38. Megane-kun, Spending the last Afternoon Break
「We’ll arrive by tonight」
On an afternoon break on the eighth day, the coachman told us that.
Despite the slight drizzle, the weather is great. Today is another sunny day. A strong rain can drain the horse’s stamina, and it might get sick at worst. In addition, if the ground is worsened by the rain, our speed will drop no matter what we do about it. I assume, if that happened, we would have to stop by the nearest village or town. Not only wouldn’t we be able to make progress, but the ground also wouldn’t provide a good resting spot, so camping out wouldn’t work.
Although the environment inside the carriage was bad, there was no obstruction from outside, like magic beasts and such, so we progressed without much trouble.
Chace’s voice has no spirit in it. I’m sure he’s more relieved than glad when he heard that the trip is finally over.
I feel you. After all, we’re all burnt out from the long trip with this carriage. Me? Me too, of course. I’m as tired as everyone is, I’m just the type that doesn’t show it on my face.
By the way, we don’t take an afternoon break often. There won’t be enough time to hunt, so Chace’s cooking will be out of the schedule as well.
Around the fifth day, I asked the uncle if the horse would be fine if it kept being worked like this, but the uncle only told me I don’t need to worry about it. At the end of the day, the horse who had worked the most does not seem to be affected nor physically drained. Even right now, it is eating grass like a boss.
It is just a thought but… similarly to Cherry, the coachman can probably use healing magic. Looking at the condition of the horse, it is evident that it has recuperated well. However, that is not something I will trouble myself with. Even if I were to inquire, he would probably not tell me as well.
「There is one thing I must say in advance.」
Eh? The uncle starts to talk? Whenever we start a conversation, his two main replies would be 「I can’t answer it」 or 「you don’t need to know it」, the only things we could squeeze out of him were the trip’s schedule and its progress.
Naturally, the other three are just as shocked as I am, and we give him full attention. Thoughts like 「this guy’s speaking, he’s speaking with his mouth」 or 「what is he going to say」 are shared among us.
「At the place you guys are going to, everything is self-sufficient. Daily necessities, household items, and furniture are all not available. There is no distribution of food as well. In the first place, there are no shops at all so you cannot make any purchases.」
Hmm. So that’s how it is.
「Eh? Even though it’s a school? It is a school, right?」
「Oh, so a school is like that」 I thought to myself, but Cherry next to me seems to be shocked by it once she’s healed from motion sickness.
「In the school I went to, other than class materials, the school provides the students everything they need…Ah, naturally, we pay them in the form of tuition.」
That’s a noble daughter for you. She has gone to a school before, the place only the riches can enter.
「You should’ve learnt along the way.」
However, the reply from the uncle is very direct and cold.
「Assassins are fundamentally secluded. Renting lodgings, staying in a town, going out in public; as an assassin, those conducts should be avoided unless necessary. Self-sufficiency is a necessary skill to keep yourself alive under those conditions. And that, too, is nothing but the minimally required skill. If you can’t sustain yourself, you can’t stay in the school.」
I understand why we did not stay in any lodgings throughout this wagon journey. We’re always camping out. We have not passed through a single village or town. On the contrary, we have not even seen them at all. I am very certain that we’ve detoured around it.
「Well, I got the whole self-sufficient stuff. And so… what? This our last pit stop?」
The uncle only nodded to Chace’s question.
「That’s why I told you about it. After all, this is part of my role. That’s all from me.」
Ah, so that’s what.
「Florentine, let’s go hunting.」
Florentine, who is munching on some jerky while listening to the coachman, turns over to look at me.
「What was it? Hunting?」
「Yeah. Basically, we’re gonna prepare tonight’s dinner right now. I don’t know what awaits us after we reach the school, but I’m sure we need to get our own food.」
That must be why we’re not given any provision for the trip. If so, then we have to provide it ourselves. We may be able to go hunting after we reach our destination, but unless we know the circumstances around there, we won’t be able to go out right after we reach there.
There won’t be any hunting grounds in the school’s vicinity and we have to go out far to find a spot with prey, for all I know.
Fortunately, the place we are resting right now is near a mountain. The hunting ground is right beside us. It won’t take much time to gather what we need if we hurry.
「And why’d you call for me?」
「It’s because I’m going for a big game so there won’t be any food shortage for the next few days. I want you to help me carry it.」
「Ahh, that so… Okay, that sounds good. But I get my share, of course?」
「I got it.」
Florentine throws the rest of her jerky into her mouth and stands up. Following her, Chace also gets on his feet.
「Leave the meat processing and wild herb foraging to me. I’ll do the cooking too. In return, gimme some of that meat.」
「I’ll help Chace-kun. Please share the food to me too.」
The other two who’ve understood the outline of the topic seem to think they need to provide themselves too. …Well, even if they don’t say anything, I am aiming for a huge game so the four of us can survive for a few days.
…But, considering the school’s self-sufficient policy, perhaps I’m the one in the wrong here. From now on, no more free sharing. Otherwise, we’ll never be able to learn to be self-sufficient.
As soon as we entered the mountains, I killed a magnificent wild boar. In fact, I could spot it from our resting place with the megane’s 「Night Vision」. While the bloodlet is taking progress, I am gathering some wildflowers and fruits. We don’t have any information about our destination anyway, it won’t hurt to be prepared.
Florentine, who is foraging like me, opens her mouth.
「I’ll let ya in on it.」
「Hm? What is?」
「My Gift, it’s called 『Anomalous Ogre』. In short, it’s a physical enhancement…just say my body got stronger, some type of magic what-have-you.」
Heeh. …Aah, that explains why she can lift those heavy stuff so nonchalantly. After all, she did carry a huge wild boar with just one shoulder.
「And here I thought you were born with it.」
「So did I. Up until I went to a Ceremony of Determination, I thought I was simply born strong. But it seems like I’ve been using magic subconsciously all this time.」
Subconsciously, eh. So there are cases like that, huh.
By the way, I’ve never heard a Gift by the name 『Anomalous Ogre』, but having a 「body strengthening Gift」 is wonderful. My mother has a Gift named 『Superstrength Farmer』, which means she is strong and suited for farming. Her slender arms are even stronger than the most robust men’s, and whenever she plows the fields and plants seeds, the vegetables she grows grow a bit faster and are of better quality. But, now that I heard Florentine about her Gift, I’m beginning to think that Mom is perhaps someone who subconsciously uses magic too. I mean, putting aside her supernatural-ish strength, her effect on the vegetables she plants feels like magic.
「So, why did you tell me?」
「I’m just seeing up ahead. Get me on ya when you’re out hunting big games. I can’t help with the hunting stuff, but I can carry things around.」
…I see. It sounds like a simple verbal promise, but this is a bit closer to terms for a contract. That, or perhaps she is offering herself as a 「porter」. If I have a job, make it hers too, is what she essentially said. And I only need to pay her with meat.
Well. That doesn’t sound too shabby.
There will inevitably be some parts that I have to throw away due to weight whenever I hunt for big games. But if I have Florentine with me, she’ll be a huge help. I can retrieve every single part without any waste. Besides, retrieving the games after dressing them is completely different from dressing the games after retrieving them.
Normally, you shouldn’t dismantle your prey in the hunting ground as much as possible. The smell of blood can attract the magic beasts. It is only ideal to reduce as many dangerous factors as possible.
「I got it. I’ll rely on you.」
「Good. Don’t forget the meat.」
Yup, eyes on the meat, after all. She does look like a carnivore, after all. Well, as two meat-lovers, I understand how she feels. I, too, a lover of meats. I just don’t show it on my face.
——With that, the last afternoon break of the wagon trip is over.
I forgot that today’s Sunday. Sorry. Hope it’s not too late.
Also, I think I’ve been mixing up demon beasts and magic beasts, but they’re the same thing (mamono). Why did I do that, you ask? Well… it’s hard to keep track of what do you translate as what when you’re translating 5 series all at the same time and they all have different translations for the same word, so…. my b! I’ll keep in mind not to mix them up again!
Also, tomorrow’s Ramadhan! I think! Hopefully!
Well, then, Marhaban ya Ramadhan~