As I woke up from Growth Sleep, my eyes were met with Elemia’s sleeping face.
Elemia shouldn’t have leveled up, so it was probably just a normal sleep.
Elemia always seemed somewhat tensed, but her sleeping face contained the innocence that befitted her age.
She’s still seven years old, huh?
In five to ten years, she would probably become a peerless beauty.
Because Elemia possessed the skill [Fatigue Transfer], there were many occasions where she would work alone.
With her well-featured looks, she gave off the image of aloofness, but when I actually talked to her, she told me that she was actually rather lonely and had always wanted friends.
I thought that the adventure inside the firedrake’s nest had been a critical experience and it would be fine even if it ended up as a trauma, but it seems like it became a happy memory for Elemia instead.
Because I have [No Fatigue], Elemia’s [Fatigue Transfer] doesn’t have any effect on me.
I am thinking of talking to Alfred-tousan and adopting Elemia into the Chrebl family if she wishes, just like I had promised that evening.
And then, Elemia would become a new member of my family.
I covered Elemia with a blanket and quietly slipped out of my bed in the children’s room that I had become completely familiar with over these past three months.
Moving so as to avoid making any noises, I checked my body.
“…Did I grow a little?”
I think my line of vision has risen by a few centimetres, and the length of my limbs has also grown by a few centimetres.
Thanks to the training in <Yatagarasu>, my body senses have become sharper and there were no feelings of discomfort from that degree of change.
The kids who noticed me getting out of bed came and gathered around me.
Their faces still contained some anxiousness.
I asked Melby to get Cecil and Cecila to come and calm the children down with their [Fairy’s Song], but it would’ve probably ended badly if I didn’t do that.
The young children who had temporarily been in the custody of the Fairy Hamlet also returned to the Nest.
The mental conditions of these children were better than the ones here, and they seemed to be engrossed with the new games that they had learned from the fairies (the games I taught to the fairies, such as Fruits Basket and Cops and Robbers).
I, along with the anxious-looking children, headed outside the Nest.
We couldn’t help but want to see the sunlight.
The wasteland at the end of winter was chilly, but the fierce wind that had been blowing during the winter has subsided.
As the sunlight gradually became stronger, it felt quite warm after putting on the <Yatagarasu> cloak.
“The sun after such a long time!”
I had left only once, at the time of the firedrake incident, but it was a bit cloudy back then.
And above all, because we had been bound by the invisible chains of being emissaries of <Yatagarasu>, we didn’t feel a sense of spaciousness from this wasteland that spanned as far as the eye could see.
When I look up at the sky, I was overcome with astonishment for a bit.
The children who had come with me also looked up at the sky with faces that could not be explained by words, and stared at the sun as if dazzled.
Now then, after I defeated Gazaine, the survivors also lost their fighting spirits, but a large question still remains.
In other words――Where the heck was this place!?
The interrogation of the leaders of the religious organisation was well under way so I think we would find out sooner or later; however, I want to quickly meet up with Alfred tou-san’s group and leave the rest to them.
There are emergency provisions inside the Nest, so I wasn’t worried about starving, but that being said, leaving the mentally unstable ex-emissaries who had just been freed from the organisation in their current state might be dangerous.
“Rather, should we go to Riverette Village? If we go to the Fairy Hamlet through the gate and leave through the village exit…”
‘I don’t really want the location of the Fairy Hamlet to be known’……..said Melby.
While I was struggling to decide what to do,
I heard a voice calling to us from far away.
Using [Farsight] to confirm, it seems it was a group of adventurers.
As for the number of people, I think there were eight of them.
At the forefront were nostalgic faces of people who I had met in Fauno City.
It was the skilled female adventurer with the nickname ‘Scarlet’, Moria-san, and the almost two-meter-tall giant Hoffman-san, an adventurer who loved children despite his scary face.
I also shouted to signal the adventurers over.
At first, the adventurers approached a little vigilantly, but once Moria-san and Hoffman-san recognised my face, they broke into a run towards us without dropping their guard while we stood in front of the crevice that led to the Nest.
Aside from Moria-san and Hoffman-san, the party consisted of a young elf boy with a bow, a voluptuous woman in her late 20s who looked like a magician, and a bunch of male adventurers who were surrounding that woman.
“――Edgar! Have you been safe?”
Saying that, Moria-san hugged me tightly.
…It mustn’t be forgotten.
This woman was wearing a deep red bikini-armor with a design featuring flames.
Despite the fact that I had a child’s body, I still ended up shivering from the sensation of her slightly sweaty skin.
While not being able to move, I felt something large touch my head.
Looking up, I discovered that it was Hoffman-san patting my head.
As I muttered that,
“――Julia-kaasan is right in the middle of something else.”
The elf boy said.
…..Hm? Julia “kaasan”?
Come to think of it, the face of this person looks somewhat similar to Alfred-tousan…[Appraisal].
《Chester Chrebl (Second son of the Viscount Chrebl household | Santamana Kingdom Noble | Adventurer (B Rank) | 《No Second Shot》 | 《Harpy Killer》)
17 years old
• Legendary class
[Visual Enhancement] 3
• Master Class
[Sense Presence] 2
[Bow Techniques] 7
[Wind Magic] 5
[Water Magic] 4
[Stealth Steps] 4
[Tool Creation] 4
[Crossbow Techniques] 3
[Earth Magic] 3
[Dagger Techniques] 3
[Mana Perception] 3
[Spear Techniques] 2
[Fire Magic] 2
[Light Magic] 2
[Night Vision] 2
[Mana Manipulation] 1 》
“You noticed. It’s a bit late but….should I say it’s nice to meet you? You probably don’t remember me. I’m your big brother Chester.”
Saying that, Chester-niisan came and patted me on the head.
Although Chester-niisan looked like Alfred-tousan, his appearance resembled an elf even more than Dad did.
……That reminds me, Dad and the others did say that elf blood tends to be more prominent.
I’m also supposed to be a quarter-elf, but unlike Nii-san, I don’t have elf-like features, and even when I use [Appraisal] on myself, the only race that shows up is ‘human’.
It’s a mysterious heredity that was likely to drive Dr. Mendel crazy, but elf blood seems to be that kind of thing.
This is my first time meeting with Chester-niisan, but he seems to already know about me.
My awareness was aroused when I was six months old, so it’s likely that we had met before then.
“Based on the information provided by you, Edgar, we thought that the surroundings of the bone eagle nest that’s a bit north of here looked suspicious, so Mum went over there to have a look. We went to search inside the nest of harpies that was the second candidate on the list, but it looks like this was the correct place.
It seems like the Crow’s Nest was situated in a place full of monster nests.
I had reported to Dad about the monsters I saw around the Nest in my letters.
I heard that there had been first-hand sightings of the wyverns I sighted at the time of that firedrake uproar as well, so the search party seems to have gradually narrowed down their search range.
Nii-san and the others apparently caught some collapsed emissary en-route and come after obtaining information about the Nest’s location from him.
Because the emissary had collapsed as though he had been overwhelmed by something, even when they tried to extract information from him, all that came out was just the mutterings of “we’re already doomed…” which hadn’t been much help.
After barely managing to obtain information about the Nest’s location, they seemed to have restrained the emissary and appointed a few adventurers to take him to Fauno City.
That collapsed emissary was probably one of the people who had leapt out of the Nest after the showdown with Gazaine.
Then, Chester-niisan saw me come out of the Nest with his good eyesight and called out to confirm the situation.
It seems a little careless, but getting closer without alerting the assassins who specialised in covert activities was hard, and Moria-san and the others wouldn’t be at a disadvantage even if they attacked from the front.
So because of that, they decided to just quickly call out to us and await a response.
“So, what happened to the <Yatagarasu> members?”
Chester-niisan asked while staying vigilant to the surroundings.
“They have been dealt with.”
“I finished them off. Gazaine, the head of the organisation, had half of his body eaten by the Evil God for violating a contract, and I finished him off at that time. Organisation founder Glutometsa was just an illusion created by Gazaine, so in the end, it was Gazaine who was the real founder as well. And as for the organisation’s other executives, they have been confined by my comrades back inside the Nest. Pastor-sama is the only one we failed to capture, so I have no choice but to ask Dad to perform a search for her.”
That’s very true.
“There is a lot of explaining to do if I want to start from the beginning. I’ll explain in detail after we meet up with Mum.”
“Looks like it. Edgar, aren’t you tired?”
Nii-san, that’s a foolish question.
“I’m not tired at all.”
“Is that so…I heard from Dad, but it really is an unbelievable skill, huh?”
Nii-san said while lowering his voice.
“Anyway, let’s return home. Both Mum and Dad are worried.”
The moment Nii-san said those words, tears overflowed from my eyes.
Even I was surprised myself――yet I also understood at the same time.
In these past four months or so, I’ve been constantly straining my mind.
Thanks to [No Fatigue], I didn’t feel tired, but the damage on the emotional side seemed unexpectedly severe.
Chester-niisan simply embraced me as I continued to sob and weep.
Once I regained my composure, I returned to the Nest for the time being and called out to a certain person to have them come out. After that, I returned to where Moria-san was.
There was something that I couldn’t forget.
“Oh, is everything fine now?”
“Yes. But that aside, there is a person you need to meet at all costs.”
“A person I must meet? I don’t really have any acquaintances in <Yatagarasu>.”
“You’ll understand when you see them. ――Miguel!”
Miguel showed up before the speechless Moria-san.
“What’s wrong Orochi…..I mean, Edgar?”
“You’re still asking what’s wrong? Don’t tell me you forgot someone with characteristics like this.”
Saying so, I pointed towards the stiffened Moria-san with my chin.
It seems like Miguel has finally realised it as well.
“A-Are you… Miguel?”
Miguel clung to Moria-san.
Miguel was quite tall among the boys group, but since Moria-san was also tall, his head only reached the height of her shoulders.
Moria-san tightly hugged his head.
“I’m sorry, Miguel…! Because I gave in to despair, you had to go through such harsh times…”
“I-It’s fine! It wasn’t that bad in <Yatagarasu>…. as long as you worked hard as an emissary.”
I talked to Moria-san about the events that had happened so far.
“I see, so it was also the <Yatagarasu> bunch who kidnapped Miguel… Shit, if only I had known that, I would’ve rushed in even if I had to do so alone!”
It seemed as if dark flames had lit up in Moria-san’s eyes.
They were the eyes of the feared A-rank adventurer referred to as Scarlet.
Judging from Moria-san’s status that I had seen before, she would probably kill a considerable amount of emissaries even if she rushed inside the Nest alone.
Although, it is unknown whether she could win in a fight against the organisation’s leaders, including Gazaine…
It seems it was for this reason that Julia-kaasan didn’t tell Moria-san about Miguel.
It goes without saying that if Miguel was truly in danger, on top of notifying Moria-san, she would’ve probably decided to go with her to help search for the Nest’s location.
“Moria-san, please calm down. The matter has been resolved already. Besides, a majority of the members of the religious organisation were also victims who had been brainwashed by the organisation’s leaders.”
“Even if you say that… If the culprits who kidnapped Miguel are inside that cave, I don’t think I will be able to hold myself back.”
“Where’s their boss?”
“I took him down. In order to undo the brainwashing of the other emissaries, I challenged him in front of everyone and defeated him fairly…After that, due to some reasons, Gazaine was nearly eaten by the Evil God, but I gave him the finishing blow.”
“That’s reassuring…In that case, I have to properly show my gratitude towards you. Thank you, Edgar. For saving this child…And, for taking down that detestable religious organisation.”
Moria-san told me while tightly embracing Miguel.
Although Miguel was screaming “it hurts”, she didn’t seem to notice it.
“You are welcome. …I wonder if it’s appropriate to say that. I took down <Yatagarasu> for my own reasons. There is no reason to thank me.”
As I said that, Miguel, who somehow escaped from Moria-san, said to me.
“That’s right! Is it true that you defeated Lea….Gazaine in a one-on-one fight!? Why did you do such an enjoyable-looking thing when I wasn’t there to see! It’s not fair!”
“…Speaking of which, it was slipped in so smoothly, but is it true that you defeated the leader of <Yatagarasu>?”
Hearing Moria-san’s words, Chester-niisan who had been watching over the surroundings, and the female adventurer, looked at me intently.
How should I answer, I wonder?
It has been a while since it was like this.
In the Nest, it was agreed that I was “somewhat strange” so I was able to move while disregarding my apparent age, but to these guys, it must look strange indeed.
As I was perplexed over this situation, a clear voice was heard from behind me.
Turning around, I saw Elemia standing there.
She should’ve been sleeping but she must have woken up and come over.
“Oro…Edgar-kun defeated Gazaine. In a duel. In addition, I believe he overpowered Gazaine from start to finish.”
“No, it was quite a tough fight….”
However, it might’ve looked like that from the sidelines.
“It was also him who defeated Goleth of the Throwing Spear, the leader of <Black Wolf Fang>, right? I don’t think it can be denied. After all, the Chrebl couple aren’t the kind of people who would lie to me about such trivial things.”
The one who said that was the woman with luxurious blonde hair who had brought the adventurers with her.[Appraisal].
《Menace Kyuzeroitz (First daughter of the Earl Kyuzeroitz household | Adventurer (A Rank) | 《Witch of Kyuzeroitz》 | 《 [Ruby〔of <Six Stars of the Dipper>〕》 | 《Combat Researcher》)
Speaking of <Six Stars of the Dipper>, I heard something about it at the adventurer’s guild in Fauno City.
It was a story about Chester-niisan assembling a party to go on a harpy extermination.
“Did you already finish dealing with the harpies?”
As I asked that,
“Yes. We had an easy time hunting them thanks to Chester-kun. And that’s why we are helping to search for the Nest, since we also get the opportunity to explore a harpies’ nest. ――But rather than that,”
Menace-san suddenly drew her face near me.
“As expected of Julia’s child, I found a worthy vessel. Hey, I wonder if it’s alright to witness your fighting on our way back?”
I wondered whether she was suspicious of me but,
“Ah, it’s because Menace-san has the temperament of a dao-seeker. She’s the kind of person who would leave <Six Stars of the Dipper> if all six of the strongest people were assembled because she finds it boring.”
Chester-niisan explained to me.
“After your mother retired, there was nobody worth competing against. I wonder if this child could become my rival?”
“Wait a second, Menace, what are you saying to a little child.”
Moria-san said, seemingly surprised.
“So, what will you do, Edgar. Will you come back to Fauno city with us like this?”
“No, although you went to the trouble, I’m staying here. I can’t afford to leave this place until I hand over the management of the Nest to the knights working under Dad.”
“Really…You are an unbelievably strong child. I wish my Miguel would also learn from you.”
While talking, Moria-san tapped Miguel’s head.
“――Miguel, you should go with Moria-san.”
“Is that okay? You’ll have a lot of trouble with the Nest from now on, right?”
“I’ll handle that somehow. It would be quite the pity to separate you from Moria-san again after such a long-awaited reunion.”
After I had a discussion with Moria-san and Menace-san about future matters, we split up once more.
Because Chester-niisan said that he would also remain, he, along with several of the adventurers who were following Menace-san set up camp outside the Nest.
I said I would prepare a place inside the Nest, but Chester-niisan said “I don’t want to provoke them” and rejected it, and the adventurers also declined it quite frankly saying “excuse us from staying in the headquarters of a religious assassination organisation”.
I understood their feelings so I didn’t say any unnecessary things.
Rather, their reaction was perfectly normal.
Thinking about the treatment that the ex-emissaries of <Yatagarasu> would receive from now on, I felt a heavy burden weighing on my shoulders rather than the joy from releasing them.