Reina's Past, and Future
There are ten days left to Reina's birthday, her coming of age.
We're currently on a shopping spree. Vinfitt town is as peaceful as ever. Vinfitt that is. Dunno how's it going at the slum or underworld district.
Read on a morning newspaper that a magic tool store at Daijel was raided and got a large scale mining magic tool stolen.
Also how there's several towns that got destroyed from sudden emergence of magic beast swarms coming from completely different directions from their usual territories right after Stampedes.
So scary, so disturbing. No telling when a disaster strikes this place either, we really gotta get on with the program.
Alma and I have gotten quite strong, no well we're still wets behind the ears, but I'd like to believe we're past rookie adventurer level at least.
Reina is not yet come of age. Her combat ability is pretty much on same level as Production type Job, so she can't really defend herself yet. She's out if a magic beast or a demon shows up.
I might be being overprotective, but considering the current state of the world, trouble could come knocking anytime even in this very moment.
....Might be a tad early, but I guess I should tell her? But then she'd have no choice but to join our party, what do.
"Kajikawa-san, what's troubling you."
"Eh? Ah, un. I'm just thinking what to make for dinner tonight."
"Nothing but food for you is it. I get you though."
I dodged her question reflexively. Can't let my opinions influence her decision.
...I get that having that thought alone proves that I've already thought Reina like family.
Alma has been really spoiling Reina too. In fact they both get along better than me. I mean, they're close in ages, and are both girls so it's only natural. They look like sisters whenever Alma is taking care of Reina.
Hope we don't get any trouble at least until her come of age, but that's like setting up a flag~.
"Yoo Reina, ain'tcha lookin' real purdy now, huh?"
As we were walking between stalls, someone suddenly called out to us, and Reina reacted with a shriek.
Looking at the voice, a dirty gray haired drunkard with a reddened face holding a bottle of booze in one arm is walking up to us. Rather, he's only got one arm left.
His left arm is missing up to the shoulder, wonder if it was eaten by a magic beast. Looking at his Status, his State is Limb Loss: Left Arm.
Age 41, Level 29, Job Dagger Warrior, Dagger Skill Lv6. A mid class Combat Job huh. His level is relatively low for his age.
I turn to look at Reina who's gradually turning pale and breathing rougher.
"'You're'? Whodya think yer' talking to, you brat!"
He threw the emptied bottle at Reina in anger, watch it!
I got between them and caught the bottle... That was a pretty strong throw. She could have died if it hit the wrong spot.
"Aah? The heck are ya! Scram!"
"That's my line, what do you think you're doing! You could've hurt her badly!"
Reina is tearing up as he stares at the man.
What's this guy to Reina anyway.
"What ya ask? A parent can do whatever the hell they wanna to their brat. This ain't no outsider's business!"
What is this guy...?
"....Is that true Reina?"
"Y-you're... You're no parent of mine!!"
Reina shouted with tears and a face distorted from anger.
"After your left arm got eaten by a magic beast, what did you do to make it better? Nothing but drinking all day, yet mom still tried her hardest to support our life, then in the end you sold your own daughter to heal your limb so you can be happy on your own. I'll never call you father ever again! What do you want now!? Here to complain how you lost your chance at getting that money after I ran off to the orphanage?!"
...Uwaa, is this drunkard for real. Can't believe someone like that exists.
What I knew about Reina's past was that she lived in an orphanage before she went to live alone in the slum.
I never tried to probe further unless she's willing to talk about it, but looking at this, I dunno if I should've tried more or not.
Heck, 'heal his limb'? Are you saying you can even regrow lost limbs with money in this world?
"Watch your mouth you damn brat! Who do you think gave you birth!"
"Mom did! I wanna throw up thinking I even have half of your blood in my body! Just stay away from me forever!!"
"...Haa, no can do. Took a loan for the amount you're worth of y'see. How much time and money d'ya think I spent to find ya."
"Not my problem! Just sell your eye, or guts or all those useless parts to pay your own!!"
Reina rushed out to hit the drunkard. It was so sudden I couldn't stop her.
She used up all her strength to punch the man's face, but it didn't seem to hurt him one bit. Her fist looked to be in pain instead.
Of course. The gap is too vast between a yet to come of age Reina and a mid class Combatant.
"Hahahaha! Like that's gonna work you dumbass! Here's how you punch shit!"
The drunkard punched Reina's abdomen.
"Gaaa! ...Kuh...! Fu, fugwu...!"
"Hah, already on yer' knees just from one punch. Ain't no way in hell ya can go against me!!"
He was about to kick the groaning Reina, however.
"Hurt Reina any more and I'll cut you down."
Alma had her sword on the drunkard's neck while saying that in the coldest voice I had heard from her yet.
At the same time, I went to Reina and healed her with Lifeforce Transfer.
"Anywhere still hurting?"
"Is it mortifying? ...Are you frustrated at your own powerlessness, punching that guy to no avail, hurting yourself in the process instead?"
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She replied while sobbing and grinding her teeth.
"Of course it is. Why can't you match him? That's because you're weak. No helping it since you're not of age yet, right? That's for sure. However, you can't always expect external circumstances to match yours. This drunkard father of yours makes that point clear as day, no?"
Normally, I should be encouraging her to 'return the favor after you're come of age'.
But I'm not going to let this drunkard go, and Reina herself must hate having this man hang around her until then. Just because you're related by blood, doesn't mean you can do whatever you please.
Hence, I leave it Reina to decide.
"I'll lend you strength if you wish to pay him back right this instance. But be prepared. Relying on me now means you have to join our party after you've come of age. You're not allowed to go solo or join another party. The strength I lend you will make your wish a reality right here and now, how about it?"
What I'm telling her isn't any more different from the shitty drunkard in a way.
I mean it's pretty much, 'Hand over your life'. I'm such a lowlife for making use of this situation to force her join our party.
But I'm worried if she can defend against that shitty father if we leave her alone, and she likely won't get the chance to train herself until the point she can fight him on her own.
"...Um, I'm sorry to say this when you're looking so serious, but there's no disadvantages to me whatsoever about that."
"Hm, really? ...Well whatever. So, what you gonna do? Leave this father of yours alone? Or are you gonna beat him up right now?"
"...I'mma beat him up."
Okay, contract established.
I strengthened Reina's whole body, every muscles and bones, using Energy Control.
"...I feel super strong now."
"Ah, also this power is no Support Magic. I can't use any Skill. Well, forget about that for now. Go get him."
"D-did you just reveal something incredible, but more importantly."
"T-the heck yer' doing! Wha, fast."
The drunkard crumbled down while screaming incoherently and clutching his groins.
...She really went and did it.
I'm sure you get it from the sound alone, that's definitely Alma's teaching.
Was there even a need for the power up if she went for that part from the get go...?
"This is for mom! And this is for selling me off! And this is for hitting me just now!!"
Gosu! Goswu!! Goshaapuchu!
Stop it! Stop that! Just stop!!
And what's that puchu! What's that puchu! That sounded bad!
The powered up Reina who's now probably a match to a High Cave Bear is repeatedly kicking at the drunkard's vital. I see no hint of mercy!
The drunkard has passed out while discharging all kinds of fluid, tears, drools, mucus... I've no sympathy at all for this trash, but I shudder imagining being on the receiving end.
"Haa, haaa, haaa... Did you get it...!"
"...Feel refreshed now?"
"Reina, are you okay? You've still got time, you know?"
Alma, stop nonchalantly telling her to go for more.
"...I'm done. I'd have liked to get him beg forgiveness from mom, but that's only going to trouble her now."
"Didn't you say that you have no family?"
"I didn't want to talk about my needlessly complicated family issues. You'd have told me to go back to my mom even if I did. This guy would find me and sell me off for good if I went home."
"Is your mom doing good?"
"Looks like she is. She never stopped worrying about me even after I ran to the orphanage, but I've been regularly sending her letters, so I'm sure she's fine."
"All the more, go see her once in a while. Reina, you want to right?"
"...Yes. I always wanted to stay with mom even while I was living in the slum but I knew this guy would just come back."
"Then go for it once you're of age. Let her know you've become a splendid adventurer with a party to call your own, that she's got nothing to worry about anymore."
"...Am I really fit to join your party?"
"It'll be a problem if you don't. You've found out about my secret."
"S-secret, what secret? You just slipped that in during the confusion, was it that dangerous an info!?"
"Ah. I'll tell you all about it after we throw this guy in a cell. All the juicy detail."
Thought she'd get more awkward after revealing her heavy past, didn't seem like it. She might be putting up a front though.
Well, there's no turning back now. I'll tell her about my situation and train her in mana and energy control until she's mastered them.
The real training starts now, Reina.