Chapter 2-1

Chapter 2 – Party-up!

Proofreader: ramna27, Orion Dye

Me, Kyou-san, Rine and Ara-san are sitting at the dining table. We’re discussing how to break the wedding-curse. “And there is no way to do it here, Ara-san?”

“Yes. As long as the so-called curse is working on a curse-principle, there are only three kinds of magics, that are capable of lifting it: [Dark Magic], which utilizes curses, [Divine Magic], which can not only cure wounds but even cleanse magic, and finally [God Magic].”

“Is there a difference between [Divine Magic] and [God Magic]?”

“[God Magic] is how it’s called, it’s the magic, for want of a better word, that is used by the gods, while [Divine Magic] is something they created for the mortals.”

Kyou-san is frowning: “So the magic is only ‘divine’ because it was specially made by them?”

Rine tilts her head: “Wasn’t it obvious?” She also uses [Divine Magic], plus she’s native to this world, so maybe it’s common knowledge for her.

“I feel betrayed.”

“Phew. So the gods use different magic, Ara-san?”

“Yes, even though I’m not sure if we can categorize it as magic. I believe that the whole hero-system is based on [God Magic], making us something entirely else than ordinary people. Also, there is one detail, which could prove troublesome in removing the rings.”

“You mean, that the curse was able to make Rine a hero as well, right? So if your theory is correct, the ring itself uses [God Magic].”

*Thud* Kyou-san just fell onto the tabletop. I can hear something like a wail. I’m sure only Ara-san and I could hear that: It was that soft.

Kyou-san already got the gist of the problem: If [God Magic] is involved, it might need another god’s power to undo it.

“Kyou!” Rine is checking on the girl. “Are you alright.” What an inappropriate question.

“…no, I feel sick.”

Rine begins to count on her fingers, then shakes her head, lifts Kyou-san’s head up and checks the temperature: “No fever. But your face looks horrible.”

She’s right. Kyou-san’s face is a mix of despair and pain, and that face makes me a bit happy.

“Well, let’s go on, Ara-san.” Ara-san looks at me with a wondering expression. “This is still a theory, do you know of a way to be sure?”

“No. But if it’s not, we might find experts in [Dark Magic] and [Divine Magic] to take a look at it. Since Esse in Feuerberg is excluded because of your past delicts, we need somewhere else. I know that the city of Zethtrin has a lot of temples, so chances are high, that we will find a priest there, who is capable of having a deeper look.”

“Not priests again. Those people are money-grubbing bastards.” I can hear how Kyou-san is breathing in sharply, since she has the [Priest]-class.

“Zethtrin is big. I was there once, and I’m sure that there are some dark magicians there as well, in the criminal community. Besides, even when we won’t find something there, we’ll unmistakably get another lead.”

“Where is Zethtrin?”

“It’s a city-state in the Wildlands.”

“So we have to travel south?”

“Southwest. Last time, it took me a month.”

“Great. Just great!” I’m sarcastic.

“Isn’t it?” Rine doesn’t get sarcasm. “We will travel to faraway realms, undergo several adventures, and find ourselves closer to each other than ever.” Please no.

Why is the hero-system so game-like, when they didn’t even implement a skip-function? We’re wasting so much time, if this goes on, we’ll need years to get back home to Japan.

But we’re cursed, so there is no choice, isn’t there? The alfar can’t help us, we can’t return to Feuerberg, so any lead is better than none.

So Zethtrin it is. “A month, huh? Phew, then we need to start preparing. We need supplies, like provisions and consumables goods. I also would like to stock up on potions and others. Ara-san, can I leave the accounting to you?” Well, Ara-san was an accountant before she was summoned into this world, so she is the most logical choice.

“Then I need to know the budget. The goods we need as well, so we can split the budget and look, where we have to cut.”

“Which means?”

“We’ll make an inventory list, look at what we need to resupply, then go over the budget and…” Ara-san is an expert of traveling long distances. There was never really a need for exact planning when I was still grinding, but what she says and explains makes sense.

One month, huh? Better be prepared.

That’s why games are better: If you’re traveling far distances, you don’t need to get your head around all the details. You just start walking!

By pressing ‘up’.

 

―○●○―

 

It’s time we go. We’re in the village square, as the alfar wants to say goodbye to us. Elder Gaer’mon stands before the amassed alfar. “It pains me, but you need to leave us, humans. We can’t give you asylum for any longer, even though you helped us to save the village.” At least we got most of the stuff for the journey at reduced prices and some presents, so there was a bit of gratitude here. “Wherever you go, we wish you the best of luck. And take care of Ara-tan!”

“Elder!” Ara-san is wearing a green traveler cloak over her dress and has a bag-like backpack, her [Inventory], equipped. She uses her staff as a walking stick. She somehow gives the wandering mage vibe.

“Kenta’aihr!” Oro’hekk is walking up to me and is about to hit my shoulder. I smack his face instead. “What was that for!” He has turned his face at the last moment, so that wasn’t a clean hit.

“I was just irritated.” Kenta’aihr my ass! Calling me fat! I’m just a bit roundish, you scrawny bastard!

“Well, back to topic.” Oro’hekk takes a few steps back, observing my movements. “You may not be the first person, I taught the ways of the rangers, but you’re the first hero and human. I had a ss’rak before when I was younger and more foolish, and there was that one dari, who I lost a bet against, but even then, you were one of a kind. Nobody was such an enormous personality, had so much to fill, and- hey, let me finish!”

“If you make one more comment about ‘that,’ I use everything you taught me to kill you!” Why is my ‘mentor’ only like this!?

I take a glance to Kyou-san next to me, who is in her new traveling and combat attire. It may be less covering than her old cloth-armor, but the monster-hair that was used for her clothes are thick and cut-resistant.

I guess, less sweating and more mobility was the focus, seeing how I tend to get most of the blows anyways. For some reason, she still insisted on the scarf, though.

Kyou-san just got something from the herbalist lady, who trained her. “Contraception. You just brew tea with it, then after an hour there will be no consequences for a whole day.” Kyou-san is looking at her, as if the lady just told her, that she should use a suicide pill if she’s about to be captured by the enemy.

What about Rine? “Thank you very much, Zur’rea!” She’s hugging the tailor, who got no idea how to handle that body-contact.

“Katarine-san, I’m not into human girls! Let-me-go!” While she protests, she pulls on Rine’s hair, but Rine continues her embrace, even with tears in her eyes.

Of course, Rine couldn’t gear up here, as her equipment is already top-notch, being a princess and all.

Finally, I look to Ara-san and the elder: “Finally, you’re about to set on a journey to be the hero, who you already were 92 years ago. There is no need for us to worry about your health anymore, or about your sanity. Nobody has to provide you with food and tea and all the other stuff. Ara-tan, even if you won’t become a productive member of our society, at least we lost you as an almost dead-weight.”

“My research is significant for all heroes!”

“Yes, but what about us, Ara-tan? What about us?”

Usually, I think, we should regret leaving this place, but with a farewell like this, I can’t wait to leave the alfar behind and never see them again.

“Let’s go,” I say to the rest of the party.

“Gladly.” We have Kyou-san, the always ill-tempered healer, who is using abusive language and only shows her fake kind side to anyone but me.

“Goodbye! *sniff*” We have Rine, a walking machine of death, who’s always annoyingly cheery and all over me, not caring about the fact, how much I dislike that.

“See you in a hundred years or so.” We have Ara-san, the elf-mage-character, who may be older than the rest of us put together, but is forever stuck with the mind of a thirteen-year-old!

“Phew.” And there is me, who just tries his best to make it somehow work. I still want to return home, but the more I do, the farther it seems to become.

We leave the forest of Aroahenn and look at a map Ara-san had. “Why is there no compass in this world?”

“That device that is supposed to tell you the four cardinal directions?” Ara-san never heard about something like that before, looks like every alfr has an inner compass, which only works in their world. There was no need for such an object at her home, and there are none in this world. I want to know why.

“Ah, I know that!” What? Rine knows something!? “It was written in a report about heroes. There is something missing in this world, that’s why no human hero was able to make one.”

Is she talking about earth’s magnetic field? How does that function!?

More importantly though: “Why do you know something like that?”

“I read everything hero-related in our library!”

I forgot that Rine is smarter than she looks. Or behaves. She’s just not paying much attention to anything, which doesn’t fit her interests or worldview.

Maybe I should consider to include Rine more often in the intelligent talk.

“Kenta, let’s hold hand while we’re traveling!” You already took my hand, you know!? And why are you cuddling at me, stop it! I roughly push her head back. Seriously, just let it be!

“I get the idea, that holding hands while doing something else is effective, but don’t stick close to me, dammit!”

“Kyou!” And don’t ignore me, if I’m saying something you don’t like! “Take his other hand!”

“*sigh* Rine, he may need a hand free.”

“Then you’re next!”

“Alright, alright.” Kyou-san definitely shows how little she cares.

“Then I’m third!”

“Ara-san, you really like to make fun of us, right?”

The alfr girl is tipping her ear with a slight smile. “Of course.”

I take another look at the map, and then I make a rough estimation of the cardinal direction using the sun, just like Meldorn taught me. “About that direction. Ara-san, your [Stellar Navigation]-skill works like it sounds, right?”

“Yes.”

“Then we go in this direction and correct it at night. We repeat that process until we hit the trade route, then we’ll follow it.” I want the shortest path, but also the safest so this is a good compromise. “Let’s go.”

The moment I said that I feel a raindrop fall on my nose. Then one at my cheek.

An iron smell is in the air and clouds are accumulating above us. The sky wasn’t exactly clear before, but I hoped, that the weather remains rain-less.

So much to that.

“Everyone, rain gear.” We take our waxen cloaks from the [Inventory] and put it on. Good weather while traveling is only something you’ll get in games.

Dammit.

…Huh? I’m feeling stared at.

I take a look back. I see a single squirrel with a fur like a panda’s.

It’s only looking at us. But I know those critters. They belong to a tribe, which swore something like a vendetta against Rine. I haven’t seen even one of them since the fight against the demons.

Maybe they gave up, after seeing Rine going all out. Or maybe they were plotting something and realized, that Rine leaves the forest.

Still, something is strange.

Even though that squirrel isn’t doing anything, it’s just looking.

Maybe it’s my imagination.

…I better keep an eye open. These guys are nuts!

Character-design Momokawa Kyou (Herbalist)

 

―○●○―

 

I hate rain. My boots are soaked, every step I do makes a squishy sound, I’m cold, and my nose is running. Even with a rain-cloak, walking for hours in the rain is just too much!

It’s almost time to set up camp, and there is no cover to be seen. Looks like we have to use the tents, we got from the alfar. Good thing that we can transport them easily with our [Inventory]. Imagine it, carrying two two-person tents including tent pegs and rope on foot over vast distances!

I would almost be happy to be a hero if it wouldn’t be the reason, why I’m stuck in this shitty fantasy world in the first place!

Now we only need a good camping place. Well, everything here is the same, a few rises in the ground, grass, some trees. Nah, let’s stick to the trees. It’s not like there is any cluster of them, which could somehow serve as a shelter, but it’s still better than nothing.

“Phew. Do you see these trees there?” I point to the ones in the distance. “There we’ll rest.”

Rine is squinting her eyes: “There they are.”

Kyou nods in agreement.

Ara-san does the same: “Are they?”

So this is the difference between an alfr and a human regarding sight. Why is the alfr losing here?

Usually, I have the feeling that Ara’ainn should be the one who can see in great distances… no, why should she? I mean, she lives in a forest, like all Ljosalfr, so why should she have a better farsight than humans, who also live in grasslands?

Darwinism might work even in fantasy worlds to some degree.

But I was sure, that I could only see those trees due to my [Farsight]-skill, but I was wrong. Maybe I should get better at discerning, what I can see with it and what I can’t. It may be easier for the girls in the long run.

Why am I even considering it?

It must be my running nose. Maybe I’m getting sick.

Then we arrive. “Phew. Let’s get it over with.” I have the [Camping]-skill, which makes it possible, to set up a camp faster and even the wet weather doesn’t matter much. It costs some SP, but since the plan is to rest right afterward, it’s alright.

I set up the tents and a tarp, then lit a fire, while Rine gives me the things I need to do that. Kyou-san and Ara-san are getting water by placing pots on the ground. It’s better to not rely on the waterskins in the [Inventory], as long as we can fetch it otherwise.

After everything is set up, we sat down by the fire, using a waxed blanket to sit down. We got stools from the alfar, but if we put them out in this weather, they’ll just mold faster.

I doff my armor and remove my boots. “Phew…”

“So this is the relieved ‘phew’, I see,” Ara-san comments on me while she opens her half-wet dress at the side and let it down.

… … …

I slowly turn away. Ara-san is only standing there in her undergarment and even though she is scrawny, I feel this strange attraction again. Damn you, curse!

Now I’m facing Rine, who just freed her bouncy breasts from her armor and- Next direction!

Kyou-san is currently sitting with one knee tucked up, trying to get her kneesock out of it. “Stop staring at my legs.”

Seriously, I can’t take it anymore. I just have to do something!

I quickly undress and walk out in the rain, only in my underwear. My whole body is cleansed by nature, same goes for my desires.

This feels good!

I throw my head back and let the rain hit my face. It’s almost like a shower, just cold and it tastes a bit like iron. There is no shampoo either. But somehow everything in me calms down.

I hear some steps behind me, splashing on the ground. It’s Rine, who also is only in her underwear. Of course, I had already seen them, since she keeps spares in our [Inventory], it’s cloth almost resembling panties and a corset. Kyou-san also wears them, since she only got one pair of modern underwear with her, the one she had when she was transported here.

My current underwear was native as well. But it’s close enough to boxers.

Rine is copying me, throwing her head back as well. She giggles while catching rain with her mouth. Her wet hair and the trickle, which is going between her breasts are enticing, but the rain washes these thoughts and feelings away.

Now Ara-san accompanies us, her gown-like underwear is drenched in a second, she let her ponytail down and her white, long hair is glittering as if it was a snowfield. She doesn’t mimic us but is dancing in the rain instead.

It’s charming. Like a being from another world. Actually, she is.

She laughs loud and sings a song without lyrics. I’ve never heard her singing before, her voice is a bit hoarse, but I heard worse.

An alfr girl, dancing in the rain like a fairy. What an image.

“Geez.” I can hear Kyou-san, as she hurries to remove her clothes as well. So she will join us, too? In fact, she does. The moment she steps out from under the tarp, she begins to smile, only for a second. Then something is catching up, melancholy.

“Kyou!” Rine is running to Kyou-san and takes her hands. “Come on!” And pulls her out in the rain and out from her misery. Rine laughs like an idiot, but Kyou-san is joining in. In an honest manner.

Then Rine also grabs Ara-san’s hand, and all three of them are dancing together, led by the princess. “KENTAAAA! COME! JOIN US”

“No way!” I don’t even know why, but somehow I feel like this moment is special and I don’t want to waste it with them.

What’s this in the distance? Mobs? I would guess, about as tall as dogs, with the shape of a beetle, scales, shark-face and additional arms, which are packed with muscles.

Oh no, not them again. Sharkbeetles! No, they were called scaleetles.

We did fight them when we met that Correo-guy. Back then, five of them were no problem. But there are more. Even with [Farsight] I can see a mile at best with the rain, they’re coming at us with great speed and more and more appeared in my vision.

“Everyone, gear up! There are scaleetles coming towards us!”

“What?” Of course, Kyou-san doesn’t remember them.

“These things we fought, when we met Correo! And there are a lot of them.” Numbers might prove to be the problem here. Even if five of them weren’t a threat even before I classed up, now I estimate thirty of them, with more coming. “And they’re fast.” I think that Rine and I could get away by running, but the rest won’t.

This is bad. We need to fight them. The last large-scale battle we fought was against the demons in Aroahenn, but those were easily turned into fog, except their boss. This time it may prove more difficult…

Scaleetles only attack on land, when it’s raining like this. This could be a coincidence.

Maybe.

Eastern Wildlands Draft

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