7-8. Wolves and Stalker Reserves
Satou's here. Isn't it unexpectedly recently that the word 'stalker' become popular? It'd have been fine if the earnest person isn't troubling other people...
"Master, it seems that the road is split at the foot of the mountain ahead. Which way should we go?"
Having been called by Lulu from the coachman's seat, I stop the experiment.
"Nice, Lulu! Now now, you must go quickly!"
Arisa pushes my back to hurry me go the coachman's seat. I leave Tama who's sleeping on my lap to Mia. Pochi is sleeping on Nana's lap. Very enviable, I wonder if she'd let me take her place if I give her meat during meal.
I thought Mia's line was a false accusation, Nana and me were only facing each other for experiment, we were not flirting.
I was only trying to check the limit of [Signal] magic; whether we could receive signal from [Signal] magic if there was no receiver, so Nana and me were sitting face-to-face with each other.
In addition, since I wasn't allowed to stare at Nana's breasts, I looked at her face, but they were still saying bad things.
"Really, on top of gazing each other, you two were even locking hands, really!"
My [Magic Perception] skill immediately kicked in, but Nana couldn't receive the signal, so I was to tap Nana's palm with my finger whenever I was sending a signal.
It's purely an experiment.
There's nothing shameful--I've thought of the little perk, but it's a secret.
To change the subject, I go to the coachman's seat and give instruction to Lulu.
From the mountain trail we are on now, I could see the road extending at the direction of the forest. The road that extends beyond the forest leads to Daregan city. I could even faintly see something that looks like the outer wall beyond the forest from here.
"Turn left there, don't go straight."
"Yes, I understand."
"Huh? Haven't I said that Daregan city is straight ahead? I've already told you to board on a ship there to get straight to the dukedom's capital."
That was plan, but it'd be bad if we went to the city ahead.
"We're going to encounter the stalker reserves if we keep going."
"Geh, don't tell me, it's Oppai-san?"
"W, wait Arisa. For the time being, she's the daughter of master's master, call her Karina-sama properly."
Lulu gives a warning, but since Lulu herself has added, "For the time being", I understand Lulu's assessment about her.
Karina-sama and three bodyguards-like maids who are traveling together with her are in the Daregan city ahead. Looks like it's impossible for knight Zotor or junior knight Hauto to go with her after all. Even lady Karina should have had many jobs like suppressing thieves in her own territory. She's a pain in the ass.
"Now, it's time to have a match nano desu!"
Pochi and Tama are gleefully jumping out to the coachman's seat. That reminds me, these two love to have a match with lady Karina.
At first they were waging war with lady Karina to protect me since she looked like she was bullying me, but the three were somehow in the same wavelength and had good matches. It seemed that Lady Karina were reluctance in hitting the two, so it became a defensive match. One out of two matches, the two ran out of their stamina and lady Karina won. If it was not that then both sides ran out of stamina and it became a draw.
The two are looking around restlessly while saying, "Karina, not here~?", "Not here nodesu."
While we're having such idle talk, Liza who has gone ahead to scout the junction comes back. There is no thieves in our course today, so only Liza is riding a horse.
"Master, there's a group of human on the fork ahead, Since I could hear sounds of weapon clashing, they might be thieves."
"I'll do my best nodesu!"
Looks like lady Karina has disappeared from Pochi's and Tama's heads after they hear about the thieves.
We can't see them from here, but the people that Liza's found aren't thieves according to the map. There are several martial artists, and the rest are farmers, probably from the neighborhood.
There's an open space on the crossroad. Two martial artist are exchanging sword blows on the center of the open space. Around 20 farmers are watching that battle from a distance.
It appears that it's a betting game, the farmers are having heated discussion in excitement.
There are several carts parked on the open space. Since they're empty, the people here are probably going back after delivering goods to Daregan city.
Pochi and Tama want to participate, but since the martial artists here are only level 4-7, they're too weak for them, so I forbid it.
Pochi and Tama are demanding persistently on my sides, but they'd only bully the weak here if I give in here, so I endure it. The two don't seem to be giving up, but Liza who gets down from the horse lifts them up in both hands.
Pochi who rarely sulks is posing like a corpse listlessly while being carried by Liza. It's been awhile since I've seen the Dara~n pose. Tama who's still resisting Liza looks as if remembering something after she sees Pochi, and takes the same pose.
Now then, the opponents for Pochi and the others aren't them.
There are three people heading here from the forest chased by wolf packs reflected on the radar. Things would become quite horrible if those wolf packs rush to where the farmer crowd is. I could exterminate them with Remote Arrow, but I'll have them become sacrifices for Pochi's and the others' fighting spirit.
I park the wagon on one corner of the open space, and bring only the three beastkin girls near the place the wolves will come out.
Pochi's ears are twitching. Apparently she has detected the wolves' presences.
"Master, wolves nano desu!"
"Nyu~? there is?"
It seems Tama and Liza still haven't heard them. Liza is glancing here, so I nod.
"Bro, some strong looking guards you have there. Would you like to compete? You'll only get some injuries even if you lose, but you'll get one big copper coin if you win. It's not a bad deal right?"
"No, this girl is saying that there's something strange in the woods."
A man who looks to be the gambling manager greets me, but I only answer him vainly. They're already under 200 meters away.
The manager seems to have heard the wolves sound too, he gives sign to the farmers to move away. The manager is talking about something to five people who seem to be martial artist.
Let's settle it before they join.
I chant dummy spell to activate [Fence], and put five transparent fences in places.
So that the mercenaries don't plunge to the fences, I stop them when they come out of the woods and roll them behind the fences.
"Run away! Wolf packs are coming."
"We will try to buy some time. So, quickly."
Two of the three thrown ones warn us, but it's unnecessary. I assure the three.
"It's alright. We'll quickly take care of it, so rest behind the fences."
Wolves that are chasing the mercenaries are coming out of the woods when I'm talking, but they get skewered by the fences one by one. With their daggers, Pochi and Tama easily deal with wolves that are somehow able to avoid it.
The wolves group that tries to circumvent the fences get pierced by Liza's spear. I could hear the mercenaries murmur, "Amazing", "Strong", but I ignore them.
I kick the jaw of the unfortunate wolf that have jumped over the fence while heading here. It bounces on the fence and flies to before Tama.
Tama quickly finish the wolves even while complaining. The three have defeated about 20 wolves in the blink of an eye. There are still three wolves in the woods, but since they escape to the depth, I don't chase them.
"Yer' amazing, pipsqueak!"
"The wolves were like puppies!"
At first the farmers are frightened by the wolves voices, but they've soon watched the battle it seems. Several of them are raising voices of praises.
"I'm not pipsqueak nodesu! Pochi nano desu!"
"Tama~ na no."
Liza is indifferently dismantling the wolves, but Pochi and Tama are taking victory poses while lifting the wolf with one hand together triumphantly. They immediately get scolded by Liza and go back to the dismantling.
The gambling manager and the five martial artists are escaping toward Daregan city. In a way, their actions are justified. Or rather, half of the farmers who haven't escaped are the weird ones.
I leave the dismantling process to Liza and the others, and go to where the mercenaries are behind the transparent fences. All three of them are women. One of them is level 5 with dagger skill, but the rests are level 3 with no skills. Only one of the level 3 has serious injury.
"Are you alright?"
"Yes, thank you for your help."
"I'm sorry. We didn't think that there would be people here."
Certainly, if this is a game, i's like Train, or rather an MPK. Let's have them reflecting on it. I give them my honest opinion while giving emergency treatment to the girl with serious injury who doesn't have energy to talk with me.
"It would have become a catastrophe if these girls weren't here. I suggest to hunt in moderation."
"It's my fault. Since it was our first dispatch, we chase far into the forest and got counterattacked..."
A female mercenary who looks to be the leader makes an excuse. She's 18 as the oldest of the group, the other two are 15-16 years old. I'd like you to learn to act carefully before you lose your life.
I've mostly completed the emergency treatment, but her stamina still keeps decreasing. I lift the girl and see her back, there are three claw marks. Like this, scars will remain. Even though her appearance is like a 10 years old, it's probably still harsh for a woman.
I've had no intention of using potion here, but it can't be helped. Even though the girl is losing consciousness because of the injury, I pour the potion on her mouth. Since I can feel criticizing gaze from behind, I restrain myself from doing mouth-to-mouth.
As the result of saving these girls at this time, I've given clues to troublesome people. I regretted that I didn't ask them to not speak about it, but I didn't regret saving them since forsaking them would leave bad taste on my conscience.
I decide to depart while leaving the girls who are surprised with the effect of the potion. We distribute half of the entrails from the dismantled wolves to the watching farmers and the mercenaries women. As expected, I can't exactly ignore the eyes full of expectation coupled with drools.