Ch . 75: Discovering on the Way
Loren and Lapis bought all the food and supplies they needed and departed Kauffa the next day .
Since it was going to be a round trip taking a few days, they bought quite a bit of things, which cost quite a bit, but on top of that, Lapis had rented a donkey to carry their luggage .
In these cases, many adventurers would rent carriages or animals, or hire porters via the guild, who were people who specialized in transporting things .
Many, meant that there were some who didn’t opt for either, and in that case, it meant they had enough party members to distribute and carry the luggage among themselves, but Lapis didn’t have any intentions of letting anyone else into their party or hiring a porter .
“We’re going on a laid back trip, so might as well let it be between just the two of us . ”
Loren didn’t know if her decision was correct or mistaken .
But he did think that if Lapis wanted to do so, he should respect her decision, so he didn’t put a word in and took the donkey’s bridle .
Once he got his backpack and put the rest of the luggage on the donkey’s back, they were set to go .
They continued north after leaving the gates of the city, slowly walked next to the highway with no signs of rus.h.i.+ng .
“If something happens, just let go of the donkey . It’s trained to return to Kauffa on its own . ”
If they were to suddenly encounter something, they wouldn’t be able to protect it .
But Lapis told Loren in advance, since she knew he would start worrying that if the donkey somehow died, they would have to compensate for it .
“It’s not completely certain that it would make it back, but it would still be better than letting it die standing still . ”
“Did you not rent a horse because its more expensive?”
“Of course . Horses are very expensive . ”
Horses, which were used by the army as well, were hard to acquire, and were very expensive as well .
It wasn’t like Lapis couldn’t rent one, but she gave up on the idea due to the cost .
“Horses are better when it comes to speed and stamina, though . ”
“When you put it like that, I guess the guild is pretty incredible . ”
On a previous job, the guild had easily readied horses and caravans, along with drivers .
He didn’t think of it much back then, but since they tried renting one and found out the cost, it showed him just how much power the guild possessed .
“I heard it’s a two-day trip one way, so does that mean we’re going to be camping tonight?”
Loren couldn’t help but wonder about a guy and a girl camping together, but he had already guessed from his short adventurer career that adventurers weren’t ones to worry about things like that .
Like Klaus’ party, some parties with one guy and multiple girls camped together like it wasn’t a big deal, and sometimes even slept in the same tent .
Among the many opinions, such as not being able to carry enough tents due to there already being plenty of other things to carry, driving the guy back when he tries to make a move, or just going with it if the guy tries to do so, Loren wondered which one Lapis would have .
“Hmm? Loren you wanted to camp with me? If you would’ve told me earlier, I would’ve brought one tent and one sleeping bag . ”
Looking away from Lapis, who had a satisfied smile on her face, Loren looked at the donkey’s back .
There were tents and sleeping bags for two people, so unless something happened, it wouldn’t become a situation that Lapis had just said .
“I don’t want to die yet . ”
When Loren said so keenly, returning his gaze back towards Lapis, she puffed out her cheeks in complaint and elbowed his ribs .
“Why did it suddenly go from camping to a matter of life and death?”
“I mean, come on . You’d wrench off the head of anyone who would try to put their hands on you, right?”
Lapis’ arms were thin and didn’t look built, but Loren knew that there was unimaginable strength hidden within .
In order to suppress her powers as a demon, Lapis’ parents had taken her limbs and eyes, so currently they were prosthetics .
The prosthetics, which were made using demon technology, functioned as expected of objects that were made by them .
After all, Loren had seen Lapis strangle goblins to death with her bare hands, and knew that wasn’t something ordinary women could do .
It could be seen that the strength came from her arms being artificial, but seeing how she was particular about finding her actual limbs, it wasn’t hard to guess that they were more powerful than the ones that were made .
In the previous job, Lapis had recovered her left arm .
It could be said that Loren had a good reason to be afraid .
“That depends on the time and the person . Stop saying it like I wrench people’s heads off anyone and everyone . ”
“So it’s okay if it’s me?”
“T-that’s too much of a straight way of asking, isn’t it? Even I…need time to prepare…this and that…”
Lapis reddened and started rubbing her fingers together .
As Loren felt he had learned something new, that although Lapis teased him a lot, if he gave her a straight response, she would start acting like this, he pushed her back, as she started muttering things in a small voice that he could barely hear, and urged her to start walking again .
“There’s a post town on the way, so we’ll get rooms there . ”
It took a long while for Lapis to come out of her maze of delusions and unknown thoughts .
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Lapis said that the highway they were following north was maintained well, and there would be a post town after around a day’s worth of walking .
They slowly walked along the highway with such conversations, sometimes near it, sometimes far off, but time continued to pa.s.s without encountering any monsters .
Lapis told Loren that it was because quite a few adventurers thought of the same thing and did what they were currently doing quite often, so the areas around the highway were relatively safe .
“It’s a good thing you know? Travelers could use the highway without having to worry about monster attacks . ”
“Feels like our pockets are still going to be pretty empty, though . ”
“We won’t make a lot, but it’ll be fine since we won’t be in the red, won’t it?”
Lapis said so, but things started getting strange when the sun started to set and the sky started turning red, and night was about to fall .
From the amount of time and distance they had traveled, Lapis said that they should be arriving at the post town, but when she squinted in the direction they were travelling, she saw it .
“Huh? Something…seems wrong . ”
Loren already saw what she was pointing out .
In front of them, where the highway led up to .
There was an area with no hills or trees, but even though everywhere around it was getting darker, that place was still glowing red, as if the setting sun’s rays was still s.h.i.+ning on it .
And from that place, Loren could see numerous pillars of smoke rising into the sky, and if the highway was going in that direction, it meant that something was happening at their destination .
“It’s burning, alright . ”
“I guess it’s burning, after all . ”
Seeing the red among the rest of the sky changing from blue to red to the black of night, Loren and Lapis realized that something was burning .
“Is there a village or a city around here other than the post town?”
“Not that I know of . ”
Loren guessed that since she had said no, there wasn’t anything else in the area .
If that were true, what was burning was the post town they were heading to, and only smelled trouble .
“Sleeping on a bed tonight might be difficult . ”
“I guess life doesn’t always go the way you want it to . ”
Seeing Lapis disappointed, Loren wondered if it was such a big deal .
But standing there would get them nowhere, and they decided they couldn’t turn back, regardless of whether there would be trouble or not, so they reluctantly started trudging towards the red light in the distance .
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