The Hero and a Meal
With him proposing to Rokuko, he’ll probably be executed immediately if he manages to return alive. Well, I’m not really worried about him but as expected I’d feel sorry for abandoning someone from the same world as me. I feel like doing a good thing so let’s just continue on with the campaign.
“… So, what do you think we should do, Kehma?”
“For the time being, tell me how he asked.”
“Eh? Nnn, umm, ‘would you be my partner’.”
Rokuko’s face is blushing from embarrassment… but is that even a proposal?
Partner can have various meanings after all. Though it could definitely mean a partnership between a man and a woman, it could also mean partners like me and Rokuko.
Even I use [Partner] to describe Rokuko a lot.
… Ah, there’s a chance that Translation-san is replacing what I mean with that unthinkable meaning isn’t there…
“Heeey, Rokuko, did you answer him about the ‘partner’ thing?”
“Yeah, well I refused immediately though! I have Kehma so I don’t need another partner.”
“Y-yeah. Then isn’t the problem solved with that?”
“Wait up! Umm, that’s… he’s really persistent… He invited me wanting to talk and I don’t want to eat together with him. You come too, Kehma!”
An S-Rank adventurer’s request huh… Wouldn’t it usually be fine if I just refused?
No, it might turn into a bad situation if we don’t talk to him at all, so eating a meal with him might be a good opportunity.
And if Rokuko talked with him by herself, yep, I definitely have a bad feeling about that. There’s the possibility that she’s already guilty of something, after all what did she do to make him ask her to become his partner?
“So I was thinking about properly requesting you to be there, as my partner!”
“Yeah? Yeah… I guess?”
“Hey, do it right! Kehma is my partner after all.”
“That’s right, I’m your partner, yeah.”
Crap. With this course of events, what kind of meaning is this ‘partner’? I can’t figure it out.
… The problem is that I’m trying to not be seen. Postponing my problems, it really is a Japanese thing to do huh.
Ah, maybe I could ask the hero about it directly?
In the end, I decided to talk directly with the hero. While eating a meal together.
We’re in the suite. Right now, Kinue-san is in the middle of setting up the A-Rank special, the [Avarice Meal], also known as the kid’s meal.
And as for me, I was sitting in front of the hero with the mysterious earth mage adventurer Narikin disguise. Rokuko was next to me.
Furthermore, in order for today’s disguise to conceal my hair color as well, it’s closer to a full-face helmet than a mask. I made the mouth area able to be detached for the meal. It’ll be convenient to hide my hair color in the future as well, so let’s go with this from now on.
“Good to meet you, Hero-dono. I am Narikin. Rokuko’s partner. It is my honor to be able to meet you.”
“Good to meet you. I am Wataru Nishimi… umm, Narikin-san. Rokuko-san. It was very impolite for me to invite you, but—it’s impossible to talk with this meal in front of me, I’m very sorry.
You could talk while eating though… you can be a bit loose with the kid’s meal~. Well, I thought something like that, but it looked like that was out of the question for the hero. He’s been fixedly staring at the kid’s meal and cream soda for a while now.
Maybe I shouldn’t have served the hero a meal meant for children after all? The hero probably knows how much the kid’s meal costs in Japan, I’m expecting him to call it a rip-off at five gold any time now.
Then, the hero single-mindedly ate the kid’s meal. Moreover, with a serious face the whole time.
… He looks like an adult, but with him silently eating a kid’s meal, the atmosphere’s pretty heavy.
In the end, he was angry about the price being too high—not. I thought he might be, but it didn’t look like that was the case.
“—Thank you for the meal.” 
Drinking the last drop of the cream soda, the hero, Wataru, who hadn’t left a single grain of food left on his plate—shed tears.
“I’m sorry, I just recalled my hometown… it’s already impossible to return there.”
Three years. I’m sure Haku-san said that three years have passed since this hero was summoned.
Entering into high school, that would be the same period of three years it would take to graduate. With that amount of time, various things probably happened. I don’t know what happened, but from the way he looks right now, it’s easy to see that he’s gained a grand amount of experience compared with what he would have living in Japan.
“You can’t return anymore, is it?”
“Yeah. My hometown is in a different world, so there’s no way to return. I’m still looking for a way, but—even if I find one, I still wouldn’t be able to return there… Since coming to this world, my hands have killed many. In my hometown, that is the greatest sin.”
I see, so he’s killed people since coming to this world. So he can’t return to Japan, huh.
Murders in another world probably wouldn’t get him arrested as a criminal if he returned to Japan though, but the problem is probably how he feels about it.
“So then, why are you looking for a means to return despite not being able to?”
“Ah, in the future, I might meet a person from the other world that might want to return to their hometown—because of that; and lingering attachments. One’s hometown is something to be missed…”
… For me, even though I don’t feel like leaving my comfortable life here to return to Japan, I wonder if I’d want to return some day? I’m happy so long as I can sleep though.
“I understand the reason Haku-sama recommended this inn. This place really does have a hint of Japan. I have a few questions I’d like to ask, is that alright?”
“… If I am able to answer, I will answer.”
“Then… [Rice]. What region is this from?”
Ah—a difficult question right out of the gate.
For example, even if I said, ‘I don’t know since we procured it from Haku-san,’ this hero could go and directly ask Haku-san to confirm it. Then if Haku-san answered with, ‘I don’t know where,’ or something there’d be a contradiction. It’d be really bad if that happened huh.
“… Well, we don’t want to leak our supplier since this is a business…”
“Please, somehow. I won’t tell anyone else. I absolutely want to acquire it.”
“If that’s the case, I can accommodate you. We don’t have so much, but we can sell you the rice that has finished cleaning.”
“Definitely! —Ah, and what kind of soil does it need?”
He didn’t bite. Well, rice is the Japanese soul food, it’s natural for him to be anxious about it.
He’ll probably keep asking if I don’t answer him. Let’s go with using that appropriate country’s name and be a bit enigmatic… Ummm, what was the name of that country Haku-san definitely mentioned? Wakoku? You could get cherries there right? Alright, let’s go with using that.
It looked like Wataru expected me to hesitate and think over responding, he was waiting quietly.
“Do you know of the country named Wakoku?”
“Yeah, I’m planning to go there. [Wakoku], its name matches it being to the east, so it’s been on my mind.” 
… Ah, he’s right! I didn’t notice!
“Well, Haku-san brought us things called cherries from there.”
“Ooh, so there are cherry trees in Wakuko then! I can’t wait!”
Ah, is that so? Cherries are cherries, so I guess that means cherry trees too.
So if there really might be [Rice] too—wait, Haku-san said she didn’t know what [Rice] was didn’t she? I don’t think Haku-san would overlook a grain while knowing about a fruit like cherries. In that case, it looks like there isn’t much of a chance then.
… Yep, I didn’t say that I got our [Rice] from there, safe, safe. Even those lie detecting magic tools wouldn’t catch my white lie.
“As for our current supplier, that’s all I can say.”
“Thank you… Next, I would like you to have a look at this.”
After saying that, Wataru took out some playing cards.
“I heard that these could be obtained from the dungeon [Cave of Desires].”
“Yes, it appears that they are obtained from the first floor. We buy them for five copper coins.”
“… Narikin-san, please look at this.”
The hero pointed to the box of cards… What? What am I looking at? It’s just the normal box.
“Yeah? … It doesn’t look like anything’s different, are you trying to show me a magic trick?”
“Hey, what’s that weird pattern?”
The hero smiled broadly. I suddenly understood after hearing Rokuko’s response, and immediately my blood flowed backwards as I was attacked by chills.
… It’s a bar code. With something like that, it’s a complete out!
“Yes. This here is called a bar code, it’s a special way of writing a price.”
“Ahh now that you mention it, this pattern, I’ve always thought it was something or another, but it was like that then?”
I promptly handed it back… This guy, he might suspect me being Japanese. He might have even settled on that with my reaction just now.
Oh right. Haku-san’s surely heard about bar codes as well. So with her thinking that I had schemed some super-excellent plan, she probably saw the bar codes as bait. Even though it was really just a complete fail on my part!
“… Well, this is why I came to this dungeon. It’s a clue for returning to my hometown.”
“Is that so… Ah, it’s fine to examine it, but since this one is more or less for beginners… please don’t damage it too much, alright?”
“Yes. I understand. I am planning on staying a week for now.”
Hero Wataru said that and bowed deeply… he doesn’t seem like a bad guy.
Ah. Right. I need to ask about his proposal towards Rokuko too huh. Well, nine times out of ten he probably meant it as a study partner though.