Chapter 14 A Premonition of Nightmares
Days before Misaki’s journey started, deep in the forest near a certain village, a small pulsating crack in space showed up, creating an eerie atmosphere in its surroundings. It started from a small unnoticeable crack and slowly widened to a size that could almost fit a person several days after. It was then that a gel like substance oozed out of the crack and crawled away. When the cracked finally entered a certain guardian’s detection range…
「Now this is troublesome… How many days have passed since this opened up. 」 Luina
Luina detected the anomaly and immediately teleported at the place of the crack. However, she was already too late to find the anomaly that came out of it.
「For the time being, I need to close this or something else might come out. 」 Luina
To Luina who was tasked to repair anomalies like this, it’s simply just a basic routine. However, if any anomalies slipped out before she detected the crack she would have to wait for them to show up before she could do anything.
「for now, I’ll clean this up. Well for a crack this small, I don’t expect any strong anomalies to come out, and the guild might just be able to handle it. For now I’ll just observe the situation and move if necessary. 」 Luina
With a wave of her hand, the crack glowed for a bit and shattered like broken glass turning into powder and then vanished, returning the atmosphere of the area back to normal. She then teleported back to her base and then assigned several subordinates to monitor the guild and the area for any abnormalities.
Misaki is currently riding a carriage heading towards the village called Rashu, it was 2 hours of travel on carriage from the capital.
The village was near a vast forest which is connected to a mountain range that separates the northern republic and the kingdom. By map positions, the southern point of this continent is Luina’s forest which is the Grand Crystal Labyrinth Forest is what people call it.
Above that is the border of two countries on the left and right side, the Human Kingdom El Randia to the left and the Elven Kingdom Rune Estrel to the right. Above these two in parallel to the Luina’s forest is a vast wasteland and on its north is the great dessert of and territory of another Guardian, Sable Grandia’s temple which is home to earth based creatures and humanoids.
There are several countries big and small that are scattered all over this continent. However the most notable ones are the guardian territories. To the east is the Volcanic Regions called the flaming sea where several volcanoes. The biggest of these volcanoes is the guardian Seldia Maridonna’s volcano, called the Nest of Flames.
To the east above the tall mountain range is a big floating island, the Sky Garden which also belongs to one of the guardians, Ciel Arcadia’s home. And finally at the top of this continent is also another vast forest home to many insect creatures, the paradise of insects and also known as the Forest of Eternal Bloom, Blume Summer’s territory.
By the way, above the republic is an even bigger mountain range where the sky garden could be found. There are several countries that surround this mountain range. But well I’ll talk about those countries when I’m around. I did plan to explore the entirety of this continent after all.
Time slipped by as I was thinking about those things, and we finally reached the village of Rashu. From a distance away, I could see several small houses and a big house at the center. The houses were mostly made of wood and a low defensive wall was surrounding it.
I was also checking it on my map, but the movements of the people in the village were weird, no it was more like they were not moving at all and are inside their houses. I wonder what happened.
When we finally reached the entrance of the village, only one anxious guard was watching at the gate. Noticing our presence, he sighs as if he was relieved after. The merchant immediately inquired about the strange air in the village. I also came close to the coach to listen.
「Doland, what’s wrong, why is there nobody outside moving around in the village? 」 Merchant Kiel
「Kiel… about that, well in the past few days there was a strange creature that attacked the village. 」 Guard Doland
「I’ve heard about it and there are adventurers with me who came to investigate. 」 Kiel
「Really!? That’s a relief. The villagers were too frightened after one saw that creature that they refused to go out of their houses out of terror. Only those who were brave enough were the ones distributing rations right now. I haven’t seen the creature myself but they say they can’t even explain what that was. 」 Doland
「I see. It seems like it was even worse than we have expected huh. Can you tell us anything about what the others have witnessed? 」 Kiel
「Sure, but for now come inside, we’ll explain the details at the chief’s house. 」 Doland
After their conversation, the Merchant Kiel returned to the carriage. I could hear their conversation clearly but the other adventurers with me were still confused about the situation. Kiel explained a bit from the adventurers and everyone nodded in agreement. We then continued travelling inside the village and went straight to the chief’s house.
As we passed by the houses, I could see villagers watching from their windows looking terrified at first but shows a bit of relief after noticing that there are adventurers walking along the side of the carriage.
By the way, I am inside the carriage because I have been considered to be the strongest of the group and was tasked to protect the carriage as the last line of defense incase everyone failed. I don’t find this particularly interesting though because the carriage was a wagon type without windows and I’m sitting along with the goods and several other strong adventurers inside.
Professional scouts and hunters were with me inside and were told to save their strength for the incoming task, while most of the vanguards switches from time to time walking at the side while the others sit on the edge and the coachman seat of the carriage.
The current number of adventurers along with me is 15 people. There are 3 scouts, 5 hunters 7 vanguards using a variety of weapons and shields. It’s a total of 16 with me included. And since everyone were professionals they could pretty much gauge how strong I am to the point that some of them were even anxious if they even be needed in this trip.
When we reached the chief’s house, we were also greeted by an anxious village chief. After going inside the house, Kiel and the village chief was seated on a table big enough to accumulate four people on all sides. The people seated were the scout leader Bryan, the merchant Kiel and the vanguard leader Roderick. The rest of us were standing close behind Kiel.
We then started the discussions.
「Thank you for the immediate response Kiel-dono. It seems like you have also brought along with you some reliable people. Oh and let me introduce myself first to everyone, I am Lucas, the current chief of this village. Thank you for coming 」 Village Chief
「Don’t mind it. Anyway, I’ll leave the introductions for later, but I can at least guarantee everyone here. SO, can you tell me about this mysterious creature? 」 Kiel
「Ah, yes I don’t mind. Well, it started a few days ago when one of our livestock suddenly went missing. At first we thought that one of them escaped and got lost in the forest, so the hunters in the village went to look for it only to return empty handed. Then it was followed by more and more disappearance after. 」 Lucas
「Was it not the work of a monster? 」 Kiel
「That was also what we thought at first, however even if we went deep into the forest, there was no sign of anything at all and the forest was really silent for some reason. And so giving on the hunt, we instead used one of the several remaining livestock as bait to at least see what the creature was. 」 Lucas
「And, did that work? 」 Kiel
「Well, we did succeed in lure what that was, but didn’t really see what it did. It attacked at night and all we could see was something black swallowed the livestock and vanished. It also didn’t use magic to do this because we had a hunter with magical talents along with us so he would have noticed it. At that moment, we thought that it might have been some kind of rare variety of slime. But that though changed the next day. 」 Lucas
「I see, what happened after. 」 Kiel
「That creature, whatever that was, came to the village this time in the shape of a forest wolf. But the way it took the livestock was similar as if a part of its leg melted and swallowed one of the livestock. Whole 」 Lucas
Hearing this, everyone finally reacted. Slime like creature that could mimic and attack. That would certainly be a very rare kind if not unique monster.
I also checked my map if I could find any hostile creature several kilometers from the village but I couldn’t find anything. This is certainly strange.
「I see, that sounds really dangerous. Is that why the villagers are all hiding? 」 Kiel
「That’s part of it, but what made them all hide was that when it attacked the next day, of the guards attempted to stop it but lost a leg in the process and almost lost his life if the creature was not distracted. 」 Lucas
「Now that you mention, only Doland was on duty right now and I didn’t see Ryan or Mark.」 Kiel
「Mark was still recuperating from the wound while Ryan was too frightened about what happened that he holed himself inside his home. After all he was the one who witnessed that monstrosity next to Mark. It even took us a while for him to snap out of it and explain what happened which led to everyone go into hiding」 Lucas
「It seems like the situation is indeed really bad. It would be one thing if it was only aiming for the livestock, but for it to not even hesitate to attack people. It won’t even be surprising if it started aiming at the villagers instead. Alright, we got our lead, I’ll have everyone prepare so that we could start soon. 」 Kiel
With that decided Kiel stood up and talked to me, Bryan and Roderick. Though I am on my own, they did consider me as the strongest in the team and informed me about the plan. I also informed them about the surroundings which confused them for a bit, but only made them look more serious when they understood what I was talking about. Then after several discussions and planning everyone split-up to make preparations.
Misaki’s Log, Journey Note:
I didn’t expect that there would be a sudden strange battle encounter. Well this could also just be a coincidence. Not like I would encounter anything like this every time. After all nothing happened after I arrived. Nothing right?