Daisies are an ivy-shaped plant that exists in the Demon Forest. This plant absorbs the magical power in the atmosphere and it grows on leaves and ivy fibres.
Boromintella is a well-known plant that is useful for avoiding demons. It has no effect on humans, but to demons, it smells disgusting.
Monsters are attracted to the magical power of people. So, if you combine boromintella and a low-grade demon repellant potion you will make a more effective demon repellant. To a demon, it will appear like there is no human whatsoever, and they will only detect a disgusting smell.
Mariela’s master taught her that it is possible to live in the Demon Forest by covering the roof of your house in daisies, and by planting boromintella along the fenceline. So, Mariela’s hut, which she inherited from her master, was built following these guidelines. That’s why she was able to live peacefully until the day of the stampede. When the stampede occurred, the demons became frenzied, and so, the boromintella had no effect on the frenzied demons and they were once again sensitive to the magical power of humans. This is why Mariela’s hut was completely destroyed.
Mariela covered herself in the new, high-grade demon repellant and decided it was time to leave her hut.
The demon repellant has varying levels of effectiveness depending on the type of demon, but, no matter what, any demon will want to avoid the source of the demon repellant. So, as long as I remain quiet, I can safely move throughout the Demon Forest when using the repellant. The time appears to be around noon. The sun is still high in the sky, but I want to reach the city as soon as possible.
I had been walking through the forest for 30 minutes along a road on which a carriage could pass. The animal trails I usually travelled along were now completely overtaken by the forest. The alignment of the trees was also different, but I seemed to be on the right track so far.
Because the Kingdom of Endalgia is surrounded by steep mountains and the Demon Forest, travelling to another country through the mountains is nearly impossible. So, people have no choice but to use the roads through the Demon Forest to travel to other countries.
And this road was one of them. Along this road on the other side of the Demon Forest, there was once many different grain fields.
“The forest has overtaken everything…”
I wonder what happened to the Kingdom of Endalgia?
Even though the grain fields were no longer there, this road still remained. There are clear signs that this road is still being used, so some people must still be alive. Anyway, let’s continue on to the haven.
At that time, as I continued along the road, I could hear the sounds of fighting nearby.
Mariela has no combat skills and cannot fight. She would be completely useless in any kind of fight.
Usually, she will stay as far away as possible and try to quickly escape. Yet, she remained standing there, still, there was something she had been concerned with ever since she awoke. She was curious about the current situation of the world, and so, she headed in the direction of the battle. She cautiously made her way along the road using the trees as cover.
“Are those forest wolves, and….carriages?”
There were three carriages entirely covered in iron.
There were only a couple small windows on the carriage. One for maneuvering and one that a crossbow could fire through. Aside from these windows, the entire carriage was covered in rugged iron plates. Looking closer, those iron plates must have been reused many times. There are signs of damage from demon claws and teeth here and there. These plates must have been through many life-or-death situations.
Two of the armored carriages are being pulled by beasts called raptors. They are carnivorous, bipedal beasts. Although it has a ferocious personality and a strong hide, it is just a low-class demon. However, training them is difficult and they were rarely seen in Endalgia. In the first place, Mariela had never seen such a heavily armoured carriage before.
There are two guards riding on raptors, one is using a sword and the other a spear. However, they are wearing heavy armor that focuses on defense, and because of this, their movement is slow. Their armour is strong enough to protect against the forest wolf’s fangs, but their attacks are too slow to hit the wolves. It seems the guards are struggling with the wolves.
“Even so, forest wolves, hmm?”
A forest wolf is a nasty demon to fight against. They hunt in packs and attack in waves with their sharp fangs and quick movement. However,
The demon repellant was thrown out.
All of the forest wolves ran away simultaneously.
After all, they are wolves. Their noses are extremely sensitive. The repellant would be super effective against them.
So, even if you were to use a small amount of the repellent, you would never encounter them and they would be easily chased away.
In the first place, it is common that any travellers through the Demon Forest would first buy a demon repellant. They are sold for cheap along the entrance to the forest. If you were using a cheap potion that costs no more than five copper, you could travel safely through the Demon Forest. That is as long as you stay along the road in the safer areas of the forest.
Do they not even have the common sense of a child? Did they just forget to buy it or did they just not know to?
After confirming that all of the forest wolves had fled, Mariela began walking in the open.
The two guards that had been fighting the wolves looked in the direction the wolves had fled and then to the spot the potion had broken open. Their faces were in complete disbelief. Then, one of the guards spoke to Mariela.
“Just now, was that a demon repellant potion?”
What else would it be?
Anyway, I need to act polite. I need information from these people. They should hopefully feel indebted to me after I saved them.
I show a friendly smile and respond.
“Of course, that’s what it was. I’m not sure it was necessary, but I thought I should help.”
One of the guards got off of the Raptor, removed his helmet, and began to approach me.
He has firm facial features and looks like a seasoned adventurer, I’d guess he’s around 30 years old. Uncaring eyes, which are common among skilled adventurers, are staring at me through thick, brown eyebrows. This person seems to be their leader. He has a rather dignified appearance for his age.
“No, you saved us. We were struggling with these forest wolves on our way to the city. My name is, Dick. I am the captain of the Black Steel Transportation Corps. Are you by chance, the Spirit of the Forest?”
He gave me a polite greeting, but there seems to be a strange misunderstanding. I was still wearing my unusual leaf skirt. How do I answer?
The “Spirit of the Forest” is, as its name suggests, a spirit that lives in the forest. There have been many sightings of this spirit, and some people have described it as a beast, a tree, or many other things that appear near people. Unlike demons, spirits don’t attack people. Rather, they help them. There are stories that the spirit would guide children that came to the forest to find medicinal plants when they needed medicine for their parents. The spirit would then guide them to the exit. In a similar occurrence, the spirit would rescue injured hunters and bring them to safety.
Unlike the four main spirits, such as water or fire, this spirit doesn’t lend its power to humans in order for them to use certain skills or magic. There is no known method of summoning this spirit, but like most other spirits the “Spirit of the Forest” has no known physical form. The only known description of the spirit is of its dazzling silhouette. Because of this spirit’s close relationship with humans, the people of the city have given it the familiar name of the “Spirit of the Forest.”
“That’s not right—, Captain. The Spirit of the Forest can’t be seen so clearly. No matter how you look at her, she’s just a girl.”
As I was wondering how to reply, someone else calmly answered for me. I’m saved.
A young man with flaxen hair got down from the armored carriage. He was probably around the same age as Mariela. Maybe 16 or 17 years old. The young man shows me a friendly smile causing his small eyes to become straight lines.
“No, I definitely have a strange appearance.”
Muu, is this herb skirt considered to be some kind of state-of-the-art design?
“This is my ‘Skirt of Demon Protection.’ ”
For now, I tried to defend my appearance by describing how useful this skirt is.
“Anyway, are you a citizen of the labyrinth city?”
Captain Dick suddenly asked this question.
Now that Dick knows I am a human, his way of speaking became rather straightforward. Due to his height, this man that introduced himself as Dick is rather intimidating.
“Hey~, that was a demon repellant potion you used earlier, right?”
Before I could answer, the young man interrupted with his own question.
Itome-kun, aren’t you acting too friendly? Do you think it’s okay to interrupt the Captain? Rather, maybe I should be asking what this labyrinth city is? (TN: Mariela refers to the young man as Itome-kun. Itome just means narrow/small eyes.)
When I looked back at the Captain, I could see his eyes slowly studying me.
Ah, he has the eyes of a predator. I wonder if the interruption by Itome-kun was also planned out by the Captain. These men belong to a transportation company that uses armored carriages, but for some reason, they don’t use demon repellant potions. This labyrinth city? I’ve never heard of such a city. What happened while I was asleep? Was I careless when I decided to help them?
“I have a few more potions. I’m in need of money, and am on my way to sell them.”
I cautiously opened my pouch and showed them the contents, the entire time I was regretting coming to rescue these people. I’m not lying, but I should avoid saying anything unnecessary.
“Hee~, you have three monster repellants and five low-grade potions. You used something so valuable.”
The young man with small eyes grabbed a pouch as he approached me.
He was no more than ten steps away when I was able to see the contents of the pouch sparkling.
Captain Dick took a step towards Mariela as she focused on the treasure in the pouch.
“Hmm, even though we would have been fine, it is true that you helped us. So how about we pay for the potions you have left and the one you used earlier?”
I’m guessing they’ll take it by force if I refuse so it would be best if I were to sell them. I don’t understand why this is happening over such cheap potions. Also, please do not come closer to me, I’m scared.
Of course, I can’t say any of that.
“Sure, this must be fate.”
While regretting her carelessness, Mariela answered with a smile.
“I see. Then, we’re saved.”
Captain Dick replied as if he were relieved.
I wonder if they ran out of potions. If that is the case, then they may not be such bad people. As long as they are willing to pay, they are customers.
Of course, I won’t relax my guard just yet.
Even though I was just severely regretting my decision to help them, I am now considering them as my customers.
“And the price….?”
Another man that was on a raptor approached the Captain and whispered something in his ear.
Ah, please stop this, it’s bad for my heart.
What are they whispering about? Are they deciding whether or not to buy the potions? Just as my anxiety was at its peak, Dick told me the price.
“For nine potions, how about five large silver coins?”
I was completely stunned. Or rather, I feel like my heart may have stopped.
Umm, I need to calm down.
Certainly, the demon repellant and the five low-grade potions would equal five coins.
Even if someone were in a desperate situation in the forest, these potions may sell for ten copper each.
Even if there are nine potions, I would be lucky to get 100 copper coins for them (100 copper = 1 silver coin).
Yet, they said 5 large silver coins? One large silver coin is equivalent to ten silver coins. So, this price would be…50 times!? Is the inflation really that much? Does one loaf of bread cost 50 copper?
After seeing Mariela’s reactions, Captain Dick seemed to panic a little.
“No, we can tell your potions are of a good quality based off of the forest wolves reactions. The potion’s effect is as good as a newly created potion….Then, how about one gold coin?”
As I was stunned, the price went up. It’s suddenly doubled. So that makes it 200 times the usual price? What is going on!?