"I understand..." The guard was hesitating on how to answer.
A high elf wasn't just considered rare, according to most documentation the race was extinct. None of the current elf population had even seen a high elf, since the last one had died thousands of years ago.
Now one of the strongest races with the longest life spans was right in front of his eyes, with stats comparable to the legends passed down through generations.
"You should also know that we just came from the Great Forest of Demise." I watch his complexion as I talk to him.
Perspiration under his chin, red cheeks, dominant hand is shaking.
Before the guard has a chance to respond, another guardsman walks up and interrupts our conversation.
"There you are Captain, you're needed at the tower." The guard who ran up acknowledged his superior.
The guard's breathing was a little off, like he had just gone for a jog. He looked to me first, then Stal and finally Necalise. When he saw Necalise's ears, he looked away with a glint of disdain.
"I'll be over once i'm done speaking with these adventurers." The guard captain responded.
The guard bowed toward the captain and began walking away. Once he believed himself to be out of our hearing range, he muttered "dirty elves."
All three of us heard it, but we didn't have the desire to respond. Unfortunately the timing of the guard messed up the convincing rhythm I had going when I was talking to the Captain.
The Captain sighed deeply and stood up from the cotton blanket, taking a handful of water from the fountain to wash his face and neck.
"Would you care to join me?" The Captain reached out his hand to help Necalise up.
Necalise was a bit taken aback by the gesture and looked to me for guidance.
I chuckled and stood up on my own, with Stal and Necalise doing the same.
The Captain scooped down and picked up the blanket, dusting it off slightly and folding it back into his pack.
"By your lead." I look at the Captain and nod my head.
The Captain points out to a semi-large structure roughly fifteen feet high, just inside the edge of the south and west barricades. Considering we came from the west entrance, it was a fairly short walk to get there.
As we took a shortcut through the streets, we see the small clothes shops, food stores and inns. There is also a smithy and a weapon shop, side by side. This place seems to be well enough equipped for a small town, yet many gazes from the villagers seem worn.
"My name is Auros, by the way." The guard Captain introduced himself abruptly as we approached the tower.
"I am Ehko, this is Stal and you already know Necalise." I gesture toward Stal, who is currently doing a bit of bird watching as we walk. "What kind of town is this?"
"This was originally a frontier town, during the expansion of the Scoland Empire. When the Empires resources dwindled, we kind of got left behind and had to do our best to survive." The Captain looked around and waved at the villagers.
"Why not abandon the town?" I am a bit curious why they didn't just abandon the town when they no longer got support from their Empire.
"Truthfully, most of the people in this village didn't have any other choice. The Empire gathered up anyone they deemed 'undesirable' and pushed them to the edge of the expansion." The Captain scratched his head. "Best case scenario for the Empire was either we push into the Great Forest, or we all die and they forget we existed."
"Yet you all survived." I can't help but be impressed by the resiliency of this town.
"Yet we all survived." The Captain muttered under his breath while we came up to the tower.
After taking a moment to stretch his back, the Captain nodded to me and glanced at Necalise.
"There are a few guards who can use the Identify basic spell. I suggest you re-cast False Information." The Captain advised.
"False Information." I re-casted the spell, with the same parameters as was set before.
"So you can even quick-cast such a high level spell..." The Captain muttered while watching us.
I nodded at the Captain to confirm that the spell had successfully been cast, and we went inside the tower.
This was, to put it simply, a shoddy lookout tower. The walls were dirty, made from a mix of red dirt and clay. The windows were wooden and circular, like the tops of a barrel propped against the holes in the walls.
The Captain had his own room, but we had to wait until he cleared the issue he had been called for.
From over-hearing the conversation, it appears something called a 'Quill Boar' had killed a couple new adventurers and was wreaking havoc on the crops in the nearby farms.
When the Captain was done receiving the report, he motioned for us to come in and close the door behind us.
"Sorry, just a bit of business." The Captain eyed the report warily.
The Captain's room was nice, for having no windows. Two sconces lit the walls, and stacks of paper filled his desk. It basically looked like a call center cubicle from my world.
"Trouble in paradise?" I unconsciously remarked when I saw all the work he had yet to do.
The Captain didn't respond with words, but he did let out a slight chuckle. The smile on his face belied his desire to just go home and sleep.
"May I?" I ask for the parchment with the details.
"It's a request to subjugate a Qui-" The Captain was going to explain, but I motioned for him to not speak.
"Someone is listening to us." I whisper.
If I cast Detect Magic, they'll know we're onto them.
"Play it cool, don't do anything weird." I whisper again.
"A Quill Boar, interesting. We can definitely take this request if you want to give it to us." I put the parchment on the desk.
"Requests are first come first serve, and whoever brings in the loot gets the reward. Sometimes we have bandits who wait outside the town for new adventurers and take their loot, but I don't think that will be an issue for you." The Captain sighs in relief. "Can I leave this to you?"
"Of course, this can just be considered us repaying a favor." I nod my head and open the door.
The guards in the tower are looking at us dubiously, but I pay them no mind and walk out the door.
"Captain, who were those people?" One of the guards works up the courage to ask.
"Just some adventurers from out of town." The Captain replies.
I only just closed the door. They could have waited a couple minutes before talking about me.
I shrug my shoulders, but Stal and Necalise are still on high alert. Since they can't track the spell without casting Detect Magic, they aren't sure of it's exact location.
"Relax, the magical device is in the guard Captain's room. They won't be able to hear us from here." I begin walking toward the request area.
"How did you detect the magical device without seeing the magic itself?" Necalise asks inquisitively.
"I recognize the type of magical device. It is specifically used to relay information across a small distance." I answer.
The device in question was a ham radio. The technology was rudimentary looking and did not seem like it would actually work, but with magic all it needed to do was act as a power source. If the magic used could hypothetically 'record' and then 'transmit' the information it heard, it would be easy to place this somewhere important and collect data with no worry.
"So the culprit is in town?" Necalise responded.
"It isn't a guarantee that the device is working. We just have to act as if it is for the time being, until we know for sure." I advised them.
We head out to the farm where the Quill Boar is said to be have been spotted.
As we approach the farmstead, the farmers run toward us with an expression of relief.
"Good day to you." I call out to them casually.
"Good day, have you come to take down the Quill Boar?" The woman asks.
"That's right." I respond.
"This way please." The farmers motion for us to enter their home.
It's a humble home, with a thatched roof and clay walls. The smell of urine and feces is quite strong, due to the manure used in the farm and the animals they are raising.
The farm has cattle, pigs and chickens just like the typical farms in my old world. Really the only difference is the fruits and vegetables compared to Earth.
They have similar looking fruits to apple and pear, yet they are not as sweet and the seeds are large.
The only reason I can compare them is because our hosts were gracious enough to give us some food to eat.
"Conserve your strength." They kept saying, while feeding us. At first I thought they might be trying to poison us, but I dismissed the thought when I heard about the destruction of the farm.
Apparently the Quill Boar was not the small wild boar that I had thought, and was instead about three-hundred pounds of muscle. The reason it is named as such is because it has quills on it's back like a porcupine, that it can point and fire them at an opponent.
The reason it appeared at this farm specifically was due to the pigs, as it was trying to find a mate. The Quill Boar ended up wrecking the fence for the pigs and killing most of the males.
I nod along as they explain it, to show that they actively have my attention. While they talk, I quickly look around my peripheral vision to see everything in the house.
By the time the conversation had naturally ended, all of us in the house are alerted to the noise and stomps of something large.
"It's here!" Necalise is surprisingly excited as she bolts out the open door and toward the noise.
I order Stal to protect the farmers while I follow Necalise. Normally there wouldn't be a need to go this far to protect the farmers, but I have a feeling it will turn out alright.
I also don't want them to see Necalise running wild, we don't need weird rumors to spread.
I can't help but have a stray thought as we see the monster running wild at the farm.
The beast is roughly three feet tall, with dark brown quills running up its legs and back. When it sees Necalise and I, it lowers it's head and prepares to charge us.
"Necalise, don't destroy any property." I warn her before she goes wild again.
"Yes!" She responds enthusiastically.
Is this really going to be okay.
The Boar charges, but it is no match compared to Necalise when it comes to speed.
"Identify." I cast the spell while Necalise charges in.
Special Abilities: Tough Hide, Charge, Quill Attack
Reminds me of a game.
Not like Idle Fortress, but an RPG game I used to play.
Still, these stats are essentially double a normal human. No wonder those new adventurers got killed.
As I think to myself, Necalise has already grabbed the Boar by the tusks and slammed it into the ground head first. The sound the Boar made as it began to twitch was horrible. In it's death throes, the Boar fires multiple quills at Necalise.
Necalise dodges the quills and punches down on the boar's head, killing it instantly.
I walk up beside Necalise, and we offer a silent prayer for the Boar.
"Well done." I offer my gratitude to Necalise.