Translator: Kurehashi Aiko
VOLUME 2 CHAPTER 4: Dragon-san Works With a Grand-Grandchild
Magical wave’s patterns tend to be different for each person, but they can be compared to the DNA back in my world, and often the members of the same bloodline share some sort of similarity when it comes to them.
So normal humans could use specific tools to check whether or not they are related to somebody else, while magicians could easily ‘sense’ out other people in search for their relatives.
After we both signed the contract, it took us less than fifteen minutes to get ready and we immediately departed towards our destination.
Right now Elvie was walking right beside me in a complete and utter silence.
As if cat got his tongue, or something like that.
What’s interesting, he’s been acting like that since the moment he learned my rank as a Hunter.
Well, since the Hunters Guild assigns their rank solely based on abilities, it’s should come as no surprise that those of the highest rank were considered to be someone on a completely different level from normal mortals.
That’s a really twisted view. It bothered me greatly.
I would never have thought that I happen to meet one of Kyle’s descendants here. But, no matter how many times I checked the magical pattern of this boy’s magic, it definitely had Kyle’s traces, which made me feel kinda happy.
If we take whole generations into consideration, then he should be his grandchild or even great grandchild. And he already grew so much.
No, no, no. Focus. I’m at work right now. This matter can wait until later time.
But I just can’t wait to tell this to both Nectar and Aru!
「Umm, Noct-san? Is there something on my face?」
Elvie asked me that, his stiff expression becoming even more tense now. I should have seen that coming.
「Ah, sorry, my bad. You see, I was surprised by your magical waves’ pattern.」
There was no way that I would tell him that I was friends with his great-grandfather and that I watched his children grow, so instead I quickly told him something else entirely.
However, there was no lie in what I said.
Elvie’s magical waves were so thin and weak that I could hardly even sense them. In fact, I was only able to do so during the direct contact with his hand, and it was hard for me to identify them properly.
Even now the amount of magical waves he’s been emitting was so small that it could be easily confused with the magic in atmosphere, so that was probably the reason why I failed to notice him sooner.
It was only now I realized that Marca-chan, who was together with Aru in elementary school, rarely uses her surname ‘Slaggart’.
While I was thinking about all that, Elvie spoke to me.
「Eh, Noct-san, you can sense my magical waves? Even people at school or the Guild are unable to do so, often asking me ‘Are you truly a human being?’」
Well, it’s a shame to say it, but that kind of logic was fairly reasonable. You see, magical waves are emitted by nearly all living things, so they are kind of a sign of life itself.
And it is by that principle that I know precisely where to fix the leyline when something goes wrong with it.
「Oh, you see, I happen to be fairly sensitive to magical waves.」
I said that because I couldn’t tell him the truth. But it seems that he’s bought it without any kind of doubt or problem.
「Now, that’s to be expected from someone who is the highest rank…… Now, from now on we need to make some preparations for our travel, since we are going to search for a plant called a ‘Melted Snow Grass’ at our destination.」
「Aah, if it’s like that, it shouldn’t be a problem. I received the permission from the Guild to hire a mount for my travels, so it should contain both of us.」
Elvie looked apologetic when he said that, but I informed him that since it was an urgent quest, we received a pass from Tilda-san to use any mount we deem appropriate completely free of charge.
「I am terribly sorry, but since my magical waves are so weak, I’m not all that good with riding magical beasts. However, I can get to Signos Plains on horseback no problem……」
「Ooh, I see now, well, in that case, let’s look around town for something that you can easily use. But it sounds like hard work.」
「They are not as popular as some other mounts or beasts, but are easy to handle and you can still get to a lot of places with their help. I am truly sorry for the inconvenience.」
Perhaps it was because Elvie understood just how dangerous of a place ‘Forest of Silence’ was at night, but his shoulders and head dropped heavily as he apologized to me yet again in anxiety.
「It’s quite alright. There is more than one method of doing things and approaching problems, after all. Look, we’re already here.」
While we were talking, we finally arrived at the Guild-owned stables just near the city’s gate.
I entered inside, looked around and called the manager.
「I’m sorry, but do you still have mounts that can easily accommodate two people?」
「Hmmm? Oh, you guys look like you mean some serious business.」
Said the old man who looked over as when we apparently interrupted him in caring for the beasts he had here.
「But you know, you say easy to use, but each and every one of my mounts are of a high class. Think you’ve got what it takes to use them properly?」
「It’s alright. So, can you show us something appropriate?」
When I gave the manager the letter of recommendation that Tilda-san handed me before our departure, he read through its contents and his face was betraying that he could not quite believe what he read.
It was probably hard to believe that I managed to achieve the highest rank in such a short amount of time.
「Well look here, looks like I happen to come across some genuine big-shots! If that’s the case, I will procure something really good for you guys!」
The manager showed us to follow him, and we were guided to a completely different building from that of the stables.
This building was bigger and much sturdier than the regular stables, and you could hear angry roars of monsters coming from inside of it.
I asked Elvie to wait outside the entrance.
When the manager and I entered the building itself, all roars and cries died down.
The thing that was there, was none other than a legendary beast that had head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a horse –– Hippogriff.
It was over 1,5 times bigger than me, and it was gazing upon me and my companion with vigilance but also curiosity.
「Unbelievable, a fully grown-up Hippogriff!」
However, when the manager tries to get closer to it, it spreads its wings in a full display of its power. It looked as if it was ready to tear apart the collar and chain that were placed upon its neck.
With that the manager seemingly gave up on approaching the beast as he only shrugged his shoulders, so I approached it instead, connecting my thoughts to its mind.
Then the Hippogriff opened its eyes in surprise and bended its knees.
It seems that by connecting my thoughts to his, the Hippogriff was able to understand what I was in an instant.
It looked to be smart animal, but since the manager was right there near me, I had to make it as short as possible.
Aah, the Hippogriff was born amongst the people, but came here only just recently. Because of that, it was seemingly stressed out.
Because of that, it didn’t wanted to go outside, to meet others.
Although it was reluctant, the Hippogriff lowered its head in a sign of acknowledging me and my will.
「No way, for that Hippogriff to bow down its head……!」
「Mister, give me this one. And bring some saddle as well.」
I said that to the manager while stroking the Hippogriff’s head and rustle its feathers.
「Boy, look what I borrowed!!」
Elvie turned around to face me, nervously waiting in front of the stables, and the moment he did that, he opened his mouth vide, closed it, and then his jaw almost dropped to the ground.
「Is, isn’t that a Hippogriff!? The beast of third class on the danger scale!?」
「There shouldn’t be any problem for the two of us to ride it. I vouch for this child personally.」
Saying that, the Hippogriff opened its beak as if he was going to bite Elvie, glaring at him with its sharp eyes.
It didn’t took long for Elvie to glare back at the creature, with equally menacing look.
「Don’t. This person is a very important costumer.」
The situation was beginning to look quite dire, but then, to the boy’s surprise, the Hippogriff broke his knees and lay down, allowing the two of us to mount it quite easily.
After that, Elvie followed my lead and began to aggressively climb onto the creatures back, and after struggling for a while we finally took off from the city’s gate towards the Signos Plains.
Flying through the sky made our journey so much quicker, we have soon arrived at our destination, the ‘Forest of Silence’ in less than thirty minutes.
However, thanks to the maneuvers that the Hippogriff was making while in the air for the first time in quite a while, after we touched the ground again Elvie almost immediately run towards the first tree he saw and started vomiting.
I wish I have casted an anti-motion sickness spell around us prior to taking off.
I had no problems whatsoever, and so I pretended that I saw nothing.
And I definitely didn’t think that the way in which he fell onto the ground while holding his stomach was super-duper cute or anything like that!
…… Since I had no choice, I let the Hippogriff roam free while keeping it at a distance from where I could still easily call it back with a special whistle, and finally after some time Elvie came back to me from the nearby bushes, looking pale and sick.
「I, I thought I was going to die out there.」
「It sure wasn’t pretty.」
「I can’t, I can’t believe that you can retain such a stone-looking face despite all of that……」
「Well, what can I say, you get used to it with time.」
It is a trait that I managed to acquire during my aerial fights against demons of various kind (but mostly Ligurila).
But because I couldn’t say it, I instead shrugged my shoulders and handed the boy a bottle of water, which he drank almost entirely.
「I have kept you waiting long enough. Now, please come this way.」
Then, as we entered the ‘Forest of Silence’ his attitude switched completely, as he himself entered the ‘work mode’.
This time, the purpose of our visit was to gather, not to slay monsters, so we were going to try to avoid engaging monsters in battle as much as we possibly could.
「Say, you’ve been working as a guide for quite a while now, haven’t you?」
「No, not quite. It’s been only a year since I received my permission from the Guild to start working, and before that I’ve been mostly doing it during long vacations or weekends.」
「But still, you seem to know these paths pretty well.」
Even though it was a gentle slope we were walking right now, normally if you talk during a climb you tend to get tired pretty quickly, but he wasn’t showing any signs of being tired. It’s incredible that he even had energy to share a story like that with me.
As I silently admired him, Elvie looked back at me and smiled wryly.
「This is…… Well, my parents made sure that I got lots of outdoor exercises from the earliest years of my life. Also at school. That is how I managed to learn about the land and somewhat build my stamina.」
「Hoo, I didn’t know that educational facilities do things like that nowadays.」
I haven’t heard anything like that from Aru regarding his classes. He would only talk about normal classroom stuff.
「Yes, that’s right. Since my family has a long standing record of serving in the military, my classes consisted of various kinds of survival training as well as monster slaying training. People from Signos working for the Guild are all members of such families……––––」
At the top of the slope the forest got thinner, and the ground was covered in a peculiar-looking grass.
「This is the ‘Melted Snow Grass’, but as the name implies the best samples are the ones that you can find around the melted snow. Gotta say, this request is rather extraordinary for this time of the year.」
In order to protect itself from various insects and bad weather, the Melted Snow Grass also used the magical power that was stored in it to protect and preserve itself.
Thanks to that, you could distinguish the right flowers by touching them with your fingers since they were slightly warm. According to Elvie’s words, it was a medicinal herb used as a base for many mixtures that were then shipped abroad.
It can also grow near roads and buildings.
「But since you can only distinguish it during winter when there is snow around, it is commonly mistook for a plain old weed.」
「Good to know. So, in other words, we must search patiently. I’ll help you look.」
Elvie placed his backpack at the roots of a large tree, started crawling and crouching while searching for suitable plants and when he found one, he would put it back into his backpack.
Now, now, –– let’s gather us some Melted Snow Grass. Where could it be?
Ah, there it is. I spend some time gathering the plants myself.
While searching for the plants with great care, I also spoke to Elvie.
「Back to what we were talking about, do you want to stop being a guide and become a Hunter yourself in the future?」
「Hmm…… Honestly speaking, I don’t think I can ever become as good of a Hunter as you, mister Noct. –––– But what I do know, is that I want to become strong.」
I was kind of worried about those last words of his, but then he continued working and all of my worries dissipated.
「Not that I mind it all that much, though. I know that Hunters work hard to achieve their goal and to make a living.」
「So you want to stand at the top someday?」
Elvie was initially surprised, but then he smiled as he answered.
「That is, I would like to, but I’ll probably get there without realizing it someday. Honestly speaking.」
I just wanted to work as a Hunter so that I could earn some money that would help Nectar to open up his own shop and since I also needed something to do as my human self.
Now that we finally managed to achieve our goal, I was still working so that I could earn some pocket money for my own little things.
「When you are a Hunter of the highest rank, I imagine that you can probably live a life of luxury, almost like a member of nobility.」
「It’s not like I was ever really interested in life of luxury, and I was never fond of formalities, so you don’t need to use honorifics and formalities around me.」
「I’m really grateful, but I would still like to address you with proper respect. Otherwise it might cause some problems.」
Elvie answered me seriously, but then his hand suddenly stopped and he stopped packing the plant into his backpack.
「You’ve been asking quite a lot of questions. Why do you want to know so much about me?」
「I’m sorry if it came out wrong, I’m just asking out of sheer curiosity.」
「Eeh, I would never guess, but what about you, Noct-san?」
It surprised me that Elvie asked me with a very serious expression.
Ahh, now I get it. Although in recent years the number of female Hunters began to increase, the ratio of men to women was still around seven to three, so homosexuality was still a common occurrence in this line of work.
I guess Elvie had to be extra careful about that as well during his escapades as a guide.
「You can rest assured, for I have a loving wife and have no interest in men whatsoever. If possible, I would like for us to be friends, but I guess it’s still too soon for that.」
I even showed him my wedding ring as a token of confirmation that I was married, and seeing that made Elvie let out a sigh of pure relief.
「I, I see. I’m sorry for suspecting you of something like this.」
「It’s alright. It’s partially my fault for asking so many questions and not realizing it myself. Also, one of my predecessors used to tell me all the time not to talk too much to strangers, especially when you are alone with them.
I was this close from stepping onto a landmine there. Elvie looked like someone who would easily become a target of people of such tastes if they could try and go for it.
「Yes, I’ll try to be more careful from now on.」
When I looked at Elvie, he nodded his head and smiled at me reassuringly.