I Said Make My Abilities Average!

FUNA

Chapter 29

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29 Scapegoat

One day, when Mile was about to return to the dormitory after dinner, she noticed that she had forgotten something in the cla.s.sroom. It was an envelope a boy had given her with the words 『Please read this later.』.

As always, she would take it back to her room, discuss it with the others, and then she would have to write a reply. The credits read as follows: Rena: Original work, Pauline: Supervision, Mile: Production. The theme was 『Breaking a Heart』.

When Mile returned to the cla.s.sroom, a lone boy was still there. Since he was doing something next to the teacher’s desk Mile took a peek and found that he apparently was practicing writing on the blackboard.

「Are you practicing your writing?」

「Ahh, yes. Doing this in the dorm in front of my roommates would be embarra.s.sing, and if I use the blackboard I can save money since I don’t need to use a notebook and ink.」

「Ah, I see! You’re clever!」

Mile was impressed by the boy who answered her question without grimacing. Now that he mentions it, when she first arrived at Ekland Academy she also couldn’t afford a notebook and ink, so it was giving her a sense of familiarity.

「Uum~ You are a swordsman right?」

「Yes. I can use a bit more magic than just that useful for ch.o.r.es, but not enough to become a magician. That’s why I fight with a sword and use my magic to produce water or heal as a little bit of support on the side.

Even so it’s quite useful. Soloing is quite troublesome after all…」

「Soloing?」

Mile found the thought strange.

Unless it was someone abnormal like her, going solo was too dangerous unless you were a seasoned veteran. It was nothing you did unless you either had a very good reason to, or were quite strange yourself.

「Yes, I’m originally from the slums. Though, well, it’s not like I really have left them yet.

And since I have to take care of the small ones I can’t form a party and leave the city.

Now I go looking after them after dinner and earn a little bit to feed them on the off days, but when I become a real Hunter and join a party I’d have to leave for long periods, right? Who’s going to look after the runts while I’m away?

But when I get to C-Rank I can always escort them to gather plants. The Guild doesn’t usually send out escorted gathering parties, and even then you’d have to pay for the protection, right?

If the go with me, it’ll be free, and I can just hunt in the surroundings.」

A swordsman that can use magic.

A soft-hearted boy who could leave the slum life behind but chooses to stay and protect the helpless orphans.

An earnest student learning letters on his own.

Mile then had a thought.

Since she had begun power-leveling her three party members, the four of them would monopolize the top ranks when they graduated. If she put the other three before her that still left her on fourth place. To reach fifth she still needed one more person.

At this moment, the term 『Scapegoat』 popped up in Mile’s head.

「But, but, isn’t hunting with just a sword too inefficient?

I know just the right magic for you to hunt birds and Horn Rabbits, would you like to learn it?」

「Eh……」

「You were away quite a long time for simply fetching a letter」

「Ah, well, when I got to the cla.s.sroom there was still a boy there and we talked for a bit…」

「What, a boy!」

「Ah, no, it was small talk, just small talk!」

Mile hastily answered while frantically gesturing with her hands when Rena turned to her.

「That is the start of problems.」

「Alright, let’s deal with it as always!」

「「Y-Yeah~!」」

Mile and Pauline limply agreed.

Vail was an orphan.

He didn’t know the face of his parents. Since he can remember he had already lived in a ruin about to collapse in the slums along with several boys and girls that were lead by a boy about 12-13 years old, who everybody just called 『Bro』.

A few years after the first thing he can remember, Bro vanished.

Whether he died through accident or illness, or if he became a Hunter and left was unknown to Vail.

n.o.body had told him, and he hadn’t asked.

After 『Bro』 was gone, 『Big Sis』 took over his place.

He remembered the time Big Sis left.

She had worn beautiful clothes instead of her usual rags and gave lots of food and clothes to everyone before leaving with some strangers and never returned.

Their next leader was Yoshi. After him Daru.

Everyone left after they turned around fifteen to sixteen.

He didn’t know whether they died or whether they became able to stand on their own legs as adults and lived their lives normally outside the slums.

Before he had noticed, Vail had become the eldest.

And then he thought.

….it’s my turn.

But I won’t disappear. I’m going to look after them forever.

Because this is my house and they are my family.

The capital was harsh as well as nice to orphans.

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If they pickpocket or steal they’d soon get caught and turned into slaves.

Vail who had suddenly become the eldest was nervous, pressured by the weight of responsibility on his back and the uncertain path before him.

At that time, a certain man had called out to Vail.

「Hey you, although it’s rough, you’re quote good with that sword.

Care to try your hand at the Hunter Training School examination?」

The man who introduced himself as an affiliate of the capital’s Guild told him that he would look after the orphans during Vail’s stay in the school, that Vail could go and look after them in the evenings and on his free days, that the tuition was free and he could work of his free days, explaining that if he and the orphans endured for half a year, their life after that would be much easier.

And certainly, if he became a C-Rank Hunter like the man had said, that would be the case.

「But that’s if you can pa.s.s the entrance exam.

Even if you can’t read and write, you can still take the exam and enroll.

But the compet.i.tion is fierce. Quite so….」

To the man’s words Vail replied:

「I’ll take the exam!」

And that’s how Vail came to be here.

He wouldn’t waste his money when he became a C-Rank Hunter and being able to read and write would help him picking better quests.

Thinking this, he returned to the cla.s.sroom every evening to practice.

It would be hard to do this in his dorm room with the others looking, and if he used the blackboard, he could save money on paper and ink. And although there were some people that used the training grounds after cla.s.ses ended, n.o.body used the cla.s.sroom.

As he was thinking that, someone had entered the room.

「Are you practicing your writing?」

A cute and honest twelve year old girl, three years his junior, that could use Storage Magic.

A lucky girl that wouldn’t have to worry about food her entire life on talent or beauty alone. A beautiful flower totally unrelated to someone like him.

Yet for some reason she talked about a lot of stuff with him.

Thinking about it, she was also a cla.s.smate studying the same things. A bit of small talk was not that strange, was it? She probably was a good girl that didn’t discriminate people based on their wealth.

When he thought about it like this and engaged her in conversation…

「But, but, isn’t hunting with just a sword too inefficient?

I know just the right magic for you to hunt birds and Horn Rabbits, would you like to learn it?」

「Eh……」

This girl, what did she say just now?

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