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Chapter 98 – The Burden of Benevolence
“Alright, it’s time to show Luca and Crazy Bear!”
Excitement fills my heart as I anticipate their reactions to the house I stumbled upon. Will they believe it? I can’t help but feel thrilled.
With light footsteps, I embark on my journey.
The city is peaceful today, just like any other day. Even the Sleeping Cat woke up from its nap and scurried away as if fleeing from something.
Or perhaps it’s just my imagination, but did I hear a distant scream just now?
Driven by a sense of unease, my feet instinctively lead me towards the commotion.
A small town comes into view.
“There are orcs!”
In the heart of the town, I witness a tearful old lady helplessly scattering food from her grocery bag. Without a moment’s hesitation, I pass by her and start running.
What are they doing?
Where are the forest rangers?
I keep running, pushing myself to the limit with the assistance of Support 1.
With each step, the clamor grows louder.
“It’s been years since we had an orc invasion, hasn’t it?”
“Are the forest rangers still not here?”
“Isn’t that dangerous?”
Tension hangs in the air, but the crowd ahead obstructs my view.
Though a few scattered adventurers are present, it seems none of them have taken action yet.
“Excuse me, please let me through.”
Pushing through the legs of onlookers, my short stature grants me passage to the front row.
As my vision clears, I see evidence of two invading orcs in the town and a few crushed goblin remains.
One of the orcs is happily devouring fruits displayed on a stall. I’ll deal with that one later.
The other orc, inching closer, is targeting a terrified woman who trembles and retreats.
I intervene, disrupting their encounter!
Your attention should be solely on me.
With bloodshot eyes, despite my weakness, I bypass the tearful woman and attack the robust, muscular orc.
With all my might, I rush forward and dive into its broad chest, squeezing tightly. The orc lets out a bewildered cry.
Let my spells electrify you!
Together, we engage in a deadly dance.
First, one orc.
Orc B has been defeated!
I nod in response to the woman who expresses her gratitude, still enveloped in a flickering lightning aura. I turn my attention to the next orc.
It gazes at me with a puzzled expression, holding a half-eaten Parlu fruit in its hand.
“Keep your hands to yourself.”
To foster better understanding, I extend my hand.
Curiosity flickers in its eyes as it takes another bite of the Parlu fruit.
Ugh, how troublesome.
Casually touching the orc’s body, I unleash an electric shock. Due to the rough handling, the orc thrashes around and accidentally punches a wooden pillar of a nearby stall.
Crack, crack, crack…
Oh no, this is bad.
Orc A has been defeated!
Stall A has also collapsed!
Nooo, you orc.
Could it be my responsibility to compensate for this?
The party responsible for all this vanished, transforming into small magic stones and fleeing from this world.
Just as I thought the threat was eliminated, a new one arises, and I tremble uncontrollably.
How much does this shop cost?
I tried to impress Lai-nee by giving her money, so I hardly have any left.
The old lady from the collapsed stall A approaches!
Eek! She’s approaching with a fierce expression on her face.
Oh no, she’s scarier than an ogre.
She reaches out her hand.
Eeeek! I-I’m sorry about earlier, there was no other choice!
Failed to dodge!
She firmly grabs both of my shoulders.
I feel like crying.
“Were you scared?”
Y-Yes. Even now.
If I answer honestly, the old lady’s angry shout echoes through the market!
“Hey, all of you! This young boy fought and went through such scary experiences, and yet you’re all so spineless! It’s pathetic! I can’t believe it!”
“That’s right! Useless adventurers!”
Um, excuse me?
You were the scary one, though.
Oops, my mouth got me into trouble.
It seems like she won’t hold it against me, though.
But because of that unnecessary comment that showed concern for me, the adventurers who happened to be there are now looking down with faces stained with humiliation.
Wait, wait a minute.
It’s not like I’m the one who made them feel that way, right?
“They are not at fault!”
The old lady looks at me with a perplexed expression.
“Why?” she seems to be asking.
I can’t explain that either. Oh dear.
“Well, the ones at fault are the Forest Security Team.”
“That’s right! That’s right!”
“Aix, thank you for protecting me.”
It feels like the enemies have become even bigger, but there was no other choice earlier.
Hmm? There’s a man holding a portable safe who seems to be trying to talk to me. I wonder what it is?
“Magician-sama. Thank you for protecting my wife earlier. This is our shop’s entire savings, although it’s not much. Please accept it.”
Why is it their entire savings?
“I… can’t accept it.”
They look at me with teary eyes.
If you don’t accept it, I’ll be in trouble! Luca’s words echo in my mind. Sniff…
“Instead, let me take this.”
I walk away as if escaping and pick up an item from their storefront that I couldn’t quite make out. Cheers erupt.
“You’re amazing! Wait a moment, please.”
“You’re cool, kid!”
Phew. I don’t want to attract too much attention.
Huh? Wait a minute, stop.
The old lady from stall A approaches with a beaming smile, returning to the broken stall.
In their hands is a bag of fruits.
“This is from my shop.”
I’m happy, but it’s too much.
“That’s right! Take mine too, hero.”
“I’ll give you mine too, Magician-sama.”
The gratitude of everyone is heavy (physically).
I don’t know where I went wrong.
It’s impossible for someone as weak as me.
Nitra, help me!
As I struggle with the overwhelming display of goodwill in front of me, an old man approaches and calls out.
“Hohoho. Young hero, you seem troubled.”
I look up, feeling a glimmer of hope in his voice.
“You’ve done splendidly earlier. Now, let me give you something.”
In his hand is a Magic Bag.
An ultra-luxury item!
“Oh, no. I can’t accept that.”
“Young one, there’s no need for hesitation.”
The old man…
He takes out a backpack from his Item Bag. Could it be?
“With this, you should be able to carry it.”
I don’t waaaant it!
And on top of that, this kind person is even
packing it for me. Why are they being so kind?
I try to lift it just to give it a try, but it’s still too heavy, and I can’t lift it at all.
“Oh no, it’s not a problem. I’ll have someone carry it for you.”
Being carried by another kind person, the weight presses on both my shoulders. I can carry it! If I do it like this, even I can carry it. I didn’t know that.
“Oh, it’s heavy.”
“If you sit down, you won’t be able to get up, so when you take a break, push the baggage against the wall and rest while standing.”
Thud! Thud! Thud!
My ordeal begins.
The weight of the pure-hearted people’s kindness digs into both my shoulders.
“Thank you, Hero!”
“You were amazing!”
Amidst the warm cheers of many people, I set off. As I leave the market and the cheers fade away, I sense Hollow approaching.
“Hey, hey.” (Hollow)
“Hmm? … I’m in the middle of something, so later, okay?”
The pain is released.
It feels as if my sins have been forgiven.
“Thank you. It’s light! I underestimated you.”
Skipping along, let’s head towards Luca’s house.