Investigating the Southern Valley
The south gate where I was to meet up with Daniela was crowded with other Adventurers. For a second, I wondered if they were going to investigate the area too, but from what I could hear, they were just on a hunting quest. I could hear ‘orcs’ being said several times.
But more importantly, where’s Daniela? Where’d the lovely girlfriend go…
I jumped at the sudden voice from behind me and turned around to see the familiar face.
“Don’t scare me like that… Do you want to kill me?”
“You walked right past me, so I stopped you.”
Oh. I hadn’t even seen her. Maybe I was too focused on trying to hear what the others were saying. In any case, we were reunited again, and so we started to walk towards the gate. Even now, I could hear them going on about orcs.
“They say that orcs have appeared on the other side of the valley.”
“Five days ago. A village was ravaged by them. An Adventurer who was visiting home discovered the site and quickly came back and asked the guild for help.”
“So they’re going out to deal with the orcs?”
“It seems like it.”
I see… So that’s why there were so many of them. The number of orcs must be pretty bad. I fought against the orcs a while ago, but the thought of going against a horde of them made me shiver.
“Did you hear anything interesting about the valley itself?”
“A few things about these mysterious shadows. First of all, sightings only started to increase one week ago. The valley is usually shrouded in mist, but the mist had thinned that day, and a merchant who was crossing the bridge saw several wriggling figures.”
“A misty valley, huh? Isn’t it likely to be mist goblins?”
“Apparently, not. Because mist goblins do not show themselves when the mist is thin. And the merchant claimed that these figures were ‘large.’”
Large… The mist goblins were quite small.
“And they never investigated it until now?”
“The orc attack was reported just two days later. The guild had to assemble a party to hunt down the orcs, and the investigation was delayed. But there have been other sightings in the meantime.”
“I see, and those guys are what they assembled.”
“Yes. As an Adventurer’s City, Replant has a sizable fighting force. And so their connections with the empire’s military is kept at a minimum. So the army will not be involved here. At most, there may be someone for sending messages.”
I looked around us as I listened to Daniela, and saw that there really were only Adventurers here. No one was dressed in a military uniform. Not that I even knew what the empire’s uniforms looked like…
We were now just in front of the large gate. We told the gatekeeper that we were going to investigate the valley, and showed him our status cards. We didn’t have resident cards, because we weren’t Replant citizens. When that was finished, we were allowed through. We thanked him and went on our way.
Flatlands spread out beyond the south gate. There were a few trees here and there, but it was mostly a clear, unobstructed view. There was a rocky area that could be seen near the horizon. The village that had been attacked by orcs would be somewhere over there.
“It is a five days journey to that village. And three days to the valley.”
“Well, we will take it easy. We are not going to be slaying any orcs.”
True. I turned around and saw the noisy clanging of the Adventurers party behind us. I highly doubted they would even make it in five days. And I didn’t like the idea of a large group of them tailing us. And so Daniela and I decided to gain some distance from them, by walking faster than we normally would.
And so we were able to arrive a whole day early. Two days after leaving Replant.