It was just as the clamor around the farm started to die down that the villagers began to gather. They were all holding torches. When the light in the area increased, the devastation of the farm became clearer.
The grass was dyed with blood. The fences were broken by the wind. The ground was all upturned… The first old man who appeared was the farmer who owned this land. He was talking with Yis as they approached me.
“Ah, so you are the one who killed the lesser wyvern. Thank you. I’m Regar, the owner of this farm.”
“I’m Asagi. Sorry…that we made such a mess…”
“What are you saying! It would have been much worse had you not put an end to that thing! I am grateful, and see no reason why I should blame you?”
I looked up at his face then. Mister Regar was smiling as he offered his right hand. I was a little surprised to see him so happy. And before I knew it, I was smiling and squeezing his hand.
After that, I left the rest to Yis and went running back to Daniela. She was sitting in the shadows of the same building and looking at us. She seemed calm as she waved at me.
“I’m back, Daniela.”
We hugged tightly. She wasn’t shaking anymore, but I held her close regardless.
“Sorry that I was late.”
“It does not matter. We are both alive. What more could we want?”
She said as she slapped me on the back and then let go of me. She was fine now.
“Still, Daniela. I’m surprised with you. You were fighting with it when you had been so afraid before.”
“Not as surprised as I was. Perhaps being with you has removed some of the poison in my body.”
She had been alone for so long… And maybe she had found her medicine. If we stayed together, one day she might heal completely.
“Don’t mention it. Come on, the others are waiting.”
“Aye, let us go.”
As we walked back to the farm, Marco came running towards us. I petted him as he looked at us playfully. Yis was waving towards us. We waved back. For some reason, his face lit up and he began to wave excitedly, which was a strange thing to see from someone of that age. Daniela and I looked at each other and burst into laughter.
□ □ □ □
Later on, everyone returned to their houses for the night. It had been decided that the mess would be dealt with the next morning.
When the morning came, I, Daniela, Mister Yis, Mido and Marco walked together towards the farm. The villagers had gathered as well. They were excited to dissect the lesser wyvern. However, it would not be cut by ordinary blades. And so I created knife-sized ice swords and passed them out. The fact that maintaining the edge on those blades took so much magic energy that I ended up being even more exhausted than I was after the battle with the wyvern…would be kept a secret.
By the time we were finished taking the monster apart, the sun was about to set. That was strange… It seemed like it had been morning only a short while ago.
“Ahh, that was tiring work!”
Regar said as he sat next to me on the grass. He was wiping the sweat off of his forehead, but looked incredibly pleased.
“It’s not exactly the first time I’ve killed a wyvern. But I never had to cut one up before. I’m exhausted…”
“What? You have fought a wyvern before, Asagi?”
“Ohhh… You must be a lot more dangerous than you let on…”
That being said, that wyvern was wounded. It couldn’t even fly.
“Still, I am glad that you came. That wyvern had been making a meal of many of our livestock… We were all worried that it would move on to human flesh…”
“It’s a good thing it was dealt with before that happened.”
“Aye. You are damn right!”
Losing your livestock was like losing the tools of the trade. It was losing the foundation of your livelihood. And yet, Regar was laughing as if he had never been more entertained. It was as if he found pleasure in just being alive… Or gratitude…
“Well, then. You helped us greatly. But this is a small village, and there is no guild. So we all pooled our money together in order to offer you a reward. Though, I’m sorry that it is not much.”
“Uh, we didn’t have any intention of receiving anything… Actually, I thought maybe you could all share the materials from it?”
That would go a long way to repairing the damage done to the village.
“No, no, no. We would not be setting a good example if we did that. And it was you people who slew the wyvern. We cannot accept. It has already been decided, and I would be very troubled if you did not accept it.”
I felt a little awkward as Regar laughed, his eyebrows slanted in a somewhat distressed expression. Just then, a voice rang from behind me.
“Please take it, Asagi.”
He sat down next to me on the other side.
“I think I know a thing or two about you now. You’re thinking that the materials should also go towards restoring the village, aren’t you?”
“…You’re damn right.”
“Haha. I knew it!’
Yis laughed as he pointed at his left eye. I suppose he was saying that nothing escaped him…
“This is a small village. It is because it is small that we can work together in unity. In a way, it is the strength of Dana village. We can survive even after a wyvern has eaten some of our animals.”
“Yes, is this not a great place?”
Yis looked at the village under the sunset sky. It was isolated. The sound of the wind pushing the creaking blades of the windmills was very comforting. The villagers were all smiles as they folded the hide and wings of the wyvern and stuffed them into a bag.
A small boy was proudly showing his mother a fang that he had managed to release. Of course, she snatched it away. This is for the Adventurers! She said angrily. The boy looked sad, but nodded as she placed it back into his hand and sent him running towards us.
“Here. You can have it.”
“Uh, thanks. As a reward, I’m giving it to you.”
And I put the fang back into his his palm and closed his fingers around it. He tilted his head to the side. ‘Do you mean it?’ he asked. Of course. I said with a nod. Then my eyes met his mother’s. I felt a little uncomfortable, but she looked happy as she laughed happily and bowed. I smiled back.
“Thank you, mister!”
“Yeah. Later then.”
The boy waved his hand and then ran off. I waved back. He looked happy from the bottom of his heart as he ran to his mother to tell her about what had happened.
“This really is a nice village.”
“Aye. I am very fond of this place.”
“Yes, I’m proud to live here.”
Regar was now sitting next to Yis and they were laughing.
“…I think I will accept the reward. Gladly.”
“Aye, take it. I don’t know how it compares to your level or equipment, but you can always sell it.”
“Yes, yes. You can never have too much money. If it helps you at all on your travels, we will be very happy!”
It was very decent of them. I bowed and said thank you.
I watched the almost nostalgic scene of the sun setting, and thought again about everything that had happened since coming to this world. Always. I was always helped by someone. No matter where I went or who I met. I felt that it showed just how good people were at heart in this world. Of course, there were some who were not like that as well. But it was things that were beautiful and shined that seemed to cover everything else and grab me like nothing else could.
There was one thing that I had been thinking about for a while. The reason that I had been brought here. That voice that had rung in my brain after I had been stabbed and was about to take my last breath. I was starting to believe that it was God. The last wish of a man who had been tired with life had been heard.
I had wanted to live a better life. There was so much I should have done.
It was a vague wish, but now I see that it really had come true. There was Daniela next to me, and so many great people. And I was grateful to be alive now.
I watched the last glimpse of the sun disappear into the horizon. Now, I truly felt that I was living the life that I had longed for back then on that day.