Back Alley Tour
The next day after Ralf and the rest returned.
As promised, today we had planned to go on a tour across the back alleys of Realzard.
By the way, I didn’t notice any suspicious people during my yesterday’s patrol either, and the town seemed peaceful as always.
But having killed the black robed man——–well technically, I didn’t kill him but, regardless, he did die so it was only a matter of time before more of [Under Eye] goons show up here in Realzard.
I need to remain cautious constantly, but at the same time also enjoy today’s walk through the back alleys.
As for the route, I have left it all to Ralf and Esta.
They seemed to have a bunch of stores they specifically wanted to visit, and these are well versed with the area so I have no problems following their lead.
“Hey Chris, let’s hurry up and go! Both me and Esta are ready!”
“Isn’t it a bit too early? It’s still early morning.”
“Well, you made us stay inside for the whole day after all! We did all our prep yesterday thanks to that, and there are a bunch of stores that open up even early morning!”
“Fine. Let me get ready so wait a bit.”
Saying that to the impatient Ralf, I quickly freshened up and got ready to leave.
I had the image that stores in the back alley would be the late opening type but, we’ll see if there really are stores that open up early.
Well, they don’t have any reason to lie either so I’m willing to believe them.
Suppressing my yawning and finishing my preps, we walked to the back alleys with Ralf leading the way.
“Man, these streets sure are hard on the eyes during the morning huh. Everything’s so dirty.”
“That’s true, not exactly the kind of view you want to look at early in the morning.”
“Oi, stop badmouthing the place!………but yeah, shit’s rough here.”
Seeing the drunks lying about among the bags of trash, not even Ralf could defend the place too well.
There was garbage strewn about everywhere, and it’d be much nicer to be here at night when you can’t notice everything but we walked through regardless, until Ralf stopped in front of a certain tent.
“is this our first stop?”
“Yep! It’s a store by an old lady caled Maxim, and is actually only open during the early mornings!”
“Can’t believe there really are stores like that. Hard to tell if the owner’s a eager one or too lazy.”
“It’s been a while since I have come here as well Chris-san. Although, I had been in her care in the past as well.”
While looking forward to what kind of place this store might be, we passed under the sheet and entered………..only to get hit by a really strong smell from inside the tent.
This smell——it’s bread!
“Welcome………wait, is that you Ralf?”
“Granny Maxim, long time no see!”
“Well, now that’s a rare sight! I thought for sure you’d have gone and died somewhere! Good to see you still so energetic!”
“Likewise, nice to see still getting along just fine as well granny Maxim! And here, she’s Esta! You remember her right?”
“………Aah! The little girl that sometimes came with Ralf right! You have changed so much I barely recognized you!”
She seemed to have recalled Esta as she struck her palm from the realization.
Speaking of, when I had first met them, Esta was not really the talkative type was she.
She’s become the most dependable member of us all but, I remember how quiet and docile she used to be.
I wondered if it was because of her guilt of her thief days but perhaps, her personality was simply always like that.
“I’m glad you remember her! Also, this guy here is one of our comrades who we’re travelling with right now, his name’s Chris!”
“Hello, nice to meet you.”
“Well well, you look like you’ve got a good head on your shoulders for a young kid.”
“We three and our pet are currently travelling around the country together! That’s why I hadn’t shown up these days!”
“I see, I see. Regardless, I’m really happy to see you alive and well again Ralf. I mean, you were a regular customer of mine after all………even if all you bought was just bread crusts.”
“Seriously, you helped me a lot back then! I know this hardly counts as a thanks but today, I’ll be buying lots like a proper customer today! You still have some left right?”
“Ralf’s finally buying something other than bread crusts……….Ah of course, we have some left. Buy whatever catches your fancy.”
There were all sorts of different breads displayed inside the store, and all of them were releasing a fresh appetizing smell.
They weren’t exactly elaborately decorated or nice to look at but, you could tell it was all delicately handmade which honestly made it look more attractive.
“Let’s have the bread here for our breakfast alright! Chris, you too, pick whichever you like!”
“Everything looks quite tasty. I too only ever ate the bread crust from here so, I’m kind of looking forward to it.”
Watching them both happily look for the bread they wanted to eat, I too picked up one that seemed nice.
And I also bought some of the bread crusts that Ralf and Esta used to buy……..and with that our little shopping at granny Maxim’s store was completed at Ralf’s recommendation.
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After leaving the store, we found a place nearby to eat, and finished our breakfast while enjoying the bread that lived up to its looks.
By the way, I tried the bread crusts that I had bought just to see what Ralf and Esta used to survive on, and let me tell you, it had no taste and was very stiff, and was not tasty at all……..
And yet, watching those two who looked so happy and satisfied as they ate the remainders of the bread crusts that I had left, really left a strong impression on me.
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