After a long time, I’m walking in the forest leisurely.
Obviously, while also minding my surroundings, but this is fun nonetheless.
Besides, I noticed that my sensing instinct has become sharper.
I can sense things naturally even before any problem occurred.
Perhaps I grew up after all the things I went through this time?
A lot of bad things happened, but I guess there are also good things.
“This is fun, right, Sora?”
Sora bounces around me.
Sora looks happy because it was confined in the tent for some time already.
Looking at Sora, I can feel that all these problems really were over.
“I hope we can find a lot of potions.”
We are heading to the dumpster.
Since we ran out of potions for Sora’s meal.
I arrived at the dumpster, and was a little dumbfounded.
Amongst the usual garbage, there are also household goods in bad conditions dumped out there.
Perhaps they belonged to the people who were caught?
The darkness inside people is indeed deep and sorrowful.
“Fuu~ alright, let’s look for some potions.”
I got myself together and entered the dumpster.
This is a big town; hence I didn’t even need to look hard to find those potions.
Moreover, they are thrown out even if they have slight defect, so I was able to get potions in pretty good condition.
I am very happy.
Anyway, there should be several caves near this town.
I think I heard that evil stones from monsters over there could fetch quite a good price.
Perhaps the adventurers around here are rich?
About the money.
Honestly, I’m happy because I don’t have to worry about winter.
But I never thought the amount would be enough to even buy an expensive slave.
“Ah, but I don’t even know how expensive an expensive slave is.”
I was so shocked that I forgot to ask them to tell me how much an expensive slave costs.
But even if I had asked at that time, perhaps I would just gape at the cost.
Come to think of it, Rattlua-san seemed extremely happy about that.
I remember he was the one who told me that if I want to continue my journey, I should protect myself with a slave.
I understand what he means.
But, does it have to be a slave?
I feel somehow reluctant, or like there’s a wall inside my heart.
I feel like I don’t want one.
I wonder why?
Hm~ let’s just think about it later.
I still have two weeks to think anyway.
I asked Borolda-san to convey a message to Leader; saying that I will accept the reward.
I’m not in a rush anyway, I’ll start looking again after I rest a bit.
By the way, they seemed to be getting as busy as Leader.
A request came from the vigilante group.
For Borolda-san, Saizerg-san, Loucreek-san and Maarleek-san to organize the documents they found.
Seems like Cival-san, Rickbelt-san and Rattlua-san are going to help with communication with the people who were caught.
Also, looks like Nouga-san’s task is to stop Cival-san.
What in the world is Cival-san going to do?
When the request for someone to act as stopper for Cival-san came, Rattlua-san burst out laughing.
And after that Cival-san was…well, a lot of things happened.
“Ow, my back…”
I straightened my body and did some stretching.
I stuffed as many potions as I could into my magic bag.
“Sora, let’s try going a little deeper into the forest.”
We have walked this far, but didn’t see Adandara.
Perhaps it has gone somewhere else?
Nothing I can do about that, but that’s so sad.
Sora bounced up and down and came to me.
Come to think of it, it didn’t get stuck in the garbage pile today.
I guess Sora has grown up as well?
I left the dumpster and headed deeper into the forest.
However, I have to be careful not to go too deep, because there are strong monsters lurking there.
We walked for a while, looking around and up the trees, but I didn’t see Adandara.
“Is this our goodbye then?”
I felt something strange in Sora’s cry.
When I picked Sora up, I noticed a presence coming closer.
The presence was faint, I guess they are adventurer.
I wouldn’t have noticed their presence until they are much closer, if it was me from the past.
“Sora, hide yourself.”
I hid Sora in my bag.
I felt something bad coming from the approaching presence.
Sweat rolled down my back.
“What should I do?”
Ah, there are several people.
A little bit farther from the people walking at the very front, there is 1 more…no, there are 3 more people!
Seems like there are 4 of them in total.
I want to run away, but they are approaching too fast and I don’t have enough time.
Besides, they are almost here!
“Huh? What are you doing in a place like this? Oh, you’re that Ivy kid, right?”
I managed to tone down the stiffness in my expression.
When I turned towards that voice, I saw a man laughing gently.
However, the other three did not show themselves.
I took a slow, deep breath to keep my voice from getting too stiff.
You are the adventurer who came here to call Saizerg-san and the others, right?”
The morning after I came to this town, he was the one who came here to call Saizerg-san and the others.
“So you remember me.
That’s right, I’m Harle, mid-level adventurer.
Nice to meet you.”
When Harle-san said his name, the bag slung on my shoulder swayed slightly.
Oh no, I’m only by myself here.
And there are three more people beside him.
I felt their presence circling around as if they were to entrap me.
I could not escape.
What should I do to create an opening?
“Nice to meet you, too.
What can I help you with today?”
“Hm? Ah, just a few things.”
“A few things?”
“Yeah, I got some info about dangerous monsters.
I came here to confirm that info.”
I kinda wanted to ask him if he came here to confirm, then why are the other 3 hiding?
Ugh, what should I do?
Should I follow along until some point to find an opening?
But if they drug me, I’ll run out of any tricks.
Based on Meira-san’s plan, they are supposed to use some drugs.
It’s do or die now.
“You’re lying, aren’t you?”
“Are you with the organization? The 3 people in the back, I know you’re hiding.”
Harle-san’s eyes went wide.
I can sense that the 3 people in hiding are also agitated.
Now, what should we do from here?
“What are you talking ab—”
“Leader and Gilmas-san already know that you are with the organization.”
I certainly hope so!
Harle-san was visibly shaken by what I said.
Now is the chance!
I slammed my body toward Harle-san.
Then I fled away.
“Hey, wait! Oi, what are you doing? Catch that kid! We can sell the kid for a lot of money!”
The other 3 were hiding behind me in case I run away.
That’s why I thought if I want to take them by surprise, I should do it to Harle-san.
I succeeded for now, but he’s fast, as one would expect from an adult.
“I won’t let you escape!”
Their voices and footsteps are approaching.
Is my strategy a failure after all?
But I don’t want to give up!
“This damned kid!”
He grabbed me by the arm and slammed me against a tree.
My chest is pressed and I couldn’t breathe.
“Hey, don’t hurt the kid! We’re gonna sell them!”
What do you mean by selling me!
Like I’m gonna let you!
“What, we can hurt this thing a little, alright? Anyway kid’s going to that pervert’s place, isn’t it?
“Hahaha, well, you’re right.”
He grabbed my arm tightly, it’s so painful.
I have to do something…
I heard a man’s frightened voice.
I wanted to turn around, but I can’t because my chest hurt and my hands are grabbed.
“Wait, what should we do!”
I heard a heavy, deep sound.
The man who was holding me trembled and his hands loosened.
He immediately swung my arms around and pulled his hands away.
For some reason, the hand immediately pulled away.
I found that strange, and when I looked at that man, he was pale and staring fixatedly at something.
“Huh, what happened?”
I heard a menacing sound coming from behind me.
The next moment, the man collapsed backwards.
Looking around, it seems that all of them except Harle-san had already lost their consciousness.
Harle-san was also trembling on the ground.
I gathered all my strength and slowly turned around.
At that moment, all my strength left my body.
Adandara was behind me, baring its fangs and glared at Harle-san.
As I stared at it, it glanced back at me and then inched closer to Harle-san.
Then it opened his mouth widely…Harle-san went bug-eyed and fainted away.
I have never seen someone fainted so dramatically before.
I have no strength left and sat down on that spot.
My bag squirmed and Sora quietly showed its face.
“Adandara saved us.”
Sora bounced happily when I told it.
Adandara came up to me and rubbed its face on my head.
I hug it around its neck, I’m so happy to see it again after quite some time.
Ah, this is really Adandara~
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