Murder Grizzly! D-Rank. Damn it.
I shouted to the carriage and then dismounted from Hyuga.
Just the carriage. Don’t leave everything to me. Adventurers stay.
However, a roar that seemed to shake the air around us echoed through the forest, and the horses stopped in their tracks. The roar reached my very core, and I couldn’t move.
“It’s Howl! Stay on your guard!”
I returned to myself at Oriore’s words, but it was too late. The Murder Grizzly was already in front of me, and swinging its arm. What speed!
Still, I tried raising my shield to block it, and the impact hit me like a truck. I jumped back at the same time to soften the force, but I was still thrown back five meters and rolled on the ground twice. I was completely winded and felt dizzy. Memories of an old motorcycle accident flashed in my mind. It was nostalgic now…
“Mr. Ajifu! Over here!”
But the continuing sounds of battle dragged me back to the present.
When I stood up on shaky feet, my shield fell from my arm. Tsk. My left hand was broken.
I somehow managed to reunite with Oriore, before falling to the ground. It seemed like Naren and Seppi were holding the battleline.
“Lu-mes-lot-lim! Dark Heal.”
I bore the terrible pain and straightened my left hands as much as possible as the healing magic was cast. I was used to it being broken, as it had happened many times while training at the school. It was the healing part that was painful.
A dark light enveloped my body, and a sharp pain shot through my left arm.
I downed a potion for good measure, and then checked to see that my left hand moved properly. Then I tossed the bottle away and returned to the fight.
The Murder Grizzly was riddled with small cuts, but it was still full of life. In the front, Naren was swinging his two-handed sword and keeping it at bay. In that case…!
As the giant bear swung its arms at Naren, Seppi unleashed arrows and her magic, Dark Ball, at it. This further angered the enemy.
And so I used the opportunity to go around it.
I kept my voice quiet so it wouldn’t hear, and then put all of my strength behind the bastard sword as I slammed it into the bear’s hindlegs.
The Murder Grizzly let out the weak sound as it fell on its haunches. Now!
Naren swung at its front legs, preventing the Murder Grizzly from turning around.
And so I swung down over the bear’s shoulder.
I could hear and feel the bones being severed under the blade, and the Murder Grizzly fell forward. Almost there!
I thrust my sword into the wound that was spraying blood, and then leaned forward with all of my weight.
The giant gray bear shuddered once and then became very still.
Just in case, Naren stabbed it in the neck to confirm that it was dead. It would be no good to let your guard down.
“Aye, thank you.”
Naren and I bumped fists.
“Hey! Me too!”
As Seppie was thrusting both of her fists out behind me, Naren and I looked at each other and chuckled before touching our fists to hers as well.
“So, what should we do with it?”
“It is much too large to carry.”
Oriore asked, but taking it with us would be impossible.
“The village is quite close to us now. Perhaps we should go there and come back for it later? That is, unless the slimes get to it first.”
“That is our only option.”
“I’ll remove the magic stone then.”
And so the three of us flipped it over and removed the magic stone from its chest. It was the size of a ping pong ball. The same as a Direwolf.
The Forest Alliance were all impressed.
And then we somehow managed to move it to the side of the road, where it wouldn’t get in anyone’s way. Then we resumed our journey to the village.
“My level went up!”
“Scout! Don’t let your guard down!”
Such were the conversations as we went down the road. In general, there would be less monsters in an area after a very strong one appeared. And so things were quite peaceful on the way. And then we reached the village in the forest.
As it was deep into the forest, the village was surrounded by a deep trench and a wall made of sturdy logs. It was practically a fortress.
Matters had already been discussed with the chief, and so after introductions, the villagers moved at Mr. Kibie’s direction.
We were led to a small hut where we put down the orcs and jars. There were several barrels lined up in the hut. I suppose they contained the blood with medicinal properties.
“Everyone. I will now begin the process of fixing the medicinal effect. As the villagers will help me with this, will you go out and retrieve the thing?”
The thing, eh? I suppose Mr. Kibie wanted it to be a surprise.
“Very well. Can the villagers lend us a hand as well?”
As several youths volunteered, we took the now empty carriage back to collect the Murder Grizzly.
The reaction of the youths upon seeing the Murder Grizzly was not a disappointment. Hehe.
Thankfully, only a few slimes had gathered around it, and the skin looked like it would still be usable.
But when we dragged into the carriage, it began to creak loudly. Whill it be alright?
The horses also seemed to struggle on the way back. Just a little farther now!
And when we somehow returned to the village before sundown…
We were greeted with exclamations of surprise. The members of the Forest Alliance looked very proud. Hehehe.
The children touched the Murder Grizzly with shining eyes. When we carried it to the village butcher, they were still working on the orc.
“Should I help?”
“No, there isn’t enough space to do so much at once. Besides, it won’t even fit in the hut. Leave it over there.”
That night, we carved the Murder Grizzly, roasted the orc meat, and celebrated with some drink. The villagers provided the drink in exchange for the orc meat. Of course, Oriore became quite drunk, surprising the villagers.
The next morning, I was eating breakfast while watching Oriore, who was wrapped up in Murder Grizzly skin, when Mr. Kibie appeared. It seemed that he had been working all night.
“I finally finished most of the work. I just need to move it to the bottles and load them onto the carriage now. So I will get some sleep. I’ll have them wake me up at midday, and then you can help me.”
“Of course. That’s fine, isn’t it, Ajifu?”
“Yes, I will help.”
“Thank you. As planned, we will depart tomorrow morning.”
The next day, after a good night’s sleep, with the rising of the sun, we left the village as planned.
While there were several monster attacks on the road, we were never in real danger, and arrived safely at the royal capital.
Voice rang in the tavern.
We were celebrating the completion of the quest. Not only that, but the materials from the Murder Grizzly and other monsters had fetched a good price, and so we were all in a good mood.
But more than anything, the road to D-Rank was now much more clear.
“Hmph. Ajifu, you should really consider joining our party!”
Stop it. I might get tempted.
“I might consider it if Naren joins the dojo so that we can train together.”
“You have to be joking. Swordsmanship is a method, not a goal.”
“That’s right! You’re strong enough, Mr. Ajifu.”
“No, not at all. I’m not there yet.”
It wasn’t that I wanted to become some master in the way of the sword. However, I wanted to continue until I felt that I truly understood how to handle one in terms of skill.
“I understand how you feel. If anything, your mentality is similar to that of an elf, Mr. Ajifu.”
In this world, elves lived for a long time. Apparently, it was around three-hundred years on average. And because they lived for so long, most of them liked to stick to doing one thing.
“It’s less rare than an elf drunkard, anyway.”
“That’s for sure!”
Orioore slammed his mug on the table, interrupting their laughter.
“Are you going to let an elf out drink you, human?”
Ah, he was already drunk. That was so quick.