The rain continued to pour until morning. By the time the sun came up, the clouds parted and warm rays of sun illuminated the town of Arkaroid.
My battered body rested on the bed as I gazed out the window.
“Hmmm…ah, I see. But I am still tired.”
“Oh, come on…”
As exhausted as I was, I forced myself out of bed and grabbed a new pair of clothes to take to the bath house. I didn’t know which it was right now, but hopefully it was for men.
“Apparently, I am pretty lucky.”
I took off my clothes and sunk into the hot water with a sigh. The sign hanging from the door currently read: Men. Perhaps it had something to do with the time I turned it around to keep people out while the beastkin girl was inside. So the time slots had shifted. In other words, it was probably actually supposed to be used by women now. But no one had noticed yet. The gods had smiled down at me today.
It was like your fatigue melted into the water and evaporated with the steam. But then the demon of sleep tried to get you after it, and so I had to escape before too much time had passed. As we would be leaving today, I had brought my Adventurer clothes with me. Thankfully, the inn had a magic device that could dry your clothes quickly. It was a pleasant surprise that such convenient things existed here.
I left the changing room just as one of the employees was changing the sign. He looked like a complete newcomer who had probably just remembered the time to switch it but nothing else. Of course, I was in no mood to blame him when it had been to my advantage.
And so I returned to the room and suggested that Daniela stop her occupation of the bed and go and take a bath so I could tidy up the room a little. Well, we hadn’t stayed quite long enough to trash the place, but the area immediately around the bed was still a mess. As for the sheets, well, the people who worked here had to do something. Yes, it couldn’t be helped.
When Daniela returned from her bath, she grabbed her things and we left the room. I dropped the keys on the counter along with a gold coin as an apology for ruining their sheets. A gold coin was always enough to put a smile on a person’s face. It made the world a better place.
The sky was bright and clear now. Under the sunlight, the town of Arkaroid looked incredibly beautiful. There were drops of rain on the edges of the roofs that reflected the sun and sparkled.
Most of the buildings were made of bricks, which was probably a measure taken against the humidity of the wetlands.
The buildings had lots of windows too, now that I look at them.
It was as I gazed at the buildings, that a carriage entered our view. Hmm, it reminded me of Mister Tanjelin…
“To be really honest, I’m exhausted today.”
“Well, it is part of your punishment, so there is nothing that I can do.”
“You were enjoying yourself too much to…well, that’s not what I meant.”
“Why don’t we take a carriage?”
I pointed at a stationary one by the road. I did not want to walk today. I wanted to sleep. I wanted to sway to the sounds of horses and wake up in the next town. That sounded amazing.
“And miss the beautiful scenery?”
“I think I could really enjoy an occasional carriage ride.”
“Really… Hmmm. But there is no guarantee that we will find one that is headed towards the capital, you know?”
She was right, of course. Things rarely happen the way that you wanted them. However, my luck happened to be great today.
I closed my eyes and perked up my ears. I needed to search through all the bustling noises for that one sound.
“What are you doing?”
Daniela stood next to me and sighed. I ignored that inconsequential sound and continued to listen.
“…I hear it.”
I pulled Daniela by the hand towards the sound. I was in peak condition today. And my ears were here to prove it.
“We’ll be departing for Yukka soon!”
That was the sound I was searching for. That was the name of the next town, the one in the forest.
The carriage was stationed near the side of a large street. There were already a few passengers inside. The driver was shouting and calling for any other passengers. And there before him, appeared two very willing people.
“Here! Here! Us two!”
“Good! Now we’re all full! And it’s off to Yukka!”
I got in first and pulled Daniela inside. Daniela was not very amused that things had gone so smoothly. And I thought she was on my side?
“Don’t look like that. Why not take it easy for just one day?”