Chapter 12: Thief Wolfen [front].
The sky was getting dimmer and by the time I entered the forest, the night was falling.
The leaves growing on the trees blocked most of the sunlight, making visibility worse than it had been during the day.
It would have been troublesome if a Little boar had appeared at such a time, but it did not appear even after several minutes. Ren tilted his head and wondered why.
He doesn't realize it himself.
Now he was more deadly than ever. The little boars were afraid of him and avoided him.
All this was a result of their extreme nervousness and heightened vigilance in the face of the dark forest.
“Tsurugi Rock is......”
He wasn’t going in the wrong direction.
He was relieved to see Tsurugi rock, which was faintly visible through the leaves and grew impatient as he looked at the sky, which was even darker than when he had first entered the forest.
It’s alright. I just need to go to Tsurugi rock and look for it.
Even taking into account the time it takes to get home, I can definitely make it back by the end of the night.
I desperately tried to control myself, but I still couldn't calm down.
I mocked myself.
What a figure, even though I am Ren Ashton.
“I’m the mastermind behind the story. I shouldn’t get upset over something like this."
Even if it’s in the shadow of Thief Wolfen.
But no matter how hard I tried to control myself, I couldn’t release the tension. I was immersed in the illusion that my feet were getting heavier with each step I took and I was worried about whether I would make it to Tsurugi rock.
---- But it was some time after I entered the forest.
The number of trees that had been thickly overgrown decreased and the path gradually opened up.
Maybe...... I thought and walked for another ten minutes or so, dragging my feet.
After passing through the forest, I arrived at an open plain. There was a small lake and a large rock that looked like an upside-down icicle, Tsurugi rock sat in the center of the lake.
It was already dark, but the view was surprisingly clear under the stars.
How would I get to Tsurugi rock?
The lake wasn’t too deep, but it was more than the height of a boy the size of Ren.
It was deep enough that even an adult would be better off using a boat.
However, Ren has a wooden magic sword.
When Ren realized this, he swung the wooden magic sword and created tree roots that led up to Tsurugi rock.
After walking across the makeshift bridge, he looked up at Tsurugi rock, which was almost perpendicular to the bridge.
Again, he swung the wooden sword and this time, ivy grew on the side of the rock.
“Oh.... so useful!"
He was starting to have a little fun, if not a little hearty.
Ren had never climbed a tree in his previous life, but here, he begins to climb the rock face without any difficulty.
He laughed and said, "I'm so thankful for my physical ability UP (small)," and continued to climb steadily.
Fortunately, he had no fear of heights or slipping and falling.
“Thank goodness I have the wooden magic sword.......”
I don't even want to think about climbing Tsurugi Rock, which is as high as a ten-story building, with my bare hands.
Even now, my hands are getting tired and my grip is getting weaker and if it weren't for the wooden magic sword, I wouldn't have been able to climb it.
Realizing this, Ren takes a breath on the way up.
When he found a place where he could sit down, he stopped, wiped the sweat from his forehead and looked up.
He looked further up, probably near the top and realized that he was looking at the night wind in the starlight.
The leaves were illuminated by starlight and swayed in the night breeze, and Ren unconsciously relaxed his cheeks.
“It looks like they haven't been wiped out yet, grandma Rigg.”
The shape of the leaves, reminiscent of a pentagram, was swaying leisurely in the night breeze.
Ren, seeing this, regained his liveliness and reached for the ivy as if to jump on it. He climbs up the rock surface even faster than before, his feet pushing forward and wider than before.
He’s slightly out of breath.
But he doesn't stop and after a few more minutes of climbing, he reaches the top of the rock.
"---- that's it! Rondo grass!”
The rondo grass was still there. It was still growing in clusters, nestled on the flat rock surface at the top of Tsurugi rock.
Ren had no idea how much would be needed, but it wasn’t a small amount.
But at the same time, however, he also found something disturbing.
A short distance away from where the rondo grass was growing, there were bones scattered about that appeared to belong to a beast.
When Ren unexpectedly moved closer to check, he found that they belonged to a little boar.
Sweat broke out on his clenched fist, which he had been unconsciously making.
Little boars can't possibly climb Tsurugi Rocks. And I've never heard of flying monsters inhabiting this area.
The name of a certain monster came to Ren's mind as he calmly thought about it.
(I have to hurry.)
He had the worst premonition.
He then hurriedly gathered some rondo grass and descended, this time relying on the vines.
After hurriedly descending to the roots of the tree, Ren calmly looked around and started walking down the tree roots, breathless.
He walked, somehow managing to regulate his breathing, which had somehow become erratic.
He wiped the sweat from his forehead as he crossed the path of the tree roots.
(I have to hurry and get through the forest....)
He took a hasty step forward, but he didn't make a sound as he pushed his foot forward.
Three little boars appeared in front of Ren, looking frightened and rushed forward at once.
“At a time like this...!”
Slightly bewildered by the fact that they attacked him in a frightened manner, he swung his wooden magic sword, irritated by the fact that they raised their prominent voices.
Of course, struggling is out of the question.
In the blink of an eye, Ren had killed three of them and was about to leave the place, not even looking at their corpses----
Suddenly, the night wind stopped with a whiff ----
A huge shadow appeared over Ren's back onto the grass swaying in the night wind.
There he is. Behind me.
Ren realized this a moment later.
"............ I see. The reason they were scared was because they were running away from you.”
Ren said and slowly took a step forward.
The four tails that had been growing in the shadows swayed eerily and extended their heads toward the sky.
Ren started to run with an impatient look on his face.
He was single-mindedly determined to leave this place.
To return to his village.
The roar pierced his ears.
The roar I heard now was the same as in the game days.
The voice of the Thief wolfen threatens its prey.
“Hah ...... hah ...... hah!”
He was working his body harder than he’d ever worked it before.
But within a few dozen seconds, the trees on either side of him were knocked down by a strong wind and a whirlwind blew right past him.
Ren ducked just in time to avoid the whirlwind and the reaction made him sit on the ground.
As he was getting up, Ren's twin eyes narrowed as he saw a whirlwind pass right next to him and stop in front of a tree a short distance away.
“I’m sorry. I won't go near your nest again.”
"There are little boars out there, you know? Why don't you just eat them?”
I thought it would be pointless, but I tried to calm myself down by talking to him.
I pull out a wooden magic sword and hold it ready in my hand with a tight grip.
The other side, the Thief Wolfen's six eyes are glowing crimson, and they are gawking at me. The paws took a silent step forward, back curled slightly, and bared his fangs.
Seeing the Thief Wolfen not leaving the place at all, Ren turns his hostile gaze on him.
‘There’s no time for this’.
I was more afraid of not being able to get the herbs to my father in time than I was afraid of dealing with a powerful enemy.
But the Thief Wolfen didn’t respond and instead, a threatening voice with an ostentatious exhalation reached me.
And an erratic flow of wind surrounds Ren.
By using wind magic, the Thief Wolfen creates an invisible arm of wind around his opponent.
The only way to confirm its existence is to feel it on your skin.
The wind suddenly stroked my cheek.
The wind reminds me of a sharp blade.
Twisting and turning his body, Ren backed up and felt a pain in his cheek. When he slid his fingers across it, his fingertips were wet with bright red fresh blood.
Not only could he not see it, he couldn’t even feel it.
He marvels at the Thief Wolfen's wind magic and is instantly made to understand.
(It's not a monster I can deal with----)
If it were possible he wouldn’t fight, but he already knew that even escape would be extremely difficult.
(......it has an injured foot, huh?)
When I saw the Thief Wolfen acting as if he was protecting his paw, I knew that Roy didn’t go down without a fight.
Yes, that's why Roy was able to escape.
He was able to escape to the entrance of the forest by wounding the Thief wolfen’s leg in an unexpected encounter.
This must have been the reason why the Thief Wolfen didn’t come to attack the village afterwards.
It seems that he was strongly wary of Roy Ashton and stayed hidden in Tsurugi Rock.
(Dad fulfilled his duty as a knight.)
Once through the forest, the Thief Wolfen would definitely not follow me to the village.
At least, he shouldn’t until his injuries healed.
So it would be enough if I brought the rondo weed back to the mansion myself. If I wait for the baron's reinforcements to arrive, we’ll be able to defeat him for sure.
(Then I'll just have to get through this somehow....!)
Ren saw his father's struggle, and a new courage sprouted in his heart.