?Chapter 2 part1

“Please wait for a moment.” [Boy]

The boy said when we reached the cliff.

There wasnt anything around, so I thought he was waiting for another of his slimes, but to my surprise, the boy instead usedBreak Rock on the cliff up ahead to open a path.

“Here…” [Boy]

So this is the home the boy was talking about. It is indeed a sturdy cave that could shelter against beasts and monsters.

When we entered the cave, the boy put up a barrier behind us, making the cave even safer.

I didnt think hed know barrier magic. Its useful but its not something just anyone could use. In fact, Camil himself pointed that out.

“Is that barrier magic? You sure know some strange magic, boy. The effect of this barrier is concealment, right?” [Camil]

“Dont worry… Youll be able to… run anytime.” [Boy]

“I see… Thanks.” [Camil]

The boy nodded curtly, then he passed us and went deep into the cave.

“Hes pretty considerate.” [Reinhart]

“Indeed, Master Reinhart.” [Jill]

“Hey, youre going to get left behind.” [Zeff]

“Ahh, were going, were going.” [Jill]

When we entered the cave, we immediately noted that the walls and the floor had been properly leveled. The whole place was even furnished with furniture made of stone and wood, while magic stones set onto the walls illuminated the area.

“Wow…” [Jill]

“This is more homely than I thought.” [Reinhart]

“The wounded, lay him down, here…” [Boy]

“Sorry, Hyuzu. Were gonna have to put you down for a bit.” [Reinhart]

“R…Right…” [Hyuzu]

“Wait… Ill bring… potion…” [Boy]

After laying Hyuzu on the bed, I watched the boy as he went deeper into the cave.

“Well, in any case, with this we can finally relax a bit.” [Reinhart]

“The place is a lot better than expected. Hyuzu should be able to rest well.” [JIll]

“We owe him one.” [Reinhart]

“…” [Zeff]

Zeff had a grim look on his face as he examined the surroundings. Zeff was the most knowledgeable among the escorts when it came to stealth and traps, so hes been assigned as the scout. The fact that he was making a grim face could only mean…

“Zeff, is something wrong?” [Reinhart]

“Dont you think theres something odd about this place? Im not talking about traps. Im saying it feels like someone has been living in this place for a long time depsite there only being enough furniture for one person.” [Zeff]

It was normal for a camp to have little furnishing, but a map could be seen laid out on one of the walls here. There were even drawings of the different animals and a musical instrument at the corner of the room.

Although the room looked dreary, it felt just like a kids room. Moreover, just as Zeff had mentioned, theres only enough furnishing for one person. Its strange indeed.

“Is that boy living here all by himself?” [Reinhart]

“No way. Sure, I was surprised to see him use familiar magic, barrier magic, and even earth magic, but no child could normally live by himself out here in a forest like this. Theres probably someone else here.” [Camil]

“Or he could be older than he looks. For example, if he were an elf…” [Jill]

As Camil and Jill conversed, the boy came back with a slime carrying a lot of potions.

“Potions.” [Boy]

“Thank you. Ill definitely repay this debt one day.” [Reinhart]

“Dont mind… I can make them, so… Take as much… as you need.” [Boy]

When the boy said that, we all looked at each other in silent shock. The first to exclaim out loud was Camil.

“You made these!?” [Camil]

The boy flinched for a moment at Camils sudden outburst, but he quickly nodded his head to answer. Camils reaction was a bit over the top, but the boys potion was indeed comparable to the ones sold in the stores. This boy is getting more mysterious by the second.

“Water.” [Boy]

While I was thinking to myself, the boy offered me a stone cup. It was filled with water generated through magic. It was chilled just right.

“Thanks.” [Reinhart]

“Thank you.” [Jill]

“Thanks, boy.” [Camil]

“Thank you.” [Zeff]

“Oh…” [Boy]

“Hmm? Something wrong?” [Reinhart]

“Name… Ryouma…” [Boy]

Oh, right. We havent introduced ourselves yet.

“So your name is Ryouma. Please excuse my belated introduction, I am Reinhart Jamil, the feudal lord of the Ducal Household of Jamil. I thank you for aiding me during my subordinates difficult period.” [Reinhart]

“Duca-!? Please excuse my manners!” [Ryouma]

I tried to speak as gently as possible to avoid scaring him, but the moment I named myself, he stiffened up and bowed deeply. What was surprising was that his movements were much more refined despite his difficulty in talking.

“Please stand up. You are my benefactor. You dont have to be formal with me.” [Reinhart]

It seems he didnt know I was from a dukes household. He lifted up his face just as I asked him, but unfortunately, he stopped talking.

I dont really mind, though; good grief…

Chapter 2 part2

As I was thinking that, Camil and the others chatted with him.“Umm… Im Camil. Im a magician employed by Master Reinhart to protect him. Nice to meet you. And really, thank you for helping us. I was out of mana and couldnt heal, so if you hadnt come then, Hyuzu might have… Ah, Hyuzu is the name of the guy sleeping.

You really dont have to worry about how you talk. Master Reinhart isnt someone whod care about that sort of stuff.” [Camil]

“In fact, he doesnt even mind people like us. Im Zeff by the way. Im the scout of the group. Nice to meet you, kid.” [Zeff]

“Im Jill. Sorry for pointing my sword at you awhile ago.” [Jill]

“Its ok… Its normal… to be on guard.” [Ryouma]

“Thanks for understanding. Im also a noble, and I dont think theres anything wrong with the way youve been behaving. Master Reinhart is a generous person, so you can just act normal around him.” [Jill]

“Thank you.” [Ryouma]

Camil, Zeff, and even Jill, who wasnt used to kids, softened their voices as much as they could to not scare the boy.

The boy thought for a moment, then he spoke.

Though his face was still a little grim, his countenance has improved.

He still talks a bit stiff, but at least hes a lot more relaxed now.

“Im the one who should be thanking you. After all, you gave us a place to rest and even treated my guard.” [Reinhart]

“No problem, but why?” [Ryouma]

Is he asking me why Hyuzu was injured? Or is he asking me why we came to the forest? Come to think of it, I havent explained anything, have I?

“We were supposed to go to the town of Gaunago, where my house is, but along the way, near this forest, we were attacked by some bandits.” [Reinhart]

“Suffered much?” [Ryouma]

“No, there were quite a bit of them, but they werent particularly strong. They mustve thought they could overpower us because of their numberis, but what they didnt know is that my guards werent pushovers. What did Hyuzu in was a black bear that came out during the battle.” [Reinhart]

“Hyuzus bad luck had him attacked in the middle of a melee.” [Jill]

“We managed to defeat it in the end, but the horses ran away. Hyuzus wounds were also a lot worse than expected, so we tried to get to the village as quickly as possible. Normally, we would go around the forest, but with things as they were, we figured wed just go through it.” [Camil]

Everyone nodded as we explained our predicament. Since the conversation has progressed like this, I think Ill take this opportunity to ask my own questions.

“Speaking of which, what is a boy like you doing living here? I heard you mention that you were hunting, but it seems to me that youve been living in this house for quite a while. Moreover, the fact that youre able to hunt at your age, use various magic, and even make potions is really not normal. Quite frankly, its shocking.” [Reinhart]

“I learned from… grandparents… Former adventurers.” [Ryouma]

Oh? So, his grandparents were adventurers.

“They… passed away.” [Ryouma]

“Sorry.” [Reinhart]

“Its ok. Its been… 3 years… already.” [Ryouma]

“3 years!?” [Reinhart and Co.]

“How long have you been living here!?” [Reinhart]

“I left… village 3 years ago… I am… an outsider, so they… hated me.” [Ryouma]

Was he at an exclusive village? I know some places can be really cruel, but still…

“Before they died… grandparents told me… to go to another town…” [Ryouma]

Apparently, he wasnt good at dealing with other people, so he wandered by himself, relying only on the skills he learned from his grandparents, until one day, he happened upon this forest. Since then he hasnt exited this forest once. Meaning he hasnt talked to another person for three years.

“I understand the situation now, but I cant recommend this sort of lifestyle. There are strong beasts and monsters living in the forest. Even if you say you have the ability to survive, its too dangerous.” [Reinhart]

“Its ok. I survived… for 3 years.” [Ryouma]

“But!” [Reinhart]

“I know! Wait just one moment!” [Camil]

Camil suddenly interjected, then he took out a small crystal from his bag.

“Found it! Look!” [Camil]

“What… is that?” [Ryouma]

“This is a small crystal of evaluation! If we use this, well be able to find out your identity and your four highest skills. Moreover, a person whos committed a crime will make this crystal turn red, otherwise, the crystal will shine a blue light. After the light comes out, the name, race, and the four skills will be shown. If you have a high level combat skill, then I wont say any more.” [Camil]

I see, so hes going the persuade him by showing him that hes lacking.

“Al…right.” [Ryouma]

As he said that, he reached for the crystal ball, but before he could touch it, he suddenly asked.

“I was attacked… by bandits, so… I killed them… is that a crime?” [Ryouma]

“If those were really bandits, then there wont be any problem.” [Camil]

At that, the boy finally touched the crystal, and a blue light shone from it.

The crystal wasnt really meant to distinguish between criminals, but seeing that the boy is innocent puts my heart at ease.

As I thought that, I glanced at Camil, but for some reason, his countenance had gone pale.

“W-What is this?” [Camil]

“Whats wro…!?” [Jill]

Jill took a peek at the crystal from behind.

As soon as he did, he gulped.

Curious, me and Zeff took a peek at the crystal ourselves.

The problem was the listed skills.

Shown Skills:

Domestic Chores Lv10

Mental Resistance Lv9

Physical Resistance Lv8

Health Lv7

Whats with those levels!? TheDomestic Chores skill is ok, since thereve been plenty of precedents before this one, but he actually has mental res., physical res., and health, and every one of them is at least Lv7 up? What hell of a life has this boy been living to get these so high? Hes 11 years-old, isnt he? That would mean he was 8 years-old when he started living here.

“Something… wrong?” [Ryouma]

“A-Ah… Unfortunately, no combat skill showed up…” [Camil]

Is that the problem!? I thought, almost yelling it out.

When I glanced at Camil, I noticed that the other guards had the same reaction.

A battle of stares commenced between us, but in the end, no one was willing to pursue the subject.

The reason behind our reaction was of course because of the fact that pain resistance was something one could only learn through pain. The fact that his level of resistance was so high meant that he mustve suffered through unimaginable pain. Im sure there are a lot of things he doesnt want to remember. If we broach the subject poorly, well just cause the boy more pain.

There are a lot of questions left, but I think well stop here for now.

“Sorry, can I borrow your toilet?” [Reinhart]

“Id like to go too.” [Jill]

“Me too.” [Zeff]

“The toilet is inside… There are a lot… of slimes… Dont worry… They wont attack…” [Ryouma]

“Dont worry. Im a former tamer too. I wont hurt your familiars.” [Reinhart]

Like this we left Camil to take care of Hyuzu, but who wouldve thought that byslimes he meant this?

“Wow…” [Zeff]

“You said it… I dont think Ive seen so many slimes in one place.” [Jill]

Countless slimes crept freely in the hallway. Ryouma had to order them to make way for us, as otherwise we wouldnt be able to pass without stepping on one.

The number of familiars one could contract varied from person to person. The stronger the monster, the less one could normally control. Slime is the weakest monster, so following that logic, it should stand to reason that one would be able to contract a respectable number of slimes, but this… Did he actually contract all these?

“Ryouma-kun, are all of these slimes your familiars?” [Reinhart]

“Yes. Theyre… for research.” [Ryouma]

“Research?” [Reinhart]

“Slime evolution.” [Ryouma]

Come to think of it, the slimes creeping in the area arent just normal slimes. There are sticky slimes, poison slimes, and those are probably acid slimes… As for those two, I dont even know what kind of slime they are. They must be a higher variation too.

Slimes live everywhere, so Im sure you could find these variants somewhere, but there has never been any reports of such sightings in this forest.

Just as Jill said, I have also never seen this many slimes in one place.

“Monster evolution is an important topic to conjurers and monster tamers alike, and the fact that youre doing such research at youre age is nothing short of extraordinary, but its a pity that theyre all slimes.” [Reinhart]

“Are slimes… no good?” [Ryouma]

Personally, I hold his abilities in high esteem. The fact that he was able to gather so many advanced classes and contract them all speaks of his abilities, but unfortunately, the world doesnt look kindly to slimes.

“Frankly speaking, slimes are weak even after evolution. Monster tamers and conjurers mainly use them to study the basic, and aside from that, they dont have any value.

Which is why most monster tamers throw them away after learning the basics. Usually, they would contract a horn rabbit next. At the very least, horn rabbits are cute, so they can at least be treated like a pet.” [Reinhart]

“The world is a cruel place…” [Ryouma]

Is that soemthing an 11-year-old would say?

“Of course, not all monster tamers think the same way. At the very least, no one can make light of a poison slimes poison or an acid slimes acid. Those are even stronger than a horn rabbit.” [Reinhart]

“Slimes… Convenient… useful…” [Ryouma]

I thought hed feel down after telling him how little the world thought of slimes, but he doesnt seem to mind at all. Normally, children his age want to be recognized by others.

His lineage is a mystery, but I dont think hes dangerous. If anything, hes a good kid. After all, he helped us in our time of need. Hes definitely not a normal kid, though. But in any case, I want to help him.

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