“Alright, we’re leaving! Are you all ready!?”
The hunting group led by Selen assembled before the village’s eastern gate.
It only had 20 or so members, yet each one of them possessed Gifts. Thanks to that, each of them were comparable to a thousand men. Truly, a team of elites.
Some of them were even Double Gifts.
Selen had [Dual Wield] and [Blue Magic]; Selius had [Dual Wield] and [Green Magic]; and Philia had [Bow Techniques] and [Green Magic].
Other long-time hunting group members were also part of this group. Noel who had [Shield Master Techniques], Balrath who had [Sword Techniques], Rando who had [Spear Techniques], and Goate who had [Herculean Strength].
Also participating was Dorial, the paroled former bandit leader who had [Axe Techniques].
In addition to the ones with combat type Gifts, people like Kureta—a girl who had the convenient Gift called [Enemy Search]—also participated.
“I can’t help but laugh whenever I see this village’s war potential…”
Bazara, previously a soldier of Dant the former governor, unintentionally said so out loud while smiling wryly. He was a skilled soldier himself, making him another fine addition to the hunting group.
At any rate, their objective today was to search the towering mountains east of the wasteland for any possible alternative to their now dwindling supply of orc meat.
Like the forest to the north of the wasteland, the mountain range to the east was also a monster-infested area. Unlike the forest though, the mountains remained unexplored for the most part.
Compared to the forest, the mountains were quite farther away from the village. Just going to and from should take about half a day. Thankfully, as long as they travelled along the road that Luke built, that distance didn’t matter.
“Wait, we’re already here? Hasn’t it been just an hour since we left…?”
“Hmm, like this, we might be able to make it back today.”
Selen was surprised by the road. They simply walked on it, yet they moved faster than if they ran at full speed along any other road.
At Selen’s side was Philia, observing the towering mountains.
“By the way, the cavern we used to live in is around there. Thinking about it now, I can’t believe we used to live in such a place.”
The one pointing at a certain location and being nostalgic was another member of the hunting group, a dwarf named Banba. He had what was a typical body for a dwarf: short but really muscular. He possessed the Gift called [Heavy Blade Techniques], allowing him to easily wield swords several times bigger than him.
The foot of the mountain range was covered with thick vegetation. Starting around halfway up though, the vegetation becomes thinner and thinner until only the bare, rocky surface was there.
“Do you sense any monsters nearby?”
“Yeah, to the front right…about a hundred meters from here. I’m getting a small reaction though. It’s probably just a wererat or something.”
Kureta, the one with [Enemy Search] replied so.
The hunting group had been briefed beforehand by the dwarves about what kind of monsters to expect in this area.
The wererat in question was a bipedal mouse monster that, while somehow edible, didn’t taste good at all.
Apparently, the other monsters were pretty far into the mountains. The hunting group could climb and search for them, sure, but…
“Let’s use those incenses that attract the monsters.”
“Yes, I also think that’s the better approach, my sister.”
The group decided to lure the monsters down to where they were by using a scent the monsters loved as lure.
“Selius-dono, why don’t we make the wind blow toward the mountains?”
Selius’s voice cracked while trying to reply to Philia’s suggestion.
Both of them had the [Green Magic] Gift, so making the wind blow a certain direction was easy for them.
“O-our first joint action…!”
“Hmm? Is something wrong, Selius-dono?”
“N-n-n-no, it’s nothing…!”
Philia was so puzzled on why Selius’s face looked so red. As for the other hunters, they simply affectionately watched the two.
However, at that moment…
“…! It’s here! The big game’s here!”
Kureta shouted so.
And a moment later, Selen was able to catch the shadow of the said monster as it made its way down a mountain’s slope. The monster had a fiery red comb on its head; had a body that was completely covered in feathers; and had a snake-like tail. Yes, it was a cockatrice.