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VOLUME 3: CHAPTER 179 – EXPECTATIONS (1/2)
“Should’ve said you had money in the first place,” Vine heartily laughed as she led Pale and the others to the deserted village south of Fenis.
The money Pale had given Vine was enough to build a house.
When Vine saw how much Pale was paying her, that devilish smile on her face was quickly replaced with a naughty cat’s charming smile.
The change came so quick that the gnome warrior, Berk Alsen, couldn’t help but sigh.
It has already been 7 days since Pale and her group was able to secure the help of the Red Moon Clan. In that time they managed to find out the whereabouts of the survivors of the Elks Clan.
As soon as they caught wind of that information, Pale immediately asked that they find them. In response, Vine smiled wickedly and nodded.
“You realize they could already be dead, right?”
The information they received was already over 10 days old. It wouldn’t be strange if the Dagger of Webrus had already gotten to them.
“Perhaps, but I still have to go.”
With Pale’s mind set, Vine could only agree.
The deserted village they were headed to would take 5 days on carriage. With nothing else to do, Shure and Rue asked Pale about herself.
Touri Nokia was the man she admired and Ryutanu was her first kouhai.
Their time together wasn’t without hardship, but it was certainly fun.
While Pale and the two talked about such things, Vine focused solely on her liquor, while Berk drove the carriage.
“By the way, you guys are unaffiliated, right? How about joining our cla— Why are you hiding behind the elf?”
Berk suggested to let Vine drink to keep her mood up. As a result, she’s been drinking nonstop since this morning. It was a mystery if what she said just now was a joke, but because of that, Shurei and Rue were huddled together as they trembled in fear.
“You can choose to remain unaffiliated if you want, but you’ll have a hard time. Right, Berk?” Vine said as she tasted her liquor.
“The trustworthiness of a guild is different from that of lone wolves, so the remuneration received is usually a league lower,” Berk seriously said as he drove the carriage. He seemed used to handling the drunk Vine.
Seeing Berk seriously reply, Vine snorted.
“Mr. Berk, why did you become a member of the Red Moon Clan?” Shurei asked.
Berk’s face dimmed a little, but neither Shurei nor Rue could see his expression from behind.
“My village is located in the south. We used to be from the north actually, but we moved some generations ago. We make our living by hunting the sand whales in the sand sea.”
“Your story is too long!”
Jeered at by Vine, Berk cut to the main point. “It was then that I met the clan leader. At the time, there was trouble within the village, and I ended up becoming a Royon and entered the Blood Moon Clan. I came to the north in search of information when you two caught me.”
“So you haven’t been a member for long?”
“That’s right. He literally became a member just a month ago.”
While Shurei and Rue were understanding the situation, the drunk woman suddenly interrupted their conversation.
“What? Feel like joining now, Rue-chan?”
Before anyone knew it, Vine was behind Rue and was hugging her. Her hands moved freely over Rue’s robes as she fondled her body, causing Rue to scream.
“Ha, P-Please stop!”
“Mn~, you need to grow a bit more… At this rate, you won’t be able to get the man you like. I’ll play the nice big sister and help you…”
Rue tried to break free, but her attempts were meaningless before a warrior as accomplished as Vine.
“Won’t you enter our clan? If you enter our clan, Shurei won’t have a choice but to enter as well.”
“Huh? You won’t join? Then I guess that means Little Rue is mine…”
As Rue’s cheeks were dyed red, Vine smiled wickedly toward Shurei.
“…Clan leader, you’re taking it a bit too far.” Berk said calmly.
“I think so too.” Pale agreed.
Having been reprimanded by both Pale and Berk, Vine let Rue go and went back to drinking.
“Complaining about the way I invite others… What has the world come to? Sigh… could have killed two birds with one stone too.”
Like this their group traveled to the deserted village in the south.
In the north-western part of the free cities, where the border regions were and were Gi Gi and the Leon Heart clan were carrying out the Goblin King’s schemes, was an opportunity ripe for the taking.
The small feudal lords had convened a meeting to come up with a plan against the endless wave of monster beasts.
Mediating them were the adventurers sent by the Leon Heart Clan. The feudal lords already trusted them when it came to matters surrounding the beasts.
Approximately two months have pa.s.sed since the Leon Heart Clan started their operation, and Garwin and Fase were staying at the mansion of the feudal lord of Shirak.
The mansion of the Shirak Territory that ruled three villages and a town was the closest to the goblins and also suffered the most under the endless wave of monster beasts. After repeatedly suffering under the oppression of the monster beasts, the feudal lord of Shirak finally decided to propose a plan and seek help from the other small feudal lords.
Of course, Garwin and Fase had also advised him. Presently, the feudal lord trusted them enough to consult them on matters regarding the defense of his territory. Even the people trusted them.
Small feudal lords consider each other as powerful rivals, but at the same time, they also consider each other as comrades when calamity strikes.
“…I thank G.o.d that we are able to gather here today at Sanktfall.”
After the feudal lord of Shirak opened the meeting, the gathered feudal lords immediately started discussing the topic at hand.
“As you may all know, this meeting’s purpose is to tackle the issue of the monster beasts.”
The feudal lords from the pioneering generations did not experience the same difficulties as Shirak Territory, but they still discussed the topic seriously. They had no choice, for they knew they would be next if one of them were to fall. The feudal lord of Guena, who was hiding under the shadow of Shirak, understood this well.
But in the end, they could not arrive to a conclusion. After all, if they could find a solution in the first place, they would not have waited this long before addressing the issue.
“Can’t we figure out why the monsters are rampaging?” Asked one feudal lord.
“We could gather our knights under one group,” suggested one feudal lord.
“We need to create an impenetrable wall against the monsters!” Suggested another.
“In the end, the issue is money,” the feudal lord of Shirak sighed.
Normally, these feudal lords should’ve been making a killing considering the previous western feudal lord, Gowen Ranid, hadn’t waged war against them. Unfortunately, because of the alms they had to give to the Kushain faith, they were currently so poor that they found it difficult to hire even two skilled adventurers.
None of the small feudal lords had the guts to go against the great wave that was the Kushain faith, so the creed of the Kushain faith quickly spread from the large cities until it reached the very borders of the northern free cities.
When the meeting was starting to go nowhere, the feudal lord of Shirak adjourned the meeting.
They had began the meeting in the evening, but it was now morning. At this rate, the partic.i.p.ating leaders won’t last. Besides, it was doubtful that any of these leaders would propose a good idea with the way things were going.
Like that the exhausted feudal lords retreated to their rooms.
“How was it?” Fase, who was currently working as the feudal lord of Shirak’s bodyguard, asked.
The feudal lord only weakly laughed in response.
“…I see. As expected, these feudal lords are also starving for money.”
“It’s a pity, but if they had money, then they wouldn’t have moved to the borders in the first place.”
Fase folded his arms and closed his eyes. After thinking for a moment, he spoke. “…We have some new information.”
“What is it? If it can break us out of this deadlock, by all means, please.”
“Actually, our vice clan leader, Zaurosh the Lord Commander, is coming.”
Excited at the prospect of possibly breaking out of their current predicament, the feudal lord eagerly lent an ear to Fase.
“If it’s him, he might have an idea.”
“Is he good?”
“The clan leader himself is young, but it’s because of him that our clan is able to operate. The Lord Commander is a man the clan leader trusts dearly. He’s a good man, in my opinion.”
Fase was a skilled adventurer who was always composed. The feudal lord of Shirak greatly valued his abilities.
“How is he compared to you?”
“I’m afraid I’m not even worthy to be in the same sentence. Perhaps I might be able to eek out a win with my bow, but he is a skilled swordsman with both prudence and the connections. He is beyond me.”
Fase wryly smiled and shook his head, but his words greatly roused the feudal lord’s excitement.
“And that Lord Zaurosh is coming for what purpose exactly?”
“That, I’m not so sure. All that was mentioned in the letter was that he was coming to see the situation.”
The feudal lord sat back up straight and folded his arms.
It is said that a drowning man would cling to something even if that something is nothing but a straw. The feudal lord racked his brain as he sought to see through the purpose of a great clan’s vice clan leader’s visit, but the information he had was insufficient. All he knew was that he trusted Fase.
But he couldn’t be blamed for that, after all, it’s no easy feat to hate someone who risks his life for you with barely any remuneration. All the more so, when that someone is able to get results and protect the people.
If he thinks their vice clan leader is a good man, then at the very least, he wasn’t a villain.
“If it’s no trouble, I would love to meet him. If possible, while the feudal lord conference (Sanktfall) is still open.”
“…I’ll send him a letter by bird then. I can’t guarantee anything, but this is the method we use when contacting each other for urgent matters.”
Three days later, Zaurosh arrived.