<why isn’t the brat coming…>
In Crack of Dawn’s servant beast hut, the gryphon whimpered.
With outstretched wings, the gryphon sprawled out lifelessly on the ground amidst its mess of a straw bed.
<He can’t even bring us dinner? Could he be wounded? Sick? Nngh…>
<I’m getting worried!>
The twin wolves were restlessly pacing in circles in their space.
The gryphon had been angry until the evening, but as Roa had not come even after sunset, it had started to become worried.
No one had brought the servant beasts their dinner. Until now, Roa had prepared them two meals a day, but none of the Crack of Dawn members had ever noticed. The care of the servant beasts had been left completely to him: not even their tamer Eric had cared for them, so they would never notice.
Servant beasts, and any magic monster, could be without food for several weeks. In fact, wild magic beasts sometimes lived without feeding for weeks at a time when prey was scarce.
Because of this, the three servant beasts were not concerned about their meals, but about the fact that Roa had not shown up.
<Should we go take a look?>
The twin wolves smelled the air, worried.
<Don’t. You know that the last time we snuck out of here the brat was beaten bloody, right? It would be foolish to go look for him and cause him to be beaten…what’s with that look? I’m not saying this for his sake! What use would it be to act for his sake!? He’s just our caretaker! This is just…a show of pity on my part, and…>
The gryphon hurriedly looked away from the twins. If it was human, its face would be bright red by now, but its feathered visage did not show any changes.
That day, the three beasts quietly went to sleep.
The following morning, the gryphon’s mouth was wide open, in shock. Its eyes were fixed on the plate in front. On the plate, there was a heap of brown pellets.
It was the adventurers’ guild-made standard dried feed for servant beasts…commonly called “Crispies”.
<What is this?>
The gryphon scoffed at those “things” on its plate, which looked positively nasty. After studying them for a while, it decided to try a bite.
<What in the world is this!!>
A roar, incomprehensible to human ears, boomed in the hut.
<What is this supposed to be!? Food!? It kind of tastes like meat, but it’s disgusting! All dry! Too dry!! I feel my nose turning into a desert! The smell is passing through it and…gwaaaaahhhg!!>
<It’s so nasty….>
The twin magic wolves tried a nibble too, but then pushed the plate back into the corridor with their noses.
<Where’s the brat!? Why doesn’t he come? Is he really sick then? To the point that he can’t prepare our meals? Last time he was sick though, the emergency rations were still good enough to eat!>
The “Crispies” had been prepared by Eric, the party’s tamer. In the morning he had realized that the servant beasts hadn’t been given any food, so he scavenged in the servant beasts’ feed storeroom and brought them what he found.
The crispies he found, however, were a prototype that the guild had given to them for free: Roa had checked their smell and taste and decided that the servant beasts’ wouldn’t like it, so he had left it inside the storeroom.
Since the feed had been left out after being opened, the originally bad taste had deteriorated even further.
Roa had made emergency rations, in case he fell ill or had to leave for an extended period of time, but Eric, who had never cared for the servant beasts, had no idea.
<What’s…what’s going on here? I cannot understand! Why must I be treated like this? Brat!! What happened to you!? What are you doing? Grrrr….look at the sorry state of my bed! The straw is scattered everywhere! My beautiful stomach fur is dirty with mud!!>
<Gramps, you did that yourself yesterday!>
The gryphon had slept on the ground because he had clawed at the straw the day before, but seemed to have conveniently forgotten as it voiced its indignation, provoking unsympathetic looks from the twin wolves.
<Kh…I can’t even try to detect what happened to him because of the barrier! Shall I go ahead and destroy it!? Let’s destroy the barrier and go see what happened to the brat! Yet, that’s…>
A barrier had been erected around the servant beasts’ hut, which weakened their powers. It was a standard option for servant beast huts, which eliminated the need for collars while inside the hut. The hut also contained any noise or smell.
<Let’s break it down! Break it down and go see!>
The twin wolves agreed with the gryphon’s proposal too.
<Mngh….however. If we do break it down, the brat would be scolded. The worthless fools of this party would yell at him and use violence, despite the fact that they never do anything. It would be a pity if the brat was in trouble again…>
The twin wolves grumbled at the hopeless situation and lied down again, giving the inedible crispies a glance.
The same morning of the servant beasts’ struggle, the Crack of Dawn members visited the guild, looking for requests to undertake. All of them were eagerly looking at the request bulletin board.
The leader, Stefan the swordsman, the warrior and tank Olun, Bonne the cleric, Serge the thief, and Eric the tamer. After eating the breakfast Olun’s wife prepared, they had set out for the guild.
The newly designed Hero Party had attracted everyone’s attention and envious gazes as soon as they stepped inside the guild.
….or so they thought. The reason they attracted attention was Coralde and Roa’s visit the day before. The adventurers and guild staff wanted to ask them about the connection between Coralde and Roa, instead they just looked at them from a distance.
It had already become widely known that Roa had been kicked out from Crack of Dawn. Normally, people would think that he had been kicked out for being too useless, but the events of the previous day conflicted with this theory.
If the reason why Roa had been kicked out tied in with his connection to Coralde, asking imprudent questions might irritate the party. Crack of Dawn’s members often insulted and hit Roa, so they were known for their severe lack of patience. They were also a rather powerful group, as their newly acquired title showed.
No one was brave enough to ask potentially dangerous questions to such an easily irritable and violent bunch.
Crack of Dawn’s members, on the other hand, were quite content with being the target of such “gazes filled with envy and admiration.”
“What about this request?”
Olun pointed at a request for the extermination of Silver Golems.
Apparently, two Silver Golems had been spotted in Norfar valley, about one day’s travel via carriage to the west of Amadan.
Golems were creatures created through alchemy in the distant past. Having lost their creator, they had turned wild and proliferated, or so people believed.
The creatures magicians could create with earth magic were also called golems, but they could not move or act unless ordered to, making them clearly different things. Golems created through alchemy were closer to magic beasts: they could grow and proliferate by absorbing magic and minerals.
Depending on the minerals they absorbed, their bodies’ structure changed: Silver Golems, as their name suggested, were made of silver. Their presence signaled the fact that a silver mine had to be in the area.
The request for their extermination was motivated by this, aiming to further expansion and growth for the city. The request came from none other than the lord of the Amadan county.
“The reward’s kind of lame, but if we give a contribution to the city we’ll become even more famous.”
“That’s a very good idea. Contributing to society and the people is important too.”
The female servant of the gods was weak against keywords such as “being useful to others” and “charity work”.
“Right! We’re the Hero Party after all!”
The leader Stefan agreed and ripped the request from the board.
The other adventurers kept looking at them, eager to ask questions, but unable to actually do it.