Ch. 96: Returning Without Incident
It was a few days after Loren and Lapis had ran back to where Corne was, that the chief’s death had been confirmed.
From what Loren and Lapis told her, she could see that the chief had died, and although they understood why Corne wanted to make sure the chief was completely dead, wanting them to wait until the investigation was done was unexpected.
“We could think of it as saving money for food and rooms.”
Loren’s job used to require him to go from battlefield to battlefield, so he wasn’t concerned about not being able to go back to the city.
Lapis had complained slightly, but after Loren had agreed to Corne’s wishes, she went with his decision.
But it was a village of fairies that were way smaller than them.
There was no where for Loren and Lapis to stay in, so they had to pitch tents and sleep in sleeping bags during the few days.
“It’s basically camping, and even the food…”
As the evil good of gluttony named Gula had said, fairies were accustomed to eating their food without cooking them.
So what the fairies gave them were thing like grass and fruit.
Loren and Lapis were stunned by this, so they got permission to use fire in a corner, and ate the rations they had brought, as well as fish they caught in the waterway that connected to the village and managed to survive the past few days.
The confirmation of the chief’s death took so long because of the state the body was in.
Since the body started rotting away as soon as the evil god left it, the fairies couldn’t tell if it was the chief or some other being, and on top of that, the smell was so bad that they couldn’t get close.
They brought a mountain of flowers and herbs to mask the smell as best as they could and burned the body bit by bit to gather evidence, and eventually they concluded that it was indeed the chief.
“Thank you so much. You really saved us here.”
It seemed that Corne had become the new chief.
For Feuille, since it was most likely that his village had been wiped out, Corne had contacted another village to take him in.
Feuille had lost not only his family, but his whole village as well, but he had a long life ahead of him, and Loren could only pray that a day will come when the wounds in his heart will heal completely.
“So, about the rewards for the job.”
Corne had led them to a building that looked like a storage in the corner if the village.
When they got there, other fairies were taking things out of there.
They were doing so since Loren and Lapis couldn’t get inside, but they still had to pick, and the pile was growing bigger and bigger.
“As promised, you can take one thing you like.”
Hearing those words, Lapis immediately started sifting through the items.
Loren didn’t even move to touch them, but instead just stood back and watch Lapis go through the items in the pile one by one.
In the first place, even if there were two jewels, Loren couldn’t tell which one would be worth more.
So he decided that leaving it to Lapis, who was knowledgeable about these things, would be the most efficient, but after a while Lapis’ hands stopped.
When Loren called out to her, she turned towards him like rusted hinges on a door.
Wondering what made her move like that, Loren walked up and looked over her shoulder, peered into her hands, and frowned when he saw what was in there.
What Loren saw was a transparent gem that didn’t seem valuable at all.
It was quite large, but it wasn’t cut well, and didn’t seem like something Lapis would be surprised at, but he tilted his head, feeling that he’d something like it before somewhere.
At Lapis’ seemingly puzzled voice, as if she wasn’t sure what she should do, Loren realized what it was, and his eyes widened in surprise.
Lore recalled when they went to the adventurer training school in their previous job.
What was in her hands right now was the same as the thing she had found and taken from the bottom floor of the dungeon.
“Which one is it?”
“My right arm…I think.”
It was one of the parts of Lapis out of her arms, legs, and eyes, that her parents had taken from her and hidden in various places before she came to the human world.
Currently, Lapis had found her left arm at the adventurer training school and returned it to normal, but it seemed that the fairies had found another one from somewhere and stored it.
“I think they found it in the forest somewhere and brought it…”
“That’s convenient, I guess.”
Loren thought it was fortunate she found what she was looking for, but Lapis didn’t try to ask for it, and just had a troubled look on her face.
“What’s wrong? We’re going with that, right?”
He didn’t know what kind of valuables were there, but a part of Lapis’ body was irreplaceable, so Loren couldn’t think of any other option.
He thought they should just receive it and go, but Lapis seemed to have a different opinion.
“I’ll give up on this for now.”
“We can’t sell this for money. Loren will be getting nothing.”
Lapis said that and tried to return the gem to the pile.
Loren reached from next to her and grabbed it, and before Lapis could do anything, he showed it to Corne.
“Corne, give us this as our reward.”
“Loren!? What are you doing!?”
Loren shoved the gem they received into Lapis’ hand as she tried to argue, and then said to her.
“If you’re that worried about it, let’s say that you gave me my share and reduce my debt.”
Even if Loren’s debt was reduced, it didn’t give him any sort of liquid income.
Although there were advantages for both, with Loren getting his debt reduced, and Lapis getting a part of her body back, they were still at zero when it came to money.
“We have the invoice for the extermination rewards we got before we came here right? That should be enough.”
Loren cocked his head at Lapis’ apologetic attitude.
As Loren wondered what had happened, the conversation started going in a bad direction.
“The invoice was with our other stuff…”
“What about it?”
“Before we came here, we jumped in the water, right?”
Loren picked up where the conversation was going.
Although they had to in order to escape the fairies, they had been under the water long enough as well as deep enough for everything including their clothes and things to get wet.
He didn’t need a further explanation to guess what had happened.
“It got wet, huh…”
“Yes, very. I tried drying it, but the ink is all blotched and can’t be read.”
At that time, Loren couldn’t think of anything else they could’ve done.
It was a disappointing result, but it wasn’t anyone’s fault, so Loren gave up on it easily.
“Well, I get my debt reduced, and you get your body back. This is fine, isn’t it? Even if you give up on it this time, you would have to come back to get it another time, right? Just take it. It’s better than coming again.”
When Loren put patted Lapis on the head, signaling that the conversation was over, she still had a troubled look on her face, but she eventually smiled at him and hugged the gem he had handed her.
“I’ll put a spell that will keep you from getting wet on the way back.”
“Yeah, thanks…wait. Is that waterway the only way in and out of here?”
“The other way is blocked by the former chief’s body.”
Loren sighed again.
If he were to choose between jumping in the water or trying to get the rotting flesh out of the way, jumping in the water was easier, and Corne said she would cast a spell so they wouldn’t get wet, so the decision was simple.
“Alright, we’ll be on our way now.”
“Loren, Lapis. We’re really thankful for what you’ve done. If you didn’t do something about the chief, we would’ve been put under his weird spell and would’ve attacked someone.”
As they gathered their things and were getting ready to leave, Corne fluttered around them, thanking them as well as casting a few spells.
“We won’t forget your kindness.”
“We took the job and got our rewards, so it’s not like you owe us anything.”
“Even so. You could’ve just ignored everything and left the forest. Corne is very thankful. I don’t want you to forget that.”
“Got it. Until fate wills us to meet again.”
Saying goodbye to Corne, who looked unwilling to part, Loren and Lapis dove into the waterway that took them to the village.
Although he could feel the coldness of the water on his skin, since Corne had put a spell that kept him from getting wet, he didn’t have to worry about being uncomfortable in wet, cold clothes.
“Why can’t it be like this every time…”
This time they didn’t accept a job, so they didn’t fail.
The invoice for the extermination rewards was impossible to read so nothing much was expected from it, but all they lost was the money they used to come to the Black Forest including the equipment and food they bought, but it shouldn’t have been that much.
But they had been able to retrieve a part of Lapis, and Loren’s debt had somewhat decreased.
And in recent times, Loren would usually end up in the hospital at the end of a job, but this time he was perfectly conscious and wasn’t injured that much either.
“Maybe you feel that it wasn’t enough…”
“Damn it, next time for sure…”
“Who the hell are you!?”
“So, you say, but actually?”
“No, so keep swimming!”
Corne’s spells allowed them to speak underwater as well, and Lapis started teasing Loren.
Jabbing at her lightly, making her swim in front, he thought that an ending like this time, where he wasn’t that injured, was conscious, and wasn’t in the red too much, wouldn’t come by too often, and started swimming slowly after her.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
This is the end of arc four.
Thanks for reading this far, and thanks for the support.
I’ll try to port over the rest of the chapters and start the next arc after I do.
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you guys in the next chapter!