Ant Nest Extermination
“Mr Ajifu, thank you for coming.
Miyor said with a smile at the reception counter.
“It’s a forced request, sent out most politely. I didn’t really have a choice.”
I waved the summon sheet that had arrived in the village.
Even while working mainly in Nanaze village, it wasn’t as if I had no ties to the Suelbur Adventurers Guild. I sold the materials from hunted monsters at the guild, and I also had to accept quests sometimes in order to earn some actual money.
“The operation is scheduled for next week, on the day of light. Have you ever participated in a Killer Ant nest extermination?”
I had heard in advance that such quests appeared regularly, and after half a year in Suelbur, the day had finally come.
“No, this will be my first time. It would help if you could guide me through it.”
“Indeed… But I think it would be best if you asked the Adventurers instead of us. Soldiers and mercenaries will also participate in it. And since Adventurers will be acting as a group, they will be glad to help you.”
“Is that so? Well, I guess I’ll ask them then.”
After that, Miyor told me about the reward and location, and I left the desk.
Then I looked around the guild for someone to ask. For the most part, the atmosphere amongst the Adventurers seemed cheerful.
Even if it was a forced quest, it was not an emergency. It was done regularly, so perhaps they were all used to it. If anything, they seemed to be looking forward to working with the soldiers and mercenaries.
However, the Adventurers who had equipment that looked low-ranking, seemed to have darker expressions. I had heard about the difficulties of carving the Killer Ants. Well, I wished them luck.
As I wandered around the guild, someone called to me, and so I turned around. It was two boys, who worked as Adventurers. Rowar and Nenreko. I had met them in the forest a while back. And since they worked in Suelbur, it did not take long to meet them again. Ever since they thanked me, we were close enough to talk every time I was in the area.
“We finally reached F-Rank! See!”
He happily showed me his plate.
“That’s great. Congratulations. Are you two going to participate in the forced quest?”
If you were F-Rank, there was no penalty for not joining, if I remembered correctly.
“Since everyone else is, we mean to. Right, Rowar?”
“Aye. In this town, you’ll have to do it eventually if you want to be an Adventurer. Besides, the pay is good, and it’s not too dangerous. I will finally be able to buy a new sword!”
They did not seem as brooding as the other low-ranking Adventurers.
“Have you ever participated in a Killer Ant nest extermination quest before?”
“No. There was none while we were G-Rank. While they all say that it’s hard, it’s rare that you’ll have to fight. If it’s not dangerous, then it would be a waste to not participate.”
So it was their first time. Even if there was no penalty, it was likely not easy to refuse a request from the guild that regularly gave you work. Especially low-rankers. They tended to have stronger bonds to their town.
“I see. It’s my first time as well. Let’s all do our best.”
As we were not the same rank, we would not be together on the field. But we would do what we had to do.
Normally, Adventurers didn’t talk to each other much about requests. But sometimes, there were ones where we all participated together. And so when I explained that it was my first time, the others were happy to answer any questions that I had.
According to them, this nest was about mid-sized in scale, and was at the top of a cliff. Also, including the soldiers and mercenaries, there would be over 300 people participating. The soldiers were an especially large addition.
Soldiers were especially eager to raise their level, and fought actively. And so Adventurers were given more of a supporting role. As for the mercenaries, they had gathered from neighboring countries just for this.
300… Would I even have anything to do? This would be very different from the time I participated in an attack of a bandit fortress. If they were charging into a nest, there would not be much space for a large group to fight in.
But it wasn’t that I wanted to be on the frontlines. And so I would take the opportunity to sit back as a newcomer, and watch the example of the veterans.
I left the guild, feeling rather relaxed. The town was just as lively as usual. The mercenaries and soldiers who had come early seemed to be killing time. It was almost like a festival.
While I had come early as well, I was now worried about finding an inn. I went to the Young Leaf Gidodof Inn, which was the inn I stayed at when I first came to Suelbur, and was able to secure a room. While I was a week early, it was nearly packed. That showed just how many people were participating.
While I spent my time in Suelbur, the closer to the day we were, the more lively the town became. Sometimes, there was fighting, but all kinds of products were selling, and it was clearly good for the town. It showed that this was more than just a forced quest.
Three days before the operation, some of the soldiers and Adventurers started to set up the frontline camp, and so the quest had essentially been started.
“The Killer Ants are coming again!”
The voice of the Adventurer who guarded the area around the camp rose, and what was clearly a fighting force of excessive size, rushed forward. I watched from the side as I slammed an axe into a log.
“Alright, next one.”
“It sure is different when you have a skill.”
I swung my axe along with some soldiers and low-ranking Adventurers. Recently, I had started to build my own house in Nanaze village. Thanks to that, my Carpentry skill had leveled up. And so I was a bigger help with construction here, since it was understaffed, rather guarding.
At a good pace, I turned the logs into building materials. I felt better moving my body like this, rather than standing around.
“Ah, young lumberjack. Today, you’ll have to knock down more than trees.”
After cutting down so many trees, they were treating me like a lumberjack by the day of the operation.
“Oh, that’s my real job. There is no need to worry there.”
I said while patting the sword that hung on my belt. I could finally put down the axe. It was time for Mine Breaker.
“Warriors who care for your town! I’m glad that you’ve gathered! And now, we shall remove the threat of monsters endangering the peace with our own hands!”
Count Mibdef Mujider shouted, and his voice echoed through the open path through the forest. Suelbur was located in the divine country of Lusnatos. And priests held much power, the lands were still governed by nobles. There was a king, but he was elected by the temple, and not by hereditary right.
To be honest, there probably weren’t that many people who were motivated ‘for the town.’ The materials from the Killer Ants would become their income, and the town sold them to other regions. Also, the influx of people helped the town’s economy. Mercenaries and soldiers had an opportunity to raise their level.
It was a quest that everyone benefited from. Well, aside from the Killer Ants that were targeted.
With the order, the line of soldiers advanced through the forest. Of course, the Killer Ants appeared immediately, and the battle commenced.
At this point, there was no need for scouts. The closer they got to the nest, the number of Killer Ants increased. The battle towards the front was especially vicious. And though some were wounded or covered in acid, they were quickly carried back and replaced by others.
Magicians would launch magic at large groups of enemies, while soldiers swung great hammers. That was the primary weapon of the advance guard. The weight of the hammers was a good match for the hard shells. I doubt they used them that often. Perhaps they were exclusively for Killer Ants. However, as they did not want to damage all of the materials, it seemed like they only aimed for the head.
And like that, as more and more of them emerged from the nest, the battle between Killer Ants and soldiers, mercenaries and Adventurers began to spread through the forest.