Chapter 12: The Gift from God
“Next will be tableware and miscellaneous goods.”
If we were going to be living together, I believed that there was a need to separate personal items to a certain extent.
When journeying, sharing was fundamental in order to minimize the number of items but since we were staying in a town, there was no need for that right?
“You’re worrying too much about it.”
After getting our sundries, Lit laughed and said when she heard my words. And she seemed a little unhappy with her eyebrows bent diagonally upward.
“Let’s stop by the market too. It’s about time I stock up on food ingredients.”
“Sure, I want to eat hamburgers.”
“Hamburger huh, understood.”
I still had a stockpile of eggs. I listed the ingredients in my head as we headed to the market.
It was about ten minutes walk away, at an empty plot of land that a house which was destroyed in a storm once stood.
We heard the angry screams of children.
“Sounds like a fight.”
There were mischievous kids in any country. I was troubled as to whether an adult like me who didn’t know the circumstances should interfere in a children quarrel but …
“That voice sounds like Tanta.”
Gonz’s son, the Half-Elf Tanta. It sounded like he was in a fight.
“Somebody you know?”
“Probably. Let’s go take a look.”
The sounds came from an empty plot of land.
Peeking over, it looked like there was a fight between a group of three and two people.
The two people group was made up of both Half-Elves and the three-man group was all human.
Tanta was throwing punches with a human boy but the situation looked very bad.
It looked like the boy had successfully contacted his Divine Protection. I guess he’s an early bloomer. His level had already been raised to level 2 or 3.
I watched the fight and postulated the kind of Divine Protection.
I guess I should stop them. Looking closely, only the child that could use Divine Protection was raising his hand within the three-man group. The remaining two only screamed profanities from afar but they occasionally showed frightened expressions so they didn’t seem like they would join the fight.
It looked like the cause of this fight was that single human boy.
“Oi, stop it!”
I called out and the children all looked over together. They showed expressions of anger, fear as well as relief at the appearance of an adult.
The boy who was punching Tanta picked up a stone from the ground with a swift action and threw it at me. His action from picking up to throwing the stone flowed naturally. It looked like 『Skill: Improvisational Fighting Art』.
With a crisp metallic sound, the stone bounced off my Copper Sword.
The children eyes were wide in shock. Even the child who threw the sword.
Conversely, I was also impressed by the unexpected stone throw by the child and inadvertently voiced out.
There was a slight numbness in my arm holding the sword. It was a sharp blow.
“That ability is dangerous in a children fight. You should go challenge monsters with the adults.”
“Shu, shut up! Says the person holding a Copper Sword!”
The boy retorted with a red face and ran away.
“Wa, wait, Ademi!”
“Don’t leave me!”
The remaining two also ran away in panic.
I sighed lightly and sheathed my sword.
To be honest, I didn’t intend to draw my sword. It seemed possible to swat the stone away with my fist but that would probably have injured me. Maybe because the Divine Protection had good compatibility with the owner as, even though he was just a child who just barely unlocked his Divine Protection, that was a strike that could match an E-rank Adventurer.
“Tanta, are you all right?”
” … Yeah.”
Tanta wiped his dirtied face with his sleeve in vexation. Although his sleeve was also dirty so it actually made his face dirtier.
“Look over here for a moment.”
I used a towel I brought along to wipe Tanta and the other child’s face.
It wiped off the dirt but there were some bruises left.
“All right, it’s gone.”
“Your luck was bad since your opponent had already contacted his Divine Protection. The two of you haven’t right?”
The two of them nodded slightly.
“But I heard that there shouldn’t be a difference even if I don’t have Divine Protection when levels are still low.”
“That child had good compatibility. For good and for bad.”
“Compatibility is …”
The other boy chimed in when I was about to explain. He was a Half-Elf with fluffy curly hair, slightly rounder cheek line compared to Tanta and the corner of his eyes was slightly droopy. His eyes were a little bloodshot, possibly because he was crying.
“Hey, Tanta, who is this?”
“Ah, sorry, this is Red. My friend, he owns an Apothecary.”
“He’s also an Adventurer.”
“Ah, no wonder.”
The child was called Al.
It was the first time I met that child. Even though I knew most of the downtown children to a certain extent.
“Red. Al’s family is from the South Marsh Ward.”
“A South Marsh child huh, that’s why I don’t remember seeing him before.”
South Marsh Ward was a residential district in the West of Zoltan. As a land reclaimed from a swamp, the foundation of the ground was weak so it wasn’t popular as a residential district.
Naturally, it became the slums where foreigners with no assets to their name gathered.
Perhaps even Al understood that fact as he faced down when the South Marsh Ward was introduced.
“You’ve injured your knee.”
Al’s knee was bleeding with red blood.
I reckoned it was an injury from when he was pushed and fell down.
I took out disinfectants and bandages from my pocket.
“I’ll need water too, can you walk until the well?”
“It, it’s all right. It’s a minor wound.”
Al’s face distorted in pain when I touched the wound with my hand.
Maybe the wound was deeper than it appeared.
“No need to hold back.”
I placed Al on my back and started walking.
“I, I’m all right. I can walk!”
Al flailed with his arms and feet but I ignored him and carried him to the well.
“It should be fine with this.”
I applied the medication and wrapped it with bandages. I wrapped the bandages firmly where it hurt to fix the leg in place.
“The pain should subside if you take it easy for two to three days.”
“Thank you Red-san.”
I lightly patted his head and Al gave a grin.
“Red Onii-chan! Explain yourself!”
Compared to the quiet Al, Tanta shouted in excitement.
Well, it can’t be helped after all.
“Why is Red-san together with her?”
“That’s because …”
“That’s because I’m a good friend of Red.”
“That’s right. We’ll be living together from today on.”
“Eh!? Since when was Red Onii-chan this resourceful?”
“Hum, that’s troubling.”
Oi, what are you talking about Lit, don’t say weird things to children. Tanta as well, stop saying weird things. It’s going to make me sad.
“Hn, what’s wrong Al?”
“It’s regarding Divine Protections but … Red-san and Lit-san are knowledgeable about Divine Protections right?”
“That guy, the guy who beat us up, he’s called Ademi.”
“You’re asking about Ademi’s Divine Protection?”
“Yes, Ademi might be a bastard who hates elves but he shouldn’t be somebody who resorts to violence that easily. But lately, he’s suddenly become short-tempered …”
“I see, maybe because he contacted his Divine Protection.”
“A person will become like that once they contact their Divine Protection?”
Al’s eyes swam with anxiety.
Divine Protections were an indispensable God’s gift for all who were born into this world.
“Do you understand what it means to contact your Divine Protection?”
“Yes! It is when you are aware of what your Divine Protection is and you are able to select your skill and grow it?”
Tanta interrupted and answered.
I patted his head. Tanta used both his hand to hold my hand on his head and laughed happily.
“Correct, you’ve been studying well.”
“It’s common knowledge.”
“And when a person contacts their Divine Protection, their personality will also be affected by their Divine Protection.”
Tanta tilted his head in confusion when he heard my words.
“What does that mean?”
“For example, a person who possesses a craftsman Divine Protection will start to like making things or a person with magic-wielding Divine Protection will have an increased appetite for knowledge. You can say a Divine Protection draws out the human representation you associate with it.”
“That’s why Ademi became short-tempered?”
Al’s expression showed that he didn’t understand and he was anxious and fearful. I see …
“So you’ve progressed to have awareness of your Divine Protection.”
“Ye, yes … I have the Weapon Master Divine Protection.”
“Oo, that’s an amazing one.”
Weapon Master is a Warrior-type Divine Protection which allows one to reach extreme proficiency with a single weapon. According to the situation, they might sacrifice diversity in terms of the types of weapon they can use but by devoting their attention to a single weapon, their extreme proficiency can surpass warriors of the same rank who use the same weapon.
Compared to Adventurers who switch to new weapons according to what they obtain through their journey, they tend more towards soldiers or Adventurers who fight revolving around a single style.
“That Ademi child most likely has the Bar Brawler Divine Protection.”
“It is a Divine Protection focused on unarmed combat in situations where one faces many opponents. They should have unique skills that allow them to utilize non-weapon objects like stones or beer bottles as weapons and skills that allow them to gain advantageous position by sending their foes flying or tumbling. If a Weapon Master is restricted to fighting unarmed with one, the Weapon Master will probably not win.”
“So that’s why he suddenly became stronger in fights …”
“And so, the problem is that Ademi has very good compatibility with his Divine Protection.”
“Yes, compatibility. If the individual’s physical and mental qualities have good compatibility with the Divine Protection, they can exhibit stronger skills. Ademi can be said to be an exceptional genius as a Bar Brawler.”
“A genius Bar Brawler … that sounds a little questionable.”
“That’s true, there’s where the problem comes in. All is good if it is a Divine Protection that is well respected in the society but if an individual has good compatibility with anti-social Divine Protection like Thief, Bandit, Manslayer and such, it might lead to an evil lifestyle. It is the same in Ademi’s case. The Bar Brawler Divine Protection guides one to solve anything that is in their way through fighting.”
“I see … erm, would Weapon Master be all right?”
“Well it is better compared to Bar Brawler but it also gives rise to favoritism and delusional conviction towards their weapon. You will not be able to calm down without holding your weapon and you become easily enraged whenever your weapon is made a fool of.”
Al looked uneasy. But that was our destiny depending on the Divine Protection we hold … or it can be said to be the role God expect us to play …
“Well, don’t be too mindful of it. It is true that the effect of the Divine Protection is strong but it doesn’t mean that you will be controlled by it. Once he gets used to his Divine Protection, Ademi will also be able to face it better. Al will also be able to reach a position where you only cherish your own weapon.
“I don’t need something like Divine Protection.”
Tanta stiffened in shock. Lit also made a serious expression.
Divine Protections were bestowed by God. It was a God-chosen gift.
Denying it was a grave blasphemous act and the offender will face the inquisition of the Holy Church. A child may be forgiven with whipping and a sermon but they might be watched from then on.
However … I knew very well the feeling of discontent towards your own Divine Protection. Al’s anxiety was natural.
No, it probably wasn’t just me. Lit holds the Divine Protection of Spirit Scout who originally held the role of scout for the forest people. The reason why she couldn’t remain calm in the city was probably influenced by her Divine Protection that loved freedom.
There was no telling that Tanta would be gifted with a Divine Protection that matches his carpentry work. Tanta will have to wait for the day he contacts his Divine Protection with both anticipation and fear.
I did not want to wholeheartedly deny Al’s feelings. Forcibly denying him might end up distorting his life.
I was a little troubled with what to say.
“Al, I do agree that it is terrifying to face your Divine Protection. Your Divine Protection decides your life after all. However, no matter what Divine Protection you possess, Al will still be Al.”
“What do you mean?”
“Your Divine Protection is also just a part of you. Just like how your gentle mom will angrily nag at you with a scary face when you are young or how your father will be completely different from usual when he is drunk.”
“Yeah, my father is usually scary but he is all smiles when he drinks alcohol.”
“Your self is a collection of all these aspects. Your Divine Protection is the same. When you are about to be dragged in by your Divine Protection, you should not deny it, nor should you become its slave, but you should control it as a part of you. If you can do that, Al’s Divine Protection will help you a lot in the future.”
“Really, the Weapon Master Divine Protection will bring skills that improve your physical ability as well as complete immunity to fear and confusion as long as you possess your weapon.”
“Fear? I, I am always made fun of my fear of the dark but can it treat that too?”
“Yeah, you will not be afraid no matter how dark it is.”
Al became a little bit relieved and showed a smile.
“Thank you Red Onii-chan.”
“You’re welcome, I am usually in the Apothecary so you can come by to consult me anytime whenever you are feeling uneasy … if you are fine with a D-rank Adventurer.”
“Yeah! … Also.”
“Hmm? Are you still uneasy about something?”
“Can I come by to play even if I don’t have anything to consult you with?”
Al looked me in the eye with a slightly red face. I stroked Al’s soft curly hair.
“Sure, you can pop by for food or anything.”
Al gave a child-like sparkling smile. He had dimples on his cheeks when he smiled.