Knight in a pitch-black hat?
When Ozul opened his eyes the next morning, He was delighted by the sight that greeted him.
Why? It was because there was no sunlight. Instead, you could see dark clouds covering the sky, blocking the sunlight from directly reaching Ozul.
Cloudy sky—such dark rain clouds were also on Ozul’s list of ‘The Best Experiences’. It could not compare to when it was night, but the rain clouds were a hundred times better than the sunlight directly hitting on Ozul’s face.
‘It will be a good day,’ thought Ozul as he picked up his blanket from the ground and went indoors.
For today, Ozul only had two goals. First, He would venture into the forest, and second, He needs to gather enough Magical Cores to buy a spatial item.
Ozul ate the breakfast that Grandma Carol had set up. Before leaving, he told her, “I might be late... don’t worry.”
He just left those words before he went out, not letting Grandma Carol ask any questions.
. . .
Walking on the streets, it felt so much better without that annoying filth always itching his face.
Not long after, Ozul was in front of a shop. This shop was for magical items. There were various things, including but not limited to Inscribed weapons, Mana Recovery Potions, Single-use Spell Scrolls, and the Magical Item that he was looking for, the spatial accessory.
When he went inside the shop, it was empty. Except for the Shop Owner, no one was present at this time.
Walking towards the shop owner behind the counter, Ozul asked, “Do you have Spatial Storage Items?”
Ozul got straight to the point without any chit-chat.
“Hm... Ohoho! Of course, we have it. But can you afford it?” The Shop Owner was a bit skeptical of Ozul since he just looked like a ten years old kid.
“Price?” Ozul was just here to confirm the price of a Spatial Item. He did not have any money yet, but if he knew the price, he would be able to estimate just how much he would need to sell the Magical Cores.
“Listen here, kid, the cheapest Spatial Ring costs at least a Gold Coin, and the expensive ones in this shop can even go up to a hundred of Gold Coins. The cheapest one can only hold 5 cubic meters of space inside,” the Shop Owner explained the price patiently.
The customer may look like a child, but he was a professional.
“Hm. Do you buy Magical Cores of Rank-3 Beasts?” Ozul asked after listening to the prices. He now needed to know just how much a Rank-3 Magical Core will profit him.
“Of course, Do you have any? I can give you 10 Silver Coins for a Core at Rank-3, at Rank-4, you will receive 50 Silvers!”, the Shop Owner quickly explained his offer. Rank-3 was the lowest grade for a Magical Core.
“I will be back,” Ozul left those words as he kept thinking of how he would need to exchange at least 10 Magical Cores before being able to afford only the cheapest Spatial Accessory. i𝑛n𝓻ℯ𝘢𝒅. Coｍ
The problem was not hunting the Magical Beasts at Rank-3; it was finding them. He would not risk his life by tracking them in the area where even Rank-4 Beasts roam. Each advancement in the Ranks of Magical Beasts brings them a significant boost in their power.
Ozul was not sure if he could even penetrate the thick hide of Rank-4 Magical Beasts with the blades.
It will take hours just to farm this amount of Magical Cores, and he still has to improve his strength.
It was a long day ahead of Ozul as he sighed and went in the direction of the Forest. Only the dark rain clouds above his head were holding him back from abandoning his mission.
Entering the Forest, Ozul did not waste a minute before he started looking for Rank-3 Beasts.
The Forest was vast. Only the part Ozul was hunting in, spanned a couple of miles! And this Forest still hid areas where many of the Rank-7 Beasts roamed! Everyone in the kingdom called it, “The Forest of the West.” Obviously, a simple name considering that the Forest was located to the West of the Capital City.
Ozul spent at least an hour before only finding a Rank-3 Beast. They were scarce in this section of the Forest.
Sadly, Ozul had to go back home as it was pretty late, and Grandma Carol will start to worry.
Ozul only obtained 4 Magical Cores after the past 7 hours.
‘I won’t sell these 4 Cores as I can also just increase my capabilities, and next time hunt in the area where Rank-4 Beasts can be found,’ Ozul contemplated his options before he picked the obvious choice.
One by one, Ozul started devouring the Cores. After just eating the 3rd Core, Ozul guessed that he would easily be able to survive a Rank-4 Beast. He then swallowed the last Core before heading towards the town.
‘I also need to devour Cores of higher Ranks as the increment each time is declining,’ Ozul had also faced this problem. But from tomorrow onwards, he could also hunt Rank-4 Beasts, so it was not a big deal.
Ozul took another half an hour before he was on the streets of the town. Walking back home, Ozul could hear the thundering sounds in the skies as the atmosphere kept getting darker—it was about to rain.
Ozul was fine with anything as long as the darkness in the surroundings increased.
Walking back, Ozul passed a dark alleyway when he suddenly halted his footsteps. He heard the screams of a child when he decided to check it out.
In the alleyway,
“Stop. Resisting! Bitch! Give up now, will ya! I can make so much money by selling you off as a slave! hehehe...”- Spat a thug in a harsh voice.
He looked disgusting just by his expression and wore dirty, torn clothes. He had greasy, unkempt hair.
Right now, the thug was trying to restrain a little kid as the kid kept resisting.
On a closer look, it was a little girl who looked around nine years old. The girl had short black hair; She did not have any proper clothes but only a rag.
She was crying as she kept shouting for help.
Seeing the whole event, Ozul walked towards the thug.
It will leave a bad taste in my mouth...’ Ozul started thinking.
Usually, Ozul would not go out of his way for others since it would not benefit him. But this time the situation was peculiar—he noticed that she was only a little girl, and Ozul had seen it happening.
If he did not save her, it would just leave a bad taste in his mouth. Besides, he was losing nothing by killing a random insect.
Even though most people frowned upon the act of slavery, it was still a legal act. Once sold out as a slave, your whole life would become meaningless.
Walking up to the thug, Ozul tapped on the guy’s shoulder.
“Huh! Who are you, brat! Mind your own business! F*ck off now!”- The thug furiously shouted when he saw a kid wearing a conical black hat was bothering him.
The girl was also stunned by seeing someone here. Even though only a kid just like her, she held a little hope.
“Let her go,” Ozul simply wanted to end as soon as possible.
“Huh?! Ya Wanna be A Hero or something?!” The thug took out a rusty old dagger from his pockets.
Seeing that talking out the situation will only escalate it, Ozul had enough of the trash.
Ozul’s hat suddenly turned into a liquid before materializing into a sharp blade and rushed towards the thug’s throat.
It all happened in a second. Before the thug knew it, his lifeless body slumped down on the ground. The thug wasn’t even a Fighter. Though even if he were, the outcome of the situation would not be any different.
“You were filthier, in this already filthy world. May your soul never ceases to find peace.” – Ozul said those words before he turned around, about to head back.
– – – – – – – – –
The victim of the situation, the black-haired girl, was stunned that just a minute ago she was struggling and now she was... free? That big brother killed the thug in a matter of seconds! How can someone be so Strong?
She was just a nine years old kid, and kids will think anything that comes to their minds. But she was mature for her age, she quickly got out of her daze and looked back at the mister that saved her.
He was the first person ever to give her a sense of... safety and hope after her parents.
But seeing that the back of her only hope was moving away from her as the raindrops began to fall onto his figure—she felt as if she did not follow that reliable back, she would lose it forever.
Standing up, she started walking behind that big brother. Well, more like limping towards him. Looking at her right leg, she was stabbed by a piece of glass. The wound was hurting with each step that she took.
However, she did not stop even if it hurt like hell. She had lost too much already, and she won’t let go of her only hope now.
– – – – – – – – –
After finishing the matter in the alleyway, Ozul was now walking towards his home when he noticed that the girl he saved earlier was now limping behind him.
Ozul did not mind her presence behind him and kept walking forward. The girl could have her home in the same direction, so why would he care?
It did not take long for Ozul to notice that the girl was actually following him! Turning around to face her,
“What?” Ozul coldly asked her. He did not want to waste his time on the little girl.
“... Oh... N-nothing!”- The black-haired girl was startled before she gave out a random response after not being able to think of any. How could she tell him that she wanted to follow him?
“Whatever,” Ozul did not know why she was following him, but... he would not care either way. Unless she were to harm him, Ozul would not give a damn about her.
Ozul kept walking before he noticed that the girl was bleeding, and so much blood loss can cause her death!
‘Sigh... if she really follows me back, Grandma Carol will see her. She will start lecturing on how I should treat my
. Well, if Grandma Carol thinks that she is my friend, at least one of my problems will be solved...’ – Ozul began contemplating his next action.
But seeing that the girl might actually die of blood loss, he just willed it, and a part of the black hat turned into liquid before rushing towards the girl. It wrapped around the wound and stopped the bleeding.
Other than that, Ozul did not even look back at her again.
The girl, seeing the black mass rushing towards her, was afraid for a second, thinking that she might have angered the mister.
However, noticing it wrap around her wound like a bandage, the girl smiled sweetly before following Ozul with a newfound strength.
Several minutes later, Ozul arrived at home, followed by the black-haired girl.
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