Will ask Deskie to proofread. Ha, it’s done!
By the way, thank you for the guy who proofread the last two chapters for me too. I’ll ask him to implement your changes as well.
And yes, I failed my own milestone again. I have no words. Sorry.
Following another guy’s suggestion, maybe I’ll set up a discord in the near future. Who knows I might have a kind translator hanging around there and so I don’t have to wait for my source to answer my question whenever I get stuck.
Chapter XX – The Girl of the White Birch Forest (2/2)
“Shoot! I chased it too far!”
Her carelessness made her distort her face involuntarily. In the first place, the large boar was foreign to the white birch forest. It stayed there for a while, but surely its origin was the black forest. As it endured being shot and pursued by Verche, it retraced its steps to its previous nest. She was too absorbed in the hunt, and as she kept pursuing it without realising such, she had already wandered outside the barrier of the Elves.
She just had to return to the confines of the barrier as soon as possible. The peace of the Elven Forest had been kept solely by keeping invaders away using the spirits’ power as a ward. Although beasts sometimes would intrude into the barrier, monsters with demonic attributes would be repelled by it. But it wasn’t like that for her now. Verche had just ventured into the Demon’s Forest alone without any divine protection. Surely, a little Elven girl like her who found herself outside the barrier would be an easy prey to the monsters. After all, she had just walked into the den of monsters with a scent of another forest that would be unfamiliar to them, all while leaking a large amount of mana from her body.
“This is bad, I have return quickly…..!”
Verche, who realised the sudden reversal of events where she became the hunted instead of the hunter, promptly steered her body the other way and started running. It was regrettable that she had to leave the big boar behind, but she had no time to be fixated about it. She had hunted that prey, sat down to pray for it, and leisurely buried herself in her own thoughts – she had already spent too much time since she entered the Black Forest. The fact that she still hadn’t been attacked until now was a miracle in itself.
Well, of course, she was still Verche, who had hunted the large beast that originally dwelled in this forest. In the usual, head-to-head scenario against mediocre monsters, then Verche wouldn’t fall that far behind. However, this was the territory of the more powerful monsters. Hunters would normally battle these monsters in their hunting places, but it was the other way around now, it was her who’d be targeted by those who came to hunt in this forest instead. If one were to assess her chances in this place, the word “disadvantaged” would be a lenient remark. Adding to that injury was the fact that her arrows were also running out, after all she had used most of them to bring down the big prey. If she were to run into a battle now, she’d find herself running out of them right away.
‘Quickly, I have to return to our forest quickly.’
However, there it was, as if to ridicule that thought of hers,
—– Rumble, rumble.
Along with an earth-shaking noise of footsteps, a shadow hung about Verche.
What appeared before her was a green-skinned giant that was so massive, it was like a hill being lighted from behind. A cone-shaped horn grew from its hairless head that was higher than the trees of the forest, its monocular eye shone ominously as it looked down on its pitiful prey.
Unlike the Gigas that wield the power of various attributes and exhibit extreme strength, it was a monster that could rival those in the giant clan merely by relying on its straightforward brute strength and strong vitality alone – an incarnation of violence itself.
Even highly-ranked adventurers would have a hard time if they were to take it down solo, and even with a party, they’d only manage it barely. It was that much of a formidable opponent.
Verche, on the other hand, was all alone in this place. And she was only a hunter, not an adventurer. Her chief opponents were beasts, not demons. Even if she had all of her arrows, she still wouldn’t be a match for it.
Verche cowered in fear as the giant’s eye met hers.
She wouldn’t fall far behind against mediocre demons, she believed that.
But, what about this thing that stood before her eyes? This extraordinary giant who could kick a bear about just by using its toes. Its swollen, steely muscles that would make shivering noises every time they were moved. Every part of the creature was overwhelmingly, atrociously sturdy. Within the many demons that reside in this forest, there was no mistake that this one sat among the very top.
Verche’s legs were shaking. Her hands that was supposed to be readying her bow and arrows by now were unconsciously locked in a tight fist. She wondered, could it be that the noisy clattering sound she had been hearing since a moment ago was in fact made by her own teeth?
While her body was tied down in trepidation, her mind was somehow calmly looking down at the unsightly thing before her. It was her means to escape the reality, merely a defence mechanism to escape the fear so that she would not go insane because of it. But the only thing it protected was her heart that was getting saturated by the second. Against the assault that’d strike her flesh any moment now, that mechanism would be as useful as a paper shield.
—- Rumble, rumble.
Perhaps deliberately, the giant started to make slow steps towards Verche.
“GUH, GUH, GUH………”
A muffled voice leaked out from the cyclops as it brandished its teeth. Its curiously-shaped red tongue stuck out and licked its jagged teeth, which looked like a mountain of needles.
It was laughing. It licked its own chops to make a point.
‘Am I, going to be eaten?’
A feeling of repulsion emerged out of that recognition.
It is the nature of all living beings to kill and eat other beings. Verche herself had caught and eaten the meat of her many preys as a hunter. But there should have been a sort of harmony in what she had been doing as she followed the order of the forest. Like, the great cause of maintaining the equilibrium of the ecosystem, the pride of hunting her preys with respect, and the gratitude towards the prey that would become her sustenance.
This demon wouldn’t feel any of that. It wouldn’t remember any of its eaten prey, or even the taste of how it brought down it prey. It’d just play with its opponent until they were in the verge of dying, and then eat them while enjoying their frightened look. And the only thing it was going to do with the vitality it gained from eating its prey would just be more of its strength-dependent rampaging about. What was left after that would only be destruction and chaos.
She didn’t want to be killed by that kind of monster. If she had to be slain here, she’d rather fall by the claw or the horn of some beast. If she were to be pierced by a deer’s antler or torn by a bear’s claw here, then that wish would’ve been granted for her. Even that large boar’s tusk would’ve been fine. If she were to become their sustenance, then considering that those beasts were part of the forest’s harmony, that would’ve been good for her. That way, she’d return to the circle of nature’s providence, an ambition of any Elf. That path would be sealed for her if she were to be killed by a demon, as demons were riddled with miasma and were outside the circle of providence. Elves believed that there would be no rest for those who got eaten by them after death.
A trembling cry leaked out of her paling lips.
Perhaps that was her cue before she wrung out an explosive shout with all the remaining air in her lungs.
“HELP, SOMEONE HELP MEEE!!”
Her scream echoed in the back water forest.
At that moment, who exactly did Verche have in her mind? Was it her parents, who raised her? Or was it the adults of her village, who had been holding her back and shunning her? Or perhaps, was it her supposedly unreliable male friends?
In any case, that voice she raised on this place, far away from the white birch forest, would never reach them.
“—- Don’t move.”
Her cowering body shivered at that voice, a voice she had no recollection of.
Even though that question could still appear in her mind, her whole body remain paralysed as she couldn’t move a single muscle.
“Don’t move”, her instincts that was honed by years of hunting told her to follow that exact order.
Verche wagered everything she had fostered up until that time.
Just as she figured, she would later feel the presence of the owner of that voice approaching her from behind.
“Hey, you blockhead giant over there.”
The person who got near Verche’s back spat out that careless remark at the giant in front of her.
The translucent voice that went through Verche’s ears belonged to a woman. However, her rough choice of words and her manner of speaking was practically unheard of among the modesty-championing Elves of her village. Verche was a strong-tempered woman herself, but as far as she remembered she would never choose such a scathing choice of words herself.
‘Anyway, does this someone… who seems to be a woman, understand the gist of what’s happening here?’. They currently were in a staring contest with a towering giant. Their numbers might have increased – Verche was alone and now there were two of them, but that wouldn’t mean a thing in this utterly desperate situation. Knowing that, the woman still provoked the giant in front of them.
Her usual strong voice was nowhere to be found. What Verche leaked out was a pitiful voice she would’ve never thought she had in her.
The woman behind her didn’t seem to mind Verche, she instead spoke another word to the Cyclops.
Verche’s long ears twitched at that moment.
The presence of the woman that she felt on her back had blasted up explosively.
The upsurge of mana was so powerful, it filled Verche who stood on her front with dread.
Her intimidating aura was like that of a lioness who had just woken up from her nap. She unleashed whatever things that she had forcibly suppressed until that time all at once. It felt exactly like that.
‘Th, this person…… what magical prowess! Even the adults of the village don’t have this much. Could it be that she’s stronger than even the Elders!?’
She had a hard time believing that. But, she was convinced that that was indeed the case at the same time.
The person behind her really did possess that overwhelming kind of magical prowess.
Probably it was a given that she didn’t see the giant in front of her as a threat, and then, indeed,
“GIH, GAH, GAH…..!?”
Perhaps the one-eyed giant felt the power of the woman who just appeared as well?
Even its towering figure that was as tall as the forest’s trees leapt out, as if it was just struck by thunder.
Its giant single eye went round, confusion was apparent in it as it took a step back. The tremors from its step were enough to make Verche tremble, here the giant was expelling white breaths as it winced in a rough manner.
Yes, it was frightened. To Verche, the evil giant just got intimidated by merely a show of mana, and was now shaking in fear.
“I’ll say this one more time. —— LEAVE!”
As a settling point, the cyclops raised an angry war cry – no, a yelp as it ran away.
Rumble, rumble, rumble, the noise of its footsteps was ten times – or even more than that – faster in tempo compared to when it was approaching Verche.
She could hear an arrogant snort from behind her.
She didn’t even exchange a single blow with it, and yet she splendidly drove the giant away.
“Was I, saved……..?”
She muttered so as she felt she had just woken up from a bad dream.
She wandered into a forest that she had never entered before, encountered a demon that couldn’t be compared with the beasts that she had hunted so far…. and then she was saved by someone with a huge magical prowess that she had never sensed in her life.
If this wasn’t a dream, then what could this be?
Verche turned around quickly after the woman behind her called her out – and she found herself astounded by what she saw.
The woman disregarded her state and continued on.
“I’ve more or less saved your life. Shouldn’t you at least offer a word of gratitude?”
The woman who said that was truly beautiful, no matter if it was from a man or a woman’s viewpoint.
Silver hair, brown skin, a well-shaped nose that matched her almond eyes. Her figure was a combination of mature voluptuousness and youthful tightness, with magnificent curves, which typically could not be seen in a naturally thin Elven woman.
She was wearing an eyepatch to conceal her left eye, which seemed to have received some sort of injury in the past, but even with that drawback she was still undoubtedly a peerless beauty.
“What is it? Is there some sort of a law in your clan that forbids you to talk to those with a different skin colour than yours, white Elf?”
Setting aside her glossy silver hair, her ears were as long and sharp as any Elf’s.
Combined with her dark, brown skin, there’d be only one clan in the continent with that sort of characteristics.
“A dark, elf?”
At Verche’s dumbfounded murmurs, the woman replied with a laugh.
“Verche of the Witte Clan, you say.”
The dark elf woman muttered such as if she had remembered it while grilling the cut meat over the fire.
Surrounding them was a magic formation comprised of arranged small rocks to repel demons. On its centre was a tent with the branches of the overhanging trees as its frame. As hard as one might believe, they were actually camping in the depths of the Demon’s Forest.
“Yes…. and who might milady be?”
While smelling the delicious aroma of the meat of the prey that she had brought down and watching it being grilled, Verche asked her back. She had wanted to return to the White Birch Forest as soon as possible, but she’d need guts to traverse this demon-infested Black Forest alone. And unfortunately the day was about to end as well. In the end, she decided to spend a night with this woman with her prey as a compensation.
The fact that Verche could tag along with the woman this way showed that there was no particular hostility between the Elves and the Dark Elves. Rather, the humans, who’d oftentimes intrude into their territories to take their wealth or even themselves to be sold as slaves, would fit the ‘enemy of the elves’ narrative more. Sayings such as ‘the elves are divided by light and darkness and they fight each other’ were only some arbitrary conceptions of the ignorant humans. Their ancestors had chosen the place they’d dwell in, but besides the barrier-protected forest and the in-however-way-protected desert, they didn’t have that much of a difference. In the first place, since the places they dwelled in were too far from each other’s reach, for them to meet each other would be a rare occurrence, thus the story that ‘the two races fight each other’ was nonsense.
The woman took her eyes off from the grilling wild boar meat and opened her mouth.
“Come to think of it, I haven’t dropped my name yet. I’m Drei.”
“Hm? Is that it?”
Verche found it rather queer for the woman to directly drop one name like that. Indeed, it was her first time seeing a Dark Elf, but she knew that they share a common ancestor. She was told that the Dark Elves were as proud as the Elves, and that they took honour in their clan’s name. When they were asked to introduce themselves, normally they’d mention their clan’s name as well.
To that question, the woman who introduced herself as Drei said,
“My entire clan was invaded by the humans and got wiped out. This one before you is the last among them.”
Then, she abruptly went back to grill her meat. There wasn’t any colour of emotion in her answer. There was no sorrow in regards of her family and friends, nor was there hatred in regards to those who destroyed her clan. She thought that someone would’ve at least have that in their tone when they speak of things like that, but there was nothing like that in Drei’s response.
—- Perhaps her heart had already worn out.
Verche’s intuition told her so.
This wasn’t something that Verche would want to imagine, but what if people were to attack and destroy her village and she ended up being the last one among them to live? Of course she’d be grieving about it. She’d also loathe the perpetrators. However, she wondered if she could continue living while harbouring such feelings indefinitely. After all, Elves do live for a long time. And for the one who’d keep living while harbouring that heartbreaking resentment for the rest of their life, such lifespan is too long. It wouldn’t be strange if that feeling went numb sometime along her long life.
“I’m sorry, somehow, I seem to have asked you an unpleasant question………”
“Oh, don’t mind it.”
She replied without even turning back, as expected, there were no emotion in those words as well.
Verche felt that she had just accidently touched Drei’s old wounds. While Drei didn’t complain about her pain, she couldn’t be settled with just letting that slide. There was an awkward silence between them for a while.
As Verche couldn’t bear the awkwardness, she opened her mouth again and tried to change the topic.
“Err, what might you be doing in this forest?”
“For us long-eared people to be in the forest, of course there’s only one thing to do. I’m hunting. I’m hunting a prey that’s a bit larger in size than yours, though.”
Drei jokingly replied while letting out a mischievous stifled laugh.
Verche felt that the atmosphere between them had gotten a little bit lighter.
“Miss Drei, are you an adventurer?”
Adventurers. Once in several years, a group of them would always venture into the White Birch Forest without fail. Most of them were humans, but sometimes among them there’d be the earth-smelling dwarves and the half-Elves as well. Some of the elves who had grown tired of their village with a longing to venture the outside world would sometimes leave the forest and become adventurers too. Though the fact that these Elves would hang around a group who’d occasionally lay waste to the forest of their brethren was something that Verche couldn’t comprehend.
Anyway, ‘adventurer’ was the only occupation Verche had in mind that would hunt demons instead of beasts. And for her to be alone instead in a group, there must be something special about it.
Drei then said while playing with the base of her empty hand,
“Well, kind of.”
“The man who bought me was an adventurer.”
She said that in a way that made it seem to be a frustration to her.
“Hey hey, don’t shout all of a sudden. The grilled meat almost fell.”
‘Here’, she said as she served the grilled meat on top of a large wildflower’s leaf. Verche received it timidly as Drei continued the earlier topic.
“It’s not that surprising. For a demi-human who had their clan destroyed, of course they’d have no choice but to end up as a slave. Besides, couldn’t you tell just from looking at me?”
“Munch, munch… what do you mean looking at you?”
‘Don’t talk while you eat’, Drei said exasperatedly. Well regardless of what she said, it had been a while for Verche since she tasted her last wild boar meat. And besides, if she didn’t eat the grilled meat right away, it would be disrespectful to the spirit of the boar as well. Regardless, she found the meat to be delicious. It was seasoned well too. The spice that was applied to mask the meat’s odor could have been brought from the outside world. It was the first time for Verche to smell such fragrance, but she felt that it went perfectly with the fatty meat, so she rather liked it.
“It’s my collar, here.”
Drei said so as she pointed her own neck. Just like what she said, it was fitted by a silver collar. To Verche’s sense of aesthetics, the accessories did not match Drei at all. It was too thick and rugged to adorn a woman’s body, and there was no craftsmanship to be seen there. And to top all that, silver was seen to be a crude material for elves. Rather than precious metals, elves would rather prefer pure agate or jade to use as their adornments instead. For them, stringing these agate and jade and hanging them on their necks or adorning them on their embroideries were the considered to be refined instead.
Let silver and gold be the preference of the wicked humans or the dwarves – whose hobbies it was to unearth these minerals— instead. Elves were already born with a shining hair of gold ever since they were born…………… that is indeed, the beauty of the Elves.
She had heard that Dark Elves preferred quartz instead of agate or jade, but as expected, they probably steered clear from the precious minerals as well.
“This is a proof that I’m a slave to those hairless apes. There’s also a spell attached in this collar, the kind that would force me to obey my owner.”
‘Hairless ape’ is a derogatory term coined by the long-living race to call the short-living humans. The Elves considered it to be a coarse profanity, so they don’t say it often unless they came to a point where they couldn’t bear their anger anymore. Through that word, Verche came to discover Drei’s unending grudge. However much her hatred had been numbed, the undying feeling was certainly still in there. For some reason, Berthe found herself to be saddened by it.
Drei continued to talk while she grilled her portion of the meat.
“And well, I was sold like a thing in a city market where these hairless apes would come and go. From what I heard, it seems that I was bought at a price much cheaper than what the market deemed to be my worth. For some time, starting from my left eye, and indeed, the entirety of my body was riddled with severe scars. You can no longer see any of them now though.”
Words were lost on Verche. She had diverted the topic in an attempt to ease the awkwardness, but apparently she had poked the hornet’s nest yet again.
Fortunately, it seemed that the story didn’t carry that much of a weight to Drei. Setting aside the ones who sold her, it seemed that she didn’t hate the ones who bought her off them.
The atmosphere between them didn’t show any sign that it was easing up though.
“Hey, hey, you look like you’re going to cry, stop it. In any case, I feel that it was a good thing that I got bought now. Though I’m not saying this to make that guy happy.”
“So you’re saying that don’t hate that person who bought you? I mean, after all, because you’re a slave, Miss Drei is being forced to go to a dangerous place like this—–”
“Are you mocking me, Witte kid?”
Drei let out a light sneer.
“Just what part of this forest is dangerous to me?”
She had a point. She was a mage who could drive even a demon like a cyclops away just by intimidating it. That monster was among the ones competing for the apex of this forest’s food chain. And since she could handle it so easily, of course for Drei the Black Forest would be nothing but a hunting ground.
“My, my apologies.”
“Huhu. I’m just kidding. You White Elves sure are a serious bunch.”
“Dark Elves’ jokes are harsh.”
“Oh, you pack quite the punch, kid.”
Drei said as she turned over the meat.
“Well, I’ll return to my story. I’m having a lot of fun now. Sure, my clan was extinct and I was cursed to be the one to remain alive, but now I’ve got……………. companions.”
‘The one who bought Drei was an adventurer. Then, what she meant by companion must be that adventurer’s party.’ Verche thought.
“Yeah. These people and I are all united in hearts, strength and lives for one identical cause…… There’s a single insufferable idiot among them, though.”
“May I know what kind of people they are?”
“…. Well, I don’t mind telling you. But this is related to my trade so I can’t tell you the specifics, is that fine?”
Perhaps that was the general prudence of those with such job. Verche did hear that sometimes there would be a dispute in regards of quest rewards among the adventurers and they may kill each other over it. To Verche, all of it seemed shallow, but apparently there were people like that in the outside world. Weighing that in, Verche could understand that telling her companions’ cards to other people wasn’t quite the right thing to do for her. Nonetheless, she was still curious about these people that Drei so unpretentiously declared as her companions.
“Including me, there’s four of us. The amount of women and men is equal, so, two each. The first one among them is, what to say. The insufferable idiot I told you a while back. He’s the newcomer among us. The man is seriously good-for-nothing. He’s frivolous and loud, but despite these qualities, for some reason he would get depressed over some small things, honestly I don’t know what to do with him. But there’s no doubt that he’s a person with skill. And in the areas of his specialisation, he’s a better spellcaster than me.”
“Eeeeh!? He’s better than someone like Miss Drei!?”
“If it’s in the areas of his specialisation, then like I said, yes. Of course, if it’s outside that, then I’m exceptionally better than him.”
She said as she stuck out her abundant chest.
It was still hard for Verche to digest though. One could simply tell that Drei was an excellent mage merely through her mana. And for someone to be able to exceed Drei even in one field only, it was apparent to Verche that that person must’ve been incredibly skillful.
Even from the point of an Elf, nobody like her, it was clear that these two were high in their rank. Just what kind of things did her party usually fight against, anyway?
“The second person is a woman. Another dreadful person…. She’s as skillful in swordcraft as in magecraft. Of course, her skills in both field is top notch.”
“…. You’re joking, right? First class in both magic and swordsmanship?”
It did sound like a joke. Magic was a profound field. Even for Verche, who was blessed with magical proficiency since birth, it wouldn’t be possible for her to be engaged in both magic and the bow and master the two of them. The path of magic wasn’t so lenient to let one to be able to master the other path while they were still walking on its path. She thought that she must’ve been among some kind of a long-living race, but,
“Sounds impossible, right? When I met her the first time, I doubted whether she was really human or not. In truth, she actually does possess superhuman ability.”
‘Unfortunately it seems that she’s indeed a human’. The thought of it rendered Verche speechless.
While humans certainly did live for a short time, there was a lot of them, and Verche did hear that sometimes, someone with a mutational monstrous attainment would appear among them. Perhaps the person that Drei told Verche about was one of those.
“To put it bluntly, I don’t know the bottom of the things that she can do. If there’s a group of people that I can never win against, she certainly belongs in that group.”
Of course she’d never win, Verche thought. If they were casting spells against each other then Drei had the edge, but the other party was a first-class sword practitioner as well. The spellcaster would be forced into a defensive battle of spell exchanges, and once this person surpassed the spell exchange and was able to get close to the spellcaster, the spellcaster would end up being cut down. At worst, even a dragon could be a safer opponent compared to this person.
“Well, there’s no chance that it would ever happen though, me fighting her. She is serious in nature, and she’s not the type who can betray her own allies. While she sometimes gets so strict to the point that others can’t breathe, she wouldn’t deliberately make others feel that way as much as she can manage. Yes, simply put she’s just an incredibly reassuring person under the same banner as mine.”
“You sure hold her in high regard, no?”
“What, did you think that I was a self-important woman who’d always look down on others?”
“No, nono, absolutely not! Well…. So what kind of person is the last one?”
Verche pushed the conversation ahead in a panic.
The last person… he was probably the adventurer who bought Drei. Drei told her that there were four of them including herself, and up until that point she hadn’t brought up the person who bought her. So who was this person that retaught a Dark elf who lost her entire clan the joy of living? Even Verche was greatly interested interested in what kind of person he was.
Just as Verche thought, Drei suddenly was at loss of words.
Then her gaze wandered to the empty space. The knife on her hand that she used to cut the meat up until a while ago was now being restlessly fiddled with.
“I wonder what I should say about him…. I guess he’s, someone I can’t quite understand.”
“You can’t understand?”
“Yeah. Just, what is he thinking? No, that’s not it. I can tell that just by looking at his face. I just can’t understand why would he think the way he does.”
She grumbled, rather than an explanation of what kind of a person he was to Verche, it was more of an incoherent summary of her thoughts – a soliloquy. And of course, since Drei put it that way,
Verche couldn’t dish out any other response but that.
“In the first place, he didn’t think that deeply when he decided to buy me. It seems that the only reason he bought me was simply because he was able to buy a bruised dark elf for the cheap. But, just, why is it? Even when I’m being useful, he just doesn’t seem to be happy about it. Sometimes he’d scold me, he’d say things like, ‘don’t push yourself’, or, ‘are you gonna be fine alone?’…………………….. I honestly don’t understand. Normally speaking, shouldn’t he be a bit happier with what I do? It was you who brought me into this, you know?”
“I, I see…….”
For some reason the direction of her speech just went weird.
Verche could somehow recall a similar tone like this somewhere before. Where was that again? Ah, yes, there. She remembered that this was the same complaining tone used by a woman she was familiar with who lived next to her house that got recently married a while back.
While Verche was pondering about it, Drei kept talking.
“He’d always avoid a situation where there could be only the two of us, and he’d just talk in a light way, the usual thing between companions. Does he not think that it’s fine for us to talk in a more earnestly intimate way? So?”
In the end she hugged her knees while gazing downwards. Her eyes seemed to look redder now, but probably it was caused by light of the bonfire?
Verche felt like she was all smiles due to the ticklish sensation inside of her.
Perhaps she did indeed show it on her face, as Drei turned her way with a pout.
“What’s with that face?”
“No, it’s just that, I feel that Drei really holds that person dear.”
“Of course. He’s my companion. Anyone would hold their companions dear…….. right?”
She disorientedly diverged her gaze as she said so, but it seems that her lips still had some dissatisfaction that they wanted to express.
That gesture was so childlike, Verche inadvertently smiled.
Drei might have been a mage that even the Elders in her village couldn’t match, and she might be one hundred years older than Verche, but somehow the cute points of the woman in front of her haven’t faded yet.
Perhaps a little bit annoyed by it, Drei snorted.
“Anyway, that’s enough from me. Now let me hear your story.”
“Yes. Whatever’s fine. It’s enough to kill time. Speak.”
Even though Drei said that, Verche didn’t have anything to say. She was born this way, devoting herself to the act of hunting. She didn’t have any topic that the girls of her same age would have in their mind. And besides, wouldn’t the story of her hunting be a bore to an adventurer who was out to hunt bigger things?
“Come on now, speak. Or should I cast a spell that’ll let your tongue speak smoothly instead?”
“No, please stop. Got it, I’ll talk!”
Pushed by Drei, Verche helplessly began to blurt the things she had in mind.
She talked about the exciting sensation when she held her bow for the first time, and her first prey, the adults and her fellow girl friends in her village who’d unsympathetically complain about her hunting, she talked about a lot of things.
What she brought to the table was some trifling topics, but Drei would seriously listen to every single thing she said closely and attentively. Perhaps she had wanted to talk with someone as well.
And then before Verche realised it, the night had already grown deep in the Black Forest.