Chapter 26 Athena (Part 1)
My name is Athena.
I was an ordinary child born in a small village.
No, I was probably more mature and girlish than I am now.
The village wasn't rich by any means, but it was a warm, quiet, peaceful village where everyone worked hard and lived happily, and I loved it.
There were quite a few children in the village, but Est was the only one my age.
When I was a child, Est was different from now, he was an active, cheerful boy who laughed a lot.
He used to take me, a shy girl, outside to play.
Those days were so much fun.
Surrounded by my parents, everyone in the village, and Est, I was happy every day.
But then, as if to destroy it, something unfortunate happened.
“Monsters have appeared!”
“They're messing with our vegetables and livestock!”
“Get the women and children into the houses! The men will protect the village!”
One day, wild monsters suddenly appeared and ravaged the village's fields and livestock.
The monsters were all lower class monsters, such as goblins and wolves, but they were so numerous that they looked like terrifying monsters to the villagers, who had no power.
At that time, Est and I were out playing and had just returned to the village.
“Ow! Damn it, let go of me!”
I could only watch in horror as a man from the village was bitten on the neck by a goblin and chewed to death on the arm by a wolf right in front of me.
I was just scared.
I was afraid that I would be eaten alive like the adults.
Would I die?
My thoughts and body were dominated by fear.
“Hey kids! Run!”
Finally, the monster dodges the adults and leaps at us.
Just as we were about to be killed by the goblins, who were laughing loudly, the monster's voice suddenly stopped.
I looked up to see a young man standing there, holding a beautiful golden sword.
Confused as to what was going on, the young man put his hand on mine and Est's head and smiled kindly.
“It's all right now, don't worry.”
True to his words, the young man and his friends quickly destroyed the monsters that had attacked the village.
For the first time there, I was relieved that I had been saved.
The young man and his friends had not only killed the monsters that had attacked the village, but also the wild monsters that were around the village.
In addition, they gave us a lot of money for the village.
With this money, the Adventurer's Guild would periodically hire adventurers to tell us to thwart the monsters.
The village wanted to thank the young men as much as we could, not only for defeating the monsters and saving our village, but also for the money they gave us, but they seemed to be in a hurry and had to leave immediately.
Apparently, they were just passing through this village by chance.
We must have been lucky.
If they had not passed by, we might have all been killed by the monsters.
At least, I would have been killed then.
Before the young men left, I asked them the name of the man who saved my life.
“Who are you, brother?”
“Me? I'm the guy who will eventually become the world's greatest adventurer.
It's good to remember that, little girl.”
With that, the young men left the village.
What is an adventurer……?
I was very intrigued by the idea of being an adventurer.
I admired that young man who had saved me.
And I made up my mind.
I want to be an adventurer like that young man someday.
I wanted to become a strong and cool adventurer, the best adventurer in the world.
I wasn't the only one who decided so.
Est also wanted to be an adventurer like them.
I promised Est that I would become the best adventurer in the world together with him.
After making this decision, we began to take action to become adventurers.
The first thing we could do was to train our bodies.
We would run, strengthen our muscles, cut down a piece of wood to make it look like a sword, and we would both imitate swordsmanship.
In addition to that, I changed the way I spoke and behaved.
I wanted to fix my now reclusive personality.
I try to have a hard and cool tone of voice and attitude, being conscious of being an adult.
By doing so, I thought I would become a stronger person.
Months passed, and when I turned 12 years old, an elderly magician came to our village.
Est and I asked the old man to help us learn magic.
I experienced the unknown power of magic and was thrilled when I succeeded in performing magic for the first time.
I could use magic of various attributes, but I was best at magic to improve my physical abilities.
When I invoked magic, my physical abilities were far more enhanced than usual, and I was able to run fast and cut through rocks.
Compared to me, Est was only suitable for enchant magic.
He was disappointed, but when he had the enchant magic overlaid on the enhancement magic, I became incredibly strong, and when I praised him for that, Est was pleased and enthusiastic about mastering the enchant magic.
Three more years passed, and I was 15 years old.
Est and I said goodbye to everyone in the village and headed for a nearby city to become adventurers.
Once in the city, we immediately visited the Adventurers' Guild and registered.
We weren't happy to find that we had become adventurers, but headed for the beginner's labyrinth, which was designed for beginners.
The monsters weren't so strong.
Since the old man had taught me magic, Est and I had been defeating the monsters that attacked the village, so they were about the same strength as those monsters, and we didn't feel much of a challenge.
I could do well enough on my own, but I didn't feel like I could lose when Est cast the enchanting magic on me.
After the two of us had been conquering the beginner's labyrinth for a while, we received an invitation from an elf mage to join our party.
I see that……
adventurers are supposed to make a party.
For now we have enough on our hands, but soon we will need friends, so I add the mage to our party.
The mage's name is Mirialia.
She is one year younger than us.
I had never met elves before, but I wasn't surprised because they were not so different from humans in appearance compared to the beastmen with ears, tails, and feathers, or the extremely short dwarves.
Est was very impressed, though.
Mirialia is an excellent mage.
She is an excellent, and her powerful magic, as well as her logistical support, makes the battle a lot easier.
However, she lacks physical strength, and she gets exhausted easily or gets impatient to take a break.
In such cases, she would often cling to me.
I don't know why, but I heard that it enhances the recovery of magic power.
When the three of us were conquering the labyrinth, I became interested in one man.
He was an adventurer named Dale, who was always drinking in the daytime at the guild's liquor store.
He is a Silver rank adventurer, and is shunned by the adventurers around him as a bum who doesn't belong to any party and spends his time in the beginner's labyrinths.
But I didn't care about the rumors and evaluations of those around me.
When I saw Dale, I felt an irresistible sense of nostalgia.
I wondered if he was the young man who had saved my life back then.
But this was just a hunch.
Dale's hair was shaggy, he had a beard, his face was chapped, and he had an old scar on his left cheek that the young man had never had.
The young man who was so brave and cool couldn't possibly be associated with such a tired adult man.
But there is something familiar about him.
The young man who saved me and told me he would be the best adventurer in the world.
And I have a hunch that he was no ordinary man.
He may look like just a drunkard to those around him, but I could sense in him the style of a man who has fought in many battles.
I have no proof at all, though.
I wanted to know.
I wanted to find out.
So I solicit Dale to join my party.
“Yes, I'm talking to you.”
“Oh come on, girl, I think you've got me confused with someone else.
I'm sure there's a much better looking one lying around.”
“I want you.”
“I'm sorry, but you're going to have to find someone else.”
Dale refuses, but I keep asking him out again and again.
Day after day, I asked Dale to join the party.
Dale knew a lot and taught me many things.
He taught me what to watch out for in the labyrinth, how to defeat monsters efficiently, how to operate magic, and many other things.
And surprisingly, he was a good cook.
His skills were also impeccable.
He handled the situation with precision and without making any mistakes.
But he is not strong by any means.
I feel much stronger than him…….
“I've been an adventurer since I was 10 years old, so I'm a veteran.”
No wonder he knows so much.
Personality-wise, he is sloppy and messy.
He has a messy haircut, a dirty room, and a lack of positive attitude.
He also likes to drink, spends most of his money on alcohol when he gets paid, and sometimes borrows money from Est.
However, there are times when he is dependable.
That's why I couldn't hate about him.
However, the image of Dale and the young man who saved me never overlapped.
After the four of us conquered the labyrinth and defeated the labyrinth master, we officially formed a party.
The name was Stardust.
And the leader was me.
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