Chapter 58: Lost Heart 4 Part 1 | Re:Library

The human Giese, dog demi-human Jenney, and elf Stacy.
A group of young adventurers that left their respective hometowns and came to Ingralowe trying to make a name for themselves.

They had no outstanding talent or abilities, but they completed requests diligently, eventually becoming rank E adventurers.
It was not rare for adventurers who constantly relied on each other to stay alive daily to eventually fall in love.

That was the case with Giese and Stacy as well, eventually becoming a couple.
Jenney simply thought of them as his close friends, so he gave the couple his blessing.

Giese and Stacy thanked him, and began dreaming of their future together.
They would continue working as adventurers, climb their way up the ranks, have children one day, and form a happy family.
They were all baseless dreams, but no one had a right to criticize them.

All those plans and dreams were dashed by Stacy’s death, vanishing without a trace.
If she had died at the hands of a monster, that was just part of an adventurer’s life.
An accident or illness were part of regular life, which could also be mourned in peace.

But she had met a different end.
Stacy had been killed by the Heart Collector.
According to the guards’ investigation, her limbs had been cut off, her eyes smashed in, and once she reached the peak of her pain, her heart was gouged out.

Hearing that, Giese vowed something in his heart.

“I’ll make him feel the same agony.”

He would take revenge from the Heart Collector, an extreme decision, but also a natural one considering the situation.
He was not the only one who felt that way.

As the number of the Heart Collector’s victims increased, a wave of unrest spread through the adventurers.

Ingralowe was incredibly safe compared to other similarly large cities, and many adventurers had settled there, many of whom were known for being a restless bunch.
They zealously watched over their neighborhoods and friends, and many would refuse to remain silent if someone was harmed unjustly.
It was normal for some of them to organize search parties against criminals.

But no matter how experienced they were at fighting monsters or other adventurers, they were complete beginners when it came to criminal investigations.
They were dealing with a serial killer who had evaded the guards of essentially the entire country, so they had no chance at capturing the Heart Collector, leaving them to simply grind their teeth in annoyance, unable to find even a single clue.

Giese was different though.

“I can think of one suspicious person.”

There was this girl Mishella, who had once asked his party to protect her while gathering herbs in the forest.
They had kept in contact after the job ended.
She offered her help after hearing what happened to Stacy, and that Giese was hunting the killer.

“Who is it, Mishella?”

Jenney leaned forward even more than Giese hearing that, asking Mishella to elaborate.

“Do you remember him? That masked man we met in the forest? He appeared at the same time as the Heart Collector cases began.”

Hearing that, Giese and Jenney knew who she meant.

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A mysterious masked man that rescued them in the forest.
They thought he was a fellow adventurer at first, but after asking in the guild it turned out there was no one registered under that name.

When looking for more information on him, multiple other adventurers mentioned seeing him as well.
He always wandered around, killing any monster in sight, but he would seldom gather materials from the bodies.
It was almost like his only goal was to kill monsters.

On top of that, he had never entered the guild, making it extremely unlikely he was an actual adventurer.

What could he be then? The more they searched, the stranger things seemed.
And it all seemed to tie back to the killer of Giese’s lover one way or another.
Even if those threads were loose and there was no concrete proof, their desire for revenge clouded their eyes and made them take it as fact.

For them, the masked man was not a suspect, but their enemy they had to kill.
He was still being seen in the forest regularly.
It would not be too hard to catch him alone.

There was another issue though.
Could they take down the masked man at their current level?

They had seen him take down a Tyrannoghavial instantly, it had been a surprise attack, but that was still quite a feat.
Giese’s party had struggled against the Tyrannoghavial a lot, even with Stacy still alive and supporting them.
It would be impossible for them to defeat him in a fair fight.

“I have an idea.”

Mishella spoke again, having come up with a genius idea.

“Let’s lure some monsters from the forest to attack him.
We should have a chance once he’s tired from defeating the monsters.”

The two agreed with her idea.

The three would constantly wander through the forest until they found him, and this day they finally spotted the masked man.

Jenney would lure a group of ogres he ran into, while Giese and Mishella would set off monster repellent so no other monsters would get in the way.
Everything went according to plan, and the masked man engaged the ogres in combat, but the three were left speechless watching him fight the monsters.

They were low level ogres, but they were still rank D monsters.
Someone would need to be at least a rank C adventurer to take them down without effort.
There were some close calls, but in the end the masked man defeated all the ogres without taking a single major blow.

But they had gotten this far, they could not afford to give up.
Giese and Jenney finally had a chance for revenge1.


I turn around as I stand up.
The dog demi-human is glaring at me, his sword firmly grasped in his hand.
He had just attacked me.
Why’d he do that though?

“What’s wrong with you… are you low on calcium or something?”

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I say with a curt voice as I push myself up from the tree, but someone else replies.

“It’s your fault for being the Heart Collector.”

A man and a girl come out from the forest.
I remember the man, I had helped him from a Tyrannoghavial before.
Actually, the girl and the demi-human were in that party as well.
The elf magician isn’t here though.

“Oh, Giese was it? What is a Heart Collector? What are you talking about?”
“Don’t play dumb!”

The demi-human howls in response.

“You showed up at the same time as the Heart Collector came to Ingralowe.
We also asked in the guild but there’s no adventurer called ‘Reiji’ here.
You usually have to register in the guild to hunt monsters, even if it’s not your main occupation.
It’s easier to sell materials that way after all.
But you didn’t, you’re just trying to hide your crimes aren’t you?”

He’s speaking like a detective in some mystery story, but I don’t get anything? All I understand is that he’s mistaking me for some criminal.
Giese and the demi-human keep glaring at me, pointing their weapons at me, while the girl hides behind a tree afraid, but her eyes are glued on me.

“I still don’t get what the heck is going on, if you think I’m the Heart Collector or whatever, you’ve got the wrong person.
I can overlook a mistake-”

I feel a breeze against my face and a piece of wood flashes by my eyes.
Giese is pointing his spear at me.
I’m clearly out of range, so he had probably used a Spear Skill.

Play dumb as much as you want, we’ve already figured you out.”

Giese and the demi-human start running towards me.
I guess they don’t want to talk things out.
I quickly leap out of their path, stash White Viper into my magic storage since it’s out of bullets, and take Black Hawk out from its holster on my hip.

“I see.
I guess I’ll have to answer in kind then.”

If they don’t want to talk, then I won’t either.
At this point I have no choice but to designate them as enemies.

I pull Black Hawk’s trigger and a magic bullet pierces the demi-human’s shoulder.

“Ugh! This is nothing compared to Stacy’s pain!”

He groans at first, but he quickly recomposes himself.

“Exactly! She had to endure a lot more than this!”

Giese shouts as he brandishes his spear, winding it back.
His actual attack lags a bit.
And…now! I instinctively form a magic blade on my left hand, holding it right on the path of the spear, and an instant later there’s a high pitched sound.
My instinct was correct, he used a throwing attack.

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I guess the effectiveness of my gun depends on my distance from the spear.

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