Even after Hugson and the men from the Adventurers Guild left, the silence had yet to subside.
Of course, the reason for that was Ellen and me. The people who had watched the scene were slowly retreating to their rooms, cutting their drinking party short.
“It seems that the St. Point Adventurers Guild is in that guy’s pocket.”
It looked to me that the guild officer was treating Hugson as if he was his master or something. I had already finished my food, so I was watching Ellen as she finished eating the leftovers.
“…By the way, you sure have a temper.”
I was quite surprised because I didn’t expect Ellen to tell them that they would die. I had never seen her say such harsh things to anyone before.
“It’s better to simply scare him away than actually kill him.”
“…Your words certainly were scarier just now.”
If she left Hugson alone, he certainly would have given in to his temper and started attacking, which meant that she would have had to kill the guy, so she did this instead.
She put enough pressure on them to make them think they might really die, which made those guys actually withdraw. It was quite unbelievable, even though I had witnessed it with my own eyes.
“He was threatened, wasn’t he?”
Ellen seemed to be thinking about Austin, who had stood beside them, trembling and pale.
“…I guess so.”
Austin was a fresh F-ranked adventurer at most. He belonged to that B-rank Hugson’s party, but that didn’t change the fact that he was still a newcomer.
Austin had probably bragged about what happened earlier without knowing that we had some conflict with Hugson. He had told him about two rookie adventurers who had almost got robbed but ended up turning the tables and managed to rob the robbers. He probably told them about the sudden appearance of the carriage as well.
When Hugson heard that story, he seemed to have realized that one of those two rookies was me—one could infer as much if one heard a detailed description of my appearance and character.
So he must have put pressure on Austin when he realized that he could actually charge us with the crime of robbery. He would have said something like, “if you don’t testify against them that they robbed those adventurers, then you’ll be charged, and your carriage will be taken away”.
So if he wanted to use it, he probably was told that he had to testify against us.
Through an Adventurers Guild officer, who was in charge of rewards and punishment, they tried to get us arrested or tried for the crime of robbery.
They probably didn’t even imagine that they would get into deep trouble if they touched us recklessly.
“Fucking hell. He tried to accuse us of some crime just because I managed to get the wizard on our team.”
“The biggest problem is that something like that would have been actually possible to realize.”
If it weren’t for those special items we had, we wouldn’t have been able to defend ourselves, even if they treated us the way they did. I realized once again that we were in a lawless land.
Adventurers who could easily turn into robbers, there were people who could even control other peoples’ lives by having connections to some mildly powerful people.
Seeing the lawless behavior displayed by the humans there, it finally sunk in that I was in the Darklands.
This atmosphere actually had nothing to do with demons.
“I was told that the humans were the scariest in places like this.”
That must have been something her brother told her as well.
* * *
Although it was Ellen’s first time getting involved with adventurers, she was well informed about their behavior—she’d probably heard a lot from Artorius.
It was Ellen who first noticed that we were about to be robbed when we were in the carriage, and it was also her who solved the conflict with Hugson.
It seemed that Ellen had already been well aware that the ones she should be most wary of weren’t the demons but the humans.
“…Do you want me to change rooms with Relya?”
“…No, I don’t trust her.”
Ellen shook her head at my offer. She didn’t even want to share a room with Eleris. Ellen wouldn’t trust a person she had just met, after all.
So she decided that it would be better to share a room with me.
However, there weren’t enough beds for both of us to sit or lie down.
I noticed that before but had decided to not say anything. I thought I might get in trouble just by mentioning it.
The innkeeper had said it was a double room.
However, it obviously wasn’t.
“…I don’t think the innkeeper actually knows what a double room is.”
“Just because the bed is slightly bigger, he labels the room as a double room?”
There weren’t two beds in the room but one bed that was large enough for two people to lie in.
However, because it was time to sleep, I didn’t really know what I should do about it.
“…How about sleeping on the floor?”
“…You don’t have to make yourself uncomfortable because of me…”
Ellen muttered softly at my words.
“No, I wasn’t talking about me; I was talking about you.”
Ah, I didn’t know anymore.
Like that, I just lay down on the bed.
Ellen looked down at me with a cool look on her face.
Piece of trash.
That was what her eyes were telling me.
“…What? Shouldn’t the strong be considerate of the weak?!”
Was I wrong?
It was only obvious that the strong should take care of the weak! She was the strongest there was!
So she should be sleeping on the floor!
Ellen pushed me with her feet as l was lying there.
“Ouch! You crazy-!”
Ellen pushed me to the edge of the bed, then lay down on it herself. Did she just say something as hateful as ‘get lost’? Really?
My efforts to calm the atmosphere by spouting nonsense were in vain.
When we were lying next to each other like that, I felt uneasy.
There was no reason for me to feel so uneasy, but we had a long march ahead of us the next day! I had to sleep! I was actually very tired after traveling for thousands of kilometers!
Although we did that using Warp Gates.
After not being able to get myself to sleep, I called out to Ellen, who answered quietly. She seemed unable to fall asleep as well.
“What if they decide to attack us at night?”
Hugson had retreated for the moment, but seeing how he acted showed that he was very vindictive, so I was somewhat worried that he might come at us again deep in the night.
“Then I’ll actually kill him.”
Ellen had given him enough opportunities already, so she said that would really kill him. She wasn’t really worried about him coming back to kill us.
Her words sure were brutal.
If anyone heard her, they would think that she had killed a lot of people already.
I felt that Ellen’s attitude had undergone quite a change ever since we came to that dangerous place compared to the safe environment Temple provided.
I had to make sure not to stand on the wrong side of her blade.
Still, Eleris was there, and Ellen was also close to me, so I felt my anxiety greatly lowering
I was also just a person, even if I went there on my own two feet, I was bound to feel some anxiety in that place where one wrong move could cost me my life.
Ellen spoke to me while staring at the ceiling.
“Thank you for coming with me.”
It seemed like Ellen felt the same way as me.
If she had gone to that place on her own, she would have felt a lot more anxious, the same as me. It was a completely separate matter from one’s personal strength.
“Are you saying that because you can’t sleep?”
Ellen turned around as if she didn’t want to listen to any more of my nonsense.
* * *
Translator – KonnoAren
Proofreader – ilafy
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Fortunately, Hugson didn’t come to cause trouble during the night.
The next morning…
I couldn’t remember when I fell asleep, but when I woke up I felt something fluffy on my face.
It felt kind of soft.
It was tight.
I couldn’t believe something as cliche as that would happen.
My face was buried in something at the moment. No, it felt more like it was getting buried in something.
It didn’t feel like I had crossed any lines yet!
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When I slowly raised my head, I saw someone else’s face before me.
Perhaps having woken up at the same time, I saw Ellen looking at me with a cold gaze, as my face seemed to have been stuck to her chest.
What are you doing right now?
She was looking at me with those kinds of eyes.
“W-wait a minute.”
“Wait. I don’t know what you think I’m doing, but…that’s not it, okay. Ah.”
“Forget about it.”
Ellen pulled up her collar, sat up on the bed, and then arranged her disheveled hair.
Then she looked at me, speaking curtly.
“Things like that happen.”
Why was she looking at me as if she wanted to kill me then?
If one shared a bed, things like that could happen when one tossed and turned! Ah! You hear?!
Damn it, no matter what I said, it wouldn’t make me look any better, so I kept my silence.
Ellen slowly yawned, then stood up and stretched.
“Let’s get ready.”
Ellen should have screamed and slapped my face going by the usual developments found in fiction! However, she didn’t give me that standard response. In fact, she acted as if nothing had happened and looked at me like that.
The development was romcom material. However, her response was not.
At times like these she should feel ashamed and shy, but she didn’t seem to feel that way.
Actually, I was pretty terrified that I might end up killed if I said anything wrong.
* * *
After getting ready for our departure, Ellen and I had some breakfast. Eleris also came down on time.
“Good morning, you two. I’m ready.”
“You have to eat.”
At Ellen’s words, Eleris smiled and shook her head.
“Oh, I ate something earlier before you came down. I’m ready to go.”
Eleris didn’t wear any armor like we did. She was just wearing a robe, not the simple dress she wore previously.
Rather than wanting to show off that she was a wizard, it seemed to serve to cover her from the sun. After a light breakfast, the three of us left the inn.
Our current goal was to get to Als Point to investigate what happened there. Of course, our actions would be completely useless if other adventurers had already reached the place and found out the truth, but there was no telling what might happen to them along the way.
We would arrive at our next destination, Kiltz Point, if we headed south of St. Point.
We would take a full day to get there.
Eleris probably felt pain, standing directly in the morning sun, but she didn’t make it obvious.
She had to be in pain, but I didn’t know how tolerable it was for her.
As if she noticed me looking at her, Eleris met my eyes and smiled.
It looked like I didn’t have to worry about her.
-There! Tie it tightly!
At St. Point, we came across a sight we hadn’t seen before. Numerous wagons were being loaded.
“What’s this? The convoy?”
“It should be.”
Wagons were arriving one after the other from the northern entrance of St. Point. That was probably the convoy the escorting mission led by Hugson was for.
There seemed to be dozens of wagons coming into the base. Since there were a lot more people escorting the convoy, they would reach Als Point much later than us as well.
Seeing those kinds of things made me realize how cheat-like magic really was.
By casting Mass Teleportation just once, one could move all those supplies in one go without having to gather as much manpower in a much shorter time.
Of course, spells like Mass Teleportation were very high-level spells that could only be used by wizards on Eleris’s level or higher. Even Eleris needed to chant for quite some time before she could actually cast it.
There shouldn’t be that many wizards of that level on the continent.
That was why alternatives like Warp Gates were created.
However, one still had to replenish supplies in places where no Warp Gates or a wizard who could cast Teleportation were around.
By the way, I didn’t manage to talk to Eleris alone, so I couldn’t ask her anything.
However, if it was Eleris, she probably already knew what happened at Als Point. She just had to cast Teleportation one herself once, so she probably already investigated the incident, right?
However, since we had already departed, I didn’t get a chance to talk to Eleris separately. Well, she might not have had enough time to find out the truth.
We passed the area crowded with countless wagons and headed towards the south exit.
On our way, we saw Hugson yelling orders from close to the Lockhill inn.
-Not there, this way, you bastard!
What a great personality he had.
Well, I was in no position to criticize him, though.
And then I saw someone who was rushing about, probably on an errand, stop and look at us.
Then he just lowered his gaze and walked away.
It was Austin.
“Do you know him?”
Ellen softly nodded her head at Eleris question.
“Rather than actually knowing him, we’re vaguely acquainted.”
Austin didn’t want to be accused of robbery himself, so he had accused us.
He probably did it due to Hugson’s threats, but in the end, he was still his accomplice and accused us of things we weren’t guilty of.
I saw Austin running away from us as fast as he could.
I actually felt more pity towards him than hate.
Ellen seemed to think similarly. She continued to look at Austin, who seemed to feel too ashamed to face us.
“I wish I could have stopped you.”
Ellen took the lead, leaving behind those words whose recipient was unknown.