|Author: Ryuusen Hirotsugu||Original Source: Syosetu||Word Count: 2456 characters|
|Translator: Nomad||English Source: Re:Library||Word Count: 1192 words|
「This is my first time seeing an eastern-style wagon. It looks really nice and comfortable.」
「This is unexpected.」
Arlon quite liked the calm appearance of that style of buildings, so he was impressed by how faithfully it was replicated on a smaller scale inside the wagon. On the other hand, Hebi had envisioned the wagon as something completely different, so she was slightly taken aback. Sasori had just spotted the wagon’s large window and was already looking forward to the sights from it.
「Take your shoes off over there first.」
After Mira said that, Sasori and Arlon immediately took their shoes off as told and jumped into the wagon, their eyes sparkling like a child’s.
The wagon had been made for Mira’s exclusive use, so with Arlon and Sasori inside, it was already a bit crammed. Then when Hebi entered, her face looking honestly sorry, she went to a corner and stood against it.
「Hm? Is something wrong?」
Feeling something was off with the way Hebi clung to the corner, Arlon asked her, but she remained silent so Sasori had to explain what happened instead. Originally, only three of them would go on the mission since the wagon was not large enough, but Hebi pleaded to go along with them. So now she was probably trying to be as less of a bother as possible.
Arlon looked satisfied after hearing that, but Mira still felt a bit distressed seeing Hebi like that.
「Hebi, help me hold the other end.」
Saying that, Mira bent down and held one of the sides of the kotatsu.
Hebi nodded and imitated Mira’s position, taking hold of the opposing side. Then, at Mira’s signal, they lifted it and carried it to a corner.
「There should be a bit more space now.」
The kotatsu was in the very center of the wagon, so once it was moved to the side, it made the whole place appear larger. Mira looked proud at the outcome of her idea, before looking out through the driver’s seat to prepare everything for their departure.
At the same time, Arlon finally had a moment to realize how different he was in stature compared to the three girls, looking at them as he slowly sat down, reclining against the wall.
When Mira was done getting everything ready, she placed her chair at the side of the kotatsu. Soon after, it felt like gravity had increased for a moment inside the wagon.
「Uwah! We’re going up!」
Sasori had claimed a spot against the window, looking outside at the colorful forest that gradually grew distant while she raised her voice happily.
「It’s slightly scary even.」
Intrigued by Sasori’s words, Arlon stood up and went to look out the window as well, saying that after looking outside. Hebi was sitting on her knees nearby with her head facing down but she tried to catch a glimpse through the corner of her eyes, her pupils dazzling when she saw the world spreading far and about outside the window.
Around four hours after they took off, the city of Sarut came into sight ahead of them.
「We’re getting closer to Sarut.」
Hebi reported that to Mira, who was sitting leisurely on her chair.
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「I see, let’s start going down then.」
Mira sulkingly stood up, pushed her way through the other three and peeked her head out of the driver’s seat again to give Garuda the order.
The wagon then began its slow descent, landing on a grassy plain a short distance away from the road.
(Now then, who could pull it from here on out.)
The reason why they had to continue on land for the rest of the trip was to not alert Chimera Clauzen. That meant that whichever summon that took over pulling the wagon also had to be inconspicuous, so Mira had to think about her options.
(Griffon… would stand out too much… Pegasus could work, he looks like a regular horse when he folds his wings after all. He’s not that suited for land travel, however, so he might get too tired a bit too quickly. If I had to choose one with good land mobility, Umgarna would be the best… but that one looks like a giant snake that could swallow a horse whole, so it would also stand out way too much.)
「What happened, Mira?」
She remained standing up, constantly nodding to herself. Arlon was starting to wonder why they stopped moving, so he decided to ask her that.
「It’s nothing much, I’m just struggling to think of a way to move the wagon without standing out too much.」
「So that was the problem.」
The girl he was talking to was the wiseman Danbulf’s pupil after all. He also remembered Garuda’s glistening wings he had caught a glimpse of, so he could see how that was a difficult decision to make.
As Mira fell into deep thought again, Hebi spoke nervously from the side 「If you need something to pull the wagon, I can take care of it」, seeing an opportunity to make herself useful.
「Oh right, you’re a necromancer.」
Arlon didn’t doubt her one bit as he said that with a knowing face.
「Hmm, I’ll leave it to you then.」
Seeing Hebi’s resolute stare and hearing Arlon’s sentence, Mira figured that a necromancer would be of use in their situation. Hebi shortly thanked her before she opened the door to the driver’s seat. She normally had a completely expressionless face, but now she had a faint smile, happy that she could be of assistance.
When Hebi was outside, she activated a skill that created a four-legged golem.
Mira was curious how she would take care of things, so she peeked out the door. There she saw the golem, with four lizard-like chubby and round legs sprouting from its body, and three tails that ended in hooks. It was quite a bizarre sight for her so she turned with a questioning look to the other two inside the wagon, wondering if a golem like that would really be fine, but Arlon and Sasori looked calm and unbothered by Mira’s worries. She knew there were still many things about the world she was not used to, now that it was reality, so she decided it was best if she also did not worry about it.
That skill Hebi had used was a recently developed one, made to pull things and other similar use-cases that required brute strength. Because of its usefulness, it had become quite widespread, being used by adventurers, merchants, and even nobles.
Onmyoji masters and summoners also had skills that could accomplish similar tasks, but the necromancer one was considered the safest. As such, a pulling golem was commonly seen in travels, so it was perfect to keep a low profile.
Mira turned to look outside again and the wagon slowly began moving. The golem had hooked its three tails onto the wagon braces, easily pulling it along.
「Well, I’ll let you take care of it then.」
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