Chapter 22: Evan D. Sherden, Growing Up (1)
Evan D. Sherden, Growing Up (1)
Nowadays, everything was going smoothly, but Evan had a problem. Through constant efforts over the past few months, Evan managed to match the speed of his hands’ popping slime. The strength of the right hand, which was insufficient until now, had somehow increased and became equal o the left hand.
Moreover, as a result of his increasing strength through constant grip training and weight training, he was able to level up his body to such extent that it only took 1 second from the summoning of the slime to their squishy extermination.
However, the problem started there.
“This is creating so much irrelevant sound,” Evan thought.
After Evans’s 10th birthday, he could barely find time out of the nobleman’s etiquette classes. He also couldn’t find a way to get rid of the slimes’ noise when they died!
“Master, if you’re bothered by it, I’ll stomp my shoes every time you kill a slime.”
“That is a stupid idea! No one will be fooled by it!”
“Sorry, Young Master.”
Evan dismissed the suggestion put forward by Shine. Belois, who was standing still next to Evan, was watching them with her eyes wide open.
Suddenly her blood-red eyes flashed, “I will make a sound every time a slime pops!”
“Well… Thank you, Belois. But every time you make a strange sound, I’ll be more worried about you than my slime training…”
“I don’t care about my reputation, Master.”
“If you don’t quit it, you will lose something much more precious than your reputation.”
“….I’m sorry for annoying you, Master.”
When Belois’ offer was rejected, she bowed slightly and stepped back. Evan saw that she looked crestfallen and upset.
“Belois has grown remarkably over the past year, with both maid education and magical training. She has grown up well…” Evan thought. Looking at her right now, Evan had some concerns regarding her gratitude, and he wondered if her loyalty to Evan might have grown in a somewhat contradictory direction. “This must be Maybell’s doing!” For the first time ever since he had been her Master, Evan decided to punish her someday.
“But I’m afraid of her. Moreover, I should be cautious about revealing my slime training to her. I already have my suspicions that she will catch me at it one day with the way things have been.” Evan shuddered at the thought of it. “There is a tremendous difference between having awareness about what you are doing and actually summoning and popping those little slimes. It would be tiresome to explain it to her…. which means it will be better for all if it remained a mystery.” Evan concluded.
“To get rid of the noises produced by the dying slimes, there’s no other choice but to acquire such power that you kill them instantly, Master.”
Evan’s eyes inevitably shone at Shines’ sincere words. “Nobody except you know about my training right now, so I’m sure you’re helping me out of faithfulness. I have been diligently practicing in front of you for the past year, constantly killing slimes, but I’m still not good enough, and you realize that” Evan thought in admiration.
“And If that is correct, haven’t you realized what you have to do to level up, Master? You have to go the dungeon…”
“No. Of course, I’m ready to go there, but you are not,” Evan replied abruptly. He had been anticipating this suggestion and rejected it.
Immediately, Shine’s mouth popped open.
“But why are you not allowing me to go with you, Master?” he inquired.
“I have already told you that it’s too early for you right now. Besides, there are two more years left until the time we go there, as I promised. We have to prepare step by step.”
“But still, Master, I got a lot stronger than before!”
“You still have a long way to go, Shine.” Evan laughed.
As Shine said, both of them had grown dramatically over the past year.
“Of course, it was true that they had leveled up and were comparably powerful than before thanks to their own consistent hard work, but it was also because both Belois and Shine had received the highest level of education from the butler and the maid. At the same time, they were perfectly trained according to their aptitudes. But it was still not enough to go wandering into the dungeons. They had just gotten a little stronger, that was all.
“You should be grateful for the fact that as a child, you have still surpassed all your peers by regularly doing training and catching up to me,” Evan tried to cheer him up.
“I’m not complaining Master. How can I even dare to complain before you? It’s just that I am currently not helpful to you with this much power anywhere, and I really want to be…” Shine replied.
“Shine listen to me carefully. The dungeon is a perilous place where even well-trained soldiers have died for being careless. I have even seen Knights die on the first floor of the dungeon,” Evan tried to bring some sense into him.
“How does a 10-year-old know so much about the dungeon?” Shine stood silently before Evan without refuting it. He knew that his Master would never lie to him about this. If Evan said that he saw Knights die on the first floor, then it was the truth, and the dungeon was really a treacherous place. “Of course, it might be a result of not being vigilant enough… But even then, if trained Knights have died off-guard, how could I even begin to survive there?” Shine thought resentfully.
“When the time comes, you will have to go to the dungeon even if I hate that thought, Shine. Your newcomer is a race that grows in the dungeons,” Evan spoke to Shine.
“But now is not the time. There is still a lot of room left to improve your skills here. Double swordsmanship is just above the beginner level. At the very least, it’s for starters.”
“…. That is true Master.” Shine replied, his shoulders drooping after hearing that.
Evan saw he had upset him with his words. “Shine, you don’t have to be impatient. You’re already growing at a swift pace.” Evan patted Shine on the shoulder and smiled. Then he reminded himself he couldn’t smile and tried to hide it. Every time he faced Shine or Belois, he couldn’t help smiling. The same was true with Grandpa Bernard. “I just want to make sure that everybody is safe, so when the time comes, and everybody is ready, we’ll go there together…. Can you wait until then? Evan asked him politely.
“Of course, Master.” Shine eventually nodded and stepped back courteously.
Evan’s trust in him was never shaken for even a single moment from when he first met him. However, it is common for people to lose the will to grow indefinitely after achieving just a few attainments and skills. They seem to forget their position, emotions, and destiny.
Shine was grateful to Evan, who had woken him from his arrogance by pouring cold water all over it.
“Shine, you have to be steadier,” Belois spoke all of a sudden.
“You’re only eight years old, what do you know?” Shine retorted. He became furious at her words. However, Belois only sneered at him. She was laughing at him, and her black hair, which had grown to her neck, seemed to laugh and sway with her. It was an expression an eight-year-old wouldn’t typically have.
“Is it because she received her education directly from the maid? But then Maybell, who is only six years older than Belois, is completely different than her… How can this difference be explained?” Shine murmured to himself.
“Master, did you call me?” Maybell suddenly appeared.
“No, Maybell, I didn’t call you,” Evan said exasperatedly.
“That’s weird. I thought I heard my name.”
“What the hell is wrong with you…” Shine exclaimed.
Maybell was praised by the butler for her stealth abilities, which he referred to as ‘Young Shin(the body of a butler moving sneakily like a shadow)’ , but what was inexplicable was that. Maybell’s movements were even more surprising than he had imagined!
“Maybell, why are you here?” Evan asked her.
“Master, I just came to tell you that you are still as cute and handsome as always!”
But even more surprising was Evan’s ability to stay calm at Maybell’s sudden appearances as he wasn’t shocked anymore. It was a result of countless hours of summoning slimes and crushing them. At some point, Evan had stopped slime training because of her appearing out of nowhere. Anyway, Maybell wasn’t a great maid, but she could be trusted with his secret slime training after all, as she wouldn’t tell anyone.
“Here’s this week supply of poisonous and medicinal herbs. This is enough, right, Master?”
“Yes, it is. Thank you.”
By the time Maybell was able to discern between the different herbs by using only her eyes, Evan had begun teaching her how to combine poisonous and medicinal herbs in tea… He also shared and taught his own blending pattern to her.
The poison tolerance of a body does not evolve if you drink only one kind of poison tea. It is necessary to change the pattern with which the tea is made, periodically.
“And Sir Bernard has requested more pharmacists. It seems like Hannah’s skill has also gradually improved.” Maybell informed Evan.
“Alright. Then we need to hire another one. We will make him assist Sis Hanna.”
“Yes, I’ll deliver your message to Mr. Bernard. Other than that, I am also reporting to the Marquis and taking action on his orders. Furthermore…” Maybell went on.
Evan listened to Maybell’s report and gave appropriate instructions on matters that required his decisions. Without being repeated twice or three times, the briefly organized report refreshed even the listener’s head.
As Maybell began to help in the business activities, she became Evan’s eyes, ears, and sometimes mouth. Evan stayed in the mansion, and although he knew that she was competent from before, she was motivated than ever, which had resulted in excellent results beyond imagination. At times, other people coveted her position. But Maybell refused to change her position, always saying that she wanted to serve Evan….
“He’s even more than a manager than me,” Maybell thought. His ability to judge situations and make decisions skillfully amazed Maybell at first. But she was getting used to it by now.
For reference, in the first few months after the Brotherhood Pharmacy was launched, Evan’s elder brother Eric took care of most of the business. But when he saw the pharmacy was in a stable situation and was gradually progressing with Evans’s abilities, he immediately left the management. He was a really good older brother who protected Evan under his own name and also didn’t interfere with his rights or enforce any orders.
“By the way, Master, why are you worried?” Maybell asked Evan.
“Are you reading minds again!”
“I just noticed your anxious expressions, Master!” On Maybell’s questioning, Evan finally gave in. After she finished giving her report, Evan laughed and explained the situation. After hearing everything intently, she looked up.
“If the attack power is insufficient, can’t you use weapons to increase it, Master?” Maybell asked, hopefully.
“What kind of weapon is useable even after being crushed by hands?”
“Are there any artifacts then that can increase the strength of your hands just by wearing it?”
“There should be such an artifact…”Evan jumped up. In his mind, he remembered something bleakly, “Why didn’t I think about this until now?”
“There are. There definitely are artifacts in this world that enforce power. They should be available, and if they are, you’ll be able to get them easily…!”
“But why haven’t we found or purchased such a great artifact until now? It’s not like we lack money.” Shine said ridiculously to which Evan replied with a deep sigh.
“Because these artifacts are not very famous. Their existence itself can become known only if you try to search for them carefully and specifically. Other than that, no one knows about them, and they are tough to find.”
And suddenly he remembered, ”But there is also that artifact!”
Evan trembled as he recalled one of the worst events of Yo-Ma Great War 3, commonly referred to as the ‘blood-stained fist calamity’.
The event is none other than the one which starts with Evan. Although there many prerequisites, it is an event that occurs randomly when the protagonist gets close to Evan to some extent. If you set it according to the protagonist’s birthday, Evan brings you a pair of black leather gloves stained with blood. He claims that he got it from a bar owner he knows.
“After wearing this, you will feel a lot of strength! I brought them as your birthday present!”
You have the option to either accept or decline to receive the gloves from him. But when you choose to accept them, the result is the worst.
When the protagonist receives the pair, he wears it immediately.
Even swinging the fists weakens the wearer strangely. The intended skill does not come into effect either. And of course, the protagonist dies. Evan becomes sad and mourns for the death of the protagonist, and it all ends the same way it always has. Evan is stabbed by a knife from a monster approaching him from behind.
On the other hand, If the protagonist does not receive the gloves, Evan wears them himself. Even after memorizing and muttering the spell, it does not trigger the effect intended. The protagonist, who needs timely support from him, dies without his help, and Evan also ends up being dead in the end.
“Whatever you do, the ending to that scenario is the same. In Yo-Ma Great War 3, it was considered as one of those events that shouldn’t be triggered at all costs. That is why I had forgotten about it!” Evan thought this was the reason he didn’t come up with this idea earlier.
The artifacts which Evan found certainly increased the strength of the wearer profoundly. But the problem was that this only happened when the wearer was not wielding any weapon while wearing those gloves. And if he is holding a weapon while wearing them, the wearer will not be able to fully utilize that weapon’s ability. This was the reason the protagonist couldn’t swing the sword properly, ultimately leading to his death.
Evan could not use the spell because he could not remember what it was. It wasn’t a curse but because it was the default option, it couldn’t even be known in advance.
“But…. In my case, I can use it!” Evan thought excitedly. “If you wear them and are not using any weapon, they can prove to be the best artifact for slime training! There no drawbacks to this idea as you won’t get sick either! One of the worst artifacts just became the most useful and effective for my slime training!”
Evan stood up and clenched his fists, “Let’s go shopping!”