We arrived at the entrance for the Fenrir Forest
After telling Sebastian that I would ride on Leo for the rest of the way, I then told Ms. Claire and Ms. Lyra.
I gave them the excuse that Leo really wanted to carry me.
“I’m sorry for blaming you, Leo…”
Leo nodded as if to say, ‘you’re hopeless, aren’t you?’…
After resting for about thirty minutes, we set off for the forest once again.
Perhaps because she was happy to have me with her, Leo would sometimes start running very fast, and I had to make her slow down so that we didn’t leave the carriage behind.
“Leo. Calm down a little while running.”
While she was apologetic, she still seemed like she wanted to run.
…And she wouldn’t be able to run much once we entered the forest…hmm…I know what we could do.
“Leo. Follow my directions and run. Then you’ll be able to run around a lot.”
And so I gave directions for Leo to run around the carriage and the guards.
Though I had been the one to suggest it, I didn’t think that she could run circles around a moving carriage and horses so quickly…
Several times, she would move closer to the horses before moving away again, and Ms. Lyra started to look at me with a jealous expression.
…I’ll let you ride Leo again some other time, so please stop looking at me like that.
So when we passed the carriage again and our eyes met, I nodded with an apologetic expression.
Well, that was settled…was what I thought, but then I noticed that now Ms. Claire was giving me jealous looks…
And so I gave her the same nod as well..
After that, Sebastian looked at me the same way…
“Mr. Takumi, I am only joking. Hohoho.”
…Sebastian. So this is what he was like after you got to know him then.
I had thought that he was a stiff and proper butler…
And so the party continued to move amidst this playful and calm atmosphere, until we finally reached the forest.
The carriage stopped at the edge of the forest, and Ms. Claire and Lyra stepped out.
I also got off of Leo close to the carriage.
“Leo. Are you tired?”
Leo raised her two front paws as if to say that she was completely fine.
Her gestures were somehow becoming even more human-like.
But more importantly, Leo had run around so much and still wasn’t tired at all..
As she was running circles around the carriage and the guards, she would have been running twice as much as the horses.
“This is as far as you can go by carriage.”
Sebastian said as he got down from the driver’s seat and tied the carriage to a nearby tree.
Then the horses were rounded up in one place and given water before being tied to a tree as well.
“What will you do with the horses while we are in the forest?”
“They will stay here until we return.”
“I will be watching them!”
When I asked Sebastian the question, one of the guards answered as well.
Indeed, when I had first met Ms. Claire, she said that her horse had run away after being frightened by the orc.
And since there was a chance that we could encounter orcs and monsters inside, it was probably better to leave them here.
“Is it so they won’t get scared and try to escape?”
“That is one reason, but it’s also difficult for them to walk in the forest.”
“…Yes, now that you mention it. But wasn’t Ms. Claire riding a horse when she was here? Before it ran away, that is.”
“It is because I was near the river. I went along the river bank from outside of the forest. Ramogi usually grows near water.”
“Ah, I see.”
Compared to the rest of the forest, the area around the river had fewer trees.
Like Ms. Claire said, if you followed the river bank then it would not be difficult to ride a horse.
While answering the question, Ms. Claire was pulling out her belongings from the carriage and handing them to Lyra.
Oh, I better go and help them.
“Allow me to help you. Some of it is mine, after all.”
“Thank you. But Mr. Takumi, could you perhaps join the soldiers in gathering branches?”
“Yes. The dried and thicker the better. We are going to make a bonfire.”
“It is midday now, so we must prepare lunch.”
“I see. It’s so we can eat. Very well, I will gather branches. Leo, come and help me.”
I took Leo and we went a little into the forest.
Just far enough that we could still see Ms. Claire and the others from between the trees.
I didn’t want to go too far in, as the others might worry about us.
And just like us, Phillip and Johanna, who weren’t watching the horses, were inside the forest and looking for branches on the ground.
“Oh, good girl, Leo.”
Leo was carrying several branches in her mouth as she brought them to me.
They were about as thick as my arm.
When I thought about it, it was pretty amazing that she was able to carry multiple branches like this at once.
I patted Leo on the head and praised her, but also felt that I better look for some too, and so I started searching the ground.
After gathering branches for about ten minutes, we had enough to make a bonfire.
“Now, I will light it.”
“Thank you, Sebastian.”
“Hmm? What is it, Leo?”
In order to make a fire, Mr. Sebastian had put his hand over the branches.
He was probably going to use fire magic.
But as I watched Sebastian with interest, as I wanted to see some magic, Leo sat right next to Sebastian.
“Leo. Don’t bother Sebastian right now.”
She looked at me and then down at the branches.
Could it be that Leo wanted to light them on fire?