10 Years After – 263

Chapter 263 – The Change in the Village

“Everyone, stop for one moment.”
I said, and then Ario and Ginny nodded silently and stopped.

“What is it, Grulf?”

Kathe tilted her head in puzzlement as she stopped. And then she ruffled Grulf’s fur.
But even when being petted, Grulf continued to growl.

And so I asked him.
“What is it? Grulf?”
“Grrr.”
Grulf growled in the direction of the village.

He was telling us that there was something inside that we needed to be wary of.
And so I activated Magic Search over a wide area.
With Magic Search, I could find anything that held magic energy, and know their size and numbers as well.

“Hmm.”

There were about a hundred beings with magic energy within the village.
That in itself was not strange. It was an ordinary small village.
However, Magic Search was not enough to differentiate between humans and dark ones.

In fact, it was even difficult to tell humans apart from large livestock.
Because of this, I also activated Magic Exploration.
And I cast it on everyone in the village.

To cast it remotely, without touching them, and over a hundred people at once was quite difficult. And it also used up a lot of magic energy.
However, it would save time.

“…There isn’t a single normal human there.”
“What?”
“What does that mean?”
Ario and Ginny’s eyes widened at my words.

“In other words, you mean that they are all goblins? And so we just have to blow away the entire village?”
“No, not that. Wait a minute, Kathe.”
“Very well.”

And then Ginny took out her bow as she asked,
“Mr. Locke. If they are not goblins…”
“There are about thirty vampire thralls. And seventy humans who have been charmed.”
The charmed humans were likely being kept as food for the vampires, as well as for hostages.

“Hmm. So there aren’t any vampires?”
“There weren’t any in the village.”

However, they were certainly somewhere close by.
After all, there were so many thralls and charmed people here.
So it wouldn’t just be a vampire or Arch Vampires.

“I think we should expect to see a high-ranking vampire here.”

Perhaps even a High Lord.
However, there was no need to bring up that possibility and scare the others.
After all, for Ario and Ginny, a Lord or High Lord were much too strong an enemy.

“I really do think we should just burn down the whole village.”
“Kathe. You can bring people back with proper treatment after they have been charmed.”
“…Is that so? In that case, we must help them.”

Kathe said with a nod.
But fighting while rescuing people would be very difficult.

“We will surely get in Mr. Locke’s way. Perhaps it’s best if we withdraw from here.”
“That’s true, brother.”

Ario and Ginny made the right decision.
However, I couldn’t have the two return alone.
Because there was the possibility that they would be attacked by a Vampire Lord on the way back, and turned into thralls.

“It’s too dangerous for you two to return. Besides, I think this quest itself was a trap.”
“A trap?”
If they could turn Adventurers into thralls, they would become very useful as pawns.

And so I thought that it was likely that they had tried to lure Adventurers here with a fake goblin hunting quest.

“In fact, the Vampire Lord I defeated with Shia had been trying to do just that.”
“So such things happen…”
“How horrible.”
Ario and Ginny were even more frightened now.

I had told them about the last time I had defeated a Vampire Lord with Shia.
However, I had not told them about the kind of things that the Vampire Lord was plotting.

“And so it’s too dangerous for you to go back.”
“Then we should all go back.”
Said Ario, but I shook my head.

“The thralls are one thing, but I cannot abandon the people who have been charmed.”

The seventy people who were charmed were people that I could save. I couldn’t leave them.
If I did, they might be turned into thralls.
And there was no turning back once you were a thrall.

“Kathe. Leave this to me. I want you to use your dragon form to take Ario and Ginny back to the royal capital and…”

But before I could finished, Magic Lance began to rain down from the sky above us.
There were dozens of them. Kathe and Grulf were quick to dodge them.
And I created a magic barrier to protect myself, Ario and Ginny.

—Gagagagagaga…

The sounds rang loudly as the magic lances struck the barrier.
They were incredibly powerful. And so they must have been made by a Vampire that was above a Lord.

“…Hey. That’s quite vicious for a first attack.”

Perhaps my prediction had been wrong then.
Because they couldn’t charm, let alone turn us into thralls if we were dead.

“So they aren’t trying to capture us!?”

Kathe was no longer able to dodge all of them, and so she created a barrier instead.
And I also created barriers to surround Grulf.

“I’ll figure out why they want us dead later. More importantly, come over here, Grulf.”
“Grau!”
And then Grulf ran towards me obediently.

Next Chapter

Koko wa Ore ni Makasete Saki ni Ike to Itte kara 10 Nen ga Tattara Densetsu ni Natteita

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