“Welcome to Miranda Company.”
The moment I opened the door, all the shop employees gave a simultaneous bow.
Items that are clearly higher-grade than those sold on the streetside were lined up inside the shop.
The price tags are mainly listed in silver but those that cost gold and over weren’t rare, either.
A boy in front of the door gave me a bow.
“Excuse me, but could you let me look after your weapon.”
There’s no reason to refuse.
I obediently handed over my weapon.
It’s not my fault that the boy fell over when he took it.
“Welcome, what will you be looking for today?”
“I heard that there is a money changer here.”
For an instant, there was a shadow over the shopkeeper’s face.
Money changers probably invite less than upright guests.
But that was only for a moment, the shopkeeper’s affable expression soon returned.
“I will show you, please come with me.”
We went to a table at the back of the shop.
It seems to be a special desk for the money changer, there are tools for discernment like scales and pictures of the crests of the gold coins that can be negotiated.
“What shall you be changing today?”
“I’d like to change 5 gold coins for silver.”
I don’t like to seem to have lots of money jangling in my pocket.
This much is probably acceptable.
“Understood. So we would like to check the money just in case, so please take it out.”
The shopkeeper compared the weight of the gold coin, then shined a light on it, checking the crest.
The standard for gold coins are actually the same so the currency doesn’t matter so long as it’s not a counterfeit.
The shopkeeper confirmed that there’s no problem with the weight and size, so he only tentatively checked the crest.
But the shopkeeper suddenly stopped at one gold coin.
Afterwards, he turned the pages of the crest reference book, looking for the crest on the coin but didn’t seem to find it.
“I’m very sorry, but could you please wait a little bit?”
The shopkeeper disappeared inside the shop.
It’s going to be a pain if he thought it was counterfeit, I can’t exactly tell who I got it from.
But contrary to my expectation, what came out wasn’t a guard but a neat-looking middle-aged man.
“I’m very sorry about this. I’m the owner of this shop, Ogil Miranda. I’m sorry for my employee’s rudeness earlier.”
“I don’t mind, but is there a problem with the coin?”
“No, it doesn’t seem to be a counterfeit, but he probably haven’t seen it before, so troubling as it may be, he asked me for my judgement on it.”
Ogil took the cold coin on a cloth and opened his eyes wide.
“This is......!? This may be rude of me, but how did you come across this coin?”
I can’t say it’s a farewell gift from a vampire so let’s make a suitable excuse.
“I got it when I entered Erg forest.”
I wasn’t lying.
“You went to the demon forest and back, that’s amazing! But then that would explain it. If it’s that place.”
“So what do you mean by that?”
It’s troubling if he accepts it just like that.
I was taught lots of things in the forest so I can’t calm down knowing my ignorance.
“This, this is a gold coin made by a long-perished kingdom.”
Ogil crossed his arms on his chest and started telling a story.
“400 hundred years back, there was a large kingdom that ruled over territory encompassed by our Triea kingdom and the Arcland kingdom, its capital was located in the vicinity of what now is the Erg forest. This is a coin that was used in that kingdom.”
If it’s a coin from a Kingdom that’s been gone 400 years, then it’s natural that the shopkeeper doesn’t know of it.
“The amount of gold is the same as today’s coins. Well, this coin is historical evidence that federation standard casts had been used since those days.”
“But it can’t be used?”
“That’s the case, isn’t it. Even though the gold ratio is the same but since nobody know of the crest it might get mistaken for a counterfeit. I don’t think you should use it. The reason I know of the crest is because I once saw it in my grandfather’s coin collection.”
He regardfully put the gold coin on the table.
“The reverse of that coin was half melted from the fires of war, but grandfather talked proudly of it. ‘This coin is the legacy of a great kingdom of the past,’ he said.”
‘Even though there’s a well-preserved specimen right here,’ Ogil smiled bitterly.
“I have a proposal. Would you mind letting me have that coin? I’ll give you 10 royal gold coins for it.”
I looked inside my money pouch right away and it turned out just I expected.
In my pouch there are nine more coins with the same crest.
Almost half the coins Lucy gave me were this kind of coin.
Just where did she get these coins? Did she pick them up somewhere?
“No, I suppose I’ll just trade 5 normal gold coins today. There’s a special memory attached to the coin.
“Is that so? That’s unfortunate, but very well. If you change your mind please come to this shop.”
“I’m sorry to have taken your time.”
“No no no, I’m glad that you showed me something good. I should thank you for it, normally there’s a 10% handling charge for exchanging coins, but I’ll give you just the exchange rate.”
Looks like I got unexpected profit.
“I’ll exchange these 5 royal gold coins for 50 royal silver coins. Well then, should you feel like exchanging that coin earlier please come to our shop.”
I shook hands with Ogil and took back my weapon from the boy desperately holding on to it.
In the end, there wasn’t really anything special about the coins.
I simply didn’t want to sell over a special thing given by Lucy to another person, much less to another man.
I seem to have really fallen in love with her, even if I say so myself.
I can almost hear her grinning and laughing loudly.
Finally, I asked the shop owner who went outside to see me off.
“Come to think of it, what’s the ruined kingdom called?”
“I can’t say for sure since it’s not really written much in the history books, but as far as I know...”
“Yuktovania Kingdom”, was the name, huh......
I left the Miranda store and looked for an inn.
There’s no way I’d forget the name of the woman I love.
This is too much of a coincidence. Her living in that forest, having that coin, and also her name, everything points to the answer ‘YES’.
I didn’t find it especially shocking.
On the contrary, I’d rather say I became motivated.
A peerless beauty, a vampire who lived over 500 years, and possibly a member of royalty from a ruined kingdom.
It seems to be true that I’m attracted by enigmatic women.
Becoming a noble, having my own Kingdom, and ruling over Lucy’s forest.
Luckily Lucy doesn’t grow old.
No matter how many decades, I’ll definitely go and see her and make her my woman, no, I’ll ‘have’ her as my woman.
But first of all, I have to find an inn with hot water.
My goal is so small it makes me let out a sigh.
I was warmly welcomed by the voice of a young woman.
“I’d like to ask, do you have warm water to wash with in this inn?”
“We ha–ve, we’ve got a bi–g kitchen you see. We boil lo–ts of water~. But we need to pay for the firewood so there will be extra charges okay~?”
Looks like I found it on the first try, let’s stay here, the fact that there’s a young woman is great as well.
“Then please, how much for that and a room?”
“We–ll, there’s an 8 person room for 10 copper a night, a single room is 40 coppers a night—. There is the good room but you’ll have to ask mother for that.”
I don’t really need a good room.
A single room will be enough, the important thing is the hot water.
“Sorry—, it’s hungry wolf hunting season right now and we’re packed, so we raised prices.”
“I don’t mind, I’m participating as well, after all. I’ll have a single room and hot water, please.”
“Thank you~? Will a normal bucket of hot water be enough? If you want to use a lot we’ll bring you a big bucket, it’ll be expensive, though?”
“A big one please, I couldn’t take a bath during my travel. I want to really get cleaned up.”
“But onii-san doesn’t really smell that much. There are some really amazing people inside~”
“Those are the only ones who won’t take a hot bath,” she laughed.
She’s not a beauty but I think she’s a charming girl, shame about her breasts, though.
“A single room and a large bucket of hot water will be 45 coppers a night. You may think 5 coppers for hot water is expensive but you’ll be getting lots for it so look forward to it?”
“I’ll be expecting it. Two nights please, then.”
I took out a silver coin.
“Thanks for your business—, please write your name on the register~”
I took the change and wrote my name.
“Aegir-san is it? You have neat handwriting for a young mercenary.”
I was made to write things down thousands of times, you see.
“I had certain circumstances in the past. I wonder if you’ll tell me your name?”
“That was fa–st,” she laughed. She’s not wrong, though.
“I’m Maria, daughter of this ‘Little Bird Bowen’~”
“Can I call you Maria?”
“Dropping honorifics already~, I’ll let you if you let me call you Aegir. This shop has me and mother and the worker~... there’s three of us.”
Looks like she’s not the type to fret over the little things.
“In seasons like this lots of people come and go and we’re shorthanded, so we don’t make breakfast. You should buy something on the main street to eat, okay~”
“I’ll do that. Anyway, do you know what exactly a wolf hunt is?”
“So you came without knowing,” she laughed again.
“I don’t know very much about it either, but I think the guard-san gathers up coaches around the north gate at dawn for something.”
I see, of course since they’re called hungry wolves they’ll be exterminated in a wolf hunt.
Facing wolves at night can’t be said to be wise.
“That was helpful. Well then, I think I’ll take a rest soon, how long will you need to prepare?”
“I’ll do it now~. I’ll get the room ready and boil the water so you go and get something to eat~”
The sun had already turned red, it’ll be sunset soon.
People had already flocked to the street stalls outside.
Come to think of it, I’ve gotten used the vampire’s life of waking up at around this time.
I should hurry up and get used to a human’s rhythm.
Besides, I have to get ready for tomorrow and properly fill my belly.
I bought a piece of bread and two chickens-on-a-stick, all costing a total of 3 coppers.
It would’ve been perfect if there was a stew full of vegetables, but I can’t expect something so luxurious.
As I was making my way back to the inn with a chicken-on-a-stick held in my mouth, something pulled my cloak from the side.
“Won’t you buy a tomato?”
A little girl showed me a basket full of tomatoes.
The reason she had a grim face was surely because she still has a basketful to sell at sunset.
Looking at them closely, they were bruised and misshapen.
Probably the wholesalers sold her the bad ones because she’s a tiny girl.
“Ah! Three sen each!”
I bought all eight she put on the platter and handed her three coppers.
“T, thank you very much! The change is, um, um...”
The girl probably couldn’t do math, she became confused.
Not being able to do math, she must get tricked a lot, being unable to tell whether one copper for three is enough or not.
When I told her to keep the change she repeatedly bowed to me in thanks.
“Umm, really, tha, thank, muguu!”
So I stuffed one of the tomatoes I bought in her mouth.
“Calm down. It’s the tomato you sold, it doesn’t taste bad, right?”
I tried a bite as well and it was ripe and tasty, contrary to how it looked.
Now that she’s sold out, the girl can relax a little and was stuffing her face, but because of her small mouth it seemed like she’s taking forever to do so.
Once I looked closely, she seemed barely past 10 years old and still had childish features, she can’t be called a woman yet, but her fine features matched well with her blonde hair.
She was dirty all over so her cuteness didn’t stand out, but she’s definitely going to grow up into a beauty.
I better call dibs while I still can.
“What’s your name little lady?”
“Hyes! I’m Ruu!”
Seeing her, she looks so tense even I began to feel strange.
“I’m Aegir. I’m staying at this Little Bird Bower. Tomorrow morning, at dawn, if you have anything for a light breakfast come and sell me.”
“Thank you very much! I’ll be here at dawn, so please!”
Even though she was a child, it’s not strange to be doing business at dawn.
The strange one is the vampire and her disciple making love at dawn.
“I think she’s got plenty of potential, but it’ll be several years before I can harvest.”
“Welcome back, what will you be doing? I’ve already prepared your room~. I’ll be bringing your hot water soon, okay~”
“This one’s about ripe enough to eat.”
“What is it?” Maria said with a strange face as she guided me. I entered the room while staring at her butt.
The room was quite spacious, it mainly contained a desk and a moderate-sized bed and also a wooden box for storing armor.
The room was almost entirely made of wood but there is a part of the floor that was stone. “This part is for washing your body,” she explained.
Then, before I had the chance to settle down, she brought a large empty bucket 1 meter in diameter and three small ones filled midway with water.
According to Maria, you get inside the large bucket and pour water from the 3 smaller ones to wash yourself, then pour the water out to the rain gutter by the stone floor.
She specifically said to be careful not to get water outside the stone area since the floor would rot.
“For 50 coppers I can give a special back-washing service,” she said. I immediately took out a silver coin and she turned bright red and said she was joking.
“I’ll welcome you gladly, though.”
“You’re going for the wolf hunt tomorrow right~? Get your mind off the gutter and get some sleep~. It’s for me and my family too.”
“All right. I’ll properly earn money tomorrow and ask for Maria again.”
“I’m not coming in to a lewd man’s room like that~. I’m going to wake you up tomorrow so get some sleep once you’re done washing, okay~”
Maria left, I washed my body and my clothes, then feeling refreshed, I jumped onto the soft bed.
She said this is an ordinary single room but it’s really comfortable, I think I can probably stay here for a while.
Gold coins are worth more than I thought so I won’t be troubled for cash for a while, but fighting wolves while getting experience is also about right.
I haven’t really had battle these two years and a half, after all.
At the forest I only went as far as training my body, and the kids from today were just child’s play.
As I was thinking how nice it would be if my battle sense returned, I felt the sensation of a soft bed I haven’t felt in a while and drifted to sleep.
I sensed light and opened my sleepy eyes, then I heard the sound of the door being knocked.
“O–i! Aegir sa–n! It’s morning already~ Get up~”
Right, I’ve got to get up.
I slept very well last night, must be because of the freshness after having a bath.
The door opened and Maria was there.
Let’s give her a morning greeting.
“You’re finally up. Good morn......... UWAAAAAH!”
She suddenly screamed, so I checked myself to see what’s wrong.
Last night I washed my clothes and went to sleep as-is, so obviously I was naked, furthermore, because of the fate of waking up my thing was standing upright.
“Wha!! Why are you naked!? Hurry and put something on! Rather, it’s thick! It’s big! Unbelievable...”
Maria fell into a huge panic but I just checked my clothes if they were dry and slowly put them on.
I’m not particularly against showing my thing to a woman.
It’s been certified by Lucy as a splendid adult’s thing, after all.
And since it’s a tool for fornicating women, it’s natural that I would, right.
That said, it’s not my hobby to happily expose myself.
“Hurry up and put something on! Wait, why are you putting your top on first! Cover the important things first!”
“Sorry, it’s gotten so big it won’t fit in my pants. I’d like to wash my face first, so, water please.”
“I can’t believe you anymore~! How can you be so calm!”
Maria handed over the buckets of water while she looked to the side.
But even as she was screaming, from the start her gaze wouldn’t part from my nether regions.
While I washed my face it settled down so I put my pants on.
“You still want to look?” I asked, and she replied by slamming the door shut.
I picked up my actual spear and put on my armor and cloak.
Since Maria was sulking and withdrew inside, I raised my hand in the lobby and said, “I’m going.”
From the inside of the inn, a hand came out and waved.
When I got out of the inn another voice called.
“Umm! Good morning!”
Ruu believed our promise yesterday and waited in front of the Little Bird Bower.
“Here! Umm, apples! They’ve only been picked this morning so they’re still fresh!”
She’s like that too yesterday, this girl gets flustered easily.
Looks like she’s selling two for a copper so I bought four and put one on her head.
It’s adorable how she bows with a shy smile on her face.
As I chewed on the apples I went towards the north gate, the opposite one from when I arrived here, and just as Maria said, there were guards and several medium-sized carriages headed by two horses lined in a row.
I heard a familiar voice.
“Yo Aegir! You also want to go on the wolf hunt today?”
“Morning. I found an inn without problems thanks to you, Grey. You saved me the trouble.”
“What, don’t mention it. This may be sudden but we don’t have much time until departure. Show your town entry token and get in the coach.”
Normally, nobody would participate without asking about the mission and the rewards in detail, but because it seems to be a regular job, people were coming in one after another without asking about the details.
Besides, I believe he’s not the type of guy to double-cross me, so I quietly got on the coach.
“All right! Let’s go!”
The six coaches each carrying 10 people started off together.
Luckily, I’m in the same coach with Grey.
“Grey, truth be told I don’t know anything about the wolf hunt other than that we’re hunting wolves. Can you tell me about it?”
“Is it your first time? You have quite the appearance so I thought you were a regular... Oh well, we’ve got time while we’re moving, I’ll explain on the way.”
“Sorry for the bother.”
“Firstly, the target for the hunt is just as the name ‘wolf hunt’ says. But the crucial part is that we’re hunting wolves that are half turned into monsters, in other words, we’re exterminating “hungry wolves”.”
It’s not that strange for animals to turn into monsters.
Genuine monsters rarely come out but ones that used to be animals were relatively common along highways.
Because of that, their strength is no big deal and their threat level is not significant.
“Ones that have completely turned into monsters and act alone are quite common, but at the level of hungry wolves, they’re still recognized as allies by other wolves. Yet because of their wide difference in strength, they often become leaders of huge packs.”
In other words, it became a pack of wolves led by a monster.
“Then come winter the game in the forest dwindles. The starving wolves normally belong to separate packs but comes together one after the other into one large pack, and they would come to open areas like highways and villages searching for food.”
“Of course, if it were a normal wolf pack they wouldn’t be a problem. Everyone around here knows that, merchants and coaches carrying people who go from town to town would increase their numbers by getting armed guards.”
“But this is not enough against a pack led by a hungry wolf, is it?”
“That’s right, merchant caravans numbering 50 people would get destroyed, villagers in pioneer villages would all get eaten.”
If it’s a 50-person merchant caravan, then the number of armed guards couldn’t be counted on one’s fingers.
Being capable of destroying that, the strength of the hungry wolf and the number of wolves it leads must be in the double digits.
“So before winter we’re calling every armed mercenary and strongmen and send them into the forest to lure the wolves out and destroy them. Their numbers shouldn’t be too much now when there’s still food.”
“In that case, wouldn’t it be easier to let them gain numbers and defeat them when they come out into the plains?”
“The pack gets amazingly big once winter comes and we would suffer heavy losses. Besides, if the army moved together in large numbers they would quickly run away.”
“There’s no way we can run and catch up with wolves,” he laughed.
“Which is why we need to whittle the wolves’ numbers down as much as possible in this season. Killing the hungry wolves in particular would mean that even when winter comes the wolves won’t form a large pack so it gets maximum preference, hungry wolves are rare so replacements don’t appear so easily.”
“However, in this season the pack hasn’t gotten large so if we send in a large number of people they will be on guard and won’t come out to attack. Which is why we’re sending in small parties stationed far apart. Of course, with the small numbers the danger gets correspondingly higher.”
Well of course, a pack of wolves is like an army with a leader.
They have enough power against small groups of people.
“It’s like injured people keep coming out every day, this year, more people were found dead each day. Though it’s rare that a party gets annihilated.”
As I thought, Grey is not the type to tell a lie, but there are others in this coach besides the two of us.
I want him to notice the shoulder of the guy next to him shivering.
“The rewards also include danger compensation. Doing nothing but stand in the sun from dawn to dusk gets you 50 coppers. If you kill wolves, each body gets you 50 coppers. For us, you should take out the fangs on both sides as proof. Be careful, if you break it too short it’ll become invalid.”
“I see, so participating for a day earns me a day’s room and food.”
“And the terms say to bring your own weapons, after all,” Grey laughed.
“Then, for the main part, the hungry wolf, you get at least 2 gold. Extra reward since they’re strong. The stronger the hungry wolf gets, its fangs get redder, so if you bring us the fangs we can quickly see how strong it was.”
“I see, so I’ll get a fortune if I hunt out the hungry wolves.”
“It’s not going to be that easy. Even though it’s in the name, you actually don’t get to see the hungry wolves much. If you do see one, you must be lucky... or maybe unlucky. A party meeting a hungry wolves usually mean someone gets injured or died. On top of that they often run away without us being able to hurt them, though being hit with your weapon might take care of that.”
“I hope so. Can you tell me how to tell the difference between hungry wolves and normal ones?”
“Of course. The answer is: you’ll know when you see it. They’re big, they’re fast, and they have red, shining eyes. You won’t miss ’em.”
Rather than fear, I feel more love and lust for red eyes...
“We’ll be there soon, anything else you want to ask?”
“Just one more. You were saying about moving in parties earlier, but you won’t mind me moving alone, right?”
The air inside the coach froze.
Grey spontaneously was taken aback.
“Oi oi! Aegir, don’t tell me you don’t have a party! You should take care of these things beforehand, or at least negotiate at the north gate before we depart! You should know that you should pass on participating if you don’t have a good party!”
So while I was showing Maria my thing and eating the apples I bought from Ruu, everyone else were negotiating to form parties.
“Taking charge on my own is allowed right?”
“Well, we’re not going to say no, but once the wolves come out your life’s over you know. I don’t want you to die for nothing.”
As far as city guards are concerned, mercenaries should be disposable pawns. Grey’s really a good guy.
“No problem. Even if I’m alone...”
“Hey, can I talk to you for a moment.”
A female voice cut in from my side.
“We have some circumstance and another and we’re just me and her over there. If you’re on your own, would you like to go with us?”
The woman who called out looked about 20 years old, she had red shoulder-length hair and a body just slightly shorter than me, which is tall for a woman.
Her body is muscular and tense, and her breasts are so-so.
The other one who seems to be in the party was about the same age as the redhead, she had chestnut-colored hair reaching below her shoulders and her height is on the short side.
Her body seems to be soft as a woman would be and her breasts and butt stand out properly.
She looked my way with a dissatisfied or just disinterested face and lightly nodded.
This woman doesn’t seem to be very eager.
“What are you going to do? They’re a two-woman party.”
Grey’s eyes seem to be implicitly telling me to pass on them.
In matters of life and death, having a relatively weak woman as a companion is clearly a minus. «TN: Aegir dude, haven’t you learned anything about judging from appearances from living with a monster of a woman for 2.5 years?»
Far from assistance, if they get injured and hold you back you’ll be fighting with a handicap.
“All right. I’ll be in your care.”
I raised a thumb at Grey.
Strong men are probably preferable in battle but if we’re going to go together, then it definitely has to be a woman.
What’s more, though these two are of different types they are rather beautiful.
My only acquaintances in this town are Maria with tiny breasts, and Ruu who’s a child.
Whether or not there are large breasts nearby makes a difference in your spirit.
“Well, if you have the leisure to make a choice like that then I guess you’ll be fine. Now we’re at the location, we’re going to let you down one party at a time so starting from the parties on the back of the coach, get ready!”
Without saying anything, Grey seems to have read my thoughts.
I’m becoming more and more impressed.
“I’m Mireille, a mercenary from Sheera village. My weapon is this sword. I’ll be in your care!”
The weapon Mireille showed me was an 80 cm long double edged sword, the blade seemed to be iron but it was thin, it looks to be the same weight as a one-handed sword for men.
She had ordinary leather armor and a metal shield, it looked heavy for a woman to carry so she must have confidence in her strength.
“I’m Carla, a hunter. I fight with a bow so if the enemy comes to me I’m running away.”
The bow Carla carries is a relatively large one that looks hard to use, but since she’s a hunter then she must be good at handling it.
The quiver next to her contained 10 arrows fletched with differently colored feathers.
She was wearing simple armor made of tanned leather, she probably doesn’t expect close combat.
But thanks to that, her ample breast and butt lines were clearly showing and looked great.
“I’m Aegir, an independent mercenary. Birthplace unknown. My weapon is this.”
I showed my signature bardiche and of course their expression changed.
“A monstrous-looking spear? Axe? Can you really swing it?”
“Of course, I’m not going to bring a weapon I can’t use.”
“If you’re going to tank for me then I’m fine with anything, just don’t fall over and die first.”
As we finished our self-introductions we arrived at the place we’re in charge of.
The coach returned to town for a while and will be back at dusk.
Acting as guard for the coach, Grey didn’t disembark and went back to town as-is.
We’ve reached our landmark, but according to what Grey said, the wolves are already perfectly aware of us before we entered the forest.
Now if we had some idle chat to show some carelessness, there will be a high chance of them coming out.
Of course, I welcome the idea of having a chat with two women.
“Well then, now we’ve got nothing to do but have a talk and wait for the wolves.”
“Oh, before that, it might be too late but for the rewards, can we split the hunt equally? We could split based on who did the finisher but the disputes are a pain.”
Looks like her previous party split up because of that.
“That’s right. This way, even if you’re a showy idiot all will be settled by us getting extra income.”
“Carla! Quit being sarcastic!”
“You don’t trust me at all, do you. I can prove myself if the wolves come out.”
Carla turned away with a huff, saying “we’ll see.”
Following through for her partner, Mireille proactively started a conversation.
She’s a sociable one.
“That’s an amazing weapon you got there. Were you in an army or something?”
“Nope, I’ve been in a mercenary group but I know nothing about regular armies.”
“Hee. But you still look like you’ve got some money to spare? Your armor isn’t made of ordinary leather, right? It’s skillfully stitched and the leather is good stuff.”
“I got these as a gift from somebody so I don’t know much about it but you seem to do.”
“Well, I once worked in a place where they make leather. I made most of my armor by myself.”
The armor Mireille wears looked to have a rough finish but it was thick on the vitals and the easily-targeted stomach, it was made for combat.
“It must be good being able to make armor by yourself. If my armor gets worn out will you check it out for me?”
“All right, but of course I’m going to charge you.”
“With what you’re getting for the hunt you sure want to earn money, huh.”
“That’s about right, I guess. We’re barely getting by. The participation fee can get us our lodging fees somewhat, but winter is coming soon, and if I don’t buy food and pelts my family is going to be in trouble.”
“You said you’re from Sheera village. You working away from home?”
“Well I guess so. Though I say I’m a mercenary it’s not like it’s that far away from here. I go back home often enough.... farming villages around here don’t have any specialties and the land is not that fertile either. Other than farm work, it’s hard to get by without going away to work. I went out to work when I was 15 but there wasn’t anything but playing mercenary or shaking my ass at men by the roadside. I don’t have a hobby of flirting with men so I chose this road.
“How about Carla?”
She would be bored if we left her out so I chatted her up.
“I’ve been a hunter since I was born. Whether my prey be animals or humans is just a triviality.”
Seems that’s the end of it.
“She’s from a stray hunter family. Since her father died she had no place or group to care for her so she lives by hunting in the forest and occasionally barters for vegetables. Somehow we got along well and ended up here. Though she’s a sourpuss she’s good at using the bow so I can trust in her.”
“Yeah, I trust beautiful women.”
Carla turned towards us and immediately called us names as she turned back.
So she can clearly hear our talk.
“You got straight to the point, did you. But I think you’ve got quite a high hurdle to pass before you can get on Carla.”
Once again Carla turned, glared at Mireille, and turned back again.
“Now it’s my turn to ask, where did you come from?”
“I don’t know.”
“Don’t ‘I don’t know’ me! I told you a lot about us, wouldn’t kill you to tell us back!”
“That’s not what I mean. I really don’t know. For as long as I remember I was something like a slave. I thought I might’ve been sold or kidnapped but I don’t remember anything.”
“Ah.... sorry, nevermind then.”
She’s got a relatively rough manner of speaking but she surprisingly minds these things.
“I don’t actually think anything of it. After that stuff happened, I ran away and somebody raised me deep in the mountains. I just left a while ago so I’m not really worldly wise yet.”
“Hee, you’ve got some luck there.”
“You can say that again. I’m a lucky guy.”
In exchange for a destroyed mercenary company I gained a mother and a lover, not bad luck at all.
“Then today should be...”
Carla stood up, nocked an arrow on her bow and ran behind us.
Mireille also took her sword and followed Carla’s sight.
I too held my spear in my right hand and set up a stance with my shield in my left, I looked to where Carla was looking but I couldn’t see anything.
“They’re there. They’re coming here while laying low in the grass. 4 in the center, 2 on the right, 2 on the left.”
So this is what they call a hunter’s eye, it’s a big deal but as for me, I can’t do anything other than prepare my spear.
Finally Carla turned down her voice, making her voice into a whisper.
“They’re going to be here soon, the 4 in the center will probably come first......3......2......1......NOW!”
Just as Carla yelled from the tall grass (though it’s called tall it’s only knee-high at best) four wolves came jumping in.
Immediately one of them received an arrow Carla shot between the eyes, made a high-pitched whimper and died.
Then Mireille’s sword also cut a jumping wolf’s gut open, scattering entrails all over the grass.
A wolf whose surprise attack had failed tried to regain its posture in confusion, but it was defenseless against the most dangerous entity.
As the wolf were about to roll over a steel blade swung down behind it and cut its front paws apart at the joint.
After “destroying” the wolf I braced my leg as a pivot, still with my weapon downward, and spun around.
The fourth wolf evaded my bladed spear point and hit the handle, avoiding being cut in half.
However, it was hit on the head and cracked like an apple, collapsing on the ground without so much as a whimper.
“Next, both sides!!”
Faster than Carla’s shout, two wolves each from both sides jumped in to attack.
Mireille put up her shield and dealt with the two on the left, but the two on the right circled further behind that expected, avoided me who was in front and rushed towards Carla.
——Carla—— «TN: I’ll mark non-Aegir POVs like this from now on»
(Crap!! They went in further than I thought!)
I live in the forest.
I was supposed to know well how wolves work!
My bow won’t make it in time anymore.
I hurriedly took out the knife on my waist but with my small build there’s no telling whether I could fend off the wolf’s attack.
The moment the wolf were about to thrust its fangs at me, it abruptly stopped.
The reason is simple.
It was because it was hit with a heavy axe-like spearhead on its flank.
“After finally meeting a beautiful woman I’m not about to let her get a scar now would I?”
I raised my spear, still with the wolf stuck on the spearhead, and swung it down over the head of the other wolf.
With a squelch, they completely became two pieces of scrap.
Now there are only two wolves remaining, Mireille was able to safely fight with them using her shield but she lacked a finishing move against their coordinated attacks.
I continued my fight, standing in front of Mireille and raised my spear overhead as if to say ‘leave it to me.’
Mireille seemed a little worn out so she took my backup and switched with me to put her breath in order.
Her moves showed she’s not used to battles.
I swung my spear down all at once and struck the ground.
Naturally, the wolves jumped to avoid it, but there was a gap between them being airborne and getting their feet firmly on the ground, so I swung my spear back upwards, taking one and sending it flying.
There’s no need to go after it, something like a wolf shouldn’t be able take one of my launches and survive.
The moment I turned towards the last wolf, Mireille’s sword had already been lodged in its throat.
“Now, that was dangerous, huh, Carla?”
*pon pon*, Mireille patted Carla on the shoulder.
The feeling of tension is no longer there.
The pack of 10 wolves from earlier had been annihilated. «TN: Yes, I counted 8, too. No, I don’t get it either»
Then, since wolves are sensitive to the smell of their companions’ blood, they wouldn’t go in that direction.
Furthermore, though in hunting wolves there was a need for us to change locations, it was nearly evening already so we agreed that this was enough for today.
“5 silver for 10 wolves, that couldn’t be divided to 3 people, so how about we each take one silver for now?”
“Hee, you’re good at numbers”, Mireille said interestedly. Carla was silent beside her.
“Then I’ll take my share for today. We’ll settle the rest with tomorrow’s share.”
“I... I’m not taking mine.”
Carla said so in a mumbling voice, unlike her attitude earlier.
“The hell are you saying? If I turned down payment every time things got a little dangerous for me I’d’ve starved to death by now!”
“Not that! I’m a hunter, I should’ve been the one who knows the most about wolves, but I’m the one holding everyone back...... I can’t agree to an equal split like this!”
“You sure worry about strange things, girl...”
Mireille was at a loss as to what to do with the strangely prideful Carla, so I proposed something that would make all three of us happy.
“So you won’t take your share because I helped you out, is it?”
“Right. If you weren’t there I’m sure I’d be having it bad. So you can take my share of the payment.”
“How about we do this. We split the earnings equally, and as Carla’s thanks for my help, you let me rub your breasts until the return coach comes.”
Carla opened her eyes wide and Mireille burst out laughing.
“If Carla doesn’t feel indebted to me then her pride won’t get hurt, with the earnings split equally there will be no complaints and the party will be at peace, and I get to have my fill of soft breasts. How about it? Nobody’s loss.”
“I had you for a more scary battle freak but you’re unexpectedly a horrible perverted bastard aren’t you.”
A man who doesn’t like women ain’t straight.
My crookedness had just been straightened out recently.
“So, what’re you gonna do? As for me, the sooner you decide the longer I get to enjoy myself.”
“Kuuh! All right, touch as you like! You just want to rub them, right! But do it over my clothes! That, and if you touch anywhere else I’m chopping your hands off!”
“And thus Carla’s breasts were ravaged by a perverted man.”
“Shut up! SHUT! UP! Mireile!.... Hey, didn’t I say over my clothes!!”
“‘Over your clothes’ doesn’t include armor, right? I can at least put my hands inside your armor, can’t I?”
“Wait! There’s just underwear under my armor! Ah! Wait!”
“A promise is a promise, I’ll be in your care until the coach comes.”
I sat behind Carla, I put my hands around her sides and started rubbing away on her ample breasts.
I didn’t grab them roughly but gently, as if kneading them.
There was thin cloth under her armor but the feeling reached my hands just fine.
“You’re quite sweaty.”
“Can’t be helped after all that workout!”
“Your scent is rather nice, too.”
Carla probably couldn’t get a decent bath, there were smells other than sweat coming from her.
I could say it stunk, but since it drifted from a beauty like Carla it’s not so unpleasant.
As both my hands were rubbing her breasts I blew on her ear and she made a huge reaction.
I can already feel her nipples standing straight at the center of her breasts.
I breathed roughly at her ear on purpose and rubbed her nipples as if pinching them.
“Kyaa! Wait! Enough!”
“I’m only rubbing your breasts as promised, no? We’re doing it until the coach comes, right?”
“I did say breasts.... but that sensitive spot...”
Mireille was laughing at first, but now she was gulping at Carla who was starting to melt.
The air became quiet and the only sounds that could be heard were Carla’s and my rough breathing, and the regular rustling of clothes, only the sounds of me rubbing her nipples from over her underwear.”
“Mm! Mmmmm..... Hey, wait!!”
Suddenly, Carla raised her voice.
“What is it?”
“You’re hitting it on purpose! That’s not what we promised!”
While feeling a woman, I couldn’t keep my cool.
My penis grew large and pushed up my trousers, encroaching onto Carla’s butt sitting so close.
“It’s because I’m rubbing a woman’s breasts. It’s nothing weird, not like I’m rubbing it on you.”
“But! Ah!! It’s hitting my butt...... it’s big......”
I’m not in the mood to argue so I caressed her rougher, breathed at her ear from point blank range, and accidentally pushed my erect thing against the crack of her butt.
The sounds Carla was making changed, I can hear her gritting her teeth.
She’s finished, any time now I guess.
I pulled strongly on her cork-stopper-like nipples and licked her behind the neck, breaking my promise.
Carla made a loud shout then uncurled herself, twitching. She ran out of strength.
Her nipples gradually became smaller, and she rested her head on me.
“Carla? ... Seriously? You came?”
“That’s, definitely... not, true...”
Carla frantically stood up, trying to make an excuse to Mireille, but she then collapsed and fell face down.
The back of her pants was soaked as if she had been sitting in a puddle of water.
“Hee, so you’re staying in that Little Bird Bower. A private room there costs quite a bit but it’s rather nice, huh.”
“Where are you two staying?”
“We’re staying at X Bower, we’re renting a double room. Carla can’t sleep next to someone she doesn’t know. We had to spend 20 coppers a night thanks to that, even though we could’ve spent 10 for the common room.” «TN: The name of the inn was omitted in the raw.:/ »
“That’s not so bad isn’t it, it’s money well spent if it’s for sleep or food.”
“That’s if you’re someone with money! Anyway, you’re going to participate again tomorrow, Aegir?”
“If they’re doing it. Doesn’t look like they go every day.”
“Right, so won’t you go with us again tomorrow? Carla’s all fired up to fix her reputation, too.”
“So, North Gate again tomorrow, okay! Carla’s coming too, hey, you’re still giddy? Well, I never seen anyone rub breasts the way he did...”
In the end, Carla was dead tired and leaned on Mireille on the return coach and didn’t say a word, but since she didn’t refuse me sitting next to her, she was probably not that angry.
I bought food from a cart and tomatoes from Ruu, then went back to the inn, washed, and slept.
It’s only been the second day of me doing this but it had already felt like my daily routine.
I’m going to be fighting along with two women tomorrow so to make myself look good I should get enough sleep.
As an aside, in order to soothe my dick that had been in the mood since caressing Carla I thought to settle matters by my own hand, but I was unexpectedly seen rubbing it by Maria who came to bring me more hot water.
Maria broke into a scream, but she didn’t release my member from her line of sight.
If I stopped there it’s going to disturb my sleeping so while gazing at Maria I let loose what seemed to be a bucket’s worth of cum and asked for additional water, but Maria left the bucket there and dashed away at full speed.
Doing it by myself is unsatisfying after all.
I don’t mind prostitutes, so bring out the women already.
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