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Chapter 16 – The Hero’s Disciple

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Author: Tsunose Bun Original Source: Syosetu Word Count: 3024 characters
Translator: Jiro English Source: Re:Library Word Count: 1479 words
Editor(s): Robinxen

As the adventurers strolled by, Merc casually watched them and noted that their gear was all of the highest quality. Her eyes, on the other hand, came to a halt when she passed Jonahim, as if she had remembered something.

Since she first saw him in the Chief’s mansion, Merc had had an uneasy feeling about him. That feeling was focused on Jonahim’s sword rather than him.

“Jonahim. How did you obtain that sword?”

Merc looked Jonahim up and down with a harsh expression on her face the instant she noticed it.

That was because the sword had no business being here in the first place.

“What? Oh, this sword. Do you happen to know what this sword is?”

Jonahim asked, laying his palm on the sword’s handle with a careless smile, unaware of Merc’s stern look. The sword’s handle showed signs of wear, indicating that it had been handled extensively.

“There’s no way an elf who is completely ignorant of the outside world would know. It isn’t just her. Without seeing it, no one would imagine that this tattered scrap of metal is the Hero’s Sword.”
“The Hero’s Sword?”

In response to Elea’s breakout, Merc just tilted her head in bewilderment. That sword hadn’t been named that during Merc’s time, according to what she recalled.

Although the man wielding it did have the right to declare himself a hero. And Merc had addressed him as “Hero” as well. That’s how she used to address Foldia.

“The Hero Foldia… He and his party overcame a major calamity 15 years ago and emerged victorious. This is the sword he was wielding at the time. That is why it is known as the Hero’s Sword.”
“… Why do you have it?”

Jonahim revealed the origins of the sword, but that was not what Merc wanted to know.

She was taken aback to learn that Foldia had been acclaimed as a hero, but what piqued her attention even more was Jonahim’s possession of Foldia’s sword. Merc was concerned that something had happened to Foldia in the previous 15 years.

“Why do I have this sword you ask? That’s simple. Foldia gave it to me.”
“… HUH? The hero gave it to you?”

Jonahim’s words were hard for Merc to believe.

After all, Foldia was the one they were discussing.

The man who valued his sword and shield more than a lady or even food had handed his sword over to another.

It was the equivalent of a king giving up the crown to a peasant.

Did that b̲a̲s̲t̲a̲r̲d̲ go crazy?

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Merc was completely flabbergasted.

“Is it really that surprising? Foldia, you see, is my Master. As a reward for becoming his disciple, he handed me his sword.”

As he saw Merc struggle to recover from the shock, Jonahim stated with a concerned expression.

“The Hero’s disciple… That guy became a master?”
“… That guy?”
“You really are one lucky fellow Jonahim! With the Hero being your master and all!”

Elea said, butting into the conversation just as Jonahim had been intrigued by Merc’s oblique words.

Elea was undoubtedly jealous that they were enjoying a lovely conversation alone.

Merc, on the other hand, paid her no heed.

*I don’t get it… *

In other words, the Hero took on a disciple and congratulated him on his inauguration by handing over his sword to him… That hero did?

I suppose 15 years can truly change a person…

When Merc gave it some more thought, she concluded that Foldia, who had been much younger at the time, was probably in his thirties at this point. He was currently older than Estert had been at the time.

In contrast, Estert had become entirely accustomed to his life as a female elf during the past 15 years. At the very least, that was one explanation for the current predicament.

“I understand your fascination with Jonahim’s sword, but what’s the deal with that wooden stick? Are you really planning on using that?”

Merc, who had been buried in her thoughts, came to when Elea asked. Merc then quickly shifted her sight to Elea, then to the wooden stick slung around her waist.

“Oh, this? It’s simply for self-defense. Elves, you see, aren’t allowed to carry weapons until they’re adults.”
“Hmph, is that so? Wait… you’re not an adult?”
“When elves become 16, they are considered adults.”
“What? Do you mean you’re not 16?”
“I’m 14. Although, from a human’s perspective, I’m already an adult.”

When Elea learned Merc’s age, she took a timid step back.

Elea had yet to reveal her age, but Merc assumed it was between 17 and 18. Elea was the same height as Merc, who was abnormally tall for her age.

“14… So tall…”

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Luka, who had been listening closely to the two of them, looked at Merc with a puzzled expression. Luka and Elea were probably about the same age, although Merc was clearly taller than Luka. That fact must have somewhat bothered Luka.

“Whoa. If you’re this tall when you’re just 14 then that means you’ll probably grow some more. For a girl, you’re definitely going to grow rather tall.”

With his arms folded, Jonahim, who was much taller than Merc, commented. Because Merc had been a man in a past life, she would prefer to be tall rather than short if given the choice.

“Still, with only that stick, you’ll be pretty unreliable. I guess it’s still better than having nothing, though… What types of Magic Beasts may be found on the mountain?”
“Not many Magic Beasts appear on this mountain. Even if something does appear, it will most likely be a Belbit.”
“Is that so? So, this is the ideal home for the Ghezo Velche and the Velches then.” Jonahim remarked.
“How did they end up here in the first place? Isn’t the elf village surrounded by the Forest of Illusion? You shouldn’t be permitted to enter unless you’re an elf or have been granted permission, right?”

Elea was absolutely correct. The spirits lived in the forest around the elf village, commonly known as the Forest of Illusion.

No one would be allowed to pass through unless they were an elf, the race cherished by the spirits, or had their consent. Even if they did enter, they would wander aimlessly around the forest until they returned to the beginning.

As a result, Merc’s mother stood guard at the barrier not to keep an eye out for invaders, but to grant access to anyone who had business with the elf village.

“Could this not apply to Magic Beasts?”

Jonahim asked.

“You’re right. After all, there are Belbits and stuff…”

Elea nodded in agreement.

“This isn’t correct. Any Magic Beast with malicious intentions will be barred from entering. That is why there aren’t many Magic Beasts on the mountain.”

Despite the fact that Luka had stayed silent until now, she spoke up to explain things to Jonahim and Elea before Merc could.

“Malicious intentions? Don’t all Magic Beasts have those?” Jonahim asked.
“I read it in a book once. There are two types of Magical Beasts: those that attack their own and those that don’t. That’s why the Belbit was allowed to pass.”
“Oh, I see. Velches attack humans on their own, but Belbits won’t attack until we agitate them first… So, how precisely did the Velches get in?”
“They flew.”
“… What? OH!”
“They’re called Winged Wolves. They have wings. They flew over the forest.”

It sounded pretty convincing when thought about, but it wasn’t something that sprang to mind quickly.

Three years ago, the elves, like the three of them, had racked their brains for a while until they found the solution.

And if they hadn’t seen one of the Velche flying, they probably wouldn’t have believed it was possible.

“I see. So you can fly over the Forest of Illusion. That’s good to know.”

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Jonahim exclaimed.

“You’re right. It’s also worth noting that Velche can fly across large distances. I’ve only seen them do those half-a̲s̲s̲e̲d̲ jumps of theirs when I hunt them.”

Elea said.

“They only need to fly when escaping or fighting, after all.”

Luka added.

The three of them conversed, exchanging newly acquired knowledge and planning for the approaching fight. As Merc stood there watching them, she was reminded of her days as an adventurer, and she was a little envious of the three of them.

“… Sir and Mesdames. You may keep talking if you want, but we’re about to enter the mountain. We’ll never know when a Magic Beast may appear, so be on the lookout.”

Merc had been hesitant to provide counsel to the skilled adventurers, but she had done it in the end.

After all, this wasn’t the same mountain Merc had visited countless times as a kid. It had transformed into a haven for powerful Magic Beasts. A genuine beast den.


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