“With that comes the food and liquor for parties. Dresses, accessories, and other things. Moreover, the period before winter is also the harvest season. Hence, this is the season for profits, both for the merchants selling and the bandits eyeing their goods.” [Roche]
“I see.” [Ryouma]
Now that I think about it, it’ll be New Years in just a few months. When I was at the forest, it would get cold as the seasons changed from autumn to winter. Once it starts get warmer, I know spring has started, but I was never that conscious when the year began…
“Well, for the time being, it’s better to stay alert. You’re night watch today, right?” [Roche]
“Yes. That’s right.” [Ryouma]
“We’ll be relying on you then. Also, in the case of an attack, will you be alright? Do you have any experience dealing with bandits? Can you kill people?” [Roche]
“It’s alright. I got the bounty for killing ‘Melzen the Red Spear’ in the past.” [Ryouma]
“Well, yeah. I guess your techniques does seem catered for that.” [Roche]
Roche-san seemed to already know that I was capable of killing people and was just asking to be safe.
But what does he mean by ‘catered for that’?
“Anti-Personnel Combat. I don’t know if the school your technique originated from meant their techniques to anti-personnel combat techniques or your grandfather who taught you was being cautious of the other villagers, but when you fought with Howard, your fighting style reminded me of mercenaries and soldiers.” [Roche]
“You could tell?” [Ryouma]
“After being at this job for so long, yeah. Adventures deal with all sort of enemies, but humans and monsters move differently. If you specialize in dealing with monsters, then you take monster subjugation jobs. If you specialize in dealing with humans, then you take bandit subjugation or escort jobs. There’s a lot of adventurers that specialize themselves like that, so I could naturally tell.
I more or less expected that you’d be capable, and if you’re strong enough to earn a bounty reward, then that’s more than enough. If it comes to it, I’ll be relying on you.” [Roche]
“I’ll do my best.” [Ryouma]
“And in case we actually do get attacked…” [Roche]
There’s a difference in fighting as a group and fighting as an individual, so Roche-san told me a secret plan ahead of time.
And then, night came.
Those on night duty prepared to intercept any attacks.
“It’s my turn.”
“Thank you very much. Good job.” [Ryouma]
But nothing happened during my duty and I switched with the person after me.
The next day.
“Good morning. Howard-san.” [Ryouma]
“Oh, good morning.” [Howard]
I thought they might attack at dawn when sleep was deepest, but no one attacked.
“Nothing happened, huh?” [Ryouma]
“It happens a lot. It’s hard to distinguish between bandits and regular people… If they just went and made it obvious that they were bandits, our lives would be a hell of a lot easier.” [Howard]
“…I feel like that would also make me hesitate too in a different sense, though.” [Ryouma]
“Ha ha. Yeah. There’s no bandit who would so brazenly appear before people like that. Still, there are bandits that aim at you from behind, so don’t loosen your guard just yet, alright? We’ll depart when everyone is ready. If you have time to spare, do check on the students.” [Howard]
I’ve already prepared my luggage and all that’s left is to store them into my Item Box. I’ll go do some rounds after that. When I did that, I happened upon Wist-kun walking from the direction of the watering place.
“Good morning.” [Ryouma]
“G-Good morning, Ryouma-san. Patrolling?” [Wist]
“Yeah. I’m done preparing, so I’m doing some rounds.” [Ryouma]
“I see. You sure are quick.” [Wist]
“You’re drawing water and washing?” [Ryouma]
He’s carrying several water bottles with him and a portable pan, so I’m probably right.
“Yep. I’m also doing some maintenance on this…” [Wist]
When he turned, there was a huge shield on his back. It was huge for his age, but Wist-kun was so big that he was able to hide it behind him. He kind of looks like a rhinoceros beetle when seen from behind. Are those insect carapace on his limbs? He’s wearing that glossy protector, so all the more.
Now that I think back on it, Berk was also wearing an armor from the same material. His armor didn’t seem as solid as Wist-kun’s though.
“Your equipment sure has changed a lot since we last met.” [Ryouma]
“Yep. We saved up money while Jeff Onii-san taught me various things about the shield. The armor is made from the tunnel ants that you helped us with last time…” [Wist]
When fully outfitted, he looks pretty strong as long as he doesn’t talk.
“You focused on defense?” [Ryouma]
“Yeah… I have a short spear that I can use with one hand under this, but I’m still a bit shy when attacking. I have strength, though. So, I think I can protect people now… Well, maybe. Kind of…” [Wist]
You can just say it straight, you know?
Still, it seems he’s also gradually looking for a way for him to be useful.
“Let’s do our best. Ah, if you’d like, we can work together in the future.” [Ryoma]
“Huh!? I can’t keep up with your work just yet.” [Wist]
“I do miscellaneous work too, you know?” [Ryouma]
They work with Jeff-san too as their teacher, so unless I’m causing them problems, I’d love to work with them. My rank is closer to them too than Jeff-san’s. And it’ll be good practice for me in working with others.
“Well, we can just do it when you feel like it. If the opportunity presents itself, do take care of me.” [Ryouma]
“Y-Yeah! Me too! I’ll tell everyone too!” [Wist]
When he said those words so naturally, for a moment, I paused and watched him walk away.
“Ah, good morning!” [Ryouma]
“…” [Teacher 1]
“…” [Teacher 2]
I greeted two male teachers passing by, but they ignored me.
…I’m really starting to worry about my communication skills…