14. Curse & Blessing
When I woke up in the morning, someone’s shadow was over me.
When I tilted my gaze to the side, I saw wrinkles in a short pants. And when I turned my face up, what I saw was… Ash’s face.
Ash raised her eyebrows and looked as if she was pleading.
“I’m sorry. But, the bean sprouts are out of stock.”
“Okay, okay! When we get to Port Town, let’s eat at one of the stores… So, stop seeing me with such crying eyes …”
Now, the problem is money.
Well… up until now, we’ve been collecting the skins of the monsters we defeated. When we arrive in the town, should I sell them for cash? I’m sure it’ll be around 2000 ouro.
I and Ash departed from the lake for Port Town.
And as expected, we encountered a monster on the way. It was a big, horned bear-like monster.
I and Ash moved information with me as the vanguard and her as the rearguard, and we defeated the monster in easy.
The collaboration between us was more refined than yesterday.
The number of trees blocking the road had begun to decrease.
I and Ash went out to the hills and saw a brighter sun than yesterday.
I could hear the sound of the sea breeze and the sound of the waves. Those two sounds were probably the melody around that area.
A white bird was riding the wind and roaming in the sky. There was a town with white and blue buildings… That was the Port Town.
“Yup… This is <Crow Port>.”
When I saw it from the top of the cliff, it felt quite far, but when I actually reached the town, I felt that it was quick.
Did I really cross that long journey? There is an indescribable feeling that I feel right now…
So, this is an adventure, huh…
I might get addicted to this…
“I want to go see the ship, but first …”
The sounds of Ash and my belly intersected.
I thought that the city of <Distall> was really boring.
Everyone was always spending their daily lives… in the same way.
So, I was keenly aware of something when I looked at the streets of <Crow Port>. Although <Crow Port> was a much smaller town than <Distall>, it was full of energy.
『”Oo-ii!… I brought some fresh fish that I just caught～!”』
『”Ooo, I guess, Tuna is cheap today!”』
『”Wowー! It’s big～!”』
A fisherman who put fish in a net and went around the store, and a cook who was looking for fresh fish lined up in the store.
A voice of call, a child running around the town. The people in the town were living towards tomorrow.
However, I could see some people had gloomy faces in a small part of the town.
“Excuse me… If you find this child, please contact me.”
One of the persons with a gloomy face, an old woman, gave me a rough paper. It was a flyer. I received the flyer and held it with both hands so that it didn’t get turned back by the wind.
The flyer was blurry, but a little girl’s face still could be seen on it. And somehow the picture looked so real.
“It’s a Psychic Photography Technique… A technique to draw a picture based on memory.”
“Sounds like a convenient technique.”
I took my eyes off the flyer and raised my face.
“Ma’am, what happened to this child?”
The old woman turned her eyes down and shed tears.
“This child is my daughter… Actually… I haven’t seen her since a month ago…”
When I tried to listen carefully, I could hear the voices of those who were also looking for their children, wives, and friends.
Apparently, kidnapping was a problem in the town now.
“It must be difficult… Your daughter, if I find her, I’ll definitely bring her here.”
“Oh, thank you very much!… Thank you!”
The figure of the mother who bowed deeply was lonely. It was a heartbreaking scene.
“Kidnapping, huh… Just in case, we have to be careful too. Because there are many towns near the sea. “
“OK. Anyway, first of all, food… food!”
Since expensive places would likely have no menu using Bean Sprouts, the aim was a normal restaurant.
I and Ash discovered a restaurant that building was rugged but didn’t look that bad.
“What’s the limit?”
“I think it’s about five minutes.”
“Okay, then I’ll go in and order, so come in when the food is served.”
I entered the restaurant. The candlelight illuminated the store, but there was no sunlight, so when Ash came in, the countdown that would switch her into Shura would begin. Their curse didn’t activate in 30 minutes in a row, but in cumulative 30 minutes of their respective terms.
Ash was already in the shadow for some time. So, it was almost time to switch with Shura.
I asked the owner of the restaurant if they had a menu using bean sprouts.
Then, the owner offered a dish called, ‘stir-fried bean sprouts in sesame oil.’ I ordered it and the owner’s recommended ‘meat pie’, then I sit at the table.
I sold the monster skin at the item shop I stopped by earlier and got 1560 ouro, so there’s no problem with money.
Let’s hope that the fee for the ship will be the market price.
『”It’s done! Thank you for waiting!”』
Four dishes were placed on the table.
Two stir-fried bean sprouts and two meat pies were placed.
“Ooh, the food came?, I need to call As――”
When I tried to stand up, a shadow suddenly came and sat in front of me.
Ash glared at the Bean Sprouts with her eyes, grabbed the fork, and attacked it as if not to let it escape.
NOM!! NOM!! NOM!!… MUNCH!! MUNCH!!!
With her cheeks bulging like a squirrel, Ash squeezed the bean sprouts inside her mouth.
Oi, you also trying to eat my stir-fry bean sprouts…? Well, never mind…
I reached for the remaining meat pie.
First, I split the round meat pie in half. When I did that, the cheese was stretching. I didn’t want to spill the cheese, so I lifted a piece of meat pie in a rush and put the pie and the following cheese inside my mouth.
――Crunchy, wasn’t the right word for it, but ‘melty’. Yes, it was melting inside my mouth. The minced meat inside, the meat sauce, and the cheese create a rich taste.
This richness… Are they using wine?
Originally, the taste that seemed to collide with each other was balanced with the good texture. The pie sucked the taste from the filling so well.
I’ve no complaints.
“Thank you for the meal.”
Ash joined her hands.
“Are you sure? There are still meat pies left… It’s pretty good.”
“Yeah, but it’s already time ――”
A brown-haired girl, Shura, had taken over her clothes.
“It’s late already. You’re sleeping habit is bad…”
The end of her hair was curled up and looked messy.
That made her look like a tomboy… and cute at the same time.
“I’ll fix it later…Well, meat pie. Can I have it? “
I gently pushed the plate forward.
When Shura picked up the meat pie, she bit it without breaking it into parts.
Shura chewed boringly and put the meat pie back on the plate.
“Hmm? Is it bad?”
“Ah, sorry. Did my face look like that?… It’s neither good nor bad. I don’t plan to hide it, so let me tell you… I can’t taste.”
Ah, speaking of which, when she ate the dried meat in that inn, she looked like it was bad, and there was no reaction when she ate the fried bean sprouts I made…
“Yeah, it’s a curse. The curse that makes you lose your sense of taste.”
“You… you have another curse besides the <Curse of Yin and Yang>?”
“That’s not all. There are three other curses in me, a total of five… You see, my hometown is called ‘The Village of Curses’ and so the parents embed curses in their children to the limit.”
“What’s with that? It’s totally a harassment… So, what are the benefits of Curse?”
“You… You don’t know the relationship between Curse and Blessing?”
Curse and Blessing?
A Curse is something like a disease that can’t be cured… So, a blessing is… Yeah, it must be that… when you celebrate someone over something good, right?
“You don’t seem to know about it… You see――A person can receive a blessing at the cost of being Cursed…Receive the Curse of blindness, you would get the blessing of hearing. Receive a curse that weakens your body against cold objects, you would get a blessing of resistance to hot objects, and a lot more… ――In my hometown, when you have children, you will let them receive a curse that does not interfere with the battle as so to receive blessings that are useful for the battle. The aim is to produce strong warriors. The people of my hometown have been doing that kind of crazy custom for hundreds of years.”
So… you mean, it’s possible to become stronger by receiving a curse?
Certainly, it’s fascinating… Receive a curse that doesn’t matter, and get the blessing you want.
――If I listened to this before I met her, I might have wanted to jump in.
“By the way, I’m receiving the Blessing of sharpening my sense of smell under the Curse of losing my sense of taste… Also, I’ve received a curse that makes the Green Mana inside me unusable, but I received the Blessing that strengthens my Red Mana.”
“What kind of blessing did the <Curse of Yin and Yang> come with?”
” ――I don’t know the details. This curse is a little special… But I have a clue. If you control the time you spend in the sun and shadow cleverly, you can hunt down your enemies in a completely different style, right?… So, changing between me and Ash. Isn’t this a Blessing? I mean, in a sense, the ability as an individual has been strengthened, right?”
Shura ate the meat pie without changing her complexion.
She’s probably already used to eating tasteless foods.
“It’s a shame… this meat pie is insanely delicious.”
“I guess so… It smells good… “
She said that on the contrary, her sense of smell was insanely good.
But, as expected it should be hard to just not know the taste when she could smell the good smell.
“Does Ash also have a lot of curses?”
“That child only has a <Curse of Yin and Yang>. Her Curse resistance is strong.”
And so, on the contrary, Shura had a weak curse resistance, so she embedded with a lot of curses.
“I see……Then, solve the taste-sealing curse and the <Curse of Yin and Yang>… Then, let’s come to this store again. At that time, it’ll be three people.”
Shura was surprised that she stopped chewing.
“Because it’s a shame you can’t taste this delicious meat pie.”
“But, but… you see, I haven’t solved any of the curses yet, right?… I mean, no one in the long history has broken the curse. There is no chance of solving it for now. Even if I can solve it, I don’t know how much it will cost to solve one… I don’t know how hard it will be to break the <Curse of Yin and Yang>, so honestly, I give up on the other curse… “
“Solving one or two is the same.”
I said so.
With a frightened face, Shura settled down in a chair.
“If there’s someone who says, ‘I want to break the curse’, you normally laugh at that person? And if you say it’s not one but two, you’ll be seen as a weirdo, you know?… That’s common sense. You know it right?”
“I don’t know how difficult it is to break the curse…I don’t know such a boring thing like common sense is…――And anyway, you are traveling to break such a boring common sense, right? It’s okay, you can be not only the first one to break a curse in history. But also, the second one…… Well, well, it’s going to be a good way to kill time. “
Shura looked away.
I tried to make eye contact with Shura, but Shura looked away from my eyes.
” ―― You … You’re a weirdo after all… you’re strange and crazy… but… I do not hate you.”
Shura laughed and made a girlish look.
“Okay. It’s a promise, let’s definitely come here again… Three people, to eat a meat pie.”
“Yeah, Well, Ash would be crazy about bean sprouts.”
I and Shura finished our meal and left the restaurant.
Somehow, I felt that one of the walls between Shura and me had broken.
By the way, Curses and Blessings are not always balanced.
There is no such a good thing, such as, Blessing level 10 at Curse level 1.
But, There are curses that are not balanced, such as, Blessing level 1 at Curse level 10.
The Curse that Barha received was this curse, so he only had a low level of blessing. It’s a blessing that makes him just a little lucky.
TN: Join my discord channel if you want.