Long time no see🙂 Chapter took quite a bit I know, but I feel like now I will be able to pull them out a bit faster. Do expect it😀
-At a part in the Forest of Beginnings-
Tsuiras and Limbey were standing at attention. Their bodies stiff and running down with cold sweat.
Because right now, they were in front of a seemingly cute girl wearing a white robe trimmed with gold. Her face covered by a hood hiding all her facial features. Only thing one could tell was that she looked young.
But that appearance was totally different from the aura she was emitting. An overwhelming presence that made even breathing difficult for both of them. Tsuiras was being pressed down by that heavy pressure and Limbey who was weaker than him was already gasping and trying to get as much oxygen from his mouth. Though he did not dare to breathe too heavily from his mouth because of fear to offend the one in front of them.
“Tsuiras and Limbey present themselves to her Holiness”, Tsuiras said with difficulty while lowering his head.
Tsuiras presented on behalf of Limbey because he knows Limbey had no room to speak at all.
The girl smiled slightly: “Nice meeting you Tsuiras and Limbey. Was there any difficulty when you were guarding?”
“The entrance was completely peaceful. The other stragglers were also taken care of smoothly”
Tsuiras didn’t dare say anything unnecessary. Tsuiras’s instincts were running their alarms loudly. The girl in front of him was Leila Fritz Izara Lunaris, a priestess from the Holy Radiance Church with a frightening total of 4 names, not only that, her presence was clearly that of someone stronger, strong enough to overwhelm even himself. How scary can this young looking girl be?
“There is no need to be so stiff in front of me. I just wanted to see the famous Mystic Fencer Tsuiras”
“I… I am honored. For Holiness to think so highly of me”, this is what Tsuiras said, but he already knew what came after this. Not to stiffen? That certainly sounded like sarcasm to anyone’s ears. What she said was empty flattery for him.
“Mystic Fencer Tsuiras, also called Information Terminal Tsuiras, having multiple connections in the many cities and countries. There is nothing that can’t be traced by him. I wonder if you already know about me as well, given the fact that you call me “Holiness””, the voice of Leila grew colder as she looked at Tsuiras. Her attitude totally different from the time she was with Youma.
The other name of Tsuiras seemed to be already known by Leila, but it was of no surprise to him. He could only fearfully nod at her words.
“Your Holiness Leila Fritz Izara Lunaris, this is as far as I have investigated. I wouldn’t dare pry any further as I am not fit to know more than that”
“Well, I don’t care how much you know. I just wanted to know if the information was correct. To actually be able to get my name that is quite the good network you have there. It’s definitely not a task a normal person can achieve. Good, good”, Leila nods a few times and then continues:
“If you know about me, you must have definitely touched on the person that was inside here as well right?”
“…” Tsuiras was momentarily stunned, but soon nodded hesitantly.
“Youma Hiromi, 21 years old, mysteriously appeared at the summoning room in the imperial castle of Arnesti and was only level 1. After 2 weeks of going around town, he finally exited Arnesti and began fighting monsters. Then proceeded to train in the Forest of Beginnings. I stopped there, as no past records could be found from him before appearing at the summoning room…”
Tsuiras said everything he knew, without leaving a single detail. He was scared, he felt like the girl could see through him. He didn’t want to imagine what would happen if she discovered he was hiding something from her. So everything she asks, he had to respond with the utmost truth.
“Oh, how nice. Since you know so much, you won’t mind continuing looking over little Youma right? And also make sure to tell me as well” Leila’s words emphasized the “you know so much”.
Tsuiras could only gulp and nod. This was his next job, the other thing that he was now bounded to. There was no way they would leave him run free after this.
“Make sure not to interfere with him in any way, no matter what happens you don’t make contact with him. Then, I will be counting on you for timely reports. Of course, we will be rewarding you for your work” With a fleeting smile, Leila disappeared from their sights as if she wasn’t there to begin with. Only thing that was left was a pouch and a single orb lying on the ground. An orb used for communication.
“Lord Tsuiras… This looks really bad” Limbey was finally able to open his mouth, but his words were lacking vitality.
“… No choice, since we have already been caught in the spider’s web, might as well stay until we find a chance” Tsuiras said so looking at the orb in his hand. Letting out a sigh.
He knew that Melroc had an eye on Youma. This meant that in order to follow Lunaris’s order, he would end up opposing Melroc. No matter where he went, two powers were at both ends. Trapped between a rock and a hard place.
‘This is why I hate higher-ups’, he cursed in his mind.
We were walking the plains on our way back to Arnesti.
Since a while now we haven’t spoken. Just silently walked.
This plain that was so dangerous in the past for me, was now like a scenery walk. The mana beasts that were roaming around didn’t attack us and I was now able to peacefully take in the view. A plain that stretched far out, a vast clear sky and the mountains in the distance. And the sounds of mana beasts in the surroundings. This world didn’t actually seem that bad. If I had come out of the forest without meeting World, I might have thought like this…
Well, no use brooding over that.
While I was contemplating the view, Elinalise spoke.
“Youma, what have you been doing all this time?”
She threw me a casual question as she walks beside me. Her face was cheery and every step was a skip.
“I was training in the forest. I didn’t have much money or ways to efficiently gain it, so I tried living in the wild for a while”
I was extremely weak as well, so I had to train and get used to this body. And with the Double Edge class to worry about, more the reason.
“So Youma was worried with money. Why didn’t you tell me back then?! I could have helped you, I could have even employed you if you wanted. You know… I need companions after all”, Elinalise fidgeted as she said those last lines. Her tone lowering a pitch.
I honestly would feel bad getting money from a girl in this state.
Scratching my head, I turned and said: “It was also in order to adapt. Consider it a trait of mine. I like to challenge myself you see”
“That’s why you holed up in the forest for two whole weeks?”
This girl is really persistent on the issue.
“What about you? Anything new in these two weeks?”
I try to switch the topic to her, but when I did, her face turned clearly gloom. Her face hanging down.
Was that no good?
Now that I think about it, she was abandoned by her party not that long ago. And she is even called Black Cat in the guild. That party may have been one of the few she has been able to get.
Her two weeks must have been harsh.
My 5 years in the hospital have affected my conversation skills.
I make a dry laugh and try to change the subject again, but Elinalise turned her face resolutely, directly looking at my eyes, she said: “I-I have been waiting for Sir Youma to come back. These two weeks, the whole time! I was looking outside the window, watching the entrance of the Adventurer Guild. Waiting anxiously for your return”
When she finished saying that, her face was completely flushed.
That totally sounded like a princess waiting for his prince kind of setting…
It’s a good thing that we are still not in town but in the plains where no one is around, because she said it pretty loudly.
“Uhm… I see, let’s go back to Arnesti quickly then” I resumed my steps with haste. Expecting her to follow, but instead, my arm was grabbed.
… What now?
“After waiting for so long, Ethan ordered me to form a party. He said that I couldn’t delay it any further. So I reluctantly moved into the Adventurer Guild, but everyone looked at me as if I were just a pest… No one wanted me in their team anymore. Because of the Blood Bear incident that spread in the guild, I was further isolated. And the party that I barely got, accepted me in good will… just to understand that none of it were false accusations”
Elinalise began counting me her whole troubles right here.
“When I saw Sir Youma again… I-I just couldn’t contain the happiness in me, but since I was in such a shameful situation, I couldn’t express it properly. But right now…”
Cutting short her words, Elinalise jumps to hug me. Her face digging right onto my chest. I could feel humidity through the fabric.
“I really… really wanted to see you”
Elinalise whispers while her face rubbed my chest.
This is serious. This is no longer in the level of love.
It felt like she was searching for emotional support. A pillar to hold onto her crumbling conviction. She looked like a puppy that had lost its path.
I could only stand there as she held me tightly. I still don’t know what I should do about this and this is certainly not something I can decide by myself.
After that, we both safely arrived at Arnesti.
The streets were lively as always even when it was already past evening. To think I would feel nostalgic after only 2 weeks. Being blocked by robbers, led to a cave and attacked by Blood Bears really did take a toll on me for sure.
I turn to Elinalise that was still red like a tomato and tell her:
“Elinalise, I will now be heading to the Adventurer Guild. If you have anything you need to do its fine, I will be going to your residence at a later time anyways”
I make sure to tell her first. The Adventurer Guild is not a place she feels comfortable in after all.
Elinalise seems to understand this, and nods. “T-Then I will be waiting for you”, saying that, we part ways temporarily.
“Welcome to the Adventurer Guild, Mister Youma. What brings you here today?”
The usual assistant speaks to me with her usual greeting. I personally selected her as I was already used to speaking with her. To be honest, her smile was the least fake of all the ones here, making it a bit more comfortable.
“Yeah, I am here to sell my loot”, saying that, I promptly take out the pouch where I placed all the materials I was planning on selling along with my ID card.
“T-This is…!” After inspecting the interior of the pouch, she clearly showed signs of surprise in that face that rarely changed.
I did place my blood, sweat and tears which I have accumulated these 2 weeks in that pouch after all. Well, I made sure not to put the Blood Bear materials, as I feel like it wouldn’t be a good idea. The materials in itself are useful for me so I wouldn’t have sold them anyways.
“Mister Youma, to have leveled up so much since last time… I may be overstepping my line, but I have to say that your growth is truly awe-inspiring. With this you can now accept normal quests here in the Adventurer Guild and I see that you have numerous items that are related to collection quests as well, so if it is okay with you, I can link the materials to the pertaining quests”
“Uh… Yeah, please do so”
“Great, then please wait a moment, let me register you as an official member of the Adventurer Guild” As she said so, she took out a form and began filling it. Was there no need for me to add anything in there?
No, foremost of all, I wasn’t considered a member? Well, mana beasts in the plains are probably small fry that don’t actually bring much trouble to the populace and the materials are not that sought for either. The ones I brought have all been from the plains, so maybe there were no quests to “link” them to anyways.
Wait, she is one of the people that knows of me being low level since the beginning… Is she possibly the “eyes” that Leila referred to?
I couldn’t help but check her out, but no matter where I look, I could only see a beautiful round-glassed assistant. Not like appearances have anything to do though.
“Done! Thanks for the wait Mister Youma, now you are officially part of the Adventurer Guild. Since you are a new member, would you like to hear a brief explanation of the benefits while you wait for your items to be appraised?”
The assistant lifts her head up cheerfully while holding the paper in hand.
I agree to her proposal. It’s a system I will be relying on in the future for my daily support; got to know the ins and outs.
“Okay then, Mister Youma. The perks of being in the Adventurer Guild, as you may already know, there are quests in this guild which you were unable to take. Of course, there exists quests such as gathering materials and repeatable quests that you can take even without membership, but high-ranked quests and normal quests can only be taken if a certain qualification is reached. These are the ranks you attain within the Adventurer Guild itself…”
After that, she explained me that the quests give points in which you rank up in order to take certain quests. These ranks were separated alphabetically. From the lowest being E and highest being SSS. A pretty easy to understand system that is normally seen in my world as well. Some things don’t change no matter what world one goes. This prevents just anyone from accepting important quests. A form of trust must be built as well in order to move up.
“Also, you will be receiving discounts on several of the stores that are affiliated to the Adventurer Guild. Supplies are also accounted in that area”
A discount at this point in time?! When I was troubled with money and had no way to get it, I had to prepare myself by hunting outside with almost nothing. Is it that everyone has to go through this process? I had to ask.
“Uhm… Excuse me” “Yes?” “Is there some sort of restriction in order to enter the Adventurer Guild?” This time I was invited gleefully, but the last times there wasn’t even a beep regarding this matter.
The assistant’s smile isn’t affected and she answers as normal.
“When Mister Youma came, you were still lower than rank 2. The Adventurer Guild doesn’t officially accept anyone until you are at least that level”
So a certain capacity is needed to be recognized.
An aspiring adventurer who has to begin at lower than 20 would have to buy all the needed items without the support of the Adventurer Guild. It’s most likely a sort of filtering.
The explanation ended after a few more details were given. And finally, the items that I had given to her have been appraised.
The assistant places the receipt on the counter and smiles.
“This will be the total of your items, Mister Youma”
73 silver and 25 coppers. My 2 whole weeks separated from civilization amounted to that much.
Well, it’s the first area, so the materials in that place must be rated lowly.
I thank the assistant and receive the money and ID which now had an adventurer guild sign on it. And as expected, I am the lowest tier, E.
“Now comes the important part of this day”
I was now in front of a nostalgic store which was completely open for the outside to see. The sturdy armors and the sharp weapons were all being browsed by aspiring and experienced adventurers alike. The metallic smell was especially thick in this area.
“Oh! Kid, you are back!”
A muscular man in a bandana calls out to me from inside the store.
“Yo, Old Man!”
I waved at him as he comes out to greet me.
The smile on his face was big and he pats my back strongly while looking at me.
“Who are you calling old man?! I am still 57 years old kid! Anyways, what happened to you? Your aura is like that of a completely different person. Though your flimsy appearance hasn’t changed at all”
The old man looks at me interestingly. 57 years old is a legit “old man” in my dictionary though.
At any rate, aura he says. My appearance has certainly not changed that much. But my level has definitely increased by a good amount since the last time I saw him. Is there a way to feel how strong someone is aside from my [Discern]?
[Gaund Arsmith <Blacksmith> Level: ???]
Puhah! I just wanted to check him out a bit, but what in the world did I stumble upon?!
This seemingly old man that runs this small blacksmith actually has two names and also has question marks in his level?! So I can see his whole name when I am given a part of it?
“What’s wrong kid? Your eyes suddenly shrunk for a second there”
No good, it showed in my face.
“It’s nothing. I was surprised that you could tell just from looking. To tell you the truth, I have been training like a madman since the last time. Your sword and shield helped me incredibly. I can’t count how many times I was saved by those”
Let’s leave aside whatever his background is. Only thing I need to know is that this old man is worthy of respect.
Really, the number of times I was saved is too damn high. I had to admit it, the “newbie” equipment he gave me resisted a lot. The sword did die prematurely but there was nothing that could be done.
“I see. I’m glad to see that you have grown so much. Judging from those looks, you have certainly had it rough. For a second I thought I was looking at a beggar”
Gaund laughs loudly as he made a gesture of plugging his nose with one hand and fanning with the other.
… I smell?
I look at my clothes. It’s the ones I had on when I came to this world. I used spare ones I bought when I was in the forest and had my old clothes resting in the inventory. I haven’t washed them… and I really do smell now that I pay attention. The inventory freezes time when inside it, but the clothes were already stingy by the time I had placed them inside anyways. I didn’t notice until he pointed it out for me.
But wait, wasn’t Eli really clingy? She wasn’t affected by this smell?
“Ahaha, how shameful. I actually forgot my own hygiene while training”
“Wahahaha! Training at its finest huh. I like that, the smell of sweat, of effort! Come in, don’t mind about the smell, my store doesn’t mind those small stuff” Gaund laughs and places his arm around my shoulder, urging me inside his store. Then he closed his face and whispered.
“Just between you and me, adventurers are all smelly anyways. One gets used to it”
After whispering that, he slapped my back with a hearty laugh.
The strength behind those slaps are so terrifying. I can feel his level behind those slaps.
“So kid, what brings you here? Wore out your previous equipment and have come looking for something new?”
“Yeah, I was planning on getting equipment. Remember that promise you did with me Old man Graund? The one where you would personally make a weapon for me when I become stronger?”
“Hoh~ kid. You saying you are strong enough now? I may have said your aura was different, but I can’t see you having enough strength to handle my weapon”
Gaund smiles mockingly at my remark while placing a hand on his hairy chin.
Indeed, my body is abnormal. No matter how much I train, my muscles don’t show any visible change. But the reality of it was different.
I look around the store and after finding a suitable one, I walk to it. A grand axe is on display. Its size is massive, a little shorter than me whose height is 1.9m.
Requirements: 110+ Strength]
I take that axe in my hands and…
“Oi kid, stop it! That thing is not something you ca-!”
Swing it. One, two, three times. Each one of those creating a heavy gust of wind that swept through the place. The surrounding was clear enough for me to do so.
Some passersby had been knocked off their feet and wearing faces of shock.
And Gaund’s face was the same. His words were cut short as he stared at me blankly.
My body is a mysterious thing. Even if I tried to lift rocks, push giant doors or swing an axe; it will all be possible if I have the appropriate strength. No matter if I am not in combat mode, I will be able to use what I can use with my original strength instead of the 10 strength. Though my attacks will deal no damage at all even when it hits. That’s quite bizarre.
“That was some nice technique you had there thin man!”
“How are you able to lift that axe with your flimsy body?!”
The people that were walking by were now throwing questionable praises at my performance. I don’t mind them and walk back to the store and place the Earth Axe back.
“It seems I have underestimated you a bit there. Not only did I feel power in those swings, I could see technique as well. Your skills are certainly enough to use my weapons”
The old man seems to have acknowledged me. He looks at me with a complex expression and after staring at me for a while he said:
“Kid, what weapon are you looking for? I want to say that with your constitution, short swords or claws, or anything that is agility based. But I can’t say for sure now”
“Actually, I already have something in mind. Though I want to confirm something first”
Since the time I came here, I had already thought out what weapon I wanted, considering my class and style of fighting. So now it was only about how it will turn out.
I take out my pouch and pull out one of the broken swords I had found in the cave.
“Wa?! Kid, just where in the worl-?! Brat, I leave you in charge of the store. Kid, follow me”
Gaund shouted, but soon shut himself up and called out one of the helpers in the store. The helper responded in surprise and soon after, Gaund places both of his hands on my shoulders and pushes me to a deeper part of the store.
The place where I was pushed into had various tools thrown here and there, a furnace in the far back, a number of anvils and many unfinished weapons and armors. The thick smell of metal and dust was clearly more concentrated here. This is what one calls a smithy?
Gaund once again places strength on his arms and turns me around. Looking at me with a serious face.
“Kid, I don’t know how you got those things, but don’t go showing them so carelessly”
“Y-Yeah, I got it”
What a surprise, so he can make this kind of face. I can only imagine how scary he would be if he were in a serious fight.
It seems it was bad to show that broken sword in public, but to alter Gaund so much.
“Old man, do you know what this sword is?”
“Well, I have a clue. Where did you find it?”
“I stumbled upon some ruins in the forest by chance and found a number of these scattered around”
“… That forest is said to be where an ancient civilization was constructed in. For you to find such relics there, you really are a lucky one”
I did walk in the Shrine of that ancient civilization yeap.
Gaund puts the broken sword on his hands and looks at it with inquisitive eyes. His eyes were those of an expert at his job.
After staring at it for a good amount of time, he turns to me and tells me his evaluation.
“This is definitely the genuine article. I don’t know exactly what it was before, but there is no doubt, this metal is moonlite”
I have never heard of that material before.
“It’s an ore that is extremely rare nowadays. It is said that this rare metal carries a high ability to circulate mana, which is a defining factor that many fighters look for in their weapons. However, the moonlite is scarce and not only that, once the weapon is made, the material will reduce its capability as time goes on, making it useless after a certain amount of time passes”
Self-deteriorating equipment. No wonder they are scarce. But…
“Is it really that good of a metal? You see, I found these many in there and they were all in pieces as if broken by someone or something” I take out all the broken weapons from my pouch. I didn’t hesitate showing the old man as I had complete faith in him.
Seeing all the broken weapons I pulled out, Gaund paled, looking like he would fall over at any moment. Though he barely pulled himself together and passionately looked at all the weapons scattered.
“T-These are all made of moonlite as well. Kid that is some scary stuff you carry in that pouch. But you are right, the weapons here, even when made out of moonlite, were all destroyed as if overpowered. Moonlite is supposed to be extremely resilient and needs incredible ability in order to mold a weapon out of it. For something to destroy so many of them…”
The old man falls silent. Lowering his head, thinking of something.
I shrug and add:
“Well, as long as it is as strong as you say, then it’s good. From what you see, is the moonlite in the weapons still good?”
It would be a waste if the useable time is already gone.
Gaund seems to have snapped out of his trance when I asked, and then looks at the weapons once more before answering.
“These weapons have certainly lost a lot of their power. Only a few traces of it are left, it is most likely impossible to restore them to their former glory… Wait, are you telling me to…?”
It seems he finally understood where I was going with this.
“Do you feel like you can do it?” I ask Gaund with a challenging look.
“Hahaha! Kid, the weapons indeed only have a few traces of power left, but moonlite is still moonlite, a rare metal that is sought for by many. It is still incredibly strong without its ability to circulate mana. True, it would be a challenge to reforge a weapon out of this, however, this Gaund is a different story!” He struck his chest with his fist and proudly raised his head.
“Good!” I knew I could count on him.
“There is just one problem kid…”
Gaund suddenly says dejectedly.
A problem arises.
“You see, not only will I use the moonlite. I also need numerous materials in order to do a mixture, and it has to be materials of similar grade…”
“In other words, money”
“Yeah and the amount will depend on the weapon as well. As we are on it, what weapon were you planning on making with this?”
“…” I tell him what weapon I wanted.
“H-Huh?! This is bad… I don’t think you will be able to afford it anytime soon”
“Don’t worry. Just tell me what price you think it would take in order to make it”
If it’s something I can’t afford, I will just have to give up on the idea and get a weapon to replace it in the meantime.
Gaund raises his fingers slowly.
“7 gold. That is what it will take in order to make your weapon. Since you have the main material moonlite, the price is lower, but it is as low as I can make it”
7 gold. It is definitely a number I wouldn’t be able to get normally, but right now I had 30 gold in my pocket courtesy of the Archbishop Leila.
“Will I be able to use it?”
“Moonlite weapons are lighter than most high grade materials, although it is still heavy, I think you will be able to handle it”
“Okay, I am counting on you to make it”
That seals the deal. I take out the 7 gold and give it to Gaund.
“W-What?! Kid, I thought you were poor. Are you actually the son of a rich noble?”
This old man is certainly blunt with words. I just scratch my cheek and say:
“Well, I do have “connections””