Ch 10 – First Hidden Piece (2)

I got off the circulating carriage and walked aimlessly.
It had been a long time since the sun had set.
I relied solely on the flashlight's light as I walked.
Chirp, chirp, chirp─ In the quiet forest, the sound of insects filled the air in a rhythmic manner.
The eastern forest is open to regular students.
Of course, there are no monsters.
There's no tension.
It's actually quite boring.
It would be less lonely if someone was walking beside me.
Perhaps thinking that made it feel as if something was following me.
I looked back several times, but there was nothing there.
'Ghosts shouldn't exist.' In this world, ghosts are real.
If one has mana, they can see spirits.
Of course, I can't see them because my mana is zero.
Gulp, gulp.
After walking for about an hour, like before, I drank some water.
There's still plenty of water left.
When going somewhere in this world, the most important thing is drinking water.
I brought a lot, and it should be enough to last until I return tomorrow.
My body feels less exhausted, probably because my endurance increased by one yesterday.
“Ugh, ah.” After a 10-minute break, I stretched and resumed walking.
The current time is 2 a.m.
I've been walking for about eight hours since I got off the circulating carriage at 6 p.m.
It should be time to arrive…
As I thought that, I shone my flashlight forward and discovered a signpost.
It's proof that I'm almost there.
If I continue like this for about three more minutes, I'll arrive at the place where the first hidden piece is resting.
The first hidden piece is not equipment like weapons or armor, but a consumable.
It's a potion.
It's a bound item that takes effect once consumed.
Trudge, trudge, trudge.
As expected, after about three minutes, I saw an unusually large rock.
As if proving the passage of time, numerous plants entwined together, covering the rock's surface.
I used a dagger to cut away all the entangled plants.
Then, the true appearance of the rock, riddled with holes, was revealed.
There seemed to be more than twenty holes throughout the rock.
There were 23 in the original work.
I counted them myself, and both the locations and the number of holes are the same.
Now, I just have to cover three of these holes simultaneously.
Poof! I immediately stuck my fingers into the holes.
Soon, the rock trembled slightly and split in half.
Inside was a small glass bottle filled with brown liquid.
The first hidden piece, Natural Power.
As the name implies, by drinking this liquid, it increases one's innate strength.
In other words, it raises one's stats.
For a certain period, it can also grant a special effect that increases the rate of stat growth.
However, when the stat is over 15, both the passive effect and special effect disappear, so it's only useful early on.
In the Spear Master route, Neike reaches all stats 15 around the end of the second year.
Even if Neike chooses this, the effective period is just over a year and a half.
The destruction of the academy, where students, instructors, and professors die one after another, begins from the third year.
In other words, Neike doesn't need Natural Power in the Spear Master route.
But it will be a great help for me, who has strength and stamina of 7.
By the way, the information about Hidden Piece doesn't appear in this work.

●?? [Grade: ??] : The information cannot be confirmed.

As expected, I can't see it.
I carefully wrapped the glass bottle in a handkerchief and put it in my pocket.
I'll go back to the room and drink it.
After taking Natural Power, you'll fall asleep for 12 hours.
It's not dangerous here since there are no monsters, but sleeping for 12 hours in a dark and damp forest is undesirable.
Now that I've secured the Hidden Piece, let's take a short nap and leave the forest.
I immediately prepared to camp.
I picked up branches scattered around and made a fire.
My body warmed up quickly.
I brought a thick down jacket and a blanket in case it gets cold, but it seems I won't need the blanket.
I put on the jacket and sat down, leaning my back against a large tree.
Drowsiness hit me instantly.
Well, even though I took some breaks in between, I walked for over 8 hours.
Just as I was about to fall asleep, Rustle, rustle— The sound of stepping on fallen leaves came from nearby.
I grabbed the short sword on my waist with one hand and shined a flashlight on the source of the sound with the other.
“…Huh!” There was a girl with long silver hair resembling me.
What brings you all the way here?” I lowered the flashlight and looked at Aisha.
She couldn't meet my eyes and spoke awkwardly.
I had nothing to do during the weekend, so I followed you.
It's natural for a child of a collateral family to assist the direct heir, right?” …I don't think that's the setting.
I stared at Aisha silently.
As expected, it was a lie.
Aisha's physical condition was honest.
Her silver hair, which was calm and shiny just a few hours ago, was disheveled, and her clean uniform was dirty in places.
Above all, her lips.
The soft, moist lips were cracked like dried earth after rain.
It was proof that she hadn't drunk much water.
“Sigh.” I let out a low sigh.
She flinched and looked away, bowing her head.
As if waiting for punishment.
“…” Honestly, I was angry.
It's like being stalked, in a way.
I stared into the campfire and spoke.
“Aisha.” “······Yes.” Aisha's voice trembled.
“Sit down.” After a moment of silence, Aisha questioned.
“······Y-Yes?” “Sit.
Don't make me say it twice.” Aisha hesitated, then sat down where she was standing.
······Obviously, she should have come closer to the campfire and sat.
The night air in the forest is chilly.
Even outstanding students from the Hero Department might catch a cold if they stay like that.
It seems she really dislikes me.
Is she that angry for being rejected for dinner? “······I meant to come and sit near the campfire.” “Ah, yes······ Yes!” Aisha hurriedly approached and sat near the campfire.
The flickering flames illuminated her face.
Her cheeks appeared to be considerably gaunt.
Her lips were dry and parched.
I looked at Aisha for a while and said.
“You haven't prepared anything for the journey.” Aisha's face turned noticeably red.
“······I-I-I'm sorry─” “Drink.” I handed her the water bottle.
“······Huh?” Aisha blinked, looking back and forth between the water bottle in my hand and my face.
“My arm is getting tired.” “A-ah, yes, yes!” Aisha quickly took the water bottle.
And then.
Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp─ Her throat must have been parched; she impolitely drank from someone else's water bottle without hesitation.
After drinking water for quite a while, she let out a sigh of relief and finally took her mouth off the water bottle.
“Th-thank you, Theo······sir.” Aisha returned the water bottle to me.
A moment of silence followed.
What broke the silence was, Grrrrrrrr─ The sound from Aisha's stomach.
Her eyes widened, and she began to stammer.
“Ah! Th-this, this is! It's not that, but, uh······” Her face turned red, resembling a strawberry.
······In the original story, Aisha always had a composed smile on her face, manipulating the surrounding characters as a rational strategist.
But the flustered girl in front of me was vastly different from the Aisha Waldeurk character in my mind.
That timid girl could actually try to kill me.
This is really something.
While listening to her stammering, I took a frying pan and some food out of my bag.
“Wait a moment while eating this.” I handed Aisha some biscuits and cooked sausages and bread.


Raei Translations


[It's a family matter.] Aisha couldn't forget what Theo had said earlier.
It seemed like an excuse, but mentioning the family's authority was strange.
She was sure something was up.
Although she didn't know what it was, her intuition told her so.
She needed to find out quickly.
After Theo left the classroom, Aisha followed him immediately.
She then got on the same circular carriage as him.
She got off one stop after where Theo had alighted.
Fortunately, traces of his footsteps remained.
Though it was only a one-stop difference, it took 20 minutes on foot.
And since she was tracing his steps, her pace was slower than expected.
If this went on, she would lose him.
Aisha drew up mana to strengthen her eyes and legs, and then she ran.
However, her physical enhancement was still unskilled.
The wasted mana was much more than the utilized mana.
Her mana rapidly depleted.
Nevertheless, she didn't undo the enhancement, and continued chasing after Theo.
'Where on earth is he going…' A few hours later, Aisha became mana-exhausted.
She felt like collapsing, but she held on with her willpower, and kept her eyes wide open to not lose sight of his tracks.
But a limit that she couldn't overcome with her willpower alone came.
She hadn't prepared any water or food as she had followed him right away.
Her throat was dry, stomach hungry, and her body swaying due to mana exhaustion.
It wouldn't be strange if she fainted at any moment.
She couldn't maintain her speed.
Eventually, Theo disappeared from her sight.
'Alright, let's just rest a bit…
I'll catch up later.
His footsteps will still be there.' Thinking that, Aisha leaned against a large tree and closed her eyes.
That was when she was discovered by Theo.
She only meant to close her eyes for a moment but had fallen into a deep sleep.
When Theo shone his flashlight on her, the only thought that crossed her mind was, 'It's over…
I messed up.' She couldn't think rationally.
She just blurted out whatever came to her mind.
But Theo didn't blame her.
Instead, he took care of her.
His tone was as stern as always, but he was so gentle.
Feeling full and basking in the warmth of the fire, drowsiness rapidly overtook her.
'Ah, this is so good…' Aisha's taste was as refined as Theo's.
She had a luxurious lunchbox made by her servant instead of eating at the student cafeteria for lunch, and she had dinner at restaurants.
Delicious food was a great source of vitality for Aisha.
The sausage and bread that Theo had grilled for her tasted better and warmer than any other food she had ever eaten.
She almost shed tears while eating.
She glanced at Theo as she turned her head slightly.
He was cleaning the frying pan with leaves.
“Ah, I, I can do it!” “No, it's fine.
You rest.” He briefly looked at her, then continued to clean the frying pan.
'Was he always capable of doing things like this?' She occasionally stole glances at Theo while thinking of various things.
He took something out of his backpack and handed it to her.
“Here.” It was a blanket.
“Thank you, Theo…” “I'll go to sleep now.
Goodnight.” Saying that, Theo leaned against a tree and closed his eyes.
Soon, he fell asleep.
Regular breathing sounds could be heard.
Aisha gazed at Theo's sleeping face.
Though they were distant relatives who resembled each other, they were practically strangers.
Her family had split from his direct line centuries ago.
They were connected only by a few drops of shared blood.
Aisha wrapped herself in the blanket.
She could distinctly smell him.
“Sleep well, too.”

点击屏幕以使用高级工具 提示:您可以使用左右键盘键在章节之间浏览。

You'll Also Like