As the duo arrived at the WC association, the atmosphere was hella tense!
"Everyone, the esteemed Demon King Asshole is gracing us with his presence! How nice!" A taunting voice echoed after a player had recognized Jack.
Braves and NPCs alike were gathering around the entrance, staring daggers at him. They were far angrier than the Bloody Chains had ever been! What had he done this time?!
"Get out of here, you bastard!"
"This fucker's the reason we're all starving!"
"Do you know how much damage you've caused?!"
Starving? Damage? Many even took out their weapons: woodcutting axes. The angry woodcutters were already fighting the urges to hack him as if firewood.
The NPCs wouldn't show such animosity without proof. Wait, did this mean they had linked the Macabre Deer to him?! He suddenly felt a chill. Oh god! This was hella bad!
Confirmed Necromancer + Holy Church Coming Soon = Fate Worse Than Death!
"Hehe, just wait for your punishment! We've already sent a brother to report! The militia will investigate for sure! Retribution shall befall you if found guilty!" One happily thundered.
Wait, sent?! He could still intercept the message! Under the jeers of the crowd, the Demon King "ran away" with his tail between his legs….
━━━━━━ POV ━━━━━━━
Joe was a simple woodcutter or had been anyway. Could he still call himself one when they could barely venture into the forest?
A vile creature now resided in the Greenwood Forest. Every time he thought about it, he shuddered in fright and hate. How many good brothers had he lost to it? Too many!
He was now at the militia training camp. It was time to make things right! A militia member approached him:
"Hello there, civilians aren't allowed on the premises. If you're here for recruitment, just head toward that tent. For a request, head to the Mayor's office."
"I've tried: the Mayor is busy! Please, tell your commander that I bring urgent news. It concerns the very survival of the WC association!" Joe pleaded.
The soldier nodded solemnly before returning a few minutes later. He shook his head, showing that it wouldn't be possible.
"It seems the commander is meeting the Mayor as we speak. You can either return there or wait here until he comes back….Actually, there may be a third option—"
"What is it?!" Joe asked with expectations.
"There will be a new militia brigade established! It's led by a great man who…." The soldier talked about the brigade leader with stars in his eyes: he obviously respected him!
The more Joe heard and the more excited he became. This great hero sounded amazing! Incredible strength, fantastic leadership qualities, and even Sword Genius Derek followed him?!
"That's it! Please let me meet him, I beg of you!" He was certain that this man could help them! When the soldier agreed to send someone to get him, he felt the flame of hope inside him!
Soon enough, someone rushed into the training camp. His face was red, he was out of breath, and his eyes were already swimming across the camp.
Then their eyes met. The man glanced at the trusty axe on Joe's side and headed toward him. Wait, behind him Derek was following!! Did this mean that he was the hero?!
Joe couldn't help but feel touched. The man had rushed back to camp to help him, not caring one bit about appearances. That's how he knew he was a good man!
The closer the hero came, and the more reassuring his smile became. In the man's eye, Joe saw boundless benevolence and righteousness. He was perfect!
"Hello, citizen, I was told my help is required." Jack greeted the woodcutter NPC, one he was seeing for the first time. Derek left them alone, the NPC becoming talkative.
"Sir, it's like this…." The man told his tale. He had such a way with words that a bard would have probably had a heart attack hearing him.
Still, Jack managed to get the gist of it.
"So one of you guys used the Great Lumber-Scouting Technique and just happened to witness this so-called Demon King turn an Invisible Deer into a Macabre?"
"Yes, Sir! He's called Gilbert!"
"Since then, it has evolved and is now rampaging in the entire Greenwood Forest. You haven't been able to work at all, correct?"
"Alright, I understand. Woodcutter Joe, there are now two options. Either we wait for the commander to come back, no matter how long it takes, or I can personally deal with the issue."
"Sir, I'd be honored if you could help me!" Joe instantly cried out.
"Just know one thing. My methods are somewhat unconventional. The militia would usually organize a large manhunt, only for the target to get spooked and run."
"That can't happen! The Demon King needs to pay for his crimes!"
"Precisely. If you entrust this task to me, the investigation will have to be low-key. Do you understand?"
"Great. Now, I'll have to meet the witness myself." The hero scribbled something on a piece of paper. "Here, give this to him. It is for his eyes alone."
"Sir, I don't think he knows how to read…." Joe rubbed his head, embarrassed.
"I know, don't worry. Keep your lips tight, and before you know it, this Demon King and Deer problem will be resolved." The hero gave a warm smile.
"Yes, Sir! Thank you, Sir!" Joe bowed many times as he left.
His once heavy heart was now as light as a feather. They had just met, but he knew he could trust the great man. With him, Sprigfield would prosper for sure!
He couldn't wait to tell his colleagues about it all! Wait, no…they had no remain low-key. Joe was resolved not to compromise the mission with his big fat mouth.
He stared at the tiny piece of paper in his hand.. He was dying to look at it, but he wouldn't. This was their hope for revenge as well as their salvation…