Rose Ujetto yawned, a woman with deep crimson hair who sat in the main hall of the Titanomachy Bethel. The big doors of the holy place opened to admit a young man in a mostly black jacket over armor fit for battle, who carried a bag filled with materials from the abyss on his back.
Rose immediately got up and walked over. “Jomcara! Bring those stones over here; you’ve certainly gotten busy. How deep did you go?”
Jomcara gave the werewolf a large grin as he walked over and placed the stones on her desk.
“Yo! Isn’t it a blessing that you can’t get twice in a day to see a girl as fine as you Rose? I’ve even got a present to thank you for the pleasure: a lovely gift a bunch of monsters helped me make! Those shadows really know how to help a guy out. Anyway, I’ma need some advice on where to find a team ASAP.”
“Did those shadows get you so excited they managed to convince you to actually go deeper than you were allowed to? On your first day?”
Jomcara sucked in a breath and shrugged his shoulders.
“Ah. That. Well, I did tell you I was anything except an ordinary adventurer didn’t I? I mean, yeah my blessing is still basically new but Rose I’m no average man! I’ve had military training and I handled those monsters accordingly! There ain’t any reason to let a single lock of hair on a head as fine as your’s get out of place; that’d be a crime I couldn’t handle the penalty for. It’s not like I was crazy enough to go somewhere like Castamere on my first day right? I held myself back and only went crazy on the monsters I was sure I could handle.”
“Hmph. Your total is 467,890, and you can give your materials to the Amanhe. Jomcara, could I see you in one of the private rooms?”
He cringed before walking in behind her, with the other members of the bethel around them gossiping and giving him sorrowful looks. His ass was on the chopping block.
Inside the private room Rose was looking down on Jomcara with an ice queen look somehow even more intense once they were in private.
“You were warned what you’d face if you so much as sneezed outside of the first layer.”
“I couldn’t find anything worth it on the first layer! The monsters were all so weak and from what you said I knew their materials wouldn’t be worth enough.”
“Hm. More money above everything. Okay Jomcara I think you need-”
“ROSE! I didn’t run into a fight like an idiot.”
“Jomcara.” She said slowly as if she was talking to an idiotic 4 year old. “I understand. You have certain needs and those go above my advice and keeping yourself alive. It’s fine. It’s just the norm around here for several delvers. But my job is to keep you alive and if you aren’t willing to cooperate, then you need to go.”
The young boy began twitching and turning, squirming. Combat practice prepares you for a lot of things but how to deal with people apparently wasn’t one of them. Mentally saying ‘fuck it’ he ripped off his cloak and looked Rose in the eyes, deciding honesty was the only thing that could get him out.
She’d seen him before but looking at Jomcara again still made her jump in her seat and stare.
He might’ve been the same size as a Praugh but he sure as hell wasn’t one.
His hair was black as night but was splotched with white at the tip of every lock, with dots here or there regardless. Both of his eyes were deep ocean blue while instead of white the sclera of his left eye was amethyst. Literally. It nearly seemed like he had a gemstone instead of a normal eye around his pupil. Something in the water they must’ve fed him back home.
He had four silver horns pushing out of his skull; two curving over his head on top and the other two just jutting out on the bottom. He had a lizard’s tail that peeked out from underneath his cloak that ended in fluff that a wolf’s tail would normally be made of and his ears were a werewolf’s like hers. Snow white and tipped black as night. A sight to remember and with Rose suddenly mute Jomcara took the advantage.
“Rose, I understand what it means for someone to disobey orders in a battlefield. I get that. I know if I’d have taken more responsibility than I should’ve I would have been dead but you’ve got to believe me. I fought and beat people with a blessing more refined than mine. Even before I got my blessing in the army and I’m used to fighting monsters. I lured them into a trap and-”
Jomcara blinked in confusion. The hell is so interesting about that?
“…I lured them into a trap? I wasn’t about to fight any monsters before I was prepared, so I hid in an unoccupied part of the abyss and set up a trap before I lured the monsters in and-”
“Say it again.”
“Rose, what are you-”
“Jomcara. We’ve met each other literally only a couple of hours ago but just do me a favor and don’t ask questions. Just say that again. That you set a trap.”
That was the time to lay the pause button on things. Jomcara looked up into Rose’s eyes and found a gaze that was daring him to say anything else. But he noticed a light glaze over them too. Straining his senses to try and get a better read on her, Jomcara began to sense a strange…yearing, at his words coming from Rose. And doubt?
Is she…is she hoping I’m telling the truth? What?
“I scouted out the surrounding area and the ambush point without letting any monster or adventurer know I was there.”
“I helped save some adventurers during their fights when things got bad and let them keep the materials, while I cut off pieces of their clothing or equipment that was already ruined. I used it as bait in the ambush site and the monsters followed it to the attack point hook, line, and sinker.”
“The second they all gathered inside, I unleashed a massive AOE attack and lit them all on fire with a spell I’m quite fond of.”
“I imagine you rushed into the fire?”
“Oh hell no. I stayed hidden and only attacked the monsters that either escaped the attack or seemed to be unaffected for some reason. If any of them ran away, I let them.”
“Say that again.”
“If any of the monsters seemed to not be worth it…”
“If any of them survived the attack and seemed to be too much trouble to track down for some measly little materials over a fight I didn’t need to get involved in?”
“Spit it out.”
“I let them go. Oh, and I brought special equipment-above basic weapons and armor-into the abyss to increase the effectiveness of my attack and to help ensure my protection.”
“…right. We can keep up our relationship.”
Rose had her eyes closed when she said that. She fell back into her seat with a light gasp and released a sigh right after. Laying her cheek on her fist and examining Jomcara again, she looked much more relaxed.
He noted that she didn’t seem less serious when she was relaxed; just more accepting of the world around her. He’d hoped for something a bit more hopeful, but this was territory new to him; he felt like he was looking at someone a bit more personal than the old Rose and didn’t know how to handle that.
For her part, Rose just looked at Jomcara with an odd, searching look.
“I heard rumors about some strange blue light in the abyss and a lot of monsters screaming. That you?”
“Who else? I told you I’m an ace when it comes to magic and primacy.”
Rose tilted her head to the side and twitched her ears back and forth as she thought over things.
Damn, do you know what you do to me with a body like that and something adorable like that stacked together woman?! Thought Jomcara
Rose clicked her tongue. “Jomcara, you never told me your reason for gathering those materials. You said you have someone to support?”
“My mom. She’s pregnant and I brought her into Orario with what we have. I’m hoping to use the abyss to make a living for her and my little brother or sister.”
Rose closed her eyes again.
Jomcara left Titanomachy Bethel much richer than he left it. He thrust his head towards the sky with a smile and yelled out these words:
“Today is a good day!”