Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 121

February 19, 2024 • 12 min read • 617 views

Episode 121 Dark Clouds (5)

Standing still for a moment, I looked ahead.

Entering the room, where I thought there would be no one, there were two figures.

Misha and Erwin.

‘It’s unlikely they know each other, so did Erwin come to look for me and they met by chance?’

As soon as I entered the room, I habitually analyzed the cause and effect based on the given situation.

But that was all.

Kwa-kwa-kwang-!

The outside air was damp from the pouring rain, yet for some reason, a chilling air pervaded my small, single room.

My room was filled with questions

‘What’s with her? Why is she so pissed off?’

After months of spending almost every day together, I could tell by the look on her face.

Right now, Misha is very, very angry.

Even more so than when she was caught eating all the meat and throwing out the carrots.

Her tail was slightly puffed up, indicating that she was also feeling defensive….

What was strange was that Erwin was in the same state.

‘…Is she crying?’

There were tears in her eyes.

She wasn’t crying her eyes out, but it seemed like she was trying hard to hold back, not so much out of sadness but more like she was so angry she was shaking.

‘Did they fight or something?’

Based on the information available, I came to a conclusion.

It seems Erwin and Misha had a fight.

The reason? Well, I’m not sure.

Neither of them seemed the type to get emotionally involved with someone they’d just met.

Thud

As soon as I closed the door, both Misha and Erwin’s gazes turned towards me.

It seems that they only noticed me after I had closed the door, perhaps due to the sound of rain and thunder…

Misha was the first to speak.

“Ah, Bjorn is here? Here’s your guest, nyang.”

Misha greeted me with her usual smile, though her eyes were not smiling at all.

And then, it happened.

“Uwaaah, Mister…!!”

Erwin, who had been holding back her tears, jumped towards me.

I instinctively dodged.

Perhaps it wasn’t the scenario she had expected?

Quick as a cat, Erwin managed to land and keep her balance, then bit her lip and asked me.

“Is it because of… that woman?”

What is she talking about?

The atmosphere seemed quite different from the last time I saw her, but…

Well, quite some time has passed since then.

“Because of that woman?”

“Ah, it’s nothing!”

When I pressed further, wondering if they really had a big fight, Erwin flinched and shook her head vigorously.

Then, she glanced around as if checking for something, and her gaze ended on Misha.

“Bjorn, why are you so late, nyang?”

Misha, having caught my eye, approached me with quick steps.

“You Rushed out earlier, nothing bad happened, nyang?”

I couldn’t quite get used to her nasally voice.

I felt a chill run down my spine, but I answered her question anyway.

“Nothing much. Caron was being accused of plundering, but after a few words, everything was settled.”

“Really, that so. You must’ve had a hard time, nyang.”

Misha stroked my arm as she spoke the words.

Normally, she would’ve just tapped my forearm or back.

At this point, I had no choice but to ask.

“What’s going on, exactly?”

“What do you mean? I’m just praising you for doing well, nyang. Barbarians are hardly strangers, right?”

I inadvertently tilted my head.

That wasn’t what I was asking, and…

That answer itself was full of contradictions.

“Why? Barbarians and beast-humans get along, right, nyang?”

…Is that so?

Well, I suppose it’s better than being archenemies with fairies.

“Here, a towel!”

Just as I was about to say something more, Misha jumped and placed a towel on my head.

“First, dry your hair. You’ll catch a cold, nyang.”

“Ah, right… I’ll do that.”

Although I felt something was off, I started to dry my hair and turned my gaze to Erwin. After all, she was a guest, and I couldn’t just ignore her.

“Erwin, did you come looking for me first?”

“Yes? Ah, yes…”

When I spoke to her, Erwin shrunk her shoulders and avoided my eyes.

What happened to rushing at me earlier?

Ah, did she feel distanced because I dodged her?

“Anyway, it’s good you’re here. I was thinking of visiting you—”

“You were? You wanted to see me?”

“…I guess so?”

“Really? I’m glad. I thought you might have forgotten about me…”

Just a few words exchanged and the mood shifted, making me chuckle in response.

“How could I forget a comrade I met on my first Labyrinth exploration?”

“Right? To think that it only meant something to me, that couldn’t possibly be true, right?”

Huh?

I nodded, feeling strangely uncomfortable, but also overwhelmed by Erwin’s pleading eyes.

“…I suppose so?”

“Yes! That’s exactly it!”

I’m not sure what happened, but Erwin’s mood visibly brightened at my response.

Feeling it was enough of social niceties, I decided to ask what I was curious about.

“Anyway, it’s been a while. So, how have you been?”

“Me? You’re curious about how I’ve been?”

“…Yes?”

“I’ll tell you!”

Erwin then chattered away non-stop about everything that had happened during our separation.

Most of it was related to the Labryinth.

Climbing floors with her sister, defeating monsters to absorb new essences. Oh, and apparently, she spent most of her time cooped up in her room, training day and night?

“Look! I can now control all four Elemental Spirits! And I’ve even achieved Awakening with three of them!”

“What? Three?”

“Yes! I’ve worked really, really hard!”

Honestly, I was a bit surprised.

Even if she had her sister’s help to boost her growth, achieving such progress in just a few months seemed remarkable.

‘Is this what talent looks like?’

She’s definitely different from me.

While I got stronger with high-quality essences and equipment, she truly blossomed her abilities through rigorous training.

‘Not even a year in, and an archer fairy has succeeded in awakening three elemental…’

This is, without a doubt, valuable.

If she could fully awaken all four elemental spirits, it would make ‘that’ possible in the later stages.

‘If only it weren’t for her sister, I could’ve recruited her as a comrade.’

It felt like a missed opportunity to let such talent go.

But I decided not to say anything unnecessary.

After all, I’m not planning to form a team right now, and she wouldn’t leave her family anyway.

“Anyway, it’s good you were busy training. I thought you didn’t come because I moved places. Well, you should be focusing on your growth rather than me.”

“Ah, it’s not exactly like that…”

“Right, Bjorn’s right. If you’re not even a year in, you should be finding your own path first, nyang.”

Misha, who had been silently listening to our conversation, stood up and wrapped her arm around Erwin’s shoulder.

Then Erwin stiffened and—

“Yes…”

Was it my imagination that she seemed cautious around Misha?

Recalling the atmosphere when I first entered the room, I finally asked a question that had been on my mind from the start.

Remembering the atmosphere when I first entered the room, I finally asked.

“Ah, so what happened between you two while I was gone?”

I was curious from the start.

But Misha tilted her head innocently as if my question was strange.

“Huh? Nothing happened, nyang?”

“Nothing? I thought you two might have fought or something—”

“Nyahaha! Fight? Why would we? We’ve gotten so close. Right, Erwin?”

“Yes, Ms. Karlstein…”

“Ms. Karlstein? Just call me sister, sister.”

“Yes, sister…”

It almost felt like a scene where a bully sister is taking a naive girl into an alley.

There seemed to be something going on, but…

Since they were not opening up, prying wouldn’t get me the answers I wanted.

‘I’ll find out what happened eventually…’

I moved past them and opened the window wide.

The dark clouds had cleared, and sunlight was glistening on the wet streets.

Thus, I decided it was time to send them off.

“The rain has stopped, so you two should head out now. I need to wash up and rest.”

For some reason, fatigue was creeping up on me.

***

After leaving Mister’s room,

Erwin encountered an awkward situation.

“Huh? You’re going this way too?”

“Yes, why?”

“Then you go ahead. I’ll leave a bit later, nyang.”

The beastwoman and she were going in the same direction.

Fortunately, it seemed like she didn’t want to go with her either…

“Then you go ahead. I’ll go later.”

“No, I want you to go first, nyang.”

This was the biggest problem.

Going later?

How could she trust her word?

It felt like the moment she turned away, she would sneakily return to Mister’s room. Apparently, the woman had the same suspicions about her.

Sigh…

Erwin and Misha both sighed at the same time.

“Shall we go together then?”

“Yeah, that seems better, nyang.”

The walk back was filled with awkward silence.

No one initiated conversation; they simply focused on walking.

That was only natural.

Even though they said nothing happened at the Mister’s, that wasn’t really the case.

[You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?]

When she heard that, Erwin felt as if a screw had come loose in her head. Her heart raced with anxiety, and she couldn’t hold back any longer.

TL/N- This is part of Erwin’s conversation with Misha at Bjorn’s House

[You damn cat…!]

It was the first time she had ever cursed at someone.

And before she knew it, her hand had reached for the dagger at her waist.

At that moment, Erwin realized,

[Do you, perhaps, have a problem in your head?]

If it weren’t for that one comment, she would have only come to her senses after swinging the dagger.

The beastwoman was strong.

Not just a feeling, but truly so.

As a fairy with a naturally sensitive magic sense, she could feel others’ magical power.

‘She’s twice… no, maybe three times stronger than me.’

There was a significant difference in magical power.

That meant she had absorbed more high-grade essence. Also, her aura and posture made it evident.

Realizing this made her dizzy.

Misha Karlstein.

This woman was an enemy.

But she couldn’t win against her.

Meaning, she would lose something.

Just like that time, she would lose something precious again.

Yes, she would lose it.

Emotions detached from reason surged through her.

The memory of a single moment, etched into her brain, paralyzed her thinking.

Overwhelmed by emotion, her mouth moved on its own.

[Please don’t take it… Please…]

A pitiful plea.

Something she could never say if she were in her right mind.

But those words flowed out effortlessly.

[What…?]

The beastwoman looked at her incredulously, her eyes cold.

Erwin knew in her head how ugly and miserable she must have looked..

But…

If it meant protecting something precious, she believed she could do even worse. Perhaps, she would have even genuinely fallen to her knees, weeping and begging.

If the Mister hadn’t arrived at that moment…

[Ahhhh! Mister…!!]

Erwin shook her head as if to shake off the thought.

It was an embarrassingly painful memory she didn’t want to recall.

Somehow, whenever Mister was involved, it became difficult to think rationally.

‘…I must have seemed like a strange woman, right?’

Blushing with shame, Erwin glanced at Misha.

She was standing at a crossroads.

“I’m going this way now, where are you headed?”

“Fortunately… the opposite direction, Nyang.”

“Uhm, I see…”

Though the moment to break the awkward silence had arrived, both stood still, unable to move as they looked at each other.

The first to speak was Misha.

“Will you come again tomorrow, Nyang?”

“Yes, I will.”

“Ah… How did I really end up in this situation, Nyang”

Misha pressed her forehead as if she couldn’t believe she was in such a situation.

Erwin felt the same way about the unreality of it all.

Erwin felt just as unreal. Until she had arrived here, her only thought was to meet Mister and share a joyful laugh.

“Anyway, I’m going to go. Make sure you go home properly, understand, Nyang?”

“Um…”

“Yes?”

Erwin stopped Misha as she was about to head down another path.

There was something she had to say.

Even though she really didn’t want to.

“…Thank you.”

“Thank you? For what, Nyang?”

“For not telling Mister about what happened earlier.”

“You mean when you were about to draw your knife on me, nyang?”

“Yes…”

As Erwin bowed his head deeply, Misha let out a big sigh.

“Let’s make a promise then, nyang.”

“A promise?”

“You’re going to come even if I tell you not to, right? So, let’s keep what happens between us a secret from Bjorn. You… you probably feel the same, but… I don’t want to bother him with this kind of thing, nyang.”

“…Okay.”

“Then I’ll be going. You make sure to go straight home, alright Nyang?”

“Yes.”

Soon after, Erwin parted ways with Misha and headed back to her lodging.

It was a considerable distance, but perhaps because her mind was so preoccupied, it didn’t feel long.

As she opened the door and entered, her sister greeted him.

With a worried expression.

“Erwin.”

“Sis…”

Erwin collapsed into her sister’s embrace.

“Did you… meet him?”

“Yes. He really was alive.”

“That’s… good.”

She sought comfort in her sister’s arms for a while.

Then, she gathered her resolve once again.

“Sis, I’m going to become stronger.”

“Stronger…?”

“Yes. Is that strange?”

“No, I thought you had given up on training…”

Erwin tilted her head at her sister’s words.

Why would she stop training?

True, when she found out that Mister was alive, the years spent training in her room had felt meaningless…

“I have someone I must defeat now.”

Erwin felt an even greater desire burning within her than before.

“So, please continue to help me a lot in the future, sis.”

If she didn’t want to be the one from whom things were taken, she had to become the one who takes.