“A carriage caught in an accident? Can’t say I’ve seen any. You?” [Man]
“I haven’t seen anything either.” [Woman]
“Figures. Sorry to take up your time.” [Ryouma]
“Right. Why not ride with us? It’s not long until the town and it’s almost dark.” [Woman]
“Thank you very much. But I want to keep searching as I make my way to town. Thank you for your cooperation.” [Ryouma]
“I see… Good luck on your job then.” [Woman]
“Be careful on the road!” [Man]
“You too!” [Ryouma]
I watched as the old couple’s carriage drove away.
I’ve already made my way through most of the road from Gimuru to the inn town. The rimel birds are doing their best too, but there’s a lot of things blocking their line of sight, so we still haven’t found any clues.
This mountain is about 1,000 meters above ground level. So, there’s no need to worry for altitude sickness. It’s an easy road to cross. But if you veer off the path, you’ll immediately find yourself covered in the shadows of the countless trees, leaves, and branches… But there’s a convenient road here, so people probably rarely venture into the forest… if ever.
Did I overlook something? Or maybe it’s still up ahead?
Maybe he left the highway?
If so, then he would have gone either left or right, but which one?
“If only I had a clue of some sort…” [Ryouma]
If I could just narrow down the scope of search a little, I could mobilize all of my slimes. Mobility might become a problem, but with over 6,000 slimes, it should be possible to cover every nook and cranny. That is the power provided not by human-wave tactics but by slime-wave tactics. In any case, I need a clue.
I never stopped walking around the highway as I became thoughtful, making sure to keep an eye out for the areas between the trees that have become even harder to see.
Eventually, I arrived at the inn town. There was a simple wall made out of wood around the town. They probably made these by harvesting the nearby woods and driving them into the ground.
“Hey, you! …Are you a traveler? Suspicious. What are you doing at a time like this?” [Guard]
Is he suspecting me?
Right before I reached the entrance of the town, the man watching the gate called out to me with a grim expression.
“I’m an adventurer from Gimuru. I received a job to search for a missing person. Here’s my guild card and the job request. Please examine it.” [Paena]
“…Right. There’s no doubt about it.” [Guard]
I slowly approached the guard and presented my proof of identity and papers. When I did, the man’s expression loosened.
“Sorry for being so suspicious. You may pass.” [Guard]
“Thank you. By the way, have there been reports of missing people appearing here lately? Or have you gotten word of any sightings of a broken carriage?” [Ryouma]
“Haven’t heard anything in particular. In fact, I’m honestly a bit doubtful of that job you took.” [Guard]
“I see…” [Ryouma]”
“Are you planning on spending the night at the town inn?” [Guard]
“That’s the plan.” [Ryouma]
I still have energy to spare and I specialize in moving in the night, but searching is more difficult in the night than in the day. If I work in the night, my efficiency will plummet. Besides, the terrain changes with the area. I can search the Forest of Gana the whole day without problem, but I’m not used to this mountain.
The rimel birds are with me, so I don’t think we’ll have a case of the rescuer needing rescue, but given the risk, it’s not a very good idea to search during the night without any clues. So I’m thinking of looking for clues in town tonight instead.
“A good decision, if I say so myself. Although there are good roads here, if you veer off the path, the slope can get pretty steep.” [Guard]
“I see… Any recommendations where I could stay for a good night?” [Ryouma]
“Walk straight through the main street and you’ll find a sign board that reads ‘Terecy Restaurant’. The inn facing that restaurant has a reputation for offering clean rooms at a decent price.” [Guard]
“Thank you very much.” [Ryouma]
I sent the rimel birds back to the dimension home and immediately headed for the inn I was recommended.
…I guess it should have been obvious, but this inn town is smaller than Gimuru. Still, because of the lighting from the wooden inns and restaurants along the main street, it’s actually quite lively.
…Oh, this must the place. That was pretty close.
“Good evening. The person keeping watch recommended this place. Do you have any rooms free?” [Ryouma]
“We do. 50 suits if you’ll only be spending the night. If you want some food to go with it, 70 suits.” [Receptionist]
“I’ll take the option with food please.” [Ryouma]
“Happy to have your business!” [Receptionist]
After paying up, he gave me a wooden tag he took out of her pocket.
“Give this to the restaurant facing our inn when it’s time to eat.” [Receptionist]
So, a meal ticket, huh.
“I can eat if I hand this over?” [Ryouma]
“The menu is bread and soup. Salad is also recommended. Any dish other than those and you’ll have to pay a different fee.” [Receptionist]
After the receptionist gave me a brief explanation, I went to my room.