“Hey, get up.”
It was morning.
Mill and Gomul’s hazardous cooking incident had passed just yesterday.
Someone woke me up.
No, rather than waking me up, it would be more accurate to say that they were forcing me to get up.
Since my quiet sleep had been disturbed, I got out of the bed while groaning. Turning to face the assailant, it was a beautiful woman with green hair who had her arms crossed and also looked somewhat unhappy…
Standing in front of me was Rose.
“Wh… What is it? It’s still dark outside you know……”
“Get changed, I’ll tell you the circumstances later.”
After declaring so, she immediately headed out the door and left.
T-This person was similar to a storm…
Although I felt somewhat absent-minded, I finished getting changed.
I would just irritate her more if I kept whining and resisting… I also didn’t want her to look at me with the same glare she used on Mill and Gomul yesterday.
“I should hurry up and get going…”
After putting my training clothes on, I made my way towards the entrance of the lodging house.
Standing in front of the entrance was Rose who was still folding her arms.
Seeing that I had arrived, Rose threw a rectangular object towards me.
This was a rucksack? Although it was smaller than the previous one——.
“Eh? I’m still not too sure about the circumstances you know…”
“I was talking with Lloyd-sama before coming here, I’m to inform you that you’ll be traveling with the heroes for their training.”
“Erm, heroes you say… You’re talking about Inukami-senpai and Kazuki right?”
“Hero Kazuki had already left the country for his training, you guys passed each other. You’ll be accompanying heroine Inukami instead.”
I’ll be training with Senpai outside of the country!? Why me……
If I remember correctly, Kazuki was with Sigris and them when he left for his training. It would make more sense if the heroes were entrusted with Sigris. Expressing these doubts to Rose, she gave a sigh while suppressing her eyebrows.
“……When you came back from the forest, I was already notified and you were supposed to immediately accompany hero Kazuki’s training but…… As one would expect, you were mentally exhausted from fighting that snake. That’s why I turned it down. Then just yesterday, hero Kazuki returned and you were called for again since it’s now heroine Inukami’s turn. Well, I actually refused that yesterday too but….. Ahh, Lloyd-sama kept earnestly requesting it and I had no choice but to yield.”
So that explains why she had such a worn out expression yesterday……
Hmm, it was obvious that I would be a hindrance after just coming back from the forest. I should really thank Rose for her consideration here.
……Then it would seem that I’ll be going outside of the country with Inukami-senpai and the country’s soldiers.
“It seems you more or less understand the situation. Well then, let’s head towards the gate.”
“Yes, I understand…… Ah, what about Bluerin…?”
“I don’t mind if you take him along.”
It was still a bit dark outside.
I headed towards Bluerin’s stable.
This was a good opportunity for him to get some exercise; lately, this little guy hasn’t been moving a whole lot.
“Oi, wake up Bluerin.”
“Hey, he isn’t getting up. Ahh jeez, once you wake up, you better walk!”
Moving the rucksack from my back to my front, I carried Bluerin on my shoulders. This guy, looking so comfortable while lying down…… was my back supposed to be some sort of special seat for you?
As I was leaving the stable with a Bluerin that refused to get up, I called out to Rose with some resentment mixed in and together we headed out.
Probably due to it still being early in the morning, the town wasn’t as crowded as usual. Rose and I made our way towards the gate that we used last time.
Approaching the gate, I could see the appearance of Inukami-senpai as well as two soldiers who were standing next to her.
“…….Huh, isn’t that Usato-kun?”
I’ve met these two guards at the castle before, one of them was a lively person and the other one wore a robe that covered them all the way up to their head.
The energetic one had short red hair and gave off an impression as an invigorating man. The other one was a silent person who wore a dark robe and had bangs that were somewhat long. This person gave me a suspicious feeling but these people were assigned to be guards after all. I decided there was no need to worry.
“Don’t tell me, the last person that’s coming along with us is……”
“Most likely, it’s me.”
They mentioned I was the ‘last’, which meant that the members were just 4 people and 1 small animal.
It wasn’t a lot nor was it too few; it was just the right amount of people.
We headed towards the guard who was protecting the gate— if I remember correctly, his name was Thomas. Rose faced him and urged him to open the gate with her expression alone. Of course, Thomas opened the gate while feeling frightened.
“Well, get going.”
“Don’t you have anything else to say…?”
“Nn? Is there something you’d like me to say?”
……Actually, it was fine, never mind.
While I gave a smiling face to Rose, I felt my shoulders droop.
“……Your Sensei is a strict person huh.”
Inukami-senpai murmured so to me in a small voice as if feeling pity for me. While my shoulders were still hanging downward limply, we passed through the castle gate.
“How was Kazuki?”
“It seems he endured quite a bit. After all, he was gaining actual fighting experience which was something he wasn’t used to. He was so exhausted due to the fatigue building up from outside that he’s been sleeping all day since yesterday.”
“I wonder if he’s okay…”
Our party lightly conversed while walking on the soil path.
It seemed like monsters were few in this area, meaning we probably didn’t have to worry about being attacked here. In reality, Rose and I didn’t get attacked here last time.
Our escorts were walking in front of us and were ready to intercept any monster attacks. As expected of knights I should say, their concentration was extraordinary. As for me, I wasn’t really on guard and just lightly walking. There shouldn’t any real danger so it was probably fine… I also wanted to see their true capabilities.
“……Is Bluerin not waking up?”
“Listen properly, I was asking if Bluerin is going to wake up or not.”
What was this Senpai suddenly saying…… She was also asking me while breathing roughly and looking at me with calm eyes.
No, just how badly did you want to touch Bluerin? You……
“He’s not waking up but……”
Just as I said so, at a speed that even my eyes couldn’t keep up with, Inukami-senpai extended her hand towards Bluerin’s head.
Against the sudden ‘attack’, I reflexively repelled her hand with my right.
While Inukami-senpai held down on her own hand, she also had an unbelievable expression on her face.
This all happened in only a few seconds.
“No, that’s my line. I should be the one asking ‘why?’ you know. It was so sudden that I would obviously knock down your hand by reflex, wouldn’t you agree?”
Glaring at me while feeling mortified, Inukami-senpai raised her voice,
“Hitting a girl’s hand, such rude manners…… It looks like you’ve awakened huh!”
Ignoring her line of sight, I looked towards Bluerin who had awoken on my back while groaning.
Good grief, you’ve finally woken up.
Calling out to the two guards walking in front to halt, I placed Bluerin on the ground.
“Are you able to properly walk?”
Bluerin started walking but his steps were unsteady, seeing this, I couldn’t help but unintentionally sigh.
After a short while, Bluerin was beginning to wake up and could walk normally. I was about to inform the two guards that we could start advancing again…
“Bluerin, I’ll… I’ll carry you! Now then, Come On!”1
No, you were just really—— Ah, wait a minute!? This was bad. A Blue Grizzly was a gigantic bear; one could say that Bluerin could be compared to a wild, adult bear residing in Japan despite him still being a cub. Therefore, Bluerin was about as heavy as two human adults. In addition to this, Bluerin was still half asleep and mistook Inukami-senpai’s back for mine——
I felt that I heard a sound something similar to a high school girl’s flower being plucked just now but… I should try my best to forget it.
Leaving that aside, I should hurry up and help Inukami-senpai before she gets completely crushed by Bluerin—!
“Err, sorry about that Usato-kun. I thought it was my chance.”
“I don’t know what this ‘chance’ you’re referring to but please don’t get injured when we haven’t even started fighting yet.”
Although I was flustered, I rescued Senpai by moving Bluerin away.
Senpai was tougher than I had originally thought but there may still be internal injuries that I couldn’t see, such as damages to her bones or organs. Just in case, I should cast some healing magic on her while proceeding on the road.
“Suzune-sama, are you alright…?”
“I’m okay, Usato-kun is here after all. Welllll, this is amazing. My body feels light.”
While placing my hand on Senpai’s shoulder, I used magic. I didn’t particularly have any ulterior motives, not at all.
Or rather, I couldn’t help but be astonished.
……In our former world, she was supposed to be a person without flaws; I wonder why things had turned out like this. Was it because she let loose her restraints after coming to this world? Or was it because she has really become this weird now? Perhaps the real Senpai was this one……
“Well, it’ll take some time to get used to it. Isn’t that right, Bluerin?”
This little fellow was really cute.
Inukami-senpai seemed to be alright so I lifted my hand off her shoulder.
……That reminded me, I still hadn’t heard where we were supposed to be going.
The guard-san turned their head around as I raised my voice.
……These people were entrusted with the important task of guarding the castle; they should have some considerable ability. Making that assumption for my own convenience, I asked them about our destination.
“Right now, where are we headed?”
“It’s in a neighboring plain with a lot of monsters inhabiting there. There’s also a forest called Dark Lyngle close to it which is why there are a lot of monsters.”
So the monsters were coming out from the forest that I was thrown into by Rose.
When I was in the forest, I mostly avoided them, I had a task to accomplish after all. I didn’t meet many monsters but the forest was considerably large so there were definitely a lot of monsters.
“How much further is it?”
“Let’s see…… I would say we shouldreach there by noon.”
This pace was different compared to when I was with Rose. The reason was most likely due to having a party of 4, I mean 5, including Bluerin. This was a reasonable speed I would say……
However, I could recognize this route was close to the forest…… How should I say it? It was giving me a slightly nostalgic feeling since only a few days had passed.
Especially for Bluerin————
No, I shouldn’t say anything.
Even this little guy had feelings of his own; I should be considerate of them. There was no need to say anything and it would be insensitive to do so. There was no point in digging up the past.
I was looking at Bluerin but someone abruptly placed their hand on my shoulder and so I turned to face them instead.
Sure enough, it was Senpai.
“As expected, I still want to touch Bluerin——”
“Please reflect on your experiences and learn from them.”
You should really give up on it already. The next time you get crushed, I won’t be saving you alright?
A few hours had passed since we left the gate of the Kingdom and we were advancing smoothly to our destination… All the way up until we made it close to the forest. Suddenly, the two figures leading the way in front of us came to a stop.
“……There are a lot of presences ahead.”
“Looks like something is approaching.”
“That appears to be the case.”
The robed person accurately foretold that there was ‘something’ in front of us.
In the next moment, a large cloud of sand formed at the front while a great number of shadows appeared within. After being able to identify their appearances, I was speechless. The ones that had arrived were wearing dirty clothes and standing on two legs, in addition, they possessed weapons.
“It’s bandits! Both of you step back!”
“This is a lie right…”
Inukami-senpai’s first actual fighting opponents weren’t monsters but were rather — people.
Kurokata: The application process was simple, and with that being the case; I went for the big prize.