Translated and Edited by: luccayn.
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Inside the misty Forest of Bewitching Trees, dawn dissipated the night. As if breaking the silent waking up of the forest, a continuous garb of roars reverberated through the trunks and branches.
Fireballs, ice arrows, stones, and a volley of whirring arrows flew across the woods in an arch, aimed directly at the pack of magical demon wolves.
“Unravel! Weave, protect!”
Before their attack hit, the Cursemaker girl released the bind on the creatures and instead surrounded herself with her marks like thorns.
Witnessing she had already provided herself cover, I halted my movement. In pure reflex, I almost rose myself from the treetops.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
With booms, cracks, and whirring, their assault of magic and arrow finally struck the wolves. The creatures, previously bound by the petite Cursemaker, fell to the ground like rotten fruit. Some tragically died before even touching the grass. A few battered survivors tried to scurry off the moment they landed, however…
“Bwahaha! Second volley, fire!” The man’s bulky voice imposed on the forest once again.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
The group’s second attack mercilessly abused the remaining creatures with overwhelming force. From my position high on the treetops, I witnessed their lifeless corpses sprawled on the grass, staining it in their crimson.
Not a single demon wolf survived the two onslaughts. Most were pulverized into unrecognizable masses of flesh and hanging bones, and one lone creature breathed erratically on the floor, practically dead with its lower half blown to smithereens. It wouldn’t be long before it, too, would stop breathing.
The whole pack had been swiftly annihilated, and it had been close to a one-sided massacre that ended as soon as it started.
“Haah… Haah… That’s enough… Unravel!” The girl plopped down wearily on the ground. As she did, the red curse marks that had protected her like thorny vines returned to her delicate body.
Although she managed to defend herself from the merciless assaults, her once tattered mantle now resembled something short of a dirty rag, hardly fulfilling of its role to conceal her tawny skin.
Relieved to see her safe, I let out a heavy sigh.
Thank goodness… But, just now, the attacks were clearly coming from her rear. Not only that, they were aimed straight at her, with no concern for her well-being!
“Bwahaha! Quite the achievement, ay lads?”
Emerging from behind the exhausted girl, a man with clothes almost bursting at the seams from his fat brimmed with hoy, his hunting-style beard swaying erratically to the breeze. In his hand, he held a staff adjourned with dazzling jewels, a sign of his authority.
“Yes! It’s thanks to you, Mr. Buffon! I never imagined it would go this smoothly!”
Following the portly man named Buffon, more men with similar hunting-styled garbs appeared one after another, each carrying staffs, bows, or the like.
Completely ignoring the gasping girl before them, the newly arrived men focused on the slain pile of corpses sprawled all over.
“Ah, the condition of these is quite bad, ain’t it? Their fur is in shreds, and their meat is probably minced, ay?”
“Well, no helping it. Isn’t completely slaughtering them with ease and expecting to get the materials in tip-top condition a bit too much?”
“Aye that. I mean, look at how many puppers were in this pack! Even if we won, we wouldn’t have come out without a scratch or two from a head-on brawl.”
“Tell me about it. Now, seriously, I couldn’t believe it when Mr. Buffon told us he’d bring us this Dark mutt into our esteemed party, the Fellowship of the Hunters.”
“I never thought she’d be such a help for us, not skilled in close combat. Thanks to that brat holding off the enemies on her own, we could freely unleash everything we had from a safe distance! Phew! Overwhelming the damn mutts one-sidedly gives such an addictive rush to my gibbers! This is kinda addictive!”
“Bwahaha! Praise me, praise me more, my lads! Every little thing can be useful if you think hard enough! Even if she’s a filthy Dark mutt, she’s more than enough to be our hunting dog! —Isn’t that right, little doggy?”
At Buffon’s words, the small Cursemaker girl, still seated on the dirt, quivered ever-so-slightly. “Y-yes, m… master…”
For the first time, she raised her eyes to the rotund man—the leader of the Fellowship of the Hunters, with a mix of terror and reverence.
Then, the fat man turned his lingering gaze toward the cowering Cursemaker, still quivering on the floor and dirty with grime.
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