It was the first night after departing from the city of Gimuru. Rei and Elena had left the carriage to set up camp at a vantage point before the sun had fully set.
However, because Elena and Ara were going to stay inside the room in the carriage, the only people who would be sleeping outside were the three men.
Kuust and Vel had set up their own tent while Rei was setting up a tent for himself a bit further away.
「Sorry about that, Kuust’s selfishness that is.」
Vel called out as he approached Rei, who was setting up his tent.
The manner in which he apologised with a light tone while raising his hand was hardly like a noble. At the very least, there would be few people who could tell that Vel was a noble at the same level as Kuust.
Though the three men were originally going to use one big tent, because Kuust strongly opposed it, Rei set up a tent that he had stored in the Misty Ring for himself.
However, Rei didn’t mind and rather welcomed it as he didn’t want to breathe the same air as Kuust, who was clearly looking down on him.
While driving tent pegs into the ground to stop the tent from falling over, Rei turned to look as Vel, who had called out in a light tone.
Vel’s tone didn’t seem to have any feelings of avoiding him like Rei had felt back in the city of Gimuru. Rei shook his head while questioning that in his mind.
「What, don’t mind it. In the end, he and I are not too agreeable. In addition……」
Glancing for a second, he looked at Set who was pulling the opposite side of the tent to stop it from falling over.
「He doesn’t get along with Set more than me. Considering the possibility of strange issues occurring, it’s better to rest in a separate tent」
「I feel better after you said that. You may not have seen it but Kuust has his good points. Well, he rarely shows them to people who aren’t nobles……」
While talking about that, the peg was driven in and the tent completed.
「As expected of an adventurer, you’re accustomed to doing this.」
As Rei and Vel were talking, Set gave a cry and lightly pulled Rei’s Dragon Robe.
Rei, who understood what Set wanted from his cry, looked back to Vel
「I’m sorry, it seems Set is a bit hungry. I’ll leave for a bit to deal with the Iron Snake I stored during the day.」
「Ahh, I understand. I’ll inform Elena-sama so take your time. You might become mentally tired if you act solo for such a long time.」
「Well, I have worked in groups such as during the Orc subjugation and rank up test.」
Saying so, he moved a bit further away along with Set.
At the same time, tilted his head as he remembered the conversation he just had.
(Vel was certainly wary about me yesterday, there’s no doubt about that. However, why has that gone in a single day? Ara was basically the same, she idolises Elena……rather, because of her adoration, she probably let go of her caution due to a few words. However, Vel doesn’t look to be such a person. Not to mention he’s the thief of the party……well, that’s fine. In the end, I’m only a guard dispatched by the city of Gimuru to join this temporary party, it’s not necessary to poke my head into other things.)
While thinking like that, the reason for Vel’s nice behaviour and conversation remained in his mind.
What’s wrong, Set seemed to say as he looked at Rei. Rei shook his head slightly and took the Iron Snake out of the Misty Ring.
At the same time, he took out the book that listed how to strip materials, a book that he hadn’t taken out for a while.
Set stated motionlessly while waiting for the stripping of the materials to be completed. The looking at the situation from the side, it looked more like a friendly dog that a Griffon with a lion’s body.
Rei looked through the book while unconsciously smiling.
「Um, the proof of subjugation for an Iron Snake is it’s fang……haa, it’s not there.」
Any how, it’s head had been crushed by Set’s brute strength. It’s fangs had disappeared somewhere along with its head.
「Ah, nevermind. Anyone can make mistakes.」
While stroking Set, who was in a depressed mood, he continued reading about the materials.
「Material is……its skin. Well, because its defensive power is enough to call it an Iron Snake, it can easily be used as protective gear.」
Muttering, he pulled out the Mithril Knife from his waist. As it was called an Iron Snake, he didn’t use his usual knife for stripping materials. The reason was because it would be difficult to skin it with an ordinary knife blade.
That way, while putting magic power into the blade of the Mithril Knife, he stuck the knife into the neck of the Iron Snake and began to skin it.
Previously, Rei had been bad at stripping materials. But after Elk, the leader of Axe of the Thunder God, taught him some tricks during the Orc subjugation, his skills had progressed significantly compared to before. Although there were bits and pieces of flesh stuck to the skin, it’s final condition was completely different to when he skinned the Water Bear.
「Now then. Next is……」
Starting a fire with magic, he substituted some branches from trees growing nearby as skewers and roasted the meat of the Iron Snake that he had cut up with the Mithril Knife. Although the only seasoning used was salt, Set held the hot snake meat in his beak and swallowed it without caring. It should be noted that though Set ate the magic stone that was taken out, sadly, no new skills were learned.
Set ate the meat that Rei cut up while giving a joyful cry. The footsteps of four people were then heard from behind.
Because he knew who they were by their number, he didn’t mind the looks of amazement as he handed Set another piece of roasted snake.
「……A monster that likes cooked meat. I thought for sure they only ate raw meat.」
Turning around, as expected it was Elena and the other three. They looked with surprised eyes as Set cheerfully stuffed the roasted meat of the Iron Snake into his mouth.
Hearing Elena’s voice, Rei threw a roasted piece of meat to Set with a wry smile.
The meat that flew through the air was caught in Set’s beak and went into his mouth.
「Because he’s lived for a long time with me, he knows that the meat I grill is delicious. An ordinary Griffon would probably eat raw meat.」
「Umu~. Though I’ve have a lot of experience fighting monsters, I don’t recall any of them eating cooked meat.」
「Ah, Elena-sama. I remember reading in a book that Fire Dragons roast their prey with Fire Breath before eating.」
「Hou~. I certainly did hear that there are some dragon species who have an intelligence greater than humans. That may be true if I think about it.」
Elena nodded with an interested look at Ara’s words.
Ara laughed happily at the fact that she was able to attract Elena’s interest.
While watching the situation, Rei saw that Set had finished eating the last of the Iron Snake’s meat and turned towards Elena again.
「Well then, Elena-sama. Did you have any reason to come all the way over here?」
「Umu~. As I said during the day, I want to have a spar with you.」
Kin~, Elena flipped open the sheath of the sword whip at her waist with her finger.
Even that causal gesture would attract looks from the public due to her beauty and charisma.
However, Rei gave a wry smile and cut off his attraction to her before taking some distance from Elena.
As Set looked at Rei curiously, Rei stroked Set lightly on the head and told him not to worry, before taking the Death Scythe out of the Misty Ring and readying it.
「I understand, a promise is a promise, I’ll keep you company. ……As this is a mock battle, using magic will have a higher degree of risk. Because Elena-sama is my employer, do you mind if we use weapons only」
「Muu~, but I want to see Rei’s magic abilities……」
Though Elena said that dissatisfied, Ara’s words fell like thunder.
「Elena-sama, it’s as Rei says. What would you do if your beautiful skin got scarred!」
「Well, well, calm down Ara. In the first place, isn’t it Elena-sama? It wouldn’t be so easy for her to get hurt.」
Although Vel replied in a light tone, a dissenting opinion came from an unexpected person.
「No, I agree with Ara’s opinion.」
「……Kuust, did you also eat something strange?」
「Hmph, I am purely appraising his ability. Though I said it yesterday, personality aside, his abilities are pretty good. ……No, I’m saying too much.」
「What, didn’t you see the case yesterday Vel?」
「Of course I saw it. You mean when Ara recklessly charged forward to cut Rei?」
Because no matter what she said, it was a fact that what she had done was reckless, Ara wasn’t able to answer back. However, even if you said that Ara had significantly less ability as a guard than the rest of them in their group of nobles, she still had the power to fight back……adding to that, because they had gone to a city that was ruled by a small number of people, there was no helping that she overreacted a little. ……As to whether it was excessive was another thing.
Elena, who was listening to the conversation of the three, spoke up with a sigh.
「It seems better to accept Rei’s opinion so as to not worry Ara. That’s fine, let’s spar with weapons only then.」
Unsheathing the sword whip from the sheath at her waist, Elena pointed it at Rei.
Rei saw that and held the Death Scythe with both hands, ready to react at any time.
Both of them watched each others distance in silence while wating for an opportunity.
Though between a sword and a large scythe, a large scythe held the advantage of reach, Elena’s sword whip had the characteristics of both a sword and a whip. In terms of range, Elena probably held the advantage.
(And it’s also convenient in close combat as it can be returned to the form of a long sword, should I call it unfair?……
The sword whip had close range and long range usage. Rei judged that his Death Scythe’s would have the advantage at medium range.
Elena thought of the same thing and wielded her sword whip at the same time Rei took a step forward.
The sword blade extended in response to her movements and changed into a bladed whip as it attacked Rei.
Originally, if a skilled person used a whip, it’s speed could exceed the speed of sound. As for a sword whip, though it wasn’t exactly a whip, it was easy to imagine it’s speed as Elena wielded it.
Rei was only able to react simply because his five senses and physical abilities were much better than an ordinary human’s. He wielded the Death Scythe with almost reflexive movements as he parried the tip of the sword whip and aimed at her body.
「As expected. To block my attack so easily……」
Though Elena muttered that in admiration, Rei had a bitter smile on his lips.
「Same to you Elena-sama. It’s been a while since I’ve received such an attack. ……However, I’m not satisfied with leaving it just at that, next is this!」
Kicking against the ground, he closed the distance to Elena while holding the Death Scythe. In response, Elena wielded the sword whip at such a speed as to not let Rei catch his breath. However, Rei blocked everything perfectly using both the blade and handle of the Death Scythe.
「What’s the matter, can you only block and not evade?」
Wielding the sword whip, the tip of the sword slide above the ground towards Rei’s feet, as if crawling.
To that attack, Rei blocked it with the handle of the Death Scythe.
However, with a twist of Elena’s wrist, the sword whip changed it’s trajectory and went up, the tip going towards Rei’s body. Parrying it again with the blade of the Death Scythe, Rei smiled.
「Even if I evaded it, it can change it’s trajectory like just now. At the very least, avoiding it barely is not the best thing to do……-!」
He parried the attacking sword whip with the Death Scythe as he had done before. However, the strength with which he wielded the Death Scythe was much greater than before. The sword whip was parried with enough force as to provide an opportunity when Elena tried to change it’s trajectory.
And Rei did not miss this chance.
Quickly kicking against the ground, he entered his own range. Elena, whose range had been broken, held her desire to express her admiration as she used magic to contract her sword whip back into a normal sword to wait for Rei.
Elena parried the Death Scythe with her blade. As Elena knew the weight behind Rei’s attack, it wasn’t an option for her to take the blow. Because her arm had become numb after parrying an attack yesterday, in the worst case scenario, she would drop her sword whip on the ground if she took that attack head on.
(Rei’s attacks are certainly heavy. However, that’s why there should be a chance after attacks with all his strength.)
The Death Scythe’s attack was parried with the blade. Though Elena was aiming for the chance after the attack was warded off……
The blade was thrown off as she tried to parry. Death Scythe continued moving without stopping.
The unique ability of the Death Scythe was to allow the user to not feel its weight. Rei was able to manipulate the Death Scythe, that easily exceeded 100kg, as if he was wielding a tree branch.
Still, Elena, who was feared as the General Princess by the surrounding nations, was able to react to that attack. On reflex, she extended the sword blade with all the magic power she could use……
「A draw, is it.」
「It seems to be so.」
The blade of the Death Scythe was touching the right of Elena’s neck. As for Rei, the the tip of the sword whip had extended out and was pointing at the side of his head at the same time.
「……Such a thing, drawing with Elena-sama? It’s the first time I’ve seen that.」
Ara couldn’t believe it and had a look of surprise on her face.
Kuust learned of Rei’s ability again and ground his teeth.
「What to say. Though I thought you were skilled, for it to be to this extent. As I thought, it’s a bit unexpected. Should I say, a nice miscalculation.」
While Vel spoke up in his usual mild voice, he looked at Rei with a sharp look.