「Rei, wake up. It will be time soon.」
At that voice, Rei’s consciousness woke up from his deep sleep.
When Rei opened his eyes, he saw a Dwarf’s beard.
「Yes. I woke you up because it’s almost time for the night attack.」
At Brazos’ words, Set gave a cry as if he couldn’t wait for the fight to start. The soft cry reached Rei’s eyes through Set’s soft belly, which Rei had been using as a pillow.
「What about Freon?」
Pachi~, he looked around while hearing the crackling sounds from the campfire. He couldn’t see the figure of Freon, who had been sleeping here as well.
「Ahh, Freon already got up to prepare for various things. Indeed, women are troublesome!」
Before he could finish, Brazos was hit on the head by a tree branch that was thrown from the dark. Freon came out from the darkness while looking at Brazos.
「Seriously, stop making fun of women. This brutish old man.」
「Guh……that may be true but you still shouldn’t throw tree branches at me.」
Holding his head, Brazos picked up the tree branch that had fallen to the ground and threw it into the bonfire.
「Enough with that idiot……it’s about time, any problems?」
Freon asked Rei as she pulled her long sword out from her waist to check it.
With a smile, Rei gave a small nod.
「I have no problems. How about we have a light meal before going to subjugate the Harpies?」
Rei took out a huge pot from the Misty Ring while saying that. The pot was filled with the stewed dish here had bought in the restaurant before he left the city of Gimuru. At the same time, he took out plates and spoons for soup as well as a ladle to serve the stew to the others.
The rich aroma of the stew drifted into the surroundings and Set gave a cry that he wanted some.
「Here, it’s hot so be careful.」
Rei dished out more meat onto a plate for Set. At the same time, Freon and Brazos were licking their lips at the stew.
「It’s delicious. It would be great if I could drink some liquor with this.」
「Ahh, it’s delicious. There’s no way I could usually eat such food when camping out at night. ……Well, I guess Rei can keep a variety of things in his item box. ……However, Brazos. Liquor is banned.」
「Hmph, we’ll be fighting after this so let’s just have one cup to encourage ourselves.」
「What are you going to do if Rei gets hopeless drunk like last time. Seriously.」
Despite sighing, Freon ate the meat and vegetables contentedly.
「Having to camp out at night for a request, being able to eat hot, freshly cooked food is a big morale boost. I feel more motivation.」
「That’s right. Meals are also considered important in the army and what Freon said isn’t wrong.」
「……Because it’s normal for me to camp at night with my item box, I don’t really feel that it’s that weird……」
At their envy, Rei muttered that in surprise. The next moment, Freon and Brazos looked at him in amazement.
「Rei, there’s no point it telling other adventurers that it’s normal because you have an item box……that’s like the difference between rank A and rank H. No, you’re much more well off than that.」
「That’s right. In fact, as Freon said, with this item box, you don’t even need to carry anything around with you. ……Rei himself doesn’t seem to be aware of that fact though.」
Feeling that the situation wasn’t good for him, he stuffed the meat that had been cooked until that it could be cut with a spoon, he wasn’t sure what meat it was, into his mouth and swallowed it before speaking up again.
「By the way, what do adventurers normally eat when camping at night? As you know, I basically act solo. Even if I form a party, it’s usually temporary, so I would still use my item box. I don’t really understand what food ordinary adventurers would have to eat.」
You’re clearly trying to change the subject. Freon and Brazos both looked at Rei. Freon scooped some potatoes out of the stew before speaking.
「It’s pretty much hard, baked bread. You would soften it with water to eat it. ……If there was someone good at hunting in the party, you would catch wild birds and animals to cook and eat. Ah, you could also eat the meat of some monsters you encounter and kill along the way. However, I guess that would only happen if you were lucky? Even if I say monsters, the meat of Goblins, for example, is not really edible. It’s also rare for adventurers to have salt on them to use to cook meat.」
「……Why don’t they just carry salt with them?」
Rei asked Freon. Actually, the Misty Ring contained a variety of spices that could be bought in the city of Gimuru……
(I think it would be better not to tell them about this.)
「I can understand why you would ask that. In fact, if it’s just a bottle of salt, it doesn’t really make much of a difference to what you carry. That is true regarding ordinary requests. But it’s not uncommon for the weight difference of that one bottle to have an effect in a life or death battle. Because of that, at the very least, Crushing Warriors doesn’t bring any along in order to reduce baggage as much as possible.」
Brazos words felt like an elder giving advice to the youths. But……
「Considering all that, you shouldn’t bring any bottles of liquor along.」
It was spoiled by a single sentence from Freon.
「Ridiculous! Liquor and salt are two different things!」
While talking like that, they finished eating after about 10 minutes. Rei put the pot, which still had a lot of stew, the plates and spoons back into the Misty Ring.
「Now then. You two, are you ready?」
Rei and Freon nodded at Brazos question. Set answered with a cry.
Each of them held their weapons in their hands, ready to retaliate against any monsters that might jump at them from the forest at night.
「Well then, lets go. It’s already midnight. the Harpies are probably asleep as well.」
「I don’t have any issues……but how do we attack? Are we going to kill the Harpies outside the nest one at a time?」
「That’s the plan, do you have any other ideas?」
Brazos asked as he extinguished the fire by covering it in sand. Rei nodded as he watched on.
「Ahh. I don’t know if you know, but I’m not a pure warrior, I’m a magic warrior. I also specialise in fire magic……. Thanks to someone, I can also use some wind magic.」
「……In other words, you want to throw magic into the Harpies nest?」
Extinguishing the fire, he turned to look at Rei with the eyes of a veteran adventurer compared to the friendly atmosphere he had earlier.
「Ahh. Isn’t the Harpies’ nest on the mountain summit? There shouldn’t be a danger of spreading fire around.」
「Hmm……that’s right. It certainly wouldn’t be a problem if that went well.……」
Brazos though as he glanced towards the mountain summit. However, Freon interjected here.
「It’s no good. Brazos, have you forgotten the stories we heard from the miners? This mountain has a strong wind that blows down from the summit to the base at night. Consider what would happen if you used fire magic here. If his control was off by even the slightest amount, we would cause a forest fire. ……No, it would be good if we got off with just a forest fire. The mine could also become useless due to the fire. What kind of penalty would we receive from the guild?」
「……I see. Because of the wind blowing down, there is a risk of causing a fire if fire magic is used. It’s not that great but without using magic, we’ll have to kill them one by one.」
「However……in that case, is it possible to kill all the Harpies? Although you said that we would quietly taken them out from outermost ones, we can’t be sure that they won’t notice.」
「However, what would you do if a forest fire happened like what Freon said?」
Rei was silent at Brazos words.
(It’s true that the biggest reason to clear out the Harpies nest is to open up the mine again. Thinking about it, it really isn’t that good to use large scale fire magic here. ……Damn it, I could manage it somehow if there wasn’t a wind blowing down.)
「I understand. Let’s head for the Harpies nest for now. If we go there, we may come up with something good.」
「……Well, that’s fine. Just as I said before, safety is the top priority. Because it might cause a forest fire, don’t use any large scale fire magic.」
「Ah. I understand that.」
Perhaps Set felt sorry for Rei at Brazos’ reply, he gave a cry asking if Rei was okay. Rei rubbed Set’s head.
「What, don’t mind it. Besides, this time I’m not working solo but in a temporary party with the members of Crushing Warriors. I’ll follow the leader’s instructions.」
Rei scratched Set’s head with a smile as he said that.
「I see, if you were acting solo, then you should act according to what you think. However, as you said, you’re currently a member of Crushing Warriors. ……In addition, we are quite skilled adventurers. You should follow us on this don’t you think?」
「You’re almost as skilled as a mature woman.」
「Shut up old man. I’ll split your head in two.」
The moment when she heard the words ‘mature woman’, Freon brought up the sword in her hands. She scowled at Brazos while emanating blood thirst.
As expected, even Brazos fell back a bit as cold sweat dripped down his back.
「M-My bad. I said too much. I know that Freon is still young and youthful.」
「……There’s no next time drunk old man.」
Glaring at Brazos, Freon took a deep breath.
「Hey, it will be bad if we head up to the summit carelessly. If we keep talking like this, we will be here until dawn.」
Brazos looked like he wanted to say something to Freon, but if he said something unnecessary again, Freon might really swing her sword down. Feeling instinctive fear, he kept quiet.
Rei kept his silence. Seeing him like that, Set also didn’t make a sound..
Like that, Brazos, Rei, Set and Freon went up the mountain path in that order.
From the point they entered the mountains to the mine, a path had been created by the miners repeatedly trekking through the same path. But since people hadn’t come through for a while, the path didn’t exist anymore. At most it was now an animal trail.
The three people and one animal continued on their way.
「Tch, these branches and vines are annoying.」
Swinging her sword, Freon cut through the obstacles in their way. Originally, this would be done by Brazos, who had the greater physical strength. However, even after Brazos had clear the path, the difference in height between the two of them meant that Freon had to clear the path a second time for her to get through.
Still, she was a C rank adventurer. For ordinary people who weren’t adventurers, they would likely run out of stamina at the pace they were climbing the mountain……it about an hour, the summit of the mountain came into view.
「……Set, is quite amazing.」
While wiping away his sweat with a cloth Rei had handed him, Brazos looked at Set in admiration.
Normally, night time was the time for monsters. In addition, there were many monsters that would become more ferocious compared to in the daytime. Right now, they were in a mountain. Normally, they wouldn’t be able to climb a mountain with as few attacks from monsters as they had.
……Still, they were attacked several times by some low rank monsters which couldn’t feel Set’s strength.
The low rank monsters didn’t have the tasty meat that Set enjoyed. Because of that, Rei just cut out the magic stone and proofs of subjugation before leaving the corpses where they were……perhaps they would satisfy the stomachs of other monsters around.
Leave it to me, Set seemed to say with a cry. Rei smiled at that confident cry as he cut away the bushes……
「I see it.」
They finally arrived at the mountain summit.