Volume 4 Chapter 5
The next day.
After a quick breakfast, I told Livin who had just opened the inn, that I was going out to survey the forest, and left for the meeting place.
Within a few minutes of arriving at the spot, Liese and her party arrived as well.
「Good morning. Sorry to keep you waiting, let’s move out」
I gave her a nod and our group headed out of the gate towards the forest, which is an hour’s walk away. Normally, I suspect, the four of them would have been chatting, but perhaps the fact that I was an outsider put everyone on edge, so nobody said much.
I checked the vicinity of the road for monsters with Search as much as I could to ensure we were not ambushed by any monster.
Galt and Jill did not pay much attention to me but I caught a few glances from Liese and Myra.
And then Myra, who was walking by my side, started a conversation with me.
「Can I call you Touya-kun since you’re younger than me, can I? No?」
She leaned into me, giving me an earnest look so much so that I wanted to back away from her. When I told her I did not mind, she smiled blissfully.
「That makes me happy, I thought since you’re an A-rank you’d be against it」
「No, I’m still fairly a new adventurer. I only recently received this rank……」
「Hmm, is that so? So do you plan on continuing to be an adventurer……? With your rank, you might as well work for some noble here, right?」
Hired by a noble…… In a sense I do feel I am hired by the Emperor and Gaulus.
Speaking of, Char and Al must be pissed that I left the Imperial Capital without their knowledge…… while Natalie is pouting for some sweets.
Imagining Natalie’s face like that is kind of funny.
「I live in the Capital, so I wonder if it is possible to get hired in another city…….」
「I was thinking that you’d be willing to adventurer here, I guess that’s not the case」
「Sadly, I can’t. I only came to this city for a break…… I didn’t expect to get a request」
She chuckled, and changed the topic, as if understanding how I felt.
「How about the next time we’re in the capital, you show us around? Not that we would impose on you, or your family there」
「I actually live alone with the maids and—- No, I mean, my house is too small, so I’ll find you a nice place to stay instead」
I can invite anyone I want to the mansion in the Capital, there’s no problem with that. Just that I have recently met these guys. It’s best to not reveal anything about myself.
「…… Something fishy going on here. You just said “maid” right now, didn’t you? Could you be a noble’s son?」
Dangerous…… Myra is quite sharp. I can’t afford any more slip ups.
「If I was, I wouldn’t be a lone adventurer…… No, I don’t have a family, and I live in one of the houses that remain standing at the edge of the Imperial Capital」
She had a sad expression upon hearing this. I am not so good at lying, but I hope this throws her off.
「…… Oh, I see. That’s sad to hear. Well, while you’re in town, you can count on us!」
With a reassuring light pat on my back and a flash of a smile, Myra ran off to Liese’s side.
After that, we arrived at the edge of the forest without incident. We took a short break and began to strategize.
「I’ll take the lead to scout ahead. Liese and Galt will be in the center with Touya and Myra following behind them」
This is a solid formation, although if I were to tell them I can use Search, Jill would lose his role.
「I can fight a little so I’ll do my best to not slow you guys down and I’ll serve as a rear guard 」
I take out my mace from Dimensional Storage. I don’t need the Buster Sword since this is the protection and healing job. I won’t fight unless there is a high level monster.
I kept Search active so we won’t be caught off-guard.
The path to the dungeon was already laid out, and there were even signs to guide us. This shows how much of a necessity dungeons are in this town.
For adventurers who earn their daily bread by gathering materials and killing animals, it’s a matter of life and death if they are forbidden to enter the forest. Those who can go to other cities for escort missions will have no problem, but the low rank adventurers in this city mainly earn their money in the forests and lower levels of dungeon.
My Search picked up on monsters roaming around the shallow areas of the forest. If there are this many in close by, there is probably more nearer to the dungeon.
…… I was tasked with surveying the area around the dungeon, but this might be a lot of work…… I might even have to get serious sooner than I thought.
Without hesitation I made up my mind and got ready.
「Let’s go, then」
We all nodded at Jill’s words and went into the forest
A few minutes after we entered, Jill seemed to have found something and signaled us with her hand.
「…… There’s a swarm of goblins, damn. This far out……」
Goblins are an opponent that even low-ranked adventurers can defeat, but they can be a nuisance when they attack in a large number. And in the forest, you never know where they might strike.
Search has picked up on the 30 goblins in the forest. They seem to be hiding and watching us.
They’re so well organized that they might even have a superior species.
「…… We’re already surrounded. Get ready for battle」
At my words, they all huffed and raised their weapons.
On that mark, goblins with clubs jumped out one after another from the bushes around us.
「Here they come! Myra be careful!」
Jill held her dagger in both hands and used her speed to cut the goblins down in a flash. Gilt and Liese, protect Myra, handling the attacking goblins with ease.
Myra, herself, was using Wind magic to fend off the goblins. Not to be outdone, I swung my mace and crushed the heads of the goblins that had approached me.
Not long after, several of the nearby goblins scattered back into the forest, fleeing.
「I don’t know what we’ll be meeting if this is how we’re starting……」
Liese sighed as she wiped the blood from her sword with a cloth.
I have no doubt that goblins won’t pose a threat for this group, but I suspect a stronger monster is here. To stop the flooding dungeon we need to defeat the boss at the bottom floor, however, with this group I’m worried.
I have some idea of their levels from watching their battle right now, I place them in the B-rank range. Their levels probably are in the upper 20s.
「We have to be more vigilant as we go deeper」
Heeding Gilt’s advice we proceeded with caution.
And out of nowhere a scream.
「!?……. That’s a person’s scream」
「In the forest!? Let’s go」
We sped up towards the scream. With my Search I could tell the four of them are already caught up in a fight, and around them more monsters are gathering.
As I got closer to the group at a fast pace, a man coming from their direction came running towards me in a frantic state.
「Run, run! Ah, it’s a swarm of monsters!!」
「Are you alone?」
To Gilt’s question, the man shook his head.
「The four of us tried to fight, but as the number of monsters rose, I left the others behind—- and ran away……」
He looked frustrated, but I guess it was his own life that mattered.
「What the hell!? You are in a party!? And you abandoned them?!」
Liese was disgusted by the man’s answer. If one member runs away from a battle that the party was barely fending off, it would be overwhelmed at any moment.
Gilt also grabbed the man’s chest, but quickly let go.
「I had no choice…… I have a family at home! My wife is pregnant. I can’t die here!」
That’s all the man said as he fled towards the entrance of the forest
「…… What do we do? We don’t know how many monsters there are. Shouldn’t we retreat……?」
Liese shook her head at Jill’s suggestion.
「We might be able to help! I’m going!」
Myra nodded at Liese’s words.
「…… Okay. I’m going to run away as soon as I’m in danger. Is that okay?」
「Yeah, Jill……. Thanks.」
Liese gave me a look, I nodded silently. I will join her.
「All right, let’s go」
We picked up speed in the direction of where the battle was.
It took us a few minutes to reach the spot.
The three men who were fighting were already wounded and could have collapsed at any moment. Their bodies were covered in blood and their arms were bent in an excruciating manner, but they kept fighting. The orcs they had defeated were lying everywhere; the higher species among the remaining.
「We’re here to help!」
Myra unleashed an attack spell to put some distance between the three men and the monsters. And Gilt and Liese stepped to confront the monsters.
「Touya, please heal them」
I quickly applied the Advanced Recovery High Heal spell on the three men.
「It’s going to be fine. Can you move……?」
The men were surprised when they saw their wounds had been healed in an instant. They nodded enthusiastically.
「Thank you…… for saving our lives」
「You can thank us later when we get back to town safely. For now, run away as fast possible」
However, one after another orcs appeared on the path of our escape. There are not many, but it looks like they are intending on blocking us.
…… There is definitely a higher species.
As I was thinking this, the orcs before us shifted to the side, and from behind them came three gigantic orcs.
「……General class, huh? ……」
An Orc General is equivalent to the strength of a B rank. It basically takes the strength of one party to take down one.
Now, there are three of them.
And there are dozens of other orcs all around us.
Gilt the rest of the party looked on in hopelessness.
「…… What should we do? The chances of us escaping are small. We have to break through somehow」
「…… They’ll catch up to us in no time. Gilt and Jill, take the three of them and run. Touya, you should go with them……」
Gilt was speechless to Liese’s plan.
「—-I’ll stay. The rest of you should run」
All of them were rapt at my words.
What they are thinking is valid. What will a Recovery Priest do in this situation all on his own.
But if they are here, I won’t be able to go all out.
With this many monsters, there’s no telling—- how much experience I can gain.
Others might see this as a desperate situation but for me it’s an exciting time. I can’t help but smile.
「What….? Are you insane……?」
I choose not to make eye contact with Liese’s sullen gaze and tell them to hurry up and run.
「Okay, okay. Thank you, Touya. Good luck」
「 Oh, and be careful out there. You’re going to have to treat me to a lot of booze later, okay?」
「I’ll let you drink all you want! So don’t you …… die!」
「Sure, now get out of here!」
As I watched Liese start to flee, I placed the mace in Dimensional Storage and pulled out my actual weapon.
My Buster Sword, a sword of almost my height.
I placed it on my shoulder and turned my head towards my opponents.
「But still, this many…… Don’t mind if I do!」
The monsters show no sign of fear and start to attack me under the Generals’ orders.
I fire Air Bullet with my left hand as I swing the Buster Sword with my right—decimating the monsters within the reach of my sword.
I approached the Orc Generals at top speed and decapitated the three heads. The rest of the orcs are unable to withstand the power of my strengthened and boosted body; they start dropping like flies.
I swung my sword eliminating the monsters for what felt like little more than 30 minutes. When I stopped and looked around, there were no more orcs around me.
I could tell from my Search that there were still more in the forest and were coming for me.
Besides that, there was just one thing that …… bothered me.
「—– How long are you hiding there…..?」
At my inquiry—- Liese quietly showed herself from behind a tree.