A New Ally – Part 02

“Someone cleared the dungeon without us noticing and released the Fire Drakon into the sky,” Selyse mumbled. “But we don’t know the truth. It might not have been a drakon at all. Maybe it was adventurers from Leather-elka that killed the Dungeon Master. Anyway, there’s no point in thinking about things we’re not sure about.” She turned to Sophie. “What’s the other thing that’s bothering you?”

“Well…” Sophie furrowed her brows even more pensively. “It’s about that girl named Paula.”

“Paula… That girl from the village?”

“Yes. I just can’t believe it. The amount of bleeding that Pia suffered suggested a fatal wound. And yet, she survived. Of course, we should be happy that she’s still alive.”

“Paula’s a Healer, right?”

“Yes, a beginner.”

Sophie was saying that beginner-level healing magic couldn’t have saved Pia. At that time, she honestly believed that she would not be able to save her because she did not have enough magical power.

There were only a few Rank B or higher Healers in this kingdom. Sophie wouldn’t have questioned it if an elderly clergyman from the church had healed Pia, but she found it hard to believe that a girl like Paula was a high-level Healer.

“If we see her again, I’ll ask her some questions,” Sophie said.

“That’s a good idea,” Selyse agreed. “It’s frustrating to have unsolved mysteries, but if we keep doing our jobs as adventurers, we might eventually uncover the truth. Come on, let’s hurry up. We should try to get to the capital before sundown.”

The four ladies spurred their horses on. Above the royal capital, a blue sky, evoking the early days of summer, stretched out, adorned with radiant white clouds.



The silence stretched on. Hikaru, however, liked the quietude. He and Lavia were reading books leisurely in a hotel room. Lavia was engrossed in an adventurer story, which she still enjoyed despite having become an adventurer herself. Meanwhile, Hikaru was reading a botanical guidebook.

Hikaru and Lavia had returned to Pond ahead of the other adventurers. Hikaru wanted to quickly sell the black gem he acquired after killing the Black Dragon, so he took it to Kelbeck, the head of the Thieves’ Guild.

“Couldn’t resist the temptation, huh? Where’d you steal this from?” Kelbeck had asked.

Hikaru explained that he had obtained it from a giant monster and he had done nothing shady, but the fact that he brought it to Kelbeck in the first place suggested otherwise. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much he could do about that.

“I brought it to you because I owe you, and I thought you could make a bank reselling it. You don’t want it? In that case, I’ll just take it back.”

Kelbeck held the gem with both arms like he was hugging a puppy. Hikaru was a little weirded out.

Hikaru was certain that selling the black gem to the Adventurers’ Guild would result in unwanted questions. They would surely connect it to the white gem that the Four Eastern Stars possessed, and he would be interrogated about the Forest of Deception. He desperately wanted to avoid any association with the Fire Drakon, as it would only mean trouble for him.

Kelbeck ended up buying the black gem for five million gilans. Five million. Hikaru, whose current fortune amounted to a little over 100,000, suddenly found himself with fifty times more money than he had before.

“This gem? It’s black diamond ore,” Kelbeck had told him.

It was no wonder that Kelbeck was willing to pay that much for it. Apparently, it could fetch double the amount at an auction, but Hikaru wanted to avoid drawing attention to himself. The best thing would be for Kelbeck to cash it in himself, so he settled on 5 million gilans. As a bonus, he also asked for about thirty magic items to be used for Blade Bombs.

Five million in gold was quite bulky, and depositing the money in the guild card would also mean revealing it to them, so Hikaru exchanged it for royal commemorative platinum coins. Made of platinum, each coin was worth 100,000 gilans. They had serial numbers to prevent counterfeiting, and the coins themselves seemed to be magic items. Despite their high value, they were rattling around in a leather bag.

And so Hikaru became a millionaire overnight.

With his newfound wealth, he bade farewell to the budget hotel and upgraded to the Grand Hotel, Pond’s most prestigious lodging facility, where he could secure a nice room by showing only his guild card. Kelbeck had recommended the place to him. The price was a steep 5,000 gilans per night, but it was well within his means.

Hikaru and Lavia spent their time in their room, reading and relaxing. They had weathered the nerve-wracking battles in Cotton-elka and the Forest of Deception. The thrill of victory was exhilarating, Hikaru knew that this feeling of power was dangerous and could lead to complacency, which could result into them making mistakes that could cost them their lives. To avoid such a risk, Hikaru decided to take a ten-day break.

It was the first time since arriving in this world that Hikaru was able to truly relax. He spent his days reading, sipping tea, and discussing books with Lavia. He visited the bookstore again, tried different foods from the food stalls, placed another order for Blade Bombs at Leniwood’s Weapons Workshop after giving his feedback on it. He also had his battered equipment fixed at Dodorono’s Armor Workshop. The days seemed to pass by in the blink of an eye.

We’re out of tea.

Placing the cup back on the saucer, Hikaru chuckled upon seeing Lavia engrossed in an adventure novel.

When he told her about his request to the Fire Drakon, she blushed and said, “You did that for me? Thank you.” Hikaru felt invincible just hearing those words.

He grabbed the teapot and headed to the shelf. While preparing the tea leaves and hot water, he mumbled, “Any time now.”

Taking a break was essential, but they also had another reason for waiting here. Someone was approaching their room.

A reserved knock came at the door. Lavia lifted her head up from the book and looked at Hikaru.

“Finally here,” he said.

“You were right,” Lavia agreed.

Expecting this moment, Hikaru put his hand on the door knob. He already knew who was on the other side of the door, thanks to his Detection.

“L-Lord Hikaru! Please let me stay by your side!”

When Hikaru opened the door, he saw Paula with her head down, bent over 90 degrees at the waist.

“Have you settled things on your end?” he asked.

Hikaru had met Paula once after granting her power. He and Lavia were sleeping in the ruins of the church, where Paula found them the next morning. Hikaru should have had his Group Cloaking on, but he slept so soundly that the Skill wore off.

“We’re returning to Pond immediately,” was all Hikaru said.

He didn’t explain his ability to Paula or tell her to keep her mouth shut. He wanted to see how she would act.

If Hikaru’s guess was correct, she would find them. There were not many lodging facilities in Pond. He gave his real name upon checking in for her.

“Yes,” Paula replied. “Pia and Priscilla will be returning to Cotton-elka.”

“Will you miss them?”

“I would be lying if I said no.” Paula raised her head and smiled. “But I decided to devote myself to you. I was really glad you saved Pia’s life.”

“I see. Please come in.”

“Okay. Excuse me.”

Paula stepped into the room under the curious gaze of Lavia.

This was the first step for her.

“We have a lot to talk about,” Hikaru said.

From now on, she would accompany Hikaru and Lavia, and would eventually become known as the Wandering Saint because of her high-level Healing magic and friendly, unpretentious personality.

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