The light of the bonfire illuminated the area. The crackling of the firewood was music to my ears. I extend the reach of Presence Detection, even as I watch the swaying flames. But there is nothing around us, and I yawn and chuckle to myself.
Daniela was sleeping in the tent. It was currently around 3 o’clock in the night. I had taken the second watch, but there was little to do besides keeping the fire going by adding wood. And so I decided to use the time to boil some boar bones for the morning’s soup. I removed the scum with a spoon as I gazed at the two moons in the night sky. I didn’t understand how it worked, but the third moon was not visible tonight.
Eventually, the moons moved to the western sky, and the eastern side began to grow with a pale light. The dawn was almost here. And we had still not seen any monsters. Not even one animal. It had been a quiet and peaceful night.
I went to wake up Daniela once the sun came up. When I peeked into the tent, Daniela was wrapped in a blanket and sleeping softly. I poke at her adorable face and pull her out of the world of dreams.
“Daniela, it’s morning.”
“Come on, get up. It’s morning.”
Perhaps I had poked her a little too much, because she now hid under the covers. In that case, there was nothing for me to do but pull up the blankets where her feet were. And touch her with the block of ice I had generated.
“Ah, there you are.”
“Whawhaa…what are you doing!”
“A prank, since you wouldn’t get up.”
“Tsk…I will remember this, Asagi…”
She glares at me as I pull her up to her feet. Now, it was time for breakfast.
Daniela would wash her face if you left her a bucket full of water. And so I prepared our breakfast in the meantime. I took the bones out of the pot that had been boiling from the night before. The soup would probably be fine as it was, as I was careful to remove the scum. But the chef inside me was not satisfied with that. And so I took out some ingredients from the hollow bag and tossed them into the pot after chopping them up. Then I sandwiched some vegetables and ham with bread. Once the soup was ready, the Traveler’s Breakfast ‘Asagi Special’ would be complete.
“Mmm…something smells very good.”
“I’ve been boiling it since last night. I was bored.”
“I see. Peace is the best…”
“Exactly. Let’s eat then.”
“Yes, thank you.”
We bit into our ham sandwiches and drank our soup. The morning air and chirping of birds really added to this moment of peace. The soup that had taken hours to make had turned out great, and the vegetables in the ham sandwiches were fresh and crunchy.
“What should we do today?”
“Mmm…we walk today as well. There is a village ahead of us, but I doubt that we will reach it. If things continue to go smoothly, we should arrive by midday tomorrow.”
“Got it. Well, we’ll take it easy. We aren’t in a rush here.”
“Yes…we have plenty of food as well. Let us just be careful to not get injured. That was delicious.”
“You’re already finished? Hey, wait…”
“It was so good that I could not stop eating. You relax and enjoy the meal. I will do the cleanup.”
“It is nothing.”
Stuff like that was becoming more common as we traveled together. I guess it was because of our mutual affection and that we had become closer. But I wasn’t going to rest on my laurels either. You should be respectful even when you were close. Give and take.
I hurriedly stuffed the rest of the food down my throat and stood up to help.
□ □ □ □
Eventually, or should I say, finally, the scenery around us changed. The flatlands slowly turned into slopes as we entered hilly terrain. We climbed a gentle hill and stood on top. It was strangely chilly, but the weather was nice. There were horse-like wild animals feeding on the grass. Sometimes they would get up and run, which was entertaining to watch. I wished that I had a camera with me.
“What is it?”
“That’s not a monster, is it?”
“Aye, it is an ordinary horse.”
You could hear the loud stomping, but there were no signs of them coming towards us. I guess they were just exercising after a meal…how peaceful.
“Let’s take a break. I’m tired.”
“Yes…the weather is fine, so we can rest here for a while.”