Chapter 3 – The Last Job (Forest Ranger)
Every request from the adventurer guild that comes to me seems to be too risky.
The forest ranger patrol job is also one of them.
When I started, the subcontractors and other workers I worked with used to be on the field with me, but now they don’t even show up.
I walk along the forest path that has become completely dark.
“Has it been five years already since I started this job? Looking back, it has become increasingly difficult with more unnecessary tasks such as being told to kill all the monsters I encounter but not to pick up magic cores because it would hinder the work, and eventually being expected to do everything alone.” I thought.
Suddenly, I encountered a King Orc!
Since I was scouting, I was quicker to react than the monster, and I successfully ambushed it.
The beginner’s fireball I reflexively threw drew a weak arc in the dark night.
“Fireball!” I shouted.
The flames stuck to its face with a plop.
Perhaps it didn’t feel threatened, but the King Orc made a grave mistake by not being able to dodge my attack in time.
It let out a painful roar while scratching its face, but it was too late.
“My flames won’t go out.
Mission accomplished,” I said, feeling satisfied with myself.
I was enjoying my own success a little too much, and suddenly, I felt an intense pain in my left thigh.
“Ouch! I let my guard down.
Get away!! Stun!!” I shouted.
In front of me, I saw a Shadow Wolf that had stealthily crept up and bitten my thigh.
I was ambushed!
What a cowardly creature.
With teary eyes, I hit it with an electric shock that was now within range and launched a counterattack.
“Darn it, I messed up!”
The cries of the Shadow Wolf and me overlapped.
I had dealt damage to the wolf with my lightning attack, but the muscle contraction caused by the lightning made the wolf’s jaw bite down even harder, and its fangs sank into the bone.
I had forgotten that lightning always had this kind of drawback.
After a moment, I was released from the bite.
I watched as the Shadow Wolf ran away, avoiding any further attacks.
“Wolf, you can’t escape from my lightning.”
The wolf, now covered in crackling electrical energy, limped away like a ghost into the night forest, but my lightning would not dissipate.
I heard the wolf’s dying cry, and finally the faint light disappeared.
Sweating profusely, I applied the potion I had been given to my injured body.
Smoke rose as the potion worked its magic, causing the flesh to heal and rise up.
As I endured the itchiness that came with the healing, I reflected on the battle with the wolf.
“What should I have done earlier? I thought I failed, but maybe that magic was the best move after all.
If that’s the case, I’ll have to prevent surprise attacks.
Now, focus, focus.”
I raised my guard level.
It’s still heavy work alone.
I couldn’t afford any more mistakes.
As the small birds chirped and the morning sun glittered off the green leaves, I finally saw the finish line.
My stomach was churning from the repeated use of magic, so I pressed on it as I headed to the office to report my completion.
“I’m reporting on the patrol duty.
One King Orc, eight Shadow Wolves, fifteen Orc, and two Goblins were encountered.
The damage was one Recovery and seven Mana.”
“Hmm, good work.
A King Orc showed up, huh? But even though you’re in the rear guard, you let yourself get bitten.
Recovery potions are more expensive than your salary, you know? Be more careful next time.”
I received a scolding.
I’m in the rear guard, but I’m also in the front line.
Since I was doing it all by myself.
“Well, this is my last job today.”
“You’re just a coward who’s being protected.
Cowards aren’t needed for guarding dangerous forests! Leave now.
You’re still here? Get out of here quickly.”
This is the last one.
Today, I’ll finally get to sleep in my bed.
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