This is a guaranteed Chapter. Nothing more to say today other than this chapter took a total near 3 hours for me to TL. damn it had typos to make sense out of.
Chapter 40 – 『Lion』and『Tiger』
On the appointed day sister’s request started and everyone had participated.
I and Elk reached the place we had learnt of beforehand from sister about 10 minutes earlier than meeting time. Though in previous world as Japanese, it’s standard for fast mobilization, or rather something like a belief.
However there were other adventurers already, and apparently we both were the last ones. So there are lots of damn diligent people.
The Trader Group is of a large-scale, so the numbers of escorts for it are suitably present, there are about 20 people.
Moreover, the equipments and weapons are also varied. Various sorts of adventurers have gathered here, from ones using dagger to longsword……there are also people with bow and whip.
Looking at them, there are many variations, and I can see interaction with them in various sorts of situations. Though I don’t know if gathering this sort of group was pure coincidence or intentional.
And among them……there were 2 people I knew.
「Huh? Ain’t this Minato-kun and Elk-chan. What, you two also took this quest?」
One was……Zari wearing light armor and short sword as equipments, and seemed to have noticed us just now. After all his orange hair is somehow or other too impressive, so I immediately recognized it.
So he also took on this request, what a coincidence.
He looks flashy and frivolous as always, but what might he be thinking in his mind, this secret intelligence adventurer.
And the other one……seemed to have noticed us faster than Zari and came walking near me walking briskly, which I noticed from the peripheral vision.
……Should I say as expected, or what.
「Howdy, we meet again『Black Lion』-kun♪」
There stood, Sherry-san, the dark elf in same attire as the other day, while showing a cheerful and friendly smile.
Truly a coincidence, she……Sherry-san also had taken the quest for『Malras Association’s Trader Group Escort』, and will head towards the『Flower Valley』along with us for a whole 2 weeks.
Ah, even Zari.
Indeed……it is limited-time offer request and can help change the mood for taking mental breaks.
Shortly after the meeting time, we exchanged some words of greeting with the person in charge of this time’s Trader Group, after that boarded the carriage for escorts use and departed from the city.
The Trader Group this time moved forward in a single line, among that, at fixed distances the carriages for boarding escorts were dotted in. In those the hired adventurers like us were boarded. It’s for promptly dealing with whatever attacks them at any time from any direction.
And while the groups were being decided on, it was decided that coordination would be great if acquaintance and familiar people are near, so I, Elk, Zari and Sherry-san boarded the same carriage.
That Sherry-san, just like what I had thought of her the other day, seemed to not create walls in when talking to anyone, –not like she is defenceless though- I’m a given, she even talked informally to Elk and Zari.
At this rate, both of them would soon become friendly, especially Zari who strong point is having wide relationship connects due to his occupation (?).
But Elk……she did talk normally though, for some reason she seemed to be wary of Sherry-san and would sometimes send a not-so-good glare to her. Just why?
Anyhow, it didn’t turn into a dangerous gloomy atmosphere, after doing the self-introductions, while talking for killing time; we left the driving to coachman and were enjoying the journey of carriage.
While chatting, various things about Sherry-san was confirmed.
Sherry-san’s age was, indeed above me……she was 20 years old, like a college student.
She had been working as adventurer since she was 17 and reached A Rank in 3 years.
Considering the normal standards this can already be said to be quite fast success pace, especially when she became B ranker in just a year and little, there was uproar in the base point city she was present in at that time.
Well B Rank itself is a rank that requires great talent, so it could only be regarded as natural.
And I don’t even have to say, that one year after that, in other words previous year, she reached A Rank and again there was uproar……this time she got fed-up dealing with the lingering effects of uproar, so she came to City of Volka.
I know, I know it full well……that damn feeling of irritation when the people just wander here and there around you. After all I also reach A Rank just after 3 months since the debut.
Moreover, the city Sherry-san had chosen as her base point before was quite small compared to Volka, so the appearance of an adventurer with this much talent was a really great news and relative importance weight was also great.
If it was Volka she would have been recognized as great again, but it wouldn’t have become that great of an uproar. And conversely, if I had made my debut in that city and became A ranker within 2 months……holy shit, I don’t wanna think about it.
And another thing was that I surprised to know that Sherry-san too had a『Second Name』just like me or Zari.
Though I say that, apparently she herself didn’t know……rather this name came into light after this man, Zari, displayed his information broking prowess and told us about it.
That is……『Red Tiger』. She also had various other names just like me, but among them this one was particularly famous, apparently.
It ain’t something this『Black Lion』should say, but well this too is one damn funny Chunny name.
Well the naming sense is pretty logical if you think about it. Sherry-san’s hair and clothes both are red. Even the light armor she is wearing is red……or rather crimson.
But……I’ve got no idea why she got『Tiger』and from where.
……But recently, let it be Elk (green) or Suura-san (blue), I’ve been meeting people who seem to have a sense of unity with their hair color and equipments, is it a coincidence?
Well, leaving that aside,
Sherry-san seemed happy upon knowing our names of lion and tiger, though different, were quite similar.
「But to actually reach A Rank in just 2 months……I did know you weren’t some ordinary person, but to have a career history this great——」
「Huh? Did I not tell you, Sherry-san that day?」
「I heard it, but just you rank, not about your feat of reaching there in just 2 months. Just how did you make your way up?」
「Well in Minato-kun’s case……he was already strong before registering and was blessed with chances to appeal about it frankly. I also don’t know the details, though」
Zari said in a humorous manner. This bastard just because it’s someone else problem……
It’s not like I fucking wanted to fight an ancient big serpent or a crowd of giant grasshoppers.
And when Zari said『I also don’t know』 -like my training period, or the place- an inquisitive stare came flying at me, but I just ignored it like totally. I got no intention of telling this guy.
Then, Zari moved his stare to Sherry-san maybe because he sensed my actions.
「But even you, Sherry-san wouldn’t be lacking in heroic sagas, right?」
「Is that true?」
「I have heard the latest one was the A Rank demon which appeared abruptly near the city and you killed it alone, right. If I remember correctly……it was『Hellhound』, right?」
「Ah, that, well it’s true……but it was just a normal dog gone big」
“It is anything great”, Sherry-san said, but looking at her Elk was seemingly fed-up while staring in mute amazement. Even Zari seemed similar, though he was laughing.
From what I heard from Elk, that『Hellhound』, the『Normal dog gone big』according to Sherry-san is a black haired-fox demon with total length crossing 3 meters, and runs around quite nimbly as if it’s large body is a lie.
……If I remember correctly they were also in the『Woodlands of Gradwell』. A giant wolf which could eat a child as whole in just one bite, so, it had that sort of name.
I see, if those actually appear near human habitat, it would be troublesome.
After all being a A Rank monster, albeit the individual differences, a single one of them has fighting strength to mow down a squad of a regular army (or so Elk was saying), well there strength is somewhere near that was something I understood from the experience during the training period.
Most probably, if four or five of them gather up, then a small village or city would be exterminated in the blink of an eye.
Thereupon, Elk who had been hearing till now, sighed with a sense of tiredness.
「……Well as for me, being in this carriage is more than enough safe, so I’m grateful for that……」
Looking at us with a gold combo of reproachful gaze and sanpaku eyes, she muttered words with sarcasm.
「1 B ranker and 2 A rankers……most probably it is more reliable than being escorted by the guards」
Hearing that, the guy showing his embarrassment saying『No~』, Zari is a B ranker, and if I had to say it is a near A rank sort of B, or so I heard just before.
No wonder when in『Crimson Forest』he said he was able to take on two of the exceed hopper……he can even use magic, truly he is strong.
Then, as if he suddenly remembered, Zari,
「Well though the Trader Group of『Malras』hires good quality escorts every year, but this year they are quite extravagant. As for safety, without any sarcasm, is surely more than enough」
「Is that true?」
「Yeah. Before getting on the carriage I surveyed the people, there were some famous ones, and the total average rank of escort in all can be said to B near C rather than A」
「Is that with us included?」
「Yeah, we three are without a doubt the Top 3. If taking us out……the average rank would get low by 1」
「Isn’t that just boasting about yourselves. ……well it’s not something an ordinary person like me should say」
Elk is seemingly self-destructive from before. On her head, Alva is tapping his feet as if saying『Cheer up!』.
「Uh-huh, thank you~, Alva is so kind~……but you would also leave me behind and become strong all of a sudden……」
However in the end Elk still remains depressed. She’s sure a busy girl.
……At that moment,
Suddenly an noisy sound resounded in the carriage……no, crying voice.
「……What was that just now?」
「Alva seemed to have find something. What happened Alva?」
Alva, who had been on Elk’s head till now, perched on my extended hand……and like that face another way making『PiiIIIiiii!』sound, I see so that side.
「……or rather, what was that crying voice from before……?」
「Ah, sorry. I was free recently so tried to teach it」
It seems to be able to learn simple sounds immediately just like parrot, though, as one would expect it can’t speak.
「Don’t go teaching weird stuff to him……」
Having a noisy voice coming from above her like an alarm clock, Elk’s mood had worsened.
Recently Alva grew up a lot, but living together for past one month I’ve come to understand many things.
Maybe because it’s an animal, it’s got one tremendous crisis management ability. It can sense demons coming immediately from a range where even I cannot sense them at all, even if vision is blocked in a forest, or sniffing scent is difficult to high speed winds.
A little after being born……right, around the time in『Crimson Forest』the ability it showed a part of has now turned into a sensor for searching enemies within a large area. It even disregards obstacles like walls and others……maybe he can use this sort of magic because of inherent comprehension.
……And the result before was me teaching it『Warning sound of an alarm clock』as a bad joke to kill time.
Well, I will apologize Elk later, for the time being I got out of the carriage, and looked in the direction was pointing towards……
……Though it can’t be seen with eyes, but there is an『smell』.
It’s the smell of blood and iron rust. And then smell of sweat and body odor of people. This isn’t a demon. This is most probably……
「Elk, looks like it is bandits?」
Immediately after……I felt the air inside the carriage become tensed.
「Minato, how many are there?」
「They are still far, so I don’t know exactly……but there seem many of them. They are stationed upwind, their ambush is all revealed from the smell of blood, so they don’t seem to have good intentions」
「……Upfront is, a hilly area with long grass growing. That terrain is ideal for surprise attacks, so they might be thinking of attacking us there」
Zari said. I see.
「But, it’s nothing to be scared of if we know about that from earlier. If we know they are hiding then we can create countermeasures for it」
「You’re right……I will tell the people in other carriages just in case」
Saying that Elk came down from the carriage, and ran off to inform other people.
The members left……promptly armed their equipments and prepared for counter attack.
While preparing, I decided the plans easily.
The vanguards are me and Sherry-san. The work is simple, take on other people and just beat the hell out of them.
I will leave the ones who get past us to the escorts near the carriages like Zari, Elk and others.
I know Zari is quite strong since the fight against those『Exceed Hoppers』, and the current Elk can safely parry against stuff like bandits.
……Her growth speed is really too good compared to me.
Ah, speaking of growth, there is also Alva. It being itself, is showing tremendous growths, I don’t need to worry about it too. ……It’s truly amazing.
And, though I know her, Sherry-san’s rank, but her ability is still of unknown variable……
She’s waiting quietly for the fight with her hand on the hilt of her sword while her shined with ferocity.
……Or maybe it’s my imagination.
And, we approach the problematic hilly area, and the grass in surroundings grow taller.
……I see, just as Zari said, they’re hiding in the grasses. If I was just looking here normally, indeed, I wouldn’t have noticed them in these overgrown grasses which have enough density to completely hide a person’s figure.
Of course I can clearly see them with my eyes, and even before that I can sense their exact locations due to scent. From the time point we noticed this, their surprise attack would no more have any surprise element in it. Elk, Zari and Sheery-san have got their weapons in hand and are in battle posture already.
Not knowing any of that stuff, the bandits might be underestimating us. It’s a work of a totally dumb fool idiot to wait till being attacked……so we decided to attack preemptively.
「Like that, Alva」
「Burn ‘em down!」
It’s all grass as far as eyes can see, so it would be scary if fire spread too much, hence I stopped.
Maybe it also understood the roar of Elk, Alva flew from my shoulder and donned a pale blue magical energy around its body. Ice magical energy it is.
Then, various clumps of ice about the size of a clenched fist are created……and a second later all are shot towards the grasses at super high speed.
「Shit it hurts!?」
Apparently all the ice bullets hit the target. Great. The bandits hiding in the grasses, most probably all, showed themselves after suffering pain from being hit by a lump of ice.
And not letting this gap they’re showing upon getting hurt let away, everyone moved on. As if to say offense is the best defense, all the adventurers and guards move in before letting bandits gather themselves up.
I also don’t think that is wrong, rather I even wanted to cut right through the vanguard and kick all their asses of……the moment I tried to do,
From the peripheral vision of mine, who was running in front……something red went past by at the speed of an arrow.
Oh? The moment I thought that, 2 bandits who gathered themselves up were immediately cut down by a brandishing sword. Most probably, because it was too fast, they didn’t even know what occurred.
And there, Sherry-san who just now shook her sword……and didn’t get even a single drop of blood on her –her clothes are red so it’s hard to tell- stood.
But, with her stance, she didn’t wait any longer and moved more steps forward to assault the other bandits who are shaken seeing their two comrades go down instantly.
The bandit in front of her tried to take up the weapon in panic……but he had his head and torso already separated, torso cut up diagonally with his stomach torn into pieces, he met his end without even having to react much.
It all happened in just some seconds. In just that much of time, Sherry-san killed lots of bandits……and this time she took stance right in her place, making bandits shake in fear.
……A part of allies are also getting scared though.
Then that Sherry-san,
「……Oh, you don’t wanna come? Then……wait for me」
Though for a moment, I surely saw it, her shining her eyes……while smiling.
And the next moment, she kicked the ground with force, and started killing all the bandits overawed by her intimidation, with just a single-strike single-kill.
And looking at her figure –of course while fighting myself-, that feeling I somehow knew from when inside the carriage, I finally understood that reason why she was smiling and her eyes shining.
I have seen those eyes many times. In older day, when I was taken by mom for bandit subjugation, I’ve met other bandits with similar eyes.
They are dangerous, self-centered, sometimes really arrogant, and manly……however personally the people with those type of damn eyes are the people I fucking hate with PASSION! The light I saw in those eyes……was currently shining in Sherry-san’s eyes.
Maybe this was reason, often I felt concerned by her stare whenever she saw me, since I first met her……
I see, Sherry-san is……
(Battle maniac, eh……?)
People who find pleasure in fighting, are truly elated when fight with blades against blades with their lives on line, common people call this commendable hobby as that. An quasi-synonym would be Battle Junkie.
Normal people would frown hard upon knowing the appearance of enemies, but these people would grab their weapon and go ahead to fight with a smile or while laughing, they think battle as the best sports game out there.
Among them, there are 2 types of Battle Maniac’s like one, those who love fighting itself and the other who love to kill the person they fight with.
They are distinguished as those who find bliss when fighting or who find bliss upon cornering the opponent and then sensing the feel of killing the opponent……
Looks like Sherry-san is the former. Whenever a bandit happens to stop her sword swing even if by coincidence, her corner of mouth curl up. Oh of course, within 0.5 seconds just after that the opponent would have been cut down.
Her severity is something that I can even nod reading her second name as『Red Tiger』. I now understand why and where she got that『Tiger』from.
From the place she jumped in from, the bandits are all getting killed.
While watching her from my peripheral vision, I take care of bandits coming in my way –there are many who are deliberately coming to me avoiding Sherry-san- with my fist or by my elbow.
There count is neither too less nor too much, but because they are quite separated here and there, so it would be better and fast to put them down with my fists.
While doing that, from Sherry-san’s side, I felt stare not that of bandits……but intentionally ignored it and worked in putting down the bandits while trying my utmost to not look in her direction.
No, look, at that rate it doesn’t seem like Sherry-san needs some worry from me, right? (sweat)
However there are also some bandits who try to take a detour and attack the carriages, slipping through the hands of me and Sherry-san and other vanguard adventurers.
Those people, inevitably encounter with other escort adventurers and guards from Malras……but because the bandits have lost most of moral, and the people Malras chose had been of good quality, that they are able to completely block them as if not noticing them coming.
Especially, the ones going near the carriage Elk and Zari are stationed at are more pitiable, they both fast, so without getting even a scratch they are insta-killing them bandits.
And more than anything……it is a good practice for Alva who is also stationed in the same place.
Not only fireball or wind blade, but red, blue, yellow, green etc, other magic are also being fired, which happened to be in different colors. Looks just fantastically beautiful.
Of course there is no moderation, so many bandits die like a splatter, which is more worse than dying at the hands of Sherry-san. The fireballs blast off the aimed place, wind blades cut the human in various horizontal slices……
It’s already an impregnable fort. No it can fly so it will be more like locomotive fort or a fighter aircraft.
In this one month, it has fought various monsters, and would’ve also looked various sorts of magic, and in that process learned them also……by just looking.
……Damn I’m jealous, fucking shit!
While I fight with those feelings filled in my fists –venting out my anger, fucking bring it on!!!!- within some minutes the several tens of bandits were all taken down.