Ch. 83: Sensing After Camping
The three started towards the Black Forest the next day.
When Loren returned the room key, the owner looked like he wanted to say something, but Loren gave him a glare with just enough pressure in it to keep his mouth shut.
Loren didn’t care much about what was said to him, but he didn’t want to hear something that would lower others’ impression of him either.
He guessed the owner was confused why he didn’t order extra water and towels, but he wished he would understand that even if a man and a woman stayed in the same room, they wouldn’t always need to order any.
“Let’s restock on supplies and start heading towards the forest.”
Said Lapis, who had no way to know what was going on in Loren’s head.
They couldn’t take the donkey they rented, so they left it at the guild branch and went to get more supplies.
“Ahh damn it…”
The expenses needed for the job was split between Loren and Lapis.
But still, the things that Loren couldn’t pay for with the money he had was all paid by Lapis, so it could only look like he was being taken care of by her.
There was no way others would know that he was going to pay her back, so even at the store, people around him looked at him coldly.
“I don’t think your debt got higher at all.”
They were only buying some more rations and medicine as well as a burner and oil, and although the amount needed increased due to Feuille being with them it wasn’t that much.
“I’ll put Feuille’s on your expense tab, okay?”
If he told her, Lapis would’ve split it, but since he was the one who offered to take Feuille home, he didn’t feel like letting her pay for half of it, so he didn’t and just nodded.
Although Lapis showed a look of complaint for a second, her expression immediately returned to normal, and she started wrapping up the things they bought and paid for it.
“Umm…I’ll pay for everything you bought for me when we get to the village…”
Loren interrupted Feuille by putting his hand on his head and patting him with an awkward smile on his face.
But with Loren’s large hand and Feuille’s small head, to Loren he was patting on the head, but to Feuille it was being spund around in place, so as he stumbled around, he managed to catch hold of a shelf and not fall.
“Don’t worry about it. Just focus on getting to your village for now. We don’t know where it is, so you’ll have to take us there, alright?”
“It’s not like we haven’t thought this through, either. We’re planning on hunting monsters in the forest, so it’ll be great to have an elf who’s familiar with the forest helping us out.”
At Feuille’s worried look, Loren told him the way he could help that he had thought about the while night.
Loren didn’t mind him thinking that they were helping him out of kindness, but he also knew that not asking for something in return could cause him to doubt and be suspicious of them.
People tended to not trust in those kinds of things.
To put Feuille at ease, Loren decided to tell him that they were looking for something in return.
But if he was too greedy, he could give a bad impression to Feuille’s parents as well as those in the village.
And so, Loren decided on getting information about the Black Forest through an elf who was familiar with it.
This way he wasn’t being greedy and wouldn’t hurt the elves in the village either.
Even if they didn’t get much information, it was fine since they never planned on having an elf with them in the first place, so if they did get some useful information, that was a bonus.
“So, don’t think about it too hard and let us take care of you, alright?”
As Feuille thanked him and Loren took his hand from his head with a smile, Lapis, who had finished shopping, tugged his sleeve.
“Don’t you think that you could direct that kindness towards me sometimes?”
“I believe I’m pretty lenient about your actions, don’t you think?”
At Loren’s words, asking if he should be even kinder than he was, Lapis ran off, thinking that he might do the opposite.
As they finished buying everything they needed and ate lunch, they started walking towards the Black Forest.
The forest was half a day away.
It was very large and got its name from the fact that the deeper you go, the darker it became from the canopy blocking the sunlight, but there were several races, including elves, that lived there in small villages.
“There’s creatures from goblins and orcs to races like us elves as well as fairies.”
On the road, Feuille talked as best he could, trying to tell Loren and Lapis’ all he knew about the forest.
“What’s the difference between elves and fairies?”
“Fairies are small and have wings, while elves are big and don’t have wings. It’s said that we used to be the same as race.”
‘I must look like a fairy.’
In the corner of Loren’s eye, Shayna fluttered the wings on her back.
As Loren looked at the girl that only he could see, thinking if it were so, Lapis gave an added explanation.
It was said that fairies and elves used to be beings that only had astral bodies called spirits.
Among those that somehow got physical bodies, the ones who received human like bodies became elves, while the ones who retained their forms as spirits became fairies.
Both races liked natural environments such as forests, hated metals like iron and copper, were quite proud, and tended to look down on humans.
The elf archer he had met before didn’t have an air of pride about her and didn’t look down on others, but maybe she changed after spending so much time with humans.
Since they departed the city past noon, they reached the border of the forest by the time the sun set.
Loren thought they were going to enter, but Lapis suggested setting up camp for the night and enter the forest tomorrow.
Lapis said that it was dangerous to enter the forest, which was already dark inside, during the night, and it wasn’t a smart thing to do, and Loren as well as Feuille agreed to it.
“The forest gets dark if you go deep into it, but my village is located where the sunlight still reaches inside, so it’s definitely better to go in during the day.”
“Do you know the way to your village?”
“Yes…I think it’ll be fine.”
To Loren and Lapis, all the trees looked the same, and couldn’t imagine there being any paths.
But it seemed that Feuille saw something differently than them, as he nodded after looking at the forest for a while, and Loren was relieved that it wouldn’t be too difficult to take him back home.
“Well, whatever the case, let’s camp for now and worry about everything tomorrow.”
“Is it fine to camp so close to the forest?”
Close or far from the forest didn’t seem any different since it was plains everywhere, but if something were to pop up, it was most likely going to be from the forest.
Loren thought it would be better to camp farther away, but Lapis looked between the forest and the plains.
“I think it would be easier to get wood for the fire and shield ourselves from the wind if we are closer to the forest. We’ll be windswept the whole night if we camp away from the forest, you know?”
They didn’t bring any firewood since they were going to a forest.
Adventurers didn’t buy things that they could procure at their destination.
On top of that, the wind that blew during the night in the plains were quite cold, so it was impossible to block all of it, even inside a tent.
Which is why Lapis suggested that they use the trees as a shield against the wind, and at the same time make it easier for them to gather firewood.
“What do you think Feuille?”
Thinking this was a time to use the knowledge of an elf, Loren turned to him, and Feuille looked towards the forest and perked his ears, then turned back to Loren.
“I think it should be fine. There’s no sign of dangerous animals for now.”
“Alright, then let’s do it.”
Once they decided on a course, all that was left to do was act.
Putting down his backpack, Loren too out a large tent and skillfully set it up, made a hole where they were going to make into a cooking stove, and piled up stones they picked up around the area.
After doing so, this time went slightly inside the forest where the foliage was dense and was hard to see, dug a deep hole, and hung a lantern on one of the branches to gain sight.
While Loren was doing that, Lapis and Feuille gathered firewood from the forest and piled them up on the stove that Loren readied.
“This should do it for one night.”
He lit the lantern and the stove, and the camp was complete.
They didn’t bring any cookware to keep their bags light, so they couldn’t cook anything even with a stove, but they could at least boil water and warm the hard bread and dried meat, so Loren guessed that it was enough.
“If we’re going in from morning, we should hurry and go to sleep.”
“What should we do about keep watch?”
“Rotate between you and me, I guess. Half the night each.”
“Umm, what about me…”
“Go to sleep. Sleeping is a child’s job, too.”
Feuille seemed to want to help, uncomfortable that he was the only one not doing anything, but Loren declined.
It was hard to imagine that a child like him could keep watch, and he would be moving with them the next day, so he wanted to let him sleep until morning, but Feuille frowned, thinking that Loren thought he was useless.
“We’ll be counting on your memory tomorrow in the forest. I’m just saying I want you to be well rested.”
As he stroked his head again, a smile returned to Feuille’s face.
As Loren thought that a child’s gloomy face made the whole air gloomy, Lapis started rubbing her head against him for some reason.
“Loren, if you could stroke my head too.”
“…Think of your age.”
“I feel like Feuille is getting better treatment!”
It should’ve been fine to leave her alone, but since she said it like that, being the soft-hearted person that he was, Loren didn’t want her to get in a bad mood.
When he put his hand on Lapis’ head, which was tilted towards him, and started stroking it gently, Lapis narrowed her eyes in comfort, and after a while, she pulled away, satisfied, and raised her fists in front of her chest.
“Now I can fight another day!”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Although Loren didn’t understand what she meant, if she was happy, he was fine with it, but then his face stiffened.
By the time he reached for the great sword on his back, Lapis, who had a soft and comfortable look on her face, was on alert as well, and a moment later, Feuille looked towards the forest with his ears twitching.
“Huh? This is…”
“I guess we should’ve set up camp farther away from the forest, huh.”
“It’s hindsight. Definitely hindsight.”
Lapis argued with Loren.
There wasn’t any nervousness in their words, but all of them could hear footsteps from within the forest headed towards them.
Hey guys Kaoto here.
I’ve got finals starting soon, so I have to start worrying about that.
I’m fairly confident already, so I should be fine.
Chapter uploads will definitely be slower though.
It’s not like I could get through without studying.
I wish I could though…
Give me cheat skill please!
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you guys in the next chapter!