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Author: EnroItzal Original Source: Scribble Hub

It had turned into a grave circumstance but Erin managed in the end, somehow.

In her room with only her own company, she found solace as she relieved herself of the itch and heat that had plagued her restraint towards her carnal desires. However, it took a few hours before she was able to allay her venereal thirst. It was also her great fortune that Maria did not come knocking on her door when she was relieving herself of her desires. Erin feared she would have otherwise a dire dependence on another person.

Just like this, her night passed without any incident.

There was one thing that could be counted as an incident or rather, a peculiarity. Nivia hadn’t returned to her rooms. Erin asked around and all she could find was that apparently, the merchants who solicited her had offered her to stay at their current temporary residence.

Though Nivia hadn’t given Erin an exemplar first impression, she still considered the Elven girl a friend and a fellow kin.

Assuring herself it was nothing to worry about, Erin made her own preparations such as rations and some basic adventuring tools in a swift manner. As someone who spent most of her life without a roof over her head, making preparations for such excursions was a breeze. Before she left the inn, she didn’t forget to groom her hair and tail. Although she didn’t care much for appearance, it was irritating to her field of vision whenever the unkempt hair and fur stray into her sights. Eventually, she only arrived at the gathering point for the excursion some time around the break of dawn. Like most days, the Guild was already brimming with adventurers at such an hour. It was a stark contrast to the rest of the town where the town folks had only just woken up for the day.

Even though everyone had barely known Erin, they all greeted her amicably. Despite being an individual of a minor race in this town, she was treated just like anyone else, just with a tinge of reverence. The abundance of livelihood and affability threw Erin into a reminiscent of how lonely her past life had been. As the Sword Saint, she wasn’t just respected, she was also feared. Along the line, she came to terms with it but she was never really able to get used to it. And so, swords became her only true friends.

Well, enough about that. The past is the past. Gotta focus on the task at hand.

After that brief reminiscence, Erin was thrust with a peculiarity. She found herself dumbfounded at the presence of Lyra just by the gathering point.

Lyra was happily waving at her upon the meeting of their eyes.

After asking a guild employee who was tasked with making the final checks before their departure, Erin was told that Lyra had apparently been allowed to be part of the excursion party but for reasons he wasn’t told.

The additional surprise was the presence of a wagon with two horses at the front, parked conveniently at the gathering spot. Evidently, it was for the excursion’s use. It was large enough to accommodate four people in the wagon. The Guild employee told Erin the wagon was a courtesy of The Guild due to the urgent nature of the quest. Freed, Cal, and Selene were already waiting in the wagon along with their own luggage, which wasn’t much from what Erin could see. Aedan was also already waiting but he was sitting alone on the coachman’s seat with a dispassionate gaze into the distance. Going by the reins in his hands, Erin guessed he was taking the role of the coachman.

Cal waved excitedly at Erin when he noticed her arrival. Freed gave a wave too but along with a conceited smile, leading to Erin ignoring his greeting.

With a cramped smile, Erin waved back at Cal. It was an awkward exchange since Selene was giving Cal a glare as if she had caught her partner in an affair.

Ignoring the couple and the smug Freed, Erin went over to Lyra.

“Good morning, Erin,” Lyra greeted. Her face was all smiles and her complexion had never been better which eased some of Erin’s worries.

“You’re joining us?” Erin asked.

“I’m here, aren’t I?”

“I know that but how? Did the Guild Master change his mind?”

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Lyra blinked. “I thought you were the one who convinced him? Or am I wrong?”

Erin shook her head. “After you and I left The Guild yesterday, I didn’t return there at all. Whoever is it, it’s not me.”

Lyra pursed her lips. “Well, it is what it is now. I met Sam before she left for her duty. I was told that the decision was made for your best interest and it was made just this morning.”

“I see…” Erin looked to the most likely suspect of this sudden change. She excused herself from Lyra with some “official” reasons and approached Aedan.

“Morning,” greeted the disguised Dragon-kin in a dreary tone who didn’t even spare Erin a glance. He was simply resting his chin on his palm as he stared at the rising sun.

“Yeah, morning,” Erin retorted in kind. She gestured at Lyra with her head. “Was it you?”

Aedan gave a brief glimpse at Lyra before returning his gaze to the rising sun. “Your mind is already made up. Would it change your mind if I said no?”

“What did you say to your father?”

“The truth.”

“The truth?” Erin ransacked her brain for the meaning behind his short sentence. It took her a few seconds before she arrived at a possible answer. “You told him about that skill?”

Aedan was about to shrug but it shifted to a nod.

“Why!?” Erin managed to lower her voice before bursting out.

“You are a core member in this excursion but that wouldn’t be the case if you’re plagued by your venereal hunger. Lyra is here to help in any way she can.”

“I understand your reason but that was my secret. It should have been my decision to tell your father.” Erin glared. “What if my secret spread?”

Aedan chuckled through his lips.

“I’m not joking here, you lizard.”

“Well, if your secret spreads, it will only mean that the Guild can’t keep a secret. If that’s the case, your secret will be the last thing everyone will be talking about.”

The Guild had darker secrets, that was what Aedan meant and Erin caught on. She quickly calmed herself and accepted Aedan’s reasoning. Once again, he hadn’t been courteous with his tone but he spoke only the truth. It irked Eirn to no end but all she could do was to ignore it.

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Erin glanced over to the trio who probably had no idea of the excursion’s true nature.

“Worried about them?” Aedan asked.

“If this is more dangerous than we thought, we could be sending them to their deaths.”

The Dragon-kin sighed. “Welcome to the worlds of adventurers, sweetheart.”

A vein bulged on her forehead. “I’m fine if someone walks into danger knowingly but this is not the same. How much do they even know?”

“They know only what they need to know. They are going to a village nearby to subjugate a few monsters.”

“On a horse wagon provided by The Guild itself? Come on now. They’re not that foolish.”

“No, they’re not.” Aedan nodded in agreement. “But they aren’t going to say anything either unless it affects their reward.”

Erin stared blankly at Aedan. “They could die.”

“Aye but that’s how adventurers are, milady. They are called adventurers for a reason. You should learn from them.”

Erin found no words of her own to refute Aedan’s. He said only the truth. Gold and yield were first and foremost priority with their own well-being trailing behind on the second for adventurers. From what she read in the adventurer’s handbook, it was clear that being an adventurer was no different than any other business. If one wished to expand their business, one must take risks. Otherwise, the business would forever remain just as it is.

With the final rounds of inspection finished, the guild staff gave the party the sanction to embark on their journey. The seating was Freed, Cal, and Selene in the wagon, Aedan and Erin at the coach, and Lyra on her own steed, also another courtesy of The Guild. The reason for the extra steed was Lyra’s role in this party, a scout. It was her duty to be on the front and scout ahead for the journey.

Lyra gave her disapproval to this formation and proposed a switch with Aedan but was quickly shot down by the guild staff and everyone else.

And so, the group of six departed with anticipation-filled hearts but only half of them knew of the danger that awaited the small company.


The village was just over the hill in the distance. It would take half a day at most but that was only if everything fell into their favor and not accounting for the much needed rest stops if they expended more stamina than anticipated. The journey so far had been mellow and everyone was silent, until a certain someone ruined the atmosphere.

“This is pretty great, isn’t it?” said Freed as he sat obnoxiously on the wagon and across Cal and Selene. ”Three men and three girls. Our night will be fun.”

Despite being obviously within earshots of Erin and Selene, Freed said those words without the slightest delicacy. He earned a glare from Selene but Cal only had a bitter face that couldn’t find his voice at the moment.

“What’s with those eyes, lass?” Freed smirked at the glaring Selene. “Or are you saying you wish to go through an uneventful night? We’re on an adventure for heaven’s sake. We should make the most out of it.”

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“There are plenty of ways to make the most out of an adventure. Shagging up in the wilderness is not one one of them,” Selene rebuked.

Freed snorted. “Not with that attitude. Come on, we’re supposed to be adventurous, no?”

“We’re not here for some revelry, Freed.”

“Not mainly.” Freed shrugged. “But nothing’s preventing us for some blissful self-indulgence. I don’t know about you but I’m not one for dull adventures.”

“Dull is good,” Erin said from the coach seat.

“Oh? The Fae is finally gracing us with her voice.”

“If you want to get yourself killed, be my guest but you’re not alone here. If you try to indulge in any of that nonsense, you’ll be putting the whole party at risk.”

“Point being?”

Before Erin could reply, Aedan spoke up. “It means that we won’t hesitate to cut you off should you prove to be a threat to the party’s safety. And before you ask, no, this is not a threat. This is a promise. Do we have an understanding?”

Suddenly, the wagon turned cold and no one said a word after. Even Freed had his retorts stuck on his throat due to Aedan’s natural intimidation as a Dragon-kin. If no girls were here, Freed wouldn’t have been able to hold back a tear from the sheer terror he felt emanating from Aedan.

Lyra who was riding just beside them also felt the same chill. Her gaze turned wary at Aedan.

“Good.” Aedan let out a soft smile once everyone fell silent including Erin. “Now, be silent, all of you. Your voices will attract attention and you don’t want to find out what kind.”

Silence ensued. After travelling for half an hour more at a placid pace, they soon reached the denser parts of the forest. Sunlights became sparse and the shadows of the leaves only served to heighten their vigilance. The silence on the wagon was finally broken.

“Something’s following us,” Erin whispered to Aedan upon picking up a presence with Life Sense. In addition to lowering her voice, she was being wary of her own gesture lest she invoked Lyra’s jealousy.

“I know,” he replied. “It has been tailing us since we left town. Friend of yours?”

“Why do you think I’m the cause?”

“Hunch,” Aedan answered dryly. “Might be Kane.”

Erin raised an eyebrow. “You can’t tell? And why would you think it’s Kane?”

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“He has a history with contraband goods and items. There was a time he was suspected of possessing a Magic Scroll of Summoning.”

“Magic Scrolls are illegal?”

“Not illegal but you see only the richest and nobles have them. If you see it in the hands of the aforementioned group of people, it’s more often than not to be smuggled items.”

“Are you saying that whatever is tailing us is likely to be Kane’s summons.”

“Very very unlikely. Well, I’m just listing the possibilities.” Aedan gave a side-long glimpse at Erin. “But going by your expression, you know what’s following us?”

“It’s not Kane’s summon, I’m sure about that.”

Aedan waited for the exposition.

“I do know what it is,” Erin continued. “But not exactly.”

“Huh. Care to elaborate?”

“It was before I came to this town, when Lyra was helping me to find my way out of the forest. There was something following us. I can’t pick up its scent nor can I pick up any of the noises that it was supposed to make. It was definitely moving but it wasn’t making any noises. Its presence alone managed to wake me up from a deep slumber. Know any monsters like that?”

Aedan hung his head as he sunk himself into thought. “Hmm… I know a few but none you can find here in Green Scar.”

“Then what in god’s name is following us?”

“Whatever is it, it’s not planning to harm us for now. It’s just watching us.”

While Erin didn’t know what was stalking their every move, all the clues pointed to a similar event she had just recently experienced. Soundless and odorless, just like the Dire Wolf and the bandit who was controlled by the Magic Relay rod. Only difference was that this creature that was following them had a thrilling presence that overshadowed the aforementioned two.

Erin wasn’t sure about her chances against this creature should she ever come into conflict with it.

“Eeek~!”

A shrill pierced the solemn air, drawing in the gazes of Erin and Lyra. Aedan stayed his eyes at the front, seemingly in the know of who gave off the scream.

It was Cal. Selene was shaking her head in exasperation right beside him.

Lyra wanted to join in but being the scout, she was compelled to stay at the front of the horse wagon.

“What’s wrong?” asked Erin.

Freed clicked his tongue. “Probably just his own shadow,” answered Freed who was in a terrible mood and his eyes were faltering at his surroundings.

Erin ignored the disquieted Freed. “What did you see?” she asked again after realizing Cal was pointing at a certain direction.

“I-I saw something… It was big and its eyes were red…”

“Cal, you’re being silly here.” Selene tried to calm him down. “We’re all anxious here. It’s most likely nothing.”

“I know what I saw!” He snapped, startling Selene, Freed and even Erin.

“Raise your voice again and you’re off this wagon.” Aedan chimed in indifferently. “We are already a target to everything that is lurking out there. Don’t make it anymore obvious.”

Erin shot Aedan a glare but quickly turned back to Cal. “Are you sure that’s what you saw?” She stared into his eyes and focused on his body language.

Cal nodded. There were no shivers anywhere in his body gestures. He wasn’t lying, Erin decided.

Erin turned back to Aedan. “Can we pick up our pace?”

“No. If we suddenly speed up now, it would reveal that we are aware. It’s best to play the fool now and see what it truly wants.”

It threw Erin off. Aedan spoke without any sarcasm or any passive-aggression. He was being completely pensive.

“There’s a hill up ahead just before the village. If we speed up now, our horses will be too tired to climb the hill.”

“Then what do you propose we do?”

Aedan creased his brows. “You’re asking me? I’m just the coachman, you know?”

Erin narrowed her eyes without a hint of amusement.

“Fine. I’ll tell you what I propose.” Aedan grinned slightly. “We make a stand here. We get rid of the problem now rather than later.”

“I’m not sure I can win against that.”

Aedan chuckled lightly. “You let me worry about that.”

Erin widened her eyes. “You’re going to fight? What about the three of them? Especially Freed, I don’t think he will keep quiet about this.”

“You let me worry about that too.”

Erin frowned. She was sure she wouldn’t like what Aedan had planned.


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