Saturday, June 18, 2016

Spice and Wolf Volume 15


Goodbyes are simple things, at least as far as Lawrence saw it. No matter how upsetting a parting was, it was just another event in life. Much like removing an arrow from one’s body. Hesitating due to a fear of pain would be even more dangerous. One had to do it quickly, in one move, for the pain to subside as quickly as possible.

But being a human meant that even though you know this wisdom, you won’t always be able to apply it. Merchants who traveled more than they lingered around all knew this fact. They were always the ones who were sent away.

Yet, when they had seen Cole and his group off with their eyes, watching them as they kept turning to look back at them, Lawrence realized that he’d simply never had much experience being the one sending someone else off, rather than the other way around.

Holo kept waving her hands at Cole, with a face she had never shown Lawrence before. She smiled with a look of happy closure; it was the same expression he remembered seeing on the faces of those who’d sent him off in the past. Holo eventually stopped waving and hummed in relief, then stretched.

“So, shall we go for a drink?”

She spoke casually, in the same manner she used when she was upset with Lawrence or felt lonely. It was the right decision for Cole to go with Lou Loah and Elsa; Holo knew that in advance and was prepared for it.

Lawrence was supposed to be the one to tell Cole how to write them letters and get in touch with them if he ran into trouble, but Holo ended up beating him to it. She also carefully bought the boy boots, to replace his ratty old shoes. She evaluated the quality of each pair with a wolf’s keen senses and enthusiasm that surprised even the cobbler.

She even slept with him one last time, holding him in her arms. Her body was warmer, like a child’s, and that wasn’t even counting her tail. He was probably far too hot, given how sweaty he was in the morning. Knowing him, he probably even had nightmares that she would eat him.

They all met by coincidence, and parted ways by coincidence. In the end, Cole was just a temporary party member. Of course he had more ambition than seemed reasonable for his size, so he was the type adults would gleefully laugh at with cheer.

Lawrence knew that the lad had only joined them to confirm whether his hometown was safe, and with the hopes that they would help if it was not. But Lawrence also knew, as a traveler, that Cole had to keep moving forward to his own goals.

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