The Devil's Evolution Catalog Chapter 113: Reinforcements for the Village
George gave the suggestion some thought before he finally shook his head and said “Putting aside the problem of money for now, the mercenary guilds can only be found in the city and the closest city is at least 3 days away. If you add in the time it takes to hire one, the round trip would take at least 7 days. There’s no way they’ll make it back in time.”
Time definitely was an issue here, after all, if the bandits were going to massacre the village in two days, it wouldn’t matter even if you hired 10,000 mercenaries since the village would be a pile of rubble by the time you got back.
What he said made a lot of sense and so I decided to take the opportunity to press him for more details. “Then when do you think the enemy will attack us? And that Dawson guy is the head of the bandits right? Do you know him?”
“I don’t wish to elaborate any further on the matter regarding Dawson. All I can tell you is that he is definitely the head of the Wolf’s Fang.”
He seemed rather evasive and judging from that expression, both of them probably knew each other and might have even had a grudge against each other.
The blue haired teen who had been sitting there quietly since the beginning looked at me with slightly downcast eyes before quickly turning to George and saying, in a voice that sounded almost like a mosquito: “About that...if you can hold back Dawson, I have a method that could work.”
Seeing the shy teen interject, he gave the boy a reassuring nod and said: “Oh Kevin, what’s your plan?”
“Mhm, it’s just an idea...I’m not sure if it will work or not.” The blue haired teen immediately blushed upon seeing our gazes focus on him, he twiddled his thumbs as he fidgeted in his seat. “About that...please don’t stare at me like that…”
Looking at the fidgeting boy, Dioh’s fiery temper was ignited once more as the boisterous fellow slapped the teen on the back and exclaimed:
“What are you, a girl? Stop being such a wuss! How many times have I told you already, you need to be more like a man and stop acting like such a wuss the moment you see a girl. How are you going to get a wife in the future!?”
Kevin paused for a long while before finally murmuring: “Dioh, they’re still here…”
“I’m sorry about that. This is my grandson Kevin. He’s been a shy lad since birth especially around women…” The old chief interjected to dispel the awkwardness for his grandson before he quickly pressed him for more details: “Kevin, what’s this plan of yours? Hurry up and tell us.”
Knowing that everyone was strapped for time here, he didn’t waste more time fidgeting and answered the question. However before that, he made sure to sneak a glance at George and Dioh who gave him an encourage nod. “Grandpa, I feel we should approach the other villages for help.”
“Those guys?” The old chief furrowed his eyebrows upon hearing that and without even giving it some thought, rejected the suggestion. “That won’t work. Those guys will never help us.”
“Grandpa, the situation is dire right now, they’re our last hope.” Upon hearing his plan being rejected, the teen became agitated and in the heat of the moment, seemed to have cured himself of his nervousness.
“All these years, the Wolf’s Fang has been bullying us. Near the end of last year, wasn’t Uncle Io’s father, Ivan, murdered by those bandits? What about Moranthal’s fiancee? Didn’t she get kidnapped by those curs? Eddison was beaten half to death before he tried to sell off some furs...they even robbed him after that!”
As he continued with his speech, his preaching became more animated with each sentence. His spittle flew and his arms flailed about with each point he made as if he was giving a lecture about the state of the world.
“All these people should hate the bandits even more than we do. As long as form an alliance, the combined strength of our four villages shouldn’t be that much weaker than those bandits!”
Kid...we’re talking about wiping out bandits here not ending world hunger...
“What you said makes sense but…” The village chief seemed to have been convinced by his impassioned pleas. At the very least, he wasn’t as adamant about rejecting his plan as he initially was.
“But what about the relationship between our four villages...plus we’re the village with the smallest population...even if we asked for their help, they would simply prioritize their own village assuming they don’t just reject us…”
“Grandpa, we’re the ones in a blood feud with the bandits, not them. And even if we have the smallest population, we have Big Bro! George was acknowledged as the strongest hunter among our four villages!” Gone was the shyness he showed a few minutes ago as he turned to look at George with confidence in his eyes.
He took a deep breath and continued: ”Big Bro is a famous three-star peak warrior, as long as George does the persuading himself, our chances are pretty high. Besides, compared to us, they should hate those bandits even more than us. One of them lost a father, another a wife and one even lost their entire livelihood...if they are still able to endure this hatred…”
Judging from his words, those three he mentioned must’ve been the respective village chiefs or were at least people of influence.
As the saying goes, ruining one’s livelihood was the same as killing one’s parents. Not to mention the bandits did in fact kill someone’s parents and stole one of their wifes. It was one thing to swallow one’s anger when one had no choice, but if they still chose to endure this irreconcilable hatred even when given an opportunity to avenge it...then they were just a bunch of cowards.
“If it really doesn’t work out, George can…”
“Kevin, don’t even bring that matter into this.” George threw the blue-haired teen a stern glare, silencing the boy mid-sentence. Realizing that he said something he shouldn’t have, he lowered his head in remorse.
Seeing that he realized his mistake, George softened his gaze and gave out sigh: “No matter what, I won’t make a deal with those bastards.”
That was a strange exchange...either way one thing’s certain...George has some sort of secret relationship with the bandits.
“Then it’s settled that we’ll approach the other villages for help?” Kevin threw him an expectant look as he asked.
“Sure.” George answered without even giving it a second of thought. “Honestly, this is our only solution.”
With the basic plan ironed out, now came the question of who to send as our emissary.
However before making that selection, another problem popped up; Dioh actually asked why I wasn’t eating anything.
With my mask on, there was naturally no way I could eat, but if I took it off, my crimson skin would be exposed in an instant. That was why I hadn’t even touched the cutlery since the start of the banquet, all that talk about the taste of the dishes...I was merely basing it off their delectable appearance…
At that, George began to eye me with suspicion after which he turned his gaze onto Regine who hadn’t touched her food either; she hadn’t even said a word since the start.
Noticing his gaze, she didn’t say a word and instead took off her mask revealing a face blinded on one side and riddled with scars. While the scars weren’t that gruesome, her blinded eye on the other hand…
Hah, what a brilliant move; relenting in order to advance. The moment Regine’s masterpiece was revealed, Dioh jumped back in fright nearly toppling over. Kevin wasn’t much better either with his noticeably paler countenance. The chief and George on the other hand didn’t show much reaction to the big reveal.
The chief had lived a long time and thus wouldn’t be shocked by a mere one-eyed dragon. As for George, he was an adult in his prime with an impressive martial ability to back him up. Given his position and fame in the village, there was no way he would react to Regine’s ugly mug.
She promptly put her mask back on and settled down in her seat.
“Out of consideration for everyone’s appetite, I’ll refrain from taking off my mask”
“Cough cough cough…”
Dioh coughed dryly for a spell while Kevin’s face turned crimson red as he began apologizing profusely to us as if he had done something terribly wrong. “Sorry sorry sorry…”
“It’s fine, we’re used to it.”
Pointing at my bandaged hands, Dioh asked in a slightly hesitant voice:” Then your hand...it’s...also like that?”
“Mhm.” As they say, less was more at times. I gave the boy a terse answer and promptly adopted a dejected posture. With such an obvious indicator, only an idiot would continue to pursue the issue of our appearance.
Seeing that, Ancarin wisely diverted the topic by bringing up the matter of our reinforcements.
“About that matter with the other villages...”
“Ahem, about that, let me give you all a brief rundown of the situation with the other three villages.” The old man immediately picked up the conversation and diverted the topic back onto our main story questline. “In the past, Plateau Village used to be a large village…”
According to the old chief, Plateau Village used to have several thousand villagers that lived within it. With a thousand strong fighting force, most bandit troupes stayed clear of this fearsome village.
Plateau Village had always relied on hunting to support the village and thus the strongest villagers tended to be hunters. Back then, Plateau Village wasn’t all that wealthy but they weren’t easily bullied either. However, due to certain unique reasons, the village ended up imploding with three other leaders appearing to form villages of their own.
Each of them chose a nearby spot for their new village and named it Plateau Village as well. As their time of formation and locations were different, each of them ended up with a different name in the end. For example, the old chief’s Plateau Village was the original village and so it’s full name was Plateau Main Village or Plateau Original Village.
As for the other three, they had their own names as well.
Regarding those unique reasons...the first thing I thought was that they ended up in a dispute over the spoils...oh, I mean they had a disagreement over their inheritance.
However, seeing my doubting look, the village chief immediately brushed it off with a made-up reason of “the game was running low.”
Fine, I guess it wasn’t my business to pry into their private matters. Right now, all that mattered was how we were going to repel the bandits.
George suggested that everyone present except for the village chief attend the negotiations. In principle, I wasn’t opposed to the suggestion but considering that we still had that human doll, Duran in our carriage...I decided to leave Regine behind in case he woke up.
“My carriage requires a person to look after it. How about letting Regine stay behind instead. If it’s just negotiating, me and Ancarin are more than enough.
“Alright.” George answered with a slap on the table, setting this entire matter in stone.
Special thanks to Steve Granger, Kaung Thant Win Naing, and Antoine Thompson!!