Only a few minutes have passed since we started walking.
Ario and Josh probably can’t hear us from here if we don’t talk too loud.
I asked Shea.
「What kind of enemy is waiting for us? You know, don’t you?」
「W, why do you think that I know?」
「You mentioned it earlier. You told the goblin lord “Get out of my way, you mere goblin”」
She seems to be hiding something for some reason.
「It’s a fearsome enemy. There’s no problem withdrawing once you heard what it is, alright?」
「Stop putting on airs」
Shea obediently replied.
「An extremely terrifying monster, ……a vampire lord, is waiting for us」
「Is that so」
Shea muttered with a serious expression. The enemy’s stronger than I thought.
Vampires are dreadful monsters capable of sucking blood.
Among them is an especially frightening one, the king of vampires, the vampire lord.
Their life force is abnormally strong. They won’t die if you just cut them a little.
They can even become mist and transform into bats.
They also possess charming abilities, and can manipulate animals and magic beasts of lower ranking.
All the more reason to kill it.
It’ll be too late if the villagers in the vicinity had their blood sucked and turned into the vampire lord’s retainers.
「What do you mean “Is that so”!」
「Is that not so?」
「It is, but that’s not the point!」
Shea then said in a serious tone.
「It’s alright to run if you’re scared, rather, you should run now」
「There’s no need for that. You should be the one running though?」
「I will not run」
Her face became grim. She probably has her reasons.
「I don’t know what your situation is, but you were having a hard time fighting a goblin lord. Isn’t it impossible for you to go against a vampire lord?」
「Even so, I……」
「Well, whatever. Just don’t interfere, alright?」
「Are you not going to ask me?」
「Do you want me to?」
「Then I won’t」
It’s normal for adventurers to have their own problems.
Even I have my own. I’d be troubled if someone were to ask me what my real name is, or what happened to me in the last 10 years.
「…I live in the east, and a daughter of a certain tribe of beast-men……」
I went out of my way to resolve myself not to ask, but then she started talking.
She might have wanted to tell someone about it. She might even be trying to distract herself from her anxiety by saying something.
「For generations, our family have been hunting vampires」
Vampires’ blood-sucking and charming abilities are ineffective against the wolf tribe.
I’ve heard that quite a lot of them hunt vampires for a living.
Perhaps Shea might be one of them.
「We went into battle against a group of vampires……. We chased them down until one was left……」
「The patriarch, my father, was injured heavily in that battle…… Of all the vampires that could have escaped, it had to be the vampire lord that escaped」
「That’s a shame」
「Letting a vampire escape was a shame that our tribe had to get rid of. That’s why I have to be the one to kill it」
「I see. However, what if I killed the vampire lord before you?」
「I…… will be very troubled」
I stopped walking and asked her for more details.
It seems that to let it escape after cornering it is an unforgivable incident for Shea’s tribe.
In order to wipe the shame away, someone from the tribe has to subjugate it.
Must be some kind of rule they have.
「But I was the one who came here first. I even accepted a quest from the guild」
「That’s true, but……」
「How about we work together? Or do you have to defeat it alone?」
「There’s no problem. The disgrace will still be wiped off」
I continued walking, feeling relieved.
Shea trotted behind me. Her tail shakes every time she takes a step.
「I have my own circumstances, that’s why I can’t back down…… Rock-san should run away, though」
「There’s no reason for me to. A mere vampire lord can’t scare me, after all」
Shea seems impressed.
「Let’s hurry up. Vampires are more active at night」
I started running towards the depths.
I handed the Devil King’s sword to Shea who had been running after me.
「You’re probably uneasy with that sword, aren’t you? I’ll lend you this」
「But Rock-san, what about you……」
「I’m strong even without a weapon」
Saying that, I forced my sword on Shea.
「……Thank you very much」
While we were running, we encountered three goblins.
I kept running.
As I ran past them, I swung my fist at one of the goblins’ face.
The goblin was blown off until it hit a wall. It then stopped moving.
The two remaining goblins’ face cramped up.
I then sent out a kick. One of the goblins had its neck snapped, and fell to the ground.
The last one started running as fast as it could.
However, I’m even faster than it. The moment I passed by it, I sent out another kick.
It rolled on the ground before dying.
「Y, you really are strong barehanded」
「Didn’t I say so?」
My main job is a mage. Even so, I am an S-rank. There’s no way my physical abilities would be low.
In high level battles, a mage standing still is the easiest to kill.
Mages have to fire off powerful spells as they survive the fierce attacks from the enemy.
On top of that, my fighting strength rapidly increased when I was fighting the devil’s army for ten years.
Mere goblins won’t be a threat to me, even if I am barehanded and blindfolded.
While kicking goblins around, we ran towards the deepest part of the cavern.
In the blink of an eye, we reached our destination.
There stood a tall, handsome vampire with a look of displeasure.