Ahem. So. who likes One Piece? I started it a week or so after I posted the last chapter. and fuck is it an awesome series. absolutely love it. anyways i thought about it before i started, i was like "yeeeaaah i can totally study and write fanfics inbetween watching this." So i started it and nearly failed my exam and probs left you guys wondering yet again if i dropped the series despite me saying stuff like "ohh yeaaah ima post weekly(ish) chapters" For that i apologise. especially to ones that dm'ed me asking what was happening and i'd reply with a "soon" or "this weekend" but then not do anything. So no promises this time except for that i won't be dropping the series. I'll post when i post. semester is looking kinda busy and i'll try find time. Enjoy the chapter!
"Hm?" I turned to look down at him while climbing up the fallen tree trunk lying on the ground.
"What are we doing?"
"Huh? Didn't I tell you the plan? We're going to Blumund, signing up as adventurers to amass resources and allies to mount an-"
"'An attack on the evil Demon Lord.'" Riru spoke over me, "I got that part, but I mean, why?"
"What do you mean why? Do you need a reason to take down one of the most-"
"Nono, I'm sorry, let me rephrase." Riru spread his arms wide gesturing at the peaceful forest around us. "Why, are we in the middle of nowhere, 'on our way to Blumund', when there's a perfectly functioning road and perfectly functioning, not to mention even faster, Magic Train!"
I frowned at him, "Are you suggesting I use their services?"
Riru looked dumbfounded. What? If I use their Magic Trains or full potions or anything that comes from that country for that matter. That's no better than admitting that they're needed in this world.
Riru visibly composed himself, "Okay… I think I understand a little more about you now… Right, I understand about not wanting to use the Magic Train, but I think we need a compromise here. Can we please use the road?"
I frowned, I admit that it may be going a bit far to not even using roads but there are also a lot of people using the road and it would make people looking for me that much easier to find me. Mainly, my personal guards - Todi and Kodi, who despite their silly sounding names are not my personal guards for no reason.
"I think not."
"Why the hell not?!" Riru looked incredulous, for an adventurer as powerful as the hero he doesn't like taking the rough road. "You know what, nevermind, forget I said anything"
Silence fell upon us while we got over the fallen tree and continued walking. Was it such a bad thing not going on the road? And what did he mean by better understanding of me? I feel attacked…
"Speaking of compromises." Riru spoke up just when the silence started getting awkward. "I think we should discuss the conditions in which I'm helping you in your… crusade."
"Needless to say, you'll be fully be compensa-"
"I don't need money."
I paused, "Then what do you want?"
Now it was my turn to look dumbfounded. I opened my mouth then shut it again. What am I meant to say here? How do you purchase someone's assistance when they don't want anything? Unless they're doing it for-
"I'm not doing anything for free."
"THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU HERE FOR?!" I pulled off my boot and threw it at him. He just leaned and let it fly past him, forcing me to hop to pick it up while he continued.
"The reason I'm here, is to see if you can actually pull off this crusade of yours. It interests me."
"So you won't help me?" I ask while trying to pull on my boot.
"I'm getting to that. As I've told you, I'm powerful, but I can't fight a whole nation. Especially, despite its origins and what not, has actually contributed to our current world."
"However, I'll tag along, I'll observe you and if I feel like it, I'll even help you sometimes. But this goes both ways. I'll intervene if I don't agree with something you do. Deal?"
"In other words you're just going to do what you want, right? So I don't really have a choice do I?
"Nope!" Riru giggled as he started walking the 'path' again.
Sigh, i have to say that i'm disappointed, but i could've guessed i wouldn't be lucky enough to get such a powerful companion right off the bat. Despite how much i want to argue with what he said just now, ill have to leave it for another time. Right now, I need to find a way to entice him into helping, but how do I pay someone who only does what apparently interests them? Wait…
"Hm?" Riru turned around his arms folded behind his head.
"I have a condition of my own to add!" I said as I caught up to him.
"Let's hear it!" he grinned. Was he expecting this?
The grin dropped from his face, replaced by a confused frown. "Are you saying you want to go on the Magic Train?"
"What? Hell no. I'm trying to say you give me five-no-ten tickets that will guarantee your assistance with what I ask at the time."
"Ah, you're asking for favours." Riru appeared to take a moment to consider it. "Okay~ but there's going to be restrictions on these favours, for example using a favour to help me with this whole crusade of yours."
"I would never~" Damn it.
"Sounds interesting, you've got a deal, Princess~" he held out his hand to shake. I grabbed it firmly and maintained eye contact.
"I hope that confidence and pride is strong enough, for both your sake and mine. Mim."
I nodded, not entirely sure what he meant by it. But with this I have a ten use trump card I can play at crucial moments. The only problem now is knowing exactly when to play it from now on, without wasting it.
We carried on walking in silence with Riru's occasional complaint until it got late enough that we needed to start looking for a place to set up camp. After setting up camp and sitting around the fire that was cooking our dinner. I finally decided to break the ice so that the rest of our journey isn't so awkward.
"I don't trust you."
"I figured as much"
"But I would trust you a little more if I knew what you wanted."
"Sigh, Look Mim, i've been inside a crystal for 60 years and the world has probably progressed in that time. I'm using this dangerous sounding journey of yours to experience these changes as well as keep an eye on you."
"I… i suppose that's fair." What the hell? That's a damn good reason, where was this explanation before?
"Seems like we'll be arriving in Blumund tomorrow."
"Mhm." i responded.
"Are you going to be able to handle it?"
"Mhm- wait, handle what?"
"We're going to have to go on the road to enter Blumund, can you handle it? You might get monster cooties if you step on the road.~" Riru said, wiggling his fingers with a grin plastered on his face.
"Fuck you! Look, dinner should be ready now."
Riru just laughed commenting on how cursing is 'unladylike', I just gave him the bird and laughed along.
The next morning we woke up later, considering we were already so close to Blumund we had decided the night before to sleep later. Perhaps it would actually be more accurate to say only i got to sleep in, when i woke up Riru was already awake.
"Hey." i called out, the sleepiness evident in my voice.
"Ah, good morning." Riru turned around from boiling water above the fire.
"Did you not sleep not last night? I thought we were going to take turns keeping watch?"
"Remember, i've technically been asleep for awhile so i figured i'd rather be awake. Besides, you seemed to have a rough day yesterday with that drake and all."
I shivered at the memory and second hand embarrassment. "Yeah… but tomorrow you need to actually sleep ok?"
"Well we'll be in Blumund so we probably won't need to be keeping watch."
"Want some boiled water?"
I gave him a look, "Is that a joke?"
"Why would I joke about this?" Riru looked genuinely confused.
"So why would I drink plain boiled water?" I responded, equally confused.
"Umm it's good for you? And we don't have tea or coffee?"
"Who drinks boiled water? Why not just water out the bottle?"
"... that… it has many health benefits i've heard…"
"And so does normal water."
"... I suppose you're right."
Riru stood with a solemn look on his face. Eh? Eh? Why does he look so hurt? "Wait, I, uh, appreciate the thought though!"
The boiled water was then thrown out and Riru didn't cheer up until we reached the road into Blumund.
Blumund. Home to the various "fast food" chains that now are everywhere in the world. As well as the World Station, A logistics monster that makes Blumund the medium for all trade for the continent.
(AN: this is how i understood it from volume 17, let me know if i've got it wrong.)
As we enter the town I notice a lot of monsters around, probably due to Blumund's friendship with the monster nation. We probably won't find any allies here...
"Alrighty! Plan of action is to sign up as adventurers to have access to some income, and establish a foundation for our mission."
"Sounds good, now if they havent changed the location recently the guild should be this way."
Riru pointed toward the center of town and began walking. I did a little skip to catch up and fell in step with him. I looked at our surroundings as we made our way. We were currently on the main street with carts going up and down filled with various goods. As we passed a certain shop, a delicious smell invaded my nose. I looked over at the shop and was halted in my tracks. My stomach growled as I looked on with a mix of disgust and hunger. Riru noticed I wasn't next to him anymore and turned around to see what was up. I locked eyes with him then looked over at the shop, He followed my action and his expression took a wild mix of surprise, shame, incredulity and dismay as he set his eyes upon it.
The shop was set up as a restaurant with outside dining as well as indoor as the sign read: "*NEW* McRIMURU'S". With the monster nation logo plastered on it. I looked over at Riru again and it looked as if he had a few years taken off his life. It's good to have a companion with the same views.
"Let's get going shall we?..." Riru asked in a tired voice.
Although those companions may act on those views differently, it's good to have a balance. If i could have it my way i'm sure i would've had the restaurant run by monsters burnt down, but it seems Riru likes to leave them with the benefit of the doubt. Interesting.
We arrive at the guild not long after, and it seems Riru has recovered some thankfully. There were a couple of people around at the jobs board and also sitting around at tables chatting and laughing, making the atmosphere a pleasant sort of rowdy-ness that one would expect from an Adventurer's Hall.
We walk up to the front desk where a lady was sitting. "Hi, we would like to sign up as adventurers please."
"Of course. Then, if you could please sign-"
"Actually, it's just her signing up. I'm already registered." Riru cut her off, handing her his adventurer card.
Oh yeah I forgot that he said he was an adventurer for a time… he must've been quite a big deal then considering he fought the Demon Lord. Hehehe how lucky i am to have obtained such a useful ally so early in the game. Mwahahaha!
The lady took the adventurer card and examined it. I watched as her expression changed into a frown and then astonishment as she looked up at Riru. "WAIT, YOU'RE RIMURU?!"
The whole room went quiet, looking over in shock and confusion at the name that was uttered.
Heh. i knew he was a big- wait, did she say Rimuru just now? I looked over at Riru (if that even is his name) who looked like he was caught stealing from the cookie jar, with an "oh i've fucked up" half-smile twitching on his face. So wait, is he not who he says he is? What's going on? Isn't Rimuru the name of the Demon Lord? Seriously, what the hell is going on?
A pair of armoured footsteps came to a stop just outside the front gate of Blumund, it was just nearing dusk making some awesome silhouettes of the two men. It would've been even cooler if they weren't so vastly physically different from each other.
"Do you really think she's here, Todi?" The large rotund man asked, looking down at 'Todi' next to him.
"Well if she's not then she'll be at Ingrassia where the other search team is."
"Then why did we volunteer to come here? The more obvious place for her to run would be Ingrassia, right?"
"How am I supposed to know? Besides, she has to be here. As the Princess's personal guards we must be the ones to find her lest we bring on ourselves. Understood?"
"That's my lil' bro! A tree trunk of an arm wrapped around Todi's neck in a headlock."
"Wha-?! Cut it out Kodi! You damn donkey! I'll throw you in the fucking well!"
"Ehehaha, Kodi couldn't fit in the well anyway! Ehehaha!" Kodi laughed as he released Toby from the head lock. "Anyways, let's get a room booked at an inn and begin our search tomorrow."
"Oi isn't that my line? Pretty sure the big slow guys are meant to be dumb."
"Eheha, but what advantage would we have then?"
"Say," Todi said, changing the topic. "Do you think we should stop by the adventurers hall for some light info gathering in preparation for tomorrow?"
"Hmmm, Kodi doesn't think that it would be open but it wouldn't hurt to check."
So the two brothers made their way into town to find an inn as well as some 'light' info gathering. so that they could begin their mission in the morning.