Hour Empty Child
The day passed, but unfortunately for the E-Plus, they had to take a rain check for the next day, since after all, they spent the entire night leveling up by killing monsters over at the forest outside Triun.
Their muscles ached, and when they went to sleep in the morning, they were sore all over, like jolts of pain passed through their limbs and torsos like skittering mice running all over their bodies.
When he returned back to his room, tired and exhausted in his soft bed, Kudo, for once, never felt so satisfied. Usually, training would keep his mind off of things, but he realized now that doing so only made the problem worse in the future, and that future came when he went through a dark phase, and raising his level no longer made him feel better.
Only with the help of his friends, his comrades who stood by him after understanding his past, was he able to break through the darkness swirling around him ever since he left Peranim.
Though he knew deep inside that his anger will possibly never go away in his lifetime, he knew now that he is not alone.
He went to sleep that morning, with a smile on his exhausted but satisfied face.
The next day after that, they returned to their usual exciting and jubilant guild hall of Alpha Heart. When they returned, they were greeted just like the usual by the other party members.
The Alpha Heart members all raised their mugs to welcome the younger generation with a greeting resembling a chorus hall. The E-Plus headed to their seats and began planning for the day.
“From the looks of things, I think we should include nightly training as well,” Hinota was the one that started the topic with a sudden proposition.
“S-So we’re going to work even longer now?” Kuki asked, fearing for the worst.
“Ah, great…” Kuki’s head fell to the table, his chin hitting it with a thud as all strength left his body.
“I already feel tired thinking about training at night,” Raika knew that at this point, they had no choice, so she showed a wry smile to that plan.
“Whoo! Can’t wait! Now I can burn all my excess energy!” Mizuri raised both her arms and flexed their muscles, showing the rather toned arms of a slim girl exuding masculinity.
“Figures you would go crazy over it…” Kuki muttered to himself, turning his head while still on the table to let out a big sigh.
“So, nightly training, huh? Though how are we going to rest from now on?”
Tsuchi asked the most important question, leaving Hinota to cross her arms and closing her eyes to think.
“Mmh… what do you think, Kudo?”
Hinota turned her sight to Kudo, who remained sitting by her side but kept quiet throughout the morning. Kudo turned back with widened eyes to suddenly being referred to a question, looking back at the others looking at him for an answer.
He looked down for a moment, but then his lips curled into a smile.
“We can take out for hours of our daytime for our nightly training. That way, we won’t have to sacrifice sleep, and we can have our share of powerful night monsters to to fight.”
“Hey, I’m down with that!” Tsuchi became the first to get on this plan.
“Not sacrificing sleep—that’s the perfect plan. I’m in!” Kuki raised his hand as quick as he could, following along Raika who also raised her hand fervently.
“Hehe, as long as I can still kick some ass and gain some levels, I’m fine with that!”
Mizuri pounded the table, making it shake as her adrenaline could be felt by everyone here.
Kudo turned back to Hinota, “What do you think?”
“I think it’s perfect,” Hinota answered with a nod. “Then, we’ll continue our daily training and soon enough, we’ll rectify our mistake by taking on another, possibly easier request like hunting monsters.”
“““““Agreed…””””” The others made a unanimous agreement.
As the mood suddenly turned into an exhausted atmosphere, the party members had their meals on their table, all the while keeping up with conversations with each other.
“I think we can go for the area after the forest, in that dark cave. I think we got a shot of taking out the Vampire there!”
Tsuchi offered this plan to Mizuri as he munched on his fries. Mizuri nodded in agreement, her teeth gnawing on the barbeque and rips apart the succulent meat.
“I think we got what it takes. So, tonight, let’s head there!”
“Guys, that’s a bad idea. Vampires are really powerful creatures,” Kudo offered his wisdom, raising his hand to the two who looked back at him.
“Oh, come on, Kuu! We’re strong enough to handle a vampire or two! We can’t keep killing the small fries and expect to get better from that!”
“Yeah, yeah!” Tuschi agreed with Mizuri, raising his fist up and down like a chanting crowd.
“I’m telling you, we’re not ready yet. Vampires are really strong—they’re at least level 300. We need to at least keep leveling till our third Class Up.”
“That’s too long! We can get more experience and better loot if we strike the iron while it’s hot!”
Tsuchi continued on. Mizuri nodded in agreement as she already finished her barbeque that was left with nothing but bones on her plate.
Seeing their fervent insistence, Kudo didn’t know how to handle this. Then, an idea popped into his head. If they won’t listen, then he’ll try to show just how scary the vampire will be by putting on a grim tone.
“Guys… we’re not ready yet.”
Suddenly, the two felt a chilly similar to the time in Korjack. They looked up to Kudo who, while continuing to smile as he usually does with closed eyes, suddenly, the smile turned somewhat dangerous, as a hidden anger surfaced through an aura around him.
The two shook in their seats from the impact of his soul reaching to them.
“H-Hiii! We’re sorry! Calm down!” Tsuchi let out a whimpering cry, moving his hand forward and moving it side to side.
“We got it! We’ll stay away from the vampire for now! So don’t get angry, Kuu!”
Mizuri used both her hands to fan out the flames that blazed within Kudo’s aura. However, Kudo tilted his head, surprised by their reaction.
“G-Guys, I was just kidding…” Kudo showed a wry smile, never expecting the two to suddenly reach in such a frightened way.
Raika and Kuki let out a sigh of relief to see that Kudo was not angered, while Hinota couldn’t bear any longer and laughed out loud.
“Hahaha! Kudo, you got them on the ropes now!”
“I-I didn’t mean to…”
Despite that Kudo never meant to do them harm, he was left with Hinota continuing to laugh out loud while his party members now feared him when he gets angry.
From the looks of things, another personality trait was added for Kudo, and it wasn’t something Kudo was proud of. But it was a part of him now, so he just smiled and put his chin on his resting hand, leaving out a sigh.
It looks like the party will have to get used to this new side of Kudo’s.
Things look bright for the E-Plus’ future! Though things are a little different this time, they head on with their heads held high.
I hope everyone enjoyed Vol. 8! It’s been exciting as well as daunting for me to write this, what’s with real life and all. Because of that, I have a bit of news to say.
From now on, until notified later, Hour Empty Child will take a break. You could say it’s going on hiatus, but let me explain why. I’m planning on working another story right now and it’s been on my brain for a while now. After Vol. 8 was written, I decided to go ahead and work on a new story for the sake of expanding my horizons.
This won’t mean that I’ll be quitting Hour Empty Child, though. It’s just going to take a break, because I still have plans to show lots of adventures for Kudo and Hinota to go through. But for now, I’ll be posting my progress on Wattpad for those who are interested (though I won’t probably post that much) and will tell soon when I’ll be publishing the new story.
As for the new story, it’s another fantasy-type story, so sorry for those who thought that I’ll be trying a different genre. But hopefully, everyone will enjoy the new light novel that I’m excited to publish sometime… well, sometime soon. Hopefully everyone can wait for just a bit longer.
Anyways, that’s about it. Give it a like or vote if anyone liked it, and comment on what you think about this. Don’t be afraid to say anything that comes to mind, and I’ll try to reply as much as I can.
So then, kudos to everyone who read on Vol. 8 in its entirety, and I hope you’ll come back for the new story coming out soon!