Chapter 5 : Merciless
===A Certain Middle Aged Gold Rank Adventurer===
My name was Alec.
A Gold Rank adventurer.
I started to work as an adventurer when I was still seventeen years old, and now twenty-five years had passed.
Well, currently my age had reached 42 years old indeed.
But, my body was still in top-notch condition thanks to my continuous training and adventurer activities.
Additionally, with my accumulated experiences, I felt like my current condition was better than when I was young both in skill and power.
I didn’t have a shred of intention to retire just yet.
Most of all, I liked the current situation of the party.
「So even a metropolis like this cannot win against the erosion of time… Man-made structure surely is short-lived huh..」
Dale, our smallest party member in term of size, muttered as he observed the ruins of the once called metropolis.
He was a man with a slender figure whose height more than one head shorter than me.
Though he’s normally a taciturn man, he would become strangely talkative when reminiscing upon something.
According to the person, he was originally a trained assassin whose job was to eliminate big shots in his country behind the scene.
Don’t underestimate him due to his stature, he could take your life away before you even notice it.
And then, due to one thing and another, he ran away from his post.
He never told me the clear reason why he left.
He met me by chance when he just turned over a new leaf and made a living as an adventurer.
That event happened around ten years ago.
After that, we formed a party.
Despite his high combat ability as an assassin, his main role in our party was to be our scout.
What else we could do? We didn’t have anybody else that fit to that role.
「Hey, look over here..! There are still intact corpses inside this house.
Their body has not decayed yet even after several hundred years.
Is it thanks to the high mana concentration here? Or is it due to another reason? Kukukuku….
As long as we bring even one of them back… 」
Dale said in rapid succession as he found pile of corpses inside a house.
「Anything but that please.」
I stopped him from going too far.
His excessive curiosity which caused him to get excited as soon as he see such corpses and trying to bring them back was his only fault.
Why would there be a pile of corpses inside a house? Well, currently we were at one of the most famous demonic region in the world; 〝Emarina Great Wasteland〟.
A long time ago, this region was part of Emarina Empire, but due to a mysterious reason, it was nothing more than a wasteland right now.
It was even deemed as the worst environment ever due to its chaotic weather.
However, despite widely known as one of the most dangerous zone in the world where many powerful monsters dwelled, high ranking adventurers like us were constantly sent to investigate and find the numerous precious legacy sleeping in this region.
And the place we’re investigating right now was naturally, the ruin of the capital city of this region.
Although only crumbled and withered ruins were left, the sheer size and number of buildings here were signs that this city was once a bustling metropolis.
「 It’s strange, most of the corpses indicate that the citizen’s cause of death was either burned or freezing to death.
As if a terrible calamity suddenly struck this city, and killed all of its citizens in just a few breaths, 」
Dale who was investigating the corpses closely couldn’t help saying this odd finding out loud.
「Burned by fire and freezing to death? How can such opposite phenomenon happened at the same time?」
The one who asked that question was Hanna, the sole woman of our party, and the youngest amongst us.
She was nineteen years old this year.
Her rank might be the lowest one in our party right now, a silver rank.
But, her combat ability was very good rivaling that of a gold rank adventurer.
To tell you the truth, she was the daughter of a mage and a swordsman who were the former member of our party.
When they were still active, they were the pillars of the party.
The swordsman served as a vanguard, while the mage supported us from the rear with attack magic, exploiting the gaps created him.
I remembered that their coordination was so perfect as if they understood each other’s thought.
As the duo cooperated more and more as a party, they fell in love with each other, gotten married, and chose to retire from being an adventurer.
And thus, Hanna was born.
She inherited both of her parent’s talent can use both magic and sword, the so-called magic swordsman.
Grew up while listening to the story of her parent’s adventures, Hanna set her goal to be a brilliant adventurer like them.
But, they opposed it, resulting in the tomboy girl running away from home after a huge quarrel.
After various reason, she eventually joined our party.
How about you guessed it yourself.」
「…You are saying it like I’m an idiot 」
「Great,you finally realize it yourself.」
She was a cute and adorable girl when she was little, but now, a brute women was more suitable to describe her.
Apparently she was in her rebellious age right now.
I mean, I could be considered as her senior both in age and experience, and yet she doesn’t seem to have any respect to me.
While we kept bantering at each other, a burly baldy was solemnly praying for the dead citizens of the metropolis.
Its the battle monk of our party, Guy.
As a battle monk, this baldy was very proficient with healing magic, also at the same time, a master in close quarter combat with cane as his weapon.
Thus, he could take both attacking and supporting role in the party.
He’s been partying with us ever since he met us a few years ago.
He was once a monk that served his country in the far east.
But for some reason, he was exiled from the country her was serving in.
Thus, he went to the western countries and started anew as an adventurer.
「 I truly pity the citizens of this city.
They are mostly virgins who died before they know the taste of man.
What a waste…」(ED:(ﾟДﾟ;))
… I was almost convinced that the biggest reason for his exile was his lust just by hearing his unnecessary last sentence.
Don’t be fooled by his seemingly honest face, in fact he was a pervert who loved to fool around with little girls in his spare time.
By the way, his bald head was the result of the eastern monk’s tradition to completely shave the hair, It was not because he was born as a baldie.
Or so he claimed.
While we keep investigating the ruins in such pace, suddenly Dale became alert.
「… Something is coming to our direction… most probably, it’s a monster…」
We entered our combat mode as soon as Dale warned us.
「Big Boar huh.」
What appeared was a giant wild boar monster.
It had a powerful charging attack which could bulldoze and thrust the enemy away with its sharp tusk.
But, it was not necessarily a powerful monster as long as we were paying attention to such attack.
However, we had to keep extreme caution since the monsters in Emarina Wasteland region often have special skills or powerful abilities comparable to unique monsters [Variant] in other regions.
Variants tended to appear in places with high mana density.
While keeping in mind of that matter, I scanned the boar and found out that its red hair was more prominent than the normal Big Boar.
In the midst of that, the boar let out a tiny muffled sound.
We immediately spread out to both sides to dodge that charge.
「TAKE THIS! FIRE JAVELIN!」
And launched a counter-attack as soon as we saw the Big Boar crashing against the rubbles which was once behind us.
We were using dodge and strike tactics.
It was the most basic strategy when facing a Big Boar,
Without even waiting for my signal, my comrades immediately bombarded the Big Boar with their attack to chip away its tremendous stamina.
Putting their troublesome personalities aside, my comrades were extremely reliable when it comes to battle.
For your information, our party usually used the following formation : Me and Guy as the vanguard, Hanna became our rearguard since she could support us with her long-range magic.
As for Dale, his role as an all-rounder didn’t need him to stick to one position, he would keep moving around while erasing his presence and attacked when an opportunity arise.
He also had another important duty namely scouting the surrounding of the battlefield to see if there’s another monster approaching the battlefield.
And that Dale suddenly shouted at us with a rattled, panicked voice.
「S-SOMETHING IS COMING TO OUR DIRECTION…! W-WHAT THE….
WHAT THE HELL IS THIS OVERWHELMING PRESENCE!?」
It was rare for Dale to lost his cool in the middle of battle like this.
Moreover, the Big Boar which was ready to launch its second charge to us suddenly halted its step and began to tremble non-stop.
It looked like an extremely terifying monster was heading straight to this place.
Even the rest of the party with dull perception like me could feel that something with overwhelming presence was coming closer at a rapid pace.
And, like the boar, my body also started to tremble unconsciously since a while ago.
Finally, THAT appeared in front of us.
Finally, that thing with scary presence came into our view.
Yeah, if I had to say, he looked like a young man in his early twenties.
Except his conspicious white hair, red eyes, and tattered clothes, I couldn’t see him as anything but a youth in his early twenties.
But I realized that his whole body was emitting a terrifying pressure.
His power was absolute.
He was a completely different existence.
He would grant death if we oppose him.
I instinctively understood that.
Currently this is my, no, our greatest predicament in our life as an adventurers.
The Big Boar escaped from this place as fast as it could.
I hoped that the anomaly in shape of the young man would chase after it, but he only spared the running boar a single glance.
It seemed he was aiming for us from the very beginning.
Or, could it be he… would let us go too just like that boar?
At that time.
The young man’s lips moved a bit.
Did he say something just now?
I couldn’t hear his voice at all.
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「（Oi, do you hear what he said just now?）」
I was signalling Dale with my eye the question.
He who noticed my signal whispered to me.
「I… I can’t hear anything after 〝Ko〟, but….」[TL : according to the previous chapter, Sion said “Ko-Konnichiwa” meaning hello or good day, almost in inaudible voice]
It looked like he didn’t have any intention to spare us.
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