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Chapter 132 – First Town
“Yoshua, how’s it going over there?”
“Not so good. There’s nothing of value there. Maybe the boss there is a tyrant who doesn’t give his men their share.”
“He has a stingy face… but even so, he doesn’t have much of himself.”
Without any protective gear, their clothes and shoes are almost all garbage. That means… seven sword machetes that had been used as spears, four small knives for dismantling or for work, a shattered magic short staff, and a dirty mage’s robe. Two rings with magic stones in them, 13 silver coins, and 30 or so copper coins of various sizes.
That’s the result of this hunt.
“Eight rounds of the precious .45 caliber ammunition, not worth it.”
“So be it. Maybe next time you’ll use a machete?”
“Mmm, I don’t like the blood splatter.”
Me neither. Neither of us can use purification magic.
I examined the coins I had obtained and found that they were almost the same size and weight as the ones in the kingdom. I don’t know the monetary equivalent, but if the specific weights are close, it is likely that the value is not much different. It would be helpful if the kingdom coins we have could be exchanged for the local currency.
I left all the silver and copper coins that were too bulky, especially the unfashionable amount of copper coins that could not be used for trade with Simon, in my reserves, and I left them all in Casemaian to be used for future commercial activities.
Even so, there is still about one fortune in gold coins. There is also a considerable amount of precious metals left.
“Now, let’s go.”
Our anticipated event of stripping the attackers of their gold and weapons that could be sold ended without much fanfare. The rest was left to be buried in the snow, and we began moving east.
The snow-white wolf cub followed us, tail wagging with a good mood on his face. I don’t mind him following us, but I’m a little concerned that they won’t let such a huge wolf into town.
“What is it that you like so much?”
“It seems like the guys from earlier were trying to finish off this wolf, but it’s not like he thinks we saved his life.”
“…Hmm. From the look in his eyes, I can see that he thinks we’re his friends.”
Is that an affirmation?
He seems to be not bad at all, but he lacks a sense of urgency. What kind of creature is this…
“What’s up, Yoshua? You’re making weird noises.”
“Myrril-san… I’ve checked the description of the snow-white wolf… and it says he’s a ‘spirit beast.'”
“It seems so. I don’t know the details since they only live in the dark forests, deadly forests, and other unexplored areas, but they are said to be a spiritual beast or a creature born between spirits and demonic beasts.”
“Does it eat people?”
He seems to have denied it. Moreover, he seems to have been offended.
“I’ve never heard of it eating people. I’ve heard that they like to eat the magic core and magic stones, but I don’t know if it’s true or not. That is what I’ve heard.”
“That’s it. It is said to be the form of the divine beast before its ascension.”
A divine beast that will eventually become the messenger of the gods? He doesn’t look like that to me…
Ah, he got a little angry.
“What, can spirit beasts even read people’s thoughts?”
“No, in Yoshua’s case, it’s just your face. Even I know what you are thinking.”
Anyway, what does this guy want to do? I don’t think anything good will come from following us.
“I’m tired of paddling through the snow. Can you carry me?”
The snow-white wolf bends down a little and starts to walk away, carrying Myrril on his back.
He is clever and kind.
He looked back at me as if to ask me if I wanted to ride too, but I felt a little sorry that an adult male would have to ride him. I shake my head and urge him to go ahead, and he begins to precede me with light steps.
The Snow-white wolf’s legs are spread wide compared to his size, and he seems to be well suited for moving over the snow. I kept pace with him with small teleportations and moved toward the east.
After an hour or so, we came to an area where the forest had been cleared. The path between the forests had slight hardening traces as if it were a route to a nearby village. It was a little better than the animal trail, but it was still a sign that a human settlement was close by.
“From here on, we never know who is watching us. It’s best not to use teleport. Let’s go, Moff.”
Before long, a name has even been given to him. He’s certainly fluffy, though. [T/n: Moff, taken from the Japanese word Mofumofu which means fluffy.]
We walked through the snow for about two miles. When we reached the top of a small hill, we saw a settlement about 1 km ahead of us. Surrounded by low mountains and forests, it was a basin 2 to 3 km in diameter, a fortified city about four times the size of Casemaian. Smoke was rising from the ground as if from cooking.
“That’s the first town. Whether or not we can make contact with the locals here will determine our future.”
“It’s not that big of a deal. If they don’t like it, we can move on.”
I personally have a goal to go to a seaside town, so I’ll consider this place as a transit point.
“However… um, Yoshua?”
“Yeah. It’s not for everyone, Myrril-san. Well, I don’t know if this is a good idea.”
The main gate of the city wall opened, and I saw a group of what looked like cavalrymen, about 10 in all, coming toward us, looking bloodthirsty.
Chapter 133 – Captain of the Guards
“Disperse! Turn right and check on the magical beasts! Sembeck, rescue the victims!”
“…Eh? Oh, hey! Hold on!”
When we realized that the hostility of the onrushing cavalry was directed at the snow-white wolf, Myrril and I stepped forward and raised our hands.
The “magical beast” was trying to chase the cavalrymen circling around him, but he was wagging his tail and seemed to think that they were playing with him.
If you can read people’s thoughts, then at least try to read the atmosphere!
“This one is with us!”
“Put down your weapons; we mean you no harm!”
“What? Are you commanding a forest pack wolf?”
Moff barked at the horsemen, and the horses were frightened and backed away.
The surrounding soldiers are also on alert, but since Moff only barked and did not appear to attack, they did not point their spears at him.
“Sorry to startle you. He protested; he’s a snow-white wolf, not just a forest wolf.”
“…Did he understand human language? Is he really a snow-white wolf?”
A strong man who appeared to be the commander dismounted from his horse and approached us. He saw Moff wagging his tail, tilted his head, and smiled. The man is in his mid-30s and looks like a strong man who has fought many battles over the years, but his smile is surprisingly friendly.
“I see. I’ve never seen a snow-white wolf up close before. Well, it’s my first experience too, but from a distance, this could be mistaken for the leader of a pack of forest pack wolves, you know?”
“Is that so?”
I don’t know what a forest pack wolf is, but it seems to be a wolf that attacks people in packs. Only the leader of the pack is a magical beast, intelligent, furry, and large in stature.
That is, about the same size as a Moff.
“But he is still a child. If he grows up from now on, he won’t be mistaken for one.”
Even now, he’s nearly two meters long, and he’s going to get even bigger… Are you really a wolf?
“Are you guys going to enter Sarz? Or are you just trying to get somewhere?”
“If by “Sarz” you mean that town, I’d like to stay there for a while. But, unfortunately, we lost our luggage on the way.”
“I see. If you are going to enter the town, wrap a piece of cloth of a conspicuous color around this guy’s neck. It is customary to put a collar or fetters on beasts that have an owner, but you might not want to do that either, right?”
The man roughly stroked Moff’s neck, and Moff rubbed the tip of his nose against the man’s belly, sniffling ticklishly.
I remove the hood of my winter coat and bow to the cavalrymen, including the commander.
“Thank you for coming all the way out here to rescue us. My name is Takefu. This is my partner, Myrril.”
“…Yeah, It’s good to know you’re okay. I’m Ivan, captain of the guard of Sarz. Would you like to ride to the gate?”
“No, I’m fine; I have him here.”
Myrril beckoned to me on Moff’s back. I climbed onto the snow-white wolf’s back, thinking it would be okay since we were less than a kilometer from the gate.
Moff started to walk without seeming to be heavy. Even though he is still a child, he may have some supernatural power. Naturally, there’s no rein or saddle, but the ride is quite comfortable.
“Are you an adventurer, Takifu? Or maybe a merchant?” [T/n: He called MC Takifu here ターキフ.]
Ivan, the captain of the guard, asked from atop his horse. I feel like my name is changing, but that’s not that important.
At least, I guess there aren’t any ordinary citizens who are crazy enough to travel between cities during the winter months.
“I was a drifter merchant. I was in the kingdom but couldn’t do business anymore, so I decided to become an adventurer.”
“So you came to the Republic? How did you make it across the Wilderness between the Kingdom and the Republic alive?”
The “wilderness between the Kingdom and the Republic” is probably an uninhabited buffer zone near the border between the kingdom and the Republic. I can’t say I was transported by airship. They wouldn’t understand.
“I don’t understand it at all. I thought there would be fewer magical beasts in winter, but if I hadn’t met this guy, I would have died.”
I should probably keep the gun out of it, for now, so I’ll just boost Moff’s position. In fact, it could be said that I almost died because I met him, but I’m not lying in the slightest.
Ivan looked at me with a curious look in his eyes.
“Were you attacked by any strange people?”
“It looks like you met them. What happened to them?”
“What are you surprised about? What you are thinking is all in your face. You don’t have to fool them. If it was those bandits, Moff got rid of them.”
Myrril followed up, accepting that we had fought them off. They did not ask me if I killed them or not. I guess they didn’t think that I and the little dwarf, who didn’t have a sword, had killed the mage and the other eight thieves.
“Hmm. Well, you were lucky. So, what do you do about the entry tax of one silver coin per person to enter the town? Well, we can wait until you get your ID card from the guild, though?”
“If I join the guild, will there be a discount?”
“If you join an adventurer’s guild, it would be free, and if you join a merchant’s guild or a craftsman’s guild, it would be half price, but you would be obliged to serve them. You are required to provide services such as defeating magical beasts and supplying the necessities of life. If your contribution to the town is not recognized, you may be expelled from the guild and banished.”
“Then I will pay you normally. I haven’t decided where I will belong yet.”
“You’d better make up your mind as soon as possible. If you remain a citizen with no ID, you will be charged a silver coin for every time you enter or leave the city.”
When we reach the city gate, the cavalrymen leave, leaving Ivan and one other man at the gate. They each return to their posts.
After paying the entry tax with the silver coins taken from the bandits, we ask for the location of the town’s inn, guilds, and shopping district. He told me to come to the guard station if I had any problems.
He was a very kind man. He seemed to have no prejudice against dwarves.
As we walked toward the inn, I asked Myrril a question.
“Don’t you think it was a very quick first move if they moved as soon as they saw us?”
“It’s impossible to gather all that cavalry and move them in such a short period. I have a hunch that they were preparing to go after those mage bandits.”
And that, said Myrlil, looking at me.
“It seems that the captain of the guard has a lot of experience. He looked at my “Wuji” and was convinced. At least he knows it’s a weapon.”