The Old man’s passion was reignited. Part 2
Youya had always felt that the idea of cooking his own food and eating alone was extremely depressing, so after completing his equipment maintenance, he decided to head towards the bar.
He entered the bar, sitting at his usual seat in the corner of the room. Being a regular of the bar, without taking his order, he was served ale by the waiter.
[Nikita, the apple pie you made for me was delicious.] (Youya)
The one who delivered the ale to his table was Nikita, the showgirl for the bar. She was quickly approaching the age of 16 this year. She is an energetic girl who oozes out energy, often catching the attention of other men. Even now, there are men eyeing her as she is working
[Thank you for the compliment, I am very glad that Youya-san enjoyed my apple pie. Since my father just taught me how to bake that apple pie the other day, I tried my best to make it as delicious as possible.] (Nikita)
Hearing this, Youya felt that Nikita had feelings for him. Although at his age, it would be more appropriate for her to show him respect as her elder.
[So it’s your first time baking an apple pie? Looks like you have a talent for cooking.] (Youya)
[It wasn’t anything that praiseworthy.] (Nikita)
[I envy the man that will become your future husband.] (Youya)
After hearing that, Nikita’s expression became cloudy. From her perspective, that sentence was akin to saying that Youya would not become her husband. Personally, Youya felt that it would be better for him to throw away any feelings of attachment as soon as possible.
[Nikkita, do you have any recommendations for today?] (Youya)
[Uhh..yeah. Pork dishes are recommended today since a large batch of pork was brought in today.] (Nikita)
Youya’s mind went back to the request he completed earlier this afternoon. It seems that the butcher has already sold the meat despite just having it delivered a moment ago.
[In that case, please give me a pork stew and a skewer, as well as a refill please] (Youya)
[Sure! No problem.] (Nikita)
Recently, whenever Youya realised he was alone, he would find himself coming to the bar.
There were many adventurers who gather here and since this is a village which has a dungeon, it posed quite an impressive sight. Although adventuring is a job that is difficult to sustain past the mid thirties with a high mortality rate, there are still many young adventurers aspiring to become a full-fledged adventurer. Even now, there are younger people passionately talking about their dreams, raising their spirits even higher.
[We are definitely going to conquer the Tower of Trials someday! And we will eventually be hailed as equals to the hero Leonard!] (Tryhard)
[You say that yet you are still struggling with Giant Toads.] (Realist)
[Hey please don’t say that out loud!! Nobody needs to know that.] (Embarrassed Tryhard)
Everyone in the bar laughed out loud upon hearing this conversation. Witnessing this spectacle, Youya felt like his cold heart was starting to become slightly warmed. Meanwhile, his food was delivered to the table and he started his meal.
[Delicious. The chef who works here definitely has good cooking skills.] (Youya)
Before he came to this city, he had worked in a big city but he felt that the city did not have many stores that sold food which tasted better than this. As he was lost in thought, a man equipped in magical metal armour and a silver class adventurer’s card hanging from his neck sat in the seat in front of Youya. His equipment were clearly not from the village, however his face was a familiar face. A face full of vigor and confidence
[I’ve been looking for you, Youya-san.] (Man)
[I heard that you have joined “Blow”, Ain.] (Youya)
This adventurer is called Ain. Seven years ago his parents begged Youya to teach him the ways of an adventurer. Youya ended up teaching him for only three years. However, after those three years, he became a full-fledged adventurer, competent enough to leave the village to challenge more difficult dungeons.
[Well I have been training for four years with the Blows, because of that I managed to become one of them. Also, i have decided to take on the Tower of Trials.] (Ain)
The sound of Youya’s spoon hitting the ground could be heard.
[Youya-san,Would you like to come with us to the Tower of Trials? Together we can show everyone how great of an adventurer you really are! I am sure someone of your caliber would be able to clear the trial easily!. Doesn’t it sound like a good idea Teacher?] (Ain)
Youya took a deep breath and started recollecting about the past, about how other teams told him similar things in the past. However, his answer was already decided long ago.
[Ain. I am grateful for how highly you think of me, however i have to decline. I am not a chosen one.] (Youya)
The Tower of Trials. It’s the goal that every adventurer in pursuit of strength seeks to overcome. It is the place when an adventurer goes if he wishes to become stronger, to be stronger than everyone else.
Yet, more than a decade ago, it was the place that I ran from without even attempting it.
[Teacher! Please do not say such things about yourself. I have two dependable companions who are coming with us. We have the manpower to conquer the trials. If only we had the experience, skill and strength of my teacher there, conquering the trails would be a bree-] (Ain)
As Ain was about to finish his sentence, i activated my status card. In this world, a status card reveals the status of it’s owner, containing information about their levels and stats. It also serves as an identification card and a wallet for carrying money. Ain stopped talking and looked at the window that popped out, with a look of disbelief.
[It can’t be.. Teacher you are lying to me.. Right?] (Ain)
[I’ve told you this many times. I was unlucky. It wasn’t as if I didn’t have the passion and the goal of becoming stronger, aiming to conquer the trials. However, back then, as me and my friends became stronger, as our levels went higher and higher, my heart became colder and colder. Eventually, I fell into despair. It was impossible for me. Conquering the trials. When my friends told me that they were challenging the trials, I left my party. I was given the opportunity to become stronger, to challenge the Tower of Trials, but I ran away without even attempting it. I threw away my chance at becoming strong. That is how I started doing an unreasonable job such as being an exclusive adventurer.] (Youya)
In this world, something known as a “Status” existed.
The upper limit for leveling in this world was level 50.
Whenever a person leveled up, they had their stats parameters increased by a value of one to three. Normally, an average person would have their stat parameters increased by two points when they leveled up, but there are always variations and Yuya was one of those variations.
Everytime he leveled up, his stat parameters would only increase by one point. No matter how many times he leveled up, the increments never changed. Unwilling to let go of his dream, he pushed forward and continued to raise his level believing that once he hit level 50, the missing points would return. However, even when he achieved level 50, his stats remained unaffected, leaving him to despair.
In the midst of his despair, he wondered if there was a different strength in this world, a strength beyond one’s status. He tried to believe that there was a strength that could overcome even a person’s low stat parameters and began to polish his swordsmanship. After decades of training, my swordsmanship was at its peak, and he found it. Through blood,sweat and tears, he attained the strength that goes beyond the limitation known as “Status”.
Despite this, everything still had a limit.
As another person’s level grew higher, the disparity between their status would become larger as well. Yuya knew painfully well how large the gap has an effect in a person’s effective battle stats. Polishing his swordsmanship gave him the confidence to call himself a first-class adventurer, however he could never be considered a top-tier adventurer. He knew it was impossible to catch up to the people who were chosen, the people who were given the opportunity, the stats required to be the strongest. Thus, he gave up on the dream of becoming the strongest and instead, chose a stable job by completing quests with lower difficulties to earn a living.
[Ain. If its you, I am sure that it is possible to clear the tower. You are different from me. You are lucky enough to be able to do so unlike me. I wish you good luck in your trials.] (Youya)
Ain was someone who had the minimum requirement to enter the realm of the warriors. He had the increase in stat parameters required to enter it, thus he was someone that was surely going to his teacher, achieving something that was impossible for Youya.
[Sorry Yuoya-san. I didn’t know about this.] (Ain)
[Don’t worry Ain, i know that you are someone who cherishes his teacher very much. I am sorry that I had to tell you a depressing story about your teacher. Since I am done with my meal, I will be making a move.] (Youya)
Truth was Ain had wanted to stay late that night to drink, but the atmosphere that night, made it difficult to for him to drink.
[Seriously.. Why did he have to remind me about the past. It is impossible for me who lacked the status.] (Youya)
Recollecting the memories and the passion he once had, the embers of the flames that once existed in his heart, began to reignite.