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Chapter 113: Become stronger, please! part

When Luke finally came back home, reeking of alcohol, all the fuzz caused by lady Athela had already settled down.

He was tired because of his night out but in this world there was no such thing as sick days or free weekends and despite being really late, he washed up and headed to the adventurer’s guild as fast as he could.

It was past lunch time already and his stomach was grumbling non stop but none of that mattered, all he cared about was the punishment Risa would impose on him.

She was very strict and didn’t leave space for bargaining so he knew there was no way out. All he could do was to muster the courage and accept whatever she had on hold for him.

Yet, when she showed up at the adventurer’s guild Risa greeted him as if nothing happened.

“Grab your equipment, we’re going on a bug killing quest”

“Is it louders again miss Risa?”


Bob, who had been at the guild training the whole morning, asked excitedly.

“Don’t be so impacient, you’ll see when we get there”

Those simple words struck fear into Luke’s heart. He was certain there would be some sort of punishment awaiting for him, the thought alone made him shiver.

Luke grabbed a couple short swords from the adventurer’s guild shop, to make up for the one he broke on his last quest, and followed Risa outside.

The brightness of the sun hurt his eyes and all of his senses caused him a headache, for a second he thought maybe he was turning into a vampire, but then some images came back to his mind briefly. He recalled going out to drink with Risa and having a good time chatting with her when Lorenzo showed up, then he tried to drink at the same pace they did, then something about singing on top of a table.

It didn’t matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t remember what did they talk about.

He let out a resigned sigh and kept walking on the broad road going out of the city. The landscape was familiar because it was the same road they took the day before, but after walking a small portion of the distance he did before he was already feeling tired.

“What’s the matter Luke? you’re falling behind”

Bob asked showing concern for his comrade.

“Being hangover is no joke, not only that, I was late today and miss Risa has yet to punish me. Hey, do you think she’ll do something to me during this quest?”

“It’s nice to see you’re finally adressing people with respect”

Bob chuckled blatantly ignoring his question, Luke’s stress skyrocketed thinking maybe Bob knew something.

“We’re here”

Risa said after stopping.

“Hunt anything you find, but we’re currently looking for scythe cicadas. You’ll recognize them because they’re cidadas... with scythes. Don’t stare at me, go hunt something for the love of beer”

Just by hearing the word beer Luke started to tremble, but Bob started walking the plains looking for prey.

It didn’t take long before they found a scythe cicada, and just as their instructor pointed out, they were true to their name but when Bob saw it the first thing he thought was that huge cicada would suit them better.

Despite their size being almost that of a human being they weren’t as dangerous as they looked, their movements were slow and predictable.

Bob was the first to land a hit, after activating his boost skill, and the cicada fell to the ground. Not knowing if it was Bob’s immense strenght, his boost skill, luck or if the opponent was simply too weak, both young adventurers remained cautious when facing them.

After about ten or so kills their confidence started to grow and they split up to cover more ground.

Luke faced his next target with a single strike skill and his sword made a clang sound when it clashed against the cicada’s scythe.

“Try to avoid their scythes, these bugs are damn weak, but their scythes are actually a high level material. You would break ten swords before leaving a dent in them.”

Risa pointed out to Luke who was in a daze after hitting something so hard with his skill. His right hand felt numb, but it didn’t matter because it only took another single strike skill to slash the cicada in half.

Bob and Luke were having fun killing insects and time flew by, Risa didn’t stand idle this time and started harvesting all the scythes.

When Luke noticed her attitude he started sweating bullets. Her usual flirtiness was nowhere to be found and instead she’s been acting as a reliable instructor. She didn’t nag him for being late, she picked up an easy quest for them, she gathered materials and even pointed out their mistakes and gave tips on how to defeat their opponents easier.

They looked like an efficient monster slaying party and no one would think otherwise, but even Bob thought something was off with her today.

After gathering enough materials they headed back to town with time to spare before dusk, she didn’t even ask them to jog back and simply walked at a normal pace. Luke would have appreciated it because of his tiredness if it wasn’t for the punishment he had been expecting was yet to be revealed.

At the guild’s counter Ebi greeted them and received the materials they carried back and paid them what other adventurers would consider a hefty sum, she even congratulated them after a job well done, but nothing could fill Luke’s void in his heart.

Was he actually looking forward for the punishment?

He quickly dismissed the thought shaking his head repeatedly.

“That’s it for today boys, see you tomorrow”

The punishment never came and the reason behind this was because Risa had been elsewhere the entire day.

Hearing about Ryu’s curse left her in shambles.

It was usual for adventurers to die young, she had seen many of her comrades die in front of her eyes, this was one of the well known truths about their profession and no one thought much of it. But she took an interest in a young man who she thought had the world in front of him, with a limitless potential for growth, but it would never come to be.

If only Celarent had a church, no one would have to fear curses but after the war with the sacred empire political relationships were shaky at best. The kingdom had made sure to erradicate every possible church present in their domain during the war and even now it was over, finding a priest was very difficult. Especially at a far away place like Celarent.

While curses were nothing but annoying before the war, now they were a common cause of death among young adventurers. Almost every citizen knew one or two people who fell due to a curse. The true danger didn’t lie solely in the death of a single person, but cursed objects could be passed on after a person’s demise and they could affect countless people.

She had been thinking on possible ways to aid Ryu, but her hands were tied because even if she agreed to train him, it would only help him last a couple months more.

That’s why she decided to take her job more seriously, being reminded of how fragile human lives were made her question her life choices. She had been stuck as a ranger for way too long, compared to Lorenzo who had a special class she was considered weak.

“Poor guy”

She sighed after being left alone. Looking at the other adventurers she recalled her conversation with Lorenzo. After telling her about Ryu’s affliction he offered to trade pupils, fully knowing that she had taken an interest on him. But that would mean to give up on the promising pupils she currently had under her wing.

Bob and Luke were a bit on the dull side, they were strong and eager to become stronger, but they lacked the spark that Ryu had on his eyes. Even so, they were bound to achieve incredible feats and fill her pockets. She didn’t even have to do anything to train them properly, she just had to make sure they take their time and didn’t rush to meet an early grave due to a dumb mistake.

After pondering for a while, Risa came to the conclusion that it would be stupid to agree to trading pupils with Lorenzo. There was nothing to gain and a lot to lose, why would she refuse the incredible luck she had when Bob and Luke landed on her group.

So she walked close to Lorenzo, who was talking to his group. She drew closer with a complicated expression on her face and after taking a deep breath she muttered.

“Let’s trade pupils”

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