Black Cat Chapter 44: Guide

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“Mr. Laius, if you keep going a little further you will find a stream. The goblin’s nest is just up ahead along the stream.” (Nyango)


“I see it. Do you see anything?” (Laius)


“No, sir. Not a single goblin.” (Nyango)


“Okay, just stay vigilant.” (Laius)



 The day after our reunion at the adventurers’ encampment, I am guiding the party of B-rank adventurer Laius of Ibouro.


 Last night, while discussing information about the Bronze Wolf, Laius learned that I was familiar with the mountains surrounding the village and asked me to help.



 I’m with him as a guide, but I’m in the trees.


 Laius told me that they would protect me, but I wanted to act as a scout as well, so this is the way I was asked to do it.



 I have yet to obviously use void magic, only as an aid in jumping from branch to branch.


 It probably looks to Laius and the others as if I was hopping from branches normally.



 Raios belongs to a party called Chariot, which is said to be a three-man team with Gad, a shield-user, and Serge, who is an archer, their rear guard, and both are B-rank.


 Gad, the shield-user, is a skinhead rhinokin and looks like a rugby forward who is massive both vertically and horizontally.



 The reason he can easily hold a steel shield larger than a tatami mat with one hand is probably that he is using body enhancement magic.


 His face is like Cooking Papa, and although he is rugged, he is charming. [T/N: Cooking Papa is a manga serial.]



 The archer Serge is a horsekin, slender and tall, and very stylish.


 He has long chestnut-colored hair and has the air of a posh Italian stud.



“Branch to branch… He is like a monkey. Laius, where did you pick him up?” (Serge)


“In the guild in Ibouro, sort of.” (Laius)


“You two, that boy’s quite something. He’s got a nice physique. He seems to be training faithfully.” (Gad)


“Gad, even so, he’s a catkin, and only good for scouting.” (Serge)



 Serge, a B-rank adventurer like Laius, probably sees me as a somewhat light-footed catkin.


 Not that I expect to be recognized from the get-go, but I do want to do my bit to impress him.



 Even as I lead them to the goblin den, I’m hoping to find the Bronze Wolf before the three of them do, but I don’t see the bronze behemoth.


 On the contrary, I don’t see any deer or wild boar that I would normally see.



“Mr. Laius, normally I would see deer or something, but today I don’t see any at all.” (Nyango)


“Well, perhaps they are already in the Bronze Wolf’s territory.” (Laius)



 The mountain seems to have quieted down while we are climbing along the stream.



“By the way, Mr. Laius, are you sure you don’t mind if we leave those guys behind you alone?” (Nyango)


“I don’t mind. It’s not always possible for us to easily take them down. It’s better to have a lot of forces in case of emergency.” (Laius)



 Since we left the encampment, a group of four men has been following us.


 Perhaps they had eavesdropped on last night’s meeting.



 They followed us at a certain distance, not talking to us, but following us without hesitation.


 At a quick glance, it seemed to be a party of young adventurers, younger than the trio of Chariot.



 They were probably trying to parasite on a leading party and take advantage of any opportunity, but I wondered if it would work out that well.


 If I were Bronze Wolf, I would have targeted the four in the back rather than Chariot’s three.



 We climbed up along the stream and entered the woods, and after a short distance, we came to an open area below the cliff.


 There are no more trees to jump to, so I’m down on the ground too.



 A crack in the cliff ahead was the goblins’ nest, and the smell of blood was all around me.


 Pieces of flesh that used to be goblins were scattered here and there on the open ground.



“Mr. Laius, the Bronze Wolf climbed up the cliff and disappeared, probably.” (Nyango)


“Yes. Serge, the one who witnessed it said it was headed up, not down.” (Laius)



 Facing the crevice in the rock that was the goblin’s nest, the left side is a sheer cliff, but the right side is slightly sloped.


 If the Bronze Wolf climbed, it would be on this side.



“Nyango, follow from behind me.” (Laius)


“I understand.” (Nyango)



 The Chariot trio climbed up the slope on the right side, checking for any sign of the Bronze Wolf.


 The four adventurers who had followed us seemed to be examining the goblin remnants that were left behind.



 Judging from the movements of their hands, they seem to have guessed the size of the bronze wolf’s jaws from the teeth marks.


 This goblin’s nest is also where I was scouting the location for the autumn subjugation, but this means there’s no need to take it down.



 However, it would be necessary to dispose of the goblin corpses scattered around the area to prevent other monsters from settling in.


 As I followed Laius up the steep slope, I looked back at the four of them and saw a man who appeared to be a swordsman walk up to the goblin den and suddenly his upper body disappeared.



 The Bronze Wolf suddenly emerged from the goblin den, and the remaining three were startled and stood frozen.


 Moving quickly, the Bronze Wolf cleaves the second adventurer with the claws of its right paw.



“Uwaaaaa…” (Adventurer)



 The Bronze Wolf was about to attack the third adventurer with its sharp fangs when the remaining two screamed out.



“[Shield]!” (Nyango)



 Deploying a very hard [Shield] in front of its face, Bronze Wolf stopped upon bumping its nose, but the claws of its left front paw cleaved the third adventurer.


 The Bronze Wolf was ready to bite the fourth adventurer, who suddenly flew backward in a great leap.



“Tsk, how are you avoiding that?” (Serge)



 Just before Serge’s arrow was about to hit him, the Bronze Wolf sensed it and dodged.



“Stand up! Get up and run away!” (Laius)



 Laius shouted as he raced down the steep slope he had just climbed.



“Nyango! Fire, hit it with fire-attribute magic!” (Laius)


“Understood, [Burner]!” (Nyango)



 I could only think of protecting myself against the attacking Bronze Wolf, but if I’m going to defeat it, I should attack it.


 [Burner] is a combination of a fire magic tool and a wind magic tool made with void magic.



 I use fire magic tools for cooking and wind magic tools for my off-road bike, so I’m pretty good at making them.


 I combined the two to create [Burner] that spewed nearly two meters of flame. I shot four right in front of the Bronze Wolf’s face.



“Gwaoooooo!” (Bronze Wolf)



 Bronze Wolf jumped back and rolled around, clutching its nose.



“This time it’s a little different, eat this.” (Serge)



 Serge drew his bow and muttered something before releasing the arrow.



“Eh!?” (Nyango)



 The arrow flew in a trajectory that seemed to fly far over the Bronze Wolf’s head.



“Come, come at me!” (Laius)



 While I was distracted by the arrow’s trajectory, Laius was right in front of Bronze Wolf.



“Grrrrr… Graaaa!” (Bronze Wolf)



 The arrow Serge released rapidly changed its trajectory and pierced the left eye of the Bronze Wolf, which turned to face Laius and roared.



“Zuuuaaaa!” (Bronze Wolf)



 While the Bronze Wolf flinched, Laius thrust his long sword into it, but it seems that the hard hairs are in the way, preventing him from dealing a deep blow.


 On the contrary, Bronze Wolf comes swinging down with his left paw.



“I won’t let you! Hmph!” (Gad)



 A heavy metallic dull sound echoed, and the Bronze Wolf’s left front leg was blocked by a gigantic shield held by Gad.



“Don’t be lazy, Nyango. Let’s go after it!” (Serge)


“Ah, yes!” (Nyango)



 I was watching the battle between Laius and the others when Serge, who was drawing his bow, yelled at me.


 But I guess that means I’m considered a fighting force, right?



“[Burner]!” (Nyango)



 This time, I launch four burners, surrounding its torso.



“[Homing Arrow]!” (Serge)



 The arrow that was shot once again flies in the wrong direction, but Serge looks after it with a serious expression.


 Perhaps he is using wind-attribute magic to change its trajectory.



“Grrruuuaa!” (Bronze Wolf)



 The Bronze Wolf, whose torso was burned, leaped back, breaking the magical tool made with the void attribute, and revealed its anger by shaking its body in fury.


 Bronze Wolf shook its head and escaped at the moment when I thought that the arrow that changed the trajectory would pierce his right eye.



“Tsk, what’s with that reaction!” (Serge)


“How about this one then, [Burner]!” (Nyango)


“Gyauuuu…” (Bronze Wolf)



 The target was the Bronze Wolf’s privates.


 The fire magic tool and the wind magic tool are both stacked one on top of the other, making them more powerful.


 The Bronze Wolf let out a scream, jumped up and rolled, then fled like a rabbit.



“Damn it! [Burner], [Burner], [Burner]…” (Nyango)



 I activated [Burner] to block the Bronze Wolf’s path, but it was able to dodge them and escape.



“Damn, it escaped.” (Nyango)


“Haha, I’m surprised at this guy. Nyango, you are a great fire magician, aren’t you?” (Serge)


“But it was able to escape.” (Nyango)


“What are you talking about? We just gave it a shot, but it only excited Laius.” (Serge)


“Shall we go after it?” (Nyango)


“No, now the funeral comes first… Let’s go.” (Serge)



 Serge put back the arrow he had prepared in his quiver and started going down the slope.




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