The Rebirth of the Hero’s Party’s Archmage chapter 52

Episode 52

Sssshhhhh───

I opened my eyes to the touch of the wind gently brushing the grass of the field.

With each creak of the carriage wheel, my body pleasantly rocked. A scenery I had seen before…

In the cool wind that fondly stroked the cold sweat off my body, I sat up to find the sky dyed with twilight.

“Ah, you’re awake!”

A cheerful voice came from the driver’s seat. It was Sami, holding the reins and leading two pack horses.

“Where are we…?”

“We’re on the way to . We should arrive by tonight.”

This time, a voice spoke from beside me, accompanied by the clanking sound of heavy dark iron.

“I know safety is the priority, but Rem mentioned that the holiday was ending soon.”

“That’s right! is infamous for its strict grading system. That’s why I suggested we go.”

Rem, safety, holiday…

Amidst these words, a headache suddenly surged as if my skull was cracking. Memories I had forgotten in my sleep awakened.

“Is all that real…?”

If those memories were true, the very fact I was alive and breathing was a miracle.

Haaa…

Exhaling a long breath, I flopped down lifelessly into the luggage compartment as Rem chattered.

“But you have a surprisingly wide network, don’t you?”

“Eh?”

“Because of that banned book you brought with you, we almost ran into trouble getting out of the city, but the Special Affairs Department let us through just like that.”

Special Affairs Department… Doran Slade?

“The guy who squints and smirks unpleasantly?”

“Yeah, exactly that one! He said, ‘This is a gesture of affection from the future boss to Rain Wijak.’ and told me to pass on his regards.”

“Tell him I don’t want it.”

He had a knack for popping up unexpectedly here and there. Thanks to him, I managed to get the books at

“But we still owe him a debt of gratitude. I’ll make sure to say thanks later.”

Gratitude… There were others before him who deserved my thanks.

These fools worried about me enough to follow me here, and they turned the Dark Mages against them to help me.

Sami pretended to be all right, but I could see the cold sweat trickling along with the Volga. And after Friede took an antidote, he had been in agony…

“If you guys hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t even have been able to pass that man’s inspection to begin with.”

So, I murmur almost complainingly, whiningly, in a voice as if sneaking into my words.

Like Lista, I wondered if there would ever come a day when I could express gratitude sincerely. A day to laugh and cry openly.

Bart and Sami smiled at my unspoken sincerity.

“What did you say?!”

However, Rem climbed onto the luggage compartment and placed a hand theatrically to her ear as if she hadn’t heard me.

“Didn’t catch that, could you say it again?”

“I didn’t say anything.”

“What?! ‘If it weren’t for you guys, I couldn’t have gone through that man’s inspection,’ is that right?!”

“I told you I didn’t say anything!”

“Wow! Bart! Sami! Rain said he has more to tell us because we weren’t there for that man’s inspection!”

“Oh, stop it!”

“Ah, mmgh mumble~!”

Rain reached out to grab Rem, but as a mere magician, he had no hope of catching up with the agility of a first-class archer.

As Rem imitated Rain’s voice, Sami burst into laughter, and even Bart, trying to intervene, couldn’t hide the mirth in his voice.

‘Well, it’s fine.’

Sami thought as she glanced at Rain playfully wrestling with Rem.

‘There won’t be any strange occurrences from reading those forbidden books, not when he’s this spirited…’

* * *

Late into Friday night, we safely arrived at the west gate of .

It was a close call.

The gatekeeper was about to close the gates for the night; any later, and we would have had to spend the night outside.

“It’s so dark, wouldn’t the dormitory be closed by now?”

Crossing the late-night streets, after being vigilant throughout the journey, Rem yawned lazily. Rain shook his head.

“Dorms are open till midnight during the holidays.”

“Is that so?”

Rem seemed subtly disappointed as she glanced at Bart, wondering why he was acting like that.

“No way~ So that’s why we did such heavy labor at . We can’t even show off our exploits. Doesn’t seem profitable.”

News of the massacre at had already spread throughout the southern region, with people at whispering about it.

That had been what Rem was grumbling about.

“If you want to be continuously interrogated by the inquisitors and become a target for the Dark Mages, feel free to confess that you took them all down.”

“Shut it, would you. Who’s clueless? I’m just a little wistful, that’s all.”

Continuing this trivial banter, we eventually reached the dormitory’s main entrance.

By that time I had mostly recovered, enough to walk on my own. Although the pain and fatigue would prevent any strenuous exercise for a few weeks…

As I jumped down from the carriage and stretched, Bart started speaking gravely.

“So, we must part ways now.”

“That’s right. But does it have to dampen the mood?”

“Rain, the truth is, we followed you to say goodbye. If nothing had happened at , that’s what would have happened.”

Saying goodbye, of all things.

I chuckled and shook my head.

“If you’re talking about saying thanks, I’ve already said that’s enough.”

I had a feeling.

“It’s not that; it’s just that we won’t be able to see each other for a while.”

“Not see each other for a while?”

“I’ve been summoned.”

I was startled and caught my breath. For adventurers to speak of being summoned, it meant only one thing.

Trident Point.

A promontory spread out in the shape of a trident along the northern sea to the northwest of the continent, it was a holy ground for adventure where only the truly skilled could operate.

It faced the Land of Madness, Harvadonia, with ancient abyssal temples and labyrinths clustered densely together; more than 60% of the area was still unexplored.

Adventurers operating there received several times the contribution points and rewards, but correspondingly, the dangers were multiplied, so only those with at least a silver rank were permitted to undertake such endeavors.

“The Moby Dick Adventure Group has specifically requested us. They rank third among all the groups. For Rem and me, this could be the opportunity to grow immensely.”

Rein remained silent.

It was an occasion to celebrate. Something to be joyful about. Yet, somehow, my throat felt blocked, as if I’d swallowed a lead weight.

A strange feeling. Did I actually like these guys? While I had felt some sort of affection, was it to this extent?

“Semmi isn’t silver-ranked, though.”

“Of course, because it’s too dangerous, I plan to return to the church as well. It’s time to start preparing for the priesthood exam seriously.”

Semmi smiled broadly.

Rem, observing Rein’s expression, teased.

“What, scared because the cool brothers and sisters are going? Want us to stay by your side forever?”

“…How ridiculous.”

Rein murmured with an embarrassed expression, slightly turning away.

I thought about telling them not to go. About wanting to stay together. But Bart saw Trident Point as a stepping stone for growth.

Holding back a friend who wants to go to such a place seemed too selfish.

“I thought a light farewell would suffice.”

Just then, Bart suddenly knelt on one knee to meet eye level and reached out his hand to gently caress Rein’s head.

The touch, characteristic of a warrior, was unavoidably rough, yet it was filled with affection.

Suddenly, fond memories resurfaced. Memories of Kies and Rista, who used to stroke Lin’s hair whenever they were bored, came back to life.

“I’ve been worried about this and can’t quite bear to leave.”

In that moment, my eyes shook violently. Was it a shock from a painful realization?

Ah, I see. I truly like this eccentric trio…

Only when parting did I become honest with my heart. Repeating the mistakes I made in my past life.

– Lin.

I wondered, if Rista had been here now, and if I were leaving for my own journey, what would have happened?

“Don’t worry and go.”

“Hmm?”

“It’s funny, really. I am many times stronger than you guys. I know this better than anyone, so what’s there to worry about?”

Perhaps it would’ve been softer and warmer, but surely, this is what I would’ve said. To make the departing steps lighter, the worries fewer, to ease even a bit of the heartache.

Rem, unaccustomed to the atmosphere of farewells, uncomfortably moistened his lips before finally donning a proud smile and crossed his arms.

“When we meet again, you better be prepared to properly greet me. For I, Rem, the legendary archer, might become a fortress by then.”

“That’s impossible.”

The playful response sparked a sensitive reaction from Rem.

“Hey! Who are you to decide that?! Are you the next emperor? You the one who selects the Yellow River Ministers?”

Semmi laughed, Bart grinned, and Rein chuckled, too. Rem suddenly smiled sadly and extended a hand.

“Then, to Rein, the troublemaker, take care of yourself.”

As I shook that hand, I already began to feel the loneliness. But I didn’t show it. Rista would have done the same.

“Semmi, try to lose some weight.”

“Ha, thank you for your concern, brother. Next time, don’t fail to recognize me because I’ve become too thin, okay? Oh, right.”

Semmi approached with a good-natured laugh, pressing a heavy object into Rein’s hand.

It was a forbidden book about Tureina.

Bart and Rem never asked Rein about the book. They believed that Rein would explain it when ready.

‘To earn someone’s trust, you must first trust them, right?’

Semmi followed that judgment. Bart and Rem seldom made mistakes, after all.

The two of them had not inquired about the book or Rein’s identity, much like they never did with Semmi before.

Bart, watching Rein scrutinize the book with mixed emotions, finally stood up.

“Then, Rein, this marks our goodbye for a while.”

With Bart’s words, the eccentric party turned to leave. Their steps halted abruptly in the dark—they had stopped because Rein had called out.

“Can we… see each other again?”

Surprised by the unexpected outcry, the trio exchanged glances, betraying their confusion.

Unaware of their delighted smiles from a distance, Rein finally called out as their representative, crafting a megaphone with his hands.

“What kind of question is that? We’re friends, aren’t we?”

Feeling a warm stir deep inside, Rein waved energetically, and the quirky group waved back, resuming their departure.

Bit by bit.

Patiently and gradually.

The boy continued to grow along with the world.

Socrafres.

– You can inherit the progress status of ‘Unique Magic’ research from your surroundings.

– Progress: 44.8%

Even if invisible to the eye, under the profound truths prevailing in the life of the boy.



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