|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1231 words|
Law then picked up a tree branch and began swinging it with Merc when a red-haired boy appeared out of nowhere.
It was Ganan, Merc’s self-proclaimed rival.
“Sup, Merc! Let’s finally go to the mountains today!”
“Ganan… You’re quite fired up this early in the morning. What are we going to do if we go?”
“We’ll be hunting! Given the fact that you barely won the last berry harvesting race, I’m not going down without a fight this time.”
“… Barely won?”
Law was perplexed because he knew the result of the previous race.
At the time, Ganan had suggested the contest in a one-sided manner, to which Merc simply gathered at her own pace and eventually triumphed in a landslide.
For the record, Merc had gathered three times Ganan’s total, hence her ‘barely winning’ was a complete lie1.
“I finished my training for today, and I think it’ll be a nice change of pace. I’ll join you.”
Merc decided to keep Ganan company for a little as she hadn’t played with him in a while.
There was also no need for her to change because she hadn’t been training for long and so hadn’t worked up any sweat. She turned back after telling Law, and as she was ready to walk away, Law grabbed her hand.
“I’ll come as well.”
“Hmm. Well, I guess you’ll be fine as long as you stay next to me. Listen closely, Law. You’re not allowed to wander off by yourself, is that clear?”
It was unusual for Law, who spent most of his time locked away in his room studying, to express something like this. His desire to strengthen himself appeared to be genuine.
“Oh, you’re coming as well, Law? We’re not going there to play. Don’t blame me if you get hurt.”
“I’m gonna be fine, Ganan.”
“Hey! You should treat your seniors with more respect!”
Law’s statements clearly enraged Ganan, who retaliated with a stern glare and slumped his shoulders. Merc felt bad for Ganan, so she stepped in and gave Law a slight smack.
“Law, he clearly doesn’t like it, so try and be more polite next time. You should show respect to your seniors. Even if that senior is Ganan.”
“If you say so, Sis.”
“Hey! What do you mean by ‘even if it’s Ganan’?!”
Ganan became enraged, but Merc just ignored him. Instead of listening to him, she concentrated on the thing he was carrying.
“Ganan, what’s that?”
“Huh? Oh, this! These are, as you can see, a bow and arrows. Gramps gave me his old bow and some of his used arrows. He’s been taking care of them so they can still be used.”
“… You aren’t planning on hunting with that, are you?”
“Of course I am.”
“Don’t blame me if you get hurt, right? I see right through you.”
Just when Merc was going to chastise him for his rashness, Ganan said, crossing his arms.
Merc was irritated by Ganan’s statements because he was spot on and caught her off guard.
“In fact, I’ve been practicing with this bow recently. I’ve already used it to catch prey four times. Yesterday I even caught a Belbit.”
“So that explains your recent trips to the mountains. You’ve been playing hunter.”
“I-I wasn’t playing! I caught things, therefore I’m the real deal!”
“At the very least, I applaud your effort… Nonetheless, a Belbit is still a Magic Beast. Try not to provoke them too much.”
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Ganan pouted in response to what Merc said. Her suggestion was perhaps too much for him to bear.
The rabbit Ganan had hunted, dubbed Belbit, was a Magic Beast that had a horn growing from its forehead that was filled with mana. Even though it was a Magic Beast that even children could take down unarmed, at least one person died every year from a Belbit’s horn, therefore one had to be cautious around them2.
Belbits, thankfully, had a timid demeanor and would not attack unless provoked.
“It’s settled then! Let’s go!”
“Can you wait just a sec? I need to grab something.”
“Huh? Hurry up.”
Merc went inside her house after urging the impatient Ganan to wait for a bit.
When she got inside, she prepared a sack with a straw rope, a hunting knife, and the Blood-Stopping Medicine she had created the day before. She had chosen to take the Blood-Stopping Medicine just so that she could see if it worked in the event that someone was injured.
“This should do it.”
Ganan set out for the mountains as soon as he saw Merc leave the house with the sack slung over her shoulder.
“Law, don’t let go of my hand, okay?”
Ganan suggested the terms of today’s contest as the three of them headed towards the mountains, Law clutching Merc’s hand.
“How about we make it a numbers contest? The one with the most catches wins.”
“That won’t do. There won’t be any animals left in the mountains if we hunt as much as we want. We’ll simply cause problems for the hunters, and we’ll have no idea what to do with the catch afterward.”
“Hmmm… Then what do you suggest?”
“Let’s make it time-based. We’ll set a time limit ahead of time, and the first person to collect three of whatever and return wins. Even if you catch the required number of prey before the time is up, you’re out if you don’t get to the meeting place on time. You’re also out if you arrive at the meeting place on time but don’t have the required number. How does that sound?”
“It sounds great. I also think that this method is better.”
Ganan had a puzzled expression on his face, as if he hadn’t grasped Merc’s explanation. Law, on the other hand, seemed to have grasped it, as he sided with his sister despite not participating in the competition.
Looking at them from the side, it was difficult to tell who was the true senior.
“… In other words, I just need to hunt three animals?”
“That’s right. You just need to hunt three animals and come back to the designated place as soon as possible. As for the meeting location, how about the Large Tree’s Stump?”
“Sure. We might as well start off from there as well.”
As they made their way halfway up the mountain, they came across the remnants of a big tree. Only its stump remained, and it was wide enough for Merc to fit another five or six of her on it.
The residents of the elf village called this stump the Large Tree’s Stump.
Furthermore, Merc’s master, Rosemary, was the only person who knew why the tree had been cut down.
As soon as they arrived at the Large Tree’s Stump, Merc issued a warning to Ganan, who was about to dash away at any moment.
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“Well then let’s start the contest. Even if you don’t manage to catch three animals, be sure to return until the noon bell rings, okay?”
“Sure thing. Merc, Law, be careful.”
“Sure. Magic Beasts are hard to come by in these mountains, but you should still be cautious, Ganan.”
“Whatever. Well then. Ready, set, go!”
The instant he gave the signal, Ganan bolted out.
“Good grief. He’s quite the lively fellow.”
With Law holding her hand, Merc simply stood and watched.
- Robinxen: To be fair if it was like 5 berries to 15 I’d call that barely winning.
- Robinxen: It’s got great big pointy teeth!
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