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Chapter 18 : Communication Starts With The First Step

 

「A… Aha ha…」

Sara made a face like “Oops…”

The boy was just looking at Sara from top to bottom.

「You look a little dirty, but that fine clothes… and clean hands… You… Are you a boy from a wealthy family or something?」

“How rude calling me a boy, our ages are not even that far apart” Sara thought.
Well, she was wearing a boy’s clothes, so of course he would be thinking Sara was a boy.

But Sara decided to answer him honestly.

「I’m not a wealthy boy. I lived with a kind onee-chan in a place far away from this town. She usually will come back in three days after going to Roza Town, but she hasn’t come back for quite a while」

「You worried about her and came here to look for her?」

「Un」

「What’s her name?」

「Nelly」

「Nelly, huh…」

After thinking for a moment, he then muttered, “I’ve never heard of that name”, in a low voice.

「There are a lot of people going in and out of Roza Town. The only ones who stay are inhabitants and strong people who make a living in the dungeon. So if Nelly is often visiting Roza, maybe there’s someone who knows her here. I’m just coming here so I’m not familiar」

「I see… Thank you anyway」

Sara thought she still had hope.
She was sure she would find her right away because Nelly was strong.

「Here, the money」

Sara stretched out her hand and took the money.

「But, you…」

「Allen. My name is Allen」

「But, Allen, didn’t you hungry because you didn’t have money?」

「Well…That’s not actually true, but…」

Allen scratched his head.

「Actually, I’m 12 years oldー」

Oh, he’s at the same age. Sara was somewhat happy.

「But. First, let me ask you again. Are you really not in pain or feeling suffocated?」

「Not at all」

「If that’s so, I can talk to you without worrying then. Can I sit next to you?」

「Sure」

Sara got out of the box barrier and sat down.
Allen sat next to Sara. He looked happy for some reason.

「What’s your name?」

「I’m Sara」

「Sara…..? Ah, never mind. Actually I wasー」

Allen started to tell his story.

Both of his parents died so early, and he was taken over by his uncle from mother’s side.
His uncle was a strong magician who had a lot of mana and had been traveling to various dungeons.

「My uncle bought this storage pouch for me when I was still 11. He said, “when you become 12, let’s go to dungeons together!”」

Sara now understood. That’s why despite his appearance that looked like a beggar, he had a storage pouch.

「But my uncle was too naive. Because he had a lot of magical power, he thought he didn’t need to protect himself, but he wasn’t very smart」

From Allen’s expression, Sara could tell how much he loved his uncle.

「Because he was naive, he was deceived by someone. They put my uncle in debt. Then we came to Roza to make money, but… he died in the dungeon」

Sara heard from Nelly that hunter was a dangerous job where you always fight monsters.

「The last money he had before he died was enough to pay the debt… He only left me this pouch, apart from this pouch, was nothing but memories」

But then Sara wondered how he lived until now.

「That was about two months ago. Since my uncle left me, I have been doing random jobs in town, and stayed outside the town so I don’t have to pay for an inn. I don’t have to worry about the rain as long as I’m inside the town barrier, I also managed to get food. But now that I’m 12, I want to join the guild, so I try to save money as much as I can to pay the registration in the guild. That’s why I have money. I just don’t wanna spend it」

Allen laughed light-heartedly. Maybe because his food expenses tonight was cheap.

「If I join the guild, I can live in town, I also can enter the dungeon」

「Dungeon… Isn’t it dangerous?」

「The monsters on the lower floors are weak. If it’s only for buying food, going to the lowest floor is enough. Actually, I have quite a lot of magical power, and I can use body strengthening skills」

「Heeー I see」

「You…」

Allen looked at Sara with pity.

「You really don’t know anything, huh」

「Uuu….」

Well, it’s true that she didn’t know anything.
And Sara was glad that she got various information with just one lunch box.
Besides, she was lonely. She didn’t think talking with someone could relieve her heart and mind.

「If you have a lot of magical power, you will give some pressure when you talk to someone with less magical power. When I was still with my uncle, I always talked to him without problems. But now, when I am working in town, I always avoid talking to people」

Originally, he seemed to be a cheerful child.
When he saw the light from Sara’s camping light, he must be approaching Sara because he was lonely.

「By the way, the guild registration fee is 100,000 gils. For a twelve-year-old kid, it’s just too much. It’s hard to earn so much money 」

「100,000 gils!? Seriously!?」

「Oh? Do you wanna join the guild too? Ah, of course, huh. You need to register to the guild to get an ID」

「Un. I planned to do that, but… I don’t have money… Uhh…… It can’t be helped. I guess I have no choice but to collect more herbs」

Actually, the amount of herbs Sara had now was enough to pay the registration fee.
However, she didn’t think she could make money in the dungeon, so, even if she got an ID card, she had no choice but to sell herbs to make a living.

「Herbs? I think that would be difficult. I heard they rarely grow around here. Many people took the trouble to going to the south just for collecting herbs, you know?」

「Is that so? But there are a lot of them growing there tho?」

「Eh!?」

「Hm?」

Sara and Allen looked at each other.

「Sara, are you knowledgeable about herbs?」

「Well, just a little. I only know about herbs on the herbs catalogue」

「Well thenー」

Allen made a bright look and saidー

「I’ll show you around the town. Also, I’ll teach you about money and everything. So, can you teach me how to collect herbs? My savings almost reach 100,000 gils, it’s about 20,000 gils left, and then I can register to the guild!」

「Sure, I’ll teach you how to collect herbs」

「Really!? Thank you!」

Like she said, Sara learned about herbs only from the herbs catalogue.
She wasn’t sure if it’s okay to teach someone with only such knowledge.

「Alright then, I think I’ll go back. You too, go back to your barrier and sleep」

「Okay」

「See you tomorrow! And good night! Ah, don’t forget to turn off the light!」

「Okay! Good night!」

Nelly, It seems I made a friend.

Thought Sara while looking up at the night sky.

She felt like the stars seen from the town looked the same as from the hut on the Demon Mountain.

 

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