The Man Who Dreams and the Forest Ghosts
Thinking about all that made me want to walk. And so I did after telling Daniela. The only lights came from the moon, stars, and bonfires. However, there was also a warm glow from the city that spread up above. I gazed at it while I walked.
“Are you serious!!”
Huh? Someone was being very loud in the middle of the night.
I poked my head out and saw that three men who appeared to be Adventurers were sitting around a fire and drinking.
“Hmm? Who are you?”
“I was taking a stroll and heard your excited voices.”
“What? So you’re just bored!”
Two of them began to laugh. Well, it was true. The other one was drinking and looked uninterested.
“What about him?”
I casually walked up to them and sat down before glancing at the other guy.
“Hey, listen here, brother!”
“This guy…ckkkk…no! I can’t stop laughing! Ahahahaha!!”
The two men started to laugh once again. The other looked even more annoyed than before as he sipped his drink.
With nothing better to do, I talked to the bored man…Boredman. Boredman glanced at me with an expression that seemed to question if I was going to start laughing as well. I shrugged and urged him to explain, and so he did, though it was in a very somber voice.
“I came out of the countryside just to enlist in the Imperial Sword Tournament. And then I…became infatuated with a certain prostitute while in an Usk inn.”
“…And I told her. Told her that I was the man who would win the Imperial Sword Tournament. I would win and come back for her! That’s what I said.”
He added that he had been drinking heavily before this declaration. The two men began to laugh again at this point.
“…So? What did she say?”
“She laughed. Said I had no chance of winning. That I wouldn’t even pass the preliminary round.”
He took another sip and sighed deeply.
“It’s impossible! Truly!”
“You’re just going to embarrass yourself! Hahahaha!”
Boredman seemed to shrink every time they started to laugh. I saw this and got up to my feet.
“That’s not true!”
“You just have to win! Beat their expectations and win. Then you can boast about it!”
I grabbed his drink and finished it off. It was nice and warmed my body.
“There’s no need to look down on yourself. Humans are capable of doing anything they set their minds to!”
“Uh, but surely winning is going a little too far…”
“There is no such thing as going too far! Men should talk big!”
I picked up a bottle and poured Boredman another cup. Then I slapped him on the back for good measure.
“Well, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I’m the guy that’s really going to win! Ahahaha!”
“Hey, there stranger. Are you drunk already?”
“I’m not drunk, you dumb bastard. Look. It’s gonna me and him. It’s gonna be a vicious final fight. And when I win, Daniela will be impressed.”
As I continued to drink, I could feel the effects of the drink. Or maybe it was just me?
“Daniela? You mean Lightwind?”
“Yup! My lover!”
“Wha-, then that would make you Silvergreen! Asagi!?”
“Ah, are you serious!?”
“The real one…?”
I didn’t know if I was used to it now or it was just the drink, because for once I didn’t feel embarrassed. Yeah, I had probably just gotten used to it. I wasn’t drunk.
“Hahaha. Yes, I am Asagi. Silvergreen!”
“No way… It’ll be hard to win if Silvergreen joins the list.”
“I think you should quit while you can.”
“Indeed… I cannot fight against someone with an alias.”
“What? Don’t you know that challenges are the spice of life?”
Somehow, I had managed to defeat three possible rivals without doing anything. That hadn’t been my intention…
“Well, uh… Don’t laugh at the dreams of others. I live with my own dreams. I think people are able to enjoy their lives if they have such important goals.”
“That is true… A dream, eh?…”
“Sorry…for laughing at you.”
“It’s fine. I do tend to dream big. But I don’t see it as a negative thing.”
Yes, yes. They had reconciled. Well, it seemed like a good time, so I drained my cup and got to my feet.
“Well, then. I better be off. You guys take care.”
“Aye. See you, Silvergreen.”
“Let’s eat together if we meet in the city.”
“Thank you for not laughing at my dream.”
I bumped fists with each of them before continuing on my way. The night was still as dark as ever. I was feeling good after drinking, and so I decided to walk a little more.
Now that I think of it, I had forgotten to ask them their names…