Side Story: Kishande’s (POV)
“Big sis Kishande, don’t leave me here!”
I had tried to leave Miranda behind in the village, but in the end I couldn’t bear to be apart from her. We were sisters, from the same poor family in a small mining village. As girls, we couldn’t work in the mines and had to rely on our parents, but the world was not so utopian. We had been cast aside by our families and had to odd jobs which were dirty and involved hard labour. Even then, the reward was a pitiful meal and a filthy place to sleep.
“Sister, when we become adventurers, we’ll be able to eat and live well!”
I had often seen adventurers dressed in fine clothes, coming in and out of the village’s Guild.
“We shall be Invincible, fighting off monsters and protecting the lives of the common people!”
It was but a fantasy of two dreamy young girls. We worked hard for several years, saving money little by little until we had enough to register. I’ll never forget the day we finally succeeded in registering at the Guild. Our adventurers were going to go so smoothly, because we had increased dexterity stats from only the hard labor we had performed. Humans are animals which can easily adapt, and I was ready to embrace my life of luxuries. Still, when things seem to be going too well, life has a way of throwing you curveballs. On our first assignment one of our party members died at the hands of goblins. That child who was always so bright and got along so well with my sister, had died in pain as poison spread throughout her body. Her death should have been my first warning, but I ignored it. Instead, I was glad that I had survived. In the end, it mattered little whether I heeded it or not, after all I was not willing to return to my life of depravity. Since that time, I’ve survived many situations, never once recognizing the amount of luck involved.
Eventually that fateful day of the Orc Subjugation quest had come. By then I would regard most Bronze quests as easy. True, I was also still ranked Bronze, but I had a lot of experience and could adapt easily. Our party of 5 was the first to enter, carrying our torches in the dark cave. At first, we were relieved to not have encountered any Orcs, thinking we might be able to complete the quest without any incidents.
“Just two Orcs!”
We were confident that we could overpower them with our numbers so we began to chase and they had turned tail and run. However, we had thrown caution into the wind, and soon walked into their trap.
“Shit, their numbers are growing, we’re surrounded!”
Noticing the situation someone had shouted out.
Ashe was my closest friend except for Miranda. Over the years of adventuring together, we had come to regard each other as sisters. She was a priestess which was useful to have in critical situations.
I found Ashe by waving my arms around in the dark.
We were completely surrounded by Orcs, our frontline had already died and my magic was useless because it’s cast time was too long. Likewise, Ashe’s healing spells wouldn’t help in this case.
The Orcs didn’t proceed to kill us, and instead approached slowly. Their rotting stench reminded me of a terrible saying.
‘Orcs liked to catch women and use them as sex slaves!’
Unfortunately we were able to confirmed this rumor first hand, as most of the female adventurer’s in our party had been captured alive and carried of to their lair. At least, I was heartened to be unable to spot Miranda amongst us. It wasn’t long before those crossbreeds of humans and pigs ripped our clothes off and penetrated our most special place.
Ashe and I had already given up all resistance by that point, resigned to our fates as a monster’s sex slave. A couple of young orcs then picked us up and moved us to a more secluded corner, perhaps they fancied our bodies and wanted to keep us all to themselves.
It was then, that from the darkness a voice of hope appeared. After all, there were about 20 orcs in the lair and I estimated that their boss had the strength of 5 silver class adventurers.
Still, the voice rang out.
“Come on guys I’ll show you a real fire show!”
The Orcs had been provoked, of course they didn’t understand human speech, but the meaning was conveyed in the mocking tone.
A long sword pierced the chest of the young orc who had been dragging me off. The orc which had carried Ashe left her behind and went to join the fight.
It was a fierce battle, although the man was much stronger, the Orcs used their superior numbers to put him in a difficult spot. Towards the end, they even used some female slaves as human shields but the man cleanly severed the Orcs’ heads without caring about collateral damage. It was the right choice. Still I trembled in fear, it was common for adventurers to fall prey to other stronger adventurers. It was for this reason that it was normal to form parties to ensure safety. Despite defeating the Orc’s, the man had no reason to show us any kindness.
I managed to thank him and learn his name, but he asked us not to be grateful and mentioned that he had only thought about killing the Orcs.
If he would have received our thanks, my interest towards him would have ended there.
Instead, I gained a measure of confidence in the man named Gaspard, who looked cold but spoke frankly. I saw him accept the consequences of his actions with regards to the slave women, reminding me of my ideal adventurer from my dreams. Of course, Ashe and I had not forgotten to retrieve the items from the dead corpses, thinking back, it was quite shameless of us.
Gaspard then proceeded to guide us out of the cave where we met Miranda. It was the sister I had never expected to see again in my life, and I was endlessly grateful to both God and Gaspard.
We weren’t in great condition, so we agreed to quickly leave together and clean up. We sold off our loot in the shops and then pocketing the enormous wealth, headed back to our Inn to rest. Later, we headed towards the Guild to inquire about the quest, but when we walked through the doors, we immediately knew that rumours about our situation had already spread. It must have leaked when we had sold off the items .Trying to escape the gossip, we headed back to our Inn rooms, only to learn that the weight of the rumours had been tethered to us.
“Sorry but we can no longer allow you to stay at our inn, otherwise gossip will spread.”
We had been driven out of our accommodations despite having already payed for the room in advance. We walked around trying other Inns but the results were the same. In the end, we went to the most expensive Inn in town, but the manager refused to let us stay, saying that it wasn’t a question of money. It was at that point that Gaspard walked in, seeing us in a truly embarrassing situation. Fortunately, he proceeded to rent out the entire second floor by using the influence of his Silver token, and we had gained a room to stay. As we got settled in, I banged on his door, claiming that I would gladly pay our costs, but all I received was a cold response.
“I’m tired, we’ll talk in the morning.”
“It’s simply something I did on the spur of the moment., don’t read into it too much. Also, I’m a deep sleeper and won’t wake up during the night, so just leave me alone”
“I won’t bother you.”
It would have been simple if he had rescued us and then asked for a reward. We could have payed him and expressed our thanks, but now we were in his debt.
Us three girls gathered in the adjacent room and talked about Gaspard. I learned that they held the same opinion as me which was that we’d do anything for him.
My sister wanted to hear his breathing so she put her ear up against the wall.
“Miranda, what if Gaspard burps,would you be disappointed in him?”
“That can’t be, Gaspard wouldn’t do that.”
In Miranda’s mind Gaspard was already a deity. Likewise, Ashe’s face would turn red when she talked about him. I didn’t know what kind of expression my face had, but I guessed it wasn’t much different.
“Quick, sisters, listen to this!”
“Puttyukulakanipakuti and Rikipauushindo Kusu Kella Aeon Wenie Econo Gunenie Enkaveni Ukumemezain Aenom Shindo Rom …”
It was complete Gibberish and not some magic spell. Concerned about his condition, we rushed to his room. Before was a horrible scene of Gaspard continuously chanting nonsense as his body shook and his eyes turned white.
Miranda was calling to me but I couldn’t think of anything to do except worry for him. I wrapped my body around him, trying to control his shuddering while Ashe and Miranda mirrored my actions. I wasn’t sure what we had done, but Gaspard proceeded to fall asleep peacefully with his eyes closed.
“Sis, didn’t Gaspard say that we shouldn’t bother him while he slept?”
Indeed it felt like Gaspard had something to hide during the night. I put my index finger on my lips.
“This is our little secret, alright?”
They both nodded silently. And so we fell asleep until the next morning, holding Gaspard’s body tightly. Although he felt awkward when he woke up, he didn’t seem terribly angry about it.
We exchanged a look amongst us three girls, affirming our decision to keep it our secret.
And so it continued, during the day we hunted, and at night we helped him sleep.
We had formed a party and slaughtered the Orcs, as a result we had advanced to Iron class.
Even during battles, we would always look to Gaspard, trying to know what he expected from us. Then one day, I summoned the courage to ask him.
“Gaspard, why are you postponing your rank up? If it is because of us, do you think we’ll get hurt. “
Gaspard then gave me a look I will not soon forget. Going forward I would not dare to advise our benefactor.