With the arrival of the next day, we tidied up camp and continued on towards the next village. After traveling for around 8 hours, we pick up a new scent. We tracked down the source of the scent for a bit more than an hour and came across a [Terranian Deer]. Like most monsters, the moment it saw us, it quickly charged at us. Of course to the middle aged man, something like this was not really a challenge. With a thrust of his spear, the large [Terranian Deer] collapsed.
Your skill [RA][Charge] has become Level 2
Your skill [NA][Thrust] has become Level 3
The fact that the middle aged man can just one shot all these things is pretty impressive. I wonder how high his skills really are… so far other than [Throw] I have yet to reach his bottlenecks. Either way, that strength is pretty reassuring to have… Well at least until I steal all of it * snicker *
After that we continued on and within about 5 hours, we made it to the neighboring village. This village was even smaller than the one prior. I am not an expert at making estimates, but I would guess no more than 50 people live here?
As we entered the village, a young man of 27 years of age who looked like a hunter with a bow on his back and a knife on his pants came to greet us.
While staring at him for about a minute…
You have acquired a new skill [NA][Eagle Eye] Level 1
“You must be the Rank C adventurer sent by the guild I presume?” he inquired.
“Yeah, are you the one who issued the request?” the middle aged man prompted back.
“That would be the village chief, I am merely a hunter who acts as the village guard” the young man responded.
“I see... were there any recent attacks on the village? On the way here I did a preliminary inspection and I did not see any unusual activity. Can you provide me with any more information about the request?” the middle aged man followed up.
“Hmm...The last few days have been fairly quite. The intervals of the attacks tended to vary, but you are going to have to ask the village chief. While I may be acting as a village guard, to be more precise, I am more of a temporary or backup guard. In the previous attack, our guard was injured so until he recovers, I am acting as a full time guard, normally I just hunt game” explained the young man.
“Is that so...Then bring me to the village chief” said the middle aged man.
“Right this way” replied the young man.
We did not travel long until we came across what seemed to be the largest building in the village. Which isn’t saying much since all the houses here are pretty small. The middle aged man was invited inside the house, while we were forced to stay behind. After about 2 hours, the middle aged man came back out and told us to make camp to the side. He will apparently stay at the village chief’s house and obviously no one is going to shelter beastkin. And like that, we retired for the day.
The next day, we sold some of the stuff we brought while stocking up on some minor supplies. We were then escorted out of the village by the chief and the young man. It seems like over night they were discussing some sort of plan of action and details, but unfortunately we were not there to be privy of the details, and the middle aged man didn’t seem to be interested in explaining them either, even to Ryo. The only detail I managed to piece together from the conversation while heading out of the village was that they made a time table plan of investigation and mapped the locations where we would be investigating at and at what date. They also agreed that if any new information arrives, to bring it to the middle aged man alongside a minor restock of supplies. In this way we would save time going back and forth to and from the village.
With that out of the way, we went on our way. Now with a vague map, the middle aged man guided us around the forest to investigate. We moved from spot to spot making camp, then we trackers went out to look for anything suspicious and at same time collecting herbs. The middle aged man also did his own investigation and killed monsters from time to time. Unfortunately I was not there since he acted independent. Once we scouted a perimeter for any suspicious activity, we then made it back to camp. Then packed up and relocated the camp to the next spot marked on the map. This went on for 3 days with nothing really out of the ordinary.
And there was very little productivity since I did not see the middle aged man fight, and it wasn’t exactly a situation where I could fight monsters either. Kuina has been especially on guard to make sure I don’t do anything “stupid”. The best thing that I managed to accomplish was finding those [Terranian Iguanas] from a distance. Since Kuina could not see them, I was able to find ways “around them”. It would be nice if I could “accidentally stumble” into them, but unfortunately the weakest one was Level 14. They were also pretty rare. Either way, it was enough for me to raise my [Blend Stealth] to Level 4.
Unfortunately, unlike the [Terranian Iguana] who already has brown skin and with help of [Blend Stealth] can make itself almost unnoticeable, for me it is not that simple. Aside from human skin tone being nowhere close to the brown of the iguana, my white hair stands out quite a lot. At best, I can stand in a room and if a person walks in, they probably won’t notice me. But if a person walks in a room and starts looking around for me, they would be able to find me with little issue.
Not too long after that, we made it back to camp. When we arrived, we began to pack, getting ready for moving to the next zone. About 5 minutes into packing, I smelled a horse and human coming our way. I turned around in the general direction and it seems Ryo noticed it as well.
“Someone is coming, from the scent it looks like they are from the village” Ryo notified.
“Is that so?” said the middle aged man, “It is a bit early for the scheduled report so most likely something has happened...Just in case, hurry up with the preparations to move” he added.
In a few minutes, one of the villagers drove in franticly screaming.
“Sir Razer! Sir Razer!”
“What happened?” asked the middle aged man.
“M-Monsters! The village is under attack!” the villager yelled while barely catching his breath.
“Calm down and start from the beginning” said the middle aged man.
“Y-Yes! About 2 hours ago, the village was attacked by 7 [Terranian Deer] and about 20 [Giant Rats]. We tried to fend them off the best we could but with our guard still injured, they quickly overwhelmed us forcing us to hide in the village. I was sent out by the village chief to ask for help, please help us!” spoke the villager with a sense of urgency.
“Hmm...I see… Though my guild request only asked for investigating the cause, nothing about protecting the village...” murmured the middle aged man while taking a contemplating pose.
“Please help us! At this rate the crops will be completely destroyed and our houses might be reduced to rubble. If it is money, we can pay if it is in our ability!” pleaded the villager.
“Generally...I don’t take these kind of unofficial requests...the guild is pretty strict on these things you see...but if you are willing to pay five time the standard rate per monster, I may consider an exception...” said the middle aged man mocking a hesitant voice.
“Five times?!?! We already barely managed to put up enough money for the investigation! Are you trying to rob us?!?!” yelled the outraged villager.
“Not my problem… I am already doing my job for the investigation as you can see… It is already a pretty tiring job. If you want me to do extra work, obviously you have to pay a premium for it” explained the old man now mocking a tired voice.
The villager gritted their teeth but eventually had no choice but to give in due to the urgency.
“Fine! Have it your way! But no villager better be hurt! And minimize the damage to the village as much as possible!” spat the villager.
The middle aged man got on his horse and shrugged his shoulders “I can’t make any promises other then killing the monsters… Unless you are willing to pay more that is...” said the middle aged man with a wicked smile.
The villager turned all red and looked like his head was going to explode, but held it in and relented.
“I am going ahead to the village! Finish packing up as fast as you can, and as soon as you are done follow me back to the village. This is an [Order]” yelled the middle aged man.
And like that, he and the villager made haste back to the village.
We hurried up the best we could, but it still took us about half an hour to pack up all the stuff. Once done we followed after them…