Daniela’s Mistake, and Further In The Forest
I stabbed the greatsword into the ground and leaned on it. My body felt so heavy.
Three hours had passed since the blood apes attacked. And there were now nearly fifty corpses scattered around us. Damn it, Daniela. So much for ten more… This was five times as many…I am both mentally and physically devastated. My arms couldn’t stop shaking.
“Ahh…well, rarely, these things can happen.”
“…it better be rare…”
I wouldn’t say that I had reached my limits mentally, but physically… I at least knew that if I slept now, I would not wake up until morning.
But it wasn’t all bad. I noticed it while we were fighting, but the precision of Presence Detection had gone up quite a bit. I was able to detect some of the hidden blood apes, which made it possible for me to deal with the oncoming attacks. It was probably because it had become higher than the Presence Block skill that they had. Though, I couldn’t see the numbers to confirm anything… The status card only showed the skills you had.
“There was something that’s been bothering me ever since we were attacked…why didn’t the magic barrier activate?”
It was Daniela who said we wouldn’t be attacked with the barrier tools. Or at least, I think she said that.
“No, I did not say that.”
“Really? Is that right? But the barrier…”
“The barrier only dilutes our presence and helps us blend in with our surroundings. It does not keep them away.”
“I didn’t know that.”
“I thought that you did.”
Well, it’s called a barrier. And so I expected it to keep things out. But, okay…I do remember that Beowulf had attacked us when we were using it… Why did ambushes always involve our bonfires? That shit was bad for my heart.
But in other words, monsters with advanced detecting abilities were able to find us. So we had to find them first and crush them. Good to know. Our barrier wasn’t very useful here.
Well, well. The sky was starting to brighten. And yet I had not gotten much sleep. And so I said a word to Daniela before taking off my armor and sinking into the tent. The bedding was a mess, as she had gotten up in a hurry.
I felt like a mother who was making their child’s bed after they left for school. Then my finger got caught on the cloth. What, is this ripped? I frantically pick the thing up. Ahhh, it was completely torn. I had chosen quality material in hopes of it lasting…
Daniela called. I thrust the torn off piece into my pocket and grabbed my equipment as I jumped out of the tent.
“What is it!?”
“Asagi, uh, sorry. I forgot something in the tent, so, wait here for a moment.”
“That’s it? …You scared me. I thought that it was monsters again.”
“Sorry…I will be quick. Wait here.”
Really. Scaring me like that. It couldn’t be helped, so I sat down by the fire and stared at the flames. I was already at my own limits, and so it did not take long for me to fall asleep.
“Hey, wake up…Asagi…”
“Mm…ahh…ahh…Daniela. Did you find what you were looking for…?”
I thought vaguely about the dream I had been having as I turned around to look at her. I was shocked by how she looked. She was red. I almost wondered if it wasn’t because of the firelight. Had she caught a cold?
“Hey, Daniela. Your face is red. Are you alright?”
“Ah, aye…I am fine. I am fine…”
“I, uh…could not find what I was looking for…”
“Huh? You left it in the tent, right?”
Daniela was more awkward than usual. It was strange. She was usually quite blunt and quickly said what she wanted to. I didn’t know that she had this side to her. It was kind of cute though.
“Uh, I just happened to notice it now, but what is that sticking out of your pocket…”
“Ah, this? It’s a piece of our blanket. It got torn off somehow. I was really bummed about it because that blanket was expensive. I put it in my pocket when you called me.”
“Hmm…this is very, uh, difficult to say…but that is not part of our blanket…”
I tilted my head in puzzlement as I pulled the thing from my pocket and spread it out in the firelight. The thing that was not an inverted triangle piece of the blanket was thin, and upon closer inspection, was a completely different material. At the same time, I knew what it was. I knew.
“Ahh…so it really isn’t then.”
“Yes…it is not. That is…my undergarment…”
It was surprisingly modern in design, perhaps made by light elves…but the white piece of fabric was definitely underwear. I recalled the image of myself hurriedly stuffing it into my pocket, and realized that I was just a common thief. How disappointing.
“I’m sorry…here, you can have it back.”
“It is fine…I had forgotten about it…”
I put it into her hand. She took it and returned to the tent. Hah…this was so tiring. Too much had happened this night. My mind felt too sharp.
Feeling sharp made me realize things too. So, why did she have to remove her underwear? Why had the bedding been in such disarray?
I knew it then. I wasn’t the only one who was enduring the lonely nights.
I would have to be nice to her. As tired as I was, I made a promise to myself.