If you haven't noticed, I turned off the Blogspot 18+ warning when you first enter the site, since some people are turned away by what they might find. Plus, I'm only writing the rare sex scene, so I figured making spoiler buttons to hide the sex content will be sufficient.
Enjoy! I'm off to bed.
Chapter 10 – Rescuing Senna
“Shit. Shit. Shit!” I curse under my breath running alongside the others. Our clan, the <Pact of Ambition>, had just returned from a week long expedition to subjugate a large group of bandits functioning at a major highway. When we returned to the Adventurer’s guild, we found everyone in an uproar. A Goblin Village has been discovered and there were sightings of Ogres moving around the <Glade Forest>.
I found my parents and Arnost arguing with the Guild Master. They wanted a group to immediately leave to the forest, but the Guild Master refused because they needed to arrange the adventurers in town. My heart stopped when I heard Senna happened to go to the forest for harvesting herbs. They were equally worried about Senna and had already formed a group to scout ahead. I didn’t even need to think about it and joined the group. Davor also joined to help find Senna. I felt a pang in my heart, but this isn’t the time to worry about stupid things.
We talked to the Clan leader, who decided to tag along. He’s a blunt man, but extremely reliable. Rache, the best mage in the group, offered to tag along. Honestly, I’m thankful for their help, with the four of us, we could easily handle the Goblin village, even if Ogres appeared. But our focus isn’t the destruction of the village, we’re going to rescue Senna and relay as much information as we can back to the guild. Arnost chose to stay behind and prepare to treat Senna when we found her. Please let her be safe.
“Anahid stop!” Bernard, our Clan leader, calls out to me. Without noticing, I had pulled away from the group and was moving on my own. “Rest now.” Rest? I don’t care about rest, my precious little sister is in danger. Bernard motions to Rache and mother. The two of them are breathing heavily because of the fast pace. It’s obvious their pace is slower since they specialize in magic and less in physical strength. I was too caught up with Senna to notice their condition. Reluctantly, I sit down and wait.
Bernard is discussing the strategy when we arrive. Honestly, everything he said went in one ear and out the other. I couldn’t stop worrying about Senna. She caught my interest when I first saw her in the guild. I have never seen pure, snow white hair on such a young girl. Her appearance was like a beautiful doll that made many men swoon over her, not to mention me. Yet such a dainty girl was about to calmly subjugate Goblins unarmed? The idea boggled my mind. She carried herself with poise and was kind to everyone. However, when angered, her strength and skill could easily surpass me. When admirers were especially persistent, she used some unknown fighting technique to easily throw men several times her size.
Who would have expected a girl like her to have such a dark past? I caught a glimpse of her scars when she showed it off to the guard captain. My breath caught when I saw the large red scar on her upper arm. Her skin was discolored to the point it turned purple. But she talked so calmly about the suffering she experienced. I couldn’t wrap my mind around it. I didn’t realize that was only the tip of the iceberg when I saw her upper body. I felt disgust and anger seeing the degree of damage on her body. Who would subject such a beautiful girl to such horrible treatment? What kind of monster was he?
Later, I was unable to stop myself from prying into her past. ‘How can you still smile like that?’ It was a stupid question that I should have known the answer to. I wouldn’t be able to act so cheerfully in such a condition. Senna gave a response, but her eyes said otherwise. It was just a front. She obviously had not gotten over it. The nights she spent screaming confirmed it.
For three nights at the end of each month, she would scream in pain at the top of her lungs. She never asked for help though. Once she realized it was a regular thing, she started to gag and tie herself to the bed to stop disturbing us. We knew what she was doing, and we tried to help. But she always refused our help. Even when Mom and Dad persisted, Senna was adamant about dealing with it by herself. I tried stepping in when they backed down, but the look of fear in her eyes forced me to step back and watch.
It was the same for training. Senna would constantly refuse our help. She would train by herself and refuse to ask for help. I stood back and watched her from afar. It was obvious that was a genius. Once she picked something up, she learned it in minutes. The three of us were very proud of her and her abilities. But it was the abnormal persistence to go past her limits that amazed me the most.
…But now, I’m kicking myself for not stepping in to help her train. She refused to go out and hunt monsters. I knew the reason. I was scared too at first. Every adventurer is, but they are forced to get over it. We were… I was trying to respect her wishes.
Now... It might be too late… I’m holding back my tears hoping that she’s still alive. It’s easy to tell that Mom and Dad are the same. If she’s alive, I’m going to force her to train with me. It doesn’t matter what she says, I want to make sure she stays safe. She hasn’t been with us long, but she’s my precious sister. Please Goddess Remilia. Please keep Senna safe.
“Let’s go.” Bernard ends the break and we immediately move. After another 20 minutes of running, we arrive at the <Glade Forest>. We split into two groups and start combing the area. Davor, Mom and I are in one group, while Bernard, Rache, and Dad are in the other group. We don’t have to travel far until we discover a set of Ogre footprints. Bernard’s group finds a different set of Ogre footprints that have a much deeper depression. The mood becomes somber seeing the strength of these two Ogres.
“Mud.” Rache points to a pool of mud nearby. She’s a kind person, but never talks for long. In a sense, she really does fit well with Bernard.
“It’s true.” I take a closer look at the pool of mud. The size of the footprints points to Goblins and there are several of them from the looks of it. The prints were strange though. It looked like they laid down and rolled in the mud? It’s not really normal Goblin behavior. I don’t know what to think of it.
“Goblin Archers.” Davor presents a few arrows he found. “We need to be careful. I have a bad feeling.”
“Senna was here. You can see where she was harvesting herbs.” Mother adds looking at the ground. Her voice is melancholic, fearing the worse for Senna.
“Let’s go then.” Dad holds Mom when she stands. Both of them are holding back their tears, though I’m the same. Please be safe.
We head deeper into the forest. Bernard leads the way. Davor and I follow behind him. Rache and Mom stay in the center and Dad brings up the rear.
Arrows litter the way. It’s TOO weird. Goblins shouldn’t be this organized. 5 arrows are stuck in a straight line, and then another 5 arrows are stuck further along the opposite side of the path. The pattern continues the farther we go. Expert archers can easily fire multiple arrows at once, but this is a bit different. There’s too much distance between each set of arrows. An archer would eventually fall behind making their arrows stray. That means there has to be multiple Goblin archers working together. If it was really Senna they were chasing, she should be able to outrun them. That means there are a lot of Goblin archers working in coordination with each other. I refuse to think they could fire multiple arrows with such precision at such a distance AND on the run. With how somber the mood is, everyone else is probably thinking of the same thing.
“Rache.” Bernard pauses and looks at Rache. She makes use of her <Wind Magic> to detect any nearby presences.
Rache shakes her head. “Nothing.” Nothing, really? How can there be no Goblins wandering around. Unless…… Oh God. Did they capture Senna? Mom’s face goes pale and starts crying in Dad’s arms. I want to cry too, but I have to stay strong and rescue Senna. We can help her recover afterwards. I’ll take care of her in the future if I have to.
“Let’s go. The faster we find her, the better.” Davor solemnly urges. The group starts walking carefully. The tension is high in the air. Davor likes Senna because of her looks, but if she’s really been raped by the Goblins, what will he do? Will he continue to pursue her? A trace of joy wells up in my heart. I shake my head of those thoughts. That’s not what’s important right now.
We continue to head deeper into the forest, but have yet to see a single Goblin. The situation is really strange. Goblins are really stupid and wander around without a set path. We should have come across at least one of them considering how deep we’ve progressed. We’re increasingly more vigilant with each passing moment.
We spot the Goblin village and immediately hide behind some trees. It’s too quiet… No matter how strange the Goblins are. There should be some activity and yelling, especially if they caught Senna. Did she escape and they chased after her?
Bernard motions to Rache. She nods and chants her spell. She fires a weak <Wind Shot> and destroys the pile of sticks that a Goblin considers home. The ‘house’ falls apart and we wait… An entire minute goes by and nothing. Are they really not here?
Bernard motions to me. I return the nod. It's my job as a thief to scout the area. Mom looks at me with concern, but I give her a reassuring smile. I have to stay strong.
I scale the tree I’m standing next to for a better view. As I look over the village, my breath stops. The sheer destruction seen in the village is tremendous. Only a few huts at the nearby edge are unscathed, but everything else is crushed beyond recognition. Blood is splattered over most of the clearing. Yet, there isn’t a single dead Goblin around. I scan the clearing looking for any signs when something white catches my eyes. I focus my vision and unconsciously let go of the branch. I fall off the branch, but my arm catches the branch before I crash to the ground.
“You okay?” Dad calls out to me.
I nod and climb back down. “Found her. She’s further in the clearing. Just past the center.” The group tenses up. We found her, but is she alive?
“How many?” Bernard asks me.
I shake my head. “Zero. Only Senna.” Everyone frowns. They’re all thinking the same thing. Is it a trap? “Lots of blood everywhere. Enough that I think the village was slaughtered. But I’m not sure.”
Bernard gives a weird look at my report. He probably thinks it’s a joke. “That strong?” My parents and I bitterly laugh. ‘I don’t know’ is the only answer we can give. “Check traps.”
I reluctantly nod at his order. We’re all worried, but it would be a dishonor to her if we were killed in the process. Not that it makes it any easier knowing that she might be bleeding to death. Dad volunteers to head around the opposite direction. If both of us go around checking for ambushes, we can finish that much faster.
I quickly, but quietly explore the edge of the clearing. I force myself to remain hidden to avoid doing something stupid in haste. I don’t find a single sign of an ambush. Goblins shouldn’t be able to organize such an elaborate scheme, but I know nothing about this situation is normal. In one area, many of the trees are destroyed. The battle must have carried over here. Trees were cut down, the ground is heavily damaged. Just how intense was this battle? Finding no indication of a trap, I move on.
I eventually finish circling around my side and see my father waiting for me. We should head back to regroup, but we can’t wait any longer. The two of us head towards Senna. We move carefully, the blood staining our boots, searching for any traps. I can’t use any magic, but with my experience, I can definitely detect it. The chances of encountering a Goblin Mage are extremely low, but with this weird village, we might just run into some.
We notice the others approaching from the other side. Dad and I look at each other with a bitter smile. Mom must have gotten tired of waiting and forced them to come. We reach Senna without discovering a single trap. Did Senna really wipe the village out? It’s a little hard to believe considering the Ogres in the area. Her experience in battle is too low for that. I check for any traps under Senna, but find none. Gently lifting her, I check her condition. She still feels warm and her heart is beating. Other than being covered in blood, I can’t find any wounds.
Mom reaches us and immediately starts healing Senna. I tell her she has no injuries, but she does it anyways. It’s probably for the best. I might have missed something underneath all the caked blood on her. Casting the advanced <Light Magic> spell <High Heal> is a bit overkill though.
“Goblins?” Bernard asks us. Dad and I shake our heads. “Why?” He looks around at all the blood.
“I don’t get it. This is supposed to be a Goblin village, but there isn’t a single one around. The blood is still fresh, but there are no bodies. It’s not like the bodies can just disappear.” Davor complains trying to figure things out.
Ah. It can disappear. “Senna killed and stored the bodies.” I answer. Thinking about it, it’s obvious that she did. Her [Storage] is special. She doesn’t seem to have a limit, and isn’t affected by the weight of the items she stores.
“I agree.” Dad adds.
“That’s true. She has [Storage], so she’s probably holding onto them.” Mom decides to tell them about [Storage]. With anyone else, knowing about [Storage] would cause a commotion, but we can trust Davor and the others to keep quiet. The people in our Clan are all trustworthy people, we can tell them sensitive information like this.
“She wiped out the entire village?” Davor looks at us in shock. Bernard and Rache are the same. “Is she crazy? If she messed up even a little, she would have been wiped out.”
“I don’t think she did it for fun, you know.” I reply in annoyance. He really gets too fixated on how pretty a girl is and doesn’t think about their abilities.
“True?” Rache questions us.
“Chances are high. I’m surprised as much as you are. She’s only E rank and inexperienced in monster subjugation.” I answer. The more I talk, the more the idea solidifies that this really is Senna’s work.
Bernard strokes his chin. “Make her join. Strong is welcomed.” He looks at Senna appraising her. (A.N. Appraised based on her stature, not by a skill.)
“I plan to.” I answer.
Bernard nods. “Target acquired. Withdraw.” Mom stops healing Senna and the group retreats from the village leaving things as is. I keep on guard for any ambushes, but nothing comes our way. The group returns at a relaxed pace with Dad carrying Senna on his back. We take a short break along the way. Senna remains unconscious the entire trip back.
At the town gates, adventurers are gathered and prepared to set off. Many of the men cheer when they see Senna safe and sound. I click my tongue in irritation. Stupid perverts. The Guild Leader, Vermer, greets us as we pass through the gate. Despite being over 50, his strength hasn’t declined at all emanating the strength of an S rank adventurer.
“Looks like you got her. Good work.” Vermer smiles at Bernard. Bernard gives him a simple nod. Vermer’s smile drops. “How does it look? Found any traces of Ogres?”
“Wiped out. Maybe a few strays. Found nothing else.” Bernard answers.
“I see. Wiped out. That’s a lot better than expected… Wait! Wiped out!!” Vermer yells out drawing the attention of everyone’s attention.
“Two-thirds explored. Nothing alive.” Bernard continues.
“Oi, oi. I know you went to rescue that girl, but you didn’t need to risk injury with a small group like that.” Vermer points to the other adventurers.
“Not us.” Bernard points to the unconscious Senna.
Vermer and the other adventurers stare wide-eyed. “Her?”
“Maybe. Family says so. Sleeping. Can’t ask.” Bernard adds on. The gathered adventurers start murmuring with disbelief.
“We will relay the report to the guild when she wakes up.” I declare as my parents and I pass through the crowd. We immediately head home. Mom and I clean all the blood off of Senna dressing her in her sleepwear. Placing her on the bed, we wait anxiously at her side waiting for her to wake up. Dad and I start pacing around the room. Mom eventually kicks us out of the room because we’re making too much noise forcing us to wait downstairs.
Davor and Arnost drops by later and informs us that Vermer has received the report from us, but will directly visit to get Senna’s report. Apparently, to be safe, three small groups have been sent to investigate the Goblin village and check for any wandering Goblins.
Arnost had been waiting anxiously at the guild the entire time. He didn’t find out we returned until the other adventurers returned and debated whether Senna really took out the Goblins. With everything that happened, I completely forgot he was waiting for us. We reassure him that she’s okay. He waits around for a while, but leaves after a couple of hours.
Honestly, I want to leave the house too. The waiting is torturous. Is she really okay? Is there a major injury that we missed? On the other hand, I want to be around when she wakes up. Despite my restlessness, I continue to wait. My exhaustion starts to take a hold of me. I built up a lot of exhaustion from the expedition and was going to crash into my bed after the day was done. Going out to rescue Senna, I couldn’t unwind at all. All of my tension remained bottled up and increased my exhaustion.
I need to rest my head a bit. I lay my head down on the table and slip into a deep sleep.