Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Volume 2 - Chapter 8 - Trial and Tribulation (Up/First)


Damn it, why do I have to deal with her?

I sigh and mentally grumble while waiting for my aunt to show up at the port terminal. She’s well known for being a pain in the ass. I think that’s why my parents made me go to pick her up instead of sending their chauffeur.

About an hour past the arrival time, she finally shows up with a pair of porters behind her. With her blond hair tied tight into a bun, form-fitting business attire, rectangle spectacles, and a stern, passive expression, she’s the very definition of serious. I wave my hand weakly to catch her attention before walking toward the parked car my parents sent me to pick her up with.

[T/N: Was so tempted to change stern, passive expression into “resting bitch face” ;P]


The familiar sound of her fingers snapping and the groans of protest from anyone that’s required to help her arrives on cue as I turn my back. Like my dad and the rest of his side of the family, she’s also working as a diplomat. She has just returned from a mission in Matane with the United Maritime Nations that’s known for speaking a myriad of languages. Rumour has it that all the different leaders all said the same thing about her, “old, stubborn woman” before she was sent back.


I open the back door of the car to allow the porters to place the various pieces of luggage with a chorus of *dosa* as they pile them atop one another, filling up all of the back seats and leg space in the car.


One of the porters gives me a pat on the shoulder and gives me a pitying smile as his partner receives money from my aunt. I simply sigh with a *fuuuu* and nod with my eyes closed. Even though we’ve only just met, we already share a bond of having to deal with an insufferable woman. The porter quickly walks away as soon as his partner finished receiving the payment.

“Not a word of greeting? Didn’t my sister-in-law teach you any manners?”

I resist the urge to roll my eyes at her as I went with a “hello, Aunt Quinn” before entering the driver seat. I dread the drive back as well as the family dinner we will be having tonight.

* * * * *

“What in the…?”

I finally get to log in after 3 days’ worth of absence due to my aunt’s arrival, that should be about 5 days in-game. “What the hell happened here?” leaks from my mouth as I watch a strange spectacle unfolding before my eyes as I step out from the Academy. In the open fields where the old hag tortured us when we were level 0, arrows are flying haphazardly non-stop. Some of students are dodging them as they come down while the wanwans are actually receiving arrows. After a while, the ones dodging and blocking will switch equipment and start shooting the other side, who changed into defensive equipment. There were a few injured people getting treated in the sidelines while cheering.

[T/N: Wan is the japanese sound of a dog’s bark. So wanwans is Rick’s way of referring to the demihuman soldiers. “Doggy” sounds demeaning in english, while wanwan is more like a childish term of endearment. So I opted to keep wanwan]

“Welcome back Rick-sensei. Would you like me to get you some tea?”

“Um… wah… umm… yes, please.” I stammer as I fumble out of my confusion to the bushy-tailed student that spotted me. I think she’s part of Kun’s cooking class…

“Right away.” The girl gives a quick bow before heading back inside. Shortly after, Isnic and the girl return with trays of tea, utensils and snacks.

“Welcome back, Rick-sensei.”

I give Isnic a quick wave to acknowledge her greeting and help them put the trays down onto one of the benches lining the entrance of the building. The other girl gives a quick bow before reentering the building.

“What’s going on here…?” I point at the arrows that are flying all over the place.

“Eh? Isn’t this a training game from sensei’s hometown?”

“Wait… what…?”

“That’s what those uncles and aunties from the archery range said.”

I smack my forehead with a *ba* as I realize what has happened. They took the training I was doing and adopted it for their own use. Originally, the game that was recorded to have been played before the Age of Chaos was called “baseball”. It required numerous players, large fields and some specialized equipment. Some scholars tried to revive the game within some university campuses almost a century ago, they failed horribly and succeed amazingly. The game was too slow paced and considered as boring by many, but there were plenty of tactical uses within the game itself.

Some military types of the time simplified the game down into 2 to 4 players as a military exercise. The “pitcher” is replaced with a ranged attacker while the “batter” is replaced with a defender to intercept the projectiles with their arsenal at hand. The “attacker” gets a point for each successful hit on the target, the optional auxiliary player, or on any exposed part of the defender. The Atlantic Union adopted the game and added various rules and regulations to promote the game as a sport. Now it’s a professional sport played within a large cage watched by thousands during any given match. The cage is there to prevent stray balls from hitting the audience. Although, there was a rumour of an assassination attempt somewhere in the past. Regardless, it was one of my passions growing up, I was even good at it prior to my injury. I am now training to try and get a scholarship into a nearby university, after giving up a while ago. I never expected the game to appear within a fantasy game.

I absentmindedly nibble on the dried fruits and drink the tea as I watch the spectacle. After finishing up the pot of tea, someone else got injured on the field. An idea clicks in my head and I quickly get up from the bench.

“Sorry! Please clean this up!”

I start running toward the injured person, I think Isnic gave me a funny look, but I’m not too sure and this certainly isn’t the time to be worrying about that. I arrive on the scene shortly, as I expected, it’s one of the students from the evasion class. Fortunately, the wound looks worse than it is. At least they had the common sense to use blunted wooden arrows, which only seems to be causing some minor bleeding and bruising.

“Whose idea was it to be doing this?”

The gathered crowd looks uncomfortably at one another before the older uncle from the archery range wades to the front of the crowd.

“That would be me.”


How should I handle this? Argh, why isn’t anyone else here? Why didn’t Till stop them? Arggghhhhh…

After sighing, I realize that they are probably just trying to help the students with the training while keeping it fun. So I can’t exactly blame them for any mishaps, and they did blunt the arrows… “It looks like I didn’t explain the rules of the game. You need to erect some nets around so no one accidentally gets shot. Also, give all the ones that are doing the dodging some extra padding, it might slow them down a little, but it will make sure they can keep training instead of being set aside after getting injured.”

“Oh… right… I didn’t think of that.” The uncle replies sheepishly while the rest of the wanwans look a little embarrassed. Guess they must have gotten too excited to think straight.

“Blah, forget it, let’s set up some rules and equipment. At least no one received any serious injury, right?”

The wanwans nod while the students look around with confusion on their face. Just how trusting are you guys? Then I remember how we were tricked… I don’t really have the right to criticize others… Do I? I start giving orders to everyone after I made sure the injured student got sent to the infirmary. The inspections can wait, nothing good can come out of dampening the mood without doing something to fix it.

* * * * *

“De’muel-ni, is this really the right place? It’s just an empty field… we can barely see the Merchant Quarters from here…” A teen with a rattail and a rat’s tail asks from inside the cart as they meander their way away from the paved road and onto the dirt road. It’s approaching noon as the sun slowly rises toward its peak.

De’muel checks the map and recalls the directions given by the guards at the gate when they were paying the import tax. “This is the right place. Let’s set up camp and secure the goods.”

Including De’muel and Mak’ra, there’s a total of 10 people that traveled on the carts with the goods. This makes a total of 16 people if the escorts are to be included. The field looks to be a barren, uneven piece of land filled with weeds, likely unsuitable for farming. There are some signs of prior construction with a trench that’s now filled with vegetation, they must have tried to find a use for this piece of land and failed to do so. The only reason why this sort of land is within the city’s wall is likely due to its location between the castle and the farmlands.

Raising his voice, the youth turns toward one of the fox-eared escorts. ““Captain! We will be setting up camp here!”

The demihuman on the lead cadejo nods and immediately starts giving orders to her subordinates. Breaking the hexagon formation, two of them, one on each side of the carts, remain mounted, while the rest dismount and start digging a shallow ditch somewhere in the field, away from the road. The soil is hard and uneven with rocks of various size mixed in. Likewise, the teenagers from the carts, led by De’muel and Mak’ra, find the flattest section of the field next to the dirt road and start making a shallow ditch in the form of a square.

Taking the cart that Sammy is pulling and all the empty barrels as a result of paying the import tax, two of the escorts head toward the well near the Merchant Quarters while the captain and the remaining escort remount their steeds, forming a large square formation with the two still mounted escorts.

By the time the escorts get back, the teenagers just managed to complete their second square-shaped ditch, connecting to their first one.

“Mak’ra, you and Kalmi go help the escorts. Me and Laum will clear these, the rest of you, get the boards ready.”

The group splits apart, most head back to the carts to pick up some ropes and boards. The deer-horned youth, leading a still younger ram-horned youth, head to the area where the scouts are carrying the barrels of water to.

“«Flame».” De’muel starts setting the weeds within the second square on fire. As soon as the flame starts burning, he uses the same spell to set the first square -surrounded by the ditch- on fire as well. A stone’s throw away, smoke is starting to rise into the air as well.

“De’muel-ni, we are all done setting up the boards.”

“Alright, then start setting up the campfire with your partner and get the others to take care of the ca-” *keho* *keho* “Shoot, «Breeze»!” A gentle gust of air fans the flame slightly while pushing away the smoke to the side where no one is standing. *keho* After coughing and getting some fresh air, the bull-horned youth resumes. “Get the others to take care of the carts and the horses.”

Farmers and guards from the Merchant Quarters shows up as the smoke raises with concern on their face. The farmers see the demihumans setting fire to the field and wanted to stop them, but their common sense told them to not get involved seeing that the fire seems to be in control. Yet… they couldn’t help themselves and gawk at the demihumans from a distance, as this is the first time they’ve seen so many demihumans gathered together. Even a noble can only employ one or two demihumans due to their cost. Since there doesn’t seem to be any hostilities, the escorts merely tighten the formation in case they’ve to respond to something.

“What’s going on here?” A fat, blonde youth, leading a squad of city guards holding short spears, approaches one of the mounted escorts to ask a question.

“One moment, I’ll get my captain.” *Fiiiiiiii* The escort whistles sharply with his fingers before waving at the rider in another corner.

The rider gives him a signal before heading over. As soon as the captain arrives, the escort trods away to replace her spot. “Something the matter, gentlemen?”


The guards gulp visibly when she starts speaking as her voice was as fine and unique as her appearance. The one leading them seem to maintain his composure somewhat and asks “what’s going on here?”

“We are setting up camp here.”

“What does that have to do with committing arson?”

“Watch your tongue boy, if you know anything about setting camp for long stays, you wouldn’t be asking that.”

“I’m not a boy! And you and your lot are under arrest for committing arson within the Sardonian capital!”


“You throwing a tantrum is proof that you are indeed a boy. And by whose authority are you going to arrest us with?”

*kuku* The rest of the guards try to stifle their laughter while the fat youth’s face turns red and he snarls, reaching for his sword. De’muel arrives next to the Captain of his escorts since he started walking when the previous rider whistled. An almost inaudible *shin* accompanies his arrival.

“Why you, if I don’t throw you into the dungeon for setting fire on my father’s land, my name isn’t Nikolas Donavic!”

“Boy, draw that sword and you will regret it.” The captain says it with a flat tone of voice and narrowing her eyes while her cadejo starts snarling, revealing its fangs. Some of the farmers start running away while the guards each take a step back as everyone just assumed the mounts are merely hairy horses. Some of them start preparing their stance with their spear lowered.


The fat youth falls over backward spectacularly when he tries to draw out his sword, his leg flying forward and up from the force of him trying to unsheathe his weapon.

“Hold it! What’s going on here?” De’muel’s unexpectedly loud voice stalls the commotion. “Captain?”

“The fat kid here says he’s going to arrest us for committing arson on his father’s land.”

“Eh…?” De’muel looks at the fallen youth with discerning eyes. “He isn’t a prince that I know of, but we have permission from the king to use the land as we please anyways.” He quickly prepares the vellum with the king’s seal on it, one of the guards raises his spear up before walking cautiously forward to inspect the sheepskin. The guard checks the seal before looking at the rest of the document. He alternates his gaze between the horns on the lean, muscular youth’s head standing in front of him and the document. The fallen fat youth has gotten up with the help of the guards in the mean time.

“Um… Sir, the document is genuine. His Majesty conditionally loaned the field to them for trading purposes.”

The youth’s angry red face suddenly turns pale, the guards start looking at each other, unsure as to what to do.

“That is all for today! Get your lazy asses back to your posts!” The youth starts screaming angrily at his men as he tries to stomp away.

“So that means your name is Fat Ass from now on?” The Captain raises her voice loudly for everyone to hear.

“Eh… the fat kid’s name is Fat Ass, Captain? These humans have strange naming senses… Careful on your way back everyone, Fat Ass!”


The youth can do nothing but storm off, redder than ever from anger and humiliation while the guards struggle the entire way to hold back their laughter. It’s already well known that their incompetent leader only got his job with the help of his father, so there’s literally no respect for him from the guards.


During the commotion, some kids from somewhere started playing with the giant ball of fur, otherwise known as Sammy, near where the horses are tied to. Their light laughters only now reach everyone’s ears. The farmers were the first to react by running to the kids and dragging them away while bowing repeatedly all the while.

* * * * *

Things have quieted down after the first day’s chaos. The burnt ground was flattened with stomping boards after being temporarily frozen with «Frozen Javelin». The purpose was to break the ground down with the changes in temperature while sterilizing the area, killing all the pests and roots to prevent them from growing back. The ditch is to serve as a minor anti-theft feature as well as drainage to divert any water away from the tents and direct it into the preexisting trench. Four tents were erected, two tents were pitched near the road; holding the sales tent and a resting tent. A few meters away, two more tents were erected, holding yet another resting area and the storage area for the goods. Between the two sets of tents, a makeshift campfire had been made by the two responsible for cooking. Like the smokeless fire taught by Kun, the fire pit is a flat-bottom U shaped hole. Above the hole, where the fire is made, stands a metal stand made with three rods tied at the top, a wooden bucket would dangle from a rope to boil their water and food.

The Captain gave out instructions to her team at dinner that night, the escorts would patrol the area in two sets: The first set would patrol for 6 hours before switching out with another, the second would do the same except 3 hours after the first set have started. This is to prevent any potential gaps from forming during shift change.

The following day, De’muel tries talking to the various shopkeepers that are on the main road within the Merchant Quarters. In each instance, they would talk with him in a friendly manner at first before telling him to go away when he asks if they would be willing to buy his goods. Undeterred, he goes on to try the smaller shops within the Merchant Quarters. He draws stares every now and then, but it is something that he’s already been used to a long time ago. He already covered almost half the Merchant Quarters by the time the sun is starting to set and the shops start to close down for the night. Walking back toward the tents, he hears the occasional laughter of children before it disappears along with the sun. De’muel reports his lack of success while Mak’ra reports that not a single buyer visited them today, the only visits came from the neighbourhood kids bothering Sammy and the horses.

Going into the Merchant Quarters the first thing the next morning, De’muel continues where he last left off. He somewhat expects more of the same treatment as that of yesterday’s, but it didn’t prepare him for what is yet to come.

“Get out!”


“Get out of here!”

“You are not welcomed here, don’t come back again.”

Each time he tries to enter a shop, the shopkeeper would immediately chase him away. He was able to visit all the shops in the entire Merchant Quarters by the time brunch came around. He walks back to the tents with a frown on his face, as he can’t figure out why no one would buy from him. He recalls seeing others being able to sell various things to the shopkeepers, what makes him so different? He walks into the group having brunch as he continues to think.

“Something the matter, De’muel? You are back early today.” Mak’ra turns to the bull-horned youth while eating his serving of potherbs with bits of dried meat in it.

“You want to eat, De’muel-ni?” The rat-tailed teenager with a rattail asks him while scooping out a serving for one of the off-duty escorts.

“Please, Laum. And yeah Mak’ra, do I look weird?”

““““Huh?”””” Everyone eating around the campfire turns and looks at him at the same time with a questioning look.

“Remember how I was greeted yesterday? Now I get kicked out the moment I take a step within any store in the Merchant Quarters…”

“That is strange…” Mak’ra furrows his brows.

“Well, De’muel-ni looks fine, the clothing is typical for a traveller, it can’t be that.”
“He’s pretty good looking, it also can’t be that he’s ugly…”
“Maybe because he’s demihuman?”
“Nah, we were fine at the other cities. They might give us strange looks every now and then, but it isn’t something like thi-thisc-thiscremation?”
“You mean discrimination?”
“Yeah, that.”

“Here you go, De’muel-ni.” Laum hands over a serving of food in a wooden bowl with a wooden spoon.

“Thanks.” De’muel starts eating the soft, tender potsherbs while mulling over the situation. “Mak’ra, you try and sell at the store after brunch is over. Just try a dozen or so, let’s see what happens.

* * * * *

“De’muel-ni, we’ve a problem.”

“Why? What’s the matter, Kalmi?” The bull-horned youth carefully rolls up the vellum that he’s reading within the sales tent. He clears up the counter, which was set up using parts from the 2nd cart, and turns toward the monkey-tailed cook.

“Some of the eggs are starting to go bad. The shaking during transport might have damaged some of them.”

“Damn it.” De’muel rubs his temples with his hand for a moment. “How many of them are there?”

“I’d say about a barrel’s worth.”


The bull-horned youth sighs in dismay. “Okay, cook up all the ones that are about to go bad. Make the others in such a way that we can eat them as snacks and for brunch tomorrow.”

“Also, some of the zinnia flowers are about to go bad too.”

“Is there a lot?”

“No, just a bit.”

“Then use it with the egg.”

“Got it.” Kalmi’s tail curls into a ring in anxiousness. “Are you alright?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Don’t know, you look older by a few years all of the sudden.”


The youth can only smile bitterly. “Don’t worry about it. We will be having quite a bit of eggs, though.”

*kii kii kii*

“We will make sure you guys won’t get sick of it.” Kalmi heads back to the warehouse tent after laughing with a monkey-like sound.

* * * * *

*kero kero*




“““… RUN!”””


A number of younger kids are riding on top of Sammy while some older ones are leaning into the furry blob, sniffing the air while spying on the pair of cooks preparing the evening meal. Mak’ra’s return from the Merchant Quarters surprised the children, causing them to run. Sammy follows them a split second later, causing a wind pressure that pushes against Mak’ra. The deer-horned youth is left with a “what the hell just happened” look before shaking his head and resumes walking to the sales tent.

The escorts didn’t stop the children today since they are not bothering the horses and Sammy seems to be fine interacting with them. They would be able to jump right in if the children start any trouble, but they seem to be behaving themselves by playing simple things like Tag and OniOniCircle. Seeing that they are not a threat, the escorts simply remain on guard. It seems that the field they are occupying originally acted as a sort of playground according to the children, so De’muel allowed them to keep playing here when informed by the escorts.

[T/N: OniOniCircle is likely referring to the Japanese version of “Red Light, Green Light” or “Go, Stop” or whatever it’s called. Oni = 鬼, the game is called 鬼鬼輪, my googlefu is too weak to know if this is an actual game or is a reference to something]

“Ni-san.” Mak’ra pops inside the sales tent as the sky is dyed in orange.

“Ah, Mak’ra, any luck?”

The deer-horned youth fidgets while replying “no, something doesn’t seem right about all of this.”

“I think I know why…”


“I’ve been reviewing the lessons by Bell-sensei. There is something known as ‘Economic Embargo’, ‘Market Manipulation’ and ‘Market Monopoly’.”

“Isn’t Embargo limited to countries only?”

“Yes, but the theory can be applied in this case, it’s an act of ‘Trade Protectionism’.”

“Umm… sorry ni-san, you lost me.”

“Someone or some group somewhere within this city doesn’t want us trading here.” De’muel leans on the counter, tenting his fingers while leaning on his hands.

“We aren’t that important… isn’t that too much of a conspiracy?”

“Even so, let’s assume the worst for now and let’s say that we can’t ever sell to the merchants within the Merchant Quarters.”


“No buts, we both tried this already, you were kicked out right away from the shops, yes?”

Mak’ra’s face twitches since De’muel is right on the bullseye. “Then what are we going to do?”

“I don’t know yet, we will have a discussion with everyone over dinner.”

“Speaking of which, why are there a bunch of kids staring at our cooks?”

“… What?” The bull-horned youth packs away the vellums on the counter before walking towards the campfire where the Laum and Kalmi are preparing the night’s meal with Mak’ra right behind.


Involuntarily, De’muel gulps at the aromas drifting through the air as he approaches the two. “Hey, Laum, Kalmi. What are you guys making?”

The rat-tailed teenager with the rattail waves at his partner to keep working while stopping to talk. “Well, some of the zinnia flowers don’t look edible, but it’d be a waste to just throw them out, so we blended the non-rotten flowers with some of the tea leaves to hardboil some eggs in it. It should help preserve it for a few days.”

“How many did you make?”

“We are going to use about 3/4 of the barrel this way. There’s simply too much egg to eat for dinner and brunch. That bunch there is done, help yourself it you are hungry right now.”

“Alright, good job.” De’muel gives the teenager a pat on the shoulder before looking around. It didn’t take long before he spots the white blob hiding behind the warehouse tent with the kids peeking at the cooks.

“Book it!”
“Let’s go, Sam-cham!”

Some of the kids agilely slide off the furry white blob while a few of the younger kids pull Sammy’s fur to get him to move.

“Sammy! Bring the kids over here.”


“Wah! No, Sam-cham!”
“You traitor!”
“We didn’t do anything.”

Sammy obediently went around the tents and glides its way over to De’muel with three children still riding on him. In the meantime, the youth picks up an egg and starts removing the shell with a spoon before cutting them into quarters with a small sharp knife.

One of the kids starts crying upon seeing the knife.

“Please don’t eat us! We will be good!” The middle kid starts shivering while holding Sammy with a deathgrip.

“Mommy… waaaahhhhh!” The other kid starts crying as well.

“BE QUIET!” De’muel puts the egg into a wooden bowl before putting the knife away. The children are shocked into silence as they look at the bull-horned youth in terror. The stories of the bull-horned demon eating naughty children appearing in their heads. “Let them down, Sammy.”

*kero kero*

The furry blob deflates itself as the still stunned children continue to stare at De’muel.

“Here.” The youth holds out the bowl of quartered eggs toward the snot-nosed kids. When none of them moved an inch, he let’s out a *fuuuu*. “You just pick it up and eat it like this.” He picks up a slice of the divided fist-sized egg and takes a bite out of it before chewing. The aroma and taste is delicious as expected, the slight citrus flavour combining with the flower’s aroma, a subtle sweetness enhancing the savoriness of the yolk while contrasting with the slight bitterness from the tea leaves. Unconsciously, he starts grabbing for another piece as he quickly devours the first piece.


All the kids snap out of it as the aroma makes them gulp, the sight of the so-called demon devouring the egg greedily makes them eye the egg with curiosity. The middle child reaches into the still extended bowl and grabs a piece of the egg before taking a bite, as the other two kids look on. The child’s eyes go wide at the flavour, a delicious flavour - unlike the heavily salted cuisine found within Sardon. The other two gulp upon seeing the child’s reaction, splitting the remaining piece among themselves before eating it. Seeing the empty bowl, De’muel grabs a few more eggs and starts removing their shells. Since [Namakemono] eggs have a certain thickness to its shells, it’s very easy to remove them without the shell crumbling.


Before De’muel has the chance to cut up the egg, a vacuum-like gust of wind appears from nowhere and drags the egg into the still deflated Sammy.


An unusual sound as though a frog is purring fills the air before the white blob deflates some more. De’muel momentarily stares at his empty hand where the egg once was before reaching over and working on another one after giving the flattened blob a wry smile.

*ta ta ta*

Mak’ra has been watching the sight since he followed De’muel on the way out, others within the camp arrive after hearing the commotion.


All of them are gulping from the aroma and the sight of De’muel peeling the eggshells while children are eating the eggs happily. Some of them couldn’t help themselves and start removing the shell off an egg on their own. It wasn’t long before everyone, including the off-duty escorts, join in the sudden meal. Laum and Kalmi just shrug at each other as they continue to cook.

“Incoming!” An escort shouts from the direction of the Merchant Quarters. The off-duty escorts quickly toss their piece of egg into their mouth before summoning their Gray Cadejo and riding toward the voice.


“Release the children now!” The fat, blonde youth from the first day appears again, leading his squad of city guards in full run.

“What the hell are you talking about, Fat Ass?”



The cadejos all roar at the same time, causing the very air to vibrate. This has the effect of causing all the guards to halt their run.

“I repeat, what the hell are you talking about?”

“I’ve a report of children being abducted and being eaten here. I’m here to save those kids from you savages! Less talking! Charge!”

“Captain, the kids are eating with the others.”

“So Fat Ass is now a Dumb Ass?” The Captain sighs tiredly before giving out some quick orders. “Fall back, Circle formation, protect the kids.”

The guards charge half-heartedly since they overheard that the kids are eating with the others as reported by one of the riders. Some didn’t even take more than a few steps.

“You! Follow me!” Without another word, the Captain charges past the fat youth drawing his sword and nabs the guard that did the check on the document the other day. He gets unceremoniously dragged with an “aaaaahhhhh” onto the back of the cadejo before it makes a sharp turn and dashes toward the camp.

“These savages are kidnapping one of the guards! Call for backup!” The fat youth charges forward with his sword drawn as the other escorts slowly back away toward the camp after spreading out. The guards look at each other in doubt before someone finally retrieves a horn and blows in it. The “Huuuuuu” echoes through the air, causing birds in the fields nearby to take flight.

*kan* *kan* *kan*

The fat youth tries to slash at one of the escorts, who parries it away with a long spear without effort. The cadejo would occasionally lean in during the parry, pushing the swordsman back.

“What the hell are you idiots doing?! Attack!”

“Umm… Sir.”

“WHAT?!” Nikolas turns back angrily.

The guard merely points toward the camp where their old captain is walking toward them, leading three children while holding onto something. Behind them rides the beautiful woman with a look that’s as cold as ice.

“Umm… false alarm guys.” The man wipes his mouth with his sleeve before flashing a smile. “On the other hand, you guys won’t believe what these guys are selling here.” He quickly tosses a few eggs toward his fellow guards who catch them with their hands, dropping their short spears.

The youth looks at the guard and the children in confusion.

“Weren’t they tied up and about to be eaten?”

“Sir, no, sir. They were happily eating these things with the demihuman traders at their camp, sir!”


The few guards with the eggs gulp as the aroma stirs their appetite since it’s close to dinner time. The guards quickly peel away part of the eggshell before ripping a piece out and devouring it. They quickly gesture to the other guards while chewing the piece in their mouth. The other guards, seeing that there’s no danger or incident, gather around those with the eggs and start grabbing pieces for themselves.

“What the…? That child said his friends were going to be eaten…” The fat youth mutters to himself and turns his head every which way, at the children each holding a large egg, the guard that came back, and the men that are busily devouring the eggs. A sudden shadow towers over him, the deep red setting sun giving it an eerie look. Out of the blue, a loud *PA* is heard followed by a dull *Da* sound of something falling onto the floor. The youth stares at the shadowed figure in shock.

“Pick up the glove, Dumb Ass. I’m challenging your incompetent ass to a duel.”


  1. Lol fat ass to dumb ass. Now the only thing to ponder is if it is truly a demotion or promotion. Would you rather be called fat ass or dumb ass is the question =p

  2. Dumb Ass is about to be hurt. Badly.
    And he deserves it.

    Thanks for the chapter.


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