Due to the current design's drawback, Gren created a total of three ballistae. He didn't want to create too many since he knew that he'd be able to make better ones soon but he also didn't want to risk them being empty with Ahk not around to reload them so he needed at least a few of them. He only made one crossbow for now to test it out; if he couldn't aim with it properly then it would be useless. There were some targets set up around the room and he was struggling to get the aim right.
"Emergency!" Gren heard someone yelling in the passageway outside of his workshop that he had in the underground. Was it an enemy attack? He didn't know what the emergency was so he brought his sword and ran out of the room. "Ah, Gren! Quick, someone needs your help!" The person that was screaming was a short bunny beastman. Gren didn't know her name but she was a so-called community leader among the demihuman women that would bring a list of complaints to Jessica each week.
Gren didn't know what happened but if they needed him then someone must be injured. Inside the room that he was brought to was a blonde girl laying face down on the floor. "We don't what's wrong with her so we didn't move her. She won't respond and she looks sick."
Gren recognized the patient and immediately figured out what the problem was. "Jessica's going to kill me." Gren turned the vampire girl over and cut his hand to drip some blood into her mouth. There was something wrong with the situation; he only forgot to feed her for half a day. She shouldn't be passing out from missing one meal unless she had been malnourished for a long time.
Come to think of it, she always did have sunken cheeks. Gren didn't think anything of it since the drawing in the Bestiary was of a vampire with sunken cheeks. "Hey, can you get some volunteers to donate some of their blood? I think she's going to need more than I can give her. Tell them that I'll pay them for their help." He didn't know if it was going to work but from now on he'd be giving her more blood.
The bunny girl--later on she told Gren that her name was Judy--ran to go find women that were willing to give up blood in exchange for some coins. Goblin blood wouldn't work due to the impurities in their bloodstream that caused them to be green in the first place so he immediately tossed them out of the room. The remaining women were all inactive guild members; a woman with horse ears on her head, a sheep beastman that really needed her wool trimmed, and the woman that kept insisting that she was human even though she was taller than Jasmine.
The vampire girl recovered after the second person donated some blood but Gren decided to collect more blood for later. It wouldn't go bad in his pocket dimension so maybe he'd have to start collecting blood for her. If he ever ran into those people that attacked him or some bandits then they can always help him out with that. It had to be human or demihuman blood or else it wouldn't nourish her and might even make her sick.
Gren left the vampire after he knew she'd be fine but he didn't feel like continuing to practice firing the crossbow. The constant failure was getting to him so he needed a change of pace. There was little entertainment in the guild and his wives were either pregnant or sick from the weather so he didn't have much to do. It had been a while since he talked with Annie--he was always busy with missions lately--so he decided to go to the infirmary.
Jacob's old room had been converted to a place to care for the injured. Having Faith and Annie sleeping on a single large bed just didn't make sense when Gren had the system. Gren made several smaller beds and used the pure white cotton available only in the system to help it look more like a hospital room. When Gren entered the room, he was a bit surprised by what he saw.
Annie was walking around on two legs, completely naked except for the the backpack she had on. "Hey, Gren, isn't it cool?" Annie saw him but she had gotten used to being naked around people due to her injuries so she didn't really care about him seeing her. "Mimi and I have been practicing so that I can start doing missions again." Mimi was the shape-shifting woman; officially, her race was known as a mimic and she didn't have a name so everybody agreed to call her Mimi.
Gren was too interested in how the leg worked to care that Annie was naked. There was a slight bulge around where the part of her leg was injured and it continued up to her back where it was connected to a hole in the backpack. "I can't feel it but Mimi can read my thoughts which makes it easy to move around with. I can run or even jump around without any problems like this." Annie started jumping up and down to show that her combination with Mimi gave her back her mobility.
"Am I interrupting something?" Jessica didn't know what she was witnessing. Gren was crouched and watching as Annie was jumping up and down in front of him while completely naked. Was this some sort of sexual thing that Gren was getting into?
"Annie was just showing me how she can get around now." Gren touched the leg after Annie stopped jumping. Mimi made a small sound in the backpack when his hands came in contact with her skin. "It's impressive. How did you even come up with this idea?"
"Miss Flours came up with it. She said that I might be necessary for the upcoming mission that she called 'the big one'." Gren was intrigued.
Just what made this mission so deserving of a name like that? Why did it need to have Annie instead of a less-experienced scout like Shenzi? He needed to know. "What kind of mission is this 'big one'? Is it the same one that requires Ahk."
"It's a subjugation request that we received and it's our first step into expanding our services outside of the Adier Duchy. The job is to clear out an old Elven fort that has been occupied by bandits. Both Ahk and Annie will be necessary for this mission to succeed with no casualties." That definitely sounded like a tough job. Bandits were already annoying enough to deal with when they didn't have a fort to hole up in.
"Annie was telling me about how she had led teams of mercenaries through dangerous monster-infested territory. We can really use her expertise on this one since the Elven fort is located in a forest that is occupied by dangerous monsters." Dangerous monsters tended to have more magic in them which meant that they were worth more points. If Gren could defeat them then he'd be much closer to upgrading his gear.
"Lesser dragons, great wolves, and warbears are just a few of the threats that I've learned about so far. Our active members won't be enough to deal with the bandits so I've been asking around; we've got a few inactive members that will be joining us and we can pay some independent mercenaries. I asked the Church for knights but they won't be going to the fort with you. However, they did say that they will deploy some knights to defend the guild while you're away and a healer to assist Estella if she goes into labor." At least now he knew why Jessica had been busy lately. She had been trying to coordinate different groups for a mission.
"Why the time limit, then?" Earlier, Jessica said that they would only be able to go if Ahk returned by tomorrow night. "Are there other guilds interested in taking this request?" He had already had requests taken from under his nose by their rivals. High-paying requests and simple ones that took a short amount of time and little effort were in popular demand.
"Nobody else is interested in the request, to my knowledge. That's why the request has spread to Adierton even though the fort is far west from Fort Togo and just to the east of the Seka Kingdom's capital: Sekaton." That really was far away for a world with such slow transportation. A carriage might be able to travel 80 miles in a day with decent horses pulling it while a car from his old world could do the same in an hour; maybe two hours at the latest with the dirt roads that they had to travel on.
"For independent mercenaries, time is money. The ones that I've talked to are willing to wait until tomorrow night at the latest before accepting other requests. They seemed understanding of our situation when they found out that Ahk was on a different request. If not for her then I don't think they'd be willing to wait so long." Ahk had gained a great reputation in the mercenary community so far and there were people asking for her by name now. She was really efficient when it came to killing monsters and was even able to kill a warbear with her bare hands. Warbears were like regular bears but twice as large and they had an armored carapace on their back.
The mission sounded like it would be a treasure trove of points but it also sounded like it would take a long time. The capital was a few days away on horseback. Their wagon and cart were not enough to carry everybody and they were much slower since they were pulled by hand. "How are we going to get to the fort? It would take us a month by foot."
Jessica seemed like she expected that question since she had a smug smile on her face. "It's quite simple. You'll be hiring a few carriages. There's a transportation company that I've been talking to. They have a branch in every city in the Duchy." No wonder she was acting smug. She obviously wanted praise. "All you need to do is take a ride to Fort Togo, hire another carriage in Fort Togo that will bring you to the capital, and then walk to the Elven fort. The good news is that we've got a request to escort some merchants that we can take in order to offset the costs of the horses and carriages."
"You've really thought about everything, haven't you? That's why you're such an amazing wife." Gren hugged Jessica and squeezed her butt, making her squeal.
"If the two of you are going to flirt then please leave the room. Faith and I don't need to see that." Annie was already dressed but Gren didn't even see her putting on clothes. He was too focused on listening to Jessica.
"Why are you ruining my fun? It's not every day that you get to see people having sex."
"Shut up, Mimi. If you want to watch them then leave me out of it." Annie didn't like the idea of people having sex ever since she found out about her sister's incident. It wasn't like she was a virgin but now she couldn't even accept the touch of a man. Gren was an exception; he was a little brother in her eyes, not a man.
"Nobody is having sex with anybody." Gren was only trying to tease Jessica, they were blowing things out of proportion. It wasn't that he didn't want to have sex--on the contrary, it had been a month since the last time he did it so he really wanted to have sex--but he had to wait if he didn't want to injure one of his wives.
Gren was really getting annoyed with his body since it was constantly filled with hormones. Back when he was just Tommy, he didn't have this problem. There was almost no desire for sex in his old body. The missions were pretty therapeutic for him; killing the pests and designing new weapons helped to distract him from his sexual desires. Maybe it was best not to say that out loud. If he told anybody that then he'd probably be ostracized by the entire guild.