Chapter 2: An unexpected encounter in the past
I sensed a strong fragrance.
A nostalgic fragrance. Alcohol and Tobacco. This scent resembled a mixture of blood and iron, which makes the nose go numb. This scent accompanied me since my younger days; it seemed like a fantasy now.
Yes, yes it is. A very nostalgic fragrance.
「How long are you going to sleep? 」
Unexpectedly. I woke up so quickly that my head hit on something. I got dizzy, my eyes were foggy and I couldn’t understand the situation.
「Lugis. You better not drink like that again. 」
I raised my head and I saw this person with white hair and white beard standing in front of me. This person had wrinkles and deep scars all across his face.
It can’t be. That’s ridiculous. This person can’t be here standing right beside me. Wait, he is actually here, how can this be possible. Because…
「Old man Richard…!? How can you be right here when you should have died long ago; how is that possible? 」
It hurts. It is more painful than before. I have this continuous excruciating pain on my eyes.
「Don’t put me in the grave just yet boy. 」
Richard didn’t seem upset as he poured a cup of alcohol. After waking up, I was feeling shaky, so I sat down at the table. My head was still dizzy from hitting it hard.
「How long did you plan to keep on sleeping, Lugis. So, this is the state you are after being away for so long. Well, it seems you forgot everything I taught you before. 」
I blinked my eyes, and yes; this old man was right in front of me drinking from a bottle of alcohol.
This is real. It is unmistakable. How could I forget his face? I would never fail to recall his bad habits, his villainous and wicked manners towards other people. Moreover, this person is my master, Richard.
However, this person was supposed to be dead long ago. He passed away during the Great Disaster on the previous King’s reign. He surely died back then… But Instead of being dead, he is here in front of me, talking to me.
「Well…I can see that you’re all grown up that you’ll need a bed…my bed. 」
A wrinkled Richard joked with a sarcastic voice as he scratched his head lightly. I am amazed, he didn’t change at all since then; he kept mumbling.
「Ever since you were a child, you would come in here and sleep sometimes on the bed and other times on the floor. You got used to it. 」
That is true. That was when I was under his wing. During those days, he would go out to meet people at the tavern, sitting at the table and ending up with no money at all. Well, that was more than a decade ago.
Startled, I observed my appearance. This is my body but at the same time it is not quite so. No, it is but it is about twice as small. Moreover, I am wearing a green cloth that I used to have a long time ago. This is what I used to wear on my early teens. I have no muscles, my body looks thin and lean; I am not an adult yet.
“I have an opportunity for you. Let me give you a chance. A chance to redraw your life.”
Those words echoed in my head.
Ah, I see. That really happened. That thing was telling the truth. I made an undeniable contract. I did…
「How long are you going to stand there, Lugis. I got work for you today. But first, go wash your face. 」
I still can’t believe all of this. I came back in time, to around the time I joined the adventurer’s guild.
As expected of my master. He did not change at all. I almost forgot how he used to have me as “sacrificial lamb”.
He ordered me to go to the big trees’ forest; I didn’t make a noise as I walked through the bushes.
「That old man… 」
I immediately started complaining. I reached my hand to my usual pocket, and I found nothing there. That’s right. I haven’t started smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol around this time yet. In other words, I got used to chew tobacco regularly that my body unconsciously went to search for it.
I have to endure it.
Ah damn. I really went back ten years in time. That’s for sure. However, this is an inconvenient time to go back to. I remember having to work for the guild and I sure do not want to repeat it again. Because I can recall Richard giving me miserable jobs that no one else wanted to do. I traveled back on time just to arrive during one of my miserable years in life.
Investigating the big trees forest was one of the many jobs that Richard told me to do by myself. I remember this was a two man job. That is not good news at all.
Usually one of the jobs would be to undertake the villager’s requests to investigate some demons lurking around, it would be normal to do this with a party rather than by myself. However, that damn old man is nowhere near here.
As I walked through the forest looking a bit annoyed, I stepped on to something. I bent over and observed what was on the ground. There was a trail of scattered pebbles and leaves on the ground.
Someone is going ahead of me. It’s definitely a human being’s trail. This trail is being slightly covered so that nobody could follow it. Nevertheless, this observation would not be possible if I didn’t have enough experience on this particular field. Back then, I was so young and helpless. I learnt to be aware of my surroundings and detect any anomalies during the Rescue Journey days.
However, who can this person be? Almost no one would come near this dangerous forest. From this point on, there’s only wilderness. If I remember correctly, this path is…
I remembered. Why didn’t I notice this before? I’m an idiot. I recall having come here to this forest on this particularly day to assist that old man’s job.
It was here that I saw that person. That woman.
Breathe in and breathe out. I was struggling to stop the trembling across the body. I crouched on the ground and moved slowly. Make no noise, break no leaves, and avoid footprints on the ground.
During this time, this particular woman was an apprentice of the Knights Order, her ambition was stronger than anyone else. Even though entering this forest was forbidden by the Guild, she stepped into its grounds without any fear, just for the sake of defeating some monsters.
This is bad. The worst actually.
I need to avoid meeting with this woman no matter what. This trail left behind is undoubtedly hers. If that’s so, then I need to stop walking in this direction and just go to the main point of the investigation. I will return without stopping. Yes, that’s the best solution.
It seems pointless now.
This sound reminds me of the sound of a sword when I was fighting a monster. It is from that person. There is no doubt that she is fighting a monster right now.
I climbed to the top of a tree to search for the source of that sound.
That person is someone you can’t forget that easily. Compared to her tinny frame, her swordsman skill is astonishing, striking monsters with incredible accuracy. She is still an apprentice knight, but in the future, she will become part of the Knights’ Order and a member of the Rescue Party.
Her name is Caria Burdnick…
All of us here in the Tomo Translations team (2 Humans and a Dog) wish you a happy new year!