Episode 107. An Unexpected Profit (3)

-          The ‘poison’ attribute has been added.

-          Your poison resistance has more than doubled.

Considering that wyverns roamed the skies, Seon-Hyeok had imagined it would be the ‘wind’ attribute. Surprisingly, Redvern’s attribute was not ‘wind’, but ‘poison’.

The attributes unlocked through the dragon subspecies until now had led him to spirits and became the source of his strength, but he was not certain how the ‘poison’ attribute would actually manifest in terms of abilities and spirits.

Shriek!

The wyvern cried out sharply and moved its pointed snout while Seon-Hyeok was briefly engrossed in his thoughts.

“Yeah. Eat more.”

Brought back to his senses, Seon-Hyeok grabbed another piece of meat and stuffed it into the wyvern’s mouth.

Chomp. Chomp.

Still not fully recovered, the wyvern lay flat on the ground and accepted the food it was given while intermittently crying out. It reminded Seon-Hyeok of a baby bird being fed, and before he knew it, he was petting the monster’s pointed snout.

Flinch.

Unwilling to let down its guard yet, the wyvern flinched at his touch, but it soon began to concentrate on its meal once again.

Flap. Flap.

After devouring an entire pig, the wyvern seemed to have regained some of its strength, as it tried to flap its wings like it would fly away at any moment. However, the ragged wings simply extended a few times and creaked before hanging limply by its side.

“I wonder how long it’ll take for your wings to recover.”

It was evident that the broken and torn wings would take a considerable amount of time to heal. Seon-Hyeok wanted nothing more than to hop on the wyvern’s back and fly high in the sky at that very moment, but he also knew better than anyone that he needed to be patient.

As such, he quietly left the scene to let the wyvern rest. The guards, likewise, followed him out of the warehouse.

“Why did the hunters run away?”

Now that his wyvern had finally regained consciousness, Seon-Hyeok was able to go about his business. He hoped to meet the monster hunters and hear about their situation, but bewilderingly, he received reports that they had fled during the night.

“I believe they ran away, afraid of receiving punishment for their failures. After all, by losing the wyvern, there was a chance that significant casualties could have been inflicted on the village.”

No matter how significant their accomplishments had been in bringing the monster to the immediate area, it could not completely nullify the crime of nearly causing an unmitigated disaster due to poor management of the ferocious wyvern. The hunters were naturally afraid, fully aware of the reality of their situation.

Their reaction was not particularly strange. After all, this was a world where achievements could disappear and punishments could be handed out at the whim of a local lord. Even if it had been unintentional, the hunters had committed a punishable sin.

However, Seon-Hyeok had no intention of punishing them. On the contrary, his intention had been to bestow a generous reward for their efforts in luring the wyvern to Rheinperle.

“They couldn’t have completely left the territory yet, so we can catch up if we hurry.”

The Rheinperle territory was full of skilled and experienced cavalry – it would not be too difficult to catch the runaway hunters.

“Let them be. Saved me some money.”

Seon-Hyeok did not see any reason to do so. The hunters abandoned their rewards for fear of punishment. 

Why did he need to bring them back just to pay them?

“Then I’ll let them go on their way.”

Julian nodded, expecting this decision from her lord. With that, the incident caused by the wyvern’s escape came to an end.

No, rather, he thought this would be the end.

However, he was forced to revisit his decision before the day had even passed. The group of monster hunters he had been awaiting the most, led by Tristan, belatedly arrived at Rheinperle and provided details on all the sins of the runaway hunters.

“So that’s what happened? I wondered why they looked to be such a mess for monster hunters capable of catching a live wyvern.”

Only then did Seon-Hyeok feel as though one of his biggest outstanding questions had been answered.

The runaway hunters had seemed too unskilled to have captured a ferocious monster freely roaming about the skies. Despite this, he had not imagined that they were nothing more than robbers intercepting another group’s mark.

“They made their way to the Rheinperle village not because they were worried about potential casualties for the locals, but rather because they lacked the confidence to evade the wyvern on the open plains. They probably imagined it would be better to hide in the village than to be hunted down. The hunters also likely hoped that you and your soldiers would take care of the wyvern for them.”

“I’m dumbfounded. They thought they could use me like that?”

Seon-Hyeok would not have normally cared about a conflict between groups of hunters. However, he was not soft enough to overlook the fact that the runaway hunters had tried to use him.

“Give Clark our fastest riders and capture them all.”

“We’ll make sure to detain every last one of them.”

Julian was enraged that others would try to deceive her lord. She immediately tried to leave and carry out his command, but Tristan stopped her.

“If you want to catch them, you’ll have to retrace their steps, not head to the border.”

“The hunters can cross the borders within four days if they tried. There’s no reason for them to travel in a different direction.”

“Normally, you’d be correct. However, they hid something important on their way here, and thus they have no choice but to go back and retrieve it.”

Tristan calmly replied to Julian’s heated words.

“Retrieve it? Retrieve what?”

Intrigued, Seon-Hyeok paid close attention to the hunter.

“You didn’t just ask me to locate the wyvern.”

Even until this point, he had no idea what Tristan was talking about. However, as soon as he heard the explanation, Seon-Hyeok immediately leapt out of his seat.

“The hunters also stole a fairy dragon egg.”

Dozens of cavalry rode out of the barracks, accompanied by Seon-Hyeok on Goldrake.

“Atiya! We have to find it!”

‘Just leave it to me!’

As soon as they left Rheinperle, Seon-Hyeok summoned Atiya and had her search for the hunters’ trail while he also used his abilities to sense his surroundings.

Unfortunately, it was difficult to locate the runaways because they had been given a day’s head start. Hansen’s group located where they first met the hunters and tried to retrace their paths, but an ill-timed rain shower erased all traces of their encounter.

“We’ll split up and search from here! Anyone who locates them should send a signal and call for backup instead of confronting them head on!”

“What are you doing? Aren’t you listening to the lord? Hurry up and split into groups already!”

Seon-Hyeok frowned as he watched the riders scatter in all directions.

“To think they were in possession of the fairy dragon egg.”

The fairy dragon was the creature he was looking for, but he had essentially given up on this pursuit after finding no traces of it outside of fairy tales. There was no way of telling when he would have another opportunity to encounter a fairy dragon if he let this chance slip away.

As such, he impatiently scoured the area for any signs of the runaway monster hunters.

“If we can figure out which direction they went, chasing after them shouldn’t be a problem. Fairy dragon eggs are incomparably heavy and large compared to any regular egg.”

Tristan tried to comfort him, saying he knew of the monster hunters’ habits better than anyone else.

“If it was light and easy to transport, they wouldn’t have hidden it before entering the town in the first place.”

Seon-Hyeok’s expression relaxed slightly. The hunter’s words made sense.

However, the monster hunters’ whereabouts remained unknown despite his attempts to wait patiently. To make matters worse, the rain began to pour even harder.

His vision was obscured by the falling rain, and Atiya was unable to fully utilize her abilities in these conditions. Seon-Hyeok was at a loss.

“This is driving me crazy.”

At this rate, he would be letting this dragon subspecies slip away between his fingers.

Fortunately, however, one of the cavalry parties that continued the search discovered the monster hunters’ tracks.

Whistle.

Seon-Hyeok barely managed to hear the sound of a whistle through the noisy raindrops.

“Let’s go!”

Without waiting for the other search parties, Seon-Hyeok immediately raced towards the source of the whistle. After a few failed attempts, he was able to pinpoint exactly where the alarm was coming from.

Roar!

Seon-Hyeok encouraged Goldrake to let out a ferocious roar when he noticed the hunters and cavalry in the distance. The shadows that repeatedly engaged and disengaged in the distance went into a panic.

“My lord!”

The rider, noticing his lord, called out with a happy expression. Given that the terrain was a muddy mess, the cavalrymen had dismounted and opted to wield longswords in place of their usual spears. From what he could see, there had already been a battle, as blood poured down the riders’ shoulders. It was evident that the two riders had fought hard, keeping the ten monster hunters at bay.

“Didn’t I say to wait for backup?”

“We thought it’d be impossible to find them again if we let them get away…”

The two offered a weak excuse when Seon-Hyeok berated them for their recklessness. It looked as though they had been willing to slow down the hunters with their lives if the worst came to pass.

Seon-Hyeok grew even angrier after realizing how blindly loyal his soldiers were. This time, however, the anger was not directed at his own men.

“You sons of bitches…”

He was enraged at the hunters for deceiving and using him, then turning around and harming his soldiers. Sensing his rage, Goldrake threateningly growled at the group.

“Eek!”

“S, spare us!”

The hunters were already half out of their wits from the drake’s earlier roar. Now, they bowed down and trembled, unable to endure the beast’s overwhelming pressure. A few desperately tried to escape.

“Anyone who takes another step dies.”

At Seon-Hyeok’s angry command, Goldrake raised his front legs and stomped down onto the muddy ground. With a bang, the earth became even less stable and sucked in the hunters.

Ack!

The hunters screamed in terror as they found themselves waist-deep in the now swamp-like ground.

Spare us!

F, forgive us!

“We were wrong! Please spare our lives!”

Upon belatedly arriving at the scene, Tristan and Julian saw the terrified hunters and dismounted from their horses.

“My lord. Please give me the chance to avenge my colleagues. If you do, I’ll be eternally grateful.”

Tristan had lost half of his party in the process of being robbed of the wyvern and his belongings. His eyes seared with a burning rage.

Seon-Hyeok hesitated for a moment, but he did not have to think long.

“You have my permission.”

“Thank you, my lord. I will repay this favor, even if it takes me the rest of my life.”

When Seon-Hyeok nodded, the hunter pulled out a knife from around his waist.

“Hiik! Spare us! Tristan, we’re monster hunters li… ugh.”

Tristan showed no inclination to listen, immediately stabbing the knife into the hunter’s chest. It was a simple and clean act of vengeance befitting his typically calm demeanor.

“He was the one who instigated this situation.”

It was clear Tristan wanted to kill the rest of the group as well, but he did not act on his desires. Instead, the monster hunter trusted that Seon-Hyeok would exact appropriate revenge in his place.

“Call the others here and send these men away. Put them to work in the deepest corners of the mines, and make sure they never see the light of day again.”

These bastards had harmed others of their kind out of sheer greed, and they had put an innocent village in harm’s way. He had no desire to forgive them.

“That’s the fairy dragon egg.”

This entire mission had been to find the fairy dragon egg, but Seon-Hyeok had forgotten about the objective at the sight of his injured men. Tristan approached him to point out the large mass wrapped in several layers of ropes and blankets.

“Ah.”

It was thanks to him that Seon-Hyeok recalled his purpose for coming all the way here. He dismounted from Goldrake and approached the egg.

“Here…”

Tristan’s eyes grew wide as he lifted the blanket, trying to show the lord what was in the bundle.

Flash!

A colorful light emanated from under the blanket, illuminating the world.

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