Chapter 2: Megane-kun, Departure from the Village of Albat

With the strange mood over the village remaining unaddressed, the Ceremony draws to a close and proceeds into the feast to celebrate our coming of age.
Well, it’s a village in the countryside with no entertainment whatsoever, so everyone kinda just livens it up themselves with just alcohol and food.

It might have been mundane, but the Talents that Shieron and Nabhal drew were easy to understand.
So just like all the other years, the two of them are welcomed into the ranks of the adults.

As for me, who drew a Talent that is so unique and hard to understand that it’s almost bordering on being a joke, well, I’m treated like a tumor.
Tons of adults came over to offer me words that may or may not have been consolation.

I found it so bothersome and uncomfortable that I quickly erased my presence and chose to devote myself towards my sole source of enjoyment – the food.

Oh yea, this is good.
As expected of meat…… is what I’d like to say, but I actually don’t hate vegetables.
The large onions grown in Albat are just amazing.
Put it over the fire for a while and it becomes sweet, grill it for a while and it becomes good to eat as is, boil it for a while and it turns into the perfect sweet, gentle-tasting, harmonious accompaniment to any other ingredient.

I hated it when I was a kid, but now I love it, having grown used to eating it.
It’s the best when it’s boiled together with meat.


The only person capable of finding me eating by myself under the shade of a tree removed and out of view from the open square where the feast is being held is my Shishou.

He normally wears pelts like he’s a barbaric hunter trying to hide his humanity, but today he’s wearing normal clothes.

Bekt the hunter.
He’s a giant man that looks like a bear sporting a thick beard.
From afar, he looks like a coarse and jovial ossan.
But in reality, he is a highly skilled hunter capable of hunting down prey with delicate and precise movements.

I think myself still far from having reached Shishou’s level.
Of course, in terms of height, I have to look up to him.
But in terms of skill also, I look up to him.
Would I ever be able to catch up?

“At least for a day like this, go mingle with the others.”

He sits next to me.
Shishou has also secured for himself a plate piled with food before coming over.

“Here’s fine for me.”

I don’t want to stand out, don’t want to be seen.
I might even venture to say that I don’t want to be found.

That sort of skill is sought after during a hunt.
That’s why being a hunter suits me.

“Haah, what a boring kid you are.
Haven’t you ever had thoughts of wanting to make a name for yourself in the city? Back when I was your age, that was all I could think about.”

This talk from Shishou, I’ve already heard countless times.

Normally I just casually brush it aside with a “good for you.”
But for today at least, maybe it won’t be so bad to hear him out a bit.

Cus today I’ve become an adult too.

“Did you actually, though?”

“You bet.
I did my very best in the city for ten whole years.”

“And the result?”

“The city didn’t suit me.
Then someone told me about a village that needed a hunter and introduced me, and so here I am.”


“That time, I invited this woman that I was interested in.
In other words, I proposed to my wife, and we moved together.”

Ah, I’m good on this topic.

“I’m just going to lay this out first, but I was only on the level of being interested, and it was her who fell in love with me first, alright? But you gotta keep that a secret, yea?”


“…… You aren’t going to listen to me even at a time like this?”

Seemingly having given up upon seeing my lack of a reaction, Shishou ends the conversation that I have zero interest in.

“So, your glasses.
How’re they?”

“I like them.”

I can see really well.
I can see Shishou really well.
But I could have done without seeing him really well.
There’s nothing to be gained from seeing an uncle clearly and vividly and distinctively, and for some reason it makes me feel depressed.
And his forehead seems larger than I had expec-…… no, let’s not have anymore discoveries.

“Still, it sure is an incomprehensible Talent.”

So it would seem.
For others, it just comes across as questionable.
But for me, it is an item that I cannot be more grateful for.

——It was supposed to be a special day, but here I am, eating and chatting about things that I couldn’t care less about with Shishou as usual.

Around when I am about to start dozing off from my full stomach, Shishou stands up.

“Eil, come with me for a bit.”

Shishou’s house is at the outskirts of the village.

He cuts apart the prey that he hunts, he tans leather, and he processes meat.
It was with consideration of all the smells that this arrangement came to be.
The meat and leather he either uses to barter with the villagers for vegetables, or sells to traveling merchants.

I, too, have saved up a bit of money with the prey I hunted.
Well, there’s no way to use money in a village like this, with buying things from traveling merchants being the only exception.
But there’s nothing that I particularly want.

Right now, I would have thought “if I can buy it with money, then I’d want glasses.”
But even that I’ve gained without having to spend money.

“Wait outside.”

Shishou disappears into his house.
Incidentally, his rumored wife is currently at the feast.

In front of his house are pieces of leather in the middle of being tanned and pelts laid out to dry in the sun.
Apparently he has no intention of going out on a hunt today.

“Here ya go.
Gratz on becoming an adult.”

It didn’t take long before Shishou returns and thrusts a bow towards me.

I know Shishou owns several bows, but I’ve never seen this one before.

“You made it? For me?”

“‘Course I did.
You’re my apprentice.
Like there’s a mentor who wouldn’t congratulate his apprentice upon coming of age.”

I accept the bow.

It’s a composite bow.
It’s light, yet tough.
It’s probably made from Spectre Tree wood.
It is reinforced with the horn of a black mountain goat that has been carefully shaved down, curved, bent, and thoroughly polished with resin.
It’s a brand new bow that has yet to be broken in by anybody.

It’s a shortbow for adult use.
Furthermore, it’s one that can generate quite some power.

As my body is not that big, I’ve had no problem using the child-sized bow that I received when I was a kid all the way to up today.

Due to my eyes being bad, I had to get close to my prey anyways.
That’s why what I’ve been training was not strength, but the accuracy to hit a prey’s weak point without fail.

As can be expected, large prey is beyond me.
Medium-sized ones, however, I’ve already brought down a ton.
But having obtained this composite bow, now I am able to handle large prey as well.

“I’m sure you can draw a bow of that level, right? Give it a try.”

Upon being prompted, I take out the bowstring that I keep on me at all times, and string up the composite bow.
I make sure to string it as tight as it can go without bending the bow.
I do it again and again, just as taught.
The way to string the longbow that Shishou uses is so complicated that I still can’t do it, but this one I can string just like I do my old one.

I pluck the bowstring to confirm that I’ve strung it properly.
A dry note rings out.
Well, yea, that should do.

It probably doesn’t need to be said, but this bow is different from the one that I’ve been using up to today.
The weight is different, the length is different, the strength needed to draw it is different, the overall balance is different.
It’s going to take some time for me to get used to it.

“Try aiming at something.”

The arrow that he hands me is of a length that I’ve never used before.
The weight is also different.
It’s an arrow that can fly much further and pierce much deeper.
Surely it would not fly like I expect if I loose it like I’ve been doing so far.
This, too, I will need to accustom myself to.

I plant my feet, bring up the bow, draw, and loose.


With speed beyond what I’d expected, the arrow pierces into the piece of leather being tanned that’s hanging from a scarecrow.

“Oh, you’re already hitting the target.”

No, that was a miss.
I was aiming at the corner.
But the arrow is standing smack dab in the middle.

It’s no good if I’m missing at such a close distance.
I can’t use this yet in real combat.
I need more practice.




“Thank you.
I’m very happy.”

I am happy about the glasses, but I am even happier about receiving this present.

“Hehe, it’s fine that you’ve taken a liking to it.”

Shishou laughs embarrassedly.
As I thought, this really isn’t something I want to see clearly and vividly and distinctively.
His forehead…… no, let’s just stop looking.

“Well, if you said that you don’t need it, then I woulda socked you good though.”

Ahh, right.

Every time he brought up “it’s about time for you to get a new bow,” I did refuse and say I didn’t need it.

——Because I thought that if I got a bow that can hit far away, my bad eyes would get found out.

The fact that my eyes got worse after that incident of near death due to Shishou’s fart, I haven’t told anyone.
And I don’t intend to ever tell.
It’s not something that anything can be done about even if I do tell, and would just bother whoever it is that I tell.
My eyesight might have dropped a bit, but I have all four limbs and am in perfect health, so that’s good enough.

It would have been fine if Shishou didn’t know my original eyesight, but he did test me when he accepted me as his apprentice.
Well, I mean, of course he would.
Eyesight is directly tied to range, after all.

If I changed to a bow that can aim far away, he would immediately become aware of the fact that my eyes had gotten worse.
And then, judging by how I haven’t had a serious injury ever again since, he would realize that that incident was the cause.

In the first place, that incident was partly my fault.
I don’t want Shishou to bear the full burden by himself.
Though I still do want him to apologize for the smelliness and for purposely targeting my face.
On that front, I am holding a rather deep grudge, actually.
That moment was definitely the worst possible timing for Shishou to release all the ill will that’s been fermenting inside his body.

But well, even that’s now been pretty much resolved thanks to my glasses.

I immediately throw myself into practice to familiarize myself with my new bow.
Perhaps due to having used the same bow for so long, the new one still feels kind of strange in my hands.
I need to make my hands, body, eyes and ears, and sense become used to it as soon as possible.

“Eil, you will surely leave the village tomorrow.”


After seeing me shoot about ten arrows, Shishou suddenly says something weird.


“Because of your glasses.”

……? What about them? Though they are incredibly handy.

“To be honest, even I’m not sure what your ‘Talent for Megane’ is.
I’ve seen my fair share of the world, but it’s my first time even hearing of it.
Part of me feels like it’s just a practical joke, but part of me feels like it surely has its own meaning and usage.
However, what I can say for sure is that it was created through Materialization.
In other words, you do have the talent to become a magician.”

Well, I suppose that’s so.

“That’s why you will go to the city at least once.
Just as Horun did.”

Ah, I get it.
Even if it’s an incomprehensible Talent like ‘creating glasses,’ Materialization still lies within the realm of magic.

“So tomorrow, I will be departing together with the soldiers who’ve come to Albat?”

“That’s about it, yep.”

I’ll go, wrap things up in a flash, then come back as soon as I can.”

Just as I turn away to resume my practice, Shishou calls me back to continue the conversation.

“It’s a good opportunity for you.
Go take a good look.
Not just at the capital, but also at the world.”

“Eh? Why should I?”

“Because you are talented with the bow.
Far more so than me.
Surely there is a mountain of people who would need your skill, people who are waiting for you to enter their lives.
And for you, it would be an opportunity to grow.

You can return to the village if you want.
It’s your freedom to choose to live in this village for the rest of your life.

However, there are many things in life that you can only do in the moment.
I won’t tell you to force yourself to find something.
But at least make the effort to look.
You haven’t even tried doing that yet.
Search for your own potential.”

Potential, huh.

…… How am I even supposed to respond here?

“All I want is to just get by without being found by anyone, though……”

I hate being on the receiving end of attention, and I hate being conspicuous.
If possible, I’d very much like to continue living quietly in this village.

The next day.

Bright and early, the soldiers who came to conduct the Ceremony of Determination knocked on the door to my house.

“We did deliberate for quite a while, but…… we have determined it to be indeed ‘a magical Talent,’ so we are ordering Eil of Albat to present himself at the royal castle.
On authority of the king.”

At the very edge of his words, I can really tell how conflicted they had been.
But well, the final decision seems to be to bring me along.

Departure would be immediately after breakfast.
I would be riding the carriage that the soldiers took to get here.
On authority of the king.
On orders of a guy that I’ve never even seen before.

Two years ago, this was what happened to Sis.

But that time, the entire village came out to see her off.

In my case, the village do come out to see me off too, but everyone is still puzzledly going “Megane?” “Megane…?”

——And it is in this way that I leave the village that I had been born and grew up in.

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