A white-colored fox walks out from the shadows. Emaciated, he hasn't been able to catch any prey for the past few days.
The reason? Dressed in luxurious and expensive furs, he and his pack have met with their most dangerous enemy recently.
"Bang! I found the prey!"
Alright, after the sound of a gunshot from a Dwarf's rifle, a certain white wolf abruptly falls to the ground.
A short figure walks out from the trees. Despite being shrouded in weeds, hes in his peak condition, apparently excited over catching such rare prey.
However, what happens immediately afterward is the burst of alarms and sirens all around his surroundings.
"How dare you, to dare poach on the private lands of Count Carlock. Back then, you killed the Aspen dog that the Count doted on and now, you dare to kill the snow fox that the Countess is fond of? You must be courting death!"
Alright, appearing right after the furious roar is over a hundred of raging guards.
"He got caught due to poaching? The legendary sniper?"
Initially, I intended to set forth to the Fire Dragon Circus alone. However, even before I stepped out of the mansion, I met that Dracon who was already prepared and ready to set off.
"Thank you for your care in recent times. I am afraid I will have to leave for a period of time."
To say the truth, hearing Beifeng bidding his farewell, I feel as though I have eaten two pounds of apples in one mouthful and a band starts playing in my mind. I couldn't suppress the ecstasy Im feeling.
"You are leaving? Thats... cough cough, how regretful."
Being stared at by Casio's resentful eyes, I could only change my words helplessly.
"Un, there is a grudge that I have to settle."
After putting on his windbreaker, the Dracon intends to leave but Casio stops him.
"Big Brother, you can tell me if you have enemies, I will help you. Setting forth alone like that, aren't you being too formal with me? Do you not treat me as your brother?"
"Casey, it is because I regard you as my brother that I don't want to involve you in it. This is my personal grudge."
"Say no more, I have already made my decision. I am clear of the grudges between HHA and that organization. Originally, I was sided towards the HHA but after interacting with you these few days, I started to understand how precious life is. So, Ive decided to choose that organization."
I couldn't make sense of what they were talking about, but the newspaper on the table seems to be the culprit of his decision.
[HHA'sHappy Hunting Associationace Hunter Lowens Bronzehammer will be performing his ultimate technique of Hundred Feet Piercing. We welcome all hunter friends to join in the commotion and exchange their hunting experiences.]
"No, this won't do. Its enough to have a weirdo like me in this world. If you were to join the Kindness Association, you will be mocked by all the hunters in the world."
"...Mocked? Hehe, Big Brother, didn't you tell me that as long as you walk on the path that you think is right, mockery and disdain are just the faces of the ignorant. Big Brother, say no more. I will definitely join the Kindness Association. I will be interfering in this conflict of yours!"
"Since youve made up your mind, then I will say no more. Come, let's work together and bring a better tomorrow for cute little animals..."
Looking at the sight in front of me which is turning gay all of the sudden, I quickly understood what was happening. The Kindness Association is the short form of the 'Animal Kindness Druid Association' and in a large number of countries, its treated the same as the Celestial Tower, an unwelcomed organization filled with lunatics.
Just as mentioned before, Druids are born connected to the word terrorist. The Kindness Association stands out even among its brethren. Their motto is even more extreme than the Wild Bull Alliance's 'Reject clothes and return back to our origins'. What they hope to achieve is that 'All animals should be granted the equal privilege as intelligent lifeforms'.
It sounds great but if you were to think deeper into it, if the chickens and ducks that you consume have equal privileges as you, then in the eyes of the Kindness Association, wouldn't eating meat make you a murderer? Alright, towards 'murderers', the Kindness Association will show you clearly what the wrath of nature is.
No doubt, this is too extreme for others to accept. Can you imagine a certain peasant being dealt a harsh punishment by the Kindness Association for eating meat and drinking beer in public? After some of their members injured civilians in public locations, they got into deep trouble and the Kindness Association became generally rejected by the public.
Of course, such extremists only number a few even within the Kindness Association. A large portion of the members of the Kindness Association is still able to tolerate others ingesting meat for due survival. However, they are unable to accept it when others hunt beyond what they require for subsistence.
Thus, the Kindness Association sees the HHA as their sworn enemy. As an organization formed by a group of people who hunts as an interest, a large portion of their members are outstanding hunters. They view hunting down strong or rare animals as the goal of their life. Due to the clash in their ideals, they became mortal enemies.
At this point, Im totally shocked.
As a Hunter, its already surprising for Beifeng to not join the HHA. To think that he would even join the Kindness Association which is mainly comprised of Druids. What does he really intend to do? He even influenced Casio, who is a sniper, to join the Kindness Association along with him. This is really incredulous.
Alright, end of the recollection. Since our goals align with one another, we naturally banded together.
After reaching our destination, Beifeng is surprised to find that his mortal enemy caught and is in the royal family prison. What is even more unexpected is him taking the initiative to try to save him.
"I have a grudge with that guy, Lowens. One of my intimate lovers died under his spear. We have crossed blows for 6 times and the current score is 3 wins and 3 losses. Since our paths happen to cross on the Surface, then perhaps, it is a sign for us to settle the score once and for all. Even if he is destined to be punished and die for the sins that he has committed throughout his lifetime, I should be the one to bring down this divine retribution onto him and end his sinful life."
I shall not point out why your intimate lover would die under the spear of a hunter but Casio, why are you so touched by his story? It makes others at a loss for word.
"Dracon, you should be Beifeng Herault that Lowens had once mentioned. This is my first time meeting a man who overlooks my presence, not bad."
Indeed, Siren Tracy has the right to say such words. Sirens are a symbol of beauty in legends. The stories of Sirens and sailors are classics that survived the trial of time, often by word of mouth in bars. The woman in front of me, Tracy, is tall and elegant. There is a certain charm and attractiveness to her beautifully shaped face. Her green scales and dull-yellow iris don't destroy the balance of her face by any means. If anything, it adds a kind of exotic touch to it.
Her weird and shaky voice somehow carries a seductive tone to it. Sirens are born attractive. Their voices can confuse the ships sailing in the ocean and cajole young sailors to jump into the sea. It is no surprise that she would become one of the pillars propping up the circus.
Judging from Casio's expression as he sneaked peeks towards her occasionally, the cold beauty is indeed full of charms. Besides, this young Centaur has yet to walk too far on the road of life.
"Lowens mentioned me? What did he say?"
"Are you sure you want me to say those words here? It seems that you have a little friend over here too."
Her chuckle under the cover of her hands looks unspeakably seductive. Casios eyes are firmly affixed on her whereas Beifeng's gaze remains fixated on the body of the female seal.
If we allow Beifeng to carry on with the farce, I would be no longer to achieve my purpose coming here. Thus, I took over the conversation and started talking about the important matter at hand.
"Blessing of the Sea God? I am able to cast it and even strengthened it before. I can make 10 landlubbers into swimming masters capable of breathing underwater. But, using this skill depletes my strength significantly. Why should I help you?"
Alright, it is the time for the bargaining to begin.
Initially, I thought that I only had to spend a bit of money to help the Fire Dragon Circus out of its precarious situation. However, I didn't expect that the Siren would have a different thought process than that of humans. She doesn't care about this circus at all, she is only staying here due to her promise to the previous previous previous circus master, as well as to assume a convenient identity for her to live in the human world.
Different from the Mermaids who have a good reputation, Sirens are known to be fickle-minded and deceitful. The reason why she rejected the poaching of the other circuses without any hesitation is because the benefits those humans offered her doesn't mean anything in her eyes and that she finds moving a chore. Right now, since someone has a favor to request of her, it is basically impossible to get her to work without paying a price.
"Two things. Help me get rid of one person and save one person. If you accept my request, I will help you."
"The person to save is Lowens right? Who is the one you want me to get rid of?"
"Lowens is my old friend. He is the one who invited me here to help and it isn't right for me to land him in jail. As for the one to get rid of, it is a hateful person who doesn't know his place, a foolish weakling. He seems to be a noble among you humans."
"This customer, the circus is currently not in its operational hours, so I beseech you not to disturb our circus members... Ah?"
Perhaps, our negotiation has caught the attention of others. The circus master of the Fire Dragon Circus, Milor, appears.
Initially, since we are have come to an agreement privately, the affairs of the circus shouldnt concern me then. However, considering that this circus could possibly be performing during the inauguration ceremony, I might be able to play a trick or two through them. Thus, I turn my attention towards owning this circus.
But, what is surprising is that someone has beaten me to it.
"Lord Knight, Count Carlock has already decided to invest in this circus. He will be coming to take a look today."
Count Carlock? This name sounds a little familiar. At the same time, Tracy whispers into my ear.
"He is the man that I want to get rid of. He keeps harassing me, not to mention how hateful he is. As long as you save Lowens and stop that guy from harassing me, the Blessing of the Sea God would be just a minor issue."
I hesitate slightly. Since we would be breaking into the jail, saving Lowens would be convenient, so it isnt anything much. However, it is obviously not wise to offend a Count in the capital of the Auland Empire. Rather than going one big round, it seems that using strength to force this Siren to submit may be more efficient.
"I want to see who is the one who dares to steal my woman!"
Just as I wanted to reject her offer, an arrogant voice echoes from the entrance of the tent. Somehow, that voice sounded very familiar.
After a few seconds, a panting plump man walks over from the entrance.
"Who is the one who dares snatch the woman I have set my eyes... AH!"
I was just thinking why that name sounded so familiar. No wonder, it is an acquaintance.
"It is the Count with broken eggs."
"No, it is obviously Count Egg."
"No matter what, he is still a Count. You must be respectful! The Count with half an egg, have you eaten? To think that you could be flirting around, the Priest that you hired must be pretty good."
Alright, ignoring the Count whose face steels but is afraid to lash out, I turn my sight to the surprised Tracy.
"Un, we accept your conditions. Let us first postpone the issue about saving Lowens, we need your assistance first."
"I want to become a Mage. I want to become an apprentice of a real great Mage. If you can make my wish come true, I will pass the sword that my grandfather left behind to you."
When I found Kane's granddaughter, I have no idea how I should persuade this young lady who resolutely wants to become a Mage despite coming from a family with a line of Knight heritage.
"Knight? My grandfather is one of the Knights who comes under the direct control of the royal family, a respected famous Legend Holy Knight. But, how did he end? My father risked his life fighting for the royal family just to restore the honor of my grandfather. In the end, he died on the battlefield and what did he earn? Just the broken armor and weapon that grandfather left behind."
Kane's son, Slork Solia, for the honor of his father, stepped on the road as a Knight as well. Back then, when the royal family was impressed by the loyalty of the Solia family, they passed Kane's previous weapon and armor to Slork. However, before Slork could accomplish his goal of regaining the honor of his father, a new war broke out. In the end, the only things that returned back to the Solia family were 2 Knight armors and swords.
"So, do you want it or not? If it wasn't for you helping to pay for my school fees previously, I wouldn't have brought up such an offer in the first place. No matter what, they are relics left behind by a legendary character, so they should be able to fetch quite a price."
Recalling the Heroic Spirit of Kane, I couldn't help but shake my head. I can understand the rationale behind Kathleen's thoughts. After all, very few of the seniors who walk on the road of the Knight has ended up well. Even if they were a renowned Knight family in the past, it is understandable that the new generation don't want to carry on the heritage. But, to the older generation, for the armor and weapon of the Knight which represents their honor to be sold like an antique, that is far too much for them to accept.
"Uncle, your equipment isnt bad so you should have connections. Introduce a Mage to me, a Silver-rank Mage would do. If not, a Bronze-rank would suffice as well."
Her demands are really not very high. But, as the inheritor of the family of a Legend Holy Knight, isn't there something wrong with the situation?
Indeed, I can introduce a Mage to her. The Incantationers from the Church that followed Krose are Gold-rank Mages and they would definitely satisfy her request. But, at this instant, comparing her to the Rain Swallow Sword who is also a woman but is adamant to bring honor back to her family, I really don't feel like introducing them to her.
"Give me your hand. Relax."
Kathleen follows my orders and the information that appears makes me click my tongue in surprise.
Job: LV14 Alchemist
Race Talent: None]
Her other stats are still normal but her identity as a DemiElf is a very big problem. Most likely, Slork found an Elf wife eventually and had a DemiElf daughter. Even if he died early in life, he could already be considered a winner in life. Furthermore, Elves are born lacking in strength and it is indeed unsuitable for her to walk on the path of a Knight.
Looking at her hair which intentionally covers her ears and the laws directed towards the nobles of this country, I roughly get her situation.
"DemiElf, if I am able to fix your natural weak strength, are you willing to become a Knight?"
Hearing my words, Kathleen covers her ears and steps backward with a look of astonishment on her face. She was very confident in her disguise and didn't expect for it to be seen through in an instant.
"Cough, don't worry. I know that you would lose your nobility if your identity as a DemiElf gets exposed. I am not trying to blackmail you so, un, consider it for a bit. If you are willing to sign a contract with me to turn into a Magic Girl... Oh, willing to become a Knight, then find me, I will introduce a good Knight trainer to you. At the very least, you won't sully the glorious name of Solia. Of course, if you still insist on walking the path of a Magician, I will introduce a Gold-rank great Mage to you as well. However, that would be truly a deal that way. If so, don't expect me to settle what happens in the future."
In case you all are wondering who Kathleen and Kane is, Kane is the ghost Knight who wields Pale Justice. He is the one who Roland searched for when he wanted to find a sword, the one who chose to save a village from a magic beast instead of protecting a fort (as commanded by his superior) and lost his honor as a result for going against his orders.
Kathleen, as mentioned, is his granddaughter.
"As a Hunter, it is already surprising for Beifeng to not join the HHA."
TL: I know I translate Beifengs job as Beast Tamer but in reality, it is Beast King Hunter. Well, truthfully, he is closer to a Beast Tamer than a Beast Hunter and I thought it wouldnt affect the story much.