Chapter 17 – Escorting quest – Part three

As we take apart the wolves we took down, Dalton and the other merchants discuss with Siphon what to do next.

The problem is the tigerwolf that ran away.
We let it get away, but they say it’s strange that it came so close to the road in the first place.

“Let’s advance as much as we can today.
Please be aware that means moving forward as far as we can even after the sun has gone down.”

We will have the horses run as fast as they can, to put as much distance as possible between us and the forest.

Dalton gives the command, and the wagons start moving again.

“It really is strange for a tigerwolf to come to the outer edge of a forest.
If it ran away after losing a turf war, that means something even more threatening is in the forest.
And if it came here because it wasn’t finding prey, that means the forest’s ecosystem is crumbling.”

According to what I read before, tigerwolves are usually sighted deep inside the forest.
They are pretty smart, and make the decision to run away when they realize they are at a disadvantage, so they’re said to be monsters that are difficult to hunt.
Of course, that’s also because they’re strong.
Because of this, their fur sells at high prices to rich people looking for luxury items.
I guess those patterns and colors really do look nice.

Today we’re advancing for a while longer even after the sun has set.
We end up making camp when the horses stop moving.

We take care of the horses, quickly prepare our dinner and eat, and decide to have more people keeping watch.
Worst case scenario, people will have to sleep while we’re on the move again tomorrow.

We can hear howling in the distance from time to time, and I see some people flinch when it happens, but it can’t be helped.
And me? I rest well, probably because I have Presence Detection.
It seems people are split between thinking I’m brave or stupid.

My excuse is that I’m tired because seeing a tigerwolf for the first time made me so nervous.

After a night shrouded with tension, we silently eat breakfast and leave.

Some people have bags under their eyes because they couldn’t rest well.

Rurika and Chris are used to traveling, but they also look tired, so I tell them to rest.
I’m going on top of the canopy today.

I feel more wind than usual, and it feels like the clouds are passing by us more quickly.
I can see black clouds in the distance.

I’m just now noticing that it hasn’t rained since I came to this world.
Is this a region where it doesn’t rain a lot? Is it not a rainy season? Does it just not rain at all? I don’t know, but the fact that I’m just now noticing something that wasn’t on my mind at all makes me realize I probably had more on my mind than I thought.

I’m probably missing a lot of things that are common sense in this world, but I can’t just casually ask either.
I’m sure if I do, people will just ask me what I’m talking about.

Half a day passes, and so does the heavy mood, as we can clearly see some distance between us and the forest.
It feels liberating.

“But still, a tigerwolf… We should report this when we get to town.
There was a pack of wolves near the capital too, so this could all be an omen.”

“There hasn’t been a demon attack in a while.
Do you think that could be related?”

“I don’t know, but you can never be too careful.
We should at least form a reconnaissance team.

It would be great if we could hunt it, but we need to at least push it back or we won’t feel safe crossing through here.
What’s worse is the idea that there could be something that pushed the tigerwolf all the way here.”

“Worst case scenario, we have to go back to the capital through an alternate route.”

I listen to Siphon and the others talking.

We managed to fight the monster back because we have the numbers and everyone handled it well, but we’re told that if we were to encounter it while on our own, we should immediately run away as fast as we can.

Tigerwolf hunting quests can be accepted by C ranked parties and above, but it’s customary to only go after it after making thorough advanced preparations.
Normally, people make use of traps and magic to make sure it can’t get away during their fight, especially since failure to hunt it after accepting the quest results in a penalty.

This means people who don’t look into what a tigerwolf is like beforehand, often end up failing their quest.

“We probably wouldn’t hunt a tigerwolf.
It’s not like we’re working as adventurers to become known.
It would be profitable, but it’s best to have a more reliable source of income.”

Says Rurika.

Because of our forced march after encountering the tigerwolf, the distance we cover in a single day has gone down drastically.

We only reach the town at night, two days later than we anticipated.


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