Chapter 28 – The Worst Reunion
“So you were alive”, said Katrina, surprised. What is she doing here While I was thinking that, Riley and his company walked up.
“Katrina, what are…” Riley was accompanied by a Servant I’d never seen before.
Riley was staring at me, utterly baffled.
“Brother… Is that really you”
“Yep, the one and only”, I replied with a sigh.
I really didn’t want to meet the people who’d tried to kill me.
“Look at you, living carefreely despite being a constant burden on the people around you.
You’re probably making someone else carry your weight even now aren’t you Getting money, food and shelter thanks to someone’s mercy right”, asked Katrina scornfully.
She sure isn’t mincing her words.
I suppose it’s too late to worry about keeping up appearances now. Interpreting my silence as affirmation, Katrina continued.
“I feel sorry for the person who has to look after you.
You should let them go.
It’s because I know how hard it is to constantly suffer you that I can say this.”
A burden huh.
“If that’s all you think of me, you can go on thinking the same for all I care.”, I shot back.
I didn’t want to say anything more to these people, so I turned around to leave.
“Brother!”, shouted Riley.
I turned back to face him.
With both his hands balled into fists, he was glaring at me.
“Do you have any idea of the ** I had to go through after…that I could no longer use any Ability properly!! You did something to me didn’t you!! It has to be that!! You’re the reincarnation of the scum of this world after all, I wouldn’t put cursing your own brother past you!”
If I were capable of something like that, I wouldn’t have had Mana Poisoning in the first place.
Even curses are a type of magic after all. I did something I guess I was supplying mana to him all that time.
Even then, he was the one using it.
“I didn’t do anything to you.”
Thanks to Riley raising his voice, the adventurers and knights around us turned their attention towards us.
Not noticing any of it, Riley continued his tirade.
“Katrina was right.
You’ve always been an unwelcome burden on us.
And even now you continue to encumber us in the form of a curse!! Looks like you’re able to move around on your own now.
In that case, you should atone for all that you’ve done to us!”
His face was flushed red and had a manic edge to it.
His words felt incoherent to me. If we’re talking of atonement, aren’t you the one who should be atoning for trying to kill me
“Riley, please calm down.”
But my brother needed to hear it.”
Riley then took a deep breath to calm himself.
Zoe began to pat his head comfortingly.
I thought he would shirk away from it, but he seemed quite happy to be patted like a child. She’s like his new mother, was the thought that popped into my head at that scene.
“Brother, dispel the curse that you’ve placed on me! I’m sure you’ve placed something similar on Katrina too!” When Katrina heard that, she was taken aback for a moment, but then she jumped on it.
Dispel my curse too.”
I scratched my head in response, finding the whole charade utterly moronic.
I put my hand into the magic bag and removed the Animium bracelet from it.
I decided to make the best of the situation and conduct an experiment.
The only one who noticed the magic tool was Zoe.
“A Magic Bag”
“What’s that”, asked Riley, tilting his head.
“A magic tool.
A very rare and valuable one at that.
“Why the hell do you have something like that!”, shouted Riley, cutting Zoe off.
I shook my head, exasperated with his antics.
“Ah, such an annoyance! Go ahead and see for yourself, the thing you call a curse must be gone now.”, I said, gripping the Animium bracelet in my fist and holding it out towards him.
Suppressing the fire attribute, I circulated only the mana coloured by the water attribute.
Frowning, Riley ordered Zoe to turn into a short sword.
“Water Blade.” Following his mutter, the short sword that was Zoe was enveloped by water.
When he swung in a direction free of bystanders, a water blade shot forward, a gigantic one at that.
“It’s back!! It’s finally back!!”
Riley was jubilant at the unexpected return of his water attribute.
I then suppressed the water attribute too.
The water enveloping Zoe disappeared, and his slashes fired only regular old magic blades.
“Huh… What’s… Brother, you cursed me aga…!!”
“It’s not a curse.
The Animium bracelets scatters my mana outside.
It means that you were just using my mana until now.
Riley, you never had the water attribute.”
“That’s!! LIES!! Stop lying!!”
I dropped the bracelet on the ground.
“Katrina, and… Zoe, was it You must have noticed it right The fact that Riley never had the water attribute.
No, I suppose Katrina wouldn’t have noticed it.
Zoe, you must have felt the abrupt drop in the amount of mana you have access to right”
Zoe returned to her human form, and despite looking unwilling, she nodded in assent.
“In short, it’s like this.
Until now, you simply believed that the mana scattered out was your own.
After killing me and letting me float the river, you no longer had my mana and couldn’t use magic because of that.
It was not a curse or anything like that.
It was simply the cards you were dealt at birth.
Now that you understand, leave me alone.”
I picked up the bracelet and returned it to my magic bag.
In that time, Riley was hanging his head muttering something to himself.
“Lies, it’s all just lies.
It has to be a curse.” Riley suddenly glared at me murderously.
“If it’s a curse, it should lift once the caster is killed.”
Hah, you’re trying to kill me again, I sighed internally.
He ordered Zoe to transform into a short sword again, but she hesitated.
“Why won’t you transform!”
“Riley, calm yourself.”
“As if I could!! If that’s how you’re going to be, Katrina!”
Katrina responded to his call immediately and turned into a sword.
The adventurers around us couldn’t watch silently any longer, and one of them called out.
“Oi! If you want to fight, go do it somewhere else.”
It was in that moment.
There was a huge sound in the forest, and monsters came rushing out.
Goblins, Green Wolves, and following them, two Treants.
It looked like the smaller monsters were running away from the Treants.
“Tch, there comes our day job.
Oi! You lot came here to fight right You should get ready!” Saying that, the adventurer brandished his Servant and stepped forward to face the monsters.
Riley thought for a moment and said, “Brother, let’s work together here.
First, you remove the curse.”
“Like I said, it’s not a curse.”
“Just listen! First, you remove the curse.
In return, I will protect you from these monsters.
Once we get through this, we can discuss the rest later.”
Scratching my head, I said, “Nah, I’ll refrain.
I don’t need to be protected.
Feel free to kill any monster you want though.”
“What the hell are…”
“Oi!! Incoming!!” The adventurer from before shouted to give us a heads up.
Looking ahead, I saw a green wolf rushing towards us. I guess it falls to me then.
Hah, so troublesome. “Brother, hurry!! Remove the curse! I’ll do the fighting! You can’t do anything right!”
I drew the iron sword hitched on my belt and enveloped it with flames.
“That’s…” Riley was dumbfounded at the sight.
I swung the flaming sword.
A huge blade of fire shot forward towards the Green Wolf, lighting up the entire vicinity.
The Green Wolf tried to stop its forward momentum, but it couldn’t dodge the flaming blade rushing towards it.
Yikes! That may be a touch over. Creating a large lump of water, I doused the burning Green Wolf with it.
As the fire went out with a hiss, only the blackened ground remained. All right, there shouldn’t be any problem now. I felt numerous stares on me as I was re-sheathing my sword.
“Hey, did you see that”
“What was with that size, and…”
“Did he just use two attributes Can a human really do that”
All the adventurers and knights were staring at me. You guys should really get back to work.
See There come the monsters. Riley was still in a daze, he didn’t respond even when waved my hand in front of his face.
“All right, see you Riley.
Though I doubt we’ll ever meet again.”
When I tried to depart, a man came running towards me.
While he seemed to be a guild official, he was built like an adventurer.
“You there! Hold up! Where are you going Join the front line!”
“I haven’t been hired for this though…”
“That doesn’t matter! If you’re wearing that, you’re an adventurer too right!”, shouted the man while pointing at the necklace I was wearing.
It was my copper adventurer tag. I should have had it on under my shirt.
I was captured mid-flight and dragged to the front line.
The guild official went as far as to use Body Strengthening to drag me there.
Still frozen, Riley was staring the smoking remains of the Green Wolf.
Joining the front line, I saw that they were having a hard time against the Treants.
One adventurer, who was probably a much higher rank, was holding back one of the Treants bravely with his archery combined with wind attribute Abilities.
The Treant’s movements were noticeably sluggish thanks to his efforts.
The other Treant, however, was going full tilt and mowing down adventurers by swinging its branches around.
“Do something about that one!”, pleaded the guild official, his brow beading with sweat under the stress.
“Um, I was really just passing by.”
“It’s fine! Please! We couldn’t field enough personnel in time! I promise I’ll give you a fitting reward.”
“Yeah, I am the Guild Master after all.
I’ll make sure that you get your reward!”
Checking around me, it looked like he really was the Guild Master. That’s a relief.
I am sure he’ll reward me for the Green Wolf too.
“How much are we talking here”
“If you defeat it, I’ll give you three times the going rate.”
“24,000 Luna for one Treant.”
That means it’s worth 8,000 Luna originally.
That’s about the same as the Red Grizzly.
Which would mean that it requires a Rank-B party to subjugate it.
Is he even aware of the crazy task he’s foisting on a Rank-D adventurer Then again, it was three times the reward…All right, let’s do this. I also wanted to try my hand against a Treant once more.
I began walking towards the rampaging Treant.