Jeanne had brought over a job request for Ardis. And there, the name of the demonic being, 『Four Winged』 that Ardis subjugated before was heard.
「What’s wrong with that island now? I heard from Chezare but isn’t that just an ordinary island? 」
Ardis asked straightly at what he thought was strange.
「Yeah, right. It’s not about the island itself. The problem is there’re apparently witnesses of a huge demonic being there, despite the fact that Ardis had subjugated the Four Winged there. 」
「Could it be……, that there’re people who are suspecting me about the subjugation of Four Winged? 」
「Don’t worry. It’s the minority, the others think otherwise. Another huge demonic being probably came and nested at that island once the former owner was gone, such thinking is more widely believed. But the reality might be different, you wouldn’t know if you didn’t investigate, right? 」
「So that’s why the request? 」
「Yeah. They wanted to send the soldiers over originally, but since it was where the Four Winged stayed before. If the new demonic being is something on par with the Four Winged, the soldiers would just die pointlessly. 」
That aside, the fifty-gold compensation is an enormous amount considering it’s just an investigation.
「Isn’t there some hidden agenda behind that? 」
「It’s an official request from the country, it’s unlikely there’s something like that right? In the first place, Ardis wouldn’t care even if there was right? 」
Jeanne shrugged as he said so.
「Well, hearing from the officer, it’s highly probable that you will encounter it and a fight will break out. So might as well subjugate it, isn’t it something like that? If accounting the subjugation compensation, fifty gold isn’t that much though? 」
Certainly, just like what Jeanne said, if he really did encounter the demonic being, nine out of ten outcomes would be a battle. Whether subjugating it or escaping from it, since it’s a lone island that no help can be expected, the difficulty would skyrocket. Unlike Ardis who can fly using his sword magic, the normal soldiers can only reach the island by ships. It’s probably fifty gold coins after accounting all of that.
「Well, if it includes the subjugation……, then fifty gold coins isn’t really that much huh. 」
「Right? Having said so, there’s only Ardis around the capital who can do this. The others have heavy baggage after all. 」
Certainly, if they’re going by ships to the island, they would have to include the necessities for the two-way trip, it’s a little difficult for normal mercenaries.
In the first place, it’s doubtful if there’re any sailors who are willing to sail their ship out. Although they knew it was subjugated, the people that lived by the sea haven’t forgotten their fear of the Four Winged.
Regarding that, Ardis wouldn’t need any ship, and he can escape just fine if he needs to.
「Got it. Since I was going to earn some money with subjugation requests. That request, I will accept it. 」
After thinking about it for a few moments, Ardis decided to accept the request.
Then, while the food is being served, they heard the details of the request from Jeanne. After finishing the explanation, Jeanne waved his hand lightly, 「I will leave it up to you, thanks」, and left the dining hall.
「It’s your favorite, a subjugation request, Rona. Its strength is ungauged but, the compensation is good at the very least. 」
「It’ll be nice if it’s really strong. By the way, how strong was that Four Winged? 」
「I wonder? It didn’t have any lasting impression. ……I think it’s weaker than a Nedulo. 」
「What―, what a letdown. Why not have a hundred of those at once. 」
Rona continued on his meal as he mentioned some disturbing things. The five portions of food had already lost half its volume in front of Rona.
「You know……. Where will the compensation come from if the country vanished? And even if you had money, if no one’s around to tend to the food stalls, how are you going to spend them? 」
「It’s all fine. A hundred of them would only take two, three minutes for me to clean up. 」
「That’s not the problem here……」
Ardis sighed unintentionally.
The next day, after having breakfast at the Seseragi Inn, Ardis and Rona started walking towards the beach that had no one around. Then after gaining altitude, they headed south while seeing the fishermen returning to the capital with their morning haul.
Eventually, they arrived at the small island where the Four Winged used to live.
「That’s the island in question? 」
Rona was looking down at the island where Ardis visited to subjugate the Four Winged. It’s a small island that a lap around its coastline wouldn’t take more than half a day, but the island is full of greenery and life.
There isn’t much change to its appearance. Even though the owner of the island was disposed of, the island didn’t change much than last he saw.
「Hey Al, noticed? 」
「Yeah, it’s a little unexpected. 」
The request was to investigate the island. If there’s a new dangerous demonic being that had nested in the island, it would be to identify it and its threatening level and report it to the kingdom. If it’s some threatening demonic being, Ardis thought that he would just subjugate it.
However, it seems like the opponent wasn’t something that easy for Ardis to deal with.
「Where did something like that came from? The mana it has is on a different scale. 」
They were still flying in the sky, but the enormous mana that can’t be compared to the Four Winged can be felt even at a distance.
「Hey hey. Can I just get in now? 」
Rona hushed as if he’s running out of patience. The reason why his tail was waving around furiously definitely isn’t due to the wind.
「Why so eager to subjugate it. It’s just an investigation, there’s no need to fight at all. 」
「Eh ―, that’s just too boring. 」
While dragging along Rona who seemed peeve, Ardis approached the island. If it was any demonic being about the level of the Four Winged, then he would’ve gone ahead and subjugated it incidentally, but the mana he felt wasn’t something that he could 『incidentally』 subjugate it.
To scout out their opponents first, Ardis and Rona landed at the coastline of the island before slowly approaching their opponent. It wasn’t that big of an island. Ardis expected to find the figure of the demonic being in question if they ventured for about thirty minutes.
But, an hour had passed since then――.
Ardis who had been walking so far tilted his head. They had landed on the ground and headed in the direction that they felt the mana was all this time, but they still hadn’t reached the source.
It’s not like the source was moving at high speeds, but they still couldn’t shorten the distance. When they tried to take the right route, it would go the left route, and vice versa, the source had kept a distance up between them.
It seems that the opponent is avoiding them according to their own movement, it moved around the island avoiding Ardis and Rona.
「Could it be that it knows where we are……? 」
As expected, with the same situation continuing for a while, Ardis had no other explanation than that. It could be that the opponent holds a similar mana detection skill as Ardis, and knowing that the ones coming for itself are dangerous――in this case Ardis and Rona, the demonic being is avoiding direct contact at all cost.
Ardis had thought to approach the demonic being slowly to not startle it but, there’s no use if they are already found out. If they had more people around, then they could slowly encircle the demonic being in but, unfortunately, it’s only Rona and Ardis around.
It would just be a waste of time if this continues. I guess we should be a little aggressive. As Ardis was about to suggest that, Rona who had already reached his limit yelled.
「Aaah, enough! So annoying―! Don’t keep running away――! 」
Crying out such, Rona had already started dashing towards the mana source.
「Ah, hey! Rona, wait! 」
Ardis panickily chased after. Could it be that it sensed Rona’s mana coming closer quickly, it seems like it had started running away in a panic.
But it wasn’t enough to outpace Rona at his best. On top of that, they were at a remote island with little space to run around. It can’t possibly escape Rona. Even if it tried to hide, it wouldn’t be able to hide from Rona who can sense its mana.
Chasing after Rona, Ardis came closer to the demonic being as well.
「I’ll let you taste this――!!」
With his fur covered ears piquing, Rona manifested invisible blades with his mana. There were two of them created with the intentions of being potent. They flew through the forest accompanied with a strong storm.
Even when trees were obstructing it, its power didn’t seem like dropping as it mowed down anything in its path straight to where the demonic being was.
With that much effect, an average demonic being wouldn’t be able to dodge it at all. Even the Four Winged would become filets if it was on the receiving end.
「Oi! It’s an investigation request we’re on! 」
The request they’ve got this time was only an investigation. It would be fine if they subjugated it as a result but, it would definitely be a problem if the opponent just turned into chunks of meat before they had even seen its figure.
No way would the Kingdom accept a report of 『The target was subjugated but it wasn’t identified. 』
Please let the head remain at the very least. Ardis prayed so, although it was to his wish, something else unexpected happened.
Before Rona’s magic hit it, the demonic being’s mana seemed like it expanded for a moment, and a tough barrier was formed then. And Rona’s prided blades that only specialized in damage scattered in all directions crashing into it.
「Eh? Impossible? 」
Rona’s confused monologue was even heard by Ardis.
Rona probably didn’t go all out yet. But even so, the blades that Rona shot out still had enormous power behind them. It might’ve been possible if it was deflected like what Nere could accomplish with her superior techniques, but defending against it frontally would be impossible.
In just an instant, Ardis’s alert flew through the roof. The mana he had felt from the demonic being wasn’t that powerful but, it seems that he had misjudged his opponent. He would be the one in pain if he only judged his opponent based on the mana he managed to sense.
「Muu―. Then how about this――! 」
Rona who had his attack blocked the first time unleashed the sequel of his magic. The countless numbers of blades that manifested around Rona could only be described as a barrage, as they were all released towards the direction of the demonic being.
If that was directed to Ardis, even he would’ve suffered a few fractures with that power and number. Rona’s magic that couldn’t be imagined having blocked completely destroyed the surrounding trees, but something unexpected happened again.
「P-Please stop―! I don’t like painful things―! 」
There was a weak sounding voice that came from the middle of the barrage target. And then, following that, there were countless sounds of Rona’s blades getting deflected away by mana barriers.
Even Rona who had unleashed the barrage was confused at the unexpected response.
Eventually, when the aftermath of dust clouds had finally settled down, the owner of the voice was revealed. It was a quadrupedal beast behind the dusts with black fur. Although it looked like a carnivorous wolf, the size was evidently different. It was at least seven meters long. Even his jaws alone can fit an entire human.
「I-I beg you……. Please don’t kill me……. Help me……」
Although its mouth had sharp fangs, a weak voice was heard from it. Having felt enormous power in that huge body, the fact that it was surrendering and begging for life was somewhat pathetic.