A Party From Zubura
He was about fifty meters from the Lesser Wyvern and twenty meters away from the leaves of the flower. His goal was simple – all he had to do was pluck a few leaves and then head back.
Still Hikaru approached carefully to not make a sound; so he wouldn’t step on smaller animals and wake them up. Just because a creature was huge didn’t mean it was less wary. For all he knew, it had some way to detect danger that’s beyond human comprehension.
When he was about five meters away from the leaves, the wyvern’s eyes blinked open. It woke up, screeching. An arrow was stuck on its back, while a rock hit its wings.
「It’s awake! Chloe, Michael, keep firing at it from long range! Max power!」
Three people, who seemed to be adventurers – came running from afar.
「Oh, crap! Talk about bad timing!」
They were positioned more than a hundred meters away, so Hikaru’s Mana Detection didn’t pick them up. The second shot was already coming. But the wyvern, now wide awake, used Fire Breath on the incoming projectiles. Made from steel, the arrow didn’t burn, but the force from the wyvern’s breath was enough to deflect it along with the rock.
「Damn dragons! The second try didn’t work!」
「It works as a diversion!」
「Yeah! We can win!」
All three drew their weapons as they ran. Two of them with long swords and one with a halberd. The way the long-sword users brandished their weapons indicated they actually received proper training, while the one with the halberd felt like he was self-taught.
The lesser wyvern aimed and let loose a Fire Breath at them. The attack had the same name as the fire spell that Mages used, but it was said that the spell actually used the dragons’ breath attack as reference. Expecting the attack, the three adventurers dispersed in different directions to avoid the ball of fire. They seemed competent enough. Flames burned the ground, but quickly died out as there was nothing to ignite.
Irritated, the Lesser Wyvern bellowed once more.
Hikaru, who was close to the creature, received the blunt of the creature’s cry. It shook its wings, managing to dodge the arrow flying down, but not the rock. Nice aim, he thought.
Hikaru let out a sound as an arrow struck the ground three centimeters away from him, right as he was reaching for the leaves. This was the biggest weakness of Stealth. Not being seen by anyone meant there was always the chance of a friendly fire.
Can you please do this when I’m not around?!
The Lesser Wyvern hesitated to fly. Winged dragons couldn’t climb and descend like a helicopter. They simply glided. It would be much more difficult to evade attacks while in the air. While on the ground, it could fight back easily; just like how it used its wings to deflect arrows.
「Look! It is not flying away! You were right, Count Buck!」
「Please keep your guard up, young master! This is the most crucial moment!」
After warning the pompous-sounding young man, the man with the halberd charged forward, easily dodging the wyvern’s breath.
Hikaru was impressed.
The man was about to give his halberd a full swing, when the wyvern struck him hard. It was not even anything special, but it was still too fast for a human to react. The man was sent flying and tumbling to the ground.
「Gallios! You wretched beast!」
「Wait, Your Highness!」
「Don’t stop me, Count Buck! We’ll have to take that thing down anyway if we want the leaves of the Drakon Kidney Flower!」
The two long sword-wielding men were confused at first. Then the young man, who they adressed as Your Highness, rushed towards the wyvern.
Dragons sure are strong…
Hikaru, on the other hand, was surprised at the monster’s strength. The man, now on the ground and not moving, was quite skilled, probably as good as the knights of Ponsonia. Yet the creature beat him easily. One attack was enough to knock him out of the fight.
Your Highness, huh? I can think of a few reasons why someone is addressed that way.
The ruler of Forestia wasn’t selected by hereditary succession, but rotation through the seven nations. As such, no one would address the next in line as “Your Highness” or “Crown Prince”. Rather, people simply referred to them as the next king or queen.
But old customs still strongly persisted in each nation. There were royalties and even nobles.
「Kirihal, Ludancia, Euroba, and Zubura…」
There was only one among them that wanted the leaves of the Drakon Kidney Flower.
Zubura. And it sounds like a big shot came along. It’d be bad if he gets killed here.
It wasn’t just about the principal’s position. He wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if he let someone die in front of him.
The young man charged at a much slower speed than the halberd-wielding guy. His attack couldn’t even reach the wyvern. Not by a long shot. He tripped and fell over. After all, they were on a graveled slope that even a trained soldier would have difficulty fighting on.
The wyvern seemed to laugh as it was about to breathe fire once more. Count Buck, thinking it was the young royalty’s end, closed his eyes.
The young man watched in despair as the fire lit up inside the wyvern’s mouth. Then all of a sudden, he noticed something strange from the corner of his eyes. The air appeared to warp with the flash of a blade.
A dagger flew towards the Lesser Wyvern at an incredible speed.
If there was anyone who was confused the most, it would be the wyvern. It didn’t notice there was another human nearby. The dagger pierced its skin, cutting deep into the space between its bones. Just like that, the creature drew its last breath.
The wyvern toppled over with a thud. A boy, much younger than him, stood next to it.
「I tried putting a point on Sniping just to test it out. I wonder if I could have killed it without doing that. It might be a good idea to put more points on it for monsters.」the boy muttered as he studied the wyvern.
「Oh, are you okay? Wait. Is the other guy okay?」
He stood up and ran towards the collapsed man. His comrade was already there.
「He’s fine, Your Highness! He’s alive. A potion should help him recover.」
Soon enough, their other comrades who were firing from long distance arrived, arrows nocked in their bows.
「Are you all right, Your Highness? Who’s that?」
「Be at ease, Chloe. He saved my life. We should thank him rather than be wary of him.」
「But I didn’t see this man when we arrived! I was watching the whole time while you were engaged with the wyvern and then he just appeared out of nowhere!」
「If he wished me harm, he would’ve just let me die at the hands of the wyvern. I apologize for my comrades’ behavior.」
Sensing the danger from the others, the boy quickly pulled out the dagger from the wyvern and put some distance between them.
「I’m a member of the Zubura royal family, Silvester G. Zubura. I have a favor to ask you. You have the right to the materials from the wyvern, of course.」
His comrades raised their voice. They dealt damage to the monster with arrows and spells, drew its attention, one of their men even got hurt, so why did they have to hand over the materials from the monster? This boy simply stole the kill from them.
A Lesser Wyvern of this size would probably fetch over a million gilans. Silvester seemed to be pondering something.
That dagger killed the wyvern in one shot… It must be quite a powerful weapon.
Silvester exercised extreme caution. He didn’t know, however, that the dagger was something disposable that the boy bought for a mere 4,000 gilans.
「Can you let us have some leaves from the Drakon Kidney Flower? We really need them.」
The boy sighed, brushing his hair.
「Before that, I don’t know the proper etiquette when in the presence of a royalty. I might end up disrespecting you.」
「You need not worry about that. I’m just an adventurer right now.」
「Thank you. As for the leaves, you may take however many you like.」
「R-Really? Thank you!」
「You’re probably here for the same reason as me, anyway.」
「What do you mean?」
「I’m here for a request to take the same leaves for the principal.」
「Ah, so you took the request from the guild!」
「No.」the boy shook his head.「It’s a request from a clan of Rumania, the Green Ogre.」
The mouths of everyone present, except Gallios who was out cold, hung open.
「Forgive me if I misheard, but did you say Green Ogre?」
The boy nodded.
「It can’t be! The Green Ogre clan is the head of all the clans in Rumania!」
The Green Ogre was, in a sense, the royal family.