Novel Name : I Never Run Out of Mana

I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 206

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206. This Is Also Growth (2)
The man let out a long sigh before continuing to speak.
The cup of drink never left his hand the entire time.
Almost as if alcohol was his nemesis, he continued drinking it nonstop as if to show just how frustrated he was.
“My daughter was gone, and I gave up even my occupation to search for her like a mad hound. Assuming that she had been taken by the castellan, I used up my entire fortune to find her. Despite knowing that I’d be heavily punished, I still went to the castle to search for her.”
“However, the child wasn’t there. No. Even if she was there, there was no way for me to meet her… All because I had no power to. Burp! Despite losing my child, I was kicked out of the castle with my body intact. Only after all that happened, I paid attention to the same emblem you are holding now.”
“So you found those who used this emblem?”
“Yes… I found them. Only after toiling through day and night for a year straight was I able to finally find them.”
“Then the current state of your body is due to them…”
“They called themselves manhunters. The large organization’s name is Swesi. They earned money by kidnapping and selling young maidens and young Protectors who had recently obtained their powers that the castellan wished for to the nobles. The nobles then gave them as gifts to the castellan of Larkenta in order to garner favor, and thus used like objects amongst the nobles. These are human lives we’re talking about.”
“To put it simply, I guess you can call them human traffickers.”
“Yeah. However, they aren’t like us average folks. The entire organization is made up of Protectors.”
“As expected…”
“You asked if I am like how I am now because of them, right?”
“Kuhuhu. I had lost my mind and went to their headquarters. The only thought in my head was that I had to find my daughter. To sum it up, I didn’t find anything. I didn’t get to touch a hair on my child, and I wasn’t even able to confirm if she was even alive. How pathetic it was that I was done in from the entrance. Kuhaha! I wasn’t able to put up a fight and was beaten up by someone who looked like Swesi’s lowest lap dog, becoming a cripple like you see now.”
“Where is the place? Please tell me where they are.”
“Did you like the lifestyle of a cripple I live? You can live freely I guess. Give up. From your appearance, I think you are a Protector as well, but they aren’t your local bullies that go around as a group to do as they please.”
“It is obvious that a regular civilian cannot face a Protector. However…”
“Oho. Of course. Then do you think it’ll be different if a few average Protectors go together? Or do you think that if you report these felonies, the castle’s elite knights will come help you? That’s complete bullshit! Please open your eyes! Do you still not know how this world works?”
“You would at least need the power of a count or marquis to be able to defeat them. However.. Do you think a noble with that much power will lend their assistance for something like this? Do you think they’ll get rid of an organization that provides them the maidens and Protectors they present as gifts to the castellan with their own hands? Burp!”
“Just… How rotten is this world?”
“Enough to make common sense look like madness… That much rotten is this world. But with alcohol, you can always be happy!”
“Kah! The alcohol is especially good today. Do you think I’m the only parent who has lost their child? Do you think I am the only one who holds their family in their heart? Even if the child isn’t a daughter, if they suddenly obtain the powers of a Protector, then you have to say goodbye to them forever on the same day. After dragging my utterly broken body back, I found others who had lost their families like I.”
“There were many that fled in fear after seeing what had happened to me. They were made to realize that if they tried to fight against Swesi, they would also become cripped or lose their lives, so it was expected. The world has become like this. After the monsters appeared way back, the term justice that we all know and carried out has disappeared since.”
“So you’ve given up?”
“I asked if you’ve given up on your daughter that you cared for like she was irreplaceable.”
“I’m used to that look of pity. I looked at what I could do. I gathered all the money of those who had their families stolen. Since I had gathered the complete fortunes of many, the amount of money gathered was a huge sum. With that money, we hired Protectors. We had bribed Protectors with money to go defeat Swesi and sent them to their headquarters to do so. What was the result? What do you think happened?”
“While we were waiting far away from the entrance, something flew towards us. At first, we thought it was their attack so we ran like hell. But whatever flew at us didn’t reach where we were. So we went close to confirm what it was, and found that it was the head of a person.”
“What do you mean…”
“All the heads of the Protectors we hired. Each of them with horrific expressions, the heads of those dead without even the chance to close their eyes!”
“Those vicious bastards.”
“Only after I saw that did I give up. Family, money, the health of my body and mind. After I had lost it all, my heart closed up. You must find it pathetic, right?”
“This is the difference in power that makes me helpless despite losing loved ones. I did everything I could. And I’m sure I look like a fool who self rationalizes. But remember this one thing. As I said, they are far stronger than your wildest imaginations… Did you ask for their headquarters?”
“Yes. Please tell me where they are at.”
“My name is Herb. What is your name?”
“Why are you asking me that all of a sudden…”
“If I am telling you their headquarters, that is the equivalent of letting you head towards death without doing anything. It would be as if I’m killing you with my own hands. I think the least I can do for you is to raise my glass to your name as I wish you luck, and that is why I ask.”
“Hm… It’s Guardian.”
“Guardian… The name’s meaning is something that we desperately need in such troubled times. Then let us be on our way.”
Due to his injured body and being incredibly drunk, he stumbled quite a lot as he headed out of the pub.
Since he had drunk alcohol nonstop for 30 minutes without rest, it was to be expected.
After finishing up the payment and following him out, I saw him sprawled out on the ground at the entrance, fast asleep.
I worried if I had wasted all this time, but I decided to believe in the earnesty in his eyes that I saw.
This was something that would help out Dump and this man, but after listening to what he had said, this would help me with my growth as well.
The organization Swesi that the man mentioned was simply put, a human trafficking group.
And they were supposedly composed of Protectors.
Like the radical faction back on Earth, the existence of this organization was like a cancerous tumor to society.
The wild beast Demon’s method of growth. Swesi was going to allow me to use the method of directly absorbing the power of the Protectors I kill.
I was going to take them down one by one to increase my strength.
“You are really wasted.”
“Ughhhh. Urk!”
Giving the man a piggyback ride, I ran to my residence.
I could immediately make him snap out of it and head for Swesi’s headquarters right away, but I had to go back in order to tell Dump about this information due to him waiting for my return.
Since it wasn’t far from the castle, it didn’t take long to arrive.
As I entered my room at the inn, Dump greeted me.
“So you’ve returned?”
“Yes. Have you found anything?”
“No… I have asked about it all day, but even the merchants that are close to me like family are avoiding answering me. Excuse me, but what did you bring… Oh my goodness! Isn’t that a person?”
“Ah. Yes. This drunkard is the only clue I have regarding the emblem I was able to find.”
“Huh? You sure he isn’t dead?”
“Whew… I think I can be sure that isn’t the case. Let’s go into the next room over to talk.”
I told Dump everything that I heard from him.
When I told him that I was able to find out the identities of those who use the emblem, Dump’s eyes were filled with life once again, as if to prove that had hope once more.
However, I was able to see that he was bothered by a greater concern and worry.
He had now learned who were responsible, but also learned that he did not have the strength to stop them.
The situation hadn’t really changed and reminded him just how powerless he was, because while he knew where Berlette was, he was unable to do anything about it.
“Sir Guardian… It’ll probably be difficult, right?”
“What do you mean…”
“I had closer bonds with these merchants than blood brothers. Some of them had lost their families like I. When I showed them this emblem, they were rather panicky.”
“They all seemed to know, but it seemed that it was something they could not bring up to speak about. And now that I hear about what the man you’ve brought over said…”
“Mister. Please listen carefully.”
“This isn’t something that will be resolved overnight. As you can see, I‘m not strong enough to handle the entire Swesi group by myself. But I’m not also the type to be defeated by them so easily.”
“But.. Why would you take on such a risky task…”
“What do you really truly feel? I don’t think you need to think about others in a situation like this. Are you able to live on while giving up on your daughter? It seems impossible from my point of view though.”
“Hu… I shall offer the rest of my life to you, Sir Guardian. Just please… Please rescue my daughter.”
“I don’t know how long it’ll take. And I think you know that you can’t directly help me, right?”
“Of course. I know that as a regular civilian, I’ll only be a burden…”
“If you really want to help me, there is something you can do.”
“What would that be? If there is something I can help with, I can even tear out my heart and offer it to you.”
“It’s something you’re really good at. It’s making an artifact tailored to me.”
“I’m aware that you’ve failed so far. But don’t you think something might change if you add a bit of desperation to it? If it is high quality materials, I have plenty. Jewels and even cores as well.”
“A successful creation of an artifact may determine the outcome of this ordeal between success and defeat, so please do your best.”
“I understand! No matter the cost, I shall make it happen.”
“Good. I shall move the moment that man wakes up.”
“Yes. Then I should…”
“Swesi only targets young maidens and Protectors. This means that you can return back to your residence. Please continue your efforts there.”
“Then I shall head there right away. Please take care.”
Dump hastily exited the inn and headed for his residence.
After he left, I looked at the man who was sleeping like the dead.
It was obvious that I wouldn’t be able to swiftly defeat Swesi even with all my power.
Considering all the various information I learned while spectating the Festival of Blood, I was just a Protector who was a bit above average.
I knew that the count and marquis that the man mentioned was far stronger than I by far.
That is why I said that this fight wouldn’t end in a single day.
“I have to continuously become stronger as I fight.”
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