The Strange Adventure of a Broke Mercenary - Chapter 131
Ch. 131: Approached after Sunrise
The sun rose and soon morning came.
The group took turns keeping watch, but when the eastern sky was slowly turning white, Loren and Lapis were on watch, and both let out sighs of relief as they squinted at the sun coming up.
Although spending the night at a village where all the villagers disappeared was necessary, it wasn’t the nicest feeling.
Since nothing happened, they couldn’t help but feel some relief.
“No one came.”
There was no one who entered nor came out of the forest.
“What should we do today then?”
“We could start with investigating the village again and think about whether or not to check out the forest. If there’s something going on, it’s either the village or the forest.”
There was nothing out of the ordinary that they could see.
Lapis nodded at Loren’s opinion that those two were the only leads they had, and looked towards the tent that Klaus and the girls were sleeping in.
“I guess they aren’t like Sarfe.”
Loren wondered where he had heard that name and treaded through his memories to place it, and after a while, he remembered that he was the leader of the group that Lapis had been in, and had been the one to invite him to join them.
He remembered what he had done during their first job as well and understood that Lapis was worried that Klaus would do something similar.
“Well, he’s not iron rank for nothing. He must be considerate of place and time.”
“Or he learned how to be so.”
“Either way, as long as it doesn’t hurt us.”
There was a lot of firewood, possibly because the forest was so close.
They took some of it and Loren started a fire.
“I guess we could start boiling water and start breakfast. Could you go wake up Klaus and the girls?”
Seeing Lapis nod, Loren put a pot on top of the fire and poured water in it.
Since he thought it wasn’t good to eat heavily, he decided to do something simple, taking thin slices of bread, grilling them lightly, and putting cheese that were also lightly grilled on top of them.
Drinking alcohol first thing wasn’t good either, so he took a few tea leaves from his bag and dumped them into the boiling water, making a thin tea.
As Loren was thinking that this should suffice as breakfast, Klaus and the girls started crawling out of their tents.
“You’re pretty adept Loren.”
Klaus said, impressed as he saw what Loren had prepared, but Loren didn’t respond and just told him to get changed.
With his life on the battlefield, Loren was used to sleeping with all his armor on, but Klaus and the girls seemed to have chosen to take off all their equipment and sleep lightly, so they had to put everything on again.
But probably since they had been adventurers for a while, it didn’t take them long to suit up and come back out.
“Eat then we work. We’ll investigate the village again.”
“Alright. Hopefully we find something that would tell us what happened.”
Loren said as he handed Klaus a cup full of tea, and Klaus took it and shook his head, chasing away the rest of his drowsiness as he took a sip.
“You used good leaves. It has a good scent.”
“We had a funder this time around.”
“…If it’s from my own pocket, I guess I’ll make the most of it.”
As Klaus said with a nervous laugh, Loren handed him fresh bread with cheese on it as well.
As he took it, Klaus realized that all the girls were staring at him, and he tilted his head as he bit into the bread.
“Did you finally realize my charms or something?”
“You’re pretty lively first thing in the morning.”
Loren stared at Klaus with half opened eyes as he combed through his hair, but his brow furrowed as he noticed a wondering gaze from Lapis and grumpy looks from Ange and the other girls.
“Loren, are you getting friendlier with Klaus, by any chance?”
Lapis asked him, as if speaking for all the girls.
Feeling uncomfortable being stared at by everyone, Loren replied.
“He hasn’t done anything, so there’s no reason to treat him badly either, no?”
“That’s true, but…”
“Don’t worry. As long as his womanizing habits aren’t fixed, we can’t be friends.”
Lapis put her hand on her chest and let out a sigh of relief.
Seeing the other girls finally look away, satisfied, Loren looked back towards Klaus, wondering if it was a good thing if they were satisfied with such a response, but Klaus just looked back, still chewing the bread, asking him if he needed anything.
Loren decided to stop thinking about it and start breakfast as well.
As he went back to slicing the bread, putting them on the fire and putting cheese on top of them, Shayna’s voice rang out in the back of his head.
‘Onii-san, something’s coming. A great number of them.’
When he asked which direction, she told him west.
Putting down the knife and bread he was holding, Loren looked to the west.
A field spread out past the houses of the villages, but he couldn’t see anything like what Shayna had just warned him about.
But it was a warning from a no life king, so he couldn’t let his guard down just because he couldn’t see anything, so Loren tied his great sword that was next to him on his back.
“Loren? What’s wrong?”
As Lapis picked up the bread he had put down and took a bite, Loren wondered how he should word it.
He didn’t think they would believe him if he said something was coming even though they couldn’t see anything.
Of course, he could tell Lapis that it was Shayna if it were just her, but he couldn’t say that when Klaus and the others were there as well.
If he couldn’t mention Shayna, there was no credibility to his words.
“I think I saw something.”
Loren said so, knowing that there was no credibility whatsoever, yet not able to think of anything else to say, but Lapis’ face grew grim.
She threw the bread away and tapped Ange, who was reaching for a slice of bread.
“Ange, could you use the spell, <<Distant View>>?”
“O-of course. It’s an elementary level spell…”
The spell was a simple one that allowed the user to see off into the distance, and as Ange had mentioned, it was an elementary level spell.
It was a spell any magician could use, and it wasn’t something you would ask if they could use, but every now and then, there would be magicians who specialized in attacking spells, so it was common practice to ask.
“Then please use it.”
“That direction? Got it.”
Ange didn’t question Lapis’ request and started chanting.
“What’s happening? I can’t see anything…”
“Dunno, but I felt something bad.”
Loren didn’t like how what he was saying was so vague, but there was nothing he could do about it.
He even considered telling them about Shayna but comparing whatever was coming towards them and a no life king, it was obvious which one was more dangerous.
“Mercenary’s intuition? Sounds legitimate.”
“You doubt me?”
Loren asked Klaus, but he threw the rest of the bread in his mouth and shook his head.
“It’s the intuition of a battle-hardened mercenary. What else would you do except believe it?”
Nodding at Klaus’ words, Layla and Roll immediately started taking down the tents.
Loren felt kind of bad since they couldn’t even eat properly, but as Loren was trying to think of how to apologize, Ange’s warning reached his ears.
“I see a cavalry! Their numbers…I don’t know, but a lot!”
“Judging from the direction, it looks like they’re from the side of Wagenburg. I feel like there wouldn’t be a problem, but I don’t want to meet them either.”
“I’m not sure, but it only smells like trouble.”
The possibilities that Loren could think of was the war going on farther north, past the forest.
He guessed that it was probably some sort of unit that was participating in it.
There wasn’t enough information to know why they were coming towards the village, but adventurers making food with ingredients they found in an abandoned village wouldn’t be a good first impression.
“Nothing good’s going to come out of them finding us. Ange, are they coming this way?”
Loren stomped the fire out.
He had used dry wood so there wasn’t a lot of smoke that went up, but to keen eyes even a light smoke trail could be visible.
“It looks like they’re coming straight for the village.”
“There’s nowhere to run. We’ll have to hide in a house or storage.”
Loren considered running into the forest, but he wanted to avoid heading into it when they weren’t sure if something was wrong with it, so he took it out of their options.
“Let’s go with that then.”
“You’re supposed to be the leader of this party, right…?”
Klaus immediately started moving, but Loren glared at his back with half opened eyes.
Since Loren had received the information from Shayna, there was no way Klaus could’ve known anything about the situation they were in, but since they now knew, it should’ve been Klaus to think and make the decisions.
“Yeah, but you seem like you’re more experienced, you know?”
“I won’t deny it.”
Although he said that, he wasn’t sure what to think of Klaus not saying even a single word.
Not even knowing his thoughts, everyone started taking down their camp quickly and covering their tracks.