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Chapter 32 – Desert of Ruin

The inn that the guard had directed me to was big enough to accommodate many travelers at once. Even from a distance, it was considerably large.

I moved forward, following the wave after wave of travellers.

[This is kinda awesome….]

All kinds of shops were established on the annexes, so people could get mostly everything they needed without having to go far. It might’ve been done in consideration of the limitations being put upon the travellers in this city.

Whilst still carrying the sleeping Myne on my back, a facility employee called out to me.

[Do you want to stay?]

[Yes, two people]

[Certainly. Please, this way]

Admiring the polite service, I followed after the employee. A wide staircase connected to the central area came into view.

This stairs enable us to reach the lodging area on the upper level from the central area. Looking up from down here, there are countless rooms.

[Please be careful when taking your step. Your rooms are on the third floor]

[There are a considerable amount of rooms, looking from here. How many are there?]

[This lodging area has five floors, with 500 rooms on each floor. Totaling 2500 rooms.]

2500 was too much. There was no lodging place like this even at the royal capital. The largest I’ve seen only has 1000 rooms at most.

[Surely you are surprised since this is your first visit. This inn is this city’s pride. As you may have noticed, there are restrictions on outsiders coming into this city. For this reason, this place is managed as the temporary lodging facility for travellers and peddlers.]

[To go this far, is it to prevent people from wandering around?]

The employee thought for a while, then nodded.

[However, you are free to do mostly anything here. You are even allowed to carry weapons around.]

[That’s good to hear. I’d feel naked being disarmed]

When someone is visiting an unknown city, they may get mad if they aren’t allowed to carry their weapon around.

If the sleeping Myne lost her axe, she’ll definite give me a run for my money. I don’t know how strong the [Wrath] Skill useris yet, but I couldn’t imagine how it would be if she was allowed to freely rampage. I was relieved to know that we were allowed to carry weapons.

After climbing up the stairs and arriving at the front of my room, the employee told me something good.

[Customer seems to be a warrior, judging from your equipment. If so, how about going sandman hunting? The city will hand out prize money for doing so]

What a coincidence! Just when the [Glutton] skill began to show signs of starving.

[By all means, please tell me. I’m starting to feel hungry….no, I’m thinking about earning some money if I can.]

[It would be appreciated. Recently, the sandmen have become more active, and it’s too much for the city warriors to handle. That’s why we also call for the help of warriors from outside.]

I see, they are so hard pressed that they’ll accept any help they can get.

I stepped inside the room while listening to the details from the employee. Afterwards, I placed Myne on the bed and the black axe upon the wall.

The room was not too wide, just a simple room with two chairs and a table as furniture. Sitting there, I learned more about the sandmen.

It is said that the sandmen reside in the desert east of this city.

Because it’s the kind of monster that stays in the desert, I’d thought it should be okay to leave them be, but there are actually good reasons to subjugate them.

It is said that they dry up the surrounding greenery to expand their habitat. If they are left alone, they will continue to expand the desert steadily.

There are forests that serve as water sources and farmlands in the vicinity, and if those were to become dried up, this territory will be uninhabitable.

The way I heard it, this sandman hunt was a matter of life and death to the people of this territory. That’s why once the employee saw a warrior, he will immediately recommend this job.

I accepted the job readily. The sandman is a nocturnal creature, which means I’ll have to go to the desert at once.

[The sandman has a red core inside its sand body. It’ll be defeated if you manage to break through and crack the core. The core will turn from red to blue when it dies. You can then exchange those cores for cash. Now then, pleased to work with you.]

The employee bowed, then left the room.

Alright then, I was thinking about going to the desert right away…but what about Myne here? She’ll get angry if I go out without saying anything, but she’ll also get angry if I forcefully awaken her. That’s how it was.

Can’t be helped. Let’s just leave a written note. I’ll write that I left for the desert east of the city. Afterwards, looking at the sleeping Myne’s calm face….I suddenly gave in to the sudden urge.

With my pen, I drew 3 pairs of whiskers in her cheeks. Hmm, it wasn’t perfect, but it suited her well.

Now, while the large cat is still sleeping, let’s go to do some sandman hunting.

The black sword in my hand then spoke to me through 《Mind Reading》skill.

『Fate, you are too bold. Doing something like that to Myne, if something happens later on then that’s not my problem.』

[It’s just a little prank, you’re just over exaggerating]

It should be nighttime when I arrive at the desert. Ah right, we are still inside the Holy Knight’s territory, so fighting flashily might end up causing us some problems. So it’ll be wise to conceal ourselves as best as possible.

And then, it finally reappeared. The skull mask that I hadn’t used since I left the royal capital was taken out of the bag.

Entering the desert, I’ll put on the skull mask, and begin hunting the sandmen grandly. Should I also wear the long black overcoat too? Moreover, if I also changed Greed’s form to that of the scythe… No matter how I think about it, I’ll end up looking more and more like a lich. Well, I don’t really want to go that far though.

Anyways, I think it’s about time for me to drop that lich act.

It’s different from the double life I had back then at the royal capital. Right… I can be the skull masked warrior Mukuro this time around. That way, I won’t be mistaken as a monster if I accidentally came across someone else while traversing the desert.

Other than that, I have to limit myself to exchanging up to only 10 sandman cores at a time, then it will be a perfect coverup.

Greed then spoke to me,

『That, I wonder if it’ll be fine…』

[Don’t make such an ominous remark while we are just starting out]

Before leaving, I didn’t forget to whisper [I’ll be back] to the still sleeping Myne.

When I left the room, I saw many other warriors were preparing their equipment and begin gathering at the hall. Perhaps it’s the party for the Sandman hunt. The number of people kept increasing, until it topped out at 20 people. This could be considered a large-scale hunt already.

Let’s be careful so as not to disturb them. I don’t want anyone to obstruct me from my meals. It’s been a while, so I’ll hunt to my heart’s content this time around.

Eh? Why am I so energetic about it all of a sudden….Having this bad feeling, I used Greed as a mirror to look at my right eye… and as I thought, it’s already dyed in red. I had fallen to a semi-starving state.

[Oh well… at least I can still use my other eye]

『Fate, you indulge the [Gluttony] skill too much. You’ll have to tolerate it a bit. That’s right……in this sandman hunt, try to fight while maintaining the semi-starving state. That way, you might learn a method to better control the Glutton skill.』

Greed, that’s easy to say, but it’s hard to resist this instinct-like desire that tries to take control of my body. Sometimes I even mistake it for my own will.

However, there was nothing else that I could do. If I didn’t absorb even a tiny fraction of power……at that time…..everything that had been me would have been swallowed instead. I understood that much.

『If you don’t manage to find a way to properly handle the Glutton skill each time it gets hungry, sooner or later, you’ll lose yourself and cease to be ‘you’.』

Greed’s words weighed heavily upon me.

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