"What happened?" asked Kurdak as he gently prodded the fire. Leguna's experiences were far worse than he had initially imagined. He felt it was rather amazing that Leguna's personality hadn't turned for the worse. It was especially so with what happened to Eirinn.
Leguna thought for a while before he shook his head.
"I just remember things blurrily so I don't know what happened next. I'm not even sure how I made it back to my shack. When I woke up, I realized I knew how to use impetus."
"I spent a number of days asking around about the Lorsen Merchant Guild. half a year later, I was discovered when I tailed them. They've been pursuing me ever since. I hid in a mansion at some point. When I noticed nobody was guarding it, I tried to steal a few things. When I made it to the storehouse, I was knocked out. I woke up in a jail cell. I was put on a ship for here a few days later."
"So that's what happened."
Even though he didn't gasp from shock, Kurdak couldn't help but shudder at the realization that Leguna didn't mention that he knew impetus until after Eirinn's father. If he really did get impetus all of a sudden in the last half a year, his rate of improvement was be phenomenal.
After some consideration, Kurdak thought that Moonshadow probably had plans for Leguna's future, so he didn't press the matter.
Instead, he asked, "So what about your plans? Do you intend to look for her?"
"Of course! No matter where she is, I'll find her! I made up my mind to train hard and get a good position in the guild. That way I can use their resources to aid in my search," said Leguna straightforwardly.
Kurdak laughed and punched lightly on Leguna's chest.
"Why aren't you a fine kid with a good heart? I think things will turn out like you want eventually. Alright, it's rather late. Make sure to get some sleep in my tent. There are still three hours before we set out."
Leguna stood up and felt a little groggy. Before he left, he hesitated before he said, "Boss..."
"Yes?" responded Kurdak, turning to Leguna.
"I feel so much better after telling you. Thank you."
Kurdak seemed a little flabbergasted but soon broke into a smile.
"Idiot, what's there to thank? I'm your Big Bro, your friend, you know. There isn't a need for thanks between friends."
Jaehart retained his quiet attitude for the rest of the trip. But thanks to Leguna's mediation, he no longer looked at Kurdak and the rest with cold hostility.
And thanks to Leguna telling the rest about Jaehart's experiences, they became more understanding and no longer regarded the boy hatefully. He managed to meld with the party and no longer led the way far ahead of them alone.
When Jaehart successfully brought the party to Shimmer Lake, his job was over. Leguna was worried for his safety and wanted him to wait at the lake until they dealt with the bear, but he refused.
"I've already walked this path many times, I know some impetus as well. I will be fine even if I encounter a few beasts. Besides, I have two sisters waiting for me back home. I can't help but worry about them," explained Jaehart.
Leguna opened his mouth but ended up not saying anything. Instead, he took out another ten silvers and handed them to him. When Vera saw that the pouch in Leguna's hands was hers, she gasped unwittingly.
"Take this with you," He said with an outstretched hand.
Before Jaehart could say anything, he continued.
"Don't be in such a hurry to refuse. Think about your two sisters. Their comfort is far more important than your pride. Take them into consideration, alright?"
Jaehart looked at Leguna deeply before taking the money and mumbling his thanks softly.
"Make sure to not act so rashly in the future. Remember what I said: always leave yourself a way out," said Leguna as he patted on Jaehart's shoulder before he rejoined Kurdak and the rest.
Jaehart looked at his figure, the youth not much older than him, and couldn't help but feel a little impressed. It all vanished when he saw what happened next.
"You dare to take Sis's money pouch and spend my money?! I see you've gotten sick of living, haven't you?" said Vera, tugging on Leguna's ear as they walked.
"Owowowowowowowow! I'll give it back! Definitely! I'll pay you back twice the money after the mission! Ouch! Sis, stop tugging on my ear! I'm on my way to becoming an elf!" cried Leguna painfully.
"That's more like it. I don't need you to return the money. All I want is for you to carry my bags from now on. Let's see if you dare to sneak my pouch away again."
"Hehehe, of course I wouldn't dare! If I do so in the future, you can cut my hand off and roast it for lunch," appeased Leguna.
At that moment, he was acting like a dog wagging its tail to its owner, a dog shaking its rear so hard it might all off.
"Hmph, forget it! It's beneath me to eat your scrawny little hand!"
Jaehart looked at Leguna and found himself wondering how he got to know such an embarrassment of a human. Shaking his head, he turned to leave.
As it was already evening by the time they arrived at Shimmer Lake, Kurdak didn't hurry his comrades to begin the hunt. Instead, he had Leguna scout the area to make sure there weren't any threats lurking nearby before they set up camp.
The next day, the four managed to locate tracks the bear's tracks.
"Based on the footprints, this bear should've been here around two days ago," concluded Leguna.
Kurdak looked at him oddly.
"How can you tell?"
"Oh, I learned the method from the notebook."
"Fine. If you are accurate, it should not be far. We should speed up our preparations."
Kurdak kicked Leguna and prodded him to begin laying traps. Leguna rubbed his rear, grimacing, before beginning his work.
"Hey, Ley," called Kurdak as he tossed a bottle of thick yellow liquid over.
"Charla Manor's exquisite honey. You know what to do," answered Kurdak as he shot Leguna a look.
"Oh, Boss, you're such a caring one! You want to make sure I get enough nutrition!"
Leguna excitedly smelled the sweet fragrance wafting out of the gourd.
"In your dreams! It's bait! Who cares about your nutrition?" barked Kurdak, struggling not to fall into the pace of the idiot in front of him.
"Tch, what a useless leader. He doesn't even know how to reward his subordinates," complained Leguna softly.
He took two large gulps of the honey when Kurdak wasn't looking. How could he not? He hadn't tasted anything like it before in his life.
"So sweet!" said Leguna as he licked his lips.
That old guy told me time and again how sweet this is. I finally got to taste it!
"Hey, brat! That's meant for the darned bear, you know, not you!" yelled Kurdak exasperatedly.
"Come on, there's still some left! I still haven't had dinner yet, you know!" replied Leguna justly before he took two more gulps.
"Just be quick and don't ruin the plan. If we run out of honey, I'll use your meat as bait," said Kurdak, no longer bothering with Leguna's childishness.
Two hours of hard work later, Leguna finally finished laying his traps. According to Kurdak, normal traps couldn't pierce the bear's thick hide. That was why, after some discussion, he decided to target the bear's eyes. As long as its vision was impeded, the whole task would become much easier.
"Boss, do you think it'll come?"
After laying the traps, Kurdak had instructed the group to hide in the bushes. Vera and Cyranos each found places from which they could easily launch attacks to hide. Leguna didn't bother and hid right next to Kurdak. As he asked the question, he chugged down a few more gulps of the remaining honey.
"If your guesses were correct, it will come," Kurdak said as he looked at Leguna and furrowed his brow, "Stop drinking. What if the bear discovers the smell coming from here?"
"Oh come on, you haven't let me eat anything yet. I need this to keep my hunger at bay. What if my stomach rumbles and attracts the bear?" said Leguna before he took another gulp and relished the sickly sweet taste in his mouth.
"Won't you get sick?" Kurdak asked when he looked at Leguna's blissful expression, "Give the rest here."
Kurdak grabbed the bottle and swallowed the rest of the honey in one go. He didn't get the chance to eat either due to all the work they had to do.
"Tch, you needed this just as much as me, and I thought you didn't need to eat or drink," chided Leguna.
Kurdak swallowed the last few drops.
"What do you know? I have to fight that huge thing later, you know. If anyone needs to be full, it's me."
"Hehehe, our roles are different for a reason, you know. Just look at how thin I am, my waist isn't even as thick as the bear's leg! It's still best for a strong man like you to take it on," said Leguna as he put on an adoring expression.
"Hmph, at least you know your place."
The moment Kurdak finished his sentence, a low growl could be heard from not far away.
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