「So. I don’t recall precisely what race they are since they don’t come out often, but who do y’all think they most likely are？」
「Mm～、could definitely be goblins.」
「Or maybe beast-people of some sort？」
「Maybe even ogres.」
Once they had listed off the typical forest-dwellers, Mio spoke up.
「I don’t think that ogres or forest giants are in this area.」
「There’s no trace of creatures that size.」
「Oh, I get what you mean.」
Tatsuya knew exactly what Mio was saying. Ogres were more than 2 meters tall, while forest giants were more than 3 meters tall on average. There would be a lot more open space if creatures of that size were roaming around.
「I think goblins are the likeliest out of this group.」
「Plus Nora did mention that most beast people live fairly close to human settlements.」
「That’s because Farlane is a kind country to all races.」
Farlane was a peace-loving country when it came to other races, and there were not typically instances of discrimination or expulsion. As long you did as the Romans do in Rome, no personal fights would ever lead to villages or towns agitating for expulsion.
As a result, you were practically guaranteed to find multiple races in bigger towns. In Wulls, even races with scarce populations like elves or mora could make colonies if they wanted to. Then again, it was also true that populations of less than a thousand weren’t much to brag about.
「What’re goblins like in this world？」
「In the game, they looked as you might expect, albeit closer to regular people in terms of personality. There were ones acting as active monsters, but there were also ones that were friendly NPCs.」
Haruna answered Makoto’s question. As fiercely dedicated to the battlefield as she was, Makoto had not had the opportunity to encounter goblins.
「You’ve had quests like that before, Haruna?」
「Yeah. Multiple times.」
In other words, the goblins in Fairy Tale Chronicles Online were close to fairies. In other games, goblin extermination missions tended to appear in the prologue, but this was not the case in Fairy Tale Chronicles. There weren’t even all that many opportunities to fight goblins as active monsters. Even if you did encounter goblins, it was generally as part of a different mission that involved going through their territory. As no one knew their language, everyone tended to wipe them all out.
Digressing a bit, there had actually been an online discussion board geared towards players who had become on friendly terms with NPC goblins and wanted to learn their language. There had actually been quite a number of people who had stood up for the goblin race after hearing them lament the destruction of their homes. As a result, a decent amount of players had learned the language and tragedies had decreased by a significant amount. For a game that had been particularly harsh toward craftsmen, it was oddly pastoral in this regard.
「Well, how about we check it out just in case?」
「Check what out？」
「Can everyone speak the goblin language？」
Everyone knew where Hiroshi was going with this when he said that. They made their personal statements in order.
「I never learned it.」
「I can speak it.」
「I can also speak it.」
「Annnd that perfectly aligns with our combatant group and non-combatant group.」
Everyone grimaced at what Hiroshi said. It was as clear as day where they had each allocated their resources to.
「Then what about the elven language?」
「From what Teres said, they can all speak the standard Farlane speech.」
「Hey, don’t ask me, man.」
Elves in this world were different in the strangest little ways. Nothing particularly important, but that still made them taken aback.
「Well, whatever. We’ve wasted enough time as it is. Time to pick up the pace.」
They started moving faster as prompted by Tatsuya. They didn’t even bother to hide the sound of their footsteps, as it was simply too much to think about. As they rushed past all sorts of strangely colored vegetation, they simply looked back at it as they rushed forward without even questioning whether they were going the right way or not.
The scream was heard two days after they had gone upstream, in the afternoon.
「Mm, I heard it.」
「Sounds like a female voice.」
They answered Haruna before identifying the direction of the scream, re-brandishing their weapons and changing course. They seemed to be one of the presences that Hiroshi and Mio had sensed. While shaking for more reasons than one, Hiroshi standing valiantly at the vanguard ended up being a bit pitiable. They didn’t seem to be too far from their target. With a full-on sprint, it would take only a minute.
At the place in question, they could see the aforementioned blonde female bound hand and foot between ivy and branches, soon to be engulfed by a big tree.
「Get the heck over there！」
Getting into a big panic in a situation that did not allow for delay, Hiroshi decided to start out by activating Outface as he threw a handaxe at the tree. Makoto used her novice long-distance sword skill, Sonic Slash in order to cut off the ivy. The handaxe cut through the ivy at their feet, and Sonic Slash sliced through the upper half of the ivy that had the female in its grip.
「Hiro, any ingredients we can glean from it？」
Confirming that their first attack had rescued the female, Tatsuya decided to ask Hiroshi. Before the female could fall to the ground, Haruna had used acceleration magic in order to quickly move over there and retrieve her before promptly withdrawing.
「It’s ’bout two ranks higher than most wood.」
Hiroshi answered Tatsuya as he approached the tree with his pole axe. This pole axe happened to be one that Hiroshi had remade from the materials that Layotte had provided. When Layotte had heard from Rayna about Makoto’s apprehensions, he had decided that nothing else would do, forcing them to take along magic iron and mythril, even going so far as to update their smelting furnace.
「Then we’d better not burn it.」
「Plus it might spread fire, mate. Best not to.」
「Then I guess we can just burn the roots or something.」
Tatsuya said as he proceeded to cut the roots to pieces with earth-style offense magic. Once the effects had gone, Hiroshi made a hearty swing with his pole axe and pounded it into the base of the roots.
Having just sliced into one-third of the base, the pole axe made a hearty sound as it came back for more to the exact same spot. If this were a sword, even if someone of Makoto’s prowess were to use it, not even a regular attack could go this far. Axe-type weapons were the most suitable weapons against tree monsters.
「You just don’t know when to quit.」
Mio said with an expressionless face as she shot the ivy that was scrambling at Hiroshi with a wind-clad arrow, felling it. Not even a second later, Hiroshi pounded in the last attack, finally felling the entire miasma-transformed tree with a resounding crash.
「We got some wood, y’all！」
Hiroshi was overjoyed as he lopped off branch after branch, momentarily forgetting their objective. Tatsuya interjected mercilessly with his staff.
「Umm, hello? We need to first see if the person is okay.」
「But I thought that Haruna-san was takin’ care of that.」
「I realize that, but don’t you think it’s polite to at least ACT like you’re concerned?」
Not only had Tatsuya objected to his behavior, but now Makoto was objecting as well. Hiroshi agreed with painful reluctance as he followed them to the female. By the time she could be completely seen, Haruna and Mio had taken nearly all of the ivy off, revealing her beautiful form for all to see.
Thanks for the chapter.
Thanks for the new chapter!