Su, returning with Fikar after his 3-month absence and becoming a resident of the nearby forest, cried out every morning to compete with the birds, and waking up early became a habit for all the residents of the town. While the sun was still only beginning to peek above the hills, I stretched and got dressed, opened the windows, and went downstairs. Putting some firewood and pine needles as tinder in the fireplace/stove, I eyed the pieces of flint placed beside it.
One of the promotion requests to become a 3-star adventurer was to light a fire with only what you could find in the forest. If you can’t do that, you won’t be able to take any of the subsequent promotion requests, and I’d been stumbling over this for a month. I had asked Ludo-san to teach me how to select and assemble firewood, how to build afire pit, and how to choose the flint, yet still, no fire ignited when I clicked the bits of flint together.
“That’s odd~ Is this even flint? The color’s exactly the same.”
If there were a rabbit on Mount Click-Clack, it must’ve thought I was some sort of rabid raccoon, click-clacking away. Something warm completely covered my back.1Of course, it was Fikar, hugging me from behind while we were both crouching.
*rub* *rub* *click* *clack* *rub* *rub* *rub* *click* *clack* *rub* *rub* *rub* *rub* *click* *clack*
Tired of being ignored, Fikar stopped rubbing his cheeks against me, instead putting his chin on my left shoulder and stealing my flint. Then he clicked the stones together thrice, and the fire pit lit up.
“Aah~ This is frustrating… Again, do it again.”
Unlike when I tried to do it, the flints sparked every time Fikar struck them together. Even when Fikar moved my hands while I held the flint, sparks flew. Nothing happened when I did it myself.
How many times have we done this routine?…
“Enough of this. I’ll practice tonight. I’m going to make breakfast, Fikar, so let go.”
As I slid the flint away and tried to stand up, I was stopped by Fikar’s hug-attack. I tried to move again, but was stopped again. After a while of being stuck, my cheek-stretching started like clockwork. This, too, was becoming a routine.
Even though I tugged rather hard, Fikar never flinched. Doesn’t it hurt?
I asked, but he just tilted his head to the side. His dark blue eyes, visible through the bangs that hung down to his nose, simply looked straight into mine.
From up close, I could see that Fikar had really long eyelashes. These eyelashes, reasserting themselves with each blink, were iridescent in the bright light, making the blue of his eyes all the more magical. It was a beautiful color that made me think of outer space or the starry sky. How unfair.
On that note, I pressed his cheeks from both sides. It was quite interesting seeing his chiseled face get squashed. Very nice, very nice.
“Today, let’s get the rest of the mushr
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