|Author: Tsunose Bun||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3024 characters|
|Translator: Jiro||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1122 words|
“This puts me in a tight spot. Now that you won’t be joining me, I need to find another magician.” Foldia happily accepted Astard’s choice but did so at the expense of his Dungeon exploration.
The only reason Foldia had come here in the first place was to recruit Astard so they could take on the unexplored and difficult Anti-Darkness Dungeon. All of Foldia’s efforts went down the drain due to Astard’s refusal.
“I’m sorry, Foldia. You went out of your way to save Kena, yet here I am, rejecting your offer.”
Foldia raised his hand towards Astard and spoke, “Don’t sweat it. It’s true that I value weapons, but I wouldn’t sacrifice other people’s precious things to obtain them. It would be awesome if you could introduce me to a magician. They probably won’t be as excellent as you, though.”
Merc cleared her throat and turned to face Foldia.
“Huh? You alright, Merc? Did you catch a cold?”
“I’m fine. I heard you mention the Anti-Darkness Dungeon. You know, I wouldn’t mind going along.”
“What? I will grant you that you are now an Elf and possess a boatload of Mana, but what I really need is a skilled magician.”
Foldia spoke while displaying a peculiar face and staring at Merc’s waist. Foldia most likely imagined that Merc was aspiring to become a dual-wielding swordsman, based on the sword and wooden stick hanging on both sides of her waist.
“Foldia. I already told you this before, but it was Merc who healed Kena’s wounds. Right now, she’s a better magician than I am. You can be sure she won’t hinder you.”
“What? For real? Back in the day, Estert couldn’t even feel his own Mana, let alone cast a spell! I knew something was off when I saw the wooden stick, but I never considered the possibility that you could use magic… Still, why do you only have one real sword?”
Although Foldia was convinced by Astard’s reasoning, he still asked about the thing that had been bothering him.
Foldia’s sincere question left Merc speechless.
It was only logical to use a real sword rather than a wooden stick under normal circumstances. Furthermore, real swords were not prohibited in the elf village.
Merc agreed that a real sword was far better than a wooden stick. She had, however, become fond of the wooden stick. If Merc had to use a mediocre real sword, she might as well use her wooden stick instead as it didn’t fall short of any real swords when coated with Mana Hardening.
Merc thought it would be embarrassing to tell Foldia all of that, so she just chose to put her hand on the stick’s handle.
“Is it really a problem? If you are unconvinced of my abilities and this wooden stick, why not have a taste of them outside? I’ll show you what I’m capable of.”
“I’ll pass up on that offer. Right now you’re blessed with the ridiculous Mana of an elf, and Astard claims you’re even better at magic than he is. Furthermore, I’ve never beaten you in a swordfight. It won’t be a fight.”
“Perhaps not in a sword-to-sword fight, but you’ve won many times when magic has been thrown into the mix. Furthermore, I don’t have my swords.”
“That makes two of us. You might not have the Fortifying Sword and the Stout Sword, but I’ve also given the Anti-Mana Sword to my disciple.”
Foldia said, raising both hands in the air. From the looks of it, he had no intention of exchanging blows with Merc. Foldia then smiled and continued to speak,
“Now that I know that you can use magic, I’ll be more than happy to have you accompany me on this trip. Let’s show that Dungeon who’s boss!”
“Haha. No objections here.”
Although Merc had suggested they exchange blows, in truth, she didn’t want to do it. There was no reason for them to fight if Foldia was willing to acknowledge that Merc could use magic.
“Well then, I’ll go inform the Duke’s men that we’ve found Kena. They’re probably still looking… I’ll also ask them to bring the carriage here.” Merc said, preparing to leave the hut.
“Thank you, Merc. I’ll stay here and watch over Kena.” Astard said.
“Okay. I’ll be right back.”
With a puzzled tone, Astard asked, immediately stopping Merc in her tracks.
“What do you mean, why?”
“You and Foldia should just head to the Empire after you’ve let the Duke’s men know. There’s no reason for you to come back here.” Astard said in an emotionless tone.
“This part of you will never change it seems…”
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In outrage by Astard’s comments, Foldia replied.
“It’s true that I’m the one who wants to get my hands on that weapon as soon as possible, but the three of us haven’t gotten together in ages. How about we grab a drink somewhere?”
“I’m afraid I’ll have to decline. With my disciple in this state, I’m not in the mood for drinks. And it’s not like we won’t meet anymore.”
Astard said, his eyes beaming with confidence. He had no doubt that Merc and Foldia would return safely after conquering the Dungeon.
Upon hearing him say this, Merc and Foldia exchanged looks, sighed, and turned to face Astard.
“You’re right. We’re gathering in your house after we conquer that Dungeon. I’m expecting a feast, okay? Oh, and another thing. No booze for you.”
Astard asked, shocked by Merc’s strict order. However, Merc couldn’t tell him that it was because he was a bad drunk.
“See ya, Astard. Thanks for taking care of me… Let’s meet again.”
“Come visit me whenever. And if you find out anything about Iriem, do let me know.”
“Sure thing. Oh, one more thing. Don’t go doing anything strange to Kena before she gets her memory back, okay? Haha…”
Merc said in a playful manner. Meanwhile, Astard tilted his head in confusion.
“Anything strange? What do you mean by that?”
Merc could only smile bitterly and ignore Astard’s straightforward question. Without saying anything further, she turned and hurriedly left the hut with Foldia.
“Merc! What did you mean by anything strange?”
Astard’s voice followed Merc and Foldia out of the hut, but Merc just pretended not to hear him. Afterwards, she turned toward Foldia and said,
“He’s so innocent. Or maybe it’s just that I’m way too perverted?”
“Beats me. Oh, my. Look at the time. It’s going to get dark soon. Let’s hurry.”
Foldia said, quickly changing the subject, and avoiding Merc’s question. Even if he’d done it a little awkwardly, it still showed his good nature.
Nonetheless, the three’s parting was nothing short of sad.