She wasn’t in a good mood, but there was no helping it since we were already on. We could still enjoy the scenery from our seats. Compromising was also essential when traveling.
“And off we go!”
The driver shouted as the carriage moved forward. The wheels clanked loudly against the road until we arrived at the gate and stopped.
A guard came out to make sure that everything was in order. And like yesterday, inspected the carriage. Surprisingly, it was the same person as yesterday as well. Miss Lemonfrost.
“Ah, it’s Master Daniela!”
“Hmm… Lemonfrost, was it? What a coincidence.”
“Oh, very! But are you leaving town so soon?”
“We are headed for the capital. This carriage is to take us to Yukka.”
“The capital…I envy you. I do want to go so very much.”
“Surely you could take a vacation?”
Lemonfrost’s shoulders drooped. Was the guarding profession like corporate slavery…?
“Well, we shall be in the imperial capital for quite some time. Perhaps we will meet again.”
“Yes. Yes, I shall go and see you! Oh, and perhaps you too, Mister Asagi!”
“Ahaha! Well, this carriage should be very safe with you on it, Master Daniela! You are now free to go!”
Miss Lemonfrost had become very excited as soon as she laid eyes on Daniela. And she let us through without even checking the documents. Are you quite alright, captain?
In any case, the permission was granted and so the carriage began to move again. And before we knew it, we were through the gate and out of the town of Arkaroid.
□ □ □ □
While the carriage wasn’t exactly packed, it still did not feel spacious as if bumped along the road. And the constant shaking wasn’t particularly comfortable either, but I expected worse.
Besides, there were several layers of cloth placed over the seats that acted as cushions. One day, it would be nice to have proper cushions made that were filled with cotton. Searching through Rachel’s entrance space might yield something of the sort, but I was too scared to try that.
I scanned the inside of the carriage. The passengers were quite diverse in appearance. But none of them talked, they all just looked down or out the windows. And so it was a little awkward that the seats were facing each other. There was a man with a huge scar on his face. A woman in light armor. A figure in a sorcerer-like robe whose gender was a mystery. A merchant who carried a large bag. A tanned man who was tall and muscular. A woman who wore revealing clothing and looked like a prostitute. The girl I helped yesterday, now wearing a large hat. A well-dressed man who looked like a noble. And me and Daniela. There were ten of us in all. Five facing five.
I looked at the woman with the hat again. She turned her eyes downward.
“We met yesterday, didn’t we?”
“I knew it. How are you feeling now?”
“That’s good. You shouldn’t stay in there too long.”
Her face was bright red and her voice barely audible. Apparently, she wasn’t the most sociable.
“Hmm? Ah, is the girl who you saw naked yesterday?”
Daniela said with a look of interest. Of course, this attracted the attention of all the other passengers.
“Yes, but…keep it down.”
“Ah, let me see…it was an accident, was it not?”
I sensed irritation in her look now. She was probably completely aware of what she was doing.
“Well, yeah. It was.”
“Are you sure?”
“You’re such a bastard…!”
They would take us for ruffians and have thrown out soon…
“Hey, uh, why don’t you tell her? About what happened yesterday…!”
Yes, yes. Go on!
She looked down and froze before finishing. Before finishing!
But before I could offer her further encouragement, Daniela opened her mouth.
“If I am not wrong, you had passed out, and Asagi saved you as you sank into the water.”
“Yes, yes. That’s what I wanted her to say.”
“So you saved her just before the ogling.”
“It was an unavoidable accident. You guys believe me, don’t you?”
“Really. To think that even I would not be enough for him…”
“I’m telling you people. I just saved a life. That’s all I did.”
Realizing that neither Daniela or the beast girl were on my side, I fought a lonely battle while trying to persuade the other passengers. Finally, I earned their understanding.
However, it didn’t help change the awkward air in the carriage much at all. But when I looked at Daniela, she grinned mischievously. And that was how the last phase of Daniela’s punishment came to an end.