The next morning, the sky was clear, and only some clouds were present. Ozul opened his eyes when he felt something alongside him.
When Ozul removed the blanket, he saw that Raven was sleeping while clinging onto his arm.
It was at night when Raven woke up; she couldn’t find anyone near her. She also couldn’t go back to sleep because of how lonely she felt in her room.
Opening her window, she saw that Ozul was still outside and the rain had stopped, Raven couldn’t help but take a blanket to sleep beside him.
Suddenly, Ozul heard something. Listening carefully, Raven was muttering some words. She was sleep talking.
Raven was just a nine years old girl. She had lost everything, and now she was afraid to lose what was left. And Ozul was everything she had now.
Ozul, seeing she was worried that he might leave her, ruffled her hair until Raven calmed down and slept soundlessly.
Ozul was going to go inside, so he picked her up before he shifted her to the room. He went into the living room and just sat there quietly.
Sometime later, Raven woke up and came out of the room. She sat near Ozul and looked at him.
“In the future, I might leave,” Ozul told her that because in the future if he found it convenient, he wouldn’t stay here.
“Y-you... won’t leave me, right?!”- Raven nervously asked as she thought that he would abandon her.
“Listen here, Raven. I have goals. There are only dangers in my path. If you follow me, your life will be in constant danger,” Ozul calmly explained to her the situation. If she still wants to follow him knowing the dangers, he would just let her. 𝙞𝘯𝘯𝙧𝒆𝘢𝐝. C𝑜ｍ
“I don’t care! Even if I die, please don’t leave me!” Raven had already lost everything. She did not care if she died as long as Ozul was beside her. Also, if it were not for him, she would have already been a slave of some noble.
“Very well, if the time comes and you change your mind then let me know.”- Ozul gave her a choice if someday she realizes the dangers.
“Never! I will get strong and protect you!!” Raven truly wanted to be strong enough, so someday she can be of some help to him.
Ozul was satisfied with her attitude. Even if her talent were not so great, hard work would get her to the heights that even geniuses may not reach. That is if she maintained her same conviction.
For breakfast, Ozul had the money he obtained from selling the Cores. So, he bought some food from outside and gave it to Raven.
Raven was confused as to why he did not eat something himself, but the reply she got from Ozul was, “I don’t need to eat.”
It worried Raven as she thought that Ozul did not eat because they did not have enough money. On the other side, she felt warm inside that he cared for her so much.
– – – – – – – – – –
A week passed just like that.
In this week, Ozul did not once go hunting.
In this period, Raven had gotten colder towards everything—Ozul was an exception. She would only smile when Ozul was with her.
Raven had also created her Magical Core and was now considered as a Rank-1 Mage. As for the Spells, They were mostly made up of the understanding of one’s Element.
She could wield the Mana to perform some of the basics, but it was up to her understanding of the Darkness Element to create original Spells.
Understanding more about Darkness Element was not so difficult for her as Ozul would always tell her new things about it.
Raven was already working on her Spell. She already knew some of the Basic Spells such as Body-Strengthening, and Agility, etc.
But Ozul had advised her also to become a Fighter.
Upon asking the reason, he replied;
“Yes, you can cast Body-Strengthening to be as strong as a Fighter physically, but what if you don’t have enough time to cast the spell?” Ozul then continued,
“If you become a Fighter, not only will it be easier for you to handle Mana inside your body, but you will also have an advantage over others if they are not a Fighter,” Ozul knew this basic knowledge. Most people did not pursue this path because of the time it took to both be a Mage and a Fighter.
Ozul was sure that the upper echelons of the wealthy factions in this world did the same thing. They had abundant resources to negate the only downside of this path—time.
He wanted Raven to be the same. As for the resources? They could only do their best to obtain them. Not to mention, that with each advancement in the Ranks, a person’s life span increases!
To be a Fighter, one needed to use Mana in the atmosphere to fuse with their body. It results in them becoming more vigorous.
Only simple instructions are required to teach someone how to become a Fighter.
On this day, Ozul was going to the forest along with Raven.
Raven should be at a level where she could handle herself. And not be a burden to Ozul.
Furthermore, Raven had no experience in fighting whatsoever. Fighting with Magical Beasts would help her in that.
Ozul now required wealth because, for future travels, money was essential. So he decided that this time, he will just sell all the Cores that he will obtain from the Beasts to buy a Spatial Ring. The Spatial Ring will also help in future travels.
They left the house early in the morning; it took them an hour and a half to reach the area where they’ll be hunting.
Walking in the forest, Ozul told some things to Raven;
“If there is any danger, you will not intervene. Focus on protecting yourself,” It will only disturb Ozul if she joined in a fight where she could not do anything.
“If push comes to shove, just run,” It would be better if Raven ran away. Otherwise, Ozul will have to divide his attention between fighting and protecting her.
Raven did not like the idea of running away while Ozul was in danger, but under the stare of Ozul, she could only nod her head.
On the way, Ozul found many Rank-2 and Rank-3 Beasts. The Rank-1 Beasts were only cannon fodder in this field. They likely stay in more harmless areas.
Anyways, Ozul injured those Rank-2 Beasts so that Raven will be able to fight them head-on. She had not yet developed a Spell of her own, so she strengthened her body and went for the close combat.
Surprisingly, Unlike most people, Raven did not even flinch at the sight of her first now-dead opponent’s mutilated corpse.
While dealing with the Monsters, Raven did not resemble one bit like the childish girl persona that she displays in front of Ozul.
As the number of times that Raven killed the Beasts increased, her efficiency in eliminating them also grew. It appeared as if she had a natural talent in slaughter.
It was probably because of Raven’s hate towards the Beasts as they were the reason behind her village’s destruction!
Ozul had not yet encountered any of Rank-4 or, better yet, Rank-5 Beasts.
Suddenly there was a Boar that came running towards them. It looked like a Rank-3 Beast.
Ozul just slashed its neck in the blink of an eye. The boar did not look like something that Raven could handle.
They were just collecting its Magical Core when they heard the voice of something running towards them.
Looking at the direction, they noticed a kid at the age of about 15 years, followed by two men.
From a look, the kid wore expensive clothes and walked as he owned the place. The two men following him were probably the kids’ guards.
As they looked at Ozul and Raven collecting the Core from the boar, the kid’s face turned red as he started shouting.
“See, you idiots!!! I didn’t get to kill it! It’s all your fault!”- the rich kid unmistakably was very arrogant, just like every other noble.
“Hehe... we apologize, young master. But at least we found it!” Both of the guards hinted at something.
“Hmph! I know that.”- The kid then looked at Ozul and Raven. He continued,
“You two, give me back the boar’s corpse and return the Core as well. We found it first!”- The kid ordered as if the whole world owed him a living!
“No.”- Why would Ozul be cautious of some pipsqueak when even the Monarchs of the Mainland were his enemies.
The guards behind the rich kid were stunned hearing his flat refusal after which one of them mockingly said;
“Kid you don’t know, but young master Mathew here is the second son of Viscount Bedwell! It is in your best interest to just fulfill his command!”- The guard thought that the kid before them was just a pheasant; he may not know the gravity of the situation.
Raven had no say in the matter when Ozul was talking, and Ozul did not even bother to waste his energy to refuse again!
Ozul had his pride, bickering with some nobodies was beneath him.
The kid named Mathew noticed that they would have to use force; he gave a signal to one of the guards.
He came forward and whispered in Mathew’s ear;
“Young master, they are just common peasants! Only the girl is a Rank-1 Mage while the kid does not even seem as a Fighter!”- The guards were both Rank-3 Mages while Mathew was a Rank-2 Mage.
The guards could not sense any Mana fluctuations from the boy.
Due to such a big difference in the ranks, the guards could conclude that Raven was only a Rank-1 Mage while the other kid seemed just an ordinary country bumpkin!
Mathew smirked as they were just small fries. Earlier, he thought that they could be someone powerful, and that’s the reason they did not fear him, but now it seemed as though they were just ignorant.
Furthermore, the good-looking girl was also a Rank-1 Mage! She is suitable for becoming his maid! Mathew eyed Raven with filthy intentions.
“Kill the kid, and take the girl. I will make her my maid!” Mathew barked the orders.
The guards did not hesitate and rushed towards Ozul and Raven.
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