Chapter 13: Precious ordinariness


Translator: Denryuu


Grabbing it by its tail, I dragged the dead Salamander all the way back to the village. By then, the fire had been fully extinguished, and the buildings were no longer on fire. Having completed their task, everyone looked exhausted.

「Hey, Aniki! Where have you been?」

I pointed to the Salamander that I had left by the entrance.

「I was dealing with that creature. It’s responsible for the fire.」

「Whoa, it’s huge! Aniki, you took it down by yourself…!?」

「Ho-o-ly shit, if I had to face that, I’d need a change of pants…」

「I would definitely have run away at first sight…」

The trio started examining this unusual specimen.

A middle-aged man addressed me.

「The leader, I presume?」

I nodded.

「Yes — you can call me Roland. Our quest brought us here. Anyway, I’m glad that the fire has been brought under control.」

「A quest? I see… I am the village elder. We all owe you our thanks.」

「Not at all. I have slain the beast that was laying waste to this village. May I trouble you to confirm that it is indeed the culprit?」, I said, pointing at the Salamander that my comrades were still gawking at.

「Yes, yes, that’s the one! That big lizard, it was attacking our village along with that red wolf!」

「Please relax. Is that the monster mentioned in the quest details?」

The relatively young village elder nodded.

「Yes. They came about once a week… many of us have been eaten.」

「I see… my deepest apologies for being late.」

The village elder shook his head profusely.

「I heard through the grapevine that you felled that red-coloured wolf on your way here. We are truly indebted to all of you for saving the village.」

The trio, who had been listening, did not look dissatisfied altogether. I know what they feel right now — when you’ve just helped people sort out their troubles, you can’t feel bad when gratitude is shown.

Thank you, said the elder, lowering his head and shaking my hand. While being shown around the village, I inquired about the events prior to today.

「We’d lived in fear of that big lizard and red-coloured wolf all this time. Of course, it’s not like no damage was done.」

Burnt houses. Buildings reduced to cinders. You could still feel a bit of lingering heat from them. There were many empty houses without a trace of life. It appeared that many villagers had left the village to seek refuge.

「Before the monsters appeared, we were a small, peaceful village, just like any other.」

「Indeed, it’s not very big.」

「Yes… I understand why many have left.」

「To live in constant fear of being attacked, and calling that lifestyle ‘normal’… I won’t stand for it.」

「That’s… true. Is that red-coloured wolf an… apex predator? What’s its standing among other monsters?」

「The red wolf? It’s highly intelligent, and in fact some monsters will follow its orders.」

I see, said the village elder, making a sullen face yet again.

「A pig-like, humanoid creature… is it called an orc?」

「Yes, what about it?」

「That red wolf would bring them along when attacking. Those bastards, they feasted on our food, raped our women, and slaughtered our men in cold blood. It was beyond terrible. Faced with that, anyone would have left the village in search of greener pastures…」

「……」

That gaze…

「… I see that all of you have been leading a ‘normal life’ till now?」

「Yes. It’s not much, but it’s normal. Just like anywhere else.」

Hmm… the ‘normal life’ I’ve been yearning for all this time, huh?

「Everything’s all right now, chief. The monsters will no longer terrorise your village, and you can all return to your regular lives. Those who left may also hear of the good news and return.」

「Indeed. Let us say our thanks once again.」

「No, no, it’s fine… you have expressed enough gratitude. About that Salamander though… although its hide is tough but the meat underneath is of good quality. What do you say?」

The village elder smiled.

「Fine by me. Let’s eat that evil Salamander.」

That day, we indulged in a feast, courtesy of the villagers. There was plenty of wine and little titbits, but of course, the main course was various cuts of Salamander steak that I had carved. The drumsticks were the most popular, enjoyed by both adults and children alike. While it did look a little off-putting, the adults loved the offal — liver, heart, diaphragm, et cetera. As they were enjoying the food, the villagers also made time to find us and shower us with their thanks. To put it in words, this felt like I was back at Milia’s house. Yes… it’s known as ‘warmth’. Such was this village.

「Aniki, we’re being treated like heroes.」

「You can see that life has been tough for them.」

「I’m glad I followed employee-san’s orders back then. If not, I wouldn’t be here right now…」

「Indeed, although I couldn’t do anything… it’s great to see how happy these people are. Employee-san, I’ll continue doing my best!」

Everyone devoured the meat, and partook in the endless flow of wine. It wasn’t the best wine, but seeing the joy on the faces of people that we had helped made it better. I recalled the time when I went on a journey with Almeria and the rest, when we freed that town from the clutches of the Demon King’s army. They had treated us like this too.

「A-all of you, thanks t’you… really, I’d like to, like to… t-thank ye…」

The obviously inebriated village elder was making his way toward us on tottering steps. He started to trouble Neil, then Spear, then Shinto priest. At that moment, I excused myself for a while as something had piqued my interest. Whoever it was that gave me that gaze earlier, I could sense his aura nearby. As I took off my glasses, the warmth of the village evaporated, replaced by a bitter chill.

「You’re here, aren’t you? Show yourself!」

「Oi, you! Who’re you? An adventurer?」

So this guy was what I had detected. This man had shoulder-length brown hair and multiple piercings on each ear; his armour was top notch.

「Does it matter who I am?」

「Eh, how cold. I’ve seen ya fightin’. Ya done my Salamander and red wolf right in. Yer not any old adventurer, are ya now?」

Ka-ka-ka, cackled the adventurer unassumingly.

「I was wondering if those two belonged to someone. And that someone’s you, asshole…?」

「Yup. That’s me. Ah, I haven’t given ya my name yet.」

「I don’t care what it is.」

I didn’t even care to talk. However, there was something I needed to confirm.

「So cold. Ka-ka-ka. Imma A-rank adventurer, a beast master. I’m lookin’ fer strong allies.」

「And your point is?」

「That Salamander and red wolf, I don’t need them weak lil’ buggers anymore. I wanna control stronger creatures. Since I’m searchin’ fer strong mates, I thought I’d kill two birds with one stone.」

「Okay, okay, I get the point. You can shut up now.」

The man looked surprised, but continued rambling happily, just like a kid that had thought of a new idea. He kindly educated us on this without a trace of malice.

「If I attacked the village, adventurers would show up, no? Neither the royal cavalry or nobles’ personal armies would ever c’mere. I wanted ta make them fight wi’ ma beasts. If they were stronger than ma pets, I’d want ‘em, but if they were weaker, I couldn’t care less about ‘em.」

「… Do you know what you’ve done to this village?」

「Na-a-ah. Doesn’t matter ta me. I’ll just say it’s the Demon King army’s handiwork. Anyway, look, Imma A-rank adventurer. I go on a buncha quests and save a buncha people. Ain’t that great?」

「…」

「Eh, if it helps me power up, then it’s useful. Small village, big step forward for me!」

「Their lives would be just like today, every day, if it wasn’t for you, asshole. Their ‘normalcy’ isn’t something you can simply take at your whim and fancy.」

「If yer weak, ya die. That’s all there is. Wantin’ peace immediately after the dust settles, are ya dumb? Gimme a break.」

「If anyone dares to rob people of their ‘normalcy’, I won’t take it sitting down.」

To me, a ‘normal’ life is sacrosanct, imbued with stability and warmth. I know exactly how difficult it is to obtain it.

「Ya won’t allow it? Heh, what’re ya gonna do ta me then?」

「I’ll kill you.」

「Ka-ka-ka. I ain’t gonna just sit here and croak, ya know? My monsters may not be here, but I sure can take ya on myself.」

「That’s a lot of talk for a dead man.」

「Huh–!? –Ah!?」

The man took two or three steps as he puked blood, and then collapsed, eyes wide open and facing the sky. I stared intently as he convulsed and frothed at the mouth.

「Battle rating, D.」

He hadn’t even seen my attack coming. Far from it. He wouldn’t know that I had done anything until the signs started to show.

So this is the strength of an A-rank adventurer.

「This is retribution for intruding upon their ‘normal’ lives.」

At last, he kicked the bucket.



4 Comments

  1. Thanks for the chapter!

  2. Thanks for the chapter desu~

    In the manga, I first thought he was a girl (the monster tamer, I mean) because of the excessive jewelry he wore.

    Must be a traditional thing, cause no way does he think that’s what a fashion statement is.

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