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50.55% Trickster: The Apostle of Loki / Chapter 137: Enchanted Forest [1]

Chapter 137: Enchanted Forest [1]

[3rd Person Pov]

In the small city of Schiltach, the first defensive line next to Mensch's eastern border towards the land of the wild, strange things had started to happen in the wastelands.

Sitting in his office, Captain Lavigne was not surprised when one of his soldiers entered, giving him yet another disturbing report. "Sir! Another sighting of an [A]-rank monster has happened in sector C-2! From our estimations, it won't be long until we might be finding stronger monsters even coming into sector B!"

Rubbing his hurting head, the gray mustache moved up and down as Lavigne spoke, "Shit... Keep sending out scouts, and make sure not to engage in combat with anything that you are not sure you can defeat. Dismissed."

With the soldier leaving the room, the captain was left with his own worried thoughts. Even with all of this happening here, the amount of reinforcement they got was minimal because something was about to happen in the capital.

Never had something like this happened during all the 30 years that the captain had been stationed here, and although it wasn't quite enough to panic just yet, the ominous signs couldn't be dismissed.

The wastelands had always been oddly controlled through some sort of internal ecosystem where the weaker monsters were the only ones to get close to the border while the stronger monsters inhabited the deeper parts of the wasteland.

Although there had been situations where some of the stronger monsters had penetrated the inner sectors, it had never been as frequent as right now. "Haa... I wonder what could have happened out there..."


[Sophie's Pov]

With the cold but gentle winds dancing around me, the thing inside of me was once again synchronizing with me, wanting to tell me about something that I didn't know about. This time as well, I couldn't stop my tears from falling.

Standing outside next to the pond at the academy, it had been a long time since I felt this way, with the last time being when James had taken a week off to dive a dungeon in Essen.

However, something that was different about this time was that it didn't take long until I felt a hand on my shoulder, "Sophie, are you alright?"

Turning around to the one who always supported me, I had no words to give him. Instead, I just let my head lean on his shoulder, feeling his warmth through the pink hoodie that I had opted to wear.

And so, now I didn't stand alone with the knowledge that something horrible was about to happen. Now it was the two of us who were going to face whatever trial the future had in store, head-on together.


[James's Pov]

"Hmm? So this is the gate to the Enchanted Forest."

It was a pretty unceremonious entrance to the [B]-rank dungeon, consisting of just a portal at the bottom of a giant tree. As I was taking a moment to spectate the underwhelming sights, I couldn't stop myself from thinking through Sub-me who was sitting on my shoulder in the form of a raven.

'Hmm... I thought it would be a bit more... more?'

"Yea. It's really just a tree. A pretty good looking tree, but in the end, just a tree."

Suddenly, as I was pondering just why it looked so lame compared to the game, a shrill voice could be heard from behind me, "Kid, don't even think about it if you don't want to lose your life. That's a [B]-rank dungeon, not something brats like you should challenge."

Turning around, I saw the individual who had called me out for my 'stupidity'. Wearing green leather armor complemented by the short bow in her hand, the blonde elven woman looked like quite the experienced hunter. Even more so as she had somehow managed to walk up behind me without me noticing her.

Taking a closer look, there was no doubt that she was a beautiful woman, her skin clear and unblemished, her face balanced and sleek. Although her body carried the tendencies of the elvish race, meaning it wasn't quite as curvy as I would prefer, a lot of men would probably drool if they saw her.

Sadly, I didn't have the freedom to stand here and drool when I knew that my appearance was probably not a well-kept secret.

Crossing her arms, she didn't take my silence too well, "Aren't you going to say anything? I swear to Theia, youths these days... Also, why are you wearing a mask?"

'She doesn't seem to recognize me...'

Just like in Kurat, it might be the case that the little accident I had when Loki sliced the arms of the king off wasn't all too well known here.

So, making a bit of a bet that she might not know who I was, I made the decision to not get rid of her. After all, I had no idea how many dives I would have to do before I got the item I wanted and if an elf got missing here there was no doubt someone would come looking for her.

"Oh, excuse me, Miss. I was just a bit captivated by your beauty. It was quite unexpected to meet someone as pretty as you out here, after all."

In less than a second, the woman started blushing profusely because of the sudden compliments, most likely getting a bit caught off guard. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for her to not be apprehensive towards me.

Although it was subtle, there was no way I would miss the fact that she was clutching her bow hard, ready to make a move at a second's notice. "Thank you, but you still haven't answered my question. Why is a kid like you out here at the Enchanted Forest, even going so far as to wear a mask? Also, why is an assassin like you trying to challenge a dungeon on your own?"

Even if she had a lot of questions, I needed to find answers to my own before I could deal with hers.

'How come she can estimate my body's age? Is it part of her Manual? Lastly, is she assuming I am an assassin because she can't feel my mana?'

From the signs she had given me, I could only assume her Manual had something to do with being a scout, as it would explain her perceptiveness as well as how she managed to sneak up on me.

Sadly, even though I would have wanted to take a bit more time to ponder, it would have made me look even more suspicious if I didn't respond. "I am not sure what I would gain from answering you, to be honest. Even with your good looks, my mother repeatedly told me not to speak with strangers. And it doesn't help that I can see that you are ready to pierce my forehead with an arrow at any moment."

The elf didn't seem to care much about my opinion as her posture didn't let up at all, "So you are aware that if I don't get the response I want you will have to forfeit your life? As the current guardian of the Enchanted Forest, I can't say I have all too much patience with strangers. Especially ones that don't even show their face."

In Mensch, the hunter association and the guilds were the ones responsible for dungeons, to clear them out and make sure nothing abnormal happened. In Aldon, the dungeons were monitored by specific families, guardians of the dungeons.

'Then it makes sense she might not know who I am... She probably lives out here in the forest and doesn't go to the cities a lot...'

Taking note of what kind of situation I was in, I decided to do the only reasonable thing I could, "I see... Well, I still have no response to give, so you can do what you want. However, I will not hesitate to defend myself if needed."

I had no information that I could give, and running away would only make me look more suspicious. Therefore, I chose to do nothing. If she wanted to fight, then I would fight, but if she chose to let me be, I would let her be.

Finally, it seemed like my words made an impact as she hung her bow over her shoulder, showing that she wasn't necessarily eager to fight for no reason. "Haa... Fine. But you really shouldn't enter that dungeon. Even if you think you are strong, this dungeon has a wandering boss which means you never know when you will have to fight it."

Turning around, I put a hand up in the air to signal my departure as I spoke with confidence, "Thanks for the info, but I will be fine."

As there was no time for me to waste, taking the fact that I had no idea when she would get to know who I really was, I felt content with the situation for now. However, just before I entered the portal, the beautiful voice rang out again.

"My name is Alice! If something happens, there is a cabin just a couple of hundred meters to the east from here. Please don't hesitate to ask for help!"

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