Surviving The Game As A Barbarian Episode 148

March 18, 2024 • 16 min read • 718 views

Great Legacy(5)

Occasionally, there are days like this.

Days when a moment’s whim leads to unexpected fortune. For Amelia Rainweilz, today was exactly such a day.

Who would have thought?

That she would meet him here, atop the fortress walls she climbed on a whim, feeling stifled.

“Regal Vagos.”

A member of the Orcules that divided this cursed city…

The one she wanted to kill the most.

He lay there, unconscious on the ground.

In this secluded place, with his body battered and alone.

“Could it be… that he opened a dimensional gate and fled? That’s why he didn’t end up in the plaza but here?”

That was the first possibility that came to mind.

The dragon slayer’s team didn’t include a mage, but it was possible if he had sacrificed the poor old man he always brought along.

However…

‘What kind of enemy did he encounter inside…’

Amelia dismissed the rising question.

It didn’t matter who had driven him to this state.

What mattered was that an opportunity was laid before her.

First, she bent down and checked his pulse.

‘He’s still alive.’

About 2 hours had passed since the labyrinth closed.

From the looks of it, he’d been out cold for a while. Normally, it would be difficult to survive for that long, but he was no ordinary person. Perhaps the spike embedded in his shoulder had also played a part in stopping the bleeding.

“You…”

Then, he struggled to open his eyes and looked at her.

It seemed he had sensed her presence and regained consciousness.

Before he could say anything, Amelia spoke first.

“Dragon slayer, do you have a potion?”

“Waist…”

“I see.”

Amelia unbuckled the pouch on his waist and held the potion in her hand.

Then she asked again.

“Do you mind if I remove the embedded object before pouring the potion?”

“Do it quickly…”

If the object was left alone, he would surely die, even if he was the dragon slayer.

Amelia simply stood by and watched.

“What are you doing… hurry with the potion…”

Only when he felt a sense of unease did he ask, and she retorted.

“Why should I do that?”

“The contract… have you forgotten…?”

“Ah, are you talking about the contract?”

Amelia couldn’t help but let out a snicker.

Long ago, she had made a contract with the lord of Noarark. It was a well-known contract to everyone living in this city.

Within Noarark, she could not commit murder.

The contract was engraved into her flesh, making it impossible to violate.

However…

“It was you who asked me to remove the spike.”

She had simply complied with his request.

Of course, this was her first time attempting such deception with the contract, but if it had been a violation, she wouldn’t have been able to act in the first place.

“I’ll… curse you…”

Amelia tossed the pocket she had taken from him into her sub space.

And she took all his other equipment as well.

Not only the dagger hanging at his waist but also the rings on his fingers, the wrist guards, and the necklace, etc.

All of them were items she had been eyeing for some time.

“Thanks for falling here. I’ll make good use of these. Oh, but who exactly did you lose to?”

Despite her mocking question, he did not answer.

He merely glared upwards in frustration.

Amelia, rather than dragging the conversation, leaned against the fortress wall and watched him.

She wanted to make sure he was dead before she left, to avoid any unforeseen complications.

But perhaps his thread of life was not yet cut short.

Thud, thud.

Soon, in the distance, she could hear the arrival of the castle’s patrols.

Amelia made a quick decision.

Everything the patrols see and hear is reported to the lord of the castle. If she’s caught, it’s over.

“You’re lucky, dragon slayer.”

She bit her lip bitterly.

Had he died, Orcules’s power would have been diminished.

“You won’t get away with this.”

Realizing he will survive, he gritted his teeth and muttered a vow of vengeance.

But Amelia just shrugged and closed the distance.

“It doesn’t matter. You won’t remember anything anyway.”

“What?”

She pulled out a pill from her pocket.

A ‘Blessing of Lethe’ developed by an alchemist of Noarark.

It had the disadvantage of not working on evil spirits, but it conveniently erased memories of normal people, if consumed.

“Fuck you!”

Amelia forcibly shoved the pill down the struggling man’s throat, holding his jaw tightly.

Notably, this was not a standard-issue pill.

The higher the soul power, the less effective the pill was, so she had used the best one she had, just in case.

According to the alchemist, an ordinary person could lose their memory for up to a week?

‘It’s better to be certain, considering who the opponent is.’

She felt no regret.

It wasn’t something she could obtain again just because she wanted to, but considering what she had gained today, it wasn’t a loss.

Besides, the longer the memory lost, the better.

He would think it was lost in the maze, not suspecting that he was robbed in this underground city.

‘I should be thankful to whoever it was.’

As the patrol’s footsteps grew closer, Amelia quickly left the fortress.

***

The ring’s ability to repel up to three Regal Vagos-related Death Flags has been reduced by one.

In less than 10 minutes.

‘Surely, it won’t get used up once a day?’

I shake off the sudden anxiety.

It was too early to complain, and the likelihood of it happening seemed low.

After all, it was a goddess’s words.

[Prepare for the moment when all strands of that ring are severed.]

The goddess had advised me through a vessel.

Despite knowing the gap between me and my enemy, she still said this. Surely, she wouldn’t be so conscienceless as to give me only a month or two after saying such a thing.

‘……Right, because in the end, the only thing that matters is when the last vine breaks.

I steadied my wavering heart, recalling the proverb ‘Morning three, evening four’

What does it matter how many I get in the morning?

What’s important is the total number of acorns. In other words, the total duration that this ring lasts.

‘I should just focus on what needs to be done.’

So, after a brief discussion of the bounty, we left the temple. 

The reward would be given when we visit again tomorrow, perhaps?

“Then, let’s go back, rest, and meet again tomorrow.”

As we were about to go back to our lodgings, the dwarf cautiously held us back.

“Look, I don’t know what you’ll think of this, but what about setting aside a portion of the reward for the orphanage in Dwalki’s name?”

“I think… that’s fine. We wouldn’t have received this money if it weren’t for Dwalki, after all.”

“I agree. It would be ridiculous for me to claim a share of such a large sum anyway.”

In other words, the proposal was to donate 3.5 million stones each to the orphanage. Unlike my companions, who accepted the proposal without hesitation, I kept my mouth shut.

After all, it was an utterly irrational act.

Especially with a formidable enemy like the dragon slayer out there.

If they intended to honor Dwalkie’s legacy, it would be right to use the money to make us safer.

“…Bjorn, you don’t have to if you don’t want to. You suffered the most among us.”

“Yeah, right. We’re just doing this out of guilt, so don’t feel too pressured.”

As I remained silent, my companions tried to ease the situation.

Agreeing would have ended the proposal.

But…

“Let’s talk about this when we meet again. We haven’t even received the money yet.”

I decided to postpone the decision.

It was a proposal that I should have rejected outright, but I couldn’t bring myself to say it.

Sigh, this is why you have to be careful with personal relations.

It makes rational judgment difficult.

The old me would not have hesitated over such a decision.

“…See you tomorrow then!”

We parted ways, each heading to our own lodgings.

I too walked through the peaceful streets for about an hour before arriving at the inn, washed off my blood and sweat with fresh water.

As I lay on the bed, lost in thought, someone knocked on the door.

It was Erwin.

“Um, mister? Are you there?”

As I opened the door, there she was, wearing a fluttering skirt, having already cleaned up and dressed.

We chatted for a while, but it was mostly small talk about what she’d done in the Labyrinth.

Yes, this was routine in the old days.

Normally, I would have listened with interest, but today, it was difficult.

“Erwin, I’m tired, so please go back for today.”

“Huh? But this is where it gets really interesting…….”

“Next time, I’ll listen to the rest. I’m tired today, so please go back.”

“Okay…”

When I firmly insisted, Erwin left with her pointed ears drooping.

In the ensuing silence, I spent a long time alone.

After all, if there’s a problem, it needs to be fixed.

“Surviving.”

Since I awoke in this body, that has been my greatest goal, and that hasn’t changed.

However, the process to reach that goal is the problem.

“…Barbarian, you kept your oath, right?”

I broke the warrior’s oath in front of everyone.

And I took the lead in the team, doing countless actions that couldn’t help but feel strange.

Back then, I justified everything with survival, but I know. All those actions were rooted in trust.

If anyone in my team had suspected me of being an evil spirit, I wouldn’t have done such things even if it meant death.

“…Come on! Cheer up, friend!”

Giving the top-grade potion to Dwalki and high-grade potion to Rottmiller was also the same. It was an irrational choice that threatened not just everyone else, but also myself.

And my earlier dilemma wasn’t much different.

“3.5 million stones…”

I’ve come to acknowledge it.

I’ve become weak.

The reason is simple.

Because I’ve grown attached to others.

My greatest strength, rational thinking, has been compromised.

Survival in this world is the utmost priority for me, so this issue cannot be ignored.

So, what’s the solution?

“…”

I couldn’t find the answer until I fell asleep.

And the next morning.

I received a letter.

The sender was some administrative branch of the Explorers’ Guild.

The content was about being designated as the heir to Leor Wuerv Dwalki‘s estate and being asked to come and claim it.

****

“Did you get it too?”

“Yeah, you too?”

The next day, this was the first conversation I had with my companions.

Apparently, all four of us received a letter from the guild…

Surely, Dwalki had designated it to the orphanage.

So, what happened?

“……We shouldn’t just talk among ourselves; it’s better to visit the guild directly and ask.”

Following the dwarf’s suggestion, we all visited the guild.

And after hearing the detailed story from the relevant department, it wasn’t an administrative mistake.

Dwalki had updated his will last month, designating the four of us as heirs.

That is, right after…

“…It was after the fight with the troll.”

After nearly dying to a troll, Dwalki returned to the city and immediately updated his will.

He had been preparing for the worst of the worst, something I hadn’t considered.

That optimistic and hopeful guy.

“…”

We left the building like defeated soldiers, not only receiving back Dwalki’s equipment and backpack but also inheriting the ownership of a house he owned during his lifetime.

“I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to repay the debt we owe him …… in our lifetimes.”

“If it was Dwalki, he wouldn’t have wanted us to repay it.”

“Right, he surely wouldn’t have. So, let’s use his money wherever we want. That must have been his only wish.”

Later, we went to the temple and received our rewards. The Pope was too busy to meet us, and all the business was conducted through Krobitz.

I told everyone to go ahead to the inn while I spoke with him for a moment.

“Can you promise to keep what I’m about to say a secret?”

“You may speak freely. As long as it does not oppose the will of God, I swear not to disclose the words of a benefactor to anyone.”

His mention of not contradicting the will of the gods irked me, but I casually took out the Arc Steel Sword and showed it to him.

“…That’s the Dragon Slayer’s sword.”

“For some reason, it rejects us when we try to use it. Do you know why? If it’s because of the curse, I’d like to ask you to lift it.”

“The power residing in that item is not a curse.”

Krobitz, seemingly knowledgeable about the sword, explained without hesitation.

The long story was simple.

Long story short

It was only called the Dragon Slayer Sword because Regal Vagos killed the guardian dragon and fled with it.

“Since ancient times, this sword could only be used and handled by the dragon tribe. Passed down through generations of guardian dragons, they enjoyed nearly eternal lives.”

“But he couldn’t use the sword properly.”

“Ah, that’s because of the dragon’s curse.”

The guardian dragon left a curse before dying.

As a result, Regal Vagos became a part of the dragon tribe but not quite like them. His dragon-like qualities were stripped away by fire, and even his heart, the source of his power, became more human.

He committed the sin of betraying his tribe to possess the sword, but ultimately, he couldn’t use it.

“I know he’s been searching for a way to break the curse for a long time. However, from what Yandel said, it seems that there was no way to completely overcome the curse.”

“He has been searching for a way to lift the curse for a long time. But, it seems there was no way to completely overcome the curse.”

“So, the curse wasn’t on the sword but on him.”

“Yes, that’s correct.”

Then I asked what would be the best way to dispose of this sword, which we couldn’t use, and Krovitz simply replied.

“Returning the sword to the dragon tribe and receiving a proper reward would be wise.”

Yes, that was the only way.

Since only the dragon tribe could use the sword, selling it as stolen goods would be difficult.

I decided to think about this part later.

“Thank you for the advice.”

“Don’t mention it. Mr Jandel is a benefactor of our faith. If you need my help, please visit anytime.”

“Ah, does that mean I can receive blessings for free from now on?”

“Haha, well…”

I asked just in case, but Krovitz awkwardly laughed and firmly drew a line.

He might have wanted to help, but there was another oracle this morning?

“The Twilight Star has told me that all will be as it should be, and that I should not try to bend her will”

It felt like the goddess was speaking to me.

The debt is paid with one relic, so don’t try to squeeze anything more out of it.

“Still, I’m always available to listen to your concerns, so feel free to visit anytime.”

With Krovitz’s priest-like words, I left the temple.

And headed to the prearranged inn.

“Ah, you’re here too? Have a seat.”

All three were already drinking.

But the atmosphere was so different from the one I usually encountered when we finished our explorations.

No laughing, no talking, just drinking.

It suddenly hit me.

We had earned more than ever before, but we had also lost more than ever before.

‘The window seat is empty.’

The table at the inn we used to sit as five.

But an empty chair that will never be filled again.

Yet, we didn’t mention it at all, opting instead to engage in conversations grounded in reality.

“Let’s split the reward money and everything else exactly into four.”

“Let’s do that.”

Even the dwarf, who initially suggested dividing it into five and donating to the orphanage, simply nodded.

It was somewhat expected.

After all, the proposal came from a desire to honor Dwalki’s wishes.

If he wanted us to make use of his precious legacy, we would follow his wishes.

Quietly commemorating Dwalki, the dwarf, along with everyone else, drank.

So, I just spent my time like that too.

“He wasn’t supposed to go like this…”

After several drinks, the dwarf was the first to collapse onto the table. Rotmiller decided to take him home, leaving Misha and me alone.

“Bjorn, we should head back too…”

As always, the two of us walked together towards our lodgings. Misha staggered a bit from drinking too much.

“Lean on me.”

“Ah, thanks.”

It was still a bright afternoon.

We walked through the bustling streets, reeking of alcohol.

As usual, we reached my lodging first, and it was time to part ways. However, both of us stood in front of the door, silently looking at each other.

“…”

“…”

The air felt unusually warm, perhaps due to the alcohol.

Normally, I would have thought so.

It would have been much more comfortable that way.

It was fitting for my status.

I would have ignorantly, barbarically brushed it off.

But…

“Ah… I, I’ll be going then. Rest up, Nyah—”

“Misha Karlstein.”

I stopped her as she attempted to turn away, avoiding my gaze.

After all, I had made a promise with him.

[You are not quick to notice. Please don’t turn a blind eye anymore.]

He told me not to turn a blind eye.

At that precious time when he could have revealed his heart to Misha, he left me with those words.

And I had agreed to him.

So…

“Huh?”

It was time to confront.

Misha, with her wrist caught by me, looked at me questioningly.

I took a moment to steady my breath and clear some of the alcohol fog before speaking bluntly.

“Do you like me? As a man?”

It wasn’t a romantic line, nor was the atmosphere particularly romantic.

Just a straightforward question, asked in a barbarian-like manner.

But Misha didn’t get angry.

She didn’t laugh it off as some absurd joke.

She flinched for a moment then avoided my gaze, looking down at the ground. After shuffling her feet a few times, Misha lifted her head to look at me and whispered her response.

“…Yeah. I like you. As a man.”