Appraiser's Job Chapter 23: Investigating the Forest
Traveling clothes on and sword in hand, I was finally dressed to go. I reintroduced myself to the man who said his name was Mr. Ashley and also let it be known that the weapon resting on his back was the longsword he primarily used.
After that, because the two of us would be going into the Large Toad infested forest, we determined together that since Mr. Ashley would basically be the only one attacking, we would orient ourselves with me me devoting myself to appraising the Large Toads from the rear. I may have brought my sword with me, but I was still an amature when it came to handling a blade. Thus, it was determined that it’d be better for me to do that than deal any secondary damage. And so our battle strategy had me sticking to only appraising the monsters that appeared while we were hunting for the man-eater.
Of course, in the event a monster attacked me, it was fine for me to defend myself. And if no attack came, I would try to the best of my ability to not start a fight.
This whole conversation took place on our journey to the forest.
The problematic forest was a place that stretched not very far from the city of La Niña. In less than 30 minutes we arrived at the entrance.
“Follow close behind me so that we don’t get separated,” Mr. Ashley said, drawing the sword on his back as he followed the monster’s trail stretching into the forest’s inner depths and crossed through the threshold. I followed after, tightly gripping my own sword.
At any rate, the amount of plant life thriving in the forest was high; it was midday yet my visibility was significantly dimmed. If the weather turned bad, it would darken immediately. I heard the sound of birds coming from all around me. It seemed that somehow or another, living creatures besides monsters were able to survive here.
When I asked where the Large Toad would be living, he replied that it could be anywhere.
Anywhere…..without going to that extent, we could potentially never find it.
A nearby thicket shook with the sound of rustling.
When we turned to face it———a deep brown lump lumbered into view.
That was quick.
Seeing it, I felt that it’s stomach wasn’t particularly swollen. But just in case….
I activated my magic in a low whisper when it seemed my companion didn’t seem to recognize it.
“This one isn’t it.”
“Got it.” Mr. Ashley resumed his pace. I followed after so as not to delay.
With every small advancement, we encountered Large Toad after Large Toad; as if to say, to see one is to see 30. I continuously cast my appraisal magic, but every result was negative. Among them were a few guys who had swallowed another animal, but we were only after the guy who had swallowed a person.
More than not attacking us, they completely ignored us as we passed nearby. For monsters that eat anything, they were surprisingly docile when they weren’t hungry.
And like that the time passed as I finished appraising 20 Large Toads.
Is that a spring? After some struggle we finally reached the spot where a slightly large stream flowed.
It wasn’t just frogs that liked the water, I could see a large knot of Large Toads crowded there too. They were ribbeting loudly. It sounded quite like a trumpet blasting.
It would require a fair bit of effort to appraise all of them.
———Hmm? My gaze slide to a stop.
In the center of the spring…..sat a Large Toad with an extremely large belly. It looked to be as large as the belly of the Large Toad Mr. Ashley dragged to the adventurer’s guild. It absolutely had swallowed something.
I released my appraisal magic aimed directly at it.
An enormous toad monster. Its stomach is swollen from having swallowed a human. 』
“Mr. Ashley, that’s it. That’s the guy.”
I pointed my finger at it. “The guy in the middle of the spring. The guy with the huge stomach.”
“Roger.” Mr. Ashley exited the thicket, putting his strength into the longsword gripped in his hands. “I’ll attack swiftly. Don’t get separated.”
That...You want me to jump into the middle of that crowd of frogs?
As soon as he finished speaking he tensed his muscles and started off running. He kicked the water as he wholeheartedly headed toward his target, the Large Toad.
Wait a moment. I’m not prepa-!
…..Sigh. It is what it is.
I clenched my teeth as I leaped out of the thicket, pursuing Mr. Ashley.
T/N: Whew, got it all done. I added 『』to help separate the results of Mr. Io’s appraisal magic. They’re there in the original….idk how I missed adding them in.
Also, a knot is a large group of toads.