Ch. 80: Awakening After Withdrawal
In the end, all they managed to take from the campsite was a small bag filled with silver coins and cheap looking accessories.
That and a few bottles of expensive looking alcohol and some food.
Lapis complained that the rewards didn’t match the hardship they went through, but Loren wasn’t sure what kind of hardships she was talking about.
If they were to talk about hardships, Loren thought that it would happen more often as time went on.
The elf child that was laid on top of the donkey caused him to have the thought.
Although it looked like a child, Loren thought that there was no telling how old it actually was, but Lapis explained that elves aged at the same pace as humans up to a certain age, and from that point changes to their appearances stopped showing, and although they were a race that lived for a long time with young appearances, it was okay to think they looked like their age until they reached adulthood.
As well as no matter how young and beautiful an elf looked, she could be over ten times your age, so he should be careful when trying to put his hands on one.
Loren wasn’t sure if such a time would come, but he decided to keep that in mind.
“But then again, why was this child stuffed in a box inside the campsite?”
As Loren asked as he took the reins of the donkey, Lapis didn’t answer.
It seemed that there were things that even a priestess of the Knowledge god didn’t know.
It was hard to tell if the child was a boy or a girl from the way it looked, but Lapis easily took care of that.
The method she used was grabbing Loren’s wrist and shoving his hand onto the elf’s crotch.
“You f…he’s a boy.”
Lapis asked him with a cool face, while Loren stopped himself from cursing at her and her nasty method and told her the result based on the sensation on his palm.
“Oh, a boy. Why would the bandits kidnap an elf boy…Well, there are people with those kinds of tastes, so I guess it wouldn’t be surprising if there was demand and supply for that.”
“Why did you have to suddenly do that? It just felt awkward since he’s a boy, but what were you going to do if he was a girl?”
No matter how pretty his face was and looked like a child, feeling what was down there was still unpleasant, and Loren frowned, but if the child was a girl, that would’ve been even worse.
He shivered at the thought of his hand touching between the legs of a young girl.
“Then we could just say that you were lucky.”
“Lucky my ass you wicked demon!”
Loren thought that she could’ve done it herself, but then that meant a pretty girl would be reaching between the legs of a young girl, or a young boy, and felt that it would be a totally different dangerous situation.
As he gave up, deciding that it was fine since the victims were him and an unconscious person, Shayna couldn’t help but think that Onii-san was slowly becoming influenced by Onee-san’s actions, but she knew not to say such a thing to Loren.
“So, what are we going to do with him?”
They started moving before the sun rose.
Lapis knew that there was a high chance of them being spotted if they stayed at the campsite for too long, and Loren agreed.
If they were spotted and questioned, Loren knew that he would feel too much guilt to hide the truth completely.
Lapis would be able to play dumb and lie her way out, but unfortunately Loren wasn’t good with words.
“It’s not like I haven’t considered leaving him behind.”
Even after they left, the summoned undead were still wandering around within the campsite.
If Shayna was right, they would return to dust once the sun came up, but if they left the boy there, the undead would’ve found and eaten him.
Loren guessed that Lapis didn’t go with that since she had something in mind, but her response wasn’t very clear.
“It was just a feeling, I guess. The fact that we met an elf on the way to a forest with a village of elves kind of bothered me.”
“Something like that maybe?”
“It’s not like elves would curse you if you killed one of them, right?”
“Even if that were true, the ones that would be cursed is the undead.”
Lapis put Loren in a darker mood with her harsh words, but she continued explaining why she didn’t leave the elf boy behind.
“But no matter the circumstances, it’s hard to think that he was there of his own will in that situation. Then it would mean that he was most likely kidnapped. I’m sure that his family is very worried right now.”
“Looks like you’ve got some kindness in there, after all.”
Even if part of her thoughts was taking the child back to the elves so they wouldn’t be treated poorly, what would happen there wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Loren was relieved that the conversation didn’t go in the direction of using the child to lure out some of the elves, capture them, and do whatever.
He wasn’t sure why the bandits kidnapped the child, but since they had brought him all the way here, they must have been planning to sell him.
As Loren thought that since elves were sold at a high price because of their looks, he thought that Lapis could’ve said that a more grown elf could be sold at a higher price, she looked at him with a harsh glare.
“I’m guessing you were thinking of something horrible, from the looks of it.”
“Put your hand on your chest and think about it carefully.”
“Even I wouldn’t think of something like making the boy tell us where his village is and infiltrate it making it look like we helped one of their children and take over it from the inside, you know!?”
“You’re literally thinking about it right now…”
As Loren sighed as it was even worse than what he had imagined, Lapis laughed and waved at him as if she were joking.
They walked along the highway as they had such conversations, but the sun was high in the sky by the time the boy woke up.
The first thing he did as he woke up from the donkey’s swaying back and rubbed his eyes was scream.
“Hm? Hey, did you just hear someone scream?”
In front of Loren were a few dead ogres sprawled on the ground.
Loren and Lapis’ original goal was to defeat monsters and take the materials back to Kauffa and receive extermination rewards, but they ran into large man-eating monsters called ogres a short while before the boy woke.
They were a few times stronger than humans, and although they lacked skill, shields and armor sometimes couldn’t stand a blow from them.
For ordinary copper rank adventurers, a few of them would mean that they would most likely be wiped out, and they were monsters even iron ranks would have trouble with if enough of them were there.
There were about ten of them.
They weren’t something copper ranks could even imagine dealing with, but Loren and Lapis defeated all of them without much trouble, with just the two of them.
The elf boy woke up to the two of them cutting off parts for proof of extermination as well as ones that could be used as materials.
“Huh? Did some traveler see us?”
Lapis, who was gouging off the ogres’ fangs and horns, raised her head up at Loren’s voice with blood dripping from her hands.
There were a few bodies of ogres lying around, covered in blood and with their horns and fangs missing, and the elf boy, seeing all this, screamed and fell off the donkey’s back and tried to crawl away.
“Hey hey, where are you going?”
Lapis rushed over to the crawling boy and put her foot on his back.
She didn’t mean to be mean to the boy, but she had to since her hands were covered in blood from taking the ogres apart.
But when looked at from the side, it was a girl covered in blood stomping on a crying and screaming elf boy, not letting him escape.
It was so ghastly that Loren couldn’t help but stop what he was doing and give a hand to the elf boy to help him up, but his hands were covered in blood as well, so the boy started screaming louder than before.
“You’re pretty loud, you know?”
As Loren looked around, not sure what to do, Lapis calmly started putting strength into her foot.
Although it was a very small amount, it was enough to make the elf boy moan, and he tried to escape from under her, but he couldn’t get anywhere, so after a while he gave up and stopped struggling.
“Loren, could you go wash your hands and look after him? I’ll go finish taking the ogres apart.”
Loren went and washed the blood and fat off his hands with water from a wineskin that they had readied earlier, dried them, and picked up the elf boy from under Lapis’ foot and set him back on top of the donkey.
“Don’t be so scared. We’re the ones who saved you, you know. You remember who kidnapped you and how they treated you, right?”
After he said so, Loren started wondering if the boy could understand him.
The elf named Nim that he knew of had learned human tongue and could communicate with him, but he remembered hearing about how among the elves that didn’t go near humans had their own language and couldn’t communicate with them either.
As Loren wondered which one the boy would be, the elf boy that had first looked at him with fear started remembering the situation he was in and what had happened before he lost consciousness, and Loren let out a sigh of relief as he saw the fear on his face start to disappear.
Loren wondered how he should answer him.
If he said no, it was obvious that the boy would start being afraid again.
But even if he said yes, with no idea what Lapis would do after, he wasn’t sure if that was the right answer to give either, so when he glanced at Lapis, who was still taking the ogres apart, noticed his gaze and nodded without looking up or stopping her hands.
It seemed that she was leaving this one up to him.
Assuming so, Loren replied slowly to the boy, who started showing uneasiness at the lack of an answer.
“Yeah, we saved you. We saved you from the bandits that kidnapped you. I’m Loren, and the priestess over there is Lapis. We’re headed the Black Forest, but are you an elf from there?”
As Loren asked, he thought that it would be troublesome if the boy said no, but the elf boy nodded.
“The forest that I live in is called that by humans. I learned it from the merchants that come to my village.”
It seemed that the village that the boy was from had some amount of interaction with humans, so he could communicate with Loren with no problems.
Thinking that this was good news, he felt that although Lapis was working on the ogres, her ears were focused on them, so he continued talking to the boy to gather information they might need.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
Well, it looks like the elf is a boy.
I already knew, so it was kind of fun seeing comments on whether it is a boy or a girl.
I don’t really swing that way, but being stepped on by Lapis?
Sounds more like a treat if you ask me.
Not sure if I’ll be posting another chapter tomorrow.
Really depends on how busy I am and how tired I am after work.
Fridays are the busiest…
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you guys in the next chapter!