After that incident, we welcomed the dawn without getting attacked by wild animals or demonic beings. I saw the sun that hid behind the tree lines as I stretched both of my hands upwards. Even if I slept in an uncomfortable environment, there wasn’t any pain in my joints.
It’s completely different from the me until yesterday. It felt as if I was entirely reborn.
Ravi who just woke up opened her small mouth and yawned.
「Did you sleep well?」
Ravi seemed a little embarrassed as she nodded.
「Unn. But, t-that…… sorry……」
「Nn? For what? 」
「Even though you kept guard…… I alone slept ……」
「Haha-. What are you even saying. A sleeping child is a growing child. So, you don’t have to worry about it. 」
There was only worth in me keeping watch if she had slept well.
「Well then. 」
But it won’t do if I don’t do something about Ravi’s shoes first before setting out. Going to the town together to buy shoes and clothes will take at least half a day. And it would be bad for her to walk with bare feet. But I can’t possibly use my stupidly oversized boots for her to wear.
As I looked around in my rucksack, I took out two small bags. I took out the dried beans inside and put it into another bag to empty it. As a temporary solution, I put it over Ravi feet, and tighten up the opening area. I used this same method when my boots broke when I was travelling.
I can’t deny that it looks horrendous. It reeks of poverty. Of course she wouldn’t like it as she’s a girl after all.
She stared at her feet as she stepped on the ground lightly seemingly minding about it.
「Waa……. Amazing……. It became shoes……! 」
Her voice is still as soft as usual, but it had a happy tone. It’s cute how she looks careful taking every step.
「It won’t break even if you walk normally, you know?」
Although I said that, she can’t possibly walk on unpaved roads. It seems she is taking care of it even if it’s made of cheap Zuta bags. A smile naturally came to my face.
In any case, it’s great that the shoe problem is resolved for now. While I was packing up the luggage, Ravi tilted her small head while leaning on the tree as she stopped walking.
She bent over and picked something up.
「This……. It looked shiny so……」
I received the item she stretched out her small hands out to give me. What was on my palm is a familiar looking ring.
I felt something stabbing my heart and my blood drained.
(This ring is……Alan’s……?)
The day I got my adventurer license revoked. The face of Alan that I met in the streets flashed in my mind.
『Oi, stop right there. We don’t have any time to talk meaningless topics. 』
The Alan who stood up for me by raising his voice. He is a comrade that I teamed up in the party for many years. There was a time when I taught him combat techniques when he was still young. I noticed it because I had a period when I was close to him. It’s not my misunderstanding. I can say it with confidence. This ring in fact belongs to Alan.
Alan’s both parents were killed in front of him during an assault of the demonic beings. The first time I asked him about his parents, he told me about it and showed the memento of his parents which was the ring.
「I will definitely take revenge for my parents. I swear it on my mother’s ring. 」
The trembling voice of Alan. The eyes that’s glowed with vengeance. The ring that Alan showed me at that time, had a rare jewel stone, 『Crimson Dragon Jewel』on it. Even now, I can remember that conversation clearly.
That’s why I had confidence. The ring on my hands now, is indeed the same as the one Alan had.
(But why did Alan’s ring was discovered at this place now)
I don’t remember receiving the ring from Alan. I don’t think that it’s possible that it was mixed in my luggage. After all, I’ve left the Hero party for about 1 year already.
No, I knew the reason. I just didn’t want to believe it.
I got back my original strength after the curse dispel hit me. Coincidentally, the jewelry that was found on the ground by Ravi. It felt like the similar situation where I picked up the necklace.
(……The one who placed the curse on me is probably Alan)
My mood darkens. I was so shocked that a strange laughter came out.
I was robbed of my abilities by the curse, chased out of the party, lost my adventurer license, finally became a person that awaited death. All because of my past comrades.
(I don’t remember being hated to that degree by Alan though……)
I didn’t hate him for it. Just that, I felt very sad deep in my heart.
Even though I left the party, we’ve had a time we were close. The fight that we got through by relying on each other, the nights we talked about what’s on our mind. And the day I made my oath.
Alan is a nice young man.
(A kind of person like him to place a curse on me……)
Alan used the memento of his mother to curse me. I could tell it was not a light decision. I’ve probably done something that angered him to such extent. I could not think of any matter that caused it. That’s the problem, I’m an insensitive person that can’t even tell if someone held hatred for me after all.
「……What happened……? 」
The sudden question startled me. As I lifted my face up, I saw Ravi looked at me with a face that seemed to cry. This can’t do. I made Ravi worry again.
「I’m alright, it’s nothing. 」
Ravi shook her head sideways.
「It’s definitely not……nothing……. The face of pain, I know……」
I’m lousy at lying, and Ravi is an observant child.
I admit I got a sour mood from that. What Ravi said is right. It’s not nothing. I drop my gaze to the ring on my palm. I will face the current situation without fooling she and myself.
I don’t know how to settle my feelings. Even so, throwing away the ring here, is not an option for me. Even if he discarded it as a tool for curse, it is the memento of his parents.
I must return it to Alan. And ask him at that time, why did he put the curse on me. As I tighten the palm that held the ring, I lifted my face again.
「My problem is solved for now. Now let’s head out shall we. 」
This time it’s not a lie, but my true feelings.
We are currently at the northern area of Reese Kingdom. As the big city, Balzac is in the south-west area of the kingdom, we had been walking in the south direction. The northern area of Reese Kingdom is mostly undeveloped or wastelands, a transportation network doesn’t exist.
The reason is, the small villages that are scattered like dots on the map have built up their independent community, and there is not as much exchange of products compared to the urban areas.
It’s only the peddlers who walked around to acquire daily necessity. There wasn’t a single carriage on the highway. Since it would be a journey full of walking, I plan to take rests every so often to make it easier for Ravi.
As we cut through the forest, the horizon expands and the spring’s sunlight fell onto us. My eyes were dazzled by the sudden bright environment.
I looked up at the sky while covering my eyes from the sunlight with my arm. The slowly flowing cirrus clouds is floating around in the tall sky. The fragrance of the nature with the wind gives off a peaceful feeling, healing my old wounds.
「It seems that we are blessed with the weather for the whole day. 」
「Is that……also, one of your skills……? 」
My eyes became round from the unexpected question. I see, for Ravi, it seemed like a skill. This child gives me new surprises every time. I denied it while laughing.
「That wasn’t magic. I read the weather. 」
「Reading the weather……? How can you do it……? 」
She asked me as if it was a strange thing.
「U-n, that’s right. It’s something like the experience I’ve gained from my adventure. 」
It wasn’t just after I became a wanderer after losing my license, I had also travelled all around when I was young. I had always travelled to various place away from Balzac.
An adventurer’s living style can be largely categorized into two. One is taking residence in a town with a dungeon, focusing only on conquering the dungeon. Another one is going around to various places, looking to improve yourself or getting a rare item. Of course, the former is more beneficial if you are aiming to level up quickly. I liked the lifestyle adventuring while travelling around.
The knowledge of reading the weather is very important for adventurers. Clouds, birds, and the wind. The prediction made from observing nature normally doesn’t stray far.
「Take a look at the clouds. Aren’t they spread out thinly and highly above? Those are called cirrus clouds. Their presence tells it’s going to be a sunny day. 」
「Even though you didn’t use a skill……Can even tell the weather…… amazing……」
I averted my face because I was shy.
「But it also means that the weather would become bad in a few days, so keep in mind about that.」
As I walked, I pointed to the clouds and taught Ravi.
It might be an insignificant knowledge, but there might be a time that it will come to be useful for this child. Ravi looked at the sky, seemingly trying her best to keep in mind my teachings. I watched such Ravi with a smile on my face.
It’s just been a while since we met but, I felt somehow different than the time I wandered around aimlessly. The words of ‘travel is with companions’ flew by my mind. It’s good being together with someone else.
After that, Ravi and I who walked through the highway surrounded by plains exchanged conversation many times. Because I thought it would be boring to be silent, I talked more than usual. Although it probably wasn’t good considering I had bad conversing skills. Even so, Ravi listened seriously. Ravi apparently liked the stories of my past adventures and useful skills for travelling.
(Even though when I was in the Hero party, I was told that I’m a bad conversing partner.)
I’m really glad that she liked it.
Just before noon, about the time that our stomach is empty after walking tirelessly. We arrived at the riverside.
「What a good timing, let’s have our lunch here. 」
Ravi agreed happily when I suggested that.
I want to make a delicious fish dish for Ravi to enjoy.
As I was motivated to do so, I rolled up both of my sleeves.
TL Note : more information about cirrus clouds here.