Chapter 15 – Midnight Visitor
Before lying down on the wood-paneled floor, I took out a blanket from my magic bag.
It was the same one that I used for many years while on the quest to slay the Demon King.
During such hard journeys, sleeping outside was the norm.
And so this blanket was large and thick. It was also waterproof in case it rained.
“There is stone under the wood. It will rob the warmth right out of you.”
“Aren’t you cold, Hippolius?”
‘I’m not cold.’
Perhaps its thick layers of fat really did help to keep it warm.
It usually lived in the sea, after all.
After lying down on the blanket I had spread out, Hippolius moved next to me.
It lay in a position so that its large body and tail were enveloping me.
Hippolius’s large nose was near my face.
I could hear Hippolius breathing.
I patted Hippolius on the nose.
While some time had passed since taming Hippolius, this was the first time we would sleep together.
After all, I slept in the ship, while Hippolius slept in the water.
But after observing Hippolius for all of this time, there was one thing that I learned.
Hippolius liked to be pampered and become lonely very easily.
Kelly said that Hippolius was still a child. And so it must be true.
“Hippolius. You did really well today.”
I would try and make up for the time that Hippolius had been alone.
And so I praised Hippolius while petting it.
“I should make beds for everyone in preparation for the winter.”
Just like me, the Adventurers had brought their own blankets.
It was a necessary item, after all.
However, they could not bring their own beds.
And so in order to ensure that they could sleep comfortably, I would have to make them beds as soon as possible.
“We also have to make a well. There is much that I need to craft.”
I also wanted to make illumination tools for every room.
If we had light, then we could work more during the night.
Without lights, the only thing we could do at night was sleep.
“Though, sleeping at sundown and waking up at dawn is not a bad thing…”
But after giving it some thought, I changed my mind.
There was no doubt that there would be times when we had to act during the night.
If I made illumination tools for everyone, then we would need fuel. Perhaps wood could be used for that.
Speaking of fuel, we would also need heating in every house during the winter.
And if I made fireplaces, then we would need chimneys.
“Make a hole in the roof and… No, maybe it should be through the wall…”
As I thought about the various things that I would have to make, I realized that I was having fun.
“That being said, there will be an order of priority with such things.”
Heating is something that we won’t need at all until the winter.
I would have to ask Victor about what things we needed immediately.
While I considered this, Hippolius’s breathing signaled that it had fallen asleep.
“…I should go to sleep as well.”
And so I patted Hippolius and slowly drifted off to sleep.
In the middle of the night. I sensed a presence and woke up.
I got up immediately and looked out of the window.
Judging by the position of the stars, I had been asleep for about five hours.
There were still three more hours before morning.
The presence was different from the Adventurers and scholars.
Someone who was a complete stranger was walking quietly outside of the house.
“But it doesn’t seem hostile…”
And so I doubted that it wanted to harm or kill us.
That being said, I was not a fighter.
The only reason that I could sense its intentions was because I had survived so many dangerous battles up until now.
I did not have that nearly superhuman ability that the Hero and warriors in my party had.
In other words, I didn’t quite trust my own senses.
(Besides, the most powerful people know how to hide their presence. And hostility can be disguised…)
Hero had been able to kill demons without showing any intention to kill.
Even though I was right next to him, it took me a moment to understand what had happened.
The demon didn’t even understand during that second before its death.
(I doubt I’ll ever see a demon with that expression again.)
I got lost in those memories just a little.
It was hard not to feel nostalgic when thinking back on our travels.
Back then, I did not think that I would look back on such times fondly. After all, we were constantly on the brink of death.
I heard Hippolius’s breathing? No, it was saying something in its sleep.
Or maybe that was just how sea hippos sounded when they snored.
It was so cute that I couldn’t help chuckling.
Still, Hippolius had no sense of caution.
And it showed no signs of waking up.
Had it lost its wild side? Or was it the confidence of the strong?
“Well, it cannot be helped. Hippolius is still a child.”
I moved quietly to the window and looked outside.
“…What is that?”
Near the center of our base, I saw a four-legged shadow near the oven where we had cooked the meat.