A Misunderstood Mentor – Chapter 4 – Good that you get it. That’s exactly right.
“Wait, it’s this loser?”
Reia became immediately incensed after hearing Noiria’s words.
“The insolence! Takumi is hiding his power. If he let out his true power, someone like you would be gone in an instant!”
Well, I always let out my full power. I still am letting out my full power, in fact.
It’d be me that’d get insta-killed.
“Then why don’t you show me your full power?”
Noiria’s white hair stood straight up from the pure might of the aura emanating from her, and the cave itself was shivering in fear. Now that the conversation had proceeded to this point, it was kinda hard to correct her.
The stew would be done soon. How great would it be if she just waited a little.
Ignoring reality, I continued ladling out the scum.
“Even in this level of aura, all he’s doing is skimming the stew!”
For some reason, Noiria sounded a little scared of my actions.
“Of course. Takumi has no need to care about any sort of aura you could produce.”
No wait, I’ve already given up.
I just wanted to eat my last meal.
Finishing taking the scum out, I added in some miso and covered the pot. It would be done in around a minute.
I had nothing to lose anyways, so I tried speaking to the black dragon.
“How about we first calm down over a meal?”
Noiria’s stomach grumbled.
And behind me, I could hear the sound of another stomach grumbling.
As if our stomachs were in a chorus, my stomach too began to grumble.
Perhaps I would get to eat my last dinner.
Captivated by the lavi stew, Noiria let out a deep sigh of contentment. The three of us were surrounding the campfire with the pot still sitting over it. Reia was next to me, and Noiria was across from me.
Reia exclaimed, “Delish, I’ve never had something so good before!”
“Can I get seconds?” asked Noiria.
“Go ahead!” I replied.
I didn’t know how much Reia would eat, so I made much more than I usually would.
Noiria was inelegantly slurping up the remaining broth in her bowl in anticipation for seconds.
“Rei, do you want seconds too?”
“N-No, I couldn’t possibly, how could I make you serve me the food; I’ll do it myself.”
“Enough about that, serving the food is the teacher’s duty.”
“T-Thank you very much.”
Reia and Noiria both enthusiastically ate the food I ladled out to them.
This time, it was Reia who let out a satisfied sigh.
“To think that there was such a delicious stew in this world. Holding not only the greatest power, but also the most talented chef. Your talents are truly frightening.”
“T-That’s not true. Shut up and eat, Rei.”
“Y-Yes, I’m sorry.”
Oh how I wished she would stop talking about my strength. For upon hearing those words of praise, Noiria took a look at me. I just wanted everyone to forget the violence after the meal and let me go to sleep peacefully. Well, it didn’t seem like that was going to happen any time soon.
I took a big gulp of the lavi stew. Delicious. Good food really does heal the mind and body.
The scum was removed, heaps of fresh vegetables were added in, a hint of miso used, and lavi meat rounding it all up. I might be a little biased saying it myself, but today’s stew was one of my greatest works. When I thought of how this was going to be my last meal, tears started to subconsciously well up and fall.
“Huh, Takumi, are you crying?”
“I’m not. The smoke is just getting into my eyes.
Before I finished eating myself, I helped Reia and Noiria to thirds.
“Hey, can I ask a question?”
I didn’t reply with the cliched “you just did” to Noiria’s request. I really wasn’t in the mood to do so.
“What is it?”
I thankfully managed to hide my fear and answer normally.
“Why do you pretend to be weak despite your strength? Grandpa Ancient Dragon hasn’t lost in thousands of years, even among dragons. But after you did him in, he’s developed some sort of trauma for humans…any mention of your species would cause him to start trembling.”
A-Alice, just what did you do to that poor dragon?
“I don’t understand why you’d hide your power even with such terrifying strength. That weak body, that slow and dimwitted-looking face, that aura comparable to the average goblin. I haven’t even met an adventurer that looks weaker than you.”
My tears, which had started to dry up, abruptly started dripping down again.
My mental health seemed to only be getting worse these past two days.
“Takumi, are you okay? Is it the smoke? I’ll fan you!”
Reia started to frantically fan away the smoke from my face.
I silently wished for her to stop. The fact that I was crying for real could be exposed.
“All my life I have believed that one must display their full power. But the strongest person I know was defeated by you. Please tell me. Why don’t you show your power?”
Hm, about that. Maybe because I didn’t have any power.
I wondered how easy it would be to just say that. If I did, I’d likely be obliterated by the hands of Reia and Noiria both.
“Ah, yeah, about that…”
“Do you still not understand, black lizard?”
Reia cut me off from the side.
“Tsk, black lizard.”
A vein popped on Noiria’s forehead.
I hoped for Reia to stop. All I wanted was peace and absolutely no provocation.
“Yes, black lizard. If you can’t understand why Takumi hides his power, you are nothing more than a lizard.”
The lizard was getting mad. Reia was truly amazing in a sense.
Incidentally, I also didn’t understand why I would hide my power.
“I understood it all the moment I hugged Takumi. If Takumi did release the entirety of his true power, the world would likely be destroyed.”
“To think that such strength would lie in this unassuming man…”
Reia was so wrong that I didn’t even know where to start retorting.
Just how exactly did she come to that conclusion?
“Ever since I was a child, I was made to learn the many secret arts my family possessed. During that processes, I bore through uncountable pain. And at the exact time I touched Takumi, my heart began to flutter. Even remembering it causes my body temperature to rise. This is a sign that Takumi’s true power was on the verge of annihilating me.”
Reia clutched her chest as if she was in pain.
But what the f*ck did the “heart fluttering” “body temperature rising” have to do with me?
It was obviously some kind of disease. I made a mental note to bring her to see some medical attention.
“What a frightening power.”
Noiria looked at me like I was some kind of monster.
Though, really, I was just about as strong as a goblin. Really.
“Do you understand now, black lizard? Takumi can’t reveal his true power because we are just weak and naive babies to him. If you even want to see a single speck of his true power, get stronger. Takumi’s back says it all.”
Reia looked at me, as if asking “Am I right?” while looking very smug and proud of herself.
She couldn’t be any further from the truth, but I repeated the words I felt like I said a thousand times before.
“Good that you get it. That’s exactly right.”
After that day, a rumor would spread that I had chased away a black dragon without lifting a single finger.