Chapter 35:

Disband and Survive

Hour Empty Child

It was a wondrous night, but afterward, it completely drained the PlusFire party. They were Adventurers, so they weren’t used to relaxing and dancing, despite their trained bodies. Bookmark here

However, the next day, Kudo and Hinota began to grind as they needed their fix of grinding for their experience points and farming for items. They even went back to the Hunter’s Grave since they were the winners of the event, and as such, were allowed to enter and grind there under the permission of the Queen herself.Bookmark here

After a couple of days of rest, Mick, Lailah and Eruda decided that they will separate from the PlusFire. They explained that while it would be beneficial, they didn’t want to burden the PlusFire any further.Bookmark here

The PlusFire were high leveled, so the rest would feel uncomfortable if they have to slow down their efficiency in order for them to catch up. It was a feeling shared between the three low-level Adventurers.Bookmark here

Though Kudo was saddened that they had to depart due to such reasons, he understood their feelings. Because of that, Kudo remembered the promise he made to Mick, and began to create the Rabacite armor with the excess 【Rabacite Ingots】 that he had.Bookmark here

Amazingly, a day later, Kudo has already created all three sets of armor for the three of them. Of course, Hinota has enchanted them with extra effects that would benefit each one individually. They paid the price—it was a lowered price than before since they bought the full set, as told by Hinota— and the low-leveled members donned their new equipment, feeling their own power rising due to its effects.Bookmark here

The next day was the day that they would leave the city of Olinia. After saying their goals and their goodbyes, the three left together. Eruda decided to party up with the siblings as they have bonded well together. Bookmark here

Though, during their goodbyes, Hinota dragged Mick for a short chat together:Bookmark here

“Mick, remember; always be natural around her. I can see it, you know; She’s starting to like you.”Bookmark here

“R-Really?!” With a surprised reaction, Mick then changed to a slightly silly face full of joy.Bookmark here

“Focus! Remember, be natural around her. Don’t force yourself to be something you’re not, but in some cases, always show that you are a man, got it? That way, she’ll fall for you.”Bookmark here

“A-Alright! Thank you very much, Hinota!”Bookmark here

“Hehe, follow my guidelines and you are sure to get her heart. Just remember to take care of it like you would to yours.”Bookmark here

After giving such impactful advice, Mick continuously bowed to his romance master and the three Adventurers left the PlusFire to continue on their own journey to the next town.Bookmark here

“So… they’re gone…”Bookmark here

Kudo spoke up, his tone sounding sad as he looked at the Adventurers until they disappeared into the horizon.Bookmark here

“Don’t worry, Kudo: If they keep getting stronger, we’ll see them again someday…”Bookmark here

Though Hinota was sure that they will meet again, she couldn’t help herself feeling down as her tone matched Kudo’s tone.Bookmark here

“Even you feel sad, Hinota!” Kudo noticed that difference as clear as day.Bookmark here

“I-I can’t help it that I’m sad about them leaving!”Bookmark here

Hinota wanted to defend herself, but Kudo continued to glare at her with a doubtful look. That look changed into a warm smile as they looked back at the horizon one more time before going back to the city.Bookmark here

Bookmark here

The next day.Bookmark here

Kudo and Hinota came down from their rooms to begin eating their breakfast. As always, Kudo’s meal was left nearly barren while Hinota’s meals resembled that of a bountiful oasis.Bookmark here

“Kudo, why do you eat so little?” Hinota asked as she finally let her curiosity get the best of her. “There should be a reason why you’re eating so little.”Bookmark here

“It’s not much of a reason; I just learned to eat less.”Bookmark here

“L-Learned to eat less?”Bookmark here

Hinota’s mind was boggled. In her mind, nobody could be able to learn to eat very little.Bookmark here

“Well, it goes like this…” Kudo began to explain. “We were always low on money, especially after we get our supplies. We’re always in the red because of our living expenses. That’s why, so that I can become an Adventurer, I started being frugal. I decided to eat less so that we can spend less food. Sure, I got hungry, but when it’s needed to become an Adventurer, I learned to eat as little as possible. Now, I don’t have to eat as much.”Bookmark here

Kudo smiled as he recalls the times of saving money for every little thing imaginable for his goal, and though it was painful at times, he was fond of it as it made him the life he is living now.Bookmark here

Though, it was completely destroyed as he sees Hinota’s tears streaming down from her eyes. He sees Hinota’s watery eyes and her tears that were falling from her eyes to her food.Bookmark here

“H-Hinota?!”Bookmark here

“T-That’s so awful…!”Bookmark here

Hinota literally cried. It was to the point where the other residents of the inn turned to see a girl crying, and then turned their sight on Kudo with disappointed looks. Each one was saying something mean such as calling Kudo a jerk for making a girl cry.Bookmark here

The undeserved attention of the mean onlookers caused Kudo grief as he felt the stares piercing him and immediately tried to salvage the situation.Bookmark here

“H-Hinota! W-What’s wrong?!”Bookmark here

“It’s not right! It’s not right at all! Even if it is to save up Jib, that’s just… to sacrifice eating is just…!”Bookmark here

Hinota’s emotions went out of control. Kudo now learned that Hinota was as passionate about eating food as she was on adventuring. As her tears began to dry up, Hinota furrowed her eyes and slammed the table with such force that it made the other residents jolt in shock.Bookmark here

Kudo himself nearly jumped back from the sudden slam, and then sees Hinota pick up her fork and stabbing a large cut-up piece of meat from her own plate, and then moved it towards Kudo’s mouth.Bookmark here

“Kudo! Eat! Eat to your fill! You have to get used to eating more!”Bookmark here

“E-Eh… but I really don’t need to—”Bookmark here

“You have to!”Bookmark here

Hinota was resolute. Kudo could tell from her eyes that she was serious about not letting Kudo get away without letting him eat as much as she did.Bookmark here

“B-But…” Kudo wanted to get away from this situation as much as possible. “I really don’t need—”Bookmark here

“Kudo, this is what your parents would have wanted! I’m sure that they never wanted you to eat less because of their money problems! So eat! It will make you stronger and give your parents peace of mind!”Bookmark here

Hinota was just about to push the meat right on Kudo’s face, getting him to hang his head back in near disgust.Bookmark here

“L-Like I said—” Kudo tried once again to negotiate.Bookmark here

“I swear I will spoon-feed you if I have to!”Bookmark here

Hearing such words, Hinota practically thrusts the meat into Kudo’s mouth. Kudo’s eyes teared up as his mouth was assaulted with the smoked meat, getting him to be forced to take it into his mouth as he began to chew in earnest.Bookmark here

“Good.”Bookmark here

Hinota put her hands on her hips as she nodded in approval, ignoring Kudo’s tears as they ran down his face.Bookmark here

“T-This is too much…” Kudo nearly gagged once more as he swallowed the piece of meat with reluctance.Bookmark here

After a while, the PlusFire finished their meals and headed out of the inn to start their day of grinding. Upon their walking through the town, the townspeople, more specifically the nobles, spotted these Adventurers, but knowing that they were the Queen’s prized Adventurers, they didn’t show them any hostility like before.Bookmark here

In fact, they were glad to see them. Some of them even spoke to the two with glee and waved at them. Kudo, being the positive kind of Adventurer, waved back at them in response.Bookmark here

“I’m really glad that the nobles don't see us as annoying now…”Bookmark here

Kudo had a grateful tone in response to the treatment.Bookmark here

“It must be the Queen’s influence. Though they might treat us differently, they’ll probably treat the other Adventurers the same as before.”Bookmark here

“Ah, I see…” Kudo wasn’t as disappointed as he believed, and responded with a smile to Hinota. “At least we’ll get some benefits of being here.”Bookmark here

“True enough. Now then, let’s—”Bookmark here

——*Twang!*Bookmark here

A sharp sound of whipping rang out. Kudo and Hinota quickly heard it and raised their heads to see the one coming towards them. They saw, in the distance, a man riding on an armored horse, its armor dyed in crimson red. The man himself was wearing clothing suited to that of royalty—a set of Light armor also dyed in red.Bookmark here

The man himself looked quite handsome—a stout face, strong but slender build, and his brown hair reached to his ears that swayed in the wind.Bookmark here

“M-Maon?!”Bookmark here

Kudo turned around at the shock of Hinota’s sudden shout. Even Kudo knew then what it meant.Bookmark here

“Y-You know him, Hinota?”Bookmark here

As he asked, the man in question, Maon spotted the two seeing them and called his horse to stop. With powerful steps, the horse slowed down and made himself get off the horse.Bookmark here

“Yeah… he’s the messenger of the Flamver family.”Bookmark here

“T-The Flamver family?!”Bookmark here

The noble Adventurer house, the Flamver family. Hearing this, Kudo’s heart quickened in speed as Maon closed in towards them, wearing a serious expression. Kudo’s body suddenly stiffens up like a pole as he came in, and turned his gaze at Hinota.Bookmark here

“Ojou-sama*,” Maon spoke curtly, then made a bow to his master. “I apologize for meeting you so abruptly on your journey.”Bookmark here

Maon spoke with a cold tone, but in a sense, it carried the respect he would to royalty.Bookmark here

“Pay no mind,” Hinota responded with the same elegance as Maon. “Now, why is it that you’re here?”Bookmark here

Hearing her talk so formal threw off Kudo’s groove. However, he reminded himself that she is part of a noble house, so perhaps she talks that way to her family as well.Bookmark here

“Ojou-sama, I have received a message from your father and mother, as well as a gift to be given to you by my Lord. Which would you like to receive first?”Bookmark here

Figuring he should ask, Maon asked for the order.Bookmark here

“Give me the gifts first, then the message.”Bookmark here

“Understood.”Bookmark here

Maon has quickly reached to his [Magic Bag] holstered on his hip and took out various items.
One was a large partisan, a spear with 3 blades at the top of a long steel staff. The blades had a decorative finish, with red being the primary color as well as golden edges. He gave other weapons that were similar such as a one-handed sword, a dagger, and an ordinary bow.Bookmark here

Seeing those weapons, Kudo could tell that these were made carefully and, if he watches closely, he can see that each of them had a powerful effect.Bookmark here

“These weapons were created, and were created with strong [Traits]. There are also these…”Bookmark here

Once again, Maon took out several things from the bag. This time, they were all books with different colored covers.Bookmark here

“Three 【Skill Books】, given to you for your success in winning the Olinia event.”Bookmark here

Hinota’s brow furrowed as she quickly responded: “How did Lord Grandfather know of my success?”Bookmark here

“Your Grandfather has been messaged directly by the Queen of Peranim herself. After hearing about it, my Lord insisted on giving you your gifts.”Bookmark here

“I see…” Hinota responded with a surprised but grateful tone. “Tell him my thanks.”Bookmark here

“I will see to it.”Bookmark here

Hinota gave Kudo the weapons and books to hold, to which he took them gladly.Bookmark here

“Would you like to hear your message now?”Bookmark here

“Yes, please tell.”Bookmark here

Hinota, Kudo’s eyes, somehow looked like she was steeling herself to hear about their message. Then, Kudo was reminded that it was them that made Hinota’s beginning career as an Adventurer so awful. Kudo also steeled himself as he waits in anticipation.Bookmark here

“Your mother has told me to relay to you, that as soon as you finished playing around, come back home.”Bookmark here

Hinota’s face cringed into a cramped expression. Kudo, who believed that adventuring is a worthy profession, even felt hurt by her mother’s words.Bookmark here

“…And what of Father?”Bookmark here

“Your father has relayed to me that you must hurry with your adventures so that you can come home and begin planning for your marriage.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

Eeeeeehh?!Bookmark here

Kudo’s mind nearly blanked out. He couldn’t believe it. Rather, he didn’t want to believe it. Hearing about Hinota’s own marriage caused Kudo to nearly lose balance, but remained his stance as Hinota responded:Bookmark here

“…Tell my Father that I do not ever wish to plan for marriage. And to my mother… please tell her that adventuring is a serious profession, and saying so is an insult to me and to my friend.”Bookmark here

Hinota’s words were absolute. She spoke clearly and without reserve. Hearing those cold words, Maon responded in turn:Bookmark here

“Pardon me, Ojou-sama. But I believe that you should… comply with your mother.”Bookmark here

Maon spoke with reserve in his tone, contradicting his usual demeanor. However, Hinota furrowed her eyes, making her sharp eyes even sharper.Bookmark here

“What my mother wants is not my wish. I want to establish that. If she gives you any trouble, then I will personally take responsibility. Talk to Lord Grandfather if such a case occurs.”Bookmark here

“That’s… not what I was referring to, but I understand.”Bookmark here

Maon bowed to her words as Hinota sensed what he meant.Bookmark here

“Ah, I did not mean to make you sound so cowardly, Maon. Please, forgive me.”Bookmark here

Hinota quickly apologized, making Maon’s hand raise up.Bookmark here

“It is alright, Ojou-sama. It is by your orders that I will stand. I, too, do not wish to make you unhappy.”Bookmark here

Hearing his kind words, Hinota reached to her [Magic Bag] and opened it up. She took out a small bag which made the jiggling sounds of coins as she handed it to Maon.Bookmark here

“This is for your services, Maon.”Bookmark here

“O-Ojou-sama!” Maon’s eyes widened as he put on a surprised expression. “I-I cannot receive such a generous—”Bookmark here

“That’s my order, Maon,” Hinota responded curtly. “For traveling here from Erijo on your own, and for respecting my decisions. I must at least show this much appreciation.”Bookmark here

Hinota formed a smile on her lips, one that shows exquisite charm that even Kudo was taken aback by it.Bookmark here

“…Your kindness is greatly appreciated, Ojou-sama.”Bookmark here

“I wish you safe travels, Maon.”Bookmark here

Hinota spoke kindly as Maon bowed in response. Then, he turned his gaze to Kudo.Bookmark here

“Eh?”Bookmark here

With a surprise utter from Kudo, Maon glared intently into Kudo’s eyes. Kudo’s head hung back as he got closer, and then he began to scan Kudo’s body from head to toe.Bookmark here

Kudo remained stiffened, his body resembling a totem. Then, Maon spoke up:Bookmark here

“Kudo Braven.”Bookmark here

“E-Eh, you know my name?”Bookmark here

“I heard of you from Ojou-sama’s letters to my Lord. I heard of your exploits and of your friendship. To be honest, I came here to also know exactly who you are under my Lord’s orders.”Bookmark here

Maon continued to glare at Kudo with his eyes showing a furious intensity. Hinota turned to see him and hoped that he doesn’t scare Kudo too much.Bookmark here

Then, finally…Bookmark here

“…Please take care of Ojou-sama.”Bookmark here

Maon finally spoke. Hearing that, Kudo widened his eyes as Maon now looked at Kudo with a gentle expression.Bookmark here

“She can be rash, but she is kind. She is someone that I am proud to be serving.”Bookmark here

Hearing his words, Hinota’s cheeks glowed red as Maon returned to his horse and mounted it. With powerful steps, the horse turned and began to run, leaving a trail of dust as the horse ran with Maon on it.Bookmark here

The PlusFire were left behind with no words to say. But after a while, Hinota began to speak:Bookmark here

“I figured… that you want to know some things.”Bookmark here

“W-Well… I understand that you have something that you don’t want to talk about.”Bookmark here

Kudo responded as he believed he should. However, Hinota knows Kudo more than he thinks.Bookmark here

“…However?”Bookmark here

Hearing her ask that, somewhere inside, Kudo’s body was brought to its limit.Bookmark here

“…What’s with all that?! And… and marriage?!”Bookmark here

This was the one thing on his mind that he wanted to ask about. Hinota chuckled in response, bringing Kudo to be confused.Bookmark here

“I suppose that explanations are in order. Let’s go and sit down at one of the restaurants. We can talk there.”Bookmark here

Hinota pointed in another direction where they were, getting Kudo to agree as he nodded.Bookmark here

Hinota discovered a restaurant where she and the other members found during their shopping. It peaked her interest as she got Kudo to be there along with her and sat down. It was a fairly famous restaurant, where the tables were outside instead, and waiters would come in and serve them and then come back inside to get their food.Bookmark here

However, since they have already eaten, they decided to go lighter this time. Hinota only ordered three meals, while Kudo only had a glass of water.Bookmark here

At their table, Kudo was keen on listening to every living detail about Hinota, getting Hinota to eat at her pace as they talked.Bookmark here

“…So I guess you wanna know how this marriage thing started.”Bookmark here

Hinota answered grimly. She appears to not like to talk about this kind of topic. Usually, Kudo would back off, but after spending so much time with her, he believed he is entitled to know this much at least.Bookmark here

“Mmh… I guess I should explain about my family first. As you know, they are a family of Adventurers with a Special Class, the 【Hell Knight】. Because of this class, our family became well-known Adventurers in Peranim, making a name for themselves as the most powerful family in Peranim.”Bookmark here

“R-Right, I know that.”Bookmark here

Kudo nodded vigorously as Hinota continued.Bookmark here

“When I was born in the family, I wasn’t expected to be an Adventurer. When a new child is born, it’s usually a male, so they become Adventurers. For women, they were raised to be more domestic, and, well, are expected to be betrothed to other nobles as to gain more political power.”Bookmark here

Hearing her talk about that, Kudo’s heart became restless. He can’t imagine a girl like Hinota used to marry off some noble that she wouldn’t know just for more political power.Bookmark here

“However… lately, there were rumors that our bloodline is dissipating over the years.”Bookmark here

“Dissipating…?”Bookmark here

“Mmh… I think it happened somehow that one of our males over the years wouldn’t have the class every now and then… so it was possible that we’re losing the class that’s keeping us afloat.”Bookmark here

“E-Eh?! That can happen?!”Bookmark here

Kudo never heard of something like that ever happening. A Special Class that could be lost within the passages of time…Bookmark here

“It’s all just rumors, but our family was frightened and was very cautious. Because of that, it was told that when I become older, I would be married to my cousin to assure the bloodline.”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

“EEEEEHH?! Your cousin?!”Bookmark here

Kudo shouted to the point of standing up, slamming his hands against the table. It caused such a ruckus that it made the other nobles look to where he was in shock, getting him to notice the stares piercing him. Kudo became increasingly embarrassed as he sat back down.Bookmark here

“M-Married to your cousin…?!”Bookmark here

Kudo spoke softly this time, making sure that he doesn’t bother other people.Bookmark here

“Hah, in this day and age, it’s not strange to marry a cousin from your family in Peranim. However, I understand what you mean…”Bookmark here

Hinota spoke with a slight disgust.Bookmark here

“T-That’s right! I mean, it’s your cousin… tha—that’s just already strange enough as it is!”Bookmark here

“I know…” Hinota heaved a sigh as she had the same feelings as Kudo. “When they announced that, I was appalled. My cousin, Lariz, isn’t what you would call humble.”Bookmark here

Hearing about her cousin, Kudo could tell that he wasn’t a model kind of guy that Hinota likes.Bookmark here

“He’s the kind of guy that believed that he will be the next clan leader. Our current clan leader is my Lord Grandfather, and he believed that his time will come soon.”Bookmark here

“T-That’s kinda rude, isn’t it?”Bookmark here

“To him, that’s the least of his insults.”Bookmark here

Kudo is already beginning to dislike Lariz.Bookmark here

“Originally, it wasn’t supposed to be me. My cousin Lariz was actually supposed to marry my older sister, Kasara.”Bookmark here

“Your older sister… The one that gave you your hairband?”Bookmark here

Kudo remembered the night before the ball started as Hinota wore a gentle smile on her lips.Bookmark here

“Yes, she’s the one. She’s... well, she’s very kind and sweet. She’s the kind of person that you can rely on no matter what to get any job done. Whenever I would mess up, she would always be there for me, to comfort me and to take the pain away…”Bookmark here

Hearing her speak so casually and freely on her sister, Kudo widened his eyes at how much light she was giving off when she talked about Kasara. He wondered about something, and then asked:Bookmark here

“W-Was she beautiful?” He couldn’t resist asking.Bookmark here

“She’s the most beautiful woman you ever lay your eyes on… Kudo, your jaw would drop from your mouth at the first glance.”Bookmark here

I bet she can’t do it the same way you did…Bookmark here

Kudo retorted, but he kept it to himself.Bookmark here

“But, what happened?”Bookmark here

“After hearing about the marriage, she just refused. She was planning on becoming an Adventurer, and so, she severed the ties between herself and my family.”Bookmark here

“S-She severed the ties?! Why?!”Bookmark here

Kudo’s shout was reflecting Hinota’s emotions when it happened. She kept it to herself, however, as she continued:Bookmark here

“I don’t really know. Suddenly, she just severed everything and left, leaving everything behind.”Bookmark here

“B-But why would she do such a thing to you?! I thought she was a kind person!”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

Hinota was left silent. Seeing the silence, Kudo thought that he might have gotten too far with his questions.Bookmark here

“I-I’m sorry…”Bookmark here

“It’s Ok,” Hinota raised her hand to assure that it was fine. “I know you didn’t mean anything bad. I’m sure that it’s because she didn’t want to marry Lariz, and used for strengthening our bloodline.”Bookmark here

“I-I see…” Kudo could understand that it was for that point, however, he still felt miffed about how she just left Hinota behind.Bookmark here

“But, before she left, I remember her visiting me before. She said to me that she was going to leave, and she won’t know if we would ever meet again. But she told me that she will always love me, and gave me the hairband that I’m wearing today.”Bookmark here

Out of nostalgia, Hinota undressed her ponytail and let her long, fiery hair fall down, putting the said hairband into her hand. Kudo’s eyes widened at the sight of Hinota’s hair cascading downwards like a waterfall.Bookmark here

“She told me that she’ll believe that we will meet again. She believed in that, and I believe in that as well.”Bookmark here

Hinota wore a charming smile as she put the hairband back on her hair again, tying it up as Kudo’s mind was wrapped around this image like a ribbon as he returned to his senses.Bookmark here

“After that, it was decided that I would marry Lariz. However, I didn’t want that either. So, I pleaded my Lord Grandfather to give me a chance on becoming an Adventurer. And, sure enough, I had the Special Class.”Bookmark here

“Hinota…”Bookmark here

“Kudo, that’s when my month of hunting goblins began, and you know how well that went. The truth is, I never wanted to be an Adventurer to begin with. I just wanted to follow the same steps as my sister did. I didn’t want to be some housewife for a man I don’t even love.”Bookmark here

“…”Bookmark here

At this point, Kudo started to piece together the key points, and somehow, his mind was fully enraged with anger.Bookmark here

‘So, when your parents got you training for fighting…”Bookmark here

“…Most likely, they told my training instructor to teach me all the wrong things so that I would fail, and come back crawling to them.”Bookmark here

“That’s… That’s not right!”Bookmark here

Kudo banged the table once more, once again taking the attention of the other nobles. However, at this point, he didn’t care.Bookmark here

“Parents are… supposed to support you in your decisions! They shouldn’t sabotage you, or force you to marry someone you don’t even like! A parent that would force you like this is just…!”Bookmark here

There were aggravation and frustration in his voice. It was unlike anything Hinota has heard before. Her eyes widened as Kudo began to clench his fist in anger as he stifled himself from continuing on. She could tell that Kudo didn’t want to admit anything worse about her own parents.Bookmark here

A feeling of relief blew through Hinota at that point.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry, Kudo… rather than me, it was you that got angry. In the end, this is all just assumptions. It’s not like they would deliberately get me into a dangerous situation, after all.”Bookmark here

“O-Oh…”Bookmark here

After hearing Hinota’s calm analysis, Kudo’s shame has now brought him incredible embarrassment as he sat back down on his seat, his cheeks reddening like mad.Bookmark here

“T-Then… you’re not planning on marrying someone, are you?”Bookmark here

Kudo looked up to Hinota with upturned eyes. It made an impact on Hinota’s mind as she responded:Bookmark here

“Don’t worry; I’m not planning on marrying any jerk. I’m still going to become an Adventurer, whether they want that or not.”Bookmark here

“But, they’ll get more angry at you.”Bookmark here

“Yeah,” Hinota nodded. “At the very least, they’ll probably disown me.”Bookmark here

“D-Disown you…”Bookmark here

Kudo heard it before, but it seems like it was really possible that the Flamver would disown their child for the sake of their pride.Bookmark here

It brought chills down Kudo’s spine.Bookmark here

“But, I think that if I impress them with how successful I am right now, I might be able to change their minds about the marriage.”Bookmark here

Hearing Hinota’s positive remark on that, Kudo’s eyes widened, perhaps they even glinted at the thought.Bookmark here

“Yeah! That sounds like a great idea, Hinota! I’m sure that it’ll happen if we work harder!”Bookmark here

Kudo’s own positive shout brought Hinota to smile, and say these words:Bookmark here

“Thanks for getting angry for me, Kudo…”Bookmark here

Hearing her voice soften to say those words, Kudo’s cheeks reddened.Bookmark here

“N-No problem! That’s what friends are for, right?”Bookmark here

Kudo chuckled as Hinota couldn’t help but to do the same. Meanwhile, a waiter comes in walking towards the two, a sweat streaming down his bald-headed head.Bookmark here

“Umm, sir… I’m afraid that you’re bothering the other customers…”Bookmark here

The waiter cautiously worded as Kudo widened his eyes and surveyed his surroundings.Bookmark here

Sure enough, there were some of the customers that had a displeasing eye on them, each one laying their sight on the duo themselves.Bookmark here

“Ah, ah… I’m sorry!”Bookmark here

Bookmark here

After bowing repeatedly to the staff, Kudo and Hinota left the restaurant, under Kudo’s orders that they will never return to the restaurant again due to pure embarrassment.Bookmark here

“They had such good food too…” Hinota spoke with a disheartened tone, leaving Kudo to have another sting in his heart.Bookmark here

“I’m sorry… please, just bear with it.”Bookmark here

After Kudo’s wanting to cry at that point, he was reminded of their conversation, and proudly announced:Bookmark here

“Our goal now is to not just become famous Adventurers, but to prove to your parents that you can become successful on your own!”Bookmark here

“Well, that’s pretty much one and the same, but I understand what you mean.”Bookmark here

Hinota spoke with a smile as Kudo continued:Bookmark here

“And just maybe, we’ll find your sister!”Bookmark here

“E-Eh? What do you mean?”Bookmark here

Hinota stopped in her tracks, becoming surprised as Kudo formed a smile.Bookmark here

“Don’t you want to see her? If we keep going, we’ll probably be in the same place your sister might be in. If we work quickly enough, we can get to your sister’s level and meet up with her!”Bookmark here

Hearing Kudo’s plan, Hinota widened her eyes in surprise and was left gaping.Bookmark here

“Kudo… you would help me that much?” Hinota spoke in surprise. She was even surprised at what she said, knowing what kind of answer Kudo would say.Bookmark here

“Your sister sounds like an incredible Adventurer. I want to see her too! I want to see someone that Hinota looks up to so much. So it’s like killing two birds with one stone!”Bookmark here

Hinota couldn’t believe what he said, but she can’t deny his words. She felt overwhelmed by his optimism, but then a smile rose from her lips.Bookmark here

“I never… even thought about meeting my sister again. I thought she would go away to somewhere where I will never meet her again. No matter how much I want to...”Bookmark here

“But you can now,” Kudo corrected. “We’ll get stronger and stronger, raise our levels, improve our skills and equipment, and stand in the same league with her. I want to do that with you, Hinota!”Bookmark here

“…That sounds like a plan!”Bookmark here

Hinota responded with her charming smile once more, leaving Kudo and Hinota to start their day of adventuring.Bookmark here

Reassuring their resolve, they now have a clear goal to aim for! Go out and adventure, PlusFire! Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.