s completely hopeless when it came to cooking.
When I was alone, I simply chopped things up and heated them up so it didn’t really matter at the time, but as it turns out, I’m quite awkward in the kitchen.

Aria returned after a while.

“Did they wake up?”
“Yes, they did.
They’re changing just about now.”
“Why were they in their armor?”
“I’m not sure.
When they woke up they only asked me what time it was, and started changing.”
“Oh, good morning.
Sorry we’re late.”

As Aria and I talked with each other, Kili walked in.
Milia and Sui soon followed after her.

“It’s not like I mind, but why were you three sleeping all decked-out like that?”
“…That’s-“
“We thought if we could, increase our intellect with our equipment, we might be able to decipher the, ancient civilization’s language.”

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Sui answers in place of Kilia and Milia, who found it hard to explain.

“Because my intellect went up, as soon as, I got this spell book.”
“Aah, I see.
So, did it?”
“No, not at all.
The correction factor of the spell book is too amazing.”

Kili said while drooping her shoulders.

“We were thinking of continuing our deciphering with Sui as the center.
We finally had a promising start yesterday.”
“I see…”

I think while hearing the three continue their conversation.
This might be the perfect timing.

“Kili.”
“What’s up?”
“Want to make a magic tool that increases your intellect?”

I suggested making a new item to her.

***

“We safely reached back home, Sieg-san.”
“You’re right.
I thank you all for your assistance.”

We were back at Sieg-san’s shop, which was in the city where the Margravine resided.
Sieg-san patted his chest in relief, and I did the same.
With this, Sieg-san’s escort mission had come to an end.
The trip to and from the village was entirely uneventful, but since we had rare goods with us on the way back, it was mentally exhausting.

“Hey hey, Racquel.
Can I leave the party for a while? I really want to go back to that village.”
“Now now, I want to go as well, so let’s go together afterwards.”
“Alright-!”

Zeal also seemed willing to go back there, so we might as well head out as a party.

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Sieg-san laughed bitterly.
I’m sure he wanted to come with us, but he must have a lot of preparation to do, so it would be impossible for him right now.

“Owner! pardon the intrusion, but could you come out front?”

As we helped unload the goods, we heard a voice from outside the store.

“Who is it?”
“There weren’t any planned visitors, right?”

No one should be visiting here since the place was closed for restocking.
Moreover, since we were just unloading, there’s no way anyone could have known about the store being open.

Despite that, the other party knew of Sieg-san’s return.

“What will you do? Shall I step out and greet them?”
“…No, that would be rude in case it were a customer, hence I shall go.
Can Racquel-sama follow me as an escort though? I’ll pay you.”
“Understood.
But I couldn’t charge you for this.
We can’t simply escape being faced with such a situation, after all.”

Sieg-san and I stepped outside the shop while lightly conversing.

“Are you the merchant Sieg and their accompanying escort Racquel? The Margravine has summoned you.
You may come as you’re currently dressed.
Ah, bring your companions as well.”

The outside of the shop was surrounded by soldiers.

Looking at Sieg-san, he was staring at a single point.
A bound man stood in front of his eyes.
If I’m not wrong, wasn’t he the most gifted alchemist in this territory?
Why was he then in chains?

Seeing Sieg-san’s pale expression, I knew for sure that this wasn’t a good situation.

It seems that I had gotten myself involved in something terrible.
Perhaps I should have ran away when I had the chance, even if I had to use force.

While killing a sigh, I headed back inside to retrieve Lilifa and Zeal.

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