Translator: Kell | Editor: Weasalopes
Back from the Hunt
『What is all this?!』
Dream Maker’s gates opened twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening. Ordinary citizens had permission to venture out of the walls as well, so they could gather fruits and go hunting, provided they were strong enough.
The fishing industry, which used the large river behind the city, was more prosperous. Animal meat, however, was understandably expensive, as hunting in the forests carried with it the risk of being killed by monsters.
『Did that masked guy from Primeval do this?』the gatekeeper asked.
Even members of the expedition squad were baffled. Their wagon, which normally only contained a few carcasses, was filled to the brim. One glance and one could tell they hit double digits.
『Y-Yeah… We found it strange, but the fact is, we found these by the side of the road and there was no one else nearby but that guy.』one man said, pointing at the masked man curiously gazing at the wagon and their portable firearms.
『He looks so puny, though.』
『I know, right?』
『What’s going on here? Close the gate already. You know you can’t just leave it open for so long. You guys are getting careless. It’s probably why that Yamamaneki attacked.』
A lone soldier came strolling from the direction of the city. The armor and cloak he wore were clearly different from the others.
The gatekeeper and the expedition squad saluted. Soldiers had ranks as well, and judging from their reaction, the man who just arrived ranked higher than them.
『Whoa! What is this pile of meat?! Were you guys always this strong? Oh, there’s even a Spit Deer! These things are nimble. I’m impressed you brought one down.』
『Well, apparently it wasn’t the expedition squad that killed it…』
The gatekeeper pointed at the masked man.
『Oh, I see. That makes sense.』Gin said.
『You know him, Sir? Oh, right. You were part of the voyage to the west.』
『We spent quite a lot of time together on the ship.』
Gin was one of the three men that Hikaru was fishing with. Only the elite were chosen to be part of the navy’s voyage towards Vireocean. Gin, Dolan, and Zuzun, were in fact, among the best.
Gin started walking towards Hikaru.「Silver Face.」
「Hmm? Oh, Gin. I want to get in quick. Is the process gonna take long? It’s getting dark already.」
It wasn’t as though Gin could speak Hikaru’s language, however.
『Uh… you can go ahead.』
「Hmm? I can go in?」
「What about my catch? Are they worth anything? I want to sell them.」
Hikaru formed a coin with his thumb and forefinger.
『You want to sell these? You’ll get quite a lot of money for them for sure. I’ll drop by your place later.』
「You’ll come by later? Okay. See ya, then.」
Gin waved his hand, watching Hikaru go, and let out a sigh.
『Who is that guy?』a member of the expedition squad asked.
『I have no idea. All I know is he’s crazy strong. A word of advice: Don’t ever piss him off. Some idiot might underestimate him just cause he looks small. If that happens, you warn him. Or else…』
Gin told the gatekeeper and the expedition squad how Silver Face sunk a whole ship and finished off the Yamamaneki.
『Haha! Come on, Sir. You’re kidding… right?』
『I wish I was…』
『He’s that powerful, huh…』
The expedition squad looked into the distance, while the gatekeeper seemed doubtful.
『There’s still carcasses left out there. We couldn’t load them all.』
『For real?! You already have more than enough in there.』
『Come nighttime, monsters drawn by the smell of blood will eat those. What do we do?』
『I don’t know… Just let it be, I guess.』
『Are you sure about that, Sir?』
『No one is allowed to go out in the forest at night. That’s the law. Monsters are way stronger at night. I suppose we’ll just give Silver Face a bonus to make up for the ones we couldn’t pick up.』
I’m sure the higher-ups will fork out some, Gin thought.
『Just to make sure, you guys did pick up the valuable ones, right?』
『Good. We’re having a party tonight!』
Silver Face brought them trouble, but more food should be celebrated. Gin returned to town, humming along the way.
Hikaru returned to their room to find all the other members of his party already there. The good thing about the place was it had the typical amenities of an apartment—one could take a warm shower even. Lavia and Paula, however, didn’t know how to use it.
「Hikaru-sama, here’s the list of the stores that purchase materials.」
Paula showed Hikaru a piece of paper after he had taken a shower. Paper was freely distributed in the market, and pencil was easy to procure as well. Nothing less to be expected from a culture originated by a Japanese person.
The pencil was a bit peculiar, though. The lead, which was stuck between chips of wood, had to be replaced when it became blunt.
Leather Dream Workshop — Buys any animal skin. Long-armed Squirrel and Snakes that are over a meter in length sell for high prices.
National Kitchen (Zagin) — Any plants and animal that can be eaten. Visit the store for details.
Iron Pot Don — Please sell Tipsy Bird if you catch one.
Fruits and Vegetables Distribution Association — Edible fruits and vegetables.
「They said if you sell to the stores directly, they’ll greatly appreciate it and buy at a higher price. If you don’t want to be bothered, the Provisions Department of the expedition squad can purchase them all for you.」
「Wow, you got all this info in just a day?」
「Yes. I asked Miss Deena and she showed me to the Provisions Department. They told me everything there.」
She managed to get the job done quick by going straight to the one responsible for food supply, Hikaru thought. While the country was built on the concept of complete self-sufficiency, the greater majority of food was actually brought from outside the city. Most of it was fish, and if they wanted meat, hunting was the only choice.
Hikaru learned one thing from venturing outside today—hunting was not for ordinary citizens.
「How’d things go on your end?」Lavia asked Hikaru.
「I found why the soldiers here are strong. First, the animals outside are extremely sensitive to danger and won’t let anyone get close that easily. You need to either snipe them from afar or be very silent when getting close.」
「So like your Stealth?」
「I feel like it’s more physical. Maybe they’re trained on how to move without a sound. It’s quite impressive, really, given they don’t have the blessings from job classes. Second, each animal is humungous.」
Hikaru came across a wild boar taller than him. He killed it, but the expedition squad couldn’t carry the carcass, unfortunately.
「The more aggressive ones charge in even towards a group of people. Soldiers have to coordinate perfectly to take their prey down in the forest where footing is terrible. They don’t just kill either. They had to make sure the meat’s flavor doesn’t go bad. A lot of skill is needed overall.」
「That’s true… I suppose.」
「If Vireocean or Ponsonia fought through ordinary means, they wouldn’t stand a chance. Of course, if they employed extraordinary methods, they can easily win.」
The citizens of this country couldn’t use magic. With magic and job classes on their side, Vireocean’s navy should’ve had the advantage, but the enemy’s cannons turned things around. The weapon still had the drawback of not being portable. The expedition squad did have a portal guns, but Hikaru had no idea how powerful they were.
「You didn’t get hurt out there in such a dangerous environment?」
「Yeah, I’m fine. With Stealth, hunting animals is ridiculously easy. I also have my Sniping skill.」
「Thank goodness.」Lavia said, looking relieved.
「Oh, did I make you worry?」
「This is our first time in this continent.」
「You’re right. I’m sorry. I should’ve returned sooner.」
「Yes, you should have! Lavia was so worried about you, she looked outside the window every five minutes.」
「P-Paula! Don’t tell him that!」
Hikaru felt relaxed as he watched Lavia blush. His Soul Rank actually went up by one during today’s hunt. Plus the point he got from killing the Yamamaneki, he had two points available to spend now.
Gotta save them. I still don’t know what kinda Skills I’ll need later.
Then a knock came at the door. Of course, Hikaru already knew they were coming.
『Hey there, Silver Face!』
Gin stood at the door with his casual attire, just a shirt and shorts. He tossed Hikaru a bag that clanged as he caught it. Oh, they already sold the spoils.
『Let’s go drinking!』
『Come on. What about you girls?』
「Hika— Silver Face.」Lavia said.「I think he’s inviting you to dinner.」
Lavia was starting to learn this place’s language. Her dedication to reading was incredible.
「Oh… I guess we can go?」
「I don’t mind, but what about Drake?」
『I’m going! I’m going!』
Gin shrieked as Drake jumped out.
「Okay, then. Let’s all go.」
They set out into the night streets of Dream Maker.