“Don’t try too hard.
I’m sure you’re going to say you aren’t, but remember that no one’s good at something right from the start.
Just learn a little at a time.”

“But you can do anything.
Cooking, magic…”

“Magic is just because of my skills.
As for cooking… I did it in that other world too, so it’s down to experience.
You can do it too if you keep practicing.”

Then I pat her head.
We changed the color of her hair and her eyes back to normal after we left Loyet.
As for the length of her hair… Can I make something like a hair growth formula and grow it back to how it was?

If that’s possible, maybe I can sell it too.
Not that I know how to do it.

“Sora, are you thinking something weird again?

I’m not.

“Let’s stop there and just go to sleep.
I think we can reach Saite tomorrow.”

The conversation comes to an end, and we split between two groups.
One goes to sleep, and one keeps watch.

I guess I’m with Hikari today.
She’s interested in food from my world, so she usually asks me about it while we watch out for threats.

I’m not actually the most knowledgeable person when it comes to cooking.
I can talk about what I remember and what I saw on television and on the internet, or heard here and there.
But can I replicate those things… I guess it depends on whether or not the Cooking skill can do it.

 ◇ ◇ ◇

“Master, we should be reaching Saite soon.”

I hear Sera say.
Cooking has been on my mind, because we talked about it last night while keeping watch, but while I was distracted with that, all of a sudden we can plainly see Saite in front of us.

I guess I’ve gotten too used to using Parallel Thinking to think and walk at the same time.

The border city Saite.
There are actually more towns and cities nicknamed border city, and they’re seen as sort of neutral places.
They’re mostly built when the two countries are on good terms.
If that’s not the case, one side builds a checkpoint, almost like a fortress, and controls who can get in.

The gatekeeper’s checks are a little more strict than usual.
That said, it’s mostly just me.

“Slaves don’t have to be checked like that.”

“It would be a lot of trouble for slavers if they were.
In a way, slaves have a clear identity precisely because they’re slaves.
But if a slaver is coming in with a lot of slaves that committed serious crimes, that makes it tougher to let them in.”

Slaves become slaves for a reason, be it crimes or debt, although special slaves are a little different.

“What will you do, master? We have food, so are we going straight to the next town?”

Asks Sera.

“I want to do some information gathering, so we’ll take it easy for today in an inn.”

“That’s good.
Let’s look for tasty local cuisine.”

I’m the one who taught Hikari that term.
Or rather, I started using it and she liked it, and I told her what it means.

I’m thinking tomorrow we’ll go to the adventurer guild to see if we have any messages, and to check the quests.
There’s a forest nearby, so if it’s possible to go pick herbs and return on the same day, I might want to do that too.
If not, we could do a hunting quest and take care of Sera’s obligation to do a quest every thirty days.

At night, we eat in the inn’s dining room.
I don’t know if it’s because these three are slaves, or because they’re cute, but I feel like we stand out.
But I can’t let that get to me.

I’m actually getting used to these sorts of stares.
I’m developing a heart of steel… Actually, I’m not.
I’m not that used to it at all.

The girls are actually less bothered by it than me.
Hikari in particular only has eyes for her food, and seeing her enjoying it so much is actually a healing sight.


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