Chapter 2 Traveling Knight?
“YOU UGLY MAN EATING FROG!!!”
“Haaa… haa… huff”
Looking back behind me, there was a long trail of blood complete with a long trail of bloody footprints. It was as if a serial murderer had just gone on a killing spree, and left behind pools of blood everywhere.
Maybe I should have thought this through before leaving Serafall…
When I first left the capital, there weren’t any monsters at all. However, after a few hours of walking down the road leading to Rune Belle, a relaxing stream of water that flowed along the path appeared from the tall grassy plains. I thought to myself, ‘how nice! Walking down this empty road is relatively peaceful! And the scenery is pretty good as well!’. But after a few minutes of walking down the road, along with the soothing sound of flowing water, an eight-foot toad jumped out of the water and attacked me!
Now then, the problem isn’t the frog since they’re relatively easy to kill. It’s the amount of frogs that have attacked me so far! For the past two hours since this stream of water has appeared on the roadside, I’ve been killing these damn frogs left and right! I’ve made sure to collect a set of frog legs from each corpse, and I have to say… I’ve lost count at the fortieth pair of legs…
What the hell do these damn frogs want from me anyways?!! And what the hell is the adventurer’s guild doing, letting these damn frogs multiply this much for?!
While cutting off the pair of frog legs from the current corpse in front of me, a horse drawn wagon appeared from behind.
“Hey there! I’m also headed towards Rune Belle. Need a ride?”
Peering out from the coach’s seat, a man clad in a full helmet, and plated armor greeted me.
Shedding tears of joy, I responded back as I stood up from kneeling down,
Stopping the wagon right beside me, the person driving the wagon helped me up onto the seat next to him.
“How much for the ride?”
“Free of charge!”
Quickly replying, he flicked the reins, and the horses continued walking.
“What’s the occasion?”
“Take a look inside and you’ll understand why”
Talking with a familiar monotone voice, he pointed towards the inside of his wagon.
Briefly looking inside the wagon covered with a leather tarp, I saw piles and piles of giant frog carcasses.
I placed the leather tarp back onto the frog corpses and quickly faced back to the front.
“So how far until we reach port town?”
“Hmm, we should probably get there by noon tomorrow”
He replied in the same monotone voice from earlier.
When I thought about it, his voice sounded really familiar. However, I couldn’t quite remember where I had heard a similar voice.
Traveling another hour or so down the trail, the sun had risen high overhead signaling it was around noon.
The stream of water that flowed alongside the path, looped back into a small clearing of trees. What kept the frogs from attacking, was the monster repelling incense that was hung around the wagon and horses neck.
The man wearing the full plated armor’s name was John Carter. After a few minutes of exchanging idle chatter in his monotone voice, we introduced ourselves. But there was something that I couldn’t quite shake the feeling of. That was, his last name and voice was vaguely familiar.
“Aren’t you hot wearing that full set of armor John?”
“I feel safer with it on”
In the same monotone voice, he lazily talked back.
Though, when he says that he feels safer with it on, I don’t particularly understand at all. I heard this area was been particularly strict with driving away bandits. So much in fact, that all you had to worry about was monsters attacking you. In regards to monsters attacking, John had an amazing amount of monster repellent around his wagon. I don’t believe any kind of monster would attack us. In fact, the frogs that were attacking me nonstop had steered clear of his wagon.
If you ask me, this guy seemed extremely intent on having as much monster protection as possible… It was overly excessive.
“How about at least taking off your helmet so I can see your face?”
“It’s disappointing, but I don’t have a very good looking face”
“Don’t worry about that, it’s not like you’re some kind of cursed skeleton knight, traveling around from town to town, trying to find a way to lift his curse, right?”
“Sorry, but I feel safer with my helmet on”
Letting out a sigh, I leaned back slightly, and looked up towards the clear blue sky above. The horse drawn wagon continued moving at a steady pace. Since it would take a day reach town, I decided to try out healing magic. Healing magic would definitely be indispensable in the long run.
Sitting up straight, I cupped my hands and began my image training with my eyes closed. I imagined a soothing gentle light enveloping everything around me.
“This magic… is this healing magic?”
I heard a slight mumble next to me. It was John silently talking to himself. I suppose he didn’t want to interrupt me or anything.
It had taken a few hours, but I was finally able to use healing magic. Although it wasn’t anything advanced, I felt proud of myself.
“It’s taken some time, but I can finally use it now!”
I exclaimed in triumph while I looked at the evening sky that replaced the afternoon clouds.
“Let’s set up camp here”
John guided his wagon off the road, quickly stopped his horse, and began taking stuff out from his bag.
He pulled out a tent, and tied his horse to a nearby tree as I attempted to start a fire. After putting up more monster repelling incense, he sat down across from me and watched as I struggled to start the fire.
“Need some help?”
Although he asked calmly, I knew that he was secretly laughing behind his helmet at my failed attempts.
It’s not as if I’ve ever made a fire before you know! I tried copying what I’ve seen on those popular survival shows like the triple survivors.
With a slight push, he forced me aside.
With one word, a small flame lit up in the palm of his hands. Quickly moving his hands, he swiftly lit the pile of branches and started the fire.
“You can use fire magic?!!”
With a look of bewilderment, he answered my question hesitantly.
When I thought about the everyday applications of magic, using it to improve the quality of life never occurred to me! I’ll have to deeply rethink what type of magic will be useful next.
“What can you do with water magic?”
“Well… things like this I suppose… [Refresh]!”
At the sound of his voice, what seemed to be a stream of bubbles circled around me. After a spinning around me a few times my body felt lighter. It was as if I had finished taking a nice long hot shower. I felt renewed.
I definitely must learn how to use water magic as well!
“I’ll cook us up some nice frog steaks”
John took out one of the carcasses from the back of his wagon.
“Is that still even safe to eat…?”
“Drawn underneath the wagon is a magic inscription that helps preserve meat. See for yourself”
Cutting off a hunk of meat from the body, he threw it towards me to inspect.
Looking at the color of it, it was still deep red. In fact, it still felt as if it were still throbbing with life.
“Ok, I’ll leave the cooking to you. I’ll look around for some more firewood”
With a simple nod, I walked a little deeper into an area with many trees.
As I walked along a small path, it seemed that the number of trees increased as I picked up fallen branches.
In the middle of the densely packed tree’s, a small girl with long red hair in a mages attire seemed to be asleep while lying face down on the floor.
This girl… the color of her hair seems somewhat familiar, but it’s too long to be the person I’m thinking of. Without seeing her face, it impossible to be sure either.
“nnn… who are you...? what are you doing?”
Waking up from her sleep, the girl with long red hair immediately sat up while rubbing one of her eyes.
Purple irises. Her bangs were also long enough to cover her eyes. Besides having a worn-out face, she looked cute. Like another person I knew. But the one I thought of, had a much rounder face, and much shorter hair. Her eyes were also red, just like the color of her hair.
“eh… sorry I didn’t mean to disturb you or anything. I’m just collecting some firewood is all”
As if she was trying to see if I had any ulterior motives, she seemed to study my facial expression.
“You seem to be telling the truth…”
As soon as she finished speaking, her stomach made a loud growling noise.
“Are you hungry…? I’m about to have dinner with another person, we have more than enough for another if you want to join us”
“Wah! I-it’s not like that at all!”
With an embarrassed expression, she waved her arms back and forth at me while shouting in surprise.
“I had a little snack before I fell asleep……”
Magically pulling out a hat from thin air, she quickly covered her face as she spoke with a quiet voice.
I pointed behind from where I came while smiling.
“It’s over this way”
As if to show her the way, I started walking back towards camp.
With a flustered look, she held onto the brim of her mage hat, and ran towards me with her cape flowing neatly behind her.
It didn’t take us long to get back to camp. It was about a five-minute walk from where I found the girl. During the walk, she didn’t say anything at all. She kept herself a few paces behind as she watched me the entire time. Whenever I turned to look at her, I tried to smile with the kindest expression I could make so she could feel at ease. However, she would look away or pull down her hat to cover her face.
“Looks like you’ve come back with another person, is she joining us for dinner?”
“Yea, sorry. I found her alone back there”
With a quick glance, John immediately walked back to his wagon.
“Take a seat over here”
I led her towards the fire, and prompted her to sit down on one of the two logs.
She stared at me with wide eyes, looking back and forth at the log, and at me, as she finally came out from underneath her hat.
“Hmm, if you’re worried about that, then how about we do it like this?”
Guessing what she was thinking about, I picked up the log and placed it on its side making room enough for two. Sitting down, I patted the empty space next to me, urging her to sit as well.
“I-it’s not as if I want to sit with you or anything… I’d just feel bad if you had to sit on the floor…”
Quickly sitting down, she looked away while talking.
Just now… that response… a tsundere?!! Why… Why can’t I just meet normal people!
What’s wrong with them you ask? Well, I’m not particularly fond of them you know! They’re too damn cliché if you ask me. Not to mention their personality is strange and annoying to deal with! They say one thing, but really, they mean the opposite!
“……that voice. Is that you Miss Marie Weldzinaire?”
From behind, John quietly walked, carrying another piece of meat ready grill over the fire.
“…who are you again?”
Placing a finger onto her bottom lip, she looked straight at John who still had his full set of armor on, in wonder.