15.1. An Attack
Species: [Lesser Demon]
Subspecies: [Zelus Imp] - Lvl. 20
[Basic Mana Manipulation] - Lvl. 4
[Identification] - Lvl. 4
[Racial Skill: Universal Language Comprehension] - Lvl. 1
[Rest] - Lvl. 1
[Available Stat Points: 0]
[Available Skill Points: 2]
[Basic Fire Creation] - Lvl. 11
[Double Step] - Lvl. 8
[Fire Strike] - Lvl. 10 (Maxed)
[Fire Blast] - Lvl. 7
[Passive - General Tool Proficiency] - Lvl. 3
[Unused Skill Slot] x2
The sun was rising up into the sky by the time I saw the opening beyond the trees; I had fully healed after some [Rest], and had already distributed my Stat and Skill Points accordingly, before going down the way the wolf directed me in. I wasn’t sure at first if she understood me, but now that I could see the dirt path ahead, I knew she did.
I stopped right by the edge of the trees as I saw some figures moving through a road. They were [Traders]! Humans!
“How has it been two months since those invasive Dusk Wolves came to Falisfield, and not a single adventurer has taken them out yet!”
“Can’t blame them. They tore up the last two parties sent to exterminate them. [Dark Wolves], I hear. Not as dangerous as their [Shadow Wolf] evolution, but still— there has to be dozens of them around the area!”
“Silvers. Don’t they know they’ve gotta earn their pay if they wanna move up to Gold or Platinum?”
“If they’re Gold, they wouldn’t even be anywhere near our country— let alone Platinum. Most of our Gold Ranked adventurers are already hired out by the Inoria Empire and Elutra Kingdom because of their war, remember? Any adventurer with a brain would stay away from Nixa and go straight there.”
“Why’re they hiring adventurers again?”
“To protect their towns and cities from monster attacks. All their soldiers and able bodied men are at the front lines, so they have to rely on adventurers to protect their citizens.”
“Bah, of course. And it’s not like the stupid [King] is doing anything to draw them here— what’s the point of all this tax if he’s not even going to secure our roads?!”
The second [Trader] leaned over and patted the shoulder of the first, as the first grumbled under his breath. I waited for a moment, following right in between the two wooden vehicles pulled by those brown animals as they trotted along at a meandering pace. When the lull in the conversation seemed like it would last, I finally decided to speak up.
The second [Trader] pulled his hand back from the first— who still had his face buried in his knees— and turned around. He blinked, before his face immediately paled. He failed to work his jaw as he pointed at me and hurriedly tapped the other man’s shoulder.
“Do you know where I can find my way to the Netherworld?”
I eyed the second [Trader] as three quarters of his body was reaching out of his wagon, trying even harder to get the attention of the first [Trader].
“What? Huh? D-D-D-what? The Nether-what? What are you two talking about?”
The first [Trader] finally turned around, shrugging off the constant tapping of the second [Trader]. He stared at me with a narrowed gaze, then his face lit up in comprehension.
“Oh. I get what you mean now.”
I brightened as he took a deep breath.
“You mean you know where the Netherworld is?”
I jumped back, startled by the sudden shout. Was that some sort of battle cry? Was he trying to attack me? I created two fire daggers and warily raised my arms as the [Traders] jumped off the side of their wagons.
The first [Trader] was Level 16 while the second was Level 25. If they try to flank me from both sides, I’ll rush the first with [Double Step] and—
Blinking, I lowered my hands as I watched the two [Traders] scurry away on foot. They fled down the road, screaming and shouting as they abandoned their horses and carts behind.
“I knew it! That bitch has finally snapped and summoned a Demon to kill me—”
“I don’t want to die! I don’t want to fucking die—”
I was about to chase after them— I would have very easily caught up to the two. But I stopped myself as their words slowly sunk into my head.
“...did they think I was attacking them?”
That made no sense: if I had wanted to attack them, I would have just done so and they would be dead. Yet, that was the only thing that I could infer from the way they reacted and the things they said. So I was perplexed by this.
I slowly walked forward past the wagon, annoyed that the only people I met that could talk ran away from me. Then I paused and turned back to the horses just standing there.
“Do you know the way to the Netherworld?”
They just snorted and kicked some dirt with their hooves.
“Didn’t think so.”