Chapter 26:

Kudo's Class and Girl's Talk

Hour Empty Child


Underneath the moonlit night on the first night of the event, the PlusFire undoubtedly enjoyed their time of relaxation. After dinner, there was still time before going to sleep, so the party members ended up conversing.Bookmark here

“So, your Class is completely unknown? Like, you don’t even know its skills or even its Class name?”Bookmark here

Lailah asked this after having a discussion about Kudo’s mysterious Class.Bookmark here

“Yep, that’s about right.”Bookmark here

Though Kudo answered it like it was obvious, other than Hinota, the other members only gaped in awe.Bookmark here

“T-That can’t be right. I mean, you should know what your skills do at least, right?”Bookmark here

Lailah shot a suspicious glare at Kudo, thinking that he might just be saying everything as a joke. Kudo felt as if his honor was being tested, and furrowed his brow.Bookmark here

“Then, I’ll show you.”Bookmark here

Kudo turned on his character screen, and sends it towards Lailah. The screen floated gently towards Lailah as she and the other low-level members looked at the screen with anticipation.Bookmark here

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Name: Kudo BravenBookmark here

Class: ?????Bookmark here

Level: 54Bookmark here

HP: 2080, MP: 2860Bookmark here

Attack: 523, Defense: 831Bookmark here

Magic Attack: 963, Magic Defense: 577Bookmark here

STR: 32 INT: 28Bookmark here

VIT: 25 WIS: 34Bookmark here

DEX: 23 LUK: 268Bookmark here

Available Points: 0
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【Plus Bomb】 Lv. 25 (Proficiency: 9%)Bookmark here

ZP&Mn)p:dp&:6Eo’+n!nFuq>L<ms8E?’p&:oUr;QKjq>^’nD<=D6<.(rWiE’et)[+qu6s7ZfqoWVXk6t/\Vs%*AZGJNZ0D&[hkHeBQa+aQ<.L:>l)js8EYTe,K.Ap\+B7mIpmIpMXQuq=jmKLT9qEp\sjXE/95Eo^hV”4N[nc/V”mJj!Bs7?9’s*;sVnZf<C1OcBC.\f^rVs
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【Plus Pulse】 Lv. 22 (Proficiency: 68%)Bookmark here

EI&Mn)p:dp&:6Eo’+n!nFuq>L<yr8W?’p&:oJr;QKjq>^’nD<=D6<.(rWiE’et)[+qu6s7ZfqoWVXk6t/\Vs%*PORJNZ0D&[hkHeBQa+aQ<.L:>l)js8ITR,K.Ap\+B7mIpmIpMXQuq=jmKLT9qEp\sjXE/95Eo^hV”4N[nc/V”mJj!Bs7?9’s*;sVnZf<C1OcBC.\f^rVs
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【Minus Pulse】 Lv. 18 (Proficiency: 34%)Bookmark here

ZP&Mn)p:dp&:6Eo’+n!nFuq>L<ms8E?’p&:oUr;QKjq>^’nD<=D6<.(rWiE’et)[+qu6s7ZfqoWVXk6t/\Vs%*AZGJNZ0D&[hkHeBQa+aQ<.L:>l)js8EYTe,K.Ap\+B7mIpmIpMXQuq=jmKLT9qEp\sjXE/95Eo^hV”4N[nc/V”mJj!Bs7?9’s*;sVnZf<C1OcBC.\f^rVs
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T-These are your stats?!” Lailah shouted, her eyes widening at the amazing stats.Bookmark here

“And these are your skills?! I can’t make sense of these!” Mick shouted afterwards, showing the same surprised look.Bookmark here

“Amazing… so you really have no information about this Class at all!” Eruda responded with a stoic look, but she couldn’t hide her shock from her tone of voice.Bookmark here

Kudo, being the cause of all this, felt a little embarrassed.Bookmark here

“Haha… it’s kinda weird, I know,” Kudo chuckled as he rubbed the back of his head
.
“Weird is an understatement here…” Lailah answered honestly with a doubtful look, however, the truth was right in front of her eyes.Bookmark here

“However, it doesn’t change the fact that Kudo is a very powerful Adventurer. With Kudo’s buff and debuff, along with Hinota’s power, they were able to take down the Monarch with no trouble at all! The last attack he did was a powerful beam attack that destroyed the whole roof apart!”Bookmark here

Eruda retold the story on how she saw the battle between the PlusFire and the Monarch. Though Kudo thought that she might be overestimating the battle a little, Mick and Lailah completely ate it up, showing looks of admiration and awe.Bookmark here

“A Monarch!? You serious!? These two took it down by themselves?!” Lailah continued to ask, making sure that she is getting everything right.Bookmark here

“That’s right!”Bookmark here

“A-And did you say that Kudo did a beam attack?!”Bookmark here

“That’s right—and it was super powerful as well.”Bookmark here

Hinota responded, leaving Mick to look completely shocked.Bookmark here

“B-But it doesn’t say anything here about a beam!”Bookmark here

“The truth is the bomb skill in there can transform into a beam if I charge it without throwing it…”Bookmark here

Kudo explained his bomb skill with a reddened face, looking embarrassed as Mick showed a look that was the same as a little boy.Bookmark here

“No way! Is that for real?”Bookmark here

“It’s true. I’ve seen it myself. It was definitely amazing, that’s for sure!”Bookmark here

Eruda was the one that responded as she recalls the time she saw the powerful move with her former party. Though she was recollecting the memories in her mind, Mick showed a reddened face, as he just talked to Eruda without realizing it.Bookmark here

Of course, Hinota’s keen gaze spotted this, and closed her head in towards Kudo to whisper.
“Kudo, what’s going on with Mick? He looked strange after Eruda talked to him,” Hinota asked in a low voice.Bookmark here

“Ah,” Kudo figured that she would have realized anyways, and decided to tell her. “You see, Mick likes Eruda. That’s what he said to me before. Don’t say anything, though.”Bookmark here

Making sure that she doesn’t tell it to Eruda, Hinota nodded in agreement.Bookmark here

“Alright, got it.”Bookmark here

Hinota, now knowing what’s going on, showed a sly smile at the two, getting both Mick and Eruda to look dumbfounded at her smirk.Bookmark here

“So, if you use magic skills,” Lailah became curious and asked. “Why do you use a bastard sword?”Bookmark here

Hearing her curious question, Kudo responded:Bookmark here

“My guidebook showed me lots of techniques about killing monsters faster, using swords as an example. To be honest, I never thought about using another kind of weapon other than swords.”Bookmark here

After giving it a thought, Kudo decided to admit his personal feelings.Bookmark here

“Also, I think big swords look really cool~”Bookmark here

Kudo smirked like a young child, leaving Lailah to exhale sharply, as if she expected some bigger reason. After a while, she asked another question.Bookmark here

“But, if you use magic skills, haven’t you ever thought about using a staff like mine?”Bookmark here

Kudo uttered ‘Staff?’ as he tilted his head. Hearing such an idea made Hinota realize it as well.Bookmark here

“Kudo, you never tested out whether you can use the staff or not, have you?”Bookmark here

“To be honest, I never even given it a thought…”Bookmark here

“Then, do your attacks get stronger if you use a staff?” Mick offered up an idea.Bookmark here

“Oh! Oh! I got a spare staff right here! Go and test it out!”Bookmark here

As if overwhelmed by her curiosity, Lailah opened up her [Magic Bag] by her side and took out a long wooden staff. It was a simple wooden staff—There was no artistry involved, as if it was made very quickly. It looked like a low-level staff given to first time [Mages].Bookmark here

“A-Are you sure that I can use this?” Kudo wanted to make sure as Lailah handed the staff to him.Bookmark here

“Of course! I’m way too excited to stop this now. Let me see it!”Bookmark here

Lailah quickly ran back to the others to her seat, and viewed with such intense focus as if she was watching a play. Of course, Mick, Eruda, and even Hinota became interested and watched from afar. In fact, each of them put their elbows on their knees, putting their hands under their chins in total wonder, leaving Kudo somewhat pressured by them.Bookmark here

“T-Then…”Bookmark here

Kudo stood up and backed away, making a short distance from the camp, away from the others. Of course, the other members watched in glee as they thought they were going to see a good show. Kudo looked up to see them, and they still had an expectant look on their faces.Bookmark here

“Ok, here I go… ——《Plus Bomb》!”Bookmark here

Kudo raised the staff high in the air, calling out his skill as he inputted his mana into the staff.Bookmark here

The staff responded by slowly glowing a whitish glow around itself, making a bright aura to show up. The others watched in awe as Kudo became in awe himself.Bookmark here

—*Crackle…*Bookmark here

Then a spark of electricity coiled around the staff. The sparks coiled the staff like a snake in each burst, each one becoming stronger than before. Kudo widens his eyes as the staff slowly started to glow brighter, the electricity going nearly out of control. It nearly burned Kudo’s flesh in his hand, until finally—Bookmark here

—*Boom!*Bookmark here

A large explosion ensued, blowing everything away from its vicinity in a wide radius, leaving the others to feel the impact of the wave.Bookmark here

“Kudo!” Hinota’s screams resounded loudly as she got up so fast that it seemed blurry. Mick and Eruda has done the same and chased after Kudo. Lailah was left gaping.Bookmark here

“Kudo! Are you OK?!” Lailah finally stood up and ran after Kudo as the smoke began to clear away.Bookmark here

When the members reached to him, they saw Kudo at the epicenter of the disastrous explosion. Kudo was wobbling left and right, eyes spiraling from the dizziness. His entire body was covered in black soot, and of course, the staff that caused the explosion was broken into pieces on the ground.Bookmark here

“Kudo! Can you hear me?!”Bookmark here

Hinota shouted as she shook Kudo’s shoulders, even snapping her fingers to try to bring him back to his senses. Kudo’s eyes returned to normal after a while, and shook his head enough to knock him back into reality.Bookmark here

“I-Is everyone alright?!”Bookmark here

That was Kudo’s first response.Bookmark here

“You’re the one that blew up!”Bookmark here

Mick countered, showing a frustrated expression after Kudo’s nonsensical worry. Kudo finally looked around his surroundings, noticing that only he was affected.Bookmark here

“W-W-What’s with that explosion!? Even if it rejected him, it shouldn’t have made such a reaction!”Bookmark here

Lailah shouted, her face showing a look of worry as her idea was the cause of Kudo’s accident.Bookmark here

“I-It must have been Equipment Rejection…” Hinota answered slowly, figuring that this was the cause of Kudo’s explosion.Bookmark here

—Equipment rejection:
The reason why most equipment for Adventurers are subjected to levels is because of the mana that has created the weapon or armor by the crafter. The mana stays inside the equipment, showing that it was created or powered according to the stats on its appraisal menu. So, when a low-level Adventurer uses a high-level item, or when an Adventurer tries out an equipment item that is not proficient with him, the mana in the equipment will reject the user, often either making it extremely heavy, or in cases for magical weapons, such as a staff, it creates electricity which shocks the user to stop using it.Bookmark here

However, in this case, it was quite an overhaul.Bookmark here

Although Lailah became worried if Kudo got hurt, Kudo instead showed no problems, dusting off the soot from his body like it was nothing.Bookmark here

Lailah then understood that it was just a level 1 staff. Seeing that it hardly did a thing to the level 50 Kudo, she heaved a heavy sigh in relief.Bookmark here

“So, the staff rejected Kudo’s magic?” Mick asked the question which everyone wanted to ask.Bookmark here

“More like… it couldn’t handle it.”Bookmark here

Eruda spoke out slowly, as if trying to figure it out herself. The others became interested from what she said and asked:Bookmark here

“What do you mean, it couldn’t handle it?” Hinota asks.Bookmark here

“Perhaps it was too strong. Kudo’s magic was able to be let out without a staff in the first place. This is just a theory, but perhaps Kudo’s magic was too advance for any kind of staff to handle.”Bookmark here

“W-Wow, so Kudo is that strong, huh?”Bookmark here

Lailah felt impressed as Kudo wasn’t even a [Mage] to begin with.Bookmark here

“I see… hopefully, the explosion didn’t attract any monsters around…” Hinota surveyed the area, trying to sense if any other monster was around.Bookmark here

“…Ah! The staff!”Bookmark here

The others became surprised from Kudo’s sudden shout, then they saw Kudo looking at the staff that was now in pieces. His face showed a shocked expression and looked at Lailah, his eyes beginning to water.Bookmark here

“L-Lailah, I’m so sorry! I…I broke your staff.”Bookmark here

“A-Ah!” Lailah shook her hands, her sweat dropping from the expression Kudo was wearing. “Don’t worry about it! It’s just a staff that I don’t use anymore. It was actually just lugging around in my bag and I was planning on getting rid of it!”Bookmark here

“That’s because Nee-chan doesn’t clean up her bag every once in a while,” Mick spoke harshly, crossing his arms at his messy sister.Bookmark here

“S-So I forget every now and then!” Lailah’s face pouted as she looked at Mick, admitting her fault. “This was good, at least! Now we know that Kudo shouldn’t use a staff at all!”Bookmark here

“Mmh, that’s a good point. This was a good experience to learn, Kudo,” Hinota agreed as she crosses her arms as well.Bookmark here

“I-It sure is…” Kudo heaved a heavy sigh as he felt thankful that he learned quickly.Bookmark here

“See?! Even Hinota agrees with me!”Bookmark here

“That still doesn’t make an excuse to leave your unused stuff in your bag!”Bookmark here

“Geh…”Bookmark here

Lailah showed a frustrated face from hearing her brother’s continuing lecture. Bookmark here

“I-I think that’s enough for tonight…Bookmark here

Kudo heaved a sigh of exhaustion which made everyone nod in agreement. After picking up everything in the camp, the PlusFire went into the two tents set up by the boys—one for Kudo and Mick, and the other for Hinota, Eruda and Lailah. Bookmark here

The tents were on opposite sides of the campsite as the campfire continues to burn brightly in the night. For one of them, however, the night is not over yet.Bookmark here

As he promised, Kudo would be the first one to stake out the area, since the dangerous of monsters passing by has not passed.Bookmark here

Kudo remained sitting on the sturdy log seat as he felt the night winds brushing against his face. His party members were already sleeping soundly after getting out of the tent where Mick sleeps now. He could practically hear the snoring and peaceful sleep of the other party members, but it didn’t bother him much at all.Bookmark here

He was used to sleeping late at night. So the day’s exhaustion has not exactly came up to him yet, despite that he was mentally tired from the explosion just now. As he thought about the events that occurred, he looked up at the starry night sky, and was amazed at the sight.
“I’m glad that we found out about this today…”Bookmark here

Kudo said to himself as he watches the stars twinkle brightly, then suddenly, one fell from the sky in a bright arc towards the horizon. Kudo’s eyes widened as he remembers that when a star falls, it’s called a ‘falling star’. Those stars can be wished upon, but right now, Kudo can’t make up anything.Bookmark here

Because he was already plenty happy as of now.Bookmark here

“Hopefully, tomorrow will be a good day.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

A few hours passed as the girls slept in their tent. Hinota’s eyes opened as she wakes herself up due to sheer willpower.Bookmark here

Mmh… It doesn’t feel like it’s time yet, but I better get prepared…Bookmark here

Hinota thought to herself as she pushes herself off the blanket covered ground. Though it can’t be compared to the soft bed she usually sleeps in, the blanket served her well.
The sudden movement she did cause the other girls to slowly awaken, and lifted themselves up as well.Bookmark here

“Ah, Hinota… gyud morning…”Bookmark here

Lailah answered, not realizing that she messed up her greeting.Bookmark here

“Morning…” Hinota was the same as well, responding with a groggy tone. “I’m sorry for waking you all.”Bookmark here

“A-Ah, don’t worry about it. I was drifting off and on again while I was sleeping. It’s hard to sleep on the ground, after all…”Bookmark here

Lailah rubbed the back of her head as Eruda began to rub the dust from her right eye.
“…It’s true. It’s very different from a bed,” Eruda felt that she had to admit this.Bookmark here

“True enough. I woke up because it’s about time for me to step in. Kudo must be getting pretty sleepy by now.”Bookmark here

Hinota said which left Lailah to finally widen her eyes as she thought of something interesting.Bookmark here

“Hey, Hinota. How did you meet Kudo anyways?”Bookmark here

“Oh, that’s a good question,” Eruda spoke up as well.Bookmark here

“Eh…?”Bookmark here

Hinota answered with a surprised grunt, leaving herself to have a dazed expression.Bookmark here

“You know! How did you two meet? How did you guys managed to get so close? We wanna know!”Bookmark here

“How were you able to get so strong? Was it because you two were together?”Bookmark here

Lailah and Eruda shared their notion of asking, continuing to bombard Hinota with more questions, all the while showing gleaming eyes that showed a powerful curiosity. Hinota scratched her cheek in embarrassment as they became slightly red from the blush.Bookmark here

“Ah, well... It’s nothing special,” Hinota offered, trying to somehow avoid telling her past.Bookmark here

“Eh~ come on!” Lailah pressured on. “Kudo’s a nice guy, but there must be something that made you stick with him, right?”Bookmark here

“Lailah, you make it sound like Kudo has no merit. Being kind is a good trait as it is.”Bookmark here

Lailah corrected, knowing that being kind is actually a rare trait in most people these days.Bookmark here

“Oh, I meant it nicely!” Lailah corrected herself as she shook her hands to deny any hostility.
“But, doesn’t it make you curious? Hinota, where did Kudo come from, and what did he do at the time?”Bookmark here

Lailah first asked about Kudo’s history, leaving Hinota no choice but to reveal it.Bookmark here

“He came from a remote village called Arkhem. He, I believe, was a farmer before becoming an Adventurer.”Bookmark here

“Eh?! A farmer?!”Bookmark here

Eruda responded in surprise. Lailah became surprised herself as she asked again.Bookmark here

“Then, how come you’re hanging out with him?! Ah, I don’t mean to be rude and all, but, seriously,” Lailah made sure that she was polite. “Hinota, a well-known princess from the famous Flamver family in Erijo, to hang out with a common farm boy… it’s really mysterious, don’t you think?”Bookmark here

“I suppose that is something to ask about…” Eruda admitted. “Could it be that Hinota was interested in his Class?”Bookmark here

“Of course not,” Hinota responded curtly. “I could care less about his Class.”Bookmark here

“…I see,” Eruda responded, putting on a relieved tone. “I didn’t think that Hinota was the kind to use people for what they have, anyways.”Bookmark here

“Haha, but then it just makes things more mysterious~” Lailah spoke teasingly, getting her face close to Hinota. “Now, come tell us! What got you to be with him!?”Bookmark here

Hinota saw the desperate looks in the girls’ eyes, and heaved a sigh. She can’t escape from this.Bookmark here

“…I suppose I have no choice,” Hinota inhaled sharply. “You see, I first met him when he first became an Adventurer. After that, when I was in trouble with some… goblins, he saved me.”Bookmark here

Hearing how it started, the girls all gleamed at Hinota with a sparkle in their eyes, but Hinota looked like she wanted this to get over with.Bookmark here

“Wow~ He saved you? That sounds exactly like a knight in shining armor!”Bookmark here

Lailah expressed those words while her eyes shined like diamonds under the sunlight. Though Hinota rolled her eyes at that, in short, it was technically true.Bookmark here

“It’s nothing like that… but yes, he did save me from being hunted by goblins. But it was more than that. He showed me on how to be a better Adventurer, and opened my eyes about my family’s teachings…”Bookmark here

Hinota trailed off, pursing her lips together at the mention of her family. It was because of them that she ended up having the worst month of her life. The mere thought of that made her unbearably frustrated at them. It was such an expression that Eruda picked it up.Bookmark here

“If it’s too personal, then you don’t have to tell us,” Eruda offered, turning her sight to Lailah as she too notices it, though her eyes told otherwise, showing a disappointed look.Bookmark here

“No, it’s fine,” Hinota returned to normal. “Thank you, though. You see, my family wanted me to stay behind, so they had a hand in sabotaging me when I became an Adventurer, and for the first month, it was terrible. I was so stuck in their ways, I nearly died. But then Kudo showed me the way to becoming a proper Adventurer.”Bookmark here

Suddenly, the frustrated feelings burdening her heart began to disappear, and the fun memories spent with Kudo clouded her mind.Bookmark here

“He showed me that Adventurers lead such exciting lives. He was so kind to me, and never showed a front to me because of my status. Perhaps it was because he didn’t care about social statuses, and only cared about Adventurer stat menus…” Hinota showed a pleasant smile. “Because of that, I tend to rely so much on Kudo that I sometimes feel like I might be a burden to him.”Bookmark here

It was the first time Hinota showed her inner thoughts about Kudo. She didn’t think she would feel so much for someone else in her life like this which made her so thoughtful to begin with.Bookmark here

Lailah and Eruda saw the way Hinota gazes downwards after saying that, turned to each other, and nodded in understanding.Bookmark here

“I don’t think you are being a burden to him. I think he really treasures your friendship.”Bookmark here

Eruda offered up a gentle smile, the kind that sends a cool breeze to a tired soul.Bookmark here

“I think he’s the kind of guy that’s really happy to have you around! Kudo must be overjoyed that he’s being relied on by you so much!”Bookmark here

Compared to Eruda’s, Lailah’s smile was like a bright, sunny day from the window when awakening in the morning.Bookmark here

“…You think so?” Hinota smiled at the thought. “To me, he seems like the kind of guy that doesn’t care about where I came from. He was just happy from me being his friend. I think… that’s why I like to be with him so much.”Bookmark here

The girls smiled as Lailah and Eruda’s view on Kudo became brighter from Hinota’s story.Bookmark here

“Because of him, I… want to be better,” Hinota’s expression changed, furrowing her brow as a determined look showed on her eyes. “I didn’t think much about Adventuring before I started, but that changed. Now, I want to be the most powerful Adventurer! Someone that I can be proud of! It’s… something that I want to be myself.”Bookmark here

Lailah and Eruda felt the sincerity and the passion of Hinota’s words. As for Eruda, she felt something stinging in her heart.Bookmark here

“You have such a grand goal… I don’t even know what I should do.”Bookmark here

“Eruda…” Lailah uttered as Eruda explained further.Bookmark here

“I left my party—left my people after a fight with the leader, my superior in my home country. A ruthless braggart, and an awful High-Elf.”Bookmark here

Eruda’s words sounded like poison from her mouth as her memories of the leader sank in, spoiling her mood.Bookmark here

“Ah…” Even Lailah knew about the circumstances between the Elves and the High-Elves.Bookmark here

“I hated the fact that I had to serve him because of how I was born…”Bookmark here

“How you were born…? You mean as a Mixed Elf?” Hinota asked to be made sure.Bookmark here

“Not… exactly,” Eruda spoke softly, looking as if she shouldn’t say it. “The truth is, I was born from a High-Elf mother and a Mixed-Elf father.”Bookmark here

“W-What?!”Bookmark here

Lailah’s eyes widened, and it left Hinota with a shocked expression as well.Bookmark here

“Eruda…” Hinota asked again. “Is it OK to say such a thing? I mean…”Bookmark here

“It’s OK,” Eruda nodded her head. “I… want to say it. Because of how I was born, the High-Elves thought of me as impure. The least I could be was a servant to a High-Elf.”Bookmark here

“And that was the scumbag High-Elf from before,” Hinota spoke with disgust.Bookmark here

“Yes,” Eruda nodded. “The reason why he acted so terrible to me is because he believes he is entitled to it. His family was the only one that accepted me, and throughout it all, I was subjected to whatever whims he made, no matter how much it ridiculed me.”Bookmark here

“T-That’s terrible…”Bookmark here

Lailah shivered from the story. She knew that Eruda went through a lot, but it sounded too painful to continue hearing.Bookmark here

“So, now that you left, what happens if you go back to your country?”Bookmark here

“Most likely,” Eruda answered Hinota’s question. “I would be executed.”Bookmark here

“T-That’s too cruel! You left because he was terrible to you!”Bookmark here

Lailah shouted back, furrowing her brow in anger at the former leader, despite that she never met him.Bookmark here

“After Kudo and Hinota saved our party, I threatened him to give up the treasure to them for their reward to save us. He’ll use that in our home country, and give the High-Elves a reason to execute me, under the guise of going against the master. They will use a magical weapon, and cut off my head to ensure my death.”Bookmark here

Eruda answered with a stoic face, though the words alone sent chills through Lailah’s body, and it left Hinota to gulp in response.Bookmark here

“And your parents?” Hinota asked. “What happened to them?”Bookmark here

“My mother was executed on the spot after they found out about my birth. However, to ensure that I lived, at the moment of her execution, she laid a curse to all the High-Elves. The curse would activate if I die on their lands, causing who knows what kind of pain and suffering to the High-Elves…”Bookmark here

“W-Wow…!”Bookmark here

Lailah showed her surprise on her face and Hinota with widened eyes.Bookmark here

“Curse Magic… I never heard of that. Is that some kind of skill?”Bookmark here

“She was famous for being a specialized witch as her Class,” Eruda recalled in her memories. “The High-Elves would often call me the Witch’s child because of that, but I’m thankful. If she didn’t do that, I would have been thrown away the moment I was born.”Bookmark here

Eruda then remembered another fact about her parents.Bookmark here

“As for my father, apparently, he disappeared after having been discovered, and nobody else saw him ever again.”Bookmark here

“How cruel…,” Lailah has been getting more and more upset from hearing this. “How could a father leave her daughter like that?!”Bookmark here

“Now, now,” Hinota helped in calming her. “But, yes, that is quite cruel.”Bookmark here

“I-I’m sorry. I promised myself that I wouldn’t be so pessimistic after I left, and yet, I made you all feel so bad. But… I really wanted to get that off my chest someday.”Bookmark here

Eruda hugged her knees closer to her chest, her eyes becoming somber as she let out her inner feelings.Bookmark here

“Don’t be sorry!” Lailah held Eruda’s hand, surprising her. “I’m so happy that you could tell us that, even though it was so painful to say!”Bookmark here

Lailah showed her eyes to Eruda, showing her gleaming, sparkling eyes, saying that she was proud.Bookmark here

“And now,” Hinota offered her own words. “Since you have been released from that party, and no longer can go back, all you can do is live however you want! It doesn’t matter if you have no goal. You know what they say: To search for another goal is a goal in itself!”Bookmark here

Hinota clenched her hand into a passionate fist, showing her eyes practically burning with ferocity. Seeing those eyes caused Eruda to nod in agreement.Bookmark here

“To search is a goal itself… right, that sounds good!”Bookmark here

Eruda’s tone became higher, and her eyes returned back to her usual, spirited self.Bookmark here

“Then, Lailah, what about you?”Bookmark here

Suddenly, Hinota turned her attention to Lailah, causing her eyes to suddenly pop open like a walnut.Bookmark here

“Huh?! Eh… t-there’s not much to tell, really…”Bookmark here

“It’s not fair if you got to hear about us and not say anything about yourself.”Bookmark here

“That’s right,” Eruda nodded to Hinota’s words. “Give your share too.”Bookmark here

“Mmh…Ah, geez! Alright, already! I’ll tell! It’s just… don’t laugh, OK?”Bookmark here

“ “Got it.” ”Bookmark here

Both Hinota and Eruda nodded in agreement, leaving Lailah to hang her head low as she spoke softly.Bookmark here

“…The truth is… I wanted to be a [Bard].”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“ “Eh?” ”Bookmark here

The girls then began to hear about Lailah’s story on how she became an Adventurer.
In the past, Lailah loved to sing and dance, and loved the idea of doing that to support her allies.Bookmark here

So when the idea of [Bard] came into her mind, she decided to do it. She figured that if she can sing, she can play instruments as well.Bookmark here

So she studied and studied, practicing every instrument she could lay her hands on. And when she would play them… it was less than satisfactory. No matter what, she couldn’t play any instruments right. But she believed that if she became an Adventurer, her love of music would be enough to get her the Class.Bookmark here

But when the time came for her to become an Adventurer, the only Class that appeared on the screen was [Mage]. When Lailah asked about this, the Adventurers’ Guild worker said that it was due to her habit of studying books.Bookmark here

In short, she had no choice but to accept her role as a [Mage] as she was constantly advised to be one instead of a musician. The advice came from her own family, and especially her brother Mick.Bookmark here

Puh—!Bookmark here

“ “Hahahahaha~!” ”Bookmark here

Both Eruda and Hinota made a *Puh* sound, and then began to laugh hysterically at Lailah’s story. It left Lailah’s cheeks to redden so much that her entire face became a different color.
“I told you not to laugh!”Bookmark here

Lailah shouted back, trying to fight back her small tears forming at the corner of her eyes. It was apparently the worst part of her life.Bookmark here

“I-I’m so sorry, Lailah… but… Hahahaha!”Bookmark here

Eruda tried to hold back, but her laughter continued which left Lailah to pout at them.Bookmark here

“Hahaha, to think you wanted to sing and dance… it doesn’t fit you somehow… Ah!” As Hinota rubbed the tears from her eyes, she suddenly realized something. “I should go now! Kudo must be waiting for me right now.”Bookmark here

In an instant, Hinota prepared herself to leave while Eruda continued to laugh out loud and Lailah showing an even angrier pout.Bookmark here

After she dressed up in her armor, Hinota left the tent, the laughter still ensuing, and closed the tent to move forward to where Kudo was sitting at his log seat.Bookmark here

“Yo, Kudo,” Hinota shouted to him. “Sorry for making you wait.”Bookmark here

“Ah, don’t worry. I figured that you needed some time to talk.”Bookmark here

Kudo turned back, his eyes showing a slight exhaustion as he was constantly on watch.
“Haha, so you heard of us?” Hinota chuckled as she still has the image of the [Bard] Lailah in her mind.Bookmark here

“Not really,” Kudo rubbed his right eye with his hand. “It was muffled, but I could hear laughter. Did somebody make a joke?”Bookmark here

“Hehe, sort of,” Hinota responded with a giggle. “I’ll take over now.”Bookmark here

“Yeah, go for it…”Bookmark here

Kudo yawned as Hinota went and sat where Kudo just sat in. Before Kudo could leave, he spoke to Hinota.Bookmark here

“Did you have a nice talk, Hinota?”Bookmark here

Hinota turned back to see him, and responded with a light smile on her lips.Bookmark here

“Yeah. It felt… really good.”Bookmark here

Seeing such a happy expression, Kudo made a smile himself as he returned to the boys’ tent, leaving Hinota to watch the field by her lonesome.Bookmark here

She stared out at the beautiful starry sky, reminding herself of the conversation she had.
This was ‘Girls’ talk’… It felt really nice. Compared to back in Erijo, where I would mostly just hear gossip behind people’s backs… this is nice.Bookmark here

Hinota compared the conversations she had before in Erijo, and the one single conversation she had now with her friends. Needless to say, the gap between them was a million light years’ worth.Bookmark here

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Everyone had their own pasts to tell! Now, it’s time for the future! Read what happens next in the next chapter!Bookmark here


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