Hour Empty Child
Back at the clearing, where the grassy field was stained with the blood of both monsters and Adventurers, the goblins were returning to their original strength. At one instant, one goblin took the chance to recover its lost arm by inputting its own dagger to the bloody nub. The other two goblins returned back to normal as well, the ones that had a vertical cut across their torsos.
The two goblins walked near each other, possibly regrouping with one another.
Footsteps were heard, crushing the grass underneath as the goblins quickly took notice and turned their sights towards the source.
The one that came out of the densely thick trees was Hinota, a young Adventurer who stepped out after recovering with the help of a Potion.
Potions are concoctions created by alchemists, who developed a way to make liquid out of pure mana to recover their bodies by hastening their recovery speed, allowing Hinota to clear all her wounds.
Hinota showed a fierce scowl, one that would make the goblins nearly jolt out of the first view. But in truth, Hinota was getting anxious. Her body remembered the cuts that they did on her when she was fumbling and her body shook from seeing the goblins again.
When she was giving her scowl, the goblins glared right back, causing Hinota to take a step back without thinking.
However, she was stopped by a hand that was placed on her shoulder. She looked back, and saw Kudo’s furrowed expression.
“Flamver-san, don’t back away. If you do, you’ll only be more afraid of them.”
Hinota glared at Kudo’s determined eyes, which she then nodded to him. She remained silent, but she kept his words etched in her mind. Hinota unsheathed her katana from her sheath holstered by her belt, and directed her blade towards the goblins.
“Come at me!”
Hinota yelled, practically roaring as the goblins gave in to their instincts and charged right towards her.
Usually, when she does this, she would regret it. But now, as she stood in front of the two goblins charging towards her, Hinota held onto her katana as adrenaline pumped up her body.
■ ■ ■
——A few minutes ago…
Back at the forested area, Kudo and Hinota were on their knees, staring at the ground as Kudo was drawing figures with the help of a wooden thick branch that was nearby. In Hinota’s eyes, she saw herself and Kudo being drawn alongside the figures that seemed to be goblins.
“Alright, Flamver-san, make sure you follow this strategy.”
“Right… but still, they fight really dirty, huh?”
“Yeah. Goblins do whatever it takes to kill us, even take down their own comrades.”
“And to think, they have the same weak points as humans…”
“You can pierce their hearts, cut off their heads, or even disable them for a while by cutting off the limbs; anything works with them.”
“Just… thinking about cutting off another limb sickens me…”
Kudo peeked at Hinota who looked blue for a moment. She recalls the time when she cuts off the goblin’s arm, and felt like she was gonna hurl.
“I know it’s gross, but they would do the same for us. Don’t forget that.”
“Yeah… By the way...”
“Mmh?” Kudo turned his head towards her curious face.
“Your Class, what is it? I know about the other basic Classes, so I know that your Class is not normal. Is it some kind of Special Class?”
“Ah… well, you see, I have no idea…” Kudo responded with a meek tone, rubbing the back of his head to get over his awkwardness.
“E-Eh? You don’t know?”
Hinota’s face was left astonished. Here he is, an expert in Adventuring in her eyes, and yet he doesn’t even know his own Class.
“My Class is special, alright. It’s unknown. All it has are question marks. I only know my skill’s name, but that skill has nothing else either.”
“That’s… really strange…”
Kudo chuckled from Hinota’s honest answer which left to raise her right brow in curiosity.
A young man who became an Adventurer and does not even know his own Class. Strangely enough, Hinota wanted to see proof of that, but Kudo quickly spoke.
“We better focus. Hinota, remember, conserve your energy and attack their weak points.”
■ ■ ■
Currently, in battle…
The goblins brandished their weapons of a stiletto, estoc and dagger —Though, the goblin that had its dagger stuck to the nub of its arm brandished it— and headed to strike her.
Remembering Kudo’s words to heart, Hinota followed the path of the blades in her mind. Because of her higher [INT] stat, she was able to quickly observe their weapons’ line of strike paths according to the radius of the length of the weapon and their distance. Using those calculations, Hinota shifted her weight.
She moved her right shoulder backward, missing the stiletto entirely which left the goblin to fall behind her. Since the other’s dagger was stuck to its nub, she only pivoted her body, dodging the limbless goblin by its entirety again.
Hinota widens her eyes. To think, those simple blades that she has so much difficulty before, and would usually become exhausted from her wide movements, were simply dodged and there was no expense in her stamina.
Hinota’s adrenaline from this simple fact that she clearly overlooked filled her body, pumping up her muscles as Hinota glared immensely to the goblins. Somehow, the goblins felt the tenacity coming from her eyes, and hesitated before they made their move.
It became their mistake.
Hinota was like lightning; she dashed so quickly that the goblins’ eyes couldn’t keep up. Hinota quickly got behind the fully formed goblin, and angled her katana.
She cut up the goblin’s nape, which sprayed out so much blood that it spewed out like a fountain. The goblin’s screams reached out to the air before falling helplessly to his death. Seeing her so close, the limbless goblin sought to avenge its comrade, only to end up stepping on its head as it tried to cut Hinota with its dagger.
Hinota quickly backs away, dodging the small reach of its dagger stuck to its nub.
Hinota focused her mana, sending it over to the right palm of her hand. Then, a fireball was shot out of it and headed straight to the limbless goblin.
An explosion occurred, just as the description of the skill said. The limbless goblin became burnt in the process, and fell backward as its life was gone. Seeing the now dead carcass of the monsters, Hinota’s breath became short, her sweat trickled down her temple faster than the wind.
“Flamver-san, watch out!”
Hinota’s ears pricked up and quickly looked behind. To her shock, she saw one final goblin headed towards her with a small estoc, a weapon unusually found in goblins.
The goblin’s eyes widened as its chest was pierced by a large blade. The blood spewed out from the wound to Hinota’s armor as her eyes extended from the shock. She saw behind the now pierced goblin the young man that helped her out once more.
Kudo roared, his vein popping out from his neck as he reinforced his muscles to his arms and wrists. He gripped onto the handle of his bastard sword firmly, and turned the hilt sideways. A crunching sound was heard as he turned, making the Adventurers heard that a few bones were crushed in the process. The goblin coughed up blood, spraying over the grassy ground painted crimson from the excess loss of blood.
Kudo mercilessly pulled out the sword, leaving the goblin’s body to fall motionless to the bloody ground.
《Experience points have reached the maximum. Level 2 has become Level 3》
《Hidden Points has been inputted into the stats》
Hinota uttered out as she saw the goblin that was about to deal what could have been a finishing blow to her, fall hopelessly to the ground without even a chance to avenge its own race. But what caught more of her attention was the brutal technique that Kudo has just used on it to make his own finisher.
“H-How were you able to kill it in one strike?”
Hinota spoke out of envy, watching Kudo pant heavily as he places the tip of his bastard sword and pierce the ground to provide a support for his tired body.
“Hah… it’s a technique that I practiced according to the guidebook I read. It makes a finishing blow by using the strength of your wrists to turn their insides around that would be fatal to them.”
“To think that a guidebook would teach people this kind of technique…”
Hinota remained flabbergasted at the incredible finisher, and wondered if she could use it herself.
“Though, it won’t work on bigger monsters, or those that doesn’t rely on vital processes like goblins with human-like bodies. And it might be possible that you might damage your hands if you do this constantly.”
“Ah… of course. Being able to turn something while inside of a living body could be hell on your wrists.”
“But if you practice hard enough, you can use this to deliver a finishing blow every time! That’s what I’ve been training for all these years!"
Kudo flexed his right arm, clenching his fist as he recalls the personal training he did, and the pain he felt from his wrists, to practice this technique to kill off monsters easily.
“That’s quite impressive. You must have really strong hands.”
As Kudo flashed a smile to Hinota, she looked back at the goblins who were starting to decompose. She formed a small smile on her lips, recalling the awful times that she had to avoid the goblins’ attacks and suffer through the pain. Inside, her mind became clear, and she let the tension of her shoulders relax.
“Oh, I almost forgot! I raised my level to 3! What about you, Flamver-san?”
Kudo realized that the prompt from earlier appeared in front of him and asked.
“Oh, I got to level 7.”
“Oh, that’s great, Flamver-san!”
Kudo extended his hand and patted Hinota’s right shoulder. Hinota herself was surprised, but not as much as Kudo who realized that he was touching Hinota’s shoulder.
Kudo has now realized he has been overly familiar with Hinota. Kudo felt guilty that he has been doing what he wanted with her, and bowed his head.
“It’s OK,” Hinota responded as she showed a relaxed expression that said that she didn’t mind. “But somehow I feel like that’s not enough.”
“You’re right! I plan to get enough loot to get at least 5,000 Jib today! I still haven’t reached my quota!”
Kudo finally recalls as he takes another look at the decomposing goblins. Kudo took out his bag and takes out his trusty knife. Hinota tilted her head and raised her brow at the sudden action Kudo just did. Kudo closed in on the decomposing goblin, the one that had no limb, and started his dissection.
For the first moment, Hinota became curious as she takes a closer look at Kudo beginning his work.
As seconds rolls by, Hinota’s expression contorted to that of horror; her irises shrunk in shock, her face became blue, and her mouth quivered at the disgusting sight of the disembodiment of the goblin.
“W-W-What are you doing now?!”
“Oh, I’m taking out its organs to get its loot. It’ll decompose if we just let it be.”
Hinota’s inner humanity was crying out from within her. But at this moment, she couldn’t do a thing. As Kudo mercilessly dissected the bodies, ignoring their right to be left alone after death, Hinota remained watchful of the horrific sight.
“Trust me, I don’t like to do this either. But their body parts, if taken out properly, can be sold for Jib. Especially if you do a thorough job and take out a rare item!”
“A… rare item?”
Hinota’s eyes perked up as she heard about a rare item. Soon enough, Kudo yanks out the small gem embedded in the dead body, spraying out droplets of blood and making Hinota yelp ‘Kya!’ out loud from the sudden blood spill.
“…Please ignore what you just heard.”
Kudo quickly took out his handkerchief and cleaned the gem of the blood. He slowly stood up and showed Hinota the rare gem.
“This is it. The 【Corrupted Jewel】. A gem that can be sold for a high price. Here you go!”
“Aggh! Don’t give that to me!”
Hinota expressed her disgust as she sees the gem being handed to her by Kudo who just ripped it off from a dead goblin.
“I cleaned it, so it’s fine.” Kudo smiled as if he has done nothing wrong.
“But it came out from inside the goblin! That’s so gross!”
“But if you sell it, you can get a lot of Jib!”
“T-Then, why are you giving it to me?”
“Because you were the one that killed the goblins. I’ll get the last one for myself.”
“But… if you would have kept it, you could have made more Jib for yourself…”
Hinota began to doubt Kudo’s reasoning. She knows most of all that Adventurers love Jib more than anything. Of course, Kudo, who is more than ready to make more Jib, should be the one who wanted it more than anyone else. She could tell at least that much from him despite only knowing each other just from today.
“It wouldn’t feel right I I just take a loot from someone else’s kill. My guidebook always reminded me that loot is given where credit is due. That means that if someone kills the monster last, the rarest loot should be given to the Adventurer that killed it.”
“But then, it would cut your quota.”
“I can just get some more on my own later. So just take it!”
Kudo said, his smile formed on his lips. Flamver can tell that Kudo was genuine when he spoke those words, and couldn’t help herself but formed a smile herself as she takes the gem into her hands.
“Mmh… Thank y—”
“Though, it could turn you into a goblin.”
From his sudden words, Hinota chucked the gem, thrown at such a long distance to the other side of the clearing. Kudo saw this and immediately started to laugh, not able to hold in his laughter.
“Hahaha! S-Sorry, I didn’t think you would throw it! Hahaha! It was just a joke~”
As Kudo laughed, without him knowing it, Hinota’s glare came back; her scowl would be enough to make a grown man shed tears in fear. When Kudo saw the expression, Kudo immediately widened his eyes.
After the short threat, Kudo went and searched for the gem. He did it quickly, but foud out that some of the goblins that they killed were decomposing. Taking the chance, Kudo quickly taught Hinota how to dissect the bodies and search for loot before their decomposition.
Though it was awful for Hinota’s mind, she felt thankful that she was able to get more Jib than just going through the goblins’ bag and take the Jib that they stole from other humans.
“Hey, I really want to thank you. Though you know my name, you never told me yours.”
“Oh, I really haven’t… I forgot about that.”
Kudo realized that he never introduced himself to Hinota, despite that he knows Hinota’s name.
“My name’s Kudo Braven. It’s nice to officially meet you.”
Kudo spoke proudly, his smile beaming to Hinota as she smiled back.
“Kudo, huh…? Thank you. With these tips, I don’t have to drink so many potions now.”
“Hehe, when you’re in danger, you tend to drink a lot of potions to protect yourself.”
“Right~ I heard you can develop an addiction, but after drinking a hundred of the same, stale potions, they tend to lose whatever flavor they had.”
Kudo’s ears pricked up as he heard such a ridiculous number from Hinota’s mouth. He turned his head back to meet up with Hinota’s sharp glare.
“H-How much funding you had before you started, Flamver-san? If you don’t mind me asking…”
Kudo uttered, truly curious as to how much she spent on those potions. Hinota’s eyes widened, and directed their sharp glare to something else, not meeting directly with Kudo’s eyes.
“I… well, my family gave me a… small amount. About 500k Jib.”
“500,000?! That’s half a million jib!”
“How much you have left?”
The awkward silence made the both of them tense up.
Kudo’s mouth was left gaping farther than it should.
“H-How did you spent so much in one month?”
“Well, at first, it was just living expenses. But after going through a lot of trouble, I spent most o of it on expensive potions, ones that increase a lot of [HP] for double the price. And, whenever I get hurt or scratched, I used one up… and I got hurt a lot.”
“And that’s… how you ended up with 48 jib.”
Kudo, up to this moment, never wanted to hit another person, much less a girl. But now, he wanted to hit Hinota so badly, preferably with a paper fan that doesn’t hurt as much, but it would at least make it sound like it hurts.
“Flamver-san… from now on, please be frugal with your spendings.”
Kudo admonished Hinota, who took those words to heart as she showed a regretful expression gazing downwards.
“How did you plan on staying in the city if you only have so little left?”
Kudo became curious as to where Hinota would go when she doesn’t have enough money to stay at an inn. Hinota responded meekly with her dispirited answer:
“I was planning on… going back to my manor in Erijo if this hunt turned out to be a failure.”
Kudo became surprised at Hinota’s last words. After a month of hunting, she was about to quit. Kudo could not imagine quitting only after a month, when Kudo was excited to be an Adventurer for 10 years straight.
“So… if you failed, then you’d have to quit.”
“…Yes. Though, that’s probably what my family would have wanted.”
When she spoke those words, she had an expression that she expected this. Her tone sounded slightly angry, something which Kudo didn’t understand as much.
“So, what are you gonna do now?”
“I guess since I learned how to better hunt, I can continue some more.”
“T-Then, how about we hunt together for a while?”
Hinota looked back at Kudo, who offered such a daring proposal. At first, Kudo would be too afraid to say something like that, but after hearing Hinota’s conviction to quit after this hunt, Kudo wanted to correct that and show her how great Adventuring is.
“Yeah! It would be like a party! S-So… do you want to?”
A party is where a group of adventurers, more than 1 Adventurer, work together in joint fighting as they take down monsters together. They share the same spoils, but the better benefit is that they provide backup to each other as they fight.
“Mmh… that doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”
“Alright! Then let’s get some goblins!”
Out in the deeper, denser part of the emerald woodland, the two Adventurers who have formed a temporary truce fought together against the ferocious monsters of the forest.
Currently, facing three of those goblins, each one was comprised of having different assortments of weapons such as a sword and shield, a single sword, and two daggers.
Against the three of them, Hinota flashed a confident smile, her overwhelming confidence boosting her morale and firmly gripped her katana’s handle.
The single-sword Goblin charged in to strike her. The dual blade goblin ran as backup, while the shielded goblin stayed behind. As the goblin was about to strike widely down to Hinota, she immediately sidestepped, practically gliding across the grassy ground while dodging perfectly the goblin’s strike. With her katana in hand, she focused her mana into the blade.
Hinota called out, and her blade began to be clad in a glorious fire, like hell flames bringing purgatory to its victim. The goblin standing in its fiery blaze stood no chance as its body was slashed without resistance.
The flames entered into its body, roasting the body’s insides while it was still alive, until finally, its life gave out. The [INT] boost from the stat points served its purpose. The dual blade goblin, who was supposed to back up the single-sword goblin, stepped back in fear as what seems like sweat trickled down its back.
Without a single hesitation, Hinota cuts down the dual blade one, cutting through the two daggers the goblin so desperately put up like it was literally a hot knife through butter. The split, molten blades were left on the ground, with the same molten split body of the goblin was left without any dignity.
Hinota turned her head, revealing her vengeful scowl through all the times that she has suffered from the goblin’s wrath, showering the shielding goblin with her killing intent. The goblin, knowing that it was pointless to attack, dropped its nicked one-handed sword and the wooden small rounded shield to the ground, and quickly dashed away from her presence.
Hinota’s quick speed got her to quickly reach up to the running goblin, which left the poor goblin to look behind it and saw Hinota’s eyes glint with a red light.
The fiery blade split it in half as well, leaving it to burn from the fire that belonged in hell to fall down motionless.
“Whoo… this feels REALLY good!”
Cutting down the three goblins in no less than 10 seconds relieved Hinota from all the anxiety that she has felt over the last month. But then, she sensed the presence of other goblins in the midst.
Meanwhile, Kudo ran farther away. No, he did not leave Hinota by herself. The reason he was running was because he was leading about four goblins that were chasing him through the forest.
“I always wanted to try this out! The famous kiting!”
Kiting: A technique that when dealing with multiple enemies without a multi-hitting skill, one would run around the battlefield, and lead the monsters to a suitable position. Then the Adventurer would use one attack after another to one or two of the monsters, until the mob of monsters annihilated.
When Kudo believed that he has pulled the monsters enough, and all of them were grouped up together, Kudo decided to try this out.
He figured that, as long as he has a partner to deal with the excess goblins, he would further test his Class. So far, he could only test the one skill he has: the 【Plus Bomb】. Since the 【Plus Bomb】 was enough to take down 2 monsters, despite it was sticking to only one, it means that it had a large radius that could take down multiple enemies at once.
But he needed to make sure that he had a suitable amount. The forest was had dozens of goblins that would travel in groups, sometimes having more groups in one spot. Which is why he decided to use the kiting method to take at least some away for his experiments.
Kudo poured his mana into his palm, and activated the skill as he turned back for a moment to throw it.
Kudo shouted as he threw the glowing white sphere of light towards one of the goblins. The running goblins stopped and noticed the sphere as it got stuck to one of them in the middle.
For a moment, it didn’t do anything. The goblin who was unfortunate to be stuck with it tried to get it out, including the help of the other Goblins. Meanwhile, Kudo continued to count in his head:
The goblins soon gave up on helping their friend, and instead decided to attack the one responsible. They closed in on Kudo, all four of them with their nicked daggers attacked Kudo with their weapons. Kudo led them perfectly into a location where the trees were denser, and the rocks were multiple. He cleverly moved behind these obstructions to block their attacks, all the while counting down the seconds.
Kudo loudly spoke, and as the sphere was glowing brighter than before, stopping the goblins movements, Kudo quickly jumped towards the ground and took cover behind a large tree.
The bomb exploded, catching all four goblins together in the blast. As the explosion’s dust covered the area, Kudo moves out of the cover of the tree and flashed a beaming smile.
“So it takes 10 seconds for it to blow up. And it looks like it did a lot of da—”
Right when Kudo was about to finish and celebrate, he noticed that the four goblins caught in the blast appeared out of the smoke, widening his eyes as he sees the four goblins only heavily injured, with several wounds caused by the blast on their bodies, but were still standing and left alive.
“H-Huh? But the last bomb killed them instantly before…”
Kudo was left flabbergasted. The supposedly powerful bomb that made him proud only left them injured, but not dead. The goblins noticed his presence, and with the pain that guides them into a furious rage, they charged in after Kudo.
“C-Crap, crap, crap!”
Kudo cursed repeatedly as he took a dash at the other side, leaving the other goblins to chase after him.
Kudo ran as fast as possible, feeling mentally tired as he had used his skill which cost him his [MP].
[MP] meaning Mana points, which shows in his Stats screen and should be carefully managed, otherwise, the Adventurer would be left with Mana Deprivation, a horrifying status which leaves the Adventurer feeble in body, and constantly drained of energy until some time has passed.
As he ran and tried to recover his [MP], he got out of the dense trees, only to see his other partner Hinota facing three other goblins.
“Eh…? Eh?! What are you doing, you idiot! Don’t bring them here!”
Hinota, covered in small wounds from their weapons who had a much larger range, shouted back at Kudo who brought even more troublesome goblins to the mix.
“S-Sorry, it just happened!”
Kudo apologized greatly as he stood behind Hinota with his back, his front facing against the four injured goblins that he brought, with Hinota facing the other three in front of her.
“I thought you said you could handle them!”
“I thought I did! But the bomb didn’t kill ‘em. Maybe the bomb distributed the damage by how many goblins there were? So that’s why it didn’t kill them instantly since it was double the amount of goblins I defeated before…?”
“Now’s not the time to think about such things!”
As Kudo was slowly drifting off into the drawing board of his mind, Hinota brought him back to reality by reminding him of the situation beforehand.
Soon enough, the two adventurers were caught in a close battle. Hinota and Kudo desperately tried to fight against the 7 goblins that outnumber them by 5. Though Hinota was fine, with her high [DEX], Kudo was having difficulty trying to dodge their would-be finishing blows. As Kudo took some distance, he decided that, with Hinota farther away at this moment, he would use the skill once more to dwindle down the numbers.
Kudo throws his bomb towards one of the goblins. The goblin was one of Hinota’s opponents, so it had no clue of what it might do as it tried to dig out the sphere from its skin.
Kudo warned Hinota that he used the skill, and ran away to try to get some distance, but the goblins were right up on their tails. Getting just a few distance away, they saw the group of goblins running after them, with one of them having the bomb that started to glow brighter.
“Damn, if only we had some trees to cover ourselves!”
“I’m on it! “——《Fireball》!”
Hinota figured that if she could push them back with her skill, they could provide enough distance. As she extended her hand and shot out her fireball, the ball of flaming fires flew a long distance, reaching towards the one goblin who has the glowing bomb.
“N-No! The fireball is gonna cancel out the bomb!”
Kudo, believing that the fireball’s power would be too much for the soon-detonating bomb, widened his eyes as the fireball has already hit its mark:
An explosion unlike any other. The flames of purgatory blazed in front of them, destroying every single blade of grass and dirt in its path. The bloodied, green field of grass in between the dense forest was now covered in the giant flames of destruction.
Harsh winds nearly blew the trees away, the leaves flew so far as if a typhoon was blowing on them. The heated winds nearly burnt the Adventurers’ skin.
Soon, the explosion was over, but the heated winds and the rising smoke covered the land entirely. The two Adventurers looked up, their skins covered in soot and dust, and became shocked and amazement as they saw the once green field of grass was now nothing but a huge crater, blackened by soot and smoke.
The goblins? Blown right out of existence. Their carcasses were the only ones left behind, completely burnt and without a soul in any one of them.
“…Ah… Flamver-san… are you alright?”
Kudo’s ears were ringing from the large explosion. His head felt dizzy and his body felt injured, but he asked Hinota who was nearly shaking and worried for her instead.
“Y-Yeah… W-What just happened…?”
“I think it might have been a synergetic blast… Both your 【Fireball】 and my 【Plus Bomb】 together made an incredible explosion…”
Kudo and Hinota felt only shock and wonder. Their skills together created such a powerful, chaotic explosion that left the goblins to pitifully die in the fires. But then, in that moment, a small smirk rose from their lips, forming into smiles that are made of chaotic elements.
“Flamver-san… are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Why, yes, I am.”
Their malicious grins were plastered on their faces, and begun to snicker at the soon to be destruction that they will cause.
In this day, later to be known as an apocalyptic day for the goblins, became the day where two Adventurers became known as the harbingers of destruction.
Explosions of high magnitude scattered throughout the once peaceful and infested forest of Goblins. The goblins had not even a single chance to fight back. Once they were found, they exploded; simple as that.
The horrible destruction, which would later be told in the history of Klein as the day where the Forest of Dek was almost completely annihilated, became known across the entire town. The guards were kept on high tension, believing that there was an attack and invaders would come by.
The citizens trembled in horror as they believe that time has come for them. The Adventurers that were near all ran from the horrifying power.
In the Forest of Dek, two Adventurers considered this time of the day as the most fun time of their lives…
Running across the forests, Kudo and Hinota activated their skills almost perfectly in synch with each other. Since the 【Fireball】 cancels the waiting time of the 【Plus Bomb】, and it even powers up the damage, they repeatedly used them constantly. As their [MP] came to a near end, they restored their mana with Kudo’s remaining Blue Potions, known to recover [MP]. As they have fully recovered, they continued their onslaught.
In the midst of their runnings, Kudo and Hinota formed dastardly wicked smiles on their faces, erasing each and every goblin from existence with their skills.
“HAHAHAHAHA! THIS IS SO AWESOME!!!”
“THIS IS THE MOST FUN I HAVE EVER HAD SINCE BECOMING AN ADVENTURER!”
Kudo and Hinota yelled out their emotions to the heavens as they wrought destruction and chaos to the world of goblins.
The most hectic day, the day where Kudo has become an Adventurer, where Hinoa has learned how to hunt properly as an Adventurer, and the day the city of Klein believed that the Forest would be lost forever, was almost at its end as the sun finally submerges into the horizon, turning the once blue sky into a hue of orange.
Amidst the vast destruction of what is left of the forest, Kudo knelt down, put his hand into the burnt carcasses, and quickly grabs the gem, now covered in soot, out of the burnt carcass which quickly crumbles into dust.
“Yes, the last one! Flamver-san! Come here!”
Kudo called Hinota over, who was at the other side collecting the body parts that Kudo instructed to collect, came over in a hurry after having collected enough loot.
“To think burning them alive makes finding the 【Corrupted Jewels】 much sooner! So lucky~ We got 60 of these jewels!”
“Wow!” Hinota expressed her surprise as she looked at the gem with delight. “60, huh? How much do they sell?”
“About 1,300 jib each. So that means that we got about… 78,000 jib! Wow!”
Kudo expressed his bliss with a wide grin as he gleamed at the sight of the gem in his hand, putting the gem into another bag. While Hinota chuckled at his innocent-like behavior, despite committing mass-murder on all the goblins, she widens her eyes as she sees Kudo held out another bag that contained the gems.
“Here, it’s your share! 30 jewels.”
“Y-You’re giving me half?”
“Of course. We worked together, and I could hardly keep up with how many you or I killed, so I figured that we can just make our earnings in half. I’m sorry if I’m taking more than I should…”
Kudo made a gentle smile, knowing that he also needed the jib as he expressed his worry over the matter of money.
“N-No, don’t feel bad. To be honest, you should be the one taking more than half.”
“No way. It’s better that we take half at least. Besides, you need jib to take care of yourself, Flamver-san!”
Kudo reminded Hinota of her financial situation. With only 48 jib in her name, Hinota widens her tapered eyes in surprise from Kudo’s incredible generosity. Taking her hand and putting the bag on her palm, Kudo flashed a smile to her which, when caught by the setting sun’s light, made an incredible image in her mind.
“T-Thank you,” Hinota could only express those words as her mind was flabbergasted by the touching sincerity and the wonderful image.
“Remember not to buy so many expensive potions. Always be frugal, remember the tips I showed you, and you should be ready for just about anything.”
Kudo went back to the bag that he has left on the ground when he was collecting his loot, putting the bag of gems as well as the other loot in his bag into order as Hinota watched him in awe.
“Kudo, are you going to leave?” Hinota asked without her meaning to.
“Ah, yeah. I’m thinking of going back to the city to rest. It’s almost night, so it becomes dangerous since I read that monsters that come out at night become double the level. Though we leveled up a lot, I still feel nervous when suddenly facing stronger monsters.”
Kudo chuckled warmly as he stood up and placed his bag on his back.
“I really had fun today, Flamver-san. I really hope that we can party together again like before.”
Kudo spoke out loud, revealing his inner feelings that he had been holding in for a while now. Throughout the day, this has been the most influential day of his life. His first day has turned out better than he ever expected. And it was all because of his partner that helped him during his first day.
Though Hinota had a rough first start, she became a wonderful ally that helped him gained so much experience and jib in a single day. His sincere response showed all this to Hinota.
As for Hinota, she saw Kudo ready to leave. And, as if something inside of her was screaming to do something about it, the raging emotions inside was let out of her mouth.
As Kudo was about to turn around, Hinota spoke out loud, getting him to turn back and return her gaze.
“Are… you planning on going to your adventures alone?”
Hinota glared with her sharp eyes, but to Kudo, after having spent so much time, saw that Hinota was genuinely curious and responded.
“Y-Yeah. With my Class as it is, I don’t think anybody is gonna party up with me. So I’m going to go solo.”
“Solo, huh…? I heard that it’s pretty dangerous. You never know when monsters are gonna attack you at the back.”
Going solo was a dangerous method, and only possible for Adventurers who have a suitable level to handle everything on their own. For those with a terrible personality, or those with trouble communicating with other Adventurers, it’s a horrifying moment if left alone.
“Yeah… But I kinda expected this. You see, I grew up with not able to talk to another person like I did with you. When I became an Adventurer, I promised myself that I would change, and talk as much as I could without holding back… Before I knew it, I had so much fun with you that I completely forgot that I was terrible at dealing with strangers. I expected to go solo, so I was already prepared for this.”
Kudo rubbed the back of his head awkwardly as he revealed his innermost feelings. He wanted to keep it a secret, but somehow, Hinota got him to bring out his true personality.
Seeing Kudo reveal himself, Hinota was affected by his honesty, and has done the same.
“…Then, how about we stay together?”
“How…about… we stay… together?”
“No, no! You don’t have to slow your speaking. I know what you just said, but… Eh?!”
Kudo’s eyes widened in shock. His shy and introverted heart took a bit hit as someone actually wanted to stay with him.
“We really hit it off. We worked together so well that I don’t think that we can get from being with other people. So, how about it?”
“T-That’s… but are you sure? I mean, I thought that you don’t party up with anyone!”
“The reason why I didn’t want to be in a party is so that I won’t be seen by anyone when I was failing to hunt even goblins. But you already helped me overcome that. And right now, I want to be in a party with you. Shouldn’t you take this invitation?”
Hinota spoke confidently, her cockiness was radiating from her words and gestures. Kudo could sense that in a way, but still had a gaping mouth in awe.
“But… my Special Class is completely unknown. And I don’t even know what it does. It might turn out to be a completely useless Class.”
Kudo didn’t want to admit this, but despite the awesome results he has received today with his 【Plus Bomb】, he was still worried about the future skills or stats that he might receive later. He didn’t want Hinota to regret partying up with him if he turned out to be a useless Adventurer.
“Right now, that doesn’t matter. Besides, how can your Class turn out to be useless with all the damage it did today?”
At that moment, all of Kudo’s arguments went up in smoke. Hinota cleared his doubts instantly with her words of wisdom.
Seeing Hinota so keen on inviting him to a party, Kudo felt an incredible feeling of joy. On his first day, he got invited into a party. But more than that, he believed that he has made a new friend on the first day, and what’s more is that the friend turned out to be an incredibly beautiful girl.
“A-Alright… I’ll join your party.”
Kudo stuttered but happily accepted, but Hinota responded differently.
“That’s weird, considering that you’re gonna be the party leader.”
Kudo extended his arms upwards in total shock, making Hinota chuckle from such a reaction.
“Haha! How’s that so strange? It’s only natural that the expert in Adventuring should be the party leader.”
Hinota responded with another truthful fact. At this moment, Hinota realizes that Kudo’s wisdom when it comes to Adventuring is high, so she already expected that she would take orders from him, and gladly gives the position of leader to him. But Kudo felt incredibly nervous and shot back at her.
“B-But I just can’t lead! I’m not capable enough!”
“Mmh… I guess. I can tell that you’re not used to people. Then, how about we both be co-leaders? That way, I can handle the social stuff with ease while you help out with the Adventuring side. We’ll both benefit from this.”
Hinota winked as she made a charming smile, making a good point for Kudo to follow. Seeing the happy interaction, Kudo formed a big smile to respond.
“…Alright! Then, let’s do this together, Flamver-san!”
“Call me Hinota.”
“Again! Why do you always go at your own pace?!”
Kudo nearly fell as Hinota was taking complete control of the conversation with her over-the-top suggestions.
“This is just a personal favor. I rather not be called by my family’s name. There’s also a lot… no, a few of my family members with the same name. So, ‘Hinota’ is the only unique name I have.”
“Hoh, I see…”
Kudo expressed his awe as he follows Hinota’s logic.
“So say it.”
“A-Alright… Let’s do this, Hinota-san!”
“Take out the honorifics.”
“E-Eh? Come on!”
Kudo expressed his frustration at the control Hinota was cleverly using to her advantage.
“Party members shouldn’t call each other with honorifics. Call me by my name, like you should.”
Hinota spoke loudly, forming a smile as if she’s waiting for him to say it.
“…OK! Then, let’s do this, Hinota!”
“Bring it on!”
To make it official, Hinota extended her hand to Kudo, expecting a handshake. Seeing how forming a party is shown, Kudo happily took Hinota’s soft hand covered in her fingerless glove, gripping it firmly as they shook hands.
This day became the day where Kudo and Hinota has begun their life together in their adventures.
The wind clears away the ashes of their enemies, and a new party is formed between them!