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Chapter 15 – The Lost Child and the Miasma – Part 1
Lately, Al had ambushed me in the guild a lot. When I didn’t let him accompany me on my personal matters, he said with a glittering smile that he wanted to stay with me as long as possible.
I finally decided to bend my rule of being a solo adventurer, and finally went to a subjugation with Al! I would rather be in a tense situation subjugating something instead of dealing with his spoiling me in private!
“Today we made a lot of progress. Don’t you think that we have good chemistry? Let’s form a fixed party together!”
“I think it’s about time you give in, but you do have a pretty strong will. But still, Kira is excellent. I have worked with magicians from other parties before, but only with you can I deal with things comfortably. Why haven’t you gotten a promotion yet?”
“I’m satisfied with my current position. I’m planning to work solo, so it’ll be troublesome for me to do difficult requests.”
Adventurers started from the F-rank and went up to the S-rank. Up till the C-rank, there were many people, but starting from the B-rank, the numbers began to shrink, so I didn’t want to stand out in such a small crowd. Not everyone could become an A-rank with effort alone, and they were people that stood out as capable and powerful figures. S-rankers were legends, treated like heroes.
I was like a cheat character in a game, so if I did my best, I could at the very least reach the A-rank. But I had no intention of going beyond the C-rank.
Al became an A-rank adventurer within two and a half years after he started, and as a result he was so famous that, within the country, there was no one that didn’t know his name.
Al only used a sword when fighting. Even though he had water magic, its long activation time made it pretty useless in actual combat.
Al only used a sword; I only used magic. The combination of both our abilities matched quite nicely. But I told him that I used wind magic, so that was a drawback when I fought together with him.
But thanks to that, I had mastered my sickle-like wind blade magic, and I could now use it quite easily.
After finishing the subjugation request, we left the forest. When we approached the town, we encountered a group of people who seemed to be admonishing a distraught woman.
“Let’s stop, Irin. We’ve already contacted the guard unit. Let’s wait for them to arrive.”
“But Ivan… my child, he most likely went into the forest. I definitely warned him not to go! And we’ll have to wait half a day for the guards to arrive, right?! There’s a chance that the search will only begin tomorrow, and I can’t wait for that long!”
“But if you go into the forest, you will end up eaten by monsters! There’s miasma deep in the forest, and it’s already off-limits to all the townspeople.”
“Even if that’s the case, I can’t just stand here! …Wha–what if something happens to him while we’re doing nothing like this?! Let go of me!!”
The woman twisted her body and tried to shake off the people who were restraining her with all her might. It appeared that she was serious about entering the forest alone.
“It looks like her child has disappeared into the forest. Shall we go look for him?” Al asked, turning around to face me.
If I was being honest, I hesitated a bit. I mean, I did want to find the lost child, but was it okay that it was only the two of us searching? Even we, who had a request in the very same forest today, didn’t go very far in.
But it was also true that it would take some time for the guards to arrive, and rather than the townspeople going in…
I had better prepare myself.
Al called out to the woman, asking about her child’s features. What?! Did he just say he wanted to see miasma?!
Apparently, the woman let her son play around while she worked in a small tavern. She heard the regulars talking about a hot topic among adventurers– miasma, and she became absorbed in it, losing track of her child.
…This might be quite bad. We asked them for the location of the miasma and told them to wait for us while we searched for the child. After that, I went into the forest again with Al.
It had been about a few hours since we entered the forest. We split up to look for the child but there was no sign of him. If we didn’t hurry, the sun would set, and the forest would become even more dangerous.
After much debate, we headed in the direction of where the miasma was supposed to appear. Fortunately, we didn’t encounter any monsters along the way.
It was a bizarre sight. In the dense forest, the trees were withered, the ground was covered in dead grass, and everything was enshrouded in a black fog.
“Ah– over there!”
I saw a child lying in the grass, face down, just a short distance from the black fog. Was that Ivan-kun?
I was glad that we found him, but what were we supposed to do now? Perhaps because miasma was near, the humidity suddenly rose, giving off a strange, unsettling feeling.
My body felt heavy with sweat, as if telling me not to go near the miasma.
How could this child have come so far? He must have been incredibly strong and lucky to have gotten this far without being attacked by any monsters on the way.