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Pachi~ pachi~, the sound of the burning campfire echoed around, it could be heard in the tent Rei was resting in.
As the only sources of light that illuminated the area were the moonlight and bonfire, several adventurers gathered around the campfire, wary of the surroundings.
It was currently night time. Aside from those assigned to the night watch, the rest of the parties had eaten dinner and were resting in their tents.
In the tent Rei was resting in, the three members of Axe of the Thunder God were also sleeping while keeping their hands on their weapons, ready in case an enemy came.
Originally, Rei wanted to rest alone, however, he was ordered by Hobbes to be in the same tent as Axe of the Thunder God, just in case.
(……So, they didn’t come.)
There was a reason Rei wanted to rest alone. It was a party which had sent glances at him since he received the Orc subjugation quest, he wanted to make himself bait to lure out Dark Night’s Star, a party of 2 men and 2 women. Originally, he didn’t want to do such a troublesome thing, but he decided to do something early when he thought of the possibility of being stabbed in the back when fighting the Orcs. However, during the night, nothing in particular happened, maybe they thought they couldn’t do anything with Set and Axe of the Thunder God next to him.
In addition, it should be noted that Rei was going to work a shift of the night watch, but he was also exempted from it under Hobbes’ orders.
「Big sis, it’s pointless. The tent the rookie is in is the same tent as Axe of the Thunder God, the Griffon is also uncomfortably close. I think we should have taken advantage of the cover of darkness earlier.」
From the entrance of the tent given to Dark Night’s Star, Murgas looked at the tent Rei and Axe of the Thunder God were in. Murgas said that in a low voice so as to not be heard by the people sleeping near the tent.
Though Rei’s tent would normally be invisible at that distance, even with campfire light, Murgas, who was in charge of Dark Night’s Star’s scouting, had good night vision. In addition, the tent Rei was in had Set lying outside, sleeping.
「Tch, it can’t be helped. We’ll call off tonight’s raid.」
As Seryl said that sulkily, she flopped down inside the tent and rolled away. Though there weren’t any blankets, they weren’t necessary as it was unlikely to catch cold in this summer season.
「Seriously, it was unexpected of Hobbes to trust the Griffon. The other guys too, consenting to having a monster so near.」
Though Hobbes was given command of the Orc subjugation force, in the end, he was only a commander in battle. Before arriving at the Orc settlement, he wasn’t the absolute commander. ……At least Seryl thought so. Therefore, when they decided to camp here, she appealed saying that she didn’t want to sleep near the Griffon even if it was tamed……however, Set’s senses were explained to be exceptional, in addition, after seeing Set’s combat effectiveness against the pack of Fang Wolves, none of the other adventurer parties backed Seryl up.
While hearing the story, the adventurers saw Set being pampered by Rei whilst making a gurururu~ sound, even if it was only slightly, they judged that they wouldn’t be harmed by the Griffon as long as it was with Rei, at the same time, they calculated that Set would be sharper than an incompetent watch if he was near the tents. However, they still had alternating watches as a precaution.
In addition, every time Hobbes’ hourglass timed timed out, another party would take their turn for lookout.
At night, Dark Night’s Star acted differently than the other adventurers to Rei and Hobbes’ actions, the uncomfortable feeling about Axe of the Thunder God or the unpleasantness of being next to a Griffon……they ended up putting their tent on the grounds at the place furthest away from Rei’s tent.
「Big sis, what do we do?」
Though the voice of Sunyi spread through the tent, Seryl answered while closing her eyes.
「We can’t do anything with the Axe of the Thunder God and the Griffon at his side. Tonight we’ll rest and sleep quietly. The real thing will be tomorrow night, at the time we attack the Orc settlement. ……If we can steal the item box, we will also get all the supplies that have been prepared for this expedition.」
Seryl muttered, she remembered the scene in the evening when they had decided to camp here. It was the scene of the supplies needed for setting up camp appearing one after the other in the hand of that rookie, this alone showed the true value of the item box. And at the same time, it provoked Seryl’s greed even more.
Seryl lied down and closed her eyes, she fell asleep while imagining the scene of living in the Imperial Capital without needing to work.
She remained unaware of Al frowning his eyebrows lightly next to her.
The next day, the tents had already been all stored back into the Misty Ring, the only traces left were the remains of the campfires lit the previous night. The breakfast of biscuits and dry meat, prepared by the guild, was quickly eaten and the preparations for departure completed.
……By the way, because Rei had stored the food box prepared by the landlady of the Dusk Wheat into the Misty Ring, he ate the sandwiches in the food box instead. On a side note, Set had flown somewhere himself to hunt and ate by himself.
Though he wasn’t sure what happened to the magic stone, Rei judged that it probably wasn’t a high rank monster as an announcement message didn’t appear in his mind after Set had his breakfast.
Hobbes spoke up to the rest of the Orc subjugation force as departure preparations were completed.
「Listen up. Though I said it yesterday, if we keep going like yesterday, we will reach the vicinity of the Orc settlement sometime around noon. We will then take a break until midnight for everyone to restore their strength. That is for the people who were on night watch last night and lack sleep in particular. The surprise attack is timed for just after midnight. As you know, Orcs are a monster that acts in groups. First of all, because they are likely to have a guard, they have to be taken out silently. To completely annihilate the Orcs after that, each party will encircle the settlement and attack it. After killing all the Orcs and collecting proofs of subjugation and materials, we will stay until morning. Any questions?」
「Do you get exclusive rights to the body if you defeat a rare species or higher rank species of Orc?」
「Ah, of course.」
「What happens if you discover weapons or treasure that the Orcs have?」
「In that case the person who found it can claim ownership.」
Hobbes proceeded to answer the minor questions that were also asked.
While listening to the discussion, Rei thought about his magic.
(If it’s my magic, I can just wipe out the settlement……no, that will probably burn everything. Should I do it? ……No, the Orcs in the settlement will be turned into charcoal and I won’t be able to get the magic stones. Then, that leaves participating in the attack with the other parties to obtain them……I guess?)
Giving up on the magic stones and burning down the entire settlement, monopolizing the achievement, or participate in the surprise attack with the rest of the adventurer parties, giving priority to collecting magic stones and sharing the achievement. Thinking for a few seconds on which was more advantageous, Rei readily chose the latter.
If he chose the former, he would certainly monopolize the achievements. However, in other words, he would be depriving the other adventurer parties of achievements. As a results, when thinking about the possibility of being unjustly resented, the latter choice was better as he could obtain magic stones. Though there may be a chance to obtain achievements other than the Orc subjugation, this place was the only possibility of obtaining the magic stones of rare and high ranking Orc species.
「Right, are there any other questions? Then split up and board the wagons like yesterday. We’re departing.」
At Hobbes’ words and signal, they each boarded the wagon they rode yesterday.
At that time, several impressed adventurers gave out some words of thanks to Rei and Set. Even though Set had stayed by Rei’s tent all night, some confidence was gained after spending a night with him.
「Rei-kun, we should also ride the wagons.」
To Rei and Set, who were watching the other adventurers, Min’s voice came over.
Behind her were the rest of Axe of the Thunder God, as usual, Elk had a smile on his lips while Rhodes was looking at Rei in a bad mood.
「You’re right, we will be able to break for a bit longer when we reach there.」
Muttering, Rei, boarded the wagon after patting Set lightly.
In addition to Rei and Axe of the Thunder God, Hobbes boarded similarly and the war horses began to pull the wagons.
A while after the wagons started moving, while Rei was learning about the knacks of stripping materials from monsters defeated in the labyrinth, Hobbes unexpectedly interrupted the conversation.
「Rei, and Elk as well. Though I think you’ve noticed, a party with purposes other than subjugating Orcs seems to be participating in the subjugation force.」
「Ah. Is the party named Dark Night’s Star?」
Rei nodded to Elk’s words.
Dark Night’s Star was an adventurer party of three men and a woman. In particular, Rei had noticed glances clouded with greed from the middle-aged woman who was the leader.
It was the same eyes he had felt from the time the meeting for the subjugation force in the guild ended, the glances became more obvious after leaving the city.
When he felt the eyes that were filled with greed, at first, he thought if his body was the aim. Aside from the time he was still Saeki Reiji, the body that Zepairu’s organization had created was quite beautiful, Rei was able to somewhat understand.
However, the direction of the gaze from the leader of Dark Night’s Star, Seryl, was neither his face or body but the Misty Ring that was on his right arm.
「I see, so you have noticed. Apparently the aim of those guys seem to be the item box, no doubt.」
「I bet. Did they think I hadn’t noticed, they were blatantly looking at my right arm.」
If Rei was an actual, ordinary G rank adventurer, then he might not have noticed the glances directed from the C rank adventurer Seryl. However, fortunately or unfortunately, Rei wasn’t your average G rank adventurer.
「……I see. If you think about the strange glances, then their aim is probably the item box. Shit, just because of such a small thing. Generally speaking, you’re a G rank, so why do have such a rare magic item?」
Rhodes muttered while looking at the bracelet which was worn on Rei’s arm. As expected, it seems the members of Axe of the Thunder God were aware of the greedy looks.
「I lived with my teacher who taught me magic in the depths of a mountain, I don’t know the location. So, he said that my training had completed the first stage and used spatial magic to send Set and I to the Forest of Monsters, because of that, I was given some magic items. They are this Misty Ring, my main weapon, the Death Sycthe and aside from that, various other things.」
He told that to Rhodes while remembering the description he had given Ranga when entering the city of Gilm.
「……Forest of Monsters, is it? You, were sent there with spatial magic?」
「Ah. I was truly surprised when a Water Bear appeared right in front of me after being sent there.」
Rhodes looked at Rei with a dumbfounded expression. The look of contempt in his eyes that was there a few minutes ago had become somewhat thinner.
「Well, putting aside the Forest of Monsters. Rei, be careful with Dark Night’s Star at night. Those guys’ intentions are probably to steal the Misty Ring, they’ll try to hit you with a surprise attack or something.」
Rei nodded to Elk’s words.
「I thought so. They seemed to hate Set sleeping near tents at the camp last night……I think that is likely. Well, after all, the proposal was rejected by all the other parties. Even if I kept Set away from the tent temporarily, Axe of the Thunder God are still in the same tent I’m sleeping in, I don’t think they’ll try anything.」
「But, the item box……no, isn’t the Misty Ring only usable by you, Rei? So is there even any point if Dark Night’s Star took it?」
Min recalled what she was told when she was shown the Misty Ring in the meeting room at the guild, Rei had a smile of ridicule on his mouth.
「In the end, rare goods are still rare goods. It might be interesting to let them steal it on purpose and see their comical figures after realizing they can’t use it……」
「Oi, oi, supplies for the subjugation are in it. Don’t do dangerous things for no reason.」
「Ahh, I’m just joking. There’s no need to do such a pointless thing. It will be troublesome if ends up being thrown away because it can’t be used.」
「That’s right. Anyway, Axe of the Thunder God will look out for Dark Night’s Star at night, take care Rei. ……Rather, when we start the night attack on the settlement, can you act with Axe of the Thunder God?」
Thinking about Hobbes’ words for a few seconds, he shook his head.
「No, there aren’t that many people available. It isn’t necessary to leave a gap for the Orcs to escape.」
Though Rei answered as such, his real intention was that he didn’t want to be seen absorbing magic stones if he cooperated with Axe of the Thunder God.
「I see. Well, though you should be okay with the Griffon……don’t be careless. Watch out for Dark Night’s Star for the time being as well.」
It was true that there certainly was few people in this urgent request. Hobbes nodded with a bitter expression as if he had bitten on a bug.
With that, the Orc subjugation force arrived near the settlement before noon.