༺ Clean-up (4) ༻
The thing Luna threw toward me was an unusual-looking plant with red petals. It was the plant that had previously grown on the head of the giant rat, similar to something Somnia had eaten raw some moments ago.
Was it called the cannabis plant? Since I was now dealing with someone that consumed the plant myself, I was well aware of its effects.
“Hey! You said that if this is eaten raw, even an elephant can’t wake up for a day, right!?”
“W-Well, there’s no other way now, is there!?”
Luna was right. It was not time for me to be picky when a scary monster, in the form of Somnia, was targeting us. We should make do with whatever we are able to.
“Roar, roar, roar—!”
“Fuck! Damn it!!”
Partly resigning myself, I decided to take advantage of Somnia’s struggle with her fist stuck in the wall and picked up the cannabis flower and stuffed it inside my mouth.
After munching on it begrudgingly, I could feel a terrible spicy and pungent taste immediately assaulting my tongue.
No, it was more akin to pain rather than just a spicy taste.
It was so fucking spicy that I almost lost my rationality for a second there.
I could see why Somnia’s skin had turned burning red, and why she was drooling under the mask. Anyone who ate this spicy plant raw would certainly go crazy like her.
Other than the stream of information I saw popping up before my eyes, some more words appeared alongside them. The spicy sensation had disoriented my mind so much that tears welled up in my eyes, but my whole body was coursing with newfound strength and vigor.
Sweat flowed out from all over my body and the insides of my mouth had become fiery hot. The spicy sensation was literally driving me crazy.
It felt slightly different than what I thought it would, but my body was unmistakably coursing with far more strength than I could have exerted usually.
So, to relieve this anger that was disorienting my mind, I tightly clenched my club, swung it toward Somnia, and smacked her squarely on the place between her back and waist.
The crazed great shaman shrieked under her mask as if my attack had inflicted quite a bit of pain on her; probably because I had thrown a full swing of my club at her with all my newfound might.
In fact, I thought it wouldn’t be strange if she broke a bone or two due to my attack. However, her body seemed to be stronger than my expectations.
“Die quickly, you motherfucker!”
Smack— Smack— Smack—!
I kept beating Somnia’s body with my club. Her fist was stuck inside the wall, so she couldn’t even move. Hadn’t it been said since ancient times that to cure crazy people, all we needed to do was just hit them with a club?
“Hick, heck, hick!!”
It actually seemed to be working pretty well.
However, no matter how much she was beaten by me, Somnia only emitted loud screams but showed no signs of collapsing or losing consciousness. Indeed, should I deliver a fucking decisive blow to her?
Thinking like that, I lifted my club high with both of my hands, then swung it toward that big, ridiculous amulet mask of hers with all my might.
Somnia, who seemed to have regained her mind somewhat, pulled her arm out of the wall and tilted her head back, but it was too late to do anything about my strike. I couldn’t stop my hands from dealing the blow anymore. It was like an arrow that had left the bowstring.
Soon, my club broke the mask on her head and revealed her bare face to the world.
The first thing I saw was filthy bandages completely covering her face. Pink hair was sticking out in between the gaps of those bandages.
Then, I could see the twisted ears and forehead strangely exposed from between the bandages. She seemed to have not covered those parts with them.
I thought that her current condition was probably the result of getting burned sometime in the past. Did she use the bandage to cover the scars of the burn wounds on her face? I wasn’t sure what it was, but I thought that it must be really painful for her.
“Uh, d-don’t look—!”
Somnia, who had been acting crazy until now, covered her face with both of her palms, seemingly not knowing what to do anymore.
“I-I said don’t look—! You motherfucker! I-I’ll dig your eyes out!”
She even trembled like a baby animal whose nest was discovered by a predator. Was she ashamed of her face full of scars being exposed like that?
Seeing such an unexpected appearance, I couldn’t help but the strength I had gripped my club with.
Strangely, the so-called fighting spirit that was coursing through me till now had somehow dissipated with that sudden reaction of hers.
It was just during that time when—
“Hassan! Don’t let your guard down!”
Luna suddenly popped out of somewhere, lifted the Silence Totem high with her hands, and smacked Somnia square in the face.
Falling down after being hit in the face like that, Somnia started rolling on the floor in agony.
But Luna’s frenzy never stopped.
“Cultist! Go die! Die!”
“Geckkk, eck, hick!”
Smack—! Smash—! Smash—!
“Ugh, heuk, heck, hick, geecccckkk!”
Luna continued hitting Somnia on the face for a while, then sighed and stopped the act only after Somnia wasn’t in a condition to even leak a sound anymore and could only twitch on the floor.
“Phew. I finally got rid of her—”
Somnia’s body, which had become reddish and swollen, returned to its original form, followed by a strange smoke oozing out of her body. Had we thoroughly knocked her down now?
Looking at that scene, Luna looked really happy while raising her arms up high.
“Phew, we finally did it! Hassan! We knocked her down!”
“Uh, uh, yeah—!”
“But she will come to her senses soon! So, let’s tie her up quickly!”
Luna’s judgment was perfectly normal. I had been shocked and rooted on the spot due to Somnia’s sudden reaction after her face was revealed, however, I was able to quickly come back to my senses after Luna’s violent actions and cooperated with her in restraining Somnia.
We gagged her mouth, bent her arms and legs behind her, and bound them tightly to my club.
There was no eye patch here to cover her eyes, so we emptied a leather pouch and put it over her head.
Only after tightly binding her in such a way that screamed the word ‘excessive’ did I feel relieved and relaxed all over.
“Phew, damn it! I thought I was going to die for sure. I never thought that there would be a cultist here. Hamelin surely knew that, right? Why didn’t she fucking say anything about it?”
Wasn’t this like… she was trying to get us killed? I felt indescribably angry at that thought… My whole body was throbbing, and my mouth burned as if I had just swallowed a bomb right now…
“Holy shh! She has talismans in her pocket! These are priceless!!”
Meanwhile, Luna didn’t forget to rummage through Somnia’s pockets to loot for her items. In fact, taking the goods of the loser was the most basic and important act of all in this world.
Among the various objects she found, Luna had the biggest response toward the awl-shaped dagger that Somnia was holding in her hand like a weapon.
“T-This is so awesome… There’s even a magic correction spell written on it… It’s a genuine obsidian dagger… Haaaa—”
Luna trembled as if she was really at a loss, as to what to do with the excitement she was feeling all over, when she saw the dagger in her hands. The way she looked at the item was like someone who had just defeated a boss and obtained a job-specific unique item from it.
No, come to think of it, the current situation was actually not that different from that metaphor.
“Is it any good? It looks so ominous.”
It didn’t even look suitable to be used as a weapon.
The short, bizarre, awl-shaped blade seemed unsuitable for stabbing others or even crushing the bodies of demons.
“It’s really incredible… H-Hassan, can I have this? Please?”
“Really!? Holy shh!”
Luna started doing a strange dance, perhaps because she was overwhelmed with immense joy.
“What are you doing?”
“This is the voodoo of joy!”
I wasn’t sure what the joyful voodoo was, but she seemed to be following a pendulum motion while placing both hands on the waist and swaying left and right, moving the waist, shoulders, and head in a bouncy motion.
The anxiety and exhaustion I was feeling were somewhat relieved when I saw her ridiculous and strange movements.
“Sigh, okay, now let’s destroy this spell or whatever the hell it is.”
“I’ll do it! Take a rest, Hassan!”
After arresting Somnia, we went to destroy the shamanistic hexagram circle carved deep inside the underground waterway.
Then, interestingly, all the thick bushes occupying the underground waterway dried up and twisted. I was at a loss for words because it was just too bizarre of a scene.
At this point, we could probably say that we have completed all of Hamelin’s requests.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
As we returned to the tent in the underground waterway, Hamelin, who had been out in advance, greeted us. She didn’t even react when she saw Somnia, the cultist great shaman, hanging on my shoulders.
I believed that we needed to address the issues we had faced, so I confidently raised a protest toward her.
“Fucking hell! If you knew such a dangerous person was there, you should have told me in advance. We almost died—!”
However, Hamelin didn’t say anything in response to my complaint. She just stood still, remaining motionless. Was she trying to maintain a poker face and not reply to anything at all?
People from this world tended to be selfish and do things however they pleased without caring for others.
Fucking shit! This was why you shouldn’t take requests that didn’t go through the guild first.
There might be cases where they end up lowering the payment for inexplicable reasons or you could end up taking on strange requests and not getting paid for them at all.
“Give me your hand.”
After being silent for a long time, Hamelin finally opened her lips for the first time after our arrival.
“What is it?”
Hearing her words, I extended my hand, thinking she might give me a gold coin or something. Soon, however, Hamelin handed me something like a strange brooch that she had been holding tightly in her hands till now.
It was Luna who responded instead.
As Luna said, Hamelin had placed a small rat-shaped brooch on my palm.
It was a brooch made out of bronze, and only its small beady eyes were shining red like cubic zirconia. It didn’t look like it was going to cost much.
Damn it! What in hell was I supposed to do with this? For a moment, I became disappointed at the thing placed on my hand.
“Wow, holy shit!”
I had already experienced getting achievements and achievement settlements once.
Didn’t these letters first come to my sight when I took Asclepius’s cane in my hands during my time as Elfriede’s slave?
“This is what you expected. It’s a little different, but. Anyways, my role is over. I’m going to rest now. Because of curse protection. I’m so tired. I’m going to sleep a little longer.”
Hamelin went back into the tent after saying her usual gibberish. Soon, we could even hear some loud snoring noises coming from the inside of the tent. I thought, just as she told us, she had really fallen asleep due to exhaustion.
Anyways, I was about to get really angry back there.
But, since my ability level rose directly, and I received some task points as a reward, my anger completely disappeared, along with my bewildered mind.
Letters appeared before my eyes as I mumbled softly under my breath so that no one would hear those words.
Level: 10 → 12
Strength: 5 (+3)
Agility: 2 → 4
Task Points: 412
Blessings: Blessing of Chaos 》Shining Hand 》Night’s Cloak
Looking through the letters I was quickly able to see that many stat numbers had changed significantly. Was the (+3) mark next to the strength stat due to swallowing the cannabis plant?
My mouth started to tingle again when I realized that.
Damn it! Honestly, it was a taste I never wanted to experience ever again.
Then we started walking with the intention of leaving the underground waterway. Luna suddenly asked as if she had just remembered something after walking for a long time.
“But Hassan, how do we get out? The ladder is broken.”
“Oh, right! What should we do?”
So we just stood before the broken exit, not knowing what to do now.
“Should we scream? Someone may hear us while passing by.”
Luna’s idea seemed perfectly plausible. Other than that, there were no other options for us at all.
“Is there anyone there!? We’re trapped in here!”
After screaming for help in front of the broken ladder for a while, someone seemed to have finally heard our screams.
“What are you doing there?”
It was none other than Ruth, the owner of the general store.
“The ladder is broken!”
“Oh gosh! Wait a minute.”
Then a long wooden ladder slipped down through the manhole. It was good that we didn’t have to camp in this fucking underground waterway tonight.
“There’s also someone with you that I haven’t seen before. Seeing that you tied her up like that, she doesn’t seem like a good person, right?”
Ruth, the general store owner, asked while helping me climb the ladder. It seemed like he was interested in Somnia, who was tied up and was being carried by me on my back.
“In any case, she doesn’t seem like an ordinary person. Anyways, I came here because I heard someone screaming and it seems that I have made the right decision.”
“I’ve felt this for a while now, but you really don’t talk much, do you, miss?”
After a brief thank-you from Luna, we hurried to the Mars guild’s guild building.
Soon, we could see the sight of simple tents being lined up like battlefield barracks next to the destroyed debris of the once glorious guild building.
“Is anyone there?”
As I shouted into the tent, a woman appeared with a rustling sound. She looked unfamiliar to me, so I momentarily wondered who she was, but it just turned out to be Hippolyte.
Did she get some new armor? Damn it! I really envied her for that.
“Hassan of Samaria, haven’t we told you that the guild’s business has been suspended for the time being?”
“Hippolyte! We have captured a cultist!”
“Heck! Hm, ehmm, hmm, i-it turns out Knoxdotty is also with you. My throat is not in a good condition these days, so I sometimes cough like this. Ehem, on top of that… What do you mean by a cultist?”
“It’s this guy right here.”
I dropped Somnia, who was placed on my back, in front of Hippolyte. I finally felt relieved after I dropped Somnia in front of her.
Was this how it felt to carry a bag full of bombs with you and finally be able to put it in a safe place?
Hippolyte was a very strong person. Even if this motherfucker suddenly got up and started struggling, Hippolyte could somehow handle her as the sun was still up.
Hippolyte furrowed her brows.
“Since this guy isn’t wearing her mask, for a moment, I wondered who the hell she is. But she is actually the cultist great shaman who worships statues and the dead. Did you guys suppress her? Even so, the difference in your skills must have been considerable…”
“Well, you could say that we had gotten lucky.”
“All right, luck it is then. It’s an important factor in determining victory or defeat. Anyways, thanks for your hard work. I’ll put this criminal in jail. Come here again tomorrow to explain the details. For now, you can go home and take some rest first.”
Thus, we could finally relax again during the weekend.
After stopping by the bathhouse, washing our bodies and clothes covered with dirt from the underground waterway, and returning to the streets, I could see that the sun had completely set already and it was time for the two moons to show themselves on the sky above.
“Time for dinner!”
Despite Luna’s happy shouting, honestly, I didn’t feel like having dinner right now. It was because my mouth was still tingling after consuming that cannabis plant.
“I don’t think I can eat dinner today. My mouth hurts so much. What can I do to ease this sensation?”
At my question, Luna mumbled something while smoothing her hair which was still wet, as if she was embarrassed.
“Well, it’s not like there’s no way out. I-It’s a little hard and complicated—”
“What is it? Anything is fine, do something about it. It feels so spicy in my mouth that I feel like I’m going to die!”
“C-Come here then.”
Luna led me to a dark corner. Then, she tapped my knees and thighs with her palms to bend my posture.
“S-Sit here like this while thinking that there’s a transparent chair in the air—”
“And you have to close your eyes!”
This was such a bizarre way to do sorcery.
However, I felt like I could even eat dirt right now if it would allow me to get rid of this burning sensation, so I followed what Luna told me to do.
I closed my eyes like that and bent my posture obliquely in the air.
“Like this? Is it okay now?”
“Uh, yeah! Then you have to stay still—”
Then I felt something tiny and warm touching my eyelids and forehead. Was it Luna’s palms? At that moment, while I was wondering what the hell she was trying to do…
I felt something soft and smooth touching my lips and something even softer and warmer than that was now penetrating my mouth.
Perhaps because my eyes were covered, it felt like only my face was transported to a whole different world and was experiencing something sublime.
“Chrrrrr— d-done now!”
As soon as I opened my eyes, Luna’s face shone under the moonlight and looked slightly red, perhaps because she had just washed up not long ago. I felt really good because there was a sweet and subtle smell lingering on the tip of my nose.
“H-How is it? It’s not spicy anymore, right?”
Luna smirked while smudging her lips with the back of her hand.
Somehow my face started burning with heat, and my heart was pounding loudly. Was it because of the effect of the cannabis plant? Or was it because the excitement from fighting with Somnia hadn’t gone away yet?
If that was not the case, maybe it was because Luna had cast some strange spell on me right now… I didn’t know…
Luna looked down at her toes with a hot-red blush on her face and spoke in a timid tone.
“T-Then, let’s make a bet on who gets home first! The loser will buy breakfast tomorrow!”
“Hey, you’re cheating!”
The world of competition was really cold and calculating.
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