(250) Desert girl
After traveling north for some time, I eventually saw something that looked like an earthen wall. It may be an earthen wall but it was only around 50cm high.
It was a wall meant to keep sand away just like the one in Deijima. It was probably constructed to prevent the desert from expanding even further.
I took out another fish from my item bag and tossed it in front of the desert runner. It splendidly caught it from mid-air and cried out happily.
“All right, let’s go!”
The desert runner cried out once more before leaping not only 50cm but 2 meters over the wall and entered the desert.
Sand entered my mouth.
That place was completely different from Deijima’s desert.
If Deijima was likened to Japan’s Tottori sand dunes, that place would be the Gobi Desert … or that might be a little too big. Perhaps its size might be closer to the 10th largest desert on Earth, the Taklamakan Desert?
The horizon looked blurry.
For now, it was still fine as I had the wall as a guide but this place would certainly mess with a person’s sense of direction.
“Let’s go! I’ll let you have an extra large tentacle to eat when we reach an oasis!”
It ran through the desert with its three-toed hind legs regardless of the bad footing in the desert.
The desert was an endless sea of sand. Occasionally there would be lizard or scorpion-like creatures but there weren’t any strong monsters so I just continued northward.
Every hour, I would use Hawk-Eye to view the surface from above.
I saw something that looked like an oasis in the distance so I made the desert runner run in that direction. It wasn’t the trope where the oasis was a mirage so we rested there. As promised, I fed it a huge squid tentacle to the desert runner.
Even the gluttonous desert runner could not finish eating the huge squid tentacle and showed a satisfied expression after there was around a quarter left.
I wanted to return it back to my item bag but the desert runner took it in its mouth. However, it wasn’t planning to eat it on the spot but to store it inside its mouth. Just like a squirrel that stores food in its cheek bag.
When I looked into the oasis, I saw small fishes but I couldn’t imagine them giving much nutrition nor experience points so I rested below a palm-like tree.
All things aside, the desert was truly vast.
If I traveled along the oasis route only during daytime, it would take about a week.
“Hn? What’s that sound ― ”
I heard a rumbling sound.
Just as I was pondering on that, I felt a tremendous presence ―
“This feeling, it’s probably that.”
It would really be annoying if I was right.
I leaped onto the desert runner and we dashed off at full speed.Could not find block specified! Please check out the Shortcode parameters.
Immediately afterward, it appeared behind me.
A giant ocher earthworm.
“I guess that is a Sandwyrm.”
But it looked just like an earthworm. It looked exactly like the ones I saw in Ferruit.
The Tubifex earthworms in Ferruit were worshiped as guardians who improve the soil but what about the Sandwyrm?
I didn’t know if I should defeat it so I could only flee for now.
I placed my sword into the item bag to reduce my weight.
The desert runner was powerful due to its large appetite. We quickly gained distance from the Sandwyrm.
Just as I thought that we had gained quite some distance ―
I saw them.
Men with bandit jobs chasing after a young girl.
The bandits surrounded the young girl and were about to force a slave collar on her. They had vulgar expressions and was probably having indecent thoughts so they didn’t seem to notice my approach at all.
Hn? I hear rumbling once more ― it seemed that there was another Sandwyrm coming from the opposite direction. I’m sandwiched.
“Erm, sorry for bothering.”
Even if they were bandits, I didn’t feel good letting them get eaten by monsters so I decided to warn them.
“I’m pretty sure I comprehend the situation but ― I’m guessing that I am seeing three bandits trying to force a young innocent girl into slavery.”
“Please run away!”
The young girl told me to escape without answering my question.
Ah, my weapon was a nuisance so I kept it in my item bag so I didn’t look like a Swordsman.
“And what will you do about it? Hmm, brother.”
“I believe only Slave Merchants are capable of using the slave collar.”
I looked at the jobs of the bandits.
They were all criminal jobs but there was one with a different job.
【Dark Slave Merchant: Lv13】
“I see that man is a Slave Merchant.”
“Ho-how do you know that?”
The reaction was always the same whenever I guessed a person’s job correctly.
“Well, more importantly, I might have troubled everyone here as I am being chased by monsters …”
Oh, it caught up.
A Sandwyrm appeared behind me. It ate a ton of cacti on its way here so it was already full … or not.
“No … no way ― Sandwyrm!?”
” ― Runnnnn!”
The bandits fled as fast as they could in the opposite direction from the Sandwyrm.
“Hey, wait! Over there!”
I shouted but ― I was too late.
I guess they didn’t notice that there was a Sandwyrm there as well.
All the bandits were swallowed whole.
“Sheesh, that’s why I told them not to go there ― erm, are you from around here?”
I calmly asked the fortunate girl that I helped.
“Eh? Yes ― that is true but.”
“Are there stories heralding the Sandwyrm as the guardians of the earth around here? In Ferruit, there are similar monsters called the Tubifex which are seen as important monsters that bless the earth.”
“No, there are no such stories.”
“I see ― then there won’t be any issue if I kill them.”
I replied and chant my spell softly.
The opponent was larger than the Emerald Turtle so Petite Ice might not be enough.
I cast my spell and the Sandwyrm was immediately frozen. As I could not use the same spell consecutively,
“Boost Petite Ice!”
I made another ice pillar with the other huge Sandwyrm using the Boost spell.
Whew, it’s cooling.
It was getting warm so that was a perfect time.
I guess I’ll take another break here.
I wonder if the young girl would have a meal together with me here?
I was about to ask her when I noticed that the young girl had collapsed to the ground on the spot.
” … I do not know who your esteemed personage is but ― I beg you. Please deliver ― the letter in my luggage ― to Marquis Haidol.”
Was she speaking to me?
When I walked up to her while in doubt, I saw that she was holding up a tube.
She wants me to deliver this?
After I accepted it, she ―
“Please ― if this continues, the Demon Lord ― the Demon Lord.”
She said before fainting.
” … Eh? Did something happen to Miri?”
My voice did not reach her ears.