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Chapter 16: First subjugation
When I came to, my body was clean, but Heath was nowhere to be found. I was sleeping naked, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a dream. Above all, my body felt slightly languid. After crawling out of the sheets and down to the floor, I equipped my avatar. Inevitably, I wore a high-necked item, feeling embarrassed by all the hickeys.
I looked at the clock and saw that it was already morning. I went to the guild hall to prepare rice balls and green tea for the day as usual. Then I saw a number of guild members already in the bar section, and among them was Nachi, he walked up to me energetically.
“Did you hear?”
“Hmm? About what?”
As I was thinking hard while making the rice ball, Nachi looked down and shook his head. He looks somewhat worried.
“Yesterday, at the hardcore players’ guild masters meeting, it was decided that they’re going to start attacking the bosses in earnest.”
“Ahh, I heard a bit about it… Well, I was sure someone was bound to do it given the current circumstances.”
“Today, Genesis is going to serve as the advance party, and they’re going to take on the first boss, as well as defeat it if they can!”
“Heath is in command and Mao is going too. Everyone’s been gossiping about it in friend chat all morning.”
Hearing that, I broke out in a bit of a cold sweat. Heath didn’t look any different, but… it was like that. My heart felt a little queasy. I’m sure Heath is strong so he will be fine, but …he’ll be fine… I can only pray for him.
“In the future, it seems that the five major hardcore guilds will work together to attack, either on a rotating basis or in a joint effort, but it seems that there are a lot of expectations for Genesis, which is by far the strongest of the five.”
“I suppose that’s the case… If Heath and the others can’t do it, the rest won’t even come close to being able to do it…”
I muttered to him as I prepared green tea. Then I look at Nachi again.
“What did Mao say?”
“Nothing. He didn’t tell me about the meeting itself, and when I chatted with him in the morning, he said, ‘Don’t worry about it.’ And something like, ‘Although I’m happy that you’re worried about me.’ How could I not? Is he an idiot? I’m sure he’s an idiot.”
Nachi sighed in a tired manner. I am certain that Mao meant what he said, and that he didn’t want to make Nachi worry too much.
“Did Heath say anything?”
“Eh? No … I told you already he just briefly said he had a meeting. This is the first time I’ve heard of them going to attack today.”
As I answered, I handed out rice balls and green tea. While eating those, everyone was fidgeting around the hall for the rest of the morning, engaging in friend chat and such.
I guess they can’t help but be curious about the news of the attack. I can’t help but be concerned about Heath’s safety, though. It seemed that some of them had even gone out to the relatively safe square to keep an eye out on things.
It was around four o’clock in the evening when the doors of the guild hall were flung open. The sound of Ango’s lively voice rushing into the room caused a commotion to spread among those of us who had been there the whole time, and I, too, stood up without anyone else noticing.
I headed out with Nachi after exchanging a look. Then we followed Ango as he returned to the plaza.
At the clock town plaza, there were many casualand hardcore players who heard the news and gathered there, like us.
I came to a stop when the Genesis guild members appeared from around the corner. At the front of the group, Heath and Mao were there. I quickly checked Heath from head to toe and confirmed there were no noticeable injuries. This game is designed so that when you die, you will be resurrected in the nearest town unless you are healed on the spot by a priest or someone with recovery skills. The nearest town to the first boss is this one, but I didn’t hear anything about him dying and coming back.
Nachi quickly walked forward from next to me. And then Mao and Heath looked up.
“Are you injured!?”
“No. That much was too easy to handle for Heath and I. It was more realistic, but it wasn’t strong at all.”
Mao looked happy. It’s a very rare expression on his face, as he is always glaring at his surroundings. Nachi, on the other hand, had a stern expression, which was also rare. Mao gently held his arms out in front of him, perhaps unconsciously, and Nachi jumped into a hug. Then Mao hugged him back in surprise.
“You really had me worried.”
“Nachi… Thank you? But I’m fine. Still, I’m happy that you’re worried about me.”
I finally caught up to where the two were conversing, and I stood in front of Heath. Heath, who had a dumbfounded look on his face, also stole a glance at me.
“Um… Congratulations on the victory!”
I don’t know what to say, what to do after coming to see him, I was in trouble simply because in my case I was worried about him one-sidedly. Nodding, Heath suddenly plopped his gloved hand on top of my head. He then used his exposed fingers and palm to ruffle my hair.
“I can’t afford to get stuck in the very beginning. It would ruin Genesis’ name.”
“That’s right. Genesis will be fine. I’m rooting for you! I’m glad you’re okay.”
I tried my best to smile and think about why I was being patted. But, Heath’s hand was gone in an instant, and on the contrary, I was troubled by the fact that I even missed it.
“After this, there’s a debriefing. Make sure you stay out of trouble.”
“I’m not a kid so…!”
“I don’t think you’re a kid or anything. I just think you’re a bit dim-witted.”
Heath said and started to walk away. Mao released Nachi from his arms, smiling, and he caught up beside Heath. I saw them off with Nachi for a short while. In this manner, the two of them seem to have returned safely.
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