Chapter 44 – Turbulent Indications
That night was truly turbulent.
After all, we saved the injured『Dryad』girl, had a misunderstanding with her companions and had to deal with them, after that stopped an abduction attempt,
And immediately later, I sensed『a certain smell』I had sniffed before along with severe killing intent……but in several seconds it was over,
And immediately after, this time, the city was being noisy with screams and angry bellows.
And, after we reached there thinking what happened……only to find a scene of carnage unfolded there, although it was mostly over.
The origin place of screams & angry bellows was the plaza near the front entrance of the city.
There were corpses of quite a number of demons.
It was the corpses of demon crowd that, probably, came to attack the city, however were annihilated by the guards or a passing by adventurer.
And in the centre was,
「Huh, you people came late. I have already finished work here」
Sherry-san who just cut down the last demon –a lizard-like gorilla, with scales closely packed on its whole down- with a single sword stroke.
After that, we heard from Sherry-san, about what exactly happened there.
Apparently the raid was truly abrupt.
All of a sudden, war roars of demons was heard from the direction of forest, and couple of minutes later, the demons now lying on the ground as corpses raided in, apparently. They raided with an intense force, coming from the deep forest.
The demons seemed to be in excited state, and maybe came here after rioting in forest, because the time fight started, many of them already had their fangs dyed scarlet.
There was a fear of the guards who went out to patrol became their food, however after confirming it was found out that there were no victims, hence a piece of relief.
The blood sticking on the fangs was believed to be the blood of other demons.
Like that, although there were various points that were bothering, but it was more urgent to intercept the raid, hence the guards, and adventurers and bodyguards in the near area, grouped together and put up a fight.
Among those members, was Sherry-san, an A-ranker with abilities that surely stand out, moreover she attacks the strong opponents proactively, hence including that fact; the incident was finished without much damage. That was what happened before I reached here.
Although there were injured people but all had minor injuries. Those people were currently being treated in the hospital of city, which had opened in the closed hours all due to their virtuous minds.
I see, then it was all fine……apparently, it didn’t end with just that.
Well, if a report saying, demons raided late at night, came in……anyone would get anxious……more than that, the reason for this abrupt attack was not known.
If going by the talk of town head, whom we met during day, then this had never happened before.
The demons living in the forest nearby, basically never tried to leave their territories in the forest, and even without attacking the city there was abundant food in the forest, and so never get troubled with that too. Hence the situation of the city being assaulted itself had never happened in past several decades.
And even problematic was the power and type of demons that attacked.
More than half of the demons, who attacked, weren’t from the nearby forest……but were the demons that lived in North from here, a Danger Area with higher difficulty level. These types of demons weren’t found in this area.
That area was the place those『Exceed Hoppers』lived, the『Green Canyon』……after all demons from there moved south, coming till here, and raided in excited state, this caused most of the people feel anxious.
「This had never happened till now, right?」
「Yeah, this is the first. Well, it’s not like there aren’t demons around this area, but……they are at the level of, at most『Wolf』or other demons like that. The fence covering the city has a smell, made from flowers, that does not let low-class demons come near, so they don’t become a threat to us」
The town head said as such in the plaza that was no guaranteed to be safe.
Heh……so this city even had something like that, as expected.
「However……『Wing Boa』,『Lizard Kong』and『Rhinosaurus』……these demons surely never appear in this area. Just why……」
Ah, now that you say it, there sure were demons like, a snake with wings, a gorilla with scales all over its body, and a rhinoceros-ish. All were now dead, though.
And from behind Elk told me that they were all equivalent to C Rank.
A level that only skilled adventurers could deal against, that sure could be said as difficult.
Even so both Elk and I seem to get involved into troubles like these every time.
The demons that should be present appear in the place that they shouldn’t……
Just in case I asked the town head if there was some dangerous demon nearby? But he had no clue about it.
I also asked Sherry-san, but as she wasn’t even a local person, so of course she wouldn’t know anything about it.
「Hmm well, there were some who resisted a bit……but you see, recently I’ve been training with Minato-kun, so that level doesn’t satisfy me anymore, you see, right?」
「……I don’t care and know whatever you are talking about」
Our talk ended like that.
Moreover later she even asked『How about right now? 』. Geez, hey you seriously need to read the atmosphere.
While I rejected her with a sigh『no way』, Elk, standing behind me, poked my shoulder repeatedly.
For not interrupting the town head who was planning countermeasures and making deductions about this incident with some influential people of the city, I lowered my voice and,
(Minato, this incident bothers me, but……let’s get out of the village later. A telepathic message came from Neil-chan. She wanted to say something to you)
(I see……got it. Then later let’s give some suitable reason and get out)
After that, town head stopped the argument because he might’ve judged no answer would come out, and enhanced the defence as a just in case countermeasure, and with that we adventurers broke up with them.
At that time, Sherry-san asked『Where are you going? 』and seemed to come along with us, but,
I refused saying『I don’t want others to come along with me……』while holding Elk’s hand tightly (it won’t be a joke if I got lost in this darkness with my bad sense of direction).
『Ah, I see~. Sorry, but yeah I would become the third wheel in that, well have your fun time♪』
Sherry-san ran away saying that to me with a lukewarm stare, later, the red-faced Elk punched me in the gut with her whole might saying『You idiot!!』……if there was a person who understood the reason for these two acting like this, please tell me!
And like that……
While getting blows for some unknown reason, I somehow warded off Sherry-san, we both reached the meeting place (that Elk decided using Telepathy), and after coming here……
「Hey, Minato-kun, Elk-chan, Pardon me for intruding here first」
「U-Um……this person is……?」
……Why is this guy here?
The orange haired-man——Zari, was standing near Neil-chan with vigilance.
「No well, I have a Magic Item that can wiretap Telepathic communication to a level. I used before and heard Elk-chan and that『Alraune』miss talking. Sorry for hearing selfishly and even coming here」
He thought that we would be more vigilant if he reached later, and so he went on ahead to here, the place Neil-chan and Elk decided. ……what the fuck does his sorry mean, this bastard.
But, I did think that this had common sense, and Neil-chan wasn’t someone who would do anything bad. He surely would have enough natural virtue that Irene-san would believe him for being the bridge between us.
For the time being, I said that I won’t tell him anything about Neil-chan, and as for the crime of wiretapping the telepathic talk, I dropped my knuckles on the crown of his head without saying anything else.
I hit him quite a power so he did faint down, and without waiting for his recovery, we continued our talk with Neil-chan.
The kidnappers, who came to abduct the girls, were already gone from the forest, apparently. At least for now, they were gone.
However, the number of people Neil-chan and others spotted weren’t just one or two people, so they can’t let down their guard, as of yet.
Regarding the demons of north that abruptly raided the city; apparently, they didn’t go to forest so all the Dryad’s were safe. Good, great.
And, regarding the presence I sensed before, I had no more info that the current one.
Among the Dryad’s there were some people who had seen that『green-coloured big lizard』, however Neil-chan hadn’t seen it.
「……What do you mean that there were humans who tried to abduct those Dryad girls?」
Around the time our talk finished, Zari finally recovered and said that first.
His face had a strange expression, for some reason.
「Indeed. Just in case, we had tied up two of them……probably they might be Slave Dealers or Kidnappers. I don’t want to think much about this though……」
「Well certainly……although these girls are small, but they look good……」
Hearing that, Neil-chan understood the meaning, and her body trembled terribly.
A beat later,
「……No, that is not possible, I think……?」
Zari gave an unexpected answer.
? What did he mean by that? Were those people, not Slave Dealers?
I had heard that among Slave Dealers there were some who would make anything their commodity as long it had a human shape; let it be demi-human, fairy or even a demon. That was the reason I thought they would be the same.
「Ah, I see, so you both don’t know about it, right. In short sprite-species like『Dryad』and『Alraune』, at least most of them, aren’t able to live in the place outside they were born from」
「Eh, is that so?」
「That is so. If I remember correctly then, for the Dryad and Alraune the atmosphere of forest and water are important……if they went far away from this forest, this valley, for a long time, then probably……」
「……That is right. We will die」
Neil-chan said. Is that so?
For example if they were abducted and taken away, to a place far from this forest, the life force of Dryad and Alraune would rapidly decline and in some days they would die.
That was also the reason they didn’t wanted to be abducted, or so she said.
Conversely, if they were in the forest, they would be able to take the blessing of life force and magical energy, and would have an increase in covert ability for not being found out by the peoples. According to her, the forest helped in deleting the presence.
That as the reason, the sprite-species like『Dryad』that die in some days after getting away from their birthplace, were useless existences to the Slave Dealers or kidnappers. After all, by the time they reached the city for selling them, they would either be dead or on their last breaths.
It wasn’t like Zari was knowledgeable about sprites; he got hold of this sort of information from his work as information broker, that he possessed them as common sense. I see now.
「Then why were they trying to capture Neil-chan and others?」
「Who knows……well if screw up those two we captured, won’t they spill out the truth?」
「Err, thinking the same, I, after you both went back, tried to question those two, but……」
「Holy moly! Alraune-chan, you do torture with that cute face? Aren’t you quite extreme? 」
「T-That is wrong!! I didn’t do anything like that! I just prepared some flowers that have a scent that if sniffed would make a person talkative and honest」
「……That is already quite like that」
The Neil-chan being teased by Zari had apparently used a natural truth drug. Did this forest have a flower like that? This could be little scary. Although I think it wouldn’t work on me.
However, the result wasn’t favourable.
Those two, apparently were just some rogues hired, and moved because of money. The identity or the goal of their employer wasn’t told to them, supposedly.
In the end, the truth about Dryad Abduction Attempt still remained a mystery.
……Strange things sure are continuously going on……
For the time being, even if we talked more, there wouldn’t have been any new information, so we returned to the city.
Before going back, we thought of giving the two we tied up to the guard of city, and came to the place the two were tied up……
……But the scenery had completely changed.
From what it looked it, it could be easily understood that these two, after returning to sanity from the use of truth drug, cu the ivy using a small knife they hid in the wristband area of their wrists, and planned to run away.
Those two had been killed by someone that came here right after they cut the ivy.
They might’ve fought, or so it seems like form the weapons they had in their hands (Where the hell were they hiding them).
However, from their body state……which was torn from limb to limb, and were now not in human shape, but rather a lump of neat, along with traces of cut section which told that these two died without resisting much. Just from looking, it was obvious that the problem was of their ability difference.
After all, although they have died in such a terrible way, but there was no trace of a fight occurring here.
It hadn’t changed much from the time I beat these two down.
In other words, without getting chance to fight, they were killed instantly, it meant that.
Elk, took a shock from this terrible scene that would be too shocking for children, and was currently patting the head of Neil-chan, who was hiding behind her back while trembling terribly.
The difference from before would be, their blood had already made a puddle here……and some footprints that I don’t remember, were here. The footprints came out of the forest, and again returned back.
For the time being, I planned to not chase after it. Fighting in dark forest, this is just reckless, nothing else.
As for the two corpses……it would’ve been fine even if we let it remain like that as other demons would come and eat them up, however because other Dryad’s would get a shock looking at it, so I buried them.
Like that, after finishing the work here, we broke up with Neil-chan along the way and after reaching the city; an unexpected person was waiting for us in front of inn.
It was the person we broke up and let away before, Sherry-san.
Apparently she had been waiting for us.
After running away, she returned to the inn, however didn’t find us, so she waited for our return.
When she thought we returned, but Zari was with us, that she was shocked.
Immediately after, Elk (with a red face) ran up to her and whispered something in her ear -『No, this wasn’t that……』『……Ah, is it like that?』-, although I didn’t knew the reason for both of their reaction, neither did I knew about the contents she whispered. After that, Sherry-san told us something that attracted our interest.
That there was a person she wanted us to meet.
Because, in fact, Sherry-san also felt strange about tonight’s raid, and so she had been inquiring the villagers here and there.
And among them, there was a person who gave out information that caught our eye, although we didn’t knew if that information had anything to do with the current incident.
While walking towards the place that person was,
「But why wanting us to meet that person?」
「Hmm, I think it is better to hear the story directly from the intelligence source……to be honest, it was quite a long and complex talk, so I think I would fail to mention many parts」
「No, I don’t mean it like that……what I mean is, why do you want us to hear that talk?」
「Yea, so you meant that? Well, isn’t it the more people the better? It’s not like I don’t know you, I can trust you more or less, and also……」
「……You might’ve also noticed it right? In that plaza before……」
I see, so Sherry-san also noticed that……and called out to me, who might’ve also noticed it (although I don’t know how she made that judgment).
「And also, the demons in that place…….*Mumble mumble*」
「……Eh, is that true?」
「Yeah……oh, we reached. This is the place」
Stopping in her tracks the place Sherry-san pointed to was a big house that felt old and was on a street smaller than the main street.
Sherry-san entered while telling in advance『Excuse us for intruding~』. The person who came out on the entrance to greet us was a hunchbacked old woman.
I’m not that tall myself, but the old woman in front of me made me think that even with her back straight she would only reach my chest area.
Her hair blond-ish white, her skin was darkish.
When we entered the house, she greeted us amiably, and even did the self-introductions. According to that self-intro, apparently, she was a『Dwarf』, a race of demi-human with longer lifespan than humans, and was 114 this year, so to speak was something like the Elder of this『Flower City』.
Seeing her smile and speak in a soft and amiable tone『Welcome』, I, instinctively, remembered the old woman, in my previous world. She lived in the neighbourhood and used to give me lots of snacks.
I was a grandma’s child after all. Things like this, after all, make me calm.
After that, it could be said rare in this world, we were taken to a tatami room, where one would sit on the floor (although the floor wasn’t exactly tatami), and she gave out zabuton and tea. Yes, now I just feel at ease, for no reason.
「Then granny, can you tell them also the story from earlier?」
「Yes, it’s fine. Should I start anew? 」
I was concerned about Elk’s scornful stare, but for the time being, I tried listening to the story Sherry-san wanted us to hear. And like that old woman started her story.
The story by the old woman, who knew about the past of『Flower City』and『Flower Valley』.
Time goes back to approx 90 years ago.
The『Flower City』of that time was located more in the northward.
That place was near the place from where the demons that raided tonight came from, the『Green Canyon』.
Of course it wasn’t called『Flower City』at that time.
Because, around the time people lived there, they weren’t making a living via『Flower Industry』, but the people of that time lived as『Hunting Tribe』.
They hunted demons, and lived on the demon’s meat and edible wild plants collected from the forest.
At the same time, they would burn a part of forest, change it into cultivation ground and grow crops.
I think it was something similar to the『Swidden Agriculture』that was present in my previous world.
And the people of that city, isolated any connections with the outside world, and were living as an isolated tribe, in the severe north, for not getting in contact with other cities or countries.
However at that time, people started appearing who proposed to migrate to south for a more affluent and safe livelihood.
The city of that time was divided into two parts, the『Migration Faction』, and those who held pride in living as a hunting tribe, the『Reside Faction』. The both opposed each other, and the dispute never ended. Sometimes big fights took place, in which various people were injured.
And on a certain autumn day, finally that day came.
Each faction came to conclusion that their way of living and way of thinking were incompatible, and before the winter of that year, the『Migration Faction』separated ways from『Reside Faction』, and migrated from their birthplace, the north, to the south.
To the place the current flower city『Minet』was located.
The people of『Migration Faction』, including the old woman, were able to live a really safe life that couldn’t be compared to before.
In that time, they got on good terms with the『Dryad』of the forest.
An unspoken agreement was made that in turn for getting blessing from the girls and the forest they live; the humans would not use their forest for Swidden agriculture.
And, because there was a trade route present connecting other countries and cities. Like that they again started interacting with the outside that they had isolated in the past and at the same time they started making special products of『flowers』under the name of profit.
After that, they tried to tell the people left behind in『North』about the affluent lives they lived, and hence tried to negotiate with them, however the people of『Reside Faction』were too obstinate that they didn’t even lend them ear.
They continued that for several years, but finally the『Migration Faction』also gave up, and cut off any contacts with them.
Because there were neither any special product in the north nor was there any advantage in doing trade in that area.
……90 from then, we reach to the current point.
I see, so this city had a background like that.
Sherry-san had asked her『Is there someone who resents this village? 』before hearing the story.
As for why she asked her that……or rather, had been asking every person of the city,
That was because at the time of raid……before I reached the plaza.
The fighting Sherry-san had seen several suspicious peoples’ shadow in the forest. The shadows seemed to mix with the darkness, and disappeared deep in the forest.
The Dark Elves could see well in the dark, so although she couldn’t see their faces, but she could see the people’s figure clearly. Hmm, is that so?
And their physique was a large build. That meant those people weren’t……『Dryad』or『Alraune』.
「What, that forest even has an Alraune?」
「Indeed. But, in that case who might those people be. If thinking on the story we just heard then……the people of『Reside Faction』from 90 years ago, at this late came to south?」
「Well that is true if we assume that the assault by those demons was unnatural. But then, why attack this city? It had been 90 years since the both factions had different opinions, right? It shouldn’t be that they come this late to pick up a quarrel for venting out their anger, right……」
「『We are living hard life in the north, but you people!』Do you mean something like that? Yikes, they sure tiny calibre……or rather we don’t even know if the people of north are even alive now, right」
「Then, maybe they want to chase out the people living in this city and take possession of『Flower Valley』by themselves?」
「Wait everyone just wait. Why is the talk continuing with the assumption of『North』always participating? Like that the outlook on the incident would only become narrow」
Thanks to Zari voicing it out, we three finally『『『Ah』』』noticed his point.
Well he sure was……correct. This was also only one of the possibilities without any evidence.
Well, from Sherry-san opinion just now, there sure were chances that the assault was intentional……so I will place this opinion in a corner of my mind.
But, in that case there would one more problem.
「But look, if this was someone’s intentional work……then those people would’ve used some way to control the demons and made them attack the city, right?」
「Is there any method for that, information broker?」
「Call me by my name……well, it’s not like there aren’t, out there, there are people who do that work」
In this world the ways to『control demons』was largely separated into 3.
1st was to just tame them just like wild animals.
It was to make the demons recognize you as the『master』by using any method, let it be using whip, prey or drugs.
2nd was, an『Ability』like that.
That was something unique and was only usable by people with『talent』specializing in this field of work.
For example the some werecats would be able to affix an emotional bond with some cat-type demons with high intelligence, and based on circumstances, they could enslave it, apparently.
Among them there were also people who were born with this『talent』. Details omitted.
And the third method was to use『Summoned Beast』or『Familiars』.
This was even rarer, and was only known by magic-users who had a definite talent in this field of work. They would make their individual original magic and/or improve the magic formula to completely enslave the demons.
……Mom used to do this, if I remember correctly.
When I tried to learn more details, she cut me off drastically with『 (Due to talent problems), It is impossible for Minato』. Argh, now that I think about it, it would’ve been better to have learnt about it even if it was impossible for me.
I didn’t know what method those people used, but because 2nd and 3rd methods were very rare……then were they using 1st method?
If the『North』was the perpetrator, for argument’s sake, then those people were originally『Hunter Tribe』……so it wouldn’t be difficult for them to tame demons.
But wouldn’t those have a collar or something around their necks……I had checked that mountain of corpses but I hadn’t found out any demon who wore something like that.
Of course, there was also the possibility that they took it off for not leaving evidence.
And it might be late, but does this incident have any relation with the Abduction Attempt on Dryads? They both were strange things and happened at the same time, so I thought they might have some connection.
Anyhow, I didn’t have enough information to make out a judgment……
(For the time being Minato, I don’t know if this thing has any connection, but we can’t leave Neil-chan and others, right?)
(That’s true. Well if it got dangerous I would ask you to give out a telepathic message, and I head to save them)
(So nothing else……got it, I will tell her)
Elk, who had already mastered the『Telepathy』with the help of Dryad girls in just this short time, sent a telepathic message. Damn it, I’m so envious. You damn fucking talent.
And the person, who might’ve wiretapped the talk–with the help of a magic item, or rather why is still ON-, looked at me saying with his eyes『I will help if you need it』. ……Well thank you.
Then the old woman, looking at our looks, seemed to have guessed something, but without pressing questions……she just heaved a sigh.
「Looks like some bad thing is occurring to the forest, it’s so sad……after all it’s a forest that gives us the blessing……. I pray that there are no people in『North』who would do such a thing……if by any chance……」
One beat later,
「If by chance……they enrage the God of Forest, then it won’t be good……」
「God of Forest? Granny does this forest has that? 」
Sherry-san got curious about the old woman’s words and returned a question.
「It’s a legend……from the time, when we were still living in『North』……. If people cross the line and do bad things to the forest, then they would be judged by the anger of God of Forest……」
「……If such a guarding deity was present then it would be good, and would also punish the evildoers」
「Hey, you orange boy, don’t put it out in words. The wrath of God of Forest is truly terrifying……in the legend it is said that several hundred years before, a village forgot it’s gratitude for forest and did bad things, in the end the village got eradicated and only an empty lot was let……It was also said to be the only village that was left to be destroyed in the end among the various villages in the『North』of that time……」
「Eh, did that thing really happen?」
「Or rather, that is already not a guardian deity but a destruction deity, right……?」
……What is there something scary too?
Even if a God wasn’t there……I don’t think it would be true, but if a demon seeming like an angry destruction god was sleeping in this forest and it was the one who environmentally damaged the forest……?
Oh geez, I came to this valley as an escort, but again I could feel that something troublesome was starting to occur……
……Although I would endure that trouble to some extent
And I pray, just『that guy』would become……an imagination or just a by-passer and not get involved with me……
 Poor Elk and Sherry.
 A cushion giving to when sitting or kneeling on the floor. For more info, Google it, or use your anime memories.