Editor: Thor’s Stone
It took us about an hour to walk back to the place where we left our carriage.
“Thank goodness. Tarth and Syrah are both fine,” Cleria exclaimed and sighed in relief.
“Yeah. What about your carriage, Arista-san?”
“Since our horses already ran off somewhere, we’ll just leave it here. My only worry is that it’ll hinder other travelers. Please allow us some time to try and move it as well as recover some of our belongings.
“Oh, right, I forgot to ask you something important. We’re actually in the middle of traveling to Gantz. Since you will be coming along with us later, I should have confirmed it with you earlier. So would you be fine with coming along with us to Gantz?”
“Of course. We were actually heading for Gantz before we got attacked as well.”
I assumed as much judging from the direction the fallen carriage was facing, but I had to make sure.
Now let’s get to taking care of the bodies of the deceased adventurers and bandits. If I remember correctly, there was a rule that said one needed to retrieve the guild identification card from the corpse whenever one discovers a deceased adventurer and present it to the Guild for verification. Most likely, it was a rule implemented to prevent others from taking advantage of an adventurer’s identity. And we also needed to retrieve things that would serve as mementos of sorts for the bereaved families. Let’s get to work then.
“Everyone, excuse me for asking, but would you collect the guild identification cards of the deceased adventurers as well as some of their possessions that can serve as mementos. We’ll need to return them to their families later on.”
I actually anticipated something like this happening to a certain extent, and bought a lot of hemp bags, so we didn’t have any problems storing the collected mementos.
We also found that the deceased adventurers still had their money with them, so it looks like the bandits didn’t manage to loot their corpses yet when we arrived at the scene.
We tossed the bandit corpses on the side of the road. I should handle the adventurer’s corpses with more care though, and at least give them a simple burial.
I faced a spot on the side of the road and started forming an image in my head. The ground started trembling and began vibrating strongly. The scope of the vibrations gradually expanded out. Once it reached a certain size, the ground started to move apart. Soil began to steadily pile up until a rectangular hole measuring about 2 meters in length and 7 meters in width was formed. It had a depth of about 1 meter.
“Amazing! Is that Earth magic!?” Karina exclaimed in surprise.
“Yes, that’s right. Isn’t it quite convenient?”
I had everyone help and arranged the adventurer’s corpses neatly inside the newly created grave. After making sure we took care of every last one, I used Earth magic once more and filled the grave with soil again.
Earth magic really is quite handy, isn’t it? When I first did something like this from the time I first met Cleria, it took me hours to bury the bodies. But with Earth magic, I managed to finish all the work within just several minutes.
It looks like it’s worth continuing to practice this magic element during our journey.
Ah, damn! Talk about bad timing. The drone notified me that there were Gray Hounds closing in on the area we were at. But it looks like they haven’t noticed us yet. I hope we can head out of this place without alerting them.
I tied Tarth and Syrah to the carriage once more, and loaded all of the adventurer’s belongings as well as Arista and company’s things inside. Ugh. Looks like they noticed us after all.
“Prepare for battle! Gray Hounds incoming!”
All of my party members stood on alert and looked towards me.
I indicated the direction the monsters will be appearing from, their number, as well as the current distance from the carriage with the hand signs I had them learn beforehand. Everyone nodded in understanding and went into position.
“Gray Hounds are coming, Arista-san. You should go back into the carriage, just in case.”
“…Understood. I’ll have Natalie and Karina help you all in fending them off as well.”
“No, that will not be necessary. We can handle it.”
“Alright. Please be careful then.”
Since the road was narrow, it’ll be a little hard to fight in the middle of it. If the Gray Hounds launched their ambush from both sides of the road, it’ll be quite a bit troublesome.
But, luckily, the Gray Hounds weren’t all that smart. They appeared about 50 meters away from where the carriage was and immediately went to attack us in a mob.
Since they were given ample time for casting, Cleria, Serena, and Sharon launched three flame arrows each at the incoming Gray Hounds; quickly killing them. The last one got its head lopped off by Elna with a well-timed Wind Cutter spell.
Man. They aren’t even giving me a chance to do anything lately. Oh well. Let’s just collect the magic stones and depart from here.
We quickly collected the magic stones from the Gray Hound corpses. We each use electromagnetic bladeknives to split the Gray Hound corpses cleanly in two and remove the magic stones from the bodies with our swords. Since the corpses were split in two, they became easier to dispose of because of the decrease in weight. Well, the only demerit was all the messy blood splatter though. Oh well. Not everything can be perfect anyway.
“Thanks for waiting. Let’s depart then.”
“That was amazing! To think you all would be able to finish off that many Gray Hounds easily. And it was practically in an instant too!” Karina exclaimed.
“Well, we’re quite used to it, you see.”
Just like always, Elna sat beside me on the driver’s seat. The others made themselves comfortable inside the carriage. The carriage had in-built seats on each side that could seat three persons each. You can squeeze in four persons, but it’ll be more comfortable with just three each.
Since I could now handle driving the carriage by myself, Elna could have rested inside the carriage as well, but she insisted on staying out front to watch out for threats. And so, the driver’s seat became her regular spot of sorts.
We’ve wasted enough time as it is. From the looks of it, we won’t be able to make it to the next camping spot before it gets dark. I searched for other places suitable for camping nearby through my virtual HUD.
Hmm, this one looks good. The carriage can be parked nearby, and we can wash ourselves in the river as well. I’m sure Arista-san and the others would appreciate being able to clean up after themselves after what they went through. And there weren’t any other suitable camping spots nearby that we could reach before dusk.
It’s currently past three in the afternoon already. We should be able to reach the spot I found at four o’clock. Since we’ll have some time before it gets dark, I’ll cook some rice later. And we’ll catch some fish in the river and make some sushi. Yeah, that’s right, I’ll make some salmon sushi! Even if we don’t catch any fish, I can still use the Big Boar meat we got last time to make some pork bowls.
“Hey Elna, I’m thinking of setting up camp over there? How about it?”
“Yes, it looks like a good spot. There’s a river nearby too.”
It looks like Elna’s also concerned about Arista-san and the others. I moved the carriage as close to the riverbed as possible. I guess it can only go this far. I’ll go ahead and tie it down here then.
“Are we going to set up camp here, Alan?”
“Yeah. that’s right. There’s a pretty good spot over there.”
“You have a good eye. And it’s true that we can’t reach the roadside camping spot before it gets dark,” Karina acknowledged.
“So it’s decided then. Let’s set up camp here.”
“Um…… Can we wash ourselves in the river first? We’ll help with setting up camp after we finish.” Natalie requested.
“Of course. Go right ahead. Actually, there’s no need for you guys to help. We can manage it just fine, so just relax and rest up.”
“Alright then. I’ll stand guard just in case,” Elna offered.
“We’ll make sure Alan doesn’t get the opportunity to peek,” Cleria added.
“Hey! How rude! I’m a proper gentleman y’know.”
“Fufu, thank you very much everyone. Well then, if you’ll excuse us,” Karina chuckled in amusement as the three of them headed for a secluded spot on the river.
Guess I’ll go ahead with setting up camp then.
I’ll take this opportunity to practice some Earth magic as well. I first thought that Earth magic consisted of only moving soil and rocks around, but I recently found that it can also compress and harden them.
In other words, even if I shaped the earth into cubes, they’ll easily break up with a little pressure if I don’t purposely compress them. However, if I apply a strong image of the ground being packed and compressed, I’ll end up with earth cubes that are sufficiently hard to be used as building material.
That means I can actually make hardened earth huts using Earth magic. However, just moving the earth around wouldn’t cost that much magicles, but it’ll cost much more if I apply compression.
Even two simple earth huts with a length of 3 meters, width of 2 meters, height of 3 meters, and walls with a thickness of 5 centimeters cost one fully charged Gray Hound magic stone. If I made them with my magicle reserves alone, I probably wouldn’t be able to finish even one of them.
I still need to work on the design of the huts though. They looked quite shabby. I made it so the entrance of the huts would be big enough to allow a person to enter while bending over a bit. In order to facilitate air circulation, I made five centimeter long window slits on opposite sides of the huts.
I also made groves on the entrances to allow for sliding doors. It’ll be more convenient this way since you can easily lock the door from the inside by sliding it shut. Afterward, we’ll just need to place a stopper so it can’t be opened easily while we’re resting up inside.
The walls are tough enough to withstand a good standing kick, but it’ll probably break if one hits it with a jump kick with one’s full bodyweight behind it. Even if I hardened it, soil is soil after all. In order to make it more stable, I made the structures with relatively low heights.
But these huts are still more secure compared to simple tents, so I decided I’d go with making these every time we needed to camp out from now on. It’s a good thing I learned and practiced Earth magic.
Since we have other companions, I made a total of three huts. With this, I fully used up two Gray Hound magic stones. The Guild buys Gray Hound magic stones for a rate of 400 Guineas each, so it’s like I used up 800 Guineas by making the huts.
Well, it’s a necessary expense anyway, and we did get an additional eight magic stones earlier apart from the eighteen I originally had on me, so we still had more than enough to last for a while.