CHAPTER 28: HERB GATHERING AND TROUBLE
Enthusiastically leaving the Hunter’s Guild, I head towards the gate from the side where we entered Sannois.
That’s because I wanted to see if the mister at the gate that time is still there.
One of the reasons why I chose to accept this request is because the gate I’ll exit from is nearer to the guild.
Though, another reason is because I wanted to be able to do it by myself.
It’s my first request after all.
Since the gate can be seen directly ahead of our path, we reached the gate without getting lost.
As usual, soldiers are guarding the gate.
The mister, that I don’t really know the name of, is also keeping watch as well but since I might distract him from his work, I decided not to greet him.
After all, I’ll probably get stopped again when I try to enter the town later.
As I was going to pass through the gate while feeling a bit awful about it, it seems like the mister noticed me.
He asked me「Did you become a Hunter」and so I just said「Thanks to you.」 and bowed my head in reply.
Just doing that made me feel somewhat satisfied but now that I passed through the gate, I realized that it might have been a wrong move.
Real talk, even if I get close with that mister, we’ll still leave this country in the end, so it’s not really a good thing.
Still, we’ll probably be staying here for at least a year, so being a bit close might not be that bad.
Being treated and acting like a child every time we leave the gates is troublesome after all.
Today, under the pleasantly clear blue sky, I search for herbs while having a nice stroll.
I managed to get the sample after all, and I also received the specified bag.
And since I don’t really plan to gather a lot of herbs today, just one bag is enough.
Even so, it seems like it’s already twice the required amount to finish the request.
Ever since we left the guild, there is something I’m curious about but since it’s something I already expected and nothing happened as we exited town, it’s fine.
So, about the herbs, it seems like they grow in a well lit part of the grasslands and said grasslands was the place Ciel passed through on the way to Sannois.
Hence, it seems like we need to search for it through the vast grasslands.
I get it, it makes sense that only a few people would want to take it.
After all, there are also animals and small monsters around and, more importantly, it’s not as though the herbs can be found immediately after entering the grasslands.
At worst, it’s also possible that even a whole day of searching could lead to zero results.
『So how do we search for it then』
『I’m thinking of using detection.
Since it seems like the herbs have magic power in them, we might be able to find it quickly.』
That’s right, I’ve confirmed it after getting the sample but I was absolutely sure that the herbs contain magic power.
After all, it’s effects are ridiculously strong.
At first, I just thought that the people of this world heal naturally quickly, but when Ciel got wounded, it still took quite a while for it to heal.
As for the exact time, I don’t actually know.
I don’t have a watch after all.
So considering that, I tried asking for a sample and, while it wasn’t much, there really was some magic power.
Its magic power was different from that of ours and a magic stone’s.
Concentrating, I tried searching for magical reactions that I usually ignored and I found a lot of reactions everywhere.
But what’s interesting is that each of these reactions are somewhat different from each other.
To test it out, I went to a nearby reaction and there I saw herbs that are completely different from the sample.
『But it did react, didn’t it』
『So then I guess it might be used for something else.
Still, it is different from the one requested.』
『What will you do, Ain』
『Let’s gather a few of them and ask Celia-san about them.
That person should be able to answer immediately but, well, it’ll probably get annoying if I ask.』
『The one that has been following us ever since we left.
If I ask them, it’ll probably end up starting a sorcery discussion after all.』
To my words, Ciel made a seemingly convinced hum.
I found the required herbs as I followed the reactions but since there aren’t enough for the needed amount yet, I took samples of the herbs that detection is reacting to while searching for more.
Just as the sun is directly overhead of us, and since the specified bag was now full, I decided to end this for today.
『Since we still have some time, why don’t we gather some magic stones then』
『But we’re being watched, is that really alright』
『Then we’ll test out the magic circle.
It is important to test it first after all.
Besides, we’re already surprisingly close to the forest.
Even if anything ever happens, we can still fight without revealing our trump card after all.』
『Then if that’s the case, let’s switch after entering the forest shall we』
Around this area, the monsters that inhabit the place are the D-rank forest wolves and giant spiders, and the E-rank goblins and kobolds.
Deeper in, there are also C-rank monsters but they rarely go out to the shallow parts of the forest.
Though we’ll definitely instant-kill any spiders on our path, since we don’t intend to go on a full-scale hunt, I searched for E-rank-ish monsters with detection and told Ciel their location.
Using the whirlwind slash magic circle, Ciel defeated them rather quickly.
Well, though I called it that, it’s just a revised version of the wind blade.
So although it can probably only make shallow cuts on a cyclops’ skin, it should be able to dispatch D-rank monsters and below in a single strike.
We hunt, harvest the magic stone and parts needed for verification, then burn them.
There are also parts that we can sell as materials but because of their size, we can’t bring them along.
So considering the magic stones and the evidence parts, the most we can bring is probably ten monsters’ worth of these.
It’s a bit of a waste that we already reached our carrying capacity just by using the whirlwind slash on a group of them though.
And with that, even after our magic circle test run, the sun is still up high.
Because of that, I thought that we could just go home for now and return later, but then I suddenly felt multiple reactions from my detection.
『It looks like some sort of party encountered a group of monsters.』
『Are they near us』
『Let me check.
There’s nothing near us, but the encounter is of four people and ten monsters.』
After I said so, we heard an energetic「UuooH!」from a slight distance.
And after that, we began to hear the shrill sound of clashing metal.
『Would you mind if we look at the battle for a bit』
『It’s fine, but will it be alright We’re being watched, right』
Checking it out is fine, but will it be alright to go as a hunter That’s probably what Ciel meant to say.
For me, I just wanted to see how a party fights even only for a bit, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
『If it’s not allowed then the person watching us would probably call us out.』
So then I only need to sneakily watch over them, right』
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And as Ciel sneakily peeks from the cover of a tree, we see the party of young people I noticed earlier there fighting a mob of goblins.
The party of four are using a longsword, a one-handed sword and shield, sorcery, and a bow respectively.
I don’t actually know if their party is well balanced or not.
Still, since they’re having a hard time against goblins that only have worn out weapons on them, it seems like the party might not be that strong.
There are two vanguards in the party but they can’t keep the ten goblins in check, so the party is slowly taking more and more damage.
On the other hand, the goblins aren’t just attacking blindly, they have some level of coordination as it looks like the relatively big goblin is giving out commands.
It’s hard to judge who’s the real human here.
That should be the so-called Goblin Leader.
Although it’s not at the level of a D-rank, it’s said to be the E-rank’s strongest monster.
For E-class hunters, maybe it’s a bit too difficult for only the four of them.
『It seems like this isn’t really a fight we can observe teamwork from, is it』
『Look at it as a 3 vs 9 battle.
The person with the longsword isn’t pulling his weight.』
As Ciel said, if I change my perspective, the one with the one-handed sword is using his shield to hold back the goblins while the ones at the rear is focused on attacking, so I can see that they are at least working as a group.
However, it feels like that person alone isn’t enough to push nine goblins back.
So considering that, if he is an E-ranker then the vanguard might be actually highly capable.
If they only had one more vanguard, they could probably handle the fight a bit better.
So what is the remaining one doing then He’s charging at the Goblin Leader.
At first glance it might seem like they’re fighting toe to toe but since the Leader is giving out commands while fighting, it’s likely the stronger one here.
If I just let them be, the hunters will lose.
Hmm, I just wanted to see if I can learn something from them but this ended up being a choice of whether we help them or leave them to die.
『As a hunter, just leaving might not be wrong but……』
『You want to help them, right Ain』
『Do I really I want to help them but I don’t want the troubles that come after helping them.
That’s how I feel about it, I think.
Helping itself is easy to do after all.
How the person watching us would feel about it is a factor too.』
The one doing the helping is Ciel, though.
I can imagine it going like: Help them → They’ll feel grateful → They’ll tag along; and I also can’t say for sure that they can properly reward us after we rescue them.
Still, maybe, just maybe, we could get something from the guild.
Also, seeing people die right in front of my eyes, feels absolutely horrible.
The problem here is probably that even though we don’t have any duty to help out, helping itself would barely take any time.
If Ciel’s life could be put at risk, I’ll absolutely choose to run.
But even if that party is crushed and the goblins attack us next, we can take care of them in seconds.
And other than that, another problem is that Ciel doesn’t care whether we help them or not.
『I’d feel awful if they die right in front of us, so would you mind if we help them』
『Sure, I wouldn’t mind it.』
『But about that, please make it seem like sorcery was used from the right-hand tree diagonally behind us.』
『Fufu, Ain is a really mean person, you know』
Giggling delightedly, Ciel began pouring magic power in one of our hidden magic circles.
It’s not the whirlwind slash that we’ve been using up until now, but an ice arrow magic circle.
Although she called me mean for this, Ciel herself is making this a pretty elaborate setup as well.
From the place I told her, ice arrows shot out and pierced the heads of five goblins.
The hunters already defeated the other three goblins, so they should be able to manage with only the Goblin Leader left.
『Where shall we go』
『Please head to the gate we left from.』
After that short exchange, Ciel sprints off.
And while we’re at it, I support her using Song Princess.
The hunters were surprised by the arrow of ice that suddenly appeared and turned their heads to where it came from.
I don’t know how the person they saw reacted to that but since it doesn’t seem like they’re following us, we should have tricked them good.
After leaving the forest and running halfway through the grasslands, I switched with Ciel.
And after that, I walked back to the gate and saw that the mister was still on shift.
As he saw me, he seemed relieved and waved his hand.
「Hey little miss.
Looks like you’re back unscathed.」
「I only went to get herbs after all.
If it’s just goblins, them being around or not doesn’t really make a difference.」
「Normally encountering a goblin is already problematic enough, though.
Anyway, good work coming back.」
Unlike on our first day, we were allowed to enter without any issues, so I said my thanks as I entered the town.
After walking through the straight path and entering the Hunter’s Guild, there I see Carol-san staring at me as though she wants to have a word with me.
Hiya~! We’re surprisingly out of the guild quick this time and we’re back again by the end of the chap… orz
So for today’s chapter, Ain had a lot of fun, plain fun but fun nonetheless.
A nice stroll in the nice beautiful weather (ignore the monsters, lol).
As for the hunters, lol.
Ciel be savage, not only in actions but also in words.
“It’s a 3v9, one’s not pulling his weight” Kek.
Also AinCiel’s exchange be like:
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Ain: This is a trap, a narrative trap, but I can’t leave them after knowing that they’ll probably die, so yeah, use sorcery and make sure that it’ll look like it’s from “that person” following us, m’kay
Ciel: Lol, you’re such a bully.
Also Ciel: *Proceeds to make sure that they’ll identify the rescuer as *that person* by specifically using *ice arrows* even though Ain didn’t say anything about ice magic*
That person: WHy! (Probably)
Well, it’s nice to see Ciel having the initiative even in just that way, lol.
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this chapter.
Please feel free to comment.
Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!