Chapter 3 – The Corrupted Village’s Legend ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ ▼ (Part 1)
Earlier than lunch time.
Ami and Junpei were walking along a mountain path.
「Still…… that noble was so cheap」
「Yeah, we were asked to do that much, but he was so cheap with the rewards」
「He should’ve even given us shush money and more reward for that……」
「Well, I guess so」
「As I’ve thought, I think…… I think we should go and complain」
「No, just don’t mind it. Although it was nominally a quest from someone anonymous, it’s essentially from a great noble and on top of that…… it’s not exactly a clean job right? The Guild would give us enough evaluation points for that considering the circumstances」
「But, money is important too you know? We need to get a proper reward or else……」
「Don’t worry about money」
「Well, Junpei’s that strong so you probably could earn as much as you wantーー」
Junpei chuckled hearing Ami’s words.
The current Ami is strong enough to become an A-Rank Adventurer’s opponent.
She just doesn’t have an advanced job, but her level is S-Rank. If she wills it, she could earn enough wealth to live a willful life for years with just one quest.
However, because she had a sudden level up in her case, Ami seems to have a bit of a disparity in the recognition of her current ability.
「I’m telling you, don’t worry about it」
「Muu〜…… well that’s fine if Junpei says so…… in the first place, our breadwinner is Junpei after all. I’m just a side dish」
It was thenーーthe forest opened.
They could see a continuous slope ahead.
「Ah, how nostalgic…… I can remember this place」
「Hm? You’ve been here before?」
「Un. I think there are only two hours of walking until we rich the village my sister is」
「Are you sure? You’re quite airheaded sometimes after all」
Ami pointed at a decrepit old church peeking between the trees.
「There’s no mistaking it since there’s the church」
「Hmm〜…… it looks so worn-out」
「That’s pretty much how it’s like with the churches you can find in backwater places like this you know? And that’s the only church you will find around here. It’s really a…… holy place that would only be used on special occasions」
「Like wedding ceremonies?」
「Un, you’re right about that」
“Still……,” Junpei said with emotion.
「A month huh…… it took us quite a long time」
「We came after all while doing some quests. We can’t be blamed if we were a bit late on our schedule」
「Well, thanks to that, we’re almost A-Rank adventurers」
Raising one’s rank from B to A. That means that they would be able to change jobs to advanced jobs.
Class changing from an intermediate job to an advanced job means that they would be given another +5 bonus points for every level they had up until then, allowing them to increase their status value tremendously.
In Junpei’s case, his level exceeds 1000, so he would receive more than 5000 bonus points.
「That’s right. I’m level 250 and some, so I can allocate at least 1250 bonus points」
「Yeah, even when it comes to the status value, you won’t be inferior compared to middle-class to high-class S-Rank Adventurers」
「After meeting Junpei, a common Thief like me…… became like this, so one really doesn’t know what life gives them huh」
Junpei returned an emotional nod towards Ami who said that with a hint of excitement.
And he thought as he looked up to the sky.
ーーat the very least, she shouldn’t have any problems living freely in this world. That is, even if I’m not with her.
Junpei suddenly felt his eyes getting warm and let out a deprecating smile.
「Hm? What’s the matter Junpei?」
「No, it’s nothing. It’s just……」
「What do you mean “thank you”?」
「It’s for you being around」
“Hmm……?” Ami tilted her head.
「And then? Are we there yet? In your village I mean」
「We’ll go down after we climb up that slope. We should be able to see it after we climb up. I haven’t met my sister for a while, so I’m really looking forward to it」
「Was it three years now?」
“Hmm〜……,” Ami placed a hand to her chin as if to think about something.
「I’m sending her money every month, and we’re exchanging letters, so we weren’t completely out of contact」
Ami summoned her item box as she said that.
She rummaged around and took out a batch of letters.
「See, look at this」
「Letters? It looks like there’s at least a hundred……」
「They’re letters from Ojii-san and Obaa-san who picked us up, and also letters from my little sister. We’re exchanging twice or thrice every month, so there’s quite a lot of them now」
Junpei rolled his eyes while feeling the weight of the bundle of letters he received.
「Still…… you sisters were quite lucky I guess?」
「You were picked up by an old couple who didn’t have offspring…… although they were poor, you lived together while receiving kindness. Since you’ve received this many letters from them, you must be very important to them」
“Haha,” Ami made a smile.
「It’s true that I might’ve been very important to them, even treating me as if I was truly their own. But, I went out to earn because we couldn’t eat enough you know? Even so…… you’re telling me I’m lucky?」
Junpei let out a sigh.
「You were the one who chose to earn money outside right?」
「Un. After all, at that time, we would’ve all died of hunger if I didn’t do anything」
「If so, then you’re blessed」
「I was forced to get separated with my little sister you know? I was very, very worried, leaving my little sister alone in this world…… why can Junpei say that so clearly?」
Ami glared at Junpei.
「Even so, you were really blessed. After all…… in my case……」
「In Junpei’s case…… you’re talking when you just came to this world?」
Hearing that question, Junpei gasped for an instant.
And he shrugged his shoulders, thinking that he said too much.
「No, it’s nothing. Forget what I’ve said」
However, Ami stopped and grabbed Junpei’s shoulders.
「Hey, Junpei? What happened to you? Right now…… what is making Junpei afraid?」
「You’ve always been…… worrying about it right? Also…… you would sometimes look like you’re having nightmares at night……」
「I’m always asking you this but, is it really something you can’t tell me?」
Junpei thought that he must’ve separated with Ami as soon as the B-Rank Selection Exam ended.
The more he made love with her, the more he cared about her.
It goes without saying since it was also the first time for the both of them.
However, Junpei needs to return to that labyrinth.
Even if Junpei was able to cleverly get through the floors of the labyrinth, it was still a journey towards death.
The more he cared about herーーit would, after all, be their last meetingーーthe more difficult for him to part with her.
That was the case for Junpei and it would probably be the same with Ami.
However, even though he knew that, Junpei couldn’t part with her after the exam ended.
No, there was no way that he could’ve.
For Junpei, the time he spends outside feels the same as the waiting time for his inevitable death.
If so, he wished to make his remaining like a fulfilling one; he wished to enjoy life a little bit more, no one could blame him for that.
The two walked through the long slope in silence.
They probably walked for several tens of minutes, or maybe an hour. After a while, they reached the top of the hill.
「This is quite…… a unique place」
Junpei couldn’t help but whisper as he saw the scenery in front of him.
The view that spread out below the hill, it was the sea. And a small island could be seen from a distance.
There was one path that leads towards that small island with both of its sides were steep cliffs. It was at least a hundred meters above the sea and it’s about ten meters wide.
The small island itself was surrounded by cliffs. It’s as if it was an island that just floated from the sea…… it simply looked like that.
「And then? Where’s the village?」
「There’s a settlement in that islet. I think we can’t see if from here because it’s a small island. Though I think we should be able to see it after walking a bit more……」
「However, why in the world does a village exists in this terrain?」
「Well, it’s a so-called village with a history」
「And what you mean by that is?」
「Originally, there was a dungeon in my village. According to some rumors, it’s because of that, that that land appeared from the sea looking like that」
Hearing that word, Junpei felt his blood draining out of his face.
Even though he knew that it was a different dungeon from that labyrinth, he involuntarily remembered many things.