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1-22 Greenhorn

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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

Dragons were the apex predators in Erin’s former world. The majority of the Dragons lived in seclusion and were often revered as Demi-gods by many. However, there was no such thing as a Dragon-kin in her former world. There were full-breed Dragons known as True Dragons and creatures with a quarter of Dragon blood in them such as Wyverns and Salamanders but no Dragon-kin.

Judging by the race’s name alone, Erin supposed that a Dragon-kin was also a Demi-human race like her current self. Although, she didn’t see any Dragonic features on Aedan, not even any slight protrusions on his head.

Did he hide it with some kind of spell or do Dragon-kin not have such features? But anyways, so this is the scent of a Dragon-kin.

Erin realized just what that scent was underneath the Dwarve’s when she first met Aedan. He must have been living with Sven and Geron for so long until their scent masked over his Dragon-kin’s.

For now, Erin decided not to pursue Aedan’s reason in hiding his true race. She had secrets of her own, so she could empathize whatever reason Aedan had for keeping it confidential.

“Erinthea, was it?” Aedan said without turning his head as he continued to stare at three with pale trunks and orange leaves. “I don’t suppose a good afternoon is needed here.”

Only after Aedan opened his mouth and spouted out some tactless words, the two adventurers immediately turned around with the swords drawn and shield raised.

Erin threw her arms up. “I meant you no harm.” She quickly hid the ball of a Monster Core in the embrace of her tails. She was afraid if they saw the Dire Wolf’s core, the following consequences would be extremely undesirable. If her past life was any indication, it wouldn’t be long before she attracts the attention of some power-hungry nobles or wealthy merchants.

The two adventurers’ posture slackened when they realized it was just Erin. They didn’t personally know her and at most, they had only managed to get a faint glimpse of her but Erin was already a notable figure in the town. Her ears and tails made it all the more easier to discern her identity. However, the two adventurers heard that Erin had only a tail, not three.

“My name’s Erin. I’m also an adventurer like you.” Erin introduced herself and showed her adventurer’s tag. She showed a cramped smile in hopes of gathering their attention to her expression rather than her all-too alluring tails.

“Yeah, we know,” the boy adventurer responded. Erin couldn’t help but notice the faint blush that was surfacing on the boy’s cheeks and his eyes that just refused to look away from her tails. He only stopped when his companion nudged him with her elbow.

Yeah… of course you know me. Who doesn’t… and could you stop blushing at me? It’s really… unsettling.

Erin wondered why she even bothered to introduce herself. Perhaps she did it naturally out of courtesy. And although she built up some tolerance towards the stares, it was still an immense challenge when male blushed at her.

“I’m Cal and this is my companion, Selene.” The boy adventurer, Cal introduced himself with the same fashion that Erin had seen on Lyra and many others, with a hand on the left chest and a slight bow.

The girl adventurer did the same manner of greeting with a faint smile.

For a bunch of adventurers, Erin found them to be quite deferential with their conduct.

“Where’s your weapon?” Cal asked. He had a look of genuine concern.

“I lost it while fighting a monster.” Erin held back from saying that she lost it while fighting a Dire Wolf with lightning surging throughout its body while under the likelihood of being controlled by some entity. If someone told her this, even she would find it hard to believe.

Erin heard a scoff from Aedan when she mentioned she lost her sword.

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Come to think of it, Aedan is adopted, isn’t he? Unless he cast some strange hypnosis spell on Geron and Sven but that’s very unlikely, I hope.

“That’s unfortunate,” Selene said. “We love to help but this is all we have.” She shook her sword and shield slightly as emphasis.

“It’s alright.” Erin assured them. If worse came to worst, she could easily run away but that would be at the price of her pride. Even the kill of the Dire Wolf wasn’t as clean as she wished it to be but it was that or die. “If you two don’t mind me asking and you have to tell me if you do mind, why are the three of you gathered in front of a tree?”

“It’s our quest, Miss Erin,” Cal answered. “To escort Aedan here.”

Erin flinched a little at the explanation. She didn’t know how it had anything to do with them standing in front of a tree.

“Escorts which I don’t need,” Aedan spoke up without turning around. He had been staring at the tree for quite a while now.

Chuckling awkwardly, Cal explained, “in case you still aren’t in the know, Miss Erin, his father is the Guild Master and Mister Geron insisted that he should take bodyguards with him.”

“And they agreed because my father offered them five silver each.”

At his words, Aedan received a reproachful glare from Selene but the girl spoke nothing of her hidden resentment. It would not look good if she flared up against her “client”.

“But that still doesn’t explain what’s with this particular tree.” Erin gestured at them and the tree.

“Oh that? Aedan here is choosing the right tree to cut down. A group of merchants are passing by this town in a few days. The wood produced by these trees is called Ironwood. As the name suggests, these woods are as tough as iron and most important of all, they are fireproof. The merchants pay golds for these.”

Erin had briefly read about Ironwood yesterday in the bookstore. She knew there were some of the trees here in Green Scar but she didn’t know it was part of the economy due to the few numbers. “If it’s as hard as iron, how does one harvest the log?”

“I’m embarrassed to say that I do not know.” Cal chuckled awkwardly as red touched his cheeks. He looked awfully like a boy acting all bashfully in front of his secret one-sided infatuation.

To that reaction, Selene directed a frown at him.

Oh? Is that how it is?

“This tree should do,” came the words from Aedan that broke the stale mood.

Cal recovered from his love-struck stupor and quickly recompose himself into a manner befitting of an adventurer but he went overboard when he began to hastily comb his hair and straighten his garbs, incurring a scowl from Selene.

Not minding the complicated affair of his “bodyguards”, Aedan wound up a swing as a patch of red glow coated the axe. It resembled Arcane Edge but the Arcane Edge Erin used had a blue glow and for Aedan’s case, it was like there was another red ethereal axe overlapping the corporeal axe in his hand.

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There was no battle cry or even a brief shout. Aedan simply swung the axe with ferocity and precision horizontally across the trunk. The tree was cleanly bisected and fell gracefully to the side, shaking the ground slightly and raising little clouds of dust.

What the f̲u̲c̲k̲!?

Erin couldn’t believe what she just saw. It was so jaw-dropping that she almost let slip of the Dire Wolf’s core wrapped around her tail.

Although the tree only had a girth of four feet, it was still an impressive feat. Aedan used an ordinary axe, cast a spell of sorts over it, and chopped down the tree without breaking even a drip of sweat. Erin could understand if it was done with some kind of a well-forged sword in the hands of a sword master. However, Aedan did it with a simple woodcutter-axe. At her current level, Erin doubted she could chop down a tree with that much ease with a mere woodcutter-axe.

Aedan wasted no time to begin shaving off the branches before chopping the log up into three parts. With Kinesis Magic, he piled the logs up nicely without going through the conventional strenuous way. After that, Magic chains appeared out of nowhere and wrapped themselves tightly around the pile of logs. He then lifted the pile up with Kinesis Magic.

He’s planning to transport the log like this? This is just so unfairly convenient.

“Alright, that should do it. Now, shall we head back before they catch up?” Aedan asked as he finally turned to face Erin and the adventurers.

H-he knows?

Though Erin had seen her shares of theatrics in her adventurous days as the Sword Saint, she was still left astounded by Aedan’s display of his Magic. In addition, she became even more curious when Aedan seemed to know about the Rot-rats which were probably still persisting with their pursuit for her. Not even she could smell them from such a distance unless the wind blew in her favor.

Is this a Dragon-kin’s sensory ability?

“T-they?” Cal asked as he and his companion snapped out of their daze upon witnessing such a performance. They were greenhorns unlike Erin who had witnessed countless ostentatious displays of abilities and powers.

“Rot-rats. There are a bunch of them coming our way.”

Immediately, the two adventurers went into an alert stance with their eyes scouring their vicinity.

“You have that vixen to thank for.” Aedan pointed at Erin.

A vein popped onto Erin’s forehead. “Forgive me for running away from monsters when I don’t even have a weapon with me.”

Aedan gave her a look as if she had said something eccentric but ultimately shrugged it off without pointing out what he found odd about her response.

“I’m not wrong though?” Aedan added.

Selene stared at the “Dwarve” reproachfully, probably for his tactless treatment towards a fellow female, whereas Cal was smiling nervously at the animosity drifting around the group.

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“Miss Erin,” Cal called out, failing to look away from Erin’s gracefully swaying tails.

Erin was glad that her garbs did not accentuate too much of her hourglass figure and her “hills”. Otherwise, she would have to deal with the rise of the number of gazes and and the passion that went with these gazes.

“Yes, Cal?” Erin waved at him when she realized he was enraptured by her graceful-swaying tails.

He quickly recomposed himself and faked a cough to kick his blunder under the bed. “If it’s convenient for you, would you like to return to the town with us?”

Erin noticed the intense glare Selene was giving Cal when he offered the invitation.

“That would be great as I’m just heading back to town myself.” Erin strictly emphasized that she was joining them purely for the sake of convenience and on the whims of coincidence. Erin heaved a sigh when she saw Selene reeling in her glare. “Actually, can I ask something from you?”

“Of course, anything.” Cal beamed which incurred a frown from Selene but it turned into a sigh shortly after.

Per her past life’s experience, it was better to play ignorance to others’ love affairs, as long as the affair didn’t trespass into her space. “Do you perhaps have an extra sack that you can spare? Or just some simple cloth will do, enough to wrap a basket.”

As adventurers, Cal naturally understood what Erin wanted such a thing for but his eyes wandered around Erin to see where she was storing the Monster Cores if she didn’t have a sack or a wrapping cloth for it. His eyes eventually wandered to the bulging mounds on Erin’s chest. Only after Selene faked a cough, his attention was reeled back into reality.

Cal beckoned Selene over and took a large piece of rag that was hanging by her waist. He did it without consulting it with her companion, which Erin found it hard to accept the sack after seeing the disapproval gaze from Selene.

I should carry a spare on my next excursion.

Reluctantly, Erin accepted the cloth and thanked the two for their generosity. Although Erin tried to pay them for it, Cal rejected her coin which earned another look of disapproval from Selene.

While Selene pulled Cal to the side by his ear and began giving him a piece of her mind, Erin briefly turned around and quickly wrapped the Core with the cloth. The cloth was barely enough but it did its job of covering the entirety.

Without giving any notice, Aedan began treading on the path back to town, leaving the two holstering their weapons in a scuffle before joining up with him. The two adventurers followed closely behind Aedan without so much as a grumble, aside from the exasperated glare Selene was bouncing between Cal and Aedan.

As for Erin, she was just grateful that no one questioned the sudden appearance of the clothed item in her hands. Aedan had a glance but he was as indifferent as always. Selene seemed to also have questions but she remained tactful and spoke not a word about it.

As for Cal, he was sneaking love-struck glimpses at Erin that the object in her hands didn’t seem to register in his eyes. Selene was obviously not taking too kindly to this but she didn’t seem to have it out for Erin.

Erin was secretly thankful Selene was a reasonable girl by directing her vexation towards Cal instead of Erin herself.

“Shouldn’t we be running if the Rot-rats are coming?” Selene suggested, as if the purpose of her proposal was just to break Cal’s stare off of Erin.

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Erin noticed Selene’s feet were actually trembling but she wasn’t showing it on her face. Cal wasn’t much different than Selene as he too was shaking in his hands despite still having an entranced gaze.

Gosh. They are in fear and love-struck at the same time. Ah~ youth. Oh wait… I’m young again, aren’t I? But I’m hundreds of years old though… Am I considered old or young in Fox-kin’s years?

At present, her question was left hanging in the figurative air in her mind.

“With this much distance between us and them, we should be able to reach the main road before they caught up. The rodents are quick but even children can outrun them. So, I wager we’re not in any dire situation, yet.” Aedan replied without a quiver in his voice. He sounded confident but Cal and Selene weren’t too assured, neither was Erin but she decided to trust the judgement of a Dragon-kin.

As they walked on at a regular pace in an uncomfortable silence, Erin used Appraisal on Cal and Selene. Unlike prior which she just skimmed through the results, she took her time going through the two’s stats and information.

They were both level three and their status was Moderate Exhaustion. They both had the skills of Sword Art and Shield Art which were only level two, and those two skills were the only skills they had. What surprised Erin the most was the number values of their Might, Arcane, and Finesse; all of these three were below ten and even if she combined the values of these three, it didn’t even reach twenty.

My ability stats were at least ten at the lowest when I was level one. If I used their stats as the average standard, then I’m certainly not just a lust deviant, but a norm deviant too. What in tarnation of a ploy is this?

Before the strange sense of self-disparaging set in, she reminded herself of the fact that she was a Fox-kin, a Faerie-kin. It was only common that her stats would be different if she drew comparison to humans. What’s more, she had the blood of an ancient race within her. It should only be natural that she had stats better than the average.

Still, I haven’t asked the one question that started it all. Who reincarnated me or why was I reincarnated?

Erin thought everything would be fine if she just ignored that question and went on with her new life but after knowing she was part of a long-lost bloodline, she couldn’t help but think that whoever reincarnated her had some major plans for her. She wasn’t one to believe in charity, not after mingling with so many nobles.

While Erin was wallowing in her own existential debate, the group began encountering various monsters in their path. However, the numbers were only a few and the monsters were only in the level range of one to three, nothing Cal and Selene couldn’t handle. These monsters were too lacking in their ability to sense the threat emanating from Erin and Aedan, which they would otherwise avoid.

Although, there were slightly higher level monsters who approached the party from the level five to eight. For these monsters, Erin took care of them by using her tails and fists. Much like her expectations, her tails hit as hard as her fists did. The feat stunned Cal and Selene into widened eyes but Aedan looked on with indifference like always.

[Experience gained +2%] [Experience gained +2%] [Experience gained +2%] [Experience gained +2%] [Experience gained +2% – Level Progression: 35%]

What!? That little?

Erin couldn’t believe the numbers she was seeing. She was getting significantly less experience than before. It didn’t take her long before she pinpointed the culprit as the result of her evolution.

Damn it. I doubt Rot-rats would yield more experience if these monsters gave only this little.

She had half a mind to cull all the Rot-rats if she still had a sword but that was out of the window. It was no longer doable if she wished to keep up her current pace of leveling.

I guessed it’s inevitable that one’s growth will slow the stronger one becomes.

After a few more encounters with monsters that were too impolitic for their own good, they arrived at a small lake with purple lilies by the bank. The lilies served as indication that they were now at the outer layer of the forest, which was roughly five miles in. So to say, they were now five miles away from the main road. For the sake of the two greenhorn adventurers, Erin proposed a break before making the rest of the journey back to town. But in an additional truth, Erin needed this break to fix up her disheveled appearance. She couldn’t do it while she was carrying the Core. And by “appearance”, she meant her tails.

I should get some armor made for my tails if I have the coin.

Cal and Selene were in agreement whereas Aedan merely shrugged.

Erin did not bring any provisions as she planned to only do some light scouting around the designated sport and reaped some experience on the way before returning to town by noon. She didn’t forget about her appointment with Nivia for her Magic lessons but that promise was out of the window when she encountered the Dire Wolf.

I wonder if she’s still waiting for me… Actually, knowing her, she would be looking for me if I didn’t show up. Yeah, that’s the most likely scenario.

Erin didn’t have her breakfast and her stomach was making all sorts of complaints at her oversight. Although in her past life she had accustomed herself to function on an empty stomach for at least three days straight, this new body of hers hadn’t even fasted for the first time. If she was being honest, she wanted to beg for some food from the two adventurers but doing so would seriously cripple her self-esteem.

They probably had just enough food for themselves. I can’t ask for food from them. My leftover pride as the Sword Saint shall not allow it.

She tried to distract herself from her hunger by fixing her hair that had come loose a little from all the movements and mending her tousled fur of her tails. She was quite amazed that her hair was still tied-up in spite of everything that had happened.

Yeah… that’s not helping in enduring the incessant cries of my stomach.

As she lamented in her own gaffe, Cal had walked up to her with a sandwich served on some fragrant leave in hand. Although she had noticed the approaching aromatic scent, she didn’t want to look too desperate and pathetic in the eyes of these two greenhorn adventurers and certainly not in front of Aedan, which would only give him more things to jab at her about.

“You must be hungry, Miss Erin,” Cal said as he offered her the sandwich.

“I appreciate your generosity but I’m fine, Cal.”

Hearing her refusal, Cal laughed awkwardly which prompted Erin to wonder why

“Your mouth can lie but your tails can’t,” Aedan answered her confusion from a few feet away. Somehow, he could hear their exchange from such a distance away but Erin’s mind was on her own empty stomach to pay any heed to his eavesdrop.

…Wait. My tails can’t lie?!

Upon realizing what Aedan’s words entailed, she immediately glanced at her tails. They had been wagging so fervently that it had pretty much expressed her predicament. Apparently, her tail had begun wagging the moment they unwrapped their sandwich and as Cal approached her with the sandwich in hand, her tails were only wagging harder.

These traitors!

Left at her wit’s end, she demurely accepted the sandwich with her gaze cast down and uttered a faint whisper of gratitude.

Erinthea – Faerie-kin: Three-Tailed Fox-kin

Level: 10 | Status: Mildly Exhausted | Famished

Might: 19 | Arcane: 15 | Finesse: 14

Magic Arts – Spirit Magic Lv. 6 | Arcane Edge Lv. 2 | Arcane Armor Lv. 5

Combat Arts – Sword Art Lv. 6 | Fleet Foot Lv. 5 | Brawler Lv. 4

Innate Skills – Appraisal Lv. Ex | Night Vision Lv. Ex | Sixth Sense Lv. Ex | Toxin Resistance Lv. 1 | Lust Deviant Lv. Ex

Unique Talent – Mystic Blade Lv. Ex

Level Progression: 35%

Remaining Skill Points: 2

Remaining Ability Points: 2

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