Chapter 234: Accompanying the Delinquent Adventurers (3/3)
The way I’m using it now isn’t really what the spell was originally designed for, but these guys did their best, so just a little bit should be fine.
I casted the spell on the delinquent adventurers one after another, and eventually, they were all able to stand up and walk on their own.
“Now then, although you haven’t been wounded deeply, you do have some scratches from tumbling around, so please go to the hospital to receive treatment. I’ll prepare your lunch during that time, so gather at the cafeteria once your treatment is over.” [Ryouma]
“Yes, Aniki!!” [Delinquent Adventurers]
They’re just like those students from sports club after their club activities.
Well, they are still in their teens, and that’s high school age.
They looked like college students at first, but that’s only because they have better physique compared to their peers.
Young strong boys like them need to eat properly after an intense workout.
I saw them off to the Security Company’s hospital, then hurried off to the cafeteria.
After the Security Company employees finished their lunch, I borrowed the kitchen and went to cooking.
Some cooks approached me out of curiosity, so I had them help out.
Apparently, they were curious about my recipe and my new cooking tool, the pressure cooker. They helped me out despite it being their break time.
As we prepared the food, the hungry boys eventually came to the cafeteria, and we served them lunch.
“Uoo!?” [Delinquent Adventurer 1]
“Wow, that’s a lot of food…” [Delinquent Adventurer 2]
“Can we really eat all of this!?” [Delinquent Adventurer 3]
“Yes. You all did your best today, so eat as much as you want.” [Ryouma]
Today’s menu includes:
2. Vegetable and Sausage Soup
3. Boiled Root Vegetables
4. Pumpkin Boiled in Soy Sauce
5. Sprint Rabbit Stew
The bread and the soup are leftovers from today’s employee lunch.
The boiled food I picked out for their nutrients and satiety factor.
The Sprint Rabbit Stew is an experiment to see if the pressure cooker can soften the meat.
When I told them to eat as much as they want, they all reached out for the food and filled their plates with the contents of the pot that just as quickly vanished into their bellies.
After calming down a bit, they started chatting among themselves.
“This boiled potato tastes a bit different, but I think I’ve eaten it at my village before.” [Delinquent Adventurer 1]
“Oh, that. It does take me back.” [Delinquent Adventurer 2]
“..Pumpkins… We had these at our farm.” [Delinquent Adventurer 3]
“I can’t believe I can eat so much bread here. Wheat was usually turned into porridge back at my village.” [Delinquent Adventurer 4]
“Ah, we do that at ours too, but don’t most farmer villages do that?” [Delinquent Adventurer 5]
“Turning wheat into flour takes effort and money, after all. And even when we make some, it’s usually the hard kind to make it last longer.” [Delinquent Adventurer 6]
“Soft bread was a luxury back at our village too. We could only get it when it was occasionally sold in town.” [Delinquent Adventurer 7]
“Speaking of luxuries, having meat like this during winter is definitely a luxury.” [Delinquent Adventurer 8]
“Yeah, normally you only get sausages or salt-pickled meat or pickles during winter.” [Delinquent Adventurer 9]
“True, true.” [Delinquent Adventurers]
“Speaking of which, where are you guys from? What specialties and cuisines do your villages have?” [Ryouma]
“My village is normal. We usually eat wheat porridge or boiled potatoes.” [Delinquent Adventurer 10]
“Our village, or rather our entire region specializes in potatoes, so our local cuisine revolves around potato noodles. It’s nothing amazing enough to be called a local specialty, though. It’s just that wheat is expensive, so we mix them with potato starch.” [Delinquent Adventurer 11]
Noodles that use potatoes. Curious, I asked for more details, and it turns out they mix potato starch with wheat flour to create something akin to Hokkaido’s Gousetsu Udon.
As we talked about their villages’ local specialties, I started eating too.
“I-I can’t move an inch…” [Delinquent Adventurers]
In the blink of an eye, most of the food we prepared had vanished.
This was despite me having just eaten one person’s worth of food.
“You sure ate a lot.” [Delinquent Adventurer 1]
“Ah, it was so good, I ate too much…” [Delinquent Adventurer 2]
“It’s been a while since I ate so much.” [Delinquent Adventurer 3]
The boys rubbed their bulging bellies and laughed.
“I’m glad you enjoyed it. If you’d like, I can invite you again sometime.” [Ryouma]
“Seriously!?’” [Delinquent Adventurer 4]
I told them it would be mostly experimental recipes and leftovers, but they didn’t mind at all and were really elated. Looks like they’ve been having a hard time in their own way too.
“I’m sure you must all be having a hard time, what with you having to come here all the way from your village. I’m sure the change in environment is taking a toll on you.” [Ryouma]
“Exactly! Aniki!” [Delinquent Adventurer 5]
“I was really excited until I left the village.” [Delinquent Adventurer 6]
“Ever since I left my town, nothing has been going well.” [Delinquent Adventurer 7]
They calmed down a lot after eating, so the conversation took a glum turn. It was different from their usual aura that was always so full of thorns. They were honest now.
Having to leave your family and your hometown to live all by yourself is sure to change your life.
That’s true whether it’s on Earth or here in this world.
They might have come here on their own volition, but the difference between a village and a city is still too big.
At farmer villages, people who can’t read aren’t unusual, and they only have to use money a few times a year.
Most times you either barter or simply help each other out.
Apparently, they studied the bare minimum to be able to read and write before leaving the village, but they’re not good at it.
They’re bad at calculating money too. They’re not particularly bad at using money, but they’re not good at it either.
Due to their lack of experience and the way they used their money, their lives gradually became worse.
The gap between dream and reality stimulated the confidence and pride that they built up in their hometown.
As their attitude worsened, the locals became colder.
Afraid of being isolated from others, they naturally flocked together.
And with the moral support from their numbers, they sought to protect their pride by rebelling against those around them. A vicious cycle.
“…You never blamed us, though, Aniki.” [Delinquent Adventurer 8]
“? I’m pretty sure I scolded you plenty.” [Ryouma]
“It’s true that you said a lot and you even beat us up, but that’s not what I meant.” [Delinquent Adventurer 8]
“What you mean is that he’s not preachy like those guys from the guild, right?” [Delinquent Adventurer 9]
“Yeah! Exactly!” [Delinquent Adventurer 8]
“Ah… Well, that’s because I’m not good enough to be preaching to others.” [Ryouma]
I’ve troubled others myself plenty of times, after all.
“And besides, the guild master and the others have given you more than an earful already, right?” [Ryouma]
“Hmm… Well, yeah.” [Delinquent Adventurer 9]
“That’s why there’s no need for me to say anything more. Besides, you all understand exactly what you’re doing wrong anyway.” [Ryouma]
They might be rebellious on the surface, but beneath that, they’re a simple and honest folk.
Because of that they’re easy to understand.
When I asked them if they were aware of what they were doing, they all turned their eyes away from me and became silent.
That was all the proof I needed to know that they were aware of their own actions.
Someone who was really unaware of his own faults won’t understand it even if you point it out. A person like that will just look at you oddly. Or maybe he’ll be understanding on the surface and look like he’s reflecting, but deep inside, he won’t doubt that he’s correct.
I’m not that confident in my ability to judge others, but I’ve met people like that in my previous life. I’ve kept in touch with them for years and have seen how they act.
That’s why I’m really glad that these guys are ‘different’.
Although they’re stubborn and cause a lot of trouble for those around them, as long as they’re aware of what they’re doing, then they should also know gratitude.
They’re a lot better compared to my previous subordinates.
“Of course, if you do something bad where I can see, I’ll deal with you with force, but if you have any concerns, I’m willing to lend an ear as long as it’s something I can help with. In the end, though, the ones who’ll have to act are you guys. Sermons don’t seem to work on you, but I honestly hope that you’ll be able to do your best and start over. It takes courage to acknowledge your faults and better yourself, but I believe you can still start over.” [Ryouma]
“Start over…” [Delinquent Adventurer 10]
I turned to the adventurer that reacted when I said that.
Apparently, he’d intended to just mutter to himself, but even the others were looking at him now, so he spoke reluctantly.
“We’ve caused so much trouble for others already, do you really think we can still start over?” [Delinquent Adventurer 10]
“It might not be possible to lose the trust you’ve lost immediately, and even if you better yourself, people will still look at you harshly, but it’s a whole ‘nother story whether you break or not… A person that’s truly hopeless won’t feel anything even when they commit evil. I don’t know if it’s innate or something they simply got used to, but if you reflect over your actions and feel some regrets – no matter how small – about what you’ve done, then I believe you can still come back. And if there’s a place you can return to, I believe you should come back with all of your strength.” [Ryouma]
Of course, it’s best to do no wrong from the start, but if you’ve already done it, then instead of doing wrong again and again, it’s obviously better to stop.
When I told them that bluntly, silence filled the cafeteria.
Their bellies seemed to have calmed down already.
“In that case, Aniki, we’ll be going now.” [Delinquent Adventurer 10]
We’ve settled all of our business, so the delinquent adventurers would be going their way now. I saw them off until the gate of the security company.
“Yes. Take care on your way back. Also, be sure to rest plenty, you might have been treated with magic, but you still pushed yourselves really hard. See you tomorrow.” [Ryouma]
“Ussu!” [Delinquent Adventurers]
“Aniki, thank you for the weapons, the food, and the bruises!” [Delinquent Adventurer 1]
“Bruises!!” [Delinquent Adventurers]
“Ha ha ha… I’m warning you just to be sure, but don’t use your weapons for evil. Or else…” [Ryouma]
I have that much responsibility as the person who bought them those weapons.
If they were to use those weapons to hurt an innocent person…
“I’ll be sure to snap the criminal’s neck—” [Ryouma]
“We absolutely won’t use it for evil!!!” [Delinquent Adventurers]
“—I was joking. I’m sure you won’t do anything bad.” [Ryouma]
“O-Oh, you were joking.” [Delinquent Adventurer 1]
“That was a pretty scary joke.” [Delinquent Adventurer 2]
“It didn’t sound like a joke, though…” [Delinquent Adventurer 3]
Like that, amidst dry laughters, the delinquent adventurers left.
“I should drop by the church.” [Ryouma]
It’s been really busy since I came back from Fatma Territory, so I haven’t been able to show my face lately.
I think it’s about time I showed my face. I don’t have anything planned today anyway, so I can only go.
“What should we talk about today? The stories have really been piling up.” [Ryouma]
I walked to the church as I thought pondered that to myself.