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Thanks for the help again, Kyureki.
Time to go drown in homework now.
Rana -> Laana
Chapter 4 – Late Night Snack and the Strange Martial Arts (First Part)
“Have to run… If I don’t… I’ll be killed…”
A young boy advanced onward, onward, and onward as he pushed aside the weeds as tall as himself. The sound of flames burning everything could be heard behind him crackled, fanning his anxiety.
Before he knew it, he had collapsed on top of a carbonized wheat field and realized that he had lost everything.
His home, father and mother, a peaceful life, and his future… The sky darkened and it began to rain heavily before long. As the rainwater struck upon the scratches and cuts on his body, he was forced to realize…that he was still alive.
“I want to die…”
The words that were suddenly uttered from his lips disappeared within the sound of the rain. Thinking to just stay on the ground as he was and become monster food, he slowly closed his eyes.
Then he heard something fall beside him. Wondering if it was the sound of a monster’s footsteps, he opened his eyes.
A burly man with a sword in hand was looking down at him. Right beside the boy, a katana was casually stabbed into the ground. As the two of them glared at each other, the man slowly spoke.
“Live…with your own strength…”
As the man turned his back to the boy and walked away, the boy took the katana and used it as a walking stick. Enduring the pain in his body, he slowly stood up. Without looking back at the burnt remains of what was once his hometown, he limped forward after the man.
On a night with a dazzling bright moon, Yuuto suddenly awoke. The cool breeze felt on his body helped him clear away the sleepiness. The bonfire was still burning, so Yuuto added more firewood to it to increase the light.
The dream he just had suddenly came to mind. It was a nostalgic one, and he asked himself.
“I am still…alive?”
He wondered to himself as he stared at the bonfire. Yuuto had a habit of thinking that he had actually died on that day.
After realizing that his body was stiff, Yuuto got up to stretch. Seeing Laana Village below, he recalled where he was right now.
Going back to the evening when the sun was beginning to set, Yuuto was receiving a job explanation from Ojiki Kyousui, the head of Laana Village.
“An ore thief?”
“That’s right, though it’s only a petty thief. So simply put, the job is just to stand on guard.”
Ojiki pulled out a fist sized stone from his chest pocket and tossed it to Yuuto who caught it before taking a look. It was a black stone that had a dull shine to it. Even Yuuto could clearly tell that it wasn’t just some rock picked up from the side of the road, which meant that it was some kind of ore.
“This is… What ore is this?”
“Iron ore. What’s more, it wasn’t mined from just any old mine…”
In response to Yuuto’s question, Ojiki held his smoking pipe in his mouth as he pondered about something for a while before suddenly breaking the silence.
“The iron ore that can be mined here is pure iron… We call it Laana iron ore and sell it on a large scale.”
“Pure iron… Indeed, this certainly shines more than ordinary iron ore…”
Ordinarily, iron ore will have some impurities within it. Because of that, when making iron products, it is necessary to firstly process the iron to remove the impurities.
However, pure iron, or rather, Laana iron ore has extremely small amounts of impurities. Roughly three to four times less than regular iron ore.
“So it’s only natural that it would be targeted… In which case, the job is…”
“That’s right… Just as you think… The job is…”
“Guarding the mine for the night huh… I’m free anyway but…”
Yuuto spoke as he yawned. Laana Village could be seen from Laana Mine, but that village was already covered in darkness. After only taking a short nap, it was already the dead of night.
The only thing in sight was Yuuto’s bonfire which provided flickering illumination for the area. As Yuuto stared at the flames, he realized another important thing.
“Come to think of it… I haven’t eaten anything since noon…”
Yuuto murmured as he realized that before his stomach growled. It wouldn’t be very filling but he might as well eat supper…or rather a late night snack. But just as he was reaching his bag for the preserved food inside it.
“Hey there boy.”
Suddenly hearing a voice from somewhere, Yuuto’s hand which was reaching for his bag quickly grabbed the katana that was beside him, then he took some distance as he turned around to face behind him where the voice had come from.
“Calm down boy… I brought you some food you know?”
Standing there was a smiling Kyousui carrying a large leaf-wrapped bundle.