Even after defeating the horned deer, I wanted to try fighting something else.
And so I visited the Adventurers Guild, but was unable to accept any quests. The reason for this was that there were no suitable ones that were close by. And I had no options for travel.
There were no main roads, and the passenger carriages that moved between the small villages only came by once a week at most. I couldn’t get a ride unless they happened to coincide with a quest. And even if I went, I wouldn’t be able to get back.
However, I had a change of heart after reluctantly accepting an E-Rank quest. It was at a small village that was within walking distance.
I had completed the ‘Grass Viper Hunt,’ which had been easy enough, and submitted the request sheet to the client.
“It is a great help. Thank you.”
I received the completion signature, spent the night in the village, and left the village the following day.
(I will buy another horse.)
I thought, as I walked down the road back to Meizanne.
There was a reason that I made this decision. Indeed, it was very inconvenient as an Adventurer, to not have such methods for transportation, when accepting quests.
However, the biggest reason was that the village I had just visited, was a place where rumors of a ‘One-legged Priest Warrior’ had not reached.
Up until now, I had mainly traveled down main town roads by carriage, in order to move towards my destination. But with a horse, I had the option of going to places where the passenger carriages did not go.
If I got off the main roads, I would come in contact with fewer people who had heard the rumors. And I might have a chance to use Reverse Age. That is what I thought.
Besides, with enough time and distance, even if my leg did return through Reverse Age, I could always claim that I saved up money to have it healed.
This excuse would not make sense to anyone who tracked my movements, but it wasn’t like I was some wanted man who mercenaries were chasing. And so no one would do that.
And so I decided that on the day after I returned to the town, I would search for information about horses.
I asked around at the Adventurers Guild, and the driver of the passenger carriage. And then visited a dealer who sold horses and carriages outside of town.
“I wish to buy a horse.”
“Eh? And what kind of horse would that be?”
There were many kinds of horses. Large horses that were suited for farming, fast horses, military steeds, etcetera.
“I would be using it for travel. And so it should be a horse that will not run at the sight of monsters.”
“In that case, I have one that was in the army, though it is a little on the older side. But it’s well disciplined, and you could not ask for a better companion on the road.”
I was then guided to the stable and saw the horse, which had a brown coat, mane and tail. But the hair around its hooves were a deep blue. It was a combination I sometimes saw in this world.
“Huh, sea hair.”
“Aye, a nice color, eh? It is a stallion.”
I petted it while looking at it, and it looked back at me. As expected from a warhorse, it was very calm. After that, it was saddled and I took it around the field, and it was composed and obeyed my orders. A good horse.
“How much for it?”
“I would like to say four pieces of gold, but since it is rather aged, how about three pieces of gold and fifty silver?”
That was still a little expensive, but they tended to be like that near the city. Besides, I was grateful that it was trained.
“I’ll accept that price, if it comes with the saddle.”
“Could it be a used saddle?”
“I don’t mind.”
After all, the stirrup would have to be modified to accommodate my prosthetic leg anyway.
“Does it have a name?”
“While we do not use it here, it was called Mulze when in the army.”
I tried calling it by that name, and it neighed in response. Apparently, it recognized it as its name, so I would keep it.
It was decided that I would take Mulze once the saddle was completed. And so a leatherworker was recommended to me, and I requested the modification of the stirrups.
During the few days that I waited, I trained at the guild, and prepared for my journey. When the saddle was completed, I took it and Mulze, and departed from the town of Meizanne.
It had been a while since I enjoyed the view from atop a horse. And it felt good. Up ahead, I could see the Fumerto river, which was the border of the Rabahask Holy Empire.
In terms of distance, we were just outside of Meizanne. There was a long bridge that extended over the river.
I completed the departure procedures at the border security checkpoint, then pulled the reins and crossed the border bridge. When I looked at the water’s surface from on top of the bridge, I saw that it was not too deep, and I could see the bottom of the river.
There were also some large shadows moving there. Either it was a large fish or some kind of monster.
I then noticed that Mulze was also looking into the water.
“What? Are you interested too? Oh, it’s probably not that. ‘Water.’”
I cupped my hands and created some water near its mouth, and it started to drink. I had a feeling we were going to get along well.
After completing the immigration procedures at the security checkpoint on the opposite bank, I finally entered Rabahask.
And after advancing a little farther, the sight that spread out before me was that of vast paddy fields.
I could not help but exclaim at the nostalgic sight. Now that I thought about it, I had heard that something like rice was grown in the south. And I had been traveling to the south for months now. So this was how far I had come.
It was strange, but the sight alone made me feel something like an oriental atmosphere. And yet I was riding through it on horseback, and with a sword equipped. It was a strange feeling indeed. Regardless, there were no monsters around, and the journey was leisurely.
That night, I stayed at a farming village inn that was on the side of the road.
It had been a while since I last had to take care of a horse, but it came back to me. And then I had dinner. Just as expected, they served rice. Only here, it was called ‘kurun.’
The grains were narrow…and it was eaten with soup. The taste was just fine, but the texture reminded me of home. When life was easy and peaceful. I had parents, friends, and a job.
I could not help but compare that time to the years spent here. In comparison to earth, there was less amusement, and more danger. However, I had become stronger for it. The days spent training myself and thinking about the lives of both myself and others when in danger, were so intense, and filled me with that feeling of truly living.
(A life started nine years ago. I will live it to the fullest.)
Yes, with that renewed determination, I returned to my room in the inn.