Ara sat down after placing a cup of tea on the table in front of Elena, who was reading a book.
Elena carried the cup of tea to her mouth while turning the pages of the book.
While watching this situation, Rei turned his eyes to the inside of the carriage.
Even though it hardly shook and gave off the feeling that where staying in a room somewhere, they were advancing to the dungeon without mistake.
「Should I say, as expected of nobility.」
To those words that were murmured involuntarily, Kuust, who was also reading a book on a couch near Elena, glanced at him for an instant before going back to his book without saying anything in particular.
Though he had openly glanced at Rei when the carriage first started moving away from the city of Gilm, after being warned by Elena, he began to treat Rei as if he didn’t exist.
It should be noted that the carriage was currently driven by Vel, who wasn’t inside the carriage.
This had been the original distribution of roles and he hadn’t needed to say anything in particular before they left. Though Rei had asked if a guard at the drivers seat was necessary, Elena told him that one of the effects of the carriage was to alert the people inside when it sensed hostility.
Because of that function, Rei quietly stayed inside the carriage. At the same time, as Set was walking alongside the carriage, he judged that Set would give a cry in the case of an emergency if they were attacked.
On the other hand, if any monsters or bandits did attack, they would end up as food for Set or corpses left out in the open if they were bandits.
「What’s wrong Rei. You don’t seem to be too comfortable.」
Elena called out to Rei, who didn’t seem to know what to do. It was natural that Rei was unable to settle down as he had never been in such a luxurious carriage.
「Because it’s the first time I’ve been in such a wonderful carriage, I’m a bit tense.」
「Hmm, such a thing. However, it will take about 2 days to get to the dungeon. Because you’ll get used to it sooner or later, you should feel at ease and enjoy the journey. ……If you like, I can lend you a book?」
「No, I also have some books for now.」
Elena nodded at his words, impressed. Books in this world are mostly hand copied, because of that, the cost of one book was quite a bit. Even the cheap ones were several silver coins.If it was the rare ones, it could cost several platinum coins.
「Any how, because I learned things like combat techniques and magic at my master’s place, it was necessary for me to learn about how to strip the materials of monsters I killed in order to keep working as an adventurer.」
「Is that sort of thing common for adventurers? Usually, the more experienced people would teach the newer people in the Knights. Ara, how about you?」
Including the case with carriage before, Elena asked Ara in order to soften her attitude towards Rei.
Though the memory of almost being killed the day before remained strong for Ara, after one night, she understood that she had overreacted and didn’t keep a stubborn attitude like Kuust.
(In this sense, the main problem is Kuust and Vel. Especially is Kuust’s high pride as a noble, he tends to look down on people who are not part of the aristocracy. ……If I can, I should eliminate this problem with that guy called Rei.
While Elena thought about that, while pretending to read a book……Rei turned his eyes to Kuust to see if he was planning to harm him somehow.
For Elena, the person called Kuust was a very reliable subordinate if not for his particularly high pride as a noble. Even among the knights of Duke Kerebel, he possessed greater skill with the magic spear. Elena did not worry about being betrayed and could feel at rest on the battlefield with him due to his pride as a noble and his adoration towards her.
While Elena thought about that, Ara spoke about her experience when she first joined the knights.
「That’s right. After I joined Duke Kerebel’s knights, I was taught various things by the seniors. For example, advice on where the armour used for training was stored and advice about combat……no mistake, it might have been impossible to keep up with the training if I didn’t hear from the seniors.」
「That’s right. Being in the Knights was like that, is it different for adventurers?」
At Elena’s words,Rei remembered the time he registered with the guild.
If he had been able to interact with the Claws of the Hawk, who had picked a fight with him, perhaps it would have become like what Ara had talked about. But.
「Though it wasn’t that there were no opportunities, I’m not very good at socialising as I had grown up with just Set and my magic teacher until several months ago.」
「I see. It doesn’t seem to be that way when I talk with you though.」
「When meeting with people, there are some that I don’t fit in well with. It’s not so with Elena-sama though……」
Rei glanced at Kuust for an instant.
Elena and Ara saw that and nodded in agreement.
「Well, because that’s how it was at the guild in the beginning, I had no choice but to study and learn by myself. ……However, after that, I have exchanged knowledge about adventuring with everyone from Axe of the Thunder God, who Elena-sama also knows.」
「So then, Rei, I heard that you met Elk during the time the subjugation force went to the Orc settlement?」
Maybe she became interested, Elena closed her book while sipping her tea.
Or maybe she was just taking care of Rei, who seemed to be a bit uncomfortable in the carriage.
Ara noticed the interest of her superior who she revered and, with some envy, kept quiet to listen to hear the story about the Orc settlement subjugation, which she had heard some rumors about from Vel.
「Well, that’s not wrong. In fact, if Elk wasn’t there, the possibility of the Orc settlement subjugation request failing would have been quite high.」
「No? I heard that Rei defeated the Orc King?」
「The one who killed the Orc King certainly was me. But a C rank party called Scorching Wind was also there. However, cornering the Orc King to run away from the settlement was because of Elk……I mean, the work of Axe of the Thunder God.」
「In the first place, Axe of the Thunder God was located at the most prominent place in the Orc settlement during the night attack. So they attracted and beat down all the Orcs that were in the settlement……should I say as expected of an A rank party, they gathered the most Orcs and fought with them without taking a step back. Because of that, the Orcs in the settlement couldn’t defeat Elk. Finally, the Orc King judged that there wasn’t a chance of winning and tried to slip away from the settlement with his close aides and a few of his subordinates. Following that, Set and I found them from the sky and defeated them in cooperation with Scorching Wind, who were nearby.」
「……I see. Though I heard from the story that it would surely have been impossible if Elk wasn’t there……would it have been really impossible?」
At Elena’s casual words, Rei felt an ice cold chill go down his spine.
Yes, she was asking if Rei had the means to deal with the Orc settlement by himself……no, she was asking if he could do it with Set and himself. However, though Rei could burn down the entire settlement in that case, he would have to use his magic to his greatest ability.
「The incident with Ara yesterday. Though I parried that large scythe you used, it was a heavy attack. I also felt the magic power from you. If I think about it……no, it’s fine. It’s pointless to talk about such things. Right?」
At Elena’s words, Rei repressed his restlessness and tilted his head as if confused.
「Well, I really don’t understand what you’re talking about.」
However, seeing Rei’s look, Elena gave a wry smile.
「I’m not good at expressing myself without actions, you don’t seem to be good at it either. ……Well, fine. Instead, what I want to say is, let’s have a spar after we camp for tonight. ……Do you mind?」
「I don’t think there’s particular need to have a spar though.」
「Why not. Won’t we be challenging the dungeon together after this? There’s no disadvantage in knowing each others abilities. ……I mean, we should at least find out the bare necessities.」
「Kuust should know enough about my ability. Ara would be the same.」
Hearing that, Kuust looked at Rei with an annoyed look. Ara looked at her revered superior, Elena, with a wry smile.
「Rei-dono, it’s impossible to stop Elena-sama so just give up. 」
Ara told him it was impossible and advised him to give it up.
In other words, it was already decided that he would have to fight a mock battle with her. Rei nodded with a sigh.
「In understand. It certainly isn’t good if challenge the dungeon in future without knowing each others abilities. I will shoulder the task.」
「I see, that’s great. Well then, I’m looking forward to tonight, it’s not too long to wait for. Rei, you should fix up your physical condition for tonight.」
Just as he answered, the sound of a whistle suddenly echoed through the carriage.
It was Ara who answered Rei’s curious mutter as she took her sword out of the sheath at her waist with a serious look.
「Rei-dono, this is the sound that happens when someone tries to harm the carriage, it’s one of the effects that has been given to it.」
「In other words, an attack?」
「Maybe. We’ll know if the enemy is a monster……or not……?」
Her words were interrupted as the sound of the whistle in the carriage abruptly cut off.
Ara was confused when the whistle was suddenly cut off. Kuust went to the window that opened to the drivers seat and called out.
「Vel, what happened?」
「Ah, about that. We were attacked by an Iron Snake……」
Kuust went back to grab his magic spear at once after hearing Vel’s words. However, Vel stopped him.
「No, it’s fine, it’s fine. Hey, can you see it?」
Following Vel’s glance, he saw the huge snake, twice as long as Set, with it’s head crushed by the sharp eagle claws of the Griffon.
Because the head of the Iron Snake had been crushed, the contents in it’s skull had splattered into the surroundings.
「The Iron Snake has basically been killed. ……As expected of a Griffon.」
Iron Snake. Though it was a monster with a low E rank, it had a high defensive strength contrary to it’s low attack power.
Matching it’s name, it’s body was covered in iron like scales, it had the defensive strength to complete block the weapons of low ranking adventurers. On the other hand, hammers, clubs and axes where able to hurt it somewhat due to the destructive power of the shock injuring it internally.
In contrast, despite it’s high defensive power, its main methods of attack were constriction, biting and sweeping with it’s tail, just like an ordinary snake. In addition, because its fangs had no poison, the monster’s offensive ability wasn’t something to worry about. However, with a sturdy defense and inexhaustible stamina, the resulting combination was a monster that wasn’t strong but was troublesome to deal with.
However, it was unable to withstand an attack from Set, who was a Griffon equipped with the Bracelet of Herculean Strength, a magic item that increased his strength, and quickly died.
Set’s cry could be heard as Kuust opened the door.
When Rei heard the cry filled with expectation, he gave a wry smile and spoke up to Elena.
「Elena-sama, do you mind if I get off the carriage for a little while to do something for Set?」
「Yes? What, this suddenly. Will an Iron Snake come out?」
Elena asked while putting her hand at the sword whip sheathed at her waist.
「Set seems to have killed the Iron Snake and he is asking me to store it.」
「It’s going to be Set’s dinner tonight.」
「……Ah, I understand. I see. Food is needed because Set is a living creature. But an Iron Snake?」
「That’s right. Though there is a variety of food for Set’s meals in the item box, because of the amount he eats, it never hurts to gather some locally.」
「Hmm, well that’s fine. Kuust.」
At Elena’s voice, Kuust called out to Vel in the driver’s seat to stop the carriage.
Rei got off the carriage after making sure it had stopped.
Rei praised and stroked Set, who had pushed his head towards him, before storing the Iron Snake inside the item box.
「Heh~, that’s convenient.」
Vel’s admiring voice could be heard as he saw the situation. Rei turned to look at Vel as he gave a piece of dried meat to Set.
「Ah well. As a solo adventurer, he’s more than enough help. ……Oh, my bad. We’d better get going at once.」
「Certainly. ……You too, though it may be difficult, can you try to get along with Kuust if you can? It’s because he has such a character that he has few friends.」
「Well, it’s up to him.」
After speaking with Vel for a moment, he went back inside the carriage.
(Though I thought he disliked me……maybe not?)
He left with such questions in his mind.