044 Exploring the Demon Woods 1 p.1


Translator: yAmi

Spring. Just as the snow melts and human traffic to and fro Marlan resumed, an incident occured.

Inspired by the booming activity in the copper mines the year before, prospectors hoping to discover new ore veins went to explore the mountains. However, each and every one of the prospectors subsequently went missing.

The feudal lord of the land, Tullius Shernan Oubeniel, took upon this issue gravely and issued a local exploration quest to the adventurer guild at the merchant city, Canales. Shortly after, 5 C or D ranked parties signed up and travelled towards the inner parts of Marlan.

The adventurers who accepted the request were initially very optimistic. Marlan had been known to be void of monsters, after all. For over 10 years, no monsters were rated higher than D rank here. The local lord was probably just making a big fuss over this. It was the start of spring. The missing prospectors were probably caught in an avalanche or some other mishaps…The adventurers exchanged words as they approached the mountains.

Their self-conceit would come back to bite them.

9 confirmed dead, 26 missing and another 3 heavily injured ― even though non-combatants like porters made up a large part of people who failed to return, the casualties within the 5 parties weren’t small either.

Annihilated. This word was used to describe what had happened to them. At one go, tens of mid level adventurers were lost.

The top brass at the adventurer’s guild were shocked. A large group of adventurers, which included C rankers, were crushed. This was no longer simply a rescue mission for the prospectors. They had done interviews with the survivors and the response from them did not bode well for the situation. Even the upper mid rankers spoke in a delirium, something about “monsters” or “I am not good enough”. They could only conclude that they encountered a fearsome monster and lost their sanity.

Marlan had, for the longest time, been ignored by the adventurer’s guild as it was largely devoid of monsters. Somehow, strong monsters moved in and established their territory there...The guild concluded.

It was an area surrounded by mountain ranges, but those mountains connected directly to St. Gallen. It wasn’t unreasonable to believe that strong monsters from their country had moved in.

Hence, the guild had recognised the eastern forest as a dungeon level threat. They named it “Trees of Darkness”. It was a forest where light could not be found and was located at the south-eastern border of the kingdom.

“Boss. Here are the spoils from today. Please have a look.”

The minute the adventurer entered the guild branch office, he placed a heavy looking leather bag on the counter. Inside were the body parts of monsters that had been subjugated. These parts were to prove the identities of the monsters he had slain as well as to be sold as commodities. Needless to say, this was the part of an adventurer’s livelihood.

“Ahh, Mr Raymond! Thank you as always.”

The middle-aged branch head bowed, almost too politely. Located at a rural town, this guild which had only dealt with low level monsters, could not make any request with decent rewards. The discovery of the ‘Trees of Darkness’ dungeon was a cataclysm for them. They had to suddenly manage high level quests, and lucky for them, a high ranking adventurer visited. The branch head had been given the nickname of ‘post office head’ since he mostly handled delivery of letter types of request. He found it hard to adapt to the current situation.

Raymond, an average C ranker, was an incredible high ranker in the eyes of the branch head. Even though he was clearly human, the branch head saw him as a monster. His especially polite bow was probably due to his deference to mid rank and above adventurers and his fear towards them.

“Hmm, this ear is...one...two ogres...this subjugation level is D so...”

The branch head looked uncertain and slow. His face had turned pale like a timid lady as he was examining the body parts. He had to count out loud for each and every part. A new employee in his or her teens from the Canales branch would have taken half the time he did.

(Tch. If not for this...)

Raymond fumed. He wanted to have a drink to ease his tiredness from the subjugation.

For an adventurer like Raymond, Marlan was a juicy land.

When he heard the report on the search party being annihilated, he packed his belongings, called out to all his acquaintances and travelled to this remote countryside. It sounded to him like a gold rush. It was the discovery of a new, untouched, hunting ground.

His intuition was spot-on. Soon after, the guild’s main office designated the monster overrun eastern forest of Marlan as a dungeon. The quiet local adventurer’s guild expanded its operations and welcomed the adventurers who came to challenge the dungeon.

That was how Raymond became the first adventurer to be active in the area.

For newly discovered dungeons, naturally there were no veterans hindering access to the area. The first to establish their base here would become veterans. He would gather up other fellow mid rankers who were stuck at their ranks. They would then monopolise entry into the Trees of Darkness...if it went well, his remaining adventurer life would become comfortable.

“...Well, this is the reward. Please accept it.”

Seems like the reward confirmation was finally done. The branch head respectfully handed out a bag full with silver coins. Raymond accepted it silently. He did not check the contents. Just by the weight and the jingle of the bag when he shook it, he could guess at its value. Also, he would leave a good impression by not appearing stingy.

“By the way, why are you still manning the front, boss? Hasn’t the main branch sent over employees?”

A grimace formed on the branch head’s face.

“Ah, that...the employees are busy with the documents. Um, they are important documents to be sent to the main branch.”

“...Is that so? Looks like you have it hard too, huh.”

From the branch head expression and reply, he could roughly guess at the truth.

The documents were an excuse. The employees sent here were probably playing truant to show their contempt towards Mr Postman.

It was theorised that the guild used attractive ladies as receptionists to rouse the spirits of the adventurers, who were mostly young men. The employees sent must have been women too. However, how would a young lady feel about being sent to the sticks? They would think that they were demoted. And the reason they were sent here was, this old man, who was nothing more than a figurehead. Perhaps, this explains their insubordination.

“Well, things will turn around for you one day.”

Raymond commented in an effort to comfort him. He was considering the possibility of the benefits he might get in the future by being nice to him. For the female employees, working at the adventurer’s guild gave them a chance to marry a successful adventurer. If young hopeful adventurers gathered here, they would have many opportunities to be acquainted with them.

He gave a pat on the shoulders to the troubled looking branch head and left the building. Suddenly, a gust of sand blew into his face and he choked.

Unlike Broussonne, Marlan lacked stone pavements. On clear days, the ground would be baked dry and with some wind, sand would be lifted into the air.

After waving away the sand, he looked at the bustling townscape.

There were carpenters constructing new buildings. And the man instructing them seemed to be a local official. There were hawkers who came to sell food and drinks to the workers. And the residents curiously looked on at the liveliness of the town.

A random person who did not know of the background might have thought this was some festival preparation.

“Barleyー, would you like some barleyー? Barley made with cool and refreshing well water!”

“Mister! Give me a cup!”

“Wood construction is no good. Ever since the great fire, new buildings have to be made with stone or brick as much as possible...”

“As you say, Laubert. And the extra costs have to come from my own pocket...”

“Father, father! That, that! What is that!?”

“Hm? That is...um, what is that…?”

Listening closely, that was what Raymond heard.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next Page
© yAmi Translations
Maira Gall