I’m a D-Rank Adventurer Volume 3 Chapter 2 Part 9

The geezer watches us and chuckles merrily. He turns a kindly gaze Letty’s way.
 
“Young lady has beautiful eyes. Pure, lovely eyes. Standing next to him makes them shine even brighter.”
 
“Next to him meaning me? Are you saying my eyes are clouded?”
 
“But…that red-haired hero has sorrowful eyes. So different despite both being heroes.”
 
The geezer ignores me and speaks.
 
“Red-haired hero…you mean Lucas right? You know him?”
 
“That boy often comes to the Restoration Zone. He even helped with restoration work the other day.”
 
“Oh…so he does hero-like things too huh.”
 
I imagined him saying stuff like “Why must I do this?” and refusing to do dirty work like that. Seems he properly helps people though.
 
“That boy’s eyes are lonely eyes. He can’t laugh from the heart, or cry. Never trusting anyone, always tense. …A sad way to live.”
 
The geezer looks up at me and says,
 
“Young man, won’t you look after that child?”
 
“Me…?”
 
“Yes, what that child needs is a friend to trust.”
 
“Me? That guy’s friend?”
 
What kind of joke is that? Even allowing that he’s lonely or whatever, I absolutely can’t imagine myself as that guy’s friend. No way we could get along.
 
“And he thinks he doesn’t need any friends in the first place right?”
 
“–That’s right. I’ve no need for friends.”
 
A voice speaks from right behind me, very close.
 
“Gramps, seems senility has set in. Don’t say unnecessary things.”
 
“Ho ho, I see. My apologies.”
 
The geezer unabashedly laughs and apologizes. The person—Lucas clicks his tongue.
 
Then Lucas, who suddenly appeared, turns his eyes my way. Our gazes meet for several seconds.
 
Lucas looks away then tries to leave, turning his heel, but soon stops.
 
He seems somewhat conflicted. Hesitating, a side profile like that.
 
“D-rank.”
 
“Whaddya want.”
 
I respond sullenly and Lucas faces me.
 
“Can we talk a little?”
 


 

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Parting with Letty to rejoin at the meeting spot later, I’m taken by Lucas to a nearby plaza.
 
With good weather and a cool breeze today, tourists and citizens are relaxing in the plaza while children play jacks noisy and merrily. A very tranquil atmosphere.
 
“So what do you want? You said go wherever then followed me right?
 
“Don’t say disgusting things. I just happened to catch sight of your face and one thing came to mind I wanted to ask. Followed you? I’d refuse even if begged.”
 
“I’d also refuse if begged. …So hurry up and say it. I’m not free either.”
 
After all I’ve gotta go to the guild and accept requests. Then finish quickly and sleep comfily in an inn bed. It’s the perfect plan, am I a genius or what?
 
When I turn my expectant gaze his way Lucas hesitates a little before speaking.
 
“Do you have someone important to you?”
 
“…?”
 
A strange question I don’t really get. Huh?
 
“Family, lover…anyone’s fine. Have you ever had such a person, past or present?”
 
“No…nobody like that.”
 
Unable to grasp his intent, I answer after thinking a little.
 
“I see. Then, hypothetically—what if someone important to you was killed? What would you do?”
 
“Haah? If they were killed?”
 
“It would be easy to take revenge using your own strength. However, the dead wish for you to live virtuously. In that case, how would you act?”
 
Lucas looks at me with calm eyes.
 
Hmm? I can’t grasp his intent at all but…
 
As I try responding, children playing nearby interrupt, their ball flying Lucas’s way.
 
“S-sorry! Um, the ball…”
 
“Be more careful.”
 
Lucas effortlessly catches it in one hand and throws it back to the child who came for the ball.
 
“…Unexpected.”
 
“What is?”
 
“No, I figured you’d haughtily yell or something.”
 
I totally thought he’d say “How annoying” and crush the ball.
 
“…And what would that accomplish? Getting angry with a child is meaningless.”
 
“Well, true but. I figured you might.”
 
“What do you take me for…”
 
Lucas sighs, turning his eyes to the children.
 
Watching the children play energetically, his eyes seem somehow sad yet at the same time a little kind.
 
“…Forget that question. It wasn’t like me to ask.”
 
Lucas faces me and clicks his tongue.
 
“Oh, I see. Why’d you ask something like that?”
 
“No need to answer.”
 
“You asked out of the blue though right? Don’t I at least have the right to know why?”
 
Lucas remains silent then unwillingly opens his mouth.
 
“…I merely wanted to know what answers one with your power would give.”
 
A weirdo who asks strange things.
 
“Come to think of it, you know Aldi right?”
 
“Yes, from when we were children.”
 
Recalling their conversation from before fighting, I ask and get that reply. That damn cat really does know everyone.
 
“Aldi said you were pure when little but I wonder why you ended up like this. Shouldn’t you follow those children’s example and stay pure?”
 
“Hmm, I’d rather not be told that by the likes of you with clouded eyes. I likely remain purer than you.”
 
“You really piss me off.”
 
As my temple veins bulge Lucas says “That’s all I wanted to say” and leaves.
 
Dragging me out then acting like this? Where are your manners?
 
…As I thought, doesn’t seem like we could get along.
 


 
I send magic telling Rafine and Eve I finished my business and head to the meeting spot but of course no one is there. Letty I properly contacted doesn’t come either. Where’d she go?
 
“Well, no use searching for her…don’t want to miss each other so I’ll wa—”
 
“Boo!”
 
“Gyaa!?”
 
A sudden loud voice right by my ear. I got so surprised a girly voice came out.
 
“Wha, wha…”
 
“Did I surprise you? Total surprise success!”
 
Don’t call a jumpscare a surprise.
 
The person—Rafine nods satisfied and laughs merrily. I thought my heart stopped.
 
“But that’s not the end! Sir Jirei, take this!”
 
While my heart’s still pounding, I’m handed a small box.
 
…Wait, I have to open this?
 
Rafine looks at me with sparkling eyes. Seems I’ve got to open it.
 
I shakily open it.
 
Inside isn’t a jack-in-the-box or anything, but a small black ring.
 
“I found it at a street stall and thought it suited you Sir Jirei so I bought it!”
 
Looks like she’s giving it to me as a present.
 
I take the ring in hand. It’s just a normal ring, not a magic tool. However—
 
“I also imbued it with Fortune magic and some other spells. I couldn’t make them too powerful but…it should still have effects just from owning it so won’t you accept it?”
 
“If you’re giving it to me then sure…But why me?”
 
“Because I’m always receiving from you Sir Jirei, I wanted to give a little something back.”
 
“I don’t think I’ve given you that much though.”
 
“That’s not true at all! This pendant and Shapeshift Ring were given by you Sir Jirei. You’ve given me many intangible things as well.”
 
“Intangible things? Don’t remember giving anything like that…”
 
Did I give her something? I’ve got no memory of it.
 
“And there are also things I’m planning to receive. Like signing an engagement contract.”
 
That sounds scary.
 
You’re joking right? I ask but she just smiles saying Ufufu. Her eyes are fixed.
 
Rafine then says,
 
“I want you to be happy Sir Jirei.”
 
She laughs softly. An enchanting completely pure smile.
 
“Sir Jirei, what’s wrong?”
 
“No…it’s nothing.”
 
I turn my face from Rafine like that.
 
I know it’s something I have to say. But seeing Rafine respond cheerfully with a joyful smile, I swallow the words. I couldn’t get the next words out.
 
…It’s still okay. I’ll properly tell her later. I’ll talk at the right timing. So it’s fine.
 
I repeatedly tell myself this in my mind.
 
But the guilt towards putting it off and Rafine remains…
 
A stabbing pain pierces my chest again.
 

 
“And about the magic I put on that ring, aside from Fortune it has spells so that when you wear it I’ll appear in your dreams. Unfortunately we can’t meet the real me, they’re just dreams but…it’s set to automatically greet you morning and say good night in my voice and more so you won’t feel lonely. I also put in lots of love whispers for Sir Jirei, made considerately so you can feel me any time, anywhere. Please wear it by all means!”
 
“I see…that’s pretty impressive and stuff.”
 
I subtly slip the ring off and store it away in Pocket Space.


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