We checked the requests at the guild.
“Hmm, I don’t see any requests that’d make my heart skip in excitement.”
“I’m really envious of your positive mindset towards adventurerin’, you know?”
Sword said something to me, but I ignored it.
“Either way, we’ll leave this place behind as soon as we’ve wrapped up everythin’. This is the territory of 【Bloody Witch】. If we overstay our visit, things are goin’ to become a hassle.”
What’s with that phrasing as if they’ve got the land split in turfs?
“I see. So, is there any untrodden land to be found around here?” I asked the receptionist.
“Hey, did you listen to what I’ve said?” Sword butted in from the side.
“I got the part about turfs. But, going on an adventure in unexplored land is something different altogether, no?”
“Yes, there is.” The receptionist told me. “In the northwestern forest you’ll find a gloomy place covered by a layer of miasma and filled with the cries of monsters, where the sunlight doesn’t reach. It’s said that no one has ever come back alive after entering…”
“They merely got punished by 【Bloody Witch】, didn’t they? Stop givin’ her wrong ideas.”
“Oh, so you already knew?” The receptionist stuck out her tongue.
“The magician and sorcery guild have a lot of power in this town, and both are on bad terms with the adventurer guild. The goal of the adventurers around here is more about buying magic tools or utensils related to magic arts. It’s also easier to get requests over at the other two guilds.”
Come to think of it, we got stopped at the entrance to the adventurer guild.
“The northwestern forest is the dwellin’ of 【Bloody Witch】. If you enter without permission, you’ll get blown away by all the spells and magic tools hurled at you from all over the place.”
“So it’s no untrodden land? People are living over there, right?”
Or is Ms. Bloody a demon? A “Whip-Wielding Corpse Mistress” – is that the setting here?
“I got it! Basically you want to say that Ms. Bloody is no human, right!? I’ll ask her when I happen to run across her.”
“Excuse me, I am terribly sorry. I will never say something like that again, so please forgive me.”
The receptionist lady performed a magnificent dogeza.
After we left the guild, Sword said with a grim face, “As you might have suspected, even I won’t suggest spendin’ the night in an inn over here. Campin’ out is much safer. If your sayin’ you’ve got no interest in magic tools, then let’s finish up the request quickly and hurry ‘long.”
Sword was awfully on edge. I surveyed the town around me, but yep, it’s got nothing of interest.
A magic street appearing in a city of fog when you hit some bricks in a certain order would have been extremely fascinating, but the magic tools around here are completely different. They’ve got no feel of fantasy, or rather, this town is more like a souvenir shop you’d find in a rustical hot spring district…
“If it had been me, I’d want to decorate the storefronts with things like flying brooms, talking pots, books fighting each other, or other such thrilling attractions that would make people’s hearts throb in excitement.”
“Your perception of thrillin’ is totally messed up! What would be the point in showcasin’ such useless things!? Are you lookin’ for toy stores or what?”
“Yeah, a store for assorted mischievous goods would be nice. Sweets where your nose starts bleeding as soon as you eat them or something along those lines…”
“Uff, that’s scary as fuck! Isn’t that just plain old poison then!?”
I can’t get him to understand.
“Oh right, a bank run by goblins or similar would be neat as well, I suppose.”
“Sorry, but I’ve got no clue what your talkin’ ’bout.”
I can’t get him to understand to such an extent that he actually apologizes to me.
“I’ve understood that your feelin’ of thrill has gone completely haywire thanks to your otherworld knowledge.” Sword brought up while we were heading towards the summit of a mountain.
Moreover, he comes up with a topic like that, despite being quite vigilant.
“Look, having the mind of a child can also lead to technological development, you know? For example, the Ryokus. They’re modeled after golems I adored very dearly. I’ve also made other things because I thought it’d be nice to have them, but I admire passion towards perfection. It’s not like I want to straddle a broom and fly through the sky on it myself, so I wouldn’t make one for such a reason, but I’d like to create a flying broom because of that passion.”
I’ve got no interest in it myself, but I’d love to see people flying on one.
“Your ’bout the only person in this world harborin’ such a passion. In the first place, magic tools are mostly reproductions of ancient items.”
“Huh? …But, that doesn’t apply to clocks, does it?”
“Indeed. But that’s also the very reason it spread so widely as a great magic tool. The folks hidin’ their magic tools are researchin’ how to somehow rebuild ancient items they obtained for the most part. Because of that process, they’ve created tools of lower quality and derived tools to sell them for fundin’ their research. Try to give Ryoku to that old bugger from earlier. He’d gleefully take Ryoku apart.”
Eeeeek! What was that!? Are they dismantling maniacs or something!?
“I’ll never give them any of my Ryokus!!!”
As we were chatting and walking with the ground under our feet crunching, I couldn’t shake the bad feeling of being followed. When I glanced at Sword, he sighed. It looks like he had already noticed a while ago.
“…Now then, what are we gonna do ’bout this?”
“What’s the point in asking? If they come at us, we kill them. That’s all there is to it.”
“Whoa, your truly straightforward, aren’t you?”
“Want me to show you how I dismantle them? I don’t know whether they’re going to have any edible parts though.”
“Stop it, please, stop it for real. If you go that far, you’ll really leave the path of humanity for good.”
It was just a joke. …But well, thinking about it now, I’m certainly a lot more level-headed than my otherworld self could have ever been. Even though she ate meat and fish, killing living beings was a no-go, and similar…ah, but she killed bugs, despite not eating them.
However, nowadays I’ve become able to kill without any hesitation.
――Yep, as I thought, my otherworld self and my current self are different beings. The me before collapsing was different as well. I’ve changed, but a part of me thinks that it’s not really much of an issue. I might have changed while living in this world, but so what? Rather, I’ve obtained a personality that can make pretty clear cuts.
I’m much more worried about Sword than myself. I mean, adventurer is a job where people can die easily, and yet he hasn’t come to terms with that at all.
“…If we’re going for the thrill, intentionally going along with the other side’s plan would be an option, too. It’d be much more exciting to resolve things with a big bang after things have grandly escalated.”
“Sorry, I don’t get at all what your talkin’ ’bout.”
Once again I couldn’t get him to understand to the extent that he apologized. And then I got hit on the head by his fist.
“Intentionally! Escalatin’! Things! Is no fun!”
Ouch ouch ouch.
I rubbed my head.
“I mean, you and I can deal with most things without much of an effort, can’t we? Even monsters end up dead in no time. You continuing to work as an adventurer despite being rich means you’re looking for some kind of thrill, doesn’t it? Otherwise you could simply retire with all the money and drink liquor every day, no?”
Sword faltered. And then he averted his face.
“……I abandoned my dreams and hopes. But, sometimes I feel like I might possibly rediscover those dreams and hopes at some point.”
“Right? So, how about we try throwing the other side off their guard on this occasion?”
“Okay, in other words, you want to head into a dungeon then, right? Let’s go to some dungeon with moderate difficulty to enjoy a feeling of excitement over what might drop if we defeat the boss! If we can’t get any enjoyment out of a dungeon with moderate difficulty, we could also ask the demon king to let us capture his castle. If we add the condition that we won’t kill him, he might allow us to have some fun, don’t you think?”
Sword burst into laughter. And then he ruffled up my hair.
…Has it been a wise decision for me to not grow out my hair? This guy has the bad habit of always messing up the hair of other people!
“Your right. That sounds fun. The demon king would be startled too, I’m sure. If we asked him something along the lines of 『We won’t kill you, so please let us play ’round by capturin’ your castle for the sake of enjoyin’ a thrill』. Well, if he doesn’t get pissed off by that, I s’pose he’s goin’ to let us have some fun.”
Since he finally gave it a break with messing up my hair, I tidied it up while saying, “If the demon king is a Dungeon Core, I believe he’ll happily let us play since he’ll be able to have a talk with us, you know? Look, dungeons are definitely entertainment facilities made by the Dungeon Cores!”
Ones where you bet your life though!
“A game with your life on the line?”
“Quite so. It’s very risky, but it’s perfect for humans seeking out thrills. I mean, even if you simply walk on a road, you could lose your life after getting attacked by bandits. Hence, people should rather enjoy it while being aware of the risks.”
“Not like it really matters, but what’s with you always speakin’ ’bout dungeon cores so formally? …Nevermind, it’s about time for ’em to show up. It’s no game, but don’t kill ’em. I wanna talk to ’em.”
I don’t feel like allowing them to talk to you though!? You might take some mental damage again!!
At the moment when I was about to spell this out, I heard a “…Get them!” alongside presences quickly closing in on us.
Wind and lightning spells were incoming on Sword. On the other hand, the Ryokus and I were confronted with incoming rope-like spells.
Binding magic, huh?
Sword dodged very quickly and I repelled them with my wooden sword.
“Ryokus! You have permission to use the Gatling gun after deploying the barrier! Fire at will if the opponents attack!”
Yep, they’re super adorable.
The Ryokus jumped up diagonally, and perched on trees.
“Hey! If they get hit by that, they’re gonna die, no!? Ryoku, no!”
I don’t really think that we need to keep all of them alive though.
The Ryokus took the middle ground between our instructions, firing their Gatling guns while aiming at the legs of the guys who cast offensive magic. Three of them were incapacitated.
Meanwhile I erased the binding spells fired at the Ryokus. It was a simple job to flick them away with my wooden sword.
“Kuuh, damn it! I don’t care anymore even if you destroy them! Just get one of them!”
I charged at the person who gave the order. It was that grandpa.
“I thought you might have died after getting too excited, but it looks like you pulled through. I guess I should fix it now.”
Grandpa felt completely shaken.
“W-What? Do you know who I am…?”
Sorry, but I don’t feel like listening to any stereotypical introductions, you know? Some things are better left unknown in this world, right?
“Indra! Wait! Stop! Don’t kill him!” Sword cried out to me in panic.
“Don’t worry. We’ll pretend he died of a natural cause.”
“You think you can fake it with this many people ’round!? You idiot!”
He was too late.
“Ah, sorry. You were too late.”
A vacuum pack attack. Space got isolated just around the grandpa. He got startled from suddenly being unable to breathe. Given that I was stopped by Sword, I immediately discontinued the spell, but the grandpa still collapsed with his eyes wide open.
“It seems the area around him suddenly turned into a vacuum after the wind flow changed. I guess he died while unable to breathe.
It was an unfortunate accident. The end.”
Seeing that, the other assailants stopped attacking all at once and surrendered.
“Hmm? Did you lose your will to resist? Even though I’d have been totally fine giving you a little show of dismantling at least one person by slicing them up and arranging them so that they look alive. I wonder whether that’d be enough for you to grasp my true ability and grit?”
“Yeah okay, you’ve shown ’em your ability and backbone plentifully with just these words, don’t you think? So, could you stop at that?”
All assailants simultaneously nodded at Sword’s remark.