Despite still haven't sorted every information in his exhausted brain into a comprehensive order, after gazing at the dying red sky Luke urged himself to walk his way home.
While his body was moving towards his destination, his mind was wandering around something else. After three years walking through the same path almost every day his body already has perfect muscle memory of what to do and where to go.
He walked through streets and alleyway in an autopilot.
He tried to recount everything that happened today in his tired brain, unfortunately, his tired brain refused to function properly. It was clear that the brain is demanding for a proper rest after such long periods of activity, but like an unreasonable tyrant, he pushed away his brain's woes and force them to work.
First thing first.
He can't find the origin of the magic pulse, but he instead found three peoples that were able to emit mana.
It was clear one of them was the culprit, and Luke especially suspected that the twin-tailed girl was the one that caused the magic pulse.
The fact that they're all emitting mana like a monster is strange for Luke, but he sees it with his very own eyes and must accept that reality. He read about humans who were capable of doing so, but they shouldn't be around anymore.
His boss never told him of anything about mages or the likes and all of his five years of working on this side he never saw human that emitted mana. So he concluded that mages were probably extinct along with the end of the age of Magus.
All his boss ever told him for the past five years was basically to investigate and exterminate everything that holds any magical presence. And it was very clear that those three has a magical presence.
Maybe it was just his boss being lazy as usual and simply never told him about mages still exists because she deemed it to be too much work to explain, which is possible.
Also unlike monsters he usually encountered before, their mana 'smell' different and quite varied from each other.
He can't explain it to people clearly, but all of the monsters he has encountered so far always has the same swampy earthy smell on their mana, a smell that already sticking to his brain.
The boy smells the thinnest among all of the three, the twin tails girl has a thick scent of really obnoxious perfume, while the brunette girl is somewhat similar to monster's smell but not quite close.
The problem why Luke didn't contact his boss is simple, what if order to kill was given when he was to inform her about them?
He doesn't want to kill people. Even humanoids monsters are a little bit too close to the moral line he arbitrary drawn.
Then again, what if they're actually dangerous entities and actually not telling his boss was actually a grave mistake...
A girl voice suddenly registered on his ear and got through to his brain. After a slight delay, he finally realized what was happening.
He found where was the voice coming from and found a little girl sitting on the ground right in front of him, it looks like she fell butt first after bumping into him.
Looking at her small stature he quickly judges that she is either on her early middle school or still an elementary schooler since she is wearing casual clothes he's not so sure, but his guess wasn't far from those two.
Maybe because he is tired plus his mind is occupied in deep thought, without him noticing he already bumped into a person.
Having a perfect awareness of his surroundings is probably one of the best things he can do, so he almost never been on this situation ever since he became a hunter.
I guess I really tired huh?
His mind might be not in the best condition but his body is still in the same shape as always, when his battle forged body crashed against the small girl, she is practically blown away.
This probably wasn't his fault since she was the one who recklessly running on the intersection, but still, he felt somewhat guilty about it.
Luke offers his hand to her.
"Are you alright? Can you stand?"
When the girl looks up she found what probably scariest person she ever met extending his hand towards her. Like a rabbit stared down by snake's eyes she's frozen in fear.
Unaware of the girl fear Luke suddenly remembered an old conversation between his boss and him.
"Lately you've become not very friendly looking aren't you?"
"That's so sudden, but are you really think so? I never noticed."
"Hmm, what about try smiling more Luke, that might help."
"I see, how about like this?"
After seeing his smiling face she didn't push this topic further, so he thought it was good enough, sadly he was unaware of his boss face filled with terror.
So he smiles at the little girl with good intention to be more friendly, but of course, that is not what happens. His savage smile is shaking her paralyzed body, a glint of tears could be seen on the edge of her eyes.
Luke was never a person who checked himself in the mirror and practically doesn't care about how lacking he is in term of neatness, on how he dresses himself or in general appearance.
Since nobody has ever brought this up to Luke, he never thought of it as an issue. They're too scared to do that.
Most importantly he is oblivious to one thing that stands out the most, and that is how intimidating his looks have become for the last five years.
Before he noticed, his sharp eyes that usually shows up only he went hunting monster stuck there permanently. To make it even worse, he was showing less and less emotion on his face and created an image of him being perpetually in a bad temper.
Perhaps it was almost unavoidable for him to be desensitized after years of continuous monsters slaughter, stressful times, and chronic sleep depravity.
Suddenly, Luke catches a fist. It was entirely out of reflexes as his danger sense kicked in.
It's a hard punch, perhaps one of the best punch he ever saw so far, but it wasn't fast enough. Though, realistically speaking there was no normal human that could deliver a punch that is fast enough for Luke to be unable to react to it.
Luke takes a side glance at his assailant and surprised at what he found.
It's a girl, but not just a normal girl, at least for Luke.
Her silvery hair was cut short and done into a boyish hairstyle. From hairstyle alone, she already gets high points from Luke. Also, her simple shirt along with denim hotpants fit perfectly to his taste.
His eyes wandering from her exposed healthy legs to her slightly loose t-shirt and finally found himself gazing into her burning orange eyes which was aware of his stare.
Without him noticing, he already leered at her body. He couldn't help himself, it was a woman of his fantasy in flesh.
Aware of his rather lascivious stare she feels disgusted and pulled her fist back
"G-get him, Lia! He wanted to kidnap me!"
So her name is Lia? Or rather I'm not a kidnapper.
Luke raised his hands and tried to smile as friendly as he possibly could, which only scare them both even more. In one sure word, his smile is straight terrifying.
Though for someone that's not truly scared of his terrifying visage such as Rellia, his failed attempt of creating a friendly facial expression is ended up more of a sneer rather than a smile.
"Excuse me, that's a misunderstanding."
Of course, Rellia takes none of that as a truth, or rather she feels like she is being mocked by his words and provoking a smile. Feeling challenged she readied her fist once more.
In her eyes, this man is trouble, which may or may not attempt to harm her master, but more importantly, she is convinced that this man is a killer, a cold-blooded killer. It was nothing but her gut feeling and didn't have any logical reason behind it, but after looking at his face and eerie aura around him she gets rid of her doubts instantly.
She's holding nothing back this time because now she readies her stance properly.
In a split second before he could say any other word another strike make its way to Luke's palm, this time it was noticeably harder and faster than before. Then another follows in a quick string of punches and kicks.
But as expected it was still not enough to overcome his superior modified body, a body that magically built to fight a monster. Their capacity as a fighter is all-around way too far from each other, the difference wasn't even laughable.
Luke still has a leeway to make sure he didn't hurt her when stopping her ongoing onslaught while thinking about how to stop this misunderstanding. He also wants to look more favorable in Rellia eyes when doing so.
Having a solid plan of conversations in his head, Luke stops his defensive and catches both of her arms. It was so quick that Rellia can't react to his movement.
"I'm sorry to cause a misunderstanding, but I mean no harm to this little girl."
With his utmost sincere Luke makes his words.
"We've bumped into each other and I extend my hand to help her stand, that's all, I'm not a kidnapper."
"... Is that right?"
Of course, Rellia didn't trust his word at all, but she asks her master nonetheless. The little girl albeit a little bit confused, she later nodded weakly.
Luke released her hands.
Rellia warily observing Luke's movement in case he is planning to do anything weird, which of course just her unfounded worry.
They both stared at each other for a few seconds before Luke breaks the silence.
"Since nobody gets hurt, I guess we can just walk it off?"
For some reason, she didn't apologize for misunderstood the situation as he imagined in his head and so the conversation was cut short because somehow the atmosphere became awkward.
With that, his planned dialogue with her come to the end.
Well, she's not a very friendly one, isn't she?
He then walked away from the two for several meters away and turn back.
"I don't think pretty flower such as you fit swinging her fist around."
In his mind that lacking any romance experience, this is his best attempt to create a makeshift romantic parting word. Which in his own opinion is not too bad.
Unfortunately, those words are nothing but insults and mockery for Rellia.
His encounter with the perfect girl of his dream ended up with making her thought of him as a nemesis.
What's with publishing my works on SH and me getting called for a job? Interview tomorrow. Might be no longer a NEET soon, which is bad for this web novel.