Vena, the immortal hunter - Volume I

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Chapter 3: The Journey (Part II).

Part 1

We continue our journey for about 10 minutes before Paul stops at an open area. We get out of the Stagecoach and have our snack first.

“Master!! That thing you used back at the town, please teach me!!” Charlotte speaks with her mouth full. Thankfully, I was not that close to her, thus the crumbs fail to touch me.

Teach them...is that even possible?

I look at Charlotte and Elisu. The art or a duelist requires the individual to use a sword and dagger. Charlotte fights with her fist, while Elisu uses a crossbow.

“I don’t think it’s possible.” I reply as I take bite into my sandwich, “You fight with your fist; the duelist style is not for you.”

“Ehh!!!???” Charlotte starts to pout. Elisu continues to eat her sandwich.

“Vena, don’t talk with your mouth full!” Marian warns me as she looks at me with a stern expression, like a guardian towards a kid.

“Then, then…teach us the one where you took a step back so fast, our eyes couldn’t follow!” Charlotte continues to talk even though her mouth is full.

“Hmm? You mean the Flash Step?”

“Yeah! Teach us that!!”

“Charlotte, stop talking with your mouth full.” Elisu finally explodes and punches Charlotte’s face.

Well, the ‘Flash Step’ is just training your footwork…no reason why I shouldn’t teach them.

Now that I think about it, though Charlotte and Elisu calls themselves my disciples, their fighting styles are completely different from mine. My battle tactics involve a blade and dagger, Charlotte involves her fist and leg, while Elisu depends on precision and movement.

To be honest, other than the basic combat moves, I have yet to teach them anything else these past few years. Their own battle styles were made through their own experience against demons.

I fail as a Master eh…

“Alright! Charlotte, when we return to Burg, I’ll teach you the art of a Berserker (self-named). As for Elisu…”

“You can’t teach Charlotte the Berserker stance! It’s dangerous!” Marian suddenly voices her concern.

“Don’t worry. Charlotte is a feisty girl. The Berserker stance will suit her well.”

“But!!”

“By the way. Marian, how do you know about the Berserker stance? I’m pretty sure I didn’t tell anyone about it”

It’s surprising, since this is a combat style that is used by the Demon race. Very rarely do humans actually learn them, or even know about them. Yet Marian, who has never been to a battlefield, or met a demon face to face, knows the existence of such a move.

“I…I heard it…f-from some adventurers some time back…” Marian answers while averting my gaze.

Suspicious…

“Sorry for interrupting,” Paul cuts-in while walking towards us, “but I have something to report.”

According to Paul, there’s a pack of wolves roaming around the road ahead of us. He estimates 10 to 15 of them. Also, at one part of our journey, it seems that a group of demons have been sighted. If we continue our path, we are bound to encounter the demons. Another option is to use an alternative road, though it’ll take us another day to reach Purna.

“This goes without saying that we’ll take care of the pack of wolves, as well as the demons.” Paul gives his decision without waiting for our reply. Seems like he has already made a decision in his head; he is just informing us of the troubles ahead.

“Therefore, please equip yourself with your combat gears. The pack of wolves is just up ahead.” Paul turns away and returns to the driver seat of the stagecoach, prompting us to continue our journey.

“I hate that guy…” Elisu grumbles as we return to the stagecoach.

“Finally! I can’t wait to kill some wolves and demons!!” Charlotte is rearing to go.

“Everyone…please be safe.” Marian can only say her usual words.

When we return to the stagecoach, Charlotte puts on her gauntlet and leg armor. Elisu prepares her crossbow with normal arrows (since we are up against normal wolves) while I put on my black cloak (just to look cool). With that, we continue our journey.

I remain seated next to Paul, while Charlotte is crouching on top of the Stagecoach, ready to jump at the pack of wolves. Elisu is…sitting on my lap. I can feel her small butt touching my leg, her back resting on my chest, while her black hair tickles my nose.

I am hugging Elisu tightly, to ensure that she doesn’t fall off the stagecoach. Sadly, I am unable to feel anything in front since she is clutching her crossbow tightly against her chest.

Unable to feel the front…oh wells. At least I can feel her butt with every bump on the road.

“……”

Hmm? Why is Elisu staring at me??

“Is there something on my face??” I ask.

“……wipe that perverted smile off your face.” Elisu replies and kicks my knee.

Paul starts to laugh beside me while I hear Marian’s voice behind saying, “What are you doing to Elisu!!”

Part 2

“Ah! I see the wolves ahead!!” Charlotte shouts after 15 minutes into our journey.

Since evening is yet to come, I can see the pack of wolves clearly. At this distance, I count about 13 wolves but there might be more hidden. Looking closer, I see the carcass of two horses, and a turn over wagon. I’m not surprise if the wolves actually killed the owner of the wagon.

With demons appearing in this land, even the animals are starting to turn feral…

“Paul!! Faster!!” Charlotte begins to rant. She is rearing to kill some wolves.

“Vena, what’s the plan?” Paul asks as he speeds up.

“Charlotte will jump into the pack wolves, Elisu will shoot her crossbow, and I’ll do what I do best.” I reply nonchalantly.

If my disciples can take on demons, a pack of wolves isn’t a threat.

“Elisu, watch your step.” I lift Elisu up, to the top of the stagecoach.

Charlotte helps to support Elisu up. Both my disciples are now on top of the Stagecoach.

About 200 meters from the pack of wolves, Charlotte stands up straight from her crouching position and walk towards the back end of the stagecoach.

“Master!! I’m off to kill some wolves!!” Charlotte shouts aloud. The wolves hear her voice and begin to run towards us.

“Leave some for me.” I reply as I stand up from my seat, drawing out Lacero at the same time.

“Haaa!!!!” Charlotte roars and begins to run towards the front of the stagecoach.

At the edge of the stagecoach, she leaps into the air. Like a projectile, she flies in the air with a curve, before descending in a curve as well due to gravity. She easily covered 75 meters.

“Hurryah!!!” She steps on one of the wolves as she lands, squashing it to death while using its body to absorb her landing impact. At the same time, she grabs a wolf in each of her hand and swings them in opposite directions. The two wolves fly in the sky before landing on the ground, bones broken and crippled.

Looks like she is doing well…

Charlotte snaps the neck of a wolf while doing an uppercut with her left leg on another wolf. One of the wolves manages to stay within the blind spot of Charlotte. Taking this opportunity, the wolf bares its fangs at Charlotte’s back. Suddenly, the wolf is shot in its head with an arrow. The arrow sinks deep into a tree trunk, leaving the wolf to dangle a few inches above the air.

Elisu is lying down in a prone position on top of the Stagecoach, with her black crossbow slightly in front of her. She places another arrow into the crossbow, pulls the wire back, and takes aim. Satisfy, she fires the arrow from her crossbow. Even though she fired from a moving position while her target is moving as well, she lands a hit. A wolf falls on the ground, unable to move since it was shot in the stomach.

As expected, Elisu’s precision is second to none.

Observing the situation, it seems that there’s no need for me to join the fray; both my disciples are handling the situation by themselves. The stagecoach has stopped moving about 30 meters from Charlotte’s position. Elisu continues to fire her arrows while supporting Charlotte.

Suddenly, a loud roar can be heard. It’s the sound of a wolf roaring…but its volume is way too loud for a wolf.

“Vena, I guess that is you queue.” Paul smiles and point towards my left.

Looking there, I see a titan wolf at the edge of a cliff. The titan wolf leaps and lands a few meters behind of Charlotte, causing the ground to shake. The remaining wolves backs away, and run towards our stagecoach. It’s as if they are leaving the monster (Charlotte) to their Alpha wolf (Titan wolf) while they head to the easier target (our stagecoach).

“Charlotte!!!”

I leap from the stagecoach and dash towards Charlotte, Lacero and Perdo in both my hands. Charlotte turns around, wondering who it is behind her. She doesn’t know the threat looming behind her.

Elisu tries to clear me a path by shooting the wolves heading towards my direction with her crossbow but she needs time to reload after every shot. I notice the titan wolf has raised its right paw, ready to swipe Charlotte. Though she notices the titan wolf, she merely stares at it with a blank expression on her face.

At this rate, I won’t be able to reach Charlotte in time. If I take on the pack of wolves a few meters in front of me, they’ll only slow me down. I won’t be able to save Charlotte; she’ll be swipe by the titan wolf and lay dead against a tree.

No!! I won’t let my disciple die!! I’ll save Charlotte!!!

I grip Lacero tighter; the wolves are now in front of me, their sharp fangs bearing at me.

Lacero!! Give me your strength!!” I shout aloud, raising Lacero to my side.

{Hmm?? Ahh…you did feed me blood…ok, go ahead~~ }

After hearing her voice, I feel my existence change. Thought at the outside my body doesn’t change, I know that inside I am changing. I am able to see further, my body feels lighter, my breathing becomes less harsh, and my muscle feels less tense.

On the outside, I feel two of my teeth grow longer and shaper. And so, I turn into a Vampire. The wolves sense my change and try to stop their charge but it’s too late; they are already within my range.

Secret technique – Judgment Strike!!

*Charlotte’s point of view*

In front of me stands a wolf two times higher than our stagecoach.

Ehh?? Why is it so huge??

If memory serves me right, it’s not possible for a wolf to be of this size. Even if this is the leader of the pack, the Alpha wolf, it couldn’t be this big.

When I saw the pack of wolves, I thought that this will be an easy task; no wolf could hurt me. I face demons straight on with my own bare fist and feet. A pack of wolves is nothing but simple targets.

Yet, standing in front of me, with its paw raised up, is a titan wolf. And then it hits me: This is a demonic wolf. Its sharp fangs and overflowing saliva resembles those of a demon. It’s bulky size and rough skin hidden behind its black fur resembles the toughness of a demon.

Yes, I’m absolutely certain now. In front of me is a demonic wolf.

I have to move…fight back…punch it…

Yet my body refuses to move. My legs are stuck in place, crippled by fear of the monster in front of me. My hands are trembling; this is my first time facing a demon of this size.

Come on!! Move!! I can’t die here!!

Yes, I can’t die here. I made a promise with myself years back; a promise to avenge my family.

I can’t die here!! Not until that vampire is dead!!

No matter how much I try, my leg refuses to budge and there is no strength within my hands. I can only stand in place and stare as the titan wolf prepares to bring its paw towards me.

Though I am unable to see but I know that behind me, Master Vena is running towards with will all his strength. However, at this distance, he won’t be able to reach in time. My fate is sealed.

Ahh~~ I’m going to die. And I haven’t tested my own strength against a vampire. I am sorry, Vena; I fail as your disciple.

Yeah, I am a failure. The fact that I couldn’t move while facing this demon wolf shows that I am still weak. The paw of the demon wolf is getting closer to me. The paw itself is as high as me. I close my eyes and await my death. Surprisingly, at death’s doorstep, I begin to think about stuff other than revenge; I begin to think about stuff I didn’t do as a girl.

Ahh~~ there’s so much regrets. I’ve yet to have my first kiss. I have not even lost my virgi-

A strong breeze suddenly blows from behind me. Something pushes me from in front. I lose my balance and fall on my back, my head lands on something soft; perhaps the body of a wolf I killed.

Eh? I’m still alive??

Slowly, I open my eyes, wondering what just happened.

“??!!!”

In front of me stands my Master. His black cloak is fluttering towards the right. To be honest, I do not like my Master’s cloak; it looks so old and ragged. However, Vena continues to wear it, saying that it’s his identity.

With a sword and dagger in both his hands, he stands heroically at the spot where I was just standing.

Master?? How did you…

No matter how fast Master Vena is, it’s impossible for him to reach me so quickly.

Wait! Before that…watch out Master!! The paw…??!!!

The right paw of the demon wolf has been cut clean from its hand. The demon wolf is roaring while leaping behind as its chopped-off paw lands right next to Master Vena.

“Huu...seriously, you are such a troublesome disciple.” Master speaks without turn back.

“Because of that, you almost got killed. That is why you’ll always be my disciple …for you are not aware of your surroundings.” Vena slowly turns his face towards me.

That….no….

My Master’s eyes are…red in color; the trademark eyes of a Vampire. I can see two sharp teeth jutting out from his mouth; another Vampire trademark.

Though Master told Elisu and me that he can turn into a Vampire or Demon at certain times, we never believed him. There’s no way our Master, the one who killed countless Demons and Vampires, would be able to turn into one of them.

“M-Master …w-why…” I blur out.

Yet, because of me, my Master has turned himself into a Vampire, to come to my aid.

“Ehh…it’s not like the effect it permanent. I can turn back into a human later you know…” Master Vena speaks as he forces a smile on his face.

Oh…he can turn back…thank goodness…

Though in front of me are the red eyes and two sharp teeth that I hate and loath…when I stare into my Masters eyes, I feel calm, like everything is going to be fine. Suddenly, tears begin to roll down my eyes. I try to wipe them with my sleeves but my tears just keep flowing.

“I-I don’t want *hic* t-to die…*hic* *hic* Please save me, Master!!!” I begin to cry even louder.

It’s been a long time since I cried this hard…not since the day my family was killed…

I can feel Master’s hand on my head; he begins to pat my head.

I open my teary eyes, only to see a blur image of Master looking straight at me. He kisses my forehead and looks back at me, our forehead touching each other.

“Leave it to me. You have done enough, Charlotte. It’s part of the Master’s duties to clean up after his disciples.”

With a voice full of confidence, Master Vena moves away from me and turn towards the titan wolf.

Yes, I’ll believe in you, Master…

Part 3

*Vena’s point of view*

After comforting Charlotte, I stand back up and turn around to face the demon wolf. Looking behind Charlotte, I can see the dead bodies of the wolves I killed with my secret technique. Some of them are sliced in half, while others are dismembered into large chunks.

As expected…Vampire-form can do it more efficiently…

I notice Elisu running towards my direction, without her crossbow. This means she is coming here to help Charlotte, not me.

Good…her support will only be in the way.

Leaving Charlotte to Elisu, I begin to approach the demon wolf, which has retreated quite some distance. Its wounded left arm dangles in the air, blood dripping from the wound. My throat starts to feel a bit dry.

Aww…such a waste of blood…

It notices my approach and roars, as if to intimidate me. I smirk and continue to approach the titan wolf. Realizing that I’m a threat, the titan wolf starts to crouch as it attempts to jump.

Not so fast!!

I swing Perdo towards the demon wolf. Perdo ties itself around the front left paw of the demon wolf; the paw that isn’t wounded. I pull the chain linked to Perdo, and it begins to retreat back towards me. It drags the demon wolf along with it. Since its right paw was cut and its left paw is immobilized by Perdo, the demon wolf can do nothing but struggle as it is brought closer towards me.

It roars and uses its back legs to fight back, but it’s useless; the demon wolf is as good as dead.

In a desperate attempt, it lunges itself forward in an attempt to devour me.

Haa…animals…no, ‘demons’ will be demons…I knew you’d do that.

I do a simple side-step to my right in order to avoid its mouth. Next, I raise Lacero and stab her deep into the demon wolf’s forehead.

With that, I chant, “Lacero, drink to your heart’s content.”

{Hmm? The forehead?? I don’t like drinking from the head though…}

“Don’t be picky. I worked really hard to bring this demon down.” I whisper softly to myself.

{Ugh…can’t be helped. Fine, thank you for the blood~~}

Lacero begins to absorb the blood within the demon wolf. Due to that, it begins to struggle more violently than before. Though it struggles, its death is already certain. As time passes, Lacero consumes more blood while the demon wolf stops struggling. After having its blood completely drained, the demon wolf goes limp, its eyes closed.

{Thank you for the blood~~}

I release Lacero from the head, wiping the blood off her blade with my black cloak.

Lacero, return me to normal.” I speak to my sword.

{Ehh?? No way~~ you look better as a Vampire~~}

Lacero” I speak in a low tone, “Don’t make me starve you.”

{Ugh…fine. One of these days! I’ll make you see the benefits of being a Vampire!}

I feel my existence returning to normal. I feel the two sharp teeth returning to its original size. My breathing becomes heavier, my eyesight returns to normal, and my body feels heavier again; I have become a human once more.

I turn and walk back to the Stagecoach. Marian and Elisu are supporting Charlotte on their shoulders since she has fainted. Marian is showing a puzzled face while Elisu stares at me with her usual emotionless eyes. Paul remains at the driver’s seat of the stagecoach, with a huge grin on his face.

I place Lacero back into her scabbard as Perdo disappears from my left hand.

“Vena…are you alright?” Marian asks me with a worried expression.

“Yup. Look, I’m human again.” I reply while showing my front teeth.

“Hmph.”

“Ah! Elisu! Don’t suddenly move like that!”

Elisu lets go of Charlotte and turns around, walking back to the Stagecoach. I move in to support Charlotte along together with Marian. Elisu sits at the second row while Marian sits at the first row with Charlotte lying down, resting on Marian’s lap.

Feeling a little envious of Charlotte, I pinch her left cheek before closing the door, in which Charlotte responds with an ‘Umuuu~~’

I sit next to Paul, and we continue on with our journey. I stare at the dead bodies of the wolves, horses, and the owner of the wagon (who seems to be a young man) as we pass them. Since we have no obligations to clean up the corpses, they’ll be left where they are.

“I’m surprise by all of your companion’s reaction.” Paul speaks as we continue to cut through the woods, “I thought that they’ll react in a more…shocking way.”

Marian and Elisu knows about my ability to transform. I told Marian about this ability when I first bought her, while Elisu saw me with this ability back when I saved her in Garitto village.

Only Charlotte doesn’t know…

It’s not like I was keeping it a secret from Charlotte. There just wasn’t a situation where I needed to use it.

Guess it’s just bad timing…

When Charlotte wakes up, I’ll tell her about it. She might punch or hit me. Worse, she might hate me…

No~~ I don’t want a girl to hate me…

Regardless, she has to know the truth.

The Stagecoach finally passes through the wood, making its way back to the road.

“About the demons up ahead, Master Millan has taken care of them. It’ll be a smooth journey to the town of Purna from here on out.” Paul informs me while looking ahead.

“Ho…he finally decides to make himself useful.” I reply.

Paul merely laughs dryly. We continue or journey in silence.


The sun has set some time ago. We made camp at the side of the main road, facing an open field. Paul has set up a fire and is helping Marian to prepare dinner. As much as I hate leaving Marian alone with a shady figure like Paul, this one time I shall make an exception.

My two disciples and I are sitting a few steps in front of me. Charlotte has not said a word since she woke up. She head is facing away from me; looking at the fire. Elisu is looking upwards; staring at the night sky.

I clear my throat, signaling that I wish to speak.

“Master! I am sorry for what I did!!” Charlotte suddenly speaks loudly and bows down, the forehead almost touching the ground.

Even Elisu shows a shocked expression.

“I was unable to react toward the demonic wolf! I was weak! I fail as your disciple!”

“……”

“Please punish me! I have tarnished the name of the Immortal Hunter!

“Well, I don’t intend on punishing you-”

Elisu grabs the back of Charlotte’s head and pushes it to the ground.

“Eat dirt; that is your punishment.” Elisu speaks with a cold tone.

To my surprise, Charlotte opens her mouth and begins to bites into the earth, swallowing as well.

“Charlotte! Don’t do that!!” I push Elisu’s hand aside and try to lift Charlotte’s head.

She refuses to budge and continues to chew the earth in her mouth.

“Stop doing that!!” I apply more strength, forcing Charlotte up. She coughs, spitting out the earth in her mouth. I pat on her back while she continues to cough. Elisu remains at her position, staring at us with an indifferent look.

“I-I know that *cough*…that I failed as your disciple- *cough* *cough*” Charlotte tries to speak with some of the earth irritates her throat.

“But…I want to continue-”

Marian runs over with a flask of water, which I force Charlotte to drink down. She chokes again and spits out the water in her mouth. Thankfully, she wasn’t looking at me.

Charlotte continues to cough while breathing heavily, her face looking at the ground.

“I…” Charlotte speaks softly. I hear a sobbing sound. She finally looks up at me.

“I-I want to continue learning under Master!! Please don’t give up on me!!”

Facing me is my first disciple, Charlotte Boreas. Her Blonde has is in a mess, with dry leaves and small twigs dangling around the sides. Her face is covered with earth and mud. Her teary brown eyes are the only part that is considered clean on her face.

“I still wish to learn!! To become stronger!! Please don’t – Muguu??!!~~

I wipe her face with my black cloak, muffling her voice. Like a child, I pinch her nose and rub hardly against her face to remove all the dirt. Elisu helps by removing the leaves and twigs on Charlotte’s hair.

“Never once did I think of dropping you as my disciple.” I try to speak in a gentle voice as I continue to wipe her face, “I’ll keep teaching you until you succeed in taking your revenge.

I remove my black cloak from Charlotte’s face and flick her forehead. She lets out a cute sound.

“Just don’t make the same mistake again.” I stand up and look towards my second disciple.

Elisu understands what I’m trying to tell her. She lets out a sigh and tries to pulls Charlotte up, “Come…let us go wash up.”

Charlotte stands up while looking at me. Elisu pinches Charlotte’s cheek and pulls it, forcing her to look away from me, “Stop staring at Vena…”

I turn around and proceed to help Marian prepare dinner as my two disciples wash up. After dinner, Charlotte is back to her usual self, talking with a loud voice while acting sarcastic occasionally. She’s doesn’t react in a negative way when I tell her about my ability.

“That’s Master Vena own power. I’m in no position to comment on it.”

With dinner done, we pack up and continue our journey into the night, heading closer and closer to Lyfon village. To be honest, it’s almost impossible to sleep in a moving Stagecoach. However, we’ll endure it for now; all for the sake of arriving at our final destination earlier.

Part 4

The town of Purna – A town unofficially recognized as a city. Though located near the outskirts of the Human Continent, Purna is surprisingly growing in size. This town is mainly used by the soldiers at the Border. When the soldiers are permitted to leave the Border to rest and relax, the nearest town which is able to provide entertainment and good meals can be found in Purna. Therefore, the town of Purna is frequently visited by soldiers.

When there are crowds, there are business opportunities. Certain merchants will come to here to sell their products, mainly combat gears, lucky charms, and many more.

That is the lifestyle in the town of Purna.


Purna comes into our sight as the Stagecoach turns the corner. Looking at the size of the town, I wonder why it isn’t called Purna City. Its size makes Burg look all so small.

“Dixion’s mansion is located at the center of town.” Paul speaks as the stagecoach rides down the hill, “Sadly, I can only drop you off at the edge of the town. A stagecoach of this size cannot enter the town, unless you are a noble.”

I can hear voices from inside of the Stagecoach. I don’t have to peek inside to know what is happening.

“Dixion…” I try to remember the name of the person we are about to meet, “what does Dixion do?”

“Dixion Turton owns a few Taverns in town, as well as a few plots of land north of Purna. He uses the land to plant grains, and rare some cows and chickens. It goes without saying that he is a noble”

In other words, he is an important noble in this town.

“Don’t need to look so tense.” Paul smiles at me, though all I feel is irritation, “Master Millan takes you as his important friend. As long as you do not offend Dixion, you’ll be fine.”

“Ha…” I’m too lazy to reply Paul.

As we approach the South entrance to Purna town (there’s a total of 3 entrances), I notice two ladies wearing maid attire, standing next to three horses.

Paul gives me a glance that says ‘there’s your escort’.

“Just for fun, why don’t you try attacking them once we arrive? You’ll see something amazing.” Paul starts to chuckle.

As expected…Paul is irritating. With that, Perdo appears in my left hand as I grab the handle of Lacero with my right hand.

Can’t be helped…I’m curious…

When the Stagecoach arrives in front of the two maids, they bow down.

Based on their outer appearance, the older of the two ladies seem to be in her early thirties. Her black hair is tied in a bun; wrinkles can be seen on her face, though it doesn’t make her less attractive. She has the alluring aura that can only come from a mature woman.

The younger maid seems to be about my age, or slightly older; perhaps in her early twenties. Her long brunette hair is also tied in a bun. Though younger than the first maid, her front mountains are already on par, if not bigger. I wonder how they’ll be like in the future.

No! A girl’s breasts do not measure a girl’s attractiveness.

Yeah, her lovely lips and attractive collarbone-

Wait!! I’m not a vampire!!

I shake my head and move my gaze away from the younger maid. The door of the Stagecoach opens.

“Greetings, Master Vena, Miss Marian, Miss Charlotte, Miss Elisu.” The older maid speaks while keeping her head down, “On behalf of Master Dixion, welcome to Purna.”

“I am Licia Mills,” the older maid gestures at herself, “and this is Lara Mills.” Licia gestures at the younger maid, who remains in her position.

“……”

I continue to stare at them. Marian and my two disciples remain silent. They are waiting for me to speak first.

Let me try Paul’s method.

I jump down from my seat, while drawing Lacero out from her scabbard.

Hmm…who to aim…guess I’ll go with her…

The moment my feet touch the ground, I use Flash Step.

I am now standing behind the older maid, Licia. With Lacero raised, I plan to strike down Licia. Don’t worry; I’ll stop at the last minute.

??!!

Something hits my stomach and I am pushed back. I lose my footing and drop down on my butt.

I notice what pushed me back. Attached to the end of Licia, just before her bottom, is a long flexible thing which is furry and –

It’s a tail??!!!

There’s only one species I know who has a tail and can maintain a human form.

“A…devil…

“Yes, Master Vena. Indeed, I am a devil.” Licia swings her tail a few time, to prove to me its authenticity.

Devil: A race that was supposed to have died off a long time ago, back when the Demon Continent was ruled by the first Demon King ‘Nergal’. The Devil race are faithful followers of the Demon King. However, when Demon King ‘Nergal’ was brought down by the Elder Vampires and Demon Lords, the Devil race were hunted down.

“Please forgive my rude behavior.” I get on one knee and face towards the ground.

“There’s no need to apologies.” Licia reply as I hear footsteps coming towards me.

Lara, the younger maid, offers her hand to support me up. Though she tries to hide it, I can see that she is angry at me. It might be because I attacked Licia. Regardless, I accept her hand and stand up straight, looking at Licia. Her expression remains the same.

“I know that Paul instigated you.” Licia looks at Paul with a scornful look. Paul lets out a laugh and rides off with his Stagecoach.

He didn’t even say good bye. Nah, I never liked him anyways…

“However…” Licia lets out a sigh, “the fact that Master Vena listened to Paul’s suggestion. Even I can’t think highly of that.”

I can only laugh dryly at Licia’s comment as I put away my weapon.

Part 5

I reintroduce myself and my companions. Marian walks towards me and hits my stomach while scolding me for my irrational behavior. Sometimes I feel that Marian is actually more mature than me. Charlotte watches the situation with a grin on her face, while Elisu stares at Licia and Lara with hostile eyes.

“Now then, let us go and meet Master Dixion.” Licia speaks as she gestures towards the three horses.

This means 2 people on one horse. Of course, the ones riding the horses are Licia, Lara, and me.

“I don’t want be on the same horse with them!!” Elisu suddenly shouts out loud.

No matter how Marian tries to persuade her, Elisu refuses to sit with Licia or Lara. It seems that Marian wants to sit on the same horse with me…not that I mind. In the end, Marian surrenders and lets Elisu sit with me. Marian shares the same horse with Lara, while Charlotte with Licia.

It seems like our luggage will be delivered to the mansion by a horse cart. Licia passes 2 silver coins to a man, where he begins to load our baggage onto the horse cart.

“Master Vena, please follow me.” Licia asks as her horse moves ahead of us.

We travel in a straight line: [Licia & Chalotte], [Elisu & I], [Lara & Marian], [Horse Cart].

The buildings in Purna are all two-storey or higher, looking sturdy and well maintained; nothing like the buildings in Burg. We pass by some crowded restaurants and taverns. Just by the smell my stomach begins to grumble, since it’s about lunchtime. Looking inside the taverns, I notice some barmaids that suit my taste.

I’ll need to find time to visit them…ow! ow! oww!!

Elisu, who is sitting in front of me, is pinching my lap, “…I’ll tell Marian…”

Eh?? Did I accidentally say it aloud?

Looking at Elisu, she seems to be in a foul mood. I can guess why.

“Elisu…do you hate Licia and Lara??”

“……”

Elisu’s entire village was destroyed by Demons. The fact that the Devil race once served the Demon King, she might feel some sort of resentment towards the Devil race as well.

“…I…can’t help it…” Elisu grumbles, which is rather rare. I notice that Elisu is looking at the front horse. I follow her view.

Charlotte’s voice can be heard. She is asking all sorts of question about the town, and Licia answers every single one of them, never once showing that she is irritated with all the questions.

I pat Elisu’s head, “Take your time…”

Nothing I say will change Elisu’s perception towards the demon and devil race. Therefore, only she herself can change her own perception.

“……”

Elisu accepts my patting and sways left and right. Her actions are really cute today. I feel like hugging her but I sense a dangerous glare coming from behind; most likely from Marian. So, as I hold back my urge to hug Elisu, we arrive at Dixion Turton’s mansion.


Dixion’s mansion…is not really a mansion. Yeah, from the outside it does look bigger than an average house but it isn’t large enough to be considered a mansion. Before that, let us talk about the exterior of the house.

Black bricks surround the sturdy, two-storey house. On the right is a stable for the horses. On the left is a well-maintained garden with a circular-stone table and chairs at the garden.

The owner of the house, Dixion Turton, walks out of his house while I am helping Elisu down from the horse.

“Ah! Master Vena. Thank you for choosing my humble mansion to stay while you are visiting Purna and Lyfon village.” the man known as Dixion bows down.

He looks like a man in his late thirties. He is balding so the middle of his head is shiny. Whatever that is left of his black hair are struggling to grow at the sides. His is short and plum in stature, and dresses like a normal citizen. He doesn’t give the aura of a noble.

Licia and Lara bows down while facing Dixion, following which Licia speaks, “Master Dixion, we have retur-”

“Shh!!” Dixion hits Licia’s back, asking her to remain quiet.

I feel a slight tinge of anger. No one should hit a lady that hard. Regardless, a noble is a noble. I place my right hand on my left shoulder and bow down.

“Master Dixion, thank you for giving my companions and me a place to stay. As you know, I am Vena, one of Mister Millan’s closest friends.”

I decide to make full use of that bastard’s name.

“Of course!” Dixion suddenly looks anxious and bows down again, “P-Please, let us continue this conversation inside. Licia!! Lara!! Prepare lunch!!”

“Understood.” Licia and Lara reply in sync before heading towards the other side of the house, most likely through the back door. Before that, I believe I just heard Lara’s voice for the first time. Though soft, her voice sounded sweet towards my ears.

By the way, the man with the Horse cart has finished unloading our baggage at the front door and has left.

“Now then…this way please, Master Vena.” Dixion gestures us towards the front door of his house.

I look at my companions who are lined up beside me. Marian is showing a fake smiling face while Charlotte shows an indifferent expression. Elisu is with her usual expressionless face.

Guess Dixion’s first impression was bad…

From the front doorstep view:

In front is a staircase heading towards the top floor. A total of nine bedrooms and a separate washroom are located at the top floor. Back at the ground floor, if you continue behind the staircase, there are two openings on the right while the left is just a wall. The first opening on the right will lead to the basement while the second opening will lead towards the kitchen. Right after the staircase is a long wooden dining table that can easily seat 12 people.

Back at the front door, if you turn right you will head towards another washroom, and an area to do the laundry.

If you turn left from the front door, you will head towards the main hall, with comfy chairs and expensive furniture’s located inside.

“Since there’s still time before lunch, how about Master Vena and your companions take a shower?” Dixion suggests as we arrive at the main hall, “You must all be tired from the long journey.”

A bath…

Throughout our entire journey, we only took a bath when there’s a lake, pond, or any source of water available. I’m fine without bathing but I’m sure Marian and my two disciples are uncomfortable without bathing; they are girls after all.

When I glace at them, as expected, their eyes (especially Marian) are glittering.

With that, Dixion guides them towards the washroom at the ground floor. The washroom is wide enough to support the three of them together. Dixion and I are kicked out from the washroom by the three girls.

“Master Vena, you can use the washroom at the top floor.” Dixion proceeds towards the stairs.

“Bath can wait.” I stop Dixion, “Instead, please tell me the situation of Lyfon village.

As much as I wish to see Marian’s exposed body, important matters come first.

“I understand. This way please, Master Vena.” Dixion returns to the main hall.

Part 6

Before I start my discussion with Dixion, I want to state something I noticed: Licia and Lara are the only maids in this house.

While Licia is preparing lunch, Lara brought our baggage upstairs, offered to wash my black cloak (it’s dirty after the long three-day journey), and even served tea to Dixion and I.

Such hardworking maids…

Anyways, back to the important topic. Dixion and I are standing over a rectangular-shaped table. On top of the table is a map showing the location of the town of Purna, Lyfon village, as well as everything surrounding these two areas. It seems that Dixion ordered this map to be prepared just for us, how wonderful.

“Just a simple guide, using the shortest and safest route, travelling from Purna town to Lyfon village takes about 10 minutes by horse ride.” Dixion points his index finger from Purna, slowly heading towards Lyfon village on a route he has darkened beforehand.

“What’s the situation of Lyfon village?”

“It’s as Master Millan said. The village is overrun by the Vampires. However, the citizens of the village are coexisting with the Vampires.”

Coexist? That’s impossible…

“Who’s the Vampire Master? What’s his title?”

“The leader of the vampires is called Count Uther. He lives inside the only mansion in Lyfon village.”

Vampires rank themselves according to title (minus the normal vampires):

Sir --> Count ­­--> Lord --> Elders

‘Sir’ is equivalent to the position of Knights in the Human Continent. Vampires holding the title ‘Sir’ are like the Royal Guards of the Vampire Continent. This title is given to those who excel is the arts of combat.

‘Count’ is a title given to those noble vampires. They are allowed to own lands, though their lands are at the outskirts of the Vampire Continent. They also have the rights to have their own personal Private Army.

‘Count’ Uther…

He must have recently been given the title ‘Count’, since I have no memories of meeting him, or his army. I’m thankful that it’s just a Count. Based on previous experience, I can defeat most ‘Count’ Vampires without much problem. It is not hard, neither is it easy.

Wait…the church…

“What about the Holy Knights of the church? Where are they stationed?” I continue to ask.

Dixion points at a mountainous terrain about partway from Purna and Lyfon village. “The Holy Knights are gathering here.”

“Tell me everything you know about the Holy Knights.

Dixion takes a sip from his tea before speaking; it seems he has many things to say.

‘The Purge of Lyfon village’: Led by Paladin class – Lord Strex Gerard, 200 Holy Knights and 20 Arch-Priests shall purge the vampires and the humans who living in the village.

It seems that the plan is to retake Lyfon village with the church forces. After that, the church forces shall group up with the Defenders at the Border to continue their assault into the Vampire Continent. Their goal is to take the lands in the Vampire Continent owned by three different Counts. With the new acquired lands, the Border troops shall be stationed there to fend off any counterattacks from the vampires.

“That’s enough…” I stop Dixion from continuing. My head feels pain.

How ridiculous…

The plan is set to fail. Sure, using that number of church forces to take back Lyfon village is a 100% success rate. But to use such a small force like that to take down THREE Count-ranking vampires? Impossible. Sheer numbers alone won’t bring down a Count-rank vampire...because they have their ’family heirloom.

“Let us just focus on the situation of Lyfon village.”

The invasion and war has nothing to do with me…

“Do you know how they plan to purge Lyfon village?” I ask.

“Right now, the church forces have scouts located at the four sides of the village.” Dixion points out their position.

“My information says that the church forces are planning to start the purge in two to three days’ time…most likely two days. At sunrise, the church forces shall leave their hideout and proceed to surround the village.”

Dixion draws a circle around Lyfon village.

“With that, they’ll proceed to purge everyone inside the village.”

Dixion finishes with his report, sits back down and drinks the rest of his tea. I see Lara approaching us with a new batch of warm tea; I quickly finish my tea as well. While Lara pours us the new batch of warm tea, I begin to process all the information given by Dixion.

The purge…Church forces…two days…Count-rank…

I scratch my head as a groan accidentally escapes my mouth. Lara looks at me with a puzzled expression before retreating back to the kitchen.

Damn…there’s not enough time.

At the same time, Marian and my two disciples’ exits the washroom, all cleaned with their cheeks flustered red.

“Alright I’ve decided.” I stand up and bow towards Dixion.

“Master Dixion, after lunch, I plan to meet Count Uther in Lyfon village. After that, I want to meet with the Church forces. If possible, I plan to do all that before nightfall. May I trouble you with the preparations?”

Dixion stands up, almost knocking his chair behind, “O-Of course Master Vena! I am your host! Please leave everything to me. I’ll have everything ready immediately. You can leave right after lunch. Now, please excuse me.”

With that, Dixion rushes pass me and shout towards Licia and Lara to entertain us. He leaves the house after that, heading god-knows-where to get things ready for my journey. Marian and my two disciples are staring at me with puzzled expression, since they don’t know what is going on.

I decided to explain to them while having our lunch. With that, our plans for today are set.

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