Translator: Lore_Temple

Under Cloud’s direction, the women began to wear the clothes he threw.
They were more like rags than clothes, but it was much better than being naked.

“When you are all dressed, hold each other’s hands.
There, the blue-haired woman, what is your name?”

“M, Me? I am Katie-!”

“Then Katie will hold my hand.”

As Cloud grabbed her hand, Katie trembled.
But she didn’t try to pull herself out or shake off his hands.
On the contrary, she held his hand more tightly, as if she didn’t want to let it go.

“Everyone, close your eyes.”

“Eyes…? Why the eyes…”

“There are a lot of things outside that you will get rattled upon seeing.
If you really want to see it, I won’t stop you, but if you do, you won’t be able to swallow your food for a while.”

One by one, the women obediently closed their eyes at his words.

“Okay then, we will be moving.
Don’t panic and follow the person in front of you.
I’ll walk slowly, so don’t be in a hurry.
I will surely escort you all back safely, to your homes.”

Starting with Cloud, Katie, then the woman holding her hand, and another woman similarly holding her hand, they began to move one after another.

No matter how slowly and steadily you walk, walking with your eyes closed is quite frightening.

Even more when with every step you take, you feel an unpleasant dampness on your soles, and especially if you can guess what it is.

The women clasped each other’s hands more tightly.

How long had they walked like this?


They heard the sound of a large wooden door creaking open, and as they walked out, an exhilarating sense of liberation overtook them.

“You can open your eyes.”

The women opened their eyes.

What they saw was not the damp and rusty cage they had been seeing, but countless twinkling stars surrounding the crescent moon as if someone had taken a bite of it.

They all blankly stared at the moon.

“Everyone, we are not at your home yet.
The mountain at night is dangerous, so we will be moving carefully.
Let go of your hands and follow me.”

The dark mountain road outlandished an eerie atmosphere.

The ferocious beasts let out their howls, and the screams of something unknown whether it was a monster or a beast could also be heard clearly.

But the women did not tremble.

As if possessed by something, they just followed Cloud.
They didn’t know why, but none of them could feel any fear as they walked behind his seemingly tall back.

Exiting the mountains, a path appeared before them.

Upon further walking down the man-made path—

—they saw the clusters of shabby houses surrounded by wooden fences, which would make one too embarrassed to call it something that served as a barrier.

But more than that, they saw it.

—The village.

A place where real people lived, not vicious beasts pretending to be humans.

“Oh goddess…”

A woman burst into tears.
Starting with that, the wave of cries spread amongst other women as well.

Even the women who had been confused till now, had realised—

—they were back home.

* * *

When Cloud along with his sobbing group of females entered, the whole village erupted into chaos—tensed on suddenly seeing dozens of people entering the village during early dawn.

But only for a while.

The villagers, realizing who the returnees were, welcomed them with tears.

For the bandits, they were nothing more than playthings at any time of the day.
But here, to some they were precious family members, and to others, they were friends with whom they shared memories.

“This favour, really… thank you so much, O respected Adventurer.”

Inside a shabby house.

Although it is just a rural village, even so, the village chief—the most influential person in the whole village, was deeply bowing his head.

“It wasn’t that difficult.
So, pull up your head, old man.”

“No, no way.
If it wasn’t for you, sir, how much more torture these young children would have suffered… I… Thank you so much…”

While the bandits harassed the village women, the villagers were not just standing still.

They had pleaded for help from the unresponsive officials—god knows for how many times, to the point of the old village chief even desperately latching onto a high official’s pant without letting go, only to be subdued later, but not to be outdone by circumstances, they even learned sword from a veteran who happened to stop by the village.

However, it seemed impossible to defeat the cruel group of bandits, even if they did everything in their capacity.

So, in the end, he collected money from the villagers and commissioned it to the Adventurer’s Guild.

He still remembers, the receptionist had listened to his story, and with a troubled look on her face, she had said that it would probably be impossible at such less amount, but he still held onto that without letting it go—a faint glimmer of hope.

As time passed and even that hope was about to crumble, a B-class adventurer suddenly came to visit.

An adventurer who introduced himself as Cloud.

He took out the familiar quest sheet and said that he had come to subdue the bandits.

The village chief was, of course, extremely happy with it, but he still told him to return back.
There’s no way a B-class adventurer can handle those vicious bandits alone.

Instead, a precious young life will fly away worthlessly.

Despite all odds, the young man asked for the location of bandit’s hideout, and left the village.

And a few days later, this morning—

—He returned safely with the women who had been snatched away.

For the villagers and the village chief, who were not expecting it, it was like a miracle that showered on their doorsteps.

“It’s not a lot… but it’s the promised commission fee.
The villagers have put all of their saved money.
It may not be enough to fill sir adventurer’s pockets, but please…”

The village chief took out a shabby pouch and handed it to Cloud.
Cloud took it and peeked a light look.
Gold coins of denunciation one, five and ten were put in together.

Adding it all up, the amount will probably not even go upto 300 gold coins.

Cloud smiled bitterly and returned the pouch back to the village chief.

The village chief’s expression got clouded in worries.

“Are you sure it’s still not good enough…? Please wait a little bit.
I’ll go and talk with the people…”

“That’s more than enough.
So, keep it.”


“It means I don’t care if I’m paid or not.”

The village chief could almost not comprehend his absurd words for a moment.
An adventurer who doesn’t want payment for his job? It’s against common sense.

…or if he wants something else, something other than money.

“Well, so, is there anything else you want?”

I’ll like to take a rest for now.
Do you have any spare room available in the village?”

“Yes, there are many empty houses.
You can freely enter into any of those houses without a nameplate and take rest.”

“Then I will be off for today.
Oh, and I’m hungry too, so I’d like you guys to spare me some meal.
Come to think of it, I’m quite often missing my meals these days.”

“Of course, it should be done.”

The old chief nodded his head.

The main turning point will be coming now.
The village chief withheld his nervous expression and clutched his cane in a tight grip.

“Thank you for your kindness.
I’ll just go and take a break.
The village chief must also be tired from waking up early in the morning, so please take some rest too.”

Cloud got up from his seat and stepped for the door.
The village chief blankly looked at the standing figure with a foolish expression.
Suddenly, he hastily stopped his thoughts before quickly scampering up on his feet.

“Sir, adventurer! Is there anything else you would like?”

Cloud tilted his head, but soon he smirked knowingly as if knew what the village chief was thinking.

Just that.”

With those words, Cloud really left the village chief’s house.
The village chief stared blankly at the spot he had left.

It’s a difficult time for everyone.

As the number of monsters are increasing, the burden on the territory is also increasing.
Naturally, taxes also keep increasing, and some young men were conscripted and taken away.
Due to which, these small villages, which were not very wealthy, were left dying.

And similarly it was difficult for adventurers as well.

Everyone says that adventurers are greedy and that their ships are full of oil, but they are living their day to day lives too.

It is the money they earn by risking their one and only life.

Because of this, there are not many adventurers who compromise on money, if not otherwise.

The village chief, who has been living in the world for a long time, knew this very well.

And he briefly got to personally know the first one today.

An adventurer who defeats ferocious bandits and rescues women, and is satisfied with just a single bed and a simple meal.

“At this age… you idiot.”

The village chief wiped the droplets from his eyes with his wrinkled hands.
If you cry at this age, people will laugh.
So instead of weeping, he decided to remember it clearly.


The five letters of the name—Cloud.

* * *

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