The night attack against the Orc village had been completed, it was several hours after returning to Hobbes’ location. Everyone in the subjugation force’s members, including Rei, were sleeping like logs.
Hobbes was near the carriages, acting as the lookout while everyone else was sleeping. Next to him, Elk sat down, carrying food that Rei had taken out of the Misty Ring before he had gone to sleep.
「Hey, Elk. Because you’re technically on watch right now, you should at least act like it.」
Hobbes called out to Elk while looking around as he sat on the ground.
However, Elk gave an amazed reply while eating skewers, sandwiches and roasted Fang Boar.
「Hey, come on, even you know how sharp Set’s sense are. With that fellow, there’s almost no need to be worried about an enemy surprise attack.」
Elk glace ahead to Set, who had plopped himself on the ground, closed his eyes, and gone to sleep. However, Hobbes and Elk could easily imagine that he wasn’t asleep was alert of the surroundings.
「But you know……how to say it, are you alright eating so much?」
Elk had already eaten enough food for 10 people, Hobbes muttered in an amazed voice in reaction to Elk’s previous words.
「After all, I was fighting all night. When everyone gets up, won’t there be the big job of stripping materials and subjugation proofs from the Orcs in the village? And the treasure that the Orcs have collected has yet to be found. ……Well, since we didn’t find anything in the mansion of the Orc King in the center of the village, we can’t expect too much.」
Elk finally finished his meal, released a big burp and drank the water in the water bottle beside him.
「That’s true. ……Are you really okay with not sleeping?」
「I’m fine, you can’t compare me to the other guys. Anyway, didn’t we fight continuously for three days and nights in that Kraken subjugation several years ago? This is an easy overnight victory compared to that.」
「……You, I can’t stay young forever, you’ll start to notice it sooner or later.」
「Not yet, not yet, I can’t lose to the young guys yet.」
To Elk’s words, Hobbes let out a sigh as he also grabbed a water bottle nearby.
Anyhow, the sunlight of the mid summer sun glared down on the camp, set up on a grassy plain, a small distance away from the Orc village. There weren’t any roofs to offer protection from the sun, as they sat in direct sunlight, it was necessary to replenish their moisture levels frequently.
「It seems the Rowdy Elk is still alive and well.」
Rowdy Elk. It was a nickname attached to Elk when he was still a low rank adventurer. Although his party, Axe of the Thunder God, was more well known now, after Elk had just registered with the guild and gotten his fingers burnt several times, Hobbes, who was a C rank adventurer when Elk just registered, gave Elk that name.
Hearing his old nickname that he wanted to forget, Elk scrunched his eyebrows. With an expression that matched the conversation about old times, Hobbes relaxed and turned his eyes to Elk with a smile.
「Stop with calling me that name already.」
Indeed he had grown up and married, he wasn’t too happy at all to be called Rowdy, the name he had been given as a kid.
「Well, you’re certainly strong enough now. Even though it’s only been a while, this old me has already retired from being an adventurer. If you weren’t here for this request in particular, we probably wouldn’t have been able to carry out such a crazy strategy. ……But you know, it’s a fact that the new seedlings won’t grow if the ones at the top do their best forever.」
「……Rei, is it?」
As expected, it wasn’t something to talk about in a loud voice, so he asked in hushed tones.
「Well, there’s that as well……that fellow might be an exception. It’s your son I’m talking about. But Rei is it? Do you know? That guy, during the night attack against the Orcs, he retaliated against a surprise attack by Dark Night’s Star and defeated them all.」
「Heh~. That was expected. ……It’s Dark Night’s Star’s own fault though. 」
「At the very least, it’s a mistake that this fellow is only rank G. When this request ends and we return to the guild, I’m going to negotiate and recommend that he be given E rank.」
「Oi, oi, going up two ranks at once?」
「No, that’s three ranks」
「I plan to have him take the rank up test to D rank as soon as possible.」
Even if you said that this was an important emergency request, to rank up three times from one request was a substantial amount. Elk understood how impossible it was because he had climbed those ranks himself.
「……Are you serious?」
Or rather, are you sane? Elk’s eyes seemed to ask as he looked at Hobbes.
However, Hobbes only gave a small nod as if it were natural.
「Of course. What kind of adventurer has the ability to beat a B rank Orc King? Letting him move through E and F rank is too inefficient. In addition……」
Glancing to a place bit further away. Set was lying down near the carriage Rei was sleeping in.
「That fellow is accompanied by a Griffon, an A rank monster. I don’t think it would be strange if he made it to B or A rank.」
At those words, Elk was doubting Hobbes’ sanity. However, Hobbes had a smile that looked liked Elk’s usual grin.
「Of course I don’t mean immediately. Aside from getting to D rank, it is a fact that apart from combat ability, various knowledge is also required to get to B and A rank.」
If he became an A or B rank adventurer, he would be known as a top tier adventurer. It wasn’t that rare for those adventurers to receive direct requests from people such as nobles or royalty. For those times, etiquette is necessary, there are also times were decisions must be made for the sake of national interest.
Though Elk’s words and manners didn’t sound like that of nobility or royalty, he had the minimum knowledge required regarding manners. And most importantly, as Elk’s wife, Min, was standing nearby and dealing with everything necessary, it wasn’t really a problem for the A rank party Axe of the Thunder God. However, if you talk about Rei, Hobbes and Elk could tell by looking that he wasn’t very good a socialising. If such at person met with nobility or royalty, how would it turn out……in the best case, he would be told off. However, if it didn’t go well, there was a possibility he wouldn’t be able to continue as an adventurer. Losing someone over such a trivial thing was unthinkable for the two men.
「In addition……hey, Elk. You, didn’t you notice anything while looking at the corpse of the Orc King?」
As he asked Hobbes, the picture of the corpse of the Orc King he saw a few hours ago floated in his mind. The first thing that came to his eyes was the body, connected only by a single piece of skin……it couldn’t be.
「It was a single blow that cut off the head. The skill required to that, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to tell you. At the very least, it’s impossible for me to do it.」
He turned his eyes and moved his hands to his battle axe while muttering.
Rather than cutting, the axe was a weapon of destruction. Though it was possible for Elk to destroy the head into a thousand pieces, it was impossible for him to cut as sharply as Rei did.
However, Hobbes gave a small shake of his neck at Elk’s words.
「Not that. ……No, but I understand what you want to say. Actually, living up until now, I’ve seen such sharp cuts several times. But you know, do you know what he said when I asked him his profession in the guild meeting room?」
「A Magic Warrior. In other words, Rei can practice magic. But, was there a wound on the Orc King caused by magic?」
Being asked that, he remembered the words from his son, Rhodes.
He said that the Orcs who had tried to sneak around the back during the fight at the east of the village had been annihilated. At that time he said that it might have something to do with Set’s power, he didn’t know that most of the Orcs were burnt to death by Rei. At any rate, Griffons couldn’t manipulate fire.
TLN: *cough* Fire Breath *cough*
「Oi. That means Rei defeated the Orc King without using everything?」
「Maybe so. Though there is a possibility he used a wind magic something like Razor Whirlwind……as far as I know, Rei’s specialty should be in fire magic. Maybe though he hasn’t used everything he has……Rei has the capability to defeat an Orc King in that state, if you think about the fact that he’s accompanied by an A rank monster, Griffon, it isn’t strange to think that at the very least, he has the equivalent combat power of a B or A rank adventurer.」
TLN: The exact words of Razor Whirlwind are カマイタチ, it’s a monster from Japanese folklore that was known to create whirlwinds to cut their victim. Because of this, it has a second meaning of cuts from whirlwinds.
「……If the story is true then certainly.」
Though Rei looked like he has a diminutive and petite physique compared with his son, Rhodes, he judged that the ability hidden in his body outstripped that of his son. At the same time, imagining the past trouble, Rhode’s rebellious spirit and feelings of rivalry with Rei throughout this request……a mischievous smile floated onto his face.
(Having a rival like that isn’t a bad thing. If his rival is a wall high enough to beat him, Rhodes will mature as an adventurer. Though there is a possibility that he breaks down if he can’t overcome it……well, because it is my son, he’ll manage somehow.)
As Elk suddenly thought in his mind, he felt envious for having such a person.
「So, as you know Elk, the adventurers guild in Gimuru is basically always understaffed.」
What Hobbes said was true. About the subjugation of the Kraken Elk mentioned earlier, there was a support request through the guild for Axe of the Thunder God from a seaside town. The adventurers guild was always understaffed……no, to be precise there was a limited number of high rank adventurers. C and D rank. As for E and G rank, there was a moderate amount of them.
「It’s still okay now. You are still in active service, but like me, you won’t be able to stand in the front line for much longer. However, the thought of when your and my generation has retired……」
Though hesitated to say something for a moment, as if he recovered immediately, he gave Hobbes a big slap on the back.
「Hey, your hairline will retreat even more if you worry too much you know?」
Being what he should really be worrying about without hesitation, Hobbes involuntarily gave a wry smile.
「In the next generation, there’s also my son, Rhodes. There’s also Rei. Come one, you don’t need to worry so much. There are also unknown but talented guys around. Even low rank adventurers will begin to bloom soon.」
「You’re right……ah, it certainly is true. It seems I’ve gotten sentimental about the result after being out of the field for so long.」
「Sorry to dump cold water on you but doesn’t that seem like something an old person would say?」
「Forget it. You won’t change as much as me. ……Now then, I think it’s about time?」
Finishing the talk, he confirmed the position of the sun.
Because there wasn’t such a thing as a watch, he could only roughly measure the time from the position of the sun.
「It is. If possible I would want to take things a bit slower, after all, it’s hot. However, if the proof of subjugation and materials aren’t stripped from the Orcs soon, there’s a possibility they will be damaged or eaten by other animals and monsters.」
Nodding at Elk’s words, he took the Magic Whistle from his chest and blew it with all his might. With that, the sleeping members of the subjugation force began to wake up.
While everyone was not in state where their fatigue had completely gone, they immediately headed towards the Orc village after eating and drinking some light rations taken out from Rei’s Misty Ring.
「Rei, don’t you need to go to the village?」
Once Rei woke up, he had started to hand out the supplies stored in the Misty Ring, once his work was done, he turned around to the voice who was playing with Set.
Elk looked like he still had strength to spare even though he had been a lookout all night and had not slept a wink, Min who had recovered a certain amount of magic power back looked healthier. And then there was the figure of Rhodes, who was still sleepy.
There were already only a few adventurers in the surroundings. Though there should originally have been the two women rescued from the Orc village last night, under Hobbes’ instructions, along with some adventurers, they had left earlier for the city of Gimuru to inform the guild that the Orc subjugation was a success and were no longer here.
「Ah. All the Orcs I defeated were stored in the Misty Ring like the Orc King. After I return to the city, I was going to strip the materials and proof of subjugation from them.」
Though Rhodes reacted twitchily when he heard the words Orc King, he didn’t try to say anything as he had heard the circumstances from Elk and the surroundings.
「Well, it’s fine as it’s your choice. Why don’t you do it here?」
Though he was silent for a few seconds, he could no longer endure Elks look and let out a sigh.
「I’m not very good at stripping materials. And because it’s a high rank monster, I don’t want to fail and have to do it carefully.」
「Kukuku~. I see, I see. No wonder Rei is a G rank adventurer. Moreover, for it to be stripping materials……」
Though Elk leaked a smile at Rei’s embarrassed look, it disappeared with his next words.
「It’s a good opportunity. I’ll teach you the knack of stripping materials. Come on, take them out, take them out.」
「Wait, dad!? What will happen to our rewards if we spend time with Rei here!」
「That’s, you would have to go with Min. There shouldn’t be any more enemies.」
TLN: I really don’t see why you’re complaining here Rhodes😄
As Rhodes was going to argue further, Min tapped his shoulder.
「……It’s pointless Rhodes. Elk won’t stop when he’s like this. Let’s just go by ourselves. Fortunately, as Elk said, there aren’t any more Orcs.」
Sending off Rhodes like that, Rei immediately took the Orcs out of the Misty Ring so that Elk could give him tips for stripping materials.