Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
Once the aftermath of the black giants’ attack had been wrapped up, we were invited to the clan head’s home.
The village itself wasn’t that large, and after looking around I would guess that only about one hundred members of the tiger tribe lived her.
At a distance, it seemed as if the tiger tribe used houses that were similar to the Mongolian yurt.
The cylindrical outer wall was covered with a thick white cloth and there were no windows, but there was a crystal, like those used in elven 『Light Emitting Crystal Lamps』, that illuminated the place. The walls were decorated with bone and fang accessories and multiple embroidered carpets were spread along the ground.
The height of the entrance was made to accommodate the taller than average tiger tribesmen, so it wasn’t a tight fit like regular doors.
Additionally, the high ceiling created a spacious area which gave the house the feeling of a hotel lobby.
At this moment however, the chief’s home felt rather small.
Ein, as the clan head, sat center stage in front of me while the other tiger tribe warriors flanked his sides.
All of these muscular men of Goemon’s size, gathered in this one area, created a somewhat ferocious image. Muscles were probably a point of pride here.
As such worthless thoughts passed through my mind, Ein immediately started the conversation once the formal greetings had ended.
“……For the previous occurrence, we offer our thanks to you, Arc. Ariane-dono, he is a fine subordinate.”
When Ein chuckled after he spoke, Ariane, who was uncharacteristically nervous, explained our situation.
For some reason, he seemed to have pegged me for Ariane’s subordinate. Probably because Ariane acted as our representative in our first interaction.
“……So, you all are on a journey. Sorry for the disrespect, Arc-dono. Allow me to express my honest gratitude once more.”
Ein slightly lowered his head and redirected his gratitude towards me.
However, in reaction to the clan head’s behavior, the atmosphere surrounding us was stirred up a little when bitter looks appeared on the faces of the surrounding warriors.
As I was wondering about this strange situation, a large woman appeared from behind Ein’s seat and started to scold the warriors.
“Are you lot ungrateful for the help you received!? Are you gonna forget that your injuries were healed and complain, simply because they didn’t adhere to our hierarchy?! Those unwilling to acknowledge the kindness they received, step forward so I can personally rebreak your arms!!”
As the woman spoke in a bold manner the clan head crossed his arms and glared at the warriors.
Apparently, my actions were the root of this stiff atmosphere.
As for the woman who spoke up, she was two meters and thirty centimeters tall.
She had a slim body when compared to the muscular men that surrounded her, but I realized it was just an optical illusion when I looked towards Ariane and Chiome besides me.
Her sun-tanned skin and her extremely large breasts were accentuated by her large frame, and because she had crossed her arms beneath them. She also had an abundant amount of golden and black hair carefully done up atop her head.
The warriors simultaneously bowed their heads when she had finished scolding them.
“I’m sorry for all the commotion, this is my wife Yuga.”
Ein resumed speaking with a shrug and a bit of a chuckle as the woman named Yuga looked towards me.
“I’m Yuga Ein. Sorry for this poor showing, honored guest. As these are our clan’s warriors, they feel ashamed for having to borrow the strength of outsiders. Because the giants had damaged the neighboring sub-tribes, the injured had been brought here, but we were reaching our limits. On behalf of these fools, I thank you.”
Yuga flaunted a daring smile as she thanked me.
After those involved with battled had been treated, Ein led us to one of the houses filled to the brim with injured people.
Having no reason to refuse his request, I proceeded to cast recovery magic on them, all the while questioning why they were mostly women and children.
They must be the survivors on the giants’ assault…… I guess.
“No, I came here to find the members of the tiger tribe in the first place. So long as my request is fulfilled, there’s no need to thank me.”
I nodded at their thanks and give my reply.
Ein slapped his knees and offered me a fearless smile when he heard that.
“That reminds me, I haven’t heard your purpose here. You’ve traversed the frontier to get here, so what could you possibly desire?”
In response to his question, the men that Yuga had silenced began to stir and discuss something amongst themselves while looking at me.
Because I wasn’t charging for the treatment I provided, I decided to bring up my request.
When the warriors that led us here spoke up, Ein and his wife’s eyes bulged after learning of my intentions.
I heard Ariane sigh beside me and caught sight of Ponta playing with Chiome’s finger-tips.
“Arc-dono, you ventured into the frontier to acquire ‘devil nails’. Furthermore, you even subdued a dragon mount to cross the plains.”
Ein began to laugh after hearing our purpose for find the tiger tribe, before lowering his head and apologizing.
“Sorry, Arc-dono. My clan doesn’t hoard many devil nails. They’re grown a little to west of here by one of the larger clans. Since the Uiria are not well liked, you’ll need to negotiate with them for what you desire.”
As he spoke, Ein scratched his chin and let out a grand sigh when he was finished.
This village didn’t seem to cultivate devil nails for themselves. Because the peppers were grown by a western tribe, I asked for a guide or directions at the very least.
“I don’t suppose you could provide us guidance to a village that is cultivating devil nails?”
At me question, the clan head’s eyes began to shine like a carnivore’s eyes.
“The giants we fought are residents of the black forest south of these plains. Normally, they rarely venture into the plains, but lately they’ve been appearing more and more often. A warning was sent out by a western clan, but I never imagined they’d come so far east into Kuwana. Therefore, I plan to lead a party of warriors into the Ena clan’s territory to investigate.”
I could guess where Ein was heading with this. If I wasn’t mistaken, the saddle we owned belonged to the Ena clan.
“Would you like us to join you? If it’s one or two giants, we would be enough to deal with them, and wouldn’t our presence infuriate the others?”
Ein nodded and smiled when he heard my reasoning.
“That’s right!? But I’m not finished! Ours is the smallest of the six clans, so I have to leave warriors behind in case another giant appears near the village again.”
In other words, he couldn’t afford to take that many people with him into the Ena clan’s territory while the scouting group would be killed if their numbers weren’t sufficient…… that’s why he wanted to supplement his low numbers with us.
Simply put, we would be mercenaries.
Hmm, I wonder why I was feeling a bit nostalgic about this.
When I looked towards Ariane and Chiome to gauge their responses, Chiome nodded silently and I understood Ariane’s answer with a look.
So…… our decision was made.
We borrowed one of the Uiria clan’s tents and spent the night in the village to prepare for the journey. The next day, we’d set out for the Ena clan’s main village.
Apart from Ein and our group, ten warriors would be making this trip.
Even though the tiger tribe excelled in fighting prowess, they would suffer heavy losses if they didn’t unite against the giants, and this was all the village could afford to send.
However, even though we knew how to subjugate the giants it didn’t mean that our next encounter with them would be as one-sided as the previous one.
Whether or not we could safely reach the Ena clan’s village…… that worry occupied my mind as I looked towards my companions.
Ariane was polishing the 『Sword of the Lion King』 as she thought something over.
Chiome was expressionlessly stuffing her mouth with the spiced, cookie-like food we’d been served at dinner.
Ponta had finished her meal and was dozing off on my lap.
Everything was the same as normal…… as if they could face anything without issue.