“Ugh… I am tired from working.”
Wilson, the owner of a small-town clothing store, yawned and mumbled.
It was something he does every day, but it wasn’t much help to open the store so early in the morning.
But to earn a penny, he had to be that diligent.
Maybe in the early morning, a rich man would come by and sweep away all the expensive clothes.
‘No, that isn’t going to happen.’
Wilson shook his head.
Things were tough these days, so his delusions began to increase.
After a few more grunts, he stretched himself.
And was about to pick up the duster.
“Please come in!”
He smiled immediately.
It wasn’t too broad, but it showed how happy he was to see customers coming in at such an early hour.
He put down the duster and moved to the customers.
And froze like a stone.
‘… a cat?’
Wilson rubbed his eyes.
He must have seen it wrong.
Cats couldn’t be customers. He must have mistaken some little girl for a cat.
Having thought so, he opened his eyes.
However, he saw the same thing.
A black cat.
Not just any cat.
Wearing stylish leather clothes, leather boots, and even a hat with feathers.
It looked like a character in a fairy tale.
And it spoke too!
“Are you the owner?”
“Huh! Oh yes! I’m Wilson, the owner of Wilson’s Clothing Store. Do you have any particular clothes you want?”
Despite the surprise, Wilson didn’t forget what he was supposed to say.
It was a habit that he acquired after years of doing business.
The black cat answered.
“Uhm! I don’t know.”
“I don’t know what to buy. Something, there seems to be something that I’m lacking, but I have no idea what it could be.”
“What should I do?”
Wilson was perplexed at the cat, which was asking him questions when another person entered his store.
Fortunately, it was a human this time. A handsome young man.
And he said,
“Lulu, if you want to go to a clothing store, inform me at least. I had to find you.”
“Ah, sorry! I came in as soon as I saw the nice-looking sign.”
“Fine. What do you want to buy?”
“That, I have no idea. But I want to buy something.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Seeing the blonde young man conversing with the cat without any awkwardness, Wilson was more puzzled.
What was that? Did he wake up too early? Or was he still dreaming?
If not, did the world change overnight?
“Excuse me, are you the owner of this place?”
“My friend wants to look around. Would that be fine?”
“S-Sure! Feel free to browse around!”
He nodded quickly as he led them further into the store. And that was the end.
Normally, Wilson would talk to the customers and find out about their tastes and recommend products they might like… but now, Wilson was having a hard time accepting the current situation.
In the end, he chose to stare at the two of them.
And a little time passed.
The black cat yelled.
“Woah! This! This is it!”
The cat found a child-sized Little Red Riding Hood costume and reached out.
And then, the cloak automatically wrapped around her.
The cat flew from there and tried out various poses with the cloak and asked the young man.
“How is it?”
“Looks good. I like it.”
“Nice! I should buy this! This is a must-buy!”
“Huh! Ah, yes!”
Wilson made eye contact with the cat, which flew towards him, making him step back.
The cat didn’t care. The cat placed its paw in front of him.
“Give me your hand.”
“Done. Let’s go. Airn!”
“Wait, let him look at the payment…”
“It’s okay! I gave as much as I liked it! The owner will be happy too!”
The cat quickly left after paying, and the young blonde followed her.
What remained was Wilson in a confused state and a mouse-shaped golden sculpture in his hand.
Airn and Lulu were on their leisure journey.
It wasn’t like he didn’t want to rush, but because Lulu really enjoyed it.
“It’s my first time traveling with anyone!”
“Hmm. And it’s a lot more fun than I thought.”
Lulu said while flying through the streets.
The fluttering hem of the cloak was impressive.
Of course, people’s eyes were focused on the cat rather than the cloak, but the black cat didn’t care.
Its full concentration was on the person next to it.
Seeing that Lulu liked that, Airn had doubts.
‘It’s her first time traveling with someone?’
It was shocking.
He knew that most sorcerers have eccentric personalities, so they lacked social skills.
And strictly speaking, this cat’s personality was far from normal.
But wasn’t there something Lulu kept emphasizing so many times until now?
‘How important mutual trust is in sorcery. I think I’ve heard that around fifty times.’
Because of Lulu’s personality, Airn thought she had a special relationship with someone other than Airn, and he felt that the relationship would have been a long one.
But for this to be her first trip with someone…
‘Maybe, that person isn’t in this world anymore?’
Or, maybe they decided to break away?
No matter, it didn’t seem like the relationship ended on a happy note.
And he wanted to change the topic of the conversation.
Airn thought about it, but luckily Lulu was the one to change topics.
“Ah, Ian? That Sword Master? Is he a great person?”
“You didn’t hear?”
“I did, but I wasn’t interested. I don’t really concentrate on other stuff.”
“I see. Well…”
Airn remembered Ian’s face.
An old and unsightly appearance.
However, that man with amazing swordsmanship may be the strongest on the continent.
And the person he first called teacher.
“Ah-ah! I think I heard that! I remember him being your first teacher. Then the second one?”
“Yes. You are my second teacher.”
Lulu, who liked the word teacher, laughed like a child.
Making Airn laugh, too, as he said.
“If it’s him, maybe he could give me some advice about my precarious state. Of course, I will have to talk about my dreams…”
“You never know. Maybe the mystery about the dream will be solved.”
“Uhm. That would be difficult.”
Airn shook his head.
A mysterious phenomenon that couldn’t be explained by sorcery.
Even the great sorcerer Lulu couldn’t think of an answer. How could Ian do it?
When he said that, Lulu shook her head.
“But you said that he was the best swordsman on the continent.”
“Anyone who can be called the best in any field is no different from being a sorcerer. Because they possess unbelievable abilities and will which cannot be explained by common sense.”
It might not be possible, but it didn’t mean that there was no hope.
Lulu, who said that, suddenly took off her hat.
It wasn’t just that. She threw away the cloak, vest, and all her other clothes by stuffing them into a subspace and moved onto Airn’s back.
And opened up a bed and slipped into it.
“Suddenly, I feel sleepy.”
“Just a little bit. Don’t wake me up unless there’s something wrong.”
Ah, the unpredictable personality.
Airn mumbled as he moved faster.
“Wah! We arrived!”
A few days after buying the cloak at the clothing store in a small town. Airn Pareira arrived at Alcantra, where Krono was located.
They weren’t the only ones arriving.
Behind Airn were five cats huddled together and leaping.
All because of Lulu.
With her body out of the bag, she shook a fishing rod with a cat toy on it and lured them.
“Haha, come up! Can’t catch it?”
“Lulu, stop it. If we enter with them, it’ll get noisy.”
“That so? Then what about me?”
“Hm, I think it will be fine if you don’t talk.”
“I must be quiet then.”
Coming out of the bag, Lulu got onto his shoulder.
Lulu doesn’t usually pay attention to what’s happening around her, but this time she kept looking around and realized that staying silent was better.
It was because she knew how bothersome it would be if the guards near the gate saw a talking cat and asked questions.
“When I travel alone, I usually just teleport and jump in. Shall I do that now?”
“Hm. That might be better. Let’s meet inside.”
The black cat disappeared in an instant.
When Lulu disappeared, the fishing rod and the bed disappeared as well.
The stray cats looked at Airn and then moved away. Seeing that, he smiled.
‘I’m laughing a lot more than before.’
Not a bad feeling.
Taking a deep breath, he entered the city of Alcantra.
He was shocked.
“There are so many magic items on the streets…”
Even though it was pretty late and the gates were half-closed, the streets weren’t dark.
It was thanks to the magic lights installed all over the roads.
Many other things caught his attention.
A sophisticated architecture that couldn’t be found in small towns and villages.
People passing by.
Beautiful statues and fountains all over.
It was beautiful even before entering. Airn felt overwhelmed by the sheer size of it, but…
‘The place where I live isn’t like this.’
A tiny Kingdom like Hale couldn’t be compared to this shocking place.
Of course, it was because Alcantra was a developed city.
It was a city built by traders and merchants, the capital was huge, and since the main building of Krono was here, many different countries’ goods were brought in.
In the end, it was all thanks to Krono that this place developed.
‘Such a great place, Krono is.’
Airn could feel the power of the Krono once again.
He sat at the fountain and watched people walk through the city looking for a place to stay.
It was late, so he decided to sleep and visit the school the next day.
And in time, a suitable place came into view.
An inn with a sign, ’Cradle of Swords, ’ very close to where the Krono was.
‘Lulu will be able to find it.’
He glanced at the building and opened the door while stepping in.
An unpleasant noise came from the door, probably because it wasn’t well lubricated.
Fortunately, the inside was neat.
People were eating, the first hall was spacious with numerous tables, and most people inside had muscular physiques.
No, not most, all.
Everyone had a sword by their side.
It was strange.
The city was large, and it made sense that many would be mercenaries and travelers with swords, but still, all the guests had swords?
Thinking, Airn walked to the counter,
In order to stay, he had to talk with the innkeeper.
However, one giant man approached him.
“Are you also here for Krono?”
It wasn’t a bad first topic.
Airn wasn’t the type of person who would avoid conversations.
And there were too many people older than him, so he would talk out of being considerate.
But, he couldn’t help but be concerned at that question.
And he answered.
“I am. But how…”
“Haha, haha, hahaha!”
“Is he also here for Krono? Unbelievable…”
“Really, it looks like dogs and cows will come together.”
With the laughter, sarcasm erupted from everywhere.
Airn couldn’t help but panic.
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