World Tree Travel Agency

WTTA 13

World Tree Travel Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berry looked terrible soaking wet.

 

To be honest, he looked a bit like a drowned rat.

 

Although I thought he was small, Berry without his soaked fur appeared much more diminutive than I expected.

 

‘Was it all just fur?’

 

Later, Khunak showed up looking somewhat tired and said,

 

“You should have seen how black the valley water turned. If there were ancient spirits, they would have protested.”

 

“Yeah, probably.”

 

Berry was an extremely adorable tabby cat.

 

I thought he was brown or gray, but he had lovely yellow fur.

 

Drooping, Berry looked ten times more pitiful than usual.

 

“Just in time. The meal is ready.”

 

Doah smiled broadly.

 

As she opened the pot, a delicious smell spread everywhere.

 

Berry approached, sniffing the air with his pink nose.

 

“What is it? Is it food?”

 

“Yes, it’s potato tomato gratin.”

 

Doah smiled again.

 

Plates and utensils were handed around, and Doah cut the potato tomato gratin in the pot.

 

Cheese could be seen oozing out as the food was scooped out of the pot.

 

The potatoes at the bottom were roasted brown and crispy. The surface oil was sizzling.

 

Doah gave each of the two a large piece and took a piece for herself.

 

“Let’s eat now.”

 

Khunak said,

 

“I was getting tired of preserved food.”

 

“Me too.”

 

Doah blew on the hot gratin to cool it before putting it in her mouth.

 

‘Delicious!’

 

The potatoes soaked in fats had a rich flavor, balanced perfectly with the acidity of the tomatoes mixed with herbs.

 

Thanks to the cheese and bacon, the seasoning was perfect.

 

The herb aroma wrapped everything together harmoniously.

 

The crispy surface of the potatoes and the bacon added texture when chewed.

 

“Nyam nyam nyam.”

 

Doah turned her head involuntarily at the sound.

 

Berry was devouring the gratin while meowing frantically.

 

He didn’t seem to notice he was meowing.

 

“Nyam nyam nyam nyam.”

 

Doah looked at Khunak unconsciously, and Khunak also looked at Doah.

 

He said with a suppressed smile,

 

“It’s really delicious, Ms. Doah.”

 

“Good to hear.”

 

Doah grinned.

 

After the meal, Berry, who had eaten to his heart’s content and had been thoroughly washed, looked completely relaxed.

 

Khunak offered to do the dishes, so Doah finally had a comfortable conversation with Berry.

 

“How old are you, Berry? How did you end up in that village?”

 

“Thad…”

 

Berry glanced at Doah. Now almost dry, his fur was fluffy.

 

Doah resisted the urge to touch his fur and stroke his round head.

 

“I am this owld! this owld! (I’m this old, this old!)”

 

Berry showed five fingers, then added two more.

 

“Seven years old?”

 

Nodding vigorously.

 

At seven years old, his poor grasp of the common language suggested he hadn’t been in an environment conducive to speaking or learning much.

 

‘He’ll improve over time.’

 

“I waz wit atventules in the folest (I was with adventurers in the forest.)”

 

“And then?”

 

“I wan away… (I ran away…)”

 

Berry blinked his large golden eyes.

 

“I waz scaled of bweing bayt… (I was scared of being bait…)”

 

His whiskers twitched slightly.

 

“Bait?”

 

Doah asked in surprise.

 

“They sayd I waz bait fol monstels… (They said I was bait for monsters…)”

 

Doah understood roughly. It seemed he was used as bait to attract monsters.

 

Khunak later confirmed Doah’s assumption, saying that they had smeared Berry with a scent that monsters liked to use as bait.

 

“I see…”

 

Doah reached out and patted his head.

 

His fur was surprisingly soft and fluffy.

 

His body temperature seemed even warmer than Rakshasha’s.

 

Encouraged by Doah’s gentle touch, Berry gathered his courage.

 

The Azure Nazac he had seen so far hadn’t scolded him or seemed to think of selling him elsewhere.

 

Since he was five, he hadn’t met anyone as kind as her.

 

“I live in a vilage but thele wele tuu many dungon nealby… (I lived in a village, but there were too many dungeons nearby…)”

 

Berry buried his nose in Doah’s side.

 

Doah hugged him tightly.

 

His fur smelled like soap.

 

“We wenconered monstels. Evelyone lan away. My sistel and I met bad people and wele sold as swaves. (We encountered monsters. Everyone ran away. My sister and I met bad people and were sold as slaves.)”

 

Although Berry spoke briefly, his trembling voice hinted at his suffering, which Doah could only imagine.

 

He probably didn’t want to talk about it in detail.

 

“Sho I want to go Gran (So, I want to Gran…)”

 

“To Gran?”

 

“I am wooking fol Daidy in Gran. (I’m looking for Daisy in Gran.)”

 

Berry lifted his head.

 

“I will fwind my sistel and letuwn home. (I will find my sister and return home.)”

 

Doah found it admirable that such a small child would say something like that.

 

According to Rakshasha, Thules mature at a much faster rate than humans.

 

Still, isn’t Berry just seven years old?

 

Even if we consider human years, he would be just a teenager, but his resolve was truly remarkable.

 

At that moment, Berry asked with his sparkling golden eyes,

 

“But Mis Doa, hav yow wvel been to Gran? (But Miss Doah, have you ever been to Gran?)”

 

The Free City of Gran.

 

The birthplace of the Adventurer’s Guild.

 

The homeland of all adventurers.

 

A city of a thousand years

 

A champion of freedom for all who walk its streets.

 

Berry’s eyes sparkled as he spoke passionately about Gran.

 

Even Doah, who was listening, found his enthusiasm infectious.

 

“Gran! Nwo Kiwng! Nwo milacel! It’s a flee citi! (Gran! No king! No miracles! It’s a free city!)”

 

“Really?”

 

Being a city, it must have a mayor and a city council, right?

 

Doah smiled.

 

“I’m looking forward to it.”

 

“Me too!”

 

While Berry was extolling the virtues of Gran, Khunak returned.

 

Doah took the pot from Khunak and thanked him.

 

Then she smiled broadly.

 

“Shall we set up the tent?”

 

❖ ❖ ❖

 

The pop-up tent was rolled up, with a crystal embedded in the center.

 

Pressing the crystal and stepping back, the tent automatically erected itself.

 

“Woaaw! I hav newer seen a tend wike this befole! (Wow! I’ve never seen a tent like this before!)”

 

Berry exclaimed, and Doah nodded, equally excited by the sight.

 

In an instant, a splendid dome-shaped tent was erected.

 

The large tent, about 4 meters in diameter, had transparent windows, mosquito nets, and ducts for ventilation.

 

Doah hung a herbal wreath to repel insects and looked back at the two.

 

“Shall we assemble the furniture now?”

 

To save space, all the furniture inside the tent was collapsible.

 

Doah took out her cot, folding chair, and table.

 

Spreading the cot flat and clicking the legs into place, it was quickly assembled.

 

A fluffy sleeping bag was placed on top of it.

 

Doah had another cot, so she set one up for Berry as well.

 

Khunak also set up his cot, which was much more utilitarian than Doah’s.

 

Doah also took out a mobile storage unit to hang her backpack and partitioned off a section of the tent, which made Khunak raise an eyebrow.

 

Khunak sighed and said,

 

“Dividing the space inside the tent is a good idea. Let’s keep Ms. Doah’s bed separate.”

 

Doah rolled out a lovely checkered carpet at the foot of her bed and placed fluffy pink slippers on top.

 

“Ms. Doah, you’re not planning to live here, are you?”

 

“No. But don’t you want to take things out when you have them?”

 

Doah glanced at her sleeping area beyond the partition, and Khunak said from behind her,

 

“At least you didn’t pull out a chandelier and hang it from the ceiling.”

 

“Oh!”

 

Mood lighting!

 

Doah hurriedly took out a star-shaped lantern from her bag and hung it inside the tent.

 

Berry, who had been watching Doah’s seemingly endless supply of items from her bag, asked in awe,

 

“Ish this a magic bac? Woaaw, a magic bac. Miss Doa, you’le amazing. How long hav you ben an adventulel? (Is this a magic bag? Wow, a magic bag. Miss Doa, you’re amazing. How long have you been an adventurer?)”

 

“Uh, I’m just on my way to register.”

 

Doah scratched her cheek, feeling embarrassed.

 

How should she put it?

 

It felt like a beginner with expensive, fully equipped gear.

 

Berry opened his eyes wide and said cautiously,

 

“Then, Miss Doa muws be bery lich. (Then, Miss Doa must be very rich.)”

 

“Huh? Well, not really…”

 

Doah smiled awkwardly.

 

She cleared her throat and turned to Khunak to change the subject.

 

“It takes about three to four weeks to get to Gran, right? Could you show me the route?”

 

As she spoke, she took out the map she had glanced at when she first arrived and spread it on the table.

 

The table’s top rolled up like a mat and could be laid out flat, with legs that could be assembled.

 

Doah spread the map on the table near the wall.

 

Khunak brought a lamp.

 

Not her star-shaped lantern, but a regular oil lamp.

 

“A world map, huh?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Who brings a world map on a journey?”

 

“…I do?”

 

Khunak silently looked down at the map.

 

Berry, struggling to see, brought over a chair to stand on as a footrest.

 

“Wow!”

 

Berry exclaimed.

 

“I’ve nevel seen a map wyike this befole. Sho this is whele we liv? (I’ve never seen a map like this before. So this is where we live?)”

 

“It’s the continent of Rencia.”

 

Khunak pointed to the countries in order from the top.

 

“Sole, Ara, Vienarie, Narka. Besac, Prond, Hudan.”

 

Berry, excited, sniffled with his pink nose.

 

“I know! Vienarie! I’m from Vienarie! (I know! Vienna! I’m from Vienna!)”

 

“Since it’s the kingdom of Thule, you must have crossed the Snow Goat Mountain Range. We’re currently in the kingdom of Narka.”

 

Khunak pointed to the kingdom of Narka on the map.

 

“And where is Gran?”

 

“Gran is here.”

 

Gran was located deep in the Mediterranean, on the upper part of the continent.

 

Gran bordered four countries.

 

“What a great location.”

 

Doah murmured.

 

“How could a city last for a thousand years?”

 

“Thanks to the founder of the Adventurer’s Guild.”

 

Doah tilted her head and asked,

 

“Was the founder remarkable?”

 

“Aren’t you from the southern continent? Don’t you know?”

 

“I’m from a rural area on the southern continent.”

 

Doah shamelessly replied, and Berry raised his hand enthusiastically.

 

“I know, I know.”

 

Doa laughed and asked,

 

“Who is it?”

 

“It’s Miss Yoo Ha-jin!”

 

“Yoo Ha-jin?”

 

The name suddenly felt very familiar.

 

Khunak continued the explanation.

 

“Yes, she founded the Adventurer’s Guild and established the ranking system from S-rank to G-rank.”

 

“Really?”

 

“Yes. She also named dungeons. Before that, they were called dimensional cracks.”

 

Doah was astonished.

 

A person from the southern continent?

 

Impossible.

 

She was a traveler from the World Tree Travel Agency.

 

It had to be.

 

‘Of course! The ranking system seemed strangely familiar!’

 

S-rank stands for ‘Special.’

 

But there’s no way they would use the English word ‘special’ here.

 

Yet, they still had S-rank and other ranks, which seemed odd…

 

‘Wow, Miss Yoo Ha-jin is amazing. Wait. But isn’t Gran a thousand-year-old city?’

 

Khunak stopped explaining, and the excited Berry continued.

 

“So the Adventurer’s Guild is incredibly splendid and high-tech. They didn’t have the technology to implement it back then―”

 

(I’ll just use a normal sentence as Berry speak from now. ㅎㅎㅎ 🫣)

 

“Berry.”

 

“Yes, Miss Doah.”

 

“You said Gran is a thousand-year-old city, right?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“And it started with the Adventurer’s Guild.”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Then Miss Yoo Ha-jin is…?”

 

“She’s from a thousand years ago!”

 

“Oh, I see.”

 

Doah realized what it meant when the World Tree Travel Agency said that time didn’t matter.

 

‘If they use the term S-rank, the person must be from a similar era to mine. That person traveled to Rencia a thousand years ago.’

 

If time flows as a long continuum of past, present, and future, then the World Tree Travel Agency can access any desired timeframe.

 

‘Wait.’

 

Doah’s heart suddenly grew cold.

 

That means…

 

‘Mom could have gone to the distant past. Or the future.’

 

The chances of meeting her or even finding a trace of her were slim.

 

As Doah’s face darkened, Berry reacted sensitively.

 

He said, not knowing what to do,

 

“Are you okay? Did I say something wrong? I’m sorry…”

 

Hearing Berry’s timid voice, Doah pulled herself together.

 

She smiled and hugged Berry tightly.

 

“No, Berry, you didn’t do anything wrong. I suddenly worried about whether I could pass the Adventurer’s Guild exam.”

 

Berry stiffened awkwardly but soon relaxed and smiled.

 

“Then of course you can pass! Don’t worry!”

 

“That’s a relief.”

 

Doah smiled, let go of Berry, and patted his head.

 

She turned to Khunak and said,

 

“We got a bit off track with our conversation. Please continue explaining.”

 

Khunak studied Doah’s face carefully and then smiled.

 

“Alright. But please understand that there are limitations to explaining with the map you have.”

 

“Of course.”

 

Khunak outlined the general route.

 

They were in the black forest near the kingdom of Narka, in the opposite direction of Gran.

 

So they would have to cross the kingdom of Narka to reach Gran.

 

Doah nodded.

 

“Great. Knowing the route makes me feel more confident.”

 

She smiled.

 

“Then let’s get up early and move diligently tomorrow.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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