Chapter 4 And so, the Girl Gained Strength.
Three people with capable strength gathered to raise the fame of Bart von Mangosch, the third son of an Earl.
The leader of the party, the ace from the top clan of the guild, Orgo Gasdley
The healing and support specialist of the party, a priest of Arum Church, Port Salvator
The genius who was while only fifteen years old, she acquired the highest class flame magic, Aries Airith
And also, a girl who joined the party as the condition stated by Aries (so Aries would join the party), her best friend who was also a luggage carrier, Rino Broomwind.
Everyone, who was there couldn’t believe the sight that Aries witnessed.
The death of Berseros with its head severed from its body.
The one who defeated the infamous evil dragon was a little girl who should have been without any strength to join the combat, the luggage carrier, Rino.
「Well then, it’s been a few hundred years since I’ve exercised so I’m tired. I’ll rest for a bit, okay? See ya! 」
『Eh? What do you mean by “rest”… whoah! 』
Her consciousness was expelled from the pendant.
Towards the pendant, Rino’s consciousness was replaced with Ryna’s, and then…
「Ah… I’m back」
I’ve returned to my body. A body I’m familiar with.
It’s a body I should’ve been used to, yet my body feels lighter.
I don’t even feel the weight of the sword in my hand; it feels like I’m just holding a feather.
My strength, my physical strength has increased.
「Rino-san, I can’t believe you’ve defeated it! 」
「Seems like you’re not injured whatsoever…」
「Ah, everyone, I’m sorry to make you all worried.」
「Phew, I’m glad; you’re back to your usual self, Rino. I was worried because you acted like someone else. What happened? What’s with that power just now…? 」
「Ahaha, I’ll tell everyone but it will be a long story.」
After receiving her backpack from Aries, she explained what happened after she got out of the battlefield to bring back Bart.
When she told them about when she fell into the hole, Aries clearly released massive killing intent to the surrounding. And then, she told them about the necklace.
To be honest, Reno didn’t understand it herself, so her explanation was rather vague.
「I see…. So that necklace is a magic item and it gave Rino that power. Is that right? 」
「Yes, more or less… I think…. Emm, Aries-chan. Your face is scaring me.」
「That trash, I’ll definitely kill him. I’ll burn him with my <<Grand Cremation>>」
「Even though he’s like that, he’s a noble, you know! You’ll get thrown into the jail, if you do that! 」
A dragon’s body couldn’t be used as material.
As soon as it dies, the body will decompose rapidly, its scales would turn fragile as if its toughness before was a lie.
Therefore, it’s a custom to only cut its horn as the proof of subjugation and leave the dead body as it is.
After Rino stored the horn, they retreated from the dungeon. On their way back, in the labyrinth’s 25th floor.
「Wha-… all of you! How the f*ck did you all got away from that place!?」
They unexpectedly came across a person who was the center of the problem.
「Oy, you rotten sh*thead. How dare you tried to kill Rino! 」
As soon as Aries saw Bart, without any chit-chat she raged at him with words that nobody have ever heard coming out of her mouth while pointed her staff at him.
「Aries, don’t do that! Look, I’m alive right now, see? Just let it slide for now.」
「Aah! Why the hell are you not dead, luggage carrier?!!」
「…What a despicable man.」
What Bart said was as if he admitted that he intentionally tried to kill Rino.
In front of the “Hero”, Orgo directed his disdain to him.
「We didn’t run away, Bart-san. The Evil Dragon Berseros has been defeated.」
Bart was surprised at Port’s answer but then his expression changed into a smile.
「…And you f*cker means that, it’d be my achievement, right! 」
He began to claim the achievement for himself.
「What do you mean… You didn’t even lift a finger, only there just to run away…! 」
「Haah? And then what? The dragon was killed deep inside the dungeon, and f*ckin’ nobody saw that. The great me who is a noble and all of you the adventurers I hired! Everyone would believe my words rather than your bullsh*t! 」
「But, the one who killed the dragon was —」
「It’s enough, Orgo-san, Port-san.」
When it looked like another dispute would arise, Rino stopped them. Even if they tried to state the truth, that man would just use his political position as shield and easily end the dispute.
「It’s useless talking to this man. We’re just going to tire ourselves if we face him, let’s just go.」
Even if the one who was truly killed the dragon says that, the two men who defended her couldn’t help but withdraw from the conflict. They swallowed every word they wanted to say.
「Hee.. Nice assist you’ve done there, luggage carrier! So you can be useful too, huh? 」
Bart put his hand on Rino’s shoulder with a whack. Rino grabbed that hand easily, twisted and lifted that hand with anger.
「Wh-… It hurts, it hurts, dammit! Why the f*ck is this brat……! 」
「If you touch me again, I will break your hand」
She released her grip and glared at him.
With such force, Bart was pushed back and he retreated while grumbling his dissatisfaction.
(So that feeling when I wielded the sword wasn’t just my imagination. Is it thanks to the pendant?)
Increase in physical strength. Was it the effect of being connected with Ryna before? Nevertheless, Rino felt a little satisfied when she looked at Bart’s figure with his hand injured.
Of course, even breaking his arm was not an equal compensation for her to forgive his attempted murder.
A week later, the group was getting out from the great labyrinth with dangerous atmosphere around them due to Bart’s action.
After that, it would be two weeks away from the Capital and they would disband the party.
In two weeks, Rino would be separated from Orgo and Port. That somehow made her lonely.
However, in those two weeks, Bart would also be there and she wants the journey to end as soon as possible. Rino was embraced by such a complex feeling.
On the way to the Capital, they set up a camp and everyone dined meals that Rino made.
Rino and Aries entered the same tent together as they’re the only female members of the party.
「It’s been a week. I didn’t hear her voice at all」
「…voice? That ghost’s voice from the pendant?」
Aries who took off her witch hat—showing her short hair, short enough that it wasn’t reach her shoulder—asked Rino.
Rino thought that although her hair’s length was the same, somehow the silkiness of their hair felt completely different.
White hair, white skin, red eyes, she was just like a doll.
Even Rino sometimes had her heart skipped a beat when seeing her even if they’re both female.
「Yeah, that was… the ghost-san, I think? After the battle, she said she’d rest for a little but she didn’t say anything ever since. 」
「Don’t you think that she’s dead? 」
「I don’t think she is…」
This childhood friend of mine, sometimes she says some extreme things.
Rino and Aries came from the same village, a village on mountainous area far north from the Capital.
In contrast to Aries who was an introvert, Rino was an active child since her childhood so Aries has always been pulled by Rino (to play outside and such).
Once aimed to become a splendid adventurer, Rino’s life was turned upside down when she was blessed with her two skills.
Both of them are not combat-oriented skill.
As expected, the physical strength that she should have been acquired alongside the skills was just so slight.
On the other hand, skills that Aries got was, double-attribute magic manipulation 【Water-Flame】 and magic power heightening skill, 【Magic Boost】
The once introverted girl gained the confidence and the ability to support it.
And the girl who once was the one pulled around became the one who desperately chase her (the introverted girl) so she won’t be left behind instead.
「You know, I was really surprised, that the Rino I knew was able to defeat the Evil Dragon」
「I’m surprised too, you know! In the first place, is it okay to say that she is me…? 」
『Well, you can’t really say that— It was because of my power after all』
「WHOAH! It talked! 」
Suddenly a voice echoed inside her head.
Rino jumped from her seiza sitting position out of surprise.
(T/N. Seiza, a “correct” sitting position, kneeling with top of the feet flat on the floor, and sitting on the soles.)
「Eh, what happened, Rino? Why did you suddenly raised your voice? Did you hit your head? 」
「My head didn’t hit anything, you saw it yourself, didn’t you?… Not about that, Aries-chan, you didn’t hear that? 」
「I heard nothing but your voice, Rino.」
『Rino…was it? Our minds have been synchronized so no one could hear me except you』
「I-I see… So nobody could hear it…」
Reynolude’s voice can only be heard by me.
In other words, if I were talking to Ryna, then it would seemed like I was an odd person who were talking with air.
Realized the frightening truth, Rino held her head.