|Author: Kaburagi Haruka||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2579 characters|
|Translator: Mui||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1095 words|
To take on Gadius’ Fire Phosphorite commission, I gathered my comrades the next morning and we headed to the Tarkashire domain with our carriage. As always, Cloud was on his own horse while the rest of us were on the carriage.
Finia and Michelle could operate the carriage, while I could not, so I ended up like a flower constantly planted next to the coachman’s seat.
“Count Tarkashire was Donovan’s acquaintance, right?”
Michelle innocently asked a hard-to-answer question. The previous Count Tarkashire was certainly acquainted with the previous Margrave Serwa, but that had nothing to do with the current Margrave Donovan.
However, given the old interactions, he probably at least met him before. The problem was that he was someone accused of treason. That alone served to worsen Donovan’s reputation. And for that reason, discussing Count Tarkashite in Stollar was a taboo topic.
“Well, I guess they’ve met.”
“I see, as expected, his face-to-face acquaintances are quite wide in number, being a big noble and all.”
“Yeah. Just like his face.”
I made a jab at his big face and dodged the topic. Then I decided to switch the conversation to work to completely bury that topic.
“More importantly, have you memorized everything about how to handle the Fire Phosphorite? I mean you too, Cloud.”
“Of course. They shouldn’t be shaken or get wet.”
“Y-Yeah. Trust me, I should be fine. Probably.”
Michelle’s answer was rough, but well, still got a passing mark. Cloud on the other hand was trying to hide the fact that he slacked on studying up on it. A failing mark it is for this dumbass.
“Cloud, things you carry can often put your life at risk. You shouldn’t take it lightly, got it?”
I started to lecture and also explain things to Cloud with my index finger raised. He was aware of his blunder, so he didn’t start objecting like usual. Michelle on the side was humming while holding the reins, while Finia was sitting back in the carrier and holding laughter. From her perspective, who knew everything, seeing me instruct the novices was probably an indescribably amusing sight.
It would not have been particularly strange if Gadius or Lyell, who were known to be quite obliging, had done this, but I was the most distanced among the Six Heroes from the concept of having disciples.
“Mgh, what about you who’s laughing here, Finia. Have you prepared magic power potions and magic crystals?”
“Of course. It is our lifeline this time after all.”
The moment Finia’s fire extinguishing spell got interrupted, we could get rolled up in an explosion. Keeping her magic power from running out was the matter of the highest priority this time.
“Don’t lose heart, Cloud. It is that day for Lady Nicole, so she is easily irritated.”
“That has nothing to do with it! And don’t just disclose it!!”
“Incidentally, there are unexpectedly many people at the Guild who wish to know this.”
“Okay, tell me their names. I’ll slaughter them.”
“Worry not. I have already dealt them their just punishment. That said, some of them took it as a reward, so they are beyond help.”
“Okay, I’ll deal with them then.”
“Michelle, you don’t know how to hold back, so rejected.”
Finia spoke with a smile, but the contents of her speech were quite dark. She might have taken after Maria in that aspect. Or maybe after Cortina?
At any rate, the Tarkashire domain had quite a lot of Adventurers and its vicinity was well maintained. That also went for Stollar. This adjacent area was carefully cleaned up of monsters, and the trade also thrived. In other words, it was quite a safe route for travelers. We also benefited from that and managed to arrive near the border with barely any battles.
My condition had improved considerably by then, and so did my mood in proportion. I was sitting next to Michelle who held the reins and hummed alongside in competition.
Incidentally, Finia’s role came on the return journey, so I told her to rest as much as possible during the outward journey.
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There was a big river ahead of us, with a giant bridge spanning across it. Midway on it was a fence along with a checkpoint for passing to the Tarkashire domain. Not just that, there were small buildings on either end of the huge bridge as well.
Passing through this checkpoint could take an entire day, so there were even cheap lodging houses similar to an inn-town built on the bridge.
There would be no toll to pay if you crossed the river with your own power, but there were monsters underwater. And underwater was a disadvantageous area for Adventurers.
Chants did not work properly underwater, and bows also lost their strength. Your posture would also break from the water currents, making battles difficult. As such, the underwater was one place that Adventurers could not maintain the safety of.
It was common knowledge that it was better to just pay a small change rather than brave such a risk, so everyone just used the checkpoint.
“Well, we’ll naturally be using it too…”
“What a huge line.”
“Looks like this will drag on.”
This was a border between Raum and the northern United Thee Nations. I had only crossed this place once eight years ago when I moved to Raum. I remember it being crowded even back then, but it was even beyond that this time around.
I mean, Gadius said that the checkpoint toll had decreased. That probably livened up the traffic and increased the number of people using it.
“Can’t we use Nicole’s influence to just cut our way in one go?”
“Ugh, you’re such a sleaze, Cloud.”
“Demanding special treatment would be a questionable deed even with Lady Nicole’s standing.”
“Cloud, one point detracted.”
Cloud’s lazy mutter was met with concentrated fire from the girls’ group (me included). I could understand feeling like doing something so underhanding with such a line before our eyes, but it was a bit scummy.
“What do you mean, detracted? What happens if it gets detracted?!”
“You’ll get burnt to a crisp, no mercy will leak from me.”
“Don’t burn me! Or at least leak it a little!”
“Telling a girl to leak…”
“Cloud, you pervert.”
We barraged him mercilessly as he groaned.
Our conversation was naturally overheard by the lined-up people too. And with that, Cloud ended up being the target of cold gazes from around for a while, but he reaped what he sowed.