『…That’s why I will trouble you with this』(Village Chief)
“Mithril’s Roar” and “Red Oath” listened to the explanation from the village head.
This is a small village at the foot of the mountain, a little over two hours from the capital.
Although it’s at the foot of the mountain, it’s not a rocky place but wide-spread with plains, a relatively fertile land. Although there are a few mountains behind the village, most of them are trees.
It’s natural that it would be a living place for dragons because they can secure enough food for them.
The cause of this commotion is that the Earth Dragon that lived in the back of those mountains sensed the existence of the Ancient Dragon and moved away from its home.
From the explanation they heard at the time of receiving the request at the guild, the story from the “Red Oath” on the move, and the story from the village chief, everyone in “Mithril’s Roar” judged that. And of course, the “Red Oath” also thought the same.
The request for subjugation seems to have been issued by the lord of this land who received a petition from the village. He was surprisingly quick even though the Ancient Dragon’s survey request was up only yesterday. Whether he cares much about the resident, or he doesn’t want the king to hear about this if he neglects the danger of the dragon species in the immediate vicinity of the royal city for too long. Anyway, as a ruler, he seems to be a good lord who fulfills his duties.
It is unavoidable that the soldiers of the territory were not sent out.
Soldiers are trained for interpersonal battles as their main virtual enemy rather than monster opponents, they might suffer significant damage if they fight Dragon species opponents.
Rather than losing his important soldiers trained with a lot of money, it’s much cheaper to leave it to the veteran hunters with 20 gold coins, which is just a margin for the lord.
He may be a good lord who places importance on the lives of soldiers, even taking into account the gains on the sale of the material.
And for hunters, the request is delicious. In other words, it was a good decision to make everyone happy by the Lord who knows everything well.
『Okay, I understand about that. Let’s go!』(Glen)
It was already late afternoon because they came to the guild quite late. They don’t mind camp tonight. And if they can meet the Earth Dragon while it’s still bright day, they can finish the request today. For now, they can start searching right away, and if they can’t find it before it gets dark, they can consult tomorrow’s search plan in the evening.
As Glen says, it was time to move quickly.
(Number 72: You called?)
(…We’ve got company…) (Mile)
(T.N: raws are just “someone follows us“, but I want to make it sounds cooler)
This time, because the opponent has a big body, they don’t worry that they will overlook it or their opponent will spot them first and ambush them. However, Mile still used search magic because this is the first time they hunt such a monster. And they are a joint-request with other parties and Mile didn’t want to risk it.
And she noticed four detection targets that came from a certain distance from the rear.
(This reaction is human and maybe some children. What should I do…?) (Mile)
Perhaps they wanted to see the battle of senior hunters against the Earth-Dragon. As children in a small village, it’s a super-big event that may never happen once in a lifetime, and their curiosity got them.
If their request is against a group of Orcs or Ogres, Mile would immediately notify everyone and drive the children back. That’s because she will not know what will happen if they fight against a large number of opponents at the same time.
However, the enemy this time is only one, although its figure is large.
It’s not a monster who has the wisdom of taking hostages or using children as a shield. It won’t ignore “Mithril’s Roar” and “Red Oath” at the front and comes to attack the children in the back.
And if Mile cast a grid barrier before the battle, it will change from “little danger” to “no danger at all”.
(There’s no problem…) (Mile)
Mile felt bored without friends in her previous life, she understood that children wanted to play or adventure. She herself also wanted to do such an exciting adventure.
So, unlike the other three people who are doing hunter work with a clear purpose, Mile seems to have become a hunter with no intention and inertia, but in fact, she is the best of the four people to enjoy her life as a hunter every day…
(They show no sign of going home …) (Mile)
Mile continues to monitor the following four detection responses to protect against danger.
Now that they’ve come this far, Mile is worried about driving the children back alone. So, if the light spot indicating the children is going back, Mile intended to join the children with a reason.
Mile can no long use tactics to lose the tail such as “suddenly stop, increase speed or scatter in all directions” because the children will become lost and might come across a monster and might be killed.
(But, as expected of children raised in the rural village, they have stamina to follow hunters like us…) (Mile)
Mile is impressed. But actually the members of “Mithril’s Roar” has slowed down their speed to match people with the least physical strength, namely Pauline and Rena.
The usual movement speed of “Red Oath” is fast because they move without any baggage on the back, all their baggage are in Mile’s storage. “They are faster than other hunters with baggage” However, under the same conditions as this time, Pauline and Rena were overwhelmingly disadvantaged because they aren’t physically strong, they are also small and have a short stride.
In other words, these two have less physical strength than the village children and move slowly in the forest.
A shocking truth…
『…It will get dark soon. Let’s look for a campsite…』(Glen)
Mile raised her voice unintentionally with Glen’s suggestion.
Speaking of which, they plan to camp and searching until they find the Earth-Dragon. They can’t do inefficient things like going back to the village to sleep.
So what’s about the children who follow them?
…”out“! It’s “out“.
(T.N: For Japanese, the English word “Out-to” has a negative meaning like “cut”, “scrap that”, etc.)
The children must have come without the permission of their parents. Because no parents would allow that. That means, they left the village without permission. And if the kids don’t come back at night …
『There are some small life reactions behind… Maybe they are human children…』(Mile)
(((Ah …))) (Rena’s Trio)
From how Mile portraited her surprise, Rena’s Trio thought, “Oh, she must have been aware of them for a long time…”, but they didn’t bother to say it out.
『What did you say! Village kids? Did you follow us? This is bad…』(Glen)
Glen is in trouble.
He can’t abandon the children, but they have gone quite far from the village.
It’s difficult and dangerous to travel with children in a forest with no roads. It doesn’t matter if they are rank party, if a monster suddenly attacks them in the dark, from the top of a tree, or in the shadow of a rock, there’s no guarantee that you can protect the children.
…And the return trip to the village is a huge loss of time, meanwhile, they won’t get any extra reward.
Glen has a look like taking a bite on a bitter worm, but his dictionary doesn’t have a choice for “Ignoring the children and pretend like they don’t know”.
『Damn it. Anyway, let’s join them. We will listen to their reason later!』(Glen)
There was no one objecting it, and all of them turned back in the opposite direction.
Then, when the hunters spotted the children and tried to call them.
Suddenly, the ground next to the children swelled up and a huge figure appeared.
『What!? Earth Dragon!!』(Glen)
Yes. Actually, this thing is a dragon species that dig into the ground. Earth-Dragon (not Earth-Mole)
Detecting vibrations from animals walking on the ground, suddenly emerging from the ground, crushing their prey with their large and powerful arms, swallow them, dig back into the ground and eat them there.
Then, the Earth-Dragon swung down its huge arm at the children.
Not in time.
Even if the magician’s group starts to chanting more now, they won’t make it in time.
Mile is freezing and not responding.
The vanguard members of “Mithril’s Roar” aren’t bad, but they aren’t so stupid(noble) to give their lives for some strangers.
If they are alive, with their strength of A rank hunters, they can help many people in the future. If they die here for the children of a random village, they will just die like countless unfortunate hunters and can’t help after this. And even if they rush in to help, there will be a very high probability of dying, both children and themselves…
No, there’s no doubt it will.
So no one tried to move.
……correct. As a hunter, it was certainly the right judgment and no one would complain.
But there is a knight aspiration rather than as a hunter. She was also a person who gave priority to the way of life as “the ideal knight in her heart”, even she wasn’t a real knight.
Whether she will make it in time, what will happen to her life, there is no need to think about that.
However, in a reflexive manner, she runs at full speed. To fulfill her duty.
There was no time to pull out her sword, but her body was interrupted between the swung down Earth-Dragon’s huge arm and children.
Her left arm raised reflexively against the swung down Earth Dragon’s arm.
Even though her left arm is a sturdy product, it’s only “the left arm”.
The shoulder that supports her left arm.
…The artifactual left arm will remain intact while everything else will be crushed.
Perhaps Maevis, who is overconfident in her left arm ability, doesn’t know that physical. But for Mile, it was easy to imagine.
(Number 60, OMG!)
And Mile’s scream echoed.