As a person trains, he will gain confidence in his own strength. Saying this to him might cause him to blame himself, but I don’t feel any fear when fighting tunnel ants.
“To that end, you really need to train and accumulate experience.” [Ryouma]
A politically correct opinion. It would be great if I could say something better, but I’m just not that good at talking. I know he went out of his way to ask me, but sadly, this is the best I’ve got. Sorry.
“Ryouma-kun, don’t blame yourself! Even the adults tell me the same things…” [Wist]
“Hmm? Is there another problem you’re dealing with?” [Ryouma]
“No, but…” [Wist]
“Wist was told that adventurer work doesn’t suit him.” [Berk]
When Berk interjected, Wist went quiet. Bullseye, huh?
“Who said that?” [Ryouma]
“The others. We’re not the only kids in the slums doing adventurer work.” [Berk]
“Anyone can become an adventurer and it’s easier to find work when you have ‘former adventurer’ in your resume.” [Martha]
“Everyone… is wary of the people from the slums. So they’re more at ease when dealing with former adventurers… Desu.” [Finia]
“It’s because adventurer work is proof that we’ve done honest work.” [Ruth]
After Berk spat that out, the girls followed up with those words.
Meanwhile, Wist-kun was standing on the side with his shoulders dropped. Ruth tried to console him, but…
“Don’t you get along with them? Those kids?” [Ryouma]
“It’s not that we don’t get along with them, but they’re really good at fighting. They also make more, so lately they’ve been making fun of everyone else who does nothing but gather herbs. Especially, Wist, since he has a strong body, but his personality is like that… Seriously, Wist. Quit being so hesitant already! They’re them and you’re you! Besides, compared to them, isn’t ‘this’ way stronger?” [Ruth]
I see I’m being used as a point of comparison. But don’t you kids think it’s a bit cruel to be referring to me as ‘this’?
Still, these children sure have a lot going between them…
“But… If I keep working as an adventurer, the day will come when I have to kill people too.” [Wist]
“That’s then! Even those guys haven’t killed anyone yet!” [Ruth]
“But didn’t Berk say it too?” [Wist]
“You said that if I just attacked properly!” [Wist]
“Idiot! I didn’t mean it like that.” [Berk]
…Isn’t Berk getting too heated?
“Stop. There’s no point even in arguing here, you two.” [Ryouma]
Blood seemed to be getting to their head, so I stepped in.
I wanted them to calm down a little, so I listened to them while walking.
1. Just as they mentioned, those kids definitely told Wist-kun that.
2. Just as Berk said, there are many things they’re talking about that aren’t related to their current situation just yet.
3. It’s also true that if Wist-kun were to continue working as an adventurer, he might find eventually himself up against a wall.
4. Wist-kun is seriously thinking about things and wants to quickly become an adult to help his friends.
5. It’s good that Berk is looking at the long term perspective, as that also goes to mean that he’s planning to stay with them that long.
These are the key points.
Wist-kun is aware of his own problems, so although he’s a bit of a coward, he is trying to improve himself. That’s why he’s so panicked and he feels like he’s not improving. Berk seems to have realized that, but this is a personality issue. And Berk recognizes the problem on the level of ‘don’t worry about it, just laugh and send the monsters flying’. Because of that he has a hard time understanding why Wist-kun is so worried about it.
…This is difficult.
“If you don’t mind me giving my opinion on the subject, I personally think you’re worrying too much.” [Ryouma]
“Listen until the end. It’s true that there’s no reason for you to be so worried about it now. But it’s also important to think about the future. Not wanting to hurt other people or other living things is an important thing.” [Ryouma]
“So which is it?” [Berk]
“It’s not an issue of ‘which’. Let’s put it this way… Right… Let’s say you’re in town and you’re hungry. What are you gonna do?” [Ryouma]
“Obviously, I would eat my fill.” [Berk]
Berk immediately answered. No hesitation whatsoever. But what if you don’t have any food at hand?
“Then I’ll buy from the store.” [Berk]
“Right now, we’re already well off enough to be able to eat at a store…” [Wist]
“Eating outside is expensive, though. If you can endure it for a bit, you should go out to the fields and look for food there instead.” [Martha]
“You could also try trading with the neighbors… Desu.” [Finia]
Everyone gave their opinion one after another.
“You could also plant some crops and harvest them when the time comes. If you’re willing to do some bad things, you could also steal.” [Ryouma]
“Stealing is bad.” [Everyone Else]
The six of them said.
“…You say that now, but didn’t you try to take away the monster corpses my party threw before?” [Ryouma]
When I pointed that out, their expressions immediately turned for the worse. I might have teased them a bit too much there.
“I’m not criticizing you. You seem to have turned over a new leaf, and I don’t really think much of that incident anymore anyway.
…Let’s go back to the topic. It’s true that stealing is bad, but it’s one method you can use. What I’m trying to get at is that there are many ways to accomplish something. In the same way, there are other answers than the ones Berk and Wist-kun gave in response to my question. The two of you are too extreme.” [Ryouma]
“T-Then what would you do? If you had to fight with a monster…” [Wist]
“It’s ‘necessary’ to take a life.” [Ryouma]
In order to eat. In order to dress oneself. In order to find work. It’s ‘necessary’ that’s why I will take life.
And if they attack me, regardless of whether it’s a monster or a human, to protect myself, I will take a life.
“It sounds complicated, but basically, don’t worry about stuff that will get in the way when fighting.” [Ryouma]
Whether it’s a biting louse or a human, that’s one life all the same.
“In peace, even insects are treated like people. But in war, even humans are cut down like insects.” [Ryouma]
In a situation where worrying can cost you your life, it’s better to stop worrying altogether or find a solution to it.
It’s a family precept handed down in my family since days of old.
I don’t think it’s wrong.
I haven’t gone as far as to think of other people as insects, but at the very least, when the time comes, I won’t hesitate to take a life.
…I believe that won’t be a problem for me.
“That’s precisely why it’s important to have some hesitation in hurting others, regardless of whether it’s another human or something else. Wist-kun, as a human, I can resolutely tell you that there’s nothing wrong with the way you think. I won’t ask you to solve that issue right away, but don’t you think it would be good if you could find a place to compromise?” [Ryouma]
…That might have been a bit too deep. Everyone’s reaction is a bit slow. It’s not like I gave a clear answer either. Problems like this can only really be solved by the person himself.
“And in order to do that… Berk!” [Ryouma]
“Well, the others too, but from time to time, try talking to each other calmly, will you? Without getting all hot blooded. There’s a lot of things you can do if you hear each other out and talk calmly like adults. And Wist-kun, you can still continue being an adventurer for the time being even if you don’t panic, right?” [Ryouma]
“Y-Yeah! It’s scary to fight, but it’s only been a year and I want to keep working with everyone…” [Wist]
“Then just take your time to think. From what I’ve seen today, unless you do something reckless, you shouldn’t suffer any major wounds.” [Ryouma]
No matter what answer he comes up with, I’ll accept it.
If he decides to give up adventurer work, I could ask him to come work at my store. But I won’t say that for now… Oh.
We’re at the gate. After showing our guild cards, the guards let us through.
“Are you going to the adventurers guild?” [Ryouma]
“Yeah. We have to give a report first.” [Berk]
“I’ll be going to the tamer guild, so we’ll part here.” [Ryouma]
“Got it. Thanks for today.” [Berk]
“T-Thank you for taking care of us.” [Berk]
“You really helped us out… Desu.” [Finia]
Each one of them thanked me, and then we parted ways. I went to the tamer guild by myself.
…I did something out of character…
Why did I say something like that?
I wanted to encourage him, but maybe I was meddling needlessly.
I’m a beginner myself. What was I acting so experienced for? I feel like I’m starting to turn into a preachy person…
“！ Ah, it’s Fina-san and Leelin-san. What’s the matter? Why are you here?” [Ryouma]
“We went out to buy some things.” [Leelin]
“We ran out of seasoning after cooking one trial dish after another. Also, we needed to buy some miscellaneous consumables like paper and stuff. What about you boss?” [Finia]
“I’m on the way back from a job. I just got back, actually.” [Ryouma]
“Did something happen? You look like you’re thinking something really deep.” [Leelin]
“You looked worried. Is there something troubling you?” [Fina]
“That’s not it… I was just wondering if maybe I’ve started putting on the years…” [Ryouma]
“What?” [Fina and Leelin]
Their face said they had absolutely no idea what I was talking about.