[Translator – Niel]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
“—You said you just wanted us to give you a ride to the capital, but is that reward really enough?”
Both of my arms, which had been broken to pieces, had already been completely healed by Abald’s ability.
Siva somewhat regained his magic power back, alleviating him from his depletion of magic.
And after mustering the power to rise up with a jerk, he sat down with the three of us as we exchanged words.
“There is nothing in particular that I want, so I would gladly say that ride alone is enough for me.”
Besides, I was already intimidated.
I said in a hesitant tone, not being aware that one of the nobles— Viera Islebark had joined us before I knew it.
—She wants to properly reward Siva and I for the Jabberwock incident.
No matter what our motives were, if we really faced the Jabberwock upon Viera’s arrival, it was more than probable that there would’ve been actual casualties, deaths to be specific.
Hence the reason why she’s so adamant about repeatedly asking us for things we wanted.
“You earned it, so why don’t you name something you want like I did?”
Siva astonishedly said, asking me if I didn’t have any greed inside of me.
There was a sealed letter resting in his hands, and it was the reward he had been hoping for.
“—A letter of authorization to the off-limits North End territory, huh? I never thought they’d actually write you one.”
I was only a mere villager, but even I knew about that place.
The restricted area— North End territory.
Better known as the Town of the Dead.
It was the only restricted area in the kingdom, even more notorious than Minaura, the town I was currently at.
“…Well, if there’s an opportunity for me to get stronger, I’d really love to test my chances against it, really…”
—It’s just that…
“I don’t really have a reason for going there just yet… So as much as I’m jealous now, I’m not going.”
It was the only decision that only I knew.
I was aware that it was just an excuse, but I'd always acted accordingly when I'd done something reckless.
No matter how small the thing, nor how trivial the reason was.
I wasn’t willing to be reckless just because I wanted to be strong.
After all, I was a person who had always admired the ‘Star-Slaying Swordsman’ to no end.
Thus, why I imitated his whole being.
I tried to trace and follow his very example.
It was the life of the man who wielded his sword for the sake of a promise to someone else.
Therefore, if you are going to push through with recklessness, no matter how big or small, you would want a good reason.
A reason for the sake of someone else, that is.
“It’s something I deeply decided on my own, you know…? That’s what my sword is telling me…”
That swordsman’s sword.
I believe that's the kind of sword I longed for.
“…I see. If that’s what you’ve determined to do, I can’t really force you to do anything.”
“That’s about what I meant… Besides, I’ve already had my childhood friend waiting in the capital for almost ten days now. If I delay any longer, she’ll probably kill me.”
“Ku— HAHAHAHAHA!!! Now that I remember it, you mentioned that before! Well, if you’ve already broken your promise, I guess you’ll have to head over there to apologize to her as soon as possible.”
Siva laughed hysterically, clutching his stomach.
Fiole was just being herself, but even under the habit of being so out of touch with her own process, she apparently had a weak spot for childhood friends…
She cracked every time that word escaped my mouth, and she was trying her best to hold back her laughter reacting to it.
…The only people who were on my side in this very situation were Viera, who maintained her blank expression, and Abald, who was rather detached.
“But if that’s the case, I guess this is where we part ways.”
We just happened to be going to the same place.
It was an unexpected event for us to be working together in Minaura, and it felt as if it were just a matter of course.
I had no intention of leaving him, just as I didn’t have any intention of traveling with him in the first place, and so it justified why I wasn’t so reluctant about saying goodbye.
…We laughed and did as we pleased.
“I didn’t beat the Jabberwock all by myself, so I won’t go around boasting about this incident. What I would say is that… this has been a great experience.”
It’s a mutant monster that’s resistant to magic, and you can’t attack at close range.
Knowing that such a thing exists alone is already valuable information he could keep in mind for his future endeavors, Siva said with a carefree smile.
“The next time we meet… Let’s see… I hope we can take down and defeat such a monstrosity together again.”
“We’ll have to find a bigger monster next time, then.”
“Heh— Let’s do just that!!! I’m going to slay a star or two right after that, then!!!”
“…You’re really hopeless. I knew there was something fundamentally wrong with your head the moment I met you.”
[Translator – Ramen ]
[Proofreader – DVN-L ]
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Fiole, who was watching me and Siva jokingly throw words at each other, was truly dumbfounded.
And eventually, the laughter died down.
“—Well, I didn’t really understand it until the end, but I hope you really become one. You know, a ‘Star-Slayer?’”
“Yeah, I hope so, too.”
I don’t know when that will be, but it will, I promise.
“And I owe you for showing me the way here! I’m going to pay you back someday— you can go your merry way from now on, but you better not get killed.”
I choked back a laugh.
I guess he was concerned about my safety in his own way.
The first time I saw him, he was a little out of place, but he was clearly a caring person, even if his tone was a little rough.
“My arms have already been healed and all, so I guess it’s about time I have them take me to the capital now.”
As I described my preferred reward, Fiole then immediately prepared the monster that I would use:
“I’ve already ordered this monster to take you to the capital once you get on her back, so all you have to do is hang on and you’ll be fine.”
Seeing me constantly stare at the monster curiously as she sat behind Fiole’s back, she filled me in on the details, explaining the things that I should know.
“And I’m going to ask you again one last time, but are you sure you don’t want the Jabberwock’s corpse? You could literally buy a whole village if you sold it somewhere… I’m not kidding.”
“…If I can’t convince you that I really don’t need it, then I guess it could serve as my thanks for saving my life at that time.”
“…That’s a pretty big thanks.”
Fiole was obviously taken aback by my comment, but I really didn’t care about the corpse, nor its worth, deep down in my heart.
The only thing I was passionate about was slaying the stars.
Once I was driven by the heat of my longing, no matter how dazzling the gold, the feast, or the opposite sex was in front of me, everything became secondary in my priorities.
I had my resolve completely firm in my mind without a shred of doubt.
“I’ll take your word for it. But if that’s the case, let me tell you a magic phrase, then.”
“ A magic phrase?”
“Yes, a magic phrase, one that makes a certain knight in the capital will listen to you with a smile on his face. You’re going to the capital, so you’re bound to get into a lot of trouble after all.”
And if that’s the case, you’d really need it. Right, Julius-kun? Said Fiole looking at me amused with her gleaming eyes.
“…I wonder about that.”
“No, no, no, you’re going to need it, I assure you. You would definitely seek to get involved with this person had you decided that it was an opportunity to get stronger, absolutely.”
The desire to be strong and slay the stars is like a cancerous cell that can only multiply and expand.
Fiore was telling me that I was the kind of person who wouldn't admit to my own words, that it wasn't something I could bring myself to control now.
“So remember this. She’s the vice commander of the knights under the direct control of the royal family, and her name is Zenoa Almerida. If you mention my name, she will definitely listen to you. Had you been involved with any trouble, ask her to help you out. Just say:『 Fiole Islebark requested that I get assistance from you. 』”
“…Okay, I’ll make sure to remember that.”
“What an obedient boy. Big sis here likes obedient boys.”
Saying so, she smiled with satisfaction.
* * * * *
A few hours of traveling to the capital later.
Riding on the back of Fiole’s monster, it dropped me off right at the entrance and left me with no choice but to continue to go by foot.
“Oh~ You’re here at last, you tardy devil.”
With a jerk, I suddenly found myself gripped by someone on my shoulder.
I had a feeling that there was someone behind me, but I never dreamed that it was someone I knew.
I was too scared to turn around, but the voice I heard was most likely Lilea's.
And soon, the grip of the hand on my shoulder gradually increased.
What I heard after was a heartless, mish-mash of sounds coming from it… It hurt quite badly.
“Sofia-chan already grew out horns with her hair at feet’s length waiting for you!”
What kind of monster is that?
I thought to myself, but judging from the voice that was currently shaking my eardrums, I had the feeling that she wouldn’t get the joke and all.
So I decided to keep my mouth shut and not engage in conversation.
I had unconditionally dismissed going home to the village as an option, given how my father would beat me up if I did, but I regretted not even trying to lie about not feeling well even with the risk of him still beating me up from the bottom of my heart.
* * * * * END OF FIRST COUR* * * * *
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