The next day.
Although a lot happened, somehow everyone was able to get to the last day safely. As our stay came to an end, it was now time to go back to Gimuru. I started preparing first thing in the morning, had lunch early before noon, and then rode the carriage that went the same way we came.
“It’s already been 5 days, huh.” [Student 1]
“Time sure flew by quickly.” [Student 2]
“I thought it would feel a lot longer.” [Student 3]
The groupings for the carriages were the same when we came here. So I was with the same people on the first day. Only, they’ve already gotten to know each other, so they weren’t as quiet as before. On the fist day, Roche-san had to interfere to get them to talk, but now, they’re talking naturally without anyone pushing them to.
“Don’t make too much merry now.” [Roche]
“That’s right. We may be going back right now, but this training session isn’t over just yet.” [Lucy]
Roche-san and the others warned them. They said that they understood their feelings, but there was always a chance to happen upon monsters outside of town. After the students were warned, they immediately started paying attention to their surroundings.
They’re serious, but it’s obvious they’re not used to this. They were so tense it was exhausting just looking at them. Seeing that, Roche-san and Lucy-san wryly smiled. Now a peaceful atmosphere filled the carriage.
We didn’t happen upon any monsters or bandits and we were able to peacefully arrive at the camp.
“Yeah. It seems we’ll be sharing today.” [Roche]
When it was time to unload the luggage, I heard the sound of wheels, so I turned toward the direction of the sound. There, I saw a wagon with a large curtain headed toward ouro direction. As the wagon approached us, they opened up some distance and lined up beside us.
“The corner is fine. Are there any open spots left?” [Coachman]
“There are. Feel free to take it.” [Roche]
The coachman of the wagon exchanged a few words with Roche-san, then he went to a corner of the camp.
At the same time.
“Attention! Students, by now, you have all been taught the rules of the camp. Today, we aren’t the only ones using this camp. Make sure you don’t cause trouble for other people. Those of you who’ve forgotten the rules, come see me!” [Roche]
I also warned the students not to cause problems to unrelated people. All the instructors were wary of the wagon. At camps like this, it’s common for bandits to dress up as travelers and then attack.
There are those that rely on strength and numbers. Some attack while others are sleeping. Others approach their campmates with a smile and offer drugged liquor and food. As such, the general rule when sharing camps like this is to not get in each others’ way as much as possible.
But in the end general rules are just general rules. There are exceptions.
“Can I have a moment?” [???]
This must be the person inside the wagon. A moderately well-dressed man. There was a man with him who seemed to be his escort.
“What is it?” [Ryouma]
“Did you come from that direction? If so, I’d like to ask about the way from here. Mainly regarding the condition of the road and if monsters appear or not. Stuff related to our safety.” [Moderately Well-Dressed Man]
“In that case, please talk to our leader. He should know more. I’ll guide you.” [ryouma]
“That would help. Thanks.” [Moderately Well-Dressed Man]
The condition of roads is a topic of life and death to travelers. If they carelessly step onto a dangerous road, they could lose their lives.
It’s standard procedure to get information before leaving town, but the condition of the road could change along the way. Because of that travelers also exchange information with each other.
“Leader. These people want to learn about the road.” [Ryouma]
“Got it.” [Roche]
I left them to Roche-san, but he asked me to stay behind to see how these things go.
Still, it wasn’t as if they did anything special.
They didn’t bother with idle talk and just went straight into talking about the condition of the roads.
Their conversation didn’t even last 10 minutes. The two men didn’t bother to stay and just quickly left the carriage.
“…Ryouma, what do you think about them?”
After seeing the two men off, Roche-san asked me that in a quiet voice.
“They didn’t seem particularly suspicious, but… They did look like they could fight. It’s not just the guard. That person who claims to be a merchant could fight too.” [Ryouma]
The guard being able to fight is a given, but the man who claimed to be a merchant also had calluses that suggested he was used to holding weapons. His movements did not seem as refined, however…
“I’d say he’s about as strong as the guard…” [Ryouma]
From experience, there are a lot of bandits that feel like that person.
But in a world like this crawling with monsters and bandits, not just relying on a hired guard but also learning the sword isn’t that strange.
From the merchants I know, Pioro-san from the Saionji Company also had calluses from weapons. I didn’t feel like it was something worth asking about, but it seems he knows how to handle a short sword at least.
Serge-san from the Morgan Company doesn’t seem to know how to use a weapon, but I did see him walking with a self-defense magic tool.
That’s why I don’t think they’re suspicious just because of that.
“Is there something suspicious about them?” [Ryouma]
“No. I share your opinion. They don’t seem particularly suspicious. It’s just that it’s almost that time of the year…” [Roche]
“It’s almost winter, right? The period from winter to summer, especially, the New Year, is when nobles are most active in their social life.” [Roche]