Chapter 022: The Little Ones (Bart’s POV)
“Look at this.”
I finished dinner and showed the three sitting around the bonfire, inside the barrier box.
“Oi! I’ve never seen the stone with such a dark colour before.”
“The best Alistair could do was turn it a deep pink.”
Everyone said in amazement.
“There was almost no colour left when I gave it to Alistair today,” I muttered while recalling that time.
“Even when he collapsed, the colour was only a little bit darker.”
Everyone sunk into silence and then Mill spoke, “Did the little chibi do that?”
“I can’t think of any other explanation.”
“But you know, that means that she channelled magic into the stone by herself and activated it by herself.”
Didn’t she pick it up and show it to me?
“Say, doesn’t this mean that we picked up another person who could use their magic freely? We’re so lucky!” Mill said cheerfully.
Is he dumb? Mill had dark brown eyes and light brown hair, his build was average. But, he had a good personality and was actually good at hunting.
However, the remaining two looked at Mill incredulously when he spoke like that.
“Listen, I really don’t want to use Alistair’s power. He’s only 10. He doesn’t like relying on people, so I let him work by channelling his magic. The chibi is still only just a baby! Are you saying you want to make her work!?”
This guy, really.
“Say, why did the two chibis faint?”
“’Cause they used too much magic.”
Do you finally understand!? I thought in exasperation. He had understood, but sometimes Mill’s speech and conduct would annoy me.
We are all childhood friends. We all came from the slums, but we all became apprentice hunters and worked hard in different hunter parties. Finally at 15, we were able to make a party with the four of us.
After that, we became pretty famous hunters because we were good at hunting together. We were so good at working together that a girl once rejected me with, “Since you work so well together, why don’t you go back to your party?” Haa. Well, it’s all good now.
“We’re great hunters. We lived too selfishly, so we decided to take an orphan in and that’s why Alistair is with us now, right? And yet, since when have we been spoiled by Alistair?”
“There’s only the four of us, so it’s hard to guard at night. We just happened to have Alistair and the old barrier box with us, so he used it,” the person who had replied to me was Kyaro. He had long light brown hair. He had a complex because his face was a bit cuter than a girl’s and he was short. So, he grew out his bangs to hide his face and green eyes. Even though it doesn’t make sense for him to do this.
Stop glaring at me!
“It won’t benefit Alistair if we don’t practice how to hunt without a barrier. You’re just jealous because he has the barrier box and can use it,” Kyaro said and our other comrade, Clyde, nodded in agreement. He had black hair and dark brown eyes and was huge. And, he was a man of few words.
“Well, our town is protected by the barrier, so I won’t say anything to Alistair, but I don’t know what would happen in other towns,” Mill said while looking at the tent where Alistair was sleeping.
That’s right. The town where we live, Lentforce, was located on the other side of Walsall Mountains, west of the Royal Capital. It was impossible to travel to the Royal Capital because the Walsall Mountains were steep, but it was a fortunate town that was located on the edge of Kingdom’s barrier. It was also located close to the Rhodolite mines.
To put it simply, the people inside Kingdom’s barrier didn’t consider Lentforce as part of Kingdom. But then again, we don’t recognise Kingdom as our own kingdom either.
People might think that we would prosper, but that wasn’t true. Food and things that made our life easier, all came from Kingdom and our town was on the other side of the mountain range. It took three weeks to get here on Rug Dragons along the border, and a lot of Hollows appeared along the mountain ranges, so goods were expensive.
However, as a town along the border, we had few crimes which involved magic users, because they didn’t know how to take the people they’d be kidnapping into other towns.
Alistair and his mother, Nora, came to our town as if they were escaping from something. They could have hired a guard but they didn’t have any money. They could have sold the barrier box that they had for a high price, but then they would have been involved in a crime if they weren’t secretive while selling at Frontier.
They managed to get to Lentforce from the border in one month by riding two Rug Dragons. We met them at the edge of town when they were exhausted and helped them out.
Nora looked like a gentle person with brown hair and eyes, but she was prepared to die as she carried her child here. Someone who was older than us, no, age didn’t matter. She was a strong person with a marketable skill in lacing and would have been welcomed at Lentforce.
But, they were attacked by Hollows on the way to Lentforce because they were late in activating the barrier. Nora became weak, and because of that she passed away and left Alistair. However, he was a strong child and he probably would have done anything to survive even if we hadn’t helped him. Even so, the four of us knew that there was a limit to what one could do at the age of 10.
“Alistair probably knows more about the meaning of eye colours than us. But he was still prepared to do that. The kid that Alistair took in is also like our kid. That okay with you?”
Kyaro and Clyde agreed with me. Mill hadn’t replied yet. What’s he even thinking about? Stop it, it’s not like you’re thinking about anything good.
“Don’t you think it’s heroic for us to raise a baby? The girls will probably go crazy over us in town, huh?”
“They won’t. Seriously, you. Hey, Kyaro, Clyde. Oi?”
Why are you guys being restless and fixing your hair? We’re not in town. Hmph.
The Hollows were loitering outside of the invisible barrier. I suddenly found it funny that we might be in this situation because we were idiots living in the harsh Frontier. The kids are sleeping for now. The hard Frontier life is waiting for them tomorrow.
“We might get popular.”
You’re ruining it Mill.