Chapter 0154 The enemy …
“Why isn’t anyone coming?”
With a frown, Hugh roamed the large conference room.
It was just before 10 am.
The four members of Room 10 and the seven Hero Roman party had been waiting for almost an hour.
Goro, the Magistrate, rushed into the room, out of breath.
“Master McGrath, it seemed that they dived into the woods early in the morning.”
Hugh was speechless from the unexpected information.
“I’m sorry. Yesterday, I called them directly to the office and told them about the meeting at 9 o’clock … Why did they do this?”
Goro sighed, shaking his head many times.
“Well … they did exclaim that they would solve this problem … it can’t be helped if they have left. I’ll yell at them when they are back.”
Hugh also sighed. And he turned to Room 10 and the Hero Party.
“Sorry for wasting your time. We’ll dismiss the meeting for today.”
Hugh said and sat down on a nearby seat.
“This must be God’s will to allow a mock battle with Ryo.”
Hero Roman challenged Ryo to a mock battle and Ryo refused.
“Didn’t I put up with enough mock battles in the Royal Capital …”
Roman opened his eyes wide and asked why.
Ryo answered with a matter-of-course look.
“A mock battle between Ryo and Roman … You guys, don’t destroy the village okay?”
Hugh said to them with a surprised expression.
“Hey, destroying the village in a mock battle … what do you think we are?”
“Yeah. It’s just a sword fight, isn’t it?”
Ryo looked at Hugh with the expression that he heard something unbelievable and Roman affirmed it with a bitter smile.
However, after that, he added a few words.
“If Ryo used magic for the mock battle, the village would be gone.”
Ryo and Hugh replied with the same sound.
Ryo meant ‘That’s not true.’
Hugh meant ‘Really?’
The three people from Room 10, who were listening next to them, were thinking about the same thing.
(Never ask Ryo for a mock battle)
It was just past noon.
A woman’s scream entered the ears of the four from Room 10, who were helping to remove the insects.
“Where did that come from?”
“East. Towards the forest.”
The four picked up the weapons they have set aside and ran in the direction of the scream.
Along the way, they were joined by the Hero party who also heard the scream.
At the place where they arrived, a woman from the village was sitting on the ground.
Beyond her line of sight were bloodied humans.
“For the time being, please check everyone’s pulse.”
The priest Graham from the Hero’s party called to his party members and the four from Room 10.
“There is a pulse.”
“It’s very weak, but it seems there is.”
The bloodied humans were the Kyradea adventurers.
There should have been ten people, five from Dragon Agito and five from Five Binary Stars, but there were only seven there.
Moreover, of the seven who returned, two of them didn’t have a pulse.
“He’s in the most danger. And this one. I will cure these two people. Etho, please treat the person who seems to be third in danger. The other two are not in danger of losing their lives so somebody please give them potions.”
As expected, Priest Graham conducted magnificent triage.
Ryo was honestly impressed.
He had probably experienced many deadly encounters … and was equipped with various know-how, which were excellent assets as an adventurer.
With that in mind, Ryo took out a homemade potion from his usual bag.
“This …, I’ll give the Swordsman Dogon a potion.”
Ryo announced and poured the potion into Dogon’s mouth.
Although his life was not in danger, he visibly suffered considerable damage.
The wounds healed the moment he drank the potion.
Ryo always thought it was a mysterious sight.
“I’m sorry … thank you for saving me.”
Dogon, the leader of Dragon Agito, thanked him without his arrogant and hostile attitude from yesterday.
With the proper triage and Priest Graham’s Extra Heal, and the consecutive Heals from Priest Etho, the five survived.
By that time, Hugh and Magistrate Goro also arrived at the scene and a first-aid station was established.
The three seriously injured were made to sleep in the first aid room because their lives were saved but the amount of blood loss was so great that they needed complete bed rest for a while.
The two others, including Swordsman Dogon, who were relatively lightly injured, were immediately brought to the large conference room to report.
Of course, the four from Room 10 and the Hero party followed.
What happened was something everyone was curious about.
“We fell into a trap.”
Hugh wasn’t the only one who frowned at Swordsman Dogon’s words.
The older adventurers, such as Priest Graham and the Earth-Attribute Magician Bellrock, also frowned.
Of course, that didn’t mean that the villagers set up a trap.
As expected, leaving aside F-rank adventurers, D-rank and C-rank adventurers won’t fall for such traps.
In other words, falling for a trap meant that there was ‘something intelligent enough to set a trap and lead humans there’.
(Speaking of monsters that make traps, first of all, would be the spider types. There are many troublesome ones … Most troublesome of all, is their poison. Other than that, ant hell? But they only live in the desert so it’s impossible to find them in a forest. Anything else … a forest would fit the Centaur’s habitat. But they would be completely out of their usual habitat in the southern part of the Kingdom … but it is possible. Otherwise, it could be the lesser-known Shadow Stalker. It seems that the forest is dense, so there is a possibility … but I don’t want to deal with that. It’s too troublesome. Thinking this far, there’s been nothing but troublesome foes.)
One after another, Hugh listed the monsters that set up traps in his head.
As expected of a former A-rank adventurer.
“So what kind of trap was it?”
“It was a pitfall.”
The answer caused damage to the three individuals mentioned earlier.
“No way …”
Was it Hugh or Graham who muttered that …?
It was the most rudimentary and relatively easy-to-install trap among human-made traps.
Many of the traps are set up to restrain the opponent or to deprive them of their ability to move.
Therefore, it is necessary to procure and install tools to restrain or weapons that deprive the target’s ability to move.
However, pitfalls are effective even without such things.
That was because the ‘hole’ itself inhibited movement.
However, there were some difficulties.
It was the ‘concealment of the trap’.
For the pitfall to be effective, it must be dug wide and deep.
And the hole had to be hidden so it was unnoticeable.
It was no exaggeration to say that the trap with the highest hurdle to ‘conceal’ was the pitfall.
On TV and video on modern Earth, a thin urethane or sponge mat is laid to hide the pitfall and camouflage is applied to it, but on 『Phi』, the forest would not have such materials.
Camouflage by combining thin branches and laying fallen leaves on them.
It requires a great deal of detailed work, and it also requires a great deal of thought to combine the branches so that they do not fall into the holes before the subject steps on them.
Would a monster do that?
The more experienced members experienced in fighting many different types of monsters could not believe it.
That the trap that was set up was a pitfall.
They had some doubts.
“In the first place, your party and the Five Binary Stars would have had Scouts, right? Why didn’t they notice the trap?”
Hugh’s question was answered by the Swordsman Dogon, who shook his head.
“I don’t know. We maintained an exploration formation with Scouts at the front and the rear, and a Magician in the center … but the three people in front fell into the pit, including the Scout …”
When he answered that, Dogon bit his lips and looked down.
Memories of the scene must have come to mind.
(Something that confounds the senses … was something magical or poisonous set up? But I’ve never heard of a monster that sets up traps and uses magic or poison to confound the senses …)
Hugh thought while expressing as little as possible on his face.
“Dogon. It may be hard to remember, but you’re also an adventurer. You understand the importance of reporting and the need for more information to avenge your companions? Explain what happened after they fell into the hole.”
Keeping calm as much as possible, Hugh said to Dogon.
Some adventurers become stubborn when they feel strangely empathized with. Hugh, a Swordsman, knew that it was especially common among the vanguard classes.
“After the three fell into the hole, the remaining seven gathered around the hole to rescue them. Now that I think back, from the time it happened until the rescue attempt, there was no attack because they were aiming for an opening. The hole was about twice as deep as a person’s height, so we started preparing to rescue them by pulling out ropes. We were attacked at that moment. We were preparing for the rescue but, of course, we still kept vigilant. But … the enemy was strong …”
“So what was that enemy?”
Hugh asked with a quieter, more subdued voice than ever before.
“It looked … like a human. But it could leap onto a tree with a single jump, its physical strength was a different league … it didn’t have any weapons. It attacked with outstretched claws … those eyes, those red … eyes dyed bright red … that was …”
Speaking to that point, Dogon covered his face and crouched.
“Red eyes and extended claws …”
The Priest Graham muttered with a frown.
Perhaps that little mutter prompted the Swordsman Dogon to look up and say.
“Five Binary Star leader Joe said it was a Vampire.”
It was a word that surprised both the inexperienced four from Room 10 and the younger ones from the Hero party.
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