"Est, can you accomplish this task?"
"Good." A woman who seemed to be in her early thirties nodded her head. "Your father is expecting great things from you. Don't let him down."
"I will do my best, Mother," the boy looked up at his mother with a serious gaze. "I will not let you and father down."
The woman sighed and pulled the boy in her embrace. She then brushed his head affectionately for a time before letting him go.
"Nana, Herman, I leave Est in your care." The woman looked at her two loyal retainers. "Make sure that he returns safe and sound from his mission."
"Yes, My Lady."
"By your will, My Lady."
Ten minutes later, a wooden carriage made its way outside of the city walls and traveled into the darkness of the night. Their destination was the Holy Temple. The young boy looked outside the carriage window as they left the glorious city behind.
'Don't worry, Father, Mother, I will complete my mission,' Est vowed as he looked at the stars in the distance. 'You Excellency, Lady Astrid, please, watch over me.'
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"Brrrr! The water is so cold!" William shivered as he washed his face using the water in the river. He just woke up a few minutes ago, and decided to wash his face in order to remove the last dregs of sleep in his system.
Ella walked beside him and gave her morning greeting.
"Good morning, Mama Ella."
After their daily greeting, William took out a wooden bowl from his storage ring and milked his Mama Ella. Although he was already ten-years-old he still drank her milk everyday. Why? Because Ella's milk is delicious.
Also, Ella would nag at him if he didn't drink her milk on a daily basis. William could drink it directly from the source, but he decided to use a cup instead. Ella didn't seem to mind this change in her baby's routine. The only thing she cared about was whether or not William drank her milk.
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'I still don't understand why this quest still works up to this day,' William mused as he looked at his notification window.
Back when he was still a baby, he depended on this daily quest in order to gain some exp. Now, this notification reminded him of the time when he was still a weak and feeble baby that could only stay still and wait to be fed on a daily basis.
A nostalgic smile appeared on William's face as he remembered the shenanigans he and Ella had during his childhood. He was about to go into a daze when he felt a wet sensation on his cheeks.
"Sorry, Mama Ella," William apologized as he caressed Ella's Neck. "I was reminiscing about the past."
"Un, the time when I was still a baby."
"Time flies so fast. Everything that happened was like yesterday," William closed his eyes as he hugged Ella's neck. "I'm very lucky to have you, Mama."
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"Meeeeh." Ella closed her eyes and pressed the side of her face on William's cheeks. The mother and son pair stayed like this for a few minutes. They only stopped when they felt the other goats starting to stir from their slumber.
William prepared a small fire where he warmed his breakfast and Ella's milk. Ella and the other goats drank from the river and munched on the grasses until they had their fill.
After eating their breakfast, William, Ella, and the goats continued their journey.
It had been three days since they left the town of Lont. So far, they hadn't encountered any bandits or any roaming monsters along the way. However, they did see several ruins as they journeyed towards the Holy Temple. These ruins belonged to towns and villages that used to thrive in the Western Region of the Hellan Kingdom.
When William passed these villages and towns, the young boy would spend a few minutes offering a silent prayer to the people who had died in the incident. As someone who had memories of his reincarnation, he knew that these people would also be given another opportunity to live their lives all over again.
The only difference was that they would no longer remember anything about their past lives.
"I pray that all of you find happiness in your next life," William prayed as he knelt on the ground. "May your days be beautiful and bright."
The goats stood still by his side as they looked at the ruins. They didn't make any noise and waited for William to finish his prayer.
It was then when he heard the sound of a carriage being pulled from behind him. William didn't move and continued to pray. He didn't feel any malice coming from the carriage, so he decided to continue his prayer.
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The boy thought that they were just travelers who were passing by, so he just ignored their presence.
When William finally finished his prayer, he was surprised to find out that the carriage had stopped a few meters away from him. The boy frowned and looked at the goats. For a moment, he thought that the goats were blocking the way so that the carriage was forced to come to a stop.
Seeing that his herd was standing in a neat row and away from the main road, the worry in William's mind disappeared. The boy looked at the carriage and noticed a middle-aged man seated on the coachman's seat smiling at him.
"Lad, are you familiar with this place?" a middle-aged man with graying hair asked.
"Sorry, but I'm not a local of this area," William replied. "I am just passing through and saw these ruins."
"I see." The man nodded his head in understanding. "Then, can you tell us where the Holy Temple is located?"
"You're also on your way to the Holy Temple?" William smiled. "What a coincidence. I am, also, headed towards the Holy Temple."
"Oh? Have you been there before, lad?"
"No. This is the first time I traveled outside of my hometown, but I have a map with me."
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"Can I have a look at your map, kiddo? I just want to know the general direction of the temple."
William walked towards the carriage while pulling out the map from his storage ring. He handed the map to the middle-aged man in a very friendly manner.
"Kid, you shouldn't trust others too much," the middle-aged man said with a serious expression. "What if I'm a bad person? I might just snatch this map and leave you behind."
"My goats are a good judge of character," William replied. "Since they're not making any ruckus then that means that you are not a bad person."
"You trust your goats that much?"
"I trust them with my life."
The middle-aged man didn't know if he should laugh or cry at the little boy's naivety, but William's carefree attitude left a good impression on him. The middle-aged man nodded his head a few times as he examined the map.
It had been many years since he had been to the Western Region and the recent calamity had drastically changed the scenery. The landmarks he remembered were no longer there, so he was having a hard time finding the road that would lead him to the temple.
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Fortunately, he sensed William from afar and decided to head in his direction. His gamble paid off and he was rewarded with a map that would lead him to their destination.
"Thank you," the man said as he returned William's map. "You said that you are also traveling towards the Holy Temple, why don't we travel together?"
"Fate has brought us together," William commented. "I will accept your offer to travel together. The more the merrier."
"Hahaha! You are an interesting kid."
"Not only interesting, but handsome as well."
"Guahahahaha! What a chap, I like!" the middle-aged man gave William a thumbs up.
William grinned and mounted his Mama Ella. The middle-aged man was a very social person and he kept on chatting with William as the carriage and the herd of goats traveled side by side.