156 Gate Open
"Aren't you guys scholars going to investigate this forest? Pretty sure you are though?"
"Have you got it now? Please don't concern yourselves with us any more."
After giving them a firm refusal, the men reluctantly stepped away. It's a group of four men.
As they walked toward the gate, we overheard one of them muttering this.
"Thought they'd make for some extra income, but whatever, gonna profit big if we just managed to hunt even one elf this time anyway."
(Oh-CRAP!. Gotta stop them!)
I turned around to see six enraged faces. It's so intense they'd definitely raise a bloodbath here at this rate.
"Calm down, cool it... Hear me out, listen in to their conversation using wind magic. We need intel first of all. It's not too late then. Think about it. There's no point in killing them here."
Serena who managed to calm her anger from my words asked back.
"What should we do milord... If we were allowed to be honest, we would have liked nothing more than to direct this anger at those men."
Despite emanating an aura like she'd cut them down this instance, she still went for my advice right away.
Meanwhile they had already used wind magic to check on the four men's conversation.
And here it is summed up.
'Tools' that can mitigate the effects of Barriers are now circulating on the 'Underside' of the empire.
These men managed to snatch a second-hand one in a black market auction by chance.
There are now jobs to hunt elves posted on the 'Underside' which pay handsomely. The reward is enough money to fool around for years even deducting the cost of this 'Tool'.
Yep, these men belong to the 'Underside' and were planning to rob us while pretending to work as an escort while they go on to hunt elves.
This conversation shed light on how the six elves got caught by Damo, it was through this tool. Magic tools. Capable of tampering with elven barriers.
Flames of rage burn even more intense when they heard this.
But apparently the job this time doesn't come from Damo. We'd need to find who and where is this person.
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"We were too naive. The majority of intel we gathered in this empire was only on surface level. Had we investigated deeper we wouldn't have been stuck with this roundabout method. Forgive us milord. We have failed you."
"This is all we can do now. Sorry but bear with it. Save it for when the time is right, let it all out."
"We're fine now, milord. We have composed ourselves. We can never thank you enough for thinking about our pain and anger."
A bell rang as I thought, 'She's exaggerating'. The signal of gate opening.
Finally. The size of this gate is half-baked, about a wagon and a half.
It's a preventive measure for possibilities of magic beasts breaking through the gate, so they don't flood in. But it's also a bother for passerby if it's too small.
Hence the half baked size.
The magic beast hunting bunch overlooked the mutter of a gatekeeper as they moved past the gate.
The elves seemed to miss it too since they were focusing on the four men.
"Hmm, the forest seemed a bit off earlier but looks same as ever now... was it just me?"