|Author: Kobayashi Homare||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 3204 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1851 words|
On my back, I carried a brand new utility bag. Inside we had water and food, as well as flint and some potions, everything an adventurer needed. I was also fully armed, of course. I wore armor that was easy to move in, a sword on my hips, and a spare dagger on the other side. My armor was made of the magic metal mithril, which was light but resilient, and also had a strong magic nullification effect.
It was really overkill for a beginner adventurer, but there was nothing I could do about that considering my position. Even if I said I wanted to wear more common equipment it would definitely be refused. My sword was not specially crafted, but it was still very sharp. Even if things got a bit rough it should not break.
“Let’s do our best since it’s your first request.”
“Don’t worry about being nervous, we’ll be with you.”
“Thank you very much.”
The two seemed to care for me, trying to get me to relax. I had heard that most adventurers were rowdy people, so being together with kind people like them felt like a blessing. Though meeting my master was the actual miracle.
As we walked along the main road, we went past many different kinds of people. Other adventurers, merchants, or nobles and wealthy merchants riding on carriages. When the carriages approached, we would move out of the way, and when we pass by someone else we would briefly greet them. Moving aside was all we could do with the carriages, it would be too reckless otherwise, though apparently there was a reason why we had to greet everyone we passed by.
“When you meet someone out in the road, there’s no way for either of you to know who the other person is, right? That’s why you always greet each other, as a sign that you don’t mean any ill will.”
“I see! So that’s why you do that. I thought you two were just really outgoing or something.”
“It would be better if that was the case. But this is not limited to adventurers, but more like a rule for everyone using the roads, so always keep it in mind.”
“Thanks for telling me that.”
We continued chatting as we walked along the road, and seeing just how many new things I learned from that alone, I realized once again just how clueless I was about the world.
“You don’t have to feel embarrassed about not knowing things, everything will be fine as long as you take the time to learn after all.”
“Yup. And learning new things is also fun. So in other words you’ll be having a lot of fun from now on.”
In the world of nobles, if someone showed just a small opening it would be exploited, so it was shameful to be ignorant. But being shown a completely different way to think, I felt like I had been awakened to a different reality. At the same time, I felt grateful from the bottom of my heart that my fellow pupils were people like that.
There was a forest between Surfour and the other city, which would be visited daily by hunters and lumberjacks to earn their living. They had been restricted from entering the forest since a couple of days before though. The reason why was obvious, because of the thief gang. Apparently, the thieves had multiple bases throughout the forest and would move from one to another before going to attack someone on the road. Count Grom and other nobles had obviously sent guards to capture the thieves, but by the time they arrived at the forest, all the thieves had vanished like mist.
That was mostly due to the presence of lookouts, but also because of the guard’s delayed response. Normally every time a crime was committed, the guards would be the first to go to the scene, if they were unable to do anything, then it would be left in the hands of a general, if the general was also unable to do anything, then the matter would be handed directly to the governor’s discretion. That hierarchy of responsibility was the best to quickly take care of minor incidents, but in cases like this one where even a large platoon of soldiers was useless, it was left in the hands of people like us.
Whether soldiers or knights came to investigate the forest, they always found it devoid of a single human soul. That was why adventurers who could act and move around faster were assigned to take care of them.
“Let’s make camp here for the night.”
More than half a day after we left the city, Karin finally placed down the bag she was carrying. We traveled a certain distance away from the road, to a grassland with a magnificent and unobstructed view. Karin and I went around gathering dried wood and bushes, which Ciel then quickly set on fire with the flint and we had a campfire.
Then the girls threw a bundle of plants they had bought back in the city into the flames. I could not understand that act, so I tilted my head in confusion. Seeing me, Ciel forced a smile as she explained to me.
“Ah, those plants we just burned are a form of repellant. When their ashes spread through the air, bugs stop coming to that area.”
“It also works on snakes. That’s why adventurers or anyone who needs to camp out in the open always has some ready.”
“So there are even plants like that. I’m surprised.”
They then took out some dry bread from the utility bag and began toasting it on the fire. I mimicked them and did the same, a good smell wafting to me from it. All the walking from earlier had me exhausted and hungry, which led to my stomach growling without me being able to stop it. As my face flushed red from embarrassment, the two girls laughed lightly.
“You’re doing a lot of things for the first time today, so it’s easy to imagine you’d be tired and hungry.”
“Even the most humble of persons would never call this a feast, but the type of food you eat is also something that comes with the work you do.”
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Next, Ciel filled a cup with water from a leather water vessel. The cup was made of metal so it could be placed on the fire without worrying, and it did not take long for the water to boil. Then she took out a small wooden container from the bag, which was filled with some type of powder which she sprinkled on the boiling water. After the water and powder were thoroughly mixed, I nervously took a sip from it. What I had seen as plain water just moments earlier now tasted like soup with a very rich flavor.
“The powder from earlier was soup that was thickened down to a solid, then crumbled into a powder. With that, you can make soup with some hot water.”
“Try some of this cheese too. If you hold it between two slices of toasted bread, it can make even this stiff and cheap bread tasty.”
I did as told, clamping a slice of cheese between two hot pieces of bread, which made the cheese melt and permeate the bread, letting off a scent that stimulated my appetite even more than before.
“Give it a try now.”
“Thanks for the meal!”
Unable to control my hunger any longer, I bit into it right after.
It was delicious! Even though it was made with cheap and crude ingredients, somehow it felt tastier than anything I had ever eaten before. As I pondered why that was the case, I moved my jaws to eat the bread. That these two girls were exceptional cooks or that the chefs of the palace were nothing great was an impossible reason. Was it because I was hungry? Maybe, but I felt like the most important reason was that this food was directly tied to my life, or at least that’s how I felt about it.
Had I ever wished to eat as much as I did now, back when I had no need to work and would simply train or do whatever I felt like, knowing I would get a delicious meal when it was time for it? The answer was no. I thought of my meals as something along the same line as receiving a report of daily occurrences. All the food would be served tested for poison beforehand and cold, I would have to eat with my siblings with whom I did not get along well, only my parents would talk through it, so I never once thought of it as a fun time.
But what about now? We had bought that food ourselves, walked here ourselves, and prepared this ourselves…that alone had been enough for this to become the best meal I had ever had in my life. I decided to drink some soup to mask off the tears I was about to shed out of emotion and ended up eating all my food in an instant.
“That was delicious!”
“You really know how to enjoy your food, Luvias!”
When I was done eating, it was my friends’ turn to eat. This time I took the food from my utility bag out, I could not rely on them all the time. I clumsily prepared something while following the two’s directions and offered it to them, which they ate with satisfaction. That also made me notice that apart from eating oneself, having someone else eat your food also feels very nice.
As soon as we were done eating, it was time to sleep. We had chosen a spot with a clear view around us so we could watch for any approaching monsters or beasts, and now we also had to make sure the campfire would not burn out. There were three of us, so we would take three turns keeping watch. Adventurers always try to conserve their energy, so they sleep as soon as they are done eating. After Karin and I had spread the ashes from the earlier plants around our camp, we promptly wrapped ourselves in blankets and lied down.
“I think it’ll take me a while to get used to camping, but this will be a valuable experience as well. Good night.”
“We’re sleeping now, Ciel. Wake me up in three hours.”
“I’m the last one, right? Sorry for hogging the sleep time.”
As soon as I was lying down, I stretched out and tried to breathe deeply. The scent of slightly damp earth filled my lungs, but it was not uncomfortable. At first, I was afraid I would not be able to sleep, but my consciousness began to fade faster than I thought, and before long I fell asleep. That marked the end of my first day as an adventurer.