“Sorry, Sieg. Are you hungry?”
Absorbed in making a potion, Mariela had forgotten about lunch. As was often Mariela’s case, it was something few others would be able to forget.
“It’s okay. I don’t need to eat three meals, or rather I don’t eat a lot.”
Sieg said several other sad things.
Mariela thought, You don’t have to wait for me to eat, you know.
Mariela looked at Sieg’s face.
“Hmm? You shaved your beard?”
Mariela hadn’t bought a knife yet, so Sieg’s beard had grown a bit long by this morning. However, his hair was now neatly trimmed, giving him a smooth, neat face; that or his facial expressions had become more clear. Had something happened?
“Yes, I met up with Lynx. He lent me a dagger for a few days.”
(Oh, I don’t really care, but thanks anyway, Lynx)
There was no trace of Lynx in the dining room. He probably went to eat lunch alone after he finished working. Mariela would have to thank him later.
Lunch was a crunchy baguette with an omelet accompanied with plenty of three-colored paprika and raw ham. Because a lot of eggs were used in the omelette, it was pretty solid. The salty raw ham was delicious with the sweetness of the egg.
After the late lunch, all that remained was the preparation for the upper-class potion. However, these precise preparations were no longer tasks for which Mariela could enlist Sieg’s aid. Mariela recalled Sieg’s morning fidgetiness because he felt uncomfortable without work.
“Sieg, from noon, there is nothing I need you to do. My body is aching, so I would like you to have a day off…”
“I’m feeling fine. I am going to train. I’ll go soon unless there’s a need for me to help out.”
What a surprise, even though the clothes had not been dirtied this morning, Mariela was saying “go wash the clothes”. Mariela wondered what had really happened. Believing it to be a good change, Mariela returned to the room after advising, “Do not push yourself.”
( To reward the favour Mariela-sama has blessed me with)
Sieg squeezed the dagger that Lynx had given him.
Sieg was born in a remote village close to a devil forest. He remembered that his father was a skilled hunter, but his mother had passed away when he could first put thoughts in his head. In his family, children were occasionally born with a magical eye called [spirit eye]. [Protection of the Spirit Eye] increased accuracy and improved distance attacks and spirituality. Spirituality was a bonus that allowed the spirits to eagerly communicate with the living, allowing even the weakest of them to exert some influence on the lives of others. The [spiritual eyes] which had not appeared in either his father or grandfather was demonstrated by Sieg’s right eye.
The blessing of increasing the accuracy and power of distance attacks through [spirit eye] was tremendous. Sieg was no different from previous holders of [spiritual eyes], every released arrow targeted the vital points of a prey, so long as his archery skills were sufficient, he would be a bowmaster.
I shouldn’t be ashamed of my [Spiritual Eyes]
Sieg’s father had hired teachers with a large percentage of his earnings and educated Sieg. In spite of that, Sieg was raised without acquiring much reading, writing, calculating, and manners skills, but as a villager with “special spiritual eyes.” “Special education” was a character that disgusted Sieg.
In the village, Sieg became merely a ‘special human being suitable for the [spirit eye].’
Sieg’s father had not noticed Sieg’s true thoughts. When his father had passed away from an attack by demons while hunting, Sieg’s misfortune had truly begun.
In any era, there was nothing left for young talented orphans who stay at home. After his father had passed away, Sieg had left the village and became an adventurer in the town.
Together with close friends, he had set up parties and subjugated many monsters. For Sieg with [spiritual eyes], these monsters that beginner adventurers challenged could hardly be called enemies, so they quickly ranked up.
Sieg’s fame rose to the extent that when he pulled a bow, women gathered.
The previous disappointment that he was a special person due to his [spirit eye] transformed into absolute confidence within Sieg.
“Thanks, everyone. Do you guys think that we’ve ranked up to B-level adventurers?”
Sieg was strong enough that no one of his party could disagree with such a dialog. There were no demons that could remain unpenetrated by his arrows- that was until B rank monsters…
In Sieg’s party, their statuses were not equal; they were like strongmen, Sieg and his subordinates. It was a distorted party, not only relationship-wise but also in the strengths of the members.
Looking at their individual strengths, Sieg had a strength of hand that reached A-rank while he had C-ranked companions. The difference in talent was evident; the more they fought, the stronger and more arrogant Sieg became. To others, Sieg was just like a tyrant, and the patiences of his colleagues were quickly reaching their limits.
A Wyvern was a small sub-dragon with poison on the tip of its tail. For an adventurer of B rank, it would be a problematic devil. While Sieg attracted its attention, if Sieg broke the flying membrane of the wyvern wings which would decrease the mobility of the wyvern, then it would be the same as a crawling, ground-trapped creature. Sieg thought that he could easily beat it if he attacked from a distance.
It was hard to keep the Wyvern at bay because the party guardian only had the ability of lower rank-C. The cooperation of the members was also disjointed, with other members often getting in the way of shooting arrows. In addition, the Wyvern aimed at Sieg who was the least well-equipped.
The armor of Wyvern was thick, and Sieg’s arrows could not give a fatal injury to the approaching Wyvern. Sieg was able to defeat the Wyvern by shooting an arrow to the back of the Wyvern’s gaping jaw as it tried to swallow him.
The price was Sieg’s [Spiritual Eye].
There was nothing left for Sieg who had lost the [spirit eye]. Fellows who had benefited from his efforts as members of the B-rank party also left Siegmund. His celebrity turned into bad reputation that former friends gossiped over, and there were no woman cuddling closely with Sieg who had become an untouchable.
There were not enough goods left for Sieg who had extravagantly spent them, so Sieg went to the imperial capital with some money gained from selling Wyvern materials.
Sieg sought a potion to cure his injured eye.
After paying money for some information, he found an alchemist who made a type of special-class potion that could cure the loss of an eyeball. The price was 10 gold coins. It was an amount of money that forced him to sell his bow and protective gear like grass. However, if he could regain his [spiritual eyes], it was not an amount that he could not earn back. After going into debt due to the potion fee, the alchemist made an appearance.
An old-age alchemist with a white beard received his money and made a potion with his disciples. Getting the complicated and expensive magical tool that you’ll see for the first time, and the alchemist disciples had a lot of training to help with the making of the potion. The old alchemist gave instructions to each disciple, mixed the completed chemicals, and chanted the magic for completion of the potion.
With this completed potion, Sieg could finally regain his [spirit eye]. For a while, he would be tormented by his debts, but with a little patience, Sieg thought that finding resources would not be any trouble at all.
Sieg drank the potion.
In the end, his [spirit eye] did not return.
“DID YOU TRICK ME?!”
Sieg trembling in anger, jumping at the alchemist. The strong soldiers guarded against the mad fellow. The old alchemist pondered at Sigmund ‘s lost right eye.
“Perhaps, your eye is a demon eye,” he mused.
“[Spirit eyes] are what the sacred evil spirits gave. It is impossible to remake them unless it was a potion made from the area from which the spirit belongs. Didn’t you know this?”
“I’m a B-rank adventurer with a [spirit eye]; do you think that such a thing is allowed!”
“Ho, Ho. I think that there are many adventurers of B-rank in this imperial capital. A hundred out of a hundred people would think you’re foolish. By the way, didn’t you know that there are 3 S rank and 12 A rank adventurers? However, there are only 3 alchemists who can make a special class potion in the imperial capital including the Eagle family. There are about 10 alchemists who can make senior potions like me. It is exactly the same number as adventurers of S-rank and A-rank. So, do you think your B-rank means anything to me?” (Tler note: shots fired)
The old-age alchemist ridiculed Sieg who had wasted his money. While being taken out of the room to a security guard who was also B-ranked, the old alchemist said, “It’s stupid to be proud when he is only B-ranked even though he has been blessed with a rare protection such like ‘spirit eye.’”
Sieg was born in a village of the devil forest. Ever since 200 years ago when the Kingdom of Endershi had been destroyed, no alchemist had been born in that region. His lost ‘spirit eye’ would never return.
After nearly drowning in alcohol, Sieg realized that whores made Sieg waste money and enter debt, causing him to become a ‘debt slave’.
Sieg met a bast*rd merchant who sold his trash goods at the entrance to the city. The merchant was a person with a brutal personality who peculiarly felt pleasure while hurting young men like Sieg who had submitted to him.
All traces of Sieg’s distorted self-esteem had disappeared in less than six months. After hard labor, constant violence, humiliation and hunger, all Sieg could do was barely remain alive. Sieg doesn’t know how long he will survive until his debt is cleared up, sometimes there will be small traces of days which was usually
“I’m going to take of some business in the labyrinth city” (Merchant)
Sieg had heard rumors of the black iron transportation corps which had become famous in the last few years. It was said that the son of the merchant often passed through the devil’s forest.
The shallow merchants ceased stopping for breaks, following the walking slave guards who did not have a sturdy carriage nor satisfactory weapons. The merchant’s son headed for the devil forest.
Sieg had been rather fortunate to be attacked by a group of black wolves in less than a few hours. Sieg had been walking on his last legs with heavy feet. How would he confront monsters with only an old dagger?
When Sieg had felt something calling him, he had raised his face and seen something shimmering.
(Is it a spirit of the forest?)
He had heard a story from his father. Unlike monsters, spirits loved people and often helped them. When Sieg was young, he could see
spirits that flourished in the forest, but Sieg hadn’t seen one for a long time.
The spirit of the forest beckoned Sieg. Unexpectedly leaving the formation, Sieg stepped into the forest. At that time, a group of black wolves struck the merchant corps.
A slave who had not been subjected to battle training could not even be called a shield in front of demons. While slaves watched, they heard a whistle before their throats were bitten and torn and eaten. The carriage was smashed into smithereens, and a black wolf dragged the son of the merchant away. Thanks to being heavily equipped, the merchant’s son avoided any fatal injuries, but his arm and leg armor had shattered beneath persistent attacks, his blood flowing across his armor. Sieg fled with the other slaves while shouting and crying but quickly realized that he had to do something different.
Glancing around, Sieg thought, “I have to get away.”
After Sieg was invited by the spirit of the forest, he escaped the black wolf’s first shot due to his being outside the formation. The black wolves were currently busy trying to kill the slaves and the son of a merchant, but these were all malnourish preys. The wolves would quickly devour them and search for new food.
Suddenly, the spirit of the forest raised her arm and pointed at the injured Raptor that was still connected to the carriage and had been unable to escape. Sieg sprinted over and used his dagger to cut off the rope tying the Raptor before jumping onto its back. He also tossed the merchant’s son behind him. (Tler note: Nice name for a horse, at least I think it’s a horse…)
For Sieg, there was no point to life even if he successfully escaped, but if he helped the merchant’s son, he might gain some advantages. It was due to such a calculation that Sieg helped the son of the merchant.
The Black Wolf that had been robbed of its prey came to chase. Sieg clung to the Raptor without a saddle or reins, driving the Raptor towards the exit. Sieg wielded a dagger to slash the black wolf in an attempt to force it away, but he had no knowledge of using the sword, and he was currently in an unstable horse riding condition. Sieg couldn’t even hit the wolf, but it successfully bit him.
Somehow he grabbed with his left hand the falling daggers that he had nearly dropped and struck the black wolf biting his right arm.
Sieg shook off one of them, but the rest of the pack still pursued him. The Raptor ran in a frenzy, bubbles foaming at its mouth. Clinging to the Raptor’s body, Sieg realized he could not exert any force on his right arm. Floating in the flowing landscape, the forest spirit pointed to the right side where light forsook the road.
The Raptor advanced with the guidance of the spirit of the forest. Just as they approached the fringe of the forest, the forest spirit cast the spell <<Leave>>.
The black wolves approached. Pouncing from the left, a black wolf’s fangs grazed Sieg’s left calf. When Sieg kicked at it, he felt the sudden loss of flesh in his left leg.
Nearly unconscious from the pain, Sieg had no time to stop the bleeding even as the black wolves entered a frenzy upon scenting the bloody tide dripping from the wound.
Sieg burned his own leg to cauterize the wound. Usually, it was forbidden to freely use magic because all magical power ought to be used for the benefit of the hoard merchant. The odor of grilling meat and debilitating pain made Sieg’s vision flash white and black.
While Sieg struggled to continue, a black wolf leaped at them again. Sieg’s sacrifice allowed them to widen the distance between them and the black wolf.
(The sacred tree?)
Young seedlings were budding, sticking out in the demonic forest.
The sacred tree kept demons away and was said to be a seedling of the mysterious world tree. It grew slower than other trees and when planted by human hands, failed to flourish and died. Sieg didn’t know how it reproduced, but even in places of darkness like demonic woods, it managed to survive. If you rested by these small saplings, you would not be attacked by demons and gain a temporary respite.
The black wolf warily track them while circling around the tree. The spirit of the forest which had previously saved them three times pointed to another place. No doubt, it was showing a way to be saved. The Raptor nearly went crazy as it charged toward where the spirit pointed. It will go away when daylight approaches. How much time had passed?
With Sieg and the son of the merchant sprawled atop of the Raptor, they passed through the devil’s forest.
Sieg who had saved the merchant’s son had somehow survived, but he was only given a mild recovery potion for his efforts. Although the son of the merchant was fully healed, the potion given by the son of the merchant only superficially recovered some of Sieg’s muscle. Sieg was then thrown into a dirt cabin. Black wolves’ fangs has lethal venom. Even though the epidermal damage had been healed by recovery magic, the scar would not heal beneath the skin and hurt when pressed. His consciousness became turbid from pain and high fever.
When Sieg woke up, he noticed that he had been moved to the merchant’s slave huts. He was given water and foo, a millet-like livestock feed that had cooled. However, it could still be eaten because it was rather hardy and rarely rotted. The weak body with a high fever could not easily accept food. If one ate it till one became full, they’d vomit.
“How humble am I!”
A sophisticated, unfamiliar man watched Sieg as if his eyes were seeing garbage. (Tler not: Ugh how snobbish)
“I heard that there was a debt slave who was being abused by a healing magician, so I tried to protect it, but you’re almost like a stray dog. I don’t think you can understand people’s speech, but I have a duty to announce it to you. Listen carefully, Dog. Your former slave owner has abandoned you. You kept his son safe and escaped, but due to his (merchant’s son) injuries, your former slave owner has increased the charges on you. Because of his accusations, you have become a crime slave.”
Sieg’s head kept on spinning due to the heat. He did not understand what the man had told him. Sieg blankly understood that he was still alive, but he had not been saved.