Ch . 127: Deriving at Destination
“Hey Loren . What happened to the bandits?”
“Just leave them . They’ll survive if they’re lucky, if not someone will probably finish them off . ”
Although he had been beat up by the girls, Klaus seemed to be completely fine .
Ange used to do him quite a bit, but he must have gotten tougher as it didn’t seem to have done anything .
But Loren wondered how he was fine after taking a beating from Layla .
He was even more confused how he survived the priestess Roll’s attacks, when he thought about it, he realized that there was no way a priestess could deliver blows that could knock a swordsman unconscious, and c.o.c.ked his head, wondering where that image came from .
“Anyways, it looks like you’ve gotten stronger than before . ”
“Of course . I’m backed by a nation and they expect great things from me . ”
Klaus told Loren something that he wasn’t sure if he should’ve heard .
But he guessed that since Klaus talked about it, it wasn’t a problem, so he asked him something .
“By nation, you mean…”
“Wagenburg, of course . Where else?”
Loren sighed in relief since he wasn’t sure what he was going to do if Klaus named somewhere else .
If an adventurer backed by another nation was acting in Wagenburg, it would’ve been a serious problem .
Loren knew those kinds of adventurers existed .
It was difficult for a nation to send soldiers or knights to others, but it wasn’t so for adventurers .
He also knew that among mercenary groups, there were groups that gathered information on other nations .
Of course, they weren’t talked about openly, but there were rumors that went around .
If they played it correctly, they could be backed and act on behalf of a nation, but if they were found out, the nation would ignore them, and the nation that found out about them would stop at nothing to destroy them, so it was a risky position to be in .
He had suspected his own group to be something of the sort, but when he asked his leader, he laughed it off, and since then, although he knew it had nothing to do with him, he kept his ears open .
It must’ve been the same for adventurers, where some might be working as spies, but it seemed like Klaus and his party were not .
“I don’t think Layla would mind since I feel like we’ll be seeing you two a lot . ”
“I think you should make sure to get confirmation first on these types of things . ”
Exasperated that Klaus had told him this, without getting permission from Layla, who seemed to have been sent by the nation, made a mental note to not tell Klaus anything that he didn’t want others to know about .
After traveling further and camping for another night, the company reached Rose’s village right before noon on the fourth day .
Other than the bandits that attacked them, there was nothing that bothered them, and Loren started to have slight hopes that this job would be a simple one .
But his hopes were immediately shattered when he saw the people from the village come out to greet them .
“Loren, there’s definitely something wrong with this village . ”
The villagers had come out and greeted them and started unloading the goods and carrying them back to the village, but the scene was very weird to Loren as well .
It was because there wasn’t a single male villager who came out .
On top of that, most of them were old or children, with only two young women .
“This village . Not only are there no men, there aren’t many women either . ”
“As much as I’d like to say such a village doesn’t exist, I’m seeing it with my own eyes…”
Rose’s village was a farming village .
There were gardens and fields around the village, and the villagers raised crops to make a living .
Not having any men to do the work was already abnormal, but there weren’t many young women as well, and with only the elderly and children, it would be impossible for the village to function .
Klaus and his party seemed to have picked up on the abnormality as well, as Klaus walked over to Loren with a tense expression .
“Loren, have you noticed?”
“Well, at this point, who wouldn’t?”
“Is this heaven?”
Loren stared straight into Klaus’ serious face, not sure what he had heard for a second .
He couldn’t see any playfulness in it, so when he realized that Klaus was being dead serious, Loren clenched his fist slowly .
“Wait a second! If you punch me my neck will break!”
“Don’t worry . I’ll hold back so it’ll just make a large dent in your face . ”
“That’s bad as well!”
Although it could barely be called an excuse, Loren gave up on hitting Klaus and lowered his fist, then grabbed his shoulder and turned him towards the villagers around the carriages .
“Do you see anything strange?”
“There are a bunch of women . What a wonderful village . ”
“…Is there anything else…?”
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Keeping his frustration back, Loren asked in a low tone, strengthening his grip on Klaus’ shoulder, and as Klaus grimaced at the pain in his shoulder, he wondered what kind or response Loren was expecting, and eventually found an answer .
“I know . No matter what happens, I won’t ask you to help for free . ”
“I mean, you could just stick to the original job…”
Loren couldn’t understand sticking your head further into trouble, but seeing Klaus go back to talking with Rose, with Rose continuing to thank him, he already knew the reason .
“Actually, there’s another village to the north of this one…”
“What about that village? Was there a conflict?”
“No, we are very friendly with each other . People came and went between the villages, but a few days ago, people stopped coming . ”
Since the people who came almost everyday suddenly stopped coming, Rose became worried and sent a few young men to check on them, but they never returned .
“We knew something was wrong, so this time we sent more men and asked the soldiers that protect our village to go with them…”
“They didn’t return either?”
Rose nodded at Klaus’ response .
Suddenly losing communications with another village wasn’t uncommon .
Villages could disappear anytime, whether it be attacked by monsters, raided by bandits, or get caught up in a battle .
It was more likely so if the village was still in the middle of building up .
“Seeing that both groups didn’t come back, I warned everyone to forget about the village and not to go close . ”
Rose’s decision was a bit late .
But it was still better than not trying anything, so she planned to write a pet.i.tion to the nation to do something about the situation, but even as she went through the process, for some reason, there were continuous cases of people walking over in the direction of the neighboring village .
“And because of that, all the men went off somewhere?”
“At first it was just the men, but then women started disappearing too, as if being attracted to something…”
If it were just men, Loren thought that maybe it was a succubus, but when she mentioned that it was both the men and the women, Loren wasn’t sure anymore .
It was apparent that the reason lied at the neighboring village, but with the investigation groups not coming back, there was no information at all .
“Master Klaus, if you are willing to help us, could you please go to the neighboring village and investigate what the problem is, and save the people who disappeared?”
“Well, I can’t say anything for now, but I’m not someone to leave a woman in distress . Please don’t worry . ”
“Ahh…Thank you so much Master Klaus…”
Rose jumped into Klaus’ arms as he showed a rea.s.suring smile .
Seeing him hug her back . Loren started wondering when Ange and the other girls would stab him to death and remove the problem .
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