Chapter 3 – Broken Wand
1. Ancient Wood
“You broke your wand?”
Louie’s door was suddenly opened, and the female magician called Ila rushed in.
Louie was doing abdominal exercises, his entire upper body was naked.
(This woman, she just walks in casually.)
Though, Louie never does lock his door.
Seeing the glasses lying on his bed, Ila relaxed herself. Meanwhile, Louie got up and put on a shirt.
“You have such a great physique, why do you still exercise?”
“Oh, I’m not exercising.”
It seemed she didn’t understand that he was simply keeping in shape.
“Anyway, I’m not interested in muscular men……”
Ila said to herself. She then closed the door behind her, and walked straight over to Louie.
“What’s this I hear about your wand?”
Louie had a helpless look on his face.
He used the wand when he fought the goblins, he bashed the goblins in the head with it, thus breaking it two.
“It broke into two halves!”
After listening to Louie giving his explanation, Ila didn’t want to believe it.
“Your wand is broken, just like how I broke my hand.”
Ila was dressed in the usual magician garb, except she had her sleeves rolled up, she was pointing to her wrist.
Her skin was white, it was really quite fine.
“A wand is very important!”
A magical wand is proof that you belong to the Magician’s Guild, it could also be said that it’s the spirit of a magician. Without a wand, you might as well resign from being a magician.
“What will you do?”
“I’ll get a new wand made.”
“Do you want me to get Mr. Carwes?”
“No way, my grandfather is also my mentor.”
“You need a 500 year old ancient wood to make a new wand, and three days or more for the magic ritual!”
“Since my grandfather is Headmaster Carwes, he can help me get that old wood.”
“500 year old wood just doesn’t grow anywhere!”
As precious as ancient wood may be, you wouldn’t find it by just looking in the outskirts of the Kings forest.
“The only place where you can find some is Tartious Forest (森ターシャス), and that place is filled with all kind of dangerous monsters.”
“However, the forest is so big that I probably won’t encounter any.”
“Tell that to all the people who lose their lives there every year.”
Ila’s tone was dire.
“I’m not afraid. Monsters or demons, I’ll defeat them all, just like how I defeated those goblins.”
“Yes, but you broke your wand in the process, didn’t you?”
Louie was left speechless.
“T-This time I won’t be so careless. I’ll be using a sword to fight.”
“And you can’t use magic since you don’t have a wand. Anyway, will those adventure companions you met go with you?”
Louie said defiantly.
The three women didn’t want anything to do with him anymore. Since Louie broke his wand, they took him for a walking joke. On the way back from the ruins, the trio constantly called him a pig.
“Well, are you going alone then?”
Ila’s eye’s blinked widly.
“Ah, I see……”
Ila seemed to be thinking, then she went silent for a moment.
“You……can accompany me tonight……”
She said to Louie.
“What’s got into you all of a sudden?”
“I might never see you again, so I’d like to create some fond memories.”
Silence filled the room for a moment.
“That’s just like you.”
Louie said, while laughing.
“I’m just kidding! I just want to accompany you, so I can hear about your adventures.”
After that, Ila left Louie’s room, regardless whether they reached a decision or not.
Louie stared blankly at the wall, he really enjoyed having fun with women, but now he was really tired.
“If someone is envious of my life, then I’d happily switch with him.” Louie said inside himself.
2 – Companions
“……He even broke his wand.”
Said Melissa the acolyte, her eyes were filled with tears, High Priestess Jenny looked at her with remorse.
“He used an important symbol of a magician to beat goblins in the head, and when his wand broke…he used his fists……”
Then, Melissa repeated “This is against my will” five times.
(She can’t be serious……)
Once known as the “sword princess”, the High Priestess listened to Jenny, although her face was calm, she was actually very angry.
Melissa didn’t say it, but she wanted a different hero from the God of War. From Jenny’s point of view, Louie was her friend’s son, she known him ever since he was little.
“He is always shirtless in front of women, that kind of behaviour is barbarous. He doesn’t discuss anything with us, clearly he is a man that thinks for himself, he could have caused serious harm to his companions. If God doesn’t give me some inspiration soon, I’m afraid my faith in God may waver.”
Jenny could understand how Melissa was feeling, but she didn’t want her quitting the faith over this.
(Louie shirtless in front of women…)
When the King founded the country of Ohfun, one thing was always certain, men would exercise topless to try and attract members of the opposite sex.
A strong burly figure, of course women admire this, but most women still prefer a gentler man. However, most men don’t understand this.
(When it comes to a beautiful physique, Louie clearly excels in that area.)
When Jenny was young, she always held the firm belief that a strong body was needed for fighting.
As a woman, she always maintained a well-proportioned body, using a dancing sword technique with an elegant posture, she gained the name “sword princess” through defeating opponents.
“How can you say that……?”
Jenny said to Melissa.
To qualify as a member of the clergy, you must get an evaluation from Jenny. Whether you are strong or weak, you will learn fighting skills so you can defend yourself.
In Melissa’s case, she always helped out in less physical demanding tasks. For example, she would always help out with sermons for the younger believers.
In the future, she would most likely be teaching large groups of people, but now she was too young, and she needed to learn to control her temper.
Melissa always fantasied about getting a hero, one that was perfect in every way, someone that would be worshipped like an idol. Unfortunately, such people do not exist in this world, hero’s come in all shapes and forms.
“What should I do?”
Melissa asked Jenny, with a puzzled look on her face.
“I am willing to listen to the High Priest’s instructions.”
“Rather than listen to my opinion, you should follow the mission God has given you.”
Jenny then spoke in a commanding voice.
“God has given you a mission, you were told to follow your magician hero Louie. Even though he doesn’t have the qualities of a hero yet, you should embrace your duty, not run away from it.”
After listening to Jenny, Melissa couldn’t help but feel disgusted.
Jenny knew that Melissa could endure, even if Louie didn’t have the qualities of a hero.
(Louie was always such a gentle child.)
Jenny thought, thinking about the times she spent with Louie when he was a child.
Seeing that Melissa was trembling in front of her, she thought of some encouraging words.
“You should reach out to him, try to understand more about him from his daily life, maybe then you’ll find out if he is the hero you are meant to serve.”
Even though she promised her, she couldn’t help but show that she was unhappy.
Then, she unsteadily stood up, and left the chapel.
“He broke his wand.”
Merrill was recounting their adventure to the information broker.
“I can’t believe a magician even did that.”
“Why not? He’s an idiot.”
Merrill laughed. She then took two steps towards Shamsul (沙姆斯).
“What do you want?”
He continued to watch her, a smile appeared on her face.
“Thanks to your lousy information, we almost ended up dead!”
The smile on her face disappeared in an instant, she was furious, but so was the broker.
“Hey! You know full well how dangerous it can be going on an adventure!”
The broker found Merrill’s expression offensive, he could only think of defending himself.
“Everyone knows it dangerous, but don’t you feel uneasy knowing this?”
Merrill’s face relaxed, she was calm once again.
“I would certainly feel uneasy.”
“Well, now that you feel that way, don’t you think you should return our money?”
He couldn’t afford to lose money, or even give it back for that matter. Unfortunately for Merrill, she was flat broke and needed the money.
After Shamsul finished, he felt a pair of small hands touching his.
Little Merrill’s eye’s sparkled, she moved her face closer to Shamsul’s.
“That may apply to other people, but I am an only child. Don’t you want to help me?”
“Of course, you’re my friend after all.”
Merrill waited for an answer from the broker.
He started to smile.
“What’s that look supposed to mean?”
Merrill leaned back from the brokers face.
Shamsul smiled like a wild dog.
“Hey, smile for me again……”
“You’ve got to be kidding.”
Merrill cried, she then followed that with a roundhouse kick to Shamsul’s face, his body flew through the air, impacting the floor of the bar.
“Don’t be so impulsive, I was only joking.”
Shamsul staggered as he got up, as he looked at Merrill.
“You try something like that when I was being sincere, that was a bad joke.”
Merrill confidently said.
“But thanks to your joke, I’m feeling a little better.”
“That was rude……”
Shamsul patted the dust off his clothes, Merrill then sat down on a seat at the counter.
“This time you’ve really done it.”
“Well, you can’t please everyone.”
Shamsul put his elbows on the counter.
“What was your friends name again, Louie, wasn’t it?”
“What are you talking about, did you forget or something? You were the one I bought the information about him from.”
“Ah, yes, he’s the adopted son of Headmaster Carwes at the Magician’s Guild. That guy really doesn’t behave himself, he’s got into fights with our people several times.”
“Don’t tell me you want to introduce him to the thieves’ guild?”
“Maybe, though he does have a great physique, he could become a great man…maybe even a hero one day.”
“The guy is still useless.”
Looking at his performance in their last adventure, little Merrill didn’t think Louie had what it takes to join the thieves guild.
“Anyway, I’ve got some other information about him. In fact, I forgot to tell you last time. ”
“I’m not paying.”
Merrill made this very clear, even if she wanted to buy the information, she wouldn’t be able to since she doesn’t have any money.
“Alright, I’ll give you this one for free, as well as a little gift.”
“Good, what’s the information?”
“Well……it’s related to his background. No one knows who his biological parents are.”
The broker peaked the interested of Merrill.
The thieves’ guild has extensive information on everybody, they know everybody’s biological parents, except for Louie’s.
Merrill smiled, and reached her hand out to Shamsul.
“I want to know more about that guy, Headmaster Carwes. He may be a great man, but I’m sure you’d be able to learn more about him if you got closer to him.”
Shamsul said, as he put a jewel into Merrill’s hands.
(Oh, this must be worth at least 200(0) silver coins……)
As soon as Merrill had the stone in her hand, she started thinking about how much it was worth.
(Anyhow, since Louie is our travelling companion, it should be easy to glean some information from him.)
Merrill had got a task that was too simple, she liked it that way. She then put the jewel into her bag, said goodbye to Shamsul and left the underground bar.
“He actually broke his wand.”
After Genie finished speaking, a mocking smile was on her face.
Genie was talking to one of her former colleges from the mercenary guild. His name is Barb, he’s about thirty years old, but you wouldn’t know that by just looking at him.
“That magician is unbelievable.”
Barb said, as he drank from a glass.
“By the way, I didn’t expect you’d become a knight of the Kingdom of Ohfun?”
Barb was previously a mercenary, strictly speaking, his type of character isn’t’ generally allowed to become a knight.
Genie didn’t think he’d become a knight either.
“The Kingdom hasn’t been around that long, they had a shortage for talent. When I was in my third year as a mercenary, I did some fencing and found success.”
“Yeah, I understand.”
If Ohfun was a normal country, knights would be from the royals of the country.
However, since Ohfun was created recently, they had to choose their talent from people who might not have been eligible in another country.
“With your abilities, you’d make……”
“Women can’t become knights.”
Genie said coldly.
In the past, someone had said something similar to her. The faces of a group of men emerged in her mind, men who were of nobility, they tried everything in their power to stop her.
“Let me be very clear. I don’t have any interest in serving the royals.”
“Then what do you want to do?”
“If you’ve been listening, I’m currently and adventurer. I think I’ll continue doing that.”
“If you’ve been listening, I’m currently and adventurer. I think I’ll continue doing that.”
“That is a possibility, but you’ve got to think about your future.”
“I was young once, but it’s too early to be worrying about what I’ll be doing when I’m old.”
“You mean you won’t become a mercenary again, not even for the Kingdom of Ohfun……?”
Currently there is no war, so any tasks a mercenary gets would be easy.
“I don’t have the motivation to fight for the kingdom, I’d rather fight monsters, mostly because it’s more interesting.”
“Is that so?”
Barb looked disappointed, he then stood up.
“I have to go back to the city, what about you?”
“I think I’ll wait here for my companions.”
“My house is on Mayor Street, if there’s anything you’d like to discuss, you know where to find me. Hopefully I’ll be seeing more of you…anyway, I wish you the best of luck.”
Genie saw through his words, she though they had a hidden meaning.
“Why? Is there something you want to tell me?”
Genie was being frank.
“Yes, you’re always welcome.”
“However, you’re a knight now, and you don’t even have a wife, I feel sorry for you.”
In an instant, Barb’s face became very stiff, then he smiled.
“Well, you could always take that spot.”
Barb laughed, then he said his goodbyes and left the bar.
3 – Awkward encounter
“Why are you here……”
Louie and Ila appeared in the bar wearing their casual clothes, however, when he stood in front of the three women, Louie couldn’t believe his eyes.
All of them had the same look on their face, they didn’t welcome this chance encounter.
“You! You shouldn’t be here!”
Genie said with displeasure.
Indeed, Louie visits this place regularly, the alley of Joy Street. But today he took Ila with him, it wasn’t very convenient for her to be in this place.
“Are these your companions?”
Ila said to Louie.
Louie nodded his head, he looked very troubled.
“Yeah, but they don’t seem to want me as their partner anymore.”
Ila listened to Louie’s words, she sighed, then looked at the three girls.
“Each of them is a great beauty. They are like a harem from the Kingdom of Sand and Dust.”
A harem from the Kingdom of Sand and Dust refers an elite selection of women from around the continent, they are generally used as the Kings personal concubines.
Louie wanted to supress the screaming he held within himself, they may seem like a harem, but he thought that they were torturous demons.
If Louie said what he really wanted to say, the bar would most likely be turned into a bloodbath.
“We have somewhere to go.”
Louie whispered in Ila’s ear.
“Why? This is nothing more than a chance encounter, we shouldn’t have to go somewhere else.”
Ila quickly replied, then Genie immediately pulled a chair to their table.
Ila greeted them politely, then everyone looked at Genie.
(This is hell……)
Louie felt himself fall into a deep sleep.
But since he was in a bar, he realized he could eat and drink.
(This is going to be boring.)
Louie walked unsteadily, he sat down on the seat between Ila and Merrill.
Everyone then began to introduce themselves, meanwhile Louie ordered some food and drink.
The atmosphere of the next forty minutes was very strange.
Louie did his best to avert the gaze of the three women, but Ila on the other hand was looking at all three of the women.
Genie had a look of displeasure on her face, they all continued to silently eat and drink, Melissa looked like she could endure the silence.
The only exception was Merrill, she had been looking for opportunities to speak, but the atmosphere was too glum. Thus, she didn’t utter a word.
“These girls seem very quiet.”
Ila observed them for a long time, with a look of satisfaction on her face, she turned to Louie and said:
Louie didn’t answer, he didn’t’ want to be cursed by Genie for breaking the silence.
Ila started to ask about their adventures.
Genie sat in front of her, she found this a very good topic. However, when she mentioned the battle with the goblins, Louie could feel the blood surging in his body.
“A large group of goblins came at us, and in the midst of the fighting…Louie was using his wand to bash the heads of the goblins, then…”
All the women then spoke in unison.
“He broke his wand——”
“And now he’s got to get some wood to make another one.”
Ila explained this to the three women, she had a very happy look on her face.
“His destination is the Tartious Forest, the demon forest.”
“The Tartious Forest!”
The three women repeated.
“There’s an old tree that grows somewhere deep in the forest.”
“I doubt he’ll come back alive.”
Genie mercilessly said.
“I’m going to have a bigger headache is he does come back alive……”
Louie wanted to shout at them.
“So, ah ……”
Ila said, she put her hand into her purse, and started looking for something.
She pulled out a couple of items and put them on the table.
“A flute, wooden sticks, and some cloth?”
Louie said, as he looked at the items on the table.
Everything Ila had were magical treasures, since that was her special field of study.
“This cloth is a “forest fairy cape”. If you wear it and chant the magical incantation, the cape will turn you invisible. However, there’s no way for it to stop smells and sounds from getting out from the cape, so it’s useless against animals.”
Merrill looked the most interested out of the three women, she leaned from her chair and reached for the cape.
Although Merrill and Louie were sitting right beside each other, such a move put her breasts in front of Louie’s face. Upon closer inspection, her body wasn’t fully developed yet, so her body was petite, such an image reminded Louie of the body of a fairy.
“Next is the two sticks, when you are lost in the forest, just insert one end into the ground, and throw the other in the air, then it will show you what direction your companions are in.”
Merrill looked at the sticks, and examined them closely.
“I’m not seeing any marks on these sticks, what if I accidently walked in the opposite direction?”
“Ah, you have a keen sense of observation.”
Ila then explained what would happen.
“That’s where the problem lies, if you get lost there’s a fifty percent chance that you’d head in the right direction……”
“We can’t use that thing.”
Genie said with distain.
“Cant’ you just paint some kind of marker on the sticks?”
“No. I’ve tried, it emits some faint kind of magic if someone tries to tamper with it……”
Louie said. If Ila went on to explain all the magical treasures, then they would probably be here for a while.
Moreover, Louie wanted to prevent any needless quarrels with the three women.
“What is this flute?”
Merrill said, as she picked up the little flute.
“That’s called a Magical Flute.”
“And it does what……?”
“It summons demons.”
“It will be more effective in the Tartious forest.”
“Once you summon the demons, will they do whatever you say?”
“Nope, if it was that powerful, it would have been locked away with all the other magical treasures.”
“So, when should we use it?”
“I think you could use it when you want to practice martial arts……”
Ila said, as she nodded.
“I love to practice martial arts, like me at them!”
Louie’s mood improved, he was ecstatic now.
“Just make sure you use it when the moment is right.”
After Ila had finished speaking, she moved her hair out of the way so she could drink.
“Regardless of the matter, it could come in useful.”
“I don’t think so.”
Genie said, her face was full of disdain.
When Ila heard that, she turned to Louie and said:
“Is that right? Looks like you’re still needing a stronger partner.”
She deliberately didn’t look at Genie’s eyes, she was trying to provoke her.
Of course, it worked.
Louie wanted to shout from the bottom of his heart.
“My special magic glasses and its last ability could come in useful.”
Although Ila wasn’t wearing those glasses now, nor would she ever use the fourth ability due to it being lethal.
“Hey, Ila, can we change the pace and continue to drink?”
Louie knew that if this continued, a bloodbath would ensue.
“What? Don’t tell me you wanted to go somewhere else alone with me?”
Louie wanted to say something that would derail this provocative conversation, he didn’t want to tangle with Genie on a day like this.
So Louie just smiled, he then forced Ila off her chair.
Ila was very fit, but she started enthusiastically holding Louie’s arm.
Louie pretended that nothing happened, he said his goodbyes then left, taking Ila away from the bar with him.
4 – A change of heart
“Well, that wasn’t fun.”
After Louie had gone, it took a while before Merrill said anything.
“It was boring.”
Melissa agreed with them.
“The nerve of that women, how dare she insinuate that we need a stronger companion! If I ever meet her on the road I’ll…”
Merrill moved her fingers across her throat.
“It’s his fault that his wand broke, it’s not our responsibility to fix it.”
“That women is also an idiot, is she trying to cause more problems between us and Louie? I don’t know, but I get a weird feeling from her.”
Then, the three women cursed Ila’s name. And then they cursed Louie’s name, and sighed deeply.
Now the three women’s throats were dry, due to the excessive cursing.
“……Those two, they must think the Tartious forest poses no threat.”
Merrill said to herself, as she finished her drink.
“Even the hunters only go to the edge of the forest, they are afraid of going any deeper. Anyway, I heard a rumour that there’s some ruins of the ancient kingdom deep in the forest, but adventures don’t dare to go there.”
“But then again, he’s just not anymore ordinary person.”
Genie said, then they all began to think about Louie.
“Do you think he’s actually going?”
(No wonder the broker Shamsul payed special attention to him.)
“What if he actually becomes a hero……”
Melissa staggered as she remembered the revelation from her God.
The three women then looked at each other and sighed.
“This is boring.”
They all said at the same time.
“Hey, ladies, looks like your all in a bad mood. Why don’t you drink with us?”
Two drunken men said, as they approached them.
At that moment, Genie decided to vent out her anger on them.
“You’ve got to be kidding!”
Tables were overturned and glasses were sent into the air.
The bar was turned into a battlefield.
The next day——
Ila and Louie are walking down South Street.
He stressed to Ila that he didn’t want to walk with her, but she insisted.
Of course, Ila brought her magical treasures with her.
After walking for a while, they discover the three women in front of them.
Merrill greeted them.
“What brings you here?”
Louie stood still for a moment, it was like he had seen a ghost.
“After you left, we got into a fight at the bar.”
“Yeah, it was just some riff-raff so we’re okay.”
Although Merrill was a lovely little girl, Louie sensed something was off about her.
“Actually, we were looking for you.”
“Yeah, we want to go with you.”
“Yeah, we want to go with you.”
Louie never thought he’d hear those words.
“If you two go alone, there’s no way you’d make it back alive.”
“If something happened, I wouldn’t be able to fulfil my obligations to my faith.”
Melissa said, looking to distant hills.
“We were also looking for a certain troublesome magician.”
(I never expected such kindness from them.)
Then Louie thought that they would be asking for favours as compensation.
However, he knew this was a good thing. Because he has heard all kinds of stories about the Tartious forest, and none of them good, so more people in his party is better.
But, there was a problem……
Louie looked to Ila, who was wearing the magic glasses.
“Isn’t this great?”
Ila smiled, and began to talk.
“Since they are willing to go with you, you won’t be needing my help. Anyway, I’ll head back to the Magicians Guild and prepare for you guys coming back.”
Ila put a bag on Louie’s back, then waved goodbye.
“The material needed for the creation of a new wand doesn’t necessarily have to be a big stick, twigs and branches can be used. But still, ancient oak is the best thing to make a wand with.”
Ila then turned and left, Louie stared blankly as she walked away.
Genie then spoke with an impatient voice.
“Let’s get there and back again, before we change our minds.”
Merrill started laughing.
Melissa didn’t speak, she didn’t even look Louie in the eyes.
Louie replied, and then all of them followed Genie out of the city.
With the warm sun on their back, they headed towards the Tartious forest.