Kansutoppu! / Kansutoppu! Chapter 17 part1

“Take everything ya got and leave it right there. If you value that life of yours, that is.”

A three meter tall giant of a man stood before a young Sword Fighter, a smirk on his face. His fists alone were C Rank. The Sword Fighter’s skills had failed him. Nothing they tried worked against such a ridiculously strong man. His party lay strewn about in critical condition. Not even the Magician’s magic had any effect on him. The Sword Fighter looked back and forth between the bag and his party as if weighing the decision for a moment, then dropped his head before holding it out.

“There’s a good boy. Now just give that to me without pullin’ nothin’ and things won’t have to get rough.”

He grabbed the bag with his large hands and began rifling through it. He tossed away their precious items and emergency rations without a second thought. The healing potions splattered on the floor, painting it blue.

“Y’know, you should have some girls in your party. I always love having some fun with ’em, but you’re all… guys.” He glanced around at them all. “You guys gay?”

The Sword Fighter remained still and silent, despite the man’s vulgar words. The man had crushed any confidence the Sword Fighter had in his party’s abilities in an instant. He had no willpower left to oppose such a monster. It was the first time in his life he had ever met anyone like him.

“Well, this’ll do for now I guess. Here.” The large man threw the bag back into the Sword Fighter’s face. He stayed silent as he allowed the bag to hit him in the face, but caught it before it could fall to the floor.

“Quit adventurin’. You were lucky it was me this time. I’m nice, you see. But what if it was someone else? You’d be dead! You want to be dead? Hey, how long it’d take you to get C Rank?”

“… Half a year.”

“Half a year!” The man let out an exaggerated laugh, holding his stomach and leaning back.

“You’re a bunch o’ losers! Most people take half a month, but here you are taking ten times that! Did ya take a vacation? Or did you stick to horseshit jobs like fetching goblin ears? Any idiot can do those jobs and get to C Rank! Half a year, hah! You must be a special kind of moron!” He returned to his ridiculously staged laugh, though even louder this time.

The young Sword Fighter fought to hold back back tears, lest he give the man more reason to taunt him. He struggled hard, but he managed to bear it.

“Completely talentless…” He grunted and nodded towards the Sword Fighter’s party members on the floor. “Those idiots over there dead?”

The young man snapped back to reality and realized his two companions desperately needed medical attention. The large man never stopped laughing as he watched him struggle, offering no help whatsoever.

———-

“Ryua, seriously?”

“J-just a little longer!”

We had been in the weapon shop for over twenty minutes, the whole time I spent worrying which sword I would choose. I had 200 gold to spend. On one hand, there was an iron sword for 180 gold, and on the other was a wing sword for 150 gold. The iron sword was sharper, but the wing sword was lighter and swifter. As if the decision wasn’t hard enough, whatever money I had left was buying our lunch.

Roel had given me the gold for pocket money. She handled all the money we received from the commissions. It was nice that she took care of the living expenses because I don’t think I could have managed if I tried.

So I stood there, still thinking. The iron sword was sharper, and that could be the difference between winning and losing. But the wing sword was faster, which would help if I needed to quickly save someone.

I couldn’t stop worrying and I couldn’t decide at all. I kept reaching out for one, only to draw my hand back. Then I’d do the same for the other.

The weapon shop owner was leaning on the counter with his head propped up on his elbows, giving me a look that clearly said, “If you’re going to buy something just get on with it already.”

“Ryua, don’t you already have a sword? Why can’t you just use that one?”

“That one has some… side effects. If you got caught in it, it wouldn’t end well. I thought it would be safer if I just used a normal sword.”

Of course I was talking about what happened during my fight against the King of Destruction. That light that had seeped from his wounds before he exploded. I had felt like if I were caught in it, I would have been destroyed, too.

I couldn’t even imagine how stupid it would look if I ended up killing myself with my own sword accidentally, so that was another reason I decided a normal sword was better.

“C’mon Ryua, you’re so powerful anyway it doesn’t even matter what you use.”

“That’s not really the issue here…”

Roel wouldn’t get it. Neither sword had a large advantage over the other. The iron sword would give me a slight boost to my attack power, while the wing sword would do the same for my speed. It was such a small difference, but that was exactly the reason it was so hard to choose. I wanted to give them a try, but it didn’t seem like I could do that.

“Hey, Roel… What if I were to get b-“

“Nope.” Roel was extremely strict with our funds. She was a very careful person and managed our accounts very precisely.

“Meanie…” I tried to look sad and stared at the ground, but it didn’t affect Roel at all. She saw right through my act.

“Handle a commission for me and I’ll give you a weapon better than either of those.” The shopkeep must have finally had enough.

So if I just did a commission I’d get a weapon? I was immediately sold.

“You see-” He began to speak but just then the door to the shop opened. He greeted the customer, but was completely ignored. The customer quickly made his way to the counter.

“I’m selling all of these weapons. I’ll take anything for them. Hell, I’ll give them away for free.”

“How do you expect to be an adventurer without a weapon? After all, it’s pretty obvious you’re a Sword Fighter.” The shopkeep stared, astonished by what the young man said.

“It’s fine. I don’t need them anymore.”

“Ah, I see…” He seemed to understand something I didn’t and started to calculate the price of the weapons.

“Well then, here you go.”

“Thank you.”

The young man quietly took the money and walked right out of the shop. He walked as if he had no energy, slouched over and arms hanging to his side like he was about to collapse.

“Looks like another victim… A failed adventurer, that is. It can happen to the best of them. Heh, it even happened to me once upon a time.”

“You used to be an adventurer?” I asked.

“Ah, it was such a long time ago… Back in my day, there wasn’t a single person who didn’t know the name ‘Kohzoh’,” he said as he smiled, his eyes glazing over with the memories.

It was hard to imagine him as an adventurer. His hair was thinning and his stomach was definitely too big to fit in any kind of armor.

“You know, adventurers really are in the business of having dreams. They dream to become an A Rank, then they dream to become famous and make a lot of money. There are some who can make hundreds of thousands from a single commission, after all. But, for every one of them who makes it, there are thousands that fail.” He had started with a smile, but by the end his mood had significantly dampened.

“Hun-hundreds of thousands….” Standing there with 200 gold in my hand and worrying over which sword to buy, I couldn’t even imagine it.

I couldn’t imagine A Ranks were only in it for the money, but it was certainly something that made me want to be one even more.

“Oh right, I almost forgot. You can find that commission I mentioned before at the Guild. Just look for my name.”

In the end, Roel lost her patience and she made me get the iron sword. I had always thought she was fairly timid, but she was surprisingly forceful at the strangest time. I learned something new about her, at least.

———-

When we arrived at the Guild, we came across the young man from the weapon’s shop. He was standing at the counter talking to Lintay, who looked like she was in a bad mood.

“Are you absolutely sure about this?” I heard Lintay say as we approached the counter.

“Yeah, I’m not changing my mind.”

“In that case I’ll start the process of deregistering you as an adventurer. You can always register again if you change your mind, but you will start as a D Rank. I’ll be right back.”

He was quitting after all. I wondered what had happened to him, but it seemed like a hard decision as he was clenching his teeth as he did it.

Lintay turned back to face the Sword Fighter. “It might not be my place, but I feel like I should say something. You should just be happy you made it out of there. Don’t give up everything because of this. There has been a subjugation commission out for Grundom the Beginner Crusher for awhile now, but no one’s been able to do it. The C Ranks have tried, but the result is always the same. Gantetz has gone back to the Castle Town, and there are so few B Ranks here. Eventually, someone is going to get him, rest assured. You’re still so young, you shouldn’t beat yourself up over this. That’s all I have to say…”

“What do you know? If you hadn’t just wasted all that time talking, I could have been deregistered already.” The young man snapped at Lintay, but it seemed like he might break into tears at any moment.

I looked down to see his clenched fists shaking at his side. Something truly terrible must have happened to him.

Grundom the Beginner Crusher. What could he have done to this man?

“Hey, who’s Grundom?” I said

“He lurks near the beginner dungeons so he can strike adventurers when they’re weak,” someone responded.

I had no idea someone like that existed, and from the look on Roel’s face, she didn’t either.

“Okay, your deregistration has been completed.” Lintay returned.

The man who was no longer an adventurer silently turned and walked out the door.

“I feel so bad for him…” Roel was still looking at the door. “If I hadn’t met you, Ryua…”

I tried to imagine how he was feeling and immediately felt awful. I had a growing hatred for whoever Grundom was. I wanted to accept the commission and punish him for what he had done. But Roel and I had other things to do, so we searched for Kohzoh’s commission. Thanks to Roel, I was able to read some of characters now, but I was still learning so I left this one to her.

“Got it, this is it.”

=====

Mine some iron on the 4th Floor of Avangard Cave.

Client: Weapon Shop Master Shopkeep, Ironman Kohzoh

=====

“We went to Avangard Cave for Pablo’s commission, right?”

“Yeah, though that time we only went down to the 2nd Floor,” Roel said.

Pablo had told us not to even think about going down past the 2nd Floor because of the dangerous monsters. I wondered how dangerous it really was. The commission was for C Rank and higher, so we should be able to manage it.

“Kohzoh’s commission, and Ryua and Roel are accepting it this time. Understood, I’ll take care of the paperwork.”

Lintay said “this time,” which meant this was another quest the clients posted on a regular basis, like Pablo’s. The commission said “mining,” though, which neither of us knew anything about. We decided to return to the weapon shop to get more information.

———-

“Ah right, here you go.” Kohzoh handed us some mining equipment.

The 1st and 2nd Floors of Avangard Cave were Danger Level 3. The 5th Floor, which was the lowest, could be anywhere from Danger Level 8 to 10. That cobra we fought had probably come from down there.

The opponents on the top floors wouldn’t give us any trouble. Roel’s level had gone up too, so I wasn’t worried.

“Once you get to the 3rd Floor, the monsters start to use poison attacks, so be careful.”

We took Kohzoh’s advice and bought some antidotes. I didn’t need them, and I planned to protect Roel with everything I had, but it couldn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst.

“Well then, off we go,” Roel said.

“Take care!” Kohzoh said.

———-

There was someone watching the entrance to Qwemill from far away. Two young girls were making their way out of the gates. Adventurers. The giant man’s mouth curled into a perverse smile.

“Oh goody, some girls to play with! It’s been so long!” He inhaled deeply, sniffing himself. “Phew, I reek of piss, but whatever. Time to play!”

He stood from his hiding spot in the forest. It was easier to hide in the forest than it was on the plains, but he still stood out. Either way, he always hid there and watched the town entrance, stalking his prey. Qwemill was his favorite place to hunt. There were so many beginners in this town, it was perfect. He left the skilled adventurers alone, since they weren’t worth the trouble. He liked his prey easy, and he was an expert at spotting them. He could easily pick out their commissions at a glance.

“Ah ha, I see some mining equipment. That means Avangard Cave’s 4th Floor. I’ll just go on ahead and find the perfect spot. I even know a shortcut!” He hurried off while laughing to himself.

His large physique certainly wasn’t made for hunting, but when he had a target he could move as quickly and quietly as he needed.

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