The conversation with Lapis continued until morning .
Although Loren thought of switching watch duty with Sarfe at one point, he despised the idea of putting his head into a tent where business was done . He concluded that it would be better if he just continued watch duty until morning .
The business inside the tent ended quite late into the night, and Loren thought that Lapis would go back to her tent to sleep . He was surprised when she said she would accompany him until morning .
Although Loren wasn’t going to complain about having two people keeping watch, he was concerned that the lack of sleep was going to affect Lapis during the day . But after she told him that back in the church there were times where she was not allowed to sleep and that staying up a night was no problem, he gladly accepted her offer .
The two chatted endlessly until morning .
Lapis didn’t have much to offer, as she grew up in the church, but she tried her best to keep the conversation going by searching for things to talk about, and Loren appreciated her efforts .
But when the conversation turned to Loren about when he was still a mercenary, there were parts where he was reluctant to talk about .
He wondered why a priest that grew up in a church would want to listen to about his experiences as a mercenary, but he concluded that as a rookie adventurer she wanted to gain as much knowledge as possible to help her . As he was trying his best to answer what he could to her questions, morning came .
“Huh? It’s morning already . What happened to my turn?”
“Don’t worry about it . What’s past is past . ”
Perhaps the sun’s rays reached the tent . Sarfe came out and asked Loren in a confused way, but Loren replied, hiding his irritation .
As he saw Naron and Oxy come out in a disordered appearance with no embarra.s.sment at all, a sigh escaped his mouth before any kind of complaint could .
As he watched Sarfe scratching his head with an embarra.s.sed expression, he made a firm decision to leave the party once the job was done and look for a different way to earn money .
“We’re leaving as soon as we eat . It’s not much longer to the village . ”
Loren facepalmed, irritated at the villager, who didn’t understand why he said that . Sarfe and his party answered in a lighthearted voice, seemingly unaware of the situation . Lapis let out a troubled laugh .
The rest of the trip was a peaceful one, with no encounters with enemies or problems at all .
Apparently, it was true that every now and then soldiers and adventurers cleaned up monsters and thieves near the road .
The village they arrived at was a normal pioneered village .
Protected from outside harm by a simple but strong fence was a bunch of houses made from logs .
The fields were located outside the fence, but that couldn’t be helped .
The village was built to create more farmland, so if they tried to expand the fence every time they made a new field, the task would be endless and would cost them more manpower as well .
It was the minimum amount of defense possible, and couldn’t protect the villagers from the dangers from outside .
Living in such as village required understanding that danger was always near, and it was way harder living in it than living inside a city .
Right next to the village was a large forest . Loren looked at it as he got off the carriage, thinking that it must be the forest where the goblins had appeared . As He started stretching and loosening his body, Sarfe got off the carriage and said,
“Alright, let’s go . ”
It was right before noon, so going in the forest wasn’t a problem .
But Loren thought that it was normal to greet the client, the village chief, first and go over the details of the job, but when he told that to Sarfe, Naron scowled at him .
“We just have to hunt down the goblins . Why should we go over the details?”
“To ask about the numbers and stuff . And I thought that it was normal to go greet the client…”
“We can just have the guy that took us here to tell the village to tell the chief . How long are you going to make us take on such an easy job?”
Loren believed that no matter how difficult, a job was a job .
That was why Loren thought that they should greet the client, but he let out another sigh knowing that the party wouldn’t accept his view .
Even in mercenary groups, the leader greeting the client was common sense, but apparently it didn’t apply to the line of work called adventurers .
“I’ll tell the chief, so you guys can go ahead and finish it as soon as possible . ”
Hearing the villager say that, Naron glared at Loren .
Loren gave up trying to convince them and Naron, seeing that Loren wasn’t saying anything, snorted with a proud look on her face . Sarfe put his hand on her head and said to everyone in the party,
“Let’s go finish this quickly so the village could be safe and sound . ”
“Yeah . We don’t need this sensitive mercenary to get this job done . ”
“Naron, he’s going to be our s.h.i.+eld during battle . There’s no way we’re not taking him . ”
Loren fingered the grip of his sword, not amused at the fact that they thought of him as a meat s.h.i.+eld .
He didn’t have any objections being the frontline, but there was no way he would feel good about being treated like an object .
“Um…I’ll make sure to heal you when you get hurt . ”
Loren wasn’t sure if she was trying to make him feel better, but as soon as she said that, Naron’s bad tempered voice rang out .
“Healing him is a waste . Just save it for when Sarfe gets hurt . ”
“Uh…huh . ”
Naron’s strong words overwhelmed Lapis’, but Loren looked toward her and shook his head, telling her not to worry about it .
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Now that he thought about it, the only thing he had in his bag were the provisions that he bought . He didn’t have enough money to buy other essentials such as medication, and if he were to be gravely injured, he wouldn’t be able to do anything about it .
Loren didn’t even try to hide his rough tone .
“Ah, you gave up, right?”
“Are you saying that you haven’t given up yet?”
“I’m very close to, though . ”
Seeing Lapis’ shoulders drop as she replied, Loren felt slightly relieved .
Loren thought that he must be extremely tired to be relieved by something on this level . He wanted to get the job done as soon as possible and head back, but to do that he needed Sarfe and the girls’ help . Even if he were to give up and leave, he didn’t have a way to pay for a ride back to the city or to pay Lapis back .
Loren had no choice but to watch Naron pick raspberries, with Sarfe following her here and there, and Oxy look for herbs .
“How are you so calm about this?”
He asked Lapis, who was with him watching the other three, out of boredom . He was slightly surprised when Lapis answered with a glare .
“It doesn’t feel too good being addressed like that . ”
Loren instantly understood that she was irritated with how he was calling her . He stopped for a moment and thought about ways to call her without offending her any further .
“Lapis is fine . Why did you say it like a question?”
“I never had the opportunity to call someone of the opposite gender by her name . ”
The only women that Loren had spoken to were servers at the bar .
Gathering food and supplies were usually done by others, so he had never spoken with people from other stores, either .
Since they went from battle to battle, he didn’t get close enough to any of them to call them by their names .
“Well you can call me Loren as well . ”
“No, please let me call you Loren-san!” **
Loren frowned, thinking Lapis didn’t want to be that friendly . Lapis saw this and became fl.u.s.tered, and tried to explain what she meant .
“It’s well, um . It’s just that because of how I usually talk, it makes me say names like that . It’s not that I don’t want to get too familiar with each other, and well…”
“You can call me however you want to . ”
Loren felt a slight relief again, seeing Lapis waving her hands and trying her best to explain what she meant . He then looked over to the rest of the party, who paid no attention to him and Lapis at all, and started praying for goblins to attack them .
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