The feeling of bloodlust still hasn’t disappeared, and it is really beginning to bother me. I feel that it’s time to leave.
“From now on we will be walking until we can obtain proper transportation. Gero what route do you suggest for getting us to the nearest village quickly?” I say dusting myself off and standing before the rest of my party.
gero gero “There is a route which passes through the forest to our left which would make the journey no more than 15 minutes, would you like to take it?” Gero says while pointing in the direction of a path a short ways up the road that leads into the forest.
There is little difference from using the road or the forest as far as I can see. We can’t take the cart anyways, and this road isn’t populated nearly enough to ensure our safety. To some level I am grateful for that; otherwise someone would have seen us bolting down the road at breakneck speeds. We have a year before they think I am going to come back, might as well enjoy the peace and keep a low profile.
gero “If you would like to take this route it is advisable to allow me to survey the path before heading down it. I don’t have records of any kind of dangerous monsters in the area, but as I’ve not heard any local rumors for nearly 3 years it would be best to confirm” Gero says interrupting my thought.
Maybe peace isn’t the best word for it…
“Go ahead, the imps and I will wait at the carriage until you arrive. Walk though! We don’t need anybody knowing that I am around just yet, so don’t go drawing attention to yourself”
gero “Very well Maou-sama it should take me roughly 20 minutes if I keep a brisk pace. Please wait patiently until I return” Gero says before turning towards the path and walking slightly faster than a normal person would in a very natural fashion
…Asking him not to attract attention might be a bit of a stretch. I turn back and try to put some stuff into my inventory.
I pick up a dagger that fell out of one of the trunks we brought with us as well as a few clothes and put them into my inventory. The process seems to be as simple as shoving them into the menu while the inventory tab is open. When I do, they disappear and become a line of text describing what they are on the menu.
I attempt to put a full trunk into the inventory but it went right through the menu rather than going into it. When I take the items out of the trunk however, it goes in without an issue.
“Sweet! Seems your body guard ditched ya!” I hear from behind me.
I turn to see three guys all of which wearing tattered leather armor and holding knives. They don’t seem to be very old but they aren’t children either. Are they adventurers?
“I don’t have time to play with you, and if you’re looking for monsters I haven’t seen any” I say as I go back to putting away items.
“What are you stupid lady? We obviously want what’s in your cart there. So if you don’t step away from it, I’m afraid we are going to have to get violent and I’m sure you wouldn’t want that.”
The one in the middle who seems to be the leader of the group says, while obviously trying to be intimidating. Damn seems as though these guys are the source of that bloodlust I’ve been feeling. I step back from the cart, position myself to defend my goods.
“Ho, ho look at this! Little girly thinks she’s gonna be a big hero!” one of the two goons says.
I’ll admit, they are pissing me off.
“Stop!” Bik says as he and the other two imps jump in between us and the bandit.
Bik is holding a dagger in either hand, where the other imps are holding a dagger with both hands.
“Shit she’s a monster tamer!” the leader says and he and the other two get into a stance to fight.
A monster tamer? I might be able to use that to take my monsters into town.
“Hold them off whilst I pack up the rest of our stuff” I yell at the imps as I turn back to the cart and start packing up the valuables.
“Guys we really shouldn’t get into this, monster tamers are serious business.” The leader says as he wavers a bit.
“Stop being such a wimp man, we are getting that loot!” one of the goons yells back at him aggressively.
As he does, he rushes forward at one of the weaker imps. Bik jumps at him and meets his weapon with daggers. The clash knocks the goon back a bit, and while he stumbled backwards the two weaker imps slashed at his arms with their daggers… Wow, they are really holding their own aren’t they?
“Idiot! Why did you rush in!” the leader yells.
The last goon looks at him with a foul look and rushes in himself.
“Wha-” Is all the leader gets out of his mouth before the other goon gets a face full of fireball.
Are you two stupid or something?
“Screw this I’m not letting you two get me killed!” The leader says as he turns back towards the forest and runs away.
His goons have already started running by the time he gets the words out of his mouth. As I finish packing stuff up I hear
“Maou-sama get him!” from Bik who is chasing after the leader.
Bik appears to be slower than him. I look towards my menu and see the skills tab, I quickly open it and use the first thing on the list.
“Tei-Va-Tera Bind!” I say thrusting my hands towards the leader.
As I do, vines stretch from the earth and wrap around him. Leaving him tied up squirming around.
“Dammit, guys help!” He yells out… but no one responds.
“You guys suck!” he yells out still squirming.
“You three drag him over here” I say calming down.
I was worried there for a bit, if any of us got hurt there is no telling how devastating it would have been. I start searching the cart for anything I’ve missed.
The imps toss the leader into the side of the carriage.
“Never heard of gentle then? It’s a quaint word with a simple meaning” He says looking at me.
Sarcasm exists in this world… good. Don’t know how well I would fare if people didn’t understand the concept.
“You guy are horrible bandits you know. We have never fought anything before and we still kicked your butts.” I say not even looking in his direction.
“Says the monster tamer, doesn’t mean much for you to call me weak. Also don’t lie. If those imps belong to you, that means you must be several times stronger than them. You could have taken us alone if you had half the mind to. Also what newbie to combat doesn’t even stop messing with their goods while being attacked?” He says while squirming to face me in full while still leaned against the cart.
Does he mean that I would have had to beat these imps before taming them? I should see about learning more about monster tamers before claiming to be one.
“Seriously though, you guys were awful. I don’t even think I could get a reward off of turning you in.” I say as I finish up with the carriage.
I walk in front of him, sitting before him.
“What you’re a monster-tamer and a guard?” he says getting comfortable and cocking an eye brow.
“Nope” I say simply.
I have no idea why, but it’s not hard to be casual with him. Is it because he is weak? Or maybe it’s the fact that he calmed down so quickly once I started talking to him.
“Well you’re certainly not the Yuusha, he was summoned in Meto. Why would you be compensated for turning me in? Im not on the bounty board.”
Really? I don’t even get rewarded for taking down bandits unless I am the Yuusha?
“Che! You’re useless to me then? Man why did we even go through the trouble?” I say standing back up and looking to see if Gero was on his way back.
“Hey, why did that imp call you Maou-sama?”
I freeze when he ask me this. Then I start glaring at Bik, who has an apologetic look on his face. Shit… Seems I get to see how good of a liar I am.
“He didn’t, you misheard. My names Mano, I can see how you would misunderstand. What is your name?” I say, my voice wavering slightly.
He cocks his eyebrow once more and answers. “Kiel, and I’m not “useless to you” I’m pretty good with a sword… I need to leave town anyways. Why not take me along? …you know, wherever you’re heading”
I’ll be honest… I’m not terribly against the proposition. I can’t imagine too many situations where I would get new party members and I could use a bit more man power considering I don’t even know how to hold a knife yet.
I could go through the trouble of hiring mercenaries… but I don’t know what the state of this country is in yet. I would prefer not to have a party that requests to pillage every village we pass
“I don’t know, you look like you eat a lot, I’m not sure you’re worth the food wage” I say looking him up and down. “Woah brutal! Gentle and delicate seem to be missing from you’re dictionary as well. Any other words you need me to teach you on the way?”
I can’t quite tell if I find him charming or annoying… I never knew there could be such a fine line.
“Know any magic, or have any talent in crafting?”
I want him in my party, but first I want to see what he has to offer before joining, since he himself wants in.
“Do I look noble to you? I don’t know how to read, much the less the magical language. I’m able to make some stuff out of leather… Nothing good though.” He responds in a somewhat dejected fashion.
“Perfect, you’ll make good monster bait then!” I say with a sinister smile.
“Pffft, you know it’s pretty funny to see a girl like you acting like a villain.” He responded laughing a bit at my expense…
I’m going to let that “girl like you” comment slide for the moment.
“Fine, in that case use me as bait for whatever monster you think you can take. I also do a fine job as a body guard… though I doubt you will need one.” As he says this he cuts himself out of the vines and extends his hand to me.
“Deal?” He says with one eyebrow cocked again
…I swear I’m going to graft that eyebrow up permanently if he doesn’t stop looking at me like that.
“Where did you get the knife?” I say staring at him intently
“Hey it’s not my fault you assumed I only had one knife on me, granted this one is for skinning animals.”
I don’t really like being tricked like this. I don’t shake his hand but instead start walking down the path Gero went down.
“Hey c’mon! You would have attacked if I had come out earlier!” He says as I leave him behind
…He is enjoying this too much, I can hear it in his voice. As I leave the imps follow me.
Gero “Ah Maou-sama, I’ve finished surveying the path.” Gero says as he comes into view. I quickly run up to Gero and whisper to him
“Gero shut-up! From now on refer to me as Mano!”
gero “Understood” .
“Oi, wait up! Seriously we just teamed up and you’re already trying to ditch me! That’s harsh.” Kiel yells forward as he runs after me.
“There you ar- oh holy kuga! …I never got a good look at your friend here… he’s pretty freaky” Kiel says flinching at the sight of Gero.
He continues to look him up and down until Bik says “You don’t exactly have a royal mug either y’know”
I giggled at this. Bik blushed and Kiel looked at me in surprise. What? I can’t even laugh?
“Enough! We are headed into town.” I say as me and Gero start walking down the path.
“Wait what about the stuff in your carriage!?” Kiel yells not moving just yet
“Forget it, I only had junk on me anyways!” I yell in return.
I am not sure how common the inventory spell is… I don’t really feel like telling him I took it all with me.
“Seriously!? I risked my life fighting a monster tamer for stuff she was gonna leave behind anyways!? Figures.” He says as he jogs back up to us and matches our pace.