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Ryuugoroshi No Sugosuhibi - Chapter 31

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Chapter 31

Chapter 31: The Pursuit for Meat!

Two days have passed since parting with Scheidt. Kousuke stood at the entrance of the harbor city. Asking around, he found out that all ships are currently unavailable and the only time one would set sail is four days later. Having no choice, he decided to continue his sightseeing and find good food. Rather than walking, he flew from place to place every day, enjoying the country's various sights and foods.

On the fourth day, he finally set sail towards Kalhode's south western port and he reached there safely, unlike his previous experience.

Currently, he is looking for ship headed towards Sebushik. He did find one, but things didn't go as smoothly as planned.

「We set sail in ten days」(???)

All ships heading towards Sebushik have already left in the past two days. Anyone headed there would have to wait and it troubled Kousuke since he didn't want to waste any more time. Ten days was simply too long a wait.

「I guess I'll just sightsee some more. It's not like I'm given much choice at this juncture」(Kousuke)

He decided to go sight see some more. With how much money he has, as long as he did not spend extravagantly, he would be fine.

His tongue has been slightly numbed by the constant seafood while on the ship and he began to crave meat so he approached a stall to find out more for a change of pace.

「Delicious meat? Yea, I know of some. The birds in the Sebule forest are delicious, especially when you roast them whole.

The skin has the just right amount of crisp, the breast meat is juicy and just melts in your mouth, and the thighs are soft, supple, and flavorful. Every part of this bird is truly delectable.

If you want some, you can get some in this town. However, if you want the true experience, head to the forest in the north, but I warn you, I wouldn't recommend this. There's a beastfolks village there where the bird's dish originated from.

They have a stuffing's recipe that's out of this world, and their secret sauce, truly the best. Whatever they're putting in there just makes all our dishes here pale in comparison.

I had it once and I can still remember every detail of it」(Stall owner)

The stall owner's eyes were shining in nostalgia as he explained.

「Why haven't others tried to copy the recipe if it's that good?」(Kousuke)

「We tried, but it doesn't taste as good. All the chefs that tried were baffled by this despite having gathered everything in the recipe.

In the end, they gave up and decided to find their own flavor, unique to this town」(Stall owner)

「I see, I think I'll try some of that bird here if you have」(Kousuke)

「Unfortunately, it's impossible right now」(Stall owner)

「Why?」(Kousuke) TL: WHY YOU TEMPT ME WITH DELICIOUS FOOD AND SLAP ME WITH NO!

「It's already a week past the usual shipment, but it hasn't arrived to this town yet. Right now, none of the stores have it」(Stall owner)

「Wouldn't this be quickly solved with some hunters?」(Kousuke)

「And trespass a beastfolks's territory?」(Stall owner)

「Are the beastfolks in the forest dangerous?」(Kousuke)

『If that's the case then I might just find something else instead』(Kousuke)

「No no, quite the contrary actually. Otherwise, how could we trade for those birds?」(Stall owner)

「Then why hasn't anyone gone yet?」(Kousuke)

「Even if you ask me...」(Stall owner)

The stall owner paused and showed a difficult face, but finally continued.

「Well.. because you know.. they're beastfolks」(Stall owner)

「That doesn't really explain much to me, though」(Kousuke)

「Really? Everyone else here would understand if they heard that」(Stall owner)

It was a commonplace narrow-mindedness that's shared by most inhabitants in this world. Individuals like Kousuke were, in fact, the outlier.

Beastfolks were evolved from beasts. Among the varied tribes, some were evolved from carnivorous beasts, a few of which would prey on humans. However, not all would aggressively hunt humans just to meet their taste. In the end, the few cases of predation combined with the doubtful nature of the humans have forcefully casted a rather negative view of all beastfolks.

In conclusion, the people of this town would refuse to get in contact with the nearby beastfolks village, if allowed.

Speaking of Japan it would be ninjas, geishas, tempura. Americans would have their cowboys and hamburgers and the Indians their curry and yoga. These assumptions are there due to their factual backings, but not all Indians do yoga, and not all Americans eat hamburgers. Being unable to remove such pre-conceived notions from their minds, the humans of this town, despite knowing the nearby beastfolks village are not human eaters, are adamant in their refusal to interact deeply with them.

In truth, all it would take is just one step forward and everything would change. There have been cases where the relationship between a beastfolks village and a human settlement were harmonious.

「Then am I right to assume that if I want to eat some, I would need to head there myself?」(Kousuke)

「I guess so. If you do go, can you let us know what happened when you return?」(Stall owner)

「I'm pretty sure the guild would have a request like that posted」(Kousuke)

「It should be」(Stall owner)

The meat-craving Kousuke decided to head to the forest. It wasn't like he needed money so he didn't bother heading to the guild either.

Kousuke thanked the stall owner for the information and began preparing for the trip. After buying a few essentials, he immediately left town for the northern forest. According to what he gathered, the distance to the forest was roughly a day on foot.

As his travel distanced himself from the coast, the smell of the sea faded and the thick smell of grass became more prevalent. And soon, he reached the outskirts of the forest.

「Oh, I forgot to ask where the village was.

I wonder if I might find them if I just wander around in the woods」(Kousuke)

Still, even if he asked, it was unlikely the people of the town would have known. Their prejudice gave them a reason to not care where the village was. The only time they were near the forest would be to gather herbs and firewood at the edge of the forest. Not once have they set foot into the woods.

TL: Honestly, this is very unhuman-like. Where there's resource, people will flock. It doesn't make sense to completely ignore it just to push through a silly prejudice. In fact, invading, usurping, uprooting, etc would have been a more plausible action since it can be justified as ’’removing danger’’

Kousuke concluded that if searching by foot doesn't work, he can simply fly and observe from above.

The moment Kousuke set foot into the woods, he furrowed his brows.

「This forest is like Mt. Mubrant, it's really quiet」(Kousuke)

The only sound entering his ears at the moment were the rustling of the tree leaves. On rare occasions, he heard a light cry of a bird.

From the information he gathered, there shouldn't be anything dangerous in this forest. However, he felt that those rumors weren't too credible. He hoped nothing dangerous would appear. It was a fact that some beastfolks would come to town to trade so it was most likely safe enough.

「Maybe the delayed shipment has something to do with this silence?」(Kousuke)

He slowly proceeded deeper, keeping his senses sharp. Eventually, he heard something unusual.

He immediately changed directions and headed towards the source of the sound. Around a minute later, a scream was suddenly heard.

Judging by the sound, it was a child, so Kousuke hurried to the scene with a sprint. While dashing there, he caught with the edge of his sight a large, bright-yellow object. He promptly ignored it for the time being and further raised his speed.

Upon reaching the scene, what greeted him was a three meter long wingless, western dragon chasing and snapping towards an escaping child. 【TL: Oh look.. a dragon

「Like I'll let you!」(Kousuke)

Without stopping the sprint, Kousuke immediately leapt and launched a kick towards the dragon. Like an arrow in flight, he landed his kick right in between the dragon-like creature's collarbone. A prompt snap was heard from the creature's neck and it's life ended.

After confirming its death, he turned his head towards the child that looked around 10 years old. The child had red eyes and a rabbit's face. For a brief moment, Kousuke thought it was a cosplay, but soon realized it was one of the beastfolks living in the forest.

「You alright?」(Kousuke)

Still shaken by what happened, the child barely nodded his head while shivering. Sensing the inner turmoil the child had, Kousuke gently patted the child's head to console him. Kousuke was slightly tickled by the soft sensation.

TL: NO KOUSUKE, DON'T GO TO THE DARK SIDE!

In time, the child's shivering stopped so Kousuke continued to talk.

「Are you hurt anywhere?」(Kousuke)

「No, I'm fine-pyo」(Child) TL: like -dattebayo in Naruto, being a rabbit person, the child said Daijoubu-pyo, instead of Daijoubu-yo to make him more.. rabbit-like?

「Pyo? Ah, come to think of it」(Kousuke)

He recalled when Horun told him beastfolks children have a unique and peculiar way of ending their sentences sometime. The moment this habit of theirs end is a sign of them entering adulthood. Nodding in understanding, Kousuke continued.

「Do you live in this forest?」(Kousuke)

「Mm」(Child)

「I was actually heading to your village today, but I got a little lost. Can you lead me to your village?」(Kousuke)

The child nodded and stood up, but suddenly fell on his rear-end again.

His legs were too wobbly from the earlier scare.

Kousuke crouched down and lift the child up in his arms.

「Just point the way, I'll carry you」(Kousuke)

The child nodded and pointed towards a direction. Kousuke looked towards the direction before turning around and heading towards the slain monster.

He carefully examined the monster's characteristics. Based off what he knew, it was likely this creature was a Draken.

Drakens were classified as pseudo-dragons. With a closely related name and similar appearance to actual dragons, Drakens are highly territorial and are known for their great strength and stamina. Even if a group of C and B level adventurers organized a party against this monster, they would lose 9 out of 10 times. In truth, Kousuke's kick was a lucky blow since this monster was something that would have given him a hard time in actual combat.

Regardless, the question remained. Why was something like this in this area and how come no one was aware of it?

「Are these... common in this forest?」(Kousuke)

The child immediately shook his head.

「Around 3 weeks ago, a bunch of monsters started coming to this forest-pyo」(Child)

「Started gathering, I see. Does this happen normally? Like a seasonal thing」(Kousuke)

The child, once again, shook his head.

「No, never before. Everyone is wondering why this is happening-pyo」(Child)

「I see.

By the way, with all these monsters flooding into the forest, why did you leave the village?」(Kousuke)

「I was worried about the birds I was taking care of」(Child)

「What if you got hurt? Your parents must be very worried right now, right?」(Kousuke)

「I'm sorry-pyo」(Child)

「Don't apologize to me, but to everyone that's worried about you」(Kousuke)

After patting the boy's head once more, Kousuke grabbed the tail end of the Draken and began heading towards the direction of the village. After going through the trouble of killing it, leaving it seemed too wasteful. Kousuke didn't immediately process and dismantle the monster here. The blood would attract unwanted attention and he didn't want to endanger the child. He planned to dismantle it once he reached the village, but even if he was refused, at least he got the child to safety and he can do it somewhere else.

「So you really are strong-pyo」(Child)

The child stared at Kousuke's face with bright, shining eyes, to which Kousuke could only feel his embarrassment rising. The child's stare was trying to burn a hole through Kousuke's face.

「What do you mean by that?」(Kousuke)

「You killed a dragon, right?」(Child)

「...... How do you know that?」(Kousuke)

Kousuke's feet stopped and he gave the child a long, hard look.

「I can see titles-pyo」(Child)

「Just like Viare, I see」(Kousuke) TL: I actually forgot Viare could see it too

The ability to see others' title is a rare one, but it's not unique to one person. It didn't surprise Kousuke to find another person just like Viare

ever since Erisu told him this.

「Can you keep this a secret from others, for me?」(Kousuke)

「Why-pyo?」(Child)

「I want to keep a low profile. Please?」(Kousuke)

「I don't really understand, but okay!」(Child)

「Thank you」(Kousuke)

Feeling helpless towards people with such a gift, Kousuke continued carrying the child towards the village. On the way, Kousuke heard some noise up ahead.

He assumed it was probably the villagers searching for the boy.

「JERUDE!」(???) TL: Jebaited

Among the crowd, one man screamed out the boy's name. The approaching man had a faint smell of medicine on him. It made sense after seeing the bandages wrapped on his arm and neck. In fact, the rest of the group were bandaged in a similar fashion.

It seemed that the boy's name was Jerude. What surprised Kousuke was that the people searching for Jerude were humans, not beastfolks. He guessed that some humans co-habit with the beastfolks. As he observed the group more, he felt that he recognized them a little.

With raised vigilance, he carefully placed Jerude down.

「You really worried us!」(???)

「I'm sorry...」(Jerude)

The man yelled as he firmly grasped Jerude's shoulders, to which Jerude only sulkily apologized.

The others in the group began cheering after finding Jerude was safe.

「Don't do something like this again, even if you were safe in the end」(???)

「We're really glad you weren't hurt」(???)

「The brother there, you kept Jerude safe, right? Wait.. wait.. IS THAT A DRAKEN?!」(???)

The group were shocked to see the Draken right behind Kousuke.

「It was trying to eat Jerude, so I killed it」(Kousuke)

「My god, you must be really strong to be able to kill something like that!」(???)

Shock, astonishment, fear, the shaky voice reflected many emotions.

「Is something the matter?」(Kousuke)

The man placed Jerude down and looked towards Kousuke.

「Sorry, I was just surprised that you killed a Draken」(???)

「A DRAKEN?! Something like this is also gathering in this forest?! Should we continue with the guild's request? Or should we head back and report this first?」(???)

The man gave a deep bow towards Kousuke.

「Thank you for saving Jerude」(???)

「Please raise your head, there's no need for thanks. A child was about to be eaten, there's no way anyone would ignore this」(Kousuke)

Kousuke really didn't want a reward, he did everything because he wanted to help.

「Still, you did save Jerude in the end. At the very least accept my tha... hm?」(???)

「What's wrong, Egan?」(???)

Seeing Egan suddenly pausing and staring at Kousuke's face, another from the group questioned Egan.

「You look really familiar」(Egan)

Just like Kousuke, Egan had a faint sense of familiarity.

Since both had the same feeling, they began to recall as much as possible since it couldn't be a coincidence.

And Kousuke soon remembered... It was a bit before the 3rd month since arriving to this world.

「.... If I remember correctly, you're part of Regulus Parlor, right?」(Kousuke)

「That is our party's name, does this mean we met before?」(Egan)

「Just once. Remember when I was accepting odd-job requests? Your party tried to forcefully make me join you on yours.

You were given a penalty from the guild for that」(Kousuke)

「「「「AH! YOU!?」」」」

Egan and the rest suddenly remembered after hearing that.

The looks in their eyes became complicated with this.

However, a single, loud sigh cleared up everything. They may have just buried it temporarily, but it wasn't of any concern for Kousuke.

「We apologize for our previous brazen behavior」(Egan)

「An apology, that's a bit unexpected」(Kousuke)

It was Kousuke's turn to be surprised. Recalling how they acted before, seeing them lowering their heads to apologize was truly unlikely.

「Us apologizing is a surprise, I see... Well, it really can't be helped. Especially with how we used to be」(Egan)

「Thinking back, it really made sense why we were so unpopular」(Adventurer)

「What an embarrassing past we had...」(Adventurer2)

When Kousuke saw how much they changed, he guessed whatever they experienced these past few months must have been quite something. Otherwise, a little nudge here and there wouldn't change a person this much.

This change, it seemed it was a good thing for them in the end. Kousuke firmly believes this.

「Well, enough about us. What brings you to this forest?」(Egan)

「I heard the bird dish the beastfolks village makes is absolutely delicious, so I came to try some」(Kousuke)

「Oh that, yup, it's definitely good... But I don't think you'll be able to get some right now」(Egan)

「Because of this monster infestation?」(Kousuke)

「So you heard from Jerude. Exactly.

With everyone in the village scrambling to figure out the reason and to protect each other, I doubt they have the time to cook food for outsiders」(Egan)

「Makes sense. What to do... I guess I should just head back then」(Kousuke)

He was a little disappointed, but he didn't want to cause the village any trouble with his intrusion. He felt it was only right to head back.

Seeing Kousuke trying to leave, Egan immediately stopped him.

「Wait a moment. I wish to request your aid in resolving this situation. Please, I beg of you」(Egan)

Once again, Egan gave a deep bow. The rest of his party members did the same.

「If it was possible, we would have protected the village ourselves. However, finding out even a monster like a Draken appearing, it's clearly beyond our abilities now.

In order to return the favor they gave us, please help us on this endeavor!」(Egan)

Egan's words were overflowing with sincerity. It was clear just how much he wanted to protect the people of the village. If left alone, he probably would kowtow/dogeza instead.

Kousuke thought it was likely that the beastfolks villagers attributed to these adventurers' drastic change in personality. In fact, Kousuke was spot on.

The only thing Kousuke overlooked was the regret that mixed in Egan's voice.

Affected by the four's enthusiasm, Kousuke assented. Jerude was even happier knowing that a Dragonslayer would be helping out.

「Alright, I'll help」(Kousuke)

「Excellent! THANK YOU!

The village is this way, please follow us!」(Egan)

With the jovial Egan in the lead, the group soon reached the beastfolks village.

The villagers were in the process of putting up a wooden fence around the village perimeter to deter the monsters.

As for the village itself, it looked like any other village you could find and nothing screamed ’’beastfolks’’. A dirt road, stone and wood buildings, and some farmsteads.

Based on the size of the village, it was clear the population was less than a hundred.

An uproar from the villagers came about the moment they saw Jerude among Kousuke's group. A few of the villagers shouted at the top of their lung that Jerude has come back.

「Jerude! I'm so glad you're back safe and sound-nya!」(Nyan-cat) TL:

The group was instantly surrounded and a cat-faced woman immediately hugged Jerude as she sobbed. Besides her, the white goat-faced man was smiling gently at the two.

Their unique way of speaking was leaking out due to emotional distress, many, regardless of their age were shouting it without qualm.

「Who are those two?」(Kousuke))

「They're Jerude's parents」(Yelutz)

Yelutz, one of Egan's comrade, answered Kousuke's question.

「I don't see this adding up. Isn't Jerude a rabbit beastfolks?」(Kousuke)

「You don't know? Beastfolks will very often conceive a child of a different animal type from their own」(Yelutz)

「I see」(Kousuke)

The reason for this was because of their many generations of interspecies marriage.

Most beastfolks have genes of various species within them and the gene they have the most of will usually become the animal type of their children.

Currently, it's incredibly rare to see a couple conceive a child with the same animal type as either of the parents. It's common to see a family of beastfolks that are comprised of all different animal types, with the exception being identical twins.

The generation where the animal type was kept the same as the parents was something far into the past, around the time they were birthed into this world.

「Thank you so much, Sir Egan! There are no words that can express my joy of having Jerude returned to us safely!」(Jerude's father)

Jerude's father shouted as he bowed in deep appreciation. Egan immediately grasped the father's shoulder to stop him.

「Your gratitude needs to go to him, instead. He saved Jerude from a Draken that was chasing him」(Egan)

Egan pointed towards Kousuke.

Kousuke was taken aback by the sudden introduction and was a beat slow in responding with a light bow.

「Thank you very much for saving my son while endangering yourself! I have no idea how I can repay you for your kindness.

I truly cannot fathom the difficulty you must have faced having to deal with a dangerous monster like a Draken. So please, if there is anything I can do for you, do not hesitate to tell me」(Jerude's father)

「No, please, there's no need to go that far. I just got lucky with a surprise attack, that's all」(Kousuke)

「That monster isn't something a simple surprise attack can defeat, correct?」(Jerude's father)

「But it did. It's neck broke from that attack so it never had a chance to fight back」(Kousuke)

「That... I can only presume your luck was truly good then」(Jerude's father)

The assumption the father made about Kousuke was that he was around the same as Egan and his crew. Without knowledge of his absurd titles, the father could only believe that it was just really good luck Kousuke had. However, that in turn made his respect towards Kousuke soar even further for he fought to save his son's life despite knowing how dangerous it could have turned out. This showed just how dangerous Drakens were to everyone.

「Yes, I was just lucky. So please, there's no need to give me anything, your thanks are enough」(Kousuke)

「I cannot accept that! You have saved my son's life, I will not be satisfied with just giving thanks」(Jerude's father)

「But I'm more than satisfied with just the reward I can get for dismantling and selling this Draken. There's really no need」(Kousuke)

「But!」(Jerude's father)

The father became agitated, but was stopped.

It was Egan who intervened.

「Then let's do this, feed him the roasted bird dish. In the first place, this fella came to this woods just for that」(Egan)

「Is that true?」(Jerude's father)

「Mm. I was looking forward to eating it」(Kousuke)

「Perfect! I'll gather everyone to make you the best roast ever!」(Jerude's father)

「Then.. I'll be waiting in anticipation」(Kousuke)

Kousuke's smile looked slightly troubled, but he was happy nonetheless.

「We'll go for another round of patrol then」(Egan)

Seeing everything was settled, Egan and his crew left for the woods once more.

「Wait! You're all still injured and this constant patrolling everyday has left you all battered. For today, please just rest!

Leave the patrol to the rest of us」(Jerude's father)

「You lot don't know what it's like to fight monsters. Do you think we'll agree to something that dangerous?」(Egan)

「Even so, we are experienced hunters. We are confident in being able to escape at the first sign of danger」(Jerude's father)

「There are some monsters that excel in stalking and some are too fast to escape from. No means no, we will not let you guys go out」(Egan)

「The monster infestation is a problem of this village. You cannot expect us, the victims, to sit back and expect outsiders to shoulder all the burden」(Jerude's father)

From the villagers' perspective, they wish to patrol together with Egan and his crew, rather than having them take the full burden.

However, Igan and his party did not want the villagers in any danger at all. Whatever the case, the underlying reasons for both sides were definitely not simple.

「We wish to do this. Stop babbling and stay put」(Egan)

Nevertheless, the father continued to argue. Seeing no end to this, Kousuke spoke.

「Why not take a small break instead. I'm able to treat wounds so leave it to me. How about it?」(Kousuke)

「You can treat us? Then if you would, please do!」(Egan)

Egan and his party were ecstatic since they lacked a healer at the moment.

This village has a doctor as well, but the doctor specialized more towards treating illnesses and only has very simple healing magic for wounds. For this reason, Igan and his party would continue their patrol despite only receiving nominal treatment. Their use of analgesics is the only reason why they aren't collapsing. Their current condition would normally keep an adult bedridden for weeks.

「I would like to treat them somewhere indoors, would it be possible to borrow a room for that?」(Kousuke)

「Then please follow me to our home」(Jerude's father)

Kousuke nodded in agreement towards the father's suggestion.

The rest of the villagers heaved a sigh of relief seeing this. Egan and his party will be treated and Jerude returned safely, they happily returned to their tasks.

With Jerude's father taking the lead, the group soon reached a house. They settled into the living room and the treatment began.

Kousuke inspected each of them one at a time, asking them to remove their armor and shirts.

「You guys really pushed yourselves. I can't treat wounds with medicine, so I'll be treating you all using magic, alright?

Egan, your right shoulder has a fracture and the laceration on your left arm is pretty serious, I'll start with those two」(Kousuke)

「Is it treatable?」(Egan)

「Don't worry. I've treated even worse wounds before」(Kousuke)

They were the adventurers that were nearly killed by a Violent Barb. The wounds they were afflicted with could only be explained as heinous.

Kousuke placed his hands onto Egan's wounds. Closing his eyes, Kousuke's hands began to pulse a gentle light.

「How is it? The pain should be mostly gone by now」(Kousuke)

Kousuke pulled his hands away and watched as Egan began stretching his shoulder and arm. The untreated bruises on the other part of his body was still stinging, but the pain from his most serious wounds completely vanished.

「It doesn't hurt, it's completely healed! I feel like I can fight for days now!」(Egan)

「The wounds are healed, but any blood you lost and the built up fatigue your body is enduring can't be, so don't push yourself」(Kousuke)

「It's more than enough now that my wounds are healed」(Egan)

「Stop, you know that's not true」(Kousuke)

Kousuke forcefully made Egan sit and rest before heading to treat another.

The rest of the group were in a similar condition to Egan. Bandaged cuts, large bruises, fractured or broken bones, it was a wonder how they were still standing. Knowing how stubborn these fellows were, Kousuke put them to sleep with magic after he was done treating them. As if their fatigue has peaked, Egan and his party passed out.

Jerude looked at everyone's worn out appearance worriedly.

「What did you do to everyone-pyo?」(Jerude)

「I forcefully put them to sleep since they'll just drag their worn out bodies without thinking if I leave them alone」(Kousuke)

Kousuke turned towards the father and asked where Egan and the rest normally stayed.

Since this village had no inn, Egan and his party stayed in an unoccupied barn. Kousuke began to carry them over so they could finally get some much needed rest.

After having everyone laid onto a bed, Kousuke began to head out to the woods. Realizing that Kousuke was going to go in Egan's stead, the father spoke.

「Where are you going?」(Jerude's father)

「Just going to patrol a little. I promised Egan that I'll protect this village too」(Kousuke)

「I'll come too」(Jerude's father)

「I was planning on dismantling the Draken along the way. It'll probably attract monsters so it'll be quite dangerous.

If possible, can you look after these guys instead?」(Kousuke)

「But...」(Jerude's father)

Hearing that he might encounter monsters directly, the father's foot stopped. Fear, not cowardice. The native monsters of this forest are relatively weak, but the invading monsters are on a completely different caliber. For this village, its inhabitants never had the need to fight before. Hence, the inhabitants were forced to deal with a string of defeats from these monsters. Luckily, thanks to Egan and the raised defenses, none have yet to die.

「It won't take too long, I promise」(Kousuke)

「...... Then I'll leave it to you」(Jerude's father)

Feeling weak and helpless, the father lowered head and his fisted hands were trembling.

Right before Kousuke turned around to leave, the father spoke once more.

「If you see a yellow monkey, please try to catch it instead」(Jerude's father)

「A yellow monkey?」(Kousuke)

Hearing that, Kousuke recalled seeing something similar while heading to rescue Jerude.

「Yes. It seemed Egan and his party were in search of it」(Jerude's father)

「Does it have anything to do with the current situation?」(Kousuke)

「It's possible」(Jerude's father)

The father only heard a little by accident from Egan, so he couldn't say for certain. Still, with how serious Egan was discussing it, it must definitely have a connection with why monsters are invading this forest.

Nodding in agreement, Kousuke turned around and headed out to the forest while dragging the Draken's corpse. He headed towards where he originally saved Jerude.

Around fifteen minutes away from that spot, Kousuke reached a river. There, he began to dismantle the Draken's corpse. Fortunately or not, the entire body could be considered a treasure. From the most to least precious: Horn, claws, fangs, bones, and its hide. Despite the organs and its brain not being classified, they are still valuable for those researching for the parts' potential uses. Some chefs would also be highly interested in the Draken's meat, so that was also a pretty penny that can be earned by selling. If the gamey smell is removed, it's taste and texture is said to be comparable to the highest class beef.

「I'll give the meat to the village」(Kousuke)

With the earnings he will gain from the everything else, gifting the meat and burying the innards and brain made sense.

He began to wash off the excess blood from the dismantled parts and his knife. He wrapped up the precious parts and hung them on top of a tree. He kept the meat wrapped up with him since he didn't want wild beasts to take it away. It was still leaking a little blood, but it'll be completely drained as he walks.

With everything handled here, he began his return back to the previous spot. The blood attracted a few animals along the way, but they were easily killed. He couldn't be bothered with dismantling those, so he left them alone.

「It's gone. Well, it's expected」(Kousuke)

Standing where he originally found the yellow object, Kousuke began to scan the surrounding. It's a living creature he was chasing, so it moving from place to place was expected.

「I wonder if it left any trails」(Kousuke)

Despite his scans, the most he found were some of its fur.

He saw some animal prints, but without know the exact shape of this yellow monkey's feet, they were pretty much useless.

With no lead to go with, Kousuke began to patrol in a circle with the village as the center.

Around twenty minutes later. Amidst the numerous leaves, he spotted something yellow. Kousuke paused for a moment to confirm what he saw wasn't a mistake. With steady footsteps, he slowly approached the entity and confirmed that it was the yellow monkey.

The monkey did not notice Kousuke's presence and was grooming itself on a tree branch.

『I have to capture it right? I hope it doesn't notice me closing in. Oh wait, I can just put it to sleep with magic』(Kousuke)

While hiding behind a tree, he began the incantation softly.

The monkey began to sway and slumped onto the trunk of the tree.

「It looks like it worked」(Kousuke)

Kousuke approached the tree the monkey was on quickly. Hopping up to the branch, he easily captured the sleeping monkey.

「What is this smell?」(Kousuke)

Kousuke furrowed his brow as he caught an unusual scent. It was neither good or bad, just very peculiar. He guessed it was just this monkey's unique smell and continued to walk with the monkey in tow.

Feeling a little happy with how easy this way, he began to travel back to the village. Draken meat in one hand and a monkey in the other. With a full hand, he decided he'll pick up the rest of the stuff later.

「Damnit, leave me alone!」(Kousuke)

Not even ten minutes later, Kousuke was already assaulted by numerous monsters. He just kicked to death an orc right now. Just before, he kicked away a one-horned ogre. Despite only being able to kick, everything was handle with a single kick so far. Without rest, he was continuously assaulted by one monster after another.

He couldn't understand why this was happening now when it was significantly quieter before. He suspected that this forest had a lot more monster then he originally guessed. He paused for a moment and glanced at the monkey.

「It must be this fella's fault」(Kousuke)

The constant attacks only happened after he captured this monkey. He knew how well he could conceal himself, so it was obviously not a coincidence that something else was causing this.

「So that smell before was a pheromone that attracts monsters」(Kousuke)

These monsters must have invaded when this monkey came to this forest. With such evidence at hand, this was the only likely conclusion.

There was something that didn't make sense to him though. When the monkey was grooming itself, there were no monsters around. If it was releasing its pheromone at that time, why was nothing chasing it?

「Wait a second... I remember I didn't smell anything while it was grooming itself」(Kousuke)

Kousuke fervently tried to recall the moment before he put the monkey the sleep. And he was 100% sure, it didn't smell while it was grooming itself.

「Maybe it can control when to emit it? That doesn't make sense since it's asleep right now and it's rampantly spreading out. Does this mean it only emits this pheromone when its asleep? What the heck...」(Kousuke)

This behavior seemed completely contradictory in Kousuke's mind. If it attracted these monsters while it was asleep, isn't it just asking to be killed?

He couldn't make sense of any of this anymore. Kousuke shook his head in denial, he didn't believe that this was the actual truth.

「Alright, no point overthinking it. What should I do now... I can't bring this thing back with me to the village」(Kousuke)

Not willing to expose the village to any danger, returning there for the mean time was postponed. The alternative to continue getting assaulted by monsters was also rejected.

For a brief moment, he was tempted to kill it so it would stop attracting monsters, but he remembered the father's request.

「Ah」(Kousuke)

He felt stupid for worry so much about this, the answer was really simple.

「I just need to wake this monkey up. If my weird guess from before is actually right, it should stop attracting monsters when its awake.

Bringing the monkey to the village when its awake would be safe and I'll be able to figure out what to do with it」(Kousuke)

He put down the Draken meat.

Kousuke frowned slightly since this monkey wouldn't wake up even from all that fighting earlier. He began to cast a spell and a giant ball of cold water appeared above the monkey's head. With a splash, the monkey's eyes snapped open and began to screech in shock.

「The smell should be disappearing soon」(Kousuke)

Ignoring the monkey's struggle in his arm, he picked back up the meat and continued back to the village.

The smell was completely gone around five minutes later and no more monsters were assaulting him.

Feeling happy with this success, Kousuke increased his pace slightly.

Upon returning, Kousuke immediately headed to Jerude's home. He asked the mother if there was a cage to keep the monkey in for the mean time. The monkey seemed to have calmed down, or it was simply too tired to struggle at this point.

She said there was none at home, but the village storehouse would have one. Kousuke left the Draken meat to her and headed to the storehouse with Jerude.

「It's in here-pyo」(Jerude)

In front of the two was the largest building in the village. Around the entrance were some rusted tools piled up on a pull-cart.

「We can just go in?」(Kousuke)

「Mm」(Jerude)

It didn't even take the two five minutes to find the cage.

It was a sturdy, wooden cage and based off what Kousuke felt from the monkey's earlier struggle, it didn't have the strength to break free from it.

Stuffing the monkey in the cage, he brought it over to where Egan and the rest were staying. He peeked inside and noticed they were all still asleep.

「What are you doing afterwards-pyo?」(Jerude)

「I left some things behind in the woods so I'm heading to grab them now. I'll probably get some rest at an inn after that」(Kousuke)

「There's no inn here-pyo」(Jerude)

「Oh, I forgot. But I can borrow a vacant house right? I'll rely on you to lead me to one later, okay?」(Kousuke)

「I don't think there are any more vacant places-pyo」(Jerude)

「Really? Well, this is a little troubling」(Kousuke)

「Then.. then stay at my place. We have plenty of room-pyo!」(Jerude)

「No, I don't want to cause any troubles」(Kousuke)

「Mom and dad won't say no-pyo!」(Jerude)

Before he could answer, Jerude grabbed and dragged Kousuke back to the house.

It was just when the mother returned from her errands. Jerude explained to his mother what was happening. The mother didn't disagree with the request. With no displeasure on her face, she told Kousuke he could stay as long as he wanted. It was a little worrying to Kousuke since she didn't hesitate at all to give her approval. In the end, he could only accept so he gave her his thanks. The mother's face brightened and announced she'll set up a feast for tonight for everyone, Kousuke and Egan's group included.

When Kousuke returned back from the woods with the goods, Jerude's father was already home. He already agreed to letting Kousuke stay for the night.

Jerude clung onto Kousuke for stories outside of the forest. He began to tell where he's gone, people he met, and the food he ate.

While the two were engrossed in their conversation, Jerude's father returned with Egan and his party.

At that moment, a rich aroma was filling the entire home.

「Feel rested?」(Kousuke)

「YOU!」(Egan)

Egan and his party ran up to Kousuke. Kousuke grabbed and lowered their point hands and Jerude's father tried to stop them as well.

「There's no time for us to be resting!」(Egan)

「As your attending doctor, I cannot ignore the fatigue you all have built up. You would have all just gotten injured again, or possibly die」(Kousuke)

「That's right, Sir Egan. We knew just how worn out you all were and if you were to have continued to force yourselves, you would have definitely collapsed」(Jerude's father)

「I went out to patrol instead and even got the monkey, everything's fine.

That monkey's the cause of all these monsters appearing, right?」(Kousuke)

Egan nodded in agreement.

「Dinner's ready, everyone」(Jerude's mother)

The mother entered the room with a huge tray filled with dishes. With her entrance, the situation diffused and everyone gave their thanks for the food.

「Oh stop it you guys. This is my only way of thanking you all for saving my little boy, don't be so serious」(Jerude's mother)

The mother quipped as she organized the table.

The dinner was a cream stew filled with venison and vegetable, freshly gathered wild plant salad, and freshly baked bread. With their current monster crisis, this meal was truly a feast.

Egan and his party ate while feeling both ashamed and thankful.



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