Bastard Swordsman Chapter 20

Cheap Bar After-Work Party

We had a minor issue, but the quest went off without issue.

Spend a night at the work shed, then back to Legol right after daybreak.

Having to march the captured trio back did add some hassle to the return, but the hale fellows went along the road back with no complaints. Resigned or maybe scared of Goriliana bringing up the rear. She scares me too.

Also on the way back, Sheena superbly shot down a maruco pigeon in a tree.

Her archery piercing straight from throat through cranium truly befits the moniker Bow’s End. Maybe I could reach that level after decades of practice. No way. Don’t wanna practice that long. Even month long driver’s ed is a chore.

“Mongrel, I’ll give you this bird meat. Not thanks exactly, but accept it as a test apology.”

So I scored maruco pigeon meat.

Extra income atop guild reward. I make sure to always accept stuff like this. Edibles are justice.

“Sheena, call on me again if anything comes up.”

“…I’d like to say don’t get cocky, but you’re a cheap date.”

A skilled huntress and water mage maintaining cleanliness. Honestly, comfortable spending time together.
Especially Natasha’s water magic, hygienic water is the best.

“Oh, then Mongrel senpai, wanna join our party? Artemis, we’re good.”
“Ah, I’ll have to decline.”
“Whyyy!?”
“How rude!”
“Well, nothing beats carefree solitude.”
“Geez, what’s that mean…”

C’mon you.

Gathering materials for Earl Chaos, slacking off unwatched, we got all kinds of stuff going on.
So no can do.

And I took you fishing, so show some mercy ‘kay? Raina.

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Handing the criminal trio over went quick.

With evidence and confessions, it doesn’t drag out. Was worried they’d try weaseling with “we didn’t poach” at the last second, but seems that didn’t happen.

Can’t say if they’re truly repentant, but for now they’re trying to build good faith by showing earnestness it seems. Stay diligent even as criminal slaves. I don’t particularly wanna see you guys again in this world.

Returning to Legol at night, we split right after reporting.

Two straight days hiking through the forest, my stamina was at its lim-

No, unaffected, I headed to the Forest Bounty Inn to celebrate completing the quest alone.

“Ahh, nothing like ale. Magic water’s not bad but for hydration ale’s unmatched.”

Earned money and it’s night. Only one thing left!
Though hunter meals and wild vegetables in handmade cooking ain’t bad right? Fresh ingredients, can’t complain.

But nothing tops meals where someone else cooks and serves it to you doing no work yourself.
Declare your desires and leisurely await their arrival. It’s a crucial system for a rich life.
Not that I’d reject homestyle cooking done my way. Just, there’s a fair desire in human nature to take it easy with food at times…

“Oh, weren’t you just… Haha, someone who left earlier is here!”
“Oh, Ulrika huh.”

As I was enjoying my meal, Ulrika from Artemis sat next to me.
One of their archers, a casual young wom- no, man. Honestly surprised me. Still hard to tell looking now.
Though people here, Harpe and Zanaculate, tend to be hot so that adds to it.

“Aww, you shoulda joined Artemis’ after-party.”
“Don’t you get tired of just girls?”
“Not at all! Everyone’s super nice. Waiter, ale and rabbit meat soup, ah, and sautéed beans please!”
“Yes sir!”
“I see. Comradery seems strong. And Raina looks treasured, I feel relieved.”
“…You’re kind, Mongrel-san.”

What’s with those eyes. That warm caring gaze.
I’ll say it straight, only girls can get away with that kinda look.

“Take care of Raina too Ulrika. Well, goes without saying but yeah, in the future too. Still plenty unused to the city I bet.”
“Yeah, wanna take her on a royal capital job when I can. A promising newbie for Artemis, I’ll treasure her dearly.”
“Good to hear… Oh, can I have some sautéed beans?”
“Eh? Fine I guess… Here.”
“Thanks. I’ll share some rabbit skewers.”
“Really? Thank yo-“

Forest Bounty Inn was rabbit day today, but yeah, rabbit’s just meh.

Has the meatiness for satisfaction in a sense, but doesn’t compliment alcohol. Troubling.

“Mm…high end places are nice, but yeah, spots like this are good too…Cheap, pretty tasty.”
“Come to think, Artemis doesn’t really come here. The other girls do a fair bit though.”
“Yeah. Sheena-san and Natasha-san frequent some other place. Too cramped here, small tables.”
“Their favorite place…probably pricey huh.”
“Hehe, bit more yeah. I like it too but…this place has its charm.”
“Man’s tastes am I right?”
“Huh, related?”

A bit for sure. Seasoning here trends simple and impactful.
So in that sense, you’re a man too Ulrika.

“…Mongrel-san, you don’t ask me much.”
“Hm?”
“Like, my fashion, speech, and such.”

Ah, that. Well.

“I’ll listen if you wanna talk about it. Won’t pry myself. Doesn’t bother me any. Share those stories when you feel like Ulrika.”

It’s not like I have zero bias or prejudice.

But my old world, before reincarnating, had that LGBT stuff right. A bunch of troublesome…problems and whatnot there.

Not that I was apathetic, in casually reading up, some degree of awareness and consideration seemed to take shape.

Living in society like that, no way I’d react with crude “A tranny, eww!” Getting no points for prejudiced reactions.

I make efforts not to show bias, but some discomfort remains admittedly.

“Oh, that makes me happy.”
“Hey Ulrika.”
“Yes, what?”

I looked into Ulrika’s slightly drowsy eyes from the alcohol.

“Could I get some more sautéed beans maybe?”
“…Order it yourself already!”
“Nah, like a fresh new side dish amount? I definitely want more but not a whole plate y’know?”
“Waiter, sautéed beans and two ales please! …There, got a new order. Eat with that?”
“Thank you.”
“Geez…”

Can’t stand guys who make others do even ordering…

That day I sampled sides catering to the male palate, drinking late into the night with Ulrika.

And in talking, I felt a slight relief that he doesn’t seem to be after my ass.

Just a regular drinking buddy. Super glad…I’d been worried about that the whole time…


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