“The lord of monsters lives in these wetlands. It’s beautiful now, but it will turn quite savage during the night. You might be tempted to enjoy the scenery, but you should really be hurrying on.”
Then the man pointed up at the sky. The sun was already starting to descend. We still had plenty of time before nightfall, but that was no assurance that we could get out of this vast marsh by then if we didn’t hurry.
“Thanks for the advice. We just happened to be traveling as leisurely as if we were tourists.”
“Ahaha. Well, you can still make it if you hurry. And now, I must go as well.”
“Thank you. Perhaps we will meet again one day. We could go on a quest together.”
“Ah, I am sure that will be quite fun.”
After those social pleasantries, the man continued on his way. It was just as he turned a corner and was out of sight that Daniela turned to me and muttered.
“That man. He is very strong.”
I was no expert and could not tell by just looking at someone. Perhaps Daniela had learned something about it through experience.
“Yes. If we were not in a hurry, I would have liked to fight him.”
“Well, you may still get your wish one day.”
We started to walk again. To be honest, I could just use Legs of the Forest Wolf and we would be out pretty quickly. But it was nice to walk like this sometimes. Things had been very hectic up until Nicora, and so we opted for a more relaxed pace while we could.
□ □ □ □
When it was nearing evening, we finally saw the end of the road. It was also the end of the marshes. This was evident by how dry the ground was when we were off of the path.
“What a relief, eh?”
“This monster lord seemed intriguing. But fighting in the marshes is not very appealing to me.”
“You must really like your new clothes.”
“Aye. Are they not pretty?”
Daniela turned dramatically. The skirt rose in the air, exposing her shorts underneath. My eyes felt quite blessed as her pale thighs came into view.
“I feel a lecherous stare.”
“Hey, wait. Asagi. We must talk.”
I ignored her and began to walk on ahead. We were going in the opposite direction of the setting sun. We had initially considered going around the marshes, but ended up going straight through it. And it had saved us a lot of time. We would be able to get very close to the next town if we continued at this pace. That way, we would be able to pass through the town without stopping at an inn the next day. While we had money to spare, it didn’t hurt to try and avoid unnecessary expenses. Though, we would still sight see.
Daniela grumbled all the way, but by the time we pitched the tent and prepared dinner, she was back to her grinning self. No one remained angry when food came out. Humans have no choice but to smile when eating something delicious. You can find peace in the midst of a dinner.
Master Daniela took the first watch that night. I lay in the tent and thought excitedly of the imperial capital…for about three seconds before falling asleep from exhaustion.
But I was soon pulled out of my dream when Daniela’s voice rang in my ears.
“Asagi. Get up. Monsters.”
I got up frantically. At first, I had been thinking sluggishly that Daniela might have dealt with the problem alone, but those numbers were alarming. I quickly put on my armor and pulled out the Schwarz Tempest from the hollow bag. It was especially great for handling large numbers of enemies.
“They are coming from the marshes.”
“I didn’t sense them at all during the day…”
I rested the blade on my shoulder as we looked in the direction that we had come. We had moved away from it as much as time would allow, but perhaps we were somehow still in their territory…that was a bad mistake on our part. It was dumb to think that they wouldn’t come out here where the ground was dry.
“The size…is not too bad. But there is one that looks worse than the rest.”
“They’re still not within range of my Presence Detection…oh, now they are. Uhh…damn that’s a lot…”
I tried counting them and it did seem like twenty. Huhhh… Why wouldn’t they let me sleep in peace? I thought irritably as I scratched my head and prepared for a battle.