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Magi Craft Meister 459
14 Family Trip Arc
The sight of the blue sky had failed to brighten up anyone’s face, except for Hanna.
“What’s wrong, everyone? Do you all have a stomach ache or something?”
Concerned, Hanna looked up at Jin’s face. Then she reached out to his cheeks and touched them.
“Get better soon, big brother!”
Hanna’s palms felt warm and relieving.
“…Ah, that’s right. What’s done is done.”
Having said that, Jin picked Hanna up and gave her a ride on his shoulders.
Hanna was surprised at first, but soon smiled.
“Waaah, thank you, big brother!”
After seeing that, Elsa, Saki, and Stearleana also found themselves smiling.
“Hmm, that’s right. We can’t do anything about it anymore, huh…”
“Yeah. We came here to do some sightseeing after all, right?”
“…I’m sure Brother Jin will be able to take us to the moon someday.”
Reiko stared silently at them.
“Well, would you like to go see another place? The royal palace is a little further ahead.”
Sensing that the mood had changed, Regulus 45, resumed his guidance.
“The royal palace, huh? Let’s go take a look.”
Having regained their motivation, the party headed for the royal palace. Hanna was still hitching a ride on Jin’s shoulders. She seemed happy that everyone seemed to have gotten better.
The royal palace was also covered with vines.
It also showed signs of having been severely ravaged by scavengers, as several entrances had been opened. Jin and the others didn’t mind that since it only made it easier for them to get inside.
“Hmm, it looks very archaic.”
“…Yeah. There’s something old fashioned about its design.”
Elsa agreed with Saki’s opinion.
“You think? It’s not much different from the Royal Palace of Celuroa…”
On the other hand, Stearleana said that it wasn’t different from the royal palace of the Celuroa Kingdom. There seemed to be a strong sense of tradition in the Celuroa Kingdom.
“Big brother, what’s that?”
Hanna had already gotten down from Jin’s shoulders and was walking beside Reiko, but when she looked to the right, she saw something strange.
Stearleana, who had turned to see in the same direction as Hanna, also expressed her surprise.
“A cat ornament?”
Hannah didn’t seem to know anything about cats. In the first place, there was almost no custom of keeping pets in this world.
Neither horses, cows, or goats were treated as pets. In some regions, people seem to keep dogs, but as guard dogs, not as pets.
The only exception would be birds, but people would keep them just to enjoy their chirping. And pigeons were used as messenger birds.
Unlike on modern Earth, there was no custom of keeping a cat as a means to seek comfort or company. Also, there weren’t too many issues with rats or mice infesting a house.
The habit of keeping cats to keep mice and rats at bay didn’t appear because the harm those rodents could cause could be prevented with magical tools such as the “Beastward Bell” that Jin and his friends used to deliver wheat.
But it seemed that there was an exception to everything.
“Huh, so they did keep cats as pets in the Lenard Kingdom…”
Stearleana was impressed. It seemed that some people in the Celuroa Kingdom used to keep cats as pets.
“Many people say that cats are attractive because they are whimsy, they don’t get too familiar with nor they butter up people.”
After Stearleana explained how cats were regarded in the Celuroa Kingdom…
“…But I don’t really like them. I actually prefer dogs.”
…She confessed that she actually was more of a dog person.
“Yeah, me too.”
The same was true for Jin. At the orphanage, there was a well-disciplined mixed-breed dog. Jin would sometimes take him for a walk, though it was mostly the younger children who would take care of him.
Jin looked at the cat ornament while absentmindedly reminiscing of such things.
The ornament looked just like a regular cat one would find on Earth. Since it was figurine-sized, he couldn’t know how accurate it was, but Jin assumed that it would be quite on point if compared to an actual-sized cat of this world.
“Oh well, this almost looks like a real cat though.”
Stearleana confirmed Jin’s assumptions. Then Hanna asked him something unexpected.
“Hey, big brother, can you make me one of those?”
She probably wasn’t referring to a cat ornament, but a cat golem. Jin thought that the idea of making one was quite interesting.
There was a door where the ornament was, and it was half open. Looking inside, there were dusty, broken dolls and toys scattered around. It seemed that it had once been the bedroom of a prince or a princess.
It also appeared that whatever had been of any actual value had already been pilfered from that room.
“It’s a bit… Boring.”
This time, Hanna was the downhearted one.
Certainly, walking around ruins was rather saddening.
“Should we go outside?”
When Jin asked that, Hanna nodded silently.
Elsa, Saki, and Stearleana all sympathized with her, and turned around without saying a word.
＊ ＊ ＊
The group left the ruins of the capital and drove the Tortoise by the riverside.
They had a light lunch inside the vehicle.
The group had become somewhat down in spirits.
Jin wondered if they should go back home already, but since they had come all the way there, he thought they might as well spend the night there, so he started to look for a good place to set up camp.
“Ah, that might be a good spot.”
There was a small grassland on an elevated place close to the riverbank. It had a nice view as well.
Jin ordered Steward to take the Tortoise there.
The output of the 12-throttle golem engine, made by Jin, was able to climb the slope with ease, even though it was about 40 degrees steep.
“Yeah, this’ll do.”
The grass was short, so they were able to secure a comfortable space just by weeding a little.
Although there was enough room in the car, Jin was finicky enough to prefer eating outdoors when camping.
As they tried to go get chairs and tables for everyone, they noticed.
All of their luggage hadn’t been fixed onto anything, and was all cramped against the back of the Tortoise. Such a thing happened because they had climbed a 40-degree slope.
“…I guess it needs some improvements.”
After rearranging their luggage, they once again started to get ready to have some tea. The tarp of sunshade had also been set up, so the river breeze was comfortable even in the summer.
“Ah, finally some relief…”
Saki muttered that earnestly.
Reiko considered that a cup of tea with plenty of sugar was great for when one was mentally tired.
To go with their tea, they had dried wilies as snacks. They were deliciously bittersweet.
They were great for healing their spirits, which had been frayed for being surrounded by so much ruin and decay.
“I guess we’ll leave the mystery of the barrier for some other time…”
An illusionary barrier that makes it look like there’s a country when looked at from the sky.
Jin wondered if he would be able to do something like that if someone asked him to.
He believed he could achieve the same effect, but he didn’t know if he would be able to accurately replicate the method used for that other barrier.
Jin thought that depending on the situation, he might have to increase the number of Quintas.
Dinner was ready before the sun had gone completely down. It was standard barbecue.
The iron plates were placed on a furnace made by stacking stones. Since firewood would have made it troublesome to adjust the heating power, they used Magi Stones instead.
The main dish was mountain deer meat and vegetables. Then they added udon noodles made from wheat flour, seasoned with Worcestershire sauce.
Since Jin didn’t know much about lye water, which was used for making noodles, he ended up making thinner udon noodles instead.
It reminded of the “Pashta” he had seen back in Toka Village.
“Wow, it’s a bit different than how I know them, but they’re delicious!”
“That’s right. You’re a great cook, Jin!”
Even so, they seemed to be quite popular among Jin’s companions.
Before the summer day was over, they had finished eating, washed the dishes and the iron plates at the river, and further cleaned them using a purification spell.
Stars started to appear here and there. The wind blowing from the river felt very comfortable.
Then, they all went to the second floor of the Tortoise.
Again, since they had climbed a 40-degree slope, the futons were a little too close to each other, so they had to rearrange them.
Then they laid down on their futons and looked at the sky from the open skylight.
The first one to fall asleep was Hanna. Then Elsa, Saki, Stearleana, and Jin.
Reiko, who didn’t have to sleep, closed the skylight and stood guard together with Steward.
“Sweet dreams, Father.”
Reiko’s words were soaked up into the starry sky.