After picking up a few of the salvageable knives the three of them began to head back to the cellar. Luckily they managed to move with ease and with no problems. They’d gotten a good ‘feel’ for how the goblins moved at this point, and aside from the original scout troop, none of them seemed to be investigating the residential district too closely.
When they got back down the first thing Daichi noticed was Hannah who looked incredibly anxious.
Looking at them but not being able to stare for too long “Is everyone okay? How did it go? Are you hurt?”
Daichi considered letting the others answer but after thinking it over decided to chime in “We took some damage here and there but mostly it was Ava, luckily her ring happened to have some heal potions and we got through with no real problems.”
“Tch. Hell! No man, that’s enough. What the hell is wrong with you!? That was NOT okay! Every one of those fights could have ended up with all of us dead!” Kaden’s eyes were lit up and an air of animosity lingered around him
Eh. Completely confused Daichi had no idea where that came from “Yes, we’re still weak. You already knew this though, that’s why we went out there. To get stronger.”
Even Ava was looking at Daichi with some resentment or disgust which showed quite clearly on her usually indifferent expression.
“Do you not get it!? I’m not pissed at you for that. I’m pissed off…” Taking a second to collect himself before continuing “I’m pissed off because we just killed living beings and it’s not easy. We killed and we killed, and we even killed those that ran. I don’t care if they were goblins, they are still living beings, and you’re the only one acting like it doesn’t matter at all. Like the entire thing was a trip to candy mountain and you came back with a bag of your favorite candy. What the hell is wrong with you!?” his tone had been getting increasingly louder until he took a step forward shouting those last words.
Not really knowing how to answer with what they want to hear, Daichi decided to go for the closest thing to the truth that wouldn’t be ‘unsettling’ for them to hear, “I killed them, and I’m happy I did. If I didn’t kill them… I’d have had to kill something else. The world has changed and i’ve accepted it. I need to get stronger to live and that’s just what I’m going to do.” Daichi said it meaning to resolute but barely noticed how flat his tone was or the unmeant implication in his words.
Taking another step towards Daichi looking even angrier than before, “Oh. So if they were humans, would you still kill them all the same?”
Yet another step forwards noticed Daichi.
Placing his hands on his swords just in case, knowing he wouldn’t like what he was about to say “Yes. If that’s what I had to do to stay alive. That’s what I would do. I don’t plan on dying for no reason.”
Kaden took another step forward as he was balling his hand into a fist, getting ready to hit Daichi just as Hannah stepped in-between the both of them. Placing a hand facing both of them and looking at both of them while trying to calm them down. “Stop. Enough. Just… Enough.”
Waiting for Kaden to drop his fist before letting go of his swords, they were left at a stand still before Kaden stood down making a clicking sound with his tongue “Tch”.
Out of no where “He’s not wrong Kaden.” words flowed from Hannah’s mouth, shocking both Daichi and Kaden.
Daichi was left wondering where she was going with her comment “They’re monsters. We have to accept that things have changed. We can’t rely on anyone else but ourselves and each other. I wasn’t up there so I can’t speak to whatever happened today, but subjugating monsters is a long time tradition in our world. Just because it hasn’t been necessary in years doesn’t mean it hasn’t been done. For any race to survive killing is necessary. We’ve been lucky we’ve been living our lives in peace for this long… It’s not pretty and it’s not the world I would choose but it’s the world that we’re in now. I won’t let anything happen to you or me, so please Kaden, calm down.”
“Surprisingly a reasonable statement, although it’s riddled with justifications. She needs an excuse to be able to do what we’re going to have to do. So does everyone else in this room it seems. So I’ll just keep shut and let her handle this, it seems like they’ll listen to her and not me on this one.” Daichi surmised as he saw the change of expressions on both Kaden and Ava’s faces.
“Look at him Hannah. He’s covered in blood. He didn’t flinch even once out there when he was fighting those goblins. What the hell is up with that? It’s not normal!” Kaden shouted. Angry, upset and disappointed.
“Then he’s going to live. I want you to live Kaden.” Hannah said these final words with a warm and sad look in her eye while staring at Kaden for a few seconds and then glancing at me and then walking away.
Yet another obvious but hidden implication from Hannah this time.
“I packed what we need, food, some bandages, some extra clothes” Hannah said without looking back at them and grabbing some towels and then coming back and handing one to each of them without really making any eye contact.
“I also found something strange back here. It’s a book but I can’t tell what it says” Hannah brought over a really old dusty book that looked really thin that seemed to only be a few pages, but each page seemed… Special.
“Oh my god!” Ava thought as she realized what it was for the first time. She’d seen the book before but the words were abstract and her father had only laughed at her when she asked what it was. Something was clearly different now as when Hannah had brought the book over the words seemed familiar! She could tell that the words were in the dwarfen language.
“It’s a skill book! Except… Ugh. It’s only useful for those of the Dwarfed race. How worthless!” Ava nearly threw the book at the wall when she realized what it was and how useless it would be to her unless she decided to turn herself into a dwarf!
No one said anything as they could tell that Ava was extremely incensed about the book. Daichi could tell there was something special about the book but since he couldn’t even read the title, he lost interest immediately.
Still… It was a book, and Daichi loved all books that had any sort of value. “Do you not want it?“ he asked.
“It’s mine! I will safeguard it for now! Tch.” With a wave of her hand she swallowed it inside of her ring and went away to clean herself off.
“Why don’t you all clean up a bit and then we can all talk” Hannah pointed out noticing that Kaden and Ava were clearly disturbed by the events that took place during the day and were reminded of them by the blood on their clothes as she looked at Daichi with blood on more places on his clothes than the others.
After cleaning themselves off with some water and the towels. They tried to clean the clothes up a bit. They all grabbed some of the cans they couldn’t take with them and would have to leave behind and dug in for a meal.
The atmosphere was tense. Kaden seemed to be in his own world seemed perturbed while Ava merely looked lost. Hannah who had been in a mild state of shock had only really recovered as they had returned. Her concern for Kaden and the others gave her something to focus on rather than what she’d seen and experienced earlier. Daichi was also seemed annoyed but unlike the others, he was annoyed with them. He was annoyed at how easily they were faltering and failing to focus on the amount of danger they were still in!
After letting everyone finished their food, Daichi brought up the subject of what they were going to do next. He pointed out that there are still a lot of goblin troops wandering around and they had two very realistic options.
They could kill them because they were, at least for now, the easiest targets. Even if they didn’t give much experience. The other option was to leave and search for stronger monsters like the Orcs or possibly even stronger but of course that would entail more risk by a huge margin.
Either way Daichi pointed out the need to get stronger. If the goal was getting stronger with minimal risk. Then the goblins were the best bet. Especially since he was sure Hannah hadn’t even reached level 10. At which point he asked everyone what their levels were since it was crucial to coming up with a plan.
Since he had asked everyone to reveal something person, he took the lead “I’m level 11 now. I just reached it during the last fight.” hoping they would follow along.
Of course Hannah chimed in next continuing to be the peacemaker. “I’m level 8. I gained a level during our first encounter with the goblins.” even while speaking she was staring at Kaden intently watching his reactions.
Even as Daichi had been speaking Kaden had been getting frustrated with him. In Kaden’s mind Daichi was clearly overlooking their other, just as realistic options! They could just leave town, and search for other humans. More over there was always a wait and see tactic where they could just hide out while they had food and shelter instead of risking their lives and counting to kill.
Releasing a long breath of air, “I just reached level 10. No special skill or ability unlocked like you two either. Just the spiel about gods and status meh.” Kaden said while holding his tongue about the rest.
With everyone now staring at Ava, not even looking at them she replied “I’m currently at level 10. I haven’t leveled up, I must not have killed any strong enough goblins.” looking a bit more aloof to them.
Sighing himself, the exhaustion and the fighting catching up to Daichi “Okay, well despite the fights we’re still weak. Too weak. We’ll fight more goblins. In fact we should fight the goblins until we reach level 15 or so. That may not have been too bad before, but now it’s barely enough to survive. In fact I doubt it is… If this is the trouble we’ve faced in the first two days. We need to get a lot stronger if we’re going to go all the way to another town. I think everyone should think about that.” and that’s the last thing he resolved himself to say.
Everyone here wasn’t of any use to Daichi unless they resolved themselves to killing goblins and even humans. If they were unwilling to what the bare minimum in order to survive, then he’d either leave them or kill them himself. Daichi was being pragmatic about the necessities involved in surviving in their current scenario. Something the others seemed to be missing at the moment.
After saying as much he went to go find himself a corner and got ready to get some sleep.
The girls made themselves comfortable on the two couches and Kaden went to the opposite corner from Daichi to get some shut eye.
“Tomorrow will be more of today, now that they’ve seen what they’re going to have to do I hope they’re ready for it.” was the last thing Daichi thought before he drifted off to sleep.