Chapter 20:

PlusFire vs. Monarch

Hour Empty Child


——*Boom!*

The maul was swung into the ground, crushing it enough to form cracks on the ground where Kudo managed to get out of safely by jumping back.

Though Kudo evaded that well, his breath was quick, and his heartbeat quickened to the point where it was distracting. He gripped onto his weapon and observed each movement of the Monarch, who stood intimidatingly in front of Kudo as its steamy breath escaped its mouth.

It hits hard, but its movements are slow. However, it has a long range and it’s running me ragged.

His quick sense of ascertaining the abilities of his enemies was engraved onto his mind throughout his many battles. Doing so helped him relax, and brought his heart to slowly pace itself.

The Monarch glared and snarled as it charged at Kudo, winding up its giant maul. As Kudo put up a defensive stance, suddenly the stomach of the Monarch was pierced—

—By none other than Hinota’s katana.

“Hinota!”

“Kudo, leave him to me! Take care of these annoying kobolds!”

Hinota gritted her teeth as the muscle of Monarch was strong. Just now, she was taking care of the kobolds, trying to thin down their numbers. But the kobolds were steadily stronger than the fodder they faced before.

Kudo searched for them and noticed that some of their numbers went down, but the others still stood. Some wore banded armor, and other Medium-Armor, and one of them even had plated armor.
“Got it!”
Kudo nodded as he charged towards the kobolds as Hinota harshly pulls out her katana, letting Monarch bleed out with a spray of blood out of his wound. However, Monarch only stretched its neck, not minding the pain at all.

“He~, aren’t you a tough bastard?” Hinota smirk, but behind that smirk was a rising concern.

Groooo!

The Monarch howled, its bellowing howl was enough to make the sensitive ears of the elves ache in pain.

“Aggh! It hurts my ears!” The young elf [Hunter], known amongst the party that has a keen hearing, wished that he could be deaf for a moment as the howl pierced his eardrums.

“This is the Monarch…” Eruda uttered, blocking her earholes by cupping them with her hands. “I can’t believe we tried to go after it.”

Eruda now sees the gap between the Monarch and them. If Hinota’s katana, crafted and magically charged to its extent, hardly made a dent in the Monarch’s movements, how could the feeble weapons the elves had ever stand a chance against it? It was impossible—a foolish goal that could only result in the elves’ early deaths.

“Eruda, those adventurers,” Uren asks in concern while cupping her ears as well. “Will they be alright?”

“…” Eruda took a moment, looking at the bloody scene in front of her. “I have complete faith in them.”

As she said that, Uren could feel a wave of confidence in her answer. But then the [Hunter] asked:

“Hey, why don’t we get out of here? If they fall, the Monarch will come after us next!”
Though his reasoning was sound, Uren shouted back with a look of shock.

“And leave these Adventurers here? How could you say such a thing?!”

“They’re strong!” The [Hunter] admitted. “But if they fall, then there’s no point in them saving us if we don’t get out of here!”

“T-That’s…”

“These Adventurers are strong!” Eruda shouted, interrupting the panicking flow. “I know they can win!”

“Tch,” The male [Mage] scoffed, unknowingly making each elf nearly twitch. “These are nothing but filthy humans. It won’t matter what they do. They’ll die a meaningless death anyways.”

Those words of contempt left an otherwise surprising look of rage on the stoic Eruda.

“How can you say that, Samken? They’re helping us escape with our lives intact!”

“They’re humans!” Samken repeated, as if the very mention of the word is a taboo for him. “They’re filthy mudslingers that populate the planet like pigs! I won’t allow myself to be saved by the likes of them!”

Samken’s harsh words pierced the air, bringing the mixed elves to feel somewhat complexed by his words. Samken then gazed at the entrance from which the Monarch and the other higher kobolds appeared from.

“Jeppen, go to the Monarch’s chambers, and secure any treasure in there. We’ll take all of it and leave this foul place.”

The [Hunter], Jeppen, responded with a stiff expression, “G-Go to the chambers?”

“Did I stutter?! Go!” Samken shouted back and pointed at the chamber. “And take Eruda to carry the treasure!”

“Samken!” Uren shouted to her leader with a fierce look. “You would leave our saviors to fend for themselves, while you take the rewards for yourself?! How can you call yourself a High Elf from these filthy actions?!”

“Silence, wench!”

—*Bam!*

A fierce strike to her cheek, Uren falls to the ground.

“Uren!”

The other male elves were left speechless as Eruda comforts the downed Uren by picking her up from the ground.

“How dare you address me in such a way, you filthy mix?! I am a High Elf! My orders are divine and absolute! You have no choice but to comply. What else is there? There is nothing out there for you other than being under my feet!”

Samken glared at Uren with his eyes showing nothing but his own idea of dominance towards her. Eruda furrows her brow, hatred teeming from the core of her soul.

“Now, hurry up and collect the treasure!”

Having no choice, Jeppen and Eruda left Uren to the [Warrior] and headed towards the chambers without regard to their lives.

It wasn’t long before Kudo and the Monarch noticed them going there.

“Wait! Stop!” Kudo’s eyes widened. His hand stretched out. “Don’t go in there!”

His words hit deep into Eruda’s mind. She looked back and saw that the Monarch switched its attention from Kudo to the two elves heading towards its chambers.

Grroooo!

The Monarch howled, getting some of the kobolds to stop fighting against Hinota, and turn around to chase after the elves.

“Hey, come back here!” Feeling like she was ignored, Hinota’s face contorted into anger.

The frightened look on Jeppen’s and Eruda’s faces was apparent as the monsters that nearly killed them were chasing after them again. As they were about to reach towards them, Hinota closed in towards them.

“Kudo!”

“Got it! ——《Plus Pulse》!”

As if their wills were synchronized together, Kudo casts his buff skill. A wave of white rings flourished to the air and then falls gracefully to the ground, affecting the radius between himself and Hinota.

Hinota’s body suddenly gained a spike in power, enough to make her feel enormously powerful than before. Kudo’s body felt the same as the two of them reached the front side of the elves, and readied their blades.

——*Boom!* The two of them blocked most of their attacks, with Kudo being the vanguard to block the most of them due to his sword’s wide size.

The elves were left too stunned to even move. Kudo then turned his head to face them.

“Hurry up and move!”

Knowing full well what they are trying to do, Kudo allowed them to head into the chambers. Though Jeppen was left quivering, a quick hit to his shoulder from Eruda got him moving, getting them to quickly head inside the chambers.

“Aren’t you quite generous, Kudo!” Hinota grunts as she made a smirk, despite the crisis they were going through.

“Right now, it’s important that we finish our original quest!”

“Heh, got it!”

Their original quest was the destruction of the Monarch. Saving Eruda was, of course, another objective which they completed well. Now, what is left is to take the Monarch’s head.

Hinota moved the katana back with great strength, and pushed off the kobolds with her mighty swing, releasing Kudo’s pressure. The sudden pressure exuded from her swing let the kobolds and the Monarch know that her strength was higher than usual.

“Hehe, this buff is nice! Now then, Kudo, take care of the plebs! I’ll take care of this big doggie myself!”

“Don’t push yourself, Hinota!”

“Got it!”

Backing her up, Kudo remained where the kobolds were, and Hinota pushed herself forward to face against the Monarch which growled in the state of acrimony.

“What’s wrong? You scared, mutt?”

Hinota’s fearless smirk ran across her gallant face, leaving the Monarch to take that provocation to heart as it growled and roared at her.

Grooooo!

Winding up its giant maul, it swung down with enough force to warrant death. However…

Hinota blocked it with her katana, and the strong pressure between the two practically exploded with air as the two were left in a standstill. However, Hinota remained undaunted despite the show of strength from its swing as her smirk has not left her face.

Are these humans monsters themselves?! Samken managed a thought as he was watched the match of strength between Hinota and the Monarch.

Meanwhile, Kudo continued to face against the numerous kobolds with strong armor by himself. There were less of them, but 4 was still quite a number for the support-type like Kudo.

I need to help Hinota. The buff won’t last long…!

Kudo thought as he continued to peer at the entrance behind him. With each look, the kobold takes the chance to lunge for his neck with their weapons. Kudo could sense the attack, thanks to his training with Hinota and his piling experience in battle, and swiftly moved his head back, making the small sword the kobold used to swing at him miss by a couple of inches.

This continued on as if it was a dance for Kudo—making less effort to dodge every attack from the kobolds. He could strike back, but right now, he needed to dodge.

Before long, the elves that went in the chambers finally exited, carrying several bags worth of treasures filled with equipment and items the kobolds hoarded.

Eh… could he have been watching our back until we got out? Eruda thought as she noticed that Kudo remained in the position where he was before. He turned to the front to look at Hinota with a smirk on his face.

“Alright! Now! “——《Plus Bomb》!”

Kudo shouted as he stretched his hand out to the side, using up his [MP] as he throws the glowing bomb at one of the kobolds. One kobold was stuck with it, however, since it didn’t do anything, it paid no heed as it charged right at Kudo.

Once again, Kudo moved swiftly, moving his body around while the bomb continued to tick away. As he dodged each strike, his lungs nearly burning from over usage, Kudo was finally at the spot where he needed to be.

“2… 1… now!”

As Kudo was surrounded by the kobolds near the entrance of their chambers, and was about to be the target of their pounces, Kudo quickly rolled forward, missing them by going underneath their upper bodies, and finally standing back up.

He rolled quite a distance away and looked back at the kobolds, where the bomb continued to glow brighter than before.

——*BOOM!*

The bomb exploded, leaving the other kobolds that were grouped up together to be taken in the blast. The level of the 【Plus Bomb】 was high, so the explosion became stronger, enough to get the entrance to crumble and break apart from the blast.

The rocky entrance then falls on top of the damaged kobolds, catching them all underneath the rubble, silencing them for good.

“Whoo~! It worked!” Kudo praised his handiwork as he took down the four high kobolds by himself, leaving the other elves that watched the scene in shock as their mouths gaped.
“Now, I’m coming, Hinota!”

Turning around, Kudo quickly heads towards Hinota, who was still fighting with the Monarch.
During the fight, Hinota was besting the Monarch with everything she got. The big maul was not much of a threat as she thought.

But what was a threat was the Monarch’s die-hard tactics.

She could tell that it relied on its big strength and speed, so she resolved herself to avoid its major strikes by elegantly sidestepping, and gliding across the room. However, that expended more stamina than she has hoped.

Damn, if only it could let up a little, I could enchant myself and—

Stretching her body as much as possible, she avoided every major swing that the Monarch gives her, But one swing, a vertical swing at a downwards angle, caused her to lose her train of thought.

Damn, I can’t get away!

“Wrraahh!”

After a strong shout, the Monarch suddenly stops and its body shook. Hinota glared at the Monarch that looked down to see where the sudden pain comes from, getting Hinota to direct her vision to the one disabling it.

“Kudo!” Hinota shouted his name as Kudo pierced the back of the Monarch’s leg. It pierced to the point where half the sword was inside the flesh of the Monarch.

Seeing her chance, she escaped from the swing that the Monarch managed to complete, crushing the ground in the process.

“Kudo, thanks!”

“D-Do you thing, Hinota!”

Kudo’s pained expression showed on his face as he told Hinota to go, getting her some needed rest to regain her stamina. In that moment, he tried to use his favored technique—turning the insides out with his strength. He spins the sword as hard as he could, hoping to disable its footing. The blood spurted out like a river, making the Monarch howl in pain.

Ghh! My wrists! Its muscles are so hard!

A sharp pain coursed through his wrists as the muscles tissue of the Monarch was as tough as leather. However, he bore through the pain as he spun it further, causing the Monarch to howl in intense pain.

Groooo!

The Monarch howled, sounding irritated, forwent his maul and spun its body around.

——*Krrik!*

Kudo’s chest was slashed apart, making him look down and saw what just happened. He saw several long, sharp claws that did the damage, belonging to the Monarch’s hands.

Intense, sharp pain coursed from his chest, reaching to the rest of his body like a shockwave. The pain traversed in his mind, causing him to be dazed.

“Kudo!” Hinota shouted, her eyes widens and narrows at the sight of Kudo being seriously damaged.

Or that’s what Kudo thought. Instead, he quickly got back to his senses, returning back to his calm demeanor as he jumped back from the Monarch’s person, and gripped his sword tight.
“Hah…” Kudo heaved a sigh. It hurts… ah… my [HP]…

Kudo saw his armor that became slashed up in the process, now covered in his own blood. Red, cascading liquid ran down his chest, and from seeing this image, Hinota’s eyes narrows as her irises shrunk.

“You’ll pay for that!” Her enraged shout reached to the Monarch’s ears, causing it to look back at her.

“——《Enchant: Attack》! ——《Enchant: Magic Attack》! ——《Enchant: Speed》! ——《Burning Soul》!”

Finally being able to attack back, she unleashed her buffs that she has been waiting to use. Her body became engulfed in a fiery pillar of flames, shocking the elves as well as Kudo.

Once the flames dispersed, what they saw was a magnificent sight. Her body glowed bright red, along with several other colors of aura. The burning hair of fire weaving in the air, and her fiery red eyes shocked the onlookers as well as her enemy.

“S…So beautiful,” These words escaped from Eruda’s lips as she sees the beautiful sight of a girl consumed by fire, only to become fire herself.

The Monarch sensed that she has increased in power, and picked up the maul that it left behind, swinging it towards Hinota.

“——《Minus Pulse》!”

Similar to the 【Plus Pulse】, Kudo released several rings of pure black color—each one sending directly towards the Monarch.

“W-What did he do?!” Eruda asks, her eyes keeping up with Kudo’s actions.

At first, it didn’t seem like it did anything, but to Hinota, she noticed one big thing—
—The Monarch moved too slow.

“——《Flaming Strikes》!”

Quicker than the naked eye can see, Hinota continuously slashed the Monarch with every fiery slash that she could muster. She moved from side to side, slashing at each part of its body with a ridiculous speed.

Each strike resembled a blazing arc of fire, resembling the dance of fire dancers that danced with death by spinning burning staffs with their movements.

“A-Amazing…” The [Warrior] elf widened his eyes in the beautiful exhibition of Hinota’s fiery dance. The other elves were too stunned to even think properly and follow their supposed plan.

With each strike, the Monarch couldn’t move as much as it wanted to, and each time it was stricken with the blazing fire strikes on its body.

The 【Minus Pulse】 gives the enemies alone a debuff, the opposite of my 【Plus Pulse】. It looks like it gave a speed debuff, reducing its movement speed. This is good… I’m thankful for all that time I spent trying to analyze this skill…

Kudo’s sweat trickled down his temple as he was relieved of the pressure of his new skill. He drank a Crimson Potion, healing the wound on his chest with a glowing blue aura on his body.

“Whoo~” Kudo’s body was relieved of the pain as he sees Hinota’s handiwork on the Monarch.

“Kudo!” Hinota shouted throughout the constant slashing of the slowed Monarch. “This thing’s too tough! I’m handing the finishing blow to you!”

“Yeah!” Kudo responded with vigor. “Bring it on!”

Hinota appeared behind the Monarch with a smirk, pointing her sharp tip of her katana towards its back leg, the same leg that Kudo pierced.

“This spot’s good! Raaahh!”

Hinota pierced the leg with her katana, finely cutting through the muscle and even to the bone as she felt the very bone being crushed rang out. The Monarch, too slow to even react, could only how in pain and anger as Hinota made another move.

With a powerful grunt, she lifted her arms and swung the katana—with the Monarch’s leg dragged with it. Hinota pulled the leg, dragging the entire body of the Monarch with her. As she screams louder due to her arm muscles being taken to the limit, she spins the body of the Monarch once, twice, three times.

The Elves could not turn away at all by the sight. A young, slim girl, pulling along a gigantic wolf monster by herself, and even spinning it around. It was a great spectacle that not even an experienced Adventurer veteran could ever see.

“Round the mutt, it goes~! Kudo!”

With a little song to distract her of the limit-breaking strength, Hinota spun the Monarch as she screamed Kudo’s name. Kudo himself was busy with his own work.

Kudo created a 【Plus Bomb】, and held it tightly in his hands. As each second passes, the bomb continues to glow brighter than before.

“Bring it!”

With a shout so loud that it pierced the heavens, Kudo shouted, making her pull out her katana and letting the Monarch go high into the air.

“——《Plus Beam》!”

Kudo extends his right hand, with the glowing bomb nearly bursting with light, and aimed it at the flying Monarch.

——*Booooooooom!*

A blast of pure, white light was shot out of his hand. It hits the Monarch that was directly in its path. The beam produced shockwaves of air, affecting everything around its vicinity.
The Elves could not gape any farther than they could as they were nearly blinded by the light, but dared not to look away.

The beam continued until it hits the rocky ceiling above. But it couldn’t be stopped as the beam blasted through the rocky ceiling and burning it to ashes as it goes.

The beam was finally released from the rocky mines and blasted through the top surface, destroying everything in its path as the beam of light was shot into the open sky, obliterating any trace of the Monarch from existence…

Back at the boss’s room, everything was silent. The ceiling was completely destroyed, and the sky could be seen from high above the hole that Kudo has created. The elves were too stunned from what they saw—their eyes widened to the point of their eye sockets being at the very limit they could muster.

“Hah…”

Kudo expended his breath as he fell backward to the ground, causing a loud thud. Hinota herself has been released from her buffs, returning her appearance to normal as her body fell to her knees.

“…Ah! Kudo-san! Hinota-san!”

Eruda, being brought back to her senses, notices the fallen Adventurers and ran after them.
“Hinota-san!” Eruda ran to Hinota first, since she was closest. “Are you OK?!”

“Y-Yeah…” Hinota answered, her form was still with grace as she returned to her normal breathing. “Just got a little tired… instead, go check Kudo for me, please. He must be the worst case.”

After a nod, Eruda ran towards Kudo, picking up his body from the cold ground and putting it over her arms.

“Kudo-san! Please, tell me that you still live!”

“…”

Kudo could not answer. Instead, his eyes showed swirling signs, his head wobbling over and over from left to right.

“…Is this Mana Deprivation?”

Eruda widened her eyes as this was the first time she saw this condition. Being mana deprived, the user becomes too dizzy to make any kind of movement. The swirls in the eyes represent that they have expended too much mana.

“H-How do I help someone with Mana Deprivation!?” Eruda began to panic as she looked up to the elves, but they were too stunned to even respond.

“Don’t worry; just give him a minute,” Hinota walked towards Eruda with slow steps. “It’s only dangerous if you got that in battle. Outside of it, he only needs a little time.”

“I-I see! Hah… thank goodness…”

Eruda felt that the most dangerous pressure on her was relieved, making her sigh out which was uncommon for her character.

In the midst of darkness, Kudo drifted in it, his mind at ease and felt the coldness of the dark atmosphere calm his body.

But then, his head felt a comforting warmth. It was so warm… it felt nice, and his nose picked up a sweet scent. After a while, Kudo became curious, and slowly opened his eyes.

“Mrrh… Mmh…”

“Yo, Kudo,” Hinota’s voice was heard as Kudo slowly regains his vision and saw Hinota’s gallant and sharp expression gently looking down at him. “Good to see you still alive.”

Kudo took a moment to realize what was going on. Then, the memories from the battle filled his mind, getting him to widen his eyes. He then sees what was the warm sensation he is feeling underneath his head—

—it was Hinota’s lap that his head was resting on.

“Everything OK?” Hinota asks as her smiling face was shown to Kudo as he slowly realizes what was happening.

“Ah…ah… Ahh!”

Kudo immediately got up to his rump, his head shot upwards so quickly, it surprised Hinota a little.

“S-S-Sorry! I… I was…!”

Kudo turned around and immediately apologized, though for what, however, was a mystery.

“Hehe, don’t worry about it,” Hinota offered a smile to the dazed Kudo as he bowed his head multiple times to her. “It’s no trouble for me.”

Kudo now remembers what happens and takes a look at his surroundings. The room was an utter mess thanks to the blood scattered from Hinota’s strikes. Some bloody spots were still fuming with smoke as it was near boiling point.

“Ah…” Kudo then notices the elf girl Eruda, who smiled at him.

“I’m glad that you’re OK, Kudo-san…”

“Ah… Ah, I got Mana Deprivation, huh…” Kudo managed to realize what he went through, and sheepishly rubbed his head. “Ah, man, and I keep warning Hinota to be careful of her mana-spending… I’m no different.”

“That’s right,” Hinota chuckled as Kudo's cheeks burned red.

As the two Adventurers had a bubbly atmosphere around them, Eruda looked up to Hinota, showing a small glint of happiness in her eyes.

“Truly, truly… thank you, Hinota-san. And, to Kudo-san as well. I thank you both. If it weren’t for you both, we would have…”

“Don’t worry about it,” Hinota interrupted, her gentle voice reaching to her ears. “Although,” Her expression changes, turning into that of a schemer with a smirk. “From all this work, we would like some of the treasures that you guys got.”

“H-Hinota!” Kudo widened his eyes, surprised that Hinota would make such a demand.

“Kudo, we went all the way here and took care of the problem. This might be part of our quest, but the other part should be equally rewarded.”

“T-That’s true, but…”

“I will not stand here and listen more to this drivel!”

Kudo nearly jolted as he remembers the aggravating voice that made him feel so disturbed and worried in the first place. He looked back, along with Hinota and the brow-furrowing Eruda as Samken stands behind the PlusFire, looking down at them as if he was a superior being.

“Listen here, you monstrous humans. Eruda’s debt is her own! We never asked for you filthy pigs’ help! The day I would willingly seek help from the overpopulated swine called Humans will be the day where I will bite my own tongue!”

Samken’s voice reached their ears, leaving Kudo somewhat frightened of his hostility and Hinota sharpening her glare by furrowing her brows.

“Eruda! Don’t make the party pay for your shameless yield to them!” Samken then turned his hostile gaze to his own party member, looking down on her further than he did with the PlusFire. “Or is it that since I am your superior, you expect me to pay for everything you’ve done? Tch, quite an upstart for a mixed breed!”

Samken continued on to the point of even aggravating his own party members. Uren could not look angrier enough at her party leader as Eruda lowered her head, and stood up.
“Honestly, this disgrace will follow me all the way back ho—”

The moment he began to speak again, Eruda’s hand covered Samken’s mouth, a sharp blade pointing at the veiny part of his neck.

Everyone around them widened their eyes as they saw Eruda holding Samken at knife point. Eruda brought out her small dagger, and moved in so quickly it caught everyone by shock. Samken finally noticed and turned blue in the face. He tried to move away, but Eruda’s grip was too strong for him to move.

“Nobody from our home country is here. There’s nothing here that binds us to your will anymore. Nothing here can protect you, Samken.”

Eruda spoke coldly, her intense rage being heard in her tone of voice. Samken’s eyes contorted into fright. Kudo tried to recover the situation before it could get even worse, but Hinota stopped him.

“This is their matters, Kudo,” Hinota whispered to him. “We can’t interfere.”

Kudo showed a pained expression, and backed away to her side.

“Nothing can stop me from jabbing this dagger straight into your throat. Everyone here can come back and say that you were killed by a monster, and nobody would bat an eye.”

“T-That’s impossible!” Samken’s mouth was released from Eruda’s grip. “Everyone here will see what you did! You will never escape capital punishment, you mixed-bit—”

As Samken gazed at their party members, expecting them to stop Eruda sometime soon, he soon found out that the elves looked at him with fierce expressions. Each one of them saw the scene, with a look that explained everything to Samken, widening his eyes.

“…It looks like everyone here agrees to it…”

For a moment, Eruda’s heart beat fast, but then it calmed down, seeing Uren’s face nodding in approvement.

“Now then, if you don’t want to be left as a memory in our hearts, we’ll give all of our treasure to the Adventurers. All of it.”

She repeated those words again, getting Samken’s mouth to quiver, turning silent. Then, Eruda became impatient and pointed her blade further, the tip making a cut at the High Elf’s neck and leaving a small trail of blood streaming down from the tip.

“H-Hiiiih!”

After his loud screech, Samken’s head fell, his eyes whitened up and his soul was practically visible coming out of his mouth.

Eruda closed her eyes in disappointment, and lets go of Samken’s head. His body fell to the ground like a lifeless mannequin, leaving Eruda to look away in disgust.

“…I’m sorry that you had to see that, Kudo-san, Hinota-san…”

Eruda made a small smile, and to Hinota’s eyes, she could see a small glint of satisfaction in her eyes.

“Please, take all the treasure.”

“W-We don’t really need so mu—”

“Thank you for holding up to the deal, Eruda-san.”

“H-Hinota!”

Kudo shouted to Hinota once more as she and Eruda extended their hands and shook them, making their deal made.

Once the treasure has been given, Kudo and Hinota received quite a few weapons they could use to dismantle, some leftover Jib, and finally, a few potions.

Not much of a treasure…

Kudo complained, but the reward for the quest of defeating the boss will be enough for him. Then, he notices something sparkling from the loot, and widened his eyes.

As the elves were preparing their leave, with the [Warrior] elf lamenting that he had to carry the fainted Samken on his back, Eruda’s shoulder was tapped, getting her to turn around and see Kudo.

“Here you go, Eruda-san,” Kudo said with a smile, handing over a long sword made out of pure gold, ornated with various jewels on the front and back blade shining in various colors.

“T-This is… the weapon our client needed! A-Are you sure that you should give it to us?”

Eruda widened as she was handed the sword, her hands nearly shaking as the sword was surprisingly heavy.

“It’s for your quest. We can’t turn it in, and we don’t have any use for it. So you keep it.”

Kudo smiled widely, and after Eruda looked back and saw her party members nodding their heads, Eruda turned back with a smile of her own.

“Thank you… you keep helping us out to no end.”

“Us Adventurers need to look out for each other sometimes!”

After Kudo’s positive quote, Eruda waved goodbye to the PlusFire as they left the room in a hurry, making sure that no other kobold would come out on them.

Hinota closed in towards Kudo and asked:

“Why didn’t you keep the sword? If we kept it, we could have deconstructed it and gain its materials.”

“A sword that gaudy has no worth in battle. Its durability is weak, and the damage done with it is so small, it makes no difference. It’s completely useless to me.”

“Ah.”

Hinota nodded in agreement as the two of them left the mines soon afterwards.

*********************************************************
With a win under their belt, the PlusFire returned with all kinds of nifty treasures… sort of.


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