Chapter 21:

Trying to Improvise

White Nightmare

The day ended quite well. The guild members were celebrating that they finally able to withstand the monsters’ attack. But in reality, it was Rodan Rouge and Norio Noir who mostly did everything to make sure they’re safe. But Rodan and Nono didn’t take credit that much.Bookmark here

Rodan and Nono were given an unused bedroom for them to stay. Meanwhile, Ringo asked Ruru whether she’d like to sleep together with her or not, in which Ruru agreed on because she liked how Ringo dressed her hair into different styles and somehow always fitting.Bookmark here

Gladly, Ruru didn’t scream in her sleep for the first time.Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

In the next day, Rodan instructed Ringo’s guild members to do something for him. After a rush hour of tasking people, he decided to go to the city. But just before he left, Ringo stopped him.Bookmark here

“Where are you going?” she asked.Bookmark here

“To the city, of course, there’s no other place left to go than that place,” Rodan replied.Bookmark here

“Are you serious, Roro? What about my garden? What about my guild members? Are you going to abandon us all? Moreover, you know you can’t simply waltz into the city walls without being checked by the guards, right?”Bookmark here

“Oh, shush your mouth, lady. Your endless ranting will really make my ears bleed ocean one day! Don’t worry about your garden. I’ve got it covered with my barrier! Monsters won’t come while the barrier is active!”Bookmark here

“Then why not just use that since the beginning, Roro?!” Ringo ranted all over again.Bookmark here

“IMPOSSIBRU! It’s wasting my magical energy and it can only be done once a week! Don’t you remember I activated some barriers back in my house? If it is summed up with the ones I used here, my entire body will be dry as that forsaken barren desert as my Mana won’t be enough to maintain them all for a long time!” Rodan retorted rapidly.Bookmark here

“W-Well! U-Um...” Ringo turned her sights away while trying to counter his words.Bookmark here

“A-Ah! W-What about you going to the city? You know you can’t just get in there without being checked by the guards!” Ringo pointed her finger to him. “You need a pass! A pass! You can’t get in without a pass!”Bookmark here

Rodan’s eyes expanded a bit. He went silent for a several second before finally replying but in a gentle voice, “...Ah, you’re right.Bookmark here

...I forgot that. Astur City is quite strict about entry permit. They won’t allow anyone that doesn’t have an entry pass. How tight their security system can be?”Bookmark here

Ringo let out a long breath as she managed to win against him in an argument.Bookmark here

“Phew... well, that’s also the reason why I built my guild outside of the city. My guild cannot expand with those policies in the way. Their strictness made me wanna go hurl.”Bookmark here

Rodan looked at her, “Huh... I suppose we’re the same after all. Living outside the city just to live a peaceful life, but in your case, you’re literally dying right now,” he joked while picking up his drink behind him on the table.Bookmark here

“S-Shut up! That’s why I asked you to come!Bookmark here

...Anyway, putting that aside, you know you can’t enter the city, right? You don’t have a pass. If you’re gonna start charging into the city, I’m going to stop you right there, Roro. I can’t let you become a full-fledged criminal before this is all over.”Bookmark here

Rodan blurted out his drink, “PUFOHH—D-Don’t say it like I’m already a fugitive around this kingdom! I’m not that stupid to destroy my peaceful world!” Rodan ranted.Bookmark here

“Heh... I get it, I get it,” Ringo said smugly while handing over a handkerchief.Bookmark here

“Tch, how annoying can you be? Hmph!” Rodan looked away while wiping his mask and his face. “But still... I’ve something to do in the city. Going to the city without an entry is just outright suicide... so what choices are there left for me to take...?”Bookmark here

“Oi, don’t start musing about it, Roro. Getting to Astur City may be difficult... but if on your own, that is. It’s different if you go there with MY help!”Bookmark here

“Oh, really? So it appears you’re a criminal, huh, Ringo... morever worse than I am... I’m disappointed of you...” Rodan stared down at her.Bookmark here

“H-HEY! It’s not like I’m going to smuggle you in there, darn it!” Ringo gritted her teeth. “Geez, it’s just simply by showing these to the gatekeepers and you’re good to go,” said Ringo while showing a badge from her pocket.Bookmark here

“Show these and they’re going to let me slide through? Just like that?” Rodan’s eyebrows wrinkled.Bookmark here

“Yes.”Bookmark here

“Seriously?”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I’m serious.”Bookmark here

“Really?”Bookmark here

Ringo’s nerves began to show on her forehead, “Yes... I’m really serious, Roro,” she said as her eyelids twitched.Bookmark here

“GOSH! Just how annoying can he be?! If it is somebody else, I would’ve fried them into tiny charcoal bits!”Bookmark here

“Ho... well, then, I’ll gladly take it with me,” Rodan replied offhandedly while folding the handkerchief he used earlier.Bookmark here

“I’ll go with you, Roro,” Nono suddenly came.Bookmark here

“Oi, oi, I’m fine on my own. Nothing bad is going to happen, trust me,” Rodan responded casually while giving back the handkerchief to Ringo.Bookmark here

“The way you say it makes it much more unconvincing, Roro...” Nono frowned.Bookmark here

“U-Uhm...” Ringo nodded.Bookmark here

“Last time you destroyed a noble’s cart. That’s why I can’t let you go off freely on your own. I’m coming with you,” Nono reasoned.Bookmark here

Eventually, Rodan let Nono go with him. With two people heading into the city, Ringo gave them two badges that would allow them in. Those badges were guild member badges—a proof that he or she was in fact a member of an official guild. Rodan and Nono weren’t actually members of Ringo’s guild, though. Bookmark here

And when they arrived at the gate to Astur City, they managed to get past the checkpoint easily. Rodan was showing his poker face the entire time until he and Nono were far enough from the city gate. And when quite far, he mumbled about it.Bookmark here

“Hm... access to this city was easier than I thought. Just by using membership badge and these guards will let you inside the city? People can easily exploit them, don’t they? Well, no use complaining about it since we’re both the ones exploiting the rules as well, haha... hahaha...”Bookmark here

“So, what do you want to do now?” Nono asked.Bookmark here

“Hm?” Rodan responded.Bookmark here

“You said you wanted to do something in the city right?”Bookmark here

“Oh, that? Well it’s about how we are going to deal with those Woruvens. Judging from how the battle ended yesterday, it doesn’t look like those monsters are going to stop coming.”Bookmark here

“Well... that’s true. They’re somehow wilder and much more ferocious than ever,” said Nono remembering their fight with the Woruvens. “A single bash of a poleaxe would’ve been more than enough to kill one, but it is scary that some of them were unexpectedly still alive and got wilder in the moment I thought I’ve killed them.”Bookmark here

“Uh-huh, I agree,” Rodan nodded. “Wild Woruvens were supposedly weak, that’s why rookie adventurers love to hunt them for easy leveling up. Biruboars are also excellent targets since they’re weak and collectibles from their body were quite needed in most cities. Adventurers would go hunt Biruboars to sell either their hide, horn, or maybe whatever they can get from them just to be sold later on.”Bookmark here

“Hm, hm... but with them being unbelievably tougher, doesn’t that make them harder, or worse, impossible to hunt?” Nono anxiously wondered.Bookmark here

“That’s what I’m concerning, too...” said Rodan while staring to a large palace on the hill. “I’m curious about it, Nono. It is possible that it wasn’t just Woruvens and Biruboars that got stronger. It is possible that other monsters are stronger as well. I wonder about it...Bookmark here

...with these troubles we’re facing, will the King of Augzeria realize it and make a counterattack? Or will he just sit by on his comfy throne while letting monsters devour his country? The people around us are still doing their daily activities without knowing what danger is brewing.”Bookmark here

“H-Huh... I don’t know for sure, though. But I think high leveled adventurers will surely come to hunt those monsters. Probably... even fighter guilds will come if the situation gets direr. I just hope it doesn’t go that way.”Bookmark here

“Let’s just hope it that way. What intrigues me the most is what actually triggering them to become overly powerful like that? Unless we found out what’s causing it, monsters will probably not stop attacking Ringo’s garden.”Bookmark here

“No way...! Then, let’s not waste any more time! Come on, Roro!”Bookmark here

Rodan stopped walking and turned around at him, “Hm! I like your spirit, Nono! As expected of a young person! Well, then, follow my lead. I have a plan that will make ease off our problems.”Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

..Bookmark here

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Meanwhile, back in Ringo’s guild...Bookmark here

Ruru was eating a lot of apples lately. She looked happy and enjoying herself while eating her favorite fruit. Ringo on the other hand was trying her best to convince Ruru not to overeat herself.Bookmark here

“Ruru... can you please refrain from eating too many apples?” she asked kindly. Meanwhile, her hands were moving above Ruru’s hair. She was dressing her hair again. It’s almost like Ruru was her doll to play hair with.Bookmark here

“Hmm? But it tastes really good!” Ruru stated while eating up more apples in the bowl. Her sharp teeth were seen visibly on the mirror as she took another bite.Bookmark here

“Hmmm~ so yummy...”Bookmark here

“Aww... how cute of you,” said Ringo. Her heart melted as she saw Ruru’s cute face when enjoying those apples. Bookmark here

“Hey, Ruru... what kind of hairstyle do you like?” Ringo asked shortly afterwards.Bookmark here

“Hmm? Gulp, um... I don’t really know what human preferences are... but I like whatever style you give me, Miss Ringo!” she said cutely.Bookmark here

“Eh, what did she just say? ‘Human’ preferences? Wait a sec... is she not human? Well, how stupid of me to think of that, she’s obviously not a human. Perhaps a vampire? Nah, she’s immune to sunlight. What is she then? Ah, must be a demi-human!”Bookmark here

“Hmm... Miss Ringo’s apples are the best...” Ruru stated.Bookmark here

“I really wonder how Rodan picked up a cutie like her... is she really Rodan’s disciple?” Ringo thought in her mind. But as soon as she saw Ruru’s wide wholesome smile in the mirror, she immediately forgot everything.Bookmark here

“Ahh! How cute, who cares what are you to Rodan, I’m really blessed to be able to treat a pretty creature like her!”Bookmark here

“Ahh...” Ruru voiced out in enjoyment as Ringo combed her hair nicely. Bookmark here

Ruru herself loved being stroked and bathed by the apple girl several times now. It’s a win-win situation for them. One felt that she’s blessed for meeting someone so cute while the other one felt so happy for being able to enjoy delicious foods and interact with kind people.Bookmark here

Beyond the door of the room, four of Ringo’s most loyal member peeked. They were staring at how their leader was euphoric over grooming a white creature.Bookmark here

“Ugh... did she develop a strange fetish, man?”Bookmark here

“Dunno... but it’s best not to think about it.”Bookmark here

“What about the defenses report? She must hear the updates soon. The job from Sir Rodan was still far from complete, too...”Bookmark here

“Yeah, I know. We’ll do it as soon as possible. About her, well... let’s tell Miss Ringo in a few hours. She looks like she’s enjoying herself.”Bookmark here

“Y-Yeah...”Bookmark here

“It’s rare to see her acting in such an attitude...”Bookmark here

“Quick, big guy, grab a few canvases and let us make a painting of her with that albino girl!”Bookmark here

“Uh, no, I don’t think that’s a goo—Bookmark here

“Good idea! Gimme a sec!”Bookmark here

“Damn you guys... fetch me a big canvas, big guy!”Bookmark here

“Aye-yo!”Bookmark here

...Bookmark here

..Bookmark here

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Nightfall...Bookmark here

Rodan and Nono finally returned to the safe house. When they’re in front of Ringo’s office, what they found was a bunch of guild members making a painting of Ringo and Ruru.Bookmark here

Nono was surprised to see them like that, “What the...”Bookmark here

“...heck are these guys doing?” Rodan continued.Bookmark here

“Ah, Sir Rodan! Mr. Norio! Welcome back!” said one of the members noticing their return.Bookmark here

“Sorry to show things like these.”Bookmark here

“Yeah... Oh, and don’t worry about those things you asked, Sir Rodan! We’ve done it!”Bookmark here

“Hm! Hm! We’ve done it pretty well!”Bookmark here

In the end of their reasoning, they immediately glued their eyes back to the canvases they were currently coloring. Rodan noticed some of them having an extremely exhausted face while the rest tried to withstand from losing consciousness by doing some entertaining stuff, which strangely enough for Rodan and Nono, was painting.Bookmark here

“Hey, Roro... are these guys gonna be okay? I think they’re slowly losing sanity since we left...” said Nono concerning. “Look at them... they’re drawing Ringo and Ruru.”Bookmark here

“Hm,” Rodan nodded. “They’re losing brain cells, I suppose. Perhaps building those traps were a bit too much for them. I’ll let them ease their mind for some time. Besides, I saw so many wooden tablets on our room, too, which means they’ve done their job. Well, just let them enjoy their time.Bookmark here

Nono, we’ve got our own set of job to be done tonight. Get yourself ready.”Bookmark here

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