But before they began their journey, Zach gave Luna a thorough look over. He ran his eyes all over her body from top to the bottom causing her to convulse in nervousness.
Zach thought something before he checked his arsenal and pulled out an oversized hooded robe that had once been the part of his camouflage equipment. The robe was slightly tattered at the edges but was still well kept. Its dull grey color made sure that it didn't attract any attention from the masses.
"Haaaah…wear this over your clothes. Make sure to cover yourself completely." instructed Zach with a helpless look on his face.
Luna stared at him inquisitively with her big eyes as her inquiring gaze alternated between the cloak and Zach.
Zach felt uncomfortable under her questioning gaze but urged her to do as he said with a somewhat stern and serious expression as he explained his reasons.
"You are too pretty and that might attract unwanted attention towards us. Let's be low key until we can be sure that there is no more danger to us."
Luna was secretly happy in her heart as she heard his reason; after all, there was no woman in the world who didn't like hearing compliments from her beloved.
She put down her things and used the cloak to cover herself completely. The robe was so oversized that it hid her figure completely. The hood covered her facial figures. Even her vision was partially blocked due to it.
Zach looked her over once again and found it to his satisfaction. There was no way anyone would think that under the dull grey tattered robe hid a femme fatale capable of bringing down nations with her charm.
With the blue sky and the trees as their companions, the two set out with no particular destination in mind. Zach was planning to roam around the forest until he stumbled upon or triggered a system quest that would provide her the new direction to work towards.
The two of them stayed on their feet for most part for the first few days as Zach wanted to put in some distance from their last known location just in case they had some pursuers. Other than to eat and rest a few hours a day, they stayed on the move at a consistent but slow pace.
Zach stayed cautious throughout and carefully erased any trails that they might have left behind so that even if someone tried to track them, it now became impossible for them to follow after Zach and Luna.
Unlike what Zach had expected, Luna proved to be quite low maintenance and persevered through the long walks without complaint.
At first he thought that she was forcefully holding on but after careful observation he came to the conclusion that she really was fine. She had high stamina and endurance which meant she didn't slow him down at all. She kept following him at his pace and didn't' once play the girl card to rest except for when they came across a water source and she wanted to wash herself.
The reason for his shock was that Zach had forgotten she was a D rank mage which was a significant achievement for someone her age in this world. On top of that her race granted her an additional advantage in terms of physical attributes compared to humans as their bodies were slightly more durable.
Another reason for Zach's surprise was that he had been judging Luna based on when she had been weakened to the point of passing out or when she had been injured. This was the first time he was travelling with Luna in her peak form.
Zach didn't just waste his time either. He trained his new weapon, the Flame Gloves on a daily basis in between their long walks. During the rest time, Zach practiced his weapon control on static dummies made from tree trunks and did mental simulation of different combat situations while walking.
After watching him diligently training every day, Luna began imitating him as well. She trained her fire control till the point of exhaustion before sleeping at night and every time her bright crimson flames dyed the night sky a reddish hue.
No matter how many times Zach witnessed Luna training her flame control; he couldn't stop himself from admiring the scene of the fire goddess dancing in the night sky while surrounded by raging crimson flames on all sides.
The opportunity that Zach had been waiting for came sooner than he had expected.
He heard a ping sound which could only have been from the system. He was a little disappointed that it wasn't a quest but the alert that he had set in case strangers came in the vicinity.
Zach pulled out the navigational map of the region in order to determine the accurate location of potential threats. The map showed a cluster of signals gathered around a red signal.
Instead of taking the opposite direction, Zach decided to approach the dots marked on the map. Luna as usual didn't state her opinion and just followed after him with a smile on her face as if it was the most joyous thing to do.
From afar, Zach noticed signs of battle all around him but didn't pay them any heed as he moved in the direction of the location markers on the map, with Luna trailing behind him.
Not long after, they heard explosive noise in the distance like fireworks exploding in the distance. This confirmed his observation that there really was a battle ongoing.
When Zach felt that they were close enough to the ground zero of the battle, he asked Luna to hide herself behind the tree trunk as he climbed to the top of the tree for a wider field of view. He perched on a thick branch and scanned the vicinity for any hidden enemy that wanted to take advantage of the situation to be the oriole.
After being sure that there was no one lying in wait, Zach relaxed as he witnessed the fight with indifferent eyes.
The battle seemed to be between a group of humans and a fierce beast that was comparatively smaller than the Earth Bear that he had faced earlier.
But based on the overall strength comparison, there wasn't much difference between the two. While the Earth Bear had been a strength based beast, this one had a battle style that was more oriented towards agility rather than strength. That coupled with its frequent ranged attacks, the beast was quite a dangerous one.
"That's undoubtedly a Dark Steel Hedgehog which is a D rank monster. It seems that we entered its territory without permission. The beast is considered to be exceptionally strong even among the top of D rank ones." Luna's voice reached his ears as if she was right in front of him.
The group of hunters comprised of no more than 10 individuals but none of them was strong enough to even get close to the enemy.
Each of them was proficient in wielding their weapons which meant that they had experience but lacked the strength to finish off the beast. Even though there were two to three mages in the group, their magic was not strong enough to penetrate the defenses of the hedgehog at their best.
Zach surmised that the mages were either F rank mages or beginner E rank mages with relatively low magic power. Even if these people attacked all day, they wouldn't be able to get rid of the beast.
Zach was wondering whether to help the group of humans or not since he didn't know the opposite party at all.
"Master, are you thinking of helping those humans?" Luna asked him worriedly.
"I am thinking about whether to do it or not."
"It's a D rank beast specializing in the wood element. Its spikes are made of wood but the strength behind the ranged attacks can even be compared to C rank beasts due to how hard these spikes are. Its body has high defense due to these spikes so it is better to handle the beast from afar and avoid any close quarter combat if possible. Its weakness is fire element of the same level as it is a wood element beast." Luna told him everything she knew about the beast in detail since she thought that Zach needed to know everything before he made his decision to step out to help the humans or not.
[A sudden quest "Thorny Beast" has been generated.]
[Quest Description: During your travels you have come across a wood element beast that is terrorizing a bunch of humans who are unable to suppress it with their meager strength. Being a dutiful human who still cannot let go of moral values, you cannot stand by and watch a massacre. Step into the battle and use your might to take down the beast using the fire element that has awakened deep inside of you.]
[Quest Clear Conditions: Hunt the D rank Dark Wood Hedgehog using fire element.]
[Quest Time Limit: Before a member of the human group dies from the attacks of the beast.]
[Quest Failure Penalty: ---]
Zach read the familiar notification messages with relish as he had been waiting for the system to take the initiative. He read through the quest description and surmised that he had to use the fire element to take down the beast.
As of now, the only fire element weapon in his arsenal was the Flame Gloves. Even though he might suffer from the impact against the thorns of the hedgehog, Zach had to do it to clear the quest dished out by the system.
Luna watched him take out some gloves out of nowhere. She could tell that the gloves contained a lot of fire.
Just when Zach was about to rush out and punch the Dark Wood Hedgehog to smithereens with his Flame Gloves; Luna lunged towards the rolling ball of thorns with an agility that far surpassed him leaving him gawking in surprise as his movements came to a halt.
"I can't let Master get hurt." was the leading thought behind Luna's initiative. She had seen Zach taking out the Flame Gloves in order to fight the Dark Wood Hedgehog and knew that Zach couldn't kill the beast unscathed even if he did manage to kill it.
Therefore, she felt that her abilities were more suited to bringing down the beast compared to Zach.
Like his good little woman, she didn't tell him off fearing that it might hurt his pride and took the lead in engaging the beast by boosting her agility using the explosive power of her flame. It acted like the after burner of the jets in the other world and propelled her in the direction of the beast at a speed that easily allowed her to break past Zach at his best. The air pressure from her propulsion broke his stride and forced him to come to halt as his lower jaw hit the ground in shock at this surprising turn of events.