218 Beast Stampede
When the sun was up to the sky, the villagers were already on their move. They were cleaning their house, packing up. After the attack from the Dire Wolf's horde last night, Chief Rick decided to evacuate earlier.
It was a yearly routine before Beast Stampede that the villagers would move to the city to seek shelter. From the usual date, the Beast Stampede would attack the city a month later.
However, last night's attack alarmed the villagers and so they decided to move now. They did not want another beast horde to attack the village. As for Chief Rick, he was standing anxiously west gate, waiting for his daughter.
Last night, he told her daughter where Tang was. But the girl did not come back until morning. He checked Elin's house, but the house was empty.
As he walked back and forth, he finally noticed a group of four headed toward the village. The old man was surprised to see Liang Suyin within the group, but the surprise turned into a smile when he noticed his daughter's happiness.
Delia's face was brimming with happiness, she could not hide her smile as she walked toward the village. The old man then noticed a change of aura around her daughter. Some of her naivety was gone, he could see that from a single quick glance.
The old man then glanced at the red-haired beauty. She was more reserved, but her face flashed in healthy red. Even though she kept her silence, the girl kept glancing at the man.
As for Elin, he could see a genuine smile on her face. It was not the usual fake smile she had. The three women were following a single man. Chief Rick immediately approached and greeted Tang, "Welcome back~ you seem to have a good night, young hero~"
"Yes! Crazy and adventurous night indeed. It was a truly amazing night," Tang Shaoyang kept emphasizing that the night was great, causing the old man's smile to get wider.
"So how is it? Did he accept you?" The old man asked his daughter. Having five to ten wives was common in this world. The old man himself had six wives with the youngest being in her early thirties. He did not mind if his daughter shared her husband with another woman, especially if one of them was Elin. Both could fight together if they were bullied by the other wives.
"I have become his sword maid~" the girl enthusiastically informed her father. Chief Rick went through a big change in expression when he heard his daughter had become a sword maid.
The old man did not care if Tang was Platinum or even a higher rank adventurer. He could not accept that his daughter had become some else's sword maid. It was known that sword maid was a slave, just another term or pleasant to the ears term for a slave.
"Cancel the bond immediately!" The old man stood in front of Tang, he raised his voice as his eyes turned colder, "I don't care how strong you are, but you better cancel the bond immediately!"
The sunny and warm old man had gone, it was replaced with the image of a furious father who tried to protect his daughter.
"Calm down, father. He did not force me to bond, I voluntarily asked him to," Delia immediately came forward and explained. However, her explanation only caused her father to get even more confused, "But why?"
"The bond is necessary if she wants to follow me. We have to get bonded so he could follow me," Tang Shaoyang pulled Delia back, "Did you remember when I said you would not be able to see her again if she followed me?"
Rick thought of it, and he remembered Tang said so last night. He took that lightly, but it seemed the bond related to that, "So what?" He demanded an explanation.
"We need to get bonded so I can bring her with me to my place. Also, you don't need to worry about your daughter. I will not mistreat her, especially my women, she would never get mistreated if she followed," he tapped the old man's shoulder.
"Yes, you don't need to worry, Father. Sister Elin also formed a sword maid bond," the girl explained with a smile. Old man Rick glanced toward the mature lady, the latter nodded her head to confirm his daughter's words.
"Where's that your place?" For now, the old man decided to trust the man and asked. He never heard of such a place even after years of adventure.
"I can't tell you, and even if I can tell you, you may never hear the place either. What I can tell you is, trust me!" Tang Shaoyang deepened his voice and looked into the old man's eyes earnestly.
"Hah…" the old man let out a sigh. His heart wanted to believe the man, but his rational thought kept doubting the man after he heard about the bond.
"Also, stop being annoying, Old Man. You kept pushing your daughter onto me yesterday, and now you keep doubting. Now, your daughter is not only your daughter but also my woman!" After saying that, Tang Shaoyang entered the village. He noticed the villagers were packing their belongings into the wagon. He even saw Fan Rui helping a girl to pack up.
The woman was young, about the same age as Delia. However, her assets were inferior to Delia though, the plus was she had a pure and sweet smile while looking at Fan Rui who bashfully helped the girl. However, by Earth's standard, the girl was above average in the term of look.
"Why are they packing? You are going to leave the village?" He stopped his steps and asked the old man who followed him
"Yes, we are going to move out earlier than the schedule. Last night's attack is a sign that the Beast Stampede will start earlier this year, so I don't want to risk it staying longer in the village. Although it's a pity we have to harvest early," Old Man Rick explained while shaking his head, looking at the field with the not-harvested field.
"Beast Stampede? What's that?" This was his first time hearing about the Beast Stampede, he asked the old man for more information.
"You don't know–" the old man stopped halfway as he realized Tang was not the native of Waskin.
"It was a curse placed upon Waskin City. The Predecessor of the Waskin Family who governs the Waskin City kidnapped the princess of Orin Forest, a fairy who governs the Orin Forest. The legend says the fairy committed suicide, and before that, the fairy placed a curse on the city, no, not to the city but the Waskin Family. Every year, in winter, the beast, and the monsters from Orin Forest would attack the city. It's been 71 years. The city has fallen three times, but the Waskin Family always rebuilds the city with support from the kingdom," the old man told Tang Shaoyang. From the old man's expression, he seemed to believe the legend.
"Then why don't you guys move to a safer place then?" If the city had fallen three times, that meant the Beast Stamped was not a joke. He was curious why they stayed in this dangerous place instead.
"We don't need to worry about the Beast Stampede as long as we are in the city we are safe from the beast," the old man was confident with his words.
"Huh!? Why? Is the Waskin Family that strong?" Tang Shaoyang was surprised by how confident the old man was.
"No, it's because the beast and the monster only attacked the people who put a fight against them or the people under the Waskin Family. The elder of my village recorded the event and warned us to never take a side on the Waskin Family," the old man explained.
If what Old Man Rick said was true, it would make the legend believable. However, there was a flaw in his story, "If the beast and the monster don't attack you guys, why don't you stay in the village?"
"Winter is not the best season to stay in the forest. Aside from the freezing weather, the stronger beast would be more active since the weaker beast hibernates," The old man rolled his eyes as Tang Shaoyang did not even know the basic knowledge.
The man was strong but did not have a basic knowledge of living in the wild. He needed to be bonded with the girl to bring her back. He was an adventurer but did not know how to skin the beast. With all these clues, the old man suspected Tang was a noble from afar.
"Tell me honestly, are you noble?" The old man could not help but ask.
However, Tang Shaoyang did not answer him, "What about our pelt? Have you skinned all of them?"
The old man rolled his eyes at Tang, "Give us a break, we all were partying last night, and today we have to move out. We don't have time to skin your pelt but don't worry, a promise is still a promise. We will skin your wolves in the city, free of charge," Chief Rick slammed his chest to assure Tang Shaoyang.
"Then what about my payment for killing the Dire Wolf King. You promised to pay me if we fight with you," Tang Shaoyang demanded the payment right away, "Where's my promised storage bag?"
Old Man Rick's expression changed, he painfully, reluctantly took the storage bag from his clothes. He then handed it to Tang Shaoyang.
"You still owe me an additional payment," Tang Shaoyang reminded before he saved the storage bag with a satisfied smile.