(Chpt. 28) Travel.
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I hope, I haven't been abusing fluff lately...


What with the strange sensation I am feeling? No, wait… I have experienced this before. It’s soft but somewhat raspy, I can somewhat feel a slight scratching and it’s touching my cheek periodically. This is… 

 

“Fewri.” I somehow said while drooling. Wait… I can feel my face getting warmer. Slightly opening my eyes, I am bathed in the morning sunlight death-beam; urging me to get up from my comfortable position and sitting up-right. My arms feel like they have been roughly pressed down… Wait… 

 

I glanced towards where I was laying down. Ari was hugging Aizen with a somewhat faint smile. On the other hand,    Aizen had a wide ear to ear smile. Both of them were soundlessly sleeping. ‘Ah, that’s right… We fell asleep like that.’ I muttered to the realization... I started hearing faint voices. I assumed people were getting up, so we had to prepare to go again. The blood on Aizen from yesterday was now dry. Somehow her clothes did not even have a single speck of dust or blood. ‘Looks like high-tier items are really convenient huh.’ I thought about it. However, now we had to leave. 

 

Walking over to Aizen and slightly shaking her to wake up. She slowly opened her eyes to look at me. Noticing it was already morning, she reluctantly got up. 

 

“Make sure to clean the blood off. We cannot go back to camp like this.” I nonchalantly whispered in her ear. Her face changed from a smile to a somewhat grim one.

“...Nn.” She slowly nodded and started rubbing her skin. Seeing it was already dried, it just rubbed off. After a few minutes, her skin was somewhat pinkish-red, but she no longer had blood traces. 

 

“Wake Ari up, we are going back.” I casually told Aizen, I also realized I forgot where the camp was, so, without thinking much of it, I chose a random direction to walk in. 

 

“Wa-.” I heard Aizen’s voice as I entered the tall grass. After a bit of walking, I arrived into a semi-open area. However, I had made a mistake… I could not take my eyes off the ‘thing’ I was seeing. I somehow managed to unfreeze myself and simultaneously manage to not throw up. I turned back around in a hurry and went back to where I came from. 

 

Aizen had yet to wake Ari up as I came back, and as soon as she heard me enter through the foliage she glued her eyes on me. 

 

“We need to talk.” Hearing my firm tone she slowly nods and I gesture her to come over, not wanting Ari to hear the conversation. 

 

I understand that she was mad… But how mad? How mad do you need to be for it to end like ‘that’? Just… how...

 

Aizen arrived and stiffly stood in-front of me. How do I go about this... 

 

“Why would you do that?!” I tried keeping my voice silent but I still managed to somewhat lose it. 

“I-It's because umm, because I-...” She started talking but her quiet tone shrinked until it became inaudible murmurs. 

“I get that you were mad, but… What can make you that mad?” I calmed myself down and talked more firmly. She was fidgeting but started quietly talking. 

“Yami… I mean Kuro… I know that I failed to change, but it is just… I don’t, I didn't want to lose you… At first it did not matter to me that much when you are gone… But now that you are back, it’s different...” 

“eh.” Lose me? As in dying? She continued speaking as I inwardly questioned myself. Her tone was more solid and firm than ever before. Looking into her eyes, they were unmoving staring me down. 

 

“I don’t want to go through the same thing again. Please stay with me. I don’t want it to happen.” 

 

So that’s how it was… Of course, I won’t leave you, nor will I die. Not yet anyway. 

 

“You really are silly.” I quietly said as I hugged her.

“eh.” She let out a stupid voice hearing my reply. 

“You don’t need to say anything for me to stay with you,” I said as I tightened my grip, then whispered in her ear again. 

“You won’t be losing me any time soon. Don’t even think about it.” My voice came out somewhat warm. Hearing my response she did not say anything, but I felt her head nodding over my shoulder as she hugged me back. 

 

After a few more minutes, she seemed to be way calmer than before, so I let her go. She fixedly looked at me, eventually arriving at a conclusion. At least I thought so because of the way she nodded. And then started speaking looking at me with unmoving eyes. 

 

“Kuro. I will believe in you.” 

 

She ended up giving me a bright smile as she finished her sentence. 

While I don’t mind being called Kuro it can certainly come off as weird seeing it is not even my name anymore… ‘I guess it doesn’t matter.’ I nonchalantly murmured as I shrugged. Also, we should wake Ari up. 

 

“Um… I guess we should wake Ari up.” I awkwardly said to Aizen seeing she seemed to be thinking about something. Hearing me, she quietly nodded. So, we walked over to Ari. Fenri was looking at me with glittering eyes making me remember something. The meat... As Aizen started lightly shaking Ari to wake her up, I took out a lot of meat. And gave it to Fenri. He happily and viciously devoured it. If I had to compare how much was the ‘a lot of meat’ I took out. I would say it was twice the volume of my head. 

 

Ari started to open her eyes and saw Fenri viciously eating the meat. Her eyes shot open. 

 

“Eek!” She let out a panicked shriek.

“Ari, it’s fine. It is just meat we bought earlier.” 

 

I instantly calmed Ari down. She quietly looked at Fenri and realized it was meat, so she breathed a sigh of relief. She looked at me with a disapproving face. Seeing what happened yesterday my guess was: She might have said she was fine with it, but it doesn’t mean she needs to see someone being viciously devoured first thing in the morning. Or something like that. 

 

“...Well, we should quickly eat to get ready to leave.” I unenthusiastically suggested.
““... Nnn.”” I got two nods that lacked so much energy that made me sleepy. 

 

We quietly ate the dried meat, it was good at first, but it gets rather depressing to eat this for dinner and breakfast. Then, probably going to end up eating it for afternoon meal too… ‘Ahh just thinking about it is depressing.’ I muttered in frustration while grabbing my head with both of my hands. Ari and Aizen were too busy looking at the dried meat with dead fish eyes as they ate in a somewhat depressed mood. 

 

We finished eating the meat, and with the help of Fenri, we returned to the camp. They were getting ready to go, I noticed the merchant's gaze doting around. When the merchant saw us come out of the tall grass next to the dirt-road. He quickly approached us, but he was silent and was ever so slightly trembling. 

 

“Did you girls see Clay?” 

 

'Clay? Who is that? Wait… Clay… Clay… Oh, that’s right… That guy...' After a few seconds of thinking I decided to ask the merchant. 

 

“...Well, did something happen?” I did not say anything about last night. Like hell, I would!

“He had night-watch duty but he hasn’t returned…” His voice sounded pretty concerned. 

“Umm, I heard a few screams at night and then found this.” Aizen joined the conversation and sounded somewhat scared as she pulled out a dog-tag. It was golden. The merchant instantly saw the tag and froze with wide-open eyes. 

 

“We have to leave now! I regret that we lost him but what kind of monster can take out a gold ranked adventurer without anyone noticing?! We need to go now!” The merchant hurriedly said and started shaking. He left us in a hurry and started calling multiple adventurers to clear the camp in a hurry. 

 

Haha… Well, it was technically a monster in the form of a fourteen-year-old girl, appearance wise... The monster is not that much shorter than me, then again I don’t know how old people think I am. I kind of want to know now… 

 

“Ari, how old do you think I am?”

“Well… I would say fifteen.” She said while scratching her cheek. I guess my question was somewhat awkward... Come to think of it... How old is Aizen? ‘Ah well, not like it matters anyway.’ I shrugged it off. 

 

I noticed the merchant was slightly panicking not knowing what to do. Seeing his emotional state I thought of something. With those thoughts in mind I approached him, everyone else followed not knowing what I was about to do. 

 

“Umm.” 

“... Is there something you need?” He noticed my somewhat timid voice.

“You see… With the death of the glorious Clay, we no longer feel safe. So could we stay inside the wagon? If you want we can pay you the reward back…” I quietly said. The merchant looked at our group for a few seconds and ended up nodding. 

“That would be nice but. What kind of adventurers hide? Anyways… Going inside the wagon for all of you would be three gold-coins.” He said while extending his hand towards me. Seeing I only had one gold coin. I gave him one of the shiny-blue coins instead. 

“A cobalt coin.” He reflexively said looking at it with wide-open eyes, he continued speaking.

“I don’t know why you have this. But as promised.” He handed me seven gold-coins and let us board into the wagon. 

 

Once we were all inside the wagon, including Fenri laying on the floor. I noticed it was quite spacious, at least this one was. A few wooden crates of goods but there was a fairly nice amount of empty space. 

 

“I must say, that was funny to watch.” Aizen casually informed me and then just laid down. I decided to lay down and place my back on Fenri’s side. It was quite comfortable and he did not seem to mind it. Ari followed doing the same thing I did. And ended up leaning her head against my shoulder as she was softly murmuring something I could not hear. 

 

Maybe after a minute or two after boarding the wagon, I heard a lot of footsteps outside. 

 

“We are leaving now!” I heard the merchant exclaim outside the wagon. He was still in a hurry, seeing we probably left within five minutes. It was quite an impressive feat, considering the number of adventurers and things to move. The wagon started moving at a faster pace than yesterday, I assume it was to leave behind the hideous monster that killed the great Clay. 'I wonder, how did I even manage to go in his direction? It was in a completely opposite direction to the camp... I guess I wasn't paying attention to the camp's morning sound.' I thought and arrived at a conclusion. 

 

Hmm… This is rather… How to put it, it’s not quite comfortable but it’s not uncomfortable  It just feels odd, traveling in wagon for the first time... While it’s not stabilized by anything and it is rattling quite a bit, I am not feeling nauseous, which is extremely good. It would be bad if I got motion sickness. Seeing I would need to walk everywhere if I had to travel long distances, probably. 

 

Ari seemed to have fallen asleep comfortably on my shoulder. I looked at Aizen and she was also sleeping. Fenri was sleeping as well. I was feeling uncomfortable, due to not wanting to wake anyone up. I decided to attempt to sleep or at least take a nap. Now, I don’t know the difference between these two concepts. But I think they are the same except one is shorter? 

 

After a few minutes, my consciousness vanished. 

 

… 

 

Suddenly, I started feeling an aggressive tugging on my clothes waking me up. 

 

“Yami, Yami. Yami.” Ari was hurriedly whispering at me for some reason. I could also see that she was profusely sweating. After a brief moment, I somewhat started to realize what was going on. The first thing I caught on was… 

 

“Die, you dirty bandit!” 

“Over my dead body!” 

 

I heard battle-cries outside the wagon and heard some pretty dumb lines from people battling outside. I could hear metal clashing against each other. And a few people chanting. Normally chanting would be in another language but due to [Translation] skill, I hear everything in the same way. No matter the language or sound, it can be rather convenient but I am sure one day it might be a problem. 

 

Ari was looking at me worriedly and slightly shaking not knowing what to do. Aizen was asleep completely oblivious to what was happening outside. Fenri was looking at me, waiting for me to give an order. 

Well, let’s see. People are killing each other outside. The most logical thing to do is… Wait. I am not going to go outside while everyone is killing each other. Better wait for them to die, it would be kind of bad if the merchant died. However, I did notice as I was lifting my gaze further into the wagon I saw the merchant shaking. 

 

‘Wait when did he get here?’ I instantly muttered as I noticed him. I guess that solves one of the problems now, doesn’t it? 

 

The merchant noticed my gaze and gestured me to come over while shaking. 

 

“Girly, is there something you can do with that wolf of yours?” 

“Well I can protect you and that’s about it.” I nonchalantly lied without feeling guilty. 

“Please do so, have back your gold.” He handed me what I paid him as he said that. 

 

I turned towards Fenri. 

 

“Don’t let anyone that enters inside here, harm anyone.” 

“Woof.” 

 

I got Fenri’s affirmation so, I forcefully woke Aizen up by viciously shaking her. She frowned, but instantly relaxed as she heard the shrieks of agony outside. 

.

“Should we go see what is happening?” Aizen nonchalantly asked.

“Well, I guess.” I indifferently agreed while scratching the back of my head. 

 

Going out of the wagon, I saw some people dressed in black, like the ones back in the town I met the lovely inn lady. The longer I looked at them, the more they looked like some type of ninjas to me for whatever reason. They were still battling with an adventurer however, he got backstabbed and fell to the ground raising his hand dramatically as he fell. I noticed all but two horses ran away. 

 

Looking around I could see the three wagon of the merchant and a wooden-cart that was stopped in front of the merchant wagons. As I was looking,  someone took notice of Aizen and me. 

 

“Oh, you two girls will make perfect slaves.” 

 

He casually said while making an audible licking sound, making me shiver. Aizen emotionlessly pointed her finger at him. He suddenly grabbed his chest in pain making a soundless scream and fell to the ground gasping for air. He did not seem dead so I guess that was fine. A few more bandits took notice of this and pointed their sword at us.

 

“A mage?! Capture her at all costs, she is strong. So be careful!.” A raspy voice resounded from somewhere and commanded while giving a warning. However, the battle didn’t last long. They hopelessly fell to the ground one after another, thanks to Aizen’s nonsensical sorcery magic thing. 

 

“H-how?” The last bandit; the leader questioned with a quivering raspy voice and wide-open eyes as he fell to the ground. Making a dull sound like an inanimate object. 

 

As Aizen and I were looking around at the fainted bandits and adventurers, we noticed the wooden-cart ever so slightly twitched. We decided to investigate. 


Please, point out grammatical errors. I know I have a bunch, but this chapter received less editing than usual. So there's that.

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