A Man Who Escapes From Danger
After a night’s rest, Levee calmed down quite a bit, and eagerly finished her plate of breakfast. As for me, anxiety had kept me up, and since I had taken the night watch, I was very tired.
“Now, as for last night’s fight… I want you to listen to what I have to say.”
“Why of course, Mister Asagi. I shall not miss a single word.”
She said. And I didn’t trust her at all. And if she did listen, I wasn’t sure she would agree.
In any case, I did tell her about Jack of all Trades, Master of None. Of course, I didn’t tell her about my world. There was no point. Same with the God Wolf. To her, it was all because of my unique skill.
“…So, that allows me to learn magic and skills. But it’s really just the basics. Everything after that is up to how much time and effort I put into it. And also my natural ability.”
“I see… In other words, you didn’t actually learn my Freezeblood Arts?”
“I guess. I just overwrote the mana. It’s not like I exceeded yours. So…”
“And yet you were able to stop all of it. Ah, I should not have underestimated you…”
Yes, she wasn’t really listening. Hmm… If only she could be made to understand.
This was going to be annoying. In fact, I was getting war flashbacks of Fiona and Manager… And I was quite sure that I had done nothing to encourage her…
Matsumoto was the only one who needed a harem in this world…
“However, I see that you already have Miss Daniela. Perhaps a legal wife is too much to…”
…What? What did she say?
“Well, I suppose I will have to settle for being a paramore.”
“Settle! Just so you know, both proposals are denied!”
“Exactly. I alone have that position. A dangerous creature like you…it is quite out of the question.”
She made it sound like the dangerous part was the only reason she was disqualified. Regardless, we were mostly on the same page.
“Hmm… We’ll just leave it for now.”
She winked and then sighed. There was something very snooty about it. ‘If you insist, then we’ll just say you’re right.’ I had a feeling she wouldn’t give up easily.
After breakfast, and the short discussion of last night’s events, the three of us started to explore. It was just awkward to say goodbye. Maybe it was because of the duel.
We had searched the Ogre Nest yesterday, but had not been able to find anything, which wasn’t really surprising. However, we decided to go deeper today.
“That being said, this is an island. You can only go so far, and people have likely already been there.”
So… I suppose we should try our hardest to get lost then?”
I looked around, but they were all old buildings and broken wells. It gave you a little idea of what their civilization might have been like. It was definitely not barbaric. Not like in folktales. It almost felt welcoming.
“Since you’re here, you might as well be useful.”
“Ask me anything then. It’s my wish to serve you, Mister Asagi.”
If I cared about every crazy thing that came out of her crazy mouth, then I wouldn’t be sane for very long. And so I ignored her while using Eyes of the God Wolf to look into the distance. The sky sure was pretty.
“Miss Daniela. Have you been with Asagi for long?”
“Indeed… Well, longer than anyone else. I think it will be a year soon.”
“Oh, that’s not long at all.”
“Time is not everything. Quality over quantity. Besides, it has been an incredibly eventful year.”
“I suppose you are right.”
“Speaking of which, you seem to live an eventful life yourself, Levee. That Freezeblood Art…”
Now they were talking as if they were friends. I wanted to get a move on and search…but I didn’t think I should go alone. …Oh, well. I had no choice but to continue using Eyes of the God Wolf. But after circling the area a few times and finding nothing, I decided to get a bird’s eye view. That’s when the well entered my vision again.
It was easy to hide things at the bottom of a well. Maybe there would be an old man who gathers coins. Or glasses that can see through lies.
What if the bottom of the well was the entrance to Kimon…
“No, that’s silly.”
It was just a normal well. There was some water coming out of the surface, but it was pretty dry as far as wells go. I checked the walls carefully, but there really was nothing. No switches or the like. Damn it. Why did I get my hopes up?
“Asagi? How long do you mean to do that? We should hurry.”
“We might just leave you.”
“Ah, uh. Wait a minute. I’m coming.”
For some reason, they were treating me as if I was just standing there in a daze. But I knew there was no point in arguing. And so I quietly followed after them.
□ □ □ □
The road through the Ogre Nest continued up to the top of the mountain. This tall mountain was a sort of symbol for the island. And yes, it was volcanic. It had apparently been inactive for a long time, but it wasn’t extinct.
And so we started to climb the path to the top. And though our search continued, we didn’t find anything.
Occasionally, there would be broken down stone buildings, but they were all just abandoned houses. Hardly an ancient ruin. Just buildings that had been built near ledges that crumbled and were covered vines.
On the other hand, there were other structures if you moved away from the mountain path. I had been quite hopeful at first…but as we kept searching, we somehow ended up at the top of the mountain.
How did that happen? Well, I wasn’t quite sure.
“It is a nice view…”
“It’s too hot.”
Daniela took in a deep breath. Levee squinted her eyes. I took off my jacket and sat down.
“It is nice to go hiking for a change.”
“Yes, it’s very healthy. Though not quite as good an exercise as fighting…”
“It is important to move your body in peaceful ways as well.”
They were talking like two old people now. My thighs were quite soar. Damn it, I felt like the old one in the group.
I watched the scene before us while listening to them talk. Yes, it was pretty. The blue sky above our heads. The vast sea below. The white clouds and green trees made it all come together.
“Yes…it’s not bad.”
“You should get some exercise more often, Asagi.”
Back in my world, I had never been interested in mountain climbing, and I had never done it. But I saw the charm in it now. There was a comfortable sort of fatigue and sense of accomplishment in it.
“However, that is not our goal. We are to search for the ruins.”
“Hmm. But we didn’t find anything close to it on the way here.”
“Yes, that is the problem…”
We might just have to search the other side… As I heavily got to my feet, Levee raised her hand.
“I have a question. What sort of ruin are you two searching for? Yes, there were a lot of near identical houses on the way here. But you aren’t looking for treasure… Is there perhaps something special that you are looking for?”
“Uh… We didn’t tell you…? Huh, I’m not even sure where to begin…”
No. It was more about how much to tell.
“Do you know about what happened in Reserentrible?”
“Yes, I was in the imperial capital at the time. They say that the old dungeon was really an ancient elven ruin. You and five other Adventurers then suppressed it.”
“Yeah, that is right. We are looking for a similar ruin. According to information we received, it should be close to here.”
“So you’re going around and dealing with ruins that might start wreaking havoc on the area… I see.”
I was glad that she interpreted it that way. But there was a problem.
“However, even if you do find it, will us three be enough?”
“No. It will be me and Asagi alone.”
That was the problem. Levee was not related to any of this. If we brought her inside the ruin, the Karma might just eliminate her as a foreign body. It could result in something like what had happened in Reserentrible.
Daniela and I were registered in their network. It would be best if no one else entered any of the ruins.
“It is an ancient elven ruin. We do not know what will happen. However, Asagi and I have some experience.”
“But I have an alias. Surely I can help you.”
“I am sorry. But our minds are set.”
It had to be said, but Daniela did not look the least bit sorry as she cut down and discarded the suggestion. As someone who found it hard to say ‘no,’ my Japanese heritage being a crutch, I instead looked at her apologetically.
“But as we said, if we do find some treasure, we will pass it on to you.”
“That would be quite embarrassing. Receiving something while not even going on an adventure.”
“That is all we can offer you, as much as it pains me.”
Said Daniela, who clearly felt no pain whatsoever. They were negotiating now. I just watched quietly.
“…Haa… I have only known you for a short while, Miss Daniela, but I understand now that you are stubborn. Clearly, I’m the only who will have to bend.”
“I am sorry.”
“You should be. I am only withdrawing for Asagi’s sake.”
Well, their negotiations seemed to have ended. And it was apparently thanks to me. It was a good thing that I knew how to put on an apologetic face.
“Still… There won’t even be any treasure to give if you don’t find the ruins.”
“Indeed… Levee. Do you have any ideas?”
“Ideas… Outside of the Ogre Nest, the only place it could be in is this mountain.”
Our volcano, eh? We would be at the mouth of it if we went just a little higher…
“Then we should try going to the mouth of the volcano.”
“Mister Asagi, you sound like an old man when you get up.”
Levee said with just a hint of distaste. Regardless, I decided to enjoy the rest of our hike as we headed towards the top of the mountain.