Here is today chapter.
Chapter 15 – Meeting After A Long Time
The inn we went to was one of the best inns in the city. As soon as you went inside, you’d see a majestic lobby, complete with large flower vases by the door, and wide, red-carpeted stairs leading to the second floor. Most likely, this inn’s customers are all aristocrats and first-class adventurers ― people who can afford it.
「What an amazing inn…」
「The price isn’t too bad, the security is good, and the walls are thick. I think this is the best place for us to talk.」
As I was looking around in awe, Ren showed me to their room with a wry smile while explaining the inn’s good points. The room where they were staying was luxurious, with one main room, two bedrooms, and one bathroom.
The main room had a large table and two-seat sofas face to face. Ren sat down on one sofa and invited Lusha and me to sit down as well. We sat side by side on the opposite sofa. Ruri finished preparing tea and sat next to Ren, sending a smile Lusha’s way.
「Come to think of it, I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Ruri.」
「I’m Lusha. Indeed, I’m honored to make your acquaintance here.」
「Likewise. Thank you for helping Hiroki.」
After Lusha and Ruri shook hands, I took the key item out of my magic bag and got to the main subject.
Ren didn’t try to hide his curiosity. There was no sign of pain on his face, and looking at him now, he didn’t look at all like someone with a curse. What I took out, of course, was a pale orange plant ― the Apricot Grass.
「This is a sprig of Apricot Grass.」
「Whoa! That’s the ingredient for a curse-cleansing potion, isn’t it?」
「Yeah. So, you really have been cursed, huh…」
I said it directly. Both of them were visibly amazed, and Ren was slightly shocked that I knew about it. Apparently, they didn’t expect me to find some Apricot Grass so quickly. I laughed weakly, saying, “I did my best.”
「That said, it’s very difficult to create a curse-cleansing potion, even once you have the ingredients. I heard from the guild that only first-class alchemists are capable of making it.」
「Well… yeah, you’re right. Do you know anyone with that level of ability?」
「I just now asked the guild about it. There seems to be a skilled alchemist on the side of the mountain, past the Demon’s Sacred Mountain Dungeon.」
「Beyond the dungeon, huh.」
Ruri nodded while saying, “I see”.
「In that case, Ren and I will go with you.」
「That’s exactly what I wanted to consult with you two for. I thought it would be quite difficult for Lusha and I to go there ourselves.」
Ruri beat me to the punch in proposing we team up. Just as I was feeling relieved, Lusha exclaimed in surprise, covering her mouth with both hands and even shaking a little.
What’s up with her? Is this because I didn’t talk to her at all and proposed this out of the blue? Naturally, she’s my partner, so I should have consulted with her beforehand.
I was wondering how to explain it, but apparently, Lusha wasn’t angry at all, or even slightly bothered.
「I’ll be in the same party as the heroes… that’s amazing! Is it really okay for me to fight with you guys?」
She was actually overjoyed. Ruri, sitting across from her, smiled and said, “Of course.” In reality, hunting isn’t a problem for either of us, but the more party members we have, the more we can get done, and we can also take turns standing guard while we’re resting.
It was settled, then ― we would go together to the Demon’s Sacred Mountain Dungeon.
「Okay, we should check our levels and combat styles with each other. [Status Open]. Here’s my current status, what do you think?」
Ren showed his status first, and seeing it was like a slap in the face. By the way, I’m still level 19.
「I’ll show you mine, too.」
Ruri showed us her status as well.
Name: Ren Watanabe
Magic Power: 1
Skills: [Language Acquisition (Passive)] [Attack Power Enhancement (Passive)] [Defense Enhancement (Passive)] [Self-Recovery Enhancement (Passive)] [Taunt]
Other: Contract Bracelet | Cursed
Name: Ruri Takanashi
Magic Power: 161
Skills: [Language Acquisition (Passive)] [Enhanced Magic Attack (Passive)] [Enhanced Mana Recovery (Passive)] [Fire] [Water] [Wind] [Earth] [Search]
「Wow… that’s so strong.」
Lusha whispered that under her breath. I totally agreed. Ruri’s stats are even higher than before. They’re more than 10 levels ahead of me now, so I feel kind of lousy about my current state.
Ren seems to have gone for a fairly well-balanced build. He’s also putting a bit of his stats in evasion, referring to me. Even if it’s only at 30, he might be able to act as a vanguard quite comfortably. For the time being, none of our builds seem to directly conflict, so this is good enough.
Ruri’s stats were exactly like that of a wizard. She had 60 Defense, so she likely didn’t have any trouble taking a hit. In the first place, Ren has the Taunt skill, so it wasn’t likely the enemy’s attacks would deviate to the rest of the party anyway.
「Just having you two with us is like gaining a small army.」
Ruri shook her head.
「In terms of knowledge, you’re actually better than us. Everyone has their own purpose.」
「To be honest, it’s encouraging to have you here. After all, you were the first one to find Apricot Grass…」
「It’s not going to work out this way if it is just with me and Ruri.」
Ruri and Ren went back and forth acknowledging me. While it’s true that I was desperate to help Ren, without Lusha’s cooperation, it wouldn’t have gone so smoothly. Lusha chuckled at our discussion, drawing their attention.
「Oh, I’m sorry. I thought heroes were like a divine and flawless existence. Looking at you now, you don’t seem that much different from us…」
Lusha’s comment brought a bitter laugh from the two of them.
「We’re still teenagers after all.」
「Yeah. Also, I’m not used to living here yet, so it makes a lot of things difficult.」
「Both of you are from the same hometown as Hiroki, right? If it’s alright with you, I’ll help with anything I can, so don’t hesitate to ask me anything.」
「Thank you, that’s very helpful.」
After Ruri thanked Lusha, she suddenly clapped her hands as if to make a suggestion.
「If we’re going to form a party together, why don’t you guys stay here too?」
「Oh, that’d be great! This room is so big, it won’t be a problem.」
「Huh? But… I’d definitely just be a nuisance…」
Lusha looked to me for help when Ruri and Ren agreed so quickly. She was feeling sorry for herself while also being grateful for the suggestion. And this inn is definitely expensive…
However, it would be less efficient if Lusha and I were staying in a separate inn.
「It’s better to stay together. If it’s fine with Ren and Ruri’s schedule, I want to leave the city first thing tomorrow morning.」
「Uh… if you say so, Hiroki. Ren-san, Ruri-san, thank you so much!」
「Yeah, best regards.」
「Let’s all get along.」
Thus, Lusha and I decided to stay in Ren and Ruri’s room at the inn.