Chapter 67 – Meanwhile, the Black Swan of Dawn – part two
“Huh? Subjugation of an Obsidian Wolf?” I asked the leaders.
They caught me when I was about to leave to eat, saying that I don’t always come home right after breakfast, so they wanted to tell me now instead of later.
Horun was clearly dissatisfied at it though, so I just told Horun to go ahead and order the food, as a hungry Horun is just a hindrance… And honestly, even when she is not hungry, it’s still hard to have a proper conversation with her.
I may move at my own pace too, but I at least listen to things properly when it comes to work.
I was in a bad mood after being forcefully woken up by Horun, but since the leaders wanted to talk about work, I forced myself to calm down.
… Not like I’d stop being carefree and laid back though.
“Isn’t it too soon though? Honestly, I’m not that confident on it.” I commented.
I mean, I did participate on the subjugation of an Obsidian Wolf a year ago. I know how strong this monster is, so I’m not sure if me and Horun are enough for it. It’s still too early.
“It’s alright, because you won’t be the one commanding the operation. I’ll leave that to Glock.” Anemoa explained.
“Ah, got it. In that case, it’s fine.” I replied.
I do have plenty of trust in Glock for sure. If he is with us, then we have a good chance of winning.
“We’re also getting Lorobel to participate.” Rickstein added.
“Oh, that’s pretty good.” I nodded.
Lorobel Loren. She hasn’t joined any adventurer team, but she often lends a hand when people request for her help, and she is definitely quite skilled.
Though honestly, she’s probably an envoy of the kingdom, actually. Or maybe a spy working undercover or something like it.
Nobody knows what her exact role is, but Rickstein is fairly sure that she works for our country.
Of course, almost nobody ever tried asking Lorobel about it. And when someone asks, she always denies it.
Still, Lorobel maintains a unique relationship with other adventurers. Sometimes she lets herself get taken advantage of, and at other times she takes advantage of people. She lends a hand at times, and at other times requests people to land her a hand.
She creates connections by using this kind of borrow and take strategy.
She is also someone who has connections with the higher ups of Nastiara. She was seen communicating with nobles many times, and she also seems to have a lot of persuasive power when talking to the adventurer’s guilds… And of course, she is also an excellent adventurer, so it’s always nice to have her around.
So, if they are inviting Lorobel to this… Well, I can think of many reasons why, but there is one reason that is more likely than the others.
“Is the Obsidian Wolf close to the country’s border?” I asked.
It’s not uncommon for someone to chase a Demon Beast into the neighboring country. In those cases, the adventurers often times have to give up on the spoils of their hunt to the people of the other country.
We’re told things like, ‘If you hand over your prey, we’ll turn a blind eye to your illegal immigration’. Weak adventurers in particular are basically unable to retort to this kind of threat.
And well, this kind of thing can happen very easily with big Demon Beasts. It’s basically impossible for big game near the borders to not be under constant monitoring from both countries.
At times like this, having an ally like Lorobel is invaluable. Since she is involved with the higher ups of Nastiara, and with the Adventurer’s guild, she should be able to negotiate better, as just mentioning her name should be enough to keep foreign nobles in check.
“It’s not close to it, but just in case.” Rickstein replied.
The Obsidian Wolf’s action range is quite wide, so I suppose this kind of failsafe doesn’t hurt.
It would be nice if we could carefully choose the time and place to fight against Demon Beasts, but that’s pretty hard to do when we’re talking about this kind of big game.
“Also, this is probably going to be a joint operation.” Anemoa added.
The people from the adventurer’s guild of the town nearest to the Obsidian Wolf’s location will surely want to participate too, I suppose. I guess we’ll have twenty or so people involved then.
If it was closer to the capital, then the Black Swan of Dawn should be able to monopolize the prey, but the same can’t be held true when the monster is close to another city. There’s no way they’ll easily hand over a big game to an adventurer team of the capital.
That’s another reason to why having Lorobel participating is useful. She can talk to whoever is in charge of the adventurer’s guild of that city, making sure that everyone gets their fair share of spoils.
Otherwise, the locals might try prioritizing keeping the best loot to themselves, and only giving the leftovers to the outsiders.
So well, having Lorobel with us is certainly a nice reassurance.
“Well, Glock will be taking care of all the complicated business this time, right? In that case, I just need to look over Horun, right?” I asked just to be sure.
“This time, yeah.” Rickstein nodded.
Since I’m not gonna be the commander, I just need to do what Glock asks me to without worrying about any unnecessary things.
“Roger that. When do we leave, then?” I asked.
“It depends on when Lorobel replies. The sooner the better though.” Anemoa said.
After all, the prey is first come, first served.
And at this point, Rickstein looked directly in my eyes and stated, “Failure is forgiven. Death is forgiven too.”
Newcomers often get scared when hearing this kind of thing, but I just laughed at it, “Yeah, yeah, same as usual.”
Those words from Rickstein, they were just a clumsy way of telling us to not worry too much and try our best. Basically, a terrible cheer up attempt from an old man.
Lorobel’s response was quick. By the time me and Horun finished eating breakfast, she had already answered the invitation.
She said that she could leave whenever we were ready, so we decided that we were leaving this afternoon.
Today we had been planning on taking it easy, but now the schedule suddenly became quite tight, and I had to run around a lot throughout this morning.
Glock, a man with a small stubble of a beard, and long tied blond hair, is the one who will act as our commander. He came back with Lorobel to the base, then we set off.
We went to the Land Dragon stables near the north gate and rented four Land Dragons.
Land Dragons are Demon Beasts that look like bipedal lizards. Their color ranges from green to brown, so wild Land Dragons can easily blend in to the woods.
It’s a Demon Beast that replaces a horse that was going to carry only one person. Mostly because the Land Dragon can easily keep on running for a whole day.
Also, since it doesn’t sway up and down much, it’s much easier and more comfortable to ride than a horse.
Also, as it is a smart Demon Beast, it can easily listen to instructions, so even amateurs can ride Land Dragons without trouble.
Their only problems are that their face can be quite scary, and that they’ll flee if they encounter a Demon Beast that is stronger than them.
Also, as they have an owner, if you leave them alone for half a day, they naturally go back to their owner on their own. Essentially making the Land Dragons useful only for one-way trips.
Though well, they’re still great if you want to quickly reach a different city.
“It’s been a long time, Meat Dragon. You look wonderful today.” Horun said as she approached one of the Land Dragons and started stroking its neck.
She always chooses the same Land Dragon when going to rent them.
However, for most people, all Land Dragons look the same.
You can only tell them apart by the color and pattern of their scales, so I certainly can’t see any difference between them.
However, Horun somehow knows which one is which with her wild intuition or whatever that is.
“Hey miss! Don’t refer to her with such a selfish name! She’s not a Meat Dragon!” The middle-aged man who owns the Land Dragon shouted.
He always gets annoyed at Horun due to the nickname she gave to this particular Land Dragon.
Apparently, this one was raised with lots of love and care from the middle-aged man. He has a lot of pride in that Land Dragon and it’s the one he has the longest relationship with. He is really attached to that one.
So, he really can’t stand having his partner of over 20 years being referred to as Meat Dragon. He gave her the name of Sarina, which was the same name that his first love had.
However, the Meat Dragon really enjoyed being stroked by Horun, to the point she purred.
I guess that would disturb the middle-aged man for sure… I mean, his long partner is easily purring when being stroked by someone who just came here to rent her.
I wonder if he thinks that the Meat Dragon will one day abandon him.
“Then, let’s depart!” With Glock’s order, the quarrel with the middle-aged man ended, and the four Land Dragons started running.
Our goal is the city of Haidiga.