Chapter 34 – A Hairball Appears!
“…Is it…an Armor Boar?”
I muttered while looking at the dust cloud that rose in the south.
“If it is, then it must be a great herd of them… I must go and warn the village!”
I was less surprised by the sudden approach of a great herd, and more by the fact that Iria had jumped off the tower as if it was nothing.
Iria landed lightly on her feet and then dashed towards the village.
Sh-she really was amazing… The tower was at least ten beters tall.
A human would normally break some bones. No, they would probably just die.
“…Still, a herd of Armor Boars, huh?”
In general, Armor Boars did not move in herds.
However, if they were being raised by the Demon King’s army, then perhaps they had been trained to move in groups for charge attacks.
“…But could the Demon King’s army really be so close to us?”
It was true that the humans and the Demon King’s army fought in these territories.
In the past, it had been under the Demon King’s rule.
However, it was hard to think they would come all of the way here.
In the south, there were clusters of human military cities and fortresses. Surely they would not have allowed an army to slip past them.
Or perhaps they had come by sea…
That seemed unlikely as well.
The Demon King’s army didn’t have shipmaking skills.
On the other hand, the humans had a naval harbor on the southern coast. It was there that the navy fought against sea monsters.
They would not have allowed the Demon King’s host to reach the shore.
“Still…they seem a little slow for Armor Boars…”
If they were Armor Boars, they would surely reach us in less than ten minutes.
However, the dust cloud was not moving that fast.
“It might be some other army… I think I better go and have a look.”
I got down from the tower and climbed onto one of the horses that I had waiting there. Then I dashed off to the south.
Eventually, I noticed that someone was running parallel to me.
The small wolf…werewolf Melk.
“Joshua. I heard from Iria. Everyone is prepared to fight.”
“I see. But if this really is a horde of Armor Boars, then even we cannot win. We’ll have to stay behind the walls and wait it out.”
It might mean losing all of the tents and houses outside of the walls, but there was no replacing a lost life.
“But they seem a little slow for Armor boars… Huh!?”
As they became closer, I realized what it was that was causing the dust cloud.
They were black hairballs… No, sheep-like creatures.
And there were about a hundred of them.
They were all eating grass…well, devouring it ravenously as they approached. So that’s what was causing it.
They weren’t ordinary sheep.
They had two spiraled horns that were abnormally large, and the tips were sharp like a blade. Even their size was at least twice that of a normal sheep.
“I think those are…Mopes.”
I muttered as I got off of my horse.
I had heard that the Mopes were the result of the Demon King’s army turning sheep into monsters, in order to acquire better wool and milk.
The wool of a mope was strong against fire and heavy impact, and was very difficult to cut.
Furthermore, the cloth that was woven from it was very smooth to the touch, and extremely warm.
The milk was also delicious, and was said to have a sweet and rich flavor.
And so both the wool and milk were sold between humans at a high price. At least ten times more than a normal sheep.
Because of this, many had tried to raise Mopes of their own. However, they were vicious and intelligent creatures, and none could handle them.
They were constantly rebellious, and many people died by their horns. Even worse, Mopes were carnivorous.
And so if you wanted to acquire the wool of a Mope, then you had to take it off their dead body.
“While we could use the wool, facing such a big herd… ?!”
I then noticed that the Mope in the lead was looking our way with red eyes.
“Baaahhh!! Human! Do you mean to get in our way!?”
So it could talk… Maybe it really was raised in the Demon King’s army.
Also, this one had especially large horns.
Perhaps it was the boss.
I told them that we meant them no harm, and then the other Mopes raised their voices, “Bahhh!!”
“It’s too bad, since the grass here is tasty!”
“Erase them! Kill them!”
And then the Mopes stopped eating and charged at us.
“Melk, let’s go!”
And so I rushed to the north on my horse.
However, if I continued in that direction, the village would be attacked.
“Melk! I’m going to go west once, and then make a turn to the south. We need to lose them.”
“In that case, I should do it, not you, Joshua.”
“No, it’s dangerous… Many would mourn if you died.”
“But the same could be said for you… Ah.”
Melk saw that people were running in our direction.
It was the werewolves.
They were howling loudly as they dashed towards us.
“Werewolves!? No, it’s too dangerous to face them head on!”
However, when I turned around, I saw that the Mopes had slowed down.
“Ba-baahh!? My body can’t…!?”
“I-I can’t move forward…! Tho-those dog-like things are scary…”
The Mopes had clearly slowed down.
And their faces had turned pale.
Could it be that they were afraid of the werewolves?
Wolves eat sheep… Mopes were sheep that were turned into monsters. And so perhaps they felt something when looking at the werewolves.
“In that case, it’s worth testing it out… Melk! Have the werewolves surround the Mopes!”
Melk barked at the wolves quickly.
Upon hearing the order, the werewolves quickly spread out.
The Mopes immediately looked confused by this movement.
“Bahhh! Do they mean to surround us!?”
In the blink of an eye, the werewolves surrounded the Mopes and began to howl.
“Baah!! I’m scared!”
As the Mopes were confused, I ran around them on my horse.
With production magic, I built fences out of wood materials, and trapped the Mopes inside.
“Wha-what is he doing!? We’ve been surrounded by wood!”
“And look over there! Riders are approaching us!”
Now the Mopes had nowhere to escape.
And then the boss Mope shouted.
“Baaahhhh! Stop your cowardly bleating! I’ll go and defeat them! …Bah!?”
The boss Mope suddenly fell silent.
This was because a woman with long platinum hair had suddenly pointed her sword at it.
I had only seen her from the back, but it was Iria, without a doubt.
She said something, and then the boss and other Mopes began to shiver with fear.
Were the last words from the Mope boss before fainting.