Translator: Silver Editor: Namorax
「The Ena Clan」
The sky was still dark when our group prepared to set off for the Ena clan’s village in the northwest.
With everyone riding dragon mounts, we reached the village in about two days.
Just as Ein had predicted, around the morning of the second day the yurts of the Ena clan became visible.
He also mentioned that the Ena clan’s village should house over four hundred people, which earned it the designation of the largest clan.
While it didn’t seem like much, it was difficult for any society to thrive on plains where giants and various monsters roamed, whether they had high battle prowess or not.
The tiger tribe seemed to be a nomadic people that kept livestock near their homes. Said animals were covered in thick white wool and horns that made them look like goats rather than sheep.
They referred to these animal as ‘white goats’.
Their wool was actually a valuable raw material for textile weaving. The wool was normally sold in Fabuna’ha, but the recent giant attacks put the trade on hold.
It was Ein who told us this while we traveled to the Ena clan’s village.
Despite Ein being well known as the leader of the Uiria, it seems he was capable of traveling between villages without much issue.
Because someone in full body armor and a dark elf were rarities within the village, many had come from the surrounding tents to gawk at us.
However, when I looked into the eyes of the onlookers…… I only found worry and nervousness on their faces.
After making our way to the center of the village, Ein lept off his dragon mount and started to speak with the man who had stepped forward to greet us.
“Hou, it’s been a while! What brings the Ena clan’s head here personally?”
“……I received a report from our scouts. That Uiria’s clan leader was bringing outsiders into our territory.”
Ein exchanged greetings with the large tiger tribesmen that came to meet us. Apparently, this man was the head of this village.
While Ein and this man conversed with one another, the man was sizing up the outsiders that had shown up in his village.
Hou was possessed a large build even among the tiger tribesmen. He stood a full head above Ein. Probably just a little under three meters tall.
The countless scars covering his well-toned, muscular body indicated that he was a veteran warrior.
Over the course of the conversation, he remained outwardly vigilant of us outsiders.
Noticing the tension in the air, Ein made the conscious decision to cut to the chase about our visit to Hou’s village.
“Two giants appeared near my village the other day.”
Hou raised an eyebrow when he heard that and offered a serious nod.
“……I see, so they’ve finally appeared that far east…… So, what’s the damage?”
Hou shifted his gaze to the warriors behind Ein, as he started to grasp the circumstances that would lead another clan leader to his village, and asked the damage suffered during the battle with the giants.
Ein proceeded to recollect the entire battle with the giants and explained that the outsiders he brought along happened to come along and lend a hand.
Hou’s face became like those of the Uiria warriors when they first had been gathered before us, as he listened.
“It’s fortunate that you could use a witchdoctor’s power afterward, but to rely on outsiders during the battle……”
Hou was obviously disappointed by that fact but Ein brushed off the matter with a hearty chuckle and a smile.
“My people reacted the same way until my wife was through with them.”
Hou’s body twitched when he heard that and he averted his gaze from Ein.
“……I-I see. Then forget what I just said…… please.”
Hou’s overwhelming coercion had ceased when Ein brought up his wife. Hou even went so far as to whisper a plea in Ein’s ear.
Looks like Yuga and the two clan leaders had a very close relationship with each other.
Hou cleared his throat before looking at us with an earnest expression.
“……It’s good that you came. The other clan leaders will be gathering soon to deal with the giants. They have already destroyed a number of villages. I’m holding a discussion concerning subjugation tactics with the others now.”
Ein sighed when he heard what Hou said.
“Hmm…… the giant’s have already reached this place, as I thought……”
I spoke my comment Hou, who’d been looking towards us off and on, opened his mouth.
“By the way, that dragon mouth your guests are riding, where did they obtain it?”
Hou’s eyes took on a dangerous glow as he spoke, so I told him the same story I told Ein the other day.
“……Two people on patrol never returned, and that mount belonged to one of them.”
After Hou lowered his head and groaned, he returned his gaze to me.
“Arc-dono, dragon mounts are treasured by our warriors. Do you intend to return that treasure to our family?”
Hou stared straight at me as he waited for my reply, so I held up my index finger in front of him.
“I will happily return this mount…… but there is one thing I would like to ask you as the leader of the Ena clan.”
Power returned to Hou’s body in reaction to my statement.
“This is interesting. What do you request from me, the leader of the Ena clan?”
Hou floated a large smile as I was about to voice my condition, but before I could say anything a sudden noise drawn everyone’s attention towards the village’s entrance.
When I looked, I saw a heavily injured dragon mount running hurriedly through the village.
Seeing this as well, Hou’s eyes bulged before he started shouting instructions.
“Women and children make way!! Men hold it down!!”
Answering their leader’s call, warriors rushed from nearby houses and began chasing the meandering dragon mount.
However, it was a wasted effort as the dragon mount collapsed on the spot and threw the young tiger tribesmen it had been carrying on the ground.
The crowd that gathered parted ways when Hou came forward to assess the situation.
As outsiders, Ariane Chiome and I intended to watch the events from far away, but Ponta used her magic and circled the gathering crowd once before flying back to us.
When she landed on my head she tried to report what was going on, but I couldn’t understand what she was saying.
Then I heard Hou’s shout from within the crowd of people.
“Somebody! Get witch doctor Baa!!”
A few men broke away from the crowd and ran deeper into the village.
If I wasn’t mistaken, witchdoctors were the magical healers within the tiger tribe.
Unable to sit back, I forced my way through the crowd of tiger tribesmen and stepped before Hou as he cradled the young man’s body.
The young man’s breathing was rough and his left arm had been crushed and covered in blood.
Ein gave me a sideways look before nodding his head.
I nodded back before invoking my magic without accepting a refusal.
“Pardon me. 【Major Heal】.”
Ambient light filled the area and started to gather around the young man’s left arm, shifting flesh and bones back into their proper place.
As the light slowly faded, the everyone around us who managed to see what happened exclaimed amazement when the serious injuries disappeared like a bad dream in the morning.
Hou’s eyes bulged as he looked back and forth between me and the young man’s arm. After the young man opened his eyes Hou, started to frantically ask what happened.
“What did you find? What happened!? Can you remember anything!?”
Recognizing his leader’s voice, the young man tried to stand up only for his eyes to start swimming.
He immediately lost all his energy and fell down.
“Even if I heal the injury, I can’t replace the blood that was lost. He needs to rest and regain his strength.”
Hou nodded before signaling two men to carry the young man into a nearby house.
However, the young man clung to Hou and his voice shook as he spoke.
“Giants appeared near my village. Thirty of them, maybe more……”
Hou’s round ears started to droop as he listened to the young man weakly voicing his report.
As soon as the young man lost consciousness, the arm with which he had held onto Hou fell down as the two men carried him off.
Hou’s eyes started to fill with rage and veins started to appear on his forehead, giving him the appearance of an ogre.
“Contact the remaining clan leaders!! Apart from those defending the village, all warriors prepare to hunt!!”
A deafening war cry followed the moment of silence after the order had been given.
All the children rushed into their homes and the brought out armor for the men. The men proceeded to polish their equipment and prepare for the hunt.
While everyone was busy with their preparations, Hou approached me.
“Honored guest, we didn’t get to finish or conversation, but……”
He cut off the conversation with a shake of his head and looked back at his people.
I had no idea what Hou was trying to say. Perhaps we’ll talk once the giants had been subjugated.
Anyhow, requesting help from outsiders wasn’t highly looked upon within the tribe.
If things didn’t go well, it would be the tiger tribesmen that ran the risk of being wiped out by the giants instead of the other way around.
Now was not the time to talk about devil nails.
In addition, the young man said that there had been at least thirty giants.
The tiger tribesmen prided themselves on their combat prowess, but even they had problems dealing with two giants, let alone thirty. Even if every warrior here were to participate, there was no way they’d avoid heavy casualties.
I could probably deal with them myself, in their place……
There was only one thing to say here.
Isn’t there an old saying that “Ask and you shall receive.”
“May I participate in this hunt?”
If I wanted the devil nails, I needed to ensure their victory.
Hou stared directly at me when he heard my question.
After a quick exchange of glances, Hou floated a threatening smile.
“Accept this promise from Hou, the leader of the Ena clan! You shall be repaid in kind once this hunt is over!”
After saying that, Hou returned to his own preparations.
Having watched that entire exchange, Ariane let out a grand sigh before thrusting her finger at me.
“I’m coming along with you! I’ll kill them more efficiently this time!”
With that declaration, Ariane pouted and looked towards the horizon.
Her slip-up during our first encounter with the giants must have still been bothering her.
She probably intended to redeem herself in the upcoming battle. With that thought in mind, I looked toward Chiome, who simply shut her eyes and gave me a brief reply.
After that conversation, I began to wonder just how blood-thirsty my group was.
Since there was no blood flowing through my skeletal body, my own blood didn’t race at the prospect of the coming battle, or at least that’s what I believed.