Side Story 35 – A Certain Adventurer’s Story

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Author: Ash Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3882 characters
Translator: Musubii English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 3071 words

My name is Neil. I’m an adventurer.

 I left my village at the age of 13 and registered with the adventurer’s guild in Harula towards the east of the village. At that time, my sister Collie and her best friend Tess came together with me.

 Somehow, they were worried about leaving me alone. I told them not to treat me like a child, but they completely ignored me.
 Sure, when I first started out, I was tricked and ended up losing all my money, but at that time there wasn’t any lasting damage, so it wasn’t a big deal.

 ……Well, it was also true that I wasn’t good at talking, or good with negotiating, and that Collie had saved me multiple times when it came to those situations.
 However, there were also many times when arguments would arise because of her.
 And during those times, Tess wasn’t all that helpful either…….I knew I should’ve gone at it alone, I thought of these numerous times.

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 During my two years as an adventurer, I took on many jobs and traveled to the eastern capital city several times. I also met Beck during those times and we ended up forming a party together.
 Beck was two years older than me and was already a C-rank adventurer when I first met him.

 At that time when we first met, I was still just an E-rank so I wasn’t really a great match for him, but strangely enough we somehow managed to click and we ended up forming a party. And now he was one of my closest friends.

 And so I continued working hard, and just recently I was promoted to D rank. The D rank me was different from before. I was no longer someone who would be a burden to Beck.

 I had gone back to the village once in commemoration of the rank-up. I wanted to report the news to my father and mother, and to show them how much I’ve grown. I invited Beck to come with me, but he said he would stay and wait for me back in town, since he didn’t want to intrude upon my visit back home. I was a bit disappointed but it couldn’t be helped.

 During the past two years, Tess also became my lover. So my return back home was also to officially announce this.

 But when I came back, the village was in a terrible state. There was a disease spreading around. And many people seemed to have died from it.
 Furthermore, my mother had also fallen ill. She had been bedridden for days. My older brother who was planning to take over as the head of the household was also sick, and my father was in a very exhausted state.
 Due to the situation being like that, it wasn’t the place to introduce Tess. Rather, Tess has also been contracted by the illness and this is no longer the time for that.

 The medicine in the village was out of stock, so to begin with, it was impossible to buy anymore.
 I only had a few recovery potions on hand, but I couldn’t afford not to use them. I gave Tess one to drink, and I gave what I had left to my mother and older brother. But it wasn’t very effective.

 Although it was my first time back to the village in a while, due to everyone being sick, I didn’t really know what I came back for. Due to our care, my big brother was starting to recover, but Tess’ condition wasn’t improving at all and my mother’s conditions appeared to be worsening.

 Then one day, my little sister disappeared.
 Some of the villagers told us that they saw her going into the forest, but everyone was too exhausted to go looking for her, and we weren’t able to go too deep into the forest.

 During the past half a year so so, monsters stopped appearing in the deeper parts of the forest. Someone said that she might have thought it would be safe to go looking for medicinal herbs by herself due to that.
 But even so, she was still only a six-year old child. She wouldn’t be able to survive by herself out there.

 Or so I thought, but she came back the next day.
 Moreover, she had some medicine for some reason. Something I have never seen before, and other things that looked like potions.
 Furthermore, she apparently met a witch living deep in the forest. Wait, a witch……I couldn’t let my mother drink such a suspicious thing.

 But my dad was completely worn out, and my mother’s condition kept getting worse, nothing else would save her at this point.
 I was against it, but there was nothing else I could do. But when I had her take the medicine, her fever fell on the next day and she got better on the day after. What in the world.

 The potion was amazing.
 Although she was cured, my mother had been bedridden for days so she shouldn’t have much strength. But upon drinking the potion, she had recovered enough to start doing housework.

 Was this perhaps an intermediate grade potion!? Normally, how many gold coins would it cost to buy something like this? And the witch was able to just give something like this away? How!?

 No, never mind, that medicine was able to cure the disease. In that case, it could also cure Tess.
 I asked my little sister Coco where she met the witch and we headed to that location the next day.

 But when we arrived at the witch’s house, it looked like she wasn’t home. Coco who was the guide and my older sister, Collie, had also came together with me.
 Collie had forced her way into coming along, saying that she had to come since we were getting medicine for her best friend. But I think that she was more interested in the witch. Collie was just that sort of person.

 Since she might be home in a bit, I decided to wait in front of her house. But I also decided to take a look around her house while waiting since I was free.
 There was a house with a courtyard and a stone wall surrounding them. Moreover, it was a two-story building. There were also traces of garden within the courtyard. What was being grown there?

 I could tell the house was quite something just from glancing at it from outside. Coco said that the inside was very beautiful, and that the bed in the room she slept in was “heavenly”. Perhaps, the witch was someone super amazing?
 I hope she will share the medicine with us. I was a bit worried. Coco did say that she was a very kind witch. But even so, I was still worried.
 After waiting for a while, Coco suddenly raised her voice.

“Ah, it’s big sis witch!”

 Unlike what I had imagined, the witch was very small. And big sis? So she’s young? I thought for sure she would be an old hag.

“……Hey, it’s that little thing?”
“Yep, that’s right! Big sis witch!”

 Apparently, it was without a doubt this small thing.

“Are you a witch.”
“……I’m not a witch. I already told her that.”
“Is that right? But she said she got medicine from a witch.”
“I gave her the medicine, but I’m not a witch.”
“……Is that so.”
“Yes.”

 It seems that she wasn’t a witch, but she was the person who gave Coco the medicine. And judging from her voice, she was fairly young. She was definitely younger than me.

 ……No, wait a minute? Maybe, she’s just on the short side?
She had huge breasts. Rather, her breasts were very prominent. And bigger than both Collie and Tess’.
 No, no, this isn’t what I was here for. The medicine. But to suddenly just ask for it. Would it be better to make conversation first?

“You live in a place like this?”
“Well, yes.”
“You live alone?”
“Yes.”

“What is with this place…..no to begin with, what is a house like this doing in a place like this?”
“Um, you’ve been asking quite a lot of questions, do I have to answer them all?”
“Oh, no, that is…..you don’t have to.”
“……”

 …….The conversation seems to have gone in a bad direction. Basically, I wasn’t good with this sort of thing. Up until now, Collie had been the one to lead talks, now we have Beck leading talks since he was good with negotiations. Ahh, I messed up. It was like this every time.

“Neil! What’s with your attitude! Did you forget about why we came here?”
“Oh, my bad. But it’s just that she’s living alone in a place like this.”
“Everyone has their own reasons! Hurry up and apologize!”
“Oh, uh……that, sorry.”
“……It’s alright.”

 As expected, this was how it ended up. I just wasn’t as good at talking like Collie. But for the most part, Collie would also be the one to start arguments. Rather, I could only remember occasions of having to clean up after her. Never mind, this isn’t the time for this. I have to bring up the medicine.

“Uh, well, I’m Neil… and I’m her, Coco’s older brother.”
“Coco?”
“Huh? I’m talking about Coco. Didn’t you help her? She was attacked by goblins.”
“……Ah, yes. So that child, her name is Coco.”
“You didn’t know? She told me you let her stay overnight.”
“I forgot to ask for her name.”
“O-Oh, okay.”

 She had helped Coco when she was attacked by goblins, and she even gave out medicine for free, but she forgot to ask for Coco’s name…….

“Uh, anyways…..we came today because, well, we wanted to say thanks. The medicine you gave us cured my mother of her illness. It was very effective. Everyone had already given up. That’s why, uh, for saving her. Thanks.”
“Is that so……that’s great then.”

 …….She sounded like she was actually relieved. Maybe, this witch really was a good witch. In that case, she might be willing to hand out the medicine.

“So, uh, that…….medicine! That medicine, that is, do you have anymore of it? There are several others in the village who are seriously sick so…….could you, uh, save them too, please!”
“Um, please! He’s saying other people, but his lover is also sick. Ah, I am his older sister, Collie! Nice to meet you! My younger brother’s lover, that child is also sick……that’s why, please! Can you share some of that medicine with us?”

 Collie also added to what I was saying.

“That is, unfortunately, I don’t have anymore of that medicine left. It takes a lot of work to make that medicine……so, your lover, right? Even if I were to prepare one, I wouldn’t be able to make it immediately. Also, even if I did prepare medicine for that person, I would be troubled if she were to tell other people about it later on.”

 I understood what she was saying, but I couldn’t give up that easily.

“Don’t say that! Please!”

 The witch shook her head.

“There’s the issue with time, but I also don’t have enough materials. It’s impossible to give it to you immediately today, or tomorrow either.”
“What do you need for the materials!? If you have it, can you make it!?”

 If she didn’t have the ingredients, I will collect them. I really need this medicine! But the witch kept shaking her head despite my pleas.

“What’s with you! I’m already asking you like this already!”
“Grrr!”
“U-Uh…….”

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 In a fit of rage, I tried grabbing the witch’s shoulder, but I was intimidated by a big wolf that was behind her. Speaking of which, Coco did mention that there was a wolf. How did I not sense it? Was it some sort of skill? Something this size, was it perhaps a Greater Wolf? It would be bad if it got angry……but what should I do?

“Like I said earlier, I can’t do anything about it no matter how much you plead with me. Please return home.”

 The witch entered the house while I was still confused. The door was also locked.
 When I looked up at the sky, the sun was already beginning to set. Coco was also here, so it would be bad to continue staying here. I would have to return home for today, but I would be back tomorrow.

 After that, I went back to the witch’s house every day. But I was unable to meet her at all. I knew I was troubling her, but there wasn’t anything else I could rely on expect the witch’s medicine.

 When I came home without seeing the witch again that day, Coco brought me medicine. Apparently, the witch came and gave it to her during the day. Along with an outrageous message.

“That’s…did she really say that?”
“Yep, she said you were annoying so don’t come back again. The medicine was in exchange for that.”
“Oh…….”

 It seems I was being a nuisance…….but with this, Tess would be saved. I took the medicine and went to Tess to give her the medicine immediately.
 The effect of the medicine was tremendous, and like with my mother, she was able to fully recover after two days. Tess was quite surprised.

“What is this medicine…….I also dabble a bit in compounding, but the amount of skill level necessary to make this kind of medicine is…….”

 She started rambling on about something, but this was always the case when it came to something magic-related.

 The day after Tess made her full recovery, I headed to the witch’s house early in the morning. I wanted to thank her. She said to never come back again, but I really wanted to say thanks.

 I arrived at the witch’s house and started knocking on her door. But she didn’t come out. I continued knocking. And then kept on knocking.
 After knocking for a while, I heard the sound of a lock and the door opened.

“Ah…….”

 There was a goddess before me.

 After that, immediately after returning to the village, I started preparing to return to Harula.
 I couldn’t afford to stay here any longer. There were still a lot of people in the village who haven’t recovered from the disease, but there was nothing I could do even if I remained here, and it would be bad if me or Collie also caught the disease. Beck was also still waiting. And it would be winter soon.

 That night a feast was held for us. When asked my mother how she had obtained the money for this, she said that she sold the remaining potions that the witch had given Coco to a merchant who was passing through the village. She was overjoyed that she was able to sell it for a considerable price.
 But I was surprised upon hearing the purchase price. It was obviously bought at a high discount from what it was actually worth.

 Considering the effect, there was no doubt that it was above intermediate grade. It should be worth several gold coins in that case. But I couldn’t bring myself to say anything when I saw how happy my parents were. Collie also had a complicated expression on her face.

 After returning to Harula, we continued to take on subjugation requests. There were always goblins appearing. Because there wasn’t much food in the winter, sometimes the goblins would come close to the town.

 During the winter, I just helped get rid of goblins, but at the beginning of the new year, there was a period of heavy snowfall so I wasn’t able to do much. So I was relieved that I had saved my money like Beck told me to.
 Since I wasn’t able to leave the inn and had time to spare, I talked to Beck about the witch. Beck was quite interested and listened to my story.

 After winter was over, the snow melted and spring arrived, I was able to reunite with a childhood friend from the village who came to purchase things. Apparently, it was decided to keep reserves of medicine at the village.
 I tried inviting the childhood friend of mine to join up with me as an adventurer. He had the strength and courage, so I thought it would be encouraging if he were to join me, but he refused since he wanted to settle down in the village.

 Although, I had gone back to the village last fall, we weren’t able to talk much at that time, so we talked about various things.
 Although we hadn’t seen each other in a long time, there was no shortage of topics, but then we suddenly arrived at the topic about the witch in the forest.

 Apparently, it seems that several villagers went to seek medicine from her in the spring. Naturally, they seemed to have been driven away by the wolves, but they still went many times without giving up.
 Soon after that, even people from nearby villages came. The cause was due to the potions that my parents sold to the merchant.

 It seems the merchant who bought the remaining potions had revealed the effectiveness of the potions.
 Moreover, one of the potions was given to the lord of a town to the south and it was said that he had tried to send soldiers to capture the witch.

 The day after hearing this news, the witch suddenly disappeared. Even her house vanished.

 In the place where the witch’s house was, there were only traces of a drainage system that seemed to have been built, but nothing more.
 The fact that even her house disappeared meant that she was definitely a witch. My childhood friend began grumbling about, but I remained silent.
 Because of our family, the witch disappeared from the forest. A dreadful sense of regret emerged, but there was nothing that could be done about it.1

 A few days later, I decided to accept a long-term escort request.
 Although, I was getting accustomed to the work I was doing, I was growing weary of it, so I wanted to change the mood.

 But I never thought that I would reunite with the witch in the forest upon returning back from the escort mission.



References

  1. Silva: Yea, your whole family sucks, you all should swallow a thousand needles and die a thousand deaths.
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