5. Ah, right, what’s a spirit?
A sound wakes me the following morning. This some sort of joke? Who’s up this early in the morning?
Despite the irritation from being woken up, I look towards the remains of the extinguished camp fire in order to investigate the sound. There I find a chibi wearing a flaming match like costume. Seeing the guy improves my mood. “Hey you, what’s with that dance? Are you sad the fire went out? Give me a minute and I can light a new one.”
‘Kachi, kachi, kachi’
Unlike yesterday, I get a fire going no problem. Ha, looks like I’m starting to get used to it. Actually, maybe I should give magic another shot?
Since Guzu-oyake is still sleeping, I speak in a low voice. “Fire, ignite.”
Figures, nothing happened. Well, not like I actually know anything about stuff like magic. It might just be something belonging to the people of this world. For now, I’ll just do the usual ritual of rubbing the heads of the new chibi.
Greeting the new chibi raises my spirits. Hehee, this is something that makes me and the Chibi happy. I even feel like I can understand them doing this. It’s nothing like with Gusu-oyake.
I finish greeting the new chibi and then we start preparing breakfast. That’s when I realize Gusu-oyake never mentioned a thing about them last night. There’s got to be at least 50 of them. There’s no way she didn’t notice them…
I think about it for a bit, but stop since I can’t figure anything out. I’ll just ask her about it later.
Once breakfast is ready, I wake up Gusu-oyake. I asked the chibi to do it at first, but that didn’t look like it was working. Nope, not one bit. As such, I pat her shoulder a few times.
I say, “Hey, Gusu-oyake, get up. Breakfast is ready.”
“Ehehehehe… Hii, please no! Don’t sell me! Ah, Spirit-san, don’t abandon me! No! I’ll be defiled…”
“Yeah, yeah, just get up and shuuuuuuuuuuut it!”
Shit, does she still think I’m a slave trader? What a frustrating woman.
Gusu-oyake has a face that screams she doesn’t know what’s going to happen as she restlessly looks around.
Che, how annoying.
I say, “Hey, morning.”
“Hii! …Ah, goo- good morning to you!”
What was with that scream just now? Seriously, why’d I even bring her with me? Well, it’s not like I could have just ignored her back then.
I say, “The rice is ready.”
“You made rice?! That’s that amazingly delicious food we had for supper last night! I can’t wait—!”
So she’s the type who moves at her own pace.
I speak to her without forgetting to be mindful about my eyes. Just like that, we have a normal breakfast. Overall though, we don’t have any particularly meaningful conversations, but that’s probably because she’s still terrified.
Ah, there’s still that thing I want to ask her about.
I say, “Hey, Gusu-oyake.”
“A- ano… I’d like for you to stop calling me Gusu-oyake.”
I naturally ignore Gusu-oyake’s comment. “What are you gonna do next? We’re pretty much thinking on heading to town.”
“Town!? Zero-san, for you to be going to town… is it to turn yourself in?”
“Right from the start, you’re completely misunderstanding why we’re even going to town. This is just hell.”
“Wa-wa-wa-wa-wait a sec, please! I was just joking! I am also thinking about returning to town.”
I see, Gusu-oyake is also heading to town. Well, in that case, going together wouldn’t be too bad. Blunt people are a lot easier to deal with than those other bastards.
I say, “Really? Then how about we go together? Having someone to talk with wouldn’t be too bad.”
“You’re not an evil person!? You’re not going to force me to come with you? Let’s go together!”
“What are you really thinking?”
“There won’t be anyone to save me the next time I get attacked. With Zero-san around, everyone will most likely be too afraid to even approach us.”
Che, there’s no way I can overlook a jab like that. Although, I’ll have to if I want to travel together with her.
“Ri-ght, well for now, let’s go to town together. Let’s leave once we finish up here.”
Gusu-oyake smiles to me as she says, “Hai! Please treat me well.” She then instantly turns away upon seeing my eyes.
Well, she’s probably giving it her best.
We quickly put on our equipment, clean up the fire, and get going. The rest of the way is straight down the main road. There will be more people ahead. Although I’m fine just watching the chibi, conversation is crucial for being friendly. As such, I start talking with Gusu-oyake. “Yo.”
“What are you doing alone in a place like this?”
I say nothing and an awkward silence builds between us. Damn, was that something I shouldn’t have asked about?
I say, “Ah, sorry. You don’t have to talk about it, my bad.”
“N- no, it’s fine.”
Looks like messed up. I should change the topic.
I say, “So, how far away is town?”
“I- I came on this trip in order to make a contract with a spirit.”
‘Ahre?’ I was just asking how long it would take us to reach town. How’d that come out?
While Gusu-oyake panics by going, “awa awa,” I say, “Umm, wasn’t that something you didn’t want to talk about?”
“No, it’s just a bit hard to explain, so I needed a moment to organize my thoughts…”
“O- oh, I see. Then, please keep going.”
Did I screw up on reading the mood? Man, that’s another thing I’m gonna have to fix. Right now though, I need to focus on Gusu-oyake’s story.
She says, “I went to that place so I could forge a contract with a spirit. Also, it’s rumored that you can meet spirits more easily around that vicinity.”
“Wait, hold up. What’s a spirit?”
Gusu-oyake gives me a blank look right after I say that. “That’s right, since Zero-san is ignorant about magic, he also won’t know about spirits. I understand! Leave the explanation to me!”
“Right, I’ll leave it to you.”
Gusu-oyake then puts on glasses she pulled from I don’t know where. No, she really did pull them from nowhere. How energetic.
She says, “There are spirits for each attribute. For the most part, they don’t show themselves in front of people. They are also big enough to fit on your palm with their appearances matching their attributes.”
“Their appearances match their attributes?”
“Yes, according to the texts, fire spirits are like a fierce blaze while water spirits flow like water.”
I look at the chibi and they give me an intimidating glare. Their so cute. They’re about the right size, but their appearances are a bit off. That one’s nothing like a fierce blaze, he’s just a match.
“I see, so why are you trying to contract with a spirit?”
“In this society, magicians who’ve made contracts with spirits are recognized as a whole person.”
“In other words, you’re only half a person?”
Gusu-oyake collapses onto her knees while saying, “Gufuu.”
Looks like I hit the bull’s-eye. Actually, she’s starting to cry. Hey, Gusu-oyake, you alright?
She says, “Bu- but, as long as I make a contract, I’ll be recognized as a full person! Contracting one spirit will make me a full-fledged adult. Contracting with two will make me a senior magician. If I can contract three, I’ll be able to become a magician with enough stature to represent my country!”
“Eeeh, are there any benefits to contracting?”
Gusu-oyake, seeming to have recovered her spirits, stands back up with her chest held out and her glasses back on her face. She says, “Contracting a spirit increase the effectiveness of your magic. Let’s use fire magic as an example. It uses 20 mana and has a power of 20. Now, if you’re contracted with a fire spirit, it will have a power of 40.”
“So it doubles it. That’s pretty cool.”
I see, spirits have that sort of existence. Except, just what kind of contract are you making to get such a sweet deal?
I say, “So, how do you make a contract?”
I see, she’s the type who acts without thinking. Yep, no mistake about it.
She says, “…By giving it your best?”
Was that a critical hit? Shouldn’t magicians have good heads on their shoulders? Hers looks to be pretty bad.
I say, “I thought spirits don’t show themselves to people. How are you going to find one?”
Despite her confidence, she speaks in a low voice. “By giving it my hardest to search for them.”
This must be her limit. She’s completely useless.
I say, “Couldn’t you find someone to ask?”
“I tried, but nothing they said made sense to me.”
“You didn’t get it? What about the contract?”
“Spirits are very mysterious…”
I don’t understand what Gusu-oyake is telling me. How does she not know how to contract?
She says, “Spirits can’t use magic. Therefore, they receive human magic and empower it.”
“Eeh, spirits receive magic from humans? Then, humans give the spirits a hand? It’s something like that?”
Gusu-oyake nods despite totally being down in the dumps. That nod, however, doesn’t even go high enough for me to see her eyes. “Yes.”
Well, this ain’t too bad if I think about it. I don’t have to turn away to keep her from seeing my eyes like this. All in all, nothing really changed.
At that time, the chibi tug on my clothes. Do they want me to help? Oh yeah, this is the whole reason I even left the forest. I’ll help Gusu-oyaka like I’m about to die! I guess there’s no helping it…
I say, “Hey, in that case, maybe I can help you out with that?”
“Eh? You’re going to help me?”
“Well, it’s like they say, two heads are better than one. I can’t use magic and I don’t have a clue about spirits, but how about it?”
“Ye- yes! Thank you very much. I was honestly a bit nervous doing this alone.”
“Don’t worry about it. For now, let’s head to town. Once there, we’ll start our war council.”
Well, looks like I’ll be joining her once we reach town. I sneak a peek and see that she’s finally cheered up. Keep at it.
For some reason, the chibi are happy about this too.
After that, we head to town while having our war council.
Skill: The Person Loved by Spirits
Special Feature: Intimidating Eyes
Item: Stone Ax
Objective: Assist Gusu-Oyake
T/N: Tadaa~ Bet you weren’t expecting this to update. That’s probably not something I should brag about… Anyway, I’ve been neglecting this story for way too long. Now that my life has settled down and my Japanese has improved a bit, I’m going to try and update all my stories. Hopefully, catching up with the manga won’t take too, too, too, too, too long~
Now, I say my Japanese has improved, but it isn’t by that much. If were at level 20 before, now I’m probably at level 30 out of 100. Proper fluency is around level 500 and mastery is 1000. Still, the more progress that’s made, the easier making more progress becomes. Fufufu, just wait and see.
 This is a pun, it also means adult.