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Chapter: 198

The next day, Henry took William and half of his subordinates to the Whimsical Forest to look for Hipogriffs once again.

Dave was tasked with guarding their encampment, along with the six people in his team. The injured hipogriffs they had captured the day before were in their encampment and someone had to guard them to ensure that they were not attacked by wandering beasts.

Since the Gryphon was there to act as a deterrence, William could leave their encampment with peace of mind.

"Oh. I see! Thank you very much!" William said.

The deer in front of him bleated softly as it ran towards the depths of the forest.

"The territory of the second group of Hipogriffs is a mile away in that direction," William stated as he pointed Northeast. "Let's go."

Aerith walked beside William with a curious expression. "Did you just talk to a deer?"

"Mmm." William hummed his reply as he continued to walk.

"How did you learn their language?"

"It's a shepherd's trade secret."

Aerith frowned as she continued to trail behind William. "Do all shepherds know how to talk to their animals?"

"To a certain extent, yes," William replied. "It takes patience and years of herding to learn the skill."

"Can you teach me? I've always wanted to communicate with animals."

"It would be best if you learn from a druid. I can only talk to beasts that belong to the herd."

William couldn't possibly tell Aerith that his ability to talk to animals was inherited from his Elven bloodline. Just like his mother was able to talk to Skyla, William was only able to communicate with beasts that belonged to the herd.

Ironically, cranes also belonged to the herd category. This was why the red-headed boy was able to communicate with Skyla properly.

While walking in the direction of the Hippogriff's territory, a small Wren landed on William's shoulder and began chirping. Dia looked at the small bird and hesitated. She didn't know if she should eat it or not.

"Don't eat her," William said softly to Dia. He then glanced at the small bird and started to communicate with it.

Because William replied using chirping sounds, the wren on his shoulder chirped more excitedly.

Five minutes later, the bird flew away leaving William with a troubled expression. After pondering for a while, he signaled for everyone to stop.

"Don't make any sounds, I will check something first," William ordered as he climbed to the top of a tree.

When he reached the highest branch, he narrowed his eyes and stared in the direction of the North. Several birds could be seen fleeing in different directions as the trees swayed in the distance.

The Wren had told him that a group led by a "very strong" beast was headed in the direction they were going. When William asked the little bird descriptions about the creature, it only said that it was big and had wings.

The thing that worried William more was that the bird told him that it was not alone. There were at least three of them.

As William focused his attention to the North, the beast that his little friend had warned him about finally appeared in his vision.

"Wyverns…," William muttered as he saw three Wyverns rise from the tree tops carrying wild boars in their claws.

The biggest among the three Wyverns screeched and flew towards the North. The other two Wyverns followed behind their leader as they continued their hunt.

-- Pseudo-Dragon

-- Threat Level: A (High)

-- Cannot be added to the Herd

-- It is said that Wyverns descended from the bloodline of Dragons.

-- Has very high Aerial Maneuverability and boasts incredible fighting prowess.

-- Their tails have a poison stinger that is capable of inflicting poison strong enough to kill a human in minutes.

-- Wyverns are able to use Breath Attacks similar to Dragons. However, the damage of this energy attack is weaker compared to pure blood dragons.

-- This creature has the ability to further evolve and become a variety of stronger monsters. Some of their evolutions include Blood Wyverns, Storm Wyverns, Frost Wyverns, Fire Wyverns, and several other species depending on their location.

-- All Evolved Wyverns are of Centennial Rank and must be treated with great caution.

'Fortunately they found the boars before they found the Hipogriffs,' William thought as he watched the majestic creatures fly away. 'Now I understand why Conrad wanted a Wyvern as his mount.'

When Conrad told William that he wanted a Wyvern as his mount, his first reaction was to give the older boy the middle finger.

Conrad also understood that he was asking for too much, but he was the type of person that liked to aim high for whatever thing he wanted in life. William had already told him that he didn't have the ability to capture a Wyvern at this point in time, but if ever an opportunity arose, he promised that he would do his best to cater to Conrad's choice of mount.

Although William was tempted to ask Ezio, Damian, and Gideon for help, he decided to not move forward with this plan. If possible, he wanted to capture the Wyvern using his own ability and the manpower under his disposal.

'I'm sure Psoglav would immediately run tail if he was summoned to fight against a Wyvern.' William chuckled at the thought of seeing the Demonic Dog running away in fear after it was summoned in front of a Wyvern's gaping jaw.

After the short interlude, William and the rest of his group went deeper inside the Mythical Forest. They saw various creatures eyeing them from a distance, but none of them made any move to attack each other.

Although Humans often wandered inside the forest, most of them were strong individuals. This was why the Beasts merely observed the shepherd's group and made no attempt to hunt them down.

After an hour of walking, they finally arrived at a meadow with a steadily flowing brook. The meadow was quite big and William estimated that it was at least a mile long. Several beasts like deer, moose, and wild bison grazed peacefully in the distance.

Not far from their location were the magical creatures that William and his group sought after. It was none other than a herd of Hipogriffs.

Compared to the one that they had first met, the members of this group numbered more than a hundred. The Alpha of the group stood in the middle and eyed William's group with a calm gaze.

Before William could even walk towards the Alpha Hippogriff to talk, a rumbling sound was heard not far from them.

From the depths of the forest, a platoon of centaurs carrying pikes and bows charged in William's direction. The half-man, half-horse creatures stopped twenty meters away from the humans and eyed them with vigilance.

-- Humanoid Creatures

-- Threat Level: C (Mid)

-- Can be added to the herd.

-- Success Rate: 20%

-- A centaur has the body of a horse topped by a humanoid torso, head, and arms. Most of them avoid conflict but fight fiercely when forced to do so.

-- They are experts in melee and ranged combat.

-- Their preferred weapons are spears, pikes, and bows.

-- Some of them are born with the ability to wield magic but these are very rare cases.

"What are you humans doing here within the territory of our Chiron Tribe?" A centaur carrying a silver spear, and wearing a silver helmet, asked in a booming voice.

"Chiron Tribe? Are you that same tribe that the Sword Saint allowed to settle in these lands?" Cid asked back.

The centaur snorted and faced the Sword Saint's disciple with arrogance. "Allowed to settle in these lands? Boy, you'd better watch your mouth. Or else, I will be more than happy to cut out that tongue of yours."

"You can try," Cid replied. The boy was about to unsheathe his sword, but was held back by William's hand.

"What did I say about not getting in the way of our mission?" William asked with a smile. "I'll handle this. Everyone, don't draw your weapons."

The Half-Elf stepped forward and addressed the person who seemed to be the leader of the Centaurian platoon.

"My name is William Von Ainsworth," William announced. "May I know your Excellency's name?"

The centaur captain looked at William with a frown. His instinct was telling him that the boy in front of him was not an enemy, but a friend. However, he had met a lot of humans in the past and all of them were sly creatures who not only stepped on their kindness, but even captured their tribe members in order to sell them as slaves.

In short, the Centaurs inside the Whimsical Forest were wary of humans and would usually repel them whenever they met them in the forest.

"You can call me Bastian of the Chiron Tribe," Bastian answered. "What is your purpose for coming to our territory?"

"Before I answer your question, may I know your relationship with the Hipogriffs?" William inquired.

Bastian and the rest of the Centaurs immediately took a fighting stance as they glared at William.

"So you are here to capture Hipogriffs," Bastian said in contempt. "As expected of the greedy humans. All you know how to do is make the creatures of the forest your mounts or slaves!"

"Wait! You are making a very big misunderstanding here." William raised both of his arms in order to calm the Centaurs who were about to engage them in battle. "First of all, I'm not a human. I'm a Half-Elf. Secondly, I came here to negotiate with the Alpha of the Hipogriffs and not forcefully take the members of its herd away."

While William was explaining his reason for coming, the Golden-Winged Hippogriff had walked towards his location and raised its head arrogantly towards the foreigners who entered its domain.

'I was already informed by Jeros about your purpose for coming,' the Alpha Hippogriff said via telepathy. 'The answer is No. I will not allow you to take any member of my herd and be used as mounts!'

The Alpha screeched hatefully at William, while Bastian held his spear firmly in his hand. The Hippogriff had allowed him to listen to its reply to William because both of them had made an alliance. As allies, it was only natural for both of them to stand against the intruders that had entered their domain.

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