First Request Part 4
Translators: Frostfire10, fba90130 and Henet
Humans and monsters alike shared a deep connection with the forest. On one hand the forest represented a place blessed with richness and on the other, a wild and dangerous place. Unlike in modern Japan where electrical lighting was common, light sources were highly valued in this world. In the dark places where the light of the world could not reach, the monsters reigned. In the dungeons, in the caves, at night and in the forests.
This was one of the reasons why monsters saw better in the dark. Humans fumbled blindly in the dark while monsters … not as much.
If humans encountered monsters, combat was inevitable. As such one should understand just how dangerous it was to enter a place of darkness.
Even in daylight, the trees of the forest blocked out the sun and created darkness in many places. Because of that it was more dangerous in the forest compared to the grasslands. In lightly wooded areas one was relatively safe, but in the primeval forests where the sunlight did not penetrate, it was a place of eternal darkness.
Because of this , the adventurers kept their distance from the forest, walking in a single file in the wide grasslands. Well you could call it a grassland, but the grass was at most 15 centimeters in height, it was not a difficult terrain to traverse.
The ranger that lead the way, Lukeluther, scanned the grassland around him for tracks and other signs of creatures as well as keeping an eye on the forest. As the group was scheduled to complete its hunt today and return to the city, the ranger was more alert than usual.
The other three companions, the mage—-Ninya, the fighter—-Peter and the druid—-Dyne in comparison, were far more relaxed as they trusted Lukeluther to keep them safe.
Under the scorching sun, the adventurers trudged on silently in single file. It was late in the morning and all was quiet save for the slight squishing of sap as boots crushed the grass underfoot.
Only god knows how long this continued.
Suddenly, Lukeluther’s voice cut through the silence. It wasn’t loud, but one could hear the tension in his tone. Immediately and without question, the group obeyed, dropping flat on the grassland. As the eyes of the party, Lukeluther’s warnings had absolute authority.
As Dyne activated his magic, a row of plants grew rapidly, hiding the presence of the prone party.
Close-up, the row of plants would certainly look suspicious, but from a distance, it would be difficult to notice anything out of ordinary without a remarkable sense of awareness. Momon laid prone and laid his shoiko horizontally next to him.
“What’s the matter?”
Pushing aside the green blanket of plants , Peter crawled forward and settled next to Lukeluther. Ninya, Dyne and eventually Momon joined them.
Momon pushed aside the plants and peeked through a gap in the direction that Lukeluther was pointing. A line of monsters had appeared from the forest at a distance of approximately 200 metres.
A dozen child-sized monsters flanked by two giant monsters.
The child-sized monsters were ones they had encountered and battled two days ago.
These were the demi-humans known as goblins.
A deformed face with a flat nose, a wide mouth with two upward thrusting fangs. Bright green skin with thin black hair stuck stiffly out of its scalp as if held up with cream.
The creature wore roughly treated animal skin as armor on top of rags which were either dyed in brown or were just plain dirty. In one hand it carried a wooden stick <Club> and in the other, a small shield.
The creature looked like an experimental mix between a human and an ape with a dash of evil as a topping. That was the monster a goblin looked like if the experiment failed.
The giant monsters were between 2.5 to 3 meters.
Large heads with heavy brows and a look that suggested that nothing much was going on inside.
A back that was hunched over like a frightened cat, their long muscular arms resembled large trees dangled down, almost touching the floor. Carrying a club that looked like a tree that had been simply ripped from the ground, the monsters were wrapped in what seemed like raw animal skins. The stench that drifted from their bodies was noticeable even from a distance.
Green warty skin with thick and powerful torsos, just from appearances, one could tell that these creatures had enormous strength.
All in all, the over-sized duo resembled a pair of demented shaved chimpanzees.
Observing their surroundings, the group of monsters stepped out of the forest and into the grassland. Almost every monster carried a bag made of rags, as if prepared for a long journey.
“12 goblins and two ogres”
“Are they strong enough to threaten the party?”
Evaluating a monster’s strength was not as simple as it sounds. The party wiped out the goblins they encountered two days ago without a scratch. But this time there were also two ogres.
As mentioned before setting off, this was a difficulty level 20 mission, but in Momon’s eyes the opponents were so weak, the ogres and the goblins appeared to be about the same difficulty.
Just like humans who measured in terms of metres, a difference of a millimetre or three would be barely perceptible.
Not quite sure how to answer Momon’s question, Peter smiled at Momon, brimming with confidence.
“No problem. They look like regular monsters. We can handle them easily. Just in case, please wait in the rear with Ninya.”
Momon backed slowly to where Ninya lay prone.
“Do you require support magic?”
“…….The forest is close by, they would be troublesome to chase down if they fled into the forest.”
“Then shall we use our usual tactics?”
“Let’s do that. But looks like it would be a little tough to handle two ogres at the same time……”
“Right, Dyne, keep them pinned. Ninya, cast defensive magics on me and then focus on casting offensive magics and keeping Momon safe. Lukeluther will handle the goblins. If the ogres break through, keep blocking them. In that event, Ninya should take out the goblins first. ”
Nobody contested Peter’s instructions. The adventurers looked at each other and wordlessly agreed to the course of action with a nod of the head. The tactics discussion proceed smoothly, as if the group were of one mind.
Momon was most impressed by their solidarity.
If Momon was free to use all his strength, a single area of effect spell would have ended the battle. But of course, the group could not do that and so had to do things in their way. Evaluating the adventurers’ group tactics is the most important thing that Momon hoped to accomplish on this journey.
Lukeluther broke away from the group and drew his <Composite Longbow>. With the bowstring drawn to its limit, he released it. The arrow flew through the air in a straight line and struck a spot ten metres in front of the goblin.
The goblins were the ones who were surprised..
Lukeluther noted that the goblins were confused by the sudden attack and a smile appeared on his face. A single shot from a lone archer and a missed shot at that. Of course, the goblins were not capable of hitting a target 200 metres away either but that fact completely slipped their minds.
Even if one was only being polite, you could not really describe the goblins as smart, and on top of that they were many compared to the lone Lukeluther. The innate violent nature of the goblins rose to the front and with a shout, they charged ahead towards the ranger with the ogres following closely behind.
In a frenzy of bloodlust, the group charged with neither formation nor defensive measures like holding up their shields. It seemed like they had forgotten everything except moving forward.
Seeing that, Lukeluther could not help but smile.
Another shot at 140 metres. The next arrow penetrated a goblin head. The goblin tottered a few more steps and toppled backwards. Obviously, dead.
The monsters were now closing the remaining distance rapidly. Lukeluther nocked another arrow without any hint of fear. The ranger knew that his comrades would protect him.
Behind Lukeluther hidden in the grass, Ninya casted the defensive spell. The ranger nocked another arrow.
90 metres. A goblin bit the dust..
40 metres. Another goblin was shot through the head and collapsed on the ground. Peter stood up.
While the goblins were faster, the ogres had a larger stride and so there was not much difference in the ground they covered. Having said that, the group had just crossed 200 metres over open grassland and there were gaps opening up between each monster. Not too many monsters were entering Dyne’s area of effect. However, Dyne’s primary task was to first stop one of the ogres.
Dayne activated his magic skill. Plant vines started snaking up the leg of one of the ogres. The whip-like plant began to wrap the ogre. Although the plant body was thin, with the combined strength of hundreds of twines, the effects was like being wrapped around by metal shackles. The ogre let out a panicked cry. Within the magic’s area of effect were also three goblins, they were similarly binded. The twine did not show any interest towards the others.
Peter unsheathed his longsword and brought up his shield, to face the onslaught of six goblins and an ogre. The first goblin to reach Peter only saw a flash of the sword, before its head flew into the air. Passing through the fountain of blood, Peter closed his distance towards the next goblin.
The goblin opened its mouth, revealing a set of yellow teeth, a muddled sound escaped its mouth.
The goblin attacked as if by swinging a baseball bat, but the attack was stopped by Peter’s shield. Another goblin attacked from his flank, but the hit was blocked by the magically enchanted armor. A deep vibration resounded when the attack was deflected.
Peter’s gazed was focused on the ogre that appeared moments later. From the earlier attack, he decided that he would not suffer much injury from the goblins.
The ogre understood what Peter was shouting, and proceeded to swings its club towards him. Peter managed to dodge it at the last moment. Luckily, as he was surrounded by goblins, he would not be facing a sweeping attack from the ogre. The ogre lifted its club which left a depression on the ground. Looking at that, if he decided to take it head-on, it was likely that he would die from that single attack.
The last to stood up was Ninya, who fired two shots of magic, which directly hit a goblin. That goblin was about to attack Peter from the back. But after taking the hit, the goblin slowly crumpled to the ground.
The five goblins who surrounded Peter, switched targets and aimed for the three at the back. It seemed that they think that the ogre alone was sufficient to handle Peter.
Lukeluther kept his longbow and took out his short sword. At the same time, Dayne drew out his spiked mace. The two of them readied themselves while keeping a distance from Ninya, to give him opening space to attack. Ninya was covering their rear.
The five goblins were evenly matched against Lukeluther and Dayne. The fight was progressing slowly but at least one of the goblin was taken out. At the same time, one of Lukeluther’s arm was fractured by one of the goblins attack. While withstanding the pain, he was able to find the chance to plunged a dagger into an opening of a goblin’s leather armor.
Dayne was clubbed several times. His actions began to slow. Luckily, he did not take any fatal hits.
Ninya was observing the battle closely while trying to conserve his mana. Although the other ogre was restrained by the vines, from the looks of it, Ninya may have had to face it alone.
Peter was in a deadlock against the other ogre.
Peter shouted while lifting up his shield to block the ogre’s blow. A loud crashing sound was heard.
Momon who was lying flat in the grass was playing with the weeds as if bored. His pupil dilated after witnessing the fight between Peter and the ogre.
—-The ogre’s attack was completely blocked off.
Peter was still standing there with his shield raised, he did not bulge at all. It looked like the shield was able to completely negate the ogres attack.
Momon recalled the magical weapon skill that was used by her fellow maids. If it was a non-magical job classes, a skill could be obtained once the job class reached level five. Those skills contained a variety of effects.
The skill that Peter used, seems to be able to neutralised the impact sustained by the shield.
The shield blocked off the continuous attack coming from the ogre.
“Let’s do this! Peter!”
A blinding flash exploded in front of the ogre’s nose. The ogre squinted its eyes while retreating. Peter strengthened the grip on his sword, steadying his blade.
Peter released a deafening war cry.
While, focusing all his strength in this single attack, a slashing attack that was above the cutting power of the sword was released. It easily cut through the ogre. A large amount of blood gushed out from the ogre’s wound, followed by its intestines.
Needless to say, it was a fatal blow.
The club dropped from its hand. With its intestines hanging over its belly, the ogre fell.
Dayne activated his magic to heal Lukeluther’s wounds. At the same time, the fight with the goblins turned into a one sided slaughter fest. Lukeluther killed the goblins in a single blow.
Peter picked up a bow and started to attack the surrounded ogre. Looks like he did not intend to use a sword against the goblins.
To Momon who yawned while watching the fight, an even fight was very boring. It would be more interesting if any one side crumbled. However, Momon did not intend to secretly release the bounded ogre. This not a matter of morality, but to understand the fighting prowess of an E-class adventurer party. Objectively speaking, an E-class facing off against two ogres was a highly precarious scenario. If luck was not on their side, the situation turned dangerous for them.
In truth, to be able to observe the usage of martial arts by the humans, was a great outcome. I will report to Ainz-sama tonight immediately.
While thinking about it, Momon heard the sound of footsteps coming towards him. When he lifted up his head, he only saw a lone figure of panicking goblin trying to escape.
“Ah, don’t run towards this direction……”
Momon complained silently. While lying down, he pulled out his short sword.
“Move! Move! Move!”
The goblins cry were more like screaming of agony. Momon scornfully looked at the goblin, who was swinging its club wildly. The goblins gaze met Momon’s and proceeded to charge towards him.
“Momon-san! Run away quickly!”
Nina gave out a panicked cry, while preparing to activate his magic.
Momon wanted to retort angrily after considering the whole situation. He quickly suppressed the urge before the angry words came out.
By Momon’s opinion, Nina’s reaction and judgement ability were shockingly weak. Momon was unsure of the magic that Nina is going to cast, but from this distance, the goblin was going to reach him first. Although running was an option, the worst case scenario was the goblin catching up and turning him into a hostage.
—-Looks like there was no other way.
At the same time that Momon made his decision, he dodged the goblins club and stabbed out his sword.
There was a dull sound when the short sword pierced through skin and flesh. Momon felt a comfortable sensation coming from his hand as he cut through flesh, broke the bones and destroyed the organs. The goblin at the same moment, only noticed the short sword that pierced his belly. His face was that of terror, the fear when he knew that his life was robbed off. Momon gripped the sword handle, and moved the sword. The sensation of the sword cutting through the goblins body was felt again.
This was followed by two magic arrows hitting the goblins body.
Momon moved towards the side, avoiding the collapsing goblin.
“Are you alright! Momon-san!”
Ninya approached Momon while parting or stepping through the long grass. his panicked strides and speech conveyed his sense of worried to Momon.
At the same time, Momon was savouring happiness from the act of slaughtering the weak. He tried hard to suppress the urge to smile. It would be unsettling if he were to made such an expression. Momon faked a panicked expression while he stood up slowly. He released a weak sigh.
“Ha—-although it was scary, luckily nothing bad happened.”
Expressing relief, Ninya’s shoulder relaxed. Momon flipped the goblin who fell and retrieved the short sword that was still piercing the body. Blood poured out from the wound, dyeing the grass in red.
The white of its eyes was already showing, however, the soft body retained some residual warmth.
That was the moment where the life was slowly draining out, leaving a vacant expression—-That was Momon’s second most favourite expression. Momon retained this fond memory.
“—-Thank you for the meal.”
Momon whispered a voice of gratitude directed to the goblin that even Ninya could not hear.
Ninya approached the body of the goblin that was stabbed by Momon’s short sword. He proceeded to use his dagger to slice off an ear. If he were to pass this to the guild, a bounty would be given. Of course, it was not necessary for it to be ears only, as long it was a part of the monster that was suited to verify its identity. It was just that the ear was commonly used to identify goblin and ogres.
Ninya handled the body proficiently as he was quite experienced. However, he found something interesting. This was driven by his sense of curiosity.
Ninya rolled up his sleeves and began to move his hands towards the goblins wound. Fresh blood is still pouring out. His arms did not stop moving as he felt the blood that was still warm to the touch. He inserted his arm into the goblin through the wound.
A metallic smell wafted out as more blood gushed out. Ninya stopping moving his arms deeper as he moved it inside the body.
There was a lively sound that was hard to describe.
Ninya immediate removed his arm and looked towards Momon.
At that moment—-their gazes locked.
Before that Momon was staring towards a different direction. As if waiting for that right moment, he looked at Ninya expressionlessly. That was the usual expression when Momon looked at others.
The eyes were like glass ornaments. Ninya developed the impression for the first time that the eyes he looked at several times before were like luxurious treasures.
Ninya replied with a smile.
It was an act that he was used to. However, it felt heavy this time and his face started to froze up.
“Momon-san, the ear, I have cut it off.”
“Thank you very much.”
Momon bowed his head hurriedly to express his gratitude. As if losing interest, he moved his gaze away from Ninya, towards Peter and the others whom were working nearby.
I must have been placed under suspicion. Ninya’s heartbeat quicken. He forcefully tried to stop his own panicked breaths.
There was a large hole in the goblins abdomen. Other than the skin and flesh, the rib cage and the shoulder bone, and even the leather armor was cut open. Indeed, there were rumors of people with the ability to cut everything in half with just a swing of the sword. But for a person lying in a position that was hard to exert any strength, to stand up suddenly and pierce the enemy while creating a wound like this. Was it possible?
Although the possibility was not entirely impossible, it was also likely that the short sword might have used the goblins momentum to pierce the goblins body. Even the goblin should not have made such an obvious mistake. This was also a place where it is hard to run very fast.
It was hard to imagine any tremendous strength from his outer appearance……
Ninya maintained his fake smile as he thought. At the same moment, his body shook as if it had been exposed to cold air. It was a sense of instinctive fear of the body when facing off against an unknown monster.
……Impossible. It was unachievable just by solely relying on the arm’s strength. If it was some high-tier weaponry like magical swords, it would be plausible. Considering this possibility, who was Momon exactly?
To unravel this, a deeper investigation might be needed—-
“……Curiosity, even killed the cat.”
Ninya muttered to himself.
He smiled again towards Momon who was staring at him again.