepared by the Inn’s owner. We spent the night telling stories, particularly Kishande’s adventures and Ashe’s misguide theology. After spending a long time talking, we were quite tired and went to sleep.
I was quite content, enjoying the peaceful days, but alas it was not to be as the very next morning I received a message from Tyr, saying that the expedition was ready to set off.
‘Well, this punitive Quest should be a walk in the park.’
When I returned to the Inn to tell the women the news, they were clearly disappointed.
“Why don’t you take us with you, are we too weak?”
“No, it’s not that, just that it would be a bit difficult at your current level is all.”
“I don’t like it! We should all be together, I’d rather die fighting than be left behind.”
Kishande and the rest were waiting for me to make a final decision, biting their lower lips in anticipation.
‘Ugh, their dependence on me is become a bit troublesome.’
Still, I as a bit worried that I had gotten used to fighting with them at my side, and that it would leave behind openings in battle.
“Ok, but you have to agree to completely follow my commands.”
They nodded vigorously with large smiles.