Some time had now passed since the guild master of Yukka summoned us.
In fact, Daniela and I were currently on a quest to escort a merchant who was headed to the imperial capital. I had gone searching for a quest after Daniela’s suggestion and had discovered that a small merchant caravan was departing on the same day as us. It would make things easy when leaving the inn, and all we had to do to make some money was guard two wagons. And so we set off after restocking on supplies, including our food, which Daniela had eaten too much of.
Kiralika wrote us a letter of recommendation for entering the Imperial Sword Tournament. Daniela had become rather passionate about it.
“I want to enlist. It should be amusing.”
She would say it in the sweetest voice. I didn’t have the courage to say no. Besides, I shuddered to think of how she might retaliate if I rejected the notion.
After we finished preparing for our journey, we visited a few people to say goodbye. Rami, Saragi, Kanatsuki, and Nanaya from the guild. There was also the Adventurer, Aeneus. And lastly, Shiki, who had sold me my spear.
When I told Aeneus that we were off to the imperial capital, he said that he also wanted to enter the tournament. So, perhaps we would meet again?
One thing I hadn’t forgotten about, was the Adventurers that had attacked us when we first arrived. The ones that Daniela and I beat into the ground. They had apparently seen us meeting the guild master and receiving the letter of recommendation. Perhaps that had put a certain fear into them, because they came and apologized to us. And hey, I wasn’t the devil, alright? I readily forgave them.
“But if you try anything like that again, I may have to string you up naked over the entrance of the guild.”
“Yes, and I may have to take a knife and carve you up.”
Such promises were made as we reconciled.
In the short time we had left, I was forced to go around and search for a replacement for my wind dragon trousers which were now wind dragon shorts.
There were a few stores that specialized in trousers, but none had anything that was worthy of my glasses.
This, of course, meaning that I searched while wearing the appraisal glasses. It was no use. I would have settled for a mere AGI boost, but I could not find that either. I couldn’t just grab a random pair and go to Rachel and say, ‘add an enchantment!’ She would kill me.
The effect of Matsumoto’s dragon stampede hadn’t reached the empire. In fact, I couldn’t even find any dragon armor. And what materials we had were already used for Daniela’s clothes… There was really nothing I could do.
And so I was ultimately forced to wear trousers of merely decent materials and go on the quest.
□ □ □ □
Two days had now passed since we left Yukka’s east gate. There were a number of monsters and bandit attacks, but nothing had happened to force a delay. Well, that was due to Daniela and me. Yes, no pair of disappointing trousers were going to keep me down.
On the third day of our leisurely journey, we encountered a large pack of monsters. They had come out of the forest and seemed uncertain at first, but attacked us anyway. The merchant shrieked and hid in his wagon. Daniela and I sighed and began to work on the rush of goblins, forest wolves and even kobolds.
It really only took about thirty seconds for the monsters to realize that they could not get passed us, and so they turned and fled back into the forest.
“I don’t get it.”
“…Yes, I have a bad feeling about this.”
It was the kind of scenario where you could count on a larger monster making an appearance. Daniela assured me of this.
“…Uh, shouldn’t we get out of here then?”
But Daniela continued to stare into the forest. Just as I activated Presence Detection for myself, the merchant boss poked his head out from the wagon. We called him Mister. He dealt in antiques and art.
“…Uh, Mister Asagi, Miss Daniela. Is it finished…?”
“No, you might want to stay in there, Mister.”
“It might even be better for you to go on ahead.”