Hour Empty Child
Whoo! Hey, everyone, I’m back with another exciting volume of Hour Empty Child! Like I promised, we’ll continue with Vol. 8. It’s been a long journey since I moved from the small island to the big United States, and sure enough, there were some moments when I thought I won’t have much time to write. But I figured that, since I’ll be making a new story sometime in the future, I’ll put this up to satisfy anyone reading this for just a bit longer.
Anyhoo, I’ll have some bit of news when I finish uploading all the chapters for Vol. 8, so read on without a care in the world and wait for that special news.
Until then, kudos to everyone who made it this far into the story to read Vol. 8!
A week passed by in Triun, the wondrous capital city of Roprase. Within its vast openness, the citizens lived jauntily within. The knights were hard at work—or hardly working—and the adventurers were up bright and early to complete their quests at the Adventurer’s Hub.
For one single guild, however, it was just another day to go wild.
“Whoo! I got myself some nice loot!”
One adventurer shouted to the ceiling, holding up what appears to be a uniquely-designed chest equipment high above his head while standing on top of the marble table.
It turned out to be the Dragmer adventurer, Dale, who was screaming like a lunatic after getting himself a rare item from his latest venture.
“Ah, I’m so jealous! You never even did anything to deserve it!”
“Screw you, Kris! I got this from hard work and determination!”
“How is staying behind me and shooting some arrows here and there hard work?!”
Kris, the fairy female adventurer, snapped back as she reached for the chest equipment with her small arm to grab it, only for Dale to quickly pull it away from her like a tall child making fun of a smaller child. The struggle continued between these two veteran adventurers over a piece of equipment.
The other adventurers of the proud guild of Triun, the almighty Alpha Heart, were also at their finest, either by drinking their alcohol away, watching the giant television hanging from the walls of either fighting adventurers in an arena, or surprisingly enough, scandalous gossip on their favorite celebrities.
Of course, there are always a few scuffles here and there to reign supreme as the top dog of the guild.
Though, when it comes to top dog, not a single burly, tough, or veteran adventurer can even hold a candle to the one more powerful than all of them combined—the guild master.
That guild master is right now grinning ear to ear with a giant mug filled with beer in one hand while grappling hard with her other hand in an arm wrestling match with the most stout adventurer, Jien the dwarf, on the marble table.
Despite Jien’s best attempts to bring her hand even a sliver of an inch down, Hikari only grinned wider as her eyes flared and pulled Jien’s hand down to the table with a thunderous slam. The impact was enough to break apart the stone marble table, all thanks to her monstrous strength held within that slim and voluptuous body of hers.
Jien became covered in bits and pieces of the table, his head feeling dizzy from the impact.
“J-Jien has lost…” The poor dwarf admitted defeat, his eyes watering from the intense aching of his head and body before eventually turning his head and passed out right there.
“Whoo! Who’s next?!”
Hikari, putting her feet on top of Jien acting as the new table, shouted by flexing her beautifully toned arms with a beer in hand as she grinned and shouted for her next opponent.
The surrounding adventurers who watched the match end as soon as it began quickly shuddered and each one shook their head furiously at her challenge.
“Aw, you wimps! Can’t even take a woman down in an arm wrestling match?!” Hikari called them out, insulting their pride as she takes another chug of her beer, the liquor much stronger than your average drink, with ease.
The adventurers, on the other hand, knew that it wasn’t even about pride. Though the men knew that it was rather shameful to lose an arm-wrestling match with a woman, when it comes to Hikari Valkyria, they don’t even consider her as a woman and more like a rampaging raid boss, just as they learned from seeing the match Jien was forced to take.
“Master is having a little too much fun ever since the news, huh…?”
Kagero commented with a wry smile after seeing his master once again call out another poor adventurer for another match. With sweat streaming down his temple, he asked his wife and vice master of the guild, Kasara.
“Can you blame her? She’s just so excited that our Master Jr. has accepted her name. You know how she was ready to be the last Valkyria so that she can help Kudo feel better.”
Kasara smiled instead, looking at her master making another mess of another adventurer as the others felt like they were watching a horrific display of power from a vicious tyrant.
“True, but still…”
“I know,” Kasara interrupted Kagero’s worry. “I’ll talk to her about calming down. After all, we don’t want to lose our members now, do we?”
Kasara moved ahead of Kagero as he gave a dry chuckle and hoped that Kasara is able to at least calm her down.
Meanwhile, on the other side where there were no life or death situations occurring, the other Valkyria was having just as much fun as his mother.
“Ooh! Valky Jr., you’re quite a tenacious boy, aren’t you~?”
The prolonging and feminine voice resounded. Both hands cupping cheeks and wiggling the toned butt of massive proportions, the being commented on the Valkyria boy who was seating alongside his party members at the center table.
“To start training so soon, and reaching such a high level—you’re definitely Hika-Hika’s boy!”
Kudo chuckled. “Thank you, Adonis.”
Kudo thanked the one commenting with such an effeminate voice whom in fact was actually a man—and a big one at that. Wriggling his butt like a naval dancer, the man was practically built with muscles as his foundation. With his tanned bronze-colored skin shimmering from the oil-like sheen, it made his bulging body wearing a stretched out tank top and shorts more impossible to perceive without proper eye protection.
His face sculpted like a masculine statue, he wore black sunglasses over his eyes, big puffy lips that were definitely unsuited for him, and finally, swinging from side to side were his braided brown twintails on the side of long spiky hair.
This is actually their first time seeing him coming into the guild. Adonis was out completing a quest with his party members during the time Kudo came here. When he finished, Adonis learned about Kudo, Hikari’s son, and Hinota, Kasara’s sister, returning from Peranim, and quickly came back to the guild to see them and his party members, and were now having this meeting.
Kudo was shocked to hear from Hikari that Adonis is a well-renowned adventurer with a high rating of SS-Rank, close enough to Hikari’s rank and equal to Kasara and Kagero’s rank.
However, somehow, he didn’t mind Adonis’s clearly unique character unlike the other members.
“And Hinota, you’re like a splitting image of Kasa-Kasa~! Oh, I’m so jealous of your skin looking so glossy and smooth like an angel’s!” Adonis wriggled his butt as he cupped his cheeks once again to compliment Hinota who was sitting beside Kudo.
At first, Adonis gave Hinota a rather bone-chilling feeling on their first meeting, and actually thought of hiding Kudo to make sure he doesn’t have his effeminate eyes on him, but after hearing her comparison to Kasara, her cheeks flushed with red as she looked away.
“O-Oh, I’m nothing like her… Dear Sister is much more prettier, and she has better skin than I do.”
“Oh, don’t put yourself down like that, Hino-Hino! You’re just as pretty as her, or rather, you’re more adorable than her! I just want to hug you and snuggle you!”
Adonis cupped his hands and rubbed them together as he commented, leaving Hinota to cup her own cheeks in embarrassment while Kudo grinned to see such an adorable reaction from her.
Meanwhile, Kuki had a stiff expression, showing either a forced smile or a creeped out smile as he looked to the other members—Raika, Tsuchi, and Mizuri—who appears to have similar looking expressions.
“This guy is freaking me out in a lot of ways…” Kuki commented to Raika who nodded slightly.
“H-He’s not such a bad person…” Raika tried to see the bright side of things, but after seeing Adonis, a hulking mass of muscles, wriggling his butt like a school girl, Raika felt her long, furry ears shake in accordance to her disgust.
“So, what are you planning on doing so far, Kudo-Kudo?” Adonis asked, returning to his normal posture of standing like a goliath while looking down at Kudo who had to crane his neck upwards.
“Well…” Kudo put his fingers to his chin, putting on his usual thinking-man pose. “For now, I want to make some improvements on our equipment. We need to improve far more than we’ve ever done if we ever want to reach the highest rank.”
Kudo said with no hesitation. The very words he spoke sparked something within his party members, each adopting his own expression of determination.
“Mmh… those are good eyes,” Adonis nodded slowly with a smile. “All of you have such good eyes! Something within my very core is being blazed by your youthful spirits!”
That maturity completely broke as he once again wriggled his butt like a maraca, showing an ecstatic smile which brought the others—other than Kudo who remained oblivious—to stiffen their faces in disgust.
“Then,” Kuki quickly changed direction. “What’s the plan?”
“We gotta make some better equipment first! So let’s find a place where we can craft some.”
Kudo flexed his right arm and clutched his muscle tight with his other hand, displaying an eager craftsman expression which brought everyone to nearly chuckle themselves. Hearing that, Adonis stopped wriggling and announced.
“Ooh! Then this place is perfect for you!” Adonis pointed upward, his hand cupping one cheek with a smile on his puffy lips.
“Mmh? What is it?” Kudo tilted his head, showing widened eyes and a curious attitude.
■ ■ ■
Somewhere within the darkest night—inside the town kilometers away from Triun, there is a forest far off the side that remains unchanged for hundreds of years. Within the ash-colored forest, where an unnatural storm blazed within it, at the very core lies a small hut made of golden brown wood.
The hut was quaint—no absurd luxuries nor completely beaten up by time. It could be said that it was well-cared for. A faint light shimmered through the glass windows, flickering as seconds rolled by.
Within the hut, the fire burned brightly at the fireplace, crunching the wood as it snaps at intervals. Heavy breathing ensued over and over, like the being endured countless struggles.
The cause of it all was a young man sprawled on the floor with blood dribbling down from the corner of his mouth, and a pair of lifeless eyes.
He was clothed in a white robe now stained with vicious red trailing down to the hem, with a fresh gaping wound shown on his abdomen.
Standing near the body was one other man dressed in leather armor. The man breathed heavily, gripping his shaking fists with one of them carrying a saw-toothed dagger dipped in red.
He looked down at the dead man with a crazed look in his eyes—and a smile on his face.
He felt stronger… he felt stronger than he has ever been. He looked down at his open hands, both drenched in fresh red liquid from the scuffle just a few moments ago.
“T-This feels… incredible! Why didn’t I do this before?! All these years—wasted!”
The man screamed within the hut, his laughter echoing all around and even piercing through the walls towards the forest.
There, in that moment of jubilant hysteria, he swore he saw something dark entering through him. But he didn’t care about it.
Things have been going rather well for the E-Plus party, and not so well in the hut… It looks like things are about to get crazy later on, so keep on reading and see what happens next!
For anyone reading this, I appreciate some feedback for the writing and the pacing. I’ve been getting anxious on how my writing turned out to be, so I’m hoping someone can enlighten me with some critique. Of course, votes and likes are always welcome. See you guys then!