I finally managed to speak to Veirya at dinner. She looked at me while eating bread. She continued, “I don’t mind if you’re going out, but if you’re going onto the mountain, you must prepare well. Lots of demons, here.”
“Uhm, I notice, demons, every day when I go out.”
Perhaps Veirya had been there in the past. Otherwise, she must’ve gone out these two days to look for demons as she did in the past, not because she was bored. The demons fled helter-skelter after the Demon King died, so it would seem that they didn’t respect him, but merely feared him. They all fled helter-skelter without any dignity after the Demon King died. This, therefore, became the hiding spot for many demons. The demons could capture cities and camps if they banded together, but these fallen demons were mere stragglers, so they weren’t a real threat. They wouldn’t attack human villages and towns unless they ran into the woods in the mountains on their own accord.
Although Veirya agreed to come with us to the woods together, I don’t feel happy at all. Rather, I’m a little depressed, since Veirya didn’t care about it. I didn’t invite Veirya to join us just to use her to protect Leah. My other reason was genuinely to let Veirya have some fun. Veirya hasn’t mentioned or done anything since then, but I can’t stop missing her blue eyes.
*Knock. Knock. Knock…*
Somebody knocked on our door. I stood up and looked at Veirya. Veirya didn’t move this time. She stayed seated in her chair and continued to enjoy her soup in peace. I, therefore, concluded that the person outside wasn’t armed and was just an ordinary individual. I walked up to the door and pulled it open. Behind the door was a young girl with short hair. It appeared as if her hair hadn’t been tidied up in a long time. Her haired swayed in wind as if it was a collection of dead branches. She had frostbite and snot on her face. I wouldn’t have been able to identify her gender if not for her modest breasts. Her clothes were torn and tattered. It’s still very cold at night in spite of it being spring. There’s no way you could shield yourself from the cold with a single layer of clothing and a thin cloak. She looked at me with arms folded and body quivering. She was so cold that her lips were purple, “Hello… Hello… Is… Is this Lord Veirya’s home?”
I nodded, and then made way, “Since you are here to see Lord Veirya, come on in.”
“Thank you! Thank you!”
She gratefully nodded, and then entered the house with small steps. That’s when I noticed that while her shoes were tattered; there was still half of the military emblem remaining. She must be a warrior like Veirya.
Leah was frightened when she saw her. After all, she doesn’t look as though she’s a human from her appearance. To put it into perspective, Leah probably reacted the same way we humans do when we see demons. Veirya looked at her for a moment then looked away.
“Lord Veirya, she is here for you.”
“I don’t know her.”
I froze up, because of her response. Veirya didn’t seem as though she intended to say much to this girl.
‘I wonder why Veirya doesn’t know anybody… ‘
The girl obviously froze up. I walked up to Veirya and whispered, “She appears to be a warrior, doesn’t she? Didn’t you fight together in the past?”
“Everyone who fought alongside me is basically dead.”
After saying that in a most calm fashion, she added, “I might know her, but I don’t remember faces.”
“I beg you, Lord Veirya!! I beg you, please let me work here… I have not had money to buy food in days. I cannot find work, so I have resorted to seeking you out. I beg you… Do you still remember the small team that assisted you at the Battle of Somme? I was part of that small team. Please, please help me out of consideration of that time.”
“I didn’t ask for your help. Also, you were the ones that insisted on following me that time when I told you that I’d be fine alone.”
The girl seemed to lose all of her energy. She prostrated herself on the ground and cried, giving Leah a fright, which nearly led to her jumping off her chair and running away. I pulled Leah behind m,e and then looked at Veirya.
Veirya didn’t deny what the girl did. Actually, it seemed that she somewhat disliked this clingy girl. She stood up, “I don’t care whether you keep her or not. You be responsible.”
She figuratively threw me the girl without any hesitation, which caused me to freeze. Leah hid behind me and ate her food in her bowl, as she was afraid that her food would be stolen from her. The only person who’d be protecting their food in this kind of situation would be Leah. She looked at the girl and softly said, “Papa, is she a famine victim, too? We might not be able to help a group, but can we not help her alone, either? Can’t we treat her to a meal?”
I shook my head, and then whispered in her ear, “One meal won’t solve the problem. After one meal, there are still all the meals afterwards. We aren’t royalty. If we feed somebody for free, that will only lead to more people coming here to eat for free.”
I stood next to the dinner table and looked at the girl in front. I pulled her up, “We aren’t a housing department. We aren’t responsible for taking in wanderers. However, if you can work for us, I can provide you with a job.”
She wiped her face rather aggressively. She looked at me with her face still covered in black marks, snot and tears. In a loud voice, she replied, “Sure. Sure. I can. I can work. I used to be a Gold Level adventurer. I can fight!”
I lowered my head to ask Veirya, “What sort of standard is a Gold Level adventurer?”
Veirya thought about it for a moment before replying, “Roughly… Mm… Mm…”
Veirya, who was an individual of few words, seemed to struggle to explain it to me. That’s when Leah softly said, “Papa, a Gold Level adventurer is very skilled. One of my elder sisters was killed by a Gold Level adventurer…”
I looked at the girl with doubt.
‘If she’s a Gold Level adventurer, how did she end up in this state? If she was somebody who was strong enough to kill one of the Demon King’s heirs, she can’t be an ordinary soldier no matter how you look at it.’
She bitterly pursed her lips when she looked at me. She explained, “I… I’m illiterate… and I don’t know anything… After the war came to an end… I couldn’t find work… I sold my armour… my weapons, and then had no choice but to head north, in hopes of finding Lord Veirya… There are lots of other unemployed adventurers like myself… Girls prostituted themselves… Many… didn’t make it through winter… We… We had won the war… We had already one…”
“Didn’t Her Majesty have any arrangements for you adventurers?”
I looked at the woman in front of me feeling considerably puzzled. Usually, the adventurers should receive appropriate compensation and whatnot. They’re all soldiers that can kill. They’re strong and brave soldiers when they combatted the demon race, but once the demon race was through, their combat prowess will become a malignant tumour for this society due to the nature of the society, unless somebody helps them settle down.
‘Why? Why did Her Majesty neglect this? Veirya was the only warrior that you could say had arrangements to help her settle down. ‘
“No… Her Majesty did not bother with us… Some… were arrested by the military and killed…”
By the sounds of it, the Queen has begun to deal with them. She plans to let them die themselves while eliminating those who can’t restrain themselves.
‘This way of dealing with them surely has to be a little too vicious…’
The warriors couldn’t find work and are killed if they appear discontent in the slightest. Soon enough, there will only be adventurers who aren’t willing to mention the things of that era anymore, as well as dead adventurers.
“But nonetheless, we have Veirya here; therefore, we don’t need your protection. Let’s do this. If you’re willing to stay, you’ll be in charge of some chores. Can you clean rooms, firewood, food, wash clothes and the such?”
“Me… do those jobs?”
She had fallen to this state, but she didn’t look to willing when she heard my response. I frowned, “Take it or leave it. We don’t run a refugee camp. If we take you in, other wanderers will come here. What, are we going to turn into a refugee camp?! You still think you’re a Gold Level adventurer? The war is over, understand? The Demon King is already dead. You’re no longer adventurers. You’re now just wandering unemployed people! I’m providing you with work, and yet you’re complaining about it?”
She speedily nodded in a flustered manner, “No, no, no… I’ll do it. I’ll do it… I’ll start tomorrow…”
I nodded, “Go to the kitchen and heat up some water to clean yourself up. I will tell you what places you will need to clean and tidy tomorrow onwards.”
“Go to the kitchen and have some of the food there.”
Veirya immediately stood up and exclaimed, “No touching the food!”
“My share, okay…?”
“I don’t mind, then.”