───A blind spot born from his wealth of knowledge.
───A good intention born out of ignorance.
───An unfortunate encounter that ended in tragedy.
───Yet what was truly unfortunate was that it did not end there.
The Town of Lillisto took four days by carriage and was located on a road leading to the capital of the Kingdom of Resto, which when taken the other way also led to the mountain borders.
On the other side of the mountains was the neighboring country of Kulash, which was friendly with the Kingdom of Resto.
For decades, people and goods from both countries have passed through the mountains for the quick and safe path it offered.
A normal border might have opened the chance for hostilities to break out between the two countries, but the geography and the circumstances deterred such a choice, allowing decades of friendship to foster between the two countries.
As a result, Lilisto was bustling with merchants and travelers to this day.
One could argue, however, that that might actually be a bad thing brought about by its over-reliance on its inns.
While it certainly made for an excellent place for refreshments before or after crossing the mountain, there was nothing outside of the town other than the mountains, the forest, or the road leading to the capital.
The forest was dark at night despite the moonlight, such that if you peered into its depths from the city, it looked as if there were a dark monster waiting with its maws wide open.
Hence, why during the night Lillisto’s residents and travelers would either just sleep or make merry at the bars.
But there was one boy who dared to go to the forest in the night on his own.
He was likely in the latter half of his teens and with the innocent atmosphere about him, he seemed even younger than he looked.
He wore a silver armor, and though it covered only the arms, legs, and chest, it was made of Silverganth steel, a material that could only be broken through by a weapon made of the same material.
On his waist was a sheath that held a longsword also made of Silverganth steel.
He looked just like a knight, albeit lightly dressed, as he walked with no hesitation.
Under the daylight, no one would think him just a mere traveler from how high-spec his equipment were, but under the moonlight, the people that passed him by could not notice his equipment.
Perhaps no one thought that anyone would dare to leave the town this late into the night, or perhaps the boy was just that good at getting past everyone, but regardless, no one stopped him, and he was easily able to leave Lillisto to head for the forest alone.
He was doing this purely for his own training.
Though he could feel his physical abilities increasing at a tremendous rate everyday, he was still an amateur when it came to handling his weapons, so he believed it important to train every day.
Alas, it was too dangerous to even swing his weapon at the inn since one step wrong and he very well could destroy everything there.
So he slipped out of the inn in the middle of the night to look for a place big enough to accommodate his training.
However, he wasn’t really headed for the forest itself but just for that area between it and the city.
Which is why he never considered the possibility that there might have already been other people there, leading him to stop when he saw shadows under the moonlight.
Despite the dark of the night, his extraordinary eyesight made it easy for him to see the shadows more than 50 meters away.
There were three shadows all in all.
A small shadow wearing a hooded cloak that appeared to be made of rags.
This person was likely not that far from him in terms of age, though with his back turned to him, there was no telling if the shadow was a boy or girl.
He might have been a traveler on some sort of errand to be out here in the night.
And normally, he would have said a few words to him to confirm, but the other two shadows were a problem.
With a stature taller than that of the hooded figure and a silhouette that was no doubt that of a four-legged beast, their fur glowing dimly in the moonlit night and with their nine tails as big as a human each, there was no doubting it.
The hooded figure must’ve been facing two aberrations, one of those demons that the boy knight had slain many times before.
The moment they showed their fangs, the boy knight moved.
──Monsters are attacking that person!
If so, then he had to save him.
Not a hint of hostility, malice, or even murderous intent surfaced on him as he moved with a sense of duty.
If he had even just one of those, then perhaps the tragedy that followed could have been avoided, but for better or worse, the boy knight did not see this event as a battle but a rescue mission.
That’s why he jumped with all his might, and in one fell swoop, ended everything in the blink of an eye.
Someone seemed to gulp.
Fresh blood splattered from right in front the hooded figured, staining the dark night in its red.
The two aberrations collapsed, then a moment later, their head rolled away.
“Are you alright!? Are you hurt anywhere— Wah!?”
While the criminal responsible just happily turned to the hooded boy with an innocent smile on his face.
Alas, despite having saved this boy, his good intentions were merely returned with a push.
The hooded figure ran to the two lifeless bodies and quickly picked up the two fallen heads, bringing them close to the fallen torso, then held his hands over the wounds and radiated a healing light.
The voice of a boy resounded, but there was a strength in that voice that made one believe he wasn’t just a boy.
There was an intimidating spirit in it that made even the boy knight want to serve him despite not even being spoken to direclty.
Aside from that strange sensation, however, neither the hooded boy’s magic nor his words produced any results.
“Why!? —You bastard!!”
The hooded boy couldn’t understand why his spell wouldn’t work, so when he turned to the boy knight and saw his weapon, realization dawned on him, and he became angry.
That sword possessed a radiant silver body upon which were intricate patterns engraved.
Without a doubt, it was forged from Silverganth, imbuing it with the property to cut magic, an effect further enhanced by the patterns on it.
The wounds it dealt were difficult to heal, and its killing power was so great that it could slay even tenacious life-forms with a single strike.
The hooded boy was furious, but the boy knight just innocently tilted his head as anger filled with killing intent was directed at him.
“Huh? What? —Gah!?!?”
He had only helped him, so why was he so hostile?
He didn’t drop his guard despite that but it did him little good.
For in the next moment, he suddenly lost sight of the hooded boy, then just as suddenly, a jolt of pain pierced him through his stomach.
Before he knew it, he was flying through the air, bouncing several times off the ground, before finally rolling away 200 meters away from where he stood.
He didn’t even know how many dozens of trees he’d knocked down in the process.
Though he held onto his sword despite all that, that was mostly because the impact made him hold it tightly.