Chapter 079: Prairie Hollows
Riding the Rug Dragons, we set up base near the vicinity of the town. This is for my sake. People don’t usually use barrier boxes while hunting, so they leave their Rug Dragons in the vicinity while keeping watch and taking turns to hunt.
The Prince and his guards also made their base next to ours so that they would be protected by our barrier.
“This isn’t about hunting efficiently. I want to see how the Hollows appear around here and how long they stay for,” Bart said as he looked sideways at sunset.
“I want to know if this town with thin defence can really last,” Bart muttered, and no one answered him. To be precise, the townspeople had said, “It’s fine,” but Bart didn’t believe them until he saw it himself.
The sun set completely. Hollows would already appear at Lentforce around this time, but they haven’t appeared here yet.
“Is it different away from the mountains…?” Kyaro muttered after a lot of time had passed and no Hollows appeared. Well, it’s not like they hadn’t appeared at all.
I suddenly raised my face and Alistair moved his body.
“They’re coming from the sea!” Bart and everyone else also looked at the sea when they heard this.
*WHIRR* Right as we heard the sound, we saw hollows appearing along the horizon.
“They’re far away, but where did they come from? Usually, it looks as if they spring up from near the mountains…”
The Hollows appear as if they were springing out from the ground.
“I’ll have to check their appearances…” Kyaro stared at the place where everyone thought the Hollows had appeared from. *WHIRR, WHIRR* More Hollows appeared.
“This is odd. Hollows like this have never appeared before,” the town representative muttered. A middle-aged man reluctantly followed us because he couldn’t just let the Prince go out of town alone.
“Hmm, how are the damages from the Hollows?”
“Let’s say about a few people a year. I don’t know what happens to the travellers, though.”
“Well then,” Mill cut in carefreely while the townsman and Prince were talking.
“How many Hollows are being hunted near this town?”
“How can we? There are no hunters in town, so there’s no way they’ll be hunted.”
Kyaro reacted to the townsman, “You didn’t hunt Hollows even when they killed the people of this town?”
“Even if they’re townspeople, they’re people from the slums who can’t even work. This is Frontier. The town won’t look after those who live on the outer edge of town,” the townsman said and I was shocked. But, the Prince and his guards weren’t shocked at all. Bart and his crew returned their gazes to the Hollows. As for Alistair, he just held onto my hand tightly.
But, “That’s what I thought,” Kyaro muttered. The Hollows gradually approached us and finally arrived near the barrier.
“They’re so vivid,” the townsman said. The Hollows had more distinct appearances than the Hollows we’ve seen until now. They had adults, and children, and they were all wearing worn-out clothes.
I remembered that when I first saw the Hollows, Hannah had been expressionless, but the Hollows appeared before me with the appearance she had before she died.
Which means… I glanced at Bart.
“They wiwwed thhe thownshpeopwe.” (They killed the townspeople.)
“They probably did. Disgusting.”
The damage is probably small. However, the Hollows definitely got their hands on their prey. The Hollows turned to face the town since they were perhaps irritated at us who were observing them.
“Ah, the Hollows are heading towards the town!” The town’s representative shrieked.
“Oh well, shall we do it? Mill!”
Kyaro, Clyde and Alistair stayed within the barrier and kept an eye on the situation outside while Bart and Mill easily defeated the few Hollows. There weren’t any Hollows around anymore.
Bart widened his eyes for a second when he picked up the magic stone, but then he immediately acted nonchalantly.
“Prince, that’s it for today. Hey, Mr Town Representative.” Bart told the Prince that he wanted to withdraw and spoke to the townsman.
“You saw it just now, didn’t you? The nearby Hollows will come if they know there are people. I think you can hunt big Hollows.”
The townsman seemed frightened when he saw the Hollows.
“If you treat the people who you don’t care about as you like, then the Hollows are going to come to your town.”
Bart sighed at the townsman who didn’t get it.
“The rest is the Prince’s job.”
The Prince, who had a poker-face on this whole time, signalled his people and they began clearing up. Then, *WHIRR* there were faint presences of Hollows. The townsman creepily looked at us as Alistair and I stared off into the distance.
“I didn’t think that Wester would have an area like this.”
“At least it’s not our job.”
Bart and Kyaro said as they got on the Rug Dragons. I was naturally put into the basket first.
The next day, the Prince had an informal audience with the mayor, but I don’t know what they talked about. Although, I’m sure that he conveyed that everyone should hunt the Hollows before a new type of Hollow appears.
When we got to the next town, Bart showed Alistair and I the magic stone. We couldn’t help but gulp when we saw it.
“What the hell is this?”
The biggest magic stone I have ever seen was the magic stone in the barrier box at the mayor’s house. It was one size bigger than the magic stone in Alistair’s barrier box. But, the magic stone in Bart’s hand was bigger than that.
“This is the first time I’ve seen a magic stone this big even though I’m a hunter. Honestly, I never thought that we’d be able to get a magic stone this big in an area with few Hollows.”
Bart looked depressed even though he had gotten his hands on a big magic stone.
“I’m worried over what to do with this.”
“You can just sell it,” Alistair said frankly and shrugged.
“They’ll ask where we got this from. Even if I tell them it’s a secret, they’ll know the route we took. It’s alright for hunters to flock around here. But, no, I’m overthinking.”
Bart looked up for a moment.
“Big magic stones like this can only be used in barrier boxes. I don’t know if it’ll sell or not,” He said, as he gripped the magic stone which couldn’t fit into his palm and sparkled from the spaces between his fingers.
“Gib ith tho Huu.” (Give it to Huu.)
“Is that your opinion, Lei?”
“Don’th need throubweshome thhingsh.” (Don’t need troublesome things.)
“Push it onto the Prince? Haha, that’s great. Should I also get money from him at the same time?” Bart said, but he didn’t give it to the Prince. Instead, he gave the seven magic stones he had to each of his crew members. Mill pulled a little bit of cotton out of the Rug Dragon stuffed animal and stuffed mine into the pocket. He’s unexpectedly skillful.
The pocket became a little round, and it was heavy, but everyone knew I stuffed things into my Rug Dragon, so they just thought I did something again.
Afterwards, Bart and his crew didn’t hunt any other Hollows in the other towns on the way, no matter how much they were asked.