《tamago kake gohan = egg on rice. tamagoyaki = rolled up omelette. crimson feather fowl is now crimsonwing bird 》
《chapter has 3 main part. 1st – kanna being kanna in search for delicious. 2nd – recap of ruks. 3 – ruks\' afterwards》
100% accuracy and grammatically correct not guaranteed. revisions, corrections and edits are periodically done. only on my site tho
obligatory text haraga heta
I want to eat tamago kake gohan for some reason
guzen ne. watas.h.i.+mo da
I\'m at the forest where I previously hunted those horn rabbits.
Since then, I went there on many occasions and became acquainted with the soldiers stationed there.
「Oh, Kannkun. Hunting again today?」
「Yep. I\'m here to procure some eggs from the crimsonwing bird.」
「That one huh. Its highly delectable even if fried. I\'m not dissatisfied with my current job, but seeing adventurers freely hunting magic beasts as ingredient sometimes makes me jealous.」
「ahaha So, am I cleared to go?」
「I\'m sorry but regulation calls for a check-up, so let me at least confirm your request acceptance receipt. Just because we\'re acquainted, I can\'t let you through without one.」
「No no. That much is natural. Here.」
I hand over the rolled up receipt taken from my waist pouch to the on-duty soldier. He looks a bit surprised after scanning the paper.
The request acceptance receipt acts as a seal of certificate issued by the guild and details of request accepted by adventurers are written on it. That detail includes rank of said adventurer.
「I\'m surprised. I heard that you only became E-rank just a while ago but now you\'re already a D-ranker.」
「Well, this and that happened and I got promoted.」
「You\'re talking like its not about you.」
After receiving my receipt with a polite smile, I bid the soldier goodbye and steps into the forest.
The crimsonwing bird is a magic beast with grey torso and red wings. A single bird ranks the lowest in strength amongst E-rank magic beasts. Its D-rank designation is related to the bird\'s habitat.
This vast forest area is officially referred to as [Yuri Great Forest].
The outskirts where E-rank magic beasts roam about is a relatively safe area but as one moves deeper into the forest, danger levels of magic beasts increases sharply. Its too dangerous an area for a person with neither knowledge nor ability to enter.
In fact, the crimsonwing itself is often sighted at the outskirts of this great forest. In terms of ingredient however, it is categorized as [unsavory] and even if that was not the evaluation, the bird has no suitable body parts to be processed. In short, crimsonwing birds does not qualify for a request of any kind.
But, when its [eggs] come into play, the evaluation does a complete 180 and thus crimsonwings obtained the ranks of a high-quality ingredient. If one intends to obtain the egg, one first needs to search for the nest but the crimsonwing bird nests in an area one step deeper than the outskirts.
It is the whereabouts of D-rank magic beasts. This request was commissioned as a D-rank request to address the difficulty of reaching the objective rather than because of the magic beast itself.
「Do I make it into a sunny-side-up or a tamagoyaki?」
I\'m counting eggs before they hatch………isn\'t it?
In search of a new and delicious ingredient, I\'m aiming deeper into the forest without neglecting caution.
Oh that\'s right, there\'s even the tamago kake gohan.……
……dang, I got no rice.
Speaking of which, I haven\'t eaten rice lately.
For a time-honored j.a.panese, it\'s a rather serious problem. Though my palate has become more refined thanks to the magic beasts, I still miss the taste of white rice.
I must ask Chloe to make sure if rice is available in Hinoizur or not. There\'s so much similarity to j.a.pan\'s culture there, so rice will probably be present as well. Rather, if they don\'t have it, I\'ll conclude that Hinoizur is a separate civilization isolated from j.a.panese culture.
There\'s no such thing as miso soup with no rice.
While I\'m thinking that sort of things, it appears that I\'ve entered the deeper layer. The region where D-rank magic beasts inhabits. In other words, the second layer? I\'m sensing a slight increase in presence. From here on out, its an unknown area for me. Gonna have to focus my mind.
I proceed through the forest while paying attention to my surroundings. Crimsonwings has the habit of nesting on a specific type of tree. In other words, the eggs are easy to find if I can locate that particular tree. I double checked the description of the tree from my magic beast encyclopedia, which crimsonwings nests on, with Cindy-san when I accepted this request. The tree trunk seems to have a distinct feature and if I look at the real thing, I\'d be able to easily recognize it.
「…………Is that it?」
20 minutes after venturing into the second layer.
Its trunk has a more reddish hue than other trees with a smooth-looking texture. No doubt that it\'s the tree I\'m looking for. Looking up, I can spot a nest made of branches nestled between two trunks about 5 meters above ground.
The reason why crimsonwing birds chose this tree to nest on was to protect it from attacks of other magic beasts in search of their eggs. The trunk of this tree is smooth enough to make a sound if rubbed with a finger. Other magic beasts can\'t climb this tree due to this smoothness. And even if nails were to be used, other obstacles awaits.
This tree\'s reddish hue comes from its sap and when the trunk is pierced to around one finger joint, the sap begins to ooze out. The red sap is more than meets the eye as it emits a smell that magic beasts dislike. Protected by the exterior smoothness and the interior red sap, crimsonwings are able to build their nest and lay their eggs with a peace of mind.
Naturally, both the deterrents work against humankind too.
Even if the intense smell can be put up with, that slippery smoothness will be a major obstacle to the person climbing. Adventurers employ some other means to collect the eggs. Some climb other trees and jump across from it. Others throw stones to drop the nest. Climbing the red tree by hooking a rope to the branch seems to be a common method.
As for me, goes without saying that I\'ll do it my way.
At the base of the tree, I crouch down and put my hand on the ground. After wis.h.i.+ng for it lightly, my underfoot freezes over and with a crackle, an ice column extends to the air with me on top of it. It\'s an ice-style elevator.
After reaching to the height of a nest, I found my objective safely. The eggs are not thrown directly into the guild-issued bag but instead are stored inside a special storage box which is also issued by the guild.
It\'s similar to a plastic egg pack I often see in a supermarket. The interior is inlaid with cus.h.i.+ons to absorb impacts so that it won\'t break even under intense movement while the exterior feels like a box made out of wood.
I need six eggs for the quota this time. The nest I found earlier had four eggs and I secured two of them. The reason I did not swipe them all is because there is a possibility for the crimsonwing lovebirds to never again produce more eggs. The guild also warn against such action.
Afterwards, I go around locating more trees and smoothly secure more eggs. The outcome. A sum total of 8 eggs is now inside the case. Of course, the excess are for my own consumption. I close the case firmly and shake it lightly to confirm there\'s no sound produced from shaking. There seems to be no problem with it so I throw it into my guild-issued bag.
With this, all I need to do now to complete the request is to deliver the case to the guild.
According to a waitress from the diner, any cooking method involving the crimsonwing\'s egg can be completed in a short time. a.s.suming that is so, then I can have it for late lunch or dinner today. And since its already past noon, let\'s enjoy it as a late lunch. Or maybe I should have a light lunch and look forward for dinner. I\'m kinda wavering between those two options. As I\'m thinking about such easy-going thoughts, the very next moment it all scatter away.
A sludge-like dark presence is coiling around my skin.
As the gra.s.s rustles from swaying, a familiar figure appears from behind it.
It took me a while to recall the unfamiliar explosive sound.
A [round pebble] penetrated my breastplate. Blown away by the impact, I slid on the ground and crashed into the foot of a nearby tree.
ーーーーーーーーー 《ruks pov. 3rd person》
Ruks Abern is greatly fl.u.s.tered.
Until a month ago, he had great ambitions.
Although born as the second son of a duke, he was unlikely to inherit the position. The same rule can be applicable for most n.o.ble household. The second son onwards are only reserves for when the eldest son cannot succeed their house for some reason.
If the second son was endowed with talent far exceeding his elder brother, it was not impossible for the order of succession to be supplanted. Though there are some cases in which the eldest was supported by his sibling, who was talented but not by a large margin.
Ruks Abern was by no means inferior in intellect but his arrogant mind which does not pay heed to civilians was not acceptable in the eyes of his father and eldest brother. Hence, the reason why he was barred from territory management.
The authority he possessed was only a papier-mâché at best and him strutting around while feeling self-important was only limited within the territory. His infamy among his people eventually reached the ears of his father. At that juncture, he was give some amount of money (to a commoner, it is a rather large amount) and was driven out of the dukes\' territory in what was practically an exile.
Fortunately, he had a genius level of ability in martial arts and he chose the path of an adventurer in order to rise up using it. Although some bit of trouble occurred during his registration exam, he managed to somehow become an E-rank adventurer. He thought that his days of glory would finally begin. As it naturally should be, that is.
He hired escorts for his first request as an E-rank, just in case. He couldn\'t afford to stumble at the very first step. Befitting a person of a n.o.ble birth such as himself, steps must be taken in the unlikely event of an accident.
Among his hired escorts, a beautiful black-haired beastmen caught his eyes. The woman accompanied a latecomer examinee at the time of E-rank registration examination. Her black hair and wolf ears instantly revealed her origin as a black wolf clan member.
The Black Wolves are a clan of beastmen inhabiting a far away country. It is said that their physical ability far surpa.s.ses other clans of beastmen. It is also said that their Lord commands their absolute obedience and loyalty. Even further than that is that some aristocrat deserved to be called a n.o.ble just by having a Black Wolf as a retainer.
Ruks believed he will eventually make it big as an adventurer. If he manage to obtain the beautiful black wolf, his prestige will increase. As soon as the request was over, he approached the black wolf woman and made a proposal for her to become his subordinate.
However, the reply that came back was a rejection not unlike a disparagement. His proposal, as the second son of the Duke, was rejected with a mixture of insults. No matter how famed the Black Wolves are, that was much too irreverent for a member of a Duke household. Moreover, her friend who came in late also joined the conversation and made a fool out of Ruks.
He lost his composure too much and could not remember what happened afterwards. When he woke up, he was lying down inside a room within the guild with his head hurting for some reason. Ruks wanted to somehow punish those two offender for their affront but since the guild has extraterritorial right within its building, that discretion was left to the guild master.
The former S-rank adventurer reigns inside the guild and authority of a duke was hardly able to influence her. However, the guild master was a personage who understood the situation. She respected his will as a member of the duke household and was able to mediate for him a duel for honor\'s sake.
It was an opportunity.
By demonstrating his ability, his plan was to make the black wolf woman to acquiese his worthiness to become her Lord. The other offender on the other hand was to be shown the power at the disposal of a high n.o.ble.
His opponent was a C-rank and a newly registered E-rank. His forces on the other hand, includes two C-rank escorts with himself being equivalent to a C-rank. There was no reason to lose. He was planning to crush them [head-on] in a [fair and square] manner to show them their place.
Of course, it was necessary to show disparity not only in terms of ability but also in terms of financial strength. Immediately after receiving consent for the duel, Ruks went to the armor shop in the capital and replaced the armor of his two escorts from iron amor to mithril alloy armor.
When it came to armors made of mithril alloy, even he did not possess enough for a direct purchase, so he took a [loan] from a financing company. It was a lot of money for an [individual], but for a [personage of Duke household] it was only an amount for [pocket exchange]. With all preparation completed to a perfection, now comes the duel.
ーーーHe wanted to erase his memory from that point.
The duel began and the situation was locked into a stalemate right after it commenced. One of the offender, a white-haired man used a cowardly move to defeat one of his escorts. The duel was ordered to be recommenced without any acknowledgement to his protest.
[Driven by righteous indignation], Ruks tried to defeat the white-haired man with his own hands but he was bombarded with abusive language instead. He was subsequently driven to a corner by the abuse and ultimately was defeated by yet another cowardly means.
It was not supposed to end up that way. If he had been able to fully demonstrate his ability, the commoner would not hold out, even by hanging on the skin of his teeth. Such a result should have been nullified. However, the guild master and the rank adventurer who bore witness to the duel does not entertain his objection.
The mark of the defeated continued to hover over him.
……………The story didn\'t end there.
A few days after the duel. There are three fact that awaited Ruks as he recovered from the shock of defeat.
The escorts who was supposed to hired on a long term contract came to him with the intention of revoking the contract. They told him that following him any further would greatly hurt their career as adventurers. Such a disrespect for the second son of the Duke. For their discourtesy, Ruks fired those two on the spot and drove them away without receiving [anything] for the breach of contract.
A reminder came for him from the finance company, demanding payment for mithril alloy armor he prepared for the duel. Only at this time did he regret his earlier action. When he drove them away, those escorts still wore the mithril alloy armor. They offered to return the armors but in his anger, Ruks yelled at them to chase them out. Once that happens, they have owners.h.i.+p of said armor. They also said that they will be leaving Draknil soon, so he could not retrieve those armors even if he wanted to.
After sending away a representative from the finance company, Ruks sent a letter to his parent. The content are for asking additional funds in order to pay for the purchased mithril alloy armor. However, what came two days later was not a gold letter but instead it\'s a letter expressing [disownment].
…………His head blanked out at the revelation.
Even if he read it over and over and over again, the [disownment letter] reads as nothing else but a [disownment letter].
Earlier than his letter, the letter from Lydeal, which explained the situation behind the duel arrived and the Duke who read it was enraged. The moment he received the [letter requesting money], it was torn up and thrown away.
As a result of all three predicament, Ruks only had his previously owned money at hand. He needed 100 gold coins for the two armor. In contrast, 20 gold coins was all he had.
The next day after his head went blank, the one who visited him was not the representative the other day but some giants, who in a sense, was making a living in a rougher style compared to normal adventurers. To tell the truth, a letter came to the finance company from the Duke household. Its content can be summarized as [the second son is disowned, therefore we do not have the obligation to pay for his debt].
Those giant men enters the scene to prevent a debtor from s.h.i.+rking their debt and collect said debt by using [any means] necessary. The finance company depend on the giants in order to collect debts.
A hundred gold coin is definitely a huge sum for those who lent the amount and they are definitely not softhearted to just give it away for free. Especially so when the other party was no longer a member of the duke\'s household but just a disinherited ordinary citizen. There was no reason for modesty.
For the first time in his life, Ruks realized he was at the [edge of a precipice].
s.h.i.+rking a debt that went through a legitimate transaction is undeniably a crime. If he cannot pay off his debt by the due date, he will be charged as such. In addition for penal servitude for a certain period of time, the penalty for failing to settle a debt is an increase of 20% from the remaining amount which must be paid through severe forced labor.
Ruks was desperate in trying to repay his debt.
Wages that can be earned through forced labor are very miniscule and even earning a single piece of gold coin will take at least two months. It was too frightening a prospect for him to even think about laboring for 100 gold coins.
Even if one wanted to escape, the way out of Draknil is monitored by debt collectors to prevent the very same occurrence. Not to mention, the heavier punishment imposed should the runaway debtor were to be caught.
The first course of action Ruks took was to check out of his 3 silver coins per-night hotel to a cheaper inn with a rate of 2 copper coins per night. He was under a great stress due to the sudden drop from heaven to earth and had no other choice but to suppress his tears in a situation where he could not afford wasteful expenses.
All his equipment except for his two swords were sold off to help reduce his debt. It was a good thing that his armor was adorned with elaborate designs and expensive material were used for it. He was able to earn 30 gold coins from selling his equipment.
Ruks\' remaining debt was cut to half.
The payment deadline is one month later. He worked himself desperately.
Two silver coins per request, such is the rate for an E-rank request, His labor earned him four coins so far. If he does not complete requests in droves, repaying his debt will be just a dream within a dream. For most days, he received and completed three requests per day.
Luckily for Ruks, most E-rank requests were completed at the guild\'s receptionist counter. Supposing if he met commoners and aristocrats lower than a Duke, the unscrupulous behavior ingrained within himself would have flared up. In the worst case scenario, his adventurer\'s qualification could be temporarily frozen.
But even that haughty mannerism was gradually sc.r.a.ped off as he imagined the harsh punishment of a daily labor awaiting him in the event that he could not repay in time.
While accepting his requests, various regrets flash through his mind.
Why did he hire escorts for an E-rank request?
Why didn\'t he claim the penalty for his escorts\' breach of contract and even foolishly gave the armor to them when they left?
Why did he try to force the black wolf woman under his control?
Combining the train wreck of the chronological order of events with his regrets surfacing little by little, Ruks\' anger which had nowhere to go continued to seethe within him. However, all his time were occupied by requests and earning more for his debt, leaving none that can be used for venting.
And then, he managed to earn 40 gold coins. But the deadline was the very next day. Ruks was dangerously close to his mental and physical limit, but he must persevere for the remaining 10 pieces.
His two swords are now worn-out from lack of maintenance due to him being too preoccupied. A p.a.w.nshop a.s.sessed that two of it sold together would net a 5 gold coins. In other words, in one way or another, he must somehow obtain 5 gold coins by the end of the day.
Ruks went to the guild with impatience weighing heavily on his mind. However, with his one month experience, he can determine that it is almost impossible to earn 5 gold coins by the end of the day with only E-rank requests. There was just not enough time.
When Ruks came to his senses, he was already in front of D-rank\'s bulletin board instead of his usual E-rank. His mind was in chaos due to his impatience. With no time to waste, Ruks tried to immediately head back to E-rank bulletin board.
It was then when he saw him. The [main culprit] who drove him into this situation. The feelings that were smoldering in his chest threatened to overflow.
But he cannot afford to spend time on his grudge. He accepted an E-rank request in a hurry. Even though he knew there was not enough time, he still had no choice but to move. The destination was the Yuri Great Forest. The forest had been his hunting ground for so many times in the past month.
After practically throwing his receipt to the stationed soldier, Ruks rushed into the forest. However, his impatience gave birth to irritation as there were many prey that he let slip through his guard. Some of them are even damaged beyond what is necessary and could not used for the request. Ruks head further into the forest in search for more prey.
Before he was aware of it, he was already into the second layer of the forest. Since his target is an E-rank magic beast, he had no business in this place. He tried to return where he came from when he saw the white-haired man in that area by pure coincidence.
Only this time, he could not hold back the dark feeling he suppressed earlier. Perhaps, one of the reason was the lack of human presence around them.
He wondered why did he hold his breath and crept closer to the white-haired man?
What was he trying to do?
What did he want to achieve?
His free hand stretched into his waist pouch and his fingertips touched a [gun] he had hidden inside it. The gun was a birthday present from his father when he was still a child. Even if he was desperately in need of money, that alone he could not let go. In his mind, if he sell even that, then that would be the moment when he loses his connection to his father in the truest sense of the word.
His heart was beating so loudly that it reached his ears. Ruks slowly pulled the gun out while trembling. He practiced shooting several times when he was at his former home. That was why he knew he will not miss his mark from this distance.
ーーーWill not miss?
Why did he thought of that?
What was he trying to shoot?
The white-haired man turned towards his direction. He should not be able to see Ruks hidden behind the bushes. And yet, the man\'s line of sight was on point, shooting straight at Ruks\' hidden position.
When he realized it, Ruks had already jumped out of the cover and fired his gun. It made a small hole in the man\'s breastplate and the impact caused him to be blown away.
Ruks finally returned to his senses after watching the man crash into the ground. At first, he could not comprehend what he did. However, a shot was evidently and undeniably fired from his gun……
…………Reality began to creep into his mind as he registered the collapsed white-haired man with the smell of gunpowder wafting about him.
The gun fell out of his hand.
If only that was a mithril alloy but that was a ma.s.s-produced iron breastplate, with strength and thickness appropriate for its raw material. The bullet easily penetrates through that level of protection and pierced into flesh and blood behind it.
In other words, Ruks shot a man and killed him. He is now trembling terribly, teeth rattling and shoulders shaking. Up until this moment, he had killed countless magic beasts, earning money from the materials he dismantled from them.
To an extent, he does have experience partic.i.p.ating in the cycle of life. But, not once did he ever killed a fellow humankind. At this very moment, Ruks is experiencing [murder] for the very first time in his life.
In his mind, he was prepared for the [eventuality]. However, he did not expect to lose his mind and commit it on impulse.
Faster than he can scream under the crus.h.i.+ng weight of a [murder].
「Phew, that surprised me.」
ーーーThe white-haired man who got a hole in his breastplate arose as if nothing had happened.
A few seconds of utter silence drifts in the air
This time at last, Ruks screams from the bottom of his heart.
kanna datto omou no? daga kono oresama da!!