A Dragon’s Curiosity Chapter 141
Observing the scenery from the window of the carriage, Nisha enjoyed the fresh wind sweeping through the cabin.
The academy provided close to a dozen carriages for the group of students early in the morning. Since Nisha arrived before her group, she decided to board one of the empty coaches first. In the end, neither Unico nor Lisa rode in the same coach as the elf. As the frosty gale played with her black hair, Nisha pondered over the coming activity. Without hints to deduct their destination, the elf had no idea what exactly awaited them. She pulled the sky-blue scarf tighter around her nape and mouth.
Watching her from the side, her fellow students detected a faint pressure, a noble presence weighing down on them. Afraid to disturb the picture of holiness before them, they spoke in low voices, and none of them attempted to make conversation with Nisha.
Through her [Spirit Sight], the dragon perceived the monsters pulling the wagons, each of them provided by the [Royal Academy]. They had the strength around the third aura rank, strong horses only a degree below precious warhorses. With their explosive leg strength, the students and their instructors, as well as the coach drivers, basically flew along the main road away from the capital.
The further away the group traveled, the more forests and Wilderness appeared. Nisha felt a pang of homesickness as the journey of almost two candles came to an end, and the monsters slowed down.
Compared to the original stone roads, the current mud trail was many times smaller, but this only intrigued the dragon more. Just as the wagons came to a halt, the group grew excited, all of the students eager to participate in the first warrior outing.
Situated in an open grass plain next to a small village, the students slightly shivered as they missed the protection of the wooden coaches against the cold morning mist.
They grouped around the instructors, who patiently waited for the children to gather.
Representing the teachers behind her, an instructor with grey hair tied up in a bun addressed the goal of this outing.
I am glad to see everyone made it and is interested in becoming even stronger. As part of the agreement between the [Adventurers Guild] and our [Royal Academy], we received a reserved quest especially suited for all of you this time around.
Apparently, a farmer from this village passed away around a turn ago, and no one bothered to check on his farm on the outskirts. He reared sheep as livestock, and the lack of fodder eventually required them to break out of their pens.
Now, they have turned into feral monsters, a species known as [Stone Wooled Sheep].
Each student paid close attention to the ladys words; some already had small hints regarding their task. Nisha felt intrigued by the prospect of domesticated livestock turning into monsters and wondered whether her three dragon siblings back at the [Dragons Den] had ever tried rearing a particular species before.
There is no need to worry about your safety; a normal [Stone Wooled Sheep] is either at the middle or late stage of the first rank. Since you all have exceeded in martial prowess and managed to break the statues at the training ground, these should be easy kills for you.
Of course, this does not mean there is no danger at all.
There exists a chance for the sheep to evolve as well, and there are some leaders among them, called [Bronze Fleece Sheep]. Compared to the white fur of their followers, their fur has a brown-red glow, and their strength is somewhere between the early and middle second rank regarding their aura.
As long as you work together, it should be possible to subdue these monsters. Fortunately, these guys still remember their docile nature and will not take a proactive nature in hunting down humans. If you spot one of them and do not take the initiative to come close, they will also stay away from you.
Lastly, there are rumors of an even higher ranked species appearing, although they have not been confirmed.
The guild has records about their kind, a monster called [Golden Stone Sheep]. They are exceedingly rare and most likely a variant that only emerges in scarce numbers. Think of them as kings among their kind. As an even higher ranking sheep monster, their aura should be somewhere around the late stage of the second rank, and in extreme cases, might reach the early third.
Unless your personal strength has reached the second aura rank, run as fast as you can and inform an instructor about its location. We will be around to look after you; although, this is still a real combat experience. There might not be help available at all times.
Her straight posture, combined with the seriousness contained in her voice, bound all students to pay attention and engrave her words in their hearts. As the leader of the teachers, the grey-haired woman exuded a lofty confidence and none doubted the information.
Unless there are questions, we have prepared weapons from the storage of the academy for you; anyone can pick a suitable one from the racks next to the carriages and form groups as you like or try your luck on your own. The priests from the [Church of the Seven Stars] were friendly enough to accompany us on this trip, so if you are wounded, you can always come back here to get treated.
Finally, the part you students are usually the most excited about...
Each [Stone Wooled Sheep] is worth ten contribution points, a [Bronze Fleece Sheep] rewards you with seventy-five points and a [Golden Stone Sheep] comes at two hundred points, but I must remind you, unless you fight one as a group composed of second aura rank warriors, you will not be able to escape without harm. Attack at your own risk.
The proof of subjugation is the ears of each species; collect them and hand them in when everyone returns in the afternoon for the return trip.
Good luck, everyone.
Although the speech was over and the outing participants received permission to form their groups or select their weapons, a large group remained behind and asked more questions. The grey-haired lady picked them, one after the other, and addressed their concerns, neither impatient nor overly excited.
Nisha, on the other hand, slipped through the ranks and approached the carriage holding the monster companions of the rich and fortunate students. When the elf arrived at the academy in the morning with Little Lia, she reluctantly ordered the wolf to remain inside the steel cage until they arrived. Now that they finally reached their target location, the bundle of fur happily jumped into her arms. Afterwards, the golden scaled wolf obediently roamed half a step behind her while she looked for her two friends.
Even on her own, the dragon had no issue with hunting any of the three targets; their strength had been appropriately selected for newly admitted warriors after all, yet, she had some expectations towards a group hunt. Since the elf regularly made trips into the Dungeon to obtain meat and other foodstuff to sate herself, she had never been called out by others to form a group. Speaking from a rational point of view, Nisha understood that her age and figure did not give off the reliable aura of a dungeon explorer or dependable teammate. This did not stop her from yearning to fight in a party with others, overcoming obstacles and romantically looting treasures.
Hence, the current trip granted the dragon a chance to live out a fantasy, even if she did not admit to having such a desire.
Passing half of the circle resulted in the desired outcome, a pair of two students felt especially pleasing to the eye. A rather petite blonde-haired girl timidly chatted with a lanky figure, a pale purple hue dying his skin in the early morning sun, especially bright in contrast to his brown robe.
Nisha waved lightly to arouse their attention since they apparently waited for her.
Surprisingly, it was Lisa who noticed her first and cheerfully responded with the same motion, which, in turn, alerted Unico of the presence of their missing team member.
Good morning. Did you also have a nice ride? The carriages are quite luxurious.
Maybe because the timid girl no longer had to make conversation alone with a boy, Lisa took the initiative and pulled the other girl along as the trio made their way to the weapon racks.
Nisha smiled in a deliberately subdued manner, giving off a calm and collected expression before she replied.
Hopefully, I wont appear overly excited. Its just some second and third-ranked monsters, after all.
Indeed, compared to the cart I arrived in Thurgau, its worlds apart. Particularly the cushions and decorations, they are really worthy of the [Royal Academy].
Led by her hand, they arrived at the weapon rack. Most of the students still had questions or formed their own teams; hence there were hardly any empty spots in the assortment yet.
Chatting about casual topics, the trio each made their pick, Unico preferring a one-handed short sword; Lisa somewhat insecurely took a blade and shield combo, and Nisha managed to get a simple but sturdy spear with a flat head.
An attendant wrote their choices down and informed them that each weapon had to be returned afterward; they were all genuine second rank items the academy took out of their storage.
After recording the student information from their [Adventurers Cards], the three set out in the direction of the forest and field where the monsters gathered.
Just as the crowd of students dispersed, mostly done with their weapon selection and grouping, one of the teachers chuckled at the familiar sight. Since he was one of the original instructors, not just recently hired, the current scenario had happened many times before and was certainly familiar to him.
Additionally, it was bound to be a recurring event this term on every Day of Light for the warrior students.
Look at them go. So much enthusiasm. I really wonder how they will feel in the afternoon.
He raked his fingers through his brown beard, amused at the coming state of affairs when the little fledglings returned from their first hunt.
Is there something special about the excursion? I thought it was pretty much glorified babysitting. Mobbing up some first ranked monsters cant be that hard, right?
One of the new teachers felt puzzled, although this was the first instance of them accompanying a group of warriors, the introduction, given by the administration, never mentioned anything special.
Dont look down on the risk.
Seeing that none of the students remained to catch wind of the conversation, the grey-haired lady replied in a serious tone.
This is the first time many of the students will see a real monster. They have lived all their lives in the capital, sheltered from harm and exercise. Now, the academy sends them to face off against an admittedly rather tame group of monsters, but they are still fierce and can kill a human. Its not unusual for more than half of the fledgling warriors to run when confronted with blood and death.
Therefore, this is the first watershed to see who among them has the grit and stomach to walk along the path of a true warrior.
Her prestige among the instructors held the highest spot; none of the other teachers rebuked her words or remained unfazed. More than one of them looked in the direction of the first warrior mission with a thoughtful look in their eyes.
Remember, this is not a leisure trip. Unless they experience mortal danger or actively request help, do not get rid of the monsters.
In a way, this is also a test for the new additions to the staff. You cannot play favorites. Let the young generation sort it out on their own. Take note if there is a dispute over the distribution of proof; anything undue earned by plundering others will not be counted in the final tally.
Only through constant forging and tempering will they acquire the heart of a true warrior.
Somewhere in the middle of her speech, the instructor turned into a preacher, dedicated towards the martial path, but the new and old instructors all listened in rapture. To receive guidance from a high ranker like the gray-haired woman was rare and they made sure to engrave the words in their hearts.
To get back on topic, quite a few of the attending students have never venture outside Thurgau and are comparable to delicate flowers raised in a greenhouse. Even though they will fail this time, there will be an improvement on the next outing and the one after that. Aside from a select few, they need to acquire an iron heart and blazing blood, little by little, over time.
Give them a chance to grow, and maybe you will see a legendary warrior grow out of the students under you. And the experience will help the rest grow into their future positions as the young elites of the capital.
With that, she set off to personally do the same job like everyone else.