Freeyomone felt this chapter needed redoing. He doesn’t plan on redoing any others.
Rest assured this has not interrupted regular updates and you should expect Chapter 23 at the usual time.
As a side note I’d like to apologize for not being very active recently. I’ve had personal issues keeping me from my keyboard, but I hope to get some Master Of Monsters and Kumo done in the not too distant future.
Takami no Kago
The trip to Waleo Village wasn’t smooth, but it was within reason.
We were attacked several times by Monsters. There wasn’t any casualties.
The monsters that attacked us were native to the area around this village. They weren’t at a level that could pose a threat to us.
In the evening we arrived in a village. We approached the entrance, and we couldn’t help but overhear some villagers loudly gossiping about a rumor.
「An Orc variant?」
「Yes, it recently settled in the forest nearby. Its presence had caused the traveling merchants to become stranded here. 」
Crest gives a reply with a sigh mixed in.
If the other merchants aren’t making a move that probably means the rumors have credibility.
「Staying here won’t be profitable. If it becomes known that I’m here; people will associate it with 『Jade Silk』.」
Crest is a famous merchant in Bureto.
If there is any business being done involving 『Jade Silk』, his name is the first to be mentioned.
During this trip, Crest’s alias is Klein. He even wrote the false name in the Inn’s registry list.
Perhaps, there will be many foes.
「If we go, there is a high probability something will happen. We need to be careful while advancing, don’t you agree?」
Crest turns to me and asks.
If I quit now, I will be penalized by the Guild.
However, I can always pay a fee, but one only has a single life.
There’re plenty of Adventurers that quit missions that are beyond their capability.
Being able to ascertain one’s limits is an Adventurers skill.
In that case, Crest doesn’t have any choice.
If I say I quit, then the request is over, and we escort him back to Bureto.
However, I will still continue the mission.
I want to obtain the 『Jade Silk』 and then return to town.
It may be risky, but I’ll take the chance.
「Well, if you plan on continuing, I have one condition.」
「Really? Then what’s the condition?」
「If we encounter the Orc variant and we have to battle it, then you must include some 『Jade Silk』 in the reward.」
「Well, that is…」
Crest thought about it.
I heard from Ayla that the clothes made out of 『Jade Silk』 can easily sell for several gold coins. The strength of the Orc variant is unknown, but if I have to guess it is most likely strong.
Only when there is risk of losing one’s life will there be a chance for a greater reward.
「I understand. But I will only give you one sheet.」
Crest, probably thinks that if we do encounter it, I would perish.
And if we didn’t encounter it, he wouldn’t need to give me a special reward.
To gamble with one’s life; how like a merchant.
From the village we only bought supplies that were necessary, and then we headed through the troublesome forest.
「So far, we’ve left the village and nothing has happened. I thought I’d raised a Flag.」
「Master, what is a Flag?」
「We heard all those rumors about the Orc, and yet it hasn’t shown itself. Were they merely rumors?」
「However, the rumors did mention that the Orc variant is strong. It’s good that it doesn’t appear.」
Crest says with a smile, when I think back about my request for the special reward I felt ashamed.
「You are a good girl, aren’t you.」
I roughly caress the top of Ayla’s head.
The tickled Ayla doesn’t try to resist.
I’ll leave it at that.
Not long after my playful skinship moment with Ayla, Crest returns.
「Good afternoon, I’ve talked to the villagers and they have provided us with lodgings. Please wait at the Inn in town. Poloia, will come fetch you’ll later. Waleo has good ale, so you shouldn’t be bored.」
I was given a warning to not aimlessly wander around the village.
Well, I didn’t have any business here so I did as I was told.
However, I learned that Waleo’s specialty is its very strong alcohol.
I’m told it is at an explosive level.
In this village there is a wedding custom of illumining the night with lanterns fueled by the alcohol.
They have a superstition that states, 『strong alcohol, keeps the monsters away』.
The 『Jade Silk』and the alcohol both requires some form of magic craft in their production, perhaps, they are related somehow.
Drinking this ale will definitely get you crazy drunk, I won’t do that to myself. It seem this is 『An Adventurer’s recommended beverage』, perhaps, it has some deep connection with Adventurer.
I wonder, was there a hidden meaning for why Crest recommended it to me?
However, that night I made Ayla show her beauty as a woman. Sounds could be heard from the Inn until the following morning.
These past several day we were with Crest the entire time. I had been neglecting her needs.
Ayla who has gotten accustomed to it, had started to become assertive.
A happy miscalculation.
In the morning of the following day, at the mesh hall we gathered information.
I am still bothered by the Orc variant.
「It seems some of the villagers here have sighted it.」
「What did they see?」
「Well from what I have learned Orcs are rare in this area, it could’ve been mistaken it for a regular Orc.」
「So Orcs aren’t native around here, huh.」
「Yeah, the Monsters native to this area are mostly goblins.」
Goblins and Orcs, these two species have a special relationship.
It seems on this continent it is rare for both species to coincide in the same location.
The reason seems to be that they prey on each other.
In an area with a lot of Orcs, the population of Goblins will greatly decline.
The reverse can be said for an area with a high Goblin population.
That is why those two species cannot coexist in the same area, unless it is inside a special environment such as a dungeon.
「So, was a regular Orc mistaken for a Orc variant?」
「Maybe. The witness sightings have some things in common. The Orc was big and then it was small. Its color was green and then it was red.」
「Is it possible there is more than one?」
「I won’t say that it isn’t possible, since the Goblins that resides in the forest had become silent.」
「Alright, I understand. Can I take some ale?」
I go over to the counter and exchange several copper coins for the expensive ale. Afterwards, we return to our room.
I almost never drink alcohol, but I got some to keep up the appearance of an Adventurer.
Although only in pretense I am an Adventurer.
Not long after Poloia came to fetch us.
In the room I got dressed and made my preparations.
「Sorry for keeping you waiting.」
Poloia had arrived when I was still changing my clothes.
「No problem, I also just recently finished my preparations.」
We leave together and make our way to the wagon.
「What were you talking to the Innkeeper about?」
Whoops, I didn’t mean to intrude into her personal matters.
「I was asking if they had heard any news about the Orc variant, such as, if it had been recently spot again?」
She heard my question. I noticed that Ayla seemed suspicious. She glared at Poloia.
「Uh, I was a little curious that’s all. Sorry if I troubled you.」
I can’t let my guard down around this woman.
As we are leaving Ayla is carefully watching us from behind.
I call Ayla over and whisper something to her.
Her tiger ears twitch, how cute, but right now I need to be prudent.
「Hey Hibiki, were you able to sleep last night?」
「Yes, I slept well. It had been quite a while since I slept in a good bed.」
「That is good to hear, well, are you ready to depart?」
「Yes, ready whenever you are.」
We hadn’t yet spent an entire day in the village and we were already leaving.
Our short stay in the village may have something to do with the Orc variant recent absences of activity.
Or perhaps, that was the plan all along.
As we left Ayla didn’t utter a single word.