Rumanshi: It was fun freaking nyan out about the fact it was due today~ But hey, you got your chapter!
On another note, do you ever feel like answering surveys or watching ads? Or just taking chances with RNGesus? Sign up to earn.gg and you can earn a few cents while reading novels. Well, now actually go read a novel, rather than my desperation for alcohol funds!
The First Day off① To the Forest
Parting ways with Sail, I crawled into the bed in my room.
While savouring the feeling of the soft bedding, I thought back to what Fault said.
Why do I need to be friends with Alicia and Nenea in order to be friends with Fault I wonder.
Will me being friends with Fault bring some sort of inconvenience to him?
Or as expected he’s still considering the possibility of a confrontation with me?
If when the time comes I refuse to join the Student Council, I wonder what stance Alicia will take?
I don’t think there’ll be another show of force though.
It might be because such a possibility cannot be discounted that Fault couldn’t be my friend.
Alicia aside, is that short-fused catgirl willing to be my friend?
(… It’s impossible isn’t it)
Today’s main issues are these.
Being friends with that cat is way too challenging.
In the first place, things have been proceeding really well.
Master Aine never taught me how to make friends.
It can’t be that she didn’t think the day where I’d worry about such a thing would come, could it?
(… What to do)
I want to befriend Fault.
However, the conditions he asks for are quite harsh.
Wonder if there’s any good way around this.
The answer won’t come even if I were to mull over it.
(… Time to sleep I guess)
Tomorrow I have a quest from the half-elf girl— Cossette anyway.
If I recall correctly, the meeting is at the front gates after having lunch.
Let’s just tell Sail before we head out.
Thinking up to here, I fell asleep.
The next day.
It is a day off but the bells still toll.
There’s nothing different from a normal weekday other than there being no classes.
After having breakfast, I started preparing.
Wearing the uniform, and donning a robe over the clothing.
There was that time when Alicia mistook me for a thief when I wasn’t in uniform when I first came to this Institute, but since I’m now wearing the uniform there shouldn’t be a problem.
Just incase, I’ll bring along my Magic Stone.
After waiting for a bit, the lunch bell tolled.
“Mars, are you ready?”
Sail’s voice accompanied a knock on the door. I opened the door.
you too, ready?”
Standing in front of me was the ever mean looking Werewolf.
He was wearing the uniform.
Even though we’re headed into the forest, I wonder if this wolfie will be alright?
“Although I said to be prepared, we won’t be needing any special equipment now would we?”
“Since the area is managed by the Institute, there will only be a few monsters around.”
“Just to be safe, can you at least bring the Magic Stone with you?”
“Won’t it be alright? Even without worrying about things like that?”
“Better safe than sorry”
Even during my journey to the Institute, I did not encounter any monsters in the vicinity, but in order to deal with the unexpected, it is better to not be too proud and careless.
“… I understand. Before leaving, we’re going to have a meal right?”
Sail looks like it’s a pain, but went to get his magic stone anyway.
Following that, we headed to the cafeteria.
I told Nerfa that we’ll be headed for a quest now.
“In that case, please accept this”
I received a glass bottle filled with red liquid.
A cork stoppered the mouth of the bottle, preventing anything from spilling out.
It looks to be a Restoration Potion.
“This is a Nerfa Special Restoration Potion!
Not only will it recover your stamina, it will also heal any status effects!”
To what lengths does this perfect maid take her job I wonder.
However, if it’s Nerfa then such preparation isn’t surprising.
“Thank you very much, Nerfa”
Sail and I took the Restoration Potion and headed to the meeting place.
Seeing Raphie waving at us from the gates, we hastened our pace.
“My bad, did I keep you waiting?”
“No, didn’t have to wait at all!”
Raphie laughed it off.
Today’s Raphie is wearing a robe which covers her entire body and is carrying a small pouch hanging from her shoulder.
Maybe to put tools in I guess.
“U-Um, thank you all for gathering for someone like me. L-lets get along well today.”
Cossette continuously bobbed her head bowing.
Her expression was stiff.
She may still be nervous.
Like Raphie, she’s wearing a full body robe.
She’s carrying a rucksack though, maybe for storing the collected herbs in?
“Oi you wolfie! It’s ‘cause you have such a mean face that you’re scaring Cossette-san silly!”
“It’s my fault!?”
Seeing the way these two were behaving, Cossette looked to be even more embarrassed.
“… For now, shall we set off?”
After I said that, the two stopped arguing,
“Well then everyone, I look forward to working with you all”
With the Half-elf girl leading the way, we set off from the Institute.
The Institute is surrounded by forests.
That said; because there’s a man-made road leading to town, journeying to town is not something difficult.
The herb’s growth point was told by the Hobbit Instructor – Sumina Clott.
That instructor did have a lot of herbs prepared during Pharmacy class so she might have collected them herself.
We entered the forest that is free from human intervention.
Although it was midday, it was still quite dark in here.
The trees seem to be blocking out most of the light.
The silent atmosphere wraps around us.
There wasn’t even the presence of animals.
“So Cossette is a Half-elf”
When I was taking on the quest, I only knew after the store owner told me.
Up till then, I thought she was a Pure Elf.
“Y-yes, my mother is an Elf and my father is a human.”
I looked at the back of the little girl walking just in front of me.
Her twin tails are constantly swinging around.
Her ears are slightly shorter than an Elf’s and the tips a little rounded.
To the average person, the difference is so subtle as to be easily missed.
This girl surprisingly is walking confidently in the forest.
Sail and I had no problems, but Raphie seems a little hindered.
As expected, Raphie didn’t stroll beside me as usual here.
The grass and mud make it hard to walk and easy to sink into.
“It seems you’re used to moving around in the forest”
“W-well, that’s because I always explored the forest that’s close to my house when I was small I think”
“In the forest? Could it be, you had special training too?”
Normally, that’s not a place for children to play in.
In other words, Cossette like me has had combat training since childhood.
“Mars, you, you had such a thing since you were a kid?” (Ru/Nyan: Sail, wtf. You were there at dinner.)
“As expected of Mars-san! To have started training even at such a young age!”
To the three responses, I replied,
It’s nothing to hide really, but somehow I started feeling rather embarrassed and didn’t go on.
As I closed my mouth, Cossette started speaking instead.
“Even as a child, I didn’t have any friends…
Even so, I still had my father and my mother. But when I got really lonely I headed into the forest where the animals would play with me”
Perhaps it’s because she’s a half-elf that she couldn’t get any friends.
These days it is not unusual for races to live together in towns but in most places, the human population is the most dominant.
Is this the case?
Even though the adults learn to coexist, children are different.
I can imagine them bullying kids who have a different appearance from themselves.
“But Cossette, if you were careless a monster could have gotten you, you know?
You might have been young, but didn’t you consider the danger at all?”
“The animals told me, which routes were safe and which weren’t”
Now that she mentioned it, this half-elf was talking to her pet hamster.
Could it be,
“I have the skill to talk with animals”
As expected it was something like that.
“So Cossette-san understood what that hamster was saying huh”
Raphie who was walking behind me was also surprised.
“Yes, for a loner like I was, this skill was a godsend”
I couldn’t see her face, but her voice was light.
She seems to be genuinely happy.
“But weren’t Cossette-san’s parents worried?”
“Me entering the forest was a secret from them.
When they went to work, I would secretly sneak out of the house”
The reminiscing Cossette looks like she’s having fun.
For her, being able to converse with the animals must have been a very treasured experience.
“Thanks to my forest friends, I wasn’t lonely at all.
Although my parents were always worried about me who had no friends.”
“It is not surprising that your parents would think like that.”
“I do understand that.
That’s why I thought I should get alone with people more.
But because I’m originally a shy person I…”
It seems that she feels shy when surrounded by people.
“Then, Cossette has no friends?”
“M-M-Mars-san! That was too straightforward!”
Rather unusually, Raphie retorted on me there.
But, not having any friends until only recently is just like me.
“Y-yes, in this academy I can barely speak with people properly…”
“Masaka, you’re not being bullied are you!?”
The worried Raphie exclaimed,
“Y-yes, because I’m in class B, people in A class tend to say some harsh things, but it’s not all that bad.”
I heard that the place is quite elitist, but to think there’s discrimination against students with low grades.
I did not notice because I hardly ever interact with the bunch from B-Class.
“If there are any cheeky students, then please do tell Raphie.
They’ll be in for some punishment”
Raphie’s “fufufu” laughing could be heard from behind us.
I felt a tingly sensation running down my back.
However, the sight of the kouhai caring Raphie is a fresh one.
We barely know each other so of course, I wouldn’t know.
But we will learn about each other slowly over due course.
If it gets out of hand the Student Council will lend us a hand.”
To think the subject of the Student Council would be coming from Cossette.
“Do you really think that Student Council would bother to do something?”
I didn’t see her face, but her voice was filled with doubt.
“It is not like that.
The Student Council has given us B Class students considerable amount of help.
When I was attacked by a werewolf, Alicia-kaichou helped me.
Ah, s-sorry! This isn’t something Sail-senpai would like to hear would he…”
As if just remembering that Sail was a werewolf, this fragile little girl shivered (well not really but as close as I can get)
“… I don’t mind”
The answering voice of the wolfie sounded a bit depressed.
“… That woman did something like that”
Raphie voiced out her surprise.
It seems the Student Council does manage to keep the minimum peace.
Thanks to that some students are helped out.
“For a half-elf like me, the Elf president Alicia saved me without showing any discrimination.
It’s something I didn’t even think possible while I was in my village”
For sure, for a half-elf for whom being discriminated is a part of life, it would have been a shocking experience.
While listening to Cossette, we continued climbing.
Every once in awhile, patches of light managed to filter through the treetops.
“Something smells nice doesn’t’ it!”
Raphie said in a cheerful voice.
But I could not recognise the smell.
It feels like a mix of tree smells and the soil.
“Quite the harsh smell isn’t it?”
To the Sail who complained at what Raphie said,
“This wolf, not only is his head bad, his nose is too!
To not understand such scents”
“You damn rabbit with your shitty nose, our werewolf noses are way superior in comparison!”
“S-shitty nose!? Since when is Raphie’s nose a shitty nose!”
A small fight between wolf and rabbit started when, at that time—
Following Cossette’s voice, we all hastened our pace.
Despite how dense the forest is, this was the only place where flowers were blooming.
Without any human hands disturbing, a naturally occurring flower garden.
Over here, there was no canopy, rushing in like a rain, light shone upon the vividly coloured flowers.
“All the flowers here are herbs for concoction”
Cossette immediately crouched down to pick the flowers.
“Raphie will also help.
Which flowers are the ones that should be picked?”
“Thank you very much.
Then, could you please collect the red and purple flowers?
Please pick only the flower part for the red flowers.
It would help if you could collect the stems too for the purple flowers.”
Saying that, Cossette let down her rucksack and handed to Raphie a knife for collecting the flowers.
Following the instructions, Raphie started collecting the herbs.
“Sail and I will be on patrol; if anything happens do shout out”
Till the end though, up to here, there weren’t any Monster presences.
As a matter of fact, the strange thing is there weren’t even the presences of beasts.
Even if the Institue is managing the woods surrounding it, this lack of life is quite disturbing.
While keeping an eye out, and thinking of such things,
“Ah, hey! Urgh, what’s wrong!?”
The voices of a panicking Cossette came with the confused voice of Raphie.
Looking away, the half-elf loli who was supposed to be picking herbs suddenly got up and ran deeper into the forest.
Sail screamed and faced me.
“I’ll go and chase, Sail and Raphie please standby right here”
Telling only that, I followed in the direction where Cossette ran off to.