The Jiraiya Oak
The girl opened her big pair of lovely round eyes.
At first, she looked like she was still dreaming, but the moment she saw me, she snapped out of it right away.
The girl looked like she wanted to say something as she flinched, but her expression changed into a frightened one in the next moment and nothing came out of her mouth.
She probably realized that she couldn’t move her body at all.
While she was moving her head left and right in a panic, I spoke to her as slowly as possible.
「Can you understand what I’m saying?」
There was no reply to my question.
However, the girl’s face stiffened after hearing my voice as she kept her lips tightly sealed.
She probably understood me then, I think.
「You were…Well, me as well. We were both attacked by a Fly Lord and were brought to this nest. Do you remember?」
The girl shut her eyes. It looks like she was trying to remember about the time when she was attacked.
「Look, I’ve killed the monster. Its corpse is over there」
I pointed to the Fly Lord’s corpse with its wings cut off and head split open.
The girl looked at it with her eyes wide open.
「We’re probably inside a mountain somewhere, but there aren’t any side exits to this place. If we want to get out, the only way is through up there.」
When I pointed to the hole above us, her eyes followed my finger as if it was lured there, to where the daylight was coming from.
The sun had already begun to rise while I was smashing the maggots– The girl squinted her eyes in reaction to the sunlight.
Her face stiffened probably because she understood the distance between her and the hole up there.
「I’m going to leave this place」
The girl stared at me with her big, round eyes.
You… Do you see a way out?
She knitted her brows and looked at me as if she heard something unreasonable and was asking me that.
「I can carry you out of here if you want my help. But if you don’t want a human’s help then this is farewell. What do you want to do?」
She looked away, seemingly confused at what her answer should be.
「Oh, by the way, the paralysis on your body takes at least a day before it wears off. Well, that’s how it was for me, but I don’t know how long it’ll be for a Kijin」
The girl suddenly became wary and looked back at me after she heard me say Kijin.
–To be able to communicate with humans just with expressions, what a skilled person she is.
Well, I can understand that she’s being cautious of me.
I will put my hand out there for her. It’s up to her if she wants to take that hand or not.
「For the time being, I’m going to try to climb this wall. I will come back down once if I can get about half way up, have your decision by then」
With that said, I got away from her and bent my knees slightly. Then, I mounted up the wall.
The way up the wall is almost completely vertical but there are countless parts on the wall that you could use as footholds.
The problem would be that this place itself was slightly on a slant. So, there is a need to use your hands as well to pull yourself up as you climb.
Even if I climbed with Kei covering my entire body, I wouldn’t be able to stick to the walls like a bug while I’m climbing on that angle.
I got fired up and started to climb the cave while feeling a long stare that was coming from behind.
――An hour later, I succeeded in escaping with the girl on my back. We escaped with nothing special that was worth talking about. No, well, it’s because nothing special happened that we managed to escape with no drama.
The exit was on small cliff.
The vast Thetis forest was below us. I could hear the loud noise of the strong wind while it blew across my face.
In the midst of that noise, I heard a quiet voice coming from behind me.
「You’re very welcome」
I responded to the fragile voice that came from behind.
Speaking of which, this was the first time the girl opened her mouth.
A while ago, she had a spooked look on her face when she was confirming whether or not she wanted to be carried on my back– But I guess when I was swiftly climbing up the cave, she was nodding approvingly like hmm hmm!
「So, is there somewhere you want me to take you? If you can tell me where your home is, I’ll take you there」
Hesitant and perplexed, she replied in such a voice.
Well, even if you were saved by your enemy at the bottom of a pit, you would still hesitate about telling them where you lived.
「It’s fine if you just want me to leave you by some rock or tree or a mountain」
「In that case… the third largest camphor tree…on your left hand side…」
「…Uhh, I’m sorry. They all look about the same size to me」
I could see about ten of those trees.
After the girl went into thought for a little bit, she tried a different approach.
「Umm, that Jiraiya oak tree over there」
「…I’m sorry. Jiraiya oak? I have no idea what that is」
「…Go down the cliff here and I’ll explain to you where it is, okay?」
「…Thanks. Sorry for the inconvenience」
The girl giggled when I lowered my head and apologized to her.
「Why is the person getting saved being thanked?」
「Oh yeah, why did I say that? Well anyway, I’m going to run down from here on, be careful not to bite your tongue」
After letting her know, I casually ran down the cliff with the girl on my back.
I think I heard someone screaming in my ear several times on the way but I didn’t care.
The screams sounded somewhat like shouts of joy from a child riding a swing in the playground so it was fine, after all.
After that, we arrived at the Jiraiya oak tree, but it seems like this tree wasn’t a marking for something, but rather the fruit of the tree has the ability to neutralize poison.
The sourness of the fruit makes it not ideal for consumption, but that sourness is what seems to get rid of poisons.
Indeed, while the girl’s mouth turned into : x as she ate the fruit, she looked like she was going to be able to walk again really soon– while it was not unexpected, she was able to move her fingers already within an hour.
From that point on, she was able to freely control her limbs in the next hour, then she was able to stand up normally as if she had received recovery magic.
The Jiraiya oak tree is amazing, I thought.
Afterwards, I learned how to get back to the city of Ishka from the girl after she had fully recovered and was on my way back.
Just like she told me, I had no problem finding my way after I went down the river.
In the end, I didn’t learn where she lived or what her name was, but I was still plenty satisfied.
How should I put it? I’m in a really good mood after helping someone for the first time in a while.
For the past few months… or past few years rather, I’ve only been gathering herbs. I haven’t felt this feeling of satisfaction you get from helping others for a long time.
Speaking of which, I was never attacked by any demonic beasts or demons when we were waiting for the girl to recover.
The depths of the Thetis forest should be a dangerous area where adventurers lose their lives though, so how come?
To be honest, I wanted to test out my soul equipment a few more times but I guess it’s fine… Let’s prioritize returning to the city first.
I further increased the amount of Kei across my entire body and kicked off the ground at full speed.
TLN: No sidekick girl~