After the Battle
A month has passed since that battle. I am now leaning on my elbow over a desk on the veranda. Alone, I stare out at the view that the city of Replant offers.
The sky is clear, with just one large cloud floating with the wind. It suddenly begins to cover the sun, casting a large shadow under it. I lean back into the chair and gaze up at the cloud. The round shape of the sun is slightly visible behind the foggy cloud. I look back at the city before the sun comes out again. The city is brimming with lively sounds that signal definite peace.
Replant was peace itself today as well.
□ □ □ □
After that fight, I slept like a corpse. When I finally awoke, I was on top of a wagon. It might have been wind spirits who woke me up, as I felt the gentle caress of wind on my cheek.
“Oh? You are finally up.”
“Good morning, Asagi.”
Daniela was sitting in the same wagon and looking down at me. Hmmm… So this soft pillow was Daniela’s thighs. I better pet them a little.
“So, where are we?”
“We are close to Replant. Leave my thigh alone, Asagi.”
I had slept for quite a while then. Our camp was quite far from Replant.
Two to three days, I think…
“Stop tossing and turning and taking such deep breaths.”
“I happen to be half asleep, Daniela…you understand…”
“I will kick you right off.”
“Actually, I’m all rested up.”
I was wide awake now, and so I hopped off of the wagon. Woah, where are my shoes? Oh, whatever. The cool ground felt great. I decided to walk barefooted.
The land here was flat. I could see some trees growing, just like there were when we had come. I raised my head and focused my eyes to the far distance and saw the outer walls of Replant. At this rate, we would be there within an hour.
As we walked, Daniela told me about how long I had slept. After the battle, the Adventurers had frantically gone around collecting all of the orc fangs which were proof of the hunt. If left alone, the corpses would return to the earth, but they remained once you took the fangs. I had no idea how it worked, but that was the rule of this world.
The valley depths, the forest, and the orc room. They collected as many of the orc fangs as they could and stuffed them temporarily into my hollow bag. Still, even the hollow bag was not enough to carry all of them, and so my belongings were moved to the wagon and carriage, and the rest of the fangs were wrapped in cloths and carried by the Adventurers. By the way, Daniela had passed out the food we had bought from the street stalls. The investigation and all of the traveling had caused a shortage in their food supplies, so I had no complaints in regards to that. Also, the magic lanterns were in the wagon now. Daniela had ensured that they came with us.
Once the fangs were taken, we had left the settlement. We had made it this far for the purpose of being able to return home as soon as possible. In fact, now that I looked at them, a lot of the Adventurers looked like they had just escaped from somewhere. In any case, I would definitely ask for my cloth back later. But I’ll consider the stall food as a gift.
“Ah, we’ve arrived.”
“That was rather fast.”
Daniela and I looked up at the walls. My eyes happened to meet a soldier who was posted on top of the wall, and so I waved at him. He raised an arm that held a spear. I smiled.
We showed our status cards at the gate and entered the city. Then it was straight to the guild to make a report of the investigation of the southern valley, and also the orc hunt. Virgil breathed heavily as he gave the guild worker an account of our work during the hunt, and so it was decided that we would also be paid for our efforts in helping them. In other words, we would be paid the reward money for the southern valley investigation and the orc hunt, on top of being able to convert materials into money. I smiled.
That day, we all returned to our inns for the day. The day after that, we gathered together to celebrate. The place was the Anthill, which I, Daniela, Gardo, and Ness recommended. It was not exactly unknown, and so many agreed with that choice.
“Well then, to the completion of the Orc Extermination Quest! Cheers!!!”
Virgil’s toast was the signal for the battle to begin. Of course, it was a battle for meat. Several ‘anthills’ of meat were put on the table, but they crumbled and dwindled at a rapid pace. Were these people even cooking it properly?
I chuckled with a little exasperation and then looked at Daniela, who sat on the other side of the table in front of me. And the anthill that was there a moment ago was now gone. Daniela’s averted her eyes, but her cheeks were bloated. I suppose I would have to fight a little harder for scraps. The ensuing battle between me and Daniela was hotter than the iron grill that cooked the meat.
Virgil couldn’t quite hold his liquor, and I saw him confess his affections towards Angelica and he was immediately rejected. Something rather similar happened with the drunken Ness and Oregano, who had helped save him. Gardo seemed to have enough sense to stick to his meat.
As Daniela and I continued are meat war, the members of the valley team who had just finished getting rid of the two men, came to our table. Thankfully, they had brought their own meat. So I was like, sure, take a seat.
“Mister Asagi, you were brilliant on this expedition.”
“You weren’t bad yourself, Angelica. It was your bomb that defeated Mordred.”
“Hm? Oh, uh, nothing. Let’s eat!”
I hadn’t told them about Arthur and his story. I took some of Angelica’s meat and threw it onto the grill.
“Ahahaha! Asagi. How crude!!”
“Lauria, you have had too much to drink.”
Lauria was in good spirits, and she started to lean on me. I could smell the alcohol.
“Oh, I haven’t drunken nothing! See, my cup is half full!”
“Well, it is your fifth mug.”
“Lauria cannot drink so much, and yet she does.”
Olive and Oregano explained as they turned the meat over on the grill. Surprisingly, these two were rather perceptive. Daniela and I would just throw the meat on and eat it almost carelessly. But they would line them up neatly and wait for the perfect time.
“By the way, are you two sisters?”
“We are twins.”
Twins, huh? I hadn’t noticed, as their hairstyles were so different. But now that they mentioned it, they did have the same face. I pushed Lauria over to Angelica and ate the meat that the two had cooked. Hmm, it was good.
We continued to enjoy the meat and drinks for some time until Daniela suddenly collapsed. It was as if her batteries had died and she could now do nothing but snore over the table.