Recently, a terrible rumor has begun to circulate in the Deer Village.
It’s called Deer Village because there are a lot of deer around it.
Rumor has it that something terrible has happened in the monastery of Tibella, which is located on the mountain behind the village.

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What a terrible thing to happen to the monastery of Tibella, goddess of peace and mercy! It was Abil, the sharpest hunter in the village, who raised the suspicion.

He was in charge of delivering supplies to the monastery every month, and was surprised when he opened the box to fill it with new items.

Inside, the food he had put in last month was rotting with a bad smell.

Abil rushed to the entrance of the monastery because the monks, who would not come down from the mountain unless it was for something special, would not have suddenly thrown away the food.

He lifted the handle straight away and slammed the heavy iron door.
But there was no response from beyond the door.
The nuns, who would usually greet Abil with a benevolent face, did not even show their faces.

Due to the fear created by the unfamiliar silence, Abil ran down from the mountain and told the villagers what he had seen.

Anxiety began to creep into the village.
People glanced at the mountain behind the village several times a day.

While rumors created by a mixture of unusual events and people’s concerns escaped from the village, Chief Rancell’s worries deepened.

Today, he gathered people to talk about the affairs of the monastery.
But the conversation was standing still.

“Is there a way?”

“Village Chief, we’ve been farming all our lives.
How can we come up with something just by putting our heads together?”

“Ever since some of the fearless people saw something near the monastery, they were all terrified and did not even go near it.
It’s not something we can do about ourselves?”

Rancell swept his shiny forehead over and over again.

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“And let the baron know about this? What do you think, that gold addict will do? When things are settled, he will raise the taxes several times in the name of moving the soldiers, and if there’s nothing in the monastery, we’ll be given a scolding, but who will bear the responsibility for it?”

The hunter Abil then said in a crawling voice.

“But the village chief… The monks of the monastery were kind people who always prayed for us and blessed those who were sick.
No matter how hard our lives are, it doesn’t seem human to say that we can’t do anything.
I don’t feel good about it at all.”

Rancell squeezed his throbbing forehead with both hands.

It was late, but he still had to make a decision.
To say that the food put in last month was rotten means that it happened a long time ago, even before last month, but it was almost impossible to leave it unattended any longer.
As Abil said, it was not a human thing to do.

“Even so, it can’t be the baron.
I’d rather have a few guys go to the city and get some decent mercenaries.”

At Rancell’s words, people looked at each other.
It’s a tough job, because no one here was bold enough to haggle with rough people like mercenaries.

“That’s crazy.”

Rancell went mad when no one volunteered.
He was crying and thinking if he should let the baron know about this.

“Chief!”

The door swung open and a young woman came in.
It was Emma, the innkeeper.

Emma’s face flushed as she was burdened with so many gazes on her.

“Emma, what’s wrong? What about the inn?”

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“Well, that’s because a large man came and said that he had heard some rumors about the monastery and asked for its location.”

Rancell cut off Emma’s pouring words.

“Emma, don’t panic and speak slowly.
What about the man?”

Emma took a deep breath and slowly opened her mouth.

“A guest came to the inn, and he looked like a mercenary with a bow on his back and a sword around his waist.
He said he was going to have a meal and get a room, but he suddenly came over and said he had heard a rumor.
He asked for the location of the monastery.
I thought I should ask the village chief, so I asked him to wait for a few minutes.”

As soon as the words were finished, Rancell jumped up from his seat.

“I’ll go and talk to him!”

***************

Seeing the village chief continuously sweeping his shiny forehead, Luon tilted his head.

“Is it necessary to meet the village chief to find out the location of the monastery?”

“It’s not like that.
I’m just here to find out what you’ve heard about it.”

“What, are the rumors wrong?” Luon replied.

“I heard that a devil appeared in the monastery of Tibella.”

“Hey, there was such a rumor going around?”

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“The bards were talking about it like that? Am I mistaken?”

The village chief, whose complexion had become white, opened his mouth.

“It sounds like a big deal! I don’t know who spread it, but it has nothing to do with devils.”

“It means something is going on.”

When Luon hit the nail on the head, Rancell gasped and took a deep breath.
He nervously clenched his hands and said,

“It’s true that there’s no sign of activity in the monastery.
But a devil, I don’t want to imagine what the baron would do to us if this rumor entered his ear.”

“It’s not your fault that the demon appeared.
Why will the baron punish you?”

“He’s a small man.
And you keep saying devil, but it’s not like that.”

“Have you checked it yourself?”

“Well, that is

Rancell, who was stabbed once more, rubbed his face with his hands.

“Well, there are only farmers in this town.
There’s a hunter, but he’s not good enough for it.
Who has the courage to enter a spooky monastery in which all the monks had suddenly disappeared? I can ask the baron, but I don’t know what the madman is going to ask for in return… I have a headache and it’s killing me!”

Luon shrugged his shoulders.

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“Why didn’t you try to get a mercenary?”

“The people in this village don’t have the guts to hire mercenaries…?”

Rancell, who was about to complain, looked at Luon with a stupid face.

His eyes were large, which was appropriate for the expression.
He had a thick forearm with clear muscles under his shoulder, which was engraved with a large and small scar across it.

Luon smiled softly at Rancell, who had lost his ear.

“I am confident that I will work as much as the payment I received.”

Rancell swallowed his saliva.

“Are you really going to enter the monastery? That’s….”

“There may be no devils.
But the rumors have already got wings, and they’ll soon enter the ears of the baron, who you fear.
Wouldn’t it be better to get things done quickly? It doesn’t seem to be of any use in insisting that it’s not the devil, even though you don’t have the courage to enter the monastery yourself to check it.”

Luon interrupted Rancell and replied.
He didn’t want to continue the conversation going in circles.

Rancell took a deep breath and sighed.
He looked ten years older.

“Alright… I was going to hire mercenaries anyway.
Instead, I’ll pay you after the job is done.
It might not be a big deal, and I can’t pay the advance in a hurry.”

It seemed that Rancell could not give up hope that nothing would happen to the end, but Luon didn’t care.

“Do as you please.”

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