Chapter 1: Start?
"Wow, this place is marvelous!"
That thought never came to my mind when I stepped onto a place I was ever familiar with.
A place full of beginnings, filled with the excitement of new adventurers. This is the place where those who steeled their wills will begin to traverse their own long and winding paths.
"What is a young lady doing here? Are you perhaps a traveler? Welcome to this place."
A woman probably in her 40s greeted me with a warm smile. She was holding a basket containing apples in her hand.
"Ah, thank you." I quickly bowed my head, my eyes still focused on the apples.
Seems like I won't get over my nervousness talking to other people and my love for apples.
As I was about to walk away, the woman holding a basket spoke to me.
"Are you a new adventurer?"
"Ah, err... Yes?"
"Well then, go talk to the mayor of this place. I said mayor, but he's really just an old man."
I didn't know whether she hates the mayor or was only just teasing him.
"He's right over there." She pointed towards an old man supporting his frail old body with a cane. "If you want to know something about this place, he's the person to ask to."
"Ah! Thank you very much!" I bowed again as the woman left.
My heart was still beating nervously, not from excitement, but from talking to people. I couldn't get really used to that kind of thing.
Looking around me, there were many new people besides me who were about to start a new chapter in our lives. Judging from the items they brought, most of the people here came from an average family like mine. But I could see some people who came from rich families as they were displaying some form of arrogance with the way they walk.
"Ugh... This is hard."
I saw a boy scratching his head as he looks at the map.
"I don't even know where I am here!"
The boy was average. There's no striking feature except when he trips on little rocks or bumps on some walls while walking. I thought of it as really pitiful, but I didn't notice myself smiling.
I decided to ignore the boy and went straight for this town's mayor.
"Umm... excuse me."
I politely greeted the mayor but I was surprised when he glared at me.
"What do you need?"
His tone was grumpy and his eyes were scary. I backed down a bit after seeing that.
"Err.. Umm... I was--"
Before I was able to finish what I'm saying, he cut in immediately.
"Don't disturb me! If you have any questions, ask that man!"
He pointed a man with his chin. I immediately bowed down and went to the one he pointed to.
Still feeling nervous about the sudden burst of anger from the "mayor" I greeted the person he pointed to.
"Umm, excuse me."
"Oh, ah sorry." He looked kind of in a rush or something. "Well, I'm Laz, the mining captain. What can I do for you?"
"The mayor sent me here."
He gave me a questioning look.
"Hmm..." He put his hand on his chin. "Let me give you a test first."
Eh? Why am I being given a test suddenly?
"Go defeat some monsters just outside of town. Bring me spores of them as proof. Six will do."
Without really understanding anything, I went outside of town still confused.
The boy earlier, who is kind of lost, is at the bridge still holding his map. His all-red clothes make him easy to notice.
(Is he treasure hunting? Or was he meeting with someone and got lost?)
I was about to walk past him and ignore him when I heard his whisper.
"Where is the exit of the town?"
I almost stumbled when I heard what he said. So unbelievable. I mean do you even have to look on a map just to see the town's exit?
Feeling enormous pity on the boy, I approached him.
"Umm... If you're looking for the exit, it's just right there. You'll be exiting the town after this bridge."
"What?! Really?!" He seemed overjoyed. "Thanks!"
All his excitement made me feel uncomfortable.
"Now I can kill those mushroom monsters!"
(? He was going for them too? For what reason are they ordering adventurers to kill those?)
I followed the overly excited boy as he went to look for a monster.
While on the bridge, I looked at my sides. The view wasn't really that beautiful but it was peaceful at least. There are man-made tools used for a mine. I wasn't sure of it but I saw the disturbed faces of the miners.
Passing by the bridge, a place full of mushrooms came to view. They're all over the road.
"Woah!" The lost boy earlier exclaimed. His body is trembling. I knew he was trembling from excitement.
"I'll show the world my amazing skills!" He then began to charge on a mushroom.
I looked around the place just to see lots of adventurers like us doing the same thing. They're hunting down spores from the mushroids. Most of them looked happy as they run with the spores in their hands toward the town.
(I guess I'll do the same then.)
I raised the staff in my hand and invoked some spells. I said spells but all I knew are Cure, Earth Shock, and Tornado. All I did was cast Earth Shock two times and a Tornado when the mushroid came near me. They fell down without much effort. I picked up the spores from their remains.
(How long will this take i wonder?)
I asked that to no one but then I noticed the lost boy earlier slashing the mushroids with his sword. I couldn't help but laugh at how he fought them. He tried to do a vertical slash but the mushroid just jumped sideways. Same with a horizontal slash where the mushroid just jumped higher. He kept repeating those actions that never hit anything but air.
"Be still! Don't move! Argh! The target practice at home aren't moving!!!! So why are you!!!!"
Shouting out unreasonable things, he kept on slashing. I guess the mushroid became irritated and began to attack him. He was immediately sent down by just a bump from a mushroid.
I placed my palm on my forehead before casting Cure on him.
"Thanks!' He immediately went back up and charged again for the mushroid.
As I couldn't stand the miserable state he was in, I defeated the mushroid with my skills.
"And I was so close!"
(He truly believes that? Sigh...)
I was about to report to the mining captain when he spoke.
"Really thanks for the help!" He smiled as he said that. "I'm Kazuki."
"You're sent here to get some spores too, right? Let me help you with that!" He puffed out his chest after saying that.
(Really... How can you even help if you only fail.)
"No problem! Leave it all to me!"
He was in very high spirits so I said no more as to not damp his spirit.
And so, after some time of him failing and me healing him, we finished our quest.
"Whew! That sure was tiring. What about you?"
After resting for a bit, we head back to town.
"Nice job!" Laz, the mining captain said when we gave him the spores. "Was it too easy?"
"You bet! I didn't even sweat at all!"
The boy answered enthusiastically.
"Lies..." I whispered softly.
"Hmm? Did you say something?"
"Ahem. Now that you pass the test, I will be telling you about the crisis this town is now facing."
Looking around, I see a miner hurriedly approaching us.
"What is it?"
"Inside the mine.... a monster I have never seen before is there!"
The look on the face of the captain is of unease.
"What about the other miners?!"
"They... they were injured and trapped inside! I don't know what to do!"
"That's fine. What about the adventurers sent inside to take care of the mushroids?
"Some of them escaped. While the others are still inside fighting with that unknown monster."
"Ok. You two, follow me!" He looked at me and the lost boy named Kazuki. We rushed towards the mine.
Upon the road to the mine, there lay many injured people. Most were miners and some were adventurers like me. The not so injured ones are the ones taking care of the wounded. We didn't stop as we went inside the mine.
"Airy, report the situation." The captain talked to a man sitting down and treating the injured.
"That unknown monster suddenly came out of nowhere. It looks like some rock golem sort of monster. We tried with swords and all but it's not effective!"
"Hmm.. This is a problem." The captain put his hand on his chin again.
"I can defeat it!" Kazuki rushed in with a sword in his hand.
"Hey wait! Get that kid back here!" Ordered the captain, but no one under him can move except for the one treating the injured.
"Do you have a hammer or something like that captain?"
There was a look of surprise on the face of the captain but it quickly disappeared.
"What are you going to do with it?"
"If a blade weapon is ineffective, perhaps something to smash it with will."
The captain paused for a moment but he immediately ordered someone to get a hammer.
"Ok, here's what you requested. Now bring your stupid friend back."
(Though he's not my friend or anything.)
When I went deeper in the mine, I saw the boy fighting with the golem. The blade of his sword is slowly being chipped as he tried to slash the golem.
(Maybe because the golem isn't agile that's why he can hit it.)
Bearing that insulting thought in mind, I charged but I stopped midway.
(I should leave the monster to him. I'll just assist him.)
"Hey, you! Use this!"
I tossed the hammer to him.
"What?!" He almost fell as he caught the hammer. "That was dangerous!"
I casted cure on him as he took the hit.
"Thanks again! Yosh! Let's bring this monster down together!"
He charged with the hammer in his hand. As the monster leaned in for a punch, he ducked and horizontally striked the monster on its right. The monster was staggering from the hit.
"It's not yet over! Focus!"
We repeated the process of evading, hitting, and healing. This continued for about ten minutes.
"It's going down!"
The monster suddenly fell on its knees.
The boy, excited over the victory, raised his hands high. Some of the people who were inside the mine also cheered up vigorously as if they weren't injured at all. I should be celebrating too but I was somehow feeling unease. Like there was something amiss.
"Get away from the monster!"
I rushed to the boy and pushed him aside while grabbing a half-broken shield on the floor probably left by the adventurers who were fighting here earlier.
"Wha--" The boy was surrpised but I have no time to explain to him.
"Grrooooooaaaarrrrrr" The monster let out a terrifying scream as it stood up. It gave a strike to the half-broken shield which sent me some metres away. Needless to say, the shield was completely broken.
"What is happening?! Isn't it already defeated?!"
The same question from the boy is being asked by the people inside the mine too. The once lively atmosphere, no one knew it was just momentarily. Tension quickly spread as the monster roared again.
"Hey, you, the one with the hammer!"
I called the boy who seem like he was lost in thought.
"Try hitting the head of that monster with your hammer! I will distract him while you prepare." I charged in as I said that leaving the boy dumbfounded but he moved after a few moments.
"Light Sanction!" I casted a holy spell to distract the monster. I circled my way until I was behind it. I casted another spell to attract it this time.
"Groaarrrr" It turned into me as I was trying to cast Cure on myself. The monster then swinged one of its arms and hit me.
"Ugh." I was curing myself but the pain will obviously remain. As the monster was about to hit me again, I saw the figure of the boy running.
"Sorry to keep you waiting! Take this!!!!!!!" With a timing everyone could hope for, he jumped high and smashed the head of the golem.
I unconsciously smiled.
This time, the monster vanished, instead of dropping down.
"We did it this time!!!"
The people inside the mine cheered once again. Everyone was feeling good as they merrily talk with each other.
"Thank you two." The mining captain looked at the boy and me. "Thanks for the others as well. Now that the monster is subdued, let's celebrate with a feast!"
"Ooohhh!!!" The people inside all cheered except for one. I hastily moved out of the mine.
(I can't get used to these many people. But I'm glad we succeeded.)
I walked outside of the mine and into the next town. The people I passed by all have happy looks on their faces as they went to the mine to help the injured ones. Some brought more bandages, clothes, foods, and some even brought musical instruments. It looked like they were planning to have the celebration inside the mine.
While listening to the cheerful tone of the people, I was about to leave the town but the mayor blocked my way.
(What does he need with me?)
He continued staring with me and as usual, I wasn't able to bear the pressure of talking to someone.
"You were the one who stopped that rampaging monster, right?"
I was surprised by his sudden approach to me, but I answered.
"Not just me. It was defeated with the help of another one and the ones now lying there inside the mine, celebrating."
The eyes of the mayor widened but it reverted back to it's grumpy state.
"Go follow the road. When you reach a big tree, turn right. You'll find a lady there named Athena Marie. She will need your help."
"Eh? What kind of help? Hey, wait!" The mayor stepped inside his house after telling me that.
(What's with that?)
I asked myself pointlessly knowing I won't get any answers as I tread the path. By the time I reached the bridge, the sun was about to go down. I could see the birds in the sky returning back to their own homes.
"What a nice view." I watched the sun slowly hide behind the mountains. I was about to fall in love with the scenery but then a sudden set of hurried footsteps and panting disturbed it.
"Huff huff. Phew!" It was none other than the lost boy.
"Good thing you didn't need a map this time." I was surprised at myself to even initiate the conversation.
"I was looking for you! And yes, I got lost around the town. Ahahaha!"
After a stupid laugh, he finally calmed himself down.
"Why did you leave suddenly? I was about to call you but the villagers all flocked around me."
There was a surprised look on his face.
"No reason? Oh, thanks again. If not for you, that monster would've still be rampaging inside the mine."
"It was you who did everything."
"No! It was your fast thinking that got us alive!" He was smiling happily. "So, where are we heading to now?"
"Eh?" Now it was my turn to be surprised.. "What do you mean? And why the "we"?"
"Ahh, don't be like that! We're partners already! Our combination is perfect! Look at how we killed that monster!"
(Another reason why I hate interacting with other people. Sigh.)
"So? So? Where are we going now?"
As I was trying to find an answer inside myself, the boy suddenly pushed me from behind.
"Let's go! Follow that path!"
"Fine fine! Just stop pushing me!"
"Nice! Now, where are we going?"
"Just follow me."
We then continued to walk, encountering some floating jellies along the way. I couldn't believe how he continuously got caught by those tenticles. By the time we reached the big tree, fireflies were already flying all around us. I looked up and saw countless of glimming and brimming stars. As always, the moon was hiding shyly behind the clouds.
"Ok, all we need is to turn right from here."
"Right? Ok! Let's go!" And he went straight after that.
"I said right! Here!" I pointed to the right direction.
"Ah, my bad. Ok! Let's go there!"
Excited, he walked bristly along the path while I reluctantly followed from behind.
As we were about to enter the fence of a house, an Ursun stopped us.
"What is your business here?"
An ursun wearing armor asked. He had red marks covering his face.
"We're here to talk to a lady named Athena Marie. The mayor of Limestone sent us."
"Wait here while I call her."
The Ursun went inside the house. I looked around but the boy wasn't here.
"Hey! Here! Come over here."
I heard the voice of the boy but I couldn't see him.
I grew irritated.
"As I said, where is here?!"
"By the lake! Faster!"
I dragged my feet as I took a look at the place where the boy was in. I saw him sitting relaxed while staring at the lake.
"So, what is here?"
"Look." He pointed with his eyes.
"Look at what?"
"Just go take a look."
Again, I reluctantly look at the direction he's pointing at.
"I can't see anything. Are you making a fool out of me?"
With a smile on his face, he answered. "Look carefully."
(I hate that smile of his.)
With reluctance and irritation painted all over my face, I tried to do what he said and looked carefully. But instead of disappointment this time, I was met with a surprise that left my mouth open.
"Nice isn't it?"
Because I was still daunted by the beauty of the place, I wasn't able to answer.
The fireflies were dancing around the lake. The arrangement of their glows were like a moving painting of an amazing scenery. They lit up the once-dark lake. And the glows kept on increasing time after time.
"That is the view I've always wanted to protect."
A voice I didn't recognize came from behind me. She was dressed up in green and wearing a green cloth over her hair. The boy beside me stood up and gave his greetings.
"Good evening! I"m Kazuki."
"Good evening as well. My name is Athena Marie. What do you want from me?"
"I'm Aya. We were sent here by the mayor. Aren't you the one who needs us?"
With a smile on her face, Athena spoke.
"Yes, I do. In fact, it concerns an abandoned mine near this place."
"It was abandoned decades ago. It was already dried up of mierals."
"So what do you want us to do there?"
Athen's eyes became serious as she spoke.
"Some unknown monsters are inside it now and are planning something sinister insde the abandoned mine."
Her words somehow carry a sense of loneliness in it. I couldn't figure out why though.
"Those monsters shouldn't be like that but someone clearly disturbed their slumber. I do not know who or for what reason, but now those monsters are going to attack the town."
"So all we need to do is defeat all of them right? It'll be bad if they reach the town. We need to give warnings to the town as well!" The boy looked really serious with this.
(Really... All of this has nothing to do with me.)
"There's no time to waste! Let's inform the villagers first!"
"You do not have to worry about that. I already sent Deln to deliver the message to the villagers."
"Then all we need is to go to the abandoned mine! Hurry!"
He pulled my arm and he began to run. I had no choice but to run too or I will be dragged along the floor.
(Why should I be here....)
"Fine fine! Stop pulling me! I will walk on my own."
"Nice! So, where is the direction to the abandoned mine?"
(I forgot to ask that too. Sigh. Why am I with someone like this.)
"Let's go back and ask then."
"No need for that. Let's just follow this path! Surely we'll reach the mine."
We walked through a forest as we followed the path. The path was an uphill one so it was really tiring to walk through it.
I was suddenly pushed aside then a golem arm suddenly came down from where I was. That took me in a surprise.
The boy was already holding the hammer in his hand. He brought the golem down in one hit
"That was easy than earlier."
We never had any real conversation as we continue along the path. We were already walking for an hour when we suddenly heard a scream.
"Where is that?!" The boy suddenly became alert.
Then a second scream came.
"Over there!" He ran to the direction immediately.
(What's with that? Oh well.)
I slowly followed the boy. Even though it's very dark inside this forest, his red clothes made him very easy to notice.
"Tha-that!" An battered man pointed in front of him. I and the boy looked forward and saw a really big mushroom. It was like ten times larger than the mushroids we hunted earlier.
The boy gulped. "Now this is what I call a challenge!" He switched from the hammer back to the sword he was using earlier.
"You know about it?"
"Yes. It was one of those monsters adventurers like us should avoid."
"That'll be no problem! We defeated the one in the mine earlier. I'm sure we can do the same thing against this one. Let's go!"
He immediately dashed and alerted Justin Allspore.
"I said wait! Why won't you listen!"
I readied my spell Cure. While I was casting, Justin made a big jump and the impact from when it went down cancelled my concentration, thus cancelling the spell. The impact also hit the boy I was with. I prepared to cast another Cure and was successful this time. But my actions alerted Justin and put his attention to me.
"Yah!" The boy suddenly hit Justin from its side by a slash from the cheap sword. It now turned into the boy. I cured him to full health in time.
Justin jumped again and we were thrown off balance.
(I need to think of a plan!)
"Hey! When it lands down from a jump, let's jump as high as we can too!"
The boy was confused but he nevertheless nodded. Justin prepared again for another jump.
"Here it goes. Now! Jump!" The two of us jumped, and this time, we weren't affected by the impact as much as earlier.
"This is working! Ok! Let's continue like this. Yosh! Charge!"
It took us some minutes before Justin finally went down. The two of us both collapsed down on the ground from being tired.
"Ahaha. That was fun." They boy was wearing a smile as always.
"Not really. Is this even part of our task?"
"Don't think too much of it. We defeated a monster and we should be happy."
As the boy and I were somehow talking, the battered man spoke to us.
"I am Torch. Thank you very much for helping me."
"What are you doing here in the middle of the night?" It was unusual to be here so I asked.
"I was looking for a special flower here. It was said that it was being guarded by that Justin Allspore you just took down." He explained happily.
"And? The flower is for?"
"I want to give it to my fiance." He said with his face blushing.
"Good luck man! Now let's look for the flower!"
The two fo them went flower searching. That left me with nothing to do.
"Where is it?!"
After some time of searching, the two of them exclaimed at the same time.
"Maybe it was really just a rumour like what everyone says." Torch's face became depressed.
"Don't give up! Maybe if we search for a little longer--"
"No. Don't worry about it. It's fine. It wasn't even me who defeated that monster. Thanks anyway for the help earlier." He stood up and brushed his clothes.
I couldn't stand the two of them so I spoke.
"You two. Look up."
They look at each other before finally looking up. Their confused faces quickly turned into surprise and into happiness.
(These two. Really stupid.)
They embraced each other in happiness before they climbed up and picked the flower. I got a glimpse of the flower and it was truly beautiful. I love how it glows in blue within the darkness of the night.
"Congratulations! Now give that to her!" The boy gave a pat to Torch's back.
"Thanks! I will!"
"Oh, before i forget." I stopped him.
"What is it?'
"Do you know where the abandoned mine is?"
"It's on the other side of the road." He pointed with his finger. He waved then and left hurriedly.
"What!?" I was surprised that I didn't notice I raised my voice. "We wasted much time."
"No, we did not." Again with his annoying smile. "We saved him and his love!"
"Right right. Let's just go."
With annoyance and exhaustion on my face, I dragged my heavy feet again along the now downhill path.
The forest was dead silent which made it easier to hear an animal like that owl. I looked up and saw the moon just above us.
"Let's take a rest?" Seems like the boy also thought of the same things as me.
"I'll take that offer." We then both sat down.
"Let me get some woods." He went away and came back after some minutes. He then lighted the wood with far. The two of us sat opposite each other, warming ourselves up with the fire.
"Why did you become an adventurer? I decided on this because I want to travel around and meet lots of people and places. I love the thrill of fighting too!"
Before I could even answer his question, he rambled on and on about himself. Where he grew up and such. That took almost two hours.
(Disturbingly, I did not feel uncomfortable talking to this person.)
"Ok, I know both of us are tired from all the talk we did! Let's sleep now."
(Yeah right, both of us. More like you're the only one who talked and talked.)
Being the adventurers we were, a sleeping bag will always be present. But that doesn't seem to be the case with the idiot here with me.
"So, why is a so-called adventurer like you fail to have any sleeping bag."
"Ahaha. Don't mind it too much. I'm used to sleeping on the ground!" He had a look of confidence on his face.
(Really. what's with that look.)
He was about to lie down so I interrupted him.
"Here, take this. It's my spare one."
I handed him my spare sleeping bag. His face was surprised but turned into happiness after.
"Thank you! No more sleepless and cold nights! Yahoo!"
"Don't mind it."
(Really... that much reaction just for a sleeping bag?)
We were already both lying down when I remembered something important.
"Make a wrong move and you'll find yourself burried deep down. Understood?"
"Wha-what?! I'm not planning on doing anything!"
"Good. Let's sleep now then."
Well of course, I said sleeping but there's only two of us and sleeping both at the same time will be like suicide. That was why I raised my body up after some minutes only to be surprised.
"Go sleep now. I will keep guard, no need to worry." With a smile on his face.
I was really shocked again. The thought of him doing that never crossed my mind.
(Oh well. I'll just take up his offer then.)
And so I slept for four hours or so.
I stretched my arms as I raised my body up. I then wiped my eyes trying to scan the surroundings.
(Oh right. I slept here. Ok, time to move on to the abandoned mine.)
"You're late." The boy said with some fish in his hands. "I got this for breakfast."
"What about going to the mine?" Not that I didn't want breakfast. Just that I didn't want him doing these useless things. I could catch some for myself.
Reluctantly accepting the food, I ate my portion.
"Ok. Now time to move on."
After we finished eating, we headed out for the abandoned mine.
"Really.. So unlucky."
And, we reached the mine after only 5 minutes of walking.
"What is the point of resting when the mine is just right next to us?!" I brought my hands to my head and went a little crazy.
"A rest is important so we can fight properly!"
"Thanks for that useless encouragement. Anyways, let's just enter."
The entrance of the mine showed obvious sign of forcefull entry.
(So someone really did force these monsters awake.)
"Why did you stop?"
"Oh, nothing. Let's move on."
As we went inside the mine, monsters greeted us instantly. They're bug like monsters.
"Venom Bugs. Be careful of their poison. Hey!" As always, the boy rushed against the monsters and hacked them away. He probably didn't even hear me. "Ah great. To have a berserker in your party."
While he was fighting with the bugs, he was inflicted with poisons so many times. That made me cast Prevention more than Cure.
"Ok, stop. I can hear some things. Shh."
I couldn't detect where the sounds were coming from so I tried to listen to the ground.
"I can hear some rumblings beneath the ground. Wait, it's getting closer?! Step back!"
But I was too late and a number of bugs appeared from below us, causing the two of us to lose balance.
"Hey! Get up fast!" It seemed like the boy got dazed by what happened. I quickly used Tornado to get the attention of the bugs. "There are way too many of them!"
As I was losing hope, the boy stood up. He used Declaration of Anger and Combat Cyclone. The bugs attention then turned into him making me perform my original role of healing. But as we were about to defeat the bugs, a Stonewalker approached us from behind.
The boy quickly responded to my call and used Onrush to the golem. It stunned the golem for a few seconds but it didn't go down.
"I'll take care of the bugs, you go take care of that golem." I used Tornado again as I gave the order. I spammed Life Cure on the boy first before turning my attention to these poisoning bugs. Because the bugs were already damaged by the boy earlier, it only took me 2 tornados to clear them.
"Hyaa!" I saw the boy using the hammer to smash away the golem. We encountered a stronger one earlier so this one was easy for him. We cleared another set of those monsters one more time before we came near a giant golem.
"Phew, that one was tiring. Who knew bugs can appear below the gound!"
As the boy was recalling his experience just now, I drank some potions to regain my mana back. I used a lot of spells with those bugs.
"This golem looks like the boss of those ones earlier."
"That it does."
"I wish it'll be stronger! More challenge!"
(Is this one crazy or something?)
"Ok let's go!"
I was still sitting down and drinking potions when the boy suddenly he stood up and used Onrush on the big golem.
"This boy really!!!!"
(I swear I'll disband later!)
Left with no other choice, I assisted the boy with Life Cure and Cure.
"Take this!" The boy energetically swung the hammer he got earlier.
(The attack pattern of this golem isn't any differnt from the others. Is it just bigger?)
While I keep my doubts, the big golem swung its right hand towards the boy. He dodged it and smashed the hand of the golem.
"Woargh!!!!!" The monster screamed as it lost its right arm. And suddenly, it became more agrresive, faster, and stronger. The boy who easily evaded the attacks earlier was constantly hit now.
"That hurt! I will make you pay back for it!" His eyes then became more serious than earlier. His speed increased and his stance became more relaxed and composed. After a few seconds, he was able to keep up with the attack of the golem.
(This isn't the time to be surprised. I need to focus!)
While I steadily heal him, I sneaked some of my spells too.
"Ok, if we kep this up surely--" Before I was able to finish what I was saying, I was suddenly stunned. I saw the boy was stunned too. At this time, the monster hit the boy with a really powerful attack. The stun went out in time but the strike was already coming so the boy's only choice was to shield himself with the hammer. It broke after the impact. The wave also sent me flying some metres.
"Ugh. What's with that?!" The boy shouted while he's down in one knee.
"Don't ask me." I quickly healed both him and me.
"Time to end this!" He used the cheap sword he had.
The two of us stood up and fought the big golem again. But the result was the same. We're only getting in a worse situation everytime.
(There has to be something!)
"Hey, distract the golem! I will try to look for anything to defeat him!"
"I got it! Yosh!" He stunned the monster. "Now's the chance!"
I quickly circled around the monster trying to look for a weakness or something.
"Watch out!" I was tackled from the side by the boy. I then felt a wind pressure as I see the golem attack the place where I was in. It's hand got stuck on the wall but it's only a matter of time before it escaped.
"Are you ok?!"
"I'm fine. Don't worry about me. By the way, listen! There's something glowing inside its body of rock! That may possibly be its weakness! Go behind it and you'll see a small crack!"
"Got it! Time to really really end it this time! Yooosh!"
As soon as he was done with motivation of himself, he charged in.
I gave up with healing and focused on attacking. Luckily, I got critical hit and distracted the golem from the boy. It raised its arm and swung it towards me.
"As if i will let you!! Now die!" He leapt and aimed for the crack with his sword.
I instinctively closed my eyes as the hand was close to me. I was in the middle of a spell so I wasn't able to do anything but brace for the impact.
But the attack didn't arrive. I opened my eyes to see the hand just some centimetres away from my face.
"No need to worry." The boy said as he smiled. He then walked towards me. "See?" He hit the arm of the golem with his fist and it crumbled away.
I felt relieved. My knees almost gave out but I couldn't let the boy see me in that condition. Never.
"Ok, what's next?"
"We should just follow this rail track. There should be more inside."
While I found it troublesome, I still suggested it. It's not good to leave a job half-done.
We drank some potions as we followed the trail. We encountered some mushroids but they were too easy and we really didn't use any effort in defeating them.
"Another big mushroid!" The boy claimed with excitement while I was not interested in it.
(This should be easy enough for us.)
"Here I go!"
We used our usual tactic against the big mushroid. He attack while I heal half-heartedly. It didn't take long enough to do some visible damage to the monster. It's head were already full of slashes.
(As I thought, this is easy.)
I shouldn't have let my guard down after that.
"Why did this happen?!"
It all happened in the blink of an eye. I was unable to cast my healing skills, which in turn made it the worst case scenario for the boy. He tried his best to evade but it was of no use. Now, both of us were down.
"Tch! That monster got lucky! It won't happen again!" He managed to stand up but it's visible that he's wobbling.
(Should I use that? But...)
While I was still undecided on what action to pursue, the boy rushed to the mushroom.
"I will lure it far! Just make sure to watch out for that annoying skill!"
"I don't even know when he uses that skill!"
"I got a good look at it! He will ready for a jump, and when he lands, that skill of his activates! Just go far when he jumps, I'll try hard to hold on."
"Understood." I was still hesitating but I agred nevertheless.
The boy then began attacking the mushroid again. I supported him with my skills while watching out for the jump.
"Run now!" The mushroid began to make a jump. I immediately ran away and as he said, I was still able to cast my skills after. Defeating the mushroid became way easier after knowing that. No other surprise skills too.
"We did it! miss Athesomething will surely be happy to hear about this!"
"Hope she will. After all our hard work."
Then a sudden rumbling sounded inside the mine.
"What is that sound?!"
(That sound is most likely...)
"Don't tell me the mine is collapsing! We better run fast!"
We ran as fast as we could to exit the abandoned mine fast. Both of us were literally running for our lives.
"That was really a good run! But, isn't the mine collapsing? Why is still there?"
"Oh, let's not worry about that, at least we're finished with it. Let's report now."
The two of us then went to Athena's house.