"I'm sorry for being late. Let's go."
When he talked to Sunz waiting outside the accommodation, Sunz shook his head and began to take a more comfortable step ahead.
"Come to think of it, what should I call you?"
"Just call me Yuder."
"Alright, Yuder. Please call me Sunz, too."
Sunz grinned, saying, "I don't like being called a position because it's difficult."
"I've been stuck here for two years, and it's nice to have a new friend."
"You've been here since the Red Stone fell?"
Yuder decided to ask questions while he was at it. Sunz gave a relaxed answer.
"Sort of. Originally, I was in the Southern county of Gulcan under Airic. But after the incident, all the troops nearby were called up. After that, the numbers gradually increased, and General Gino came a few months ago."
"You must have been bored."
"It's both true and false. I still use my Awakening abilities when I'm bored these days. Time goes by so quickly when I work with the new Awakeners."
"It's better this way than to work in the frontier and face a life threat on a war day," said Sunz. But Yuder found something unusual in his words.
"Does that mean there is a constant Awakening among the soldiers?"
"Yes. Isn't that the case in other parts of the country?"
That would be the case on a regional basis. But it wasn't as common as Sunz said.'... Is it because they are close to where the Red Stone fell?'
Yuder thought it would be a pretty likely guess. After the fall of the Red Stone, Awakeners began to emerge throughout the continent, but the largest number came from the Orr Empire.
And among them, the percentage of central regions was high. It was quite a significant proportion considering the stretch of Airic Mountains where Red Stone fell across the central region.
Assuming that any force emanating from the stone existed, the soldiers who have stayed here for two years were the ones who have encountered it the most.
It occurred to him that the constant Awakening here could be some proof of the stone's power.'Did Kishiar from the previous life know this?'
Yuder quietly organized his thoughts and followed Sunz to the center of the village where resting soldiers were gathered.
Unlike a small village, there were many tall people who were far from the villagers at a glance, where bars, restaurants, and shopping streets were well prepared.
"Yo! Sunz, are you done?"
"Yeah, but where's the Emon over here?"
Those still playing cards at the outdoor table waved at Sunz. When Sunz asked back if the one he was looking for was there, someone answered loudly while pointing to a nearby building.
"He's not having fun playing cards at the bar over there."
"That's what they say so. Let's go."
Yuder followed Sunz to the bar. It was still a time when the sun hadn't set, but the inside was quite crowded. Sunz explained that there was nothing to do, so they often gathered here and talked regardless of time.
"It's a bar only by words, but they usually sell food and drinks during the day, too."
As he said, most of the men in sunny seats were drinking with boring faces. Not alcohol, but ordinary drinks.
Some people inside saw Sunz and greeted him pretending to know him again. Sunz gave a brief explanation, accepting their greetings.
"He Awakened a year ago. His ability is to become strong like a bear. The one over there, too. Was it the ability to jump as high as the ramparts......?"
Most of those introduced in that way had the ability to strengthen the body. Yuder looked closely at their faces in case any of them had caught him in the past, but he could not find any.
"Oh, and there's Emon. He's the one who works with me the most. He has a rough personality, but he's not a bad friend. Emon!"
"Oh, Sunz. you're finally here."
The man playing a dice game with others inside the bar raised his head. He was one of the men who pretended to know Sunz on his way to the accommodation.
"But who's behind you? I've never seen him before...... A new recruit?"
"No. He's one of the people I dropped off."
The face of a man named Emon looked surprised as if he didn't think he was the same person as before because he wasn't wearing the uniform.
"Oh, I see. I'm sorry I didn't recognize you. What brings you here......?"
"I asked him to look around here. I will be right back after this." (Yuder)
He answered with no intention of making them uncomfortable, so it was okay to pay attention. Emon looked at Yuder with a strange look on his face for a moment, then he nodded and turned to the dice game.
"Emon's ability is......."
When Sunz opened his mouth to explain Emon's ability, suddenly there was a loud noise from the back. The bar owner with a tray piled up like a mountain appeared.
He put a tray on the table of those playing dice and smiled nicely.
"This is the snack you ordered earlier. Eat while you do it. We also tore dry beef jerky for free."
"You're the best!", "I like the sausage made by the owner here the best."
Those playing dice cheered in unison and touched the tray. In an instant, the number of sausages was decreasing one after another, and the dice game took a short break.
Yuder saw Emon stepping back a few steps, taking a small cloth bag out of his arms and filling the dried scented cigar leaves in an old portable pipe. He didn't seem to have anyhow.
After a while, a flinty little spark caught fire inside the pipe. A fragrant yet acrid smell spread through the smoke.
"That's what Emon can do. He can make sparks. It's unusual among the Awakeners here."
"... I see."
Emon turned his head, showing that he heard the sound as Yuder nodded.
"What, you're not just here to look around, you're here to look at the Awakeners?"
"He's just like us. I was just explaining because he said he was curious."
Sunz answered first before Yuder came forward. Emon was fortunately not too curious about Yuder's identity.
"Oh, really? Then you've also seen that there aren't any men of great abilities here. I can only make enough flames to light a pipe."
When Emon smirked and raised his index finger, a small spark burst on it. Yuder looked at it and opened his mouth.
"The flame, can't you keep it?"
"I can't. It might've been more useful if I could, but I'm satisfied that I can enjoy the freedom to smoke cigar anytime without fire."
"But it's still a good ability. If I work with Emon and climb the mountain for a patrol mission, at least I won't be cold all night for not being able to make a fire." (Sunz)
"Yes, and thanks to you, I'm glad we can avoid monsters and predators at night. That's about it."
Emon smiled gently at Sunz's praise and shrugged up and down again. Sunz burst into laughter.
And Yuder's eyes as he watched them sank coldly.'They don't have any idea of what they're capable of.'
Yet this world didn't know any of the possibilities and characteristics of Awakeners' abilities. Even the Awakeners themselves didn't know.
Awakeners' ability didn't stop, but was given endless growth opportunities according to the development of the owner. Even if it was considered a small ability, it could be developed into a strong one depending on how the owner trained.'In addition, most people have useful enough abilities even if they don't develop it.'
The soldiers introduced by Sunz usually had physical strength.
The things to fight here were to deal with beasts and monsters that sometimes went the wrong way, so it would have been rarely used. But that ability was worth it when you go to the battlefield. Explosive growth was also expected.'So does Sunz's vision ability. So far, it seems to be visible regardless of obstacles or day and night, but that alone could have a great advantage in combat. The direction and potential for development are enormous.'
Emon's flame was similar. Now, the size was small and the duration was instantaneous, but instead, it had the advantage of creating flames immediately regardless of location whenever the owner wanted.
There were also members of the Cavalry dealing with flame properties, but most had the disadvantage of taking a long time to recall or having poor retention.
In that sense, Emon's flame was a very useful ability to engage in close combat against the enemy and attack them at the same time.