NBAA Vol. 2 Chapter 3 Part 1

CHAPTER 3

Following Airis’ instructions, Reito and Ullr arrived at a village — or more precisely, what remained of it.

It showed the same signs of mayhem as the village they visited after leaving the Abyssal Forest: the villagers’ corpses were strewn everywhere.

The only difference was the presence of survivors.

“H-hey…are you an adventurer?”

“Ooh!! They finally sent help?”

“Everybody!! Someone came to save us!!”

“Er, no, I…”

“Arf…”

As soon as Reito entered the village, he was surrounded by a group of wounded villagers. They were all injured in some way, but they could apparently move without too much trouble.

Reito asked about what happened in detail and received the following explanation.

A group of armed Goblins broke through the barrier and started rampaging throughout the village. They took all food supplies and weapons. The villagers who barely managed to survive hid in the food storage under the elder’s house. Some escaped the village, but they were likely dead.

One of the villagers spoke to Reito.

“Are you an adventurer? Did the Adventurers’ Guild accept our request, then?”

“I’m sorry, I just happened to pass by. But I have food and water with me, I’m willing to share it if you want…”

Reito imagined that this was the reason why Airis told him to bring plenty of food and water: the villagers reacted with joy and surprise to his proposal.

“I-is that really true? You’re a savior…those bastards threw corpses in our well, so we can’t drink that water anymore…”

“…please form a line, I’ll start giving it out now. I can use recovery magic on any wounded too…”

“Eh!? Are you a Healing Magician!?”

“No, Support Magician.”

“Whaat? Support…that hopeless job!?”

“Hey, watch your mouth!! We might as well owe our lives to this boy!!”

Some of the villagers frowned when they heard of Reito’s job, but one of the elders rebuked them.

Reito paid no mind to their words: he started distributing food and water and healing the wounded.

“Recovery Boost”

“Ooh…my legs are healing…!”

“F-father…!!”

“Ooh…thank you so much, you saved me!”

Seeing her father’s twisted leg return to normal, a girl embraced Reito while shedding warm tears. The father too thanked Reito repeatedly.

At first, the villagers did not know if they could trust a “hopeless” job holder like him, but after witnessing the effects of his healing magic, they overcame their prejudices.

After distributing the food and healing the majority of the wounded, Reito proposed to help them move to a safe location.

The survivors were exactly 12 people: Reito would escort them to the nearest village.

“Is there a carriage large enough to fit everyone in the village?”

“I-I’m sorry, there are only ox-drawn carriages left…”

Reito nodded to the apologetic villager, then turned towards Ullr.

“That’s more than enough. My buddy here will pull the carriage, so please tell the women, children and elderly to get on. I’m sorry, but the men who can walk will have to follow on foot. We’ll take a break and rest if you need it, so please don’t be afraid to say if you’re tired.”

“T-thank you so much!!”

“We can’t bring too much luggage, but if there is anything you absolutely cannot leave behind, I’ll keep it for you. Please make preparations as soon as you can.”

“Y-yes!!!”

The villagers obediently complied.

While they were making their preparations, Reito used his Alchemist skills on the carriage, to change it into a form Ullr would have an easier time pulling.

As soon as the villagers were ready, the group left for the nearest village.

On the way there, Reito learned that the village’s name was Aphein and received a gift from the villagers as thanks for saving them. Reito refused to accept money, however, and received metal tools and items left in excess in the village.

He also received a Barrier Stone and Decay Stone, tools with the power of keeping monsters away. They were both rare magic stones which could be sold at a very high price.

~

“Oh, sir adventurer, over there, that’s the village of Aferre!!”

“I see…”

The village of Aferre was surrounded by walls and guards were standing at the gates. As soon as they saw Reito’s convoy, they approached quickly.

“C-could you be coming from Aphein!?”

“Thank the heavens, someone survived!! Come in, quick!”

“Go inform the elder!! Bring food and water too!!”

The Aferre villagers eagerly welcomed Reito and the villagers from Aphein: they were immediately led to the village elder’s residence.

The elder provided all villagers with a warm meal, then listened to their story. He then came closer to Reito and acted as if whispering to himself.

“…it was those armed Goblins’ doing, was it not…?”

Reito replied to the elder.

“The village was already ransacked when I arrived. I brought the survivors here for the time being, but…what will you do?”

“They are welcome to stay in our village. Unfortunately, however, more and more survivors are gathering here…all of them from villagers attacked by Goblins. To tell the truth, we cannot rest easy…”

“There are so many people coming…?”

Other than Aphein, many other villages in the area had been attacked, apparently. Most of the villages had already been destroyed, with their survivors seeking shelter in Aferre.

Aferre was protected by walls and magic stones to keep monsters at bay, so it was relatively safe, compared to other villages in the vicinity.

Providing shelter for the increasing number of survivors, however, had created a new issue: lack of food supplies.

The Aferre village had petitioned the royal army to exterminate the armed Goblins, but the army was still investigating the Goblins’ whereabouts, so they had not moved yet.

They also sent a request to the Adventurers’ Guild, but as they could not offer much as a reward, no one had accepted it yet, apparently.

“We have also asked any passing adventurers to help us, but they all refused when they learned that we couldn’t offer a proper reward…”

“I see…”

The village’s offered reward was indeed far too low for the scope of the request: 30 silver coins, approximately 300,000 Yen. (TL note: circa 2750 USD) 

Considering the deadly risks involved, it was an unreasonable amount.

Accepting the request would mean staying in the village for a long period, protecting the villagers from the armed Goblins and defeating them. The enemy’s numbers were unknown and could attack at any time. If the Goblins did not come during the adventurer’s stay in the village, the reward would become half too. Lodging was provided for free, but because of the village’s lack of food supplies, meals would come at a price.

It was no wonder that most adventurers refused to accept such conditions.

Thirty silver coins were an attractive reward for novice adventurers, but for veterans it was nothing to marvel at.

Reito could not blame the adventurers for ignoring the village’s request. He too thought the reward did not compensate for the risks — yet, he could not find it in himself to leave the villagers to their fates.

“Is it possible to cancel the request you have sent to the guilds? If you can have the money back, I’d like to undertake the request…”

“D-do you really mean it!?”

“I wish for the conditions to be changed, though. I will accept only if the request is to strengthen the village’s defenses.”

“Eh…?”

The village elder was baffled by Reito’s proposal, but eventually accepted it.

~

“To be frank…the village’s defenses are pretty poor.”

“M-my humblest apologies…we never expected monster attacks, so…”

After examining the village’s surroundings, Reito felt rather downhearted.

The brick walls protecting the village had been erected dozens of years ago: the passage of time caused them to crumble in many spots.

Some cracks were large enough for an adult human to pass through. The largest gaps had been covered with wooden planks, but any monster could have broken through easily.

Reito also found out that the bricks themselves were rather frail and the walls were just two metres high in certain spots: using the gaps between the bricks, even children could climb over them. Goblins, which possessed physical abilities higher than humans, could break through in no time.

Reito asked a question to the elder while checking the walls.

“Have you ever considered digging a moat?”

“A moat…sir?”

“A moat, outside of the walls. I think it would be enough to protect the village, even with walls like these…”

One of the guards interrupted Reito.

“Aaaah, I can’t listen to this anymore!! Boy, you make it sound like it’s so easy, but do you have an idea how much time and effort it takes to build something like that!?”

“We have thought about digging a moat before, but…to dig one surrounding the whole village would require manpower we honestly do not possess.”

The guards spoke the truth, but Reito had an idea.

He pointed his palm at the ground in front of the walls and casted a basic grade magic spell.

“Earth Block.”

“Ooh!?”

“W-what the!?”

“The ground is…rising…?”

“Earth Block” was a basic grade magic spell that manipulated earth through the use of gravity. Reito used it to create a small mountain, which he pushed uniformly against the walls to reinforce them, while creating a ditch along the walls at the same time.

“Okay…what do you think?”

“A-amazing…so you were a talented magician!?”

“S-sir magician!!! Please forgive our rudeness earlier!!”

Reito couldn’t help but smile at the guards’ swift change of attitude.

“Don’t worry about it, really…more importantly, could you tell anyone with time on their hands to gather here? I’d like to ask them to help dig the moats a bit deeper.”

“Y-yes sir!!”

The guards immediately gathered any available adults and had them start digging the moats around the village walls.

Reito could have done the job himself with magic, but it would have taken a toll on his magic power reserves. Because of that, he had the villagers take care of the finishing touches.

A few hours later, the over four meters deep moat around the village was completed.

Thanks to the basic grade spell Earth Block, the village’s defensive walls were fortified, their multiple cracks and damage sealed and repaired. The Barrier Stone and Decay stone, which were only set on the walls before, were now embedded in a way they couldn’t be destroyed easily.

The village’s external defenses thus improved, but Reito was still concerned. No matter how strong the defenses were, if the village’s military forces were lacking it wouldn’t mean anything.

Reito approached a group of villagers.

“How many soldiers are there in the village?”

“We have about 20 guards. If we count everyone with battle experience, it’s 20-30 more. The enemies are not normal Goblins, but powerful, organized forces that destroyed many villages already, aren’t they? I doubt people like us could…”

“Don’t give up before we fight, please!! What weapons do you have?”

“The guards have theirs, that’s about it. Ten swords and five lances, plus five bows. We have some wooden weapons for training too, if that helps.”

“You should also have farming tools like sickles and hoes, right? Kitchen knives can work too.”

“With all due respect, sir…do you suggest we fight with them? I doubt farming tools and kitchen knives will be much useful against monsters…”

“I’ll take care of that, don’t worry. Gather everyone capable of fighting and all tools you have, please.”

“Y-yes sir!!!”

The guards did not look convinced, but they listened to Reito’s request nonetheless.

They promptly gathered all villagers with battle experience and the tools Reito asked about.

Reito planned to use the wooden training weapons and tools to make new weapons.

He used Metal Transmutation and Shape Change to turn sickles and hoes into short swords and lances, respectively.

He then tied the kitchen knives on the tip of the wooden lances, using forks and knives – turned into nails – to hammer the knives on the lances, creating impromptu knife lances.

After preparing the weapons, Reito instructed the guards and villagers how to use them.

Many of the survivors who fled to Aferre had lost their family or home to the armed Goblins. They naturally resented them deeply, so there was no shortage of villagers eager to fight.

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