Kansutoppu! Arc 3 + 4

Here’s arc 3 and 4 for you to read. We combined them since arc 3 was rather short.


Chapter 17 – Beginner Crusher Grundom

“Leave all of your equipment and belongings, and perhaps I’ll spare your life.”

A big guy who had to be at least 3 meters tall pinned down a party of C rank adventurers with only his fist.
The young sword fighter’s skills wasn’t much use, his party members were already at death’s door.
The magician’s spells weren’t effective against the guy either.
The lives of the sword fighter’s comrades were on the line, so the equipment was surrendered to the guy.

“Just be obedient and I’ll make it as painless as possible…Come on, hurry it up.”

The large guy violently threw the items and food on the ground.
The recovery items fell on the ground and the contents were spilled.

“There aren’t any women in your party, I was looking forward to having a little fun with one. All the members in your party are guys,
are you homo? Bring along a woman.”

Being falsely accused like that, the young man stayed silent.
Even though the young man was an experienced fighter, nothing seemed to work on the guy.
For the first time since he was born, the young man met an overwhelming opponent and had no willpower to resist.

“Well, I already got what I need, here you go. Catch.”

The large guy threw the bag up in the sky, hitting the face of the young man as it came down.
The young man didn’t pick it up, he just stayed silent and looked down.

“You, stop being an adventurer. It’s good that I’m being merciful, but if I was a monster you wouldn’t have survived. They’re merciless. How long have you been C rank?”

“…………..half a year.”

“Wwhaaa, half a year!”

The large guy was was more surprised than he should have been, and was holding his stomach while laughing out loud.

“Y-you don’t have any talent at all! From D rank it takes half a month to rank up, right? What kind of stupid things were you taking for quests, monster materials or crap? You’re stupid, but you’re suitable for odd jobs. You raised to C rank doing that, and have been there for half a year. Aren’t you such an idiot. Hyahahahahahahahahah! kuku! hahahahahahaha!”

And again, the large guy laughed out loud.
The young man’s frustration didn’t spill out, he was desperately holding it all in.

“You don’t have any talent. By the way, is that guy dead?”

After saying that the young man worked hard treating them.
Looking at the situation, the large guy was giggling and laughing.

/ / /

“Ryua-chan, are you done?”

“A-a little bit more!”

We have been inside the weapon shop for a while, I had trouble choosing this or that for 20 minutes.
I have 200 gold with me.
One is an iron sword which is 180 gold.
The other is a wing sword which is 150 gold.
The iron sword’s sharpness is higher.
On the other hand, the wing sword can be swung faster.
If I pay 180 gold, the 20 gold left will all be spent on lunch.
The pocket money I have totals only 200 gold.
Roel is in charge of the money from the quests, but not the everyday living allowance.
I’ve been saving up till I had 200 gold.
The iron sword is sharper, in some cases that may decide a win or loss.
The wing sword is faster, I may be able to quickly save someone in a dire situation.
Which one should I buy…
I’ve been reaching out my hand for the item and then drawing back repeatedly.
The old guy at the counter was waiting with an expression that seemed to say “If you are going to buy do it quickly”.

“Hey, Ryua-chan, I’m sure you had a sword right? Isn’t it fine to not buy anything?”

“T-that sword has some kind of dangerous effect. Because it would be dangerous if Roel got caught up in it, I’d like to avoid using it as much as possible. That’s why I’m looking into getting a normal sword for fighting.”

That flash of annihilation. The explosion that swallowed up the <King of Destruction>. Its power is quite a menace to me.
I would look like an idiot if I accidentally invoked the weapon’s effect and got caught up in the explosion, so I really need to make up my mind and decide.

“Ryua-chan, you’re already strong to start with, isn’t it fine regardless which you choose?”

“That’s not the problem you know…”

Roel doesn’t understand my plight. Whether good or bad, it’s just that one problem.
Even if I buy the iron sword, its power might not be as strong as I’m imagining. Same for the wing sword, its speed might not actually be that fast. My worrying won’t end.
I want to try testing them, but if I don’t test it in an actual battle then it’s useless.

“Hey, how about buying both.”

“No.”

It was an immediate reply. Roel is terribly strict towards money.
I wonder if it’s her methodical personality, she is really precise when she manages the household finances book.

“Mean…”

I showed Roel a crestfallen look , but it wasn’t effective.
I wasn’t able to trick her with my act.

“If you can deal with my quest then I can get you better weapons, just so you know.”

Unable to let things continue as they were, the old owner of the weapon shop suddenly suggested something.
If I take it, I can get a better weapon.
No matter what I have to do, I’m ready.

“As a matter of fact——-”

Just as the old guy was about to say something, the weapon shop’s door was quietly opened.
Putting the explanation on hold, the old guy said “Welcome” but that person said nothing and walked towards us.

“How much would all of these weapons go for? It’s fine no matter how much you buy them for.”

“Wouldn’t you be in trouble if you sell all these? You, are you that sword fighter?”

“It’s fine, I don’t need them anymore.”

*sigh* “Then…”

Without getting a proper explanation about the situation, the old guy started to trade.

“Ok, this is all.”

“Thank you”

After receiving the money, the man went outside quietly.
His figure from behind was hunched over and had no reliability to it at all, it was as if he would collapse at any time.

“That guy is probably feeling guilty. Failing a quest…every adventurer will experience that. We failed one in the past as well, Geneki was feeling pretty down at that time.”
(TL:オレも昔、現役だった頃はヘコんだもんさ)

“Geneki? Old man, you used to be an adventurer?

“Aah, how nostalgic…in those days there wasn’t anyone that didn’t know the name of Kozow.”

Kozow, the weapon shop owner, started to get earnestly immersed in remembering.
His hair is now mostly gone and his stomach is big, right now there isn’t even a shadow of his past.
(TL: 頭の 毛 は薄く なり 、下っ腹 はぽっこりと 出 ていて 今では その影 もない 。)

“Being an adventurer is like living in a dream. Once you become A ranked, depending on the quest you can handle, you can receive tens of thousands of gold. But of course there are setbacks and you have to deal with a lot things.”

“T-ten thousand…”

All I have is 200 gold, I wonder how small this is compared to that.
A rank…money is not why I want to become one but I’m getting more and more excited at the thought of becoming one.

“Oops, before i forget. About the matter earlier, if you want to know more I think the guild has the quest documents. Try looking for the name Kozow.”

In the end, Roel reached the limit of her patience and left the store buying the iron sword.
I thought that she was a docile person, but she has an unexpectedly strong personality at times like this.
I ended up finding a new side of Roel again.

/ / /

We went to the guild and the person we saw earlier at the weapon shop was here.
He was sitting at the counter facing Rintei who had a scrupulous expression.

“Are you really sure about this?”

“Mm, I don’t have any regrets.”

“In which case, I will do the legal process for deleting your adventurer registration. Once deleted, if you want to be an adventurer again you’ll have to start over at D rank. Well then, I will start the paperwork.”

Deleting the registration, is that person quitting being an adventurer?
I wonder if he went through something heart-breaking…I don’t know if he did but if you look closely at he was clenching his teeth.
You can easily see his distress.

“I have nothing much to say, but you are safe so you don’t need to get yourself too worked up. Beginner Crusher Grundom…we put out a quest for his extermination but there hasn’t been any progress related to it, even now. Some C ranking people took it but they ended up coming back pretty beaten up. This town doesn’t have many B rank adventurers to start with, and the ones we had left to do other quests. And Gantetsu-san has returned to the Avangard Kingdom castle town…However, if a B rank adventurer takes it they will immediately take him down. If that happens, someone like Grundom will not be here anymore. You’re still young, so please don’t give up yet.”

“What do you know? If you have the spare time to meddle unnecessarily you should use that time to start the legal procedure.”

The man looked like who was about to cry spat out those words.
I wonder if he experienced something really mortifying? He was clenching his hand into a fist and was trembling.
Beginner Crusher Grundom, I wonder what that person did to this man.

“Who’s Beginner Crusher Grundom?”
“They say that he ambushes beginner adventurers when they go to dungeons.”

I didn’t know someone like that was here.
From the way Roel spoke, it seems that she doesn’t know much about it either.

“Ok, the procedure is done.”

The man who wasn’t an adventurer anymore went out without saying anything.

“I feel bad for that person. If I hadn’t met Ryua-chan…”

From the way it looks, it seems he’s getting more depressed as time goes on.
He’s like that because of Grundom.
I’m interested in taking the quest for his extermination, but I should do the quest for Kozow-san before that.
Together with Roel we searched for his quest.
Thanks to her teaching me the how to read letters, I can read a little bit of them. I still have a long way to go before I can read properly though.
Therefore, I’ll leave it to Roel.

“There it is, this is it, right?”

[I want you to mine me some iron at the 4th floor of Avangard Cave.]
[Client: Weapon Shop IronMan Shopkeeper, Kozow]

“It’s the <Avangard Cave> from Pablo’s quest we did before, right?”

“That’s right, we went as far as the 2nd floor but now it’s the 4th floor.”

We were persistently warned to not go any further than 2nd floor because strong monsters loiter there, so we didn’t.
But I wonder what’s actually down there.
It seem the quest is for C ranks, I guess it’ll be fine.

“So to confirm, the quest from Kozow-san. And this time Ryua-san and Roel-san will take it. Right. I understand.”

It seems the way Rintei is talking right now is the usual way of talking to someone who is taking a quest.
It was written that we are going “to mine” but I actually don’t know what I have to do.
First of all, let’s go back to the weapon shop and hear the details for the quest.

/ / /

“That’s right, then here you go.”

Kozow gave us a mining set.
The danger level for the 2nd floor of Avangarde Cave is about 3, it seem at the lowest floor, the 5th floor, the danger level is generally about 8-10.
I wonder if that cobra came from the 3rd floor.
The monsters on the 2nd floor weren’t that big of a deal, and Roel’s level raised so I’m not that worried.

“On the 3rd floor there is a monster that can poison you, so be careful”

Following Kozow’s advice we prepared many antidotes to counter it.
Something like poison won’t affect me, and for Roel who is behind me I absolutely won’t let them touch her.
Right from the start I thought that we didn’t need any, but it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

“Well then, have a safe trip.”

“Yeah, take care.”

/ / /

Someone was looking at the town’s entrance from far away.
Two adventurers had just left Kwimill.
When the giant noticed that both of them were girls, his mouth warped into a grin.

“Oooh, it’s been a long time since a woman left town. I smell like piss…Oh well, that’s fine, so it’s time to play!”

The giant hiding in the woods stood up.
He would stand out too much in the plains, so it wasn’t a good place to hide.
Grundom was merely lurking in the woods and silently observing the town’s entrance.
There are a lot of beginner adventurers at Kwimill, so it was an ideal hunting ground for him.
Of course, he would stay hidden if the adventurers seemed skilled.
He plays it safe since he doesn’t know how good they are.
Grundom looks for beginners because they’re easy targets.
Really, just for this reason.

“From the packs those two are carrying, they’re probably going to mine at the 4th floor of Avangard Cave. I’ll be going ahead to ambush them, so I should take the shortcut. Kukukukukuku!”

Even though he a brawny type that was good for hunting, he also had quite the brain. He started planning his ambush…


 

Chapter 18 – Beginner Crusher Grundom 2

“Tei!”

A *Bonk* resounded as the <Cave Rabbit> was defeated.
Roel was able to hit and fatally injure a <Cave Rabbit>.
The first time I saw her do it was at level 2, so its natural she can do it now, but she seems more resolved. It’s obviously different from before.
Compared to that dreadful ghost mansion, I wonder if it’s because the is cute.
I think I get it.

“So, the 2nd floor isn’t that scary anymore!”

We went onwards as Roel said that, as if celebrating something.
She was pretty happy. Behind me, I almost didn’t notice a bat flying towards us.
I slapped it with my palm and watched it vanish, and I regained my attentive composure.
(TL:それ をボク が平手 で 叩い て 消し飛ば し た のを見 て、 ようやく 我 に返っ た。)

“Just like a bug………..Ryua-chan, you really are strong.”

“Using my hand is easier since it’s quite troublesome to keep drawing my sword………….”

Returning to the room where Pablo had wanted us to get the spring water from, there was a small room just beyond it which lead down to the next floor.
And thus, we arrived at the 3rd floor.
If I remember correctly the quest’s goods should be on the 4th floor.
It feels somewhat dusky here.
This time we’re doing some mining for ore. It’s probably because of people going in and out frequently, but there were lights on the walls which was a relief.
I was worried that the monsters here were going to be bothersome to beat.
Compared to the 2nd floor, the passageway here is very spacious so it would be easy to fight with monsters here.
Like on the 2nd floor, there were treasure boxes…but the items inside didn’t change much.

“We just need to follow the light, this seems pretty straightforward.”

“Yeah, but according to Kozow-san there are monsters that can poison us here, right…?”

【Killer Tail x3 appeared! HP:53】
A scorpion-like monster with a height up to about my waist appeared from inside the cave.
They pointed its tail at us, there seems to be a poisonous needle on the tail.
For 3 of these things to suddenly appear.
The lower floors sure are more severe.
And on top of its quick appearance, it has a long reach.
The scorpion didn’t move from its spot, instead it extended its tail to stab me.
I drew my sword and bent down to evade, from there I swung my sword in an arc.
The tail was cleanly cut and fell on the ground.
Without any delay I bisected all of them.

【Ryua attacked! Killer Tail received 382991 damage!】
【Killer Tail was defeated HP 0/53】

Just as I thought, using the sword is better.
The sharpness of the iron sword is good…but the wing sword may have been faster to swing.
It’s too late to worry about that, but when this quest is done Kozow said that I can get a better weapon.
I need to work hard.

“Amazing, amazing! If it was me I couldn’t have dodged it.”

Roel clapped.
The truth is I didn’t need to dodge, but I really didn’t like the needle so I ended up dodging.

“Just as I thought, we won’t be needing the antidotes.”

I thoroughly looked inside Roel’s tool bag.
I thought antidotes would be good for an emergency, but I can probably handle hundreds of thousands of those <Killer Tail> monsters.
(TL:  万が一の備えと思っていたけどこれじゃ万どころか億だ)
After all, the danger level is just 10.

Advancing on, the passageways are so vast that there isn’t really any forked pathways.
We arrived on the 4th floor without any difficulties. When we reached that place I sensed a strange presence.

“I wonder who’s here?”

“Eh, there was an adventurer that went in before us?”

“I think it’s different than an adventurer.”

“D-different? Then who…?”

All I felt was a leaking bloodthirst. It’s different from the way a monsters does it.
No mistake, it was a human for sure.
I don’t what that person is planning, but if you are coming for us then I will stand against you.

【Killer Tail appeared! HP:53】
【Transforming Frog appeared! HP:65】

I was worried about the bloodthirst, so I didn’t spare any time worrying about those monsters. I just slashed them as I passed by.

On the way there was a treasure box, but it was already opened.
If I had to guess who took the treasure, it would be the person releasing the bloodthirst.
I pretended not to notice as we arrived at the mining location.
Using the mining set, we immediately started to work.

Behind us we heard a thundering roar and footsteps.
*Thud* with that heavy sound it stood before us.
Looking around, we were in a dead end of the mining spot. We were driven into a corner to confront the monster.

【Behemoth of Catastrophe appeared! HP:815】

It was a monster with a unique appearance. It had the body of a rhinoceros the head of an elephant.
To us this passageway felt wide, but to this monster it would be cramped.

“Floor monster…!”

Roel was speechless.
It was something Gantetsu taught us before while he was drunk: Floor Monster.
I don’t how strong this guy is, and from the start adventurers just end up being this guy’s prey.
I probably should’ve asked Gantetsu about this monster.
It’s certainly strong, but this monster seems very similar to something I fought on the 2nd floor of the <Caves of Hell>, they almost have the same appearance.
I’m worried this guy might suddenly start rampaging, I should quickly dispose of it before that happens.

As I thought that, it keeled over raising a thundering roar as fell down.
It didn’t twitch nor move, and behind the monster there was a big guy.
The big guy smiled as he waved his hand that defeated the monster.

“You girls, you’re saved”

I wouldn’t be as tall as this man even if I doubled my height, while thinking that the big guy approached us.
A smooth, shining head and thin moustache, the muscles of his body looks like they belonged on a monster.

“What are two girls like you doing this far in the dungeon? That was a pretty dangerous situation wasn’t it? From the 2nd floor onwards, adventurers who are over-confident in their skills challenge this guy and end up dying. Floor monsters are incomparably strong, don’t you agree?”

“Um, thank you very much for saving us.”

Roel lightly bowed and the big guy patted our heads.
He moved his hands down and touched our shoulders.

“Then, leave all of your stuff here. Compared to your lives, it’s cheap right?”

As I thought, it’s like that.
I understood immediately from his excessively confident expression and pressuring gentleness.

“T-hat is…wait a minute…”

“Wait a what now? Impossible, you don’t have anything to pay me back for saving you? Hmmm?”

“Is there any other way…?”

“Then, XXXX with this old man.”

“Eh, ah, what? What is that?”

There was a question mark floating above our heads.  I haven’t heard of whatever he was suggesting, but at the same time I also don’t know anything about stuff like that.
Anyhow, I think this guy’s purpose was this from the start, I really don’t have to hold back.
I seized the hand on my left shoulder.

“Oooh? Something wrong?”
(TL: 「お、お? なんだなんだ?)」

My right hand looked like it belonged on a child compared to his hand, and the big guy just narrowed his mouth while watching me.
Then I exerted a little strength onto his wrist.

“O-oooowwwwwwwwwwwwww!! A-a-agyaaaaaaaaaaaah!!”

The guy was on his knees screaming, he was desperately trying to remove my hand.
I just let go of his hand and he unsteadily moved backwards.

“W-w-what was that?”

“What was what?” is what I want to reply. He was probably confused.

“For a kid to something like that to me, Grundom-sama?”

*fuuu-fuuu* he was blowing the hand that I seized earlier while looking my way.
Grundom, so this is the guy.
He was a good for nothing person, more so than I expected.

“So you are the <Beginner Crusher> Grundom. Why are you doing this?”

“Ho ho, so I’m not just a rumor anymore.”

“The guild person said that when the B class adventurers return they would immediately subjugate you.”

I glared at him who was staring at Roel with dirty eyes.
His sweat slowly stopped forming, and finally the the pain on his hand started to recede. Grundom released his hand.

“Ku ku, like I care!”

While saying that he simultaneously headed towards Roel.
He dashed at her, ignoring the fact that the cave floor was dangerous and protruding rocks littered the area.
(TL:  突起 などで 歩き にくい 洞窟 の 地面 など 物ともしない 慣れた 動き でダッシュし てくる。)
He planned to strike Roel with his log-like arm, but he was too slow.
I sighed and then jumped between him and Roel, stopping his arm with one hand.

“Ugh!”

He just doesn’t learn, huh? Forgetting what happened before, the hand he was so proud of was injured again.
Grundom was suffering as if he hit an iron pole.

“Once again, let’s hear it. Why are you doing this?”

“M-mind your own business!”

After all this happened, I’m not composed anymore and he was starting to get angry.
He was breathing heavily and was clenching his teeth.
Grundom once again tried to make a fist.
He attempted to do a flurry of straight punches with both of his fists, though this time he ignored Roel and went for me.
Left, right, back. I elegantly evaded them.
I evade to the left and his arm hits the air.
The wind from his punches made my hair slightly sway.
No matter how many times he swung at me, he wasn’t even able to graze me. His face flushed like an octopus after he was done.

“Haaa, haaa haaa……..w-what the heck are you……..”

“I won’t lose to someone like you.”

“Just what the heck are you!?”

He was barking words at me and simultaneously came at me with his whole body.
His punches won’t work on me, let alone a tackle.
I stopped him with my right hand.
It was like he was running towards an invisible wall and hit it but his feet just kept going.
Being stopped, his body wasn’t moving at all but his feet were still moving like an engine.

“OOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

He did an angry roar like a beast, threatening me.
It was quite the ugly display. Without realizing his defeat or admitting he lost, he was desperately shouting.

“Bastard! Just what are you! Why is someone like you here in this shitty dungeon! Are you an A rank?!”

“Just recently I became C rank, you know.”

“Don’t lie to me!!”

“It wasn’t a lie. Here, look.”

I showed my Adventurer Card to Grundom.
What he saw written there was the truth, up until now he was angry but right now he was quiet.

“It’s a lie……..”

Grundom dropped his arms down in astonishment.
Roel was continuously holding on her staff.
I was dumbfounded by all of this, and furthermore he continued to show denial.

“No matter how many times I have to ask, I will. Why are you doing this?”

“J-just leave me alone!”

He was out of breath and was exhaling and inhaling raggedly while he continued to be stubborn.
Then he thought of an idea, he suddenly brandished the hands he had lowered before.
It’s probably his trump card. It was just like my <Sonic Ripper>, tearing up the air while being terribly fast as it flew towards me.
I drew my sword and released a light <Sonic Ripper>.
Contact. Slowly, slowly, the force of both attacks were dispersed.
In the end, my attack negated his attack.
Though there was still some power left from my attack as it hit Grundom, and blood was gushing out.

“Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

Grundom collapsed onto the ground.

“Aha oops……….”

Hearing the really painful groan Grundom was making, Roel rushed over.
Roel used <Heal> on him.
I wonder if the pain lessened, Grundom opened his mouth.

“U…ugh…ouch”

“…does it still hurt?”

“Ow…it hurts…”

“Please don’t do something like this again.”

“Damn it…damn it!”

After being healed, he was scornfully glaring at Roel.
Then tears came out from his eyes. For such a big adult to cry with some mucus coming out of his nose…
He was mad until now, but he was like a different person while crying.

“I………as I thought this is just my limit!”

“You should’ve listened to what Ryua-chan was saying earlier. Why are you doing such things?”

“I hated it you know…the difference in ranks. We started at the same time and yet that guy became an A rank. We both did the quests, and that guy ranked up to A. In the end I was completely left behind. As time passed, one by one those guys raised from C to B and I was completely passed over…I thought I had reached my limit. I failed the A rank examination and became eternally a B rank, wandering aimlessly. I cannot beat an A rank monster like those guys, and even the lower ranked guys eventually passed me. It was mortifying…I was miserable…and after some thinking, I started crushing beginners. Those guys were filled with hope, those beginners will achieve great things…I’m jealous of them.”

It was as if I had cold water poured one me, listening to what Grundom talked about.
(TL:  決壊して流れ込んできた水のようにグルンドムは語る。)
I don’t understand what Grundom felt, but I still scolded him.

“Even I was weak from the start. Even so, I didn’t give up and made it this far. Even that old senile guy didn’t stop me.”
(TL:おじさんみたいに八つ当たりもしなかった」)

“…do you know about the Level Cap?”

“Level Cap?”

It was the first time I heard anything about that.


 

Chapter 19 – Beginner Crusher Grundom End

“Level Cap……..?”

Roel also doesn’t know about it.

“When you return to the guild after finishing the quest, normally you measure your level. ‘I’ll never stop enjoying this moment’…I was also like that. But, what if one day your level stopped changing? One day it will come and no matter how many days you continue to fight after that, it won’t change…that’s when you’ve reached your level cap. Each person has a different level limit.”

“Level……..limit”

I unintentionally murmured.
Each person has a different maximum limit.
I never considered that.
I don’t know what my level is, however since I’ve made it this far I believed that anyone can become stronger as long as they keep working hard.

“My level continued to stay at Level 24…”

“B-but don’t give up, continue fighting! Try to measure it again…”

“Metalika country”

Suddenly Grundom said the name of that country, I’ve heard about it from Roel before.

“Apparently they a have a machine that can measure your Level Cap. I couldn’t take it anymore so I headed towards the country of Metalika. It was such an amazing country…there was an iron bracelet that shows your current level. It can also measure the level of other people…”

“Such a thing exists…”

I wanted to find out more, but what we’re talking about right now really isn’t useful nor what I originally wanted to hear. I don’t think he’s lying…I still have a lot to learn about this world and everything in it.

“You, whats your level?”

“I don’t know, no matter how many times I entered the iron box at the guild <OverFlow> comes out…”

“O-overflow you say…”

Grundom was making something like a sour face and shut his mouth.
No matter how many times I tried to measure my level each Iron Box did the same thing, so I eventually just stopped trying.
It never looked like it was actually broken, and if that’s the case my level…

“So your level is over 100. I can’t believe it…”

“Over level 100? Me?”

“It can’t be helped that Kwimill is in the sticks…however to reach a level over 100…such thing is already S rank, is what those guys said…”

I sort of expected this, my level being over 100.
Roel and the others are able to measure their level, whereas I’m never able to.
My Level is more than 100, so I wonder what my real level is.
I want to know…

“My wounds are mostly healed…thank you, miss.”

“Are you able to move right now?”

Roel quickly moved away from Grundom.
From what I see, it’s pretty obvious she doesn’t like him.

“You don’t have to worry, it’s fine, no matter what I do now. I…”

I deflected a knife that was flying at Grundom’s neck.
The knife rotated in the air and stuck into the cave wall.

“Hey…”

Being targeted by the knife, Grundom realized that his life was in jeopardy.

“Uhiiiiiii~…seriously?”

He lifted his pink glasses and pointed a finger towards me. He was a tall guy with slicked back hair that turned spiky on the back of his head and he was wearing a very pink outfit. His sense of fashion hurt the eyes.

“You, rank D right? Seriously?”

He was confused while he was bending his waist back and forth.

“Y-you are…!”

“You went too far, Grundom-chan. Because it was so~ troubling to the village I went and accepted the subjugation quest, you see?”

“Why is an A rank like you in such a remote region?!”

A rank, is this guy is an adventurer?
This person came here on the subjugation quest for Grundom.
But I wonder if this Subjugation quest is to kill the person.
If it was a monster I would understand, but I won’t kill a person.
The people in my village were killed by monster…those burning memories, those scenes come into my mind.
Skewered, killed, burned…life was stolen that day.
That tragedy is something I won’t forget as long as I live. Will I…even be able to kill someone?

“I came here for something completely~ unrelated. Actually, Gantetsu should’ve also stopped by here for the same reason.”

Gantetsu came here for the same reason as this fellow?
He didn’t come here to subjugate the <Poison Salamander>, that much I understand.

“Nnnn, I wanted~ to do this quickly but I didn’t expect for such a cute [girl] to block my attack.”

He was moving his hips left and right while pointing his finger at me.

“Why are you going to kill this person?”

I finally got a grip on myself just as Roel opened her mouth.

“It’s a subjugation quest, sweetie. Isn’t normal to take his head? You girls are D rank? C rank? I really dunno what the normal rank is for this town.”

“But killing a person…why…”

“Aaaa~ well, if there is a human resisting and being naughty then it’s a subjugation quest. Capturing them is okay, but depending on the person and the quest it depends. Well whatever, I won’t be capturing him~.”

*Kuku* the person was laughing his head off, and suddenly he tried to go for the kill again.
It was the same thing that I deflected earlier, a knife with a short blade that he threw.
I deflected it exactly like before.

“Ooo~ooooo~oooo~? For such a low ranking [girl] like you? To me?”

“Stop it, even you won’t win against that guy…”

When Grundom said that I did a ‘Thumbs up’ pose.
The guy’s brows began to wrinkle, I saw a really amusing face.

“Can I consider this to be you hindering my subjugation?”

“Yes.”

“Why?”

“He isn’t resisting anymore so there’s no need to kill him.”

“So just because he isn’t resisting I’m not allowed to kill him~?”

He was laughing at me as if I was an idiot.

“If that’s how you think, you’ll definitely die someday.”

After saying that he vanished from sight.
I wonder if he was under the impression that I couldn’t win, I don’t know if he was trying to convince me but for now the fight ended.

“Wa-haaaaaaaaaa, what was with that person?!”

With her patience exhausted, Roel took a deep breath and told him off.

“That guy is Xinbu, a superior A ranking adventurer. His class is Assassin. As you saw, that guy likes to mess around. He easily passed by me and became A ranked.”

“Superior A rank………….”

That person seemed to be indifferent to killing others.
Regardless of whether I become A ranked or not…I don’t want to end up like him.

“I would have surrendered the moment he asked…for me to lose to a kid even using my full strength, I can’t go on anymore. I’m so ashamed…”

After mining the items for the quest, we left the cave together with Grundom.
I kept and eye on him as we walked just in case he did something odd.
But Grundom was quiet from start to finish.
From what I see from his back, he had long since passed the age where he could dream optimistically. He was…a lonely adult.

/ / /

In front of a station soldier, Grundom stated his name, crime, and everything he did.
The soldiers looked at us and Grundom, they couldn’t believe it at the beginning.

“It seems Grundom has been caught.”

“I saw him being escorted to the Kingdom Castle town. The people who caught him were C rank adventurers…both of them were girls.”

Inside the guild, rumors spread like wildfire. Adventurers all over the building were sneaking glances at us.

“Really, you guys caught him? Isn’t that amazing!”

“No, you’re probably just mistaken…”

We lied to people that came up to us. The murmurs floating around were laced with trash talk and jealousy.
Last time something like this happened, they didn’t believe that I took down the <Poison Salamander>. But unlike before I was recognized a little bit which felt pretty good.
If I had done this quest earlier, maybe that guy wouldn’t have quit being an Adventurer.
I can’t stop thinking about it, but I understand.
I remember the the appearance of that guy being depressed, and Grundom who obediently surrendered while not being forgiven.

We gave the ore to Kozow, he was glad that we were safe.
The reward was precisely 1000G, and we also got the reward for subjugating Grundom.
Roel was jumping for joy about our finances since we received a lot of money.
Suddenly I thought ‘If that’s the case, I want my pocket money to be increased!’.

“That’s right, I promised you something. This is the best weapon and the most expensive one in the shop. Here you go, the Mithril Sword.”

It’s lighter than the iron sword, and much sharper. I see, it’s like a mix of the Iron and Wing swords.

“Thank you, Kozow-san. This is a really amazing sword!”

“HAHAHA! Isn’t it? After all it’s a mithril-made weapon. It’s a very precious weapon, but thinking of it as a gift and leaving it in your hands is a small price to pay for it to be used by someone so amazing.”

“Good for you, Ryua-chan!”

“I also have a present for you.”

Kozow walked out from the back of his shop carrying a staff.
On the tip there was a mark drawn like a red flame.

“<Fire Rod>. It’s a staff that allows you to use flame magic.
It’s popular with priests like you who can’t use any magic attacks.
However, the strength depends on how much magical power you use on it.”

“I-Is it fine for me to accept something so valuable?”

“I didn’t really think about it, but you two were attacked not only by the floor monster but also Grundom. It was supposed to be an easy quest for you guys, with little danger involved. Setting Grundom aside, running into the floor monster was just completely unexpected.”

It seems Kozow was in a very generous and jolly mood.
He was initially surprised when we said that we had captured Grundom, but he immediately believed what we said and praised us.

“But please don’t be reckless. In the future, if you think things are getting too dangerous make sure you escape. No matter what you are there to do, your life is much more important.”

“Yes. Thank you, we will keep your advice in mind.”

After leaving the generously kind Kozow’s shop, we went to buy food for dinner.
The sun started to set not long after.
In the blink of an eye the day ended, and as I watched the sun I recalled my hardships.
Without knowing, I spent 10 years of my life in the <Caves of Hell>.
All I did was fight continuously day after day.
During that time I never thought about anything else. But comparing then to now, I would never go back to those kinds of days.
Especially since I have Roel with me.
Little by little it seems that her existence became irreplaceable to me.

“Yes? What is it?”

“I-It’s nothing.”

Without realizing, I had been looking at Roel.
I suddenly got embarrassed and turned my face away.

“Hey, I want to try and go to the Wizard Kingdom and Metalika someday, and possibly the Avangard Kingdom Castle town from before.”

“Yeah, someday let’s go. Together.”

Together…I thought a little about what that meant.
I wonder, if Grundom had a comrade with him would things have been a little different?
Walking together, helping the other when they’re weak…in the end the adventurer he once was is now nothing but a shadow of the past.
(TL: 共に歩めず、劣等感がつのり、最後には道を踏み外した冒険者の成れの果て。)
Just what is my level cap?
If my level stopped rising and Roel surpassed me…
Would she wait for me?
Would we still walk together?
Would I end up like Grundom?

“What? Just a while ago you were doing the same thing.”

I hadn’t realized I was once again staring at Roel.

“Hey, Roel…we will be together forever, right?”

“What are you on about? Of course we will.”

“I’m glad…”

From the bottom of my heart I was relieved.
I want things to stay like this for a long as possible, even eternity.
Just like how the setting sun continued to burn without ever changing since the world was created.
Finally, the menu for dinner that I was starting to think about arrived.


Chapter 20 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters Part 1

[There are a lot of <Wild Squirrels> wolfing down our Poporu fruits so I want them to be exterminated. There’s a vast amount of them so I’ll need a lot of Adventurers to deal with this.]
[Koiwa Plantation]
(TL:  アライ リス)
The Poporu fruit. An exterior that looked like a peach with an interior giving off a sweet smell. A soft fruit, with a faintly sweet flavor reminiscent of a carbonated drink. This is what the Koiwa Plantation was growing.
The plantation at a glance was spacious; so much so that I couldn’t tell how large this place actually was.
There really isn’t a way for one person to cover this much ground.
Due to this, there are a lot of adventurers other than us working together to exterminate the monster called <Wild Squirrel>.

【Wild Squirrel x4 appeared! HP:24】

【Ryua attacked! Damage Average:50119! Wild Squirrel x4 was defeated! HP:0/24】

The monster itself is not a big deal.
Even the <Cave Rabbit> may be stronger than this, but these might be a bit difficult on adventurers who just started holding a sword.
The problem is in their numbers, just looking around the area there was over 30 of them.
It seems that their breeding ability is high so if you just leave them they will quickly multiply.
At first I was in high spirits and was hunting seriously but the remaining number is just too high, I’m tired of hunting them already.
Now that I think about it, this quest is for C ranks so the difficulty should be a bit higher than what we’re used to.
I wonder why we ended up taking this quest…

“The plantation’s production is suffering so the market price of this fruit is rising really high~!”

That’s right, it was Roel.
Clearly her participation was influenced by her gluttony.
Besides the Poporu fruit we had also been shopping for strawberries and apples since they were her favorites. Her eyes sparkled whenever she saw those fruits.
The allure of fruit charmed me so I decided to participate even though the monster count was troublesome.
Of course, I could instantly take care of all the <Wild Squirrel>s.
If I used magic they would be wiped out. But the plantation would be obliterated as well. That idea was rejected.
Even though the easy way was rejected, I’m still serious about exterminating every one of them even if means running around the entire plantation.
(TL: しかし 、 それ で なく ても ボク が本気で 農園 を 駆け回れ ば そう 時間 はかから ない。)

“Ryua-chan, make sure not to defeat them all! There are beginner adventurers here too you know.”

If she hadn’t said that then I probably wouldn’t have noticed.
For the beginners this is the perfect chance to level up. They won’t just let someone steal their prey before their eyes.
Seems like I’ll have to continue but hunt them slowly.

“Hii~!”

Inexperienced adventurers were carelessly surrounded and raised hysteric shouts.
‘I’m not going to just let that happen!’ I thought as I saved them.
Those squirrels were completely erased without a trace remaining. Brandishing my new sword, the adventurers were dumbfounded for a while but eventually said their thanks.

“Are you by chance Ryua-san? Waaah, she’s smaller than I thought!”

I resumed my hunting pace when a party of 3 girls came to talk to me.
I wonder how they know my name?

“The rumors said that it was a girl that caught Grundom, it was nice to hear. Even though we are both girls, there’s an amazing difference between us. We decided to work harder.”

I see, it seems that the case of Grundom had spread more than I thought.
I wonder… it seems this D rank party of girls was looking at me as if I was a star of hope.
(TL:  Dランクのこの女の子パーティには希望の星に見えたのだろう。)
These girls are still beginners at this.
Saying that, I’m still a C rank so I wonder if its fine to be pleased about receiving praise…it’s not a bad feeling though.

Before I had realized it, the number of the squirrels had declined to near zero.
Everything was completed by the afternoon.
The head of of the Koiwa plantation was earnestly wiping of the sweat from his face with the towel while thanking us a lot of times.

“No, everyone we are truly thankful! It’s thanks to you people that the crops weren’t completely destroyed!”

All the staff of the plantation bowed their heads.

“So then, it’s fine to take as much fruits as we want right?!”

The voice with no discretion belonged to Aude.
So this guy also participated…it would have been good if I had mistaken him as a squirrel. I might have killed him.
That dark thought instantly passed through my head.

“It’s fine, it’s fine, but of course there will be a limit to it. The only exception is that you absolutely must not take the fruits designated to be shipped for business.”

*Gulp*

There were someone who swallowed their saliva.
…one of them was Roel.

Compared to during the hunt, the scenery right now is peaceful.
The adventurers had been swinging their swords in a frenzy to kill the squirrels, and now they’re going nuts gathering fruits.
Before long, a questionable amount of fruit from the plantation had been eaten to the point of near exhaustion. I was curious about how Roel was eating them.

“Ryua-chan, aren’t you going to eat?”

“Roel, first off you should really be eating the fruit with your right hand since it’d be easier to gather with your left.”
(TL:  「ロエルはまず右手に持っているぶどうを食べてから手を出したほうがいいよ」)

Even though I have already eaten plenty of it, this girl is still eating.

“Yo! Looks like you guys are doing fine!”

A noisy person came to talk to us.
Aude was swinging his basket of fruits with one hand and making a rude entrance while approaching us.

“Well, I have also been working hard you know. I’m finally level 7. If I remember right you are at level 6, right? Well, work at it! Being a hard worker is the best way to achieve things.”

“Yes, we will work hard.”

Was she being honest or was she trying to deal with him? I don’t know what Roel was trying to accomplish.
We had been passing the time nicely up until now, though normally you wouldn’t think someone would stay here this late…I wonder what this guy is going to start yapping about?
When we had finished the ore mining quest she had leveled once again to 10.

“Ah, I wanted to see you! Ryua-san!”

The group of 3 girls from earlier found us.
They were carrying one basket of fruit.

“About the Grundom extermination, is it fine to ask about what happened?”

“Eh, it’s fine, the subjugation or the ore excavation…”

“Should I tell you about my astonishing episodes? The ‘Injured Person Rescuer’ volume!”

“No need.”

Aude received a cold reply.

“Roel and I are still only at C rank ourselves, is there really any difference between us?”

“There is a difference! We’re still only D rank and at level 2. The whole time we were at <Avangard Cave>’s 2nd floor was really dangerous for us. When we were attacked by a group of bats we ended up using all of our recovery items…it was a boon for us when Ryua-san’s party dealt with Grundom. If he was still there and found us…I wonder that we would have done…”

“I thought about giving up, but I really wanted to hear all about the exciting adventures that your party has gone on!”

Each of the girls were opening their mouths and praising us.
The girl with proper manners is Ai, the cheerful and energetic one is Mai, and finally the small one who hasn’t talked yet is Mi. It seems they are sisters.
Their classes respectively are: Axe Fighter, Archer, and Healer.
One by one they introduced themselves.
For such a slender girl to carry a heavy axe….she might be overdoing it.
Now that I think of that, I took a glance at them while hunting and noticed that they couldn’t hit the nimble <Wild Squirrel>.
I wonder why they couldn’t…? Perhaps I shouldn’t think about it?
(TL:何か 理由 がある の か、それとも何 も考え ていないのか 。)

“Mi-chan, you’re a healer right? Same as me!”

Roel gave off an air of familiarity when she spoke, but Mi ended up hiding behind her older sister.
I wonder if that’s a shyness suitable for her age…

“Since you’re aiming to be A rank, you’ll eventually have to challenge the A rank ‘Status-Up’ examination, right?

“‘Status-Up’ examination?”

“To become an A rank you have to take the ‘Status-Up’ examination that is held once every year. You need to pass it on your first try since you don’t get a second chance to take it. There are B rank Adventures receiving permission from the Guild every year, it seems that no less than 500 adventurers are gathered there.”

I heard something like that before…
Whenever the topic of that examination comes up, ‘Gene Machine’ comes out.
I think it’s a quest that can only be handled when you become an A rank.

“Since we are still just C rank this talk is a little premature.”

“That’s right but…I don’t want to take a test. I wonder why they would do something like that.”

“You will be recognized as an A rank by the Guild located in the Kingdom. Just that in itself is important you know.”

Mai made a dispirited face when she was told about that.
I wonder if I could pass it even if I can’t really perform well in regards to reading or writing.

“The examination every year is…hmmmm, what is it?”

Mai’s hand was being tugged and pulled by Mi.
To hear what she was saying, Mai leaned over.

“Ah, look at the time…Ryua-san, Roel-san, we have some urgent business so we will be leaving immediately. Sorry.”

“That’s right, we don’t enough time to play…”

The 3 sisters left the plantation in a haste.
From the speed they took off at, I guess it’s really urgent business.
It was like the peaceful mood we had earlier was a lie.

“Weren’t they such a weird bunch?”

“Yeah, but I hope those girls will continue to work hard.”

Today we went home carrying only a single basket full of Poporu fruit.

///Gantetsu’s POV+3rd person POV///

“Fu~~…that was tiring.”

While walking in one of the long corridors of the castle, Gantetsu was feeling tired.
That mysterious monster subjugation.
It’s more ferocious than it looks, even I who had piled up a lot of experience was played with.
I wonder how many monsters like that exist…?
I shouldn’t say this, but I don’t want to fight it again.
If I wasn’t an A rank I wouldn’t have been sent out to hunt it.
I wonder if it’s fine to think something like that…
I had many dreams in the past of being an adventurer and choosing this path.
(TL:  かつて は多くの 夢を見 て 冒険者 の 道 を選ん だはず 。)
Am I just a convenient tool for the Kingdom now?

“That monster, I wonder where the heck it came from.”

“It’s fine to not think about it, you know~”

Before Gantetsu had noticed, Xinbu was behind his back.
Reflexively Gantetsu turned around.

“Are you going to end your life as a normal human~? Gantetsu-san~”
(TL:  「今 の で一回人生終 わったっしょ 。 ガン テツさん 」)

“Stop joking around.”

“Temporarily stopping work as an A rank, such a thing is unforgivable Gantestu-san~, but the other day at Kwinmill you apparently did something~?”

“What are you trying to say?”

“It was a result born from a single person. It usually takes 5 people to something like that in this field. Despite that, what did you do? You did something like exterminating a <Poison Salamander> during your free time?”

“That was something urgent. I couldn’t just ignore it.”

Suddenly the distance between Gantestu and Xinbu shrunk, and Xinbu lightly grasped Gantestu’s chin to lift it.
It was as if Xinbu didn’t notice Gantestu glaring at him while he was stroking his chin.

“So…are you saying all that I need to do is show my true ability?”

The eyes inside the gaudy glasses shone followed by Gantetsu groaning.

“Then I’ll go and finish 3 things~. How about yourself, how many will you do? Aren’t you an A rank? Or is this your way of saying you’re getting old~?”

“S-sorry…”

“You should already retire as a soldier~”

Just as Xinbu said, at Kwimill I wasn’t able to produce many results.
But, it’s true that I can’t let the <Poison Salamander> incident slide.
Originally, I should’ve been an adventurer.
Yet my country is working me hard.
This Xinbu is a genius. In just one year after he started as an adventurer he passed the A rank ‘Status-Up’ examination, and just like that he joined the elites.
Since I was young, I steadily made up my way until I grew into this miserable state.
It’s not only that, Xinbu also likes to say whatever he wants and I’m not able to refute it.
I don’t want to feel inferior, but I know I can’t win against that man.
My heart has long since admitted its defeat.

“There was that time I had to retrieve the head chief, he was an old man like yourself.”
(TL:  「あとの 一匹 はあの 顔 長兵 士長 が回収し たみ たいっしょ 。対し て ジジイ は」)

When Xinbu had finished talking, Gantetsu returned to walking.
Xinbu was looking at his back as he walked off.

“I’m such a miserable A rank…”

After Gantetsu walked far enough, the pink man let out his finger and then once again disappeared from the corridor.


 

Chapter 21 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters Part 2

We found ourselves at the <Strange Plains> where we had fought the <Poison Salamander>.
We came here after accepting a quest from the Tool Shop to gather materials, I hadn’t realized how large the plains were.
I think someone could get lost in here and never find their way out…
Even though the danger level is 6, the sheer size alone looks like it would be enough to finish you.
There were certain flowers that only bloomed here.
We came here to collect drug ingredients. The Tool Shop seems to hire adventurers for this quest every time the flowers bloom.
I know how many we need to gather, but the amount is rather large.

【Man-Eating Flower appeared! HP:44】

In addition to that, unneeded flowers come by every so often.
Although it eats people, why does it bloom at such a remote place…?
‘It’s going to be burned by Roel’, and as soon as I thought that, the monster caught fire.

【Roel used Fire Rod!】
【Man-Eating Flower received 233 damage!】
【Man-Eating Flower was defeated! HP:0/44】

“Roel, amazing…”

When we stopped by the weapon shop yesterday, we had asked Kozow about the Fire Rod and from what he said it seems the flame effect is only a low grade magic. The monsters shouldn’t be defeated by a low grade magic though, even if it is exploiting a weakness…but Roel was still mercilessly burning the monsters.

“It’s because these monsters are really weak to fire.”

Roel said that, but there isn’t even an ash left where the monster burned.
Because she’s controlling her magic so well, I think she just has naturally high magic power.
As we left the scene of the crime Roel was happily humming a song.
For a girl to sing after burning something so mercilessly…is a unique scene.
Though I can’t speak, pot calling the kettle black.

“Hey, isn’t there a lot of flowers that way? Let’s gather over there.

“We can gather flowers while taking care of the monsters.”

Saying those words, Roel was tightly holding onto her Fire Rod and anxiously waiting for a monster to appear.
I unexpectedly saw her make an aggressive face…I shouldn’t tease her too much.

“Ok, is this much fine? Adding Roel’s amount to mine, we have quite a bit.”

“I can’t carry any more than this. Cynthia-chan from the Tool Shop will surely be pleased with this much.”

“T-that is!”

In the distance I saw 3 adventurers fighting a Tiger-like monster.
It was the 3 sisters.
As the tiger got close, I realized I hadn’t seen it yet. It’s probably a floor monster.
If that the case, it’s not an opponent that those 3 can take on.

【<Plains Runner> appeared! HP:565】
(TL:草原を疾駆する者)

“Tsuuuu!”

【Ai attacked! <Plains Runner> quickly evaded!】

The large tiger evaded Ai’s large axe and didn’t miss the chance presented by her backswing.
The beast attacked Ai with its sharp fangs.

【Mai fired Double shot! <Plains Runner> quickly evaded!】

Ai approached the <Plains Runner> and aimed at it while Mai released arrows towards its face, but the attacks ended up being evaded and made a dry sound as they hit the ground.
The <Plains Runner> changed its target to the one who was releasing the arrows.

“W-what should we do!? How can we win against this!?”

Mai was shouting and lost her composure. The <Plains Runner> ignored her yelling and rushed at her with a speed she couldn’t react to.
Just as it began to bite Mai’s head off it realized something was wrong with its body.
The <Plains Runner> had been cut into two, and it gushed blood as it collapsed onto the ground.

【Ryua fired Sonic Ripper!】
【<Plains Runner> received 224028 damage!】
【<Plains Runner> was defeated! HP:0/565】

“Good thing I made it in time.”

I’m glad I hit the monster from that distance.
Mai fell to the ground as her strength left her.

“Ryua-san! For you to come to our aid…”

Ai rushed over to me full of thanks but out of breath.
It seems the youngest one, Mi, was really scared. She was just sitting on the ground.

“That monster is a floor monster right?”

“Yes, if Ryua-san hadn’t come to help us, we would have been in trouble…”

“You’re unbelievably strong…Ryua-san, just what are you…?”

Mai was surprised when she looked at the corpse of the tiger that had been cut in two.

“Are the 3 of you here for a quest?”

“Yes, we came here for the flowers that the Tool Shop wanted.”

“Really? We’re doing the same quest then. So, did you find some?”

“We got a fair amount…hey, for you two to gather that much, just as I thought you’re really amazing…”

Taking a quick look around, there doesn’t seem to be much left we could gather.
I don’t know if it was that monster’s fault, but these girls seem to be having a really difficult time.

///

After we went to the guild to deliver the items and settle the quest, the 3 sisters invited us to their house as a thank you for saving them.
We walked through the streetways of Kwimill for a while until we reached a one-story house made of bricks.
It seems a little large for just the 3 sisters to live in.

“Sorry, it’s not much but…”

As she said that, we were presented with Poporu juice and a pancake as dessert for later.
I was entranced by the sweetness of this juice, I didn’t expect it to be this delicious.
Roel looks like she wanted to ask for another one, but it seem she still she has some restraint.

“Ryua-san, why are you so strong? I can’t believe that you are just a C rank.”

“Mm, I wonder why?”

It’s because I trained at the <Caves of Hell>. I wonder if I should tell them about it?
Tolppo believed my story easily, but I wonder if these girls will as well?

“My mother thought I would achieve great things and gave me her bow, but it seems I’m not that good with it.”

“As for me, my father gave me his axe…but the size is absurd. This is too big for a woman to swing comfortably.”

I heard “Teehee” come from the mouths of those 2, it seems they were bashful.
It seems the youngest is done mulling over what had happened. She unsteadily approached Roel and I.
(TL: 末っ子は失禁の処理を終えたのか、ひょこひょことボク達のところへ来る。)

“…………thank you.”

She bowed and quickly retreated behind her sisters who were sitting on their chairs and completely hid herself.
I think that a child being an adventurer is just unreasonable…
Are her older sisters okay with her going through the scary situations an adventurer faces?
Well, I say that but I was even younger than her when I was surviving in the <Caves of Hell>…
At that time I was…huh? I wonder what I did back then.
I…wonder why I can’t even remember a little bit about when I was that young?

“That was delicious! Thanks for the meal!”

“You’re welcome. Even though you are the ones that saves our lives, this is all we can do for you. Sorry…”

“I didn’t save you for this, so don’t worry about it. Though, why did the 3 of you become adventurers?”

“OOOOOOIIII!”

Suddenly we heard an angry yell from outside.
I realized that the 3 girls had frozen expressions on their faces.

“This months quota, are you able to pay it?”

“Onee-chan…”

Mai was looking to Ai for help, but Ai was calm.
No, that’s wrong. She probably just appears like that on the outside.
Ai thought about something for a short while and then slowly opened the door.
Outside was a middle aged man with a white writing brush-like beard and several armed men.
Next to Brushbeard stood an expressionless guy with a slender sword.
I was thinking about how much you would need to bend the slender sword to break it…
I was excited by the sword since it was really interesting to look at, but I should be focusing on the situation right now.

“Oh! Oh! Since you’re here, quickly come out and pay. I came here to receive this month’s quota.”

“…Yes.”

“Oooh, well done, well done!…Hmmm? Oh my, oh my! It’s not enough!”

“We’ll definitely pay the rest to you soon.”

“It’s a quota, you know? I understand that you’re having a hard time with your livelihood, but there is a agreement.”

“We’re sorry.”

“Is there anything left from when your parents were alive? You need to take this more seriously…well, doesn’t look there is any other way.”
(TL: あなた達のご両親が生前、残したものですよ。)

Brushbeard stroked his beard while eyeing the 3 sisters like he was licking them.

“Since you can’t pay with money, it’ll have to be with your body.”

“T-that is…”

“If you won’t offer yourself, it’s fine if one of your sisters will.”

“Somehow! We will somehow pay it! Please let us go just this time!”

“Fuuun, no matter how many times you say ‘Just this time’”

Ai was frantically lowering her head.
The other sisters were silently watching what was happening.

“I may look like this, but in business we need to be precise and punctual when dealing with one another. A deadline is a deadline, and if we don’t keep it then we will lose the respect that people have towards us. That much should be obvious, do I even need to explain this to you?”

“Yes, it’s just as you said…”

“Well, I’m not a demon. Just this time, I will wait for 5 extra days. Farewell.”

Brushbeard lead the bad looking men away and they left as a group.

“Will we be able to manage within the 5 days?”

“Yes, somehow.”

“Those people just now, they’re  part of the Gametts Firm right? Could you girls possibly…?”

Roel wore a face showing she wanted an answer as she asked that.
I wonder what the Gametts Firm is?

“That’s right. When our parents died, we borrowed some money. Since we didn’t borrow too much the monthly payment quota is manageable, thankfully.”

Mai was worried about Ai and showed confusion as she tried to follow the conversation.
It’s not impossible she said, but she wasn’t even able to pay the quota just now.

“Did you girls become adventurers because of that?”

“Yes, you’re correct. Since our parents are no longer here we decided to cooperate to live. We tried other jobs unsuccessfully since not many places could employ us, so we eventually gave up and became adventurers.”

Their parents are no longer alive….
I know how hard it is to live alone as a child.
Having no one to rely on or confide in is more severe than you can imagine.

“But taking on that tiger was insane. It may have been a floor monster…even I got worried when I saw you.”

“We thought about getting strong quickly to get high paying quests…sorry for troubling you.”

“When we measured our levels today, we thought we could manage it as level 3’s.”

The danger level alone is 6, trying to take it on at level 3 is suicide.
If this goes on, these girls might really die someday.
Anyways, I can’t forgive the bearded guy.

“So how much money did you borrow?”

“About 2 million gold…”

“Two million!?”

Roel was shocked as she repeated that number, and I caught her as she fell.
2 million…even we wouldn’t be able to pay that off.
But that threat from earlier was too extreme for that amount of money.
(TL: でもいくら借りたお金とはいえ、さっきのはあんまりだ。)

“If the money was paid off, that guy won’t be complaining anymore right?”

“Yes, if we pay this month’s quota and then pay off the rest they will…”

“Roel, they’re in need of help.”

“Yes, you’re right…it’s fine to ask us if there is something we can do to help…Ah, that’s right! How about forming a party with us? Hey, Ryua-chan, it’s fine right?”

“Y-yes?”

“We will support you to the best of our ability. So, will you let us help you?”

“B-but…”

So it’s like that. Such a simple answer.
Even though these girls are inexperienced, if we support them then their skills will improve and they will grow stronger.
They’ll also be able to pay their debt off at the same time, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone.

“It’s fine. Since it’s something we can do to help, we’ll do it”

“Onee-chan, isn’t it fine to depend on them? Honestly, if it’s just us like earlier…we weren’t able to do it.”

“…Then, can you please help us out?”

“For sure!”

We ended up answering in an unusually tense tone for some reason.
Now that we’re a large party of 5, what quest should we take?


 

Chapter 22 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters Part 3

“T-that person! Could he possibly be Seigel-san the Dragon Hunter?!”

As we were finishing the settling of our quest at the counter, Roel had suddenly pointed her finger at a silver-haired man.
His weapon was really unusual, it was a gigantic blade. I never even thought of a weapon like that.

“Cutie-pie did you just call me…? Woah?!”

Seigel pointed at us while doing an exaggerated pose.
‘Cutie-pie’? I don’t understand what that means but I think it’s a word that only this person would use.

“Oou! 5 cuties?! Are you all by any chance my fans?! What do I do? I want to give you my signature but there doesn’t seem to be any time for you to get some paper…so then, how about letting me write it on your weapons?”

“No, its fine”

Seigel who was rambling on and on was completely stopped by that short phrase from Ai.
A no is definitely a no, the reliable older sister clearly said it.
I think its reassuring for the 2 younger sisters.

“You’re the dragon hunter Seigel, right? I didn’t think that you would be here at Kwimill.”

“Roel, is this person famous?”

“Of course he’s famous. He holds the position of one of the top 3 adventurers! There was an article where he was interviewed by the Dungeon Diving Rascals Magazine, you know. It’s impossible for him not to be well known. When he trekked through the Giginja dungeon with a danger level of 60, he was the first in the world able to defeat the <Volcanic Dawn Dragon> alone.”
(TL:  my first try of the name was “Explosive Flame Dragon” but when i talked with it with my ED it turned into Volcanic Dawn Dragon if you have any better name for this this is its jp name 暁の爆炎竜) (ED: Explosive Flame = Volcano, and Dawn was in the name. Seems straight forward to me :I)

I wonder if Roel is a fan of this person?
At any rate, it seems he really is famous…but he’s way too overconfident a person.

“So~ what quest are you cuties going to take together? Aaaah, I’d like to teach you a lot of things but unfortunately I have other plans. I’m really sorry, please don’t feel bad.”

“We won’t need that. Ryua-san, Roel-san. How about this quest?”

Seigel was cruelly ignored by Ai and hung his head while she was pretending to continue as usual.
The quest was:
[I want you to collect honey from the <Terror Bee>s in the <Bees Forest>]
[Client: Tool shop Cynthia]
[Reward: 1100G + extra for more honey]

“The <Bees Forest> and <Bear Forest> are related forests, right…? But I’m sure its Danger level is 5…”

“I know that we’re aiming a little too high, but we want to get stronger quickly.”

“I understand, leave it to me.”

By no means was this a promise with no consideration to it. I’m serious about wanting to lend my power to them. Helping them is what I want to do.

“A <Terror Bee> huh…I wonder if I’ll be able to hit them with my arrows?”

Mai looks like she was insecure about the bow and arrows she was carrying.
Mi was cheering Mai on by patting her lower back with her small hand.

“That’s right…mom and dad aren’t here anymore so we promised that we’ll do our best.”

Mi did a strong, encouraging nod.
Her short and fluffy chestnut-colored hair was bouncing as she nodded.
Mai’s waist-length hair was moving in harmony with Mi.
The 3 of them combining their strengths to persists and live on…it’s rather praiseworthy. Seeing them like this makes me want to help them more and more.

“<Bees Forest>! The <Terror Bee> on its own is not a big deal but be careful of swarms. You really need to be careful. The floor monster is called <Violent Nectar Mother>, and it will require extra attention to deal with. You can consider this monster to be the queen of the <Terror Bee>s, it’s rarely seen but if by chance you encounter it, retreat. It’s not something that you girls should fight.”

“Thank you very much.”

“No, I’ll accept your thanks once you come back alive. Just like how it was at Zenbei.”

“Ryua-san, Roel-san. If you’re prepared, should we go?”

The lively and energetic Ai lead us.
I pitied Siegel just a little bit.

///

It’s shallower than <Bear Forest>, it would be more fitting to call this place <Bee’s forest>.
But I don’t think I’d even call it a forest. <Bee’s Woods> is more appropriate.
The monsters living here aren’t only <Terror Bees> though.

【<Flying Squirrel of Gale> x2 appeared! HP:34】

Suddenly a flying squirrel came down from a tree.
While it was gliding it fired wind magic at us.

【<Flying Squirrel of Gale> cast Wind Cutter!】

One of the wind blades flew at Mai.
I wouldn’t let something like that reach her so I erased it with wind pressure from one of my hands.

“T-t-thank you………”

“I’ll absolutely protect you, so calm down and properly aim.”

“Yeah!”

Mai took a deep breath and took aim at the <Flying Squirrel> that was gliding from tree to tree.
When the <Flying Squirrel> stopped she released her arrow.

【Mai attacked! <Flying Squirrel of Gale> received 25 damage! HP:9/34】

The arrow was sticking out of the monster as it fell from the tree. Ai struck at it with her axe, not showing any mercy.

【Ai Attacked! <Flying Squirrel of Gale> received 52 damage!】
【<Flying Squirrel of Gale> was defeated! HP:0/34】
“W-we did it!”

“There are still some left! Don’t relax yet!”

Just as those words were spoken, one of the <Flying Squirrel>s retaliated and charged at Ai.

【<Flying Squirrel of Gale> attacked! Ai received 11 damage! HP:20/31】

“Ugh!”

It was tunnel visioning on Ai who had fallen down and started to chant wind magic.
I shouldn’t let her be in such a defenseless state any longer. I drove away the squirrel and quickly slashed it to defeat it.

“Mi-chan, please use recovery magic on your sister.”

Roel gently urged Mi who was getting flustered.
Using both of her small hands she cast <Heal> on Ai.

“Yeah, you did a good job.”

Mi blushed when she heard Roel praising her.

“Thank you…Mi from the start was a shy child, so how…”

“Children tend to get flustered much faster since they don’t know what to do. But Mi-chan, you need to make sure that your sisters can hear your voice, okay? Don’t feel shy and just say what you need to say.”

“……………….yes.

Her voice was as quiet as a mouse.
Using all her strength she had shown her determination to us.
Roel was somehow able to handle this shy little girl.

“Thank you very much. Sorry for the trouble…”

Ai stabbed her axe into the ground and her posture faltered.
She was sighing as she was apologizing.

“In combat, you need to stay calm and not be careless. I want you to understand that.”

“Okay.”

They seemed to be encouraged by those words, and if these 3 follow our advice when they fight…I don’t think we’ll need the recovery items.
There are many nimble monsters that Ai’s axe won’t be able to hit easily, like those squirrels.
I’m not going to suggest she stops being an Axe fighter, but we need to find a way to utilize her strengths effectively.

We advanced by pushing through the plants until we encountered a group of bees as big as a human head.
There was something dangling from a nearby tree…if I’m not mistaken that would be the nest of the <Terror Bees>.
We finally reached our goal, but the number of opponents is…

“T-those are <Terror Bee>s? So many…”

Mai swallowed hard.
I was curious as to why the honey had such a high price. It seems it’s because of this.
There’s probably a trick to gathering the honey but I don’t have the patience to think about it.
I recklessly charged the beehive.

【Terror Bee x20 appeared ! HP:36】

The bees came at me all at once.
The countless stingers that came to stab me looked identical to the scorpion’s tail from the cave…I’m not willing to get stung.
The bees rotated around me to cut me off from the group.
(TL:  ボクは回転しながら周囲のハチを斬り捨てる。)
I don’t feel even the tiniest bit of fear as they surrounded me and tried to pierce my skin. I cut them all down and some scattered to pieces as they fell.

【Terror Bee x17 was defeated!】

Mere seconds had passed since the fight started, and only 3 were left of the initial swarm.
I wonder how many bees the girls can handle…
It can poison whoever it stings, but maybe like the squirrel from the plantation they might be easy to deal with in very small numbers.

“Hey, it’s your turn now!”

“Fuei?! Ah, yes!”

Ai was surprised by my sudden order, but prepared her axe and ran toward the remaining bees with a determined look in her eye.

“Don’t just swing randomly! Aim at them when they’re in range as they come to sting you.”

Ai silently nodded and seriously focused on the bee as it approached.
The <Terror Bee> moved here and there, circling around as it prepared to attack, and at the last moment as it flew at Ai, she brought down her axe.
Ai only grazed the bee and it counter-attacked Ai who left herself open.
An arrow pierced the <Terror Bee> as it flew at her.

【Mai Attacked! <Terror Bee> received 36 damage!】
【<Terror Bee> was defeated! HP:0/36】

Ai was amazed that Mai was able to bring down the bee with her bow.
Their party is simple, but very well matched.
Only 2 bees were left, and one of them flew at Mai.

“Hiii! I-It’s coming this way!”

“Ai-san! Now!”

The <Terror Bee> didn’t notice Ai who had been slowly closing in behind it, and Ai swung in a straight line.
The bee was magnificently cut into two parts.
Immediately after that the remaining bee stung Ai from behind.

【Terror Bee Attacked! Ai received 6 damage!】
【Ai is poisoned! HP:25/31】

“Ah……..”

Ai began to stumble due to the poison.
This time it’s Mi’s turn to shine.
…is what I thought, but she still hasn’t learned any antidote magic.

“YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!”

Mai shot an arrow at the bee out of desperation.
Honestly, that shot was better than her previous one.
The bee wouldn’t have died from a single arrow, but this is the one that had been injured earlier and Mai had landed a direct hit this time.

【Terror Bee was defeated! HP:0/36】

“W-won…we won…”

Feeling weak, Mai sat on the ground.
Ai was out of breath and staring at the corpse of the bee.

“You two are stronger than I thought…if it’s like this I think you can probably handle the 2nd floor.”

“It was thanks to you, Ryua-san. If it wasn’t for your precise instructions we wouldn’t have defeated them.”

“That’s true…I was really surprised. Ryua-san, why are you a C rank with such amazing skills?”

“I’ve only been an adventurer for a short while…”

Rather than explaining everything I just gave a vague answer.
(TL: 説明するには長すぎる経緯なのもあって曖昧な返答になってしまった。)

“Ryua, I’m not really in any position to say this but I think you would’ve already become an A rank if you weren’t paired with me.”

“That isn’t true, you know. I need you with me, Roel. I’ve been saved by you a lot. You’ve also been levelling up at a quick pace recently.”

Everything I said was the truth. Especially about her levelling, I’m really surprised by how fast she’s grown from level 2 to 10.
I think she was supposed to be like that from the start.

“Ryua-chan…”

I’m not sure if she’s happy or embarrassed, but Roel was smiling while looking down.

“Roel-san is already at Level 10…We will also need to work hard.”

Ai stirred and Mai was grasping her Bow tightly.
Mi is…hmm? Mi is?

“Hey, where’s Mi?”

As I said that, the atmosphere froze.

///

“Oh? Boy, what are you doing here?”

Seigel spoke to a child who was crying on the roadside.
The child was crying so hard he wasn’t able to talk well.

“Did someone make you cry?”

Seigel knelt down so that they would see eye to eye.
It seemed to give the child peace of mind and he started to talk.

“Papa are Mama were at home, then scary people came…my home…breaking…many things…*hic*…*hic*”

“Scary people…”

Seigel thought about what he heard for a brief moment and then stroked the child’s head.

“Boy, this Onii-san will save you. Onii-san may look like this but I am an A rank adventurer. That means I’m unbelievably strong, you know.”

Now, there are S rank monsters in existence, but Siegel planned on suppressing them one by one.

“Really? Ojisan will?”

“Ah, Onii-san will absolutely save you.”

Siegel was stubbornly emphasizing the “Onii-san” part.
The child lead Siegel to his house. Calling this place destroyed was putting it lightly, the house would be better described as completely demolished.
The walls were in small pieces without any connection to the neighbouring rooms. The pieces were numerous and very spread out.
(TL:  壁がこま切れになり、床や壁も関係なくいくつにもバラバラにされている。)
Strangely enough there wasn’t any furniture.
Seeing both the first floor and the 2nd floor, the house was really in a miserable state.
I think that’s the entrance? Approaching what was left of the door were the child’s parents, tears falling down their faces.

“Can you tell me just what in the world happened here?”

“It’s already the end…everyone we had is now completely gone. Our home was the last thing we could cling on to, but this time it was taken from us as well…”

Siegel wasn’t able to get the reason from them but he was able to make a guess.
He understood that this wasn’t just a normal robbery.

“Is it possibly…debt?”

“W-why do you care!?”

As one would expect, these people weren’t in a state to talk properly after having something like this happen to them.
Giving up on having them tell him, he decided to pry it out of them himself.

“Gametts Firm.”

Just that one word made both the parents flinch and tremble.
Gametts Firm was just recently started up by a guy named Gametts, it’s a rather corrupt company.
It had gathered capable adventurers, had strict security, and was based here in the sticks.

“Be at ease. I will settle all of this. Just be patient.”

“Ha…?”

‘The crying face of a mother isn’t beautiful’.
That secret thought from Siegel had no relation to his decision. He ran towards the Gametts Firm.


 

Chapter 23 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters Part 4

“Is Ryua-san going to be fine?”

“It’s Ryua-chan, even she would be fine at <Bear Forest>. Just relax and wait patiently.”

///

I rushed around the forest at the fastest speed I could muster, searching for Mi.
I’ve been yelling out her name but there hasn’t been any reply.
I had searched the entire <Bees Forest> but was unable to find her.
It may have turned into a worst-case scenario where we wandered into the <Bear Forest>…since it’s directly next to this forest it’s not an impossibility.
<Bear Forest> and <Bees Forest>…the <Bear Forest> is a deeper forest than this one.
Since tall trees grow there, the deep forest is just like a jungle.
I had passed through the <Bear Forest> once before.
My trek from the <Caves of Hell> to Kwimill had me run through it.
Back then I hadn’t know that place had such a name.
This place…it would be apt to say it had a dark atmosphere to it.
I wonder why Mi separated from us?
Better yet, how did nobody notice?
It’s too late to worry about it now…but no matter how much I search I haven’t been able to find her.
I jumped from branch to branch in the trees to search for her.

I realized that I had stepped on something when I landed on one of the branches.
I looked below me, only to see a long neck.
A large body began to stand up in front of me.
Trying to look like it was scrubbing something off, it shook its head.

【Poison Salamander appeared! HP:1520】

I remembered the time when something like this guy came from Bear Forest to the Strange Plains.

“This time, just be obedient and stay in this forest.”

It’d be troublesome to draw my sword so I just kept moving while trying to shake it off.
It was mowing down the trees while raising a fierce roar as it chased after me.
Just how tenacious is this monster? Right then, I had a flashback in my memories.

It was during my trip to Kwimill.
Just like I had done now, I stepped on something.
Even back then, I thought it troublesome and kept moving while trying to lose whatever was following me.
I remember what Gantetsu had said about it.
‘The <Poison Salamander> is a tenacious monster that won’t forget a grudge’.
…No way. That <Poison Salamander> was my fault?
I’m positive I lost the creature…even those large lizards must lose prey here and there.
I wonder how many of them gave up chasing me…

While I was thinking, the <Poison Salamander> had caught up and swung its leg at me.

【Poison Salamander attacked!】
【Ryua received no damage!】

Before the Salamander could step on me I hurled its body and stood up in one smooth motion, continuing my train of thought and movement.

【Poison Salamander was defeated! HP:0/1520】

…it was my fault that those people were killed?

No, that’s impossible.
That can’t be right. Roel would believe me.
Of course she would, she approached me even though I was different from the other adventurers.
(TL: ボク以外の冒険者だって来るはずだ。)
I’m not wrong…am I?

I started feeling dizzy, and I can’t find Mi anywhere.
What should I do? How can I find her?
If something happened to her, the other two sisters will…

“MI-CHAAAAAAAAAA~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~N!”

I shouted from the bottom of my stomach.
My throat hurts from all this yelling.

【Steel Bear appeared! HP:831】

“Shut up!”

I swung a single fist at the stomach of the bear.
Its upper body disappeared and only the lower half remained.

【Steel Bear was defeated! HP:0/831】

I shouldn’t be wasting my time with these things, not now.
I need to increase my pace of searching this forest.

“If you can hear me, please answer!”

///3rd Person & Mi’s Perspective///

Before I had realized it, I was in the deeper part of the forest.
The atmosphere…is different than before.
The thick trees were so tall it looked like they reached the sky and the leaves are layered so heavily that the surroundings were dark.

Right from the start I was opposed to my beloved sisters becoming adventurers.
It was dangerous for me to be alone at the house, so in the end I was permitted to come with them.
(TL:  家で一人でいると物騒な事もあるという事で最終的には許された。)
I was somehow able to use recovery magic from birth, that’s why I became a healer.

Mi felt that she was totally neglected.
She wasn’t able to fulfill her role and both of her sisters were all over Ryua and Roel…it wasn’t pleasant to Mi.

Her heart wasn’t happy that her sisters had been stolen from her.
She separated wordlessly from the group for that reason.
But before she had realized it, she was in this forest.

Dreadful monsters lurked in this forest. Mi eventually came to realize the situation she was in.
If she was found by a monster here in the <Bear Forest>, she would lose her life.
She was consumed by fear and become unable to talk.

【Hellbear appeared! HP:1430】

As she stepped on a dry branch, it made a loud cracking sound that drew a monster many times her mass right in front of her.
Saliva was spilling from its mouth, it wasn’t going to let this girl escape.

The bear brought its arm down on the girl who wasn’t moving, but before it made contact the bear stopped.
It immediately retreated into the forest. The little girl, frightened beyond belief, ran the opposite way.
She thought that she was saved, but that only lasted a moment as she heard something similar to a vibration in the air.
Trembling as she looked back, there was a shadow.
No, not a shadow, it’s whole body was black. To the little girl, it was like a mountain.
The shining, golden eyes of the shadow looked directly at Mi.
This wasn’t just a monster…Mi understood that much.
That bear from  earlier had seen this and ran.
She had thought she heard a cry as it disappeared into the trees…

【<The Violent King of the Quiet Forest> appeared! HP:5046】

This <The Violent King of the Quiet Forest>, rather than calling it the king of the bears, dictator suits it better.
There were traces that it was recently hunting since its claws were dyed with red.

Mi, controlled by fear, couldn’t run away.
Something warm was streaming down her thighs.
Mi was unable to stand any longer and fell on her rear.

“He…lp…”

Mustering out her courage she raised a voice.

—-‘you need to make sure that your sisters can hear your voice, okay?’

For some reason the words of Roel resounded in her head.
If she raised her voice, who knows who might hear it.
Even if she wanted to talk about something, her words never came out and it was frustrating.
“I want to talk with everyone…”
She didn’t want to die in such place.
Mi opened her mouth and made a very loud shout.

“ONEE-CHAAAA~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~N!”

Just before <The Violent King of the Quiet Forest> ended her life, something jumped in front of her and the arm of the bear was slashed.

///Ryua’s Perspective///

While raising my sword overhead, I realized I was looking at the ruler of the forest.
I was able to save the little girl behind me.
Nobody would want to die in a place like this, it would fill them with regret.
As long as Mi is alive, the sisters can keep smiling.

“It’s going to be okay.”

While looking forward I tried to encourage Mi.
<The Violent King of the Quiet Forest> didn’t raise a cry, rather it just silently glared at me and then charged with both of its arms.
(TL: 暴王は雄叫びをあげる事もなく、ただ静かにボクの体を両腕でさばこうと行動を開始した。)
I feel like this monster is on a different level than what I’ve fought here before.
It’s probably the floor monster.

“Let’s leave this forest quickly.”

I slashed 2,3 times. As I swung my sword against <The Violent King of the Quiet Forest>, its body separated into 3 equal parts.
I figured its pelt would be expensive material so I tried to leave as much as possible intact.

【Ryua attacked! <The Violent King of the Quiet Forest> received 243319 damage!】
【<The Violent King of the Quiet Forest> was defeated! HP:0/5046】

I was going to call Mi and give her peace of mind knowing the beast was dead, but I found her already clinging to me, tears flowing.

“T-th-thank…you…*sniffle*…”

“Even if you hate me, I will still protect you. I don’t want any of you sisters making such a sad face.”

“I don’t…hate…you.”

Her words were fragmented as she cried. I slowly picked up on what she was trying to say.
With her small and fragile body, I felt enveloped in a tender feeling.

///

“Hmmm, are you here to discuss taking a loan?”

“Hey, Gametts-san, there are many people being treated unfairly by you. ‘I came here to pass judgement’ is what I came to discuss.

“Hoho~, no way. Is this a dangerous request from the guild?”

“No, this is a personal matter. The guild didn’t have anything to do with this.”

“Hou~, adventurers are just people who fight, it seems.”

Gametts leaned back and sunk into his soft chair, looking a the A rank adventurer before him like he was nothing.

“A rank and a dragon hunter, was it?”

【Siegel Lv: 66|Class: Dragon Hunter|Rank: A】

“Ah~, so you are that famous Dragon Hunter. I never thought that I’d be able to meet you. Anyways, money that has been borrowed has to be returned, isn’t that natural? How can you call that unfair?”

“There is a family that shed tears because of your actions. That alone is enough.”

“Well, this talk isn’t really going anywhere. So, do you have any evidence?”

“I only need to look for you and arrest you.”
(TL:  それはおまえをふんじばってから探すさ)

“You are quite the fool, going so far for something like this…you really are an idiot. Did you come here thinking I would just give up? Zangiri!”

“……….is it fine to kill him?”

Beside Gametts was a man, his body swaying like it was a mirage.
His hair was messy and didn’t look like it had been washed in a while, giving an unclean impression.
His kimono was open down to his chest, it seems he really doesn’t care about how he looks.

“Are you his bodyguard? You sure have the atmosphere of one.”

Zangiri slowly drew his weapon.

“<Kougetsuzan>”

A vacuum of wind slashed at Seigel, he was completely unprepared for it.
(TL: 真空の刃としか思えない斬撃が縦にセイゲルを襲った。)
Moon Ring blade, a weapon from a foreign country.
It was like an invisible ring. It had a rhythm of 2,3,4 as it sliced, cornering Seigel.
He couldn’t avoid the attack very well and his chest was bleeding, but it wasn’t a big deal.

——this guy is dangerous.

After fighting many formidable enemies, Siegel can judge an opponent’s strength.
This ill-mannered person in front of him has killed too many people.
That technique just now was aiming for the vitals.
Those attacks couldn’t even be dodged by a hair.
His armor has cuts all over it and blood was leaking from his chest.

“Burst Braver!”

He swung his big sword towards Zangiri, but since the room is small he only did a light chain explosion.
Actually, Gametts had already escaped from the room, not that there was a room now as it was blown to pieces.
There was a scream amid the explosions, but Siegel didn’t care anymore.
He can’t go easy on this opponent.
Not taking this villain seriously would be a mistake.
That was proven to be true, as there was something like an explosion and Zangiri was right in front of him.
(TL: その証拠に、そんな爆発など目の前に起こってなかったといわんばかりに間合いを一瞬で詰められた。)
‘So that’s what instant movement is’, he thought at that moment.

“<ChiiriSakura>”

As if Zangiri was drawing a crescent moon with his weapon, it passed through Siegel’s body.
Blood began gushing like a fountain up into the sky, it looked like cherry petals falling.

“Even an ally of justice…sometimes…gets defeat…ed…”

As Siegel lost consciousness he saw Zangiri staring at him with a blank expression on his face.


 

Chapter 24 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters Part 5

【Violent Nectar Mother appeared! HP:1211】

“T-th-that is…!”

Mai was pointing with a shaking finger towards the bee. It was much larger than any of the <Terror Bee>s we had seen so far.
It had 8 wings and a stinger as long as its body.
Putting this creature beside an adult male, it’s only a little larger. Even so, <Terror Bee>s have an aura that makes you feel like it can easily pierce beginner adventurers.
(TL:  総合的なサイズは成人男性よりもわずかに下回る程度だがテラービーとは一線を画すオーラが新米冒険者に刺すように伝わってきた。)

“Even though we’ve been able to get the honey…why does it have to appear now? We should retreat.”

“What about Ryua-san and Mi!?”

“Ryua-chan and Mi-chan are fine! Let’s escape!”

Roel pulled Mai and Ai’s hand and started running.
The wings of the queen bee began to reverberate through the forest as it chased them.

“It’s so loud! How did we not notice it!?”

“It’s too late for that now!”

Ai yelled at Mai, silencing her.
The truth is, there’s not much they can do. The queen summoned <Terror Bee>s from the surrounding woods as it flew.
They had to escape from the forest as fast as possible, and they were moving at full speed.

【The <Violent Nectar Mother> manipulated the <Terror Bee>s! The <Terror Bee>s flew in a row!】

They had formed into an ‘ | ‘ shape and then charged the girls.
(TL: テラービーの群れは八の字を描いたと思ったら順次並んで三人に向かってきた。)

【All the <Terror Bee>s attacked!】
【Roel received 14 damage! HP: 94/108】
【Ai received 21 damage! HP:10/31】
【Mai received 22 damage! HP:4/26】

【The <Violent Nectar Mother> summoned more <Terror Bee>s!】

The amount of bees doubled. They had already been outmatched before this, but now it’s just absurd.
Ai didn’t know what to do. She was worried about her sister who was on the verge of death and doing her best even though their escape was blocked. The 3 of them were surrounded.

“Mai! Keep going!”

“O…nee-san…”

The bees were planning their next attack, leaving no time to use <Heal>, Tensing up, Ai stumbled and fell over. The queen bee moved in to capitalize on that blunder.

【The <Violent Nectar Mother> attacked!】

Roel jumped in front of Ai.
The <Violent Nectar Mother>’s long stinger stabbed Roel.

【Roel received 91 damage! HP:3/108】

The stinger was sticking out of Roel’s back.
The poison immediately spread and Roel collapsed.

“R-Roel-san!”

“YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!”

A loud war cry was hard from Ryua who was falling like a meteor from the sky. She brought her sword down on the queen.

/ / /

When the queen has stabbed Roel, I slashed at it as I fell. There wasn’t even a particle left of it, the queen had been utterly obliterated from the force of the strike. I had even left fissures from the strength of my attack, but I don’t care.
Just as I returned, Roel was…

【Ryua Attacked! Critical hit! 】
【The <Violent Nectar Mother> received 1363391 damage!】
【The <Violent Nectar Mother> was defeated! HP:0/1211】

“ROEL!”

“I-I’m fi…ne…”

“I’ll use an antidote right away!”

“<Cure>…<Heal>…<Heal>…<Heal>…”

Mi had been riding on me up till now, but she had gotten off of me and was healing Roel.
It seems she can use Cure, I wonder when that happened?

At any rate, I had been careless.
If I had arrived sooner, would things have been different?
Should I have just left the gathered honey and let the three of them escape?
I was careless…even though I defeated the monster, I feel nothing but regret.

“Mi-chan, thank you…I’m better now.”

Roel was teetering was she stood up. Mi had a very worried expression on her face as she watched.

“Roel, sorry, I…wasn’t able to protect you…”

“Ryua-chan protected Mi-chan. That itself is already enough, you know.”

Those encouraging words didn’t resound within me at all.
If I had more power than this, I could have saved Mi and returned faster…what I have isn’t enough. What can I do to get stronger than this?

“I’m sorry, we’re still very inexperienced…we only ended up troubling you. I don’t know what we could do to possibly apologize…”

Ai was really feeling down about the events that had unfolded and apologized to us.

“You too Mi! You really worried us…”

Mi was shaking her head and trembling.
I wonder if that was her way of apologizing?
Just as I thought, I need to get stronger. Not just me though, all of us.
Since we already got the honey we needed for the quest, we quickly left the forest.

/ / /

“Thanks! With this I can make a lot of Royal Jellies!”

The girl from the tool shop, Cynthia,  had sparkles in her eyes as she looked at the honey she was holding like a child with a new toy.

“Ah, now that I think about it, are you alright? The floor monster appeared, didn’t it?”

“We were attacked but I defeated it,”

“Seriously?! Then, then, maybe you picked up that guy’s stinger?! Kozow-san would be really delighted, you know?”

“The bee vanished so I wasn’t able to.”

“Vani……….what?”

“Well, that’s fine” she said to finish the conversation. Cynthia once again went back to looking at the honey.
It seems like she was only there to finish up her business with us, as she disappeared into the shop right away with the honey in tow.
Royal jelly…just what kind of item is it?

/ / /

The inside of the guild was noisy.
It seems that Siegel was seriously injured and was found collapsed alongside some trash.
He was in a state where you could easily mistake him for dead, but it seems he was faintly breathing.

“For someone to be able to give Seigel such a beating…”
“The Heal Station was concentrating on his medical care but even now he still won’t wake up…”
“That guy…that guy ran out of luck.”

It was stirring inside the guild.
The murmurs started to focus on the main topic.
(TL: その呟きの主に視線が集まる。)

“The legendary <Master Swordsman Zangiri>…has revived.”

Clattering and shaking, an adventurer entered.
I thought that he was older than Gantetsu, that old man was carrying his own weapon, while he trembling as he was talking.
He looks older than Gantetsu, and with his weapon in his hand he trembled as he walked.

“Gametts Firm has a bodyguard. It’s…Zangiri himself! That’s right, Zangiri did this!”

“O-old man calm down…”

A female wizard was attempting to calm him down but Oldman didn’t stop.

“That guy killed over 100,000 people when he was alive! He’s been revived to kill again!”

“Zangiri died over 70 years ago! You should know that! Get a hold of yourself!”

Some of the adventurers were becoming agitated at Oldman, and several people stepped up to kick him out of the guild.

“Roel, the Seigel guy is………”

“Yeah……..I can’t believe it. But Seigel-san…I wonder why he fought that person?”

“It’s probably the bodyguard of that person from Gametts Firm…”

Mai suddenly muttered. There was another man beside Brushbeard back then. He had a changing weapon hanging from his back, and he definitely had a different status and atmosphere than the rest of them.

“B-but if we pay the quota then we don’t have to worry, right?”

It seems Mai was trying to shake off the fear with that.
It’s not like I don’t understand why she’s scared. Someone that dangerous working for the company you owe money to…you wouldn’t be able to rest easily.

“Now then, let’s brighten the mood. Let’s measure our levels!”

Ai wiped out the gloomy mood that had been hanging over us.

“Mine is just going to overflow anyways…”

It seems I’m starting to become timid…when did this happen?
I don’t know what my actual level is, and watching everyone rejoicing about their <Level Up> leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
But seeing Roel happy about her <Level Up> also makes me happy.

“Wa,wa! Mi what did you do?! Your level became 12 in one go?!”

Level 8 is when you learn cure, so it makes sense now…but how did she level so much?
Oh right. I remember now.
Mi was in my party when I defeated the floor monster in the forest.
She was there when it died. That would explain it.

“What what wha~t?! My level is 9!”

Mai was surprised by the result.
I wonder how much of that is from the Bee floor monster.

“It’s one of the ‘7 Mysteries of Adventurers’ right? When in a party, all of them can become stronger at the same time.”

“With just a strong adventurer and a strong opponent, everyone just suddenly got super strong huh?”

“Certainly that’s a good way to level, but the risk is really big. Only your level and body become strong with that method. Yes, you may get new skills and such, but you don’t get the battle experience. There’s no point in growing without that.”

After Mai and Ai, Aude broke in our conversation.
Seems like he’s here again.

“If you fight a strong opponent, the risk of dying will increase. What you’re doing by levelling like that is just risking your life later on, you know? Though who would take such a leech in the first place?”

“That’s not right. You can always gain battle experience later on.”
(TL:  「その通りですね。うまい話なんて早々ありません」)

“Isn’t it?”

Aude was acting exalted as he was talking against Ai who was striking back.
(TL:  得意げに語るオードに相槌をうつアイ。)
Even though Aude is a beginner like us, he knows a lot of stuff huh?

“Since Seigel-san taught you about that yesterday, right?”

As he was made fun of by a male adventurer, Aude made a face like he was being punished for doing something bad.

/ / /

Most of the reward was given to the 3 sisters.
They were way too reserved and modest, and we got into a dispute that got old really quickly.
It was a really tiring day. As we went home looking forward to the rest, Roel became curious about the Siegel incident from earlier and suggested that we should visit him.

Seigel was laying down on a bed covered in bandages with a strange tube sticking out.
If we didn’t know we were looking at Siegel, I wouldn’t have recognized him with this appearance.

“So cruel…”

Roel muttered.
Looking a this appearance, it’s a miracle he survived.

“Oji-san, you did this for us…”

There was a kid we didn’t know crying on the side.
Both of his parents were deep in thought while looking at Siegel, and didn’t move the whole time.

“This world is hell…!”

The boy’s father moaned and cried.

Gametts Firm. Zangiri.

For Siegel to end up like this…what reason did he have to fight such a losing battle?
Gametts Firm…for them to drive people into a corner like this, I should just personally….

“…chan! Ryua-chan!”

“Ah, yes?”

“Why are you making such a scary face? No way, Ryua-chan…”

“Let’s leave.”

Before Roel caught up with me I was already at the exit of the Heal Station.


 

Chapter 25 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters Part 6

“Now since today is the promised date, I would like to receive the quota payment.”

Gametts had brought along his rather repugnant men to the residence of the sisters,
Beside him was Zangiri who seem to be looking at the empty sky.

“Yes.”

“Fumufumu~, well let me just confirm…let’s see here. Oh? Ai-san, this isn’t enough.”

“N-no way?! Take another look!  With the interest it was supposed to be precisely 5000G!”

“No no, 5000G is not nearly enough, you know.”

“But we had talked about it before! The monthly quota should be 5000G right!?”

Gametts forced a sigh while the sisters glared at him.

“You need to remember that you haven’t been able to meet the quota before, and it was added onto this payment to make up for the loss. In short, the interest went up by 5%. You understand now, right?”

“But Gametts-san, you extended the settlement date yourself…and there was no mention in the contract! Why did it suddenly change now?”

“That’s right, no such thing was written there!”

Mai started to get angry and prepared to enter battle with the men in front of her. They just sneered at her and Mai’s intuition told her to stop.
She got goosebumps and stepped back.

“About that…I shouldn’t have to explain why, you should understand.”

“I totally disagree. If that was the case then why wasn’t it written in the contract?”
(TL: 「納得いきません。それならば契約書にそう記しておくのが道理です」)

“Quota, interest. All of them were written there. Please don’t misunderstand and then try to justify yourself. Now, hand over the payment. The total quota for this month is 23250G.”

“That’s fraud!!!”

“That’s what I should say to you. If your parents had done their job properly two years ago and escorted us, my lovely subordinate wouldn’t have died. Boasting about being capable and then failing so is a cruel thing.”

“Ugh…”

The 2 of them kept silent.
Due to the debt they owed to the Gametts firm, both parents accepted the quest to be the bodyguard of Gametts to repay their loans.
The heavy burden those two had been carrying was now being dropped onto their daughter’s shoulders.
(TL: 二重の責務が重くのしかかり、今日に至る。)

“I’ve been looking over you like a guardian up until now, but I can’t wait for these payments anymore. You three are going to pay with your bodies. Hey!”

Gametts instructed his men.
The men rapidly moved and started to seize the sisters.

“Hiii….!”

The men pinned down Mi and bullied Mai.

“Please leave my younger sisters alone! I’ll do anything! Please!”

“Anything…?”

Ai was prostrating herself to Gametts who was staring at her suspiciously.

///

“Now that I think about it, aren’t the sisters paying the quota today?”

“Mm. I wonder if we were able to help them out enough.”

Quite a distance from our abode was the house of the sisters.
Every morning we would go to their house and travel together to the guild.
It’s only been 5 days since that started, but it’s now a routine for us.

In front of the house we found Mi and Mai crying.
At a glance you wouldn’t know what happened, but I was able to take a guess.

“Mai-chan, Mi-chan! Hey, what happened?”

“Onee-chan is…Onee-chan…in exchange for us…”

“What happened to Ai?”

I suddenly noticed that Ai was the only one not here.
I don’t know why, but it definitely had to do with the Gametts Firm.
I was boiling up just imaging their motive.

“Why…this is different from what we were told…”

From within me something was boiling and starting to flow out.

“No more…just what did we do to deserve this…Onee-chan…Onee-chan…”

Their tears fell onto the stone paving and the ground sucked them right up as if they never fell. It’s almost like the sisters were the tears that weren’t able to reach their sister who was taken away.

“This is so cruel…just how many of those payments were left…”

Roel was clenching her teeth.
She was grasping her staff so tightly you could see blood trickling down.

“I will do something about this. For sure. Please, be at ease you two…”

I grasped Mai’s hand  and firmly vowed.

“Ryua…san, save onee-chan…”

Mai’s disheveled hair was swaying and her face was a mess from the tears.
So, it seems Gametts drove the sisters into a corner to break the rules.
That brush beard planned it to be this way from the start.

“Ryua-chan, we need to go quickly…”

“Roel, wait here.”

“No, please-”

“Wait. Here.”

After the second time Roel fell silent. I was surprised that I could be this cold to her.
I wonder if Seigel felt like this…and then he was defeated. I’m sure he regretted it. That brush beard……..no Zangiri.
That man is extremely strong, but I don’t care.

///

“Fufufufu……….Ai-san, you don’t have to be that disappointed. As long as you’re here I will give you anything you want.”

Gametts’ own room and office room. There was the pelt of a beast as a carpet, on the oblong desk there was a glass skull with pens stuck in it, and directly beside that was a fully spread out feather mattress king-sized bed.
Ai had been sitting in the middle of it since she walked into the room and hung her head the whole time.

“Were you worried I would sell you off to someone? No, no, who would ever sell such a prize.”

“Especially a cute girl like you.” he added as he looked at Ai, his eyes like a snake looking at a mouse.
Ai’s body flinched and she backed off.
Gametts was on all fours and slowly cornering Ai.

“That, that is…”

“Didn’t you say you would do anything? Or were you lying? Should I call my men to get the two I left behind?”

“Please stop!…stop…”

“If that’s the case then listen to what I say.”

Gametts once again drew near to Ai.
As he put his hands on Ai’s shoulders she flinched out of reflex.

“Be obedient. If you react like that again…you understand right?”

“Father…Mother…”

“Your parents are already dead. I would know, since I killed them.”

“….eh?”

“Oops~” was all he said said as he covered his mouth with his hand.
It wasn’t that big of a mistake since it probably would have become known to her anyway. Gametts once again became talkative.

“Just now, what…?”

“Ah geez!  For me to slip up like that…well, its fine. Both of your parents, they were frantically protecting me. That’s what you’ve thought up till now, right? If I let the death of my subordinate become the fault of your parents, I was sure that you girls would forever be burdened as the children of those two. Then all of you would forever be my slaves, it was a plan like that.”

“…lies!”

“No, it’s the truth. I was the one that killed my 2 subordinates, the monster was merely a means to an end. But something unexpected happened. The beast aimed at my subordinates and your mother blocked the monster’s attack. She was fatally wounded and because of the shock your father stopped and became the victim to the monster as well. I don’t think you knew about all that, did you? Ah, you are wondering what happened to me? I may look like this, but I trained hard, you know? Because fighting monsters was quite troublesome I just randomly employed a bodyguard. At any rate, in this job there dangerous people going after you at all times. The thought of being hunted hasn’t crossed your mind yet, right? Hey, are you still listening?”

Ai was at loss for words. A faint tear ran down her face, and quickly the amount increased.

“You demon…then, from the start we…”

“You cute sisters will forever be my play thi…oops, slaves. If you become one it’s a smaller price to pay. You’re good, but your younger sisters are also very cute. Especially…Mi, was it? I will make sure I pour her full with lots of my love. Hihihihihihihihihi~!”

“You brute…!”

Ai was in a rage, humiliated, and full of grief, She didn’t understand why her parents had to die for something like that.
She wants to kill the pig in front of her right now, but she was powerless. Even now she was unable to speak.

“You of course are also a fine quality thing…you’ll grow into a splendid adult for sure. A bountiful chest, my hand for sure will…hihihihi!”

“Someone save me…save me…”

A sound reverberated through the room as the door was being smashed on.
But when Gametts turned to face the door, it wasn’t there anymore.
It had been smashed into pieces. Being the owner of the room, he was sure that noise had to be the door.

///

As I was grasping a guy by his neck, I saw Gammets and Ai on top of the bed. It was good that I made it in time, this guy I had in my hand was groaning.

“G-Gametts-san…run aw-”

Before he was able to finish talking I threw him out in the corridor.
“Gweeh!” he made such a miserable voice as he hit the wall. It seems he fainted.
Gametts wasn’t too surprised, given the situation. He was able to find something agreeable in this situation and then he looked at me while bowing.

“You, certainly we met each other once. I remember 5 days ago, you were at the house of the sisters when we visited. I see, you posses such skills at such a young age.”

“Get away from Ai-san.”

“Fuun, that was quite a crude impression, you know. You just broke in here, how rude can you be?”

Gametts looked like he was evaluating me as he looked at me from top to bottom.
It feels disgusting. It wasn’t nice being looked at like that.
(TL: 気持ち悪い、そうとしかいいようがなかった。)

“Ai-san, this way.”

Ignoring Gametts, I pulled her hand. Suddenly a man appeared beside the door and as expected even Gametts was surprised.

“Z-Zangiri!”

In the corner of the room, Zangiri who was called finally started to show some movement.
However I knew from the start he had been there.
When I entered the room I was able to feel a man glaring at me.
It was an inquisitive, detestable stare.

“I have a proposal, I want to fight that girl outside. Otherwise the important place where you work will be destroyed again.”

“D-do whatever you want. Now Ai-san, come this way.”

Just as he was about to reach her I smashed his hand.

“AGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!”

“Ai-san, I will guarantee your safety if you come with me.”

I ignored Gametts’s scream, and he thrust out a demand.
No, it wasn’t a demand but rather an order. For this scoundrel to try and compromise in this situation, I really hate this person.

“Za-za-zangiri! What are you doing?! Hurry, hurry up and kill that girl!”

“It looks like that girl wants to go out…but if that’s the case then this place will become a battlefield.”

“Who cares! KILL HER!!!”

“<Kougetsuzen>”

In the same instant he was ordered, Zangiri released a vacuum of blades.
His blade was rotating while aiming for my vital parts.
I immediately understood something: This guy isn’t strong.

If this guy went to the <Caves of Hell>, I think that huge 4-headed dog could defeat him.
…Never mind, that monster was just a low class floor monster. What a foolish idea, thinking this guy could be that dangerous.

I’ve changed since I left those caves. I still don’t mind being hit but now I think ‘if I take blows then my clothes will get torn, which means we’ll need to spend more money’…in an instant I was in front of Zangiri who couldn’t react at all.

I grasped his head and smashed it into the floor.
The wooden flooring was utterly destroyed, and from Zangiri’s head a large amount of blood was pooling.

“Gah…wah…”

I don’t plan on killing him, but I want him to lie down for a bit.
My business isn’t with him.
I leisurely walked over to Gametts who was shaking out of fear.


 

Chapter 26 – The Circumstances of the 3 Sisters End

“Now then…”

Gametts was in a cold sweat as I pinned him with my arm.
While I was thinking of what to do with him since I don’t want to kill him, Gammets glared at me.

“D-d-don’t get cocky!”

【Gammets used <Gold Shower>!】

Countless gold coins were released from Gametts and flew at me.
I was surprised because it was from such a close range, but I just blew them away with one hand.

“Gwuuh! I-I am!”

【Gammets|Lv: 21|Class: Merchant|Rank: None】

“Merchants aren’t made for fighting, but they can be helpful depending on the situation.”
(TL:「戦闘に不向きと言われた商人だが、立ち回り次第では」)

He was being noisy so I gave his head a light tap.
I think I still used a little too much strength since his head was nearly blown off. Gametts fainted immediately.
It seems he had trained his body a little.
That could have turned out much worse.

“Ryua-san…did you come to help me?”

“Yeah. Let’s go back to your sisters now.”

“You’ve done so much…I can’t even imagine how I can repay you…”

“I just want the 3 of you to be happy. I don’t want to see people die anymore.”

Ai embraced me.
It looks like she was terrified. She was crying and repeating her words of gratitude again and again.

Someone stood up behind me.
I turned around and saw Zangiri, his head still gushing out blood, grasping his weapon tightly.

“Do you still want to fight?”

“If you want to defeat me you’ll have to cut off my arms and separate my head from my body.”

“You’ll die fighting with a body like that.”

“Yeah, seems so.”

As he said that I recalled how he felt in my hand earlier.
I felt something off when I threw him down.
It was similar to that thing…

“Old man, are you already dead?”

“Hou, how did you know?”

I had an unpleasant premonition about this situation. It’s like the time at the Ghost Mansion.
This person is already dead, so to speak he’s a <Vengeful Ghost>.

“You died 70 years ago, right?”

“Master swordsman Zangiri…no, human killer was my more famous title. I regretted never meeting anyone stronger than myself. But now…I see you as a worthy opponent.”

“Just for that…”

“I thought you of all people would understand.”

“Shall we finish this?”

“<Kokuu Shuugetsu>…”
(TL: Arc Moon: Heaven’s End)

I had been surrounded by a brilliant vacuum of blades, flowing towards me with the intent to mince.
Being trapped like this isn’t a threat to me, since this attack is like being swung at by a dull blade.
(TL:こんな 刃 もついてい ない のと同じような もの に囲まれた ところ で ボク にとって は何の 脅威 に もなら ない)
I quickly spun around and erased the attack with wind pressure.

“<ChiriSakura>”
(TL: Falling Sakura Blossoms)

Using a pinpoint attack I aimed at the center of his weapon and broke it with my fingers.
However his weapon began to melt into a viscous liquid.from where I attacked it.
(TL:しかし 、 折ら れた部分 から 少しずつ 刀身 が実体 化する 。)
I wonder how many other <Vengeful Ghosts> exist…I’m still trying to figure out how to deal with them.

“It seems it’ll be possible for me to die again.”

“Why are you so concerned about fighting strong opponents?”

“I started to kill at a young age. My parents were killed before my eyes and everything else was snatched away except my urge to kill and kill and kill…Getting stronger and killing faster until I eventually died from a strong enemy. In the end, my reason to live was to kill until I am killed. Although I should have fulfilled my goal, I was still unsatisfied.”

Zangiri quietly told us.
His quivering body stopped before I knew it.

“How many decades passed like that, I wonder…? I eventually was exhausted and ambushed.”

I didn’t interrupt him, I just leaned a little closer to hear what Zangiri had to say.
His story didn’t really seem that interesting.
But you should never miss out on listening to a conversation.
Both of this guy’s parents died. I caught that much from his tale.

“I revived instantly and slew the ones that killed me. I attacked with the intent to kill. Right at that moment…that was when I felt that I wanted to fight strong opponents.”

After he was done talking, he once again readied his weapon.

“However, no matter how far I travelled in this world I never found what I desired. I gave up and rolled over, becoming that old guy’s bodyguard. Young girl…no. What is your name?”

“Ryua.”

“Ryua…use that longsword hanging on your waist. Show me that you can kill what I have become.”

“Old man, you are fine with disappearing?”

“There will never be a more fitting way.”

“…I understand”

I drew my sword.
Zangiri seemed satisfied.

I went at him with all my strength.

Zangiri was unable to react just like the last time I charged him.
I cut his corpse with all of my might.
Both his weapon and wavering body were cleanly cut.

“That much…strength…you…as I expected…could do it…”

He collapsed onto the floor and before long he had starting turned into light and slowly disappearing.

“…I will be fine you know”

“I wonder…about…that…”

As he muttered those final words, Zangiri completely vanished.

“I am…”

The regret I felt at <Bees Forest>.
It was a brief moment, but at that time I felt like I needed to be even stronger. I definitely thought that.
In that brief moment…maybe I was the same as Zangiri.
No…even 10 years ago when I was in the <Caves of Hell> I killed many enemies in my pursuit of strength.

Was that it?

Just so that I could defeated that one-winged demon?

Once again my head is getting fuzzy.

“Ryua-san…are you okay?”

Ai had been listening to Zangiri and I talk since the beginning and came over to me.

“Yes…let’s head back now.”

I extended my hand to Ai, though she paused for a bit before she took it.
I don’t understand why I feel anxious.
That can wait, I need to take Ai back to her sisters as soon as possible.
I want to see their smiling faces…

Oh, we turned Gametts over to the Kingdom’s security force, he was still out cold.
I have no idea what they did to him afterwards. I entrusted his fate to them.

/ / /

“Onee-chan!”

The 3 sisters embraced each other.
It seems Roel had been encouraging them all this time.

“Onee-chan you big idiot! Leaving the two of us to live on alone is overdoing things!”

“………please don’t go anymore.”

“I’m really sorry you two. but if I didn’t…”

The scene unfolding in front of us was radiant.
I, who was only able to escape by myself those 10 years ago, was able to save another person now.
Zangiri’s path…maybe pursuing power leads you to destruction.
Though that very power was what saved them this time.

“Ryua-chan…you are beyond strong, just like I thought.”

I think…Zangiri had too much power. He didn’t have anyone he could trust or rely on and was eventually swallowed by his strength.

“We all lose someone important eventually, but we’re never alone.”

“What was that?”

“It’s nothing.”

I once again looked upon the sisters who were beaming with happiness.
Their tear-stained faces were a thing of the past.
As I looked, I realized Ai was deeply lowering her head again.

“Ryua-san, our gratitude alone will never be enough to make up for all that you’ve done for us. I may not be able to do much, but if you are ever in trouble, I will lend you all of my power.”

“Me too! Me too!”

Mai was being energetic while Mi was silently bowing.
However, I had something I wanted to know.

“Will the three of you continue to be adventurers, even after all of this?”

“Yes. Thanks to you and Roel we truly understand what it means to be an adventurer. You don’t have to worry anymore.”

“Fufu” Ai laughed, I can’t feel any of the despair she had in that man’s room.
I’m a little worried about them, but didn’t their level rise quickly in one go?

“If something were to happen again, we will lend our strength to you. Please don’t do something rash by yourselves.”

“No problem~! Even though we’ve been relying on you thus far, we can’t keep going like that forever. My skill with this bow has risen quite a bit so we’ll be all right!”

“It seems that having your level rise doesn’t change much about your actual skill. Aude-san said that before.”

“Didn’t Aude hear that from Seigel? Oh! I wonder if he’s woken yet?”

“Let’s check when we return.”

The sisters said their farewells and we headed to the Heal Station.

“It’s been a long time since the three of us went, but let’s visit Father and Mother’s grave.”

I heard Ai’s gentle voice from behind me.
I wonder if AI will tell them the truth.
It seems she doesn’t have any intention to.
Though I think she will eventually.

/ / /

The room hadn’t changed since our last visit. Tube sticking out and covered in bandages, Siegel had his eyes closed.

“Just as I thought…he still hasn’t recovered.”

“Hey, Roel, is it forbidden to use your <Heal> on him?”

“I think a lot of people have already done that, and this Heal Station has a famous High Priest. I heard that person already used <Heal> on Siegel, so for me to do it…”

“But you still haven’t tried to do it?”

“Yeah, um…”

Roel used her gentle <Heal> on Siegel.
However, Siegel’s eyes stayed closed. There wasn’t any apparent change.

“Just as I thought, it won’t-”

Just as she gave up, Siegel’s fingers slightly moved.

“W-what? Just now, didn’t he move?”

“Eh? That can’t be…”

“Try healing him again!”

Roel used <Heal> on Seigel once again.
This time his eyelids moved a little.

“…ah”

His lips briefly moved.
He mustered all of his strength to leak out a faint voice.

“Seigel-san?”

“….is”

“Is he conscious!?”

“…-re is. this place is…”

Though his eyes stayed closed, his mouth was moving here and there.
Roel continued to heal Siegel in disbelief, trying to infuse him with life.
Before long, his eyes opened and he stared at the bright lights before him.

“…am I still alive?”

“Yes!”

“I see…”

“Should I call the staff here?”

“No, that’s fine……more than that, please listen to me…About the Gametts Firm.”

“I managed to do something about them.”

Seigel was at a loss for a while.
The first time I met him, he gave off a feeling of overconfidence. But right now he has quite the woeful expression.
I spoke about what happened. Siegel only had one thing to say.

“Is that true? I wasn’t able to do my job well…sorry…haha…”

“T-that’s not true!”

“You don’t need to be like that. I wasn’t able to even hit that katana-wielding bastard on his hand or leg. Hey, Ryua, what are the <Roots> of your strength?”

“<Roots>?”

“Why are you so strong? What did you do?”

“That’s because I fought in the <Caves of Hell>…”

If I say something about that place, will I regret it?
‘He won’t believe me anyways, so I don’t need to worry’ was what I was thinking.

“<Caves of Hell>…?”

“Just as I thought, you don’t believe me either.”

“No, I think I heard something like that somewhere.”

Siegel smiled, showing his white teeth. “Regardless, it’s fine” he said, and the topic was changed.

“I already delivered Gametts to the Kingdom’s security force,so it’s probably already the end for him. An investigation was started at their office and proof of their fraud was found. It’s not coming back.”

“With this, no one will have to cry anymore, right?”

“Ah, I wonder if that family is smiling now…I haven’t apologized properly to those people. I was unable to lend my assistance to them.”

“Aah! You’re up?!”

A boy was standing in the entrance to the room.
Behind him were his parents.

“Ojisan! You’re better now!”

“Not quite, haha…I still have to go through some more treatments.”

“Seigel-san, for you to end up like that for us…”

“If you want to say your thanks, direct it to this tomboy. I ended up getting the tables turned on me.”

As Seigel explained it to the parents, the family of 3 seemed to understand and said their words of gratitude to me.
Only the boy was looking at Siegel with a pleased face.
A staff member came by and saw Siegel was conscious and talking. He quickly ran over to him.

“Se-Segeil-san?”

“Yo, it appears that I was saved.”

“Hahahahahaha!” Siegel laughed more than he should have.
Before long the staff had gathered and an there was an uproar for a while.
It became a discussion of this and that related to his body, but Siegel was able to settle everything.

<Caves of Hell>.
It’s not a lie that I fought in that place. Even Siegel didn’t know about it.

I wonder why?
What is the danger level there?
What was my level now?
Seigel said that my strength was because of my <roots>.
Suddenly, things changed.

/ / /

In a dark basement made of stone.
Candles were lit and a single person was quietly sitting.
On the corroded table was a skull, it looked rather important. A person in a black robe was gently brushing it.

“Ah, it died.”

Even though the person was alone, a grumble was heard.
The person inside the robes had black paint on their white body and a childish face.

“Zangiri, the killer from the east…even though I went through great pains to revive him, it seems he ended up doing nothing in the end.”
(TL:「アズマの人斬りザンギリ。 せっかく、蘇らせてやったのに結局こいつ何もしてないでやんの」)

“Then, how about you make a subordinate with your own hands?”

There hadn’t been anyone else in the basement a moment before, but now a middle-aged man wearing a hat was leaning on the wall.

“At least learn how to knock.”

“Last time I did knock but nobody was here.”

“Were you surprised?”

Robes was mocking the man.
As if replying to that, the man made a large cobra appear in his palm.

“Yeah, I was really surprised.”

“Back off a little. What business do you have with me anyways?”

“At least be a little scared.”

The man erased the the cobra in his hand.

“Anyways, it’s about the status of the surprise attack we have planned for the festival. I was wondering if you’ve finished yet.”

“If you are here for something useless like that, go home. Doing things this way has been quite irritating and I don’t have any good pieces left. Since it’s a big event I want to make sure it’s flashy.”

“Can’t you get the woman that hung herself at her mansion? Isn’t that a good specimen?”

“It was erased before I could get to it. It was probably an exorcist, but it’s the same troublesome fellow that’s been appearing everywhere.”

“How unexpected! I recently encountered the same fellow and my subordinate was easily killed.

Once again the man took out a large cobra from his palm as an example.

“Of course, since that’s a small fry monster.”

“No, seriously, it was a shock. I thought that I could do them in since it looked like they were just loitering in that dungeon.”

“Did you go there to play?”

“Those guys seem like they’ll be a hindrance. Especially that adventurer I tried to erase. How am I supposed to deal with that lady?”

“If you want to get rid of them just use a stronger monster…jeez I’m tired. I don’t have time for your comedy act, get out.”

“Don’t take too long. The festival starts soon.”

The capped man casually left the basement through the door.

“Fuun…noisy servant. Such an uncivilized beast master. I can’t stand seeing that guy’s stunts. Even so, the festival…”

A smile floated on the boy’s face and once again he caressed the skull.

“So, it’s really dead.”

The boy had an ecstatic expression on his face, his gaze was piercing the ceiling.

“Waaaah…I ‘m jealous…I’m jealous of a corpse…death is the ultimate beauty you know, when will I reach my goal…I wonder if there is a lovely girl being left to die somewhere? Mufu…muhihihihi…”

The boy held the skull in his arms and caressed it endlessly.


Monster Book

【Killer Tail HP:53】
It’s a scorpion. It weakens its prey using a poison needle and eats them.
It may look big, but pay attention to its long reach. Its speed isn’t as deadly as its range.
It’s not scary as an opponent to a prepared adventurer.
However, its dangerous if a group of them appears so being surrounded by them is really dangerous.

【Behemoth of Catastrophe HP:815】
The floor monster on the 4th Floor of <Avangard Cave>.
Its steel-like skin prevents blades from piercing, no matter where you hit it.
It attacks adventurers by charging with its large body.

【Wild Squirrel HP:24】
As a group, they frequently inflict serious damage to crops.
Its sharp fangs can even crush nuts.
Its breeding ability is very high, if you don’t completely exterminate them they will quickly multiply.

【<Plains Runner> HP:565】
A large tiger with a black and white fur pattern.
Its max speed is 300km/h when hunting game.
The jaw of this beast is strong enough to bite through a human instantly.
The only way to escape from this creature is to lure it away with food or use a comrade as bait.

【<Flying Squirrel of Gale> HP:34】
It watches adventurers from above, in the trees.
It attacks those that enter its range, and glides towards them to begin its assault.
Since it can use Wind Magic, beginner adventurers wouldn’t have an easy time dealing with it.

【<The Violent King of the Quiet Forest> HP:5046】
This monstrous bear has a physique many times larger than a Hellbear.
It won’t emit any noise as it assaults monsters and invaders in its forest, leaving them barely alive.
It’s said that this beast savors the first-rate fear the victims experience as it does this.

【<Violent Nectar Mother> HP:1211】
The Queen of the <Terror Bee>s.
It will rarely show its face, and as long as you don’t touch its nest it’s rather harmless.
However, if you do mess with the nest, the Queen’s fury will befall you without mercy.
The honey from this bee is one of the raw materials for high grade recovery medicine. Its stinger is also a priceless material for weapons, but only veteran adventurers can get it.

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