I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 205
205. This Is Also Growth
Having Dump sit on a chair, I handed him a cup of warm water.
It seemed that it was unlikely for me to hear an explanation from him while he was severely upset.
I haven’t known him for long, but I had never seen him lose his self control this much.
He was always gentle and calm, and looked at each situation with a cold calculating gaze.
Instead of trying to push him to answer faster, I decided to give him space and wait until he was ready to talk.
He was looking into thin air with unfocused eyes, and tilted the water cup with his shaky hands for a brief moment.
Dump finally opened his mouth.
“S… Sir Guardian.”
“Looks like you’ve finally calmed down. Yes, go ahead and tell me.”
“Gone… No matter where I look, I can not find…”
“What are you talking about?”
“My daughter… Berlette… Berlette has disappeared!”
Only then did I notice that another person who should’ve been there, Berlette, wasn’t present.
I finally understood why Dump’s hand was covered in blood after listening to his explanation as well.
I thought to myself that the feeling of a parent losing their child was equivalent to his hand’s condition right now.
He must’ve not even registered the feeling of pain from flesh on his hand being torn.
Like someone who had gone insane, he must have searched with abandon not only the inside of his house, but the area around it.
I saw on Dump’s hopeless face the same expression that I saw on my mother’s when I was young.
“Sir Guardian. I plead to you.”
Dump kneeled on the ground and bowed before me.
It must because he wanted to hold onto even a strand of hope.
I pulled up Dump who was nearly begging at this point while he held onto my boots.
“Especially at a time like this, you have to keep your calm. Get yourself together.”
“No… I want to, but I cannot. My one and only daughter…”
“Do you think it was the castellan who did this? You’ve mentioned it before. That those from the castle kidnap young ladies and Protectors.”
“While that’s true, not once have soldiers rushed here uninvited. If it was the house I’ve been residing in a week ago, maybe…”
“There was a chance that someone was looking for an opportunity nearby. Did you not see anything out of the ordinary in the past couple days?”
“Yes… The last few days were just business as usual. And if the soldiers of the castle found a young lady, they would’ve taken her on the spot.”
“Think about it carefully.”
“However, I saw a note on the table that I have never seen before.”
I went to the table that Dump pointed to and checked on the note.
It was a tiny note with an emblem drawn on it that resembled a brand logo for goods.
It seemed that this note that was stuck to the table with a dagger was the only clue we had to work with.
Pulling the dagger out, I carried the note over to Dump and asked him.
“This emblem. Have you seen it before?”
“No. Never. This is the first time I’ve seen it.”
“Perhaps the flag of Larkenta looks like this?”
“That’s not the case.”
“It looks like we can at least draw a conclusion that she had been kidnapped. We don’t know if and when they’ll come back again. Mister, I want you to go stay for a couple days in the place I’m residing at. It will be safe there. I shall bring you over.”
“I will also take part in the search. I also want to search for my daughter…”
“You’ll only get in the way. I know how you feel, but you already know, right? We don’t even know the group that uses this emblem. It can get far worse from here on out. So please stay there for a couple of days. I shall come to explain to you the situation from time to time between those days.”
Dump wiped his tears that flowed out without stopping, and then took out some chalk and parchment.
Then he began to copy exactly the emblem on the note onto the parchment.
For Dump, who was used to drawing blueprints for armors and weapons, he was able to finish copying the emblem in almost an instant, and then followed me without complaint.
My heart was heavy as I left the house.
The main reason was that Berlette had disappeared, but there was another issue.
It was time.
It was obvious that Dump was my partner that was of great help to me.
However, I was currently in a situation where it wouldn’t be enough if I spent each day busily growing stronger to keep up with Demon’s growth.
To ignore this would be inhumane, but to invest time here brought me great worry for the future.
Not letting my thoughts show to Dump, I headed for the inn.
Because it was past midnight already, silence filled the streets.
The sound of two men stepping on grass was it.
When daylight comes, the first thing we needed to do was to ask around about the emblem left behind.
I’m sure that Dump copied the emblem onto the parchment because he had the same idea.
My head was filled to the brim, but I finished escorting Dump to the inn before heading off to hunt.
I knew the amount of growth I’d get wasn’t comparable to what I could obtain through the Festival of Blood, but I couldn’t just stand by idly.
Just like that, I tore the return scroll and headed for the edge of the 10th tier hunting grounds.
I continued to hunt in the unexplored territories.
Since people were scarce at this time of night, I defeated the monsters with all my power.
So it was natural that I gathered more monsters than usual in one spot before taking them all down, and the speed increased noticeably as well.
I threw in the jewels and quality artifacts that I gained from hunting into the Mobile Storage.
The jewels were sorted automatically by the rank and size.
The sky grew blueish, making me consider returning to the inn that Dump was at.
I was just hoping that this situation would be resolved quickly.
After all, I couldn’t stay in this case forever.
It was a bit selfish of me, but this wouldn’t be the wrong decision considering the future.
Being completely honest, giving up would mean the death of a single person named Berlette, but if I lost the fight in the celestial realm, then nothing would change in that hellish realm for an eternity.
“So you were awake?”
“Yes. You’ve arrived. Firstly, we should ask around for the meaning of this emblem.”
“I also agree with that idea. Since it is the only clue we have…”
“Then I shall go out first. I’ve already prepared a meal for you, so don’t skip it. Then…”
Dump was very different from how he was yesterday.
He must’ve realized that being emotional wouldn’t help at all in finding Berlette.
Seeing him shove the parchment into his clothing and quickly leave the inn, the thought that I couldn’t just ignore this and move on came to mind.
To that man, his daughter was everything.
I did not know why he did not have anyone else in in his family, but the one only left for Dump right now was Berlette.
How could I compare to the despair of someone who lost everything.
Convincing myself and coming to an understanding, I left to find for the source of the emblem.
Since Dump knew about the markets, I left that side to him, and I chose the castle entrance because that place was the most populated in all of Larkenta.
It was an early morning, but many were still gathered to enter the castle.
And just like that, the search without a definite end began.
“Do you know of this emblem?”
Despite searching around until the sun was setting, I wasn’t able to meet a single person who knew about the emblem.
There was a person who kept looking at me strange, but that was it.
As darkness set, the crowd in front of the castle entrance scattered like a receding wave.
I went to the inn multiple times to check if Dump had found out something about it, but I could guess that he didn’t find anything from the vacant room.
Wondering how I would face Dump with a lack of findings, I was greatly worried as I turned to leave.
“Must’ve hid a lass.”
A man leaning against the castle wall and squatting on the ground said something very curious to me.
I immediately approached him.
A ragged appearance without equal and the bottles of empty alcohol around him included.
To put it simply, it was the appearance of a hobo who lived off being drunk.
Just by getting close to him, I was able to smell rot and alcohol.
“What did you say?”
“That you’ve hidden a lass. Family? Siblings? Someone’s fated to be? Kuhuhu.”
“I’ll buy you a round of alcohol. Let’s go someplace quieter.”
“I always gladly welcome alcohol. Burp.”
The shabby looking man seemed a lot younger than my initial impression of him.
His slouched back and labored gait made me think of him as an elderly man at first.
Perhaps due to his body being ruined by alcohol, his hand shook continuously, and his head twitched against his will.
With my thoughts of maybes and what ifs, I took him to a quieter pub.
Since I hadn’t learned anything about the emblem despite my efforts searching all day, even a drunkard was okay if he had any information to share.
“I shall pour a glass for you.”
“Kah! As expected, alcohol is always right. Don’t you think so? Take a swig as well!”
“No, I’m alright. That’s that and… Can you continue on what you were telling me before?”
“Hm? What did I say?”
“Just a second.”
I casted a Silent between the man and I.
It was because I determined that there would be no good resulting from others overhearing about what he and I were talking about.
There was no way that the sound made within Silent would ever spill outside of it.
The sound would be blocked by the skill and be completely destroyed.
“You said that I hid a lass. Do you remember?”
“Ahah! Yes! You hid a lass. Burp!”
“Then do you know of this emblem?”
“Three seagulls flying near the sun. Burp. How could I forget? Pour me another glass.”
Was he telling the truth in the middle of being drunk?
The man wasn’t even looking at the note I was holding out and muttering things I did not understand.
I could see through his robe a lonely smile to the thin air before him and moistened eyes.
And then he looked closely at the emblem.
‘Seagulls that are flying near the sun..’
Seeing the emblem again without much thought again, I noticed that the emblem really did look like what the man had mentioned.
No. I wasn’t seeing this because of what he had said.
In the center of the emblem was the sun, and there were three of the number 3 in Arabian around it.
He must’ve described these numbers as seagulls.
Filling his glass, I continued my inquiry.
“So you know of this emblem!”
“There’s no way I could forget. Even if I’m drunk, it comes to me clearly again… Perhaps if I’m dead, that won’t be the case.”
“Please tell me everything you know of this emblem.”
“Can you handle it? Burp. You could become a cripple like me. Huhaha.”
The man pulled up the sleeve of his robe to show me his arm.
What I saw couldn’t have been caused by an accident.
His arms and legs were bent in horrible ways. And he pointed at his permanently bent back, laughing enough to show his yellow teeth.
Seeing as though I did not flinch and kept a deadpan look, the man opened his mouth.
“I had a daughter once. The story isn’t that long ago. It’s been about 10 years, I think?”
“Because she was my only child, she was everything to me. Enough to break the law and hide them away from prying eyes like you have…”
“Kah! They do business with the lives of people. If you do not have the strength, then you can only suffer at their hands.”