“Ah, you have come. You kept me waiting.”
After chasing the three forest wolves, we had arrived in a clearing in the forest that was a meadow. Among the pack of fifty or more wolves, stood the platinum giant wolf, Beowulf.
“You were waiting?”
“Indeed. I too have been thinking of setting off on my journey.”
Was that so. Then this was perfect timing. Daniela and I made our way through the gathering of wolves until we stood right by Beowulf’s feet. Then we sat down near the wolf who was lying on the ground and explained why we had come.
“We have come to ask of you a small request.”
Beowulf raised his head and looked at me. There was amusement in his eyes.
“Unfortunately, it’s a rather one-sided request… But it would really help if you would like, not attack any towns, villages or people. This is really an issue on the human side of things.”
“Hmm. I understand what you are saying.”
“Humans have larger numbers. They could gather together as a large group and have you killed. And well, that won’t make me too happy.”
“Hahaha. But I am a monster am I not?”
“Even so. Besides, I wouldn’t be able to keep my promise with you then.”
I say with a shrug of my shoulders. I was sympathizing with a monster… I couldn’t really complain now about being treated as an outsider.
“In that case, I cannot reject such a request.”
Beowulf seemed to smile and then laughed. I couldn’t help but laugh as well. This wasn’t exactly a friendship between man and monster. Perhaps it was more like comradery. Perhaps we would always be fighting together. Just as Beowulf had accepted me, I would create a place for Beowulf to fight. Keep him away from humans that would hunt him, while I honed my own skills and techniques. That way, our relationship could be maintained.
“Well then, I think I will depart now.”
“You’re leaving already?”
I ask as Beowulf stands up.
“There is no reason for me to stay here. And I am looking forward to seeing this outside world.”
“Right. We’re leaving too. And if we ever meet again somewhere, well, I won’t hold back when that happens.”
Beowulf looked down at me and raised his front leg and thrust his curled paw at me. Heh, he had a very masculine side to him.
I too made a fist and thrust it out and bumped it against his. Then we both burst into laughter. Seeing us, Daniela couldn’t help but laugh, though her expression said ‘these men…’
“Yeah, see you. Beowulf.”
I watched as Beowulf slowly walked away with heavy footsteps. Several forest wolves were following after him. Family? Guards? I didn’t know. The remaining forest wolves looked at us and then scattered throughout the forest. We would likely never fight them here again.
“We should leave as well. We need to prepare for our travels.”
“Aye. We will return today, prepare tomorrow and depart on the day after that.”
Daniela said with a nod. The road back home was very peaceful. Except for the area around my damn feet.
□ □ □ □
“I see, it will be lonely here.”
“You’ve been very kind to me, Maris.”
“We are grateful.”
I and Daniela bowed. Maris laughed and slapped us on the shoulder.
“This isn’t a permanent farewell. And I’m sure you will do well out there!”
“Yes, we will come back.”
“Take care yourself and protect Daniela, okay? You are a man after all!”
“Ahaha… If anything, she will probably have to protect me.”
“That’s quite regrettable… Anyway, you two help each other and stay strong!”
She was a great person. We bowed again and thanked her. And then we left the Spring Wind, the best inn in all of Fhiraldo.
Our preparations were finished. Well, we already had a tent and other outdoor supplies. Things we had used during our training camp. There would be a lot to carry, but at least they were of good quality.
And so we went to the central guardhouse to say our farewells to Russell.
□ □ □ □
“Ah, Asagi. What is it?”
“We’re going to be leaving town tomorrow. So just thought I’d say goodbye.”
“Well, that is a surprise!”
“Yeah… But we’ll be back one day.”
“I see… I will miss you.”
“Hehe… Thank you. Take care, Russell.”
“And you, Asagi! Ah! Wait there a minute!”
“Ummm…it was somewhere around…. Ah, here it is. Here, take this with you.”
“What’s this? Ah, a filthy old bag.”
“You stupid bastard. This is a ‘hollow bag.’”
“What, you do not know what that is? It is a bag with dimension magic cast on it. A rare item that allows you to carry more than what it looks like it could hold.”
“You’re kidding. How did you come by this?”
“I picked it up a long time ago after killing some bandits who were infesting the area.”
“Hmm, are you sure? This has to be very valuable.”
“Think of it as a parting gift. Don’t worry about it.”
“Got it. Thanks, Russell. Take care!”
“You too! Send my regards to Daniela as well!”
□ □ □ □
With that done, I now had a very dirty, *cough*…vintage bag on my back. Inside of it were food supplies, the tent and the four weapons we had taken from the ancient elven ruins. There were other smaller things inside as well.