Just when things were heating up, some shouting had to come and ruin it. I caught hold of Myuke as she jerked upright at the noise, and together we rolled out of bed and stood up.
This was really odd. Right now, Myuke and I should be the only tenants staying at the inn, and Oline was the sole caretaker. But despite that, I heard the sound of a male’s voice, speaking in an aggressive tone; it sounded like trouble.
Even from the second floor where Myuke and I had our room, I could make out the sounds of Oline arguing angrily.
The male voice kept shouting, and I realized there were several more with him, judging from the sounds of other voices that travelled up the stairs. Oline had been holding ground magnificently at first, but was slowly being overwhelmed by the continuous barrage of angry shouts.
Myuke, who had been getting along well with Oline, was growing alarmed.
“Roote, I’m gonna go help Oline.” Maybe she had expected me to object, as she didn’t add anything else, brow furrowed as she left the room. It seems this was the kind of person Myuke was: someone who would go above-and-beyond to help someone she had grown close to. Though Myuke and I had shared some intimate moments, in the end, I didn’t really know all that much about her. Maybe it had been a somewhat naive of me to think that I could get to know her little by little, since we would most likely end up together for a long while.
I shoved those thoughts aside. I needed to start moving. Letting a bunch of males surround some girls wasn’t something a gentleman should be allowing.
Following Myuke, I headed for the first floor. As I moved to descend the stairs, I heard jeering, and Myuke’s voice was now in the mix. Descending the stairs, I spotted Oline and Myuke. They had taken up positions on either side of the entrance-way to the inn, and were trying to keep three males who were still outside, from shoving their way inside.
“What the fuck, bitch——! We gotta talk business with that tramp there! Don’t stick yer neck into shit that don’ concern ya!”
“Too bad for you I’m a friend of Oline’s, so this does concern me. So what, you have to ‘talk business‘? From where I’m standing, all I’m seeing are some thugs trying to harass someone into submission! I’ve no idea who you think you are, but if you lay a hand on her you’ll regret it!!”
The way Myuke spoke, snorting derisively with a “Hmph!” at the end, was really, really cool. Still, just being friends wouldn’t usually drive someone to go this far for someone they had just met the day before.
One of the three, a stout Weredog male, apparently angered by what Myuke had said, twitched his ears so they stood upright, his expression going livid as he moved to approach Myuke. This wasn’t a situation I could just sit back and watch; so I descended the last of the stairs, and moved through the hall to take up a position directly behind them.
“Woah now, take it easy there. You’re always so short-tempered; it’s really unsightly. I mean just look at them, they’re proper beauties, right? Let’s not engage in a shouting match like this. ——Instead, how about we all talk things over?”
“There’s nothing to talk about! Please, leave!”
“It is not my intention to inconvenience you girls in any way, but still, this is business.”
Dripping with pompous self-righteousness, one of the Werefolk males lowered his sunglasses, staring intently at Oline. Was it his job to harass an average, good-natured citizen? Like Myuke had said, they didn’t appear to be anything more than a couple of small-time thugs, but appearances could be deceiving.
“So, young miss, could you quit stalling and give us the title to the inn already?”
Okay, so I guess they were thugs. Thugs who were into land speculation…
“That’s right, it ain’t like we gonna take the place and toss ya out. We’ll give ya work, and we’re prepared ta compensate ya well fer it, ‘kay?” With a lewd, lascivious grin plastered on his face, the stocky Weredog male went on. “Well, before ya start workin’ we gotta check the goods first, yeah!? We can give that nice Elf lass with ya some work too, if ya like. No place’d hire her with an ear like that ya know. But with a face like hers, there’s no doubt some sleazy old geezers would pay a pretty penny, hehe.”
“Despicable——! What part of that’s work!? You’re just telling us to become prostitutes!? Fuck off!”
“I’ll never hand this inn over! Our conversation just now made one thing perfectly clear. On top of taking the inn, you’re all planning on turning us into things as well, aren’t you? No way, no way ever!”
Compared with Myuke and Oline, who were exploding with emotion, the thugs were just taking it in stride; actually, they seemed pleased, as though the stronger willed the women, the higher the price.
“Listen now, will ya? We don’ wanna have ter beat up some pretty-faced babes if we can be avoidin’ it; it ain’t right.”
The ostentatious Werefolk male drew up close to Myuke and Oline, a sadistic smile on his face. They meant to use violence if words didn’t get them what they wanted. At hearing those words, Oline moved to stand in front of Myuke, sheltering her. She looked determined not to hand over the inn, but no matter how strong a Werebear was, getting into a brawl with three large males wasn’t going to end well.
I had only watched up until now, gathering what information I could, but the time for action had come. What spurred me on more than anything, was how Myuke and Oline continued to put on a brave front, when in truth they were really frightened.
“I’ll take over from here.”
As I moved to stand in front of the girls, the Werefolk and Weredog males faltered. But they recovered almost immediately, as, after a moment of staring daggers at me, their expressions relaxed, and they grinned.
“Woah there, you went out and hired a bodyguard? Trying to pass yourself off as a high-end establishment, eh? I’m gonna start crying. But it’s too bad we have a purebred Werelion on our side. He could rip one little piggy to pieces.”
The last of the three, who had remained apart from the conversation, swaggered into the inn. He was far taller than me, and that, combined with his thick mane, proved he was indeed a member of the Werelion race.
Werelions were said to be a race immersed in battle from birth, who lived and died on the battlefield; a race of creatures with the warrior’s spirit. He easily towered over an Orc like me, had muscles like armor, arms that looked like they could snap iron, and legs that could fell enormous trees. What’s more, they were even called shinigami, gods of death that would massacre all enemies on the battlefield they were sent to.
The Werelion standing before me was bare-chested, his muscled frame showing countless scars. His entire being bespoke a hero of many battles, and a powerful aura emanated from him.
“If yer gonna cry an’ apologize, now’s the time, ‘kay? This guy don’ know the meaning of the word ‘hold back’ ya see. If ya don’ wanna become lumps of minced meat, ya’d better hand over yer money’n lie on the groun’, faces in the dirt!”
Unlike the Weredog, who was chortling to himself, the Werefolk male had on a pitying expression as he spoke.
“I’m sure you don’t wish to die here, right? Please, just ignore this dog-brained fool. I could probably even give you some money for travelling expenses, so let’s be peaceable about this. Sound good?”
“You’re mistaken about something. I’m no bodyguard. I’m just renting a room here.”
“In that case, hows about yer gettin’ out fer us? We’re gonna get the place anyway. That room yer staying in, too.”
It was about time for some good old-fashioned violence. With things having progressed this far, this thought was rather refreshing. I wouldn’t need to hold back.
I had been silent for a little too long, so to keep Myuke and Oline from worrying, it would be best if I hurried up and finish this quickly.
“Sto, you musn’t! I’ll do something about the inn, so please, just take Myuke and run!” Seeing me start to close in on the Werelion and sensing what I was about to do, Oline had called out to stop me.
“I can’t do that. Miss Oline, you’re Myuke’s friend. In that case, protecting you is also part of my responsibilities.” The Werelion was looking down his nose at me, as he didn’t budge even as I drew up close; which gave me ample time to whip my arm back before plowing into the pit of his stomach with a powerful punch.
“I’m angry, if you haven’t noticed! No way in hell I’m letting you have Myuke!” My aim was true, and the punch which had all my strength behind it, sank into the Werelion’s stomach. There was a powerful thud, like the sound a hunk of meat makes when you pound it; and the Werelion literally flew backwards and out the door of the inn.
Without sparing him a second thought, I moved on the Weredog who had gone on about the high price the women would sell for, how he’d have to check the goods first…and grabbed his head with both hands, before slamming it hard against my own in a magnificent headbutt.
I heaved the unconscious Weredog at the slack-jawed Werefolk who’s mouth was so agape it seemed like the jaw might fall to the ground, and succeeded in shutting them all up.
It was strange…I never thought a single punch would be enough to take down someone from the infamous, roaring race of Werelions. I had been so wary of the guy I’d actually regretted having left my spear behind for not wanting to use it indoors; it was all so anticlimactic.
“Roote! Roote!! I knew you were amazing! Super amazing! You were so cool!” Myuke came crashing into me, and I wrapped her up in an embrace, while Oline oggled me with a disbelieving expression on her face. The Werelion I had sent flying still hadn’t gotten up, and as I watched I noticed he was gripping his stomach, rolling on the ground in pain.
“Uhm, aren’t you a Werelion…?”
“Aaaah, spare me, please!! I’m just a farmhand, and I’ve never been in a real battle! I just came with these two because they said I could make some money!”
So that’s how it was…Even though he was a Werelion, not every member of the race loved wars and fighting. Just standing around with that big frame was foreboding enough, so the other two had probably just been using that. But that isn’t what I wanted to know. Actually, this brought me to the question I’d wanted to ask all along.
“Would you mind telling me where I can find your boss?” These kinds of problems could only be solved by dealing with the source. The Werelion, shaking and curled up on the ground, stammered as he told me.
“Mistress C-C-C, Claynar! …Miss Claynar gave us the orders! Pleeease! Don’t kill me!” At hearing those words, Oline responded, her voice quavering in shock.
“Claynar? You mean that Claynar? The short little Imp? The one who lives in that huge mansion…”
“Y, yeah! I only went along with those two, they’re the ones that work at the mansion…I did see her once though, and you’re right, she was an Imp.”
“Oline?” Myuke asked, rushing over to Oline who had fallen to the floor, her shoulders slumped.
“I can’t believe it…I mean, little Nar is my friend…my best friend…” Apparently, the one who had sent these thugs to the inn, had been Oline’s closest friend.
After having the Werelion carry off the two unconscious thugs, I went back to the room and grabbed my spear. Dispirited after learning her best friend had been behind all this, Oline ended up closing the inn early for the day. Looking about to cry, she had said: “There won’t be any customers today anyway.” She told them that those three had come to the inn on multiple occasions, repeatedly pushing for an answer, which had caused her to lose business both among travellers as well as the locals, who avoided the place, not wanting to get caught up in anything troublesome.
As she talked on, I finally came to understand what was happening. Basically, the thugs had first appeared at the Forest Exit Inn after Oline’s parents, the original owners, had retired. It was already suspicious how the thugs had started harassing her right after, but to think the mastermind had been her own friend, aiming for the perfect timing…Because of it all, customers had stopped coming.
“She was always a little on the jealous side, but never one to go so far as this…” Oline was still treating the word of some random thugs as untrustworthy.
This time, I didn’t plan on using the point of my spear. It would be best to resolve things peaceably if possible, and I wanted to avoid any bloodshed.
“Roote, are you really going? Oline says there are loads of guards at the mansion!?”
The place he would be heading for was Oline’s friend’s, Claynar’s mansion. She was part of a family of wealthy merchants, who were well-known in the city, and I recalled Oline having mentioned how large it was. There was a host of well-trained guards, and though I was hoping to settle this with words, it was hard to believe someone who had shown such hostility would just sit and talk things over. So, I decided to play things by ear, and start by discovering why it was that Claynar had tried to take over the inn.
“I understand that. I’ll try and do things peaceably, so don’t worry yourself. Besides, I don’t much care to get hurt myself.”
“I’m only going to do what I’m able to. Myuke, you would never leave Oline to deal with this herself, right?”
“Yeah, but…Roote, you don’t have to do something so dangerous!”
“I guess I don’t really have to, but my partner is upset, and a woman is crying. That’s enough of a reason for me to go. A gentleman never looks away from people in trouble.”
“Well, then…! Come back safe, you hear! That’s a promise, ‘kay!?”
After gripping Myuke in a powerful hug, I headed out.
Her gaze followed me as I went.
Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed this chapter from Orc Gentleman (^_^).
I was planning on doing it before BSDS, but some extenuating circumstances developed…
Does anyone want me to make a “release calendar” page?
I am trying to decide if I should make a specific release day…
If you want to support these chapters and more, you can consider donating or joining my Patreon.
Anything from $1 per chapter up is a huge help and incentive 😉
I will be making audiobook-style recordings of the chapters and offering them as benefits to Patrons.
However, I’m still considering the wisdom of recording R18 material…so for now, I’m sticking to PG13 (BSDS).
Nobody wants to hear my voice read ‘grunting’ sounds, right? (^_^) …or do you…O_o