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Chapter 043 – Rescue from the Guild…?
Come to think of it, when those bandit-like guys first appeared, they referred to him as ‘that guy’ or something along those lines.
They didn’t seem interested in anything we had in our carriage.
I knew that this wasn’t just a simple robbery; this was something I felt from the moment I first read the quest content. This was because I knew that Crash’s life was on the line.
I draped my arms around Crash’s shoulders and felt my companion’s warmth and pulse.
Just how could those guys have easily said such despicable things like killing or even more frightening things?
I felt a shiver run through my spine when I had cut through our assailants with my sword. The experience of attacking human enemies had left a bad taste in my mouth, as it was a completely different sensation from that of attacking monsters. I was somehow able to cut them down, but that was only because we were in a desperate situation. I never want to experience that feeling again unless I have a solid reason.
I was somehow able to suppress my trembling and patted Crash’s shoulder.
“We’ll be fine. I mean we managed to escape them right? I may not be reliable but I’ll definitely take you to Sette.”
“Don’t say that. I mean, you just saved my life. But…”
Crash said this with a quivering voice.
He then took a deep breath and looked up.
“I don’t want anyone to die for my sake.”
“You know what, Crash?”
I intentionally continued with a cheerful voice after noticing that Crash had become tight-lipped.
“Even if I die, I can come back from death. You don’t have to worry about me. If you want, you can use me as a human shield. I’ll come back to life immediately.”
The problem would be that if I were to be revived, I would have to start again from my respawn point, which was my workshop back in Tre. This would have resulted in the quest failing. And I’m sure that Crash would be in danger the moment after I die. So staying alive should be my highest concern, considering the nature of this quest. But if my words could make him feel better, then I will remind him as many times as needed.1
“Come back from the dead, huh… I mean, how can you do that? It would have been so much better if my father could come back from the dead… But, it’s no use telling you about this now. Thank you, Mac. Oh, by the way, are you hungry?”
Ah, I think I had made him worried instead.
We had been walking during this whole conversation. Crash, who had been trembling since a while ago, seemed to have calmed down and returned back to his usual expression.
I released my arm from his shoulder, took the food out of my bag, and handed it to Crash.
We silently ate a couple of long bread rolls with meat sandwiched in between the vegetables for some time. Both Crash and I had felt thirsty, so I had taken out a stamina potion to drink instead of the usual water.
Crash was also happily drinking the stamina potion I gave him.
I was a little bit curious about the taste of those inferior potions. Are they really that different? Maybe I should buy some from Crash next time.
“Speaking of potions.”
Playing with the empty bottle, I tried to tell Crash about the request Yuuta had asked.
“I was requested by Takahashi to sell him potions for his personal use. I want you to help me decide the price because he wants me to sell these potions to him when we arrive in Sette. Since I have only been wholesaling potions at your shop, I really don’t have any experience and I don’t know what to do. Can I really sell these?”
Crash paused for a moment as he thought about my words.
It really was true when Crash said he wasn’t wholesaling my potions to other places and were only sold exclusively at his shop. I had first sold them to the guild, but when my pharmacist job leveled up, they refused, telling me, “These potions are too high quality. I don’t think we can buy these off you.” So they introduced me to Crash’s shop instead. I was really shocked at that time.
“As long as I am there, it would be alright to sell it just outside my store. But if it’s for an emergency, let’s see. Maybe sell the potions 1.8 times higher than the store price.”
“What about your share?”
“Eh? I don’t need it. You’re going to personally sell them to that person, right? But if I were right there, I would of course promote buying the potions through my shop.
“I got it. I’ll make sure to rip him off the next time I talk to him.”
After we had finished eating and recovered our stamina, we got up from the tree stumps we were resting at.
At that moment, a marker appeared on the map. These indicate that an NPC had appeared.
Eh? Here?! An NPC?!
I placed my hand on the sheathed sword at my hips and kept looking in the direction the marker had appeared. The grass rustled as a man who looked like an adventurer emerged out of the bush.
“Ah, so that’s where you guys were. I’m glad—. You, the half-elf. You’re the owner of the general store back in Tre, right? There’s a request back at the guild to look for you guys. I’m glad to find you both safe and sound.”
Crash was bewildered by the stranger with the friendly face, who had said those words.
The night was still young and, if everything was going according to plan then, it would be about time we would have arrived at Sette’s Adventurer’s Guild.
“Erm, why would there be a request to search for me?”
“You are the one who was requested to deliver goods to Sette’s Adventurers Guild right? Your mother got worried, as you haven’t arrived there yet.”
I checked the marker again. It still presented itself as an NPC marker.
The NPC did not have a red mark, but it still felt like something was definitely wrong here. Crash had also felt that something was noticeably wrong, his face still held a stiff expression.
He placed his hands on the sword at his hips.
“Now, let’s go together. If we stay here any longer, we’ll be attacked by those bandits again. I know a direct path out of this forest.”
If Crash and I were in the city, I would be sure we wouldn’t feel this looming sense of strangeness from this NPC who had beckoned us to come with him.
“That’s strange. I don’t think my mother will make such a silly request for this kind of thing.”
“You don’t believe me? Aren’t you alone with a weak-looking guy in such a dangerous place? She’s really worried about you.”
I stealthily whispered to Crash.
“This guy, he seems very dangerous.”
Crash had also whispered in the same low tone and nodded to what I said.
“Um, I know.”
We were right to be suspicious of this adventurer-looking man; I was now able to see something that I didn’t before.
Above his head, there was an HP gauge! So, he really was an enemy!
“It leaves a bad taste in my mouth to know that scum like you worry about me.”
We drew out our swords and readied our postures. The adventurer-like man’s friendly face had become twisted into an evil grin like that of a scumbag.
“Hmm, how did you notice my deception? I’m quite good at pretending to be a good person.”
“Now that you are no longer pretending to be a good guy, aren’t you embarrassed we saw through your disguise!?”
Maybe his stealth skill or something else was at the same or a little lower level than my enemy search skill.
If I was only looking at the marker, I wouldn’t have noticed it. I was sure that Crash, who was an NPC like him, wouldn’t understand this strange suspicion I was having. This was due to the fact that a health gauge wouldn’t appear on top of an NPC!
But how did Crash notice this?
“If you’re going to pretend to be one of our allies, then shouldn’t you at least gather more information about us first!? My mother, she is not the type of person who would do something like that, even before we finish our mission!”
Crash had held his sword and slashed at the man.
Whoa, that’s amazing! He could properly wield the sword. Crash, you are so cool!
I also jumped out and pointed my sword at our opponent. If I used my blinding potion as support right now, Crash would also get hit. So there was no other choice but to use my sword. With a smirk, the man had parried all our attacks. Crash and I couldn’t help but feel like we were just being played around with.
“I see, I see. I’ll do that next time. But only IF there’s a next time! When I bring you back, I’m sure my boss will be pleased. So, give up and come with me!”
“Who would!” CLANG! CLING! CLANK! “Go with you!”
The sound of our swords clashing echoed throughout our conversation.
“Despite telling me to go with you, aren’t you just attacking me with your sword!?”
I had been attacking him from a different angle, but due to my amateurish sword skill, this wasn’t working at all.
“Aiya~ I don’t really care either way. It doesn’t matter to me if I bring you to the boss, dead or alive.”
“Hehehe.” This man had been laughing at us, as it was quite obvious that his combat skills were above ours.
This was getting dangerous. If he seriously attacked us, then we would likely be killed.
I was getting anxious.
“Crash, let’s disengage!”
Crash replied, “I can’t!”
I knew that if there was a difference in our combat skills, it would be pretty difficult to even back off from the fight. But if we were to keep attacking him with only our sword skills, then we could never beat him!
“Then, Crash, please do what you did before again!”
If I had told him not to breathe, the man would surely notice and do the same.
As soon as Crash had nodded in acknowledgment, I took out my special, deadly, blinding potion from my bag and quickly threw it at our assailant’s face.
The man had easily broken the potion with his sword, but that didn’t matter since the status-inflicting powder in the potion would scatter in the air.
Crash and I jumped away from the scattered powder and heard the man’s scream, “Buwa!” Crash and I turned on our heels and ran away from the man.
We had to get out of here while the man was still blinded!
Maybe Crash had also realized that his combat skills were not working, so he quickly ran away from our assailant too.