13-03-2016: Edited with help from Kire
21-07-2016: Thanks to Ziru for spotting all my errors ;v;
Youth, Meeting with a little girl
A young man was walking inside a thick forest.
Despite the fact that the sun is still up, this untouched, natural forest is creepily dim. There is nothing that can be heard apart from the occasional cawing of the birds. It was a place where a strong, oppressive presence was floating around.
He distorted his face, looking extremely unpleasant and looked at his lowered sword.
“Ahh… damn it”
He brushes the sword against the nearby grass as he curses. Terribly smelling mucus was stuck on it.
“There’s a reason why no one wants to do this job…. Geez, guess I’ll go wash off before I go back”
Seeing that the mucus is sticking to even his own leather coat, he looked even more painful.
He arrived just a moment ago, having accepted the subjugation request for the frog-like magic beasts who had breeded massively within this forest. Getting rid of them wasn’t too hard of a task. For him who has a certain level of confidence regarding how he handles his weapons as well as his magic, the troublesome part was how long the round trip from the forest took.
“It was a connecting quest that I took because I had time until the next request but… I failed huh….”
He drops his shoulders, mixing in a sigh as he listens to the sticky, bisha bisha, sound of his own footsteps treading on the grass.
The biggest reason as to why he took this job was the fact that the round trip distance was a day trip from the town that he is using as his current base of operations. He cursed himself for having made such a simple minded decision.
The job itself was nothing special.
For him, finding as well as exterminating the Coronee that are spawning inside the forest, was a simple task.
If only he isn’t covered in their body juices, as well as the mucus they vomited out.
With regards to that terribly bad smell, his sole salvation was probably that his sense of smell was numbed early on.
However, if he returns to town like this then most likely, even his acquaintance of a gatekeeper would frown.
In the town that he was currently using as his base of operations, he had become a reasonably famous character. In this country turning 18 is considered the age to be an adult but, in his hometown, they treat 15 years old as the coming of age. He, who had decided this line of work to be his livelihood since that time, along with several years of achievements, was being marketed as a young fellow who shouldn’t be made light of.
Black hair with some brown mixed in, a long coat made of magic beast leather, a magic gauntlet on his left hand. It was to the point where if you mention the above outer features, the name Dale Reki would come to mind.
<”Oh Water, the origin of my name commands thee, hear my voice 《Search : Water》”>
Chanting a spell, he uses his magic. The presence of magic suddenly strengthened, changing into a course of water in which Dale pushed himself through an animal trail.
In the field of vision that opened up in front of him, a small stream was flowing. Finding what he was looking for, all the tension left from Dale’s face.
Taking off his coat, he drenches it in the running water. It was the only good suit that the magic-bearing him had, but there was just too much mucus running on it. The coat repels water so it dries immediately. Dale hangs it up on a nearby branch.
He thinks for a little while.
Looking over his body then confirming once again, he was again reminded of the discomfort he felt from the stink and mucus. Thinking that he might as well clean himself properly, he takes off his tunic which was made to block blades.
Dale, who understood that the level of magic beasts and wild animals that resided in the forest would be no threat to him, casually acted as stated.
His coat was dry but, his pants and tunic were dripping wet. Reviving the campfire, Dale spread out his coat over his waist as a form of underwear before grilling the river fish that he caught whilst he was bathing in the cold water.
Around when a savoury smell was drifting around the area, his clothes were also mostly dry. Dale quickly gets dressed as he takes notice of the fish. Obviously he wasn’t shameless enough to be able to enjoy a meal in this kind of place in nothing but underwear.
Dale thought that it was some small animal that came, attracted by the smell, but as he moved his eyes over to there, he found himself lost for words.
A very young child, from the opposite side of the thicket was watching him.
A small head was slightly peeking out of the thicket.
Dale was, firstly, surprised that he had read the presence wrong.
Secondly, it was a young child but, it confused him seeing that such a small child was wondering around in this forest inhabited with monsters. There shouldn’t be a village in the surrounding vicinity is what he thought, then he noticed that.
The child was endowed with a round, coiled up black horn on the side of her head.
(‘Demon race’ huh… How troublesome…)
He clicks his tongue internally.
Even among the existing 7 ‘races’, they held the most power, and being unsociable, they treated the other races as enemies. The special physical characteristic of the ‘Demon Race’ were the horns they had on the side of their heads.
(Should I kill it…?)
That would be quick and easy as well.
It’s nothing but a sign of trouble.
Dale takes grip of the handle of the sword he was holding — and let go.
He had just washed himself after all, he didn’t want to be bathed in a blood spray.
It seemed to be a passing thought but, it was a straight forward reason.
The kid was looking at him intently with its large grey pupils, at an angle where it felt like it would tip over and fall.
Having released the sword, Dale cools down so that he could observe the kid. Noticing the reason for the uncomfortable feeling that he felt when he first saw it.
One of this kid’s horns, was broken off from it’s root.
(Oi oi… This kid, was she a criminal…?)
Dale who was taken aback, made a face that seemed to think even himself was stupid.
It was something he had heard from some adventurer friends, one of the customs of the Demon race.
—The Demon race think of their 『Horn』, the symbol of their race as a holy object. That’s why, those who commit a crime, are exiled with one of their horns snapped off as punishment—
(Authors note: The story couldn’t progress as far as i thought but… i think i’ll keep on writing like this.)