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And so we walked in the forest. Here, the ground was still hard under our feet and completely cast in shadow. But it wasn’t quite dark enough to trigger my Night Eyes skill either. I might be able to see better once night falls, but that also meant that the monsters would become more active. It would be best to just get out of this forest before that happens. I didn’t want to participate in the monster parade. And so we continued to walk.
Forest goblins would appear here and there within range of Presence Detection, and whenever we got a closer look, they would always be licking at the tree sap. It was kind of creepy.
“Are we sure this stuff doesn’t have some kind of addictive quality…”
“I cannot blame you for suspecting it, seeing as how they cling to the trees…”
It sent chills down my spine. A sap that monsters were addicted to. I hope parents were careful with how much they offered their kids, I guess?
But on the other hand, most of them paid us no mind due to it. The beaten path was littered with branches, but as long as we were careful, we would not attract anything.
The dimness was finally gone. After walking for two hours. We came out of the woods.
“Ahh, the sunlight feels good!”
“It would be nice to have some sort of tavern in such a large forest.”
Yes, exactly. It wasn’t so bad since we left Alessa early in the morning, but it would have been night if we left during the afternoon. It was the same on the way here. The path between the mountains would get dark quickly because of the shadows.
“Well, there is a town near the forest, so it should not be too bad if you are wary of the time.”
As Daniela pointed out, there was a town visible up ahead. Just outside of the forest was this town surrounded by walls. Damn it, it really would make things easier if they just opened a road that cut through the forest.
There was no point in complaining now, though. But I really wanted to rest. We should hurry to this town. It’s just a little bit further.
“Come on. Let’s go, Daniela.”
“Wha-. Do not slap me on the ass.”
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The field surrounding the town was covered in cut grass. Like a lawn. You could see townsfolk lying on the ground, looking very relaxed. This must be a fine place. A safe one, anyway.
And just like any other town, there were gates in the walls that surrounded it and two guards who stood watch. They wore light armor that was painted green, and they looked at the sky with bored expressions. A safe town meant bored guards. A peaceful sight if I’ve ever seen one. However, they looked down when they heard our footsteps, and I could tell by how smoothly their hands went to their swords, that they were seasoned fighters. Perhaps they could afford to relax like this because of such skills.
“You two, halt right there.”
Of course, they meant us. We stopped in our tracks as they approached us and inspected us up and down. The fact that they stayed just out of striking distance confirmed yet again, that they knew what they were doing.
“Are you travelers? It seems that you have come from Alessa.”
“Yes. We are Adventurers who are traveling from land to land.”
“Hmm… The empire of Flugelnia requires that you have a form of identification when entering towns. As you are Adventurers, your status cards will do.”
It seemed fitting that this empire would have proper laws for such things. And as we had nothing to hide, we both handed our cards to the guard.
“Wait here a moment.”
He took the cards with him and disappeared behind the gate. Perhaps they had a way to display the information, like at the guild.
We stared blankly at the sky as we waited, much like the guards had done, until finally, he returned. We could hear him tell the other guard that ‘there was no problem.’
“Thank you for waiting. You will be permitted to enter the town now. Welcome to the forest post town, Valdorf!”
The two guards stood on opposite sides of the gate and stretched an arm out into the town. There was something ridiculously theatrical about this welcome, but this was the country of parades… Both Daniela and I felt a little put off by it, but we nonetheless took our first step into Valdorf, our first town within Flugelnia.