Eight o’clock in the morning.
Ray hadn’t noticed this, but the town of Molton had a bell that rang every two hours. By hearing the sound the bell, the townspeople would know what time it was. Ray hadn’t realized it, perhaps because he was too busy yesterday.
The guild building was filled to the brim with the adventurers’ liveliness.
Numerous people were swarming around the bulletin board that was plastered with various request slips. They scrambled for requests that seemed to have good conditions, struggling to be the first one to tear them off. When Ray anxiously asked, “Are we late?”, Ashley replied, “Nah, the request we’re aiming for isn’t very popular, so we’re probably fine.” and leisurely made her way to the bulletin board. She easily spotted the request she wanted and took it into her hand.
She handed the slip to Ray and invited him to take a look at its contents.
The following words were written on the slip: “Subjugation of lizardmen in the vicinity of Dramenie Lake and Cloony Lake: Reward of 10 Crona for each lizardman.”
“Lizardmen? We’re doing this?”
“You see, nobody likes subjugating lizardmen. Despite the reward not being much, there’s the risk of damaging your weapons because their skin is so tough. With my sword and your equipment, it’s not going to be much of a problem. However, those who only have cheap equipment tend to keep a distance from lizardmen. On the other hand, those who have good weapons are already able to accept more profitable requests. That’s why these requests are unpopular and end up being the last ones remaining. However, lizardmen are perfect as training opponents since they only have high defensive ability and don’t launch any attacks that are too troublesome.”
Ashley continued to explain the characteristics of lizardmen.
Lizardmen monsters were subhuman lizardmen who walked on two legs. Although their intelligence is quite low, they act in groups and use simple weapons. Their whole body is covered in a tough layer of scales strong enough to completely repel half-hearted attacks. In addition to using crude weapons such as clubs, they also wielded sharp claws, fangs, and a thick tail. For young adventurers, they weren’t an opponent to make light of. However, their attacks were simple-minded and their cooperation barely counted as cooperation. For someone with a certain amount of skill, there’s weren’t a terribly difficult opponent.
“Nevertheless, I feel like the reward for this is too low.”
In response to Ray’s doubt, Ashley replied, “Ah, the reason the reward isn’t much is because the request is coming from some fishermen. Since the number of lizardmen still seems to be small, there’s only a small influence on their fishing. Their lives are also not in much danger. If the number of lizardmen increases a bit more, then we could request for the reward to be raised. However, the situation right now probably only calls for a reward of this amount.”
“I see.” Ray nodded after returning the request slip to her, and they both headed towards the reception counter.
Dramenie Lake and Cloony Lake were located ten kimels east of Molton. The two lakes were connected to the each other in the shape of a gourd. A fishing village named Latley was located in the narrow part of the gourd.
The decided to go to Latley and procure some information from the fisherman before heading off to complete the subjugation.
Since it was a distance of ten kimels, they rented horses, and arrived in the village at nine in the morning.
Latley was a village that was based on both agriculture and fishing. About thirty small houses that looked like huts had been built.
When Ray looked closely, things that looked like cat ears were on the villagers’ heads, so it seemed to be a village of cat beast people. (TL: Beastmen has now changed to beast people)
Although there were also beast people in Molton, Ray didn’t see many small beast children, so he was feeling somewhat excited.
Cat eared children . . . my heart feels warmed . . . this truly is a fantasy world . . .
Seeing the state Ray was in, Ashley inclined her head. However, she quickly found the house of the village chief and called out to him, “Let’s go.” then immediately entered the building.
Although the village chief’s house was slightly larger than the other houses, it wasn’t too large. It was probably just the right size for the short-statured cat people. Since the furniture inside wasn’t too crude, the village seemed to be moderately prosperous.
A cat-eared man who was in his fifties appeared.
“I’m Kieran, the chief of Latley village. Let me call over the ones who know more about this matter . . .”
While gazing at Kieran’s face, Ray thought about something completely unrelated.
He doesn’t add “nya” at the end of his sentences . . . I suppose it’s only natural. I would be a bit troubled if an old man like this said “nya” . . . cute girls are warmly welcomed to say it though . . .
Although Ray’s attitude completely lacked any seriousness, he wouldn’t be able to stop his legs from trembling if he didn’t distract his mind with such things. The tension he felt for the subjugation probably wouldn’t allow him to move.
Unaware of these things, Ashley wanted to say something to Ray who seemed to lack any sense of tension. However, she decided to interpret it as him being high-spirited about his first request.
Called over by the village chief, three fishermen who were in their thirties immediately came to explain the situation.
The fishermen said that they had found five lizardmen on the western side of the village, near the banks of Dramenie lake. The lizardmen had stolen all of the fish from their nets.
To go to the place where the lizardmen had been found, they would have to cross the lake to the opposite shore and walk for another ten minutes. It was decided that one of the fisherman would guide them there.
Ray and Ashley boarded the small boat of a fisherman named Koda and began to cross Dramenie lake. Many reeds were growing on the waterside. There were also many muddy areas in the lake. However, the wind blowing across the lake was refreshing. Combine this with the idyllic landscape surrounding them and it didn’t feel like this was a place where monsters would lurk.
After around thirty minutes, the boat jolted and they arrived on the opposite shore.
Only a small amount of reeds grew on this side. In front of them, the environment abruptly transitioned into a forest that obstructed their view.
Since it was said that lizardmen were in this forest, Koda promised to come pick them up after three hours. After he separated from them, they decided to search the forest.
While holding his spear, Ray nervously asked Ashley,
“How are we going to look for them? We’re not going to just blindly walk around right?”
“Ah, we’re going to search for footprints near the waterside first. We’ll be able to find them by following the tracks from there.”
After searching the waterside for thirty minutes or so, the found places where the reed had been trampled down.
“It’s here. There are claws on the ground, so these are definitely lizardmen. We’ll follow the footprints while remaining alert.”
Ray replied, “Understood” and stuck closely behind her as he walked.
The footprints continued deep into the forest. Even a complete amateur like Ray could see that there were several of these lizardmen.
Are we going to be okay? There’s probably more than five of them. Ashley alone could take on several of these, but for me . . . no, this is no good. I’m too stressed out. Or rather, I’m scared . . .
He harbored fear towards these lizardmen who he had yet to see.
The lizardmen in his memories appeared in games and anime. They had ferocious lizard faces, wore leather armor, and wielded spears. Although Ashley had explained that they only used clubs and didn’t wear any armor, he couldn’t dispel the image that had already clung onto his mind.
After walking for a short time, Ashley lowered her body and motioned with her left hand for Ray to lay down. He was about to ask “What is it?”, but then managed to restrain himself. Similar to Ashley, he also laid down and hid his body among the clump of bushes near their feet.
“They’re in front of us. Seven of them.”
Approximately thirty mertos in front of them were several reptile-type creatures clad in green scales that looked like lizardmen.
Ashley looked towards Ray and grinned, “Think you can land the first attack with your magic?” “Eh? Magic!?” He couldn’t help raising a voice of surprise towards how she said that without any warning beforehand. However, he strengthened his resolve and doing as she said, tried to identify his target.
“I’ll try . . . which one should I aim for?”
Without minding his surprise, Ashley pointed at a lizardman and said, “Aim for that one. The closest one with his back towards us.”