8.Guest to the House of Mogrian (4)
The entrance to Mogrian mountain was connected to the rear side of the landlord’s castle. That place, which was usually quiet, was crowded today. All the soldiers and knights, who hadn’t departed for hunting, people in the household, wife of the landlord and the youngest daughter were there praying for the safe return of the landlord and his retainers.
A lady’s voice called for Ian. It was his mother. She also came along with the people.
“I heard the story, so the landlord is still in the forest somewhere…”
“Yes, so I decided to help them find him.”
“Are- Are you….?”
Vanessa’s face turned pale.
“It’s too dangerous! You’re still young, and…”
“I’m okay, mom. Have you forgotten already? I am a mage now.”
It was natural for her to worry. Although her son is a mage with great talent, he was still her son, before he was a mage.
“Don’t worry. I’m not like the others. I will come back, alright?”
After promising his mother of his safe return, Ian walked with the soldiers. The first scout squad who had already searched the mountains looked very tired. Scouts who still seemed to be energetic were the second scout squad.
“To start, lead me to the place where the trail stopped.”
By Ian’s request, a senior knight came out and said.
“According to the first scouts report, the trail ended completely. We only found a clue that there was an assault by many goblins…..”
“I have a solution, so please lead the way.”
The knight’s face became uneasy, when he was commanded by young boy.
“….Yes Mr. Mage”
He calmed himself and answered. The commander was the mage. The mage who would take the journey with the crown prince. The age wasn’t important here. If nobles had rank, mages had rank and power. The power that might be able to rule the whole world, if there were enough of them.
‘Humph, let’s see, how great of a mage he is’
The senior knights didn’t trust Ian. Of course he might have had some talent, since the crown prince was coming. However, the rumors of his magic in the gymnasium, the rumors that servants and butlers had spread, he didn’t believe those rumors.
“Listen! The second scout squad…”
But, the knight had to follow Ian’s command. He was a mage, and soldiers couldn’t do anything about it. The first squad hadn’t found any critical clues. It was unlikely the second squad would find something important either. However, the landlord was missing. The knight had to rely on anything he could.
“As Mr. Mage commanded, climb the mountain.”
Knights and soldiers of the second scout squad rearranged their line. Suddenly, just before they started their march,
Someone pulled Ian’s sleeve. A girl with ginger hair, the only daughter of landlord, Margaret Mogrian. By appearance, she looked about 4 years older than Ian.
“My father… brother… save them, PLEASE!”
Her face was covered by her tears and snot.
“If you save them, anything, I’ll do anything for you! I- I can ask my daddy to give you money, lands and servants! So, please….”
Her attitude had changed completely compared to the morning.
‘I heard that she spoke to my mother badly.’
It sounded Margaret often acted badly with her. Actually, more like she just revealed her jealousy to the beautiful kitchen maid.
Ian found something on Margaret’s finger. Precisely, the ring on her right index finger. It had some special aura.
It must be the low level artifact, Mogrian ring. It seemed the landlord succeeded it to the daughter, not his retainer.
“I’ll find him for you.”
The confirmation from Ian turned Magaret’s face to brighten.
“But, keep your promise.”
“I’m serious! Everything you want….!”
“Have a think about it while I am scouting.”
“Th- think about it?”
What is he talking about?
Margaret couldn’t understand. Ian added words to help her understand.
“I don’t want the things you have promised.”
“Th- then what do….?”
“That’s the thing you need to think about.”
Then Ian looked to another side, and Margaret followed his eye sight.
There was Vanessa, whose face was filled with worry.
She quickly turned away her eye from Vanessa, as she understood. Her face revealed her complicated mind.
He continued the conversation. Margaret’s face contained a little bit of fear of him.
“Lend it to me.”
She felt embarrassed. Not only her, but the people of Mogrian. It seemd they had no idea of the existence of artifact
“Why is that?”
“I can feel mana from it.”
“It will help me to find the people. So…”
Margaret couldn’t decide easily. It wasn’t just an ordinary ring, but the heirloom of her house. The heirloom that her father gave to Margaret specially. But Ian said it has some mana in it. Mostly, he said it will help him to find her father.
The ring was handed in to Ian. His finger was still too small, so he had to put it on his thumb.
Just after he wore the ring, he could feel his mana heart’s beating. This feeling, Ian liked it.
He turned away from young noble girl. He stepped on the dirt of the mountain with the scouts. Generally, the course wasn’t that tough. In contrast, there was a wide path-like a street. It was the evidence that they had hunted quite often.
“Do we need to go in deeply?”
Ian broke his silence and asked the knight.
“It’s not that far from here where the trail starts.”
“Does he normally start the hunt from there?”
“No, goblins usually come out from a deeper area…..wait, that is strange”
The face of the knight became more serious.
“I heard that he went to hunt periodically.”
“Yes, every first day of the month. It wasn’t anything special.”
“So they were all used to it. I mean, the hunting route of the hunters.”
‘Hunters’ indicated the landlord and his companies. In goblins’ eye, they were just goblin hunters.
“So that means….”
“They might have ambushed them.”
“Are you saying goblins do ambushes?”
The knight didn’t agree with it.
“It’s impossible that they can come up with such a plan…”
It was well known that their intelligence was quite low. As a humanoid monster, they had some kind of intelligence, but it was only estimated to be around the same as a 3 year old boy. These creatures dared to have the courage to strike first, and ambush the hunters by analyzing the route?
Unless it was the Hobgoblin which lived in the southern great grass field, far away from here, It was nearly impossible for goblins who lived within the province. When Ian’s thinking reached to this point,
“Here, as you can see, all of this area is …”
The scout team and Ian reached the point. Human’s red blood trails and goblin’s green blood trails… It was obvious that there was a battle. However, there were no human corpses. There were only goblin corpses on the ground.
“Had our side’s victims’ corpses been already collected?”
The knight shook his head.
“We couldn’t find anyone when we first found this area.”
It meant goblins took them all. Whether alive or dead.
‘There are so many strange points.’
Firstly, the scale of the battle was too big. There are more than ten goblin corpses around here. When they assaulted, there must have been hundreds of them.
‘They don’t make groups like this.’
They usually formed as a small village and hunted animals or collected berries. However, this trail showed that there were hundreds of goblins that assaulted them. Ian was quite curious about this.
‘Is there someone who rules them?’
Having high intelligence, power and desire to gather all the goblins around the mountain. The ‘high class creature’ which had charisma.
“Is there any other monsters living in this mountain?”
“As far as I know of, none.”
Thinking wouldn’t solve this problem. Now he had to take some action.
With quiet spells, Ian raised up his index finger. He started to draw the silver magical formula in the air.
Once he completed the magical formula, he triggered his second spell. Then the sliver lights became thicker. The magical doors opened slowly, and silver light came out from the gap between the doors.
*how – ow – wol*
Suddenly, the soldiers were confused. Strange growls came out from the magical formula. It was the howling of a wolf.
“What? Where are the sounds coming from?”
“Didn’t he say wolf spirit?”
“But it sounds a bit weird…”
When the whispers became quiet something small came out from the formula while struggling. Then, *plop*, it fell to the ground.
As the soldier said, it was a wolf. Out of nowhere, a wolf was summoned. But, the wolf was a little bit strange. It was a wolf, but…
Cute growling, with the size of a puppy. Unsharpened teeth as it was not grown completely. The tail was waving towards Ian.
As someone described, It was a pup. Precisely, it was a ‘pup wolf spirit’.