Chapter 15 – Escorting quest – Part one

After finishing having breakfast, I go with Rurika and Chris to the place where we agreed to meet.

It’s a little earlier than the appointed time, but the caravan of the merchant that put out the quest is already here.

We greet the merchant, meet up with the other escorting adventurers, and do the final checks.

Five adventurer parties will be coming this time, three C rank parties and two D rank parties.
One of the D rank parties reports that this will be their first escorting quest.

The last time we met, we talked about who would be leading us adventurers, and a veteran adventurer party known as ‘Goblin’s Grief’ will be taking that role.
I ask them why they named their party that, and they say that when they were just starting out, more experienced adventurers gave them that nickname half-mockingly.
They look into the distance and sound resigned when they say this.

My instincts tell me not to press further and ask why they got that nickname in the first place.

“Well then everyone, we will be in your care.”

Dalton, the leader of the caravan, gives the order, and we’re off.

Seven wagons run forward in a line.
Each has two or three adventurers, and the three of us are riding in the third wagon.

On the odd numbered wagons, adventurers are looking around on top of the canopy.

Since this is my first time traveling by wagon, Rurika is the first one to go up and be on alert.
She says that people often get sick the first time they ride on a wagon, so I should get used to it first.

It really is different from Earth’s cars.
It shakes a whole lot.

These wagons don’t have suspension, so the vibrations are transmitted directly to us.
My butt hurts, but thanks to Natural Recovery Boost, the pain quickly starts subsiding, and then it starts hurting again.
Is this actually an easy way to increase proficiency?

Nothing happens in the first four days of travel, and we safely reach the town that will be a stopping point for us.

There is business to be done here, and we’re also staying the night to have a chance to rest.
The real escorting work begins from this point forward.

The way to the first town is relatively close to the capital, so there aren’t many bandits.
If there were a lot of problems, there’s a good chance that the army, or rather, a chivalric order would mobilize.
That area is very tightly controlled, so not many people are foolish enough to commit acts of banditism in a place like that.

As for monsters, being close to the capital also means there are a lot of quests to hunt them, so there are always few monsters because they get hunted if their numbers start increasing.

It’s the first town I’ve traveled to, so I go to the adventurer guild with Rurika and Chris to check out what kind of quests they have.

Unlike the capital, this town is small, so there aren’t many quests.
There are only a few hunting quests and quests to do errands around town.
That’s probably why I don’t see many adventurers either.

The next day, we set out as the sun rises.

“From this point on, there are a few spots where we will be passing close to the forest.
This is the type of place where monsters and bandits appear, so be careful.”

Warns Siphon, the leader of Goblin’s Grief, just before we leave.
That’s directed mostly at me and the D rank party that’s doing their first escorting quest.

I climb to the top of the canopy, and look around with my Presence Detection active.

It will be three days until we arrive at the first spots, but that’s no reason to let my guard down.

There are other merchants and wagons coming from the opposite direction, and I feel nervous for the first time since we started this escorting quest.

Our wagons move to the side of the road and stop for the three wagons coming the other way to pass.

There are two people in the driver’s seat, who look like they’re adventurers.
I don’t see merchants, so are they inside?

In this world it’s not uncommon for bandits to pretend to be merchants to get closer and do a sneak attack, so unless there are known faces in the other group, people can’t let their guard down when another group of merchants passes by them.

Wagons are especially dangerous, because they could be packed with people instead of goods.

Everyone raises their guard, but I’m less nervous.
I can tell what’s inside the wagons via my Presence Detection, but I can’t say it, so I just pretend to be as wary as everyone else.

As the sun starts to go down, we leave the main road and get ready to set up camp.

I help the merchants tend to the horses by giving them food and water, casting purifying magic on them, and brushing them.
This way, they’ll keep doing their best for us tomorrow.

I want to take care of horses in preparation for when I use horses to move around.
They let me do it mostly because I can use Basic Daily Life Magic.

Rurika and Chris are preparing the food.
This is in part because they’re the best cooks among the adventurers here, but also because even in a different world, people want to eat girls’ cooking.
There are two other female adventurers with them, and they’re having fun talking while they cook.
Mostly just Rurika.

Everyone else is either patrolling around or setting up tents with crisp movements.
Everyone knows the sooner they’re done, the sooner they get to rest.

When it’s time to eat, we all split into groups.
We mostly eat with the merchants that shared wagons with us, but there’s some rotation too.

Merchants talk about their troubles while we eat, the towns they’ve been to, and their dreams for the future.
I get to hear all sorts of things I didn’t know, so it’s fun for me.

When that’s over, it’s time to keep watch in shifts.

I look up and see the stars.
It’s cliche, but I can only describe this feeling as drowning in a sea of stars.
This feeling doesn’t go away no matter how many times I see this sight.

I hope tomorrow is as peaceful as today, I think as I rest in my tent until it’s my turn to keep watch.


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