KENS Chapter 25

Chapter 25 Road to the Kingdom (2)

In front of me, a white fluffy tail was swaying.

Mururu was sitting on a chair without the cloak she had been wearing so her healthy legs, her butt covered with short-pants like trousers and the tail coming out from it was really tempting to the eyes.

In front of Mururu was the guild’s reception counter. She must be worried about whether the request we put up will get accepted or not.

“You should calm down a bit.”(renji)

“It’s difficult.”

[She’s like a little kid.]

Really. I agreed with Ermenhilde.

I put up the request in my name but it’ll probably be just me, Mururu and Faylona who’d go to the capital. Miss Francesca is a student after all and I can’t make a noble’s daughter  hurry towards the capital anyways.

We were few but since this concerned the Spirit God, we needed to hurry.

At least that’s what Faylona decided. Right now, he’s out shopping with Miss Francesca to prepare for the journey.

We tried putting up a request at the guild hoping to get a magician to join us but well, I doubt anyone would come forward.

No matter how well spread my name was, there won’t be anyone who’d take part in an escort to the capital for almost free. At times like these, practical things like money are more important tha something like the title of a Godslayer or Hero.

There’s a limit to how much money both me and Faylona have and also, even if it was the request of the Spirit God, one wouldn’t be ready to spend all his savings for Mururu who was just an acquaintance. Even after this request was completed the fact that Mururu was penniless wouldn’t change. Since there was no reward, it’ll only create problems for her own livelihood later on.

“I hope we can get some comrades.”

“Well, yeah.”

Saying that, I flicked Ermenhilde with my finger.

It flew in the air raising a dry sound and when I caught it—–it was Tails. I figured as much.

From that sound, Mururu turned towards me. Her wolf ears were twitching which looked really amusing.

“What are you doing?”(mururu)

“Test of luck.”

“I see. I hope you get a good result.”

And then, she smiled like an innocent child. In a sense different from Ermenhilde, I once again felt that she really was a child. After showing me that smile, she once again turned towards the counter.

Her white tail pushed up her cloak and revealed her beautiful legs hidden beneath it.

Giving a sigh, I turned my gaze towards the memos of the accumulated requests of subjugation quests. I was only looking at them to pass time but I thought maybe I should accept one seeing that my wallet was getting empty. Also, I want to know how skilled Mururu is in battle. For a beastwoman who travelled alone, she should be pretty skilled.

This world is pretty convenient only at such times. You can earn quite a lot just by hunting monsters. A stronger the monster, the bigger the reward as well. And that doesn’t take a lot of time either.

“Well, don’t have too much expectations though.”

“But I want to.”

I guess this is the first time she’s travelling like this. After I treated her to a meal, she has been looking around everywhere curiously. Everything’s new to her here after all. I can tell from observing her.

Beastmen—–Werewolves like Mururu, there are others with characteristics of tiger, bear, or rabbit as well. They were not one single species like Humans. They were a community made of a diverse types of species.

The biggest difference between Beastmen and demi humans or humans was that they didn’t utilise money. They depend on bartering instead. That’s why this girl neither panicked nor got angry even after having her money stolen. Even now, she thinks that someone would definitely help her.

This is why even though there is trading between Elves or Dwarves and humans, there’s not much interaction with beastmen. The flow of money was important to the society after all. Profit from every transaction would further enrich the country and that would in turn make the lives of the people better.

True, bartering and trust in your neighbours was also important but that alone won’t develop the society.

That’s why, unlike with the demi-humans, there was not much interaction with Beastmen. The Beastmen really come out of their world, in a way they were self sufficient. There were some who’d come out due to their curiosity towards the outside world or due to some job like Mururu, but they were the minority.

——or that’s how I saw it, to be exact. Well, my opinion has also changed quite a lot in the previous year as well. There were a quite a few Beastmen in the Magic City. I can see them sometimes while walking around the district. Going by the trend, there might be others at the other cities and the capital as well.

I guess the world also changed. While I had retired into the rural countryside.

[How carefree. I’m more worried about what she has to deliver to Yuuko you know.]

Well that’s true, I guess.

The relationship between the Goddess and the Spirit God wasn’t bad per se, but it wasn’t good either.

During our journey, at first they were even hostile…….well not really, but there was discord. There were times we ended up fighting their priests and got injured as well.

For that Spirit God, to have sent something to Utano-san who was an apostle of the Goddess was strange. Well, it must be something troublesome for sure, my instinct told me.

In the first place, this ‘request from God’ itself sounds suspicious. First we got the ‘request’ from the Goddess to subjugate the Demon God and had even more unreasonable demands during the journey. For me, it’s only normal to get vigilant.

While I was thinking about such old things, the guild’s swing door creaked open and Miss Francesca and Faylona came back. The guild became a bit noisy from the appearance of the beautiful combination’s entrance.

“Yo, how was it?”(renji)

“For the time being, I asked for food for 10 days. It’ll be readied by tomorrow.”(elf)

“Then, what remains is transport, eh?”

Food for 10 days. Even if its just Dried Meat or other such preserve able food, it’ll be quite heavy. We’ll need horses.

In case of horses, though it depends on the quality, we’ll need gold coins than copper. (T/N: reminder that in this world Silver>gold>copper) Obviously there are no cars in this world, and the only means of transport is either horses or carriages. Obviously the price gets higher in that case. Not to mention we’ll need at least two horses. And going by the rates of Magic City, my wallet’s going to be empty. Faylona’s wallet would also have been used up from ordering the food.

Sighing, I stood up. No matter how much I try to save, it soon gets spent somewhere. I felt like crying from that fact.

Then just abandon this, is what Ermenhilde would say but the Witch of the Capital–Utano-san, now that her name has come up, I can’t feign ignorance now either. If I had ignored her when I saw the white girl at the counter, I would’ve been free but now that Utano-san’s name has come up, I can’t………that’s how bonds work I guess. I end up feeling like I have to do something as well.

Well, Ermenhilde being Ermenhilde, knowing that I won’t be able to abandon her anyway but still said that means it really has a bad personality. Remembering her figure from the back standing in front of the counter, I couldn’t help it. As an Adult, I couldn’t just abandon a child in trouble.

“Sorry but, can I ask you to have the horses readied as well?”

“Yeah, no problem.”

Saying that, I stood up at which Mururu’s gaze turned towards me.

“Going somewhere?”

“You’re coming too. What will Miss Francesca do?”

“Me?”

“We’re going to make some earnings. Mururu, let me teach you a bit of how money works.”

I said that but she only twisted her head in confusion.

Feeling worried about our future, I could only sigh as I dropped my shoulders.

It would have been fine if she was living in the beast world, but now that she has come here, she’ll have to learn how money works if she’s going to live with humans.

I don’t know how much money was stolen from her but she really must have been easy prey for the robbers.

“By earning, are you going to subjugate monsters?”

“That’s right. We don’t have much time so we’ll just find some easy prey at an easy place.”

Saying that, I swayed the memo in my hand.

Monster subjugation. Our opponent will be goblins that can be found nearby. This can also be completed quickly as well. Since we are supposed to leave tomorrow, I don’t want to face monsters that would tire us.

Truth be told, I just want to depend on Herb gathering but considering Mururu’s personality, that’d be difficult. This girl really hates waiting after all.

“Money?”(mururu)

“Yes, that’s right. In the human world, you aren’t called an adult until you start earning on your own.”(renji)

“…….I see..”

“That’s painful to my ears.”(fran)

[Being half-a-man actually might be better in such a case then.]

Ermenhilde said that but even I think that way. It’s weird since I was the one who said that but that’s painful to my own ears as well.

Mururu made a surprised expression and Miss Francesca made a sour face.

Mururu’s one thing, I think Miss Francesca would be able to earn by herself though. Well, her very first goblin hunt might have become a trauma for her. She almost died after going hunting alone after all, she must have recalled that.

“Leave the horses to me.”

“Yeah. For the time being, let’s just earn Mururu’s lodging fees at least.”

Right now, she’d have no choice to either stay with me or spend the night with the Elves in the forest.

I am one thing, but Elves are usually not very welcome to other races. Faylona could even be called an unusual case. Thinking such things, I gave my wallet to Faylona. Aah I wonder how much will it cost. No matter how much I earned after coming here, I doubt it’d be enough to buy a few horses though.

“C’mon, let’s go.”

“Un, Got it.”

“Yes.”

It seems, Miss Francesca is also coming with us.

It’d be easier with a magician so frankly I’m relieved.

[As expected, it’s easier living along with people.]

I was slightly surprised from the sudden words.

It’s rare for Ermenhilde to say something like that.

[Like this, Renji is going on a monster subjugation quest due to the influence of people.]

“Please stop talking like it’s a good thing. I don’t like either fighting or monster subjugation.”

It’s dangerous, it hurts when you get injured and you might even die. And it’s the same for my comrades as well.

That’s why I want to live carefreely while gathering herbs only. But the world is cruel, before I realized I was going on another monster subjugation quest.

Hunting the black Orc with Miss Francesca, and that black Ogre and the army goblins. And that Demon as well. I am working a bit too much recently. Just when I thought I could finally relax, this time I have to escort this white girl to the capital. Because the witch of the capital—Utano-san is involved, I’ll feel bad to abandon her.

“What happened suddenly?”

“My chatty friend said something strange.”

When I answered that Mururu who came up to me and asked what happened, she made a puzzled face and looked up at me.

Well, it’s a normal reaction considering she can’t hear Ermenhilde. Maybe because Miss Francesca remembered how she was the same back then, she started laughing.

“Renji, you’re strange.”

“I’m told that a lot.”

[……..and everytime you’re told that, I wonder, is it really fine like that?]

Well not really but it’s better than being relied on as Hero.

Even if you expect something Heroic from me, I have very few things I can do. I can only fight. That too, only a bit stronger than normal adventurers.

.

.

.

.

Along with Miss Francesca and Mururu, I left the district. There’s not even a need to look for goblins. They’ll appear themselves as long as you go a bit away from the highway and into the grasslands.

Normally, that is. Today, it was a bit different. The existence of Mururu lessened the difficulty of the goblin hunting quest.

“There. Found them.”

“Amazing, Mururu-chan.”

“…..this much, even children at the village can do.”

She said that but she must be happy to have been complimented since her tail was swaying energetically underneath her cloak.

On looking to where Mururu told, I could confirm 3 goblins with my sight. Mururu was finding them so easily because of her sense of smell. It could be said as one of the special abilities of Beastmen.

Beastmen’s physical abilities exceed us humans or demi-human’s abilities by a huge gap. It’s the same with the sharpness of the 5 senses as well. Their arm strength, leg strength etc  are also in a different level. And they’re like that from when they’re children as well. An adult beastman is in a totally different level. On the other hand, they cannot use any kind of magic at all. It’s not like they don’t have magical energy, yet they can’t even use spirit magic. One theory suggests that they’re using all of their magical energy in enhancing their physical abilities which is why they are so physically strong.

While crouching and hiding among the waist-tall grass, I was astonished at their physical skills.

“Even though you have a small body, you really are full-fledged beastwoman.”(renji)

“I have even completed the ceremony for becoming an adult after all.”

Saying that, she puffed her chest somewhat proudly. It was so childish it felt really cute. Why do feel so happy seeing her I wonder.

Unlike Demi-humans, beastmen have a life span similar to humans. Going by her looks, she should be about 14 yrs old. Now that I think about it, Souichi and others were also around this age when we were summoned.

“Mururu-chan is treated as an adult among Beastmen already?”(fran)

“That’s right. The ceremony of adulthood for beastmen is not conducted by age but by physical strength. Winning against specific monsters, gathering materials, by doing such things you have to gain the approval from your comrades to be accepted as an adult.”

The ceremony of adulthood. It’s not age based like with humans. It differs with each race but mainly it involves defeating monsters alone. Those not suited to fighting are supposed to gather some specific material instead. The monster involved in such subjugation is usually either goblins or Orcs so Mururu should be used to fighting alone against monsters of that level.

As I explained that, both looked at me surprised.

“You know a lot.”

“I have also gone through that ceremony. Well in our case it was not to be acknowledged as an Adult but to be acknowledged as a comrade instead though.”

It should actually be said that we got dragged into doing it to be exact.

On the Elfreim continent, to gain their trust we were asked to hunt the monster that was said to be the master of one part of the forest. As expected, I didn’t do it alone but with Souichi and others.

Later on we were told that normally you don’t face such boss-class monster but have to fight mere goblins usually. Basically, rather than ceremony, we were simply used to get rid of their troubles.

“Is that so?”

“I may not look like it but I have lived a HARD…..hard life after all.”(T/N the caps are because Renji says it in English at first then realises that they won’t get it so switches to jap.)

[Seriously…..]

For some reason, Ermenhilde made a tired sigh. Well, I really am spending a hard life. From a normal salaryman to saving the world.

If I kept on thinking in that direction I’d get depressed again so I gave a sigh and looked towards the goblins who had yet to sense us.

“Will you be fine with Goblins?”(renji)

“Yeah, no problem. I can take even more……..even 5 of them pretty easily.”(mururu)

“That’s reassuring.”

She must have realized what I meant to say since her atmosphere changed.

Her small body wrapped in the cloak felt like it became bigger. Her careless, gentle looking eyes suddenly turned dangerous and shined. Her legs got covered with white fur completely. Probably, her arms beneath the cloak are the same.

Battle stance. I looked towards the goblin again, it seems they have still not noticed us but are looking around probably due to sensing a strong presence in the surroundings.

Miss Francesca was also surprised from the sudden change in Mururu. I wonder if they teach the ecology of beastmen in Magic Academies? Even if they do, there still won’t be any magician who won’t get interested in seeing this first hand.

“Can I hunt them now?”(mururu)

“That’s the job.”

“Got it.”

Answering lightly like that, she ran at an incredible speed towards the goblins.

[Will she be fine?]

Well, who knows. I took this request to check that as well. We will travel together from hereon after all, I need to know how well can she fight, what things she can do.

After seeing her enjoying back off, I tuned towards Miss Francesca next.

“Was it your first time seeing a Beastwoman?”

“Ye,s……..at first I thought they won’t be much different from humans.”

“They only look similar. Except for the ears and tail that is.”

But when they enter a battle, they completely change.

From faraway, I heard a *gii* screaming sound.

When I turned to look there, Mururu had already taken down one of the goblins. That said, I can’t really confirm. I could only tell that because the 3 goblins I could see from this faraway had lessened to two.

Then, the white shadow that Mururu jumped to an incredible height and lunged at the next goblin.

The last one disappeared into the grass just like that. It was probably pulled and knocked down by the beast called Mururu. That fighting style was truly befitting a beast.

I breathed a sigh at the sudden turn of events and Miss Francesca seemed to be at a loss for words.

“Amazing.”

I could only say that.

Frankly, she might be stronger than me at such a young age. I felt like I’d lose confidence again.

Whether it be Souichi and group or her, why are the children around me so strong? Do I even have any position/status here?

“She’s amazing.”(fran)

“Yeah.”

Saying that, I walked out of the grass I was hiding in.

Mururu was waiting there, untainted with any blood, for us to get there. Even though she’s a close combat fighter like me, how good is she to avoid getting any blood on her, this white girl?

The dangerous glint in her eyes was gone showing that she had calmed down now. But underneath the fluttering cloak, her arms were not thin ones like a normal girl but were covered with pure white fur till her elbows. And even more unusual were the 4 knife like long claws growing from her hands. Right now only her right hand had undergone the transformation but normally both of her hands should be like that.

That appearance was definitely not of a human. It proved that this girl belonged to a completely different species, the Beastmen.

Miss Francesca beside me gulped but as someone even slightly used to seeing beastmen, they’d find this pure fight girl to be extremely beautiful instead.

A sublime, noble beauty that humans can never possess. Coupled with the strength she showed just now, it made her look extremely charming.

“All that’s left is..”(renji)

Hiding my emotions, I drew my knife from its sheath. Opening the mouth of the goblin that Mururu defeated, I cut off one of its fangs with my knife.

“If you take this back to the guild’s reception, you’ll get a reward in return.”

“That’s Renji’s job?”

“Not just me, but of every adventurers’.”

As I gave a l8ight explanation, I began taking off the equipment  from the goblins. It’s my usual job after every fight. Though it was Mururu who actually defeated these ones.

[……Could you not act like a bandit at least this time?]

“Also, you can sell of such equipment for money as well.”

[Oi Renji? It’s your first time fighting with this beastwoman. At least try acting like a Hero for once please?]

While ignoring Ermenhilde who kept saying such things, I took off the equipment from the goblins.

If only acting like a Hero would fill my wallet as well I wouldn’t have minded it. But it doesn’t and what’s more important right now is money rather than the honour of a hero. You can’t eat with just honour after all………If I said something like “I’m a Hero.” Then I might get a meal in villages maybe but that in itself is ridiculous to do as a human.

Anyway, it’s a pity that the only useable weapon here is a short sword. That too has a chip in its blade. I doubt we’ll get much from selling this. I could only sigh.

“I see.”(mururu)

“I don’t think many adventurers do all that though……”(fran)

“When you don’t have money, this is a major source of income.”

[How deplorable…..]

Thereafter, we had Mururu search for Goblins and me and Miss Francesca also joined the fighting.

That said, it was difficult for us to keep up with Mururu’s speed. She’s fast and strong. It was easier to move seperately from her rather than matching along with her. Frankly speaking, the difference in physical ability is a bit too much.

It once again made me realize the difference between humans and Beastmen. Probably, not even Faylona would be able to keep up with her.

“We fought quite a lot but…….are you fine?”(fran)

“Yeah, I’m almost at my limit.”(renji)

2 long swords on my waist, 1 short sword on the other side of the waist. An iron shield on my left hand, and 2 battleaxes on my back. The total weight was probably a bit more than 40kgs. Rather than saying heavy, it was difficult to even move my body. My body is well trained from the constant travelling but this is still taking away most of my stamina. If I did not have the Cheat given to me, I probably wouldn’t have been able to even move.

My breathing has become rough but I can go on a bit more. I really want to return quickly. How the hell do fantasy protagonists walk around so easily with much more stuff in their bags? If I had wished the goddess that I wanted to become like the protagonist of a fantasy story, I wonder how I would have become?

While thinking of that, I distracted my mind from the strain.

[You’re just too greedy.]

“This much should fill up our wallets pretty well.”

“Rather than such things, my claws cut better. How is that even useful, that blunt thing?”

Mururu who said that was also holding a boorish club and a sword, that didn’t suit her small body, in her hands as well.

It’s lesser than what I have but still she doesn’t even seem to feel a little weight from that. I felt like making her carry half of what I had but quickly threw away that thought. That would be low of me both as an adult and as a man.

“Earning money means you have to collect such things that can be sold.”

“…….I really can’t understand humans.”

“I don’t think that’s exactly correct though.”(fran)

[You’re definitely wrong here, Renji.]

Oh shut up. We have to leave tomorrow so we have to earn as much as possible by today.

We have acquired provisions, and we should get horses as well. But there are many other things like herbs and medicines needed in a journey. There’s no such thing as having too much money.

Normally, I wouldn’t work this hard but since we have strict schedule I want to be ready for any unforeseen circumstances. Not to mention that 9i have been getting involved into too many troublesome things these days.

Thinking all that……I feel tired again. I wonder if I’ll be able to even move tomorrow.

After returning to the Magic City, I first went straight to the item shop to sell off the equipment gotten from goblins. When I put down all the equipment on his counter, the shopkeeper shouted in surprise. Well it can’t be helped, after all normally an adventurer doesn’t come up with so much equipment to sell after going to just one hunt.

Though it earns you money, it’s also bulky and difficult to carry back to the city. It also becomes a hindrance while fighting and if you drop it just to fight then collecting it all back is a pain on its own. And, most of the equipment can’t be used readily since monster don’t maintain their weapons. That’s why people prefer hunting more monsters instead of gathering items from every monster. Most adventurers find the former to be more efficient after all.

After that, I submitted the goblin fangs at the guild and took our reward. As expected, with three of us, we had hunted quite a lot of them so the sum was pretty good. The expenses for the travel were still bigger though.

“Oh right, Mururu, where have you been sleeping till now?”

“Outdoors.”

I should have known. Miss Francesca was really surprised but I wasn’t that much since I expected this answer.

She was broke and has no idea how money works. Not to mention beastmen are natural hunters that live in the wild. They really have no problem with sleeping outdoors.

“Here.”

Saying that, I handed Mururu with some of the money we earned in a pouch.

I handed one to Miss Francesca as well. She refused at first but when I said that it was fine, she accepted it. Well, she helped us so its only normal though.

“This is?”(mururu)

“Reward from the request. This is the money you have earned after today’s work.”

She looked at the pouch with a curious gaze and checked its weight and whatnot.

It looked so amusing that even while knowing it was rude of me, I ended up laughing.

“So, you can eat things other than dried meat with this as well.”(renji)

“I see. Earning like this and then use it for food, is it?”(mururu)

“No, money is used not just for food but……”

If I start explaining about ‘shopping’ to her now, I’ll really get tired.

Hunting goblins, gathering equipment, selling it at the city……..honestly, I’m really tired already. I want to go back to my inn and just sleep.

Sitting on a wooden stool at the guild, I breathed a sigh. Aah, I’m really tired.

[You just find explaining a pain don’t you?]

“Let’s meet up with Faylona and decide when to meet tomorrow already. I’m soo tired.”

“…..Mouu.”(fran)

Saying that, Miss Francesca began explaining various uses of money to Mururu.

Well, whatever. Leaving that aside, I began thinking of other things. I wonder what Faylona is doing right now. He’s taking too much time to buy just horses. Did he also go on hunting alone maybe?

[Fuu, we sure worked a lot today.]

“You did absolutely nothing though?”

Taking Ermenhilde out of my pocket, I flicked it.

“Hmm.”

It was Heads.

“It’d be nice if something good happens.”

While looking at the counter, I muttered so.  But I think it’d be difficult.

Probably, we won’t be able to hire a magician. There are many better requests than the one I put up. A normal magician wouldn’t accept mine.

That’s why I decided not to think of such depressing things.

But next, I thought of our journey. We’ll be moving with horses but frankly speaking, riding on horses is really painful. Even after I’ve gotten used to it, it’s physically taxing to travel long distances on horses.

Basically, your butt, or rather, your whole lower body starts hurting. And if you push it, your whole body starts hurting as well.

Thinking about it, I ended up sighing again.

Beside me, the former newbie Miss Francesca was teaching the newbie adventurer Mururu about the uses of money. That scene looked so pleasant, it healed me.

“It’s peaceful.”

[You were fighting goblins only a few hours ago though.]

………My partner really lacks dreams.

 

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