Chapter 6 – Departure
On the next morning, after finishing all my preparations, I was now standing in front of the cliff.
I have done everything I could. I used the Storage skill to store plenty of medicinal herbs, as well as nuts and fruits that I could eat.
I also stored the stones I used to write the theory of magic circles with as well.
The wall that I created to sleep without being bothered by the wind was demolished, and the location was returned to as close to its original state as possible.
I don’t think anyone will be coming here, but it doesn’t hurt to remove the traces that I was here.
And now that this is all done, all that is left is to jump over the cliff with magic. Aria was currently on my shoulder, and I don’t think there is anything that I could have forgotten about.
“So, shall we go?” Aria asked me.
“Yes, let’s jump.” I replied.
Just like yesterday, I concentrated magic on my feet.
Yesterday I jumped a bit too high, so let’s hold back on the magical power consumption a bit.
I bent my knees to gain momentum, activated my magic, then jumped.
Perhaps because I gained momentum this time around, but even after suppressing the magical power consumption, I still ended up jumping as high as last time.
If I don’t improve on the power-control aspect, it may be hard to use this spell on future occasions due to how high it sends me…
Well, for now, it can’t be helped. Let’s just make the most of this incredibly high jump.
I started using wind magic to push me forward while I was mid-air. My goal was the road that was past the forest. The road that was on the opposite end of the forest than the village I was born at.
It’s not that I don’t care about the village anymore, but going there will only create confusion and make me suffer, and I don’t want to suffer any more.
So, I glided over the forest, and landed softly once I ran out of momentum.
As expected, I couldn’t fly all the way past the forest, but I should be able to reach the road after less than a day walking.
“That was quite thrilling, wasn’t it?” Aria said.
She was clinging to my hair until just now, but she resumed flight with her own wings once we landed.
I hadn’t been in this forest in quite a while, so I had forgotten how dense it was. The sky was covered with vivid green leaves, and only small bits of sunlight could reach the lower foliage.
I took a deep breath. The scent of the forest filled my lungs and made me feel the richness of nature.
“Haku, have you decided where you’re going?” Aria asked me.
“For now, let’s go to a town.” I replied.
For children who live in villages, town were places that we longed for. They were places where adventurers, who were the heroes of the villages, gathered together.
The life in towns was expected to be incredibly different to what the humble daily life at a village was, to the point that we had a hard time actually imagining what town life was like.
I was abandoned by my family and almost died, so it’s now up to me to decide what my future will be like. I’ll live in the way that I want to.
“I’ll follow you wherever you want to go.” Aria told me.
“Thank you, Aria.” I replied.
It was very comforting to hear those words. There weren’t many things that I was currently worrying about, but troubling Aria was definitely one of my top worries.
I’m heavily indebted to her, so in order to repay her for all that she has done for me, I cannot afford to be a bother to her. I need to be someone she can rely on.
In any case, I started walking through the forest and… It was much harder than I thought it would be.
I suppose it makes sense, since I lived this past year basically only on fruits and nuts, and I have hardly walked for anything other than magic research, so my body is completely stiff right now.
I guess I should have exercised more over this past year…
The route, that I thought would take less than a day to go through, ended up being surprisingly long, so I had to spend a night in the forest.
On the next day, I still felt my muscles being quite sore, but I continued my walk towards the road that was right outside the forest.
I’ve been to the forest several times before, but I had never been this deep up till now.
As I looked around the forest while I walked, I ended up finding quite a few fruits, mushrooms and medicinal herbs that I had never seen before, so I collected them all with Storage.
I mean, they might be useful for something, so there is no point in not taking them with me when I can.
But then, Aria suddenly stopped me, “Wait, there’s a monster.”
“Eeh?” I replied.
Aria then told me to use detection magic, which is a wind-element spell that allowed me to feel the magical power in my surroundings.
And after activating it, I noticed that there was… A rabbit? A rabbit monster though, so maybe a horned rabbit? They’re fairly common monsters that can appear basically anywhere, so that might be it.
And as they have a pretty high fertility, they’re usually seen in groups of several dozens. They’re also edible and were seen as a small delicacy back in the village.
This one seems to be alone though, could it have strayed from its group?
“Hey, since this is a rare chance, why don’t you try hunting it?” Aria asked me.
Hunt it? I mean, I sure am tired of living on only fruits and nuts, so getting some meat would be nice.
And a horned rabbit is a fairly weak monster, so now that I can use magic, I think it might actually be possible for me to beat it?
Okay, let’s do it.
Once I made my mind up, I carefully and quietly approached it. The rabbit didn’t seem to have noticed me yet, and it isn’t moving right now, so… I can do it.
I slowly raised my arm and, once my hand was aligned with the rabbit, I activated a spell.
The memorized magic circle appeared, and a sharp water blade was deployed, quickly flying towards and decapitating the horned rabbit.
“… That ended quickly.” I commented.
“Well, for someone who can use magic as well as you do, a horned rabbit is nothing.” Aria replied.
Is that how it is?
Well, I put the horned rabbit in my Storage, then tilted my head as I realized that this was the end of it.
Wait, no, don’t let your guard down. I had the initiative this time around, but things won’t always be like this. I can’t get full of myself.
But well, after that one encounter, I was able to pass through the forest without finding any other monsters.
The breeze outside the forest was quite comfortable, and now the road was right in front of me.
Well, where do I go now…? “Aria, do you know where to find a town?”
“Any way is fine for that, but the nearest town is to the right.” Aria replied.
“I see, then let’s go to the right.” I decided.
And so, I started walking alongside the road.
Perhaps because I had been in the forest until just now, the sunshine felt a bit too dazzling to me.
Though this was also the first time I had been to a place like this one, so I was a bit excited. It’s almost like I’m on an excursion.
It’s not like there is anything special about it, but it’s still fun to walk through places you don’t know.
However… This feeling didn’t last for long.
After just three hours of walking through the road, I ended up getting incredibly tired of the unchanging scenery. Moreover, I was in pain too.
I didn’t realize my lack of exercise could be such a curse…
It would be nice if there was some food that could recover fatigue… Could there be anything in my Storage?
I looked at it for a bit, then found a mushroom that I picked in the forest. According to my Appraisal, this mushroom had a fatigue-recovering effect.
I became a bit happy after seeing that. At first Appraisal only told me the name of things, but with steady work on improving my skills, I could now understand the effects and the quality of the appraised item. This was quite convenient.
However, raw mushrooms didn’t taste that good, so let’s grill those first before I eat them.
I sat down in a suitable place and started lightly heating it up with fire magic. I decided to use this as a break opportunity too, so I took my time.
Once it was nicely grilled, I took a bite and… Yep, it’s crunchy and delicious.
… I finished eating it very quickly though.
Well, that’s fine too.
Letting out a satisfied breath, I started relaxing a bit.
I wasn’t sure how effective the mushroom was, but I certainly felt like my physical strength had recovered to some extent. I don’t think I’m able to accurately determine this kind of thing though, so let’s just leave it at that.
And then, after I had rested enough and was about to get up and start moving again, I heard a rattling sound.
I turned my gaze towards it, and saw a carriage approaching from afar.
Since we’re on the road, then this is probably a peddler, I assume? Peddlers did come to my village from time to time, and I was always impressed that they came to a place as remote as that one.
I don’t think this carriage is coming from that village though. It’s probably from somewhere else.
“A human? I’ll hide for a bit, alright?” As soon as Aria said that, her figure completely disappeared. The only reason I knew she was still here, was because I could see her until just a second ago.
It’s very rare to see a fairy. If they were to be caught by a human, they’d probably be either sold as a luxury good or become a caged prized possession of sorts.
Due to that, fairies almost never show themselves in front of humans. The only reason I could spend as much time with Aria as I did, was due to Aria’s whim.
And probably because of those circumstances, fairies are very good at stealth-related magic. The one Aria is using right now is probably a light magic that manipulates the light rays to make her disappear.
In any case, shortly after Aria hid herself, the carriage got close to us. I was sitting on the side of the road, but considering how little traffic this road was getting, I shouldn’t be an obstacle to the passage.
That was what I was thinking, so I just waited until the carriage passed through.
However, for some reason, the carriage stopped.