TLN: Next chapter should have the twins in. I’m hoping this novel isn’t going to just have 1 chapter with the twins in then 5 chapters without.
A fee is given from the lord for subjugating the despairs.
In reality, no-one would even think of subjugating despairs if there was no incentive to do so.
Despair’s fur does not sell for a high price like beast king fur. Nor does it have any particular rare materials on it like the snatchers.
In other words, despite being the most powerful demon in the grasslands it is not even worth hunting it.
It’s not a rare occurrence that the level of danger doesn’t match the reward.
Only a stupid person would risk their lives against such monsters with little pay off.
Ordinary mercenaries avoid despairs, it’s far more efficient to hunt better game. Newcomers who hunt the despair will just end up dead.
That’s why the lord of this land offers rewards for their subjugation. Otherwise the damage they cause will eventually increase.
The head of the despairs can be used as evidence for their subjugation. If you bring the heads to the guards, you will receive a reward on the spot.
However, there is no doubt that due to their weight and size they are difficult to carry. Despite being only a head.
Ardis does not have to worry about this issue to some extent, because he brought something along to help take them back to the city.
That was Gresch and his party.
Ardis’ proposal was『Assistance』
Even though he has the strength to kill multiple despairs, he could not carry all the heads by himself.
Since they were going back to the city anyway, he suggested they help him carry the baggage from the hunted prey.
Since Gresch didn’t want to continue fighting anymore and could earn money just by carrying some baggage, he happily accepted.
The remuneration Ardis proposed was better than the market price and their safety was guaranteed by him.
「Ok then, negotiations are over」(Ardis)
Ardis began giving instructions after receiving mutual consent over the remuneration.
「For the time being, Gresch cut off their heads and burn the incision with fire. I will get the other 2 over there」(Ardis)
After finishing giving instructions, Ardis walked towards the corpses of the other 2 despairs.
「Etto…..this is dead right?」(Konia)
As Konia comes closer, she points to the corpse of the despair.
「Do you want me to stab it just in case?」(Jio)
Ralph responds with「It hasn’t been moving for so long, so it should be ok」
Gresch began to approach without worrying about such a thing.
「Can’t you see this fatal blow? It looks like it’s whole body is skewered」(Gresch)
Ralph replied to Gresch’s observation.
「But I can’t feel relieved until I cut off its head」(Jio)
Jio was worried that the monster might still have some life left, but immediately backed down when Gresch said「You’ll have to get closer to chop off its head」. There was no more room to argue.
As Gresch cautiously approached the Despair’s corpse, he confirmed its death and began cutting off its head.
「I wonder if these horns can be used for something?」(Konia)
Whilst grimacing at the sight, Konia looked at the two long horns.
「Like what for example?」(Gresch)
「Etto, a weapon?」(Konia)
Catching the conversation between Konia and Gresch, Jio spoke up.
「If there was such a use, blacksmiths and weapon shops would have bought it a long time ago. Even if you use it, I believe the cost to performance is pretty bad」(Jio)
「Is that so」(Konia)
With the efforts of three men, they managed to remove all the heads from the 2 despairs. As well as burning the wounds to prevent bleeding. Ardis returned with heads of other 2 despairs.
There was a total of four corpses, including the one who first attacked Gresch. With each party member taking one head, the five people began to return to the city with Ardis in the lead.
「You said before you hunted other prey, what monster was it?」(Jio)
Jio asked to the back of Ardis.
「I was hunting beast kings. Because it’s a pain to skin their fur one by one, I hid them in a place to pick up later」(Ardis)
Is there a place you could hide them in the grasslands? Konia tilted her head.
「Eh? Wouldn’t it be stolen by monsters and other mercenaries」(Konia)
「Because it’s hidden, there’s no problem」(Ardis)
After a 30-minute walk, Ardis stopped.
「Here you say….I don’t see anything. Is this really a good hiding place Ardis? 」(Gresch)
As Gresch said, all that could be seen was the open grasslands. There was no sign of a corpse anywhere.
「It’s because I’ve properly hidden it」(Ardis)
As Ardis says that, the body of a monster emerged out of the ground where there was nothing before.
It was as if groundwater had seeped out of the soil, but it was clear that this object was not water.
Including Gresch, the other 3 people could not keep up at all.
It appeared so suddenly, the breath-taking appearance of the feline-like beast king who stands at the top of all others. However, it was not just one or two.
There were roughly ten corpses. A large amount of beast king corpses appeared in front of the eyes of Gresch.
The beast king is as its name implies.
There are two major categories of creatures that can be considered the enemies of humans in this world. That is the demons and the beasts.
What distinguishes them? Actually, that’s not understood very well.
They are both dangerous creatures whose fighting abilities are high, most if not all of which are ferocious.
Take the despairs for example, the strongest monster in the grasslands. It was given the name despair due to its power, it can kill a newbie mercenary before they even have a chance to retaliate.
Yet in the wild, dangerous beasts and non-dangerous beasts are mixed together.
Some carnivorous beasts attack humans as prey, but on the other hand there are some herbivorous beasts who are quite gentle and treated as livestock by humans.
So, which of these do you call a beast and which do you call a demon? There is no standard definition for either.
It seems there was a clear boundary in ancient times, but that has been lost now.
The beast king is said to be the most powerful among the beasts inhabiting the grasslands.
(TLN: This confused me a little so I had to check something. When the author refers to 魔物, I’ve been translating it as monster, but it’s actually demon. So “Despair” is the strongest demon in the grasslands and “Beast King” is the strongest beast)
Their adult length is about 2 meters. They very rarely hunt together as a team.
Their whole body is colored in black with yellow spots. Its unique characteristic are its eyes that are as red as blood.
There’s no doubt it’s an opponent you don’t want to meet as a newbie mercenary, even if only in agility, it exceeds that of the despairs.
Of course, it’s an opponent Gresch should avoid fighting.
If he came across it in the grasslands, he would not hesitate to escape immediately from their hunting area.
Such a beast king was currently lined up dead in large quantities.
It can’t be helped that Gresch was at a loss for words.
「This….did Ardis hunt all this!?」(Gresch)
「No, no way. It rose from the ground a little while ago!? What’s going on!?」(Jio)
Gresch turned his eyes to the corpses, whereas Jio directly asked Ardis about the corpses appearing so suddenly.
「Nn? It’s magic」(Ardis)
Ardis said with indifferent eyes.
「Magic is amazing」(Ralph)
Hearing such an explanation, Ralph spoke with admiration in his voice.
Even if you can use magic, what Ardis used would be called non-standard. When judged from the eyes of an ordinary magician, they would easily be able to see that their magic and Ardis’ magic was different.
Perhaps it was fortunate that there wasn’t anyone who could use magic in Gresch’s group.
(TLN: ? Can’t Konia use magic? Or was she an archer?)
「Let’s get started」(Gresch)
Since they needed to skin the furs off of 10 corpses, there was no time to spare.
At Gresch’s words, everyone began working.
The fangs and fur are worth the most in the kingdom. Fangs can be used for ornaments or amulets, whereas furs are used extensively in clothing for cold weather as well as carpets.
All of the beast kings had been killed with a single sword strike to the throat to avoid damaging the furs.
It will likely sell at a considerably high price compared to the furs sold by other mercenaries hunting beast kings.
It’s not possible for even a skilled mercenary to deal such a clean blow to a beast king.
「I wonder how much you’ll get for this much…」(Konia)
Konia said whilst exhaling a deep sigh. Ignoring that, Ralph spoke up.
「Did he hunt all of this alone…? I would never have believed it if I didn’t see his previous fight」(Ralph)
Since the number of beast kings was so much, it took 2 hours to finish harvesting the materials.
It was only so successful due to the cooperation of all five people.
On the way back, Ardis ran ahead saying「Please go on, I’ll be back in a minute」and returned with two beast king corpses after five minutes, causing their jaws to drop.
The number could not be considered a little when it comes to beast kings.
In addition to collecting the two furs and fangs, Gresch also removed the remaining meat.
He gathered the furs together and began walking back to Toria once again.
As the sun began to set, they finally arrived in the town of Toria.
Heading directly to the commercial area, Ardis sold the furs and fangs to the business he often patronized. After the business was concluded, he headed to the nearby tavern.
It was still too early to drink. So the inside of the pub was seemingly reserved for Gresch.
「It’s seems to be more than the amount you offered. Is this okay?」(Gresch)
「Don’t worry about it. You worked harder than expected after all」(Ardis)
When he arrived at the table, Gresch’s face relaxed after receiving the rewards from Ardis.
Harvesting the fur and fangs from beast kings and transporting them to Toria. Just for that, each person in a 4 person team got three silver coins.
In addition, adding on the money they got after selling the snatchers fur and tails. At least for new mercenaries, it was a significant amount.
「Then with this」(Ardis)
Gresch suddenly called out to Ardis who was attempting to leave early after paying for their help.
「Wait a second. Why not come and drink together with us? Since we’ve received payment, it’ll be on me」(Gresch)
「I am thankful for your offer, but I have some people waiting for me at the inn. Besides I’m already getting sleepy」(Ardis)
「I see….if so please drink with us at the next opportunity. We are at the inn called 『Early Spring Tea』so please call us if you need something. I’ll happily co-operate if possible 」(Gresch)
「Ah, got it. Early spring tea? I’ll remember it」(Ardis)
Finally, with a light smile Ardis left the tavern.
Seeing Ardis leave, Gresch ordered beer for the 3 people remaining.
「For our happiness in the future!」(Gresch)
It had been a fortunate event for Gresch and his companions.
As a result, he had earned income several times larger than usual. In addition, they had become acquainted with a strong mercenary called Ardis. However, if they had made a mistake, they would have easily become despair food.
That evening, the four man party kept drinking deep into the night until all but Jio were drunk.