Extra: Crossing the River
The next day, we’d come to the river to make our way to South Donsama.
According to what Wataru told me, the river was around a hundred meters across if you went straight. There were stairs that descended to a harbor around two meters above the water, along with a ferry docked there.
There was a slope for wheeled vehicles to descend as well, of course.
That said, we weren’t at the area to get onto the ferry.
“—and so we’ll be crossing the water today.”
“Oi, hold up.”
“What’s wrong, Kehma-san?”
“I mean yeah, crossing the river is fine. But how’d it come to [Running Across the River] being a thing?”
“Because it’s something special in this town, water running!”
Yeah. Following Wataru here, it turned out that this was some sort of self challenge spot.
It seemed he was a bit of a celebrity here too, since people who’d come here to challenge themselves were calling out to Wataru and seeming overall giddy at seeing him.
“Wataru-san! Please teach me!”
“Over here! Watch me run, Wataru-sensei!”
“Are those people with him his pupils?”
—that kind of stuff.
Incidentally, it seemed that the number of people that were able to successfully cross the river was somewhere in the double digits, including Wataru.
“Alright then, how about you give it a go, Kehma-san?”
Heck no. I don’t feel like running over a river. Do I look like a sports junkie to you?
“Oh yeah, Ortega-san, the person who made the inn we were at yesterday, managed to do it, too. In this town, people who’re able to cross the river are called heroes.”
“Heeeh, thanks for the info.”
“Which is why, Kehma-san, I think you should at least give it a go.”
“Which is why my butt. I ain’t doin’ it!”
“I want to see if you can do it, Kehma.”
Rokuko supported Wataru from off to the side. Nope! Definitely not!
“It’d be bad if I fell into the river. I could drown.”
“Oh, don’t worry man. This place is famous, there’s a rescue team always swimming around.”
Famous? How much free time do these people have to even have a rescue team? Monsters won’t appear? It’s safe? Oh, so it’s only safe during a certain time range huh. Heeeh~.
“… Changing clothes after I get wet sounds troublesome.”
“You have [Dry] and [Cleanup]. That’d be enough.”
Kuh, life magic is too convenient!
It looks like Wataru’s wanting me to do it, no matter what.
“C’mon dude, give it a shot. Maybe you’ll like it?”
“I can’t do the impossible.”
“When there’s a will, there’s a way!”
“I don’t have any merits like that.”
“Could you show me that you do?”
Rokuko interrupted us with a self-satisfied look. But like… I don’t. It’s more like I’d just get another demerit after I fall in—which I definitely would.
Meat looked like she really wanted to try it. Her tail was wagging back and forth. She was definitely looking forward to it.
“Kuro. You don’t have to hold yourself back for me, go for it.”
“Oh, so Kuro-chan’s participating! Alright, let me show you how to do it.”
Saying that, Wataru crouched in preparation to dash.
“Momentum is important! Kehma-san, make sure you take a good look too.”
“I’m not doing it though?”
“I’m off! Hoh!”
Lot listening to me in the least, Wataru took off running. No—it was more like he got shot from a cannon.
Each time his feet hit the water, they sent out waves of force.
… Just before his left foot would sink, his right foot hit, followed by his left foot doing the same.
After a moment, Wataru reached the other side and came back.
“… And that’s how you do it. So how about it, think you go it?”
“That’s inhuman. As expected of a hero.”
“Hah, don’t flatter me~”
You took that as praise?
“Umm, Kuro, you don’t have to push yourself.”
“No, I’ll do it.”
“Kehma-san, see how hyped she is? You should follow her example!”
You can stop looking at me like that—I’m not going to do it. You know that, right?
With that, Meat crouched to prepare herself to dash.
She was concentrating… and then started running. She then began to kick at and soar across the water.
Maybe she can do it?… But soon as I thought that, she sank around halfway across the river.
Collected by the rescue team, Meat was brought back to where we were standing.
“Ah, too bad. You almost made it across—you get brought to the other side if you make it more than halfway.”
I used [Cleanup] and [Dry] on Meat, whose tail was sagging down in disappointment.
Gozoh stepped up.
“Alright, I’m gonna give it a go! Roppu, see if you can figure out the trick.”
“Ooh, good luck, Gozoh. I’ll get you something good to drink if you make it.”
“It’s impossible for me! How ’bout ye get me some to comfort me after I fail?”
Gozoh was up to bat this time. Again, with a crouch.
… He broke into a run, but sank on the first step. The rescue team nearby collected him and quickly brought him back.
“Kuh, guess it was useless…”
“You made it two meters at least. It’s okay.”
Seeming like he knew it was going to happen, Gozoh didn’t look too down about it. He used [Dry] on himself.
“Alright, next up’s Kehma!”
“Nope, not gonna. What’s with you wanting me to cross the river?”
“Because I’m pretty sure you’ll make it.”
“I think so too. Kehma can do it.”
“That’s a bit much… I can’t do what I can’t do.”
Haaah, oh well. If they’re going to be like that, why don’t I just try it?
“Alright, I get it. I’ll just go until I hit the other side.”
“Oh! So Kehma-san’s finally getting serious…”
Everyone took that crouching start so far, so I… didn’t.
I just prepared to run off normally.
“Hoh. So you’re going classic style, eh?”
Wataru said that, but I had no clue what he was talking about.
I didn’t pay him any mind and took a step into the water. And sank.
I then continued to just swum to the other side.
It was a bit hard to swim with my clothes on, but even while being pulled downstream, I managed to keep going thanks to the golem assist.
With that, I made it to the other side.
“… Phew, that was tiring. Hey guys, c’mon and hurry up—!”
“You’re not supposed to just swim though!?”
Rokuko raised a complaint from the other shore, but I ignored it. I mean, I never said that I would run across.
In the end, Rokuko and the others just came along with the coach on the ferry. The heck, doesn’t that just make me look stupid?
“That was an amazing defeat, Kehma-san.”
Wataru spoke with such a big smile that he was practically radiating light. I tilted my head.
“Eh? I never said I’d run across though?”
“That’s not what I meant! We’d overlooked the essence of river crossing to start with. Essentially, river crossing is for the sake of making it to the other shore. There was never actually a rule for running across! In other words, Kehma-san, the moment you decided to go classic style for your start, you won!”
What an abrupt, weirdly reasoned explanation. Very.
I just took it as Wataru’s usual, annoying goal of wanting to lose to me. Given that he loves getting played around with by Nerune, he’s definitely an M.
I may have wrote this one after drinking a bit.