When I woke up, the Sun had already reached its peak. I haven’t woken up this late in the morning since forever, but I’ll overlook it today.
Sensing a soft and warm sensation at my side, I turned my head and Ilianne’s lovely face entered my field of vision. She was still sleeping soundly in my arm; that shouldn’t be anything out of the norms, but there was one difference about her that morning. That is, she was stark naked from top to bottom, and her legs were entangling with mine like she was treating me as a hug-pillow.
“Right, we were doing it all night long . . .”
“Mm . . . Mm?”
My mumbles somehow woke her up. The moment she saw my face, Ilianne’s face turned sulkingly into a pout.
“. . . it’s still hurting.”
Wow, these two are really sisters, they said the exact same thing. Well, most of the blame was on me though, to be honest, since I can’t exactly say I was being completely gentle with Ilianne. The last time I slept with a woman was probably 4 years ago, so I couldn’t keep my composure.
“Sorry, I’ll be careful next time.”
“Then there’s no problem~”
“It’s this late already, so I’ll head out right now to take care of some stuff.”
“Is it for Julianne’s pendant?”
“That, and I’m also keeping an eye on a specific grimoire for your water magic.”
I found a pretty good grimoire about Water-attributed magic at The Center, and with it being a C-rank book, it would cost at least 10,000 Exchange Points. It was the same price with a pendant jewel I wanted to buy for Julianne, which was a piece of 99% pure Adamantite with many great magic formations inside.
When I raised my body, Ilianne also got up and leaned forward to hug me from behind; her bare ample bosom pressed against my back directly.
“I have more time on my hands than Julia, so don’t worry too much about me, okay?”
“I’ll pay attention to the limits of what I can and cannot do.”
After that, I changed into my clothes and leather armor, then left the castle. When I checked the Request Board, only 2 requests were left on the board, since I’ve already cleared the other ones. Today’s requests are . . . clearing 1 dungeon and subjugating a specific unique individual among the Jackal Wolves within the western forest.
I quickly arrived at the dungeon I needed to clear and stormed through it easily. The dungeon wasn’t anything too particularly difficult to deal with, so I happily received the EP and moved on to finding the unique Jackal Wolf mentioned in the second request.
While I was on my way of going through some of the locations adventurers reported they had seen this unique individual many times, I spotted a village at a remote location within Anartia’s rural areas. A village of farmers wasn’t anything unusual at all, but the moment I saw it, my insitcts told me the atmosphere around it was suspicious so I confirmed it with Dragonbow and received the same analysis. I immediately dashed towards that village.
I jumped on top of a huge tree nearby and oberseved the village to grasp the situation first. What I saw surprised even myself.
All the villagers were tied up and gathered at the center of the village, surrounding them were a group of bandit-looking men riding on the back of Jackal Wolves. Those riders had triumphant smiles on their face while circling around the villagers.
Standing in the middle of that circle of riders were 3 people. An adult woman that looked to be in her mid 30s, a bulky man and a . . . beastkin woman of the Wolf tribe. Judging from her casual clothing and how the villagers were looking at her, that adult woman was probably some kind of chief of representative of the village, while the rough-looking guy could probably be the head of the group of bandits. The mysterious one was that beastkin woman, she seemed to be giving orders to the Jackal Wolves. Could she actually be that unique individual among the Jackal Wolves?
When I put a little more focus into my eyes and used my empowered vision to take a better look at the adult woman, I actually blanked out for a second because of how pretty she looked. Black hair reaching the middle of her back, green eyes and a slender and curvy figure. She didn’t look extremely youthful or anything; the moment you saw her you’d know she was in her 30s, but that didn’t mean she looked like an old and crooked hag. If anything, she could make make many young ladies in their teens be ashamed of boasting their youthful beauty. No wonder that bandit leader was laughing so nastily like that.
But the moment that bandit reached out his hand and was about to touch her chest, a jet black arrow stabbed into his skull and dispersed into thin air. The guy fell to the ground, creating a pool of blood, his eyes were still opened and his lips were still curving up into an indecent smile.
Immediately, every single bandit fell into panic while looking around for the source of the arrow, but I was too far away they couldn’t spot me. Taking advantage of a small opening, I fired off 2 arrows towards the beastkin woman; each arrow pierced through one of her shoulders. The beastkin woman was dragged with the arrows and pinned on a tree nearby while letting out painful screams.
After that, things were pretty easy as I kept shooting down each bandit and Jack Wolf one by one. I kept one bandit alive by hurting his legs only and jumped down from the tree. I quickly arrived at where all the bandits died inside the village.
“A-Are you perhaps . . . ?”
“Yeah, I shot them down. Just doing my job, hope I didn’t scare any of you.”
Briefly exchanging a few words of confirmation with the Chief-looking woman, I walked towards the bandit that I kept alive and stepped on his chest.
“I give you 5 seconds to speak everything you know. Each second wasted I’ll cut one of your organs.”
I looked at him with expressionless eyes while saying that. The bandit seemed to recognize my face as terror cast upon his whole face. He began to talk about how that beastkin woman came and seducted their leader. Then they began to turn into a group of Jackal Wolf riders who raid villages.
When I was about to ask more about that beastkin woman, an earth-shattering roar resounded the quiet area. I turned my head to look at the source of that roar, and saw the beastkin woman being pinned on a tree transforming into an abnornally huge Jackal Wolf. The monster stared at me with blood shot eyes and dashed forward.
I immediately shot an arrow, but it dodged it so I shot another one and missed again; the thing was absurdly fast.
Switching around my battle tactic, I shot an explosive arrow at its feet and managed to stun it for one brief second. During that one second, I shot a curve arrow to my left and shot another one at the monster’s left shoulder—which was my right. The moment the huge wolf recovered and jumped to the left to dodge that one arrow aiming at its shoulder, its flank was instantly pierced by the curve arrow I fired off earlier.
To top it all off, that curve arrow was a flame arrow. Not just any flame, it was the blue flame Dragonbow produced.
The wolf howled in pain while being burnt and finally collapsed. I asked Dragonbow to stop the flame when only the head of the giant Jackal Wolf was left.
* * *
“Please make yourself at home.”
Inside the Village Chief’s house, I pulled out a chair and sat down. After a couple minutes the Chief came back from the kitchen in the back and poured me some hot tea, then she sat down perpendicular to me.
“I’m a little surprised you’re actually the Chief of this village.”
“I know it’s a bit weird, but there are circumstances behind it.”
I didn’t even ask her to reveal it, but she honestly spoke about how her husband—who was the original Chief—took their son with him to Rivell Kingdom to look for a life better than a farmer’s one. Not long ago he sent a letter and said he got married with a rich woman there so he wouldn’t come back anymore. Since the villagers trust her the most, they asked her to take over the Chief’s position.
Now if you can give me his exact location I’ll send an arrow there and make sure it goes down his throat, was what I wanted to spit out, but I miraculously swallowed it back in with a weird expression on my face.
“Ah! I’m so sorry the conversation went off track.”
She looked like she was scared to tell any lies before me so I had to stir the conversation into some other topics and from time to time asked her some questions of which answers I think would be relevant. Gradually, the tension on her face loosened up bit by bit and it became a bit more comfortable for us to talk more openly.
Based on the answers I got from the Chief, that group of riders came out from nowhere and attacked her village—Winlet Village. They managed to plunder lots of food since this place was a village of farmers, but they couldn’t rob too much money. And of course, they coudn’t possibly overlook such an attractive but defenseless woman.
“I see. So you guys don’t know anything about that giant wolf?”
“We really don’t, I’m sorry . . .”
“You don’t need to apologize. That aside, what the heck is this tea? It’s too good to be true . . .”
“Please stop joking. It’s just cheap Tinsley tea you can find anywhere in the country.”
She laughed as if I was making fun of her tea making skills, but in reality, I wasn’t. The taste of that cup of tea was perfectly to my liking, I had never tasted any better tea before. I really need to ask about the details.
“No no, I’m being serious. This is even better than first-class tea at the royal palace.”
“. . .”
She suddenly stared at me with a blank expression, the smile on her lips slowly disappeared.
“. . . did I perhaps overstep into something I shouldn’t have asked?”
“Ah . . . no no no, that’s not it. It’s just that . . . umm . . . can you really understand the taste . . . ?”
“Well, I can’t say I understand it. I am sure that there’s something different that makes it so delicious, though.”
“. . .”
“Oh, no. It’s nothing, I really just made it from normal Tinsley leaves!”
Tinsley is a type of wild herb that would grow anywhere sunlight and water are available. For working class people, the tea made from Tinsley is pretty damn nice, but it can’t really compare to high class tea the nobles drink. However, the cup of Tinsley tea Alicia—Winlet village’s chief—made for me was well beyond whatever kind of good taste high class tea can produce.
There was no way in hell I would believe her just like that, but she looked like she really didn’t want to talk about it, so I had to leave it at that. It was a shame that I couldn’t obtain the method of making Tinsley tea this delicious, but I wasn’t about to give up so easily; I promised to myself I’d come back.
Afterwards, Chief Alicia wanted to thank me, but since it was part of the Guild’s request, I turned her down and proceeded to gather the corpses of the bandits and their wolves so I could burn all of them down to nothing with Dragonbow’s blue flame.