(033) The Girl in a barrel
The forest was not as dense and lush as compared to the forest I was in when I first came to this world.
However, I’m worried if we would be able to return to our original location if we kept running deeper.
In the end, I’ll have to rely on Haru’s sense of smell to find our original path.
Since she obtained the 「Olfactory Strengthening」 skill as a Beastman Warrior, she should be able to easily track the scent of the carriage to reach the next town.
Hence, I concentrated on helping the people in front of my eyes instead of worrying about the returning path.
“Master, the smell of blood is becoming stronger.”
Haru’s tail stood at attention and her skirt was raised slightly.
“Just a little more.”
“Yes, just a little more.”
Haru’s tail reacted to the smell of the blood and raised further, causing her skirt to gradually lift,
” … I see it! (But it’s bloomers!)”
“Yes, I see them!”
” … Eh?”
Looking forward, I saw an adventurer-like man get blown away by a huge bear.
It wasn’t only the bear, wolves were present as well. The numbers were, bears 10 and wolves 20, it wasn’t to the extent of the fish lizards but it was still quite a number.
The same type of monsters gathering to attack a single person might happen, but is it possible for multiple types of monsters to team up and attack a group of adventurers?
There wasn’t just the adventurer that was sent flying, there were 5 other fallen adventurers but they have all most likely died.
There’s an item like the monster repelling incense so there might be a monster attracting incense item as well.
But it would be disastrous if you’re killed by using it.
“I’ll defeat the bears so I leave the wolves to you Haru.”
I said and before I unsheathed my sword, I released 「Slash」 using my 2 arms.
An X was carved into the torso of the bear and it fell to the ground.
Unlike monsters within labyrinths, surface monsters do not disappear after death.
Apparently, it’s tough having to confirm if the monster is dead or not.
I drew my sword and rushed between 2 bears,
The 「Rotational Slash」cleanly split the torso of the bear in 2 but … the sword felt heavy.
After dissecting one of the bears, the power was greatly reduced and the sword dug into the body of the second bear, I could not pull the sword out. It felt like the sword would snap if I forcefully pulled it out.
At that moment, the half-dissected bear swung at me with its left arm and I instantly jumped backward.
What’s it doing, instead of focusing on me or the fallen adventurers, it was digging at the ground.
Is there something below?
… Wrong, not something but someone.
My 「Presence Detection」was reacting.
Looking closely, the earth there was dug up once and there were shovels scattered about.
Was it dug by the adventurers?
No, it was filled in afterward so the adventurers buried somebody?
A monster? Or a person?
And then, the monsters are trying to dig it out?
Not only the bears, the wolves were digging as well.
Thanks to that, the number of opponents we had to face decreased so I was thankful of that.
Well then, playtime is over.
Releasing the 「Slash」with my knife hand, another bear collapsed and I dove into the bosom of another, released a palm strike and struck the jaw of the bear with a flying knee kick.
After defeating a total of 5 bears, the remaining 5 bears seemed like they thought that they no longer had the option to continue to dig, so they aimed for me and charged.
However, you’re all out of luck for clumping together … no, you all were already dead the moment you encountered me!
Changing my job to magic-specialization, I released my magic with the largest firepower.
That attack wrapped 4 of the bears with flames … but 1 was outside the range so it rushed at me.
However, Haru’s 2 swords tore through the bear’s body.
“Master, sorry for intruding into your battle.”
“Don’t worry, that helped.”
Looking at the fallen bear, I honestly replied.
【Ichinojo Level up】
【Magician skill: 「Water Magic」 skill has leveled up to 「Water Magic II」】
【Swordsman skill: 「Dual-wield」 obtained】
Even though I changed my job midway through the battle, I still had a decent rise in level.
However, I only acquired 2 skills.
Then, I looked at the adventurer that was sent flying moments ago.
…. As expected, he’s dead. I checked his pulse to confirm his death.
” … In the end, we couldn’t save anyone.”
“No … we might still be able to save one person.”
I said and picked up a shovel before beginning to dig up the earth.
Haru did not notice due to the smell of blood but she understood through my actions and helped with the excavation.
And then, under the earth, was a barrel.
A large wine barrel.
” … Hey, anyone in there?”
” … Who? Who’s there?”
The sound that came from within the barrel was the voice of a young girl.
Then, Haru stood up and her tail tensed.
“Master, monsters are heading this way.”
“Hurry! Please quickly get Carol out of here!”
Maybe she was anxious after hearing that monsters were coming, the voice from within the barrel became louder.
I would have done it without it being said, I opened the lid of the barrel.
Inside the barrel was a black dress wearing, purple-haired … young girl.
About 12 years old … maybe about the same age as Miri?
In addition, on her neck was the same slave collar as Haru.
Even such a young child is a slave huh.
Rather than that, we better quickly escape from here.
” … Master, the monsters movements have stopped … somehow, they have gone away.”
“Really? … Thank goodness.”
I was relieved and looked at the young girl.
Even though she heard that the monsters have left, the young girl still looked downcast … Ah, that’s right.
She most likely understood that we were the ones who dug up the barrel.
I have no idea why she was buried underground but her being a slave means someone among the slain adventurers was this child’s master.
“Sorry, we could not protect your masters.”
“Evidently … despite what Carol said …” (TL: She speaks in 3rd person)
Despite what she said?
I had misgivings about the way she spoke as if she knew from the very start that the men would die.
Then, the young girl that was probably called Carol looked me in the eye and appealed.
“I don’t know who you are but please … Carol … me, please kill me.”