15 「Dubious Cabbage」
As the team gathered with Nphirea at the edge of the forest, not too far from Carne Village, Cipher and Ninya stared at the tall trees above. They weren't new to them, it was just surreal to look up and see rays of light cast down upon them.
In a way it was a tranquil feeling.
"We'll be entering the forest from here. Please guard me well," Nphirea took the attention of the adventurers who were there to guard him from the dangers of which were in the forest.
For the time being, they didn't hear nor see anything that could even remotely be considered a threat. Though it was also notable that there were no dear, hardly any birds either though they could be heard high up in the trunks of the trees.
Could it be there was some dangerous creatures down here on the ground? Or did all the deer sense their impending fates? Cipher made a lopsided grin as he looked over to Ninya and likely poked her cheek.
Almost jumping from the gentle poke, she looked over at him and allowed herself to giggle a tad.
"Well, I'm sure we'll be fine with Mister Momon here. And Cipher, kinda hard to forget him." Peter was confident that they wouldn't have any trouble considering they were surrounded by powerful beings.
"Um, Mister Momon," Nphirea who was holding onto the pack meant for the herbs on his back, turned to speak of the being whom lived in this forest. "If the Wise King of the Forest appears, please don't kill him. The only reason the monsters and wild creatures here haven't attacked Carne Village, is because it's his territory. So please, send him away without killing him."
"Huh?" The Adventurers found themselves a bit confused at this request. "That's impossible even for him." They were assuming that they weren't powerful enough to fight something so legendary.
Yet Cipher hadn't detected anything in the area which was so strong.
"Understood," Momon declared that he would do as the young man said.
"Huh!?" Lukrut's irsises constricted in fear for the powerful being who was accompanying them, "The opponent is a legendary magical creature that's lived for hundreds of years!"
Cipher just looked over at Lukrut, as his background has him over two hundred years old.
"Only the strong are allowed an attitude like that," Dyne surmised with a cheerful disposition, keeping his mace relaxed on his shoulder.
"So I have a suggestion," Momon interjected.
"Feel Free, Mister Momon." Nphirea smiled lightly.
"Nabe and Cipher can both use magic similar to Alarm, and I'd like the three of us to survey the area around here." He'd announce before looking over towards Cipher, giving a light nod.
"I don't mind," Nphirea kept his head up high with the basket pack on his back. "But please don't separate from us for too long. We might need you."
"Of course," Momon nodded to the man who had hired all of them.
Cipher watched as they began to walk away, before turning to Ninya and pecking her on the forehead like he had done before with the top of her head. "I'll be back," he gave her a lot poke on the nose before walking away.
Ninya stood there as she watched him disappear into the greenery which they had just been admiring not too long ago. She turned to her friends and smiled, holding her staff to her side as she walked with them in a slightly different direction from the players.
Secluded from the other adventurers, Nabe Momon and Cipher continued up rough terrain filled with roots and unidentified foreign herbs of another world.
As they continued to walk up hill, they came to a stop beneath a large tree.
"This area is good," Momon declared as he eyed their surroundings, with an oddly calm tone before shouting, "Now, lets talk about how to spread my great name!"
"Yes!" A high pitch voice returned a shout in kind.
This caused Nabe to summon lightning to her hand, causing her hand to glow a bright blue. Though it faded quickly the moment she noticed who it was. "Lady Aura, please don't scare me!"
"Sorry." Without much more of a notice, Aura, a small female elf dressed in a white and red suit came dropping from the tree top above. "And so I am here!" She continued with her shouting, putting her hands in the air energetically.
Cipher smiled down at the small being and placed a hand on the top of her head.
She started giggling wildly at the touch of his uncharacteristically soft hands, "Who is this?"
"When did you get here?" Nabe asked as she looked over her as her head was bobbing too and fro with the movement of Cipher's hand as he ruffled her hair.
"When you and Ainz first entered the forest."
"My name is Cipher, pleasure to meet you Aura."
"I didn't notice at all." Nabe was indeed surprised about this, not having noticed.
"Ooooh. You visited Narazick before," she appeared to have remembered his name, but not his appearance as the last time he was anywhere near here, he looked different. "Good to see you again!"
She seemed to be a cheerful bundle of joy. Too bad she had no moral compass whatsoever. She was more of the Evil type, the only authority recognized being the Supreme ones. "I look forward to working with you, Lord Cipher."
The girl seemed to be aware of the Status of the two guilds being merged together by a system organized pact. It was quite an interesting thing to see. The question was, how much did she understand of what was going to happen and what was happening to begin with.
"So, I need to find this Wise King of the Forest?" Aura looked up at the taller beings. "And send him to you, right?" Her arms were held out to her sides anatomically, grinning deviously.
"That's right. Can you do it?"
Cipher still hadn't stop ruffling the top of her head, and she just kept giggling.
"Tee-hee... Of course, I think I know who you're talking about!" She reached up and grabbed onto Cipher's wrist, though that didn't stop him from moving his hand about. "Come on, stop it~"
Twisting herself from the hold of his hand, she gave him a light shove before wadding backward. She wore this cheeky grin on her face before turning her head in the direction of the Wise King.
"I'll leave it to you then." Momon said with a light laugh, seeing Cipher sigh a bit.
"Yes!" Aura would leap off in the direction she was to go in order to gain the attention and lure out the Wise King of the Forest. She immediately bounced off one tree trunk, onto a thick branch, and finally she was gone as she faded away into the green.
"I guess I'll make my way back to the team," Cipher stated as he folded his arms behind his back. "Oh and for now on," Cipher looked over at Momon, "Call me Jack."
"Jack?" Momon raised a brow.
"My given name, Jack Graham."
Momon nodded slightly and smiled the best smile a Skeleton could give, "Alright Jack."
"I thought his name was Cipher," Nabe said as she blinked a few as he was leaving them, not understanding what he meant by given name. "Then what is the name Cipher?"
Momon just looked over at her, a figurative sweat drop forming.
"So what are you planning to do?" Nabe continued to question even though he didn't give a verbal answer. She just assumed it was something he couldn't explain to her for the time being.
"I will fight the Wise King of the Forest."
"Wasn't fighting the Ogres enough?"
He turned and began to follow after Cipher's general direction. "No. For spreading rumors of the adventurer Momon in Town, is on a different level than just killing Ogres in one hit."
Cipher had left the Lich behind and regrouped with the others as they were guarding Nphirea as he was collecting herbs. His eyes watched the little blond man for a few moments before glancing over to Ninya.
"I'm back~" He chimed as he walked towards her with his arms wide open until he heard sounds off in the distance. Unlike everyone else though, he was the only one to hear them. Two new beasts had appeared; using his powers of detection, he was sure it had something to do with Aura.
As he was distracted, Ninya came running into his arms, wrapping her arms around him. Her staff resting under his cloak and poking out at his side.
"Welcome.. back," her voice faded out and in before looking to the rest and scooting away from him swiftly. A small smile over her lips as she now held her staff behind her back.
"So what does the Wise King look like anyways?"
"I'm.. Not quite sure." Nphirea admitted which caused him to frown slightly at the boy.
"Then how are we supposed to identify it?"
"If its strong, legendary and mighty. Might as well assume it's the Forest King?" Peter questioned with a chuckle, trying to give Cipher a satisfying answer.
They both just ended up shrugging at one another and continued to watch over the budding wizard, alchemist and potion maker. The fact that he could use any magical item made him a threat, but also a very powerful tool if used in the right fashion.
Cipher himself even had some items which could boost his prowess, or anyone's prowess through consumption. He had bought thousands of Experience Potions when he wanted to make his guild larger until he learned of the game shutting down. So now these potions had any use until he came here.
Using them he was sure he could make these lesser humanoids even more powerful. Maybe even bring one or two of them to his level or just beneath.
He was also operating under the idea that he was functioning immortal, that he wouldn't die or perish from aging or illness, but instead until someone or something ended his life. That was due to his undead nature of course.
So if he was going to have a life with just about anyone, and make them powerful to boot, he was wondering if they would make the jump of faith and become the same as him.
His eyes were resting Ninya as he was letting these thoughts accumulate.
Then after a short while the ground began to shake and everyone was on alert. "What is that!?"
"Something big is coming this way!" Lukrut who had his head to the ground was getting up and everyone was readying to retreat.
"Please, leave the rest to us." A confident Momon stated, assuring them that they'd be able to escape.
As long as it wasn't a Dragon, Cipher was sure that he would be okay. There was no problems though since he was certain that the Wise King was definitely not a Nature Dragon.
"Please," Peter thanked him.
"We shall depend on you," Dyne added as the group began to shrink away, moving backward to get close to Nphirea so they could retreat together.
Cipher in turn took hold of Ninya's hand and smiled as he pulled her close, his other hand cupping her chin before suddenly vanishing with her into thin air.
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The group just shook their heads at this as they all made their way away from the general location and back to the village where they were sure it would be safe.
Cipher and Ninya resurfaced on the roof of one of the houses in Carne Village.
Standing there, she was staring up at him as they were in the same position as before. Her chin in his clutches and her hand wrist trapped in his. He was keeping her close, a smile across his lips. A daring one at that.
"J-j-jack!" Ninya sputtered and squirmed, "Ever-everyone can see us!"
Enri and Nemu was standing at the base of the house, staring up at them in surprise.
"Big sister, how did they get up there?" The little one pointed, bouncing in place, giggling a git.
"Magic I suppose?" Enri was a bit bewildered by the sudden appearance of the two adventurers. She gave a light wave before they vanished again only to appear standing beside them, still having not changed their stance.
"Jack!" Ninya squealed before Cipher snickered and pecked her nose as he'd be releasing her from his hold only seconds later.
"Oi..." Cipher couldn't help but pretend to be disappointed.
"Whatdoyoumean!?" Ninya whined out loud, squishing the words together, as he was now teasing her.