4 – The Unemployed One and the Shopkeeper Take Down the Purse Snatcher
A Heros party is one subject to much admiration.
There are parties full of handsome men that are heavily popular with the women, and there are also parties composed of solely breathtaking girls that the men support as well. There are all kinds of parties that satisfy different niches, but when aiming for the top ranking in the entire world, visuals are more important than anything else.
Children love nothing more than parties that are strong and cool, after all.
Fenix and I looked up to those parties as well.
Fenix became a particularly special Hero.
While I became a Black Sorcerer.
Id be lying if I said I wasnt disappointed. I was 10 years old at the time. Of course I was frustrated to no end.
Up until that point, I was convinced that Id become a Hero.
But I soon got over it. I wasnt about to give up on my dream from something like that. Well, I guess it wasnt 「soon,」 perse. I was back into action after a few days… or a few weeks… about a month or so.
My young self was determined to at least become the greatest Black Sorcerer out there.
And after about 10 years had passed, I had just been kicked out of the #4 party that I worked so hard to rise up to.
But I dont think my Job is inferior to others.
And I continue to do my hardest to tell myself that.
I train my magical energy in a way where other people wont notice.
Since magic is something that can hurt others, there exist laws to crack down on that issue.
Using just enough magic to get you through your daily life wouldnt be enough to get you arrested, but using it right out in the open too much is a bad idea. Thats why I had the shopkeeper take the lead role.
The purse snatcher swung his knife as he pushed through the passer-bys. He didnt care that he had knocked some of them down in the process.
The purse snatchers face formed a grimace.
His running speed became slower than even walking, and his head started shaking around with his hands on his throat.
「What the?! I feel so heavy! Why is it getting dark all of a sudden?! Urgh, it hurts…!」
The effects of an average Black Magic spell are honestly difficult to make out by anyone other than the caster.
Attribute-lowering spells only lower them by a few percent, fixed damage spells do nothing but slightly lower the targets physical shape, and recognition-inhibiting spells have a low success rate and are difficult to maintain uptime.
Heres an example.
The enemy Black Sorcerer inflicts as many debuffs as it can on the Hero Fenix.
Attack is lowered by 3%, defense is lowered by 3%, speed is somewhat lowered, a haze is cast over his consciousness for an instant, a poison that does a few dozen points of damage against his total tens of thousands HP that only lasts for a few minutes at most, blinding magic that obstructs vision to the point of feeling like a bead of sweat fell in your eyes, and confusion magic has no effect.
Thats usually how it goes.
And thats not to mention that the average Black Sorcerer cant cast multiple spells at the same time, and even if they did, itd only be two or three.
On the monsters side, where there is no limitation to how many members there are, having a Black Sorcerer wouldnt exactly hurt anything, but its just hard to see enough value in one to fit one in a party with only 5 slots.
You might say, 「Oh, then Black Sorcerers should just join the monsters, then!」 But its not that simple.
Monsters used to be a race known as Demons.
To fit the role of the enemy, you need to have a terrifying aura about you, so itd be hard for a Black Sorcerer to fit in . Since Monsters already have a lot of Black Sorcerers, they wouldnt exactly go out of their way to recruit a human one.
Well, its not completely impossible, but… the whole point Im going through all this is so I can be an adventurer.
As I thought about all of that, the fruit shopkeeper threw out his kicks towards the purse snatcher.
「Hi-yah! Ha-yah! Doryah!」
As he screamed out those mysterious noises, he first chopped at his neck to make him drop his knife, then threw his log of an arm into his stomach, and finally finished things off with an uppercut into his face while his body was bent over.
You might think it all happened pretty fast, but it actually played out horribly slow. It couldnt be helped though, considering he didnt have a combat-type Job. He did have a large frame and muscular build though, so it at least did some decent damage.
「And thats that!」
The shopkeeper put his hand to his face and made a smirk.
As I thought about how he always gets like that when he gets excited, I clapped my hands.
「Amazing! He took care of that knife-wielding man so quickly!」
The shopkeeper was showered with praise as he was surrounded by people.
This was to avoid any attention towards the abnormality that occurred the moment before the shopkeeper striked.
The plan had succeeded.
The crowd roared even more when the owner of the bag came by to say her thanks.
「Hahaha! It was nothing, I only did what anybody would think was the right thing to do!」
In actuality, it was not a very easy thing to do. He ran out to confront him before I even said Id support him, and he relied on the magic of a Black Sorcerer that had just gotten kicked out of his party.
He was a good-natured man straight down to his core.
I approached Cashew and whispered in her ear. Her body shook with a 「Kyau!」 but she soon nodded her head in understanding.
「Y-You were so cool, Shopkeeper!」
Attention gathered towards the little girls words. Of course, I put some distance between us before that happened.
The crowd noticed Cashew and then responded to the shopkeepers words.
Next to Cashew was a fruit cart.
The shop of the hero that had taken down an armed man and recovered a ladys belongings was right in front of them.
The crowd, including the lady, flooded to the shop and began buying fruit one after the other.
It was similar to how a street performer would get coins tossed into their hat.
They wanted to return something for having experienced such an amazing sight.
I wanted to see it as thanks towards my magic making the defeat of the criminal possible.
I looked at the shopkeeper and our eyes met.
He made a wide toothed smile and gave me a thumbs-up.
After returning a smile to the shopkeeper and seeing that a guard had arrested the purse snatcher, I left the scene.
I am nothing more than a Black Sorcerer.
Even 10 years after I received my Job, I still follow the training my master taught me.
Just like with physical strength and battle techniques, magic is something that grows stronger the more you train it.
Because of my somewhat unique training, my magic is on a different level from what was typical.
Using what I mentioned earlier, on top of lowering attack and defense, Im able to lower speed up to a max of 50%, trigger intermittent blasts of white in the targets consciousness, inflict poison that scales depending on the targets total HP and last for long periods of time, and completely blind vision using blinding magic. I could even make enemies attack each other with confusion.
However, with Fenix, not only would most of those spells bounce right off him, he would continue to fight unperturbed.
Why dont I tell my comrades that Im not a normal Black Sorcerer? Well, I made a promise to my master, but theres another reason for that as well.
Im just too different from the norm.
The reason why Black Sorcerers are considered a joke Job is because the aforementioned effects are hard to make out.
On top of that, unlike fire and water, Black Magic is also looked down upon for having no practical effect whatsoever.
But when its effects are raised to the level of my masters or mine, a small problem arises.
Its said that Black Magic is an inferior form of the art known as Black Sorcery.
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Back when the Demon King was humanitys enemy, there was a time where entire towns were slaughtered by all being afflicted with the poison status effect.
My master most likely used Black Sorcery.
Its a power feared even to this day.
Since I had bugged him so much over wanting to become an adventurer despite receiving the job of Black Sorcerer, he eventually gave in and trained me.
My master was an old man that had no care for worldly matters and lived alone far away from town. He lived a quiet life, but if information leaked out through my actions, that could easily change.
Its true that I possibly could have stayed in that party if I announced what I could do.
The defeated monsters dont make excuses, which is why Ive been able to make it this far.
But my comrades… particularly Alba, would probably make a fuss. They wouldnt be able to keep my abilities a secret.
Having a Black Sorcerer thats unique from every other one in the world is an attractive enough idea on its own.
The strongest Hero and the norm-breaking Black Sorcerer. And the both are even best friends from childhood.
Alba sought out visuals, strength, Job popularity, and marketability. If I had satisfied all of those things, then its likely that Alba would back down.
However, theres a big difference between the Heros power that served as humanitys ally in the past and the terrible Black Sorcery that brought humanity its darkest ages, no matter how long ago that happened. Its clear that the state would show much more concern over one than the other.
FIrst of all, theyd find my master and cause him trouble.
Theres no way I could repay everything hes done for me with that.
I had no choice but to contribute to my party members victories without them catching on to my true power.
That was the requirement my master had for me to become his disciple.
In the end I was looked down upon to no end and chased out of the party, but Alba wouldnt be satisfied just from seeing that I had access to stronger than average abilities.
The whole reason I was chased out was because Black Sorcerers just werent popular.
Black Sorcery would have been enough to override that unpopularity, but I couldnt do that.
So I ended up being treated as a leech to Fenix, and once that leech disappeared, everyone rejoiced.
Its quite sad…
「I saw that.」
I was surprised.
Even if I am a Black Sorcerer, I had undergone much combat training due to my dream of becoming a Hero.
My efforts might have been seen as childs play to those belonging to more combat-focused jobs, but I was at least better than the average person.
Even so, I didnt notice her presence until she stood in front of my eyes and called out to me.
The person that entered my vision like magic was a single girl.
Blond hair, red eyes, voluptuous breasts, and a tight waist. She was a beautiful woman that boasted ridiculous proportions.
She had a bewitching gaze that seemed to suck out my soul, and peeking out of her curved lips were some white fang-like teeth.
Growing out of the wide-brimmed hat the neatly dressed woman was wearing were feelers that resembled bat wings.
「Are you not fond of monsters?」
As she spoke sadly with her eyes cast down, I finally noticed that I had been remaining silent after eventually noticing that she was talking to me.
「N-No, I was just a bit… surprised.」
「Fufufu, I surprised an adventurer of a #4 party? Now thats something I can brag about.」
The woman giggled with her bent index finger to her lips.
She called out to me knowing that I was Lem.
「Um, is there something I can help you with?」
「Im one of your fans.」
I couldnt help but feel that this was some kind of a joke, but at the same time it didnt look that way.
There definitely are people out there that like Black Sorcerers, but there arent many. I knew Id at least be ranked the lowest out of my old party if there was a popularity poll, but I have no idea how wide the gap would be with the rest of them.
So even if I had people talking to me as a fan, I wouldnt often feel much better because of it.
I once had a crowd of girls asking for my signature, but after Alba said some things to them, they ended up laughing at me the next day.
I wasnt sure if this wasnt just someone trying to deliver the final blow.
I ended up instinctively looking around me.
「Is something the matter?」
Well, I doubt Alba would go out of his way to bother with something like that. He already chased me out, Im sure hes happy enough with that.
「Its nothing, ahaha… Sorry, what did you need again?」
I think she said 「I saw that」 or something.
「Your magic earlier was magnificent. Im sure even the nearby adventurers didnt notice. You held back your magical power splendidly. On top of that, you cast multiple spells of Black Magic at once, all perfectly accounting for the enemys traits. I was truly taken aback. That was why I was a little late in catching up to you.」
She was shyly pressing her outspread hands to her cheeks.
Who is this person?
I was a bit pleased with being praised, but I was also a bit worried over how she was able to see through me.
「Lem. Your Black Magic is truly incredible. Needless to say, Fenixs party were fools for chasing you out.」
The womans face suddenly drew close to mine.
I started to think about silly things like how she might be attracting attention by walking around in a place like this.
If I didnt, Id end up going crazy from her much-too beautiful face right before my eyes and that nice scent coming off her and the fact that Id see those soft, plump, shaking breasts if I were to lower my gaze even just a little bit.
She grabbed my hand.
It was nice and smooth.
「Do you think you could hear me out? I believe you should be in a position that deserves more respect. I have something in mind that could grant you just that. You might find this a bit off putting, but Ive actually been looking for you ever since I heard you had left your party.」
Wait, what? So shes saying shell introduce me to a job?
Seeing my confusion, the woman apologetically drew back.
「P-Please excuse me… I shouldnt be acting like this to someone like you. Ive been dying to meet you, so I ended up getting a little excited. Uuu… Please dont hate me for being so shameless.」
Seeing that her eyes were getting teary, I ended up panicking a little.
「N-No, I wasnt against the idea or anything! It was just a sudden proposal, so… Oh, I havent heard your name yet.」
「Youre too kind.」
The vampire nodded her head and made a flower-like smile.
After wiping her tears with her fingers, she continued.
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「Im Milla. Um… if you wouldnt mind, how would you like having a cup of tea with me in apology for my rudeness earlier?」
She then added on to that with a 「Is… that no good?」 with a small squeezed out voice.
Urgh, who in the world could refuse someone like this! No, I shouldnt make excuses.
I couldnt turn her down.
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