Chapter 217 – We Headed out on an Expedition!!
And so the Vader investigation was decided, and we started to make preparations.
“No! You must stay here, Mappa.”
Fule’s voice echoed around the smithy.
And in front of her, Mappa was throwing a fit as he flailed around on the ground.
Erevan muttered as he checked the contents of his bag.
“Well, maybe if he wears proper clothes and does something about the ragged hair and beard? Besides, Mappa’s face is… Yes, let’s shave him.”
Upon hearing this, Mappa got back to his feet and held his hands protectively over his beard as he shook his head. He did not want to shave.
I was also quite curious to see Mappa’s face… But I had to focus on preparations right now.
“It’s been a while since I last wore it like this…”
I was standing in front of Shiel, who had become a looking glass.
Up until now, I had worn an orange coat that I owned since my time in the kingdom. I had rolled up the sleeves so that it was easier to move in.
And so if I unrolled the sleeves, I went back to looking like a royal or noble.
However, Rienna then brought an identical coat and said,
“Here, Lord Heal. This one was made using thread made of Taran’s webs. And so it should be much more comfortable.”
“Oh, thank you, Rienna. You’re right. It’s so much lighter.”
The coat that Rienna handed to me was incredibly light. Cave Spider webs were durable, and so I could trust it in terms of protection.
“Rienna… I see you’ve changed your clothes as well.”
Instead of her usual white dress or shirt, today, Rienna was wearing black armor.
“This is ryukin armor. If it comes to it, I can…”
Rienna said, and then her black armor changed to her usual white clothes.
“Because the Vader people might not welcome someone who is armed. That being said, dressing too lightly will make it easier for bandits and monsters to target us. And so I wanted to look intimidating. There is also ryukin threads weaved into your clothes, Lord Heal.”
“Oh. So it can change shape…I see.”
I said as I changed my clothes to look like armor.
Indeed, appearances were important.
Rienna and the Berdan tribe had been wandering all over the Barleon continent. And so they had a wealth of knowledge concerning traveling. That was reassuring.
“Well, in any case, we will likely have to fight with magic quite a lot. Swords and armor will be more of a last resort.”
Fule was wearing a white shirt that would be easy to move in, and something like a leather skirt.
Erevan looked at Fule with an expression of worry.
“Tsk. Not very intimidating… Well, wear what you want. But listen to me, Fule. You must not allow anyone to lay a single finger on our chief.”
“I know, father. You really don’t have to be so worried.”
Fule said. Still, Erevan had been looking through the bag for a while now… From preserved food to clothing and medicine. It was Fule’s bag.
There were things that seemed unnecessary at a glance, and Fule would get annoyed and tell Erevan that she didn’t need them.
I suppose Erevan was quite worried about Fule…
Rienna, Fule, and I would head out for the Vader investigation. And while some ancient Sheorl people, ryukin golems and Sylphion would be standing by for contact purposes, it would generally just be the three of us.
That was why the Sheorl people were so worried. And so many of the demihumans came and offered us things that they had made.
And so tried to reassure them.
“Everyone, we will be fine. I promise you, we won’t do anything reckless.”
“Really… You must avoid doing anything like you did during the Leviathan battle. You nearly gave me a heart attack back then.”
“In order to avoid such an incident, I shall protect Lord Heal and Fule.”
Rienna declared, causing Fule to puff out her cheeks.
“I will protect you two. You do not need to worry about me, princess.”
Both of them were strong. And, of course, if something happened, I would protect them with my life.
Erevan turned towards Mappa and laughed.
“Well, I think we can leave the chief in their care.”
Mappa nodded in agreement.
“It is because of you, Erevan, Baris, and everyone else, that we can go on this expedition without worry. Though, I feel bad, leaving everything to you.”
I said, and Erevan and the others answered reassuringly.
And like that, we headed out on the Vader investigation.
First we would go to Sylphion, and meet up with Beruna, who would be our guide.
And from there, we continued through the Sylphion forest, and in spite of it being so vast, it was a smooth journey. Apparently, Beruna and the others had moved some of the trees to make it easier for us to travel through.
So it was a straight path that was bright and with good visibility.
As Rienna walked next to me, she looked around with awe.
“I’ve never been in a forest that was so easy to walk in before… Thank you for your help, Ms. Beruna.”
Beruna, who walked in the lead, looked over her shoulder and said,
“Not at all. It is nothing, considering the debt that we owe you! Besides, we have so little information on the Vader people. We want to know more about them, so it’s only natural that we would help you.”
“Aye. Once we return, we will tell Theodosia and the others about their current state.”
I answered, and Beruna nodded her head.
“Thank you. But please be careful on your travels. Especially once you exit this forest and reach the Fateshia Valley. There are vast rocky lands where no trees will grow. And so there will be no place to hide. On top of that, there are many ferocious monsters who live in the wastelands. Sometimes, they even enter the forest to attack us, and can be even more dangerous than the Vader people.”
“I see… We will be careful then.”
Now that I thought about it, I had never traveled through dangerous lands while in the kingdom. And so I had to proceed with caution.
After traveling like that for some time, the vast rocklands on the other side of the forest came into view. And in the far distance, we could see the valley that was surrounded by high cliffs. So that was the Fateshia Valley.
Beruna stopped at the border between forest and rock, and said,
“Here is the border between the Fateshia Valley and Sylphion… Will you really be fine the rest of the way without me?”
“It is just a straight path to the Vader territories, isn’t it? Even we could hardly get lost.”
I answered, but Beruna looked worried. That was how dangerous this place was.
Shiel and Taran, who would be waiting in Sylphion, also looked a little anxious.
“Everyone, we really will be fine. If something happens… Huh?”
As I tried to convince them that there was no need to worry, I suddenly detected magic energy that was moving towards us at a tremendous speed from below ground.
“This shaking… It is a Hell Worm!!”
The moment that Beruna shouted the warning, the ground shook violently. And then something tore out from the stone ground and into the air.
“I won’t let you!”
“No, you won’t!”
Rienna and Fule said at the same time, and then lights flashed.
Before I knew it, a giant worm with a mouth full of sharp teeth…was on the ground, completely burnt.
Rienna and Fule had defeated it with thunder magic before I could unleash my own magic.
“A-a Hell Worm in one hit… But we struggle so much, and can barely defeat them…”
Beruna looked stunned, but Fule answered with a smug expression.
“Hehe. Do not underestimate the reaction speed of a goblin.”
“Yes. I’m sure that everyone will feel relieved now.”
Rienna said with a look of confidence. Beruna had to laugh.
“Hehe. Any feeling of worry really was unnecessary then. With people like you.”
Shiel and Taran also nodded at this.
Even I was surprised. Both of them were now capable of unleashing magic at such a speed.
While I spent all my time digging in caves, they had been passionately studying magic… I had to try harder as well.
Beruna then continued with a serious expression.
“Now then, we will be waiting by one of the great trees that is close by. The Sheorl people will also be there. As it has a good view of the whole valley, please start a signal fire if something happens.”
“Very well. Now, we must go.”
And so I said my farewells to Beruna and the others, and with Rienna and Fule, headed towards the Fateshia Valley.
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