5 Days Later
After preparing for 3 days, we rode on Rheinbach-sama’s Ignis dragons, and headed for the Trail Canyon. Right now, we’re taking a breather somewhere in the mountain roads, but it won’t be long before we reach Teressa, the town closest to the canyon.
Everyone’s carrying an item or two with them, but most of our luggage is being stored in mine and Sebasus-san’s Item Box and Dimension Home. I’ve especially packed plenty of medicine, weapon, equipment, and other tools in mine.
There’s enough that we can afford to stay in the canyon for a long time and still have enough to sell to other adventurers. It’s common courtesy for adventurers to help the ill-prepared. Of course, that’s provided that there’s material to spare.
Two of our party’s members are S Rank Adventurers, and Sebasu-san and I can fight pretty well too. And when you add the grave slimes on top of that, there’s no question that we have more than enough to watch over the girls’ training. I mean if anything, this much is overkill.
Anyway, setting up the camp defenses at the canyon was my job. So, I’ll be doing just that while selling to the passing adventurers and digging out magic jewels. The place hasn’t really changed much in the past years. And with the grave slimes being the undead’s natural predator, there won’t be much for me to do.
“Should we head out now? We should be able to reach Teressa soon.” [Rheinbach]
It’ll probably take another 2 hours, which means… We’ll be arriving at noon.
And so, we rode on the two dragons, and headed for Teresa. The dragon I’m riding on will listen to orders even if Rheinbach-sama’s not riding it, so I’m sure we won’t fall, but it’s still nerve wrecking.
And I’m not sure why, but for some reason, these Ignis dragons don’t seem to like me. They don’t hate me, but they have their guard up… Ah, whatever. Rheinbach-sama did say that it’s fine, so I’m sure it’s safe. I’m sure they’ll eventually get used to me. And people back at my previous life did say that animals can feel when people are nervous, so… Ah, wait, can I even put dragons and animals in the same basket?
A strong wind blew as we passed over the mountains, but the dragons continued on, unfazed, About an hour later, the walls of Teressa finally came to view.
“What a big town!” [Elia]
“It’s gotten a lot bigger these past two years! It was so small back then too!” [Ryouma]
The sound of the wind drowned our voices, so we had to yell at each other to talk even though Elia was right behind me.
Teressa’s no Gimuru but it’s a lot bigger now compared to when I first visited it. A lot of undead had started appearing at the canyon, and when adventurers went to investigate, they happened upon a magic jewel vein. From then on, a lot of adventurers and diggers started coming, resulting in the town’s exponential growth.
The town walls that appeared from a distance grew closer in the blink of an eye, a testament to the dragons’ speed. We’d cause a ruckus if we were to land in town, so we landed some ways away from the town, and then walked. They were already expecting us, so when we got to the gates, there were eight guards all-in-all ready to receive us.
We did ride in a dragon after all, two no less. So, of course, they’d be able to prepare even without us asking them too. Thanks to that, the process went a lot smoother, and we were able to get into the town quickly.
It was then that Shiva-san spoke.
“We should be staying at the inn tonight, but we can also go ahead if you’re all fine with it. Is everyone tired already or…?” [Shiva]
It’s almost noon but we’ve already eaten, so there’s not really any reason to walk around town…
“I’m still fine. I was just riding at the back of the dragon, after all.” [Riera]
Everyone nodded. And so, we’ll be pushing our plans forward a bit. But before that…
“Can I drop by the adventurer’s guild? I figured I might as well get some simple requests.” [Ryouma]
No problem, they all said. Like that we headed for Teressa’s Adventurer Guild. The Town of Teressa is situated at the western edge of the country, a frontier, so to speak. Yet despite that the streets were hustling and bustling with people and carriages.
“There’s so many people even though it’s the border. Oh, by the way, would it be alight to dig some magic jewels myself?” [Kanan]
“As long as you give a part of it or pay the corresponding tax, then there shouldn’t be any problems.
I don’t know whether the lord in charge of this place is just tolerant or because he needs that much money, but he seems to be just watching how many the people can actually dig… He might also just decide to monopolize everything one day. Yeah, there’s a lot of rumors going around now, good or bad, but for now it should be fine.” [Ryouma]
The future is a mystery. Even if you can right now, that doesn’t mean you’ll be able to in the future, so you should take your chance now! ~Is what everyone else is thinking which is why there’s so many people here… Oh, we’re here.
We saw a couple of adventurers when we entered the guild. It’s noon, so most of the adventurers are either out working or eating. It’s a lot quieter here than outside, but as soon as we entered, all eyes focused on us.
…Most are just glancing, but a fifth of them are outright staring at us. Well, we do stand out, so it can’t be helped. Ah, it seems there are people who know of Remiri-neesan and Shiva-san. I’m sure they must’ve been trying to be hush about it, but it’s really quiet, so they can still be heard.
After I greet everyone, I walk up to the request board. Let’s hurry and find something Elia and the others can do, and then get out of here. And just as I was thinking that, I found something suitable.
An investigation of the Trail Canyon that can be accepted anytime by E Rank adventurers up. The pay’s cheap but they’ll pay more if the info is good. It’s really more of a patrol than an investigation, so it’s really easy.
Also, because a lot of monsters appear in the night, it’s recommended that only C Ranks above go. And as such, they’ll also be paying more for those who can investigate in the night.
We were planning to stay at the canyon for a long time anyway, so we might as well. But was there always such a warning? While I’m sure it’s necessary since lots of undead frolic in the night, a D-Rank should be enough. I should ask the receptionist first.
“Excuse me, I was thinking of accepting the Trail Canyon request but there’s something I’d like to ask first.” [Ryouma]
“Yes, what is it?” [Receptionist]
The receptionist was a young woman. From my conversation with her, I found out that there’s a lot of people who have been going missing lately.
“It’s unfortunate but the issue isn’t just the undead. The footing in the area isn’t stable, and a lot of people have already disappeared in some accident. Because of that, we’re recommending that C Ranks go. Also, a lot of the people whohave gone missing are low rankers who pushed themselves too hard in that investigation request.” [Recipe]
The receptionist was a bit sad when she spoke, but it shouldn’t be an issue as long as we take care…
“I understand. I’d like to sign up for this request. Oh, and do you have a list of the missing people? We’re planning to stay at the Trail Canyon for a while, so…” [Ryouma]
“Very well.” [Receptionist]
The receptionist immediately processed the request, and then came back with the list of names. The genders, ages, and other special characteristics were also written in the list. As for the time they went missing, well that wasn’t really important.
After that we left the guild, and then the town through the gate close to the Trail Canyon. The guards asked if we were going on a trip, and I said we were going camping. I’m sure they’re talking to me because it’s too hard to talk with the others.
“We plan to come back anywhere from one to two weeks.” [Ryouma]
“That’s a long trip, please be careful. A lot of people have been going missing lately.” [Guard]
Might as well ask them about it…
“Are there really that many?” [Ryouma]
The guard made a troubled face as he looked at a particular direction.
“It’s because there are people like those, so…” [Guard]
At the end of that direction was–––
“Let’s make lots of coin today too!” [Adventurer 1]
“Should we try going a bit deeper this time?” [Adventurer 2]
“That’s dangerous.” [Adventurer 3]
“Nah, it’ll be fine. We’ve beaten plenty of zombies, right?” [Adventurer 1]
“But–––“ [Adventurer 3]
It was a group of three young, inexperienced adventurers.
“It’s great that the city’s flourishing, but a lot of reckless people have been coming too… But then againg, there’ve always been reckless people around here, so if anything, I guess they’ve increase.”[Guard]
The guard whispered those words while watching the three leave. He was trying to keep up appearances, but I don’t think that’s really necessary.
“You mean like those people?” [Ryouma]
“Yes, like them. It’s especially dangerous the day after they make some bank. It’s safe around here unless they go in deep, so everyone who goes missing usually brought it on themselves…” [Guard]
I thanked the guard that seemed to have a lot on his mind, and then we left.
We traversed the mountainous roads and entered into the canyon.
People walked beside and above the now barren cliff, and people dug holes left and right, but as we continued, the people around us grew less and less. After an hour of walking, there were still no zombies in sight.
“The undead still hasn’t shown up.” [Ryouma]
“I thought they’d be more proactive.” [Remiri]
“There sure are a lot of civilians here though.” [Elia]
“It’s still close to the town, so it’s not just adventurers who–––“ [Ryouma]
While I was talking, a man dressed in blood-drenched clothes with vacant eyes walked up to us. Most of the man’s neck had been hollowed out, and his body was clearly rotting. It was a zombie. When the girls noticed that, they immediately assumed stance.
In contrast, Remiri-neesan casually spoke.
“There’s just one zombie, so relax. You’ll do fine as long as you follow your training.” [Remiri]
The girls nodded to her words. A rotting smell filled the area as the zombie approached, and the girls’ countenance visibly soured. Seeing that thing face-to-face is quite a shocker… Though I think they’d be nervous either way.
“‘Strengthen Body’… Let’s go!”
After a deep breath, Riera used her strengthening magic. She matched the speed of the zombie, then she swung down her sword. That flash embodied all the efforts she had spent training her sword. And it cut down the zombie’s left arm so quickly that it didn’t even have the time to cry. Then she followed up by bashing her shield against the zombie’s face.
“‘Fire Ball’!” [Elia]
As Riera called out to Elia, Elia casted a fireball, and the zombie was no more.
“Huh? That’s it?” [Kanan]
“Well that was easy.” [Michelle]
Complained Kanan and Michelle who didn’t have a chance to fight. Miyabi hadn’t said anything, but she seemed to think the same.
“Of course, it’s easy. You kids aren’t so weak that you’d have a problem offing one zombie.” [Shiva]
“Zombie flesh is a lot softer than a human’s, and their bones are brittle too. You girls cut a lot of bamboo back at Ryouma’s place, right? Then it’s only a given that you’d be able to cut one down with ease.” [Rheinbach]
“Your magic has gotten stronger too, and the one who shot that fireball just now was Elia who has the strongest magic of you lot. The real practice starts way deeper into the canyon. Being able to kill a few zombies is a given.” [Remiri]
“You’ve always been fighting against Ryouma-sama’s slimes, so you might not be aware of just how strong you are.” [Sebasu]
Zombies are D-Ranked magical beasts but they can be beaten even by E-Rank Adventurers when toppled over, so it’s obvious that the girls would be able to kill one. That’s also the reason why there’re so many greenhorn adventurers in the town.
Killing a few zombies won’t be an issue for them, so we’ll be leaving the fighting to them from here on out.
“This time I’ll be the one to finish it!” [Michelle]
“Riera, Kanan, stop them!” [Elia]
“Leave it to me!” [Kanan]
“Be careful, there’s a lot of them!” [Miyabi]
As their movements had got better over time, Riera and Kanan was able to quickly cut off the limbs of the zombies to stop them in their tracks, while a barrage of magic was unloaded on them to stop them from regenerating. And just like that, the girls offed seven zombies.
Meanwhile, we were nonchalantly watching the girls fight.
“They can still handle more.” [Shiva]
“Should we up the difficulty?” [Remiri]
“We should give them more to fight with…” [Rheinbach]
“How about ghouls and wraiths? The grave slime can bring them.” [Ryouma]
“I suggest allowing the ojousamas to get used to the zombies first.” [Sebasu]
We discussed like we were watching a sports tournament.
Then after some more walking, we made camp beside a cliff that was roughly 6 meters tall. Time for work, I guess.
I started preparing the girls’ food and the security of the camp.