Chapter 103:

Vol. 7 Prologue- Bittersweet goodbye

Hour Empty Child


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See, I told you I'll have a surprise volume after all the trouble of waiting! This particular volume is a special one concerning the three months that happened while Kudo was at Roprase.
This volume is all about Hinota going through her path as an adventurer. Hopefully you guys will enjoy this special volume just as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Remember to like and comment because that would help me out in the long run! And of course, make sure to enjoy reading because that's the whole point of me writing this!

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“Hey… Hinota, are you coming back here?”

The day was clear thanks to the rain that has finally passed last night. It was also the very night that a tragic accident took place.

Two adventurers standing outside the Vipory city’s gates were giving their last goodbyes to each other, both wearing smiles, but they were clearly hiding away their sorrow behind them.
The young boy, a victim of the accident, said clutching onto a single hope that seemed so out of reach of his friend, the young red-haired girl with eyes sharp as a blade.

The slanted eyed girl fell silent, her expression almost breaking apart as she finally answered.

“I have no idea,” The young girl answered. “My parents can be really busy sometimes. I might not see them immediately when I return. So… I have no idea when I’ll come back to become an adventurer.”

The young girl, Hinota Flamver, answered in a somber tone. The young boy, Kudo Braven, understood, and at the same time, felt anguished inside.

“I-I see… do you… want me to stay here until you return?” Kudo offered, looking up to Hinota for approval.

Seeing his eyes, Hinota knew that Kudo wanted their separation to be as short as possible.
She wanted that as well.

She wanted it so much, but she shut herself away and shook her head.

“…I don’t want you to stay here any longer than you have to.”

She smiled warmly at him. She didn’t want him to stay any longer in the city where his parents met their demise thanks to the homicidal maniac that have demolished their pride as adventurers.

She believed that it was too cruel to ask him to do so. Hinota wanted Kudo to move forward, to forget his pain and to keep moving ahead in his path.

“I want you to continue with your adventures. Become as strong as you possibly can. Maybe then, we’ll be in the same league and be bound to see each other again,” Hinota smiled, her beaming face beating the sun’s light that finally managed to shine.

She wanted to send him off with a light heart. So that he can move forward with his life.
“…Hinota…”

Kudo couldn’t handle it anymore as tears welled up in his eyes. Hinota wanted to sigh to show her usual demeanor, but she didn’t realize that she was also nearing to tears, her purple eyes watering as liquid drenched her face.

“Y-You look so pathetic, Kudo… cheer up,” She managed to say.

Hinota outstretched her arms and embraced Kudo. Kudo, in return, hugged her back stronger than usual.

“Kudo, I don’t want you to always read your books. Keep training your body like your life depends on it.”

“Got it…” Kudo readily answered, and acted in kind. “Hinota, make sure that you hold back your snarky comments on other people. Only I can take on your brutal force.”

“Yeah!” Hinota nodded strongly, her voice cracking as she agreed with his words.

The two didn’t want to let go. They wanted to keep talking and keep feeling their warmth. But they had to.

The two of them let each other go simultaneously, seeing each other’s faces one more time before saying their words.

“…See you around, Kudo,” She finally managed to say.

“See ya, Hinota. Give your parents a piece of my mind too, while you’re at it,” Kudo smirked.

“Hehe,” Hinota giggled. “You got it.”

Finally, Hinota turned and headed towards the carriage. The carriage, red and gold as its primary colors, was as extravagant and gaudy as usual in her eyes. To be honest, even if it brought out her nostalgic memories, it only made seeing it that much worse for her.

She stepped onto the small set of stairs to the carriage, and entered through the open frame door. She closed the door behind her and sat on her large seat.

The inside was as glamorous as the outside—completely ornated and decorated to fit the expensive looking carriage that is perfect for a noble.

But to Hinota, it was just the same old carriage, now becoming a prison cart in her mind. There was the same window that she would usually look out at when she was young, and did the same thing now by moving her head forward and peeked outside.

Feeling the extra weight in the carriage, sitting at the front of the carriage holding in the reins of the well-bred horses, Maon—the Flamver family’s messenger—closed his eyes and strongly whipped the horses in front of him with the reins.

The horses’ neighs traveled through the sky, their cries echoing in the air before they began trotting forward, moving the heavy carriage along.

Feeling the carriage finally moving, Hinota felt her heart race as she wanted to say just one more thing to Kudo.

“Kudo!” Hinota shouted from the top of her lungs. “You better get stronger by the time I see you again! I’ll also become stronger! I’ll become stronger than anyone in the world!”

She smiled so brightly as she lifted her hand to wave at Kudo. Kudo saw the bright smile and acted in kind by smiling himself.

“You got my promise, Hinota! I’ll become stronger than ever before! You’ll be surprised when you’ll see me again!”

Kudo waved back as hard as he can, showing his gleaming smile.

The carriage continued driving on the dirt road part as Hinota returned back inside from the window. Inside, she felt her heart breaking into a million pieces. But at the same time, she could feel something burning in her belly.

It feels so bittersweet, she thought as she sees the clouds whipping past her in the blue sky outside her window.

She would have wanted to see Kudo just a little bit longer, right until she could no longer see him again. But doing that would only make her feel worse, so she restrained.

Their party, the PlusFire, is no more.

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