“Daniela. How did you travel when you were alone?”
I ask with sudden curiosity.
“Traveling completely alone is dangerous, and so I have done it only a few times. I try to stay with a caravan of merchants. I can help them as a guard after all. If I have to travel alone, then I will not sleep. I burn no fires and use Presence Detection to its fullest. The tension never ends until the morning welcomes me.”
Uhhh… Sounds like hell…
“Well, perhaps I would be safer if I slept in the trees?”
She stares at me with a mischievous look. I quickly avert my eyes.
□ □ □ □
It was finally morning. We had finished packing everything now and we were making sure that we hadn’t forgotten anything before leaving.
“Aye, I have everything.”
“Great, let’s go then.”
We left the campsite behind us and walked into the forest. The occasional goblin would appear, die and have its weapons stolen. All the while, my allowance money grew and grew.
“Still, this forest seems really huge.”
My head kept turning back as I looked around us. There were clearings here and there, but no actual trails. You would probably get lost very easily if you weren’t paying attention. Now, if only there was a paved path leading us to…
“We should be out of this forest very soon. If nothing happens.”
Daniela says as she puts a hand on her aching shoulder. I too adjust the strap of my bag and continue to walk without resting.
Then suddenly, Presence Detection alerts me.
“Hmm? A monster?”
“No, this is a… a human?”
There was a human-like presence approaching us from the back. Now that I think of it, we hadn’t encountered a single person on this journey up until now. It was probably just a matter of timing. Then perhaps there was nothing odd about bumping into someone here.
“It’s coming at us really fast… Is it really a human?”
Feeling uncomfortable, my hand instinctively goes to the sword on my belt. It was better to always be cautious while on the road.
“No, sense it carefully. There are two are there not?”
I concentrate again. Hmm… there really was something else along with the human.
“What is it?”
“It is a horse.”
Daniela says. I see. So someone was riding a horse through the forest then. But what were they doing here?
“Either an emergency or a bandit…”
Daniela also clutches the pommel of her sword. But would a single person really attack us?
As we stood, ready to defend ourselves, we could hear the strong sound of hooves hitting the ground. Yeah, it was definitely a horse.
Finally, the horse and its rider enter our vision. Now…unless I am mistaken, that person looks familiar. Additionally, if that person was who I thought it was, I wanted to get out of here as soon as possible.
Daniela says softly as she puts a finger to her lips.
Please listen to me.
“I’ll tell you later.”
She looks a little annoyed and suspicious.
Let’s run away from here. This was surely bad news.
I frantically look in the direction of the horse. Ahh, see, they were… The person was waving energetically now.
That overly familiar voice reaches us.
“But why is she…?”
“It’s bound to be something troublesome.”
I sigh with a hand covering half my face. It was too late now.
“Asagi!!! Sorry to keep you waiting!!”
Her high-spirited voice rained down over my head. I move my hand away and look up. There, in the horse’s saddle was Fiona, looking at me with the biggest smile on her face.