Chapter: 57

Ank

“Breaking the law, risking getting pursued and executed by the Adventurer’s Guild, secretly invading a city, and killing three [Gods], all in a single night, oh my! Maybe there is hope for youngsters these days!”, Taffy laughed after we told her what happened.

And that wasn’t even all: right after the “incident”, we went and completed the random quest I took from the 9th Guild Master so to not look too suspicious. Of course, the woman with scared arms knew what we did, but she was surprisingly accepting of all the sacrilege, and the only comment that she made was about how she was happy that the slaves had been freed, and the slaver killed. She even winked at me and gave me a heart-shaped cookie; what a nice lady!

“And now, your [Level]?”, the retired adventurer asked.

And we did as many times before, and showed what she wanted to see:

[Name: Ank

Race: Half (Messenger + Filled Teeth)

General:

Level: 300

Class: Outstanding Summoner

HP: 3005/ 3005

MP: 7500/ 7500

SP: 1505/ 1505

Attributes:

Strength: 301

Resistance: 601

Magic: 1500

Perception: 601]

[Name: Hunah

Race: Half (Messenger + Filled Teeth)

General:

Level: 300

Class: Battalion of One Woman

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HP: 3005/ 3005

MP: 1505/ 1505

SP: 7500/ 7500

Attributes:

Strength: 1500

Resistance: 601

Magic: 301

Perception: 601]

Yeah, our quick adventure made us quite stronger, we jumped 10 more guild ranks in a night, I had summons of [Level: 150] in every branch of my class tree, and learned how [Summon: Skiron Weapon], and [Summon: Skiron Armor], the next step in item summoning, a dark gray metal that fell from the skies from time to time; while Hunah’s weapons were 100% more efficient, and her armors 40%, and she even learned another secret skill, a passive one: [Weapon Touch]. The name was pretty self explanatory, but, basically, if she could hold an object, even if it was never intended to be used as a weapon, she could use it like that, and deal some considerable damage; she gained this power for using the tree as a club while fighting the [Apacheta] before.

…But, secret abilities, secret spells… I felt something itching inside of me whenever I thought about these things, I just couldn’t tell exactly why.

Anyway, the bad part was what being [Level: 300] meant practically for adventurers: there were just a few hundred Guild Masters of 7th rank around, we’d need to walk quite a lot to the closest guy who had more knowledge about the [Gods].

Hopefully, he would be in a place where we would also be able to buy better items, it really seemed that, even if Hunah bought her sword just recently, if she swung it without empowering the thing with her [Weapon Soul], it would shatter and explode. Even my leather armor, I doubted my muscles would burst straight through it if I flexed.

Anyway, we were heading back the road we took to get to the Fortress Cloud City, and we would make a quick stop at the Beginners’ City.

A few weeks later, and we were back there, and shopping.

Just as we remembered, the vast majority of the items available in the city were for low leveled adventurers, but it wasn’t like we weren’t able to, at least, get the bare minimum there, like seasonings, personal hygiene related things, and, of course maps.

As Taffy went to find an inn for us, Hunah and I browsed Not Dying and Stuff’s wares, trying to ignore the gawking newbies staring at us from far away; even if we hid our [Level], the equipment we used screamed superiority, then even more than when we first reached the city. I could find all of that fun, if not for the merchants trying to steal us at every deal, and the fear that I’d become lax… maybe I should buy a simple cape to hide myself?

“Come back here!”, I heard a familiar feminine voice coming from behind the next aisle.

Putting back the package of duck bones I was thinking about buying to train my necromancy, I went to see what the commotion was about: I found a kid covered in white hair, a fox boy, pushing away a taller, older girl that looked just like him with a wooden sword.

“No! Since you came back, you’re acting like a creep!”, the boy shouted, looking genuinely concerned.

“Bi- Big sister just wanted to p- play a little!”, the fox girl replied, half whispering, half screaming.

“Tapa?”, I called, and the fox girl froze, before noticing who was speaking.

“Ank?”, she asked back, straightening her back, and soon after, Hunah showed up too. The girls nodded to one another. “…It’s been some time.”

“Yeah”, I said back, looking away, the guilt reappearing just as strong as in the day I failed her and her [Party]. When, because of my fault, she became the sole survivor of the original [Sunight Party].

“Buying supplies?”, Hunah asked, forcing a smile, visibly just as uncomfortable as me.

“Yeah, kufu… fu… More like re-storing the pantry. Since we got a new mouth, I’ve been coming here more often than not; the prices are good after all”, the fox did as my twin sister and put a smile on her face.

Still, even if it was fake happiness, even if I could see all the tenseness in her muscles and how her eyes showed that her wounds had not fully healed… I rejoiced. She didn’t run away, she didn’t pretend my sister and I didn’t exist. I didn’t even feel like we were worthy of that.

And the fox-girl must have noticed it, because when I opened my mouth to apologize, she cut me off:

“I already told you, right? It wasn’t your fault”, there was sadness in her voice, but she was being honest.

I heard Hunah taking a deep breath before she proceeded to ask:

“Then, who is the ‘knew mouth’?”

“Oh, it’s Oa, Jao little brother!”, the fox-girl explained, and moved aside to reveal a little blue-haired human boy standing behind her, frowning.

He looked at Tapa, then at my sister and I, and his frown grew more intense.

“You are the two who were at big brother’s last quest, right?”, he connected the dots.

…If he wanted someone to hate, to blame, I’d give this to him. It was the minimum I could do.

“…Yes”, I replied.

The little human closed his eyes and fists, and stepped forward before giving me a look with renewed fire, and asked:

“Please, let me join your [Party]!”

“No”, my sister and I replied immediately and in unison.

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The rest of the conversation was a bit awkward, as Hunah and I tried to ignore the pleading little human, and Tapa tried to avoid saying what was the “play” that made her little brother freak out so much with her, but everything ended well: Oa finally seemed to give up about entering our [Party], and we even had dinner at Tapa’s home. Hunah and I brought the fox-girl’s family some seafood and alcohol as a gift, and my twin sister and Taffy helped Tapa’s mom in the kitchen.

As we were warned that the closest 7th Guild Master wouldn’t stay at the same place for too long, we didn’t stay more than two days in the Beginner’s City, and off we all departed again, the mounts I summoned moving fast, yet keeping us comfortable over their large backs, and the weak monsters away.

“So?”, I asked, smiling. “Do you also have anything to do in this next city?”, I made reference to our next objective. We were already traveling for many days, and halfway through there.

“Oh, my, are you two annoyed by the presence of this old lady already?”, the older woman asked, sounding offended. “I knew mommy shouldn’t have got so attached to these younglings…”

“Well…”, I exchanged a look with Hunah.

It wasn’t like we would come across something that could kill the woman any soon (if ever), if she was really as strong as our past with her implied, plus, my twin sister and I always managed to make some time for just the two of us when we wet to “collect firewood and water” or something… And, yeah, both of us, twins, had gotten just as attached to the old woman as she had with us.

“… You can stay with us, sure?”, Hunah concluded.

“Oh, my!”, the retired adventurer beamed, and even the flowers and grass by the side of the road seemed to grow just a little bit brighter. “Then, as a reward from this old woman with a weak heart: you should already open that bag over there”, Taffy said, pointing to one of the food baskets we bought so to not lose time hunting.

With an eyebrow raising, I did as the older woman suggested. And found Jao’s younger brother inside of it, hands over his stomach and looking in pain.

“…You’ve been there since we left the city?”, I could barely believe what the blue-haired kid had done.

“I’m determined to enter your [Party]!”, the kid answered me, his expression weirdly fiery, yet anguished at the same time.

“…Have you been pooping at all?”, I asked again, noticing that, while the food inside the basked had been eaten, there was no foul odor coming from inside.

“I am determined!”, the boy repeated himself, veins pulsing on his face, as a weird sound came from his stomach.

I quickly took the boy off the basket, and threw him into the bushes… And waited.

We couldn’t go back to the Beginners’ City, if we wanted to get to the next Guild Master before he moved away, so we had really no choice but to carry the little blue-haired burden around for some time…


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