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Chapter 5 ~ Journey ④ Inago Invasion
“The number of carriages is increasing again.”
Ellie said that from here on things will get more dangerous.
The nearer we get to the Demon World, the lesser the number of humans around, to the point of extremely low. In short, we’ve reached the border.
The highways pass through a deep, deep forest, and visibility is very bad.
This is the seventh day of our trip.
The number of carriages has doubled compared to the original number that we have when we started at the first town. Others merchants keep joining in.
The number of escorts also increased together with the number of carriages, so there is no extra burden. From now on, our carriage is at the front.
That means, if we encountered demons; we are going to be the first to face them.
“Although originally, we’re not supposed to do anything unless it’s an emergency, I felt like we’ve done a lot of things.”
“If something happens, then we’ll all get involved. That’s why it’s more convenient to do it since the beginning.”
Ellie is right.
Even if the monsters are Orcs, it is impossible to fend them off all the time for an ordinary party. But if we are together, then we can come out unscathed.
Much less a danger zone like this. There are talks about a party of merchants that went missing completely without leaving a single trace behind. If you have a strong party then it’s fine to make them an avant-garde. If it’s possible, I want to leave the role to someone else.
“Experience points are important.”
“That’s right. And it’s already been a while!”
Tilika and Ellie are fully motivated.
Up until the subjugation of the thieves, Tilika still need some more points in order to level up, but as for Ellie, she already accumulated enough to learn Level 5 Space Magic. I’ve sensed demons during the night we were staying in the house, but a battle never happened.
I also want experience points. The same goes for money.
But, there are still another week left for this journey. I’m getting tired of thieves that we’ve encountered for these past days.
“【Heal】. Alright, let’s do our best today too!”
Right. Last night I was full in spirits, I thought that I’m going to get exhausted today.
No, I don’t think that it was too bad overnight. We got extra income. We stayed at a better accommodation, and more interaction time for me with all them. And many more.
Just like we’ve discussed before departing, there will be no more scouting.
It’s somewhat a good idea, since it’s better to not disperse our forces in this danger zone.
Though limited, I and Sati still do some reconnaissance. Not only that, I also have Tilika to send out her Hawk, trying to expand the range of our reconnaissance. We managed to find some prey along the way.
All the demons that we’ve found were annihilated. We got a bit side tracked but still, we killed them all.
Fortunately, we didn’t encounter another thief after the last one. The surrounding place is filled with demons. This area is too dangerous to become a thieves working ground.
Initially, the atmosphere among us was quite heavy when the new escorts joined. Even though we’re B rank, our appearance doesn’t show much.
B rank? Joined the dragon suppression mission once? Isn’t that the one where you shoot magic together with another 20 people? Is it really fine to leave you at the front line? Just like that it seems that our ability is being doubted.
If we truly have the ability to overwhelm a dragon, then our name and reputation will grow, yet we’re still unknown. Our ranks had also risen. But our party just consisted of a leader who looks like a high school student, and four girls. There is no actual reason to be worried whether we are counted in as actual main fighting forces or not.
I don’t care much about it. If they ask to prove anything, then we can fight a battle or show something. Heck, I’m rather glad that they thought that we’re weak, and not counted on so much.
There are Rank Cheaters. Those people are adventurers who have a rank higher than their skills denotes. When fighting in raid party, there were times when we’re allied with a strong member, and as a result the achievement is reflected on ours as well.
Of course, the guild side does exact judgment for individuals perfectly to prevent it, but it can hardly be said that it can be completely prevented. A Truth Official is only located in a big town guild like Siory Town.
It is said that the outward appearance of an adventurer should match their rank, and each adventurer is familiar with that. Although Rank Cheater rarely happens, if a monster appeared, they are still going to fight together. If the guy who’s happened to be involved in defeating a dragon turn out to be useless, then some lives might be lose.
It is possible to check our strength, but in my mind, I would like to avoid that if possible.
There is also a case where I got to fight with Fabio-san before our first departure, I asked Ellie if that is about the Rank Cheater as well.
It was when I came back after finding the Orc Settlement during the afternoon on the day we left the town, while resting up.
I joined Norman-san during our break at the resting point, and explained to him regarding the position and number of Orcs at the Orc settlement. The leaders of other escort parties were trying to find faults in my finding.
“Is what you said really true?”
I can’t get away from the merchant groups for too long, that’s why I return back quickly. My new formation is that I’m going to bring together with me, three people flying, chanting while entering the site and releasing upon contact. Before we know it, the Orcs were obliterated.
It’s the first time I combined advanced reconnaissance ability, air battle capability and high fire power.
They were a distance between them and the main road, and I judged that there will not be any hazard towards the merchant; therefore the merchant group is not required to stop. I returned to tell them that I’ll beat all of the demons. He can’t believe it when I said that I have taken care of 80 Orcs.
“It’s the truth.”
Tilika says it shortly.
Like usual, Tilika position as a Truth Official are hidden, and only the merchants from the first day knows about it, not those who joined later half way. That is because it is a profession that is often misunderstood with the general public as well as feared.
“It is really close to the town. I’m glad that we managed to defeat it.”
“But to think that there is Orc Village in such location, etc.…….”
This person is an active adventurer based at the departing town. If there really is an Orcs settlement so near with the town, things won’t be as calm.
“Ah, geez. Masaru, show them ‘that’.”
I wondered if I really should have declared that they are around 10 or less. But doing that will make Tilika angry.
I move to a slightly larger open area, and take out 50 Orcs carcasses at once.
Since we hit the Orcs with a powerful range magic, there are considerable number of carcasses that get seriously damaged. Thought he number is lesser than what we defeated, we filled a good number on the spot. There are still about 50 Orcs carcasses and it quickly becomes a mountain pile. It’s a pretty good sight.
“Do you want to see the record in my card?”
“No, I do not need it, its okay.”
Seems like it’s unnecessary. I recollected the mountain of carcasses quickly, but it already garnered the others attention. People from the merchant group are coming to see. I don’t want to stand out so much……
“But this much is not that surprising? If you can use level 3 or 4 magic then this feat is pretty much acceptable.”
I asked Ellie when the other adventurers suddenly behaved themselves.
“There are four of us, including me. Besides, reaching level 4 is easier said than done.”
“So that’s it.”
Even so, they believed us. If it’s me, I’ll still have some doubts. There is no proof that I’ve hunted all of them just now.
“Masaru is scaring away the other tough adventurers.”
It’s not as scary anymore, but I am not good at it, but it does not change.
“More like they are scared towards a mage. We have the ability to obliterate a settlement in an instant. Masaru, you should be more aware of that.”
Certainly, since this guy can build a mountain of corpses in a short time! Or so. In short, they are overwhelmed.
I finally grasped it.
Regardless, the people of the merchants group became very cooperative during the hunts along the way.
In exchange, they’ve become quite scared.
Even though we hunted during daytime, we still have to work at night. Camping. Or more explicitly, creating a house.
Every time we camped, I’ll create a house for everyone. It can’t be helped. The coldness of the night of midwinter is quite severe. It’s too much for Norman-san and his group of merchants.
All I have to do is make some buildings of the same shape. Once you learn how to build it, it turned into a routine work. It’s a given that magic power is not an issue, since I have large reserve of magic power of my own.
So many houses are built in the camp, making it a bit crowded, and all of this is for free.
However, as expected, it’s a nuisance to create one for each of them. Should I start charging them money?
“Even though they are only staying for overnight, they cannot afford to spend so much?”
Anne told me.
I build a stone house that is suitable for living normally, and for now it’s only for a night use. A stone bed is created for the time being, but there is no bedding.
2000 Yen, or yet this place can go up to 5000 Yen. It will be quite a sum if I collected from all of them. Better yet, since I’m the one putting an effort, all of it will become my pocket money?
“Please stop mimicking Seco already, geez……”
Since I was terrified by Ellie, I decided to receive the people good wills and end it there. Well, our monster hunting turns out to be quite profitable, but shouldn’t we start thinking about the future?
I wonder how the other mages are holding up. Though, I don’t have to take extra care if I make something of this degree on every trip.
“An ordinary Earth mage will run out of magic power just by making a miniscule version of this one. The fact that you can build as many as these is already strange.”
By the way, it was said that the aristocrat who was a fiancé candidate of Tilika was a pretty good user of Earth Magic, but his magical power had run out with only three Golems.
Even if they are capable of it, they are still in the middle of a dangerous journey. A general action for a mage is to conserve their magic power, and not to finish all of solely for house building alone.
“We will pass this route many times. With such a fine facility, the journey will be much easier. I was lucky to be accompanied by Masaru. I can’t thank you enough!”
Norman-san shower me with thanks. It is not because of the coldness in winter alone. If there is a building, the danger at night is drastically reduced. There is not always a sufficient escort.
Because of that, since I don’t want to get personally thanked by all these people, this time I act as a representative of the shrine by doing a charity work, and at the house I engrave the marking of the shrine.
Rather than being a mysterious house made by an unknown person, it would be safe for travelers to decide to be an unattended accommodation that the shrine made with volunteers, and it will surely be used safely.
And this means that Mr. Norman will appreciate the shrine through a commercial guild, which will be a great accomplishment for Anne’s shrine, and instead of me, they will be thankful to Anne through the tour.
Yup. Doing a volunteer work sometimes is not bad at all.
While hunting steadily, we passed through the border zone without any problems. After going through several villages, the size of the merchant team has decreased compared to the beginning of the departure. The rest of the journey is about two more days.
It seemed that some kind of riot was occurring in the village along the road that we are passing through. A lot of villagers gathered around the gate of the village, there were several villagers who were fully armed in the highway. We stopped our carriage.
“The merchants over there stop! Locust, the locusts has come out!”
Hearing about the locust made me have a bad feeling. The insects are not particularly weak, but the insects in this world are pretty much a monster……
After hearing the details, I was amazed. It seems that there are also individuals that can reach up to 3 meters, which is said to be littering everything in their way while moving. They don’t have any likes and dislikes. Either animals or plants, they eat everything, just like human beings.
According to the story of the villagers that we met, they come in great numbers. Since they come at full speed, there is no way to get an accurate measure.
It is said that an adult has a strength equal to or higher than an Orc. If an ordinary villager is coming out like this, it’s an act akin to suicide.
They can only evacuate. If the locusts are coming, then they can only run away.
Fortunately, the locust stops at some location if there is something to eat on the course, so it seems that their movement speed is not very high.
And locusts are fickle. Nobody knows which way it will go. It may come to the village and go to the other side.
But the other side of the pass is the village where Nania is located──
“I already farmed around this area for years.”
“Hurry! Hurry! Run away before locusts come!”
“When the locusts arrives, the village will──”
“Why does this kind of thing must happen……”
The children are crying, and the villagers are muttering in despair while packing in rush.
This village too, has a huge wall surrounding it. But that alone is not enough to hinder the giant locusts.
The Garland Fortress is right after we get through the pass. There, the army is a permanent resident. Since the locust is becoming an obstacle, it’s impossible to notify those beyond the pass. It takes about 2 days to reach the fortress from here. The town in the direction we have come from the other side is even more further.
Everyone gazes fall on us. As if saying, are you capable of suppressing them? That’s what they are implying.
But nobody voices it out. The opponent is a group of monsters in a size where a military need to be dispatched. Even though we’re a B rank party, no matter how you think about it, it’s just too much a burden. It’s a given.
“What should we do?”
“How, there is no choice but to do it.”
I honestly think that there is no other choice. How about we notify the fortress and have them send reinforcements? Since we can fly, we can get through the pass easily.
“I don’t know the exact size of their swarms, but they can inflict serious damage to the army. It’s a question whether you are capable of annihilating them or not.”
Although there is surely a mage among the army, they are still from the border’s fortress. I don’t know how much their strength is. Even if we follow up with the plan, it will take two days on the way here. Thinking about the time to notify them and making battle preparation will take three days or four easily.
In the end, it will be faster if we deal with them ourselves.
“For now, I’ll go take a look.”
“No matter how much a B rank can do, it is……”
The villagers are sceptical. The group of locusts is not something that five people can handle alone. I was told that we might attract them to here faster, and instead of that we better help in evacuating the villagers.
“It will be fine. Just leave everything to us!”
Ellie is always confident. However, the villager’s unnecessary anxiety is shown when looking at her.
“Ah, there is nothing to be worried for. Four of us are mages, so our combine firepower is impressive.”
A bunch of locust will not be a problem.
“We’re a party that will rise to S rank. Killing some locusts is a breeze!”
According to Ellie, our firepower alone is no inferior to any S rank party.
However, there are doubts that we’ve ranked up as a Rank Cheater. It is unnecessary to tell them about the S rank thing just to catch some villager’s attention, Ellie-san……