While shaking with a gata~ goto~ sound, a single carriage advanced along the highway. The speed of the carriage pulled by the 3 horses was fast. A person wearing the robe, who was supposed to be a mage, was sitting in driver’s seat, holding the horses’ reins. A man who looked to be a warrior was sitting next to the mage, watching the surroundings for surprise attacks from monsters.
And inside the carriage.
「Uwa~, it really is warm. When were these bought?」
「Ah, I’ve forgotten but it should have been a few days ago, but no doubt it’s still freshly baked.」
Though Culotte was surprised, Rei just smiled as he took some freshly baked cookies from the Misty Ring and carried them to his mouth.
「Oh, it smells good. May I have one?」
「Sure. You should also try Firuma, they’re quite delicious.」
Firuma seemed to have been lured by the smell and involuntarily carried a cookie to her mouth.
「Oh, it really is. ……Your item box is great. Being able to eat freshly baked cookies at any time.」
「……No, I don’t think it’s normal to use an item box in this way.」
To Firuma’s words, Supervia answered, dumbfounded.
To Supervia’s appearance, Rei understood that his use of the item box was different from normal. He held out a dish holding the remaining freshly baked cookies while smiling wryly.
But Supervia looked at the cookies placed on the dish and shook his head from side to side.
「No, I don’t like sweet food.」
「Then I’ll have one.」
In response to Supervia, who refused, Gran stretched out his hand to grab a cookie before carrying it to his mouth.
「Mm, it certainly is delicious.」
Unlike Arogan, who was feeling the tension in the drivers seat outside, it was rather laid back inside the carriage.
Compared to yesterday, where Culotte had been aggressive to Rei because of her stress, after a day, she had become accustomed to the tension and had returned to her normal attitude.
As she was the eyes and ears of the party, he felt relieved at Culotte’s current state. While carrying cookies to his mouth, Rei spoke up to Gran.
「Though this test is a thief subjugation, should we consider catching them alive? During the Orc subjugation, I heard from Hobbes that it was possible to sell bandits as slaves if they were caught alive.」
「Ahh, you certainly could normally, after all, these are bandits……no, the aim is to see if you can kill the enemy if they are humans. Considering if you knock them all out……no, you shouldn’t mind that, just kill them.」
In order to stop them from falling to the thought that they didn’t need to kill people, Gran changed his words and told them to just kill them all.
Firuma and Culotte frowned their eyebrows slightly when they heard it, in contrast, Rei and Supervia accepted it without any change in their expression.
「But speaking of that, aren’t there at least 20 bandits? It seems a little difficult to take on that many opponents with 6 people.」
「No, not really. After all, we’ll be able to mount a surprise attack as we are the attacking group. ……However, whether we can launch a surprise attack or not depends on whether we can work together.」
To Culotte, who was murmuring anxiously, Rei replied.
In fact, even if you said bandits fought together with their companions, and considering other elements, such as human intelligence, though their degree of risk and their combat power was higher than Goblins, speaking in terms of ranks, they were at the equivalent of E rank, below Orcs.
However, because the bandits were humans, though to be precise, Elves, Beastkin and Dwarves were occasionally mixed in, adventurers below D rank may possibly hesitate to kill them.
「That’s true. In fact, Gran said that the participants in the test this time were quite good. In the first place, a party of 6 where 3 can use magic is a luxury for a bandit subjugation.」
Supervia overheard Rei and Culotte’s exchange and told them that with a wry smile to relieve her tension.
「……By the way, I can use spirit magic and the driver, Scola, can use wind magic, what magic can you use Rei?」
She might have had some interest as in the mock battle the day before, Rei had only used the Death Scythe in combat. Firuma leaned forward and asked.
Rei spoke while being somewhat puzzled at how Firuma was greatly different from the image he had of elves.
「Basically, my main magic is fire. However, though it’s power is strong, it also has a large area of effect. I’m not capable of adjusting my power, so in capture situations it’s no use as I would annihilate everything by turning them to charcoal.」
「Hmm. ……Certainly, from my view, Rei’s magic power is very high. ……That’s compared to high elves who are a higher ranking race, compared to elves……」
The last part was murmured so as to not be heard.
At the time of the rank up test meeting the day before, when Firuma saw Rei enter the meeting room, she could feel that his magic power was the greatest she had ever seen. Because of that, she was tense in the meeting room, ready to escape at any time if need be.
(In fact, Rei’s amount of magic power is not normal. It’s as if magic power had taken the form of a human. Indeed, a human can’t have that much magic power……is he not human? I see, it possibly could be. However, at the very least, mutual understanding is possible and there’s no need to be hostile.)
While observing and evaluating Rei in her mind, at the very least, she calmed herself down as the possibility of him harming them was low.
As for Firuma, compared to 10 or 20 bandits, she felt Rei’s risk was higher. However, the stress gradually disappeared as they continued conversing.
「Hey, Rei. Shouldn’t we set up camp soon?」
As the sun started to set on the advancing carriage, Scola called out to Rei.
Hearing that, Rei looked out the window and thought for a few seconds before nodding.
「You’re right, there’s a possibility of straining ourselves tomorrow if we overdo it on the first day.」
Nodding to Socla’s proposal, Rei opened the door that was connected to the drivers seat and called out to Supervia, who was driving, and Arogan, who was on lookout.
「Please stop if you find a good spot for setting up a camp.」
「Ahh, I understand.」
Supervia replied to Rei’s words while Arogan answered in silence.
The trouble from the departure time still remained and there was still tension drifting around the driver’s seats.
In such a state, Supervia didn’t have the nature to cause trouble and kept his silence, because of the event from a while back as well as before the departure that morning, Arogan’s fear of Rei kept him quiet as he watched for enemy attacks.
And discovering a place behind some rocks and shielded from the surroundings, the two people in the driver’s seats called the others and they decided to stay there for the night.
Stopping the carriage in an area protected by rocks, Rei took out the tent for the men. Culotte set up the tent she had for the women.
At the same time, Firuma, the elf, collected firewood from the forest nearby while Arogan drew some water from the river. With that, the camp preparations were complete.
After distributing the food for dinner.
「The watch will be in pairs. There will be 3 shifts.」
While saying that, Rei took out an hourglass from the Misty Ring.
It was a magic tool that he had purchased in a tool shop the day before, it was called Hourglass. Though it was only 5cm tall, because it was made with crushed magic stones that had been processed using alchemy, it was a fairly expensive magic tool. For a normal hourglass to measure for 2 hours, it’s size needs to be quite big, but as this hourglass was a magic item made with magic stones, it was possible to measure 2 hours with only the height of 5cm.
「Because the sand in the hourglass will take 2 hours to fall, switch out when the sand runs out. The first shift is Arogan and Scola. Second shift is Culotte and Supervia. Last shift is Firuma and I. Any objections?」
「What is the basis for the pairings?」
Sitting across the bonfire, opposite Rei, Supervia asked.
Although Culotte look at him in dissatisfaction as he asked about the pairings, Supervia ignored it and waited for Rei’s reply.
「The first watch is a swordsman and a mage. The second shift is a swordsman and a thief. The third shift is a magic warrior and a ranger. I intend to distribute our combat power evenly.」
TLN: You mean you want the elf, that power distribution is clearly not even😄.
「……Understood. That’s fine.」
After Supervia nodded, because there weren’t any other people with different opinions, it became free time.
While Culotte and Firuma were having a talk between women, Arogan was maintaining his magic sword that he was proud of. To train his magic, Scola was repeatedly creating and canceling the water whip he had used used in the mock battle yesterday. Gran watched them all without saying anything himself. Rei was eating a Kum Fruit, that he had bought in the city, for dessert, it had the texture of a pear with the acidity of an orange.
During this, Supervia approached Rei and called out to him.
「Rei, do you have a moment?」
「It would be good if it’s possible, but could you keep me company during my sword practice?」
「Anyhow, I want to move my body a little as I was stuck in the carriage for a long time today.」
After thinking about it for a bit, Rei nodded.
Though it would have been better to practice with Arogan, he judged that he wasn’t a good match for Supervia because of his arrogant attitude.
Though Supervia called out for practice, he also gave off the atmosphere that he wanted payback for the mock battle from yesterday rather than training.
「In that case, move a little bit further. There’s no need to injure each other doing this.」
「Ahh, that’s fine.」
Supervia nodded to Rei’s proposal.
Noting that they were too close, Rei took out the Death Scythe after moving a bit further away, Supervia also removed his sword from his sheath.
Seeing the state of the two people, Gran, Culotte and Firuma watched interestedly. Arogan frequently gave glances while pretending not to be interested. The only person who showed no interest was Scola, who was concentrating on his magic training.
「Here I come!」
Giving a sharp cry at Rei’s words, he kicked against the ground, entering his range. He judged that entering into close combat would render the length of the Death Scythe useless. And with that, Rei swung down the Death Scythe.
So far, it was the same pattern as yesterday. Yesterday, Supervia was blown away after blocking the Death Scythe with his sword. However……
「The choice I should make is evade rather than parry!」
Feeling the Death Scythe approach from his side, he lowered his posture to almost a crawl to dodge it. And, taking advantage of that, he stepped forwards and swept his sword in from the side……
「Not good enough..」
As he was about to go for it, at that moment, the handle of the Death Scythe that should have swept above Supervia was for some reason in front of him.
The long sword that was sweeping in from the side was naturally caught at the hilt.
As soon as his attack was blocked, he realised that his current position was dangerous. He tried to jump back immediately but as he was thinking that, something hit his ankles. Supervia was rolling on the ground before he realised it.
The huge blade of the Death Scythe was thrust in front of his eyes.
「……Now, what next?」
What next, though he heard it, he knew he had done his best against Rei. However, he didn’t understand why it happened. Because it was a rematch against the opponent who defeated him yesterday, he didn’t cut any corners. But despite paying careful attention, he still had his feet knocked out from under him without realising it at all.
As for Rei, he didn’t mind Supervia’s eyes, who were looking at him in some sort of shock. He readied the Death Scythe again after moving a few steps away.
「What’s wrong? Has the practice already finished?」
Maybe Rei’s words stimulated his pride, Supervia stood up.
After all, unlike yesterday, his feet had only been knocked out from under him. In this state, there was no problem to continue the training.
With a difference in ability that could be called overwhelming, it provided an extra stimulus to Supervia’s motivation.
He swung down the long sword with a yell, next was a side sweep, a stab, a low blow at his feet.
All those attacks were dodged, evaded or parried.
Like that, rather than calling it a mock battle, the fight continued for 20 minutes. Suddenly, Rei stored the Death Scythe back into the Misty Ring.
「What wrong? I can still continue.」
Though he said that, it was clear to everyone that Supervia’s breath was already ragged.
「If we continue, we’ll be fatigued tomorrow. We’ll leave it here for today.」
Though he was somewhat dissatisfied, he understood Rei’s meaning. Reluctantly, he returned his sword into his sheath.
In this way, the first night of the rank up test passed by uneventfully.