I left home two days ago and the second day was nearing it's end. In another three days I should reach the town of Hedley. Everything went fine so far. I only had a few encounters with some weak wolfs. It was about I set up my camp for the night so I started to pick some sticks up to make a fire.
Suddenly I heard a scream, so I raised my guard, dropped the sticks I already gathered and drew my sword. I strained my ears and could faintly hear the sound of fire, so I slowly advanced towards the direction the sound was coming from while keeping my guard up.
After 100 meters I saw a clearing from which the sound seemed to come. When I entered the clearing all I could see were burning carts and corpses.
I started looking around and spotted a women who cowering with stone behind her and a bow in her hands. In front of her towered fire spirit. The woman looked at me with determination in her eyes. Upon meeting my gaze the woman seemed to understand my intention and tried to direct the focus of the enemy towards her.
I dropped my backpack on the ground and sprinted towards the fire spirit. The spirit didn't seem to have spotted me and started getting closer to the woman while invoking fire magic. It was my first time seeing this kind of magic but I had no time to be amazed right now.
I didn't have any more time or the woman would have turned to cinders so I closed the distance in an instant. I slashed my sword diagonal at the spirit but the spirit seemed to have noticed me in the last moment and distanced itself from me and the woman.
While being taken by surprise it seemed to have raised it's guard and started to cast fire magic towards me.
While being unfamiliar with magic attacks I dodged after predicting speed and aim of the various flame bullets and closing in while doing so. So far everything was inside my expectations and I had no problem closing the distance. Dad really thoroughly prepared me for this.
When I was on point black range I slashed the fire spirit and felt no resistance. However my attack had no effect and I remembered that spirits are immune to physical attacks. Upon remembering this I clad my sword in water magic.
This is the magic my Dad taught me 'Enhancement magic'. It allows the user to clad ones body or weapon in magic power. I decided to learn this because most hero's used this power. However I was shocked when the sword started glowing and how easy the power cursed through the sword making my technique ten times more effective. That's not really what I should be concerned about right now though...
I focused myself on the fire spirit in front of me again which seemed to look down on me because of my previous failed attack. I was a bit pissed of but welcomed the opening it showed through this. I once again closed the distance and slashed at the fire spirit.
The fire spirit seemed to sense the threat the sword now posed and tried to dodge it but to no avail. I cut the the spirit in halve and it vanished leaving nothing but a small red crystal.
I started to focus my attention on the surroundings to search for other enemies but It seemed there were none so I decided to picked up the gem.
Afterwards without letting down my guard I went to pick up my bag and approached the women who stood up after she realised my intentions. The woman didn't seem to trust me even after I saved her live. How I can tell? She notched an arrow and aimed straight at me. Or so I thought.
The woman fired the arrow over my shoulder upon which I looked behind me surprised to see a shadow wolf lying in the grass 500 meter behind me. I probably would have sensed it if it came closer but this way I don't have to deal with it so I was satisfied.
Afterwards the woman lowered her head and took another step forward. I was speechless. The woman, who stepped into the light of the fire was simply beautiful. She was probably around my age, had long blond hair, a pretty face and stunning green eyes. That was the first thing I noticed. Her green eyes supported by a white robe under it some basic, but sexy, clothes. I was incapable of tearing my eyes of her and I became nervous. Since I didn't say anything she spoke in a beautiful voice
“Thank you....for saving me...”
“No problem...”I rubbed my head and blushed.
“Uhm....I'm Katsumi Shizuka....what is your name?”
“Oh sorry...I'm Akio Hitsugaya.” I finally managed to calm down.
“Is there a way I can repay you? I can give you money.”
“No need....I don't need anything. You don't have to repay me.”
“I have to. My proud as an adventurer tells me to do so.”
“Really?! You are an adventurer?!”
I was so exited and accidentally ended up screaming. So embarrassing. Katsumi started laughing which made me go red. I old are you? I asked myself.
“Yes I am. I was asked by some acquaintance to help guard the caravan but we had nobody who could deal with spirits because normally you wouldn't find those here and it ended with what you are seeing here.”
“It is indeed strange that a spirit came down into the forest, but nothing we can do about it now.”
“You are right. Now let's quickly bury the body and get away from here before even more beasts come.”
After Katsumis said so we buried the corpses and while talking we decided to head to the town of Hedley together since Katsumi wanted to repay me. After we finished with the burial took some distance to be on the save side in the night.
Katsumi and I've made a fire and sat next to each. We already finished eating. I don't know why but I felt much more comfortable around her so I smiled. She looked at me, smiled and asked.
“Ehm...nothing. I was just thinking.”
“All right, since you don't seem to want to tell me it can't be helped, but as compensation you have to tell me more about yourself. First of all where are you from?”
“No problem. I come from this region and used to live in a little cabin with my mum and dad. It's around three days from here. And where do you come from?”
“Hmmm....sounds pleasant. Although It was your time to talk...”
She looked into the flames seeming to recall some unpleasant memories. It seemed to be an uncomfortable subject for her. So I did not push her and waited for her answer
“I'm from a little village near the Boarder from Humans and Colossal. My mum and dad died during the last war four years ago....since then I'm on the road....”
I never met a Colossal but I heard there were around 2.50 – 3 meter high.
“I'm sorry...I didn't intend to ask you something like this.”
“Don't worry about it. If I didn't want to talk about it I would have refused, though I hate it when people prefer me because of my past or treat me different so please don't do.”
“I don't have any intentions of doings so, rest assured.”
“Anyway, where did you learn to fight? I mean you defeated a fire spirit without even a scratch and even used a pretty advanced magic technique. Also what's with that sword?”
“My dad taught me everything from the basic to this and although I had no affinity with spell casting I have a pretty good magic control so he thought me this techniques. This sword also belonged to him and he gave it to me when I left. So I was also pretty surprised when I used it back there”
“Ahh..I see.... So your dad must be a great swordsmen....”
“Yes he is! But he said he was never as good as me. I didn't quite believe that, but he thought it was that way.”
“Okay...but if everything was so fine at your home why did you leave?”
“It's simple...I wasn't satisfied...I know most people would be, but I'm not. I couldn't live in a cabin in the woods for the rest of my life. I want to see my own adventure.”
“I guess I know what you mean. I also couldn't live my whole life away from everything, but it must be nice to live with the persons you love.”
“Yeah...It sure is...”
We both laid on our back and looked silently at the stars. I don't know how long we stayed that way, both of us lost in thoughts. After a while Katsumi fell asleep, while I stayed awake. However I didn't know what a fire spirit did so deep in the forest. I thought a few times about it, but I had no idea. After some time I was also tired. I decided to let it rest for now and went to sleep.
Three days later after we set out in the morning and walked for half a day the forest was beginning to thin out and a small village in the middle of fields was seen. Katsumi and I were both hungry so our faces beamed with joy when we finally saw the village.
“There it is” I said cheerfully, a bright smile across my face
“We're finally here. It sure took longer then expected.”
“Yeah. Your right, but that wouldn't have happened if we had not lost our way because of you. I thought you'd know the way around in this area.”
“Don't try to blame it all on me, you were the one who wanted to visited that lake after all.”
We started laughing and walked slowly towards the village. Some farmers worked the fields and greeted friendly. I was a little anxious when I thought that we would part ways soon since I had accustomed to her presence and I didn't want to continue my travels alone, but it had no use to think about it like this. Trying no to think about it to much my stomach began grumbling.
“Let's get something to eat. After all, I owe you.”
“Sounds like a plan to me.”
As we entered the village we were amazed. Although this village may look like a normal farming village from the outside, but from the inside it was more like a little city with tons of people and stores. Every building was made of stone and a really good atmosphere could be felt. It was a beautiful place. While wandering down the streets and sightseeing we looked for a suitable and affordable cafe. After a short time such a cafe came in sight and Katsumi called out happy with a smile.
“There! I want to eat there!” She grabbed my arm and pulled me towards the cafe. “Ok, ok.”
I was beginning to feel really anxious about parting ways with her and my heart started beating really fast as we set down and gave our order. The sun was shining on us and our food arrived rather quick, it's not like I know how long it normally takes but I found it to be quite fast. I enjoyed the snack, which I had never tasted before, while observing Katsumi with a heavy heart. While observing her I noticed that she was far more beautiful then any of the woman in the cafe and the gazes of various man were gathered on her. Katsumi did either not mind it or just didn't notice it, however it did not take long for her to notice my gaze.
“What's up? Is something on my face?” Katsumi said, clearly embarrassed, while her cheeks turned a bit pink.
“No, that's not it. I was just thinking that it would get lonely if you're not around.”
“Who said I would stop travelling with you?”
“Huh?” I totally didn't understand what she meant.
“Didn't I already say I would accompany with you until I can pay back my debt?” She looked confused.
“I guess you said something like that...but didn't you repay me with this meal?”
“If I would call this [Solve my debt], then I would be a pretty heartless women. After all you saved my live. Besides it's much more interesting then travelling alone.”
“Ahh...I get it. Guess I can't argue with that.” I sighted in relieve. “I'm relieved to hear you won't stop travelling with me and feel the same way I do”
“I'm happy to hear that.”
I felt relived, because I really liked her cheerful personality and her smile. Speaking of which she beamed right now. I could look at her smiling face and not get tired of it. She really was beautiful.
“So where are we going next?”
“Honestly, I have no idea. I only planned to this village since I didn't know what might happen on the way here and I seemed to have made the right decision. I would be interested to go the dungeon city Oridale, what do you say?”
“A dungeon you say? Hmm...I never went there before but if you want we could go....But are you sure it's safe? I mean I saw how strong you are.....even so many adventurers die in the dungeon and you and I are still inexperienced.”
“I don't think I need to fear anything, after all, you got my back, right?”
“Don't blame me if anything happens.”
“Don't worry, I won't.”
After finishing our meal we started walking in the streets looking for an Inn to spent the night, since the Sun was already about to set. Along the way Katsumi started mumbling something.
“Hmm... Let's see, If I remember correctly the next dungeon should be eleven days from here. We need food, sleeping backs, water and while were at it we should stock up our equipment too. On our way are some smaller villages were we could spent the night, but that would cost extra. So we need food for 11 days....” “Hey Katsumi? Do we really need all that stuff I mean we came through with out it until now, so why the whole equipment?” “That's actually pretty easy. We have to travel through several provinces of the Empire and in order to hunt there you need the consent of the lord.”
By the way the name of this country is Wivaria Empire and was founded by a hero, who defeated the demon lord. In order to stand against the threat that stood before the hero he asked the other races for help, which resulted in a country without persecution against other races. As a side note slavery is also vorbidden.
“Ah..I see. I would never have thought of that.”
“After travelling for four year's through the land you should know some things or you will run out of money pretty fast.”
“Ok, now I've got another reason why it was a good idea to travel with you. Since I now know the reason for our shopping, should we get started?”
We pleasantly shopped while buying everything we needed, stopping by one or two stalls to test the local food. The local food was nothing special and something you could find everywhere or so Katsumi said. Nevertheless it was really delicious.
At last we went to the blacksmith, while hearing the hammering while we approached. Clang. Clang. Clang. It was a rhythmic, calming sound.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah..I'm alright. The sound of the hammer made me just a little sleepy that's all.”
“Don't worry after this we can go and search for a nice Inn and just go to bed.”
“That sounds good.”
We arrived at the shop and saw a Dwarf pursue his work.
The Dwarf had a long beard and goggles on his face, while he wore an classic blacksmith robe. He looked exactly like I imagined a draw. Dwarfs are a race who excel in smithing and drinking.
The Dwarf slowly looked up and said “How can I help you?” in a deep, ruff voice. He stopped his hammer took his goggles off and looked at us.
“We would like to have some maintenance done. Could you finish it until tomorrow morning?”
“Depends on the equipment.”
“Let's see..that would be my bow, arm and leg protectors and your sword, right?”
She looked at me, while taking of her equipment so I nodded and took my sword with it's sheath from my back and handed it to the Dwarf. He slowly drew the sword from it's sheath. His eyes went wide with surprise.
“Where did you find this?”
“This is my father's sword.”
“It seems your father is an rather outstanding person.”
“Why do you think so?”
“Haa...you don't even now the value of the sword you are carrying.”
“This sword is world famous you know? It's name is [Glimmer]. It was created at the end of the [Chanceless War] by dwarfs and elves as a trump card against the Colossals and their god. Legends say this sword ended the war by allowing somebody to kill the god that flamed the flames of war. It has been missing ever since, but it's records still exist to this day. Many smiths wish to be able to create a weapon like this, but the gods were afraid of it's power so they made sure nobody would be able to create it again.
It is also said the weapon can't be used by people other from those accepted by the sword. Never would have thought it still existed.”
I was dumbfounded. To think Dad owned something so valuable. Slowly grasping the situation I raised my voice.
“This sword is so famous, every smith who holds something on himself knows of it. If I hadn't seen the original plans of this thing and known the damage it will cause when taken away from it's owner through tricks or harm, I would probably try to get my hands on it, but I will pass on directing the gods wrath on myself.”
I just didn't know what to thing anymore. Before I was capable of responding, Katsumi next to me screamed.
“I didn't know anything about it! I swear! But I don't really get it right now. What does this mean for me now?”
“Simply put, you could slay a God and take it's place.” “Wait...WHAT?!?!”
That was it. My mind was already unable to process the things I just heard and I just dumbfounded with my mouse hanging open and listened as the dwarf ended it's explanation.
“That's about everything that's known about this sword. Oh...yeah, there's one more thing. It can't break, so maintenance is unnecessary. Still you better take care of it and never mention this to anybody else, because if that person was to be uninformed it might as well destroy the world....”
Katsumi and I couldn't believe what we just heard. A god slaying, unbreakable sword? Are you kidding me?!
“Ok...Ok...I need some time.”
The Dwarf gave me [Glimmer] back and as took it and sat down on a chair that stood next to me I tried taking everything in that just happened.
“So I guess that's only my bow and armour then...”, Katsumi said while laughing awkward.
After I regained my ability to speak, walk and think I thanked the Dwarf. As we went onto the street he sun had completely set and only a few people were still outside. We silently walked a bit before I tried talking with Katsumi about the current situation.
“I didn't see that one coming....”
“Neither did I...What is your dad anyway?”
“I thought he was a normal dad, nothing special, but I guess that's not the case....”
“...Seems that way...Although this is important to find out, I don't think we should talk about it out in the open. Let's search for an Inn.”
“Sound's good. I need some sleep right now.”
We walked some time until we saw an INN sign hanging outside a building and so we went inside and straight to the counter.
“Good Evening. One room for two please.” Katsumi smiled to the young human woman behind the counter.
“Ok. Here's the key. I will guide you to the room.”
A room for two...did this mean I would sleep in one room with Katsumi....no way..hahaha...wait WHAT?! My brain sent out so many warning's at once. Today was just one shock after another. Katsumi and the counter lady slowly walked away so I hurried after them. The woman showed us to the room, left and Katsumi went inside without a single care. After I entered I saw it. Just one bed. I froze. She didn't seem to care one bit. What does this mean?! My brain was already at it's limit from the shock I received from the sword so I tried asking instead. It's not like I'm complaining though. Sleeping in the same bed as the beauty beside me seems to be bliss but I was afraid my reasoning would snap.
“Hey....Katsumi...you know...there's just one bed...”Stating the obvious she looked at me confused.
“Yeah, I know. What about it?”
This has to be a dream. The first girl I meet who was as old as me wanted to sleep with me in one bed?! This clearly is some sort of prank.
“It's the same as when we slept outside the last three days.”
“Are you sure?”
She didn't even mind one bit. I was questioning myself if she really didn't mind or If she was dense.
“Of course, it's cheaper and we can stand up together, plus it's saver.”
I couldn't say anything against this arguments. I gave up. This girl is simply as dense as morning fog. I hope this won't bring any problems...
We started changing and I left my shirt on....but Katsumi striped down to her underwear. A beautiful pare of breast in a black bra. I already guessed this when I saw her for the first time, but she really had the perfect proportions. Her Breast where around C to D, a real feast to the eyes. There was only one question I had, can somebody really be this dense? Now I also had to strip to my underwear, if not I would have felt bad and I probably wouldn't be able to close my eyes tonight. I took my sword and put it next to the bed. After that I laid down and made as much space between me and her as possible.
“Hey...there is something I haven't asked you yet.”
My eyes went wide. ,,Yeah?”
“How old are you?”
The pressure left my chest. “I'm 18, why and how old are you?” She chuckled. Did I say something strange? “So you're older, I'm 17. And why? Just curious. After all we are sleeping in the same bed.”
She turned around. Only for a moment I saw her smiling, which seemed to be impossible considering how dense she is...wait she really is dense, right? I could hear her breathing decreasing as she slowly went to sleep while I was wide awake. I laid on my back concentrating and telling myself to sleep, but then She rolled over, resting her face on my chest. I was close to losing my sanity and reasoning as my heart begun beating faster ans faster, but even so her close presence gave me a sense of security like never before, it was bewitching and my conscious slowly drift away.
On the next morning when sun rays hit my face, I slowly came to. Katsumi was still snuggling up to me with a peaceful look on her face. Her head was still resting on my chest. It was hard to bring myself to wake her up but we had to get going or we wouldn't be able to head out today. Slowly raising my free hand, I taped her on the cheek.
“Hey...Hey Katsumi.....wake up.”
“Is it...morning already..?”
She opened her eyes slowly and it took her a few moments before she grasped the situation. Before I could blink an eye she sat upright. Her head awkward turned towards me. Her cheeks were completely crimson. It seems she really was just incredible dense.
“H-H-How....long were you a-a-awake?”
“I just woke up.” I smiled awkwardly.
I better not tell her that she was sleeping there the whole time...
“I DID WHAT?”
“Huh?” Did I just say that out loud? I'm so dead.
“You could have waked me up you know!!”
“Sorry. You looked like you had a good sleep and before I knew it I was also sleeping. You had a somewhat calming aura, I couldn't help it!”
“T-That's not the problem! I didn't thing about this! A-Anyway we better head out soon otherwise we won't be able to accomplish anything today.”
We quickly put our clothes back on and went down to the restaurant to eat. After we ate we headed out. My backpack was filled to it's limit and pretty heavy. Even as I insisted on carrying the most stuff, Katsumis back still looked heavy. The sun had just set, it was still a bit foggy and there were already a few farmers in the fields. We slowly made our way through the village and when we went out of the village on exactly the opposite side as we came in Katsumi stopped in front of a sign.
“Hmm...Let's see this should be the road to Oridale. Yep! That's it. Come on Akio!”
I was really excited about my first own adventure and also very happy that Katsumi was still by my side. Now nothing could go wrong! We set off, through the fields, with our next destination in mind.