A few days back when sophia recovered from most of her injuries she heard janet talking about going into the forest and hunt a few beasts.
And while we had enough food to last us for a long time and much more that comes daily through the slimes help,janet had another reason to go outside and explore,it was to gain experience and become stronger so they could survive better and start relying on themselves rather then slimes provided by sorron.
For sophia such words as “aquiring strength” and “getting stronger” were like thunder in hear ears,Ever since experiencing those horrible events that happened to her and the other girls and after recovering from her wounds,she started to seek such strength herself,she wanted to live,she wanted to go back home see her friends and family and live again.
No matter what,being weak wasn’t acceptable,she understood that if she continued to be weak the tragedy that occurred with her and the others would only continue at some point or another,she never wanted to be within the grasps of another person ever again and instead of feeling trampled on she wanted to trample others beneath her feet.
This goal alone kept her going up until now solidifying in her mind like a huge spot that couldn’t get erased no matter what,constantly reminding her and making her feel on edge which is why she joined janet and her little group of like minded people to go into the forest and get stronger slowly.
At least thats what she believed at first…
Sophia didn’t know that as soon as they would step off their camp that she would encounter a second life changing event inside this forest.
We would get to that shortly,but for now talking about the general group was more fitting.
In total there were 5 people who went into the forest,including janet,sophia,and another two girls,terry the sole guy in the group also came along,not because he wanted to,but because janet coerced him to come along.
His decision to go into the forest may also have been largely influenced because of the eerie atmosphere in the camp regarding the girls,it had been hard for everyone since we started taking care of each other,but it seemed like the boys suffered the most out of this as their mere presence alone would freak out half of the traumatized girls triggering their horrible memories and make the other half show a very cold and chilly attitude towards them which was both menacing and scary at the same time.
As of now,I haven’t heard of the boys really complaining about anything regarding this atmosphere,lately they haven’t even been speaking that often anymore to anyone other then each other or janet and myself,they also got pretty well engrossed into their tasks then socialize like gary who frequently goes into the forest to explore and such,I of course pretended that it wasn’t there to lighten up the mood,but even though I was trying it didn’t seem to work at all,but only made the issue turn into something as if it was the most natural thing in the world…
Well back to the topic.
It only made sense that terry would be in that group since terry’s class was that of a <Soldier> his potential was already there he only needed experience to become more useful and in time janet also believed that terry would become more capable enough to lead his own small group into the forest so he could hunt with others to increase their strength,drastically increasing their survival rate.
And it wasn’t only him that came for that reason,the two other girls that I was slightly unfamiliar with had similarly been included into that group because they were judged as the most effective to cultivate in terms of strength and class.
I remember that janet even asked me whether or not I want to come along since I already could fight with a sword and had a suitable class that would get much stronger if leveled up at the time,I really didn’t want to go,not because I was scared,which I was,but because I hated violence in general and while I knew I couldn’t avoid it in this world forever just like in earth,I still held onto my stupid beliefs and tactfully declined janets offer.
Janet at the time didn’t say much to refusal,she seemed to have partially understood my reason as to why I didn’t want to come and while she did respect my answer she still left me a few words before leaving telling me that staying the way I was now wasn’t going to work forever in which I couldn’t say much other then look down at myself and give her a bitter smile.
-Wait a second…I understand that you heard from janet that she was going to go with a few people into the forest and start hunting for experience,but from what I know didn’t janet personally chose the people who would go ? I remember that when someone else asked to come along janet refused them and said that only a few qualified people would go,but looking at you-no offense-you aren’t very strong and from what I know neither are you vocal about anything so I am confused as to how you were able to join if you weren’t even qualified…
Gary interrupted,and to be honest he had a fair point,from what I knew janet took only the people who had a fair advantage against smaller critters people who could use skills from a distance or make sure that they wouldn’t be hurt as much even if they get hit or something,mental strength and physical strength was also a factor to consider,but because combat skills gave you a land sliding advantage in this world it was the first thing to be considered by her.
Hearing gary’s sudden question stubbed sophia for a second,it wasn’t as if the question itself was important or anything,it was just that gary was curious,sophia could have chosen to ignore the question,but she answered it anyway for a moment glancing behind her as she looked at terry in a small reminiscent way,terry also returned that gaze not as much as sophia,but slightly acknowledging as if he was regretting it now.
(Sha Sha ! Sha Sha !)
The wind started to pick up,the leafs that grew out of the thousands of branches on the trees rustled with a soothing tune of the forest,the 4 of us stood motionless inside this dark forest and even though it was dangerous staying here for too long because of the monsters out here,We still didn’t go away and listened patiently.
I also slightly believed in gary’s ability to sense danger if anything would happen he was the first to say it without a doubt making me a bit more calmer as I felt a small chill coming up my spine through this cold wind.
Sophia also looked cold holding her hands a bit more tighter against each other while finally speaking again.
-Yes,initial I wasn’t chosen to come with them since I didn’t have any useful skills to attack or defend myself,but because I was stubborn and really wanted to go I still tried and went to ask janet if I could accompany them,and just like that time with the other girl janet declined me,telling me that I was too weak for now and told me to stay put instead.In the end if it would have happened ,I would accepted her refusal…if it wasn’t for terry of course who at the last second was able to convince janet to let me join their group…
Hearing what sophia had just said,gary and I both got little surprised for a second and both of us also simultaneously moved our heads to the right staring at terry as he crossed his arms with a uncomfortable look on his face.
At the time there was a hint of red in his cheeks when we faced him,but because it was too dark to really see anything both me and gary didn’t notice and if we had we would have probably gotten a very different impression then we had now.
-Don’t look at me like that,even I don’t fully understand why I started arguing at the time,I only thought that having more people would be safer then having less and this wasn’t the same with the other girl either since lara is only 15 years old and still little while sophia is at least old enough to take care of herself at best
Terry explained,making it very clear that he didn’t argue for the sake of favor,but just because of circumstances and thinking about it he was sort of right,lara was indeed too young to be allowed to fight these monsters she also didn’t have a good class when it came to fighting and generally her body build was just too small for her to keep up with the others who were more grown then her.
My thoughts ended at this point,turning back to sophia as I didn’t see anything wrong with this discussion,gary on the other hand kept staring at terry for a few more seconds as if trying to measure him or something before giving a light sigh and looking away back to sophia.
Sophia didn’t notice this at the time and simply continued how everything went coughing a few times to clear her throat as she spoke from where she left off.
Janet in the end agreed to let sophia join them for the hunt under conditions that terry had to closely look after her and make sure she was safe and unhurt,terry agreed to it reluctantly since it was him who pleaded in the first place while the other two girls didn’t seem to care at all who went and not.
And as such their preparations went fast and smoothly,valera and I at the time were doing guard duty so i still remember walking them out of the camp with a worried look on my face fearing their safety totally different from the way valera looked as she was as always confident and boisterous with her speech.
What happened afterwards wasn’t much of a surprise since I already heard everything from janet from how their first day of hunting went,and in short they weren’t able to catch or kill anything,most of the small animals would instantly run away after encountering them janet and the others also avoided most of the medium sized beasts as to not take risks and relatively stayed close near their base so they wouldn’t get lost somehow.
Not the most productive day they had since they didn’t even fight a single creature,but they acquired a bit of experience from walking around the forest and such,and its not like they came back empty handed since on their way they encountered sorron who provided us with decent armors and swords one of which I was currently holding in my hands.
(She is referring to chapter 90 You Dropped Something)
Everything in sophia’s story was identical to how janet told me hers,but with small details from her own point of view,which included terry who always followed sophia everywhere like a little guard protecting his master,I was tempted to ask sophia if she could speed up her talking and come to the point explaining why she was here together with terry,but as soon as I considering asking sophia already started talking about it luckily.
-After walking for half a day already without success,we considered taking a break and then return back at base since it was soon getting dark,the day was stressful to be honest,I was tired and because terry was following me no matter where I went I felt a bit irritated and asked whether or not I could go to the bushes alone and relief myself while in reality I just wanted to be alone…
Sophia said,being extremely blunt with her words without mercy as she complained about a person who was right here next to her in ears reach,but looking at terry who was being called a nuisance I noticed that he didn’t react much other then looking the other way a few times and making a mocking fsmile directed at himself,he seemed as if he was already used to this giving me the impression that they were most probably pretty close already…as friends that is.
I thought pleased from the amount of progress they had unaware of gary who stood by my side suddenly making a twitch with his head for a second as he looked to the left side his eyes wandering around the bushes as sophia continued talking.
It was also at this moment when I felt some of the wind dying down lowering the cold,but also making me feel something strange instead.
-…And after separating from terry,I went to a small secluded place a few steps away and sat down onto a big rock relaxing.And just as I was doing so I could hear a rustling coming from the bushes next to me…