That’s the way it has always been. That’s how I survived in this world. My time in this world had not been that long, but it was more eventful than all the years I lived before it.
And yet, even someone like me was capable of helping others. That was something I learned. The day that I first killed someone, I also saved a small girl. It was a painful experience, but the thing I felt more than anything was joy over saving her.
“…Yes…yes, I understand. Now that I think about it, you have always acted that way. You are not capable of ignoring someone that is in need of help. I know that more than anyone…”
Daniela let go of my arm and smiled with resignation.
“That’s my nature…I guess. I never really thought about it until now. But that’s just how I am.”
“Yes. It is how you are. And I would prefer it that you live as yourself, Asagi.”
I couldn’t suppress the overwhelming emotion rising up within me. And before I knew it, I was embracing her tightly.
“Thank you… It’s because of you that I can still fight, Daniela.”
Her arms slowly rose to my back. Then she hugged me, much tighter than I had her. And then our lips drew towards each other. The platinum eyelashes closed over her jade-colored eyes, and her lips and my lips…
“Well, I suppose we should hold a war council then.”
We moved away as if Adlus’s voice had torn us apart.
□ □ □ □
The meeting began two minutes later. Well, since we were outside, we were all still standing. But there was a table made of ice in the center that the seven of us stood around. Adlus, Manager, Daniela, me, and three scouts. Perhaps we were his favorites.
“Now, please repeat your findings to Asagi and Daniela.”
Anis, the short-haired scout leader, turned to us with a sharp expression. It made you want to straighten your back.
“There is a large cavity near the base of the Nise Yggdra Tree. And when we searched with Presence Detection, we sensed numerous monsters below. Even around the tree, there were many claw marks and filth that further confirmed that this was the goblin nest.”
Hmm. Daniela nodded.
“But did you see them?”
“Yes. We observed them both outside and inside of the nest.”
“And how was it inside?”
Anis’s eyebrows lowered and she suddenly seemed hesitant.
“We do not have the Night Eyes skill, so we could not clearly make out what it was like. However, we could tell that there were many goblins by using Presence Detection. That is for certain.”
“I see… So that’s where I come in.”
I looked at Anis with Night Eyes and she looked surprised. She had a very expressive face.
“Thankfully, I also have equipment that goes well with Presence Block, so I should be able to find out what is happening.”
“You have many skills…”
She looked a little discouraged. I shook my head.
“But I’m a master with none of them. You can’t beat a professional. In fact, I was hoping you could teach me a few things later.”
“If there is anything that I can help you with…”
Then she straightened her posture and did a perfect ninety-degree bow. And so I frantically bowed my head as well.
“What are you doing…”
Adlus looked at us coldly. Anis suddenly seemed embarrassed.
“Regardless, we should expect the worst. And that is how we will plan.”
Everyone nodded and the discussion began.
It continued for some time. It soon grew dark, and food was brought to us. And still, the talks continued. This time, I wasn’t manipulated. Many ideas were brought forward and many rejected. We took short breaks in between, but I couldn’t think of anything else but the plan…
In the end, one of the Jades who was taking the night watch had to tell us rather unkindly to get some sleep.
The moon was starting to fall by the time we retired to our beds.
The next morning, we continued where we left off. Once we had thought of and discussed everything that we could, we inspected what we had come up with.