Talk About Useless
In this village there are 7 superstitions that have been passed down from generations to generations, for so long so that they have also been considered as legends. If all 7 legends are fulfilled, you get to be with your destined one forever. To regain what is lost by the Spirits, you must complete 7 ordeals in order to make the equivalent exchange. The second is to craft a mighty spear using only materials from the lake and capture the largest fish with it to offer as a sacrifice.
"Nghhh…that was a good sleep~" I yawn out loud while rolling out of bed. "Geez, I can't believe I've got another 6 of these trials to go. Just pulling up that bucket yesterday wore me out."
"Aera! Wake up! How long do you plan on sleeping in?!" I hear Tatiana yell from down stairs. "Come on! Everyone's waiting for you."
"Give me a break…Can't I just take one days rest?" I groan. The room then fell silent but I hear some murmurings downstairs.
"Aera, honey. You're not doing something naughty upstairs while thinking of Ryouga are you?" Lynn's enchanting voice floats upstairs. "Is that why you're reluctant to come down, Sweetie?"
"I'M UP!" I throw my covers up and immediately jolt downstairs. "I'm not doing anything of the sort!"
"Ehe, good morning Aera." Lynn smiles at me deviously. "Oh my. You're looking a little flushed. Is something the matter?"
"N-nothings the matter! I-I wasn't doing anything!" I try to retort. Why am I even feeling flustered? I wasn't like I was doing anything wrong.
"Looks like you're finally up." Ryouga's voice came from behind me. "It's about time too."
"Grrr. What was that? You perverted-girly-haired idiot?" I glare at him. "And just when I started likin-"
"If you've got time to spew comments like that we should begin the next trial immediately." Ryouga signs and then makes his way to the table while holding the book in one hand. "Like I said before these trials are connected with the legends so the second one will obviously by involving the lake."
Everyone slowly gathers around our dining table and sit themselves down. It seems that they were all ignoring my pouting, go figure. Ryouga then begins to explain to everyone how I have to forge a spear out of only the lake materials and use that to capture the largest fish. As soon as he said that everyone turns their heads to me with a look of What?-This-girl-can't-forge-weapons-OR-catch-fish-even-if-her-life-depended-on-it. Those sympathetic stares were correct though. I've never gone fishing in my life and not only that I have to catch it with a SPEAR? And one I forged at that. How in the world am I going to catch the biggest and strongest fish? I sigh dejectedly as I think about the consequences. I'll have to keep making new spears if they're not strong enough and how will I even know which fish is the biggest. I guess it's not called a trial for nothing…
"And that's about the gist of it." Ryouga then closes the book. "Any questions Aera?"
"Uhhh…I can't do any of those things." I heave out a long sigh.
"…we'll aren't you useless?" Tatiana grins.
"W-what? I am too useful." I retort in frustration. "I can do a lot of things."
"Like what? Eat all my food and break all my machines." Orin laughs jokingly.
"H-hey! You're making it sound like I'm a huge glutton of a scatterbrain!" I pout.
"I don't know how you managed to land a man like Ryouga." Blaire laughs a little at how accurate the definition is.
"Ahhh! Enough! I'm going to go gather some materials now, don't you guys try and help me." I quickly got up and ran towards the door.
Geez. Everyone is always thinking I'm a huge klutz and that I can't do anything. I'll show them! I'll be able to regain my memories all by myself and prove that I am completely independent. I walk quickly towards the pond while pondering about all my achievements in life. Well that one time when I was bug catching with Orin I caught a bigger ladybug than he did. Also there was that time I finished all my food first and Blaire said he was proud of me…Gosh, these don't sound like something I should be gloating about at all. I reach the area of the pond only to find that the old man fishing there was gone…and I was going to ask him for some pointers too. That's weird he's always fishing there no matter how late it is…and I see him here every day when I walk past. It's still bright out but something is giving me the chills.
"W-well better get foraging." I say out loud to make myself calmer. "Okay. First I need some stone. Yeah I'll just get a piece from the bottom of the lake...Yeah, remember the last time you tried diving Aera? How'd that work out for you?"
I pace back and forth next to the lake…just how in the world am I going to get a chunk of stone from down there? Breaking off a piece from the edge would require a lot of energy and some tools. Diving to the bottom to find a broken piece is fine…but how am I going to get it up to the surface because it's going to be very heavy. Unless I just pick little pieces of stone but I doubt that will make a good spear. ARGH! Why must my life be so hard? Okay, okay, okay I brought my hammer so maybe I can use that to somehow get a chunk of stone from the edges. Alright whatever I'll think later. I then proceed to remove all my heavy clothing only leaving my undergarments. I'll need something to store the stones in. I took a look around to see if anything could help me until I peer down at one of my thigh-high stockings…I never liked the colour white anyway.
"This is going to be cold." I think aloud. "Well here goes nothing."
I dip my toes into the water and slowly slip myself in. I cling to the edge with one arm and hold my hammer and stocking in the other. Slowly I made my way around to the deep end of the lake. I lower myself a little more into the water and proceed to start knocking the uneven stones with my hammer. Before the pieces would drop to their doom I quickly catch them and put them into my stocking. I keep hammering away for what felt like hours. My arm was growing impossibly sore from swinging my hammer and I felt like I couldn't hold my grip on the rocks much longer. Feeling that I've gathered a sufficient number of stones I slowly sidle my way across back to the grassy edge.
"Ughh so tired. I feel like my arms are going to fall off." I complain as I try to pull myself up. "God. Did I always weight this much? U-Uwaahhh!"
My hand suddenly gave in and I sank into the water.
"Aera!" I hear Ryouga's voice as I flail around trying to find the edge of the lake. "Hold on! Take my hand!"
I reach out towards his hands. His eyes widen as I pass him my stocking full of stones and my hammer.
"N-NO! Give me your hand, you idiot!" He exclaims as he quickly tosses my items onto the ground. "Ugh I can't wait anymore."
Without further notice Ryouga dives into the water as well. He grabs my by the waist and holds it tight with one hand so that I would stop flailing. With the other he drags both myself and him back onto dry land.
"T-thanks." I stammer while coughing out some excess water.
"Idiot! You could've drowned, you know that?!" He hits me on the head swiftly while trying to catch his breath. "Those stones you could've have gathered anytime! If you were tired let them go. I can't believe how stupid you are! If you were to lose your life then this would all have been meaningless. What would've happened if I wasn't here HUH?! I came later because I thought you wanted to blow off some steam but really, Aera?"
"S-sorry." I respond in shock. "I just wanted to prove…that I was useful..that I could do things on my own. I've already been a big enough burden as it is so I thought-"
"Ugh, you idiot." Ryouga sighs but then suddenly gets up and throws me a towel. "Hurry up and get changed."
"Okay." I answer without defiance while quickly dry myself and putting back on the majority of my clothes. Ryouga picks up my hammer along with the stocking filled with rocks and starts to walk away from the pond. He stops for a second to let me catch up to him.
"You must be tired." He says with his back facing me and then proceeds to lightly pat my head. "Good job. You did well."
I stare at him in disbelief for a second. Such a warm feeling.
"Alright! I'll do my best to craft the spear as well!" I smile with a sudden burst of energy.
"Hmph. I look forward to it." Ryouga laughs gently.
Note from Author: You guys can probably tell that I've lost some mojo for this story. It was kind of spiraling out of hand and took a turn at 'confusing/dragging on forever' road instead of going straight towards 'realistic ending'. Anyways I'll continue slowly just for the sake of ending it and some fans wanted me to keep writing so HOPE YOU GUYS AREN'T TOO DISAPPOINTED. I seriously have no idea where the past me was intending to go with this story lols.