Frontier Lord Chapter 032: Those Fighting Outside the Carriage
(Just what, or who did Camalotte bring on those carriages?!)
I wondered. The only way to unravel the mystery was to ask Camalotte. With Aruna by my side, we approached the convoy. Camalotte immediately spotted us and began giving orders to the carriages trailing behind, commanding them to halt.
As I gazed at the wagon, curiosity overwhelmed me about the contents within it—or rather, about its visitors. I signaled the wagon to stop, greeted Camalotte as he disembarked from the coach, and immediately inquired about the cargo.
「S-Stop! It’s dangerous! He’s not someone we can win against! We’ll just be slaughtered!!!」
Our conversation was shattered by a sudden cry from the second carriage, unmistakably a woman’s voice.
After the cries, the interior of the carriage erupted into a chaotic cacophony, prompting me to glance at Camalotte, attempting to discern the nature of his disruptive passenger. Camalotte appeared horrified, his mouth agape, seemingly oblivious to the unexpected presence within the carriage. Clearly, Camalotte had no inkling that there had been living beings inside.
The guards surrounding him were in a similar state. Despite their faces being concealed by clothes, their posture and movements clearly showed their astonishment. They too had never expected there’d be someone in the carriages. They were so taken aback that they reacted excessively, nearly losing their balance.
From within the carriage a woman’s voice could be heard shouting, 「Dangerous!」 「Dragon Slayer!」 and so on.
With the chaotic sounds reverberating, there was no time for hesitation.
I clutched my battle axe, ready to inspect the interior of the carriage before it got too late. But, Camalotte hastened to request that we remain in a secure spot while he and his team conducted their examination. However, this wouldn’t deter us.
I approached the carriage, understanding that I needed to address the situation as the lord. Despite this being an empty grassland, it was still my territory. When I got a few feet away from the carriage numerous shouts burst out.
「Kill the Dragon Slayer!!!」
「Seize this chance! His guard’s down!」
「He’s defenseless! Now’s our chance!!!」
Various teenage-like voices rang in my ears.
「Did the rats just talk?!」
I involuntarily said.
While appearing rat-like at first glance, these creatures sported long ears reminiscent of a rabbit, sprouting from their brown-furred head. Their bodies, draped in a mismatched fabric, fell between mouse and rabbit in size, and their tails were surprisingly lengthy.
「Why are you here?! And what did you say just now?!!!」
The anger in his tone suggested that he knew these small, beast-like creatures well.
However, the small creatures seemed unperturbed by Camalotte’s outburst.
They fixed their gaze upon me, their actions indicating a disregard for anything else. With impressive springiness, akin to how they had bounded from the carriage, they leaped directly toward me.
There existed a significant gap between the carriage and me. Nevertheless, these diminutive creatures effortlessly vaulted over it, never once touching the ground. I found myself torn between astonishment and uncertainty about whether I should truly raise my hand against them. My hesitation allowed them to draw close until I was caught in a position where evasion or interception proved impossible.
Subsequently, the sharp claws and teeth of the tiny beings closed in on me. Just as I prepared to defend against their assault, a resounding sound rent the air. The sound reverberated as these creatures were successively knocked aside. Aruna suddenly appeared into view, brandishing a bow adorned with glowing red accents.
「Dias, you’re far too careless. A rat’s bite carries lethal diseases. Be careful!」
Aruna exclaimed, her right hand clutching the bow, while her left occasionally reached for arrows. With methodical precision, Aruna continued to knock down the small creatures one by one.
Those felled by her onslaught emitted pained cries as they plummeted to the ground. However, they were quickly able to get back up, suggesting that they hadn’t sustained any major injuries.
「Did you hold back?」
I asked. To which Aruna nodded, as if it had been expected.
「I’m not sure why there are rats here, but I’m sure they’re related to Camalotte. I can’t just kill them without permission, can I?」
(I guess she’s right. They did appear from Camalotte’s carriages, and it seems like they’re acquainted. Maybe they’re like Camalotte’s pets or something?)
「We’re not anyone’s pets!」
「You damn, horned wench!!!」
「Don’t you dare mock us, desert dwellers! You stupid bitch!」
A dozen or so of the little creatures began to spew insults at Aruna. Even in the aftermath of their failed surprise attack, they persisted in assaulting me. Repeatedly, they lunged with their long legs, or rather their elongated toes, kicking and springing from the ground. However, each attempt resulted in them being swiftly thwarted by Aruna’s arrows.
Aruna continued to repel them as he had done before, seemingly unperturbed by the creatures’ rants, dismissing them as mere rodents.
「M-Men! What are you doing daydreaming over there?! Hurry up and help Lord Dias and Lady Aruna! Make sure to capture every last one of those idiots!」
Amidst Aruna’s exchanges with the small creatures as they engaged in their attack and defense, the resounding shouts of Camalotte became distinctly audible.
I believed that rather than daydreaming, the guards had simply prioritized protecting Camalotte when the circumstances had suddenly shifted. Nonetheless, after being admonished, they promptly cleared their heads and sprang into action. Some came to protect us, while others tried to apprehend the small creatures.
As the guards took action, the small animals retorted,
「Calling in reinforcements isn’t fair!」
「Humans are all sly scum!!!」
「Damn you Dragon Slayer!」
The barrage of words was swiftly followed by the creatures scuttling away like startled spiders.
Leveraging their agility and diminutive size, they managed a skillful retreat. However, the guards’ legs proved even faster, and it didn’t take long for them to catch up and capture the creatures within their firm grasp.
One of the guards retrieved several gunny sacks from the carriage. Soon enough, all the captured creatures were methodically placed into the sacks, one after another.
Camalotte ordered the guards to ensure not one creature was overlooked and to inspect the carriage for any other hidden individuals. He then made his way toward us. His countenance bore the hue of apology, mirrored in his expression.
「Lord Dias, Lady Aruna, I cannot begin to express how sorry I am for the inconvenience we have caused you…」
Camalotte said, bowing his head deeply.
I assured Camalotte that there was no need for him to apologize for the actions of the small creatures. However, he persisted in bowing his head, indicating that their mistake to fully check everything had inadvertently led to this situation.
「Above all, those creatures are residents of our territory. Given that they assaulted you Lord Dias, I, as Lord Eldan’s representative, must do my utmost to extend my apologies.」
「What? Residents you say? Those tiny creatures are? Wait just a minute… So they aren’t just tiny beasts?」
As I voiced my uncertainty, Camalotte raised his head, then slowly nodded, and proceeded to elucidate the identity of these small beings.
Speed up schedule by 10 hours