Chapter 66 – Meanwhile, the Black Swan of Dawn – part one
(Rickstein’s PoV (Leader of the Black Swan of Dawn))
“Rick, it’s finally here.” A woman entered the base of the Black Swan of Dawn.
She was wearing a red hood, and she is the sub-leader of our adventurer team, Anemoa.
Right now, it was still early morning.
I, Rickstein, the leader of the Black Swan of Dawn, was the only person sat at our long table right now.
Some people may think of me as elderly as I’m already on my forties, but I’m still in charge of this team.
I was currently eating breakfast and reading a book, and I grinned once I saw Anemoa return, “So, how was it? What is the prey?”
“The Obsidian Wolf.” She replied.
“Oh, that’s a big deal.” I said.
The two of us were waiting for more information until now, but this was out of our expectations.
A monster famous enough that everyone would know what it was just from hearing the name.
“So, who are we taking?” Anemoa asked me.
When it comes to subjugating big monsters like this one, things are handled on a first come, first served basis.
There are some limitations though.
Once the adventurer’s guild submits a subjugation request for the monster, you would only be allowed to hunt the monster if you were of a certain rank or above.
The restriction exists to make sure that no newbie adventurer, that is too full of themselves, pointlessly wastes their lives trying to hunt something that is too strong for them.
However, it’s not prohibited to hunt monsters without going through the guild.
If someone claims that they accidentally met up with the target, fought it and subjugated it, then nobody would be able to blame them.
In the first place, this isn’t a violation of the guild’s rules, nor is it illegal.
Not to mention that monsters can be killed by people who aren’t adventurers too.
It’s rare for non-adventurers or low-rank adventurers to hunt big monsters, but it’s not unheard of.
Therefore, if you want to subdue this kind of big game, you need to prepare and depart quickly.
“If it’s the Obsidian Wolf, then it’s not necessary for neither me nor you to move.
I think I’ll send Glock as a commander, and have Ainliese, Horun and Lorobel accompany him.” I replied after thinking about the monster’s capabilities.
“Horun?” Anemoa asked me.
As the leader, my opinion should be absolute for most members, but that’s not the case for Anemoa, the vice-leader, as she is the one who acts as the leader when I’m absent.
Both of us have full trust in each other’s judgement, so that’s why we often exchange opinions and speak our thoughts openly to one another.
Of course, Anemoa would never contest my decision in front of others.
She only does it when the two of us are alone.
“Isn’t it too early for that girl?” Anemoa asked me.
Horun often chooses to clear difficult requests without minding the payment of it.
She became a famous adventurer who is referred to as the Saintess of Demon Exorcism.
Although everyone recognizes her ability, she still has only been an adventurer for two years.
It’s not wrong to refer to her as a rookie, so I can understand Anemoa thinking that it’s too early for Horun to face a big game.
However, “No, not really.” I grinned widely at Anemoa, “She’s already on the top 5 of Black Swan of Dawn.”
“No way…” Anemoa was visibly surprised by my assessment.
“Glock sometimes loses to her in spars, you know? And even I get the chills when practicing with her.” I told Anemoa.
The Black Swan of Dawn is an adventurer team that stands out amongst the others that are based on the capital.
Our members are by no means weak.
I am considered the strongest adventurer of not only the Black Swan of Dawn, but also the strongest one in the whole capital.
After me, Veronica with her dual swords, and Glock with his short spear, are both competing for second place.
I haven’t really made that public, but if any of them surpass me, I will retire… However, I don’t think the time for me to give up on my post has come just yet.
That said, someone else has started to threaten my position… And that someone is Horun.
Therefore, “I want Horun to gain experience.
And Ainliese too.”
What Horun needs right now, is experience fighting strong opponents.
I can’t help wanting to hone the terrifying talent that she has already achieved while still being 17 years old.
Besides, Ainliese is already Horun’s close companion.
While the both of them are already strong enough separately, their strength really shines when they fight together.
I’m not sure if even I can beat those two when they’re cooperating.
Though well, a good chunk of what Ainliese does, is simply taking care of Horun.
Everyone recognizes Horun’s ability and Gift, but we also are very well-aware of her free-spiritedness and her troublesome behavior.
“… Well, I guess it might be fine if Glock is accompanying her.” Anemoa said after thinking for a while.
Glock is a very strong and reliable member who entered the team together with Anemoa.
If he is with Horun, I feel comfortable with sending her.
“I’m sorry for separating you two again.” I told Anemoa.
“What’s up with that? I’m not a youngster anymore.
I’m not sticky enough to complain about this kind of thing.” Anemoa replied.
Anemoa and Glock have been dating for a while now, so I feel bad about separating them, but it’s nice that Anemoa is understanding about it.
Youth… Makes me remember the time from before I got married and had my first children.
In any case, with the decision made, Anemoa immediately started working on preparing a schedule and she will soon give out instructions to the appropriate members.
With this out of the way, I went back to eating and decided to change to a simpler topic, “How is Laila doing?”
We have three magicians in Black Swan of Dawn.
One is Anemoa.
Another is currently away doing some work.
And the third one is Laila, a newcomer.
“She won’t get noticeable improvements that soon, but she is trying her best.” Anemoa replied.
The other day, Laila spoke directly to me.
She said that she was not at the level where she could act with everyone, so she was going to focus on training for now.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that practical combat would be more effective than training.
I mean, I think she should be fine if she practiced while subjugating Demon Beasts near the capital.
For as long as she was accompanied by other members of our team, that is.
It shouldn’t be dangerous like that.
However, before I had a chance of saying what I thought to Laila, Anemoa gave her a reply.
Saying that she would teach Laila how to become a good magician.
So, Anemoa started training this promising newcomer.
Laila is still lacking in many aspects, but I’m sure she is doing her best.
She doesn’t raise her voice even when under rigorous training.
She surely wants to improve, and her attitude shows that.
“Right now, Laila’s current goal seems to be, becoming strong enough to hunt a Redbear by herself.” Anemoa told me.
That’s a good goal.” I replied.
A Redbear is a strong Demon Beast.
Being able to defeat one alone is certainly enough to make one be qualified as a fully-fledged adventurer.
I remembered the past.
Back when I had first set that same goal for myself… It’s nostalgic.
“Mmm… Morning!” Suddenly, I heard a familiar voice come from above.
Seems like leisure time is over.
Horun, who was sleeping in her room on the second floor until just now, greeted us with a sleepy voice as she leaned on the railing of the second floor.
“Uncle, where’s Ain?” Horun asked me.
Most people view me as strict and stern.
They say I have a terrifying face.
A veteran warrior that even adults have a hard time talking to.
A scary man that makes children cry when he smiles.
… And Horun calls me ‘uncle’.
That’s just the way this girl is.
Isn’t she still asleep?” I replied.
That impertinent girl was still leaning over the railing, but as the leader, who have already gotten used to her behavior, I answered her normally.
Yeah, I’m used to it.
I’m used to being rudely treated by this girl.
“Got it.” Then Horun turned around and started walking, “Heey.
Aiiiin.” and entered Ainliese’s room without even knocking.
“Nyaga!?” I then heard this screen, that felt more like a cat who just had its tail stepped on, than an actual human scream.
“Uooh… It hurts…” Horun muttered.
I already told you to wake me up gently.” Ainliese replied.
I don’t know what exactly happened, but Horun came out again.
This time though, she had a red mark on her face, as if she had been punched.
As for Ainliese, instead of her usual carefree attitude, she seemed to be feeling quite sullen.
The problem child has woken up.
Seems like things are going to be hectic today too.
* Translator’s Note: The reading for this is “Obsidian Wolf”, but the name’s meaning is “Black Emperor Wolf”.
I figured I’d mention it for this Demon Beast, since it’s a pretty strong monster, and “Obsidian Wolf” by itself doesn’t give off the feeling of an imposing and dangerous monster.
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