|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1124 words|
I returned back to Michelle and the rest while carrying the dead Dusk Lizard in my hand. Seeing me carry a lizard made Michelle’s eyes sparkle in joy.
“Welcome back, Nicole! Is that tasty?”
“That’s the first thing you say? Well, if we get rid of the poison, it’s not inedible I guess.”
“So I can take it back to the orphanage as a gift?”
“You should really be careful there, Cloud.”
The Poisonous Dusk Lizard needed some skill to deal with. It would be hard to do it with the orphanage sisters and children alone. It might be too much even for Finia.
“Even I don’t know where its poison glands are located exactly.”
“I am knowledgeable about it. How about it, little Finia, this might be a good experience. Would you like to try preparing it?”
“Huh, would that be alright?”
“I mind not. It would be more convenient that way.”
“Oh, you mean to lure the Fang Wolves?”
Fang Wolves, being wolves, had very good noses. They would most likely sniff out the blood smell drifting in the air while Finia was butchering it and approach us. And even if they did not do it now, we could lure them by placing the meat somewhere.
While being impressed by his idea, I watched as the two started cutting the lizard.
“The two venom glands are here, deep in its throat, lined up vertically. Nicole, you came very close to cutting them, you know?”
“It can’t be helped. How was I supposed to know.”
“It would be better if you aim for the body next time. Now, let us remove the glands first. Push aside the skin around the hole Nicole made. Normally you would have to peel it off from the mouth all the way to the abdomen.”
“Yes, now, avoid the throat muscles and get to the glands…”
Finia was butchering it with a serious expression while following Maxwell’s orders. His Life Search was disrupted during this time, so I was staying vigilant for the surroundings in his stead.
As expected, the smell of blood attracted something, and there was a movement behind the rocks. That said, it didn’t seem like it was planning to attack us just yet.
Without letting my guard down, I conveyed the situation to Maxwell.
“Maxwell, there’s something moving over there.”
“Oh? Little Finia, let us stop for a moment.”
Maxwell stopped concentrating on the butchering after my warning. Finia also put aside her butchering knife and switched to the long blade in preparation for battle.
Maxwell sent his familiar behind the prey to confirm what it was. And then, he released his tension and turned back.
“It’s alright. It is just a Rock Hound.”
Michelle and Cloud who heard the name for the first time tilted their heads in unison. You two, you really became good friends lately, huh?
“Yes, they are a stray dog species living in the mountains. They scavenge the leftovers of other animals… Put simply, they are similar to hyenas. They do not attack living beings, so they are no danger to us.”
“Aha! So, those dogs, are they tasty?”
“Michelle… That’s already a bit…”
Her remarkable growth probably demanded a lot of nutrients. That must have been it.
But actually, hyenas did attack animals and ate living beings, so they weren’t really similar. Maxwell’s example wasn’t accurate, but it would have been rude to start nitpicking at him. I was no match to him when it came to the degree of knowledge in the first place.
“Still, this is a bit troubling.”
“I mean we will not be able to lure them this way.”
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The old man stroked his beard with an unusually frowning expression. Hearing that, Michelle and Cloud once again tilted their heads. Though this time, in opposite directions.
“Why? Fang Wolves won’t show up as long as those dogs are around?”
“I do not mean that… How about this, let us suppose there is delicious meat here.”
“What if you could eat it?”
“I would eat!”
“I would steal it!”
Cloud declared with a pumped fist. Michelle followed up on it right away. In other words, Michelle declared that she would snatch the meat away before Cloud would eat it.
That brought Cloud on the verge of tears. Hey, don’t look at me.
“That is what I mean. Even if we scatter baits now, the Rock Hound would steal them first.”
“But Fang Wolves are stronger, right?”
“If they were present, they would indeed drive the Rock Hound away and get to the bait first. However, the fact is that they are not here now.”
Michelle dropped her shoulders, realizing that it wouldn’t be so easy to lure our targets. But wait a minute. Putting it another way, we could lure the Rock Hounds this way.
“Then how about we exterminate the Rock Hounds first? If we do that, we’d have more baits on our hands.”
“I see. So we should increase our bait first and then use it to lure out the Fang Wolves?”
We could just use the bait to get more bait meat, exterminating every monster that approached. If we repeated that for some time, we would eventually attract the Fang Wolves too. We were on a mountain where it wasn’t easy to come by a prey.
Just as I was thinking that, a shrill came from the direction of the Rock Hound.
Along with it, there was a low growl. As I looked towards the voice, I saw that the Rock Hound monitoring us from the distance was being attacked by a bigger dog.
No, it wasn’t a dog… But a wolf.
“I am sorry. I was not being vigilant!”
“Isn’t it too early for you to go so senile!”
That was a bit harsh, but even I was too focused on the Rock Hound and didn’t notice the approaching presence. You could say that was partly directed to myself and I took it out on Maxwell.
“It’s the Fang Wolf. Everyone, prepare for battle!”
Cloud set up his shield and stepped forward at my warning. Finia set up her swords and positioned herself next to him.
Michelle also nocked an arrow, while Letina set up her staff. Their prompt battle preparation didn’t fall behind even full-fledged Adventurers. They were the comrades that I trained myself. They would not get flustered by something of this level.
I positioned myself between them and pulled out my dagger.
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Thus, just as we finished our setup, the Fang Wolf that easily massacred the Rock Hound shifted its killing intent towards their next prey — us.
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