Chapter 46 – The Secret of the Apple Box
I always had a doubt from the time I started living in Irz Village as an adventurer.
That doubt goes back to the day I met Lily for the first time.
Thanks to Lily throwing water on my face, I woke up and found myself in the middle of the forest. After that is all as we know it but, what’s important is the part before this. Just how did I end up in Fairy Garden?
I had smuggled myself inside a box filled with apples (actually a similar fruit) at the port town of the Arc continent. The box that I had sneaked in was, along with the other goods, crammed into the ship’s hatch and left on a 1 week long voyage.
Inside the cramped box, all I could do was sleep, eat the fruits and develop my black magic.
During this development time, I came up with [load] and [shadow space] like convenient magics.
But, inside the swaying ship, closed inside a small box, unable to move even a bit, was not going to be a comfortable trip.
The only reason I was fine was of course, thanks to the super body gained with the modifications that allowed me to easily live for 1 month without eating or drinking.
I wasn’t hungry much and had too much free time, and the just fact that I was not in that facility anymore, made it feel like a much better environment.
And the last thing I remember inside the apple box was about 7 days after departure.
Becoming sleepy, I immersed my own body inside the already perfected shadow space except the face. The shadow space contains magic but no air so I had to keep at least my face outside to avoid suffocating.
If someone looked from the side they’ll see only the eerie sight of a single face floating, but to sleep while spreading my legs inside that small box, it was the easiest method.
In fact, it felt neither cold nor hot, and did not even feel the swaying of the ship either so it was really comfortable. Moreover, if I submerged my ears as well then it also became sound proof since sound did not pass through it.
Thinking back now, disconnecting almost my whole body from the outside through the use of Shadow space might be the biggest reason I had no idea whatever happened to me after that.
And before I realized it I was inside the forest.
Yes, the doubt I had was to know just what happened that led to me ending up there.
At first I thought that it went something like this- The ship reached the port normally, goods unloaded, transport by land route, and in the middle, fallen from a cliff and inside the forest.
But that ship belonged to Arc continent, no, to be precise, it belonged to the Syncrea Republic, a country of humans.
The destination of the ship should have been the base built for invasion of the Pandora Continent, i.e. Virginia.
But, Virginia was being pushed back by the Daidalos army. So just how did a human bring the box this inland.
That box should have been a part of the resupply goods meant for Virginia. It should have been consumed in Virginia and should have no reason to go any further.
In the first place, even if someone could carry it till here, humans were not even allowed to get of Virginia currently.
A contradiction originated here. A box meant to be in Virginia was currently in Fairy Garden, far east of Virginia.
The owner of the box, i.e. humans, cannot have carried it till here, then, who was the one that carried it till here?
It might seem like question that could make someone lose his sleep from anxiety, but the answer, the identity of the being that carried it cleared it easily.
“A garuda, was it the one behind it?”
On one of the hills making up the Gallahad mountain range, at its summit existed a garuda nest.
I am currently, to complete a special quest, in the middle of infiltrating this nest along with Lily.
If at the top most point, a suspiciously big cave exists, then it would be a garuda’s nest. Was that cave naturally made or was it dug by the garuda, I didn’t know. But it was definitely an amazing cave with a height of around 10m.
Inside that giant cave, within the stash of shining items and prey collected by the Garuda like a crow, I had found a thing similar to the apple box I had snuck in.
Within my range, I can see two apple boxes. In the surroundings there are also broken similar boxes as well.
Looking at all these things, I thought and inferred.
A Garuda that can fly long distances with ease, discovered a ship of the Republic on the sea.
Whether it was simply on a whim or it had planned all along, Garuda attacked the transport ship and took large amounts of apple boxes with it.
And among those boxes was the one I was in.
To think that I didn’t realise anything even when this monster bird attacked the whole ship. The isolation abilities of shadow space are really fearsome.
I flew along with the Garuda in skies of Pandora while in deep sleep.
And, by chance, the box I was in fell and landed in Fairy Garden, the place I met Lily.
“aah, I feel a bit refreshed now—-“
Oops! Now’s not the time to be relieved by solving my doubts.
We came here for a specific reason. Work, I need to work.
“Lily, go search there, I’ll search that way.”
I and Lily were adventurers as a pair.
At first, we did only the quest of collecting medicinal herbs together, and actually Lily thought that we could make do with just the money received from the sales. But, now she accompanied me in every quest and we were now making a living out of adventurer work.
Although I didn’t want to make Lily take part in the dangerous adventurer life style, that full moon night, the girl-form Lily wanted to become an adventurer along with me and didn’t listen to me at all, so now we worked as a pair.
Talking with her all night, that was not the only thing we decided upon. The other important decision was —-
“ooh, nice Lily!”
Decorated with various shining jewels, Lily held up one shining sword.
But that treasured sword was also overshadowed in front of the fully dressed up fairy Lily.
Yes, the other important decision was to make Lily wear clothes.
It was not because of me that she stayed always naked, it was normal for a fairy after all, but the girl Lily needed them so it became like this.
The black one piece that covered her body was a great match with her radiant white skin.
No, well, I think Lily would look cute in t-shirt and jeans as well though.
By the way, for adventurers, clothes were meant as an important type protection for the body. But, Lily’s current clothes were simply meant to be cute.
In the first place, Lily whose default appearance was being fully nude, possessed an extremely strong defensive shield type Extra magic called [fairy barrier – Oracle Shield]. So unless it was something truly amazing, armour would become a hindrance to her instead.
By the way, the sphere of light that covered the original fairies during the time I met Lily was Oracle Shield.
But, even for a beginner adventurer, armour or protective armaments were something they needed to be particular about.
So, I searched for a suitable item for Lily to wear.
And the thing that caught my eye was a fabric called [Ancient Velvet] being sold by a certain merchant. The touch and polish, both were splendid and on top of it, it was infused with a strong defensive magic as well. It was really a high-class magic item.
Speaking of its cost, it was much higher than all my savings I had diligently accumulated till now.
Well, it’s obvious that it was out of reach for a newbie adventurer like me.
Normally, it was enough to make me give up, but this merchant had some certain circumstances.
“The treasured sword passed down from generation to generation in our family was stolen away by a garuda!”
That’s what it was.
The request for recovery was filed in the guild but nobody seemed to accept it. Even private contractors, would not go face a monster that had been classed at rank 4.
He wanted to recover it as fast as possible but there was nothing he could do.
Although I felt bad for the misfortunate merchant, this was a chance for me. If I could complete the request, I could receive the high class good Ancient Velvet as reward.
As a result I accepted the request on the condition that there will be no advance payment, no payment for losses, and the reward will be given only when the request is completed.
Although he didn’t really believe a rank 1 adventurer like me, but from his point of view he was at zero disadvantage since there was no advance nor need to cover for losses. So he had no reason to refuse me either.
Thus, I took one my very first private request not affiliated with the guild.
“Anyway, with this, the request is complete.”
Well, we were attacked along the way here by monsters but thanks to Lily finding it quickly, we were able to finish it without having to face the garuda.
Uptill now, with the exception of Sariel, the strongest opponent I had faced during the experiments was a [Firedrake – Salamander].
I got my whole body burned as well as had my left arm and stomach torn and eaten but I was somehow able to defeat it in the end. It was a rank 4 monster as well.
Compared to then, my control over black magic has gotten much better, and now I also have good equipment, so if I faced it now, although I might take serious injuries, I should be able to defeat it without dying.
Therefore, a garuda of the same rank 4, even if I ended up fighting it, even in the worst case I should be able to defeat it by relying on Lily’s support.
But that’s only something I could do. Since, the request does not require me to kill the garuda I’ll avoid confrontation no matter what.
Above all else, I don’t want Lily to get injured.
“Now then, before the master of this place returns—–“
We should return. The moment I was about to say that, a shrill cry resounded.
Outside the cave, in the sky spreading beyond it, a small black spot appeared.
As that black spot came closer this way, it clearly became a bird like silhouette. The whole body was black, with ornamental feathers sticking on its head and tail, it had a figure that reminded of an eagle.
But, it was too big for a normal eagle.
Of course, that giant shadow was the monster bird garuda.
And this was the garuda’s nest. It even had eggs bigger than Lily here.
From the garuda’s point of view, we were nothing more than egg stealers.
While releasing terrific anger, the Garuda approached us at ultra high speed.
Shit! Even though I thought we finished it without any problems.
I threw the objective treasured sword inside the shadow space; At least I won’t lose it or drop it now.
Before the garuda can reach here, I grabbed Lily and threw myself directly in the air from the cave.
“I’m counting on you Lily!”
I joined hands with Lily, and I dangled in mid air.
Lily released her usual cute shout and at the same time my body felt like it was floating a bit.
Lily’s shining wings spread out even more than usual.
She is able to fly even while holding me. Lily’s wings aren’t just for show after all. Aah I can experience flying like this at least once.
But, Lily who was not a full fairy, doesn’t have the ability to fly all day long, neither can she fly at high speeds.
“Lily, hang on for just a little bit more!”
It was an incomplete flying ability, yet Lily persistently kept flying while holding me.
No, rather flying, it should be called gently falling, but still I can understand her brave efforts.
The lush green forest below, little by little came closer.
The cave where the garuda’s nest was, had now become far above us, as we had fallen quite a lot of distance.
At this height, I should be fine probably—–
“Thanks Lily, it’s fine now.”
I released Lily’s hands and started to free fall.
Lily looked at the falling me with a worried face but I was instead worried about her.
In the worst case, even if both my arms broke from the fall, if it’s this body, it’ll fix up somehow.
“But, maybe it was bit too high…..”
In the middle of the few seconds, I felt a bit of regret, and I crashed into the green trees.
While breaking branches one after the other, I fell towards the ground.
I thought that the fall would be broken a bit by the trees, but is there even any effect?
In a matter of seconds, a lot useless thoughts go through my head, and I finally crashed to the ground.
Somehow fixing my posture, I land with my feet. The shock ran through my body to my head.
“ma, made it somehow……”
My feet sank into the ground a bit though. But that’s it. I can’t feel any abnormality in my feet. I once again thanked my over sturdy body and sprawled down on the ground
From the skies an angel, no, Lily’s voice came to me.
With her wings shining, she leaped onto my chest.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine. No problem. Is the Garuda coming after us?”
“No, it isn’t.”
Thank god. Since we didn’t lay our hands on the eggs, I figured it won’t chase us if ran away quickly. As expected, it let us go.
“Alright, since the request has been completed, let’s return quickly.”
While holding Lily in my arms, I quickly got up, and left the foot of Gallahad mountain range.
The sky resounded with the garuda’s cry, a howl of a windwolf could be heard far away, and maybe a dortoth is rampaging again somewhere, since the ground is shaking a bit.
Having become used to such an environment, the 5th month quickly passed away as I settled in my life as an adventurer. The 6th month started and summer had come.
Today on the 4th day of the month of new sun (Shinyou), exactly 2 months after I had met Lily.