The next morning, Bloed and the others met Gerald and Erika at the southern gate of the city.
"Hey Bloed, we are here!" Gerald called out at Bloed when he saw them.
When Bloed and the girls walked towards them, they realized that Gerald and Erika were not alone.
They were accompanied by five persons. One of them was Sara, Erika's bodyguard, and the other four were a group of men Bloed had never seen before.
Gerald noticed their confusion and introduced them. "They are the Blood Wolf Group. Father contracted them to accompany us in today's mission. Don't worry, they are trustworthy."
Bloed nodded in understanding. He looked at the four men briefly and a strange light flashed through his eyes.
This group had three B-Rank combatants, and the fourth one was at the peak of C-Rank, just one step away from breaking through B-Rank.
It was obvious they were an impressive group.
At that moment, the leader of the men spoke.
"Young master Gerald, you tell us nothing about three more people."
Gerald was startled before smiling apologetically. "Sorry about it. I just told Bloed about today's hunt last night, so I did not have time to notify you."
"… I'm sorry, young master, but the three of them are not in our contract. Besides, look at them, the girls are not even wearing armor or weapons and they brought two pets with them. Do they think it's a game? I don't want to carry two burdens during the hunt."
Liu Ying frowned. "Do you have a problem with us?"
"I just don't like to babysit noble children."
Liu Ying's expression turned ice-cold, but before she could attack, Bloed stopped her.
"Gerald, we will leave if it's a bother."
"It's not necessary." Gerald furrowed his brows. He then looked at the leader of the men. "Harold, I can guarantee that they are as strong as me. You don't have to worry that they are a burden."
"… I understand, but my men will not care about their safety. I will only protect you and young miss Erika if something happens."
Gerald frowned deeply, but in the end, he looked at Bloed with a helpless expression. Bloed scoffed inwardly seeing this farce, but he did not show it in his face.
"Don't worry, we understand."
In fact, Harold's words were not baseless. In truth, watching Regina and Liu Ying coming to the hunt wearing normal clothes, without wearing armor, and weaponless, anyone would think that they came here to play.
Even Bloed was only carrying his saber and was dressed in rather casual clothes. Moreover, he was being followed by two manaless pets.
But Bloed had the feeling that Harold would have found an excuse to go against them regardless of it.
Bloed moved his gaze between Gerald and the men briefly before falling deep in thoughts.
After that, the group of ten departed.
Their destination was a forest twenty kilometers away from the city. According to Gerald, they were going to hunt a peak B-Rank lightning cat. It was a magic beast specialized in speed that had migrated near the city recently. Apparently, it had killed some adventurers already.
Bloed did not care much about it. In the end, he knew that hunting the beast was not the main part of today's trip.
Instead, he cared more about the hidden dangers of it.
"Bloed, I heard you were attacked last night." Erika suddenly asked with a worried expression.
Bloed looked at the city lord's daughter and nodded. "It was a group of black-dressed men. Unfortunately, we did not know anything about their origins."
Gerald heard it and put on an angry expression. "It must have been the guys that attacked Erika. They probably wanted to take revenge because you foiled their plans. Fortunately, you guys were strong enough to repel them."
"… It was my fault." Erika smiled guiltily and looked at Bloed and the others. "Sorry guys, I caused you problems."
"Don't worry about it, miss Erika. It's not your fault." Bloed smiled and shook his head. "Besides, I knew about the dangers when I decided to help you, so you don't need to feel guilty about it."
Erika looked at Bloed in a daze. One second later, she blushed deeply and looked at the ground.
At the same time, Regina pinched Bloed's waist fiercely. Bloed forced himself to not change his expression despite the pain.
Meanwhile, he was observing the siblings' expressions.
'It looks like Erika is not aware of anything, huh.' Bloed thought to himself after seeing Erika's reaction. He was sure that Erika's concern was not feigned.
Gerald, however, was lying through his teeth.
Bloed just needed to observe his face carefully to notice the minute changes in his expression and eyes that revealed he was not telling the truth.
To be honest, the city lord's plan was truly ingenious. Anyone else would have been fooled thinking that the culprits were the men that attacked Erika and that the city lord was in their side.
After all, it was true that Bloed had offended an unknown party a few days ago. It was normal if he was attacked as revenge.
Unfortunately, they did not know that Bloed and the girls had seen through their plot long ago. Although Bloed was showing a sincere look in his face, he was smiling disdainfully in his heart.
Bloed looked behind Erika and saw that Sara was looking at him with an expressionless look. She shook her head slightly and sighed. It was obvious that she had realized that Bloed's was acting. He was following Gerald's script and acting as though he knew nothing.
However, in the end, Gerald was the one being fooled.
The group could not use horses to travel because the horses could not go inside the forest, and if they leave them outside, the horses most probably will be eaten for monsters before two hours.
Fortunately, twenty kilometers were not long for mana practitioners, so they rann through the plains at moderated speed and arrived at the outskirts of the forest in less than one hour. Of the group, only Erika was carried by Sara because she could not keep with the group's pace.
Once they arrived at the forest, they decided to rest for a while.
In truth, none of them were tired, but one of the most fundamental rules when you hunt magic beasts is to remain in top condition as much as possible, so a short rest was necessary.
After they rested for half an hour, the group stood up and got ready to enter the forest.
But at that moment, something happened.
"You three, stay behind, it would be bad if you get scared when you see a monster." One of Blood Wolf's men looked at Bloed's group and mocked.
"You are right." Said another man. "Girls are not suited for this kind of place. If you want excitement, you just need to ask me. I'll make sure of giving you so much excitement that you will never forget about it."
Seeing the lascivious look in the man's face, Liu Ying frowned. She then smiled slightly and walked towards him.
"Oh? You are rather capable then, huh?"
"Of course, much better than the sissy behind you." The man stared at Liu Ying's chest lasciviously before shooting a condescending look to Bloed. Bloed frowned felt Regina behind him getting ready to kill someone.
But before she could act, someone else moved.
"Is it so?" With a smile in her face, Liu Ying clenched her fist.
With a thunderous sound, her fist hit the man's belly.
The man smiled disdainfully. But an instant later, he was sent flying away, vomiting blood and knocking off some trees.
Liu Ying glared at him disdainfully and put on an ice-cold look while crossing her arms.
"I'm sorry, but you are not even a hundredth as good as him."
Two chapters today given that I did not post yesterday. Enjoy.
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